Comments: Paul Slater to be Bishop of Richmond

Bishop of Richmond to be Paul Slater
Paul Slater to be Bishop of Richmond

Posted by John Roch at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 11:13am BST

Another win for Cranmer Hall but shurely shome mishtake he happens to be male! England's largest diocese overflowing with bishops and not a single woman among them.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 11:54am BST

Nothing against the person appointed - a good person. But why does there need to be a 6th Bishop. The reasons given do not square with the Statement of Needs published before the appointment of the Diocesan Bishop which said that he should be
"willing, for the first 3-5 years, to give priority to the local Church over the national Like every diocesan, our bishop will play a full part in national life and the central Church structures. However, in his early years in the diocese, it is hoped and envisaged that he will prioritise the development of new relationships and structures here, and be freed up to give transformational leadership to the Leeds Episcopal Area. Leeds is a vibrant northern city, where the bishop will need to commit time and energy to immersing himself in civic and local life, if he is to understand the wide range of needs and opportunities to which the Church might respond."
So why are his trips abroad and national commitments getting in the way of care of the Leeds Area to the extent of needing an extra bishop to what the reorganisation of the 3 dioceses started out with. Is he not "willing" as per Statement of Needs?

Posted by Yorkshireman at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 11:56am BST

Proud as I am of living in this diocese, it is not the largest in the Church of England, on any measure.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 12:44pm BST

My word, is this a first, someone living in Yorkshire, prepared to admit that something in that area of Northern England doesn't qualify to be "the biggest"? Well, I'll go to the bottom of our stairs!

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 1:22pm BST

P. S. "It is not the largest in the Church of England, on any measure". Doesn't Leeds qualify as the diocese with the "largest" number of serving bishops? Name a diocese with more than six bishops then.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 1:30pm BST

Comrade Yorkshireman makes excellent points.

Posted by DBD at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 1:31pm BST

The comment about the length and composition of the shortlist is a small welcome step towards transparency.

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 3:24pm BST

John Roch

On reflection I think "Paul Slater to be Bishop of Richmond" is better so I have changed the headline.

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 4:41pm BST

I feared that successive Bishops of Richmond might have to change their names.

Posted by John Roch at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 5:08pm BST

"a small welcome step towards transparency"
In Unseen Things Above Catherine Fox in describing the transparency of the Church of England in choosing a new Diocesan Bishop of Lindchester as rather like a net curtain at a window - you can see out but you cannot see in. I won't give the plot away but leave it to TA readers imaginations to guess whether or not Guilden Hargreaves, Principal of Barchester Theological College and openly Gay - the Jeffrey John type character, is appointed Bishop of Lindchester or not.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 6:21pm BST

Father David: Name a diocese with more than six bishops then.

So West Yorkshire & the Dales catches up to London - no wonder +Richard Londin: wants to revive the See of Islington.

Posted by RPNewark at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 7:57pm BST

I understand why the Richmond name has been used, to avoid further delay, but it will be highly confusing to continue this name, if as intended the role is to work effectively as Deputy Area Bishop for Leeds. The comparison that comes to mind is Canterbury-Dover.

Richmond is practically on the northern boundary of the diocese, and of the Ripon Episcopal Area, whose southern boundary is the Harrogate Deanery where I live. Perhaps a suitably downmarket suburb within the Leeds Episcopal Area might be chosen for a new name, in due course.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 9:10pm BST

Leeds and London - SNAP: indeed when Islington comes on stream - six bishops a piece but the difference being the new Richmond will spend 100% of his time within the diocese of Leeds. When Nicky Gumbel is appointed to Islington part of his ministry will be spent overseeing church plants outside the diocese of London. So perhaps London with maybe five and a half bishops won't quite match the six bishops in the diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 18 June 2015 at 10:46pm BST

Pardon me, Father David, but London, (pace my earlier post) already has seven bishops (granted that three are vacant at present): London, Kensington (vac), Willesden, Edmonton (vac), Stepney, Islington (vac) and Fulham.

Posted by RPNewark at Friday, 19 June 2015 at 8:00am BST

RPN, I concede that the mystical and Biblical seven is one more than half a dozen - maths was never my strong point. When the trinity of bishops (Kensington, Edmonton and Islington) are consecrated in St. Paul's later this year the Diocese of London will have more bishops than any other C of E diocese. Indeed it will be a mini-Province in itself. Of the three new consecrands it would seem that the next Kensington is the most likely to be a woman, unless, of course, like West Yorkshire and the Dales they continue the tradition of an all male episcopate.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 20 June 2015 at 6:17am BST

Seven in London is correct. Announcements still awaited on the three new ones. Interviews have taken place for all of them. Now somewhere in the pipeline between the Diocese and Buck House. The waiting is a pain in the neck for all concerned, simply because there is so much to do to prepare for them (housing, office, admin arrangements, new Archdeacons, etc.) Still aiming for September consecrations.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Saturday, 20 June 2015 at 9:46am BST

The waiting is indeed a pain but surely understandable because of the amount of hurdles that need to jumped through first.

+Pete is there a huge rush to make these announcements?... If the consecrations are in September, then wouldn't a Early August announcement be just as alright?

Posted by Graham Williams at Wednesday, 24 June 2015 at 1:34am BST

It's a pain because of all the liaison and conversation we need to do to set things up, which you can't do when we're all required to play secret squirrel until it's all announced. It's all so juvenile, dancing round and not being able to tell X that Y is the next bishop, having to assume that Z doesn't know, even though they need to, because they have to be able to talk about other appointments. You can't hit the ground running when your legs are tied together by the slowness of DBS checks and whether the Queen is around or not. It's a daft way to operate.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Wednesday, 24 June 2015 at 7:01pm BST

Yes in that case, I understand why the secrecy makes it complicated.

We'll just have to be patient and wait a while longer... To be honest +Pete, I am finding all the speculations and rumours more interesting that the announcements will probably be.

Posted by Graham Williams at Thursday, 25 June 2015 at 12:11pm BST
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