on Wednesday, 1 March 2023 at 12.36 pm by Peter Owen
categorised as Church of England, News
The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, has announced that he will retire at the end of August 2023.
James Newcome – very rare for a bishop to move from Suffragan to be Diocesan within the same diocese. This also happened to Cyril Bulley. Is Carlisle the only English diocese where this has happened twice?
I would have thought that there’d be a lot of competition too for a diocese that includes the beautiful Lake District.
Indeed, Fr, and not only the LD but also the Solway coast and the utterly lovely unsung red sandstone Eden valley. Best of all are its indigenous human inhabitants: earthed, unpretentious, guileless, brutally honest, and unimpressed by anything other than authenticity. Two stories. After reading one of Margaret Forster’s books I wrote to say inter alia that so much of what she described of her childhood in 1940s Carlisle resonated with me and mine ten years later 20 miles up the Eden valley. At that time I’d not long moved to Ireland and I told her that this blunt and forthright Cumbrian… Read more »
Richard Chartres in London
There are one or two other recent examples. A much earlier TA post was more authoritative. Christopher Chessun in Southwark is one. Nick Baines in Leeds is technically an example.
Arthur Winnington-Ingram also went from Stepney to London.
It happened twice in Wakefield. Campbell Hone was translated from Pontefract to Wakefield in 1938, and Eric Treacey made the same move exactly 30 years later.
There seem to have been 3 Evangelicals in succession in Carlisle, Ian Harland , than Graham Dow and more recently now James Newcome, will the next one also be Evangelical? or will they have someone of either Anglo Catholic or Central Churchmanship? Is the Diocese of Carlisle predominately Evangelical in its churchmanship across the Parishes of that Diocese? Jonathan
Jonathan, the diocese is “Cumbrian low”. Always has been. In my youth, 50s and 60s, Tommy Bloomer was bishop, a man of the Church of Ireland – and there is much in common with that tradition. Chasubles were rare – it was cope and stole at the Cathedral (chasubles now). Back then there were four or five “high” churches in the entire diocese: St Aidan Carlisle, St John Workington, one in Barrow and, curiously, St John Skirwith (pronounced Skirreth) a tiny village in the ancient parish of Kirkland that reaches to the high Pennines. Skirwith AFAIK was the only manifestation… Read more »
I rather thought under Graham Dow Cumbrian low had an injection of charismania. Not knowing the diocese at all I wondered how that had gone down.
I always think of Bishop Graham Dow blessing a nuclear submarine, HMS Astute,whenever Conservative Evangelicals tell us how theologically cautious they are about what may or may not be blessed… BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: submarine launch
Graham Dow was not / is not acceptable to conevos as he…
That’s as may be, though I seem to remember that at the time he was happily blessing nuclear submarines, he was also one of the leading anti-gay voices on the bishops’ bench.
Noting that the Royal Navy had come to accept openly gay people several years before Dow blessed that nuclear-powered submarine, I wonder what the gay submariners in Astute’s crew thought of having such a bigot perform the ceremony! Submariners are not noted for being over-respectful of rank, and I suspect that the bishop’s curious views came in for quite a lot of ribald comment on the messdeck.
James Newcome is also pro women’s ordination. The evangelical tradition in Carlisle Diocese goes back a long way: the prominent Victorian evangelical J. C Ryle was Bishop of Carlisle.Tragically, he and his wife lost their four daughters (to, I think, typhoid) during his incumbency.
It was A. C. Tait, when dean of Carlisle, who lost 5 of his 9 children to scarlet fever (1856). That was during the high point of the Victorian cult of death, and Tait’s suffering helped secure his higher preferment, as the queen was much moved by his plight, and that of his wife. J. C. Ryle was never bishop of Carlisle. However, John Bardsley (whose son and grandson were bishops) had been archdeacon of Liverpool and was strongly ‘protestant’, as was his successor John Diggle (who had also served in Liverpool). Diggle – like Arthur Winnington-Ingram – had a… Read more »
Nice to see a mention of the Bardsley family. There must still be many of us who remember Cuthbert.
I grew up in the diocese of Coventry in the 1960s and 70s. Cuthbert Bardsley was a towering figure (literally) who visited our parish fairly regularly — at least every couple of years, maybe more frequently — and was also seen at our school. I assumed that all bishops were like that, but I later found out that it was not so! A great man.
Although I suspect that you and Mr Jones might have it already, this is worth reading: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/title/cuthbert-bardsley-bishop-evangelist-pastor/author/coggan-donald/, and I was fortunate enough (when at school) to receive a copy from the author following an exchange with him in 1990.
