In the past three years, Christ Church has held back from offering commentary on a series of damaging reports regarding its relationship with the former Dean, Dr Martyn Percy. Those reports related to a number of disputes between the institution and its Head of House, the earliest of which dates back to 2017 while the most recent concerned an allegation of sexual harassment made against Dr Percy by Alannah Jeune. During this time, despite attacks on it and its members by supporters of the former Dean, Christ Church has consistently tried to avoid making pronouncements in the hope of avoiding a destructive cycle of claim and counter-claim. The trustees (Christ Church’s Governing Body) have been mindful that they all have both a duty of confidentiality and a general duty to place the charity’s interests above their own and have sought to calm rather than inflame damaging media attention…
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, and Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral, to the Suffragan See of Kirkstall, in the Diocese of Leeds.
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 27 May 2022
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Arun Arora, Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, and Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral, to the Suffragan See of Kirkstall, in the Diocese of Leeds, in succession to The Right Reverend Paul Slater following his retirement.
Arun studied Law and Politics at Birmingham University and worked as a solicitor after graduation. He was appointed Bishop’s Press Officer and Diocesan Communications Officer in the Diocese of Birmingham in 2000, and began training for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham in 2004. He served his title at St Mark’s, Harrogate, in the former Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, alongside serving as the Director of Communications for the Office of the Archbishop of York. He was ordained Priest in 2008.
In 2010, Arun was appointed Team Leader of Pioneer Ministries, Wolverhampton, in the Diocese of Lichfield. In 2012, he became the Director of Communications for the National Church Institutions. Arun took up his current role as Vicar of St Nicholas Church, Durham, in 2017, and was additionally appointed Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral in 2021.
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Robert Saner-Haigh, to the Suffragan See of Penrith, in the Diocese of Carlisle.
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 27 May 2022
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Reverend Canon Robert Saner-Haigh, Residentiary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral and Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Newcastle, to the Suffragan See of Penrith, in the Diocese of Carlisle, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Emma Ineson following her resignation.
Rob was educated at Birmingham University and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his title at St Lawrence, Appleby, in the Diocese of Carlisle, and was ordained Priest in 2006.
Rob was appointed Bishop’s Chaplain and Assistant Priest at St Michael’s, Dalston, with Cumdivock, Raughton Head and Wreay in 2007. Alongside these roles, he also served as Director of Ordinands and Diocesan Initial Ministerial Education Officer. In 2010, Rob was appointed Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity, Kendal.
Rob took up his current roles as Residentiary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral and Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Newcastle in 2020.
Church of England press release
The Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB, has today published its Terms of Reference (see below) to review the handling of safeguarding issues regarding the former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Dr Martyn Percy.
The review follows a referral by the Archbishops’ Council and Oxford Diocese to the ISB. As previously stated, the review will not be considering the wider issues between the College and the former Dean.
Statement from Maggie Atkinson, Chair of the ISB:
“Given substantial previous work has been undertaken but solid conclusions now need to be reached, under the scrutiny remit of the ISB we will undertake a review considering all that has previously been done on this case.
“Our aim will be to advise both those directly affected, and the whole of the C of E, where what has previously been done was appropriate and of good quality, and where there have been errors or shortcomings.
“It is particularly important that those who have been caused pain by what has happened, including the former Dean, have their concerns heard and reviewed by an independent body. The ISB was formed to do such work, and to tell both those affected by complex cases such as this, and the wider church, where change is needed.”
“It is well worth a listen to understand misgivings about the way the ISB is approaching this case which in many ways is more complex than the Makin review. That has not been well managed and is already 2 years overdue. Do listen here from 33 minutes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0007b3r PS if you only want to listen to Kate Blackwell QC on what an independent inquiry comprises it starts at 37:45.”
Martyn Percy has written three articles which Modern Church has published.
“In three short articles, Martyn Percy looks at three words currently being given the full 1984 treatment: independent, ethical and trustworthy. Is the Church of England using these words as defined by most dictionaries in 2022? Or, are we now enmeshed in an Orwellian church in which little that is said corresponds to our normal frames of reference?”
The General Synod of the Church of England will meet in York on 8-12 July 2022. The outline timetable has been circulated to Synod members and is copied below.
