Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 15 August 2020

Church Times Lambeth Conference: Early steps on the path to unity
“One hundred years ago, Anglican bishops made a bold ecumenical move. Mark Chapman describes its impact”

Ben Thompson Earth & Altar The Church of England as a model of pluralistic unity for the “One Holy Catholic Church”

Laudable Practice Thoughts on Mitregate

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FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

I am pleased to see the continuation of debate regarding bishops wearing mitres. Far more important, however, is the dearth of CofE bishops who wear gaiters. It’s time to debate gaitergate.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

It would horrify some of our co-contributors, but I remember Deans of Winchester wearing gaiters and clerical aprons. It wasn’t confined to bishops. In those far-off days, archdeacons did as well.

John Wallace
John Wallace
1 month ago

When I was at Hereford Cathedral School (1955-1963) Dean Hedley Burrows and Archdeacon Winnington-Ingram both wore gaiters and aprons.

Father David
Father David
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

Yes, it was always said that bishops dropped their gaiters under Michael Ramsey.I believe that Archbishop Fisher always went to bed in his.Time for a campaign to bring back the frock coat in order to restore a much needed sartorial elegance to the English clergy.
Sadly, in the Press one word which is often associated with the Church of England is the word “decline”! With the onset of this dreaded corona virus pandemic – I fear that “decline” may well now be substituted for the word “disintegration”

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

Of the fine details I confess complete ignorance, but in former times C of E bishops also wore in their day dress a top hat of unique style with flying-buttress type cords connecting the body of the hat and the brim. I believe I may have seen a photograph of Archbishop Fisher wearing the (final?) one.

Father David
Father David
1 month ago

Google “All Gas and Gaiters” images and you will discover the Bishop of St. Ogg’s – the Right Rev’d Cuthbert Heaver (aka “Piggy”) wearing such a top hat with strings.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Gracious, “Thoughts on Mitregate” back to the subject of mitres so soon. Some of what is written is so close to the discussion – almost battle-stations – involving around 100 posts, that one might think that the author has cribbed some of his thoughts direct from the TA thread. Without re-opening the subject of the merits of wearing or throwing away the mitre, there is a very revealing photograph of the Consecration of Bishop Rose, now of Dover in St Paul’s Cathedral, London in ‘normal’ times. In the context of the sometimes heated debate about proper vestments, this analysis might… Read more »

David Emmott
David Emmott
1 month ago

The only (Anglican) episcopal ordination I have attended looked to me more like a degree ceremony than a sacramental function. Why the insistence on choir habit rather than traditional priestly vesture?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  David Emmott

I don’t know where you witnessed the Anglican episcopal ordination. It doubtless varies in different parts of the Anglican Communion. So far as the Church of England is concerned, the Ordinal or rubric for the Consecration of Bishops specifies the attire of the bishop to be consecrated (ordained) as follows: “After the Gospel, and the Nicene Creed, and the Sermon are ended, the elected Bishop (vested, with his Rochet) shall be presented by two Bishops unto the Archbishop of that province” The rochet is specifically designated. Later, following the elected bishop’s examination by the Archbishop: “Then shall the Bishop elect… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

How many consecrations take place using the historic ordinal? To apply its rubrics to a modern rite ordination is anachronistic. Heaven forfend, but priests will be breaking the host at the 9.30 halfway through the canon next.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

I defer to your knowledge of contemporary liturgy. At the age of almost 79 I still inhabit the world of the BCP 1662 which is solely used at the two churches with which I am currently associated. Would you care to reply to Mr Emmott’s question, in as much detail as I did, with your experience of present-day consecrations for his benefit – and mine? Specifically, does any later form specify a different episcopal habit? That was essentially the topic. Whilst the rubric might differ isn’t everything else I said about episcopal ‘attire’ still unchanged? Photographs of recent consecrations would… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

I believe David Emmott gets it right – convocation/ choir robes are not appropriate for ordinations as these invariably take place within the Eucharist. But the BCP casts a long shadow and rochet & chimere (complete with fussy cuffs and in either black or red) still feature in C of E consecrations. When the CW Ordinal went through GS the more liturgically lettered made the point that ordinands should be vested after the peace in readiness for their liturgical role. But can you imagine a Reform bishop agreeing to be vested in a chasuble? Which is why, I suspect, that… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

