Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Sheffield: Joint statement by Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Updated Saturday 1 April

The Archbishops have issued the following statement today.

Bishop of Sheffield: Joint statement by Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Friday 24th March 2017

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York made this joint statement today on the recent events surrounding the nomination of Bishop Philip North as Bishop of Sheffield.

“The recent events surrounding the nomination of Bishop Philip North as Bishop of Sheffield, including his withdrawal from the process, have understandably raised great concern amongst many in the Church of England. The status of the House of Bishops Declaration of June 2014 has been questioned by some and its meaning has also been challenged.

“We have therefore written to Sir Philip Mawer, the Independent Reviewer under the Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests, (Resolution of Disputes Procedure Regulations) 2014, to address the concerns that have arisen in the Church following these recent events. We attach our letter to Sir Philip, in which we reaffirm clearly our commitment, and the commitment of the House of Bishops, to its Declaration, to the principles contained in it, and to the overriding principle of mutual flourishing.

“Finally, in this period of Lent, as part of our preparation for the glorious celebration of the extraordinary grace of God in the events of Holy Week and Easter, we call on all those in the Church to pray openly for the flourishing of those with whom they disagree, to demonstrate the mutual love which we are called to share and to proclaim confidently in word and deed that in Christ we find our true identities, and the overcoming of those things which in ourselves we find so divisive.”

+ Justin Cantuar: +Sentamu Eboracensis

Download the Archbishops’ letter to Sir Philip Mawer

The text of the letter is copied below the fold.

Forward in Faith has issued this statement: Forward in Faith welcomes reference to the Independent Reviewer.

Update
Law & Religion UK has a very detailed discussion of the work of the Independent Reviewer in this article: The Independent Reviewer and the Sheffield See.

23 March 2017

Dear Sir Philip Mawer,

Nomination to the See of Sheffield and concerns raised about the operation of the House of Bishops’ declaration under Regulation 27

We are writing to ask you, in your capacity as Independent Reviewer under the Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of Disputes Procedure Regulations) 2014, to address certain concerns that have arisen in the Church following recent events relating to the See of Sheffield.

We do not set out the events in any detail here. You will doubtless be aware of the main elements:

  • on 6 July 2016 the See of Sheffield became vacant following the translation of Bishop Steven Croft from Sheffield to Oxford
  • on 31 January 2017 HM Government announced that, following the usual process of nomination of candidates by the Crown Nominations Commission to the Prime Minister, HM The Queen had been pleased to approve the nomination of Bishop Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley, to the See of Sheffield
  • on 9 March 2017 Bishop Philip North announced that he had withdrawn his acceptance of the nomination.

This sequence of events has prompted some in the Church to question whether the House of Bishops’ Declaration of May 2014, and its five Guiding Principles, and the commitment the Church made in it to “mutual flourishing”, remain intact.

As Archbishops, Primates and Metropolitans, we reaffirm clearly our commitment, and the commitment of the House of Bishops, to its Declaration, to the principles contained in it, and to the overriding principle of mutual flourishing. The Declaration formed a central element of the settlement by which we were able both to welcome women joyfully into all the orders of ministry in the Church, and also to continue to provide an honoured and permanent place in the Church for those who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable, to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests.

But as Archbishop Sentamu noted in his statement commenting on Bishop Philip’s withdrawal, we are conscious that in some of the discussion about the See of Sheffield, we have not always as a Church shown how we can disagree Christianly.

Although we are clear that the House of Bishops’ Declaration, and the Guiding Principles embodied in it, remain in full force and effect, we recognise that the recent events have nonetheless raised a number of specific concerns in the Church about its operation. Some of those concerns relate to whether the nomination itself, and the procedure leading up to it, were in accordance with the Declaration. Others are about whether what happened once the nomination had been announced was consistent with the Declaration. Others relate to the degree of understanding of the Declaration in the Church.