GENERAL SYNOD: JULY 2022 OUTLINE OF BUSINESS
Full details of each item will be on the agenda
Friday 8 July
2.00 pm – 7.00 pm
– Opening worship and introductions
– Welcome from the Anglican Communion guests
– Presidential Address
– Business Committee Report
– Routemap to Net Zero Carbon
– War in Ukraine Not later than 5.45pm
Saturday 9 July
9.00 am – 12.30 pm
– Opening worship
– See of Canterbury Membership of the Crown Nominations Commission
– Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities Funding and Strategic Development Funding
– Spending plans of the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council
2.00 pm – 7.00 pm
– Safeguarding and Independence
– Diocesan Stipend Fund (Amendment) Measure – first consideration Diocesan Synod Motion: Lincoln Diocese
– Insurance Premium Tax
– Church of England Pensions (Application of Capital Funds) Measure – first consideration Not later than 5.55pm
Evening: CNC candidates market place
Sunday 10 July
2.30 pm – 6.45 pm
– Introduction to group work – Living in Love and Faith and Vision & Strategy
– Group work Private Members’ Motion: Dr Simon Eyre (Chichester)
– Assisted Suicide
8.30 pm – 9.30 pm
– Extended Act of Worship during which voting for CNC central members will take place
Monday 11 July
9.00 am – 12.30 pm
– Opening worship
– Presentation on Archbishops’ Council Annual Report
– Archbishops’ Council 2023
– Annual Budget Amending Canon 42 – first consideration
2.00 pm – 6.30 pm
– Affirming and Including Disabled People in the Whole Life of the Church
– Church Funds Investment Measure – first consideration
– Resourcing Ministerial Formation
– Miscellaneous Provisions Measure and Amending Canon No 43 – first consideration
8.00 pm – 10.00 pm Diocesan Synod Motion: Canterbury Diocese
– Review of qualifications for PCC membership and entry on the church electoral roll Diocesan Synod Motion: Guildford Diocese
– Age verification on pornography websites
Followed by compline
Tuesday 12 July
9.00 am – 12.30 pm
– Opening worship
– Loyal Address
– Amendments to the Standing Orders for the membership of the Canterbury Crown Nominations Commission
– Clergy Conduct Measure Implementation Group
– Announcement of election of Central CNC members
– Farewells Not later than 12.30pm
– Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2022,
– Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2022,
– Code of Practice under the Clergy Discipline Measure,
– Pensions Rules (Amendment) Scheme
Rosie Dawson attended Martyn Percy’s farewell service in Oxford on Saturday. In an interview conducted shortly beforehand he told her why he’s calling on congregations to withhold their giving from the Church of England, and why he’s not leaving quietly….
…Christ Church College, Oxford, where Martyn Percy had been the dean for eight years, refused to host any sort of farewell. The University Church of St Mary was proposed as an alternative venue but became unavailable once it became clear that the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev Steven Croft, and the dean, who is also professor of theological education at King’s College London, could not agree on the content of the service.
In the end it took place in the 19th-century chapel of Exeter College just off Broad Street. The chapel is outside the jurisdiction of the bishop, and he did not attend…
…Following the settlement with Christ Church, the Bishop and Martyn Percy entered into discussions about what form a leaving service should take. In correspondence seen by the Religion Media Centre, Bishop Croft wrote that he was unable to allow him to preach. Dean Percy protested: “Your letter treats me with cruel indifference. It seems to me that you do not really want this service. You clearly think I am leaving in disgrace … I am not.”
The Diocese of Oxford said in a statement: “Mindful of Dr Percy’s stated intention to the bishop to leave the Church of England and also some concerns about Dr Percy’s behaviour behind the scenes, it was not possible to permit Dr Percy to preach at a leaving service organised by the diocese”.
…A statement by the diocese of Oxford, issued on Saturday, criticises Professor Percy and praises Ms Jeune: “We are deeply saddened by the inaccurate and unevidenced claims Dr Percy makes in his media interviews.
“We’ve long said that the actions of some of Dr Percy’s supporters have left people damaged and hurt. None more so than Alannah Jeune. It’s a courageous decision to tell her story given all that she has experienced, but hers is a powerful account that counters the vitriol sent her way. Her story deserves to be widely read.”
(I have checked with the diocese and that is the full text.)
House of Bishops – 9-11 May 2022 inclusive
The House of Bishops held its first residential meeting in 2022, in York over three days. Joining the meeting for the first time were four participant observers of UK Minority Ethnic/ Global Majority Heritage (UKME/GMH) background who were formally welcomed by the House.
As the first substantive item, the House turned its attention to Governance reform. The House noted the update from the National Church Governance Project Board and the Board’s plan to establish the Episcopal Reference Group which will help shape how bishops and the Church of England National Services (CENS) will work together within the new governance model.
The House was then given an update on Racial Justice by the Archbishops’ Adviser on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns with the House taking note of progress made to date.
