Thinking Anglicans

Martin Gorick to be next Bishop of Dudley

Press release

Suffragen [sic] Bishop of Dudley: 4 November 2019

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Martin Charles William Gorick, MA, to the Suffragan See of Dudley, in the Diocese of Worcester,

Published 4 November 2019
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Martin Charles William Gorick, MA, Archdeacon of Oxford, in the Diocese of Oxford, to the Suffragan See of Dudley, in the Diocese of Worcester, in succession to the Right Reverend Graham Barham Usher BSc, MA, following his translation to the See of Norwich.

Martin was educated at Selwyn College, Cambridge and trained for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon. He served his title at St John the Evangelist, Birtley in the Diocese of Durham and was ordained Priest in 1988. In 1991, Martin was appointed as Chaplain to the Bishop of Oxford. He became Vicar of Smethwick Old Church in the Diocese of Birmingham in 1994 and was additionally appointed Area Dean of Warley in 1997. Martin was appointed as Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon in the Diocese of Coventry in 2001 where he was also Hon. Chaplain for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He took up his current role as Archdeacon of Oxford and Residentiary Canon of Christ Church in 2013 and also serves as Diocesan Inter-faith Advisor. He is married to Katharine who is County Lead for Visual Impairment in Oxfordshire and they have three adult children.

More details on the Worcester diocesan website

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David LammingSusannah ClarkNicholas Henshalldr.primroseAlan Davies Recent comment authors
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Kate
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Kate

No disrespect to Martin but, once again, the information we get given tells us nothing about his suitability to be a bishop. It tells us what responsibilities he has had but, as anyone in the private sector knows, that’s pretty empty when his level of success (or lack of it) is omitted. So “He has held strategic responsibility for growing new congregations of all shapes and sizes across the three counties that make up the Diocese of Oxford,” What growth did he achieve? “overseeing an ambitious £5 million bid to support church revitalisation and planting, fresh expressions of church and… Read more »

Mark
Guest
Mark

Thanks. What is his position on LGBT inclusion? Do we know?

Guest
Guest
Guest

Along with the rest of the Oxford senior clergy, this: https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/clothe-yourselves-with-love/

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

on the other hand, he’s done 19 years as a parish priest in and around the West Midlands, and (particularly with Smethwick and Warley), will know exactly what he’s walking into – Sandwell being top 20 most deprived in the UK, top 3 for education deprivation, 4th worst income deprivation and 5th worst employment deprivation. Dudley is just over the border and not a great deal better – if anything, it’s an improvement on what he’s used to (absent Christ Church.

Whisper it, but it’s almost like they know what they’re doing… round peg meet round hole.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

It’s perhaps as well, Kate, that we don’t ALL have the task (or opportunity) to choose our bishops. Just think of the variety of requirements that would be placed on the agenda. I guess that, somehow, we need to trust those charged with the actual task of selecting the ‘Godly person’ required to carry out this important function of guiding and guarding God’s Church.

Len Johnson
Guest
Len Johnson

How right you are, Father Smith!

Kate
Guest
Kate

Given the mess the bishops have made of dealing with victims of abuse and LGBT inclusion, I don’t think there are grounds to trust that the right people are selected. I get even more concerned when people supposedly most responsible for growing the church (mission and church plants) are chosen because their “strategy* is leading to a decline in total worshippers.

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

What evidence is there for the assertion that ‘their “strategy” is leading to a decline in total worshippers’?

Kate
Guest
Kate

The numbers

Philip Hobday
Guest
Philip Hobday

Without some further justification, it’s just an unfounded assertion or instinct that the numbers are declining because of the “strategy.” For it to be a well-founded case, it would have to be demonstrated that large numbers of people are being put off from church commitment for that specific reason – and that they outnumbered those who might be inclined to join because of the same factor. That would need some serious qualitative and quantitative research looking not just at statistics but which asks people for their reasons – does that exist? (I’m also not at all sure that there is… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Guest
Simon Dawson

