Thinking Anglicans

What next in the Diocese of Winchester?

Updated Sunday and again Tuesday and Wednesday (scroll down)

Our previous report dated 20 May, was headlined: Winchester rebels against its diocesan bishop.

As the six week period of “stepping back” draws to a close, these items have appeared:

Much more detail on the bishop’s earlier career is to be found in this:

Update Sunday

Update Tuesday 

Letter from Bishop Debbie Sellin. Do read the whole letter, but the critical portion is this…

It goes without saying that this remains a hugely challenging period for us as a diocese. I realise many of you feel you have not heard enough since I wrote to you almost six weeks ago, to inform you that Bishop Tim would be stepping back. Again, I am conscious that many questions remain unanswered, but I can confirm that the process to consider matters raised concerning leadership and governance is progressing.

Facilitated conversations are continuing and, in order for them to be given the time and space they need, Bishop Tim has agreed these will be his sole focus until the end of August. I recognise many will want to know more and have questions but we do need to ensure the process is held as confidential at this stage and I would urge all to keep those concerned in our prayers.  Once we can say more then of course we will. The Bishop of London and the Bishop at Lambeth are being kept fully aware of the ongoing process and are providing welcome support, although they are not part of the conversations.

Bishop David has agreed to continue standing back from ministry in Winchester Diocese to enable the conversations to run their course…

This letter has now (Wednesday) been posted to the diocesan website.

Church Times: Talks about Dakin’s future to continue

…The facilitated conversations mentioned by Bishop Sellin involved Dr Dakin, the chairs of the houses of clergy and laity in Winchester, and the chair of the finance committee — Dr Dakin is chair of the diocesan board of finance, an arrangement regarded as highly unusual — together with a facilitator suggested by Bishop Thornton. There have been two such meetings and another is expected shortly. They are understood to have been positive, though the issues being dealt with are difficult.

Commentators — of which there are many — have expressed doubt that Dr Dakin can have any confidence of returning to the diocese, given the nature of some of the stories that have emerged. One solution might be that he takes early retirement — he is 63; but he would not be immune to action under the Clergy Discipline Measure if those who are alleging mistreatment decide to complain formally.

There has also been discussion about the culture of the diocese, with the suggestion that wider repairs are needed than merely replacing the diocesan bishop. In the mean time, Bishop Sellin remains acting diocesan bishop.

Hampshire Chronicle: Delays over decision over future of Bishop of Winchester, Rt Rev Tim Dakin

Update Wednesday

Surviving Church: Finding Solutions for the Winchester Crisis

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Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

If he must comment at all, wouldn’t it be better for Gavin Ashenden to await whatever the official outcome of this sad affair turns out to be? His website isn’t wholly frank about his own priestly ministry, omitting any mention of his joining a church not in communion with the Church of England and being consecrated a bishop in that church whilst ostensibly remaining a priest of the C of E and a Private Chaplain to Her Majesty. Are those facts compatible, and is he an appropriate person to comment on C of E matters?
.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I value Dr Ashenden’s comments. His history does not invalidate his power of analytical thought. I doubt there’s an historian anywhere whose past is lilywhite. Psalm 130:3. For me, what emerges from this sad and murky tale are questions for Mrs Redfern and the CNC. Mr Roberts’ observations about the link between evangelicals and the wielding of power are significant – and not only in the Winchester context.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I have no problem with Gavin Ashenden commenting on the subject – nor Private Eye: CHURCH NEWS COLLECTION – PRIVATE EYE – NO 1549 – 11 JUNE – 24 JUNE 2021 Winchester woes BISHOP Tim Dakin is a man on a mission. The ruthless pursuit of his “action plan” for the diocese of Winchester has led to him being dubbed Tim Jong-un. Parish priests are set targets for growth, and those who can’t deliver bums on pews are reprimanded or removed. The plan has caused great anger and hurt, and the payoffs are said to have cost the diocese up… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
1 month ago

Richard: It’s hardly necessary to say any of those things to me. I have known Winchester since childhood, and have lived in the Diocese for 46 years. Furthermore, I and another contributor on TA established and published here many of the facts about Kenya and ordination. The issue in the Channel Islands involved the Dean of Jersey, not Guernsey, but that’s a minor detail.

