Comments: Joe Hawes to be next Dean of St Edmundsbury

Outstanding

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 1:50pm GMT

"Roger Wright, Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Music, who was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the process of finding a new Dean, said..." What?

What on earth has the appointment of the Dean of St Edmundsbury got to do with the Archbishop of Canterbury? Not content with causing a diplomatic spat in Istanbul during the past fortnight, is he now big-footing in the appointment of Deans outside his own Diocese? By the way, I thought the decanal appointments to 'parish church' cathedrals was in the gift of the Diocesan bishop?

Above all, wonderful news for Joe Hawes and the Diocese of St Eds and Ips!

Posted by Michael Mulhern at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 2:06pm GMT

Michael Mulhern: there are two groups of cathedrals and deans -- those where the Dean is a Crown appointment, and those where the Dean is the title of the incumbent of the parish whose parish church is the cathedral church. Of the latter, most have the diocesan bishop as the patron of the living, and a couple (Bradford and Sheffield -- are there any others) have another patron, in both cases the Simeon Trustees, I think.

But the process is broadly the same. An appointment panel is charged with the task. For the Crown appointments the Prime Minister appoints a Chair; for the non-Crown appointments the Archbishop does. The diocesan bishop is a member of the panel so can influence things from the inside. For a Crown appointment the panel recommends a name to the Crown, through the PM's appointments secretary. For a non-Crown appointment, the patron, the bishop and the parochial representatives will already have had their say, so the patron gives the name to the bishop and the appointment is made.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 2:30pm GMT

Is this the first time that the announcement of an appointment to a 'dignitary' post has referred to a civil partnership?

Posted by peter kettle at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 3:04pm GMT

Brilliant appointment. Congratulations to Joe - we will miss you in Hammersmith and Fulham!

Posted by Charles Clapham at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 3:39pm GMT

I can't see anyone complaining with utter passion about the inappropriateness of this announcement talking about the family. It becomes a problem only when someone in a heterosexual relationship drag the family in?

Posted by Benny Thomas at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 4:24pm GMT

Probably Peter Kettle, though other Deans are civilly partnered. One wonders if a deanery is the current "glass ceiling"?
It sounds an excellent appointment and his record at Fulham shows growth can come in liberal catholic parishes too.

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 5:04pm GMT

"I can't see anyone complaining with utter passion about the inappropriateness of this announcement talking about the family. It becomes a problem only when someone in a heterosexual relationship drag the family in?"

The situations are not parallel. It is not about mentioning family, or whether someone is in a homosexual or heterosexual relationship, but about parading marriage, specifically marriage, when that is denied to lesbian and gay partners.

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 5:44pm GMT

It is about trying for some kind of equality B. Thomas - however belated.

The partner is being left hundreds of miles away though, and little else is said of him.

It is a start though.

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 5:58pm GMT

“It becomes a problem only when someone in a heterosexual relationship drag the family in?”

It’s not heterosexuals who are the oppressed minority Benny Thomas. When LGBT people are no longer oppressed then complain. Till then, check your privilege.


Perhaps some research into the purpose of positive discrimination and the bias of ‘balance’ would be appropriate.

Posted by Fr Andrew at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 5:59pm GMT

One wonders if a deanery is the current "glass ceiling"?
Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 5:04pm GMT

Not exactly - the Bishop of Grantham is in a civil partnership.


The situations are not parallel. It is not about mentioning family, or whether someone is in a homosexual or heterosexual relationship, but about parading marriage.
Posted by: Kate on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 5:44pm GMT

How can a family with a heterosexual partnership mention 'family' without implying marriage?!

Posted by NJW at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 6:04pm GMT

Bradford Cathedral deans are appointed alternately by the Simeon Trust and the Crown. At least they used to be when I was on the staff there a long time ago, and patronage tends not to change very much.

