Thinking Anglicans

Carlisle CNC fails to appoint

Statement from the Archbishop of York, issued today.

Archbishop of York Statement on the Crown Nominations Commission for the next Bishop of Carlisle

15/12/2023

“At the conclusion of a lengthy process of discernment, culminating in two days of interviews on 13 and 14 December, the Crown Nominations Commission considering the nomination of the next Bishop of Carlisle has, very sadly, not been able reach the level of consensus required to nominate a new Diocesan Bishop.

“Over the course of the next months, the Crown Nominations Commission will need to reflect, and make a decision about which stage it wishes to re-commence the discernment process. This is not likely to be before the Spring of 2025.

“Bishop Rob Saner-Haigh, the Bishop of Penrith, will continue serving as acting Diocesan Bishop alongside the senior leadership team in the Diocese of Carlisle.

“Please continue to hold the Diocese of Carlisle and the discernment of the Crown Nominations Commission in your prayers.”

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Fr Dean
Fr Dean
2 months ago

I always thought it was the case that there were a surfeit of candidates for these top jobs.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

I’ll confess, Father, to actually not being very surprised that there aren’t very many candidates for these jobs. As a vicar, despite all the difficulties, you do actually get to make a difference, whilst I’ve always got the sense that being a bishop is a quite dry job of mostly chewing through paperwork. Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but if I’m ever ordained, I think I’d be a bit reluctant to take a mitre. As Kirk said to Picard, “Don’t let them promote you. Don’t let them transfer you. Don’t let them do *anything* that takes you off the… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  FearandTremolo
2 months ago

Of course, candidates don’t apply for episcopal vacancies in England. They are invited to be candidates. They may decline the invitation, but nonetheless, unwillingness to apply is not a barrier to consideration.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

Oh granted, but then that just shifts the goalposts of my pondering: I assume that a lot of people aren’t wild about the invitation.

Rev Michael Womack
Rev Michael Womack
Reply to  FearandTremolo
2 months ago

Oh I think there’s plenty of greasy pole climbers more than happy to put the word out that they’d be ‘flatterd’ to be nominated

Simon Kershaw
Admin
2 months ago

The CNC consists of 14 voting members: the two archbishops, six central members elected by the General Synod, and six diocesan members elected by the diocesan vacancy-in-see committee. To pass a name to the Prime Minister requires 10 votes out of the 14, i.e. 2/3 majority. Presumably no candidate reached this threshold, and there was no prospect of enough CNC members changing their minds.

Adrian F Sunman
Adrian F Sunman
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

So the process wont restart until early 2025? I find that incredible, although little passes my understanding when it comes to the Church of England nowadays. Based on what you’ve said, it sounds as though the CNC is a little bloated. Maybe if a couple of the General Synod members were culled the process might be improved. Of course in the old days before Gordon Brown put a stop to it, Prime Ministers could bypass the process and appoint their own candidate. A certain Mr Blair apparently did that once when there was a vacancy somewhere in the Northern Province.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Adrian F Sunman
2 months ago

There are half a dozen other sees in the queue, with dates for their CNC meetings already allocated and people’s diaries committed. There are no free slots until Spring 2025. Peter Owen’s page at http://peterowen.org.uk/articles/vacantsees.html lists the forthcoming dates.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Adrian F Sunman
2 months ago

I think I am right in saying that no PM since the CNC (and before that the CAC) has by-passed the Commission and given the Crown different advice. What they did have, before Gordon Brown forswore to use it, was the right to prefer the Commission’s second choice, and the right to ask the Commission to think again. The PM is presumably able to make their views known, should they so wish, via their Appointments Secretary, who is a non-voting member of the Commission.

Jonathan Chaplin
Jonathan Chaplin
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

I believe that is correct; and as others have said, that that foreswearing is indeed conventional. Which means it is vulnerable. Incidentally, a retired bishop told me that when Gordon Brown wanted to make that change he called Lambeth Palace to check with ++RW that it was OK. He was told RW was on sabbatical and directed to ++JS, who said, yes, it was fine. This is how the English elite reforms Establishment (and the British constitution).

DBD
DBD
Reply to  Jonathan Chaplin
1 month ago

Elite, perhaps; but you have named Brown, a Scot; Williams, sy’n Cymro; and Ugandan-born Sentamu. I suppose any of them might now identify as English, but you see my point.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

Simon,
Does the PM have the authority, upon being given a name (or names?) for consideration, to reject it and start the whole procedure all over?

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
2 months ago

The “authority”? My recollection is that when James Callaghan, and later Gordon Brown, asked the Church to put in place a process, that they each said that they could not bind their successors, but that they undertook not to subvert it. And each subsequent PM has accepted the same rules of the game. So, would it be legal for the PM to advise the Crown differently? Maybe, maybe not. There might be recourse to the courts for judicial review were the PM to do so.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

All appointments to diocesan bishoprics are Crown appointments. There can be no judicial review. The royal prerogative is just that. It is only by (constitutional) convention that the Church has the decisive say. In this case (and since the Gordon Brown changes) Downing Street is blind. It has no name. And the bishopric of Carlisle is hardly high on any agenda.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

The Supreme Court has held that advice given to the Crown can be unlawful, and has, for example, declared prerogative actions of the Crown, such as proroguing Parliament, to have been null and void. The actions of the Crown may not be open to judicial review, but the advice given by ministers would seem to be.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