I’m not going to debate the credentials of Gavin Ashenden or the Daily Mail. It’s a matter for official channels and we are told that the Bishop of London is dealing with it

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

So that’ll be helpful…. NOT!!!

Hilary Dawes
Hilary Dawes
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

The problem is, Rowland, that the level of institutional secrecy in the Church of England (and if you don’t believe it exists, you are living on another planet) would like to smoothe everything over, aided and abetted by Luther Pendragon’s ‘reputational management’ brief (who have a decisive hand in the cover-ups and NDAs in Winchester) and allow Tim Dakin to return to his reign of terror. If they think we don’t know the detail, they imagine we’ll just grin and bear it. This needs to come out if any decisive action is to follow. How do you think most people… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
1 month ago

I’m very surprised and rather disappointed by this riposte. Your final sentence is quite offensive, and of course I have not trivialised anything. I live in the Winchester Diocese and have served on an entirely voluntary basis as a musician in no less than 27 of its churches over a period of 40 years – the musical equivalent of a LLM. My comment was posed as questions to which I expected replies, not necessarily agreeing, but certainly not expressed so bluntly as yours. I am a careful person. My comments on TA are carefully written and I hope that they… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

And I in turn am very surprised that you have reacted so strongly to what seem to me perfectly reasonable comments from Hilary. We all have a duty to speak out when we see power being abused and people being damaged. And few of us with much knowledge of the Church trust the bishops and church processes to see that justice is done. That’s why waiting to see what happens is not enough.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Janet: You find it acceptable for these words to be said to me in the context of a comment about the appropriateness of Gavin Ashenden speaking as the conscience of the C of E which he left in not wholly commendable circumstances. That was the drift of what I wrote, and nothing else. ”Perhaps, Rowland, you’ll pause before clicking ‘send’ on this thread again, because it seems to me that you clearly cannot know the extent of the suffering and abuse that people have endured for far too long. Attempts to trivialize that pain is simply adding to their trauma.”… Read more »

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I think, in fairness to Hilary, Rowland, she may be rather closer to the effects of Tim Dakin’s management style than you and that qualifies her to respond angrily. Your repeated pleas of ‘there, there, it’s not as bad as it sounds, let’s wait for the outcome of an enquiry’ in threads about the Winchester situation is simply pouring piles of salt on deep wounds. We know you have a musical track record in the Diocese, and get around Hampshire a fair bit; but your posts (which I’ve no doubt are meant with the best of intentions) do sometimes come… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
1 month ago

I feel compelled to add that you clearly did not read my comment carefully, and have inferred things which simply were not said there.

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
1 month ago

Secrecy is endemic. We in Jersey have only just learned about the date for Synod to approve the new Canon Law which officially moves Jersey from Winchester to Salisbury via a question asked of the Dean in the States by a States member. Parishioners have been left in the dark.

SkepticalObserver
SkepticalObserver
1 month ago

I know something of the governance of the CofE, or at least I thought that I did.
So is it really the case that a Bishop can be allowed to behave as this office holder has without the support of the Bishops Staff, Bishops Council and the Diocesan Synod. That is that she/he can make and have carried out decisions and policies without censure?
Or is this the point that the system is that broken that the unimaginable can go uncontrolled?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  SkepticalObserver
1 month ago

“Or is this the point that the system is that broken that the unimaginable can go uncontrolled?” – ‘SkepticalObserver’ The system is that broken. The Church of England, as an institution, is now essentially a failing secular business corporation, driven by a correspondingly un-holy, out-dated and out-of-control managerial ethos of money, misuse and abuse of power, and controlling PR management – totally at odds with its raison d’etre. But when did the rot set in? Could it have stemmed from Lord Green’s business training proposals for bishops and deans seven years ago? His 2014 report, “Talent Management for Future Leaders and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard W. Symonds
C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
1 month ago

