Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 4 January 2020

Rose Hudson-Wilkin The Voice Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin gives New Year message to Voice readers
“The Bishop of Dover says we can live out the meaning of togetherness as we begin 2020”

Rose Hudson-Wilkin Vogue On Becoming Britain’s First Black Female Bishop

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Thinking about conservative Christianity and divisions

Giles Fraser UnHerd What’s the point of civil partnerships?
“Let’s not pretend that cancelling marriage will eradicate the power imbalances of sexual politics”

31
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
6 Comment threads
25 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
16 Comment authors
Mark BennetSusannah ClarkKateMarise HargreavesRowland Wateridge Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
James Byron
Guest
James Byron

The brutal collapse of the CoE’s Christian socialist tradition is nowhere better illustrated than by Giles Fraser, the church’s leading socialist, who voted for a conservative party hijacked by the nativist right, and now celebrates the possibility that citizens of EEA countries will lose their rights. Talk about leveling down.

How has a once proud tradition been reduced to this moral squalor, and what can be done to regenerate it?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I rather enjoyed Fraser’s article, and think that you have to look to his motives and reasoning before dismissing the way he chose to vote. The comment about EEA nationals underlines the paradox that membership of the EU effectively forces upon us a de facto racist immigration policy.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

His stated motive is to deliver Brexit at any cost (a cost principally borne by others, of course). When that cost is voting for a party taken over by the hard right, and led by a man who’s churned out decades’ of columns attacking everything Fraser claims to hold dear, I feel comfortable saying that the flame’s not worth the candle. As for membership of the single market being “de facto racist,” this must be one of the most tortured Lexit tropes, given that there are millions of non-whites who’re E.U. citizens or hold citizenship in Switzerland or an EEA… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

I really don’t like the two contributions by Rose Hudson-Wilkin. The first says it is a New Year message but actually is a self-absorbed discussion of herself. Charitably, if that was her only contribution, I would assume that The Voice added on the bit about it being a New Year message after submission: magazines have a nasty habbit of adding difficult titles to pieces without consulting authors. But the second piece in Vogue is as bad. Rose talks at length about the racism and sexism she has experienced. Obviously it is awful she has been treated that way. But her… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

The Vogue article is titled “On Becoming Britain’s First Black Female Bishop.” I would imagine that Vogue asked her to write on that topic. Of course it is autobiographical. But you labeled the Voice piece a “self-absorbed discussion of herself” and said the Vogue article is just as bad. Every autobiography is a discussion of oneself! Can you explain why overcoming racism and sexism is self-centric and therefore troubling to you? I always chuckle at comments on a sermon or article that bemoan the fact that the speaker or writer didn’t mention this or that. We all have our pet… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

I could expect her to mention the lament that is the Manchester United transfer party – but that would be tangential so not really a surprise that she chose not to. But talking about her experience of sexism and racism without mentioning that no progress has been made on the other big discrimination theme (same sex couples) preventing people from ministry and becoming bishops is pretty terrible to my mind. It makes her look self-absorbed

Marise Hargreaves
Guest
Marise Hargreaves

This is the same person whose complaint about the ‘stench’ of the alleged urine of the homeless had the homeless evicted from sleeping at the underground at Westminster. Nothing done to help them just a complaint and later a few words about homelessness being unacceptable. Was not impressed then and not impressed now.

Kate
Guest
Kate

I hadn’t made the connection. Thank you Marise for printing it out.

So now we know that not only did she not help the homeless sleeping in the tunnel, she is allegedly the cause of them being moved on. And it seems she didn’t even talk to the rough sleepers.

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Please can you give us your source for this story please – it sounds utterly out of character.

Laurence Cunnington
Guest
David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Thank you for providing the link. Firstly, I presume we agree there was an issue of health, safety and security that needed dealing with? Nor do I doubt the distress of the most vulnerable and homeless in our society. Secondly, I am much less confident than some here about assuming what I read in the secular press is ever wholly accurate and without its own agenda. Thirdly, this is someone with long, extensive and impressive ministry among social minorities and in inner city communities – among other places. To claim, on the basis of this story, that this is someone… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

If one reads the Guardian article in full, and dispassionately, I think a different picture emerges. Bishop Rose expressed compassion and concern. She was hardly – in fact never – in a position to re-house the homeless people. She didn’t personally initiate their removal as some have mischievously said (a moment’s thought would dismiss the absurdity of such an idea). That action was taken by others who, arguably, ought to have addressed the issue long before. Much more pertinent, what are Westminster City Council and other local authorities doing about the problem of homeless people? Are their social services departments… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

If you aren’t convinced yet, David, try the much more detailed account in the New Statesman. https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/10/parliament-s-chaplain-complained-about-stench-and-security-risk-westminster-tube You say there is another side to Rose. Can you please post the links so we can see that she isn’t just the priest who passed by on the other side? ”Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Unfortunately, I think with the Guardian piece that “the precise correlation between the information it communicated and the facts, insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8keZbZL2ero

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

I really don’t see how anyone can call Bishop Rose ‘self-absorbed’. Of course she writes about her own experience, rather than trying to imagine how people subject to other forms of discrimination and misunderstanding feel. Isn’t that a thoroughly honest thing to do? And I found very helpful her comments on how to deal with all this: she feels the pain, and then she moves on. It’s not so much that she has overcome the continued rejections of her ministry, but that she has found a way through that has kept her from bitterness.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Rose’s article in Vogue is primarily Christian Testimony, to an audience that may predominantly not embrace Christian faith. As testimony I think it is moving and honest, and very human. It sends positive signals about how prejudice will be faced but can be overcome. I think it conveys a positive image of the Church, set in a genuine life story, rooted in very ordinary beginnings; and concerned that role models should signal aspiration and opportunity, regardless of race or gender. I was moved by her testimony. It testifies to a life lived with God. I think it’s lovely. I have… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

