Ah, the Age of Red Pete... ;P
This will appear to be the only CNC vacancy planned for consideration in 2017, which will be a relief to the managers, given the fact that Peter Owen has noted that the term of office of the current central members expires in August 2017. It may also be noteworthy that three individual days have been set for the meetings, whereas the pattern has been the first meeting in the inside of a day and the second meeting overnight. This may be purely a factor of the Presidents' diaries. It will be a much observed appointment. Assuming the translation of a diocesan (not a given based on the current incumbent) there are only five candidates who have been in their current sees for at least five years and will be less than 60 in 2018. Neither criteria is necessarily relevant, but each gives some indication of the workings and a hint of pragmatism. However, I wouldn't recommend anyone rushes off to Betfair just yet!
As to the top five bishopricks in the Church of England will it be 5 - Nil to the Evangelicals when the next Bishop of London is appointed or can we hope for Evangelicals 4 - Catholics 1 ?
Given that the CNC meets twice next month to choose the next Bishop of Sheffield and that the only other diocesan see vacant, and that from 12 November 2016, is Sodor and Man which, I think, has a slightly different selection and appointment process; it suggests to me that a policy decision has been taken that the present CNC should *not* be the one to choose the successor to Bishop Richard.
I think the elections of central members by GenSyd next year will bear careful watching to see how, if at all, the balance of the membership changes.
Am I being cynical? Am I being paranoid? Either way, is it not unreasonable to leave the largest (by population) diocese in the Church of England without a diocesan bishop for, as Peter Owen reasonably postulates above, more than a year?
Oh great - a whole year of Hippie Pete, the "Bish of Willesden".
1. It's unreasonable to leave any diocese vacant for that length of time. It's particuarly dangerous given the risk of the CNC being unable to appoint first time round which then results in an even longer vacancy. It's hard to think of any organisation which would leave this kind of post vacant for this long. This is a problem with the whole CNC process which needs to be addressed.
2. It's important the CNC bears in mind the need for balance among the most senior sees. There are many kinds of diversity; five out of five from evangelical backgrounds would not represent the breadth of the CofE as a whole.
Lichfield, with an area system like that of London and elsewhere, was vacant for one year. I didn't notice. My parishioners didn't notice. So don't worry about hippy Pete. As it happens, we have a good man appointed, but how much we will see of him is a moot point, since i guess he'll be up and down to Euston for work on Muslim/Christian relations. But I am left with the question: what exactly are bishops for?
this extended delay is endemic of the incompetence at Church House and the Diocese of London; which is why my Church has substantially reduced its contribution to the Common Fund, until:
1. they get their act together and stop wasting our money; and
2. they both take steps to become less top heavy and start focusing on what the Church should be doing.
Perhaps their Graces want new, easily manipulated GS members?
Mark: 'they get their act together and stop wasting our money'
Actually they're saving you money to the extent of a year's worth of Bp London Stipend ....
If a post can be left vacant for a year, it can't be necessary to fill it at all.
My choice for +Londinium? Anglo-Catholic, Inclusive of Women and LGBTI clergy. This would help redress the Evangelical imbalance
Peter Kettle, actually it won't save the London Diocesan Common Fund a bishop's stipend because that's not paid from it. Bishops' stipends are met by the Church Commissioners.
Are there any left in the CofE who pilgrim along with F D Maurice, Abp William Temple, Bp Ronald Hall (who ordained Florence Li Tim Oi), Bp Hugh Montefiore, Bp David Jenkins, etc.? That is, those who don't align with any of the various "Catholic" or "Evangelical" parties, blocs or sections? It seems there's hardly any left here in Australia too.
"If a post can be left vacant for a year, it can't be necessary to fill it at all."
Well, that's the elephant in the room, isn't it? It raises the question of what the Church of England believes bishops are for – which is a notoriously difficult question to answer, and yet until it is answered, bland managerial appointments will continue to be made.
Perhaps Renewal and Reform does not go far enough in restructuring of the Church of England? That might be because a lot of vested interests are at stake; or it might be because changing the status quo would be seen as an admission of failure; or it might be because the job is so enormous that no one wants to contemplate it; or it might be because of a fear that once you unpick the way the hierarchy of the Church of England works, everything else will come loose; or it might be a combination of those reasons, or for a reason that I haven't been able to consider.
A lengthy vacancy with an well-established area bishop acting up and a hugely experienced vicar-general continuing to run the diocese sounds like exactly the ticket after such a long term as the retiring incumbent's has been.
Also, if the successor is to be in post at some point in the first half of 2018, Rachel Treweek will have had almost three years in Gloucester by then...
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