Thinking Anglicans

New Bishop of Gloucester 'likely to be a woman'

The BBC has reported that the Archdeacon of Cheltenham has said that New Bishop of Gloucester ‘likely to be a woman’.

The first woman bishop in the Church of England could be in the Gloucester diocese, a senior clergyman has said.

The archdeacon of Cheltenham’s comments came during an open meeting where some 70 people shared their views on what qualities the new bishop should have.

The Venerable Robert Springett said he felt the likelihood was “really pretty high” as the diocese could now pick the best person regardless of gender.

Cheltenham is one of the two archdeaconries in the Diocese of Gloucester.

Gloucester will be the first diocese to hold both of its Crown Nominations Commission meetings after the expected coming into effect in November of all the legislation allowing women to be bishops in the Church of England. The meetings are scheduled for 8 January and 19/20 February 2015.

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Sister Mary
Sister Mary
6 years ago

That sounds good to someone living in Gloucestershire! We have a number of very fine women priests in the diocese whose priestly ability is beyond doubt. The two in my own parish have not discouraged the menfolk from playing an active role in church affairs.

But there are many considerations and the outcome is not in our own hands.

Father David
Father David
6 years ago

Is this a strong indication that male candidates need not apply, especially if the Archdeacon of Cheltenham is a member of the interviewing panel?

Simon Kershaw
Admin
6 years ago

Candidates do not apply for episcopal vacancies. Rather, the Commission invites individuals to become candidates.

And it would perhaps be illegal to have a female-only shortlist per se.

Father David
Father David
6 years ago

Simon, whatever happened to “positive discrimination”? Don’t our political parties have all female short lists in order to try and achieve a greater balance between the genders? Surely that is not illegal but has yet to achieve a more representative reflection of the nation as far as male/female MPs are concerned.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
6 years ago

“Candidates do not apply for episcopal vacancies. Rather, the Commission invites individuals to become candidates.”

Is this really still the case? A step in the recruitment process that has been discredited in many other professions, in favour of openly advertising jobs and allowing anybody to apply who thinks they have something to offer.

Simon

Simon Kershaw
Admin
6 years ago

I think we’ve been through this before, but the present situation is that the vacancy in see is advertised and people may write in with their thoughts on the matter and suggest people who might be considered. There’s a description of the process at https://www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/asa/senappt/dbnom.aspx and in a file attached to that page: “A national announcement in the church press will have invited members of the public to submit comments and possible names to the Appointments Secretaries. The names submitted are circulated to all members of the Crown Nominations Commission, together with the Description of the Diocese and Statement of… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
6 years ago

Simon (Kershaw),

Thank you, that is very helpful, and describes a more open process than that first posting implied.

But to clarify one more thing for me, is it possible to put one’s own name forward for consideration? And even if that was possible, would such an act be regarded as inappropriate behavior, possibly lacking in humility, and likely to end up with your name on the reject pile?

Simon (Dawson)

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