Thinking Anglicans

Crown Nominations Commission central members 2022-2027

The election of the central members of the Crown Nominations Commission for 2022-2027 took place at General Synod on Sunday and the results were announced yesterday. Following recent changes to standing orders these members are now elected in pairs of clergy or laity. Although all Synod members (other than bishops) vote for all six pairs, there is a constraint that there must be three clergy pairs and three laity pairs. For any particular episcopal vacancy only one member of each pair may serve on the CNC; in general the two members of the pair will decide between themselves which one it will be. Details are in standing orders 136-141A.

Those elected were:

Clergy
The Revd Claire Lording (Worcester) and The Revd Joanna Stobart (Bath & Wells)
The Revd Esther Prior (Guildford) and The Revd Lis Goddard (London)
The Revd Paul Benfield (Blackburn) and The Revd Canon Andrew Cornes (Chichester)

Laity
Ms Christina Baron (Bath & Wells) and Miss Venessa Pinto (Leicester)
Miss Debbie Buggs (London) and Miss Prudence Dailey (Oxford)
Mr Temitope Taiwo (London) and Mr Clive Scowen (London)

The election was carried out using the single transferable vote and there is a spreadsheet available with all the details.

The spreadsheet does not indicate whether the pairs are clergy (C) or lay (L), so I have added this to the list below of all those who stood for election.

C: Andrew Steward Dotchin, Joshua Christian Askwith
L: Venessa Pinto, Christina Baron
C: Andrew Charles Julian Cornes, Paul John Benfield
L: Prudence Dailey, Debbie Buggs
L: Nicola Jane Denyer, Mary Felicity Cooke
L: Nadine Daniel, Jane Catherine Evans
L: Benjamin John, Rebecca Hunt
C: Jonathan Stevens, Sarah Jackson
C: Robert Thompson, Anderson H M Jeremiah
C: Jo Stobart, Claire Lording
L: Nick Land, Matt Orr
C: Elisabeth Ann Goddard, Esther Tamisa Prior
C: Nick Weir, Jack Shepherd
L: Clive Richard Scowen, Temitope Stephen Taiwo

Note: The standing orders linked to above do not yet contain the changes made this week regarding the CNC membership for Canterbury.

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Fr Dean
Fr Dean
26 days ago

Only one of the successful candidates from the York province.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
26 days ago

Shockingly conservative slate elected. Only two candidates had any experience of the CNC as a previous central member, Christina Baron (good to see her re-elected) and Nick Land. My assessment might not be accurate, but I think 8 out of the 12 elected are broadly conservative. That could have serious implications for the future shape of the House of Bishops. It does not augur well for more women (where the momentum has slowed) and forget any candidates who might be thought to be revisionist. Think US Supreme Court. As to Canterbury (which will come up during the next CNC quinquennium),… Read more »

Grace Gibson
Grace Gibson
26 days ago

It’s great to see Christina Baron and Venessa Pinto as a pair, though as Anthony Archer pointed out, there’s a shockingly conservative slate elected, which is disheartening.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
26 days ago

One observation made to me by a Synod old hand was that there was also a “Save the Parish” aspect to this election (StP were very present in this Synod). We are starting to have to read Synod dynamics in more than one dimension as agendas shift.

Father Ron Smith
26 days ago

In view of the recent announcement from the G.S. that the election of the next Archbishop of Canterbury will have a special arrangement made for the inclusion of 5 CNC representatives from ‘Other than the C. of E.’ Provinces of the A.C.C., here are some questions from the South Pacific: “Could the Anglican Communion be ruled by GAFCON? Posted on July 13, 2022 by kiwianglo The General Synod of the Church of England has just ruled that the election of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, as Primus-inter-pares of the world-wide Anglican Communion, will now be influenced, not only by H.M. The Queen and the… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Father Ron Smith
Nic Tall
Nic Tall
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
26 days ago

The balance on gender, ordained status and ethnicity is just for the five reps from the wider communion. There will be a minimum of two women and two men, at least three must be of global majority heritage, and there shall be at least one lay, one ordained and one episcopal. The rest of the commission (three from Canterbury diocese, the six national CNC reps, etc.) will not have requirements regarding gender or ethnicity but retain the previous rules for their selection.

