Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 10 June 2020

Arun Arora The Guardian How can the Church of England speak about race when its leaders are so white?

David Hamid Eurobishop Racism is a sin. Full stop.

Paul Vallely Church Times George Floyd was an innocent victim

Archbishop of Canterbury on the Church’s response to racism (2 minute video)

Philip North ViaMedia.News We Can’t Go Back…to Breathlessness

Nikki Groarke ViaMedia.News We Can’t Go Back…to Preserving Bricks & Mortar

Edward Dowler All Things Lawful And Honest More than Bricks
“The Significance of Church Buildings”

Christopher Rogers Evening Standard The Church of England faltered when our country needed spiritual guidance

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Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
25 days ago

While we are reflecting and commenting on Racism or inclusion both in Church or society, without wanting to set in train controversy for controversies sake nor wanting to put the cat among the pigeons, with Bishop John Sentamu (as we must now call him) having just retired from the See of York, will he be given a Life Peerage in the usual way Retired Church of England Archbishops are (and this may be in the pipeline in the usual way) or will he be passed over for this simply because of his Race? Will the Church and State put its… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

I got that distinct impression from the PM’s remarks following a question from Sir Peter Bottomley at PMQs today. It would be a fitting birthday present as he lays down his crozier.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

Sentamu is still an archbishop; he keeps that rank after retirement. Just as Lord Blanch and Lord Carey Carey did. Whether he becomes a lord is a different matter. Archbishops of York and Canterbury usually do, but there are outstanding safeguarding allegations against Archbishop Sentamu. Since the Queen personally granted him permission to retire at 71 rather than 70 I suspect he will be ennobled, but if he isn’t it’s not necessarily because of his race.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
24 days ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

It has been a long standing precedent in Anglicanism that Anglican Archbishops on retirement drop the title of Archbishop and revert to the Status of a Bishop and they also stop using the title Most Revd and revert to the usage of Right Revd, the title Archbishop would only be used in this case as a courtesy title but not as an official title after Retirement. Going back in Anglican History I think the practice of Anglican Archbishops dropping their archiepiscopal titles on retirement , probably goes back to the time when there was a lot of expatriate Archbishops, in… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

Interestingly, Crockford’s Clerical Directory succinctly says this:
 
“A retired archbishop properly reverts to the status of bishop, but may be given as a courtesy the style of an archbishop.”
 
 
 

Last edited 24 days ago by Rowland Wateridge
Kate
Kate
24 days ago

Archbishop is an office which therefore lapses on retirement.

Bishop is an ordained state and permanent.

Therefore an archbishop upon retirement is a bishop.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
23 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate: My comment says exactly that!

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
24 days ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

Janet: It seems that those are purely courtesy titles. I have continued to refer to Archbishop Carey since his retirement, now some 18 years ago. According to Crockford’s there is some authority for it but it is not used as of right.

John Bunyan
John Bunyan
20 days ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

I disagree. This is simply not correct. A person may hold the office of archbishop and then retire from it but he remains a bishop. For example, the late Donald Robinson, Archbishop of Sydney, under whom I served, became Bishop Donald Robinson on his retirement. (Though a keen constitutional monarchist in a land whose Sovereign is the Queen of Australia, I am glad we have no “lords”. Did not Jesus say something on the subject ?!)

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
20 days ago
Reply to  John Bunyan

Isn’t the Australian equivalent of a member of the House of Lords a Senator? It’s hardly surprising that we have not adopted republican titles in the UK! Without wishing this to be a contentious point, Lord Carey’s title is wholly secular, and does not derive from either his former archbishopric or his current bishopric.   As explained in Crockford’s Directory, those on appropriately familiar terms with a retired archbishop might continue to address him/ her informally as “Archbishop”. An exactly similar situation applies, at least in England, to retired judges continuing to be addressed as “Judge”. These are courtesy titles,… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

He lost his rank as archbishop upon sealing his deed of resignation, which was effective last Thursday. As I understand it all of the spiritualities and temporalities he possessed in the see of York ceased at that point. In terms of precedence, he is now simply another bishop and his place in the pecking order will be amongst other bishops not holding diocesan or suffragan bishoprics ‘according to [their] seniority of consecration’. As a bishop he outranks all barons according to the current warrant and order of precedence. It’s set out very well in George Squibb’s ‘Order of Precedence in… Read more »

Kate
Kate
25 days ago

Arun Arora and colleagues are right to question the credentials of the Church of England to talk about race. But there is the same problem with the House of Bishops when it comes to talking about sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and poverty. And for that matter immigration and people with criminal records. The problem isn’t just that “its leaders are so white”, it is a complete failure to recognise why diversity matters, let alone do something about it. I might add that I don’t believe that God only calls straight, white, cis people without visible disabilities, secure residence in… Read more »

Kate
Kate
25 days ago

Can I firstly say how enormously welcome it is to have Bishop Philip write for Via Media. And what writing it is. By far the best piece in the “We can’t go back” series. And absolutely on the money in terms of what he is saying.

