Comments: new Bishops of Edmonton and Islington announced

Could +Pete clarify why a new Bishop of Edmonton (who will ordain women) will be ordained at Canterbury with +Maidstone who won't ordain women? Does that mean that no women bishops will lay on hands?

What does Bishop Richard mean by "will work within the London Plan while rejoicing in the new opportunities which the ordination of women to priesthood and episcopate has opened up"?

Posted by Mr L. Matthews at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 12:04pm BST

L.: I would guess that there will therefore be a point when certain bishops start "exercising gracious restraint" and a point when they stop. Perhaps a starting pistol will be fired? A gong perhaps?

I assume Richard means that Fulham will provide AEO to priests-who-are-women rejecters in Edmonton area; I could be wrong, but was not Wheatley's non-women-ordaining always an exception to THE LONDON PLAN(c) rather than part of it?

Posted by DBD at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 1:37pm BST

Nobody wants Maidstone to be consecrated on his own. That would send out all the wrong signals. There's also a log-jam of consecrands in waiting. So we have to get them all in. 3 in St Paul's would have been ideal for us. But we'll cope.

Yes Edmonton was named in the London Plan. I now have to do a rewrite for the new situation. That situation is that Edmonton will now be like the rest of London. And will get on with the missional task.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 4:18pm BST

"But we'll cope."

Outstanding pun, Pete.

Posted by DBD at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 4:56pm BST

I wish that one of the new London Area Bishops had been a woman.Lucy Winkett would have been splendid.

Posted by Jean Mayland (Revd) at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 6:14pm BST

So it's not Nicky for Islington but Ricky. Like the ABC he was nurtured in the womb of HTB. Now, how can Bishop Broadbent continue to deny that so called "Friends of Justin" are not being continually selected for higher office? Yet again another Evangelical being preferred adding considerable weight to the increasingly lop-sided nature of the National Church. I remember the Church of England when it was the Church of England.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 6:44pm BST

Fr Rob is a energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, prayerful and fine priest; who will work towards enabling the growth of the Edmonton Area, building up on the good and fruitful works of +Peter Wheatley as well as bringing about the necessary changes needed but also endeavour to continue to create a place/environment where everyone can flourish within the Area's vast diversity; which was a huge testament to what Bishop Peter did in his 16 years as Bishop of Edmonton.

No surprise by Ric Thorpe's appointment and John Hawkins is a good appointment too

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 6:48pm BST

What a pity all 4 couldn't be consecrated together pref in St Paul's. Then they could sing the wonderful mass by Francisco Lopez Capillas composed for the consecration of 4 bishops in Mexico City in 1656..4 choirs singing 4 distinct masses in perfect harmony! Has it ever been performed since? I alerted Nick Mercer to it a few years ago in the hope there might be a chance!

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 6:51pm BST

Jean: It was probably unlikely that the Diocese of London would have had a female appointment this time round

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 8:06pm BST

"Yet again another Evangelical being preferred adding considerable weight to the increasingly lop-sided nature of the National Church."

With the clear church planting and pioneer ministry brief, it was hardly surprising that the HTB stable produced the successful candidate for Islington. Ric Thorpe was the standout candidate, albeit from a small field. As to the more general accusation of Father David, his labels are rather unhelpful. The Church needs missional bishops who are not afraid to embrace the 'spiritual and numerical growth' agenda. Whether they are of the Cottrell (Chelmsford) variety or the Watson (Guildford) variety matters not. When people used to moan to me as a central CNC member about appointments I used to say to them 'show us the candidates'. Churchmanship actually plays a far smaller part in the process than is supposed, although while writing I am bound to say that that is not the case with the failed Oxford CNC process, where the difficulty is not the candidates but the commission members.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 8:19pm BST

How ludicrous that Bishop Richard felt that an appointment of a Traditionalist couldn't be made to Edmonton or within the Diocese even but I welcome Fr Wickham's appointment and offer him my support.

