Thinking Anglicans

Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Dorking

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office. There is more information on the Guildford diocesan website.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 26 July 2023

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Richard Paul Davies, Archdeacon of Surrey, to the Suffragan See of Dorking, in the Diocese of Guildford, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Jo Bailey Wells, following her resignation.

Background

Paul was educated at the University of Wales, Lampeter and the University of Oxford, and trained for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon. He served his title at St Davids Cathedral in Wales and was ordained priest in 1998.

In 2001 Paul became a Team Vicar in the Benefice of Dewisland with responsibility for Solva and Brawdy, in the Diocese of St Davids, and in 2006 was appointed as Vicar of Burry Port and Pwll in the same diocese. During these years, he additionally served as Diocesan Director of Ordinands, and an Officiating Chaplain to the Military.

In 2012 Paul was appointed as Archdeacon of Bangor and Anglesey in the Diocese of Bangor. In 2017 he took up his current role as Archdeacon of Surrey in the Diocese of Guildford.

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Michael Hopkins
Michael Hopkins
8 months ago

i’ve worked with Paul on a number of ecumenical matters. I’ve always found him a delight to work with – warm, friendly, genuine, no side to him. I’m delighted for him and for the Guildford Diocese.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
8 months ago

This is an interesting and understandable nomination. I don’t know the Archdeacon of Surrey, but he seems to have the breadth of experience that will serve him well in episcopal ministry.  I am bound to point out that where a diocese only has one suffragan bishop, the failure to achieve gender balance in the episcopal team will give rise to comment, but without knowing the shortlist this can only be in general terms. Nevertheless, it is a good sign for clergy in a diocese to see an ‘internal candidate’ preferred.  However, since January 2020 when Hugh Nelson was nominated to St Germans,… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

Lincoln needs to be added to my list, alongside Manchester. Grimsby was nominated before women could be consecrated bishop, but not Grantham.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

The Dean of Guildford retires in September. It will be interesting to see if Guildford Cathedral is the first Church of England cathedral to have two consecutive women deans ( although Lincoln is also in the running).

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

At his farewell service in Carlisle Cathedral James Newcome stated that his successor would be a woman. See 41:30 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P5E5MK7Q8k&t=2010s
Is this succession planning? Was Emma Ineson **deliberately** replaced by a man in order to facilitate this?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

Succession planning to an extent! Not that the CofE does any succession planning that the CNC must be cognisant of. Like the law of wills, there can be no control from the grave! +Newcome can hint, but the Carlisle CNC has the only say.

Bertie
Bertie
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

Doesn’t he actually say that it’s his successor in the HoL who is female?

Peter Owen
Admin
Reply to  Bertie
8 months ago

That’s correct. It will be Helen-Ann Hartley, the Bishop of Newcastle.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Peter Owen
8 months ago

The Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, promoted by Archbishop Rowan Williams, has two more years to run, expiring in May 2025, when succession will revert to seniority by date of consecration irrespective of gender.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Peter Owen
8 months ago

I wonder if the King will appoint a new Clerk of the Closet or let the post fall into abeyance.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Simon Bravery
8 months ago

I would think HMK will want one, but it would be ideal for a retired diocesan, rather than taking a serving diocesan away from the flock.

Philip Johanson
Philip Johanson
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
8 months ago

Perhaps it could be the Dean of Windsor.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Philip Johanson
8 months ago

Do you mean the Dean-elect, currently Bishop of Coventry, or the retiring Dean? The latter is now 76. Only last week he was promoted from KCVO to GCVO (Knight Commander to Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order) a rank which he shares with Lord Chartres, but not achieved so far as I am aware by any previous Dean of Windsor. It’s a clear indication of the high esteem in which he was held by our late Queen and is by our present King.

Philip Johanson
Philip Johanson
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

The Dean-elect.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Bertie
8 months ago

Yes, though successor isn’t quite the right language. +Newcastle is top of the list, waiting for the next vacancy. I was too lazy actually to go to the farewell service YouTube! While on the subject, the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 made time limited provision (10 years). It came into force on the first day of the new Parliament after the May 2015 General Election. It therefore has only 22 months to run, and there are still only six women diocesans, including +Londin. I would extend it for a further period of 10 years, or until there are eleven women… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Anthony Archer
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

We had this discussion (a couple of years ago?) and my recollection is that you then conceded, however reluctantly, that advancement to the HL should be based solely on seniority irrespective of gender and that no valid argument could justify extension of the ten years’ period.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

I don’t believe that view can be attributed to me, but no doubt a TA archivist can check! Certainly when the 10 years was proposed many of us hoped that there would be rather more women serving as diocesan bishops by the end of the period than looks likely to be the case.

