Thinking Anglicans

New Bishop of Truro announced

The appointment has been announced of Canon Philip Mounstephen as the 16th Bishop of Truro.

Downing Street reports:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Philip Ian Mounstephen, MA, Executive Leader of the Church Mission Society, for election as Bishop of Truro in succession to the Right Reverend Timothy Martin Thornton, MA, following his resignation on 31 August 2017.

There is more information on the Truro diocesan website:

Philip is currently the executive leader of Church Mission Society, a role he has occupied since 2012. Prior to that, Philip was chaplain of St Michael’s Church, Paris. He has also previously worked for the Church Pastoral Aid Society in a number of roles, serving as deputy general director from 2004 to 2007.

Philip, 59, was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in 1988 and priested the following year, serving his curacy in Gerrards Cross and Fulmer in the Diocese of Oxford. From 1992 to 1998 he was the Vicar of St James’ Church, West Streatham, in the Diocese of Southwark.

Philip has significant family roots in Cornwall with several generations of his ancestors living in Tregony from the mid-18th century, before moving to Truro.

It also quotes the bishop-designate:

Philip said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been called to lead the Diocese of Truro in mission and ministry. With my family roots in Cornwall I am very well aware of what a rich Christian heritage we have. I rejoice in Cornwall’s strong sense of identity and I look forward under God into leading us in what I hope and pray will be a fruitful and exciting future.”

 

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Athelstan Riley
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Athelstan Riley

Philip is a good ‘strategy’ person, who takes time to allow the big picture to come into focus, which will be welcome in a Diocese that has tended to lurch from one novel idea to the next. And he understands Cornwall from within (not something that could be said of his predecessor). It is to be hoped that his wider experience of the Church will also encourage some new blood into the senior staff, which is rather too ‘home grown.’ Interesting, though, that another Diocese that has had a distinctive Catholic identity is now being led by an Evangelical. Obviously,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Where are all the Anglo-Catholic Liberals who should be peopling the C. of E.’s House of Bishops? Is what Athelstan says now the case – that only Evangelicals are being called into episcopal ministry in England?

Father David
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Father David

Alas, Father, the likes of Walter Frere no longer seem to be summoned to participate in the interview process and we are left with an increasingly monochrome and evangelical episcopate. Personally, I was surprised that the next Truro turns out to be male, although the blue clerical shirt causes alam bells to be rung.

David Emmott
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David Emmott

TOWEE!

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Has anyone else noticed that recent announcements of episcopal appointments on the 10 Downing Street website have ceased to include biographical and family details of the nominee? I wonder if this is a response to adverse comments on this blog on the inclusion of such information. (And we’re not told on the Truro diocesan website either which football team Philip Mountstephen supports!). The new diocesan bishop will shortly have a prospective assistant bishop joining him when Bishop Graham James retires to Cornwall after his retirement early next year as Bishop of Norwich.

Laurence Gamlen
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Laurence Gamlen

A Newcastle United fan, as it happens

T Pott
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T Pott

The CMS site reveals the mystery: it’s Newcastle United. As this is, I think, the furthest English club from Cornwall (except Berwick who play in Scotland), I doubt he’ll be seeing many home games. But the Diocesan website quotations, from Rev Mountstephen and Bishop Goldsmith of St Germans, read like the opening of a Trollope novel. Rev M is “absolutely delighted” at being “called to lead”, he is looking forward “under God” to “leading”, to an “exciting” future. Rt. Rev G credits Rev M with a great deal of “energy” as he comes to “serve and lead”, and says the… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Further to my comment yesterday (above) I see that the report in the Daily Mail (link to the report in the Mail Online provided by this morning’s Church of England ‘Daily Media Digest’) tells us that Canon Mountstephen “enjoys gardening, travelling and reading, and is a long-time fan of Newcastle United, which he describes as ‘a triumph of hope over experience'”. It’s good that he enjoys travelling, as it will be a long journey from Cornwall to attend Newcastle home games!

Kate
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Kate

Whatever the reason, a significant improvement. We hear about his history within the church and his links to the diocese and not the irrelevant stuff.

The decision by University Challenge to move towards gender neutral questioning is in the news this week. The stated rationale is a trickle down effect. I see this in the same light. If announcements highlight marital status it makes it harder for the church to move towards a culture in which marital status and sexual orientation is seen as irrelevant. Excluding them is a positive step.

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

He is of course the Revd Canon Philip Mounstephen, analogous but not to be confused with mount as in St Michael’s Mount. He has almost certainly spent his entire career trying to educate folk on the spelling of his surname!

Simon W
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Simon W

The CMS community has produced a clutch of senior bishops in recent years. +Birmingham, +Leicester and +Durham were all on the board of trustees together, with the future +Winchester appointed as general secretary, who was then succeeded by the soon to be Bishop of Truro. When +Urquhart became Bishop of Birmingham he was replaced as chair by +Butler.