Father Ron, After all we know about how safeguarding was managed in the church, are you sure that a policy of “I guess that, somehow, we need to trust those charged with the actual task” will always come out well. Robust questioning of those so tasked is rarely a bad thing. Anyway Kate was questioning the text of the press release (why it was a bare list of jobs held and tasks achieved, and not about Bishop Martin as a person). She was not questioning his appointment in any way.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Senior appointments (in this case to a suffragan see) in the Church of England are made on the basis of robust processes, adopting the twin principles of transparency of process and confidentiality of deliberation. The diocesan bishop makes the nomination with the benefit of an Advisory Group, and is supported by the Archbishop of the province in the submission of the name to Downing Street. The diocese will have made the case for the filling of the vacancy to the Dioceses Commission, and following its approval will have commenced the process. The needs of the diocese in the making of… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Computer science has a maxim “garbage in, garbage out”. A “robust process” doesn’t guarantee a good outcome if a) it is the wrong process anyway or b) those shortlisted for consideration under the process are the wrong inputs – are in the computer science vernacular, garbage. Christ said something similar. Judge a vine/tree by its fruit. So let us do as our master instructed us. And the treatment of survivors has been horrible, both in terms of a lack of priority for their wellbeing and in terms of justice against inaction by bishops. That LGBT people are still excluded is… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Kate: “When did a carpenter, plumber or electrician last get made bishop?” The nearest in recent times is probably Roy Williamson, RIP last month. I doubt someone like him would these days get past Mrs Redfern in the Wash House.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

There is no evidence that Jesus was a carpenter at all. The Nazareth crowds spoke of him only as the Carpenter’s son – not the carpenter. I have always assumed from that that whoever took over Joseph’s carpenter shop it wasn’t Jesus – about whose teens and twenties we know nothing. But are you seriously saying that because Jesus was a carpenter ((just supposing for a moment he was) that means Bishops today should be chosen from among plumbers and electricians? Isn’t it more important that short listed Bishops have proven track records in miraculously feeding large crowds, reading people’s… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Admin

Mark 6.3 “Is not this the carpenter?”

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Yes of course – careless of me – but I was quoting Matthew.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

“Isn’t it more important that short listed Bishops have proven track records in miraculously feeding large crowds, reading people’s minds, stilling storms and raising the dead?” Those would admittedly be assets. I imagine though that they fall under the ‘desirable’ rather than the ‘essential’ column of the job spec. With regard to tekton, I think it’s rather lovely that Jesus grew up in a context of making things, considering his own identity as Creator. I do wonder, though, whether his father was working class or slightly better off, as he may have been a highly-skilled artisan, mason, or master craftsman… Read more »

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Thank you, Susannah, for this contribution: thoughtful and insightful, as we have come to expect from you. You mention theological training: we do need more theologians on our bench of bishops, who can speak prophetically both to the church and to the nation in these turbulent days. You might also have made reference to St Paul’s list of qualifications for a bishop (‘overseer’) in 1 Timothy 3 vv 1-7.

Kate
Guest
Kate

David, should someone become a Bishop just because they are a carpenter? No. But any process which creates a demographic in the House of Bishops which in any material way is different to the national demographic contains and inherent bias and is demonstrably wrong. Or do you believe that tradesmen are less Christian? That women are less Christian? That openly gay, bisexual or lesbian people areess Christian? Or that the physically disabled and those with mental illness such a anorexia are less Christian? The list goes on. Championing the existing process says that those underrepresented groups are less important, less… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

‘Championing the existing process’. Who is? Your picture of the church is of a completely entrenched and unchanging institution. It is not. On almost every front it is working to review and reform its practices. I could wish it was quicker. The progress is uneven. I also get why trusting this is hard. You seem unaware that what you call the ‘existing process’ for appointing bishops, for example, has itself been constantly adapting very considerably in recent years. So no, I don’t think that anyone accepting a church leadership role is colluding with sexism, racism or any other form of… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

An odd criticism of a man who worked as a hospital porter and at a cake factory, who has many years of inner city ministry under his belt, has spoken out against Church House, and was, as one of the senior clergy in Oxford, part of the work to develop LGBTI chaplaincy.

Wm. Bill Paul
Guest
Wm. Bill Paul

So, by this (astonishing, blind ideological) ‘logic’ there are currently no suitable bishops inasmuch as the demographic of the episcopate doesn’t matchup with the societal demographic.
I can’t hope to help you very much, I know, but I am happy that it is possible in this world to labor for the sake of others very different in all sorts of waysfrom oneself and to help them in all sorts of ways.

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

I’m puzzled by the idea that Bishops should reflect the demographics of the wider population, particularly when the laity does not. In order to find lots of tradespeople in the episcopate surely you would first need to find them in the pews? That’s before we get into questions of whether there are gifts given to people that mean their pre-ordination profession aligns more closely with the role of a priests than others who have different gifts. For example, does a successful career in social work or nursing hint at gifts that are relevant to the role of a pastor in… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

This is a press release from the Prime Minister’s office intended for a general/public audience. Maybe this is not where we should be looking for the details you’d like to see. Such details would be better placed in the diocesan announcement. That would be the best target of criticism about any lacking of published “suitability.”

