Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Salisbury to retire in July 2021

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, will retire on 3 July 2021, a month short of his 67th birthday. He will have been Bishop of Salisbury for 10 years. There are more details in the diocesan press release.

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God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
4 months ago

Wishing Bp Holtam and Helen well as he moves into retirement at this difficult time; and for those carrying the burden ahead. It looks like some work ahead for the Dioceses Commission, also at this difficult and challenging time for the CofE; under the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007, section 3: 1)It shall be the duty of the Commission to keep under review the provincial and diocesan structure of the Church of England and, in particular— (a)the size, boundaries and number of provinces,(b)the size, boundaries and number of dioceses and their distribution between the provinces, and(c)the number and distribution… Read more »

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
Reply to  God 'elp us all
4 months ago

Though presumably the fact that Salisbury Diocese has recently taken over responsibility for the Channel Islands means that it is less likely to be taken over by another diocese – and certainly not absorbed into Winchester. As a parishioner of Salisbury diocese I am willing to say ‘God preserve us from such a fate’. Actually I think the fact that we have one of the most beautiful cathedrals in England will work to our benefit (at least I hope so). I too wish Bp Nick well. He is basically considered to be ‘a good thing’ by many of us for… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Clare Amos
4 months ago

I wondered whether the Channel Islands might get mentioned. They, at any rate, are happy to join Salisbury. I don’t think that for one moment there could be any likelihood of Salisbury amalgamating with Winchester – or vice versa. No need for the unwarranted snipe at the more senior diocese!

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Clare Amos
4 months ago

Clare what is so terrible about the Winchester diocese that you need God to preserve you from it? I’m also puzzled by the notion that having a pretty cathedral should exempt you from a process of amalgamation and consolidation. Though of course the Leeds diocese now has more senior clergy posts than the three dioceses that preceded its formation. I think on the whole you have little to fear from the Dioceses Commission. It’s more likely that Carlisle, Durham and Newcastle will be cosying up and possibly Manchester, Liverpool and Blackburn. Coventry, Birmingham and Lichfield look vulnerable to me too.

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
4 months ago

I was responding – slightly tongue in cheek – to the comments made by the person who uses the alias God ‘elp us all (I doubt that that is their real name). He (or she – but I suspect he) had raised the point about amalgamation in relation to the announcement of Bp Nick’s retirement. Actually I really don’t think Salisbury diocese is a realistic candidate for such action – and I am not that concerned about it. The comment about the cathedral was definitely made tongue in cheek. Re the comments made about my remark re Winchester Diocese –… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Clare Amos
4 months ago

The Channel Islands ‘issue’ was discussed at length on TA some time ago. It’s a sad saga but few people seem to realise – or perhaps don’t know – that the much-criticised Bishop of Winchester (newly in post and without previous episcopal experience) was dealing with a safeguarding matter. He has since told General Synod that it was the most difficult one which has come his way. Although general opinion seems to be that he was heavy-handed in suspending the former Dean of Jersey, the Dean apologised and most reasonable people might have expected that the situation could have been… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
4 months ago

Unfortunately forgiveness was not an option for some senior clergy and laity in the Channel Islands when he apologised. Chorus: And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love. Precious little love seen! The original report when Bob Key was still Dean and is now probably lost, although I have a PDF somewhere, suggested a move to Canterbury rather than Salisbury. This may have had a lot to do with a rearguard action actions incorporating a provision for Women Bishops into the Jersey Canons, something which Reverend Bob… Read more »

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Clare Amos
4 months ago

Clare, responding as best I can. Being drawn to comment on I forget what and presented rightly with a need to ‘sign in’ I did not wish to identify myself for the kind of reason that may be apparent elsewhere; it can be tough and expensive in one way and/or another to ‘go up against “authority”. Perhaps if I had taken longer I might have become Ruth, which IIUC might convey a notion of pity, distress or grief. Regarding dioceses, I doubt many choose where they live according to the ‘churchpersonship’ of the then diocesan bishop, more likely a matter… Read more »

Charles Read
Reply to  God 'elp us all
4 months ago

Can’t believe it has been 10 years. We truly need more bishops like him – I say that as one from a different tradition to him.

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
Reply to  Charles Read
4 months ago

I preferred his earlier work. As a priest he stood up for some attractive principles – a pastoral not a managerial ministry, a fully inclusive church. Or at least, I found them attractive, others of course may not have done. As a bishop I would have to say I don’t think he followed through. In his defence, the HoB is well known to be a difficult environment. It has a habit of kicking the stuffing out of people and turning them into lesser versions of themselves. Some of them become bolder again in retirement.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
4 months ago

Like other commentators here, I also think that Bishop Nicholas has been mostly a good thing, and I wish him well for his retirement, but I do wish he had been more willing to speak out openly on LGBTQ issues. He did make some positive statements very early in his episcopate, but I have been told that both he and his staff were taken aback by the content and the vitriolic tone of some of the correspondence he subsequently received. He has made very few public statements since then (whether as a result of the correspondence, or not, I do… Read more »

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
Reply to  Simon Dawson
4 months ago

I wish he had been more willing to speak out openly about the Church of England’s descent into managerialism. As with LGBTQ issues he began by doing so. But by the end of his episcopate he had outsourced much of his diocesan leadership to bean counters and decline management consultants. I don’t know. Maybe we are laying too much on the shoulders of individual bishops if we expect them to take some kind of canute-like stand against these powerful tides. But I do think there is a deep hunger for a different kind of narrative and where will that come… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Filigree Jones
4 months ago

‘Maybe we are laying too much on the shoulders of individual bishops’ – and bishops in general I think. Yes I think that is happening and we need to find a way of facing what we are doing. Perhaps what is revealed here is the sheer burden of trying to lead church with folk like us in it? ‘there is a deep hunger for a different kind of narrative and where will that come from if not from our bishops? I agree about the hunger. But doesn’t the assumption it must be bishops who tell us this different story (-… Read more »

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
Reply to  David Runcorn
4 months ago

David, thanks, it is a fair question and deserves a considered answer. For me, the charism of ‘oversight’, of seeing beyond the proximate and the immediate to the bigger picture is central to the ministry of a bishop. The Church is called to preach the gospel ‘to the ends of the earth’ and God promises to be with us ‘to the end of the age’ and beyond. At a time when many of us are feeling very driven by the challenges of institutional viability and credibility in the here and now it is a particular, although not a unique, vocation… Read more »

Neil
Neil
4 months ago

Lovely guy as he was, I have to agree that Nick Holtam sunk without trace. So much was promised but nothing delivered in terms of challenging the Welbyfication of the CofE. Or in supporting LGBTQ+ people.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Neil
4 months ago

Neil & Filigree, I’m sure that your analysis is absolutely correct. What puzzles me is that no one seems to have taken on board that this strategy, if it can be dignified as such, is manifestly failing. All the evidence is that the CofE is hurtling over the cliff in the manner of the Gadarene swine – why don’t some of the frontrunners say “Stop, we don’t need to do this”?

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