We are of course in the realms of speculation here. Without going into the details of R. (Miller) v The Prime Minister [2019] UKSC 41, that case did decide that there are limits of the power to advise His Majesty to prorogue Parliament,  being the constitutional principles with which it would otherwise conflict. My point regarding Crown appointments is simply that the power to appoint is contained in the 1553 Act, as Froghole reminds us below, and the legal position couldn’t be clearer. If Ministers decided to reclaim their power to advise, it would simply be by removing a constitutional… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony Archer
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

There was an attempt to enshrine Brown’s 2007 proposals in an abortive Constitutional Renewal Bill (2008), and it was the subject of a green paper here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a7c7ca140f0b626628ac680/7342_i.pdf, at 67. That bill never came into effect, although the proposals on ecclesiastical appointments were effectively adopted (changes were also made to other forms of patronage, notably at the universities). Had the bill been passed, then Brown’s successors would definitely have been bound by it. What prevails at present is a mere convention. A daring (reckless?) prime minister could tear up the CNC process on a whim and without any known legal obligation… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

Thank you for the background.

Dr John Wallace
Dr John Wallace
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

And with a secret ballot, even if X changes her mind, Y might change his mind and so stalemate continues!

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
2 months ago

This is an unfortunate development which I hope is not a sign of things to come. The last time a CNC had to abandon the process was in May 2015, when the Oxford CNC, it was alleged, could not produce even one candidate with 10 votes or more. The process has changed over recent years. Significantly, candidates have been interviewed since, I think, 2010. Next the standing orders were changed to catch up with the convention that the Prime Minister accepts the ‘first name’ and therefore only one name needed to be forwarded to Downing Street. The CNC didn’t need to vote on a… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony Archer
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
2 months ago

Spring 2025: does it really take 14 to 15 months to come up with another candidate?

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
2 months ago

Rowland— The failure of the Carlisle CNC to agree on a candidate to be the next bishop of Carlisle—requiring the support of at least 10 members of the commission—effectively means that there will need to be a new short list of ‘names’ for the CNC to consider. As Simon Kershaw has explained in his reply to Adrian Sunman (roughly contemporaneous with your comment), the failure of the Carlisle CNC to agree on a candidate from the short list considered means that the diocese must now join the back of the queue, with six other current or pending diocesan vacancies (Sodor… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  David Lamming
2 months ago

David: Thank you. Mine was an early comment but those by others here have already fully explained matters, and the ‘schedule’ prepared by Peter Owen was crystal clear. (I did notice how remarkably swiftly Tim Dakin’s appointment went through!)

Whether it’s an acceptable situation and a system in need of reform are another matter! As you might expect, I have read with considerable interest the constitutional position (or, perhaps, contention) advanced above and ‘debate’ about possible judicial review.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
2 months ago

So it may take until the Spring of 2025 just to determine at what point in the nomination process for the next Bishop of Carlisle to restart?
As we say across The Pond, “Holy Cow!” I hope Bishop Rob Saner-Haigh has a lot of stamina.
And to think that, according to Genesis chapter 1, God organized the entire Universe out of chaos in six days. Of course, God didn’t have to contend with committees.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
2 months ago

No, it doesn’t say that. It suggests that the determination of where to restart will take place over the next few months. It’s the meetings of the Carlisle CNC that won’t happen until 2025.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

It’s the calendars for the CNC, largely determined by the archbishops. The revised (or not) Carlisle CNC will next meet in 2025.

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony Archer
peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

Thanks, Simon.

Tim Chesterton
2 months ago

Out here in the benighted colonies it just takes an electoral diocesan synod…

Neil Patterson
Neil Patterson
2 months ago

In response to various questions: PMs overturning – it is often stated that Mrs Thatcher asked for fresh names, in order to get George Carey as Archbishop because she perceived him as suitably conservative, and that Tony Blair got James Jones (whom he knew) for Liverpool over the CNC – but I am not sure that the detailed journey of interaction between the PMs and the CNC has ever, or will ever, be told in full given the layers of confidentiality around the process. The delay until 2025 is because by not appointing, Carlisle ‘goes to the back of the… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Neil Patterson
2 months ago

Not necessarily. Many reports of past CNC difficulties have been around gender, and that issue has not gone away.

Andrew Brown
Reply to  Neil Patterson
2 months ago

I was told by someone in a position to know that the intervention that got Carey was very indirect. It was all done before any names went up to the PM. I have no information about James Jones at all. But it seems to me more likely, if less dramatic, that the PM’s appointments secretary, who was certainly involved in those days, mentioned that he knew of a frightfully good chap … that would be enough.

T Pott
T Pott
2 months ago

If a patron fails to appoint a vicar within a certain time period then the right to present lapses for that turn, I think to the bishop. If the bishop fails to present within a certain period then to the archbishop and then, I think, to the Crown. Is there no provision to deal with a situation where the CNC fails to recommend any candidate for a bishoprick within a certain timescale? Could this theoretically go on for many years? Or is there a rule that if the CNC does not make a recommendation then the Crown must find some… Read more »

Andrew Lightbown
Andrew Lightbown
2 months ago

Why not just make the acting bishop the bishop? If he’s ‘good’ enough to hold the reins for another year or more…..

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Andrew Lightbown
2 months ago

Bear in mind he may have been considered this tlme around.

