Thinking Anglicans

Jeremy Timm "PTO to be withdrawn"

Jeremy Timm, National Coordinator at Changing Attitude, is to have his ‘Permission to Officiate’ withdrawn by the Archbishop of York. Jeremy writes that:

Following a meeting with the Archbishop on July 17th, I have been living with an ultimatum which I was then presented with. I have been in a civil partnership with Mike, since 2009, and we have been discussing commuting this to marriage for some time. I was told that although my ministry was much valued, if we change our status to being married then my PTO would be withdrawn with immediate effect. I was faced with choosing between marriage or ministry. …

I pointed out that if he were to withdraw my PTO then I would feel I had little choice but to continue my journey of faith outside the Church of England as all those things I explore with the churches such as welcome, encouragement, the recognition of gifts and ministries, growth and potential suddenly have no real meaning for me.

Jeremy’s full statement is published by Changing Attitude here.

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Leonardo Ricardo
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¨I have always replied that my journey has been rooted and steeped in the Anglican tradition which is my tradition and I wanted to remain there, despite the injustice and hypocrisy I see for LGBTI folk. Now, I stand on the threshold of leaving, and joining the ranks of all those who feel they no longer have a place in the church.¨JT Hospitality and religious growth at all levels of Church life are only for some, not for all of God’s children it seems. The Archbishop of York, ought remember how life-saving/spiritually expanding ENGLISH HOSPITALITY can be at the Church… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Those who make the rules have to stand by them. In this case, it would seem that the rules are simply iniquitous.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Maybe Jeremy’s PCC and church community should withdraw the Archbishop’s ‘Permission to Officiate’ at their local church. Until local churches and PCCs insist on the right to exercise conscience, individuals will be picked off one by one, just because they want to be married before God and their community to the person they love. I fully realise that the Archbishop is acting in this way because he believes this is right for the Church, but it is not right for Jeremy’s local church, and frankly – whatever the dogmatic theory behind the Archbishop’s actions – this is bullying. I’ll repeat… Read more »

Barry
Guest
Barry

I presume the Archbishop will plead that he is upholding the letter of the existing law, good or bad. This may be so, though I thought that being the Church of Christ is about more than just that. What is the next step to be? Requiring lesbian and gay ordinands to take vows of celibacy as a condition of ordination? That ought to be a joke, but it isn’t. On the present showing our leaders will try any tactic in order to allow homophobes to rest cosily in their prejudices. What matter if the cost of that is faithful Anglicans… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ron,
this isn’t even about rules. The pastoral statement applies to clergy, not to lay people. Licensed lay ministers are a grey area, but how they are being treated is entirely at the discretion of their bishop.

And even for clergy, there is the “rule” that they must not get married, but no-one has ever stipulated the consequences that follow if someone does get married.
Jeremy Pemberton was told by Bishop Inwood that one of the options had been “to do nothing”.

There was no reason why the Archbishop *had* to act as he did.
Let’s not let him off that easily.

Iain Baxter
Guest
Iain Baxter

Is this just because he is getting married, or is it because he is also the National Coordinator at Changing Attitude? (His predecessor was awarded the MBE, but was refused a licence / PTO as a priest, I believe.)

The leader of one pressure group, Reform, is made a bishop. The leader of another cannot even be a lay reader.

It seems that “all have an honoured place” in the Church of England, but some are more honoured than others!

M Hancock
Guest
M Hancock

There is no specific mention of authorised, licensed or whatever lay ministers in the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance on same sex marriage. Only clergy are mentioned. The removal of Jeremy’s PTO on marrage must, therefore, have been applied under whatever rules apply to PTO.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Blackmail from an *Archbishop*?! Shame, SHAME! Kyrie eleison, Lord Jesus REFORM Your Church!!!

God bless and protect your servant Jeremy, and all who minister—and LOVE—w/ *integrity*.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Turning to the impact on the secular world… It sends out a terrible message about the Church’s discrimination against gay and lesbian people and their different treatment. The bible-quoting all means nothing to ordinary, reasonable people in our secular society. Whether it intends to or not, the Church endorses those who are homophobic. It signals, yes, we should treat them differently. It signals a kind of disapproval that haters take as endorsement. And those who are not homophobic, it is clearly alienating – especially the younger generation. The Church has historically assumed a kind of entitlement and superiority on moral… Read more »

Jean Mayland (Revd)
Guest
Jean Mayland (Revd)

Jeremy I am so sorry. I know that for years your parish and those grouped with it have long desired that you should be licensed either as an NSM Priest or a Reader. You already had good theological training .They approached the Bishop of Hull to this effect and they were turned down. They demeaned that he came to meet with them but he still said no.You remained faithful helping as much as you could and training in spirituality and spiritual direction. You helped many including me. Just before he left the previous Bishop of Hull gave you this PTO… Read more »

