Thinking Anglicans

Suffragan See of Ludlow not to be filled

The Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, the Suffragan Bishop of Ludlow in the Diocese of Hereford, retired on 30 April 2020. The Diocese has now announced that he will not be replaced; there is an explanation of this decision here. As with his recent predecessors the bishop was also Archdeacon of Ludlow. The plan is to replace the existing combined Bishop/Archdeacon of Ludlow role with a full time Archdeacon.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
38 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Laurence Gwynne
Laurence Gwynne
5 days ago

The ‘Dead See’ has undergone a transformation since my youth in the time of John Eastaugh – who made some innovative and original appointments in his day and was a great encourager of vocations. In the last ten years the emphasis on ‘bible based ministry’ in parish profiles has changed the diocese and this will no doubt continue for the foreseeable future.

Father David
5 days ago

At long last a long overdue episcopal culling. Instead of adding yet more bishops to the Bench – a positive move not to replace an existing suffragan. Well done the diocese of Hereford.

Kate
Kate
5 days ago
Reply to  Father David

Only it isn’t really is it? Instead of one person as bishop and archdeacon, there will be one person as archdeacon. So, although the bishopric will be vacant, there is no planned reduction in headcount.

Father David
4 days ago
Reply to  Kate

But one less Bishop!

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
5 days ago

As with his recent predecessors the bishop was also Archdeacon of Ludlow. The plan is to replace the existing combined Bishop/Archdeacon of Ludlow role with a full time Archdeacon.’
Am I missing the point here, or is the saving to the Church only that of a title, not of any resources? Won’t the new person cost exactly the same as the old one but be less useful?

M Evans
M Evans
5 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Bishops are paid more than archdeacons!

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
5 days ago
Reply to  M Evans

How much? Is it really enough of a saving to lose someone who can do more than an archdeacon can?
And, of course, they shouldn’t be.
I’m happy that different ministries need different expenses, but there can be no justification for different stipends.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
5 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

On the theory that a bishop has more experience and more responsibility than a curate or a vicar, I fail to see why a bishop should not receive a higher compensation. If you had 20 years more experience and the requirement to oversee a larger department, would you be happy receiving the same salary as the newest employee in your company?

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
4 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

I made the mistake of thinking of ministry as an apostolic calling, not a career.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
4 days ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Even those in a calling deserve to be paid what they’re worth. “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” Of course, if you prefer a clergy with high turnover, then….

ACI
ACI
4 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

This is not a curate or vicar, so the comparison is off. This is the archdeacon, a position like unto ‘canon to the ordinary’ in TEC, concerned with placements, interims, theological education, discipline — legs and feet of the Diocesan in many instances.
 
And leaving aside that issue for a moment, who said rectors were ‘newest employees.’ Cardinal rectors can in some dioceses in TEC make more money than the Bishop (if one is in it for that…).

Just sayin'
Just sayin'
4 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

A bishop may have different experience and responsibility to a vicar but that’s not the same as more experience or more responsibility. I’d argue that 35 years continuous service as an incumbent keeping the show on the road, raising money, keeping numbers up etc etc is no easy gig and certainly not when one has served parishes no bishop would ever look at – indeed some have been frightened to set foot in. Add in the constant threat of CDM for putting a foot wrong and it’s no bed of roses. Would I swap places? Not for a moment, but… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
4 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

Am I missing something? I thought that, rather than being paid hired labourers, clergy were given a stipend to free them from paid labour for the service of the church. On this basis increased pay with seniority is a nonsense.

David Exham
David Exham
4 days ago
Reply to  M Evans

All the evidence that I can discover is there is very little difference between the stipend of a suffragan bishop and that of an archdeacon.

Stanley Monkhouse
4 days ago
Reply to  David Exham

Not much difference. Suffragan bishop £36,930 before the recent hike. Archdeacon £36,100. Both paid by Commissioners not dioceses (that is, parishioners), as are their pensions, scandalously backdated to the year of deaconing, so I don’t see how the Hereford news counts as a saving to the diocese.
https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/GS%20Misc%201243%20Central%20Stipends%20Authority%20Report.pdf

NJW
NJW
4 days ago

Archdeacons are normally paid by the DBF – so this represents a move for the commissioners to be paying for a post that would otherwise have been paid for through parish share. Thus, this represents a saving of 50% of an archdeacon to the diocese (as the commissioners were already picking up the episcopal 50%).

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
4 days ago
Reply to  NJW

I too had thought that Archdeacons were paid by the DBF, but the document linked by Stanley above seems to make it very clear that this is not the case. Do you have any information to the contrary, NJW?

NJW
NJW
3 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon

I haven’t had time to go through the report cited line-by-line, but know from sitting in meetings that archdeacon and clergy stipends are reviewed annually at DBF meetings on the basis of these CSA recommendations – which are made each year to DBFs, cathedral chapters and the church commissioners for them to use in deciding the stipends of posts they respectively fund (all of which are then normally pay-rolled through the Church Commissioners). Generally, (and on the basis of my experience) the following are the relevant stipend bodies for deciding and paying stipends through the Church Commissioners: DBF for parish… Read more »

David Exham
David Exham
3 days ago
Reply to  NJW

The document that Stanley cites confirms what NJW says (section 2.12). Most additional residential canons, I believe, do a diocesan job as well, and so are paid by the DBF rather than the cathedral chapter. I doubt many cathedrals could afford additional residential canons.

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
1 day ago
Reply to  NJW

Thanks for this explanation

american piskie
american piskie
4 days ago

I have no idea how one should calculate the costs/savings. It all seems neutral to me except for the two Assistant Archdeacons. I guess that they may spend – possibly? – one day a week on these diocesan duties, possibly a little more. If so, the parishes of the diocese are to fund an extra 0.5 FTE post at diocesan level, and to lose the services of 0.5 of an incumbent.
 