Andrew Lightbown
Andrew Lightbown
Reply to  David Runcorn
2 months ago

Well that’s true, but I think I would still say ‘if he’s right to hold the post as ‘acting’ for a prolonged period, he might well be right to hold it overall, and if he isn’t then he shouldn’t be holding it as the ‘acting.’ I think ‘we’ need to start demystifying this whole bishop appointment thing to be honest.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  David Runcorn
2 months ago

It happened once that a Bishop of Penrith became Bishop of Carlisle. His name was Cyril Bulley.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Clifford Jones
2 months ago

It happened last time around! Bishop Newcome was Bishop of Penrith before he became Bishop of Carlisle

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
2 months ago

Thank you, I had quite forgotten that.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Clifford Jones
2 months ago

That is not the only precedent. The recently-retired Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome (now the Rt Revd Sir James Newcome KCVO), was also translated to the diocesan see in 2009 from his then position as suffragan Bishop of Penrith (2002-2009).

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  David Lamming
2 months ago

Again, thank you. I tend to remember the Bulley translation because at roughly the same time a Bishop of Pontefract went to Wakefield (Eric Treacy). Many believed that a trend was being set.

Tim Barker
Tim Barker
Reply to  David Lamming
2 months ago

Priests and bishops do not use the title ‘Sir’ (unless honoured before ordination – which I presume is why the Bishop of London uses the title ‘Dame’).

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Tim Barker
2 months ago

What was Newcome honoured for?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

For being clerk of the closet (i.e., picking royal chaplains and introducing new diocesans to the sovereign on their paying homage). These tasks are not in the least onerous. This is another ‘invented tradition’ dating from as recently as the 1960s. The lord almoner gets the same treatment, as do the bishop of London (by dint of being dean of the chapels royal) and the deans of Westminster and Windsor. There has been a pronounced tendency to discontinue the grant of honours on an ex officio basis across many walks of life, although this tendency does not yet appear to… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

I think it would be helpful to explain to some of our readers that KCVO and GCVO knighthoods, and indeed all other ranks of the Royal Victorian Order, are bestowed personally by the Monarch in recognition of personal service to the Sovereign, with no government input other than to make the formal announcement. On his recent retirement as Dean of Windsor, Bishop David Conner was promoted from KCVO to GCVO by the King. That was doubtless in recognition of his exceptionally long period in office, a quarter of a century, through what were arguably momentous years and encompassing (I think)… Read more »

Geoff McL.
Geoff McL.
Reply to  Tim Barker
2 months ago

No, a damehood does not have the same martial connotations (i.e. they aren’t “dubbed”) as a knighthood, so there are no comparable restrictions on the use of the title for clergywomen.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Tim Barker
2 months ago

They do or at least did in Australia, e.g. Sir Marcus Loane.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Clifford Jones
2 months ago

His KBE knighthood was while in office, so that would not be done in the UK. The Windsor, Westminster (and other RVO examples) all involve personal service to the Sovereign.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Tim Barker
2 months ago

Thank you, Tim, (and to Froghole in his reply to Janet Fife for the explanation) for putting me right on the correct nomenclature for clergy who have been honoured with a knighthood (whether plain ‘knight bachelor’ or a higher rank of one of the ceremonial orders). It is interesting to compare the practice in the legal world. By tradition, a man appointed to the High Court bench is given a knighthood (plain ‘knight bachelor’, not a KBE) whereas a woman is made a DBE, since there is no female equivalent to a knight bachelor. So far as the Law Reports… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  David Lamming
2 months ago

The rationale for the discrepancy is that there is no such thing as a female knight bachelor. The order of the British Empire was open to women in all grades from its inception in 1917. Therefore, faute de mieux, the nearest equivalent to a knight bachelor in rank is a DBE, though the latter ranks above the former. The decision was made in 1965 to give Elizabeth Lane a DBE, on her appointment to the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division, after a certain amount of debate (between Gerald Gardiner, George Coldstream, senior judges, the central chancery, the college of arms… Read more »

Peter Collier
Peter Collier
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

My understanding of that bit of legal history has always been that when it was announced in Aug 1964 that that Her Honour Judge Elizabeth Lane was to be appointed to the High Court bench the issue arose as to how she should be know and addressed. It was initially reported that the Lord Chancellor’s Dept were saying that she would be known as Mr Justice Lane. They apparently said that as there was no precedent this was the “least absurd decision”. Although originally she was due to be sworn in as a High Court Judge in October, she wasn’t… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Peter Collier
2 months ago

Many thanks, your Honour! I got the impression that questions of judicial style and etiquette associated with Dame Elizabeth Lane’s appointment must have consumed almost as much of Lord Gardiner’s time as his various projects of law reform. The 1965 saga also seems to have extended to the Inner Temple, where I understand that there was some debate about whether Lane could or should be made a bencher, and that because of this confirmation of her elevation as bencher was delayed, somewhat uncomfortably.

Richard Barrett
Richard Barrett
Reply to  Tim Barker
2 months ago

Sir (knighthood) is considered a military title; Dame is not. For that reason the Bishop of London can use Dame. In her case, the date of honor isn’t of consideration.