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Guest
Davis Mac-Iyalla

This is disgraceful and it makes me so angry at the archbishops of Canterbury and York who are so interested in embracing Nigeria and other homophobic bishops/people, And ignoring how lgbt Nigerians feel about their treatment! both archbishops are doing the same thing in England by sacrificing their lgbt members at all cost just to please the global south bishops who have clearly walked away from the Anglican Communion. Is the Church of England now officially endorsing Civil Partnership? Love is a Human Rights, the Church of the land must respect the law of the land. Long live the Marriage… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

I agree with Susannah, PCCs should fight this. With a House of Bishops united around homophobia, and a Synod that refuses to confront this cancer, local resistance is about the only route of opposition left.

We all look at past injustices and ask ourselves “What would I have done?” Well, we needn’t speculate, we’re living one, in our actions, we have our answer. One day, the Church of England will look back, wring its hands, and lament cruelty of Christian homophobia. Don’t be the lamented.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

Last night I dined with a samesex couple who have been together for 25 years and felt the deep love that has sustained them in health and sickness. Bizarre that love has now become the number 1 heresy in the eyes of RC and Anglican bishops.

Jeremy (not Timm, not Pemberton)
Guest
Jeremy (not Timm, not Pemberton)

Yet again an archbishop shows himself more concerned with how his decisions are received by the Yoruba than by the people of Yorkshire.

To whom do the archbishops owe their loyalty?

Are they implementing the theology of the Global South in England?

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Whilst I sympathise with Jeremy’s plight, the current teaching of the Church is absolutely clear on this one. Both clergy and authorised ministers of the Church are under discipline to adhere to it, so there are no grounds for complaint when one knowingly acts against what the Church’s position and teaching is. How would the Church, which has an exemption in the recent marriage legislation, justify failing to practise what it preaches, which is exactly what it would amount to were Jeremy’s marital status to be recognised, either locally or nationally. Clearly there are individuals in the Church who are… Read more »

IT
Guest
IT

If you were a seeker, would you step foot in a church that rejects LGBT people? Me neither.

We know where this is going to end.

robertellis
Guest
robertellis

Absolutely disgraceful! The man should hang his head in shame. Words fail me. Should I resign as a priest in protest? Who would notice?
Perhaps I need to stay and fight from within rather than throw stones from outside….but one does feel so very impotent.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Unbelievable. We (TEC) have dioceses where the bishop INSISTS that gay clergy marry their partners and make the same covenant as everyone else. I have found CoE church members to be wonderfully accepting. The leadership, however, is actually quite cruel, and that cannot possibly represent the Loving Christ in the world. Susannah advocates activism on the part of parishes. Episcopalians in Albany, New York are robustly protesting their bishops anti marriage vote (and his stinginess on his requirement to find a path for those in his diocese seeking marriage). Plenty are crossing over to Vermont or are withholding their pledges… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“We all look at past injustices and ask ourselves ‘What would I have done?’ Well, we needn’t speculate, we’re living one, in our actions, we have our answer. One day, the Church of England will look back, wring its hands, and lament cruelty of Christian homophobia. Don’t be the lamented.”

James Byron nails it.

Take heed, all ye who can stand or vote in the Synod-election process!

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Benedict, the English Synod never approved this policy on equal marriage, the House of Bishops imposed it unilaterally, and sanction’s imposed without due process. Even if you agree with them, the ends don’t justify the means, which are an affront to the rudiments of fundamental justice.

I hope Jeremy Timm sues York Diocese and its disgrace of an archbishop. If a fighting fund goes live, I’ll gladly contribute.

Pluralist
Guest

A Church has a right to police its boundaries – it’s just that, when it does it at where they currently exist – it shows it for what it is. It also shows it because it could police many other boundaries – doctrinal, for example – but chooses not to do so. So add discrimination and duplicity. Then, of course, the conscience question comes to individuals. In a State of religious freedom, which is very precious, you do not have to continue under conditions of religious unfreedom. If gay clergy withdrew their labour, by going elsewhere, it would soon change… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I made my comment ill informed that this man was a member of the clergy. What I wrote however still applies, extending to those who have similar ministry.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Benedict, the “rules” forbidding same sex marriage are explicitly for clergy and ordinands. For lay people, point 18 of the pastoral statement applies: We recognise the many reasons why couples wish their relationships to have a formal status. These include the joys of exclusive commitment and also extend to the importance of legal recognition of the relationship. To that end, civil partnership continues to be available for same sex couples. Those same sex couples who choose to marry should be welcomed into the life of the worshipping community and not be subjected to questioning about their lifestyle. Neither they nor… Read more »