Given the significance of these concerns (many of which have been expressed to us directly) from the point of view of the future outworking of the Declaration in the life of the Church, we therefore request you to exercise your power, as the Independent Reviewer under Regulation 27, to consider and report on the operation of the Declaration from the point of view of:

(a) what has been done in the Church, including in the diocese of Sheffield, to inform and educate clergy and laity about the settlement agreed in 2014, and the effect of the Declaration within that settlement;

(b) the process leading to the nomination of Bishop Philip North to the See of Sheffield;

(c) the consistency of that nomination with the Declaration;

(d) the reactions to that nomination in the Church and beyond; and

(e) the response of the institutional Church to the nomination and to the reactions to it.

We hope that you will be willing to investigate these concerns and that, once you have been able to do so, you will be able to produce your report on them with the minimum of delay.

The Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Revd & Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu Archbishop of York

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Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

The outstanding Sir Philip Mawer, the Church of England’s best servant in a generation, always gets the impossible tasks. The regulations were not drawn up with this kind of issue in mind but wisely the lawyers added a catch-all regulation: 27. Any person may raise a concern, in writing, with the Independent Reviewer in relation to any aspect of the operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration. Any such concern may relate to more than one act or omission under the House of Bishops’ Declaration and to more than one parish or diocese. It is under this regulation that the… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

So in the face of genuine questions about theology they seek a review of process. Truly absurd.

Fr Frank Nichols
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Fr Frank Nichols

I am much cheered that the Archbishops have decided to refer this to the Independent Reviewer, Sir Philip Mawer. Entirely appropriate. Also delighted by their commitment to mutual flourishing. That is why many of us remain in the Church of England. Thank you Archbishops.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

The Archbishops’ letter is a wonderful example of fence-sitting.

This letter begs the question–which of course was the problem with the Bishops’ Declaration, the five principles, and the phrase “mutual flourishing.”

There are those of us who argued at the time that the 2014 compromise was (among other things) opaque and therefore troublesome.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

The archbishops don’t get it. It is not about disagreement. Do CoE bishops never take a course on social justice 101? It is about girls being raised knowing that they are equally created in the Image of God and equally empowered to follow their call or vocations in life. It is about women clergy, who have undergone discernment processes, working in environments where they are affirmed and not having to put up with daily humiliation. Issues of being are different from simply disagreeing. The archbishops seem quite tone deaf to the problem of how girls, women, and female clergy can… Read more »

Catherine John
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Catherine John

I am unsure if I fully understand the concept of the statements, but does this mean that Bishop will be re-instated as Bishop of Sheffield. I honestly do wish so because he is a true CHRISTIAN and very Godly man.

David Runcorn
Guest

There is nothing to stop Sir Philip Mawer commenting on the lack of theology in the mix is there? I see both process and theology urgently needing review.

american piskie
Guest
american piskie

” to inform and educate clergy and laity about the settlement agreed in 2014..” Dear oh dear oh dear. A fudge agreed by a majority of the General Synod cannot in conscience bind the rest of us in any way whatsoever. It may bind this or that committee, and may lead to nominations such as the recent Sheffield one. But it cannot stop the rest of us seeking clarifications from such a nominee, pointing out to the whole world how unsatisfactory such an appointment would be, and doing everything in our power to thwart such an appointment. The Archbishops are… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

‘I am unsure if I fully understand the concept of the statements, but does this mean that Bishop will be re-instated as Bishop of Sheffield. I honestly do wish so because he is a true CHRISTIAN and very Godly man.’ Catherine, I haven’t heard anyone dispute Bp.. Philip’s faith, godliness, or even sheer niceness. The issue is: is his membership of a rather extreme organisation which discriminates against women (and some men), compatible with being diocesan bishop of a city which has a long and proud tradition of campaigning for women’s equality? Specific questions about his theology and how this… Read more »

Andrew Lightbown
Guest

I agree with David Runcorn’s view: process + theology. I hope that the role of the CNC is looked at critically and that the real questions raised are acknowledged and suggestions made, if only for a next stage.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

It may be worth noting for the record that there is an Oxford Diocesan Synod motion on reviewing the appointment of bishops already on the General Synod list. This derives from a Deanery Synod motion brought to Oxford Diocesan Synod in March 2016 following the (now rather minor looking) issues experienced with the recent appointment in Oxford Diocese. The Oxford Diocesan Synod motion was in fact addressed to the Archbishops rather than General Synod. Others may wish to sponsor such motions in their own synods. I asked in March 2017 Oxford Diocesan Synod (question planned before the Sheffield drama, as… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

