Comments: Deans moving on

Interesting to see the important appointment of Jonathan Draper to Modern Church. Not only is this liberal theological society probably the oldest Anglican theological society in existence, it continues to be a major voice of reason in an increasingly polarised and divided Church.

Posted by Concerned Anglican at Monday, 3 July 2017 at 10:58pm BST

I am familiar with Frances Ward's scholarship. The book she and others wrote on Studying Local Churches is excellent. With another Doctorate behind her, she would still be young enough to add some theological gravitas to the Bench of Bishops.

Posted by Edward Prebble at Tuesday, 4 July 2017 at 1:19am BST

"With another Doctorate behind her, she would still be young enough to add some theological gravitas to the Bench of Bishops." Edward Prebble is being positively hopeful - a hope I would share, by the way.

But is not Frankie Ward's decision more likely to be that, in the current climate, she doesn't tick the Wash House boxes for the House of Bishops? She has, rightly, seen the writing on the wall. There's no way that Welby would want an intellectually able woman, especially one who would not be afraid to challenge him head-on, in the House of Bishops. He wouldn't be able to talk to her in the way that he talks to most of the other bishops. Why do you think June Osborne has had to move to Wales to become a bishop? It's all part of the corrosive culture of the C of E - and very sad to see. When the personal needs and insecurities of the person at the top are allowed to take priority, you know an institution is in deep trouble.

Posted by Michael Mulhern at Tuesday, 4 July 2017 at 8:20am BST

Yes indeed Edward that book is excellent and we use it in theological reflection along with other things she has written, but I gather she has repudiated all that stuff in a turn to a version of Radical Orthodoxy.

Posted by Charles Read at Tuesday, 4 July 2017 at 9:32am BST

I may be reading too much in to this, but isn't it a little depressing that the only way Frances Ward feels she can contribute to the life of the Church as a theologian is to resign the Deanery of St Edmundsbury and become a full-time academic. What happened to the paradigm of the Anglican priest-scholar? George Herbert must be turning in his grave.

Posted by Paul Swales at Tuesday, 4 July 2017 at 1:28pm BST

There may be some force in the comments others have made above. But I think there is also something here about seasons of life: Dean Ward's husband is about to start formation for ordination himself, so I wonder if part of her move is to support him. The Deans I know also work seriously hard, so it maybe that after a few years she wants to step off the treadmill for a bit.

Posted by James Allport at Wednesday, 5 July 2017 at 2:14pm BST
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