Thinking Anglicans

"Church of England diocese asks for gay-friendly bishop"

Updated Sunday afternoon

Edward Malnick and John Bingham in The Telegraph tonight report that Church of England diocese asks for gay-friendly bishop.

The Diocese of Manchester has instructed the official panel appointing its new bishop to select someone who can establish “positive relationships” with gay Anglicans and non-worshippers.

The panel, which met on Friday, was told that the successor to the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, who retired earlier this year, should build on “significant engagement” with “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities” in Manchester…

If the usual timetable has been followed, this week’s meeting of the CNC will have chosen a name to send to the Prime Minister, but we will have to wait for a month or so for the official announcement of who is to be the next Bishop of Manchester.

Update
Manchester published its Profile and Statement of Needs of the Diocese of Manchester 2013 on 15 March 2013. It can be downloaded as a 26 page pdf.

55
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
55 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
32 Comment authors
JeremyCynthiaFeriaJohn HoldingDennis in Chicago Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

The comments below that Telegraph article are fabulously deranged. Apparently, the CofE can’t set its own job descriptions, because Imans and Sharia won’t permit it. And the CofE isn’t actually Christian anyway. And in the article itself, the fabulously deranged Anglican Mainstream (who may or may not actually be Anglicans, but certainly aren’t Mainstream) witter on about the need for no one community to be “privileged” in the appointment of bishops; they would probably make an exception for a candidate who “privileged” the anti-gay bigot community. With friends like that, Christianity doesn’t really need enemies. Luckily, just how unrepresentative and… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Hurrah!

Concerned Anglican
Guest
Concerned Anglican

Some common sense at last! So the bishop appointed will not have to ‘break ranks’ with his timid fellows on the episcopal bench but will openly be able to enter into sensible dialogue and get more in line with where society actually is.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

It’s great that they asked. It’s unfortunate that they can’t elect their own bishop. Do any Anglicans from Manchester sit on the CNC, representing Manchester in the deliberations? Who sits on the CNC? How are they selected? It seems so odd for so few to have so much power.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Establishing positive relationships with people like me means that you ought not pretend to be a better Christian than me, or millions of people like me (in any way)…there is much confusion to clear up and now seems like a good time to start at the diocese of Manchester, Church of England and, hopefully, later throughout the Anglican Communion.

Leonard Clark/Leonardo Ricardo
Guatemala

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I always thought the Northern Dioceses would be first to break the deadlock – of homophobia in the Church of England. May Manchester be blessed – and a blessing – for the Church of England.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Cynthia, the procedures for the choosing of Church of England bishops are set out here, as you will see the diocese concerned has a substantial number of seats on the CNC though not a majority.
http://www.peterowen.org.uk/articles/choosing.html

Fr Mike
Guest
Fr Mike

That will Alan Wilson, currently Bishop of Buckingham. Sadly although he is excellent would probably be blocked by others for speaking the truth about God’s inclusive line, and living in the reality of the world not the make belief work of the Church of England /House of Bishops!

Keith Hebden
Guest

They should go ahead and appoint a woman as bishop.
(LGBT friendly too, of course).

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

This is especially important. This request must be understood by the Archbishop of York (the same man who campaigned against the Very Reverend Jeffrey John during previous CNC confabs to elect bishops).

If the Archbishop of York has grown beyond campaigning to blackball Gay celibate qualified for Bishop candidates in the Mens room/toilet… or anywhere else at the Church of England …perhaps ++Justin ought sit in instead of ++John to insure this Manchester diocese request is honored in full.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Thank you for the link, Simon. I see that each diocese has representation. There also seems to be a lot of “supervision,” for example by those 2 “secretaries for appointments.” In TEC, the diocese elects its bishops, but then there’s a consent process that involves the broader church. To me, the 6 members of the Manchester diocese looks meager. The process also has ample opportunity for the hierarchy, such as a conservative archbishop or PM, or a Machiavellian appointments secretary, to utterly subvert the will of the diocese. I suspect this has happened, thus the huge disconnect between the hierarchy… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

@Cynthia I think that, should Manchester now be given a bishop who is not “someone who can establish “positive relationships” with gay Anglicans and non-worshippers” there would be a huge rumpus over this. What is significant about this is that this is the first time, as far as I am aware, that a diocese has asked for this to be taken into consideration by the CNC when selecting the next man (sic) to be the diocesan. It is that this request has been included at all that has so disturbed the likes of Anglican Mainstream. It is indicative of a… Read more »

rjb
Guest
rjb

“It’s unfortunate that they can’t elect their own bishop.”

Well, yes Cynthia. And I also think it’s unfortunate Americans don’t have a royal family. But that’s how we do things. In every place, custom is king. (Except, of course, in places where we have a Queen).