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
2 months ago

This is likely to happen more often. Given the current state of play on PLF, with activists in the church split down the middle and holding very strong and sincerely held views in both directions, it will be increasingly the case that whatever answer a candidate gives on the matter will disappoint five or more of the members to the point they will at best abstain. And if a candidate sits on the fence, or says “on the one hand, on the other”, probably more than five because they will find themselves in disagreement with strong supporters of both sides.… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
2 months ago

Re: the committee for the next ABC: I don’t think that arrangement, foolish as it is, will last very long. The Anglican Communion is a family of independent churches, nothing more. So it makes little sense to try to build up the ABC as elected globally. That committee can’t change the ecclesiological facts.

Andrew Brown
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
2 months ago

This is an excellent point. You’d have thought it would have occurred to a smart political operator like Justin Welby.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Andrew Brown
2 months ago

He was the sole promoter of the change. Make of that what you will. The diocese of Canterbury was content to have less influence, but played no part in the eventual details. General Synod went along with it.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

The conservatives on the Anglican Communion will want at least one arch-conservative as their representative on the committee. I fear it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If, for example, they chose the Primate of Uganda I doubt even rabidly right wing newspapers would stay silent. Worse still if he was selected for the role.

It’s a looming disaster. I also fear that despite being elected the next Archbishop of Canterbury will find himself without a mandate in England.

Philip Groves
Philip Groves
Reply to  Kate Keates
2 months ago

I have misgivings over the new process, but Uganda and Nigeria (and a couple of other provinces) have effectively removed themselves from the Anglican Communion and are very unlikely to participate. it is often lamented by conservatives that the AC has a strong liberal bias. Very few provinces are full members of GAFCON or GSFA (hence the need for breakaway churches in places like Brazil). The ACC has consistently elected progressives to the standing committee.

Last edited 2 months ago by Philip Groves
Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

But is it really likely, given the constitutional constraints, that the next archbishop won’t be an English bishop?

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Perry Butler
2 months ago

More likely perhaps that a Canterbury CNC will also be deadlocked with no candidate able to get a 2/3 majority. Or conceivably will have a conservative majority.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

A liberal candidate for archbishop would need a strong sense of vocation allied to a thick skin to accept the CNC’s nomination. Remember the graceless behaviour and even nastiness directed by some conservative Evangelicals at the doctrinally orthodox +Rowan Williams even before he had been put in as ABC. And that in less febrile times.

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Allan Sheath
2 months ago

They would need more than a sense of vocation. They would need to have at least 12 votes out of the 17 members of the commission, on a secret ballot. The Anglican Communion representatives will be one each from the five regions of the Communion. It seems likely that at least two, maybe more, will take the view that any candidate who doesn’t strongly hold “traditional” or “conservative” positions will not be acceptable in their own region. And quite possibly they will also be unhappy about a woman candidate. Added to this there will be three members from the Canterbury… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Bernard Silverman
Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

Note on Canterbury CNC (Part 1) The composition of a Canterbury CNC is as follows: 1.      Chair (appointed by the Prime Minister (after consultation with such persons or bodies as the Prime Minister thinks fit)); 2.      The Archbishop of York (but see below); 3.      One person in episcopal orders elected by the House of Bishops (or two if the Archbishop of York chooses not to attend); 4.      Three central members of the CNC (clergy); 5.      Three central members of the CNC (laity); 6.      Three members elected by and from the Vacancy-in-See Committee of the diocese of Canterbury; 7.      Five representatives of the other Churches of the Anglican… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
2 months ago

Note on Canterbury CNC (Part 2) The question then arises as to what the AC members bring. Much depends upon how they are appointed. The standing orders give the power of appointment to the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Consultative Council. TA readers (and myself) are forgiven for not having a complete understanding here! There are conditions. The five AC members must include:         i.           One person from each of the five regions of the AC (Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania);       ii.           At least one primate, at least one priest or deacon, and at least one actual… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Anthony Archer
Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

Anthony is closer to all this than I am. His analysis was written independently of mine. I was rather cautious in my maths…

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

I think you mentioned that this CNC format had been approved by General Synod (sorry I’m not fully up to speed). Does it require a Measure which (presumably) would have to be approved by Parliament?

I think that some of us are concerned by the possible potential erosion of the Archbishop’s role both as Primate of England, and in his own Canterbury Province. The Archbishop has other constitutional roles as well. Also, whilst it might not be insuperable by legislation, if a non-UK citizen were appointed, could that person be a Lord Spiritual?

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
2 months ago

Lords temporal can be citizens of any Commonwealth country or the RoI. So presumably Lords Spiritual would be the same.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  T Pott
2 months ago

I’m not sure. The essential requirement is that they are a bishop of the Church of England. Rowan Williams, much closer to home, became one on his appointment to Canterbury. He wasn’t eligible as Archbishop of Wales. Also, their ‘terms of service’ are quite different from the temporal peers.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  T Pott
2 months ago

I think that is a good working assumption. If you want to apply to the House of Lords to become a life peer (via the House of Lords Appointments Commission) you need to be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, and resident in the UK (including therefore paying taxes). But Lords Spiritual are not quite life peers, and the Archbishop of Canterbury serves ex-officio. But I think the debate is largely otiose. These changes (which I argued against from the start) were not designed to make is easier or more likely that a candidate from the other Churches in the… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
2 months ago

The format I have described above was approved by General Synod in July 2022, that is the part giving the Anglican Communion a ‘greater voice.’ All CNC processes, to the extent they are prescriptive, are contained in the General Synod’s standing orders. Those can be changed by Synod by simple majority. It is the Church dealing with internal matters. If the CNC continues to have difficulties (i.e. Carlisle is just the first) then there will be pressure for change. Parliament will not have a view (or interest) until IMHO the Canterbury vacancy, were that to be deadlocked. The only sensible… Read more »