Ronnie Smith
Reply to  Nic Tall
25 days ago

Then, Nic; how is the mix to be managed? Do the respective non-C. of E. provinces have to agree among themselves as to whom the mix will include?

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Nic Tall
24 days ago

It is indeed not quite clear what a “balance on gender, ordained status and ethnicity” means in practice, especially for five people. But it’s clear that the rules do not set out to achieve a balance on ethnicity. It would make sense to want the group to represent the balance of ethnicities across the Anglican Communion — I don’t have the figures to hand — but that’s not what’s being done here. Global Majority Heritage is not an ethnicity at all: it is a synonym for “non-white”. In other words, the rule is that at least three of the five… Read more »

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
26 days ago

The voting in Synod was broadly 48% for inclusive candidates and 52% for conservative ones. While Anderson Jeremiah and Robert Thompson came 5th in the overall vote, they were the 4th clergy pair and therefore could not be elected. I am particularly pleased for Christina and Vee, both are very impressive people. Jo Stobart and Claire Lording are both down to earth, non-partisan female priests from ordinary country parishes, which is a good thing. And there will always be at least two female clergy on every CNC with this set of candidates. However, the London/South East bias among conservative members… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Nic Tall
26 days ago

Thanks for the percentages. A Brexit like split, but one that represents the make up of the current GS. Diocesan reps on CNCs will need to hold their nerve if they want to challenge the GS reps. If the next 5 years of diocesan appointments create a more conservative HoB that could in turn create a more conservative GS in 2026. Coupled with a more strategic approach from Save the Parish there are some interesting times ahead.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
25 days ago

If the House of Bishops were to become more visibly “conservative”, it would potentially lead to a more “liberal” “backlash”. We also have the potential fallout from LLF to contend with – and we don’t yet know what reconfiguration will emerge from that process.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Nic Tall
26 days ago

There seems to be a potential flaw in the system in that Anderson/Robert’s votes were not reallocated amongst candidates who could be elected – those votes were therefore not counted in the final allocation of places. I am sure the system was implemented as designed, but perhaps the design needs a tweak?

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
Reply to  Mark Bennet
25 days ago

STV usually performs well, but it looks here that having reserved places for clergy and laity has skewed things. However, in 2017 when the two houses elected separately it ended with a 2 to 1 breakdown in an inclusive direction, so there is no perfect system.

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Nic Tall
25 days ago

In principle the constraint shouldn’t make all that much difference, but I think this is just the way the arithmetic happens to have fallen out. However, surely once three clergy pairs had been elected, all other clergy pairs should have been eliminated and their votes redistributed; I think that is correct and there is some discussion of it in RJ-2021-086.pdf (r-project.org) It isn’t clear what difference this might have made. The politics of this look pretty clear. Candidates for appointment need a super-majority vote from the appointing committee to be approved. The more conservative committee members will (perfectly reasonably from… Read more »

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
22 days ago

In this election the third clergy pairing was elected in the final round, at which point there were only two lay pairs left to fill the last two vacancies. So the 55 votes accumulated by an inclusive clergy pairing could not have been re-distributed to inclusive lay candidates. This meant that positions five and six were taken up by conservative pairings with 47 and 39 votes respectively. As you say, it’s just the way the arithmetic happens to have fallen out on this occasion, it could easily have been three and three when the original voting was split 48/52 along… Read more »

Mark Bland
Mark Bland
25 days ago

Sad to see that Anderson and Jeremiah didn’t get elected, but a huge congratulations to both Venessa and Christina. I’m thrilled to see that they’ve been elected.

Last edited 25 days ago by Mark Bland
Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
25 days ago

Can you imagine the backlash if 5 members from English dioceses were appointed to the equivalent of the CNC in Nigeria or Uganda?

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
25 days ago

Or if 5 English people had a major say in the appointment to a seat in their parliament.