Neil Patterson
Guest
Neil Patterson

Benedict, I am not sure what you mean. If the current ‘teaching of the church’ is Issues in Human Sexuality, it explicitly recognises the right of lay people, as Jeremy Timm is, to form committed relationships. Subsequent statements of the House of Bishops, which have neither sought nor obtained the acceptance of the wider church through General Synod or by any other means, do not constitute the teaching of the church. I am not sure that anyone beyond the Archbishops and Church House Legal Office had much chance to contribute to the celebrated exemption from the Same-Sex Marriage Act –… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Guest
Jeremy Pemberton

Benedict is incorrect. The Archbishop of York is not obliged to do what he intends to do in respect of Jeremy Timm. When discussing my case with the then Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham on 8th April 2014 (four days before I got married), he advised him that there were four possible courses of action: 1. to do nothing 2. to issue a rebuke 3. to remove my PTO and 4. to cause an action to be started under the CDM.

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

“On the present showing our leaders will try any tactic in order to allow homophobes to rest cosily in their prejudices.”

I think it’s pretty fair to say that those homophobes *include* our leaders. It’s another depressing day to be an Anglican.

Stephen De Silva
Guest
Stephen De Silva

Barry, your comment earlier today was, for me, poignant: “What is the next step to be? Requiring lesbian and gay ordinands to take vows of celibacy as a condition of ordination?”
Such a vow is exactly what my diocesan bishop requested of me when I asked to be considered for ordination in approx 1984, thirty or more years ago. I declined and was not sponsored.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

++Sentamu probably took the view that he had no choice in the matter. I am not convinced, and certainly as a fellow Reader I am somewhat shocked. There will be more cases like this and each will build the argument for an early explicit debate in the Tenth General Synod. Two days have already been set aside in York in July 2016 to dicuss the post Pilling Shared Conversations. The only question on members minds will be what happens next? The pressure for change is building. The Bishop of Liverpool tweeted recently that he was on his way to York… Read more »

Concerned Anglican
Guest
Concerned Anglican

A clear difference now seems to be emerging between the Northern and Southern English Provinces. Under the authority of John Sentamu a disciplinarian approach has hardened. In the Southern Province (thus far) the proverbial ‘blind eye’ has sensibly been turned towards those clergy who have also dared to convert their civil partnerships into marriage. The Church of England is now in danger of looking very silly, hurting a lot of people and risking open clerical insurrection in some dioceses, especially London. As I understand it, when civil partnerships were first introduced the House of Bishops fought hard against them. The… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Will there be any gay people left in leadership positions in the Province of York once this process is over? It goes further than the HoB statement by extending its remit to the laity and ignores Pilling’s recommendations to welcome gay people in all orders of ministry. But to what end? The leadership keep banging on about growth, but growth amongst whom? Which section of society is so committed to discrimination against gay people that it wants to join? It’s more likely to have the opposite effect, destroying any residual goodwill and leaving the cofe as a homophobic rump unable… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“It’s another depressing day to be an Anglican.” In your hemisphere. We’re doing just fine, including in plenty of our “Global South” dioceses and provinces. Stand up to this injustice. Finally, just do it. I know that TEC has democratic processes, so all members are automatically more empowered than CoE laity. Nonetheless, the church is the Body of Christ and all are a part of it. Stop letting your leadership attack members of the Body. Show up. Pull the plug. Enough is enough. Jesus turned the tables of the money changers and apparently did some crazy stuff driving people out… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I guess there is a cultural incentive for the archbishop of York to commit to the process he has decided upon in this case. He is, after all, an African, and the Anglicans of his former country do not countenance Same-Sex relationships. This seems to have preempted any attempt to ‘live with’ difference in this area of current contention.

It might have been more loving on the part of the ABY to have considered his once-offered option of ‘doing nothing’. But he has disdained to exercise that option. The Church suffers a resounding credibility loss on this issue.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

I have just looked at the notorious Valentines Day statement. I can find no reference to readers or other non ordained ministers. So what is the Archbishop’s authority for his action. Or is it another display of his intolerance towards LGBT people?

Tim N
Guest
Tim N

Sadly I think Canon E6 Para 3 covers these circumstances. 3. The bishop of a diocese may by notice in writing revoke summarily, and without further process, any licence granted to a reader who is not subject to Common Tenure within his diocese for any cause which appears to him to be good and reasonable, after having given the reader sufficient opportunity of showing reason to the contrary; and the notice shall notify the reader that he may, within 28 days from the date on which he receives the notice, appeal to the archbishop of the province in which that… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Concerned Anglican, relying on a blind eye being turned is a large part of the problem: it offers zero security, and makes gay people constantly vulnerable to a bishop’s whim and goodwill. It’s corrosive, of relationships, and of everyone involved.

