Thinking Anglicans

Next Suffragan Bishop of St Germans

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of St Germans: 17 January 2020
The Queen appoints Reverend Hugh Edmund Nelson, BA, MTh, to the Suffragan See of St Germans.

Published 17 January 2020
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Hugh Edmund Nelson, BA, MTh, Vicar of Goudhurst with Kilndown, in the diocese of Canterbury to the Suffragan See of St Germans, in the diocese of Truro, in succession to the Right Reverend Christopher David Goldsmith, BA, DPhil, who resigned on 29th September 2019.

Hugh was educated at Worcester College, Oxford and spent 13 years living and working in L’Arche London, one of the Christian communities for people with and without learning disabilities founded by Jean Vanier. He trained for ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, served his title at The Benefice of The Six in the Diocese of Canterbury and was ordained Priest in 2010.

In 2012, Hugh was appointed to his current role as Vicar of Goudhurst and Kilndown. He also served as Chaplain to Blantyre House Prison from 2012-2016.

There are more details on the Truro diocesan website.

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February General Synod – online papers

The first batch of papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod are now available online. The remaining papers will be issued on 24 January and I will add links when these become available.

Papers with a note of the day scheduled for their consideration are listed below the fold. Synod meets from Monday 10 to Thursday 13 February in London.

The Agenda is here and the Report by the Business Committee (Guide to the February 2020 group of sessions) is here.

Timetable

Synod members reading this might like to note that the deadline for the submission of questions is 12 noon on Wednesday 29 January 2020.

First mailing .zip file

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BBC documentary on Peter Ball

The BBC has transmitted a two-part television documentary programme:
Exposed: The Church’s Darkest Secret.

The Church of England has issued two press releases. The first one was issued last week, the second one yesterday after both episodes had been shown:

BBC2 documentary on Peter Ball

Response to BBC 2 documentary on Peter Ball  from the Bishop of Bath & Wells, Peter Hancock

The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, has also issued a response (includes video).

Media coverage includes:

Guardian Friendship with Prince Charles made paedophile bishop Peter Ball ‘impregnable’

Daily Mail  Sister of a man who took his own life after being abused by bishop Peter Ball claims the paedophile’s ‘friends in high places’ like Prince Charles are ‘to blame’ for her brother’s death in a new documentary

Church Times Bishops shamed by BBC documentary

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Second Church Estates Commissioner: Andrew Selous MP

Updated Monday

Press release from Number 10

Second Church Estates Commissioner: Andrew Selous MP

The appointment of Andrew Selous MP as Second Church Estates Commissioner.

Published 10 January 2020
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and Andrew Selous MP

The Queen has approved the appointment of Mr Andrew Selous MP as Second Church Estates Commissioner.

Notes to Editors

Andrew Selous has been a Member for South West Bedfordshire since 2001. He is a confirmed member of the Church of England.

There is information on the role of the Second Church Estates Commissioner here. The Commissioner’s primary parliamentary role is to answer oral and written questions from MPs about Church of England matters.

Update

Church Times has more information: Andrew Selous is new Second Church Estates Commissioner.

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Bishop of Ludlow to retire

The Bishop of Ludlow, the Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, has announced he will retire at the end of April.

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Jonathan Fletcher latest

In the days immediately following Christmas Day, the Daily Telegraph published several articles by Gabriella Swerling and others about Jonathan Fletcher. They are all behind a paywall, but the Telegraph does allow you to read one a week if you register. Otherwise you are restricted to reading the first couple of paragraphs, but this will give a slight flavour of what they are all about.

Some other papers have reported on the Telegraph’s articles.

Mail Online Church of England vicar, 77, could face criminal probe after alleged abuse victims claim they endured naked ice baths, beatings and massages
Christian Today Criminal inquiry a possibility for vicar accused of spiritual abuse
Church Times Press: Jonathan Fletcher’s victims speak out
Church Times Lessons-learnt review is launched into Jonathan Fletcher
Patheos Victims of sadistic evangelical priest want police to investigate
Premier London vicar Rev Jonathan Fletcher could face criminal inquiry

And there has been comment.