John Bunyan
John Bunyan
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
25 days ago

I cannot see any grounds for my Church of Australia or any other Anglican Church having any formal role at all in the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, that is the appointment of a bishop of an English diocese and archbishop of an English province. Our Church is formally – constitutionally – in conditional communion with Canterbury but formally is independent. The Archbishop informally (and very rightly so) is the senior bishop of our informal Anglican Communion, the bishops of which meet in the informal Lambeth Conference – but that informal fellowship of course is spiritually and pastorally and… Read more »

Last edited 25 days ago by John Bunyan
Father Ron Smith
Reply to  John Bunyan
22 days ago

Nevertheless, they (Sydney Bishops) did try to exercise their power of influence over our Aotearoa/New Zealand Bishops on the matter of Same-Sex Blessings. However, I’m happy to report their influence as being unsuccessful at that time. As the Sydney diocese, under its archbishop, is becoming more radically associated with the GAFCON conglomerate, one suspects they will want to have a much greater influence over other provinces of the Anglican Communion – that is, if they decide to stay with Canterbury and Lambeth.

Helen King
Helen King
25 days ago

As yet nobody here appears to have commented on the confusion around the CNC voting process; after a short service aimed at getting members ‘into the zone’ with quiet reflection and some Taizé chants, the chamber rapidly descended into a rather less reflective mood as many of us were unable to use our iPads or phones to vote during the fixed time window allocated. Those with laptops were ok, but the rest of us formed a queue in order to get help. Paper voting forms were issued to us, but as they only asked for signature, date and time of… Read more »

Mark Bland
Mark Bland
Reply to  Helen King
25 days ago

I’m not a member of the synod, but I also heard from a few synod members that they had seen someone (a conservative evangelical) invite others to use his laptop while telling them who they should support. That, in my opinion, is naughty behaviour. Is that something synod members could report?

Last edited 25 days ago by Mark Bland
Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Mark Bland
25 days ago

I’ve heard this too, and the name of the member, but not having seen it myself I’m not in a position to complain formally.

Felicity Cooke
Felicity Cooke
Reply to  Peter Owen
24 days ago

At least one member of Synod staff present in the chamber to give advice told a voting member that they must record a preference for all twelve candidates in order to be able to register their vote. This was clearly incorrect. We can’t know how many people were told this and subsequently recorded votes for more candidates than they wished to support, just to be able to record their vote at all.

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Felicity Cooke
24 days ago

That shouldn’t make too much difference, to be honest, within STV. So if there are six candidates you support and six you don’t, your preferences among the lower candidates would only begin to be counted when all six of your preferred candidates had either been elected or eliminated. So all that the lower preferences do is to distinguish those you don’t want to support from those you really don’t want to support!

However, it’s obviously bad practice to give false advice of this kind.

Mark Bland
Mark Bland
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
24 days ago

That’s correct. That shouldn’t make too much difference.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Mark Bland
24 days ago

Is this the point in the discussion at which it is obligatory to mention Arrow’s Theorem?

Dave
Dave
24 days ago

Sorry I don’t quite get the nuance in some of our comments here.
‘Conservative’ slate – conservative in what sense please?

Mark Bland
Mark Bland
Reply to  Dave
24 days ago

’traditional’ in theology.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Dave
23 days ago

I think “Conservative” in this comment has no specific meaning but serves to “other” the candidates they disagree with. It’s a common trope to present one’s own position without any qualifying adjectives, so as to present it as the mainstream, normal, unexceptionable, obviously correct.

Fr John Caperon
Fr John Caperon
23 days ago

As to ‘conservative’ theology, one of the newly elected members presided over a parish and church community where the divorced – even ‘innocent’ ones, where say a husband had deserted a wife and children – were told that remarriage was unacceptable because unchristian: only singledom lay ahead. And where the Baptism policy said that no child of unmarried parents living together would be baptised. The ‘kerygma’ was all about substitutionary atonement, and the ‘didache’ all about prohibition….the ‘narrow way’. Perhaps that’s what ‘conservative theology’ now means? Heaven help us!

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Fr John Caperon
23 days ago

A question from a C of E layman, limited to the baptism issue. Can any C of E priest (presumably we are talking about incumbents) lawfully refuse to baptise a child (or adult, for that matter) on these or, indeed, any other grounds? Cannot, and should not, the diocesan intervene to stop such malpractices?

The State, in the Children Act 1989, legislated that the welfare of the child shall be paramount. Surely the Church of England should equally proclaim that the spiritual welfare of the child is paramount.