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

in case anyone has trouble finding the bit which excited the Telegraph journalists, it’s in the Statement of Need, on page 19, para number 3, and in the fifth bullet point of that.

As David Keen has pointed out elsewhere, it’s not the main point of the Statement.
http://davidkeen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/bishops-how-to-misread-job-description.html

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

David Keen writes: “‘Establishing positive relationships with the LGBT community’ is half of one of the 27 bullet points under these 6 headings. Forget being ‘captivated by God’, a high quality teacher, a leader in mission, a deliverer of change, an empowerer and motivater of other leaders, and all that other stuff.” Yes, but the other stuff is a bog standard wish list. Does it even have to be said that a bishops should have a personal faith? The rest of it can be found in every single parish profile of a PCC looking for a new priest. It’s about… Read more »

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Cynthia — As someone who has served on the CNC (for our diocesan appointment a few years ago) I’m sorry about your rather cynical view of the process, which does not accord with my experience. The reality is that all members (the two archbishops, the six ‘central’ members and the six diocesan members) strive prayerfully to find the right person to recommend for appointment to fill the particular diocesan vacancy, taking into account the stated needs of the diocese. In any event, the ‘hierarchy’ as you call them, cannot ‘subvert’ the will of the diocese. A two-thirds majority (i.e. 10… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

It makes me laugh that conservatives are so often accused of being obsessed with sex.

As David Keen points out, this is one – only one – of twenty seven bullet points in a job description whose major concern is mission, mission, mission. To read the Telegraph headline, you’d think this one reference was the entire point of the document.

Personally, I think the outstanding feature of the document is that only the Archangel Gabriel could come anywhere close to achieving it. But then, I’ve thought for a long time that these ‘job descriptions’ have only a tenuous connection with reality!

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

For our last two or three vacancies, our statement of the “attributes and qualities that the PCC would wish to see in their new incumbent” has started —

“We take it for granted that any priest appointed in the Diocese will be faithful in prayer, spiritual development, and outreach. And we know that the Archangel Gabriel already has a job.”

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

I am proud of my native diocese for this initiative.

As for the method of appointment it seems to be no worse and no better than the methods of other Provinces. Here in Wales we have a provincial electoral college. In England the Church appoints by the means of the national CNC. At least they do not seem to need to spend lots of time and money deposing bishops so maybe the system is as good as many.

FD Blanchard
Guest
FD Blanchard

“It makes me laugh that conservatives are so often accused of being obsessed with sex.”

I think the concern on my part is not with sex so much as with dignity and rights.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I’m glad that some have had a good experience with the CNC. But clearly there is a disconnect between the hierarchy and laity. Huge. How did they get so divergent? Some one isn’t listening. My experience of ABC Rowan was disastrous. The CNC, PM, and Queen are just fine for picking the ABC for the CoE. But there’s no international representation in the selection of ABC. Thus all the trauma and heartache that followed is not a confidence builder. Yes, I’m quite cynical. The CNC picked an ABC that twisted the arm of TEC to throw our LGBT people, including… Read more »

Peter Owen
Guest

Cynthia – There is international representation in the selection of the ABC.

The Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Consultative Council elects a primate to be a voting member of the CNC. In the most recent case this was the Archbishop of Wales.

In addition the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion is invited to be a non-voting member.

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

“international representation … Wales” Peter Owen

Pleased to see there was global input.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I was quite deliberate in excluding Wales as international representation on the CNC. I don’t mean to disrespect the Welsh, I love their country and wish them well with their Parliament and all. But Wales is still part of Great Britain, no? The idea that Wales can represent the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the rest of the Anglican Communion, etc. is a bit silly. I’m sorry, but the CNC is a UK organization selecting the ABC for the UK, needing approval by a PM and a Queen that have no sovereignty any where else. And then… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Laurence and others who might be tempted …….. Be careful, be VERY careful …………….

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

No Cynthia, the CNC is not a UK organisation, it is an English organisation. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is not to be confused with one of its constituent countries, England. The ABC is not selected for the UK, but for England.

The Scottish, Welsh, and Irish Anglican churches are each quite separate autonomous organisations, operating within the boundaries of the United Kingdom (and beyond in Ireland, not to mention beyond in the CofE Diocese in Europe, and also in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Thanks Simon. I knew they were separate countries, but I was decidedly unclear about the relationship of the churches to one another. It does prove my point more strongly. The lack of meaningful international representation in the election of the ABC is highly problematic, especially during the time Rowan was trying to thrust the covenant on everyone. (I’m aware that England didn’t buy it either.) The ABC is an English appointment.

It’s a hard sell to convince people that Wales, Ireland, or Scotland represents international diversity. It may not be fair or technically accurate, but perception matters.