”God has called her” I thought that interesting when she said that. It seems the Lord calls a lot of people to BE a bishop or to BE a priest. But very rarely do we read that the Lord has called X to be a bishop so that s/he can DO Y specific thing or things, and practically never something where achievement can be measured. So for instance Rose wasn’t “called to be a bishop so that I can increase Sunday attendance in the city” or “called to be a bishop so that I can fight to ensure a better… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

I believe God has called me to be a father and grandfather. What that means is that day by day I do my best to love my kids. I’m not in charge of the results. My job is to love. It’s process-oriented, not results-oriented. My ministry is the same. And quite frankly, I’m suspicious of bishops who come into office with an agenda. Just keep the vows you made at your consecration service; that’s good enough for me. And I suspect I speak for a lot of my clergy colleagues as well.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

Let’s not forget that the process of vocation is not about an individual claiming a call for themselves. The pivotal action in selection is the discernment of the community itself, and the weighing up of the needs to be met, and it is not the individual who chooses ‘for status’, it is the community who makes the discernment – careful, prayerful discernment – and chooses for whatever ‘function’ they believe needs to be carried out for the well-being of the community. Vocation is not about ‘me, me, me’: from the individual’s point of view it is about being willing to… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Rose says she was called to be a bishop. That’s what I am reacting to. But as to community discernment, I don’t buy it either. Firstly, if we really believe in discernment then we wouldn’t restrict the list of names but would use a list of every theoretically possible candidate. We also would select from that list blind – we would discern that we should pick candidate 3923 without knowing their race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation. That way, for instance, we would be discerning whether God wanted someone in a same sex marriage – or not. The truth… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

“The truth is that we don’t actually believe in discernment.” I believe in discernment, Kate. I have been very grateful for it in my own life. Rose may have felt she *might* be called to be a bishop. But she doesn’t get to choose. The community chooses by listening to God. The community’s discernment is the central factor, rooted in prayer and process. The process is thoughtful, detailed and reflective. Pretty obviously, in a role like this, discernment is needed on whether an individual actually fits and will flourish within a job description set out to meet the needs of… Read more »

Fr John Harris-White
Guest
Fr John Harris-White

Kate, in my opinion I find you very hypocritical, as most of your comments are self absorbed in matters of LGBT, and your own view of Bishops. Bishop Rose was writing an article that was by nature biographical, and I sincerely hope and pray her time in my old diocese of Canterbury will be a Blessing to the diocese, herself and the family.

Fr John Emlyn

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Sadly, from my point of view anyway, some female comment on this thread seems to be hyper-critical of Bishop Rose, when perhaps it should have been a little more feminist and accommodating of her suitability for the task to which she has been called by God and the Church. Such negativity is not too different from extant criticism of the future Archbishop of York, whose obvious qualities of inclusivity of all God’s people in the Mission of the Church are being overlooked – simply because he does not fit one’s own prescriptive understanding of what is required of an ABC.… Read more »

Rani
Guest
Rani

I know Rose personally and her hard and difficult path as rector of a Hackney church where she had to minister to families and bury murdered teenagers from violence especially knife crime. She has never lost her empathy and compassion bringing strength and wisdom to so many at the darkest moments in their lives. As the highest ranking woman of colour in the Church sadly like many of us, she is subject to more intense scrutiny and I wonder how many remember the homeless man who died in the underpass not so long ago? Walking late at night it is… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Just to be clear, Rani. If there were homeless people living in the porch of a church, do you think it is missionally right for the vicar to call the Council to complain about the “stench” without attempting to speak to those homeless people or ringing a homeless charity to see if they could be helped? Because that is essentially what happened. And, when the story breaks, should the vicar remain silent and give no comment, or should the vicar express remorse? And if asked to write a New Year greeting shortly afterwards, should the vicar fill that with how… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

In this frankly rather disturbing discussion thread thank you for your personal tribute to, and experience of, the ministry, integrity and practical compassion of this Godly priest and bishop in the church.

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

And to clarify two points, the ‘events’ occurred in February 2019, but became a news story in December. From what I have read, there is nothing to indicate that Bishop Rose passed by on the other side. The only photograph shows heaps of bedding and clothing, and no persons present. These night-time homeless people may not have been (my impression is that they weren’t) there all of the time. Bishop Rose expressed concern and compassion, but the context of that hasn’t been correctly (truthfully?) portrayed.

Marise Hargreaves
Guest
Marise Hargreaves

Paul a Big Issue vendor who lost his belongings in the eviction from the station wrote to the former Chaplain asking to meet and discuss what had happened. He did not blame her for what happened but wanted her to understand the consequences of her complaint. There is no record of any meeting taking place. That is a shame really – a meeting would have acknowledged the shared humanity and a degree of empathy. His comments are in the Big Issue.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Well, if nothing else, this thread’s testament to the truth, (which must now be universally acknowledged), that you can never hope to predict what’ll prove controversial on TA!

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

Giles Fraser’s piece raises the question “why should the state get involved with personal relationships?” The simple answer is tax and benefits – it comes down to money and the fact that the tax and benefits systems are not neutral between some kinds of couples and families and others. So the state needs a kind of Domesday Book of relationships to make the tax and benefits system work – and woe betide you if you get it wrong, that is a serious offence.