In the Telegraph
Five Anglican bishops resign to convert to Rome: statement
and A one-way pilgrimage to Rome
Tim Ross: Five Anglican bishops quit Church of England for Rome
Church of England in crisis as five bishops defect to Rome
and Church of England is ‘like a coffee chain going out of business’, defecting bishops warn
In The Guardian
Riazat Butt: Archbishop of Canterbury accepts resignation of Anglican bishops
Alan Wilson comments: The flying bishops crash to earth.
In the Catholic Herald : Anna Arco: Five Anglo-Catholic bishops resign
At the BBC: Five Anglican bishops join Catholic Church
At the Press Association: Anglican bishops join Catholics
WATCH (Women and the Church) has issued a press briefing.
Women and the Church (WATCH)
Press Briefing for immediate release 8th November 2010
Two Flying Bishops depart
The decision of the flying Bishops of Ebbsfleet and Richborough, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton to join the Ordinariate has been widely anticipated. WATCH welcomes the clarification that this announcement brings.
Since the days of Cardinal Newman there have been members of the Church of England who have discovered that they would be more at home within the Roman Catholic Church. It is right that those who hear God calling them to a different church should follow that call.
… continued below the fold
Flying Bishops – the background
Flying Bishops, or Provincial Episcopal Visitors, are the creation of the Act of Synod of 1993. This legislation was passed in great haste and without proper consultation with the wider church.
The Act of Synod increased provision for those opposed to the ordination of women beyond that already included in the Measure (which already gave parishes the option of choosing to avoid the ministry of women priests).
The Act of Synod allowed parishes to ask for oversight from a special (‘Flying’) bishop responsible only for parishes opposed to women priests, rather than accepting the ministry of the bishop of their diocese. Their own Diocesan bishop, however, keeps his authority and jurisdiction over the entire Diocese, and PEVs work only at their invitation.
The Act of Synod has been disastrous for the Church of England. It has fostered division within the church, encouraging a small minority to see its identity as a sub-church opposed to that of the church as a whole.
Flying Bishops – the figures
Recently published statistics show that only 2.8% of parishes in the Church of England (363 parishes of 12,894) have requested the ministry of a Flying Bishop.
Of these, the flying Bishop of Ebbsfleet works with only 79 parishes whereas the flying Bishop of Richborough has 81.
These figures are tiny compared with most Church of England dioceses which average nearly 300 (293 to be exact)
Flying Bishops – what next?
If, as is widely anticipated, the current draft legislation is approved by Synod in 2012, the Act of Synod will fall and the post of ‘Flying Bishop’ will cease to exist.
In the meantime, WATCH notes that the Act of Synod requires the Archbishops to consult widely within the House of Bishops in deciding whether or not to re-appoint when a Flying Bishop retires.
Bearing in mind the small number of parishes involved and the temporary nature of any appointment, WATCH respectfully suggests that interim arrangements should suffice to oversee the 160 parishes concerned pending the final vote in Synod in 2012.