Fr Rob Wickham will not be Bishop of Edmonton for long, he'll be promoted to a Diocesan sooner rather than later... So hopefully then the next Bishop of London opens his eyes and appointments a Traditionalist to Edmonton again. Let's hope that the next Bishop of London is Martin Warner and Philip North as the next Bishop of Chichester.

Can +Pete clarify what he meant by "Edmonton will now be like the rest of London. And will get on with the missional task"? As if a Traditionalist couldn't get on with the Missional Task

Posted by Graham Williams at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 9:07pm BST

One of the ways that the Church of England (and maybe other Anglican churches too) could become more like the Church of Jesus Christ would be to stop using terms like 'preferred' and 'higher office'.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Thursday, 9 July 2015 at 9:20pm BST

"Churchmanship actually plays a far smaller part in the process than is supposed."
Aye, there's the rub! However, that is not at all surprising since the Catholic wing of the Church has been severely clipped by recent developments within the Ecclesia Anglicanum.
I have just finished reading "All Gas and Gaiters - The Lost Episodes". In the script of the episode entitled "The Bishop Gives a Shove" the fictional P. M's Appointments Secretary in Ted's Heath's Administration (Mr. Dobson) places great emphasis on political balance between Conservative and Socialist bishops. Bishop Cuthbert Hever, for example, was offered the newly created Bishopric of Chelsea (it was proposed he be translated from St. Ogg's) on the strength of being a Tory. I would not like to hazard a guess as to the political make-up of the present Bench but the spiritual and religious make-up is becoming increasingly one-sided.
With regard to the failure to appoint a successor to John Pritchard "the difficulty is not the candidates but the commission members"! Would Anthony Archer care to expand and elaborate upon this considerable accusation by adding flesh to the bones of his highly significant asseveration?
Tim - what terms would you prefer to "preferred" and "higher office"?

Posted by Father David at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 9:12am BST

GW: "Edmonton will now be like the rest of London. And will get on with the missional task"

Precisely what it says. The London Plan works in the other Episcopal Areas to keep traditionalists on board. Edmonton will now be the same, but it will no longer be a "protected" Area. And there's plenty of mission going on - though there are some examples of parishes that are not thriving. Edmonton will just become mainstream for male and female clergy living and ministering under the 5 Principles.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 11:48am BST

At risk of singing off topic, can I join Perry's Lopez Capillas Appreciation Society, please? Wonderful composer, almost unknown in Europe as far as I can see

Posted by Iain McLean at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 11:51am BST

Mmm...Anthony Archers comments intrigue. Sam Wells too liberal for some on the CNC perhaps?

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 12:42pm BST

Can I echo the request to Anthony for actual evidence. And if he has inside information please name source and give full details.

Tim: the Church of England is (part of) the Church of Jesus Christ. It just doesn't always feel like that.

Pete: what is your evidence for saying that nobody wants Maidstone to be consecrated on his own? Interesting definition of "nobody". Would you wish to "get rid of" (to quote from yr recent church times contribution) any who do?

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 1:40pm BST

It is surely crucial that Maidstone is a bishop who is part of the whole College. It would be mad to have a consecration of someone whom some see as sectarian apart from other bishops. I hope you wouldn't wish him to be isolated. But I fear that some might. That is not, however, where we are going.

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 3:57pm BST

"Would Anthony Archer care to expand and elaborate upon this considerable accusation by adding flesh to the bones of his highly significant asseveration?"

The failed Oxford CNC has been the subject of a Question at General Synod tonight, with members calling for a review. ++Ebor answered as follows:

"The nomination of a Diocesan Bishop is an electoral process rather than an appointment process of an employee and the process of discernment involves much more extensive consultation. It would be wrong to comment on a particular CNC but the general point is that with the CNC, as with other selection and discernment processes, there will sometimes be occasions when more time than expected is needed to find the right candidate. That is not a failure of process though it is clearly unwelcome at a time when the large number of vacancies has meant that the CNC has not been able to work through them as quickly as we would all have wanted. The Archbishops and Central Members regularly review how the Commission is operating within the present framework established by the Synod."