Last edited 8 months ago by Anthony Archer
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

I have a good memory! But, with respect, your approach is flawed. Advancement to the HL as a Lord Spiritual beyond the ten years should not depend on gender. If insufficient women bishops are being appointed that is a separate issue, and seems to me the root of the problem – as you see it. A matter for CNCs! Arguably, but for the Act, the leapfrogging arrangement would have breached equality legislation. I also recall that in discussion at the time (maybe with someone else) the point was made that the Act contains no provision for extending the fixed ten… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

Yes, well there would have to be a No (2) Act. However, given the state of the Church of England and its current relations with Parliament, it is pretty unthinkable the idea would be given any time, desirable though it would be. It was always considered flawed on discrimination grounds, a kind of affirmative action. But it did address in part years of discrimination against women in the episcopate. I argued (as an outsider) that the House of Bishops would only start to ‘feel’ different when there were 10 women bishops. It is not there yet, but on the basis… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

The 2015 Act was the result of special pleading, primarily by Archbishop Rowan Williams. Diocesan bishops are holders of a public office (wasn’t that decided, admittedly in a criminal law context, in the case of Peter Ball?) and the Equality Act 2010 applies to them. The statistics support my point: the imbalance in female Lords Spiritual is due to the shortfall in numbers being consecrated. That, surely, is the subject to be addressed.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

I may be missing something here, but on looking at the Act again it extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland whilst, understandably, the bishop to be advanced has to be “a bishop of a diocese in England”. Can anyone explain, or is this just ‘standard’ parliamentary drafting?

Peter Owen
Admin
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

Although the bishop must come from England she will be a member of one house of the parliament of the whole of the UK. My guess is that the Act is extended in this way to make this explicit.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

Presumably ‘a bishop of a diocese in England’ was to make clear that, despite being dioceses in the Church of England, the Bishops of Sodor & Man and of Europe are not eligible to sit in the Lords.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Richard
8 months ago

Thank you. An interesting thought, but as you rightly say, those bishops are not eligible to join the Lords Spiritual in any event, and the Act was not making any territorial changes. Equally, neither diocese is within the UK, which was the subject being discussed, and for which Peter Owen has suggested the most convincing explanation. This wider subject has been previously discussed on TA in the context of bishops of different nationality not being a bar, so long as they hold a bishopric in England and meet the eligibility criteria. Thus Rowan Williams, both Welsh, and until then having… Read more »

Rosalind R
Rosalind R
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

The 2014 Measure which enabled women to be consecrated specifically states that bishops are not holders of public office, ( clause 2). This was specifically to ensure they are not challenged under the Equality Act – the clause was challenged in Synod but was passed. ( and I doubt if Rowan Williams was the one to propose the 2015 Act as he retired at the end of 2012).

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rosalind R
8 months ago

Thank you for pointing that out, very helpful. One needs to go to paragraph 4 of Schedule 6 to the Equality Act 2010 to find that ‘slipped in’ using only twelve words! I wonder how many wrong assumptions have been made, (the finding in relation to Peter Ball was in a criminal context, and did not involve equality issues).

However, my memory is stronger about Archbishop Rowan Williams. He made the recommendation in 2011 (succinctly reported by The Guardian 28 November 2011) whilst still Archbishop of Canterbury. The legislation came later.