Posted by Janet Fife at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 6:10pm GMT

If we agree that person's domestic arrangements are not a relevant detail to their church job appointment this applies to everyone. But it not clear to me why mention of one person's domestic arrangements is 'flaunting' or 'parading' while for another it simply a matter of offering personal information.

Posted by David Runcorn at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 6:52pm GMT

Congratulations to Joe! It is great to see a liberal catholic with a track record of church growth.

Posted by tbl at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 7:53pm GMT

Scarcely *hundreds* of miles away, Laurie. The distance by road from Putney to Bury St Edmunds is 94 miles. Separated yes, but let's not exaggerate.

Posted by RPNewark at Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 10:34pm GMT

"But it not clear to me why mention of one person's domestic arrangements is 'flaunting' or 'parading' while for another it simply a matter of offering personal information."@David Runcorn

David, as Kate said, above, it’s about ‘marriage’.

Why one is parading and one isn't could be explained thus:

At present according to the C of E, heterosexual clergy are at liberty to marry, non-heterosexual clergy are not. Historically the C of E has fought tooth and claw against equal marriage (and though conveniently forgotten now, civil partnerships too). The relationship of C of E, historical and current, to LGBT people is one of oppression and persecution.

Now I’m sure you would want to say ‘we should all abide by the same rules’, and I agree, but the truth is we’re not, because before any announcement of a new post is made, there is one rule for heterosexuals and one (or rather, many) for non-heterosexuals. So if you want an equal reaction to appointment announcements, equalise the rest of it first. Abolish the injustice, then we can rejoice with you.

So, there is an injustice (marriage inequality), imposed on a minority by the majority. This means that for a person in the minority to report that ‘I am in a civil partnership’ highlights the lesser status she is forced into (a good thing to highlight), for a person in the majority ‘I am married’ highlights the privilege she enjoys (not a good thing to highlight). Although I’m sure neither of the recent announcers had this in mind, one announcement is advertising privilege, one the bigotry of the church.

Does that help to explain the different reactions?

Posted by Fr Andrew at Friday, 16 March 2018 at 8:18am GMT

'Scarcely *hundreds* of miles away, Laurie. The distance by road from Putney to Bury St Edmunds is 94 miles. Separated yes, but let's not exaggerate.' RPNewark

Couples usually live TOGETHER in my experience, not 95 miles apart from each other.

That was, in fact, my point, relational rather than geographical ! RPNewark. It is about feelings - not something anglicans do much -I know.

Opposite gender couples tend not to be expected to live 95 miles apart.

(I await a chorus of aggrieved straight couples who have don so much --and more for the the Church now!).

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Friday, 16 March 2018 at 5:49pm GMT

You could hardly have been clearer, or put that better, Fr. Andrew. Thank you.

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Friday, 16 March 2018 at 5:52pm GMT

Laurie, they are not living apart because of their relationship, Chris is staying in Putney for the time being because that is where he works. Chris is the Vicar of All Saints', Putney. Joe is the Vicar of All Saints', Fulham. They are two close (possibly neighbouring) parishes. Joe has been appointed to a post 94 miles away. In this situation, for *any* couple, regardless of their genders and/or sexualities, to stay living in the same house would be problematic. The phrase "for the time being" in the announcement indicates to me that it is only a matter of time before Chris will be offered an appointment in the area around Bury St Edmunds and the issue, which I repeat happens to professional couples all the time, will be resolved. Would you have had Chris immediately resign from his parish in Putney? I'm sure the you wouldn't.

Posted by RPNewark at Friday, 16 March 2018 at 10:05pm GMT

Some years ago, when I was living in Clapham, a group of us had the mad idea to have an all night vigil for Epiphany in an essentially low evangelical church. Joe was a curate locally and was the person who came to lead the hour at 3:00am or 4:00am. I remember that he woke us up and inspired us in the darkest hours of the night. Some of us are following the "Light of the world" theme through Lent. This announcement brings back memories of that reality, when it came alive, when I was pretty much as tired as I have ever been. I seem to remember that early that morning it was the only time I ever had to put out a fire in the church when the candles burned down rather later as we came to the end, and the "oasis" in which they were set caught fire out of sight of our then vicar. I have appreciated the detailed descriptions in church supplies catalogues about burning times for candles ever since. Evangelicals don't routinely learn this information. Joe won't burn the cathedral down, but he may set it on fire.