I wonder if the Archbishops’ reference to Sir Philip Mawer was prompted (at least in part) by the Private Member’s Motion (PMM) I have tabled and which was posted on the General Synod pages of the C of E website on Wednesday. Synod members were notified of the PMM by e-mail later that day from the Synod Office and have until 10th May to sign it (electronically) if it is to be considered by the Business Committee for inclusion in the agenda for the Group of Sessions at York in July (It needs 100 + signatures by 10th May.) This… Read more »

Susan Cooper
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Susan Cooper

I really don’t think the 5 principles and the HoB guidance cover the case of a traditionalist bishop being a diocesan. They are all about how it is all right for people to have their own little sectioned off bits of the church. If HoB or anyone else think it is a goer, then someone needs to sit down with Martin Warner and get him to write down or talk about how he works in Chichester. An independent academic/researcher needs to talk with people in Chichester Diocese about how they feel it works, be they clergy, male or female, lay… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

How would someone ask Sir Philip to consider whether the Society’s (and Philip North’s by extension) insistence on a patrilineal Apostolic succession is consistent with the guiding principles? Maybe something WATCH could do?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Is this not the re-emergent problem of what has been called the “Two Integrities” – which led to that rara avis the Flying Bishop?

The real problem with Bishop North appointment to become a diocesan bishop – rather than a suffragan with no specific jurisdiction – is his doubt about the authenticity of the priestly ministry being carried out under his supervision. Has this particular bishop to live with a double conscience? Or is the Church itself being Double-minded?

Peter S
Guest
Peter S

Good to see this referred by the Archbishops to Sir Philip Mawer. That should mean a thorough review of the process. But they can’t handball the theological work to an independent reviewer. The House of Bishops – or, in their absence, another group – needs to see to that work as a matter of urgency. Perhaps a conference on “Mutual Flourishing?” is in order? Shall we organise a Thinking Anglicans conference? Finally, the Oxford appointment is not a minor sideshow but is arguably fundamental to this crisis as the failure of the first CNC process for Oxford led directly to… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

Cynthia, regardless of your disagreement with the five principles, do you not see any obligation flowing from them? The time for your arguments was before the compromise measures were passed. How should England deal with the situation as-is, not as it arguably should’ve been? As for “men” dictating to women, I shouldn’t need to remind you that there’s men and women on both sides of this, and ad homs are a fallacy for good reason. If the kinda “social justice” on offer sees people’s words judged not on their merits, but on the sex of the person speaking, it’s replaced… Read more »

Cantab
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Cantab

As Archbishops, Primates and Metropolitans…

Real meaning? Respect us! Do as we say!

Anne
Guest
Anne

Susan Cooper: Brilliant idea. I hope somebody picks it up and runs with it sooner rather than later. David Lamming. Your PPM misses the point as do so many comments on TA over this issue. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the 5 principles. Much more guidance needs to be given to Vacancy in See Committees on how to write a Diocesan Profile. It is quite clear that the Sheffield profile should have included a comment that they wanted a Diocesan who ordained women. It would seem that the reason it didn’t was because it was felt to be… Read more »

Robin Ward
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Robin Ward

I do think that it is a bit rich to be lectured about the problems of two integrities, flying bishops and double consciences from New Zealand, where the Anglican Church has a racially segregated episcopate.

Victoriana
Guest
Victoriana

And yet, Robin Ward, New Zealand has a pattern of overlapping jurisdictions. Perhaps not so rich so much as an example to which the CofE could aspire?