The House was then informed of agreed spending plans on behalf the Triennium Funding Working Group which outlined details and spending plans that will be made public. Plans include a significant increase in funding for the next three years to support God’s mission and ministry across the country, supporting local parishes and growing many more new worshipping communities to serve the whole nation. The Church Commissioners for England intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, and plan to maintain this level of funding in the subsequent six years.
The House was then given an update on the work of the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB) by its Chair. The Chair discussed the Board’s focus as it moves from phase one to phase two of its work and looked ahead to presenting at July Synod.
The House was then addressed by the Interim National Director of Safeguarding with an update on the work of the National Safeguarding Team including work to date on the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) which also included an update from the Chair of PCR2 Board.
The following day the House was addressed by the Bishop of London in her capacity as the Chair of the Next Steps Group of Living in Love and Faith (LLF). The House discussed the future discernment process of LLF and was joined by the Enabling Officer of LLF. In subsequent group work, the House detailed its aspirations for the discernment process as it relates to future engagement at the College of Bishops in the Autumn and July General Synod.
The Bishop of Kensington then updated the House on plans for the Centre of Cultural Witness, a new initiative launching in the Autumn to strengthen the Church’s public witness. The House took note and shared views on the development and scope of the Centre and ways in which Bishops and other prominent Christians can work towards the development of a distinctively public and Christian voice.
An update was then given on appointments to the Sees of Maidstone and Ebbsfleet which were both noted by the House.
The House was then addressed by the Vice Chair of the Clergy Conduct Measure Implementation Group who set out the final revised proposals for approval. The proposals were approved by the House, with a view that the reforms will establish a proportionate, efficient, and fairer system than the existing system
The House then turned its attention to developing the priority of a younger church, as part of the Vision and Strategy work stream. The House was addressed by the co-head of Vision and Strategy and the Head of Education , with later group and plenary work that focussed on the best ways to ensure the voices of children and young people are heard at both the national and diocesan level.
The House then looked at the future of education – particularly in the context of recent government white papers concerning a proposal that all schools have joined an academy trust by 2030. A series of proposals were approved by the House aimed at allowing dioceses and the whole church to engage in positive and proactive moves to secure the Christian character of Church of England schools and work towards full academisation.
On the final day the House was updated on recent progress towards Net Zero Carbon, including the findings of the Wayfinders Progress. The House endorsed both the Net Zero Carbon planning principles and diocesan milestones and agreed to annual reporting on carbon emissions and the Route map to Net Zero Carbon by 2030.
The House then heard how the Cathedrals Measure 2021 is being implemented by the Church Commissioners and noted the role of diocesan bishops. The House agreed to consider the proposed draft Church Commissioners guidance on cathedral visitations and provide input as part of the consultation.
As a penultimate item the Ministry team at Church House provided an update on theological education and resourcing for Ministerial Formation. The House endorsed their continuing work and the general direction of travel.
As a final item the House took note of reflections from UKME / GMH participants on the meeting, followed by general reflections from the House.
Following the resignation of the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Jonathan Goodall, in September last year, a consultation on the way forward for the see has received a number of calls to consider relocating the post to be rooted in an individual diocese and diocesan college of bishops.
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet – one of the Church of England’s three ‘Provincial Episcopal Visitors’, who minister to traditional catholic parishes – has been responsible primarily for churches in the western half of the Church of England’s Province of Canterbury.
Following the initial consultation, a suggestion from the Archbishop of Canterbury to revive the suffragan See of Oswestry in the Diocese of Lichfield is currently being explored.
The proposal would involve a future Bishop of Oswestry living in the diocese and ministering to traditional catholic parishes in that and other dioceses of the West Midlands and South West of England.
No decisions have been taken. Initial consultations are currently underway within the Diocese of Lichfield, with The Society and in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Any proposal would then be considered by the Dioceses Commission this summer.
Notes to Editors:
The Provincial Episcopal Visitors – the Bishops Beverley, Richborough and Ebbsfleet – were created as part of the arrangements in 1992 which first enabled women to be ordained as priests.
The See of Oswestry was one of a number of sees created in the 19th Century but never filled
on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 at 11.48 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Martyn PercyProspectWhy I’m leaving the Church of England
“Mired in allegations of partisanship and incompetence, the Church is now incapable of running its own affairs. After a series of farcical “safeguarding” claims, the former dean of Christ Church, Oxford, no longer feels he belongs”
[This is covered as a news item in The Guardian and Church Times.]
Church Commissioners reports strong financial returns in 2021 of 13.3%
The Church Commissioners for England, which manages the endowment fund of the Church of England, published its financial results for 2021 today in its Annual Report.
