Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Chester announces his retirement

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, has announced that he will be retiring from his role on Monday 30 September 2019, after more than 22 years in the post.

More details are on the diocesan website.

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Richard W. Symonds
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Have the loud accusations by the Church – and others – against Bishop Forster been quietly dropped?

Richard W. Symonds
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The Church might have gone (understandably) quiet on the ‘failure to report abuse’ issue – which implicates Archbishops and Bishops [and beyond], but the Chester Standard has not:

https://www.chesterstandard.co.uk/news/17596971.bishop-of-chester-retires-before-outcome-of-latchford-abuse-cover-up-inquiry/

Is the Bishop of Chester Peter Forster just another ‘scapegoat’ used by the Church hierarchy to evade responsibility and blame at the highest level?

Sam Jones
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Sam Jones

He is 69 and only a few months from retirement age anyway. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

Richard W. Symonds
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‘Move along, nothing to see here’. Where have I heard that before?!

T Pott
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T Pott

The Bishop’s ad clerum confuses matters. Referring to the process of replacing his suffragan Bishop of Stockport, following Libby Lane’s departure to Derby, he says he found himself reluctant to select a suffragan with whom his successor would have to work. His early retirement then appears to be so that Stockport can be left vacant until the new Bishop of Chester is in place. He then mentions an additional complication. The Dioceses Commission has given notice that at the next vacancy, when the other suffragan, the Bishop of Birkenhead, retires, there will be a review of “overall episcopal provision” in… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

I’m not sure why Manchester should be displeased if the suffragan bishopric of Stockport is abolished? Manchester has its own bishops. East Cheshire, on the other hand, would certainly mind – particularly as it’s a long way from Chester. Much of East Cheshire is also rural, though there are towns like Macclesfield (where I used to be a vicar.)

John Darch
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John Darch

By ‘Manchester’ I assume he means ‘those parts of Greater Manchester formerly in Cheshire’ and therefore in Chester diocese. Hyde (where I used be a vicar) is a case in point. It came under the local oversight of the bishop of Stockport and had nothing whatever to do with bishops from the diocese of Manchester.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

But there is a large part of East Cheshire in Chester Diocese which is not Manchester., never was and doesn’t want to be. The eastern part of the diocese cannot simply be reduced to ‘Manchester’.

T Pott
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T Pott

I didn’t mean to suggest Macclesfield or Cheshire East generally was Manchester. I was thinking of it more as part of the rural bit centred on Chester. I apologise if I have offended any inhabitants of that area.

T Pott
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T Pott

I should have said Greater Manchester, rather than Manchester. Stockport is, of course, in Greater Manchester, and several other Greater Manchester boroughs are, in whole or in part, within Chester Diocese.

Much of East Cheshire (or Cheshire East) seem to have more affinity with Chester than with Stockport or Manchester, though one could say the same about South and West Wirral preferring Chester to Birkenhead and Liverpool.

I suspect your point about Chester being a longer way from the East than the West, plus the seniority of the Stockport see, means it will be bye bye Birkenhead.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Thank you for the clarification. Yes, Stockport is indubitably in Greater Manchester, though the Bishop of Stockport actually lives near Dunham Massey (odd how suffragan bishops often don’t live in the district their post is named after). That’s still quite a distance from Sutton or Rainow, for instance, though of course not every parish in any diocese can be near the centre of action. Some would say it’s actually an advantage to be more remote, but it’s a nuisance when it comes to attending training, committee meetings, or Maundy Thursday chrism services.

David Emmott
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David Emmott

Maybe Liverpool diocese will absorb the Wirral in retaliation for them adopting Chester postcodes.
(By the way, it’s the western part of Merseyside, not the southern.)

Father David
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Father David

Can anyone kindly explain why we need more Archdeacons and how does their creation extend the Kingdom?

Adrian
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Adrian

We need more archdeacons so we can support parish clergy better.

(With the same argument used for increasing the number of bishops)

Is this credible? I can see it could be argued.

James Allport
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James Allport

For me, and some will think this a rather secular perspective, I think the decisions to make are something like: (1) What’s the work that needs doing? What’s essential and what’s desirable? (2) What are the skills and qualities that the person who does that work needs? (3) Must that person be ordained? If so must they be a priest or would deacon’s orders suffice? (4) What can we afford? There might be an argument for favouring clergy, for example, because their stipends are relatively low and so the drain on the liquid cash of a diocese will be less… Read more »

Robert Ellis
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Robert Ellis

To be frivolous for a moment (or perhaps not!) someone once said that Archdeacons are God’s way of showing us that not everything has to have a purpose. Though in some dioceses they seem to be doing the work of what is traditionally and pastorally the work of bishops.