Thinking Anglicans

Deborah Sellin to be next Bishop of Southampton

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Southampton: 16 April 2019
Queen approves the nomination of the Reverend Canon Deborah Sellin as Suffragan Bishop of Southampton.

Published 16 April 2019
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Deborah Sellin, MA, Vicar of St John the Baptist Wonersh with Blackheath and Area Dean for the Deanery of Cranleigh, in the Diocese of Guildford, to the Suffragan See of Southampton, in the Diocese of Winchester in succession to the Right Reverend Jonathan Hugh Frost, BD, MTh, DUni, MSSTh, FRSA, who resigned on the 13th December 2018.

The Winchester diocesan website has this: A New Bishop for Southampton.
The Guildford diocesan website has this: Wonersh Vicar to be next Bishop of Southampton.

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Stanley MonkhouseFather DavidRowland WateridgeT PottAnthony Archer Recent comment authors
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Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Looks a good appointment. WB #19.

peter kettle
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peter kettle

Anthony, why?

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Some readers of TA may know that I have been involved with senior appointments (including those to diocesan and suffragan sees) in the Church of England for some time, although I had no involvement in this nomination and am therefore a mere observer. My reflections on it include the fact that I strongly believe that late ordinands bring a very useful and different perspective to, in this case, the College of Bishops. In addition, bishops who are clearly intentional about mission offer a distinctive and relevant model of leadership, in a challenging environment. Finally, it is good to see a… Read more »

peter kettle
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peter kettle

Thank you

Father David
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Father David

Wasn’t the Bishop of Basingstoke (David Williams) a parish priest prior to his preferment (formerly vicar of Christ Church, Winchester)?

Robin Ward
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Robin Ward

The new Bishop’s parish has a population of 1869 and ranks 26th for affluence out of the 12443 parishes in the Church of England. Not since Gladstone made James Fraser, Rector of Ufton Nervet, Bishop of Manchester in 1870, has someone gone from such a small incumbency to a see. Let’s hope it turns out as successfully.

Shamus
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Shamus

So pleasant not to read in the announcement of any support for a football team. I have little interest in the sport myself, though I believe the nickname of Southampton FC is “The Saints” so I suppose the new bishop will have little choice but to be an enthusiastic supporter.

Will Richards
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Will Richards

Well, I would never have guessed it. Would you? A suffragan bishop for Winchester to provide some much needed theological diversity and ecclesial colour to an increasingly monochrome senior team. Not.

But at least it will put a smile on the faces of those fixated by league tables.

T Pott
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T Pott

I know nothing about the new bishop except that she is a woman, and that Mr Archer thinks it a good appointment, though the Pott agrees with the Kettle in wondering why exactly. But I am bemused by Mr Richards’ suggestion that more of the same in Winchester will put a smile on those fixated on league tables. From 2012 to 2017 weekly attendance in the diocese fell by 19%, baptisms by 34% and weddings by 37%. These are all significantly worse than the national figures of 15%, 25% and 29%, which in any case can hardly be deemed benchmarks… Read more »

Peter S
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Peter S

Sellin will be the 90th woman to be consecrated bishop in the Anglican Communion. So far in 2019 there have been 13 consecrations scheduled (3 in England, 3 in Canada – including 2 for the Arctic, 7 in the USA). And all this is just in the first half of the year alone with more elections with only female nominees to come in the USA at least. This means it is likely there will be at least 70 female bishops at Lambeth 2020, and probably 100 female bishops consecrated before it meets. It will be interesting to see what difference… Read more »

Simon Bravery
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Simon Bravery

Surprised this has been filled before Shrewsbury, Huntingdon and Stepney which fell vacant earlier.

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Winchester Diocese were quick off the mark starting the process – at ‘breakneck speed’ as Philip Johanson put it in his letter published in the Church Times on 11 January 2019. Jonathan Frost’s appointment as the next Dean of York was announced on 26 November 2018 and an advertisement, seeking names to fill the vacant see, appeared in the Church Times less than a month later on 21 December 2018, the names to be submitted by 4 January 2019 with interviews later the same month. In these circumstances, an announcement before Easter of the new suffragan bishop is not surprising.… Read more »

Sam Jones
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Sam Jones

Agreed. Stepney will be a big test for Sarah Mullally.

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

What makes you say that? It’s a really exciting challenge and calling (I’m enjoying the Acting role at present), but I’m curious why you describe it as a “big test”.

Sam Jones
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Sam Jones

It will be her first suffragan appointment and will send a message as to the direction she wishes to take the diocese. The appointment of a missional catholic or evangelical with a proven track record of growing churches will signify the continuation of Richard Chartres very successful approach. The appointment of someone like Sam Wells or Lucy Winkett would send a very different message.

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

Having been involved in the Advisory Panel, I obviously can’t comment specifically. But the whole ethos of what we’re doing has been for the College of Bishops to build, in continuity, on what has gone before. Mission is central to who we are!