The continued strong investment returns have enabled the Church Commissioners to increase its funding of the Church’s mission and ministry in the 2023-2025 triennium to an all-time high. The Commissioners will contribute £1.2 billion to the Church’s funding in the next three-year period, which will account for about 20% of the Church’s expenditure. The Church Commissioners plan to maintain that level of funding in the subsequent six years, subject to investment performance and market fluctuations, which would help the Church to plan for the medium and long term.
The Church Commissioners’ active investment approach and risk-mitigating diversification across a broad range of asset classes enabled it to generate returns of 13.3% in 2021, exceeding its target of CPIH +4%, and the Commissioners has beaten its return target over the last three, 10 and 30 year periods. The fund was valued at £10.1 billion as at the end of 2021.
The performance of the fund despite the uncertain environment of the last few years has enabled the Commissioners to maintain its funding commitment in the 2020-2022 triennium of over £900 million.
Alan Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner, said:
“Good governance and an excellent team are both essential for us to achieve the strong returns necessary to provide the maximum sustainable level of funding for the Church’s mission and ministry, whilst maintaining our responsible investment philosophy. I am pleased the Church Commissioners have been able to meet our funding commitments for the current triennium despite the volatile market environment we have experienced in recent years due to Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Our excellent long-term returns are also enabling us to put in place a strong funding plan for the next three to nine years. Our long-term outlook means we contribute the maximum amount of funds to the Church today whilst also maintaining our support for future generations.”
The Church of England today announced a 30% increase in its national funding for the next three-year period to support and develop ministry, particularly amongst young and disadvantaged communities. The press release can be found here.
Church of England national funding to increase 30% to support and develop ministry especially with young people and disadvantaged communities
Nine-year funding plan will support a large increase in ministry and mission activity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in local communities across England
Focus on ministry among young people and disadvantaged communities
2030 carbon net zero target also receives significant investment
The Church of England today announced plans for a significant increase in funding for the next three years to support God’s mission and ministry across the country, supporting local parishes and growing many more new worshipping communities to serve the whole nation.
The Church Commissioners for England intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, and plan to maintain this level of funding in the subsequent six years.
In total, this would mean the Church Commissioners plan to distribute £3.6 billion to frontline work of the Church of England between 2023 and 2031, making the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council among the largest grant givers in the country.
The Church Commissioners’ distributions will account for approximately 20% of Church funding, whilst the biggest contribution comes from the faithful and generous giving of churchgoers across the country.
The core of the extra funding will be channelled into the revitalisation of parish and local ministry. The distributions will help fund dioceses’ plans to serve the nation by reaching more young and disadvantaged people, addressing issues of racial justice, and radically cutting the Church’s carbon footprint.
In line with the Church’s Vision and Strategy for the 2020s, funds will also be used to support parish churches and dioceses. This will include:
Continued funding for the Church in the poorest parts of the country, taking into account lessons from the recent independent review into Strategic Development (SDF) and Lowest Income Communities (LInC) funding.
Increasing the number of clergy in front-line ministry in parishes and chaplaincies, with the intent that the Church’s clergy better reflects the diversity of the nation that we serve.
In addition, the Church will lead by example in areas that are important not only to the Church but to wider society.
Enable thriving local churches across the country, making significant contributions to their local communities and delivering even more social action work
Support diocesan, parish and cathedral plans for the Church to become carbon net zero by 2030 – a target set by General Synod.
Fund measures that will make the Church more diverse.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has apologised for the “terrible crime” of the Anglican Church’s involvement in Canada’s residential schools – and for the Church of England’s “grievous sins” against the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
The Archbishop spent last weekend visiting Indigenous Canadian reserves, meeting with Indigenous leaders and Anglicans, and listening to residential school survivors, as part of a five-day visit to Canada.
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Marlene Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, to the Suffragan See of Croydon, in the Diocese of Southwark.
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 3 May 2022
The Queen has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Marlene Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, to the Suffragan See of Croydon, in the Diocese of Southwark, in succession to The Right Reverend Jonathan Clark following his retirement.
Rosemarie was educated at Sussex University and Warwick University, and trained for ministry at the South East Institute of Theological Education. She served her title at Christ Church, Brixton Road, in the Diocese of Southwark and was ordained Priest in 2005.
Rosemarie served as Priest-in-Charge at St John the Evangelist, Angell Town, from 2007 and was appointed Vicar in 2013, as well as being made Director of Ordinands for the Kingston Episcopal Area. In 2015, Rosemarie was additionally appointed Diocesan Director of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.
She took up her current role as Archdeacon of Croydon in 2020.