Last edited 23 days ago by Rowland Wateridge
Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
23 days ago

My theology course principal made it quite clear that a CofE incumbent could never legally withhold baptism under any circumstances and neither could s/he impose conditions (such as attendance at a preparation course). I never did. I joyfully baptised all who asked. I did not regard my role as trying to impose any restrictions on the Holy Spirit. I was in the fortunate position of having a conevo church less then 2 miles away (in a different diocese) that did attempt so to restrict the spirit’s activity, and many of those they rejected came to me.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
23 days ago

Glad to hear it. One gathers that the diocese of Oxford is moving in the direction of requiring supporters of the baptised to adhere to the policies of the Green Party, so there may be a flow of refugees across that border too.

Last edited 23 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
23 days ago

As incumbent of the Church which, in normal times, regularly conducts more baptisms than any other in the Oxford Diocese, I cannot agree at all with this comment. What Oxford Diocese is doing has been widely misinterpreted by people with an agenda to misinterpret. I am fighting to get our baptism families back – and just at the moment, in a heatwave, I can’t imagine that our commitment to the environment will put people off. General Synod voted on the net zero pathway just last week, and what we enact in prayer and worship is what we really believe. I… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Mark Bennet
23 days ago

I can’t imagine that our commitment to the environment will put people off Well, to be frank, that’s part of the problem. It does put people off, not because they want to see the planet burn, but because they see the Church putting an increasing emphasis on specific political positions and thereby as embedding itself in the World; and a decreasing emphasis on the things that they find the World does not and cannot provide and are looking to the Church to give them. You may not agree with that view, and in fact you clearly do not, and you… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
22 days ago

You are entitled, of course, to your view. Meantime, I will continue keeping in contact with my community and baptising the people who want it – we had baptisms today – a Sunday when we wouldn’t normally schedule baptisms. Many of my colleagues are reporting high numbers. Who are “they” of whom you write so confidently? Not so many of the inhabitants of my parish, nor the children in the schools of the parish. Maybe Thatcham is not typical, but it is certainly real.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Mark Bennet
22 days ago

I’m not attempting to tell you about your own parish. I’m asking you to reflect on whether there are people there who find your position less then welcoming. You will never discover that by talking to the people you do succeed in attracting, because they are the ones who did find it welcoming. Just saying that some people are coming forward doesn’t answer the challenge. Who are the people who are not coming forward in your parish, and why are they not? You ask me who “they” are, and I’ll turn that back: you know your parish, so you surely… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
23 days ago

Did God require Moses to interview all Israelites prior to opening up the Red Sea (which is generally used as a symbol of baptism)? No. God led the entire community through the waters: the good, the bad, everyone. After that, if they fell away in the desert, then they exercised bad choices. But at the point of baptismal deliverance, the Israelites were baptised as a nation, a people. Everything hinged on God’s faithfulness and first initiative, not on individual purity. In the same way, when an infant is baptised, it is God taking the initiative of grace. What did Jesus… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Susannah Clark
23 days ago

I suppose it depends in whether you believe that baptism, especially infant baptism, has an effect on the baptizand. If it’s merely an occasion for some adults to affirm their beliefs, then presumably not, so it doesn’t matter (to the baptizand) whether it’s delayed or denied. If it creates or strengthens a real, important and beneficial spiritual connection between the baptizand and God which affects their spiritual welfare from that very moment, then delaying or denying it is doing them real damage. The Church is at least formally in the latter camp, hence its recognising the ability of anyone to… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
22 days ago

Some parishes have very strict baptism policies Rowland. Have you ever heard of a bishop ( or archdeacon) intervening? I haven’t.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Perry Butler
22 days ago

I have no experience of either situation! It has been my good fortune to attend (and serve, solely as a layman) in parishes where the Clergy ministered, serving their flock (if such old-fashioned terms are still understood and recognised) in accordance with the language and rubrics of the BCP and for one period the ASB in a parish where I was deputy organist. I made my point in my original comment: the spiritual welfare of the child should be paramount. People who think differently, clergy (including bishops and archdeacons) or laity, need to examine their conscience. Some indication of my… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
22 days ago

