Comments: Bishop at Lambeth to retire

What a wonderful opportunity for Archbishop Justin, the archbishop of Canterbury, to put the Church of England's money where its mouth is and appoint - without further delay - the episcopal successor to Bishop Nigel Stock as 'Bishop at Lambeth'. My suggestion: Dean Jeffrey John.

To appoint Jeffrey to this important post on the staff of the 'Primus inter pares' of the Anglican Communion, would send a very clear and unequivocal message to every Provincial Church; that the Archbishops mean to keep their word on a vital issue at the heart of our Church.

What about it, Archbishop?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 8 March 2017 at 11:34pm GMT

That would not be legal, Ron. Bishops may only be consecrated to sees, either diocesan or suffragan, not to other posts.

There may be some leeway when consecrating bishops for service overseas, but that obviously doesn't apply to the "bishop at Lambeth". On the other hand, I think there is no constitutional reason why the Lambeth chief of staff has to be a bishop.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 7:42am GMT

There is a precedent here - I seem to recall that Sandy Miller from HTB was consecrated as a bishop for the church in Uganda but served his episcopal ministry in London before retiring to Aldeburgh. Perhaps the same arrangement could apply to Jeffrey John but perhaps the Ugandan bishops might have a word or two to say about that!

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 8:51am GMT

A problem with Simon's suggestion is that the Bishop at Lambeth and the Lambeth Chief of Staff are two separate posts. The latter is currently David Porter.

Posted by Peter Owen at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 9:10am GMT

Were Fr Ron's suggestion to be taken up, there are plenty of dormant sees into which new life might be breathed by such an appointment. Marlborough was used a suffragan title in London in the late 19th century, and some of the sees created by the Act of 1534 have never received an appointment.

Posted by cryptogram at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 1:29pm GMT

I note from the list of dormant suffragan sees that Chelsea is available. Any other preferred, perhaps Cambridge?

Posted by Verulamius at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 4:23pm GMT

What an interesting list. "Isle of Wight" would seem to violate the principle that a see must be a city (or town) not an area. And Berwick has now been filled.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 4:34pm GMT

Although I doubt he would remember me,I am the same age and was at school with bishop Nigel.He was a thoroughly decent individual then and has served the church well. I wish him a long and happy retirement.He was, of course, "translated" to Lambeth after serving as a diocesan bishop. It would be interesting then that should this serve as a precedent,which diocese would be chosen to relinquish their bishop to be ++Cantuar's right hand man (or woman)

Posted by Michael at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 4:39pm GMT

Some of those appointments could be auctioned off to raise funds

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 6:16pm GMT

Interesting list of vacant suffragan sees. So why, for camp or, did the see of Buckingham start being filled in 1914 when Aylesbury, just a few miles away, existed and was vacant?

Posted by Richard Gillin at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 6:43pm GMT

Perhaps the Bishop of Burnley might take this post?

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Thursday, 9 March 2017 at 8:29pm GMT

"Perhaps the Bishop of Burnley might take this post?"

I believe that is the right thing to do for the short term while we build him a proper traditional diocese.

Posted by Kate at Friday, 10 March 2017 at 9:26am GMT

As Bishops Stock's successor will be announced in April the appointment has already been made.

Posted by Perry Butler at Saturday, 11 March 2017 at 1:52pm GMT

Of course, one ought to be careful what one suggests, but when suggesting possible occupants, I would recommend considering that the post is not necessarily one of honour - many of us will have heard reference to occasions in the past when 'sitting next to daddy' has been utilised to get a sub-par bishop out of circulation...

Posted by DBD at Tuesday, 14 March 2017 at 10:19am GMT
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