Simply wonderful. Thank you Philip (and Jayne for organising it).

Cathy
Cathy
25 days ago
Reply to  Kate

And can I say how enormously unwelcome it is. As a female priest I feel much as I imagine Jayne would if an anti-LGBTI had been invited.

Revd Vanessa Baron
Revd Vanessa Baron
24 days ago
Reply to  Cathy

We’ve been over this so many times before, but simply to say that as a female priest how very pleased I was to see Bishop Philip writing for Via Media. I do not have to always agree with someone to listen to what they have to say. My diocesan is a traditionalist and whatever contradictions I may see in his position, he has been faultless in his support and promotion of the women priests in his diocese. As I believe has Bishop Philip.

Andrew
Andrew
25 days ago

I prefer Hastings’ conceptualization of ‘bricks and mortar’ over Dudley’s.   The eve of Corpus Christi may cause us to reflect on the artefacts in our churches that remind us of our incarnational and eucharistic life. It seems to be a fallacy to suppose that you can somehow disaggregate congregations and buildings, without abandoning the institution altogether. You may uproot ‘dispersed, fragmented and often insular worship’ from one place, only to replace it with an equally dispersed, fragmented and insular one online. Agape and assemblies can indeed occur in kitchens or school halls, but the cruciform topology of our houses… Read more »

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
25 days ago

The ultimate irony is that all the concern about a lack of racial diversity among the Church of England’s senior leadership is being expressed in the week that saw the retirement of the first black Ugandan Archbishop of York. The same Archbishop of York, who was in office for well over a decade, did not appoint anyone – anyone – from an ethnic minority to his senior Diocesan staff; nor, it appears, did he use his considerable influence (which he was not above using in other situations) to enable the appointment of someone from an ethnic minority to senior leadership… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
24 days ago
Reply to  Bill Broadhead

“…his considerable influence (which he was not above using in other situations)…”

Indeed. 

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
25 days ago

Archbishop Welby’s video says little other than the usual mealy mouthed hand wringing comments (he’s waving his hands around clutching a small red object). What steps is he going to take to bring diversity into the church’s leadership? He doesn’t tell us.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
24 days ago

Does the Church reflect society as it is or as we wish it to be? That is a central question!

Last edited 24 days ago by Evan McWilliams
God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
24 days ago

Both the Guardian and the ABC say it eloquently. ‘Diversity’ should have been addressed years ago (as gender was, albeit belatedly), at least during Archbishop John’s one year ‘extension of contract’. Repent and take action. Would an oil company be so negligent of its HR, or PR? Which is more likely- a big ‘clear out’ at the top post-Covid- or reinterpretation of a lot of church monuments memorialising slaver patrons?

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
23 days ago

Philip North writes: ‘But if we are to address injustice nationally we must name it within our own structures.’ Good point. Why don’t we start by treating women as equals and stop allowing no-go zones? Why don’t we say that any priest will serve under any bishop appointed to their diocese? Why do we have ‘untainted’ bishops to care for ‘untainted’ priests? That’s an injustice which is entirely invented by us as a church and entirely within our scope to end.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
23 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

I think we have to be careful about applying the label ‘injustice’, particularly when put alongside racism. If provision had not been made for those unable to accept the ministry of women priests, that could more credibly be called an injustice. The pick-your-own-bishop eccesiology that we now have as a result is certainly messy, profoundly un-Catholic, generous to a minority, and perhaps much else besides. But an injustice?

Charles Read
23 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Well it is not so much that we made provision for the minority view it is more how that provision has sometimes been applied. Lots of women clergy I know feel the provisions are applied in ways that are discriminatory or at least make them feel unequal to the men.