I can name many clergy and many more laymen who’ve never heard of Dearmer. You and I may think this matters. It is relevant to Ian Paul’s What does ordination training need to include? on Psephizo.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Perry Butler
22 days ago

Episcopal non-intervention has been my experience too. A neighbouring parish would neither baptize children of non-churchgoing families nor give me permission to baptize them extra-parochially. But as Canon B 24 only specifies that their “goodwill” should be “sought” (i.e. not necessarily gained), I was able to proceed with a clear conscience. Canon B 22 lays down that baptism can only be delayed in order to instruct parents or godparents. I’m saddened that those who sit lightly to the law are not at least open to the Spirit in asking themselves – while they may feel it legitimate to say no… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Allan Sheath
22 days ago

What is the authority, if any, for withholding baptism? It seems an incredibly laissez-faire situation. But Canon B 22.2 states:

“2. If the minister shall refuse or unduly delay to baptize any such infant, the parents or guardians may apply to the bishop of the diocese, who shall, after consultation with the minister, give such directions as he thinks fit.”

Surely no bishop would direct an infant being denied baptism.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
22 days ago

If no bishop would so so, then there would be no need for the Canon, and we could remain with the 1603 Canons which laid down that a refusal to baptise was an offence under ecclesiastical law. It is clear that bishops and clergy were given this new power to delay, possibly indefinitely, or refuse baptism for a reason, and that it was considered likely that circumstances would arise under which those powers would be exercised. In a 2015 case at St John’s Dukinfield, the vicar made it a precondition to baptise a child that the parents get married. The… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
22 days ago

Philip Jones, writing on the excellent ‘Ecclesiastical Law’ website, considered this case at the time in the article linked below: https://ecclesiasticallaw.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/baptism-and-godly-living/ Note particularly his observation: “Despite the broad wording ‘as he thinks fit’, it is unlikely that Canon B22(2) empowers the bishop to support an outright refusal to baptise a baby merely because of disapproval of the parents’ lifestyle. That would be to impose a condition of baptism that is not found in ecclesiastical law.”  I would have thought it unlikely that in the year 2022 any C of E bishop could, in conscience, delay indefinitely the baptism of an infant.… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
22 days ago

“incredibly laissez-faire situation” is a fair commentary on where we are now. In the (unlikely) situation of a family not being able to find a parish willing to baptize their child, then I’m sure the bishop would intervene. But would the priest who ignores the Canons be disciplined? I’ve never heard of it happening. When a previous diocesan issued an ad clerum reminding clergy of Anglican norms (including Canon B 22, and also the immutability of baptism), it was poorly received by some prominent Evangelicals in my chapter. Gorham casts a long shadow, and it would take a brave (foolhardy?)… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Allan Sheath
22 days ago

Who knows! Please see my reply to Unreliable Narrator above. Unless I am mistaken, the bishop in that case retired, then left the C of E and has been ordained in the RC Church.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Allan Sheath
22 days ago

Permission sought from the “other” incumbent – I never bothered to ask. It’s time this nonsense was scrapped. It might be of some relevance in rural areas, but in towns I see no relevance at all. Many of the people who came to me did so because “my” church was the church that great granny attended as a child (nobody in the family having attended regularly since) and possibly the child’s grandparents were married there. It was regarded as the family tribal temple. The church of the parish in which they lived at present, which here in Burton might well… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Fr John Caperon
23 days ago

Or alternatively perhaps that is not “what ‘conservative theology’ now means”. It’s an old, and disreputable, debating trick to take a single example and declare it to be universal. Which of the newly elected members are you referring to, by the way?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
23 days ago

‘conservative’ is a term which in Christian contexts can mean a range of things. For example, I would say as a trans woman and lesbian, it’s pretty obvious that I am more socially liberal on sex and gender, than conservative. On the other hand, as contemplation is the heartland of my spiritual practice, and specifically the Carmelite practices of 1530s Spain, I’d say that in the areas of prayer life I am probably very conservative. Then there is the whole political interface we navigate at parish level, dealing with so many people’s social and pastoral problems. In the political sense,… Read more »

Mark Bland
Mark Bland
Reply to  Susannah Clark
22 days ago

Well said.

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