Comments: Jane Hedges to be Dean of Norwich

This is an excellent and welcome appointment.

Ironically, it's quite a good time to be a woman in terms of preferment in the C of E at the moment. This may seem to be a strange thing to say but because most people are so fed up with the nonsensical delay in ordaining women as bishops, conversely making up the shortfall in women in high office positions has become all the more imperative.

What about the other 'minority' - that could be addressed by Jeffrey John's next appointment - couldn't it?

Posted by Concerned Anglican at Friday, 7 February 2014 at 11:58am GMT

Much rejoicing in the diocese at this appointment - not just because Jane is a woman but because she will be an excellent person to be Dean.

Posted by Charles Read at Friday, 7 February 2014 at 12:01pm GMT

Ah well, that's another potential candidate ruled out for Chichester.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Friday, 7 February 2014 at 1:49pm GMT

That probably rules Dean Hedges out as the first woman bishop which narrows the field a little.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 7 February 2014 at 3:38pm GMT

'Narrows the field'? Is the field not open to all in priest's orders regardless of promotion (think George Arthur Rose) or is that only applicable, theoretically, in Rome?

Posted by Allan Ronald at Friday, 7 February 2014 at 10:01pm GMT

Alan, isn't Hadrian the Seventh just a work of pure fiction by that great eccentric Baron Corvo, he who had such a great influence upon one of Archbishop Benson's boys?

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 8 February 2014 at 6:54am GMT

In 1880, J C Ryle became Dean of Salisbury, but found himself at the end of the year Bishop Of Liverpool.

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 6:21am GMT

More recently than 1880 the Dean of Exeter became suffragan bishop of Lynn in the diocese of Norwich. Canon Hedges is here declared to be 58 years of age, given than at least five years will be spent in the Deanery it would mean that the new Dean will have encroached well into her sixties before another move could be contemplated and so would be an unlikely candidate for elevation to the episcopacy. When was the last time a bishop was appointed who had passed the 60 landmark?

Posted by Father David at Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 12:08pm GMT

Looking, for example, at the Welsh bench in the 1920s, one might be forgiven for thinking that 60 was the qualifying age for a bishop! (And 84 for retirement)
Bangor - Charles A.H.Green -b.1864, cons.(Monmouth)1921 (age 65); trans.(Bangor) 1928 (age 72) (abp.Wales 1934,age 78, died 1944-age 82)
Llandaff - Joshua P.Hughes -b.1847, cons.(Llandaff) 1905 (age 58)(retired 1931-age 84)
Monmouth - Gilbert C.Joyce -b.1866, cons. (Monmouth) 1928 (age 62)(ret.1940-age 84)
St.Asaph - Alfred G.Edwards -b.1848, cons. (st.A) 1889 (age 51); Abp.Wales 1920 (age 72)(ret. 1934-age 86)
St.David's - David L.Prosser -b.1868, cons.(St.D) 1927 (age 59)(Abp.Wales 1944,age 72, (died 1950-age 82)
Swanea & Brecon - Edward L.Bevan -b.1861, cons.(suff.Swansea) 1915 (age 54); trans.(S.& B.1923 (age 62)(died 1934-age 73)
Maenan - Thomas Lloyd -b.1857,cons.1928 (age 71)(died 1935-age 78)

So, with the current increase in retirement ages and diminution of pensions ... who knows what the future holds!

Posted by John UK at Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 2:47pm GMT

"Who knows what the future holds!" Who knows indeed? I do know that this side of Offa's Dyke within the next decade 40% of the current stipendiary clergy will have retired. Makes me think that it may have been a mistake to bring in the rule regarding compulsory retirement at 70. After all it's not all that long ago that Randall Davidson made history by being the first Archbishop of Canterbury to retire, aged 80. Now even popes retire!

Posted by Father David at Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 3:52pm GMT

It was a serious mistake for Synod to compel clergy to retire at 70. It was done so in my opinion out of a combination of attempting to favour a youth culture and weeding out those supposedly past their sell by date.

However, it is hard to see how much longer the Church can go on pretending that its clergy are 'office holders' and not employees and thereby dodging the civil age discrimination rules.

Using clergy instead for 'House for Duty' of which there are so many these days is quite disingenuous.

Nowadays, seventy is the new sixty ... don't scrap them employ them!

Posted by Concerned Anglican at Sunday, 9 February 2014 at 5:18pm GMT

Agreed, Concerned Anglican. With the abolition of compulsory retirement in the UK, it may well be illegal, depending on the "office holder" tangle, and any exemptions the church has carved out for itself.

Posted by James Byron at Monday, 10 February 2014 at 12:18am GMT
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