Thinking Anglicans

Full list of female representatives to House of Bishops

The Church of England has announced that the Revd Libby Lane, Dean of Women in Ministry in the Chester Diocese has been elected by the NW region as their female representative in the House of Bishops.

This completes these elections. The full list of representatives is:

Ven Annette Cooper, Archdeacon of Colchester (East Anglia)
Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of York (North East)
Ven Joanne Grenfell, Archdeacon of Portsdown (South and Central)
Revd Libby Lane, Dean of Women in Ministry, Chester Diocese (North West)
Ven Nicola Sullivan, Archdeacon of Wells (South West)
Revd Preb Dr Jane Tillier, Preb of Lichfield Cathedral (West Midlands)
Ven Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney (South East)
Ven Christine Wilson, Archdeacon of Chesterfield (East Midlands)

The representatives will take up their roles on 1st December.

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Father Ron Smith
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Viewing this list, and looking at the theological nous of the women involved; could this be a sort of pro-forma list for the first ordinations of women into the episcopate of the Church of England? They certainly seem a bright group of Christians – not a bad basis for episcopal ministry.

Father David
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Father David

This list rather suggests that the first woman bishop will be chosen from among the ranks of the female Archdeacons, does it not? Rather like the majority of Diocesans are chosen from the ranks of the Suffragans.

Stephen B
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Stephen B

Wish I had your optimism that General Synod will pass the legislation or take the first steps towards doing so!

General Synod member

Canon Vicars Hodge
Guest

Kudos to the House of Bishops for this beginning step.

John
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John

You’re not implying here, are you, Father David, that you would accept the ‘validity’ (in some sense) of ‘women bishops’? I tease, but there is great scope here for decent blurring and ambiguity. I profoundly hope that all Anglicans of whatever stripe will seize this great opportunity, which may yet confound dirigistes both within and without our beloved church.

Father David
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Father David

You are indeed teasing John! I was merely observing a probability as surely the first woman bishop needs to be fairly tough and formidable. All the female Archdeacons that I have so far encountered seem to fit the bill.

Susan Cooper
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Susan Cooper

Given that those eligible to stand and the electorate were deans and archdeacons or the nearest thing to them for those dioceses that don’t have one of each and that there are more women archdeacons than deans, then it is not surprising that there are a lot of archdeacon representatives.

I was at a meeting the other day at which one of our women deans was speaking, I do hope that if she is offered a suffragan bishop’s post she turns it down. She should be a diocesan bishop at the very least.

Susan

Father David
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Father David

Indeed so, Susan! I was most surprised when the last Dean of Exeter accepted the post of Suffragan Bishop in the diocese of Norwich. I always thought that a Deanery was far more prestigious than a mere suffragan bishopric.

Tom
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Tom

Dear Susan and Fr David,

I am thankful that your notions of prestige and entitlement aren’t endemic in the wider church. As someone from the Norwich diocese, the bishop to whom you refer has been the source of much blessing for us, despite occupying a ‘mere bishopric.’ Perhaps Our Lord has a slightly broader, and less politically motivated, perspective on the matter.

Tom

Father David
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Father David

Tom, you misquote me in that you omit the vital word “suffragan”! I have no doubt whatsoever that Bishop Jonathan is doing a marvellous job as Bishop of Lynn and is proving to be a great blessing within the diocese of Norwich but it is rather unusual, to say the least, to go from being Dean of one of our great cathedrals to a Suffragan See. Off the top of my head I cannot think of anyone else who has made a similar transition, although I’m sure someone may be able to advise to the contrary. David Colin Dunlop did… Read more »

Barrie
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Barrie

This is the whole problem with the women bishops issue – the Church is now a career for some people, ‘promotion’ is their ‘right’.