The last time the BCP ordinal was used at a consecration Allen was, I believe, when Stephen Sykes was consecrated Bishop of Ely and took place at his request. Linking this to the issues raised by Chapman and Thompson above, it was of course Sykes who published The Integrity of Anglicanism highlighting the profoundly unsatisfactory situation we found ourselves in.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Common Worship dates from 2000. Was there an earlier or interim order of Consecration other than the Ordinal? The Ordinal appears prominently on the C of E website, hardly suggesting that it is considered to be obsolete, but I suppose a possible explanation of that must be that it remains valid, if not in general use.
An interesting discussion. Nevertheless, I believe I have correctly described the various episcopal attire at recent Consecrations prior to those which took place in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace last month.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

The ASB 1980 ordination rites formed the basis for its CW successor, although the latter has a fuller theology of the diaconate.
It is a matter of regret that the 1662 Ordinal’s charge to bishops was omitted: “Be to the flock of Christ a shepherd, not a wolf; feed them, devour them not”.

Simon Cowling
Simon Cowling
1 month ago

My understanding is that black chimeres are customary for episcopal ordinands in the northern province, red in the southern province. All other bishops attending, in both provinces, wear red.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Cowling

It isn’t that simple (nor can I see any logic in that). Someone specifically questioned black chimeres worn after a consecration at Gloucester which, of course, is Southern Province. The scarlet chimere was, I believe, originally worn only by a holder of the degree of Doctor of Divinity, but in the way of the Church of England, it has become a loose ad hoc thing – and now the majority of wearers are not DDs!

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Apologies, a senior moment. The Consecration was at Canterbury Cathedral and newly-consecrated bishops Rachel Treweek (hence the reference to Gloucester) and Sarah Mullally were photographed both wearing black chimeres. The Archbishop of Canterbury wore a gold mitre and chasuble. All three carried plain pastoral staffs.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago

I wrote on here that at the consecration in Canterbury of the present +Londin and +Gloucester both were vested in black ( other bishops in red to the puzzlement of some German spectators though two Spanish women were delighted to see two women conse rated and the new bishops graciously consented to a photograph with them to show folks back home) . The present Abp prefers a black chimere at evensong and like his predecessor consecrates in a chasuble. Yes red chimeres were for doctors but once upon a time all bishops were given a DD. Of course a doctoral… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

Nice historical look at mitres, anglican dress and episcopal authority, with this tranquil conclusion. “It is right and proper that Anglicanism maintain a decent ceremonial which signifies the gift of episcopal order and its particular function within the Church’s life and witness. For this, the liturgical use of mitres is superfluous, not least because it is an unnecessary distraction which can overshadow the meaning of classical Anglican ceremony.”

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

I believe the article is written by, and reflects the views of, a Priest of the Church of Ireland which hasn’t fully embraced the liturgical episcopal dress of the Church of England. He is Anglican, of course, and fully entitled to his opinion. I believe CI bishops wear a black chimere, authentically the earlier form. But the C of E caters for diversity. The bishop who confirmed me, Henry Montgomery-Campbell, wore the mitre. He looked impressive and in no way ‘ridiculous’. But in his diocese there were churches where such ‘high-church’ dress was perceived to be objectionable. His response to… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

Repeating that paragraph is also superfluous, not least because I disagree.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Sorry. What ‘paragraph’ are you referring to (that is superfluous because you happen to disagree with it…)?