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

I would have thought it extremely unlikely that a Prime Minster of any conceivable future government would intervene in the Church’s processes. The only important constitutional function of an ABC would be to crown the next monarch, and in the event that there isn’t an ABC in post then nobody would notice if it were the ABY or some other bishop. In response to T Pott, the citizenship/residency requirement is for Life Peers, not necessarily for all peers. Is there a similar requirement for elected hereditary peers? [Non-British readers may be excused for not knowing that there are still 92… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

I don’t know if you saw this recent report (on Law and Religion UK), but surprisingly (?), or perhaps not, the High Court of Uganda decided in October that internal church disputes were not justiciable. Reported by Mark Hill KC, courtesy of Law and Religion UK:

https://lawandreligionuk.com/2023/11/21/non-justiciability-of-religious-disputes-a-ugandan-case-note/

Uganda is, of course, a very different matter, especially in this context.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Andrew Brown
2 months ago

‘Smart’?

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Andrew Brown
2 months ago

It might be a good thing if there were a long “interregnum” after the present archbishop steps down. Could we manage without an archbishop at all? Not going to happen of course but I think yes we could.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Shamus
2 months ago

In the case of the see of Canterbury, interregna of more than two years were unknown prior to the Conquest. Post-conquest they occurred only in 1089-93, 1109-14, 1136-39, 1170-74 and 1270-73, when monarchs were wishing to enjoy the temporalities and/or were at daggers drawn with candidates nominated by the papacy. There was also the long vacancy of 1645-60. Other sees were treated rather more roughly, chiefly so they could be milked by the government for revenue. In recent centuries the gap between an archbishop dying or depositing a deed of resignation and the nomination of his successor shrank to little… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

Thank you. Your scholarship in such matters is remarkable. Your last paragraph expresses better than I could what I feel. And I’m afraid “leadership” has become another idol to worship in our Church.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Shamus
2 months ago

The Church of England still isn’t that far removed from its feudal origins IMO.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

Firstly, to agree with Shamus re your comprehensive knowledge, and comprehension?, of ‘stuff’ (and non-sense), Froghole. Now regarding the ‘lengthy vacancy at Oxford in 2014-16’ and ‘coping’ therewith. Colin Fletcher ‘acted up’ not only then but, IIRC, in the period of vacancy between Bishops Harries and Pritchard. Despite long service as a Suffragan, he never became a Diocesan Bishop and is now a much-loved Chair of the Retired Clergy Assoc. While this may be taken to indicate ‘capacity’ within ‘the system’ I find it hard to believe that extended periods of vacancy do not ‘take their toll’ at an individual… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

I suspect that the Bishop of London might be appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury pro tempore if it looked like there was going to be a long inter-regnum, with the Bishop of Dover taking the responsibilities in the See of Canterbury itself. If necessary, the King could be asked to assent. We have had stand-ins elsewhere.

Rev Michael Womack
Rev Michael Womack
2 months ago

As I see it, this is going to become the norm. From my viewpoint as a lamenting and hopefully recovering retired rural priest, the CoE has become so schismatic that the chances of any nominee for any diocese will not get the nod as the different factions continue to manoeuvre and politic.
Meanwhile the flock goes uncared for.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rev Michael Womack
2 months ago

The flock have been uncared for ever since they started appointing managers and political operators, rather than pastors, as bishops.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

Rot set in long ago. Cynically amused that nobody here has mentioned the ‘holy spirit’ which is supposed to guide all those on such committees. Recognition of reality that human foibles & prejudices are key?

Charles Hope
Charles Hope
Reply to  Francis James
2 months ago

It’s lamentable as Carlisle Diocese will find it hard to be without a Diocesan for another 18 months at least. The morale amongst the clergy is very low with many parishes struggling to survive.

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Charles Hope
1 month ago

If the Diocese is expected to wait this length of time, then why not amalgamate the two sees? Or else, let the Diocesan Synod decide. Failing that, let the PM choose.

If, at the end of the day, no consensus can be found, the only way to resolve a political impasse is by decisive democratic resolution.

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
2 months ago

If the speculation (or informed source?) in the Church Times is correct that the difficulty in the CNC was connected with the commendation of the Prayers of Love and Faith on the day before the CNC meeting began, suggesting that the ConEvos were insisting on a ‘sound’ conservative appointee, as part of their campaign for structural separation, then the ConEvos may come to regard this approach as a useful tool in their wider campaign, holding the church to ransom until they get what they want. If so, it needs to be faced down, if necessary changing the CNC rules to… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
2 months ago

As I understand it, it is not a certainty that the diocesan bishop’s duties are delegated to the suffragan in a vacancy. So +Rob must command the confidence of the Archbishop and the diocese. Other episcopal oversight could have been arranged. I think this leaves +Rob in a very strong position if he is willing to enter the appointment process. He is known and liked in the diocese, and beyond. A quick Zoom call with the CNC members could resolve this very quickly.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
2 months ago

Well, there may be pressure to ‘get Carlisle sorted’ before the next one causes a problem. Assuming the Bishop of Penrith was not a candidate, he may well be a good candidate (better than a compromise), in which case the CNC needs to meet properly. A Zoom may not be sufficient, but if the existing commission members are retained and can agree on his nomination in advance, it is a way forward. There is no need to meet other candidates, if the members agree.