Yes — I nearly mentioned that book myself. My copy was a gift to the original owner from Bardsley’s successor-but-one, Simon Barrington-Ward, in June 1995, though there is no indication of who the recipient was.
Yes, I have read that book.
Cuthbert married quite late in life. His bride was from a well known familiy in my home town in East Lancs. That gave him a link with the area. In 1977 he led a mission at a church there and, at about the same time, addressed speech night at the local grammar school.
Indeed. As a young boy I went with my parents to Croydon Parish Church (now Croydon Minster) and Cuthbert Bardsley, then Suffragan Bishop of Croydon, preached – probably the first time I had ever seen a C of E bishop and one wearing a rochet and, as I remember, scarlet chimere. As Bishop of Coventry he was quite a prominent figure on television and radio – bishops seemed far more so in the past – and, of course, he was Bishop on the day of the consecration of the new Cathedral. That was televised nationally and I recall him standing… Read more »
Err No J C Ryle was Bishop of Liverpool – wasn’t it Tait who lost his children to typhoid – but maybe Ryle too.
Thanks to you and Froghole for the correction.
This has always puzzled me. As I understand it, all Christians, however they came to faith and whatever their church culture, are truly ‘charismatic’ if they have an active, ongoing experience of the Spirit abidng within them. So how can conevos say they are not charismatic? What they may not be are exponents of a particular Christian culture – with a particular set of expectations, mindset and behavioural patterns. That culture I heartily dislike – but is a very different kettle of suds to a daily living dependence on Christ!
” So how can conevos say they are not charismatic?”
I’ve not met any who would say that. Its not about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but about “Gifts of the Spirit”, as in tongues /prophecy etc
My Cumbrian family and friends are in the Eden Valley (east Cumberland and north Westmorland) and I left there in the late 60s for university and mid 70s for London medical school so my knowledge is patchy but I’m pretty certain that the lasting influence of Dow has been minimal. Cumbrians just don’t readily take to that nonsense much as they don’t take to AC-ism. There’s more than a hint of puritanical and fatalistic stoicism in the Cumbrian character (I try unsuccessfully to fight the first two) that I guess comes from the wind and rain and having to muck… Read more »
An evangelical with an aptitude for ecumenical working would do well there, someone who recognises local loyalties matter, and that Cumberland/Westmorland are not in the isolated north, but the strategic centre of the UK.
I recall Bishop Graham Dow being interviewed on Newsnight some years ago. He was famous for his views on the effects of evil spirits on human orifices. His Wikipedia entry reads “In a leaflet entitled Explaining Deliverance that “There is a view that both oral and anal sexual practice is liable to allow entry to spirits“. This was a novel way of expressing his views regarding LGBTQ people. Hopefully, Carlisle Diocese has been exorcised of such opinions.
See my comments on the Cumbrian character, Fr. Be assured that the bishop’s utterances, and his views on the aetiology of the Carlisle floods, were treated with the respect they deserved. There was never any need for exorcism of the diocese.
Reminds me that the recently departed Dean Jackson of Lincoln wanted his cathedral exorcised and the famous Lincoln Imp removed. One of the most FAQ the vergers must receive is “Where’s the Lincon Imp?” I do hope that in their quest to find the demonic little creature visitors don’t fail to spot the magnificent bronze statue of the great and godly Bishop Edward King in cope and mitre bending over in the act of confirmation.
I understand that there were .many who thought otherwise and that after Jackson’s somewhat enigmatic tenure there was a service to ‘reclaim the Cathedral’. From what and to what I’m not quite sure but that was somewhat telling. More recent events might lead to the conclusion that the influence of the Imp has not yet been eradicated, if one believes in ‘that sort of thing’😀
Yes, I remember Bishop Dow being ahead of his time in his critique of Climate Change. If only gay people stopped what they were doing, there would be better weather and it would stop raining. Bishop Dow exists within a long line of evangelical bishops who speak drivel about the effects gay people have on society. The recent Synod divisions are evidence that Bishop Dow’s successors are alive and well.
If only gay people stopped what they were doing, there would be better weather and it would stop raining
Not what he said, of course. He identified sexual permissiveness as part of a culture of saying that people were free to do whatever they want. In that context, Bishop Dow criticised the West for exploiting poorer nations in pursuit of economic gain and economic structures that are built on greed; and advocated living thinking of the consequences and turning away from a lifestyle of greed. Was that also “drivel”?
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Bishop Dow believes “laws that have undermined marriage, including the introduction of pro-gay legislation, have provoked God to act by sending the storms that have left thousands of people homeless“. What utter drivel! Why would any sensible person listen to a man who believes God sends terrible weather because gay people are legally acceptable?