Part of the problem, further, is that it couldn’t come at a worse time given the state of affairs in the CofE. Panic sets in and people seek solutions to problems that have taken generations to make. TEC has its own version of that, but it is hardly the established Church of England now on the ropes.

peter
peter
1 month ago

Gavin Ashenden writes “I have spoken to clergy wives whose husbands he has set out to steamroll who have suffered something very close to post traumatic stress disorder.”

Really? People get into disagreements with their employer all the time. Mostly they just find a new job. It’s unfair, but hardly traumatic.

Ex clergy
Ex clergy
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

In another situation the same happened to me when I was ousted from my clergy roles within the parish and I could not at present go near a church without having a panic attack. I too have been in work and seen several situations where employers have behaved in the same way towards others and have been resilient and robust when required. However I thought somewhat foolishly that things may be different in churches and when you find they are not at all different and at times more brutal it shakes your faith and very being.

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  Ex clergy
1 month ago

Well said ex clergy and much empathy. My experience also as a lay person forced out of Church of England by an unexpected level of nastiness. My faith isn’t shaken but my being is. Jesus will always be Lord.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

Clergy jobs go with house, community and schools for children, for example. If I lose a secular job, I potentially stay put. If I have to find a new clergy job, everything changes, and in very short order. It is very easy for commentators to lose the sense of the stakes involved, or to imagine the differences are less than they are, and the sense of not being able to look after family can be very much more acute (this is also one of the things which raises the stakes in the CDM). “A new job” for clergy is not… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Mark Bennet
1 month ago

I did wonder whether these factors lie behind the six week “stepping back” period. Was it’s true purpose to give time for + Dakin to negotiate an early pension with the Church of England Pensions Board and to find alternative accommodation?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

“It’s unfair, but hardly traumatic”

Really?

How do you know, Peter?

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard W. Symonds
Horace Mitchell
Horace Mitchell
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

What a strange comment. Clergy are not employees, as Bishop Tim himself pointed out to me shortly after his arrival. Over lunch I’d given him my opinion that the Church of England was the worst-managed organisation I’d encountered in five decades of management experience. At the end of a subsequent (and private) half hour conversation about ‘management’ it became clear that he and I were using the same words but not discussing the same thing. He was unaware that while (parish) clergy are not (and should not be) open to supervision, they need ‘management’ in the best sense of the… Read more »

Fr Rob Hall
Fr Rob Hall
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

I know nothing about the Diocese of Winchester and am not commenting on life in it. I am however a little shocked by the casual nature of this remark. From my observation people who ‘get into disagreements with their employer’ in such a way that they seek new employment – and I have seen this in health, education, industry and elsewhere – often have a crippling sense of low self-worth after the encounter, sometimes have to abandon years of good professional development and career advancement, deal with a pay cut which may jeopardise home and family life and live with… Read more »

Rev Rachel Noel
Rev Rachel Noel
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

I’m one of the clergy in this diocese. Statements from people that are not within this diocese, saying that it is ‘hardly traumatic’, are trivialising and discounting the experiences felt here. I’m currently 12 months into psychotherapy to deal with my interactions with senior leaders in the Diocese here over the last few years. I’m in the fortunate position that my husband also works, and that we can therefore afford to pay for this support. There is fear across a significant number of clergy within the diocese, and I have felt this fear within myself too. All of us are… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
Reply to  peter
1 month ago

Really Gavin should not be breaking confidences about other clergy and their family situations. People in glass houses….