Catherine Shelley
Guest
Catherine Shelley

The Statement of Need does indeed ask for a Bishop who can reach out to the LGBT community but prefaces that with someone who needs to be family friendly, like the LGBT community doesn’t also have families?!

Alastair Newman
Guest
Alastair Newman

Cynthia, I sympathise with how badly rowan treated TEC, but careful what you wish for. How thrilled would you be if there was increased representation from Nigeria or Kenya on the CNC? I certainly wouldn’t be thrilled.

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Simon is of course right. But that then begs the question of whether anyone outside the English Church was asked about who was to represent the majority of the Anglican COmmunion. And whether the others, including Canada, Nigeria, New Zealand and TEC (for example), were asked whether they approved or supported the Archbishop of Wales as “their” representative. Were they, in fact, even told in advance that he was “their” representative, or did they find out by press release when the rest of the world did? In what real sense, was the Archbishop a representative of churches that I suspect… Read more »

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

Concerning international representation on the CNC: Cynthia: perhaps you need to make your complaints to the Primates’ Meeting which elected the Archbishop of Wales to represent them. Those who understand how the churches of the Communion relate to one another clearly did not think their choice ‘highly problematic’. You have admitted you do not understand how these churches relate to on another so I don’t think your point is proven at all more strongly. Perhaps more importantly, before the appointment of the ABC these columns contained many customarily acerbic comments about why there should NOT be international representation. ‘How dare… Read more »

Clive
Guest
Clive

@Cynthia: Actually HM The Queen has sovereignty over Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

We Canadians are (mostly) quite proud of that, thanks to the little skirmish of 1812 🙂

Primroseleague
Guest
Primroseleague

Cynthia, The Queen does in fact have technial sovereignty as head of state over, off the top of my head, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Tuvalu, etc, 14 nations in total I think excluding the remaining official overseas territories (another 14 nations which boosts the total further). To say nothing of the independent nations for which the UK Supreme Court, Privy Council, etc, remain points of last appeal – at least some of which are I believe republics. So to say Parliament, and certainly at the least the monarch, have no rights outside the UK just isn’t true.… Read more »

Peter Owen
Guest

The official announcement that the Archbishop of Wales had been elected to represent the Anglican Communion on the CNC is here:

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2012/5/9/ACNS5100

This confirms that he was elected by the Standing Committee (as I posted in a comment here two days ago) and not imposed on the Communion in some underhand way. If anybody thinks that the committee made the wrong decision then please blame them and not the Church of England.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

OK, I get it. Many of you believe that Wales was adequate international representation. In your views, one member is adequate to represent all 60-70 million in xx number of diverse countries. After all, a standing committee believed one was enough and Wales was the one, so it must be jolly good. (Yes, I’m teasing you). I think that’s crazy. The CNC is a very small committee that is lacking in diversity. This seems to contribute to problematic results, including a hierarchy out of touch with their own, and a former ABC with delusions of international grandeur. Have it your… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

rjb wrote: “It’s unfortunate that they can’t elect their own bishop.” Well, yes Cynthia. And I also think it’s unfortunate Americans don’t have a royal family. But that’s how we do things. In every place, custom is king. (Except, of course, in places where we have a Queen). Cynthia writes: I didn’t say that at all. Your “quote” didn’t come from my laptop, you invented it so that you could indulge in Guardianesque anti-Americanism. Duly noted. Yawn. What I actually said was that the representation seemed meager. I gave the example of the TEC, but I most certainly did not… Read more »

Anon1
Guest
Anon1

I’m sorry Cynthia, your quote did come from your own laptop see this copy of the entry on the 28th April:

“It’s great that they asked. It’s unfortunate that they can’t elect their own bishop. Do any Anglicans from Manchester sit on the CNC, representing Manchester in the deliberations? Who sits on the CNC? How are they selected? It seems so odd for so few to have so much power.
Posted by: Cynthia on Sunday, 28 April 2013 at 12:13am BST”

Perhaps you should pay much more attention to what you actually say and remember it when you are pulled up on it?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Cynthia, I think the crux of the matter is that the ABC is the Archbishop of England’s main Diocese as well as the figurehead of the Anglican Communion. The way our political understanding has developed and the AC member countries have developed, this is anachronistic. There is no reason why we should have international representation to elect an English Archbishop for an English Diocese. Rather, what should happen, I think, is that the office of Head of the Anglican Communion should be separated from that and that it should be given to a representative of each of the member churches… Read more »

Dennis in Chicago
Guest
Dennis in Chicago

Does the communion need a head? Can’t we simply be in communion without feeling the need for an English bureaucrat in robes? I’d be perfectly happy for the Episcopal Church to have no voice in the arcane process for picking the ABC, as long as whatever public school boy they select can keep his nose out of our back yard. We will be nice and pretend to honor him and he can try to be nice, too, and do his best to remember the conclusive results of the battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris. That way the English… Read more »