Charles Hope
Charles Hope
Reply to  Anthony Archer
2 months ago

The Bishop of Penrith has not long been in post. The hierarchy too is all male at present . The Diocese would benefit greatly from outside input, but Cumbria is gentle so a hardliner would not go down well.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
2 months ago

All this ecclesiastical claptrap sounds like another bout of deckchair rearranging on the upper deck of the Titanic.

Last edited 2 months ago by Struggling Anglican
Lottie E Allen
1 month ago

Is it time to focus on the drastic fall in membership. A vociferous elderly white male lay member of GS, from Chelmsford Diocese, said in the November 2023 Session on LLF that people were leaving because of the CofE’s support for same sex relationships. Listening to his rant felt more like an exposition from the Daily Mail than Holy Scripture. The reality is that younger people (and that’s everyone below the age of 50 in reality) are leaving the CofE precisely because of its institutional homophobia. Living in Love and Faith is not a matter of morality. It’s a matter… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
1 month ago

“The reality is that younger people (and that’s everyone below the age of 50 in reality) are leaving the CofE precisely because of its institutional homophobia.” Perhaps. The countervailing argument, often made by conservatives, is that the very few churches which are bucking the trend, and which have a ‘healthier’ demographic spread, are those which espouse a more ‘orthodox’ approach to issues of sexuality. Frankly, that elides with what I have seen with my own eyes across more than 6,500 churches. However, the numbers of churches which have ‘healthy’ demographic distributions are so small relative to the aggregate number of… Read more »

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Thank you. Do we pack up and go home now? I hear the Con Evan claim that they “have” young people. They are invariably middle class. Cathedrals, festivals and non “Con Evan” churches in working class areas are exemplars of successful youth work. Successful work with young people is not a matter of theology. It is a matter of staffing. If the Church is smaller maybe, by working smarter, we can be more effective. I have just turned 60. In my life time the Church, as John Bell has commented, has failed to teach the faith of Jesus. The Archbishops… Read more »

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

I would wholeheartedly agree that successful work amongst families, children, teenagers, students and 20-30’s requires staffing, which requires finance, which requires committed church members giving sacrificially. But most of all it requires faithful teaching of the bible. It is really encouraging when I see rich churches (those with trained staff, financial resources) allowed to share those riches with other, less wealthy churches.

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

How is the concept of a “rich Church” compatible with the documents of the New Testament?

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

“Rich” as in blessed by God with resources which should be used in God’s service rather than kept for their own benefit. We see examples of this in NT where churches sent out people to plant new churches, others gave financially to support the poor in Jerusalem.

Lottie E Allen
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

It could also be called a diocesan parish share scheme.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

A very sobering and, sadly I think, accurate analysis reflected in my own experience as one of the 1935-45 ‘cohort’. My parents and extended family of their generation were all active in the C of E and brought their children up in the faith. Quite why that hasn’t, generally, been true of the next generation has largely mystified me (I don’t have children of my own), but has been painfully apparent. Possibly 30/ 40 years ago I was taken aback when a primary school teacher told me that it was “quite wrong” to include any Christian content in religious education… Read more »

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

The CofE, if it is to have any integrity as a “national church has to marry everyone or marry no one. A Single Clause Bill repealing Part II of the Marriage Act 1949 is sufficiently robust to deliver the task. Any further refinement required could be delivered by the relevant Parliamentary Committee. Enough fine ecclesiastical legal minds have considered the matter for this to be put through Parliament. The Bishops and Archbishops have a choice. Deliver marriage for all or lose the right to marry. We are a multi faith multi cultural and deeply secular country. We have two legal… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

Your contention about Part II of the Marriage Act 1949 is totally misconceived and repeal of it would not have the consequence you believe. I did not comment on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 which, as has been patiently and carefully explained by others here very recently, respects C of E doctrine. This ground has been covered many times in TA discussions.

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Thank you A Single Clause Bill is not “misconceived”. It would reaffirm the primacy of the principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty and break the deadlock in Synod. General Synod is established in law by Parliament. The CofE marries people because the 1949 Act gives them permission to do so. I reference the 2013 Act because it now defines the States definition of marriage. I don’t need your permission to do so. It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure unity of purpose in the law of the land. There are now two legal codes concerning marriage in England. That of the… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

I don’t believe that what I understand to be your wish and view could possibly be achieved by a ‘single clause’ bill! But the waters have been muddied. Your original suggestion was to repeal Part II of the 1949 Marriage Act, and I totally stick to my contention that such a move would be misconceived and totally missing the point of what you seek to achieve. So we must disagree, courteously I hope, but it follows that I won’t be saying any more on this subject.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

Perhaps I ought to add that I am approaching this as a matter of law and statutory interpretation – not a case of ‘not liking the idea of repealing Part II of the 1949 Act’. I think it’s somewhat presumptuous to say that I, or anyone else holding that view is ’simply wrong’. The subject has been fully discussed previously on TA, more than once.

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

The proof of the pudding will be the eating. We shall watch the debates in Parliament and the Select Committees with interest.

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

The only way to resolve it is to lose the right to marry. Even a Labour administration would not want to force equality on the Church because of its commitment to diversity in a multi-ethnic society, which presupposes that traditional marriage values are continued to be upheld in conservative minority communities.

