Comments: Bishop of Ripon: Helen-Ann Hartley

Excellent; that's all.

Posted by Andrew Lightbown at Thursday, 9 November 2017 at 12:04pm GMT

A splendid appointment

Posted by cryptogram at Thursday, 9 November 2017 at 1:54pm GMT

An excellent appointment indeed. We will be very sorry to see her go from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia.
I did predict, on her appointment at Waikato, that she would not remain very long in that position before some CofE diocese was sensible enough to bring her back.
Congratulations to her, and to her new diocese.

Posted by Edward Prebble at Thursday, 9 November 2017 at 8:41pm GMT

I'm sad for ACANZP that we will be losing the theological nous of Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley. Since she became Bishop of Waikato (in concert with our Primate, Archbishop Philip Richardson, the Bishop in Taranaki), +Helen-Ann has exercised her episcopal gifts with consummate energy and skill. We are going to miss her eirenic debating ability in our upcoming Motion 29 Debate in Generral Synod.

Our loss; the Church of Engand's gain. Treat her well as she deserves.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 10 November 2017 at 7:58am GMT

Congratulations and thanks to Nick Baines for appointing a bishop with an agile theological mind. Which other bishops will have the courage and vision to do likewise, so that when it comes to nominating Diocesan bishops, CNCs will have a larger pool of candidates with real intellectual ability, and less room to lazily opt for 'evangelists' over and against 'theologians'?

Posted by Michael Mulhern at Friday, 10 November 2017 at 11:31am GMT

Really encouraged to see appointments of this calibre. She will be the twelfth woman bishop in the Church of England, and its youngest!

Posted by Anthony Archer at Friday, 10 November 2017 at 5:29pm GMT

Agree with Michael Mulhern (and others) that this is a good appointment. Why is no-one further up the food chain taking more notice of episcopal appointments in the Diocese of Leeds? Nick Baines has thought outside the box for all the Area Bishops he has appointed, and refused to go for the 'usual suspects' (and certainly not those who believe they are entitled to episcopal office). This has made a tremendous difference in a new Diocese, and we are reaping the benefits of bringing in fresh talent from outside. There is just one pocket of stagnation, and opportunities are now beginning to present themselves there, so we continue to be upbeat and positive about the future here.

Posted by James Thomas at Friday, 10 November 2017 at 6:49pm GMT

Let me guess where the pocket of stagnation is in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds.
Possibly the southernmost part where I used to work?

Posted by Peter Bostock at Saturday, 11 November 2017 at 7:37am GMT

Michael Mulher, why is the appointment of an 'evangelist' more lazy than the appointment of a 'theologian'? This evangelist is curious to know.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Saturday, 11 November 2017 at 8:05pm GMT

West Yorkshire and the Dales covers a very broad geographical area - with this latest appointment it now covers a very Broad Church from Wakefield to Ripon.

Posted by Father David at Sunday, 12 November 2017 at 4:43am GMT

Good question, @Tim Chesterton. I think it is lazy when diocesan representatives on CNCs assume that only those with a proven track-record of putting bums on seats can be effective enablers of mission and evangelism as bishops, coupled to a refusal to allow for the possibility that someone who is intellectually able can be visionary and inspiring. As has often been said before, we would never have had David Jenkins as Bishop of Durham under the current short-sighted criteria.

I think the present composition of the House of Bishops is instructive. It is full of people deemed to have a track record of 'growth' - and still the Church of England is in decline. Helen-Ann Hartley's appointment gives us an opportunity to see whether 'the emperor has no clothes' - and Nick Baines is to be congratulated for having the courage to think bigger.

Posted by Michael Mulhern at Sunday, 12 November 2017 at 2:19pm GMT

David Jenkins was an extremely popular bishop within his Durham diocese - I'd even go so far as to say that he was greatly loved by the people of County Durham. With all these managerial bishops currently in situ can the same be said of any present serving diocesan?

Posted by Father David at Sunday, 12 November 2017 at 5:05pm GMT

I have a couple of questions, Michael Mulhern.

Is 'evangelist' the same as 'one who puts bums on seats'?

Is 'church growth' just about 'putting bums on seats'? (as if average Sunday attendance is the main thing) Or is it about creating the kind of community that will be attractive to real human beings who are spiritually hungry?

Why do you see a contradiction between being an evangelist and being 'intellectually able'?

Finally, since (in the view of many people here at TA) the takeover by 'the managers' is a consequence of Justin Welby's appointment as ABC, isn't it a little unrealistic to think that in just a few short years they could turn around a decline that has been going on for half a century?

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Monday, 13 November 2017 at 12:39am GMT

Oh dear. I've obviously rattled Tim Chesterton. Let's just say that I may not see any contradiction between 'evangelist' and 'intellectually able' but (and this was the point I made all along) those who are pontificating on CNCs seem to do so. When did we last see a professional academic appointed to a diocesan (or suffragan) see in England? When was the last time we saw an episcopal appointment that was not predictably bland and 'on message'? The joke is that most university professors have infinitely more managerial experience, not to say theological imagination, than the wannabe businessmen being draped in purple at the present time, and who will never capture hearts and minds.

Posted by Michael Mulhern at Monday, 13 November 2017 at 10:36am GMT
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