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Dennis in Chicago no doubt speaks for other Americans, but there are large numbers of people who feel equally alienated by the CofE and the former ABC who are not in the least trying to invoke the battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris. He does his position no good at all by trying to present the political results of one war two centuries ago as in some way relevant to relations between his church and the CofE. If he wants to isolate TEC from its allies in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Wales and Scotland, he’s doing the right… Read more »

Stephen Morgan
Guest
Stephen Morgan

Right on, Dennis! That way it would be impossible for the ABC to stall on same-sex marriage legislation in the UK by claiming he had ’80 million other Anglicans to consider.’ That always sounded very much like going the way of his predecessor and dragging in the ‘anglican communion’ whenever any LGBT issue that needs opposing arises!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Stephen, but the reason he says he has millions of other Anglicans to consider is not because he has been elected without international representation but because he is straddling two offices that can no longer be combined. International representation would also mean voting rights for African countries – precisely the kind of thing the Covenant was aimed at and that TEC as well as the CoE comprehensively rejected. You can either dismantle the AC, or you can keep its structure more or less as it is but make sure that every Province gets a turn at electing the ABC. To… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Getting back to the news item, it is interesting to see that no mention is made of ‘Issues’ in the statement of need. It was there in the Chichester Diocese document ( the diocese with thehighest concentration of gtb people outside London) but it is good to see its absence in Manchester. Maybe this is at least some indication that this pernicious document is at last being laid to rest.

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

Writing as one in the UK but in an autonomous province I have less than no desire to see an international head of the Anglican communion. I have no more desire to be under the rule (for that is what it would be) of a conservative than conservative churches have to be under the rule of a liberal. But there are other more serious grounds to reject such a move. The amount of politicking in the run up to an election would be intolerable. Such a figure would tend to polarise, and to cause minds to focus on dissent as… Read more »

FD Blanchard
Guest
FD Blanchard

I think the resentment in the USA has less to do with any lingering triumphalism over the Revolution of 1776, and more to do with the very clumsy and high-handed treatment of the American church by English bishops, and by other foreign bishops. This tone deaf unwillingness to take seriously the recent historical experience of the Episcopal Church, together with intrusions into our church (which would never be tolerated in any other country), create very strong feelings of resentment. One of our bishops suggested (with tongue in cheek) that the ABC and a few other hostile English bishops should come… Read more »

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

In response to FD Blanchard: This is not a US-UK forum but an international forum. You simply can’t talk about the substantive issues between the CofE and several other branches of the Anglican COmmunion as if the only thing that mattered is how the CofE treats TEC. It isn’t all about you. You aren’t the only branch of the church that has issues with the CofE. And while it is relevant how you perceive you have been treated by the CofE, it is no more relevant to the rest of us than how the CofE has treated or ignored us.… Read more »

Dennis in Chicago
Guest
Dennis in Chicago

John, what is the cause of the anger here? If we (non-English westerners) have all been targets of the Church of England can none of us raise our voices and so “no more”? Does our sharing our irritation and anger toward the leadership of the Church of England harm you in some way? I am having trouble understanding your anger here. No one has said that -only- the experience of the Episcopal Church matters. But it does matter to us. I understand that there is some (often valid, sometimes not) irritation by Canadians (in and out of the church) toward… Read more »

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Dennis — As I understand it, a large number of branches of the Anglican Communion have theological issues with the way the CofE and the last ABC behaved towards them, both individually and as a group. Fair enough. You in TEC have some specific issues to raise with the CofE. Again, fair enough. But to raise the events of the American Revolution (which you did) as being relevant to general theological issues today struck me as being somewhat perverse — in the context of a discussion general to the global Anglican Communion on an international forum. The rest of us… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Eating crow for breakfast this morning. My mistake on the “ought” statement. I typically avoid those like the plague because they inevitably “oughts” and “shoulds” cause trouble and detract from the larger point.

I apologize profusely.

The larger point is that somehow, the CoE has leadership that is out-of-touch. Disconnected enough to release that insanely misguided paper on marriage. Disconnected enough to produce an ABC with delusions of international power. And seemingly disconnected from real life.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

John, I for one am very uncomfortable speaking for the Canadian Church, as if the Americans and Canadians speak as one. You’d certainly hate that. Many people, including me, have noted CoE is out of step with the churches of Canada, New Zealand, the US, etc. But that’s as far as I’ll go. I would welcome Canadians and New Zealanders and others to also come forward to Witness to the harm done by the CoE. I don’t know the extent of Rowan’s machinations in Canada. Please tell us. Don’t get angry because the Americans are venting our anger. We can’t… Read more »