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
1 month ago

Its not a matter of forcing anything. The CofE marries people by an Act of Parliament. It has the authority to remove that right.

We are a deeply secular, multi cultural, multi faith country. See the evidence of the last census. The Christian tradition is a minority practice. And the CofE is a sub set of that minority.

Marriage is the gift of the State. It would be a much healthier state of affairs if ALL marriages were conducted by the State. Then all religious blessings, in any faith tradition, took place separately.

This is not forcing equality on anyone.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

As always, trenchant and informed. When this cohort (1935-45) and let’s add 1945-55, enters larger life, even the notional numbers they bring–keeping small congregations limping along–will be gone. This amortization schedule is already in play. What happens, then, in a decade’s time? What kind of footprint will the CofE have? I know that in TEC, the Bishops must meet and face the music on this libretto. But TEC is not the CofE, in spite of shared realities on this front. I’d welcome your own view: CofE 2034. (Or, 2029).

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Yes, we do have a choice. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place… I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.” Amen

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Mark Andiam
1 month ago

Amen Amen Amen

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Well, and what you describe narratively is statistically measurable. Some interesting observations. “The entire education system, even in faith schools, treats religion as a matter of personal preference rather than indoctrination…”. I attended Roman Catholic parochial school from 1959 through to graduation in 1972. It was completely integrated with the R.C. religion and our local parish. Yet the vast majority of my peers have largely disappeared from the church. Indoctrination did not help much. The underlying reality is that a great number of people, whether exposed to religion at one time or not simply do not believe or no longer… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rod Gillis
1 month ago

Many thanks for this, as ever. I agree that indoctrination, which may have succeeded until the early 1960s, had largely ceased to do so by the end of the decade: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-religious-crisis-of-the-1960s-9780199298259?cc=gb&lang=en&#, for example. Why this transformation occurred, and also why it occurred so quickly, remains one of the great mysteries of modern times. At some point, a range of social, political, economic and philosophical developments which had been well under way for at least two generations coalesced or reached a point of such maturity that they enabled the rising generation to do without the churches, or indeed without God at… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

In 1963 I turned nine years old. In May of that year I would have been regimented around by nuns with hundreds of other Catholic school boys practicing for the annual parish May procession. “Immaculate Mary your praises we sing…”.And here I am as an aging Anglican preacher working with texts about the Blessed Virgin Mary that are clearly non-historical and mythological in my view. Something I mention as an example of a larger paradigm. So I’m probably not a radical outlier with regard to my peers. Interesting to see historians studying what was actually going forward culturally and perhaps… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Rod Gillis
1 month ago

“non-historical and mythological.” I know you have got used to your own rough-and-ready categories. “Myth” in genre means “having to do with the gods”. Gunkel and others studied a wide range of religious texts and developed a taxonomy. Clearly Jesus and Mary are historical people. I think you are searching for a different category, history taken up into the world of scriptural fulfillment and kerygma. That isn’t ‘myth’ (though someone like Frye threw terms around as he wished in his breezy essays). Myth would be, Jesus the Eternal One born from a heavenly star. The only thing close to ‘myth’… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Anglican Priest
1 month ago

A perfect example at an attempt to make an equivocal and polyvalent term into an unequivocal and technically unambiguous one. As noted in, A Handbook of Theological Terms by Van Harvey, ” Myth: Since this word is used so variously in both contemporary scientific and theological literature, any definition of it will appear arbitrary.” The entry continues informatively. I won’t bother you and other TA readers with a library section of references on the matter in support of my point. I’m sure anyone interested in this subject is already sufficiently conversant. I use myth loosely, and in a largely positive… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rod Gillis
1 month ago

Many thanks (and also to Lottie). We are indeed noting the European and European ‘settler’ experiences. In the UK the decline was much in evidence by the fourth quarter of the 19th century; in France the RCC had never really recovered from the revolution, and it underwent a dramatic decline after 1870; in Iberia and northern Italy the decline started to be noticeable in urban areas by the 1880s, etc. It seems that the last dominoes in Europe which are left to fall are Poland and (perhaps) Russia, yet even in Poland the RCC is tottering, and has been on… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Thanks so much for your reply and especially the linked resources. I suspect it will take historians some time to analyze what has been happening in and to the church socially and demographically in the post WWII decades. It seems analogous to what engineers refer to as ‘catastrophic collapse”. Perhaps I’m being a tad pessimistic. The e-version of McLeod’s book may well be worth the purchase. It is certainly tempting.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
1 month ago

Lottie, I suspect that the decline in numbers in the church is due to many different factors. I don’t disagree with you that institutional homophobia is one of them, but the reality is that the decline began years ago when church and society were completely in step with each other on this issue. If institutional homophobia was the only cause, then liberal churches would not be in decline. They are.

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Where does that leave all the liberal churches and cathedrals who are not in decline. How does that fit with your analysis?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

I don’t deny that there are liberal churches that are not in decline. But if your analysis is correct, conservative churches should be declining more. Are they? Please note, I have no axe to grind here. I’m LGBTQI+ affirming and I’m not in England, I’m a member of the Anglican Church of Canada. I just think it’s incredibly simplistic to isolate one issue and claim that the people who are on the other side of that issue from us are the cause of the massive decline in attendance of the Church of England. I think reality is far more complicated… Read more »

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Thank you. It’s not us, the members of the LGBTQ+ communities, who have made this a Single Issue. It’s the thuggery and bullying of homophobic Con Evans who have pitched their tanks on our lives.