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Peter Ball and Jonathan Fletcher. A toxic legacy?
Reacting to the Jonathan Fletcher story – the Great Silence
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Jonathan Fletcher presents the Church of England with a crisis of integrity

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Church Representation Rules

The 2020 edition of the Church Representation Rules is now available online. As we noted earlier this 2020 edition presents an entirely new text of the Church Representation Rules, replacing the previous Rules established in 1969 and amended numerous times over the following fifty years. They come into effect on 1 January 2020 so, for example, they will apply to the 2020 annual parochial church meeting and to the revision of the electoral roll which must precede that annual meeting.

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Update on Safe Spaces following media report

The Church of England issued the press release below today. It appears to be in response to an article in Private Eye which was tweeted here yesterday.

Update on Safe Spaces following media report
21/12/2019

A spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team said: “Safe Spaces is planned as a vital support service for survivors of church-related abuse across the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

“The delay in progressing the support service, first officially discussed in 2014, is a matter of regret which the Church of England acknowledges and apologises for. But since the appointment of a project manager and the creation of the Safe Spaces Management Board last year eight survivor representatives from across both Churches are involved in ensuring we find the right organisation to deliver the project.

“Their knowledge, skill and personal experience in shaping the model for Safe Spaces alongside their commitment and support for the procurement process is integral to finding the right organisation to deliver the project.

“All grant money from both churches and ATL has been ring fenced for the project and no money from the £592,000 grant has been spent to date, and no new company has been set up. Pre set-up costs, procurement, project management and development are separate to this and the cost is being shared across both Churches.

“Following an initial procurement process, the Board has agreed that it would not be recommending the appointment of a preferred supplier to deliver the project; this decision was taken in partnership with the survivor representatives.

“Over the coming weeks the Board in partnership with survivors will agree the next steps and the best way forward. Survivor voices remain central to any future success of this new service and their welfare and support is an absolute priority for the Church in its continuing safeguarding work.

“Both churches are committed to supporting survivors of church-related abuse and providing an independent national service for survivors of any form of church-related abuse.”

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Next Archbishop of York

10 Downing Street has announced that the next Archbishop of York will be Stephen Cottrell, currently Bishop of Chelmsford.

Archbishop of York: Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell

The Queen has nominated the Right Reverend Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell, MA, the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford, to the See and Archbishopric of York, in succession to the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, MA, Lord Archbishop of York, who retires on 7th June 2020.

Stephen was educated at the Polytechnic of Central London and trained for ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his title at Christ Church and St Paul’s, Forest Hill in the Diocese of Southwark and was ordained Priest in 1985. He studied for an MA with St Mellitus College which was awarded through Middlesex University.

In 1988, Stephen was appointed Priest-in-charge, St Wilfrid’s in the Diocese of Chichester with the additional role of Assistant Director of Pastoral Studies and Tutor in Apologetics at Chichester Theological College. In 1993, Stephen was appointed Diocesan Missioner and Bishop’s Chaplain for Evangelism in the Diocese of Wakefield and in 1998 he took up the role of Springboard Missioner and Consultant in Evangelism. In 2001, Stephen was appointed Vice Dean and Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral. Stephen was appointed Bishop of Reading in 2004 and took up his current role as Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010.

Stephen is married to Rebecca who is a potter. They have three sons.

Further coverage includes:

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General Synod Agenda for February

The Business Committee of General Synod has today published the outline agenda for the February Group of Sessions in London.

The published information can be read here and is copied (with slight editing) below the fold.

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Meeting of the House of Bishops

The Church of England’s House of Bishops met this week and issued the following brief press release.

Meeting of the House of Bishops
11/12/2019

The House of Bishops met from Monday 9th December to Wednesday 11th December at Lambeth Palace.