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Investigation by the Independent Reviewer was an inevitable consequence of the debacle in Sheffield. That whole furore demonstrated very clearly that those who opposed Bishop Philip’s appointment had little sense of what “mutual flourishing” and the Five Principles are all about. Sadly, it also seemed to suggest that, even if they did, they have no genuine will to embrace those holding a different theological perspective to themselves. I remain staggered at the lengths to which some of those Christians were prepared to go in order to ensure Bishop Philip stepped down. It was mob rule of the worst kind, and… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

Jeremy, the obligation in the guiding principles to provide for the minority has to be done in a way which maximises communion and mutual flourishing. The promotion of Philip North would have led to impaired communion within the Sheffield diocese and diminished the flourishing of women. His installation would not, therefore, have been in accordance with the guiding principles and the CNC was (if the principles are accepted) not entitled to appoint him. It is also important to note that the guiding principles only impose one obligation upon individuals (and no obligation upon us laity) which is to accept that… Read more »

Benedict
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Benedict

It is a very skewed reading of the principles by Kate. I wonder if she has actually read them?!

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“Cynthia, regardless of your disagreement with the five principles, do you not see any obligation flowing from them? The time for your arguments was before the compromise measures were passed. How should England deal with the situation as-is, not as it arguably should’ve been?” No James. Because the guiding principles did not work out how female clergy and girls and women in general could “flourish” with a non affirming diocesan. It’s as simple as that. The talk of “mutual flourishing” is completely empty without working out that component. The fact that Sheffield balked reveals that stumbling block. Sheffield was under… Read more »

Adam
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Adam

I’m not sure how Philip North’s appointment would have impaired communion within the Diocese. Under Steven Croft and his predecessor a significant proportion of the diocese (as much as 20%) were in impaired communion with the diocesan bishop. Presumably Philip North would have brought all those back into full communion. Now we will continue to have a fifth of the diocese not able to receive the ministry of the diocesan bishop. And, before anyone says it, one cannot argue that women would be out of communion with Philip North. It doesn’t work like that. Philip North’s orders are not in… Read more »

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

‘If HoB or anyone else think it is a goer, then someone needs to sit down with Martin Warner and get him to write down or talk about how he works in Chichester. An independent academic/researcher needs to talk with people in Chichester Diocese about how they feel it works, be they clergy, male or female, lay people or traditionalists.’ I’m not sure this would help much – Chichester and Sheffield dioceses are so different. Chichester has a history of being largely Anglo-Catholic and opposed to the ordination of women, while Sheffield has a greater range of churchmanship and a… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Re the suggestion of a separate non-territorial “diocese” — this would, I suggest, not be a good thing at all. It would entrench views even more than now. We should not forget that parishes move on, and it is quite often only a few people in a congregation who are very strongly opposed to women clergy. Many others will go along with them, because they are their friends and fellow Christians, and they have no desire to unchurch them. But leaving their diocese is another matter, and cutting the parish off from its real diocesan bishop is a big step.… Read more »

Beausoleil
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Beausoleil

The declaration of 2014 states that a diocese can say if they wish to have a bishop who ordains women. It seems that this was not made explicit in the statement of needs which Sheffield submitted, which is unfortunate This seems to be one of the reasons that Philip North was able to be appointed. I do agree with Cynthia that the five guiding principles have not worked out how mutual flourishing would work in practical terms with a bishop who does not accept women as truly ordained priests. The five guiding principles really need to be revised now in… Read more »

David Emmott
Guest
David Emmott

Janet Fife: ‘Chichester has a history of being largely Anglo-Catholic and opposed to the ordination of women, while Sheffield has a greater range of churchmanship and a tradition of promoting inclusion of women and other groups. This applies to city as well as diocese. The last few bishops of Sheffield have been evangelicals.’ Huh? Chichester is southern and largely rural; Sheffield is northern and urban. That’s the difference, though I don’t see how it affects this issue. Except that I doubt if more than a minority of country parishes in Chichester or anywhere could be described as Anglo-catholic, which is… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

“It is a very skewed reading of the principles by Kate. I wonder if she has actually read them?”

Of course I have read them.

James Byron
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James Byron

I couldn’t agree more about the inclusion of LGBT people, Cynthia: but in hardening traditionalists against compromise, forcing North’s resignation has likely had the opposite effect. LGBT Anglicans in England now look set to be consigned to second-class status until the numbers increase to force through change at the cost of schism, which could be decades away.