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
22 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Yes. An injustice. Clear and unambiguous. Replace ‘women’ with ‘black’ and see how it sounds.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
22 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Toby, when the provisions are applied in ways that are discriminatory that is, as Charles suggests, an injustice and needs calling out. But, and I carry no torch for FiF, if you end the provision made for those who cannot accept the ministry of women aren’t you replacing one injustice with another? As for replacing ‘women’ with ‘black’ to see how it sounds, this is a false equivalence. I don’t recall the Church restricting ordination to whites. Again, this is not to deny that black (and South Asian) clergy have encountered prejudice when applying for posts. But again, this needs… Read more »

Cathy
Cathy
21 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Thank you Toby for standing up for us. You are right.
Suggesting that because the church has done something in the past (restricted ordination to men) makes it ok now is false logic.
The church has done all sorts of things in the past – including approving ownership of slaves – that does not mean that an ‘honoured place’ or ‘flourishing’ should be found for those who still believe that today.
 

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
21 days ago
Reply to  Cathy

The point I’m making is that many of our priests were ordained at a time when women, unlike blacks, were barred from the presbyterate. That changed and I rejoice that it did. But it leaves the awkward question of what to do with the minority who could not in all conscience accept the change. Sling them out?

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
21 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

I’m afraid that all I see here is the usual special pleading. I don’t see how it would be in any way unjust to expect that all clergy conform to catholic practice with regard to episcopal obedience, and that all clergy should agree to end injustice. We don’t expect accused persons to be able to demand an all-male judge and jury. In every instance and every analogy the church finds herself in an impossible position. Only we have the authority to end this injustice and we have no moral authority to point the finger at others in society until we… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
21 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Back in the day, my involvement with AffCath tried my relationship with two friends who were opposed to an inclusive presbyterate. I disagreed with them but also knew them to be people of integrity. So I was relieved when provision was made for them to remain within the Anglican tent – messy and un-Catholic as it was. What I find hard to accept is that this provision remains open-ended with ordinands opposed to an inclusive Church still coming to the bishop’s hand.

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
20 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Thanks for continuing. As I understand it, we were asked to allow a ‘period of reception’ or some such. That period is well past its sell-by date. Further than that, ordinands and clergy are now required to sign a document stating that both ‘integrities’ have an honoured place in the church. That’s absolutely not what was agreed. I can see no justification at all for ordaining new priests who not accept the priesthood of women. It perpetuates division and injustice.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
20 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Did the slave-owning ‘integrity’ or ‘tradition’ continue to have an honoured flourishing place on the Clapham Sect omnibus post abolition?

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
20 days ago

Brilliant!

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
20 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

I wonder how many trad catholics are in training now? I dont think the PEV’s are ordaining many.

Stanley Monkhouse
20 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

It’s not easy to find out about ordinations by “flying” bishops, but here are some data easily culled from websites.    Parishes looking to “Catholic” flying bishops: 403, made up thus: Beverley 147; Ebbsfleet 96; Richborough 101; Fulham 59.   Parishes looking to ConEvo flying bishop (Maidstone): 144. There are of course ConEvo parishes not included in this, content to receive the ministry of a (currently) male diocesan.   The total, therefore, is 547 parishes out of a total of about 7,500 stipendiary clergy, of whom let’s say about 160 are cathedral staff, so the percentage of stipendiary parochial clergy… Read more »

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
20 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

I was speaking with a DDO recently and he said that all DDOs had been told to make sure that they recruited from that stable.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
19 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

But how many trad catholics are coming forward and being recommended. And how many are at colleges or on courses. I suspect far fewer than,say, 10 yrs ago. But i agree with Stanley that the no looking to the bishop of Maidstone will increase as more women are appointed as Diocesan bishops. The interesting thing will be whether if,say, +Maidstone’s parishes increase to say 300 or more a second headship bishop is appointed. Im also rather intrigued as to how many confirmations +Maidstone does given many cons evo parishes seem to have given it up.How far will the “balkanisation” of… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
19 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Perry, I too have wondered at the number of confirmations +Maidstone does. I was shocked last year to find that he carried out a confirmation in a nearby parish, which included candidates from several adjacent parishes, including an FiF parish openly affiliated to +Richborough, and a liberal catholic one. The host parish is certainly con-evo, although not openly affiliated to +Maidstone. And that in a diocese with two male bishops who could have been called on.   Many of the candidates were female, and I wondered if they had been told who was confirming them, or why he had been… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
18 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon

I assume this was because he has been made an assistant bishop in that diocese—in order to keep him on board. The PEVs seem to have morphed from extended episcopal care via alternative episcopal oversight to the “see of X”. Making them assistant bishops gives some semblance of “catholic order”. I was confirmed 48 yrs ago by Bishop J C Mann. He was very evangelical ( of the old sort) and wanted to go off in retirement to minister to that schismatic body the Church of England in South Africa. But I was nonetheless validly confirmed!