My prayers are for Joe in his new ministry.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Friday, 16 March 2018 at 10:34pm GMT

Thanks Kate, for clarifying your stand. I look forward to seeing future appointment blurbs without parading marriage but just saying A is in a relationship with or A is living with B, or partnered with etc. I am glad that you found the details of this announcement 'relevant to the job.' Happy times

Posted by .Benny Thomas at Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 12:53am GMT

Fr Andrew, Thank you but I wholly get that it is about marriage. I too want a different church and society in this respect. I recognise issues of sensitivity and privilege. We are on the same page. But until that day I do not accept or find helpful to dismiss any public reference to heterosexual marriage in this context as 'parading' or 'flaunting'.

Posted by David Runcorn at Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 7:20am GMT

It is extremely common for dual career couples to live in two places sometimes even in different continents. But what this announcement underlines for me is that, despite all the good intentions of the diocese in telegraphing its tolerance, it would be much better if all that personal (and almost prurient) stuff were omitted altogether. I'm with David Runcorn's first sentence: please can this all stop. Not only do same- and opposite- sex couples deserve non-discriminatory treatment, but also partnered and single people, of whatever gender and orientation.

Posted by Bernard Silverman at Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 8:48am GMT

"I do not accept or find helpful to dismiss any public reference to heterosexual marriage in this context as 'parading' or 'flaunting'."

I know people prefer us to be well behaved and unassertive, but you have to allow us some polemical language now and then. For those of who have had to suffer a lifetime of homophobia from the church, it's *extremely* helpful to hear it. Please bear that in mind.

When a heterosexual couple kiss in public they're very much in love: when a non-heterosexual couple do they're flaunting their non-heterosexuality and parading their perversion. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've had to hear that and what it does to your soul. The polemical language does have a point; please allow us our anger.

Posted by Fr Andrew at Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 10:19am GMT

Fr Andrew,
No I don't prefer you to be well behaved. You do not know me. I get angry too when i see and hear what you describe - but I agree I am not in the front line as you are. 'You have to allow us some polemical language now and then'. Well OK - but at least aim it at those who actually deserve it and not those here who care and trying to work to make a difference.

Posted by David Runcorn at Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 3:48pm GMT

" One wonders if a deanery is the current "glass ceiling"? @ Perry Butler. What short memories we have after the furore surrounding Nicholas Chamberlain, the Suffragan Bishop of Grantham, after news of his civil partnership was leaked. Welby said, after the revelation, it was not an issue and that he knew all along. But, of course, they successfully concealed it at the time of the appointment. What were they afraid of?

Congratulation - and grateful thanks - to Joe Hawes, his partner, and the Bishop of St Edmundsbury, for having the courage to be truthful.

Posted by Graham Hardy at Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 6:03pm GMT

Thank you Fr Andrew for asking me to check my privilege. I have done it many times. I am gay, so I may not be considered for a bishopric (but I am not a priest - by the way, being a priest is also a privilege) but as a white, privately and then Cambridge educated upper middle class man, I am privileged. The people you talk about as privileged are often oppressed on other grounds like racial and economic background. You also say that in this thread nobody is attacking anyone but the very person who started this discussion asks a specific bishop designate to respond on this thread! So he has to now establish his inclusive credentials by responding to your challenge! I hope he does not waste time reading your ramblings. To make it absolutely clear, you do not speak for gay people; nor for me and surely many others.

Posted by Benny Thomas at Sunday, 18 March 2018 at 9:07pm GMT
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