Comments: Alison White to be Bishop of Hull

The first husband-and-wife bishops?

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:23am GMT

So the first two bishops who happen to be women (in the CofE) are both in the northern province and both trained at Cranmer Hall! As a former Cranmer staff member, I am of course delighted, though I did not teach either +Libby or soon to be + Ali.

Ali White is a splendid person whom I first met when she was Durham DDO (a very good DDO) and I had just arrived at Cranmer. She will be an excellent bishop.

What will Frank do now and where will they live? These are of course the really important questions....

Posted by Charles Read at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:43am GMT

Charles -- according to the Newcastle website linked above, "the Whites are moving their family home to Hull and Bishop Frank will continue to serve the Diocese of Newcastle from the office of the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle in Jesmond."

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:51am GMT

Northern Province 2 - Southern Province Nil

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 11:53am GMT

Cranmer Hall... people like us... any need to guess what her position on equal consecration for LGBT clergy or equal marriage will be? I have no doubt that Alison White is an able priest who will make a good bishop. But... we ARE beginning to see the predicted pieces of the archiepiscopal strategic jigsaw fall into place, aren't we?

Posted by David Richards at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 1:13pm GMT

Dunwich anyone? Or - sit down for this one - Kensington or Edmonton?

Posted by Charles Read at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 1:14pm GMT

While I rejoice in the appointment of Alison White to the See of Hull; I can't help but be left disappointed that a Traditionalist was not appointed to this post. While the appointment of female bishop is a thing to rejoice; the CofE made a promise to provide a secured and thriving space for those who cannot accept the ministry of women and I believe that this should be on all levels of ministry (Diaconate, Priesthood and the Episcopate).

When +Philip Burnley's appointment was announced, there was all this talk that his appointment will be last Traditionalist appointment in the CofE. Apart from the PEV's and +Fulham, we only have 4 bishops who are against compared to the number of Liberal Catholic and Evangelical Bishops that we have.

Not making traditionalist appointments sends out the wrong message to the wider church and public community especially during this stage of the Church's life.

I am a female priest and have been for 15 years; I campaigned for a flourishing space for all women in the CofE and I am now campaigning that we don't ignore the importance of Traditionalist appointments. If +Richard Londin and his advisory group have any sense; they'll appoint a Traditionalist to Edmonton, the only place really where a trad appointment can be made and be allowed to flourish.

Just my thoughts!!

Posted by Mo (Revd) Christine at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 1:15pm GMT

If Kensington should be a woman - I would hope that it would be Ven Rachel Treweek. Very able and well liked amongst the people

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 1:36pm GMT

Keeps it in the families (inc Cranmer) anyway. So important to have a pure blood line for a healthy community.

Posted by Fr William at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 1:49pm GMT

Cranmer Hall seems to be the new Cuddesdon.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 1:55pm GMT

Funny how neither of the first two episcopal posts to go to women have gone to any of the 'celebrity' women that everyone predicted. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing - just an observation.

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 4:27pm GMT

I like Alison and she will make an excellent bishop but I shall be very sad if none of the women who have struggled long. and hard are appointed.We also need a liberal or liberal/catholic to balance all the open evangelicals who now dominate the House of Bishops.

I want to see a Bishop Rose and a Bishop Lucy.

Posted by Jean Mayland (Revd) at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 5:01pm GMT

If a "liberal" bishop is appointed, odds are they'll do what every other "liberal" bishop does, and keep the omertà on any subject the House of Bishops deems too hot to handle.

The one English bishop to speak out, Alan Wilson, doesn't, SFAIK, consider himself a liberal. Perhaps we need more evangelical bishops who just happen to hold liberal positions. I'll say this for evangelicals, disagree as I might, they've the courage of their convictions.

Posted by James Byron at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 7:22pm GMT

Excellent sentiments, Mo (Revd) Christine. This is the inescapable logic of 'mutual flourishing'. It's a difficult logic - and one that seems far above the power-crazed antics of our Archbishops. It is also a logic that requires reciprocation - stand up, Father David! 'Liberals' (of a certain kind) and 'Traditionalists' (of a certain kind) need (in certain contexts) to fight together for fair representation.

Posted by John at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 8:03pm GMT

"..we only have 4 bishops who are against compared to the number of Liberal Catholic and Evangelical Bishops that we have." - Mother Christine -

Perhaps that reflects the reality of the non-GAFCON provinces of the Anglican Communion. Why should the Church of England be any different? Obviously the Canterbury Province will soon have to make up the deficiency of Women Bishops in that Southern part of the Church of England - hopefully, some who will not be averse to Gay people worshipping and ministering in their patch.

By the way, Reverend Mother, I appreciate your use of the feminine equivalent of 'Father'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:41pm GMT

The "celebrity" women were/are those the press knew and wrote about. As many of us have been saying for some time, there are many women with the experience, skills and gifts for episcopacy so it was highly likely that the first women appointed would not be known across the nation. Also worth noting that these are suffragan appointments.

Posted by RosalindR at Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:55pm GMT

Think on - of the last four Bishops of Hull, three were translated to become Diocesans. Geoffrey Paul to Bradford, James Jones to Liverpool and Richard Frith to Hereford.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 1:13am GMT

May God bless her episcopal ministry. :-)

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 1:49am GMT

As for Libby Lane, her two immediate predecessors at Stockport both became Diocesans. Nigel Stock - St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich and Robert Atwell - Exeter.
It's Bishop Frank White that I feel sorry for having to move to Hull. The all round journey from Kingston upon Hull to Berwick upon Tweed in order to Lay Hands on the Confirmands is over 400 miles! Still, the present Government has promised to make the A1 Dual Carriageway throughout Northumberland. That should assist Bishop Frank and also warm the heart of Alan Beith M. P. who has been campaigning for this to be done for decades.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 8:12am GMT

Bishops in Hull (where I live) either seem to disappear or want to be in a better place elsewhere (Hull a stepping stone). It will be an achievement towards normality if, with all the current newness of female Anglican bishops, this next one also 'disappears'.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 27 March 2015 at 1:07am GMT

Pluralist, the last Bishop of Hull to stay put and not to "disappear" or become a Diocesan was Donald Snelgrove, who retired over twenty years ago. He crossed the Bridge to reside in Barton-upon-Humber on the far side of the estuary and is an Assistant Bishop in the Lincoln diocese. Next month he will become a nonagenarian.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 27 March 2015 at 8:33am GMT
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