However bad it would’ve been for women in Sheffield, it’s worse for LGBT Anglicans of both sexes: they’re likely to pay the cost for this move. However unintended the consequences, it doesn’t mitigate the damage they’ll do.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

David Emmett, I’m from Chichester Diocese. When I was there there were evangelical churches, certainly, but the diocese as a whole had a much more catholic/high church tradition. And they are used to bishops who don’t ordain women, whether catholic or Reformed. In fact they agreed to sponsor me for ordination but said explicitly there would be no job for me to come back to as they didn’t have posts for women! And when the Bishop of Lewes visited ordinands in Oxford, he didn’t bother to include me. This is all a long time ago but I still follow events… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

The dissembling Bishop of Swansea and Brecon got a bit stuck when Edward Stourton asked him on the BBC Sunday programme this morning about the Dean of St Albans statement that homophobic remarks were made during his interview. The silence was palpable, akin to a power cut, and he pleaded confidentiality. This will simply not do. Nor has he responded to the Welsh MPs letter. The Church in Wales is already in meltdown and this only confirms the fact. The College of Bishops should hang its head in shame and resign en masse.

Anne
Guest
Anne

Adam, you say: ” I’m not sure how Philip North’s appointment would have impaired communion within the Diocese. Under Steven Croft and his predecessor a significant proportion of the diocese (as much as 20%) were in impaired communion with the diocesan bishop. Presumably Philip North would have brought all those back into full communion…And, before anyone says it, one cannot argue that women would be out of communion with Philip North. It doesn’t work like that. Philip North’s orders are not in question and no one can seriously argue that opposing the ordination of women is a source of impaired… Read more »

Steve Morgan
Guest
Steve Morgan

Benedict: ‘mob rule of the worst kind’ etc. This sustained rant accuses the opponents of Philip North’s appointment of just about everything, only drawing breath to hope ‘it will be corrected’ by the Independent Reviewer, (as if Philip Mawer was some public-school headmaster). Moving on, he more or less accuses Kate of not having read the FGP before commenting on them! This is intemperate language, and is untrue (as she has pointed out) and unworthy. There has been no ‘mob rule’ on TA, and he should apologise. Then he and his like, and Philip North, and the Archbishops, may at… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Kate, if you have indeed read the Five Principles as you have suggested, and the accompanying Declaration, then you will doubtlessly be aware that the Principles are to be read in their entirety, and not piecemeal. In other words, although the Church of England has come to a decision on the matter and all are called to acknowledge this, her members are urged as well to recognise that, consistent with the Great Churches of East and West, there are those in the Church of England (both women and men) who are unable, in conscience, to accept the ministry of women… Read more »

Laurence Price
Guest
Laurence Price

Adam states that no one in the diocese of Sheffield could claim to be out of communion with Philip North, as the validity of his orders are doubted by no-one. But this is missing an essential point about communion: it is centred on the Eucharistic act itself, a lived and shared reality. Ignatius of Antioch argues that the Eucharist is fundamentally that of the bishop, and offered on the bishop’s behalf by the college of presbyters. But how could a priest in the diocese of Sheffield claim to offer the bishop’s Eucharist when the bishop would refuse to receive the… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Benedict Unless I am mistaken, the guiding principles were not subject to a vote in Synod and form no part of any measure or canon. I do think they are being over-emphasised and that, if the bishops want guiding principles, they should be subject to a separate vote in Synod. Yes, I agree the guiding principles are to be read as a whole and that tension between them was expected. I still stand by what I say, though. If you read the Forward in Faith website you will find that they have parsed the guiding principles carefully from their perspective.… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