The House considered progress to date in the Living in Love and Faith project through discussion, prayer and reflection. The House discussed safeguarding with a presentation from the National Director of Safeguarding.

On the eve of the general election, the House reviewed the national situation politically and prayed for the good of the country.

Other items on the agenda included Renewal and Reform and the Implementation and Dialogue Group Report.

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Clergy Flourishing

The Church of England has published the latest report from its Living Ministry project: Ministerial Effectiveness and Wellbeing: Exploring the flourishing of clergy and ordinands.

There is an accompanying press release, copied below.

New research findings published on clergy flourishing
05/12/2019

A new set of findings from a 10-year study into the well-being and flourishing of ordained ministers in the Church of England has been published today.

The Living Ministry programme tracks the progress of groups of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 and women and men who entered training for ordination in 2016, seeking to understand what helps clergy to flourish in ministry.

The latest research from the project includes responses from 579 ordained clergy and 113 people training for ordained ministry in the Church of England.

The quantitative study includes research into physical and mental, relational, financial and material and spiritual and vocational well-being as well as responses to questions about ministerial effectiveness.

The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Director of the Ministry Division of the Church of England said: “This 10-year programme is providing valuable long-term insights into the experiences of our ordained clergy from initial training and curacy and throughout ministry.

“The findings will help inform the dioceses and theological education colleges and courses in their vital work in the selection, formation and long-term support of ordained clergy.”

Dr Liz Graveling, who is overseeing the research programme for the Ministry Division, said: “I’m pleased to release this next stage of the Living Ministry research, which has allowed us to look in more depth at specific areas of clergy flourishing and start to build up a picture over time. As we follow our participants into the next chapter of their ministry, we are continuing to explore some of these themes in the ongoing qualitative work, which is due to report next year.”

Further information:

Living Ministry was set up in 2016 by the Church of England with the aim of helping support the dioceses, theological education institutions and national church in the selection, training and long-term support of clergy.

Living Ministry is a mixed-methods, longitudinal study. This report presents the findings of Wave 2 of the panel survey, which took place in early 2019. The survey built on the exploration of clergy wellbeing in Wave 1 (2017) by both monitoring this and including questions on ministerial effectiveness.

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Sophie Jelley to be next Bishop of Doncaster

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Doncaster: 2 December 2019

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Sophie Rebecca Jelley, Mphil, BA to the Suffragan See of Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield.

Published 2 December 2019

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Sophie Rebecca Jelley, Mphil, BA, Residentiary Canon at Durham Cathedral, in the Diocese of Durham, to the Suffragan See of Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield, in succession to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows following his resignation on 30th September 2019.

Sophie was educated at the University of Leeds and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She served her title at St Peter’s Shipley in the Diocese of Bradford and was ordained priest in 1998. Sophie took up the role of Mission Partner with the Church Mission Society in Uganda in 2000 and returned to the UK in 2003 to take up the role of Resident Minister of St John the Evangelist, Church in the Diocese of Guildford. In 2010 Sophie was appointed Vicar, St Andrew’s Burgess Hill in the Diocese of Chichester and in 2013 she took up the additional role of Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands.

In 2015, Sophie was appointed to her current role as Canon Missioner and Diocesan Director of Mission, Discipleship and Ministry in the Diocese of Durham.

Sophie is married to Chris, a technology consultant, and they have three teenage children. Sophie is a keen runner and musician.

There are more details on the Sheffield diocesan website.

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CofE publishes Charter for Relationships, Sex & Health Education

From a Church of England press release:

The Church of England has published a Charter and resources to support schools in delivering Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).

The Charter features eight commitments which all schools, Church of England and others, can sign-up to prior to the new guidelines becoming law in autumn 2020.

The Church of England’s lead Bishop for Education, Stephen Conway said in April that RSHE would require a shared duty of care between parents and schools, with the contents of the curriculum discussed and clearly communicated in advance.