I’d welcome correction on this ….
 

Last edited 4 days ago by american piskie
Neil Patterson
Neil Patterson
4 days ago

The initial diocesan proposal was to separate the Archdeacon and Bishop roles (combined under three +Ludlows, and wholly funded by the Commissioners) by adding a part-time Archdeacon (combined with a parish). This result means we save on that half role.

american piskie
american piskie
4 days ago
Reply to  Neil Patterson

It seems to me an odd way to calculate “savings”: the money not spent on (a presumably unaffordable) expansion.     Surely there are two matters: the cost of archdeaconing the diocese, and how that cost is split between the Commissioners and the Parishes. Overall the proposals seem to indicate more rather than less archdeaconing, so honest accounting means increased cost. Pragmatically that cost is to fall on the Parishes as some of their incumbents time is to be re-allocated to archdeaconing.     [To be clear: I am not opposed to an increase in such posts. It’s a sad… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by american piskie
Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
4 days ago

I was a Hereford ordinand whose vocation was fostered during John Eastaugh’s time as the Ordinary. A kind man with a mischievous sense of humour. I think Hereford is to be lauded for its honesty in acknowledging the decline in the number of clergy, and thus the concomitant reduction in the work for bishops. Meanwhile there will be plenty of work for an archdeacon in closing churches and overseeing the disposal of many of them. Admittedly not much of a reduction in stipend (note not a salary Pat), but a reflection of the nature of the work to be done… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
4 days ago

Whatever you call it (stipend, salary, wages), to declare that all clergy–from top to bottom, from newest ordinand to longest-serving, from vicar of tiny rural parish to archbishop–should be paid the same amount is, IMO, ludicrous. For one thing, their personal expenses (beyond those of the parish or see, properly paid from a parish or diocesan account) are not the same.   In TEC, where parishes determine what they pay their clergy, those things are naturally taken into account when calling a new rector or assistant. And they are regularly discussed (I hesitate to say re-negotiated, though that is what… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
3 days ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

I guess things are so different between the two continents. If you’ve been following Froghole’s contributions the CofE is rapidly moving to a position where hardly any clergy will receive a stipend or a salary. The only clergy will be those with private means, a big pension or a well paid partner – so even more middle class than it is now.

Tim
Tim
3 days ago

There are, I think, 116 members of the College of Bishops. Not 150.

Father David
3 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Is that number now down to 115 or have you already taken into account the Bishop of Ludlow not being replaced? Personally, I had in the back of my mind the figure 114 but certainly not as high as 150.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
2 days ago
Reply to  Tim

I stand corrected Tim. It’s still a flabby organisation when one considers the entourage for each one: chauffeur, gardener, housekeeper and a PA with an assistant PA.

Jo B
Jo B
2 days ago

It is not essential to have any of those to function as a bishop. The bishops of the SEC certainly operate with a lot less. Our recently translated +Kevin was served by a share in the part time Diocesan Secretary and that’s about it.

Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
4 days ago

I find it amazing that the debate is entirely reduced to one of money. Is that all that the Church of England is about nowadays?

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
3 days ago

Paul, so refreshing to know the CofE need not consider money. God will provide. I recall a parish treasurer: ‘Surely everyone has a thousand or two put aside for a rainy day’. I’m rather more with Father David expecting a slew of bishops laying down their lives (well, purple and chauffeurs) for the sake of the sheep- baah, humbug? A futile sacrifice or a time to every purpose?

James Allport
James Allport
3 days ago

I welcome this even if, as seems likely, it’s not going to save much money. I was struck, when I spent some time talking to +Portsmouth a couple of years ago, by the way that a single bishop in a diocese with a relatively small college of clergy leads to a different (and less tribal) feel than a bigger diocese with more than one bishop. I’m not trying to draw an overly simplistic “straight line” between unity and fewer bishops, but I do wonder whether single-bishop-dioceses, sized to enable the ordinary to know his/her clergy in a way that diocesans… Read more »

Father David
2 days ago
Reply to  James Allport

Now that Hereford has opted to be a single bishop diocese I can only think of two other dioceses with solitary bishops- Portsmouth and Sodor and Man

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
2 days ago
Reply to  James Allport

Of course ‘as things are’ some Dioceses need more than one bishop in order to deal with women IIUC. +Portsmouth does oversee a ‘Worshipping Community’ of 15,000 (Hereford 13,300,Guildford 30,600; Chichester 46,000, ) with 107 FTE Stipendiary and 39 SSM (Herefd 89 + 38, Gldfd 187 + 88; Chichester 289 + 93). There does perhaps seem to be an issue related to disproportionality of Diocesans? (CofE Mission stats 2018; Ministry stats 2019)

peter kettle
peter kettle
2 days ago

Interesting figures. What does IIUC stand for?

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
2 days ago
Reply to  peter kettle

IIUC- If I understand correctly IIUC 😉 Sorry about that.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
11 hours ago

Reading the comments on the Suffragan See of Ludlow, I think in both the Anglican Church where it concerns Suffragan Bishops and my own Church where it concerns the equivalent to the Anglican Suffragan, the Auxillary Bishop, I have heard views in the past expressed by one Anglican Priest in relation to Suffragan Bishops and two Roman Catholic Priests in relation to Auxiliary Bishops, that any kind of non-Diocesan Bishop whether it be the Anglican Suffragan Bishop or the Roman Catholic Auxillary Bishop is a theological and a liturgical nonsense, and citing early Church fathers, these respective priests argued that… Read more »

38
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x