For a very useful historical account of the ire occasioned by the High Church party, in the eyes of the Tractarians, see the essay cited below and the review of Paul Avis. It is easy to blur these things. My grandfather, who taught Liturgics at Bexley Hall, was much enthusiastic about the Oxford movement (I inherited his library). Ritualism was a different thing with a different genealogy.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

Mark Chapman’s piece is fair and historically balanced. I have read a few contributions to a volume to appear for the anniversary of this 1920 gathering. In 1920 the fate of the Roman Catholic Church seemed far less clear, and so the energy and optimism of the Lambeth statements took form against that backdrop. 100 years on we have a very different backdrop and the optimism now seems wistful. In turn, the ecumenical mood of Vatican II likewise seems only to highlight what did not transpire. St Sergius in Paris, once a beacon for rapprochement, is now a shell of… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

Many thanks, Prof. ACI! Whilst I suspect you are very well informed about Mark Chapman’s oeuvre, I note some of your recent remarks about the standing of Anglican churches viz. the Roman Catholic Church. In that context, a reference to Chapman’s 2014 ‘Fantasy of Reunion’ (https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-fantasy-of-reunion-9780199688067?q=mark%20chapman&lang=en&cc=gb#), which explores Anglican efforts at outreach to the RCC (doomed in the wake of Vatican I), the Old Catholics (frustrated by the failure of that movement to gain much traction except in parts of the Netherlands, the Rhineland and Switzerland; note also the details of the previous Bonn Conferences in 1874-5) and the Orthodox… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Froghole

These are simply superb links and I thank you for them. I am aware of his oeuvre. I tend to agree. But this also begs the question about the future. His precis in the essay above ends with a question mark. One essay in the volume I refer to below speaks of the difference between the logic of the 1920 Appeal and ensuing efforts like the Bonn agreement. I agree this is a neuralgic point. One spoke of visible unity (in a “confederation” which people like Congar questioned) and the other sought pragmatic compromises at the local level. Old Catholics… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Froghole

“This raises the question: whether the development of the Anglican Communion after the Great War was essentially the spiritual counterpart of Chamberlainite Empire Free Trade?”

Yves Congar’s 1937 response and critique said, Yes, and for that reason he worried the 1920 Appeal would founder. A ‘League of Nations’ communion.

Radner takes this up in his essay in the volume to which I am referring. Peace.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

I see now (via my U of Toronto link) that the issue evaluating Lambeth 1920 is now out (Brill, Ecclesiology 16:2, 2020). Essays by Chapman, Methuen, Worthen, Radner, Avis.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

Sadly anything by Brill is v expensive, so much so that even UK universities wont buy it.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

I would be surprised if this issue cannot be accessed via UK universities (having taught for a decade at St Andrews and knowing electronic access more generally). Peace.

Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Too true, although they do have intermittent sales of stock at discounts, and I have picked up some choice items that way. Little seems to be discounted in the wider market, even via abebooks. However, the problem is that Brill produce a lot of really good stuff, especially reference works (such as the New Pauly or Religion Past & Present). As you note, ruinously expensive, and often beyond the reach even of many libraries. Take the Encyclopaedia of Islam; the third edition is in progress, but the hard copy of the second edition (which was about five decades in the… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

If the mitre is to be retired, What about the crozier? One could also ask about the rochet, scarf and chimere. One could extend this argument to bishops’ chaplains, chauffeurs and even palaces.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

Did you read his essay? It is about just that question.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

Thompson writes as if an invisible church is what is in fact intended by the language of the creed (whose wording he provides in closed quotes). But it is doubtful that the creed has this in view, or that the NT has this idea in view either. Moreover, others use the language and by it mean a visible church (Roman Catholics). The diversity he identifies is no doubt real and indeed is on his step. But whether this is sustainable or an elixir is out there to enable it to plod along is doubtful. At some point it simply merges… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Just to share a historical story with you regarding Mitres. The Father of my Godfather was Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Bishop George Graham Brown,, and I remember when visiting Jerusalem in 1996 to attend the Consecration of Bishop Riah Abu El Assal as Coadjutor Bishop in Jerusalem (I was to return to Jerusalem in 1998 for his Enthronement as Diocesan Bishop). On the day prior to this Consecration, the late Bishop Kenneth Cragg,a past Assistant Bishop in Jerusalem was leading a quiet day for the Clergy and Laity of the Diocese, which as a guest at St Georges Cathedral, I… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