To enable this, a skeleton agenda for parents’ meetings has also been published, together with a framework for school staff discussion, a policy template and activities and prayers.

The eight commitments include delivering the curriculum as a professional and identifiable part of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), building resilience of pupils, promoting healthy relationships, using honest and medically accurate information, meeting individual requirements including special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and seeking pupils’ views to make teaching relevant to their lives….

From the CofE website:

Relationships, Sex and Health Education
Faith sensitive and inclusive Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (RSHE)

From September 2020, all primary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education. They will also be required to teach Health Education. Secondary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education and Sex Education.

The legislation makes it clear that all schools should approach RSHE in a faith sensitive and inclusive way, seeking to explain fairly the tenets and varying interpretations of religious communities on matters of sex and relationships and teach these viewpoints with respect. The Church of England Education Office supports the approach taken by the government, including recommending an age-appropriate provision of sex education at primary level, and is issuing a Charter which we hope schools of all foundations, faiths or otherwise will sign up to as they affirm the broad principles about how RSHE is taught.

The Charter is accompanied by guidance, given to help dioceses and schools as they develop policy in this area. Based in the principles established by the Church of England’s Pastoral Advisory Group which has set out some principles for living well together with difference and diversity and in Valuing All God’s Children, we have developed the following documents:

It is our intention to add to these resources during the year.

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Cathedral Statistics 2018

The Church of England has published its Cathedral Statistics 2018 today along with the following press release.

Record numbers of visitors and worshippers flock to England’s cathedrals
26/11/2019

England’s cathedrals have witnessed their highest Easter congregation numbers in recent years, while visitor numbers increased by a million on the previous year, statistics published today show.

In the report, published today, Cathedrals reported nearly ten million visitors in 2018, an increase of over 10 per cent on the previous year. There were additionally over a million visitors to Westminster Abbey.

The major Christian festivals remain at the heart of congregational growth, with 58,000 people attending a cathedral at Easter and 95,000 during Holy Week – the highest numbers recorded for a decade, with Easter attendance up nearly 10,000 since 2008.

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Church Representation Rules 2020

Completely revised Church Representation Rules will come into effect on 1 January 2020. Hard copies are available from Church House Publishing and elsewhere.

The new rules form schedule 1 of the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019. They are not as yet available on the Church of England website, which at the time of writing only has the current 2017 rules.

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General Synod questions

Last month General Synod members were invited to submit questions for written answer. The 56 questions and their answers are now available for download.

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Original safeguarding complaint against Dean of Lincoln declared void

Lincoln diocese issued this brief statement yesterday:

The Venerable Mark Steadman has been appointed as acting Dean of Lincoln

The Rt Revd Dr David Court, acting Bishop of Lincoln, has appointed the Venerable Mark Steadman, Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey, as acting Dean of Lincoln from Friday 22nd November 2019. This decision is to enable the continuing governance and functioning of the cathedral. Mr Steadman continues in role as Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey alongside his new duties.

The Lincolnite has two news reports that shed further light on what has recently happened:

The most surprising item in the first report is this:

Dean Christine Wilson added that on Monday, the President of Tribunals made a determination that a complainant and the bishop had not followed the proper process at the outset and therefore the complaint, which led to Christine’s absence, was void and invalid.

The President of Tribunals stated that this was “unfortunate” and the complainant may wish to issue another complaint.

It now appears that this is likely to happen, which leaves the cathedral without their dean for a further period of time.

She added that she had over the last seven months respected the processes of the church throughout the inquiry and cooperated fully.

And this is further amplified in the second report:

…A Church of England spokesperson said: “The Church is taking this issue very seriously and is aware how difficult it is for all parties involved.

“As the Dean said in her statement, the President of Tribunals made a determination that the complainant and bishop had not followed the proper process at the outset, that this was ‘unfortunate’ and the complainant may wish to issue another complaint.

“The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team will be issuing another complaint, however, it should be noted that the President of Tribunals made no decision on the actual substance of the complaint.