Rosalind R
Rosalind R
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

Thank you for the clarification over Rowan Williams and his role in trying to enable the bench of bishops in the Lords to include women as soon as possible. There are still only six diocesan bishops who are women so ten years now seems optimistic! It is concerning that clause 2 in the 2014 Measure might prevent a bishop being held accountable for misbehaviour “in public office” – I hope the question will never arise but it would be tragic if the clause led to unintended consequences such as these.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rosalind R
8 months ago

I’m sure that fear is unfounded. The single line insertion in the Equality Act can only be read in that context. It has no definitive force for other purposes. Indeed, for criminal prosecution purposes there is a list of ‘public officers’ which includes “Bishops of the Church of England” (with a specific reference to the case of Peter Ball). To me it’s an extraordinary thing that a C of E Measure can amend a public general Act; there must have been discussion and agreement with HM Government at the drafting stage. General Synod could hardly have achieved this unilaterally! Moreover,… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

There are probably many examples of Measures that, like Acts of Parliament, amend or repeal previous Acts or Measures and statutory instruments. They have the full force of statute law and apply generally through England. When the Church of England finally comes kicking and screaming to allow equal marriage, the necessary Measure will materially amend the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. As noted, the amendment to Schedule 6 of the Equality Act 2010 that ‘the office of diocesan or suffragan bishop is not a public office’ was contained in the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014. However,… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

I accept that the Equality Act only has limited application to Northern Ireland, and that NI clergy can be removed from my contention. I’m well aware that Measures, when placed before Parliament and approved, have the full force of statute. I’m perplexed that it can be suggested that a Measure can amend a general public act (of far wider scope than purely religious matters) which, unless I am mistaken, must be the sole prerogative of Parliament. As always, I’m happy to be corrected. Maybe Froghole, if he reads this, might assist.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

Second reply. To be clear, I fully accept the ‘right’ of the C of E to amend and repeal its own law. But the insertion of an exemption, indeed a definition, in a public general act is a very different matter. But if you will look at my original comment (to which you replied) I assumed there that the HM Government, as the legislature, must have agreed.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
8 months ago

Many thanks. We need not trouble Froghole or Mark Hill KC! But for the full flavour, all of section 3 needs to be read and it confirms, as I thought, that there are interim stages and parliamentary approval is required for amendment by the Church of a general act.

I don’t want this to be too contentious, but I maintain my stance that, as worded, the amendment must encompass diocesan and suffragan bishops of other denominations. It’s surely a simple matter of usual statutory interpretation. There is no restriction to the C of E which I have found.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
8 months ago

Many thanks to you both. I will not intrude, save that for background on the institution of the ‘express sanction’ of parliament as part of the 1919 debates, please see pp. 462-67 here: https://dro.dur.ac.uk/37821/2/37821VoR.pdf (Williamson is one of the leading scholars of British politics and its links with the Church and the City between the wars: https://www.durham.ac.uk/staff/p-a-williamson/). If I recall dimly, I think this issue, or some aspects of it, might have been touched upon in a thread a couple of years’ ago.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

I’m inching towards a considered answer on this fairly nerdy point, which I still don’t completely understand myself. Law and Religion helpfully posted on the topic in November 2014. It noted inter alia that “other denominations and faiths do not have the legal obligations associated with the CofE’s established status, and the appointment of their senior officials is therefore not subject to the same “public office” provisions with the Equality Act.” The question as to whether the clarification applies to ‘other bishops’ is therefore otiose.

https://lawandreligionuk.com/2014/11/10/cofe-bishops-and-public-office/

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

I hope that we are not boring other readers too much. The L&R link is most useful. From it I quote “The effect of clause 2 will not be to put the Church of England in a special position, but in relation to possible discrimination claims it will be in the same position vis-à-vis the Equality Act as all other denominations and faiths where senior appointments are concerned [16] [2]“ (my emphasis added) I believe that my comments here, if read chronologically, have dealt with most points (without having seen the L&R article) and reached the same conclusion – see my second reply to… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

Very interesting. I’ve not heard a gender specific pronouncement of this nature before, and it’s not in the statement of needs. I wonder if it might be a general comment about the guaranteed places in the Lords for all female diocesans appointed up to 2025.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
8 months ago

I think Bertie is right – Newcome was referring to his seat in the HoL not his cathedra.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

I agree re the need for gender balance in episcopal teams – and parish teams too, if possible.

