Yesterday, Ruth Gledhill published a report concerning the recent Crown Nominations Commission meetings to select a new Bishop of Exeter.
The original report is behind the paywall of The Times but subscribers can find it here.
Much of its content is reproduced in this article in Pink News: Times claims Church of England ‘on the brink of appointing its first openly gay bishop’
…The paper claims the Dean of St Albans, Dr Jeffrey John, came within one vote of being recommended as the new Bishop of Exeter.
It is thought to be the first time that Dr John has made the shortlist for a diocesan post, although he has been tipped for promotion several times before.
The successful candidate to succeed the Right Rev Michael Langrish as the Bishop of Exeter is to be announced soon.
Although he has missed out on the position, The Times claims Church sources say that it is only a matter of time before Dr John gets a diocesan post.
This year the Church of England dropped its prohibition on gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops. That was the change that allowed Dr John to be considered again after effectively being banned from the episcopacy since 2003.
The Crown Nominations Commission met in October to choose the new diocesan bishop for Exeter. The meeting was chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who would have had the casting vote in the event of a deadlock.
There are already meetings scheduled to choose the bishops to fill six diocesan vacancies next year. These are Europe, Hereford, Liverpool, Guildford, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and Southwell and Nottingham. Besides Europe, Hereford and Guildford also have liberal traditions that might make Dr John an acceptable candidate…
The original article says that this is believed to be the first time the Dean of St Albans has been shortlisted for a diocesan bishopric. But back in 2010, when the bishopric of Southwark was under consideration, the contemporary reports suggest otherwise, see:
Telegraph Jonathan Wynne-Jones Gay cleric in line to become bishop in Church of England
Australian reproducing The Times Gay bishop to divide Anglicans
TA coverage of the ensuing story started here, and ran for a considerable number of subsequent articles during the next couple of weeks.
And in May 2011, the Guardian published Colin Slee’s own account of the matter.