How interesting. I’m sure what you say in your final sentence is correct and borne out by much of the discussion on the previous thread. Coincidentally, I was in Jerusalem a little later in 2001 or 2002 and played the organ for a private service in St George’s Cathedral. On that occasion we hoped to see former Archbishop Carey also visiting Jerusalem, but unfortunately he was delayed. Among all recent criticism and controversy surrounding him, people are forgetting his peace-making efforts and journeys to the Middle East. I believe this was one such.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
1 month ago

I hear that Brooklyn Beckham and the model Nicola Peltz are investigating getting married at St Paul’s Cathedral on the strength of his parents both having been appointed OBE. With the Beckhams love of fashion they might prevail upon the Dean to wear frock coat, apron and gaiters. This would, I’m sure, look good in Hello magazine and make the Church look funky, indeed edgy. What’s not to like?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

The Church will not look edgy until the clergy have all-over body tattoos. This will attract more people like the Beckhams and would halt the decline more effectively than abolishing mitres.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
1 month ago

Thanks indeed to Mark Chapman for a wonderful and very ‘Cuddesdon’ approach to what Anglicanism became – along with a hint and warning of what it might become if we are not careful. Mark makes this fundamental point: “Anglicanism was finally freed from the Protestant religion of the English State and had mutated into a form of non-Roman Catholicism detached from its Reformation roots. In the whole 1920 Appeal, there is nothing at all about the Book of Common Prayer or the Thirty-Nine Articles. Instead, the Anglicanism expressed in the Appeal is a kind of inclusive Catholic Church without a… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

“Anglicanism was finally freed.” This means of course that until 1920 the situation was Protestant (so his argument).

The title of the Ecclesiology essay (from which this is derived) speaks of “un-English and un-Protestant” both. That is his thesis regarding the 1920 Appeal. He also looks to William Reed Huntington and his “American Catholicity” hopefulness of the same period. 1920 was indeed an age of post-WWI league forming and hopefulness.

I do wonder what his own answer to his final question might be.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

Thanks Christopher. I interpret “Anglicanism was finally freed.” to mean that the situation in 1920 rather ratified what had been in progress up until then. Mark will no doubt have people like Bishop Edward King in mind. King was on the staff at Cuddesdon from 1858 I think, and is very quietly revered there. You will probably be familiar with the controversy surrounding his time at Lincoln, which Rowan Williams has publicly expressed regret for. So I think we might say without doubt that the turn away from the ‘anti Catholic Protestantism’ began a long time before 1920. As to… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

I believe key to his essay is the pairing of “un-English” with “un-Protestant” in the title. 1920 was an appeal to “all people.” Non CofE anglicans were searching for a primitive foundation and did not believe the established identity (with its High Church versus Tractarian debates, and its various parties) helped argue for a “catholic” identity. Hence MC’s referencing Huntington. It was a period of international “league” thinking.

(This is also what worried Yves Congar in his 1937 response.)

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

That is certainly part of it. So too is the recognition that ‘via media’ had come to mean something different, and something distinctive and inclusive.
Let’s hope those from the Global South who have been keener to exclude can discover this distinctive strand.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

Let’s hope the Church of England can find its way, as such, and in the spirit of the 1920 “Appeal to All Christians.” Un-Protestant and Un- English, as MC puts it.

Last edited 1 month ago by ACI
Adam Armstrong
Adam Armstrong
1 month ago

Ben Thompson’s article is interesting, but seems strange for those of us in other Anglican Churches (i.e. not in the C of E.) We have none of the elements he describes as being part of the “Church by Law Established” and we still manage to have diversity and ways of being Anglican Christians with a variety of theological and liturgical views. Oddly, the C of E seems even more disparate and disconnected from each other than those of us who don’t have the supposed advantages of being a national Church. In Canada, fortunately, we don’t have flying bishops and ordinands… Read more »

Jim Pratt
Jim Pratt
1 month ago
Reply to  Adam Armstrong

I agree with your assessment, Adam. The Canadian church had small number of departures, mostly concentrated in BC and Ontario, but now, despite differences, there is only one bishop threatening to leave. Certainly in my diocese we have, within walking distance, parishes as diverse as Thompson describes. Yet they cooperate in mission and ministry. While there are informal networks of like-minded clergy, formal organizations like Reform, Affirming Catholicism, FiF are almost non-existent.