Our humanity has been turned into a battle ground. We are standing up for ourselves.

The rabid homophobia has turned many younger people off the church. It’s not simplistic. It’s a painful reality.

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

Thank you Lottie. Those who maintain that this issue is not *the* issue that is causing the decline in church attendance are probably not wrong. Yet it is a stumbling block, and that means the problem goes beyond numbers. Matthew 18.6 says ‘If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me…’

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

Again, you are hearing things I am not saying. I don’t deny that many conservative Christians have made acceptance of LGBTQI+ people the line in the sand, and that this makes no sense. I totally agree with you there. Where I disagree is that you seem to be claiming that this is the issue that is causing the decline in church attendance and the exodus of young people from the Anglican church. That’s the claim I find overly simplistic. I agree, it is a factor, but there are many other factors too. My youngest son who is in his mid… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
1 month ago

Many thanks to you, Ms Allen (and also to Messrs Wateridge, Andiam and Chesterton, and to Anglican Priest). All valuable comments. You remark that “Successful work with young people is not a matter of theology. It is a matter of staffing.” I agree completely, and would add the rider that it is not so much, or only, about the quantity of staff (i.e., funding) as the nature of the staff in question. Over Christmas I attended services at a number of churches in part of East Anglia (including places where I had worshipped before several years ago). These were definitely… Read more »

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Thank you. Being a small Church is not a problem. It will enable us to 1. Set aside more denominational divides 2 focus on the primacy of justice issues over moral lessons 3 enable the CofE to have an honest discussion about the nature of Establishment (which it is currently trying to avoid) 4. Rediscover New Testament gifts. Notably that * The Spirit, on the Day of Pentecost, fell on “all flesh” * That the primary organisational principle of the primitive Church in the New Testament was to have (as the writer of the Book of Acts has taught us)… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Lottie E. Allen
1 month ago

Well of course you can be anything you want! But the rub in this is your word “Church.” The “Church” isn’t defined along the lines of your specific causes and concerns. For the CofE “Church” to be this, it will need to find a method and manner of separation so people of good will can flourish, if God so wills, whilst disagreeing, Then you can be a “small church on the margins” in the manner you and others like you wish. In all this, the rub has been figuring out just how an established church, with party strife, can indeed… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Anglican Priest
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Froghole, I suspect that a Christendom church, with generations of relying on the government and society as a whole to Christianize its children, is not well equipped to take over the job when the government and society refuse to do it any longer. Minority religious communities have never been under the mistaken impression that society would evangelize their kids for them; I suspect their members are in a better position at the end of Christendom. I’m 65, but I’m not a Christian today because of school RE or religious assemblies. I’m a Christian because when I was in my teens… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

There are many ways to faithful service and life with God, as you know. I do believe the one extremely durable statistic is the effect of a Christian educational upbringing on adult faith. People fall away, but the foundation is there to return to. If this foundation is missing, or indifferent/banal, of course it will not prove durable. The ‘Sunday School movement’ was a huge success, and rightly so. Where is that now? I served a parish in Riverdale (Toronto) that had the biggest Sunday School in Canada. Now it is barely surviving. Those who benefitted from Sunday School moved… Read more »

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
1 month ago

So are these young people joining LBGTQ+ affirming churches? Has attendance at Methodist churches increased since they voted to allow same sex marriage?

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

You are right. People won’t join churches on account of them being inclusive or not. Society has moved on. What draws people to church at this time of the year is the Nativity, the Holy Family, the traditional carols, and their familiar themes – a sense of awe at the Word made flesh who dwelt among us. But how many of your straight friends get married in church? In an increasingly diverse, and secular, population, it is getting rarer for people of the same religion, let alone religious denomination, to get married. The corollary of this is that the C… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Maud Colthwaite
Lottie E Allen
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
1 month ago

This weekend sees the first Sunday of Christmas in the lectionary. If this Sunday every LGBTQ+ minister, lay and ordained, and office holder, were to down tools and not turn up there would be a very painful staffing gap in the ministry of the CofE in England on 31 December 2023. This would be most noticeable in the poorer parishes in our dioceses (urban and rural). Yet it’s still acceptable for the CofE to treat members of the LGBTQ+ communities as second class members of the kingdom. The discussion about social justice in the Gospel for this community may be… Read more »

Lottie E Allen
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

See my comments above about being small and living with integrity.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Discussion seems to have strayed from the subject of the non-appointment of the Bishop of Carlisle to the only loosely-connected topic of C of E marriage services – and some pretty startling ideas being propounded about them.

Although lengthy, courtesy of Law and Religion UK, here is some authoritative discussion in an article “Marriage and/ or Holy Matrimony” by HH Peter Collier KC. For some readers it may contain some surprises.

https://lawandreligionuk.com/2023/07/06/marriage-and-or-holy-matrimony/

Lottie E. Allen
Lottie E. Allen
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Thank you. Some of us are sufficiently well read to have seen this material before. It doesn’t contain any surprises. In relation to the discussion we have held it does not invalidate any of my comments. My tactics are more Mahan than Clausewitz. However well the matters may have been discussed on here before that doesn’t constrain the actions of Members of Parliament. The contributions to TA are not the top and bottom of the matter. It is clear from this year that there is a cohort of articulate Parliamentarians who are alive to the injustice of the current position… Read more »

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