“Nothing further can be said as this process continues but we ask prayers for everyone involved…”

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Review of Trevor Devamanikkam case

Update The Guardian has the background to this story: Church of England reviews its handling of sexual abuse case.
“Matthew Ineson said his claims that a vicar had raped him when he was 16 were ignored”

Update 2 Matthew Ineson has written about the review in a comment below.

Update 3 (Monday) Church Times has now covered this story Devamanikkam review challenged by survivor.

Press release from the Church of England

Review of Trevor Devamanikkam case
22/11/2019

Safeguarding consultant Jane Humphreys has been appointed as the independent reviewer into the Church of England’s handling of the allegations relating to the late Revd Trevor Devamanikkam.

Jane brings more than 30 years of experience from the statutory sector having previously been a director of children’s and adult services (see biography below).

The aim of the review is to identify both good practice and failings in the handling of these allegations, in order that the Church of England can take steps to enhance and improve its response to allegations of abuse and thereby ensure a safer environment for all.

The reviewer will look at written and verbal evidence from the survivor who brought the original allegation of abuse.

The reviewer will also make contact with the relevant archbishop and bishops as well as those safeguarding professionals in the Church who dealt with the allegations and external agencies.

The review will be published in full except for jigsaw identification details.

Melissa Caslake, the Church of England’s national director of safeguarding, said: “We are very pleased that Jane has agreed to take on this vital piece of work to enable the Church to learn lessons. We have listened to concerns about the importance of independence in this work and we believe Jane’s wealth of professional experience fits this criterion. We hope the review will be completed and published during 2020.”

Jane Humphreys said: “As an independent reviewer I am committed to working in a transparent way and will ensure that anyone who wishes to provide evidence to the Review will be heard. I will also ensure that all relevant documents relating to the Church’s handling of this case are looked at so lessons can be learnt to enable the Church to be a safer place for all.

Jane is a highly experienced Senior Social Care Consultant, and previous Director of Children’s and Adult’s Services with a career spanning more than 30 years. Having trained as a social worker she worked in a number of local authorities becoming a director of children’s and adult services in 2008. She currently specialises in change management and has a proven track record of directing service reviews and ensuring preparation for Ofsted and CQC inspections. Jane is also undertaking some work for the Local Government Association as a children’s improvement adviser. She is committed to supporting families and service users, and driving improvements in service delivery in a range of organisations. She also has broad based expertise in chairing Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards.

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CTE blocks appointment of person in same-sex marriage

Updated

This story is of Anglican interest as the Church of England is a constituent member of Churches Together in England.

The Church Times reports today that CTE block appointment of fourth president because the nominee is in a same-sex marriage

THE appointment of a new President of Churches Together in England (CTE) has been blocked because the nominee is in a same-sex marriage.

There are six Presidents of CTE, the Churches’ ecumenical instrument. They include the Archbishop of Canterbury and the RC Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The fourth presidency became vacant in October 2018, when Billy Kennedy finished his four-year term.

In May, Hannah Brock Womack, an active Quaker, was formally appointed to the position by the fourth presidency group: Quakers in Britain; the Lutheran Council of Great Britain; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England; German-Speaking Lutheran, Reformed, and United Congregations in Great Britain; and the Church of Scotland.

On learning that Ms Womack had recently been married to a woman, however, a majority of the member Churches of CTE, through its enabling group, voted in September to request that the fourth presidency group “refrain from enacting its Presidency, leaving the Fourth Presidency as an ’empty chair’ for the current term of office”.

The CTE was due to publish its decision in a statement today: “Over recent months CTE has been engaging with the reality of living with diversity, acknowledging that although so much unites us as Churches, we remain in disagreement over certain issues…

The CTE Statement is here: Churches Together in England statement on the Fourth Presidency

The Quakers in Britain have issued this: Churches’ plan for new President falters because of equal marriage which is copied in full below the fold.

Update There is also this article: Walking together with difficulty.

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