Kurt Hill
Kurt Hill
1 month ago

In 1786 the American Bishop Samuel Seabury of Connecticut visited Massachusetts, and his ecclesiastical regalia apparently caused quite a stir among the locals. One bewildered Bostonian wrote:

“We have a Bishop in town named Seabury—he dresses in a black shirt with the fore-flap hanging out [a bishop’s apron], that’s one suit; at other times he appears in a black sattin  gown [chimere]; white sattin sleeves [rochet], white belly band [perhaps a gremial], with a scarlet knapsack [academic hood] at his back, and something resembling a pyramid [miter] on his head.”  

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt Hill

And this was a salutary thing? Dressing so that no one understood what you were wearing? Sounds self-referential. And I am no enemy of the good Bishop Seabury. Maybe the Bishops of today should find equally puzzling and odd haberdashery to turn heads?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
30 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Apart from the “white belly band” and the “scarlet knapsack” all of the above have been worn by (some) C of E bishops within living memory. But the inclusion of the mitre (with apologies to Rod Gillis) would have been surprising in 1786. C of E bishops then wore full-bottomed wigs – fortunately since discarded from episcopal dress and now confined to senior judiciary and Queen’s Counsel in the UK. I guess that in 1786 US bishops were entitled to celebrate newly-won independence, but much of Bishop Seabury’s garb reflects what would have been worn at the time in England.

ACI
ACI
30 days ago

“Seabury’s garb reflects what would have been worn at the time in England,” but of course those in the state of Massachusetts were not English, high church or low. Seabury had been a chaplain for the English. He sought and was denied consecration in the “land of his favored attire” and when he returned from Aberdeen he sailed for Halifax for fear of his known political stances. It sounds like Seabury liked add-ons, too, with his personal “white belly band” and “scarlet knapsack” and his secret decoder ring (that went unnoticed). “I guess that in 1786 US bishops were entitled… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
30 days ago
Reply to  ACI

I don’t wish to unduly prolong this discussion, but it would be interesting to know what episcopal dress would have been considered usual and acceptable in New England at that era. Portraits of Bishop Seabury on Google show him dressed in rochet with the exaggerated ‘balloon’ sleeves (still found in England into the early 20th Century) and black chimere or wide scarf. There are no other obvious appurtenances except ‘preaching bands’ or whatever the episcopal equivalent term for those might be. Of course, one doesn’t know how authentic these portraits are. In one of them the bishop’s mitre is standing… Read more »

ACI
ACI
30 days ago

You ask a very good question. It was Mr Hill who enthused about the six-piece ensemble purportedly worn by Seabury. My own guess is that Seabury was torn between his Old World (he studied medicine in Edinburgh) and New World selves. He was an ardent loyalist. He probably liked to feign a certain Englishness (these things can get exaggerated when one is in a different physical context). But as time passed, the new PECUSA (with Bishops consecrated where he had hoped to be) would begin to adopt standard dress, such as you see it in this painting. My wonderment is… Read more »

Kurt Hill
Kurt Hill
27 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Bishop Seabury, like many American Tories of the period, eventually repented of his counter-revolutionary actions during the War of the Revolution, and was welcomed back into American society on that basis.

Kurt Hill
Kurt Hill
27 days ago

Bishop Seabury may have also sometimes worn a fiddleback chasuble (described as a “smock”) in the 1780s and 1790s. It’s possible that he received one as a gift from Danish or Swedish admirers during his sojourn in Europe from 1783-1784, while waiting to be consecrated an Anglican bishop. But he may have regarded that vestment as a “bridge too far.”

Kurt Hill
Kurt Hill
27 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Bishop Seabury was not the only American Episcopal bishop to wear a miter, ACI. The Right Rev. Dr. Thomas Claggett of Maryland wore one from his consecration in 1792 until his death in 1816.In fact, a number of High Church customs were reintroduced into American Anglicanism long before they were reintroduced into England by British Ritualists (e.g., the use of incense during Divine Service, for example.)

Kurt Hill
Kurt Hill
27 days ago
Reply to  ACI

These people were Puritans, ACI, not Episcopalians!

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