Comments: Ruth Worsley to be Suffragan Bishop of Taunton

Excellent news.

Ruth will be a wonderful bishop and the Diocese of Bath and Wells will be blessed by God through her mission and ministry.

BTW, the Diocese of Salisbury is the first diocese to provide two female bishops in the Church of England: Sarah Mullally to Crediton (Exeter) and now Ruth Worsley to Taunton (Bath and Wells).

Go west young bishops.

Posted by Graham Kings at Tuesday, 30 June 2015 at 11:27am BST

Loads of female appointments coming in thick and fast, very interesting to see.

Hopefully +Kensington, +Islington and +Edmonton will be announced soon. The laity and clergy in the Diocese of London don't seem to be able to cope with the suspense and secrecy too well.

Posted by Tariqq Kelly at Tuesday, 30 June 2015 at 12:56pm BST

Another moderate Evangelical..married and a safe pair of hands on ssm. Doctor Welby and co don't mind upsetting ecumenical and conservative friends here.

Posted by robert ian williams at Tuesday, 30 June 2015 at 5:48pm BST

When, at long last, will they appoint a string player instead of a wind player!

Posted by Cynthia at Tuesday, 30 June 2015 at 10:00pm BST

Doesn't the saxophone conventionally belong to the Brass section of the orchestra rather than to the wind section?

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 30 June 2015 at 11:34pm BST

This appointment means fifty women have now been elected as bishops in the Anglican Communion, in twenty-seven years since that very first appointment. Laus Deo.

Posted by Peter S at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 11:31am BST

Er - no Fr David. The sax has a reed...

Posted by Neil at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 12:01pm BST

Not an episcopal appointment but Revd Liz Adekunle has been appointed as Archdeacon of Hackney. The London team is forming interesting... The other announcements will be interesting

Posted by Graham Williams at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 1:21pm BST

Graham, indeed the sax does have a reed but when Googling the saxophone I discovered that "conventionally" that particular brassy instrument in indeed regarded as belonging to the Brass Section of the orchestra. The reed is a small wee thing and the majority of the saxophone is made of? Well you tell me?
Anyway, Wind, Brass or String - isn't it about time there was an appointment of a woman bishop from the Percussion section of the orchestra? So far we have had five female episcopal appointments and still not a June, a Vivienne, a Jane nor a Lucy among any of the quintet. What surely is needed is a clanging gong but please God, not a tinkling cymbal.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 3:25pm BST

"and a safe pair of hands on ssm"

Not entirely sure how "safe" she is from an establishment point of view. As a partnered gay priest she was always an excellent colleague for me; I reckon she might be 'on a journey'.

Posted by Jonathan MacGillivray at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 3:48pm BST

Father David, take my word for it, in addition to being a professional musician, I worked for the Cincinnati Pops for a while. No orchestra ever has more saxophones playing for it than Cincinnati (check out the recordings on Telarc). It's a reed instrument that often is seated with the clarinets (in pit bands, players often "double" on both sets of instruments). When you hear the saxophone in The Old Castle of Pictures at an Exhibition, or Ravel's Bolero, or Gershwin's anything (American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, etc.) they inevitably sit in the wind section and work on their blend with the other woodwinds.

What does this have to do with theology and Women Bishops? Well, the symphony orchestra is a beautiful metaphor for diverse voices coming together in harmony to make music with transcendent power to lift the hearts and minds. Kind of like the Body of Christ, though I wouldn't say so professionally.

So I would complain that CoE bishops are way too heavy on wind players and needs to develop their string section. I suspect there are enough percussion players already.

Posted by Cynthia at Wednesday, 1 July 2015 at 8:23pm BST

Sounds to me as though the saxophone is neither one thing nor another but is a bit of a hybrid with its brassy body and its reedy mouthpiece.
From my surfing the net I came across this quotation as to whether the sax is brass or woodwind.
"There is a lot of debate over this, as the saxophone has the body of a brass instrument yet the mouthpiece of a woodwind. However, they are conventionally placed in the brass section, as most feel this is the one it most resembles. It is also worth noting that very few orchestras have a saxophone section, as it has a less traditional tone to many orchestral instruments."
Perhaps the Duck Test may come to our aid
"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck,"
As we have observed very recently and as has been reported elsewhere on the TA Blog - things are very different in the USA and it seems to me that the introduction of the saxophone into the orchestra does not greatly add to the harmony thereof as the instrument looks like one thing and sounds like another.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 12:06am BST

I wonder if she'll be ordained with the other southern suffragan for whom Welby has yet to set a date — Maidstone.

Posted by DBD at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 9:48am BST

Thank you Cynthia for the wonderful and very valid picture of the Church being like an orchestra with many instruments playing individual tunes but together making great music, sometimes modern and harmonious , sometimes modern and discordant and always music created by God's creation.

Posted by Malcolm Halliday at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 10:24am BST

And let's not forget that the great, great Ornette Coleman, who died a few days ago aged 85, actually played a plastic saxophone - and he had one of the most beautiful tones in modern jazz, certainly at slow tempi.

Posted by John at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 10:47am BST

That's the trouble with Anglicans. They're just obsessed with questions about sax.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 1:44pm BST

I want a "like" button for Simon Kershaw's comment!

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 2 July 2015 at 2:12pm BST

If the saxophone poses problems (which it doesn't), what about the flute? Anyway, Father David, check out (for example) Vaughan Williams' 'Job' and Sixth and Ninth symphonies to see what the saxophone can 'add' to orchestral sonorities. 'Job' is a work you might especially like.

Posted by John at Friday, 3 July 2015 at 10:28am BST

John, yes, I already possess a CD of R V-W's Job - A Masque for Dancing. The saxophone is indeed a very seductive instrument. From fallible memory did he use it as the instrument to accompany that part of the dance when Satan appeared?
As for his Nine symphonies (same number that Beethoven wrote) was it Benjamin Britten who said he played them all every year to remind himself of how much he disliked them?
I can't recall Britten including the saxophone in any of his compositions, although I am ready to be corrected if anyone knows otherwise. Hitting teacups on strings to represent the raindrops at the Flood was more his style. A most inventive piece of percussion.

Posted by Father David at Friday, 3 July 2015 at 7:03pm BST

Thanks for informative reply, Father David. Didn't know that about Britten - snobbery un- surprising.

Posted by John at Saturday, 4 July 2015 at 12:35pm BST

Yesterday I was stuck in traffic on the M25 so I put on a R V W CD on the car radio. It started with Sancta civitas, this wearisome half hour piece of music did nothing to raise my spirits but was followed by his Five Mystical Songs. When I got to "Let all the world in every corner sing" amazingly the traffic started to flow freely and the previous longueur dissipated. A lot of Vaughan Williams music is fairly tedious but then there are occasional flashes of genius. But when it comes to music that is spiritually uplifting give me the son of the dentist from Lowestoft rather than the parson's son from Down Ampney, any day.j

Posted by Father David at Sunday, 5 July 2015 at 4:40pm BST

For the record, text books on orchestration always list the saxophones in the woodwind section. But I have certainly enjoyed the banter about RVW and BB, as well as Simon Kershaw's most witty comment!

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 6 July 2015 at 4:41am BST

Maybe it is because it is such a hybrid instrument that the saxophone very rarely features in properly orthodox orchestras.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 6 July 2015 at 8:26am BST
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