If the failure of the Oxford CNC to discern the right candidate first time round was not a failure of process then it must have been a failure of the members to work as one body and arrive at an agreed nomination, aided by prayer and reflection. ++Ebor said, rightly, that he would not be drawn on a particular CNC, as a quadruple lock undergirded the absolute secrecy of the deliberations. However, process is central to the work of the CNC. The Oxford CNC would have come to vote on the candidates it interviewed and would have been unable to obtain the required majority on either a first choice candidate or a second (probably the first). There have been a number of 'troubled' CNCs recently, an unfortunate development which may or may not be connected to the advent of interviewing (which I support). These CNCs include Canterbury, which had to meet on a further occasion, Southwark, where the process was reported on by the late Colin Slee, Hereford and, apparently, Exeter and St Eds and Ips. This is not a great track record for a body which has failed to report to the General Synod for five years (something ++Ebor apologised for during Question time). The reality is this. The Church is stuffed with talent and every CNC should have little difficulty in nominating candidates, especially as the pool has been materially increased by the addition of women candidates. I am not privy to the Oxford CNC (and if I was I would not comment) but it must be clear that the members are very seriously divided on a number of candidates, in which event why did they invite them for interview in the first place? Where a diocesan vacancy-in-see committee elects CNC representatives who have significantly diverse views on what they think the diocese wants and presumably also diverse views on the attributes and suitability of candidates, you have a problem writ large. If any member of the CNC comes with a clear view that 'I only want candidate X' and if I cannot get my way on that 'I will on no account vote for candidates Y or Z' the ability of the commission to conclude its work is compromised. It is surmise on my part, but the composition of the diocesan membership of the Oxford CNC appears to have these characteristics. If I decide to seek re-election to the General Synod and am successful, rest assured I will return to the appointments process with alacrity. I am not sure whether I have satisfied Father David, but you will understand more of why I have speculated in the way I have. It is no way to run a whelk stall.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 10:21pm BST

Graham: if you want Martin Warner to go to London and Philip North to Chichester, whom are you suggesting as the next Bishop of Burnley?

Posted by Stephen King at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 10:51pm BST

Father David - I would prefer terms that are consistent with the spirit of Mark 10:41-45. I'm sure you don't need me to spell that out.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Friday, 10 July 2015 at 11:55pm BST

Thank you Anthony for your considered and considerable response to my question. I am amazed that you identify no less than six dioceses as experiiencing "troubled" CNCs, that is quite staggering. Your list comprises the following dioceses
Canterbury
Southwark
Hereford
Exeter
St. Ed's & Ips
Oxford
I am a great believe in the dictum "If it ain't broke don't mend it" but obviously with half a dozen dioceses experiencing "troubled" CNCs the current system is seriously in need of repair if not total replacement by a new and better way of selecting those candidates to be preferred for high office as chief pastors within the Church.

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 11 July 2015 at 8:34am BST

@Perry Butler/Anthony Archer - Sam Wells too liberal. Come on, are we having a laugh here? Yes, of course he is a creative, intelligent and sensitive theologian; but he's hardly James Alison. How many liberal Hauerwas devotees do you know?

Posted by Will Richards at Saturday, 11 July 2015 at 11:26am BST

Good Lord, preserve us from the future appointments Graham Williams advocates. I have previously expressed in these pages my view that no further non-ordaining diocesans should be appointed, and that future provision for dissenters should be made only via the PEVs (enhanced in number if necessary). Others have gone further, and advocated that (apart from the PEVs) no more non-ordaining suffragans should be appointed either.
Why do we take this view? Because all diocesans, and suffragans holding devolved responsibility under area schemes, will have many women priests under their authority, and it is no longer acceptable, given the position we have reached in our church, for these women to be required to accept the authority of a bishop who does not believe their orders to be valid (or is uncertain about their validity).
I rejoice that the women priests of the Edmonton area will no longer be in this position, and I hope that by the time Fr. Wickham is translated to be a diocesan, his current diocesan will have reached retirement and been replaced by an ordaining bishop. Then, perhaps, the way will be open for a woman bishop in London.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Saturday, 11 July 2015 at 12:20pm BST