Fr. Dean
Fr. Dean
1 month ago

Thank God for a free Press, for as Prof. Monkhouse and Hilary Dawes have pointed out if we were waiting for an open and transparent account of how Winchester ended up with Dr Dakin from the CofE we’d be waiting an awful long time. The Daily Mail and Private Eye are to be congratulated for their dogged journalism on this issue. . The psychotherapist in me is fascinated as to how Dr Dakin managed to bluff and bluster his way into these various roles. So why were members of the aristocracy taken in by him? No one associated with the… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Fr. Dean
1 month ago

He was ordained deacon in Nairobi by the then Archbishop of Kenya. Philip Johanson published the details both here on TA and on ‘Surviving Church’ but some people, rather like ‘Doubting Thomas’ have said they will not believe until they see proof.

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  Fr. Dean
1 month ago

Fr Dean – re the PhD, it wasn’t awarded in the usual way ie years of original research, viva, external examiners (my experience) but rather, he cobbled together a random selection of essays, put them together, and was awarded a “PhD by publication” by the University of Winchester, with which he has a close connection. My reading of how he got to be Bishop of Winchester via an unusual route, is that he had the right connections so fewer questions were asked. For example, his career within the Church Army looks like it was facilitated by his father. I think… Read more »

Fr. Dean
Fr. Dean
Reply to  Michael H.
1 month ago

Thank you Michael your explanation makes sense; though the snobbery and colonialism it highlights is appalling. I didn’t think that Winchester as a new university granted PhDs on the basis of publication and so it seems an exception has been made in this case. In any event someone must have assessed the quality and academic rigour in the publications that were submitted. Does Winchester have a strong theology faculty, if not an independent assessment of the submitted publications ought to have been obtained. Many clerics publish lots of words but much of it is whimsy and would not merit a… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Fr. Dean
1 month ago

“…I don’t believe connections on their own could carry you that far”

Kevin Alfred Strom, in an unexpected burst of wisdom, once said: “To determine the true rulers of any society…ask yourself…’Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?'”

That might be a pertinent question to ask in the light of Bishop Dakin’s ascension to episcopacy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard W. Symonds
Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Michael H.
1 month ago

To put it in plain Secular terms, it is not what you know, but who you know! As someone said to me once, the Church of England, and I would say to some extent my present Church the Roman Catholic Church, thrives on the Old Boy Network. People who are non-Church goers looking at this from the outside, would say that both churches reek of Corruption. I certaintly believe as a Christian in any Christian denomination, the Lord is capable of cleansing his Temple and the Ord does cleanse his Temple in his own time and in his own way.… Read more »

Kevin Liles
Kevin Liles
1 month ago

I am surprised that the role of Andrew Robinson, the Diocesan CEO hasn’t come under more scrutiny. It takes more than one senior person to carry out this degree of expensive and inappropriate behaviour, both amongst its clergy and at its HQ. Clearly there are failings in his leadership role in advising the Bishop as well as being the instrument presumably for organising such things as the Non Disclosure Agreements – and let’s be quite clear that is very much what they were. When the Ministry Development Team were ‘disposed of’ in 2014 my husband, along with several of his… Read more »

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
Reply to  Kevin Liles
1 month ago

I think Andrew’s perceived role in all of this was more than alluded to in a previous thread, Kevin, not least in relation to the need for a ‘clean sweep’ in the Diocese. He is not the only Diocesan Secretary (for that is what he actually is) who has questions to answer about exceeding the boundaries of his role. But he is not alone. There are consistent stories from a neighbouring Diocese, going back over the previous decade and more. There, the Diocesan Secretary, under the guise of challenging ‘clericalism’ and ‘championing the lay voice’ was, frankly, out of control;… Read more »

Kevin Liles
Kevin Liles
Reply to  Michael Dawson
1 month ago

Thank you for your comment. I think the word I’m now looking for is … SNAP
But it will be nice when these men are an unpleasant memory and we are playing HAPPY FAMILIES once again.