Steve Morgan, please do not accuse me of “ranting”. Your own language is very intemperate. Bishop Philip North had to step aside, as you well know, because of a sustained campaign against his appointment by some of those who hold a different view to him. I did not in any way claim that there had been “mob rule” on the website Thinking Anglicans. I was talking about the wider Church, as well you know. It happened in Whitby, and it happened again in Sheffield. Kate, I am sure, will come back in due course with her own response to what… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Laurence, when I take communion, it draws me into communion with Christ. Whether someone is Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, male or female, doesn’t change that fact. Communion is not a political alliance that excludes those who differ from us. Communion is the Oneness that Christ draws us into with God. Given that the Church of England officially recognises female priests and bishops, it’s not actually what their diocesan thinks about them that matters. It’s what God thinks about them. And Jesus died for them. I think that should be enough to validate their communion with Him, don’t you? Our oneness,… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Benedict – most of what I have read represents sustained questions rather than a sustained campaign against a person – and questions which remain to be answered. You have a very definite reading of the five principles, but the two words “mutual” “flourishing” are both ambiguous and possibly represent the last attempt of the Church of England to bury its differences in ambiguities. A great deal of effort has been put in by members of “the society” to create space and structures wherein they can flourish, and this has been accommodated by the church as a whole. But neither “the… Read more »

Adam
Guest
Adam

Kate –

If 20% of the diocese already had impaired communion under Steven Croft and Jack Nicholls, why, even if one does accept that Philip North would bring impaired communion, would that be especially significant? It is already happening in Sheffield on a big scale, far bigger than the CofE as a whole, due to the far larger than average number of traditionalist parishes in Sheffield Diocese.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I disagree entirely with Kate’s position. It seems clear that Mutual flourishing means that traditionalists must be able to be appointed as Diocesans. This is foreseen in the House of Bishops’ Declaration. However, on the particular issue about the status of the Five Guiding Principles, they are in fact enshrined in Canon. Canon C 29 refers to the power of the House of Bishops to make Regulations to give effect to their Declaration. Those Regulations make express reference to the Five Guiding Principles. The Canon further provides that those Regulations may not be changed without a vote by houses commanding… Read more »

Sioned-Mair Richards
Guest
Sioned-Mair Richards

Does anyone know what the process will be now? For example will there be an opportunity to make submissions to Sir Philip or is he simply reviewing the process there has been in Sheffield? Will his findings be open to debate & discussion or will they be the property of the Archbishops?

And where do those of us whose churches are LEPs fit into this – mine is Anglican/Methodist – or are we not to be recognised? Will the Concordat with the Methodist Church be ignored?

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

I felt I was probably spending too much time posting on TA, so I gave it up for Lent! But, today having been ‘Refreshment Sunday’, I thought I might allow myself one post. Anthony Archer’s posts are measured and authoritative as always, although his slightly less measured post about the Church in Wales has surely been copied from another thread? Steve Morgan has it right on two counts – it does all boil down to the simple theological question he quotes, posed many times but never answered, and Benedict was ranting. But I fear that Benedict may be right on… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“However, on the particular issue about the status of the Five Guiding Principles, they are in fact enshrined in Canon. Canon C 29 refers to the power of the House of Bishops to make Regulations to give effect to their Declaration. “ Firstly, this does not disagree with my point that the declaration (and therefore the guiding principles) lacks status. Secondly, Canon C29 does not give ” power of the House of Bishops to make Regulations to give effect to their Declaration. ” as you suggest, Canon C29 only empowers the bishops in terms of dispute resolution. “If 20% of… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“I disagree entirely with Kate’s position. It seems clear that Mutual flourishing means that traditionalists must be able to be appointed as Diocesans.” It isn’t remotely clear how female clergy, girls, and female laity “flourish” with a non affirming diocesan. Or how it works when the diocesan thinks that women aren’t really priests and the sacraments aren’t really valid. I think that “mutual flourishing” means that “traditionalists” bishops must never be appointed as diocesans. At least not until it’s worked out how the women and girls actually flourish. Otherwise it isn’t “mutual” or “flourishing.” Until that is answered, the wailings… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Nick wrote, “it is entirely wrong to say the Principles were not subject to a vote in Synod when the Measure allowing the consecration of women to the episcopate was passed only because the Declaration in the terms it currently stands was to be made before or immediately after the passing of the Measure.” To be clear: Synod did not vote on the 5 principles. If anyone understood the 5 principles to be a statement binding for all time on the Church of England as a whole, including its laity and clergy, well . . . Knowing how the CofE… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Guest
Stephen Griffiths

How have we reached the position that all ordinands have to assent to the five guiding principles?