Sam Jones
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Sam Jones

The announcements have no information about her theology, although her church website looks fairly evangelical to me. Does anyone know where she trained?

Helen King
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Helen King

The Reverend Canon Deborah Sellin was educated at St Andrew’s University and trained for ministry on the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme – according to the Winchester Diocese Facebook page.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

From Crockford:
Biography

Born: 1964
Ordained Deacon: 2007
Ordained Priest: 2008
Education

St Andrew’s University MA 1986
Ordination Training

Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme 2004
Ministry

Non-stipendiary minister, GUILDFORD (St Saviour) Guildford 2007-2010
Vicar, WONERSH (St John the Baptist) w Blackheath Guildford from 2010
Area Dean, CRANLEIGH Guildford from 2015
Hon Can Guildf Cathl Guildford from 2018

Her ordained experience is rather limited, but according to the diocesan website she has been a manager with the NHS.

Fr John Emlyn Harris-White
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Fr John Emlyn Harris-White

I sometimes wonder reading these writings if Thinking Anglicans should be entitled Inquisitive Anglicans.

The dear lady is a human being, with feelings, not an item in Crockfords. Pray for her, her loved ones, and the Diocese of Winchester

Fr John Emlyn

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Perhaps a little less of the mildly condescending ‘dear lady’, Father John, although she will appreciate the prayers. We are talking about a priest who happens to be a woman. And concerning the speculation above, I am sure we will soon hear from Downing Street about Shrewsbury, Huntingdon and Stepney.

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

Father John’s is about the most Christian comment which has appeared so far on this thread. This rebuke (however ‘mild’) seems unwarranted. To me, “although she will appreciate the prayers” could appear condescending. Why not, everyone, welcome the appointment? And, for that matter, why the snipes at the Diocese of Winchester? All this at Eastertide. Surely we should be doing better.

Father David
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Father David

I agree with Rowland and can’t quite see why “dear lady” should be considered as “mildly condescending”, especially as “Father, dear Father” is gallantly defending and offering prayerful support to the Bishop of Southampton designate? I have in my collection a DVD entitled “Dear Ladies” featuring that delightful pair – Dr. Evadne Hinge and Dame Hilda Bracket, all about the goings-on in the charming Suffolk village of Stackton Tressel – a top quality entertainment, if ever I saw one! Indeed the most senior Church of England cleric is herself a Dame who delivered a first rate Good Friday “Thought for… Read more »

Flora Alexander
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Flora Alexander

I think it is reasonable to expect clergy to be sensitive to the use of language, and the way that it changes over time. If you would use ‘gentleman’ to refer to a new male bishop, then ‘lady’ is acceptable here. But it is prudent to think hard before you refer to a woman as ‘lady’; these days we speak about ‘flower arrangers’, for example, not ‘flower ladies’. ‘Dear lady’ strikes me as well-meaning but, if not actually condescending, then certainly seriously out of date. If you find this odd, it would be worth thinking of contemporary use of language… Read more »

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Thank you Flora. I should have worked harder in the first place!

T Pott
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T Pott

“the most senior Church of England cleric is herself a dame”. I did not know that about Archbishop Welby, and am looking forward to his next pantomime. Fr. John rightly points out that behind every Crockfords entry is a dear lady, dear gentleman or dear lord, with feelings. But behind Winchester’s diocesan statistics are real people who have stopped attending Church, and real babies left un-christened who would not have been treated that way five years ago. And it is getting worse. And these real people have feelings too, yes, even common people, even laity, have feelings. If pointing out… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

I declare an interest in that I live in the Winchester Diocese. I wish Deborah Sellin well in her new and important role. I don’t think that the Church of England can, or should, be equated to a supermarket, although paradoxically that is how it is treated by some of the non-churchgoing laity when it comes to marriage and baptisms. On another TA thread a priest whom I greatly respect is looking forward to retirement in order to be freed from the never-ending plethora of statistics, projects and unsupported administration – including responsibility for several church buildings, all of which… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

Well done T Pott, I wondered who would be the first to spot that one? The word “female” should have preceded cleric. Unless, of course, His Grace of Canterbury has transgendered or I may have looked into my crystal ball and seen Dame Sarah seated upon St. Augustine’s throne!

Stanley Monkhouse
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I guess this merits a separate thread, but … I’m truly shocked at the ?increasing? number of clergy who make demands on baptism families, and indeed wedding families. As T Pott says, the proper liturgy for baptism, BCP, makes no demands. CW baptism is woefully stilted and prolix. I use the RC liturgy as the basis for my baptisms, with its wonderful beginning of asking the parents what they want from the church, and to name the child. I use only three promises (there are always compelling pastoral reasons why the CW six are inappropriate). I have no preparation course… Read more »