Anthony--many thanks for your most perceptive and helpful post. I didn't imagine you were privy to confidential information or that you would divulge it. Contrast the current news item on the Reform page http://reform.org.uk/news/src/archive/06-2015 which includes a quote from Rev Mark Burkill that "... There is now a crisis of leadership in Oxford Diocese, shown in the fact that the Diocese was unable to appoint a Diocesan Bishop who can work with [the Bishop of] Buckingham..." The implication being that Mr Burkill has inside knowledge of the process which can only have come from a leak from the committee.

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Saturday, 11 July 2015 at 5:24pm BST

Malcolm: The CofE doesn't need uncharitable individuals like yourself inside it but under the banner of Mutual Flourishing, we'll agree to disagree.

The CofE will have future appointments of individuals who are non-ordainers (apart from PEV'S), you'd be deluding yourself to believe that. The CofE made this commitment and it will happen

Posted by Graham Williams at Saturday, 11 July 2015 at 11:12pm BST

Will the Bishops of Gloucester and Crediton lay on hands at the consecration of the Bishop of Maidstone?

Posted by Robin Ward at Sunday, 12 July 2015 at 2:54pm BST

Sorry to hear, Graham, that you consider me so uncharitable that the CofE would be better off without me. Ouch! But where is your charity to the women priests who are required to swear obedience to a bishop who does not believe their orders to be valid? It's simply too much to ask.
Time will tell as to the direction future episcopal appointments will take, but I don't believe the CofE has made any commitment to continue consecrating non-ordaining diocesans.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Sunday, 12 July 2015 at 4:58pm BST

Fr Robin Ward: I don't believe that the Bishops of Gloucester, Hull, Crediton, Stockport and Taunton will lay hands of the Bishops of Maidstone, Kensington and Edmonton.

Unless they do gracious restraint for Maidstone and not the rest.

Posted by Mr L. Matthews at Sunday, 12 July 2015 at 9:50pm BST

Malcolm: Of course I sympathies with female clergy who may feel as if they are out-casts to such a Bishop but it's the same as swearing canonical obedience to a Bishop who believes that homosexuality is wrong (And we know there are Bishops like that); you just have to do it. We live within diversity and that's the price that we've got to pay for being part of the CofE.

Where the next traditionalist appointment will be, I don't know but it will happen eventually. Anyone who thinks otherwise will be deluding themselves, if we're gonna to create an open and inclusive Episcopate then having traditionalists is part of that commitment.

Bishop Pete Broadbent: What's your view on no more Traditionalist appointments?

Posted by Graham Williams at Sunday, 12 July 2015 at 10:06pm BST

"The CofE will have future appointments of individuals who are non-ordainers (apart from PEV'S), you'd be deluding yourself to believe that."

I hesitate to enter the private debate between Graham Williams and Malcolm Dixon on this, but feel it it an important one. The Five Guiding Principles are now the touchstone for all this. We are warned that we must read them as one single package. However, they do contains five different strands. The first two deal with the new settled mind of the church. The third concerns ecumenical and Anglican Communion aspects. The last two importantly deal with pastoral and sacramental provision. Key language on this is in the fourth Principle: "the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures." This principle is careful not to discuss the identity of episcopacy needed to deliver it. Not wishing to appear uncharitable to Graham, the fact is that the PEV model is the one that has been chosen to providing provision. As a former central member of the CNC, I can assure anyone that the probability of a non-ordainer being appointed to a diocesan see in the future is nil. Principles 1 and 2 just don't stand in such a situation. London has now organised itself to have just +Fulham to ensure the London Plan can continue to be implemented. +Londin's successor (who must be appointed by 2018) will ordain women as priests. Chichester is now the only other see to have a non-ordaining diocesan. Blackburn has +Burnley and the ConEvos have +Maidstone. And then there is the existing PEV provision. This package is more than enough to make pastoral and sacramental provision. What it all means, of course, is that certain members of the clergy can only be consecrated as PEVs or, for a period, to a very small number of suffragan sees. That is the price to be paid for this development on which the mind of the church is settled.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Sunday, 12 July 2015 at 11:58pm BST

