Comments: Dean of St Paul's

Seeing that the Diocese of Bradford voted FOR The Covenant. I wonder how the current Dean of Bradford voted? And how will his voting preference affect his new job as Dean of Saint Paul's, I wonder?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 9:59am GMT

"Seeing that the Diocese of Bradford voted FOR The Covenant. I wonder how the current Dean of Bradford voted? And how will his voting preference affect his new job as Dean of Saint Paul's, I wonder?"

Ron, I imagine that David Ison's views on the covenant were among the least significant criteria in the minds of those who made this appointment, and given all the other massive problems he picks up at St Paul's, I doubt that those views will pay a big role one way or the other.

You will note that David spent some time in a parish not a million miles from your home parish in Coventry. I think it is a good appointment, but again, I doubt they stopped to consider my or your views on the matter!

Posted by Edward Prebble at Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 9:41pm GMT

I am sure all here wish God's blessing on the new Dean and the people of St Paul's!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Tuesday, 6 March 2012 at 10:35pm GMT

Sure seems BIZARRE as a Canadian Anglican that the government would be involved in Church notices; thank god we have moved on to separation of Church and State here.

Posted by Randal Oulton at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 2:39am GMT

I imagine this is the first Dean in the long history of St Paul's to have trained at St John's, Nottingham. Dean Ison's appointment further highlights the growing number of current senior clergy in the C of E who trained at St John's, Trinity College, Bristol, Wycliffe Hall and Ridley Hall.

Posted by Simon at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 3:48am GMT

I'm sure we would all want to offer Dean Ison our prayers and best wishes as he takes on what must surely be an exceptionally challenging job.

Posted by rjb at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 4:02am GMT

The involvement of the Crown and Government is now almost entirely nominal; appointments to Deaneries are made after advertising, then shortlisting and interviewing by a selection panel. The last real power of choice - to nominate diocesan bishops from a list of two candidates - was given up in 2007.

Although the State's power to choose individuals is now gone, there is some benefit to its ongoing involvement:

(1) In the Church of England diocesan bishops have a good deal of power, particularly over appointments. The involvement of a senior lay Anglican, appointed by and answerable to the State rather than the Church, allows for a different view on particular candidates to be given. This may well mean that some individuals are put forward for senior appointments who might, for whatever reason, have been overlooked by their diocesan bishop or internal church processes.

(2) Senior clergy are also significant figures in their local communities, and again the involvement of the Crown both symbolises their wider role and allows the needs of the wider community to be heard.

(3) The State provides to the Church at no cost an additional means of identifying and developing clergy for senior appointments.

All very practical arguments for retaining these arrangements, but given it is now the Church rather than the State which actually chooses, I think good ones in terms of maintaining a mixture of people in senior appointments.

Posted by Philip Hobday at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 8:11am GMT

A very small point. But this bit of the press release struck me as a little strange: "They have two married daughters and two sons." Why would anyone be interested in the marital status of the daughters? And what about the sons?

Posted by Toby at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 1:14pm GMT

To Philip Hobday's list we might add the most practical of all:

(4) Deans are paid by the Church Commissioners, a body which is the creature of the State and not of the Church, so it's only fair that the State should (in the last resort) make the decision.

I too think it's bizarre, but it's a consequence of the confiscation of the historic cathedral and diocesan endowments by the Statre in the 19th Cent.

Posted by american piskie at Wednesday, 7 March 2012 at 6:44pm GMT

From what I've heard recently of David Ison, it would seem he is equipped for his new role as Dean of Saint Paul's. His heart is in the right place!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 13 March 2012 at 1:16am GMT
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