The words you put in quotation marks are not the words of Bishop Dow, but of the journalist who wrote that article (dated 1 July 2007). To criticise the Bishop, it would be better to quote his own words, not those of someone else, and they are quoted a few paragraphs down in the same article, so they are easy enough to find. I think the summary I gave is more accurate than that of the journalist, or yours, come to that. The argument that climate change is attributable to our selfish greed is by now regarded as rather acceptable.… Read more »
No one doubts human activity contributes to climate change. However, I’ve heard no reputable climate scientist see a causation between same-sex marriage, rising sea levels and temperatures. I recall Dow appearing on Newsnight around the time Jeffrey John was almost made a bishop. .Dow gave his considered opinion on why this should not happen. “It’s, well, in a way obvious that the penis belongs with the vagina and this is something fundamental to the way God has made us. Sexual intercourse is a lovely sign of the lifelong bond of marriage.” Clearly, when Dow talks of the links between flooding… Read more »
None of this is relevant. Dow did not say anything that could reasonably interpreted as the words you put into his mouth about flooding, and there’s little point in continuing to criticise him for things he didn’t say.
If you want to discuss the things he actually did say, by all means do so. For example, the second sentence you quote from The Guardian, some years before the floods, is one that would probably be very generally accepted today.
At a meeting to launch a new book challenging liberal views on homosexuality, Dow accused the government of behaving like a seven-headed beast in “imposing its morality” on the nation. He’d also said flooding was divine retribution by an angry God. I’m aware you are struggling to defend the indefensible. Dow is a homophobe. Although he’s thankfully retired, his views were regarded as risible when he was actively promoting them.
Again, little point in discussing a journalist’s words. But there’s an interesting point here about government “imposing its morality”. It seems common for bishops to criticise the government for imposing its morality over things like refugee policy. Is such criticism equally “indefensible”?
I’m not sure how we learn about anyone or anything without the sterling work done by reputable journalists who report other people’s words.
Graham Dow is right that “Sexual intercourse is a lovely sign of the lifelong bond of marriage.” And it seems that Graham Dow was concerned about sexual immorality and promiscuity – particularly amongst homosexuals.
So surely the only logical way forward would be to encourage homosexuals to get married and commit to lifelong monogamy. And presumably this would be a church marriage for those homosexuals who happen to be Christian.
Not the “only” logical way forward, since I’m sure that the bishop would have seen abstinence as a logical alternative. That particular point has been debated sufficiently in the columns, I suggest, so perhaps the only point left to be made is that the connection shows that Dow’s position was not so extreme as his detractors would wish to portray it.
I must agree from all the evidence that abstinence is working for all the “celibate” men in the Roman Catholic church, whether priest or religious. They set us all a good example to follow.
“Quite common”… does that mean it’s right?
“Quite common”… does that mean it’s right? No, and neither does it mean that it’s wrong. It means that it is common, and hence likely to be worth addressing. The tenor of this thread, of course, was to represent Dow’s position as so bizarre as to be unworthy of serious consideration, and so, by association, the entire conservative position. My point is that Dow’s position, if correctly quoted, is by no means as outré as would appear from this hostile account of it. As to the specific point, whether selfishness and sexual permissiveness are related, by all means discuss that… Read more »
Some evangelical american preachers said that about hurricane Katrina and the floods in New Orleans.
Amazing how society accepts that religious folks are allowed to say such nonsenses. In a nonreligious setting, people would doubt about mental sanity!
Quite. My local vicar was chosen for ordination when God tapped her on the shoulder and said “I want you” . That’s very Holy. But in a non-religious setting it’s paranoid schizophrenia.
Fr, “in a non-religious setting it’s paranoid schizophrenia.” Is there a distinction? I didn’t learn much on my psychiatry attachment, but I quickly understood that notions of mental illness were largely related to cultural expectations.
No, it isn’t. Paranoid schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that makes it hard or impossible for the sufferer to function in society at all. It would have been very obvious had your local vicar truly suffered from this condition, and it would certainly not have been something to make light of.
Many ministers in today’s CofE sound quite mad to me
There’s a big difference between people sounding ‘quite mad’ to you and a genuine diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
I am well aware of that.
A shame that no one on the CNC bothered to skim read his list of publications before giving him the job. Am I right to assume that Bishop Newcome doesn’t have such alarming notions?
So, C of E bishop retires at the age at which clergy are required to retire- that’s news?
I note that half the Lords Spiritual are 65 or over; so the rate of reirements from the episcopate is perhaps only to be expected.
Also reminding that the current Cantuar is 67 and has served in that role ten years, much in line with his recent predecessors.
I’m expecting some significant ‘churn’ post determination of the post-LLF position.