Thinking Anglicans

Scottish bishops set up Mediation Steering Group

The Scottish Episcopal Church has announced Mediation Steering Group established for Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney.

The Episcopal Synod, comprising all seven diocesan bishops, met online as planned this morning to consider the setting up of an independent mediation process to help the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney move forward from its current difficulties.

The Synod voted to meet in private and then unanimously agreed to set up such a process and appointed a Mediation Steering Group to oversee the process. The remit for the Steering Group is set out below.

The Group will be chaired by David Strang CBE, former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland and former Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and Lothian and Borders Police. The other members of the Group will be the Rev Liz Crumlish and Morag Hendry. Further information about each member is set out below.

The bishops are grateful that all three have accepted an invitation to serve and for their willingness to offer their skills and experience to the Church in this way.

The Group will now commence work, initially, on appointing an external mediation organisation to scope, and subsequently undertake, a confidential mediation process. In setting up such a process, it is expected that a range of individuals within the diocese will be consulted.

The Group is aware of the need to move forward swiftly, and further information will be issued on behalf of the Group as soon as it is in a position to provide more details.

The bishops acknowledge that this is a difficult period for the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, and recognises the level of hurt and upset experienced by a number of people. It has also been a challenge for the bishops themselves, and they have listened to a wide variety of differing opinions in recent weeks. They are in the process of considering what additional pastoral support can be made available.

Meanwhile, the bishops invite all members of the Scottish Episcopal Church to join with them in holding the Diocese, and the future mediation process, in their prayers and they encourage members of the Diocese to engage positively with that process, which they hope will help to bring healing.

The press release then lists out the Steering Group Remit and provides further details of the members of that group.

See here for our previous report on this.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
6 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Neil Urquhart
Neil Urquhart
17 days ago

Call me unduly cynical and pessimistic, but isn’t this the ecclesiastical equivalent of performing a certain bodily function in a force ten gale? It certainly has the feel of inflicting ‘death by a thousand cuts’ on Anne Dyer, who clearly cannot continue in office as a focus of unity in the diocese. This is, surely, just delaying further the inevitable. Anne may well have been the victim of bullying herself (and if this process enables her to articulate this it may be of value); but her recorded behaviour and misuse of her authority still stands. This, in itself, makes her… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Neil Urquhart
17 days ago

I can’t help thinking that the Bishop of Winchester’s decision to resign/retire within a fixed timescale now looks quite respectable compared to the A & O situation. That may not be the right outcome for A & O, but few dioceses (in England and I imagine in Scotland) can afford for resolution processes to drift from months into years.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
17 days ago

Oxford? Incidentally, hasn’t the Charity Commission’s deadline for a response from the Ch Ch trustees now expired? I suppose the outcome, if any, remains confidential unless and until the Commission makes any further pronouncement.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
17 days ago

I was thinking of Aberdeen and Orkney, but the Ch Ch situation is a constant reminder of how multi layered and protracted these disputes can get. The longer such disputes go on the harder it must be to find sufficient objectivity for a review or mediation process. The Torrance review seemed clear in its analysis and conclusions, some which have been challenged. Now the episcopal synod has commissioned a mediation process. What if the mediation process proves unacceptable to one or more of the participants?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
16 days ago

That is exactly what has happened at Ch Ch and led to the Charity Commission’s intervention.

Jane Manon-Thomas
Jane Manon-Thomas
Reply to  Neil Urquhart
15 days ago

Yes, Neil. You’re reading the sitation here in Wales pretty acurately. ‘Let me be clear’ and ‘my leadership of this Diocese’ are frequent refrains as barely cursory consultation, and a growing lack of trust, leads to far-sweeping changes, with a widespread sense that the bishop is not bringing the people on the ground with her. This pulling of rank is simply leading to intertia as people wearily count down the months to an impending retirement. There was something perceptive said in the initial report on Aberdeen and Orkney about knowing, from the outset, that it would be a short episcopate.… Read more »

6
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x