Anthony: You presume that Bishop Richard's successor will ordain women, nothing concrete or set in stone until his successor is appointed. Of course there are PEVs and +Fulham but I don't see any logical reason why non-ordainers cannot be appointed to Diocesan/Suffragan sees in future apart from the usual "How can women expect to swear canonical obedience to someone who doesn't recognise their ministry" argument.

That is what being part of the CofE is about and that is what the banner of Mutual Flourishing is about. If you're point is the official stance of the CofE it would be good for this to made official by those whose duty it is to do so with at least reasons as to why this is the case, until then we live in hope

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Monday, 13 July 2015 at 12:57am BST

Chuchu,
why does flourishing require Diocesan and Suffragan bishops?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 13 July 2015 at 9:36am BST

Thank you Anthony, for your support. It was never (as far as I was concerned at least) a private debate between Graham and me (this is after all a public forum) and I was hoping for some support after a rather more ad hominem attack on me than is normally permitted by the moderators.
I knew your views on this important matter from your contributions to earlier threads, but it is good to see your confident assertions repeated. I hope that you do decide to stand for GS and that you are elected, because GS needs people with your experience and your clear thinking.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Monday, 13 July 2015 at 12:32pm BST

I don't know, Erica. Why does the flourishing of women and LGBT members require women and gay priests and Diocesan bishops? If one group has the right to demand bishops to prove they are equal members of the church, then all other groups do to, right? If not, they should have just sent out the letter to conservative priests like the Church of Sweden did, something along the lines of: "The Church has decided to go another way. You have no say from now on. We won't fire you, but you will not be allowed to hold office or high post." At least they were honest.

Posted by Chris H at Monday, 13 July 2015 at 2:13pm BST

Chris,
traditionalists have traditional priests, deacons and bishops. They are not left floundering in the CoE unable to worship appropriately. That's what the provisions were rightly about.

But the CoE itself has now fully accepted women priests and bishops, so it should no longer go without saying that women priests (and women in the pews, come to that) should have to tolerate Diocesan and Suffragan bishops who do not recognise women priests and bishops.

What is it that Suffragans and Diocesans add for traditional people that PEVs don't?
In what respect do they impair flourishing?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 13 July 2015 at 3:56pm BST

The settlement we have reached doesn't necessitate the ruling out of traditionalist catholics or headship evangelicals. Why should it? It's about whether they fit the person specification and the needs of the post. Provided that they are prepared to engage with the whole Church and are orthodox, there's nothing to prevent any person being appointed. As we've said on other threads...

Posted by Pete Broadbent at Wednesday, 15 July 2015 at 9:36pm BST

Thank you, Bishop Pete, for your open and honest contributions to this thread and many others on this site. I hesitate to appear to argue with any bishop, but I think the answer to your question 'Why should it? is perhaps to be found in the posts from Anthony Archer and myself. You mention the need for any bishop to engage with the whole church. Quite so, but I don't understand how a bishop can fully engage with a woman priest under his authority or with a woman bishop in the same college, and in the same way that he would engage with a male priest or bishop, if he doesn't believe her orders to be valid (or has doubts about them).
That doesn't necessarily rule out all traditionalist catholics for, as your colleague + Mark Sowerby has recently shown, it is possible for traditionalists to accept that women can and should be priests and bishops.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Thursday, 16 July 2015 at 6:35pm BST

Provided a Traditionalist priest shows equal love to all loyal Anglicans , equally seeks the growth and flourishing of all male and female clergy and their parishes and is willing to equally support all loyal Anglicans who wish to explore a vocation to ordained ministry then there is no reason whatsoever why such a Traditionalist priest should be barred from holding a mainstream Suffragan or Area See. Bishop Pete is correct in asserting that this is precisely what the CofE provided for in the House of Bishops Declaration.

