Thinking Anglicans

Episcopal retirements and appointments

Here at Thinking Anglicans we try to note announcements of the retirements of Church of England bishops and cathedral deans, and the names of their successors. We do not always succeed and I have just discovered that the Bishop of Lynn announced in June that he would be retiring on 25 January 2021.

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Geoffrey McLarney
Geoffrey McLarney
12 days ago

Even Homer nods!

Father Ron Smith
12 days ago

Nodding to worry about, then?

Father David
11 days ago

Time to relax and time to practice singing “Wild Thing”

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
9 days ago

While wishing the Bishop a long and fulfilling retirement, TA watchers might like to keep an eye on this See and whether it is filled again – or not. Ditto all forthcoming episcopal retirements. I gather there are plans (that may or may not be related to the leaked flow chart) that vacant sees will be part of the ‘new normal.’

David Lamming
David Lamming
9 days ago
Reply to  Bill Broadhead

I understand that a case has to be made to the Dioceses Commission before authority is given to a diocesan bishop to fill a vacancy in a suffragan see, and that this has been the position for some time.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
8 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

David, I’m just passing on what I was told by two people after the recent York consecrations, that letters have gone out to bishops of a certain age to ascertain when they are likely to retire so that pieces of the financial jigsaw can be put in place, with the clear intention that some Sees will not be filled. I’m aware of the Dioceses Commission’s guidelines, but they were pre-Covid, the ‘new normal’ and, of course, that flow chart everyone’s desperate to bury!

David Lamming
David Lamming
8 days ago
Reply to  Bill Broadhead

Do you mean that the letters have gone to diocesan or to suffragan/area bishops? Also, can you provide a link to the flow chart you mention, or to the website where it can be found.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
7 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

Whether letters have gone (are going) to diocesan or suffragan bishops was not clear, David (the two people I spoke to were speaking in relation to suffragan sees), but there was a suggestion that diocesans of a certain age had also had the letter. The flow chart is being quickly put under wraps as the suggestion is that it was leaked after a virtual HofB meeting. I saw it on Michael Sadgrove’s twitter feed (10th October) if that’s any help. Others may know far more than me. Pete Broadbent is usually very helpful in giving context and busting any overinflated… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Admin
7 days ago
Reply to  Bill Broadhead

I think this may be the “flow chart” that you are referring to. It has appeared on several facebook pages and twitter feeds.
https://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/a9ef9f66-4557-4adf-b577-566066462d41/

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
7 days ago

That’s it, Simon. Thank you. A Yorkshire Luddite like me lacks the technological know-how!

Doug Chaplin
9 days ago
Reply to  David Lamming

I’m not persuaded that it’s a particularly rigorous examination of the case, however. It seems as if the default position of the C of E is to fill, rather than not to fill, suffragan vacancies.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
9 days ago

I wonder how many clergy who are in their mid 60s are likely to retire in the next 2/3 years and how this will affect the picture. Far more than stipendiary clergy being ordained I imagine.

Malcolm
Malcolm
8 days ago

The pressure on Hereford not to try to refill the suffragan post at Ludlow may I suspect become more of a model for future vacancies

Will Richards
Will Richards
7 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm

Given that Hereford had only 110 confirmations last year, administered in 24 services (less than 5 candidates per service on average) there is no need for a Suffragan. An archdeacon could easily carry out all other matters, with the Diocesan bishop alone (with the occasional help of some retirees) presiding at ordinations and confirmations. If there were more Diocesan confirmations held centrally in the Cathedral (and somewhere like Ludlow or Leominster) three times a year, those numbers could easily be accommodated in the diary of one bishop. Looking at the figures, Gloucester, Worcester, St Edmundsbury, Sheffield and Derby could easily… Read more »

Father David
6 days ago
Reply to  Will Richards

Could Truro be added to your list?

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
3 days ago

This evaluation needs to be pretty rigorous. My hope would be that it would focus on (1) whether monepiscopacy is a satisfactory model for oversight and a sense of ecclesial collegiality in leadership (it seems to have got us into a lot of trouble in relation to safeguarding – and it places Diocesan Bishops in the invidious position of being beyond contradiction, beyond challenge and beyond proper accountability by virtue of the legislative and constitutional framework that surrounds their office; (2) what a suffragan bishop is for (and whether it is sustainable theologically to have two sorts of bishops –… Read more »

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
3 days ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

It would be good to understand the experience in Leeds of merging dioceses. What are the numbers and costs of bishops, archdeacons and diocesan staff pre and post merger? This information should be readily available. I am not personally convinced that merging dioceses is the answer. I agree with Will that the number of suffragans could be radically reduced, as most of their current work could be done by archdeacons. But I think the real saving would be in closing diocesan offices and doing much of their work centrally. This would avoid duplication and inefficiency and permit the elimination of… Read more »

peter kettle
peter kettle
3 days ago
Reply to  Sam Jones

‘But I think the real saving would be in closing diocesan offices and doing much of their work centrally.’ Do we REALLY want more centralisation?

Froghole
Froghole
3 days ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Many thanks for this! You mention the difficulties of having a single bishop per diocese, from a safeguarding perspective. You also mention area bishops, of whom I understand you are one. My recollection – which may be erroneous – is that Eric Kemp was inspired by Gerald Ellison’s innovative area scheme for London. However, as time passed the area scheme in Chichester proved to be disastrous, at least in safeguarding terms. Indeed, I am slightly surprised that the example of Chichester has not tarnished beyond redemption the whole concept of area schemes. If an area scheme is to be successful,… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
3 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

The Chichester debacle was mostly about the Diocesan and Benn not communicating – and about a culture within the Diocese of almost total disregard for safeguarding.

Froghole
Froghole
2 days ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Many thanks. I note that. It was my understanding that Eric Kemp retained control of Brighton, Worthing and the city of Chichester itself, but effectively divested most of his other responsibilities to his suffragans; in the case of Peter Ball, that was to disastrous effect. It seems that this model was retained by John Hind; for instance, I attended one service on the outskirts of Hastings when a picture of the then diocesan was held up and no one could identify who it was. This has been remedied by Mark Warner, who has made his presence very much felt (by… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
2 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Sorry – Martin Warner. I’ve been reading too much about US politics recently.

Stanley Monkhouse
2 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Froghole: “I appreciate that many bishops will have endured that grind for a while as parish clergy.” By no means all in what I would call ordinary parishes, and anyway who was it said that within three years a bishop/dean/archdeacon will have forgotten what parish life was like? Anyway by then it’s not like it used to be. Let us not forget the army of diocesan advisers who, presumably, can’t hack parish ministry and so PDQ find – sorry, I mean discern God’s call to – jobs that enable them seated in diocesan offices to dream up nonsense to dump… Read more »

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