However, it always used to be considered bad practice to make senior appointments from within the diocese. I can think of several reasons for that view; in particular, it fosters an unhealthy insider culture. Fresh eyes are quicker to notice what old-timers may take for granted.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Janet Fife
8 months ago

I agree and that in a single suffragan diocese it is sub-optimal. The reality is that the Bishop has the patronage. S/he needs the support of their provincial Archbishop, but I’ve never known of a case where a name has been rejected at that stage. I have also known of cases where the nominated candidate seems to have appeared out of the blue, never apparently having been on a preferment list having previously participated in a formal discernment process. It would need a change in the Suffragan Bishops Act 1534, I think, another thing that won’t happen soon!

Treblef
Treblef
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

Has anyone else noticed a bias towards the appointment of male bishops over the last nine months or so?

Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

A bit off topic I suppose but … here’s an example of what’s wrong with the CofE. Establishment. Watch this, the bicentenary service of Stowe school (with its Iwerne links) at which Peter Farquhar (The Sixth commandment) taught: https://www.stowe.co.uk/school/stowe-tv Yes, children of the über wealthy need ministry, but TWO BISHOPS??? I ask you. One of them, Thorp, is an old boy, the other a product of another exclusive school. How much time do bishops spend with the poor of their dioceses, in this case Milton Keynes or Reading or Oxford or wherever. Oh, I was forgetting, the CoE Jesus is… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

The other one is the local Area Bishop of Buckingham. It seems to me entirely reasonable for him to be present at such an event.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
8 months ago

And what a balanced ticket with the Bishop of Islington!!!

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
8 months ago

I know.

Alwyn Hall
Alwyn Hall
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

At the risk of being more of an utter pedant than usual, it’s the centenary rather than the bicentenary. One of my relatives was an early master at Stowe.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Alwyn Hall
8 months ago

I am no stranger to pedantry. Silly me.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

Many thanks, Prof. Monkhouse! You might be interested to know that the founder of Stowe, Percy Warrington, came from Newhall, just down the road from you. He was an interesting personality… As you may know, not only did he establish Stowe (with a slender endowment) in 1923, but also Wrekin (1921), Canford (also 1923), Westonbirt (1928) and Felixstowe (1929). He was the effective founder of the Martyrs Memorial Trust. Nor was this all: he founded another school in Kenya, and underwrote the finances of St Peter’s Hall (as it then was) and Clifton Theological College. Later in life he established… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

Marvellous vignettes! Thank you, Froghole. I was being a bit canine in the manger, I suppose. When Penrith Grammar School (state, 11+) celebrated its quatercentenary in 1964 there were no big ecclesiastical knobs in attendance despite its (first) Elizabethan CofE associations. The only visitor was the preacher, a former pupil in black gown and bands as befitted the Methodist minister of Sedbergh. My uncle. I suppose bishops wouldn’t be invited to such state school events these days unless imams, gurus, pandits, sangha, rabbis and whatnot were invited too.

Last edited 8 months ago by Stanley Monkhouse
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 months ago

And perish the thought that non fee paying and non- selective schools, dealing as they do with children from many backgrounds and with many mother tongues and religions, and which include refugees, those in homes that can’t afford much heating ,are in receipt of free school meals… that these establishments might have the temerity to attempt to be inclusive in their choice of religious leaders. What is the world coming to?

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

Yet it has quite a grand chapel and a chaplain.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

Stowe had a CofE foundation and the Bishop of Buckingham is Chair of the Oxford DBE (of which I am a member) – which might be another reason for an invitation/presence. The DBE cares for all church schools in the diocese, but I can testify to having paid significantly more attention to the issues involving The Oxford Academy (TOA) than of Stowe School. TOA serves a notably deprived area of Oxford, and we have had DBE meetings on the school premises in my time on the DBE. The care of small village schools, which face a number of rather different… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Mark Bennet
8 months ago

Thank you Mark for this information and for your important work on the DBE. The church’s role in education is complex and challenging and depends on dedicated individuals like you giving their time to support it.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Bravery
8 months ago

I would second that, and am grateful to Canon Bennet for this information. With respect to the Lorimer chapel, this was something which Warrington pressed for quite hard, but although grand – it is one of Lorimer’s best and last commissions – it is at a remove from the main block and its ‘grandeur’ is perhaps rather lost in the surfeit of even greater grandeur close by. Warrington’s project for an evangelical academy did receive a very belated fillip in 1964 when Bob Drayson – educated at the evangelical stronghold of St Lawrence, Ramsgate, was appointed headmaster (he served 15… Read more »

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