Posted by Geo Noakes at Friday, 17 July 2015 at 12:28am BST

Malcolm: I'm sure if +Martin Chichester, +Philip Burnley and +Tony Wakefield can do it then it mustn't be that difficult. I believe it's about having a Matured Attitude about the issue, while staying true to your own integrity. For those who may doubt the validity of the order conferred on women; you recognise that the CofE has now deemed that women can be Bishops and as part of your continued membership in the CofE, while not being able to work with them sacramentally - You seek to find common ground in which you can work together for the sake of the Kingdom, proclaiming Christ afresh in this generation and baptising new disciples.

As long as your willing to engage, to be a Bishop for the whole church (while maintaining your own views), to be missional, to be nurturing and understanding but most importantly to be prayerful and Christian about things - I don't see why anyone should be barred from Suffragan and Diocesan roles on the basis of their theological convictions/views on the OoW and various other issues.

In regards to +Mark Sowerby and +Michael Langrish change of view on the issue, each to their own - It's important that we serve the Church and God in ways that we feel appropriate and if they (or anyone else for that matter) feel that these ways are how they best feel to serve the Church and God then every blessing to them. Anything is possible Malcolm but I wouldn't be expecting a mass conversion though

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Friday, 17 July 2015 at 12:30am BST

This is an argument that we've had in these pages before, Chuchu. I don't dispute that the bishops you mention manage the conflicted situation they are in with the greatest possible care and consideration. But, nevertheless, I doubt that you would find a single woman priest in any of their episcopal areas who would not prefer that their bishop was someone who believed her orders to be unquestionably valid. And the fact that these (and other) bishops have managed the conflicted situation well is not an argument for perpetuating the conflicted situation into future appointments.
I am not expecting a mass conversion either but, like Anthony, neither am I expecting to see any more non-ordaining diocesans.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Saturday, 18 July 2015 at 12:47pm BST

It's the women who have managed the conflict well, not the bishops.
And I am really bemused by how important it is for traditionalists to have bishops who believe like they do, but who at the same time think it's quite irrelevant to women priests and women in the congregations if the same bishops actively don't recognise women's priestly ministry.

As yourselves seriously and honestly if you would be happy if the situation was the other way round.

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 21 July 2015 at 9:14am BST

It is not about believing like they do but making sure that all of God's people are represented and enabled to flourish on all levels within the Church... The CofE made this argument when it was pushing for the Ordination of women to the Episcopate for some many years; you can't state you wish for a certain part of the Church to be represented within the Church hierarchy but then state that another part can't... Thankfully that's not how we do Church and thankfully that is not how our Lord Jesus Christ operated in his ministry.

Of course I can see the views of women clergy in this position but it is important that the conflict has/will be managed between both parties involved. +Martin Chichester is a good example in regards to how to manage conflict, it is important that everyone is ready to do the legwork and not just some

Posted by Chuchu Nwagu at Tuesday, 21 July 2015 at 4:36pm BST

Chuchu,
but you still haven't explained why flourishing requires bishops that are also responsible for other priests and parishes.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 22 July 2015 at 9:28am BST

and what news of the rewrite of the NT to omit reference to trinity??

Posted by Mary Judkins at Thursday, 27 August 2015 at 6:40pm BST

The above makes for interesting reading, but I am wondering whether it can also be a distraction. The heart of the matter is that the congregations in our churches are dwindling and there is the above introspective communication from church leaders about appointments of Bishops. A decision has been made and we must all accept it otherwise we also contribute to eroding the authority of the church. Then you wonder why people do not come to church.
All four should have been presented on the same day.

Posted by Nancy at Tuesday, 22 September 2015 at 11:23pm BST
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