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
18 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Thank you, Perry. Yes, he is an assistant bishop in the diocese, as I presume he is in all the dioceses where he has affiliated parishes. As you say, it gives a nod to Catholic order. I was not suggesting that the confirmations were invalid, only that it was odd that he was carrying out a confirmation where none of the sponsoring parishes was affiliated to his ‘pseudo-see’. He was appointed for a specific purpose and he should, in my view, stick to that purpose, especially if, as has been said, he has so many parishes calling on his services… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
17 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon

Malcolm I gather there was a confirmation here in Canterbury where +Lambeth and _+Maidstone confrirmed together. I wasn’t present so I don’t know who confirmed whom but I imagine + Maidstone confirmed people from one ( or more) of his parishes and +tim Thornton did the others. Mutual flourishing I suppose.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
17 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

“Making them assistant bishops gives some semblance of catholic order”. Good point, and one that renders pick your own bishops almost acceptable in my view. This trend of course long predates PEVs. +David Jenkins, among others, was well used to confirmands being withdrawn by conservative clergy or parents because he was deemed “unsound”. It’s ironic that those most given to referring to the 39 Articles conveniently ignore Article XXVI: “Of the unworthiness of ministers which hinders not the effect of the Sacrament”.

Stanley Monkhouse
19 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Another ConEvo flying bishop. Perry? It seems likely. Even now, Maidstone has the whole country to cover from his Surrey home, and there are a surprisingly large number of petitioning parishes in the north west. I say surprisingly, for the diocese of Carlisle (5 Maidstone parishes) has always been low church, and the last few bishops of Chester (10 parishes) have had good evangelical pedigrees. And as for Blackburn (10 parishes), the current diocesan is himself ConEvo (the see of Maidstone did not exist in the episcopate of his catholic predecessor). I’ve seen over the years that many (? most)… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
19 days ago

I was struck decades ago Stanley when I read the Congregationalist theo Daniel Jenkins (father of Simon) in his book Catholicity where he wrote( i quote from memory) that it could be argued that the C of E wasnt a church at all but an attempt to solve the problem of English religion. And dear old Cheslyn Jones writing in Christian Believing that the C of E was an unstable amalgam held in a largely erastian framework

Froghole
Froghole
19 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Many thanks for this. So very apt. It seems we have gone well beyond William Conybeare’s taxonomy of the profession in his famous 1853 article in the Edinburgh Review ‘Church Parties’ (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=CYVuzcqBTBEC&pg=PA234&lpg=PA234&dq=conybeare+church+parties&source=bl&ots=964SJqy4vx&sig=ACfU3U1syJ__gzV_kMXEZBVwSP4jp-Abhw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj_6t3474bqAhVHe8AKHcBiBmk4ChDoATAAegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=conybeare%20church%20parties&f=false). Instead we have several warring sects bound in mutual misery and antipathy by a tangle of legal, financial and administrative obligations. In that sense, at least, Synod and the legislation it generates have some value!

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
18 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Fortunately Froghole in the parishes things aren’t that bad as churchmanship conflicts and antagonisms “sit” upon a largely “un-hyphenated Anglican” ( to use Alec Vidler’s memorable term) base. Synod doesn’t really reflect that. Indeed many of these “unhyphenated Anglicans” are largely unaware of Synod at all.

ACI
ACI
18 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Could you kindly point me to any available online links to discussions of Jenkins and Jones? I do not have the Catholicity book in my library, though I see a cheap copy for sale at Amazon. I am intrigued by your thumbnail descriptions (having just finished a book on catholicity). Thank you.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
17 days ago
Reply to  ACI

I’m afraid I cant. When i retired( from a 5 bed rectory to a two be flat) i inevitably got rid of a large number of books. I doubt if you can read either on line. Had we not been locked down i would have chased the references in the Uni libraries here in Canterbury. I read Daniel Jenkins book nearly 40 yrs ago but the phrase stayed in my mind . Cheslyn’s essay is in the Doctrine Commissions report Christian Believing..was it edited by Maurice Wiles? It aroused some anxiety and was later followed up by a report Believing… Read more »

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