The church need to aim for far, far more than don’t ask, don’t tell. Cynthia’s right. This must be fought.

robertellis
Guest
robertellis

Perhaps the Archbishop, like journalists and newspapers in August, is having “a silly season”…..sadly it is too important a matter to be flippant about it
Is this the first case of a Reader having his licence removed or are their other cases that people know about? Do we have any figures yet for how many clergy in the UK have married a same sex partner?

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
Laurence Cunnington

“Do we have any figures yet for how many clergy in the UK have married a same sex partner?” Robert Ellis

A good point. And I look forward to seeing the statistics (which should be available later this year, I believe) of how many new Civil Partnerships were formed since the introduction of equal marriage. My suspicion is that the number will have collapsed to almost nothing, other than, perhaps, a handful entered into by Church of England clergy fearful of the consequences of a civil marriage.

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

Those who make the rules have to stand by them.

Yes he stood by a divorced and remarried suffragan bishop now translated to Hereford and fell over himself to condone the pre marital living together of the royal couple.

The New Testament couldn’t be clearer.. a bishop should have only one wife…that is be only once married, as was the case in the Apostolic Church.

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Tim N on 12 August wrote: “Sadly I think Canon E6 Para 3 covers these circumstances.” Actually, it doesn’t. As with the case of Jeremy Pemberton, we need to be very careful in our use of “technical” terms. In the CofE there is a significant (and legal) difference between a “Licence” and a formal “Permission To Officiate” (usually abbreviated to PTO). Canon E6 applies to *licensed* Readers. It does *not* apply to Readers who, like Jeremy T, exercise their ministry by virtue of a PTO. As with clergy who hold licence, a revocation of the *licence* of a Reader by… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

RPNewark, episcopal discretion may well be challengeable under employment law, especially if it’s exercised capriciously.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has suggested that volunteers are ‘service users’ for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, though it has yet to be tested in court. Jeremy could claim for unlawful discrimination since the HoB statement expressly did not prohibit the laity from same-sex marriage. And although church weddings are forbidden, access to all other services (in both senses of the word) are legally protected, whether the service user is a member of the congregation or a lay preacher.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Andrew,
another thing that could conceivably tested is whether the punishment fits the crime.
Let’s not forget that after issuing the “pastoral” statement the bishops never stipulated what the consequences of marriage would be.
From Jeremy Pemberton we know that Bishop Inwood told him he had 4 possible options, one of which was to do nothing, another was to issue a rebuke. Withdrawing PTO and then refusing a license was the harshest punishment possible, and it’s by no means clear that it would be considered proportionate.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

We, in the Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion,. are waiting for some sort of resolution of this particular situation – where a Lay Reader has been deprived of a P.T.O. which was available while he lived in an acknowledged Same-Sex Partnership under the law a Civil Partnership, but which is summarily withdrawn when the Reader commutes his Same-Sex relationship to that of Equal Marriage, under the Law. His relationship to his partner has, in fact, remained unchanged. It is only the title of that relationship. Where is the logic in the ABY’s un-pastoral treatment of a loyal Layman of… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Concerned Anglican – disingenuous, unfair, perplexing. Yes. However it cannot be assumed as a ‘fiction’ that clergy in civil partnerships are somehow celibate. As people of integrity, clergy MUST be assumed to adhere to the discipline of the CofE in this matter and be treated as such. It may be a ridiculous situation, I grant, but there are examples of clergy who publicly acknowledge their celibacy (Jeffery John, Richard Coles). The point is that all those in civil partnerships should be treated fairly, and the powers that be held to account why none are bishops. Another point worth making, is… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“Keeping to the (silly) law offers the protection of the law.”

As shown by the waves of hatred that broke against Jeffrey John until he was forced to resign as Bishop of Reading, no, it doesn’t, because there’s no protection in injustice.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual clergy should not be expected to obey homophobic laws, anymore than African-Americans should’ve been expected to submit to segregation.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Yes – Jeffrey John WAS and is still bring treated badly. This is what needs challenging given he abides by the discipline of the CofE. I’m not saying people SHOULD abide by this discipline – merely that if they do not then they are vulnerable to whimsical treatment. Whereas if they are in a CP they must expect and demand full and equal treatment.

Tobias Haller
Guest
Tobias Haller

All of this is, of course, a result of the exaltation of marriage to a place it not ought to have gone. Article XXXII has a much more sane and sober approach, and it applies to clergy and laity alike.