Kate
Guest
Kate

It is the diocesan press release I quoted

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

What has he achieved? It is far too early to say. But, if his life demonstrates elements of love, grace, humility and compassion, I would suggest he has the capacity to achieve a great deal, with God’s help.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

A Residentiary Canon of Christ Church?
What role, if any, did he play in the recent brouhaha there?

Bill Broadhead
Guest
Bill Broadhead

Isn’t it interesting that a bishop is appointed who comes from the ‘thinking’ end of the liberal catholic spectrum, who not only has sustained experience as a parish priest in the region he will be serving, but has a measure of wider cultural literacy so obviously lacking among many in the current episcopal cohort, and we are immediately asked to calculate what his ministry has *achieved* in terms of finance and productivity as a pretext for saying this person is not good enough?

Honestly, I do sometimes wonder whether some of these comments are coming directly from the Wash House.

Alan Davies
Guest
Alan Davies

Was that slip of the keyboard, Bill? Do you mean Wash House or WATCH House?

May be I’m wrong, but to me it appears that an unspoken subtext lurking in this discussion is an irritation that the best candidate for this particular job is male.

Charles K
Guest
Charles K

Martin is a fine and wise priest and will make an excellent Suffragan bishop and I am delighted for him and his family. He is wise, pastoral, supportive of ALL, and I am sure will be a great asset to Worcester. From my knowledge of him – I think is is immensely suited to the unenviable yet high calling of being a bishop.

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

Bill.
My sentiments exactly, Thank you.

If Kate is so concerned, she should speak to some of the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church who have had to face very personal questioning in the ‘election’ of Bishops here north of the border.

Fr John Emlyn

Jayne Ozanne
Guest
Jayne Ozanne

There’s a lot of change for us in the Oxford Diocese at the moment – see above post about +Colin.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Not forgetting that we have a new Bishop of Reading arriving soon and await news of the next Archdeacon of Berkshire

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

For what it’s worth, the Greek word that has been translated (in describing Jesus and Joseph) as “carpenter” is tekton. From what I understand, it actually has a broader meaning of “craftsman” and would include crafts like stonemasons. For anyone who’s been to Nazareth, there’s a lot of stone and not such much wood in the area. So calling Jesus and Joseph “carpenters” may not be completely accurate.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

Wouldn’t a carpenter still have been necessary to make tables, stools, water troughs etc? I wonder where we can find out more.

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

“Wouldn’t a carpenter still have been necessary to make tables, stools, water troughs etc? I wonder where we can find out more.”

Well, yes. And I’m not saying the Joseph and Jesus didn’t work with wood. We just don’t know.

On the other hand, the Roman city of Sepphoris (never mentioned in the New Testament unless it was the “city on the hill”)was just 3-4 miles away from Nazareth. And I suspect there was a huge demand for stone workers there. And wood workers. And any other kind of craft-work.

Nicholas Henshall
Guest
Nicholas Henshall

It seems almost inevitable that Sepphoris was a key centre for Jesus and the culture he grew up in – and specifically for skilled tradespeople (ie the word “tekton”). It also seems inevitable that Jesus (and his culture) spoke Greek as a result (if only as a third language). Of course Peter – and other inhabitants of Bethsaida, a minority Jewish city – probably spoke Greek as his first language …..

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Thank you. That’s really interesting. Does anyone know any good books about the area where Jesus grew up, and its settlements and ways of life at the time when Jesus was young, before his public ministry began? I do love to reflect on Jesus’s early years, and I assume there must be some great studies of what those days were like in Nazareth and nearby settlements – and the culture, the trade, the traditions, the reach of central religious authorities, Roman presence (or lack of it), way of life, commerce and so on. And what domestic life was like.

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Can we welcome on this thread and rejoice that Martin Gorick’s predecessor as Bishop Dudley, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, was today (Saturday 9 November 2019) duly enthroned as the 72nd Bishop Of Norwich (his election to that office having been confirmed on 17 June 2019 when he legally became the diocesan bishop.). To give the BBC credit where its due, the service at Norwich Cathedral, together with extracts from interviews with Bishop Graham, was the lead report on the local news after the 5.40 national news bulletin on BBC1 today.