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Michael Dawson
1 month ago

As I said in the previous thread:

It is a matter of public record that the present Diocesan Chief Executive and the Head of HR and Safeguarding both pre-date Tim Dakin, having been recruited in the Wilmott years if I recall correctly. The ‘Head of Operations’ has been in the Diocese for 17 years, the son of a previous Archdeacon of Winchester/Bournemouth. However, the Director of Finance (shared with Portsmouth) was recruited from the private sector just a couple of years ago.

James Watson
James Watson
Reply to  Cellariarius
1 month ago

You are correct, Cellariarius. Andrew Robinson does indeed predate Tim Dakin’s arrival in Winchester. Though I think it is fair to say that they found it easy to make common cause, and Andrew (if my memory serves me correctly) wasn’t exactly a Mother Teresa figure under the previous Bishop of Winchester. However, Tim Dakin’s predecessor as Bishop of WInchester was not Trevor Wilmott (he was +Basingstoke before becoming +Dover) it was Michael Scott Joynt, whose prediliction for micromanagement was something of an achiles heel (described by the preacher at his funeral as the Admiral of the fleet who couldn’t help… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
Reply to  James Watson
1 month ago

Michael Scott Joynt was the Bishop who left behind the ticking timebomb of Jersey and HG’s complaint and who were both responsible for her being summarily ejected from Jersey and left destitute in the UK.

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Kevin Liles
1 month ago

Hear, hear. By the nature of his work, the CMD team becomes familiar to many people across the Diocese, who looked on aghast. ;(

PCCsecretary
PCCsecretary
1 month ago

People are underestimating the hatred of Christianity now rampant in secular Nations. Anyone who is even vaguely forceful as a Christian is going to be shot down in flames by the mass media, civil servants, teachers, and lord knows what else Then others are going to join the stampede of the “righteous” atheists. It is risible. I note that the National Secular Society has been riled by Bishop Dakin’s “offensive” into Further Education. “The Church of England is on a missionary offensive in our FE colleges. This is the thrust of a recent report, Vocation, Transformation and Hope: a vision for the Church of England’s engagement with further education, fronted by… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  PCCsecretary
1 month ago

What is risible and scary, ‘PCCsecretary’ is your diatribe.

In blaming the National Secular Society [and giving PCC secretaries a bad name], you appear to have blinded yourself to the simple fact that 25 senior clergy and elected lay representatives signed a no-confidence motion.

I could say more, but it’s Sunday…

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard W. Symonds
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  PCCsecretary
1 month ago

What a risible comment. I’ve never heard anyone criticise the Daily Mail because it was Roman Catholic. Talk about killing the messenger! “Forceful” Christians are often shot down – quite rightly – by secular society because of the hatred they usually show to everyone else. Secular law exists to protect minorities, while the Church is allowed to persecute people because it’s exempt. “Forceful” Christians – like Tim Dakin – bring the Church into disrepute. To compare a Daily Mail article to “all the priests martyred by Stalin” is somewhat disproportionate”. Give me a “righteous” atheist any day.

Last edited 1 month ago by FrDavid H
PCCsecretary
PCCsecretary
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

I was complaining that the Daily Mail is maybe no longer Roman Catholic-owned, or at least not Catholic influenced. These days, I see any Christian sect whose liturgy and hymns adhere to the Bible as a port in a storm – it was nice having the different brands, but these days all that matters is being Christian – and in fact if you read the New Testament carefully, you will see it is really only interested in the Faithful, and in converting those who are not yet Faithful. The Kingdom of Heaven is definitely only for the Faithful, unless you… Read more »

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  PCCsecretary
1 month ago

You don’t make clear which orders from God are necessary for people to “man up”. You probably mean views which tally with your own ( or how you interpret scripture). Tim Dakin hasn’t stood back because of his traditional views of marriage to which he is entitled. He has caused untold distress and financial catastrophe in Winchester. Such authoritarianism is the antithesis of Jesus’ exercise of ‘power’ when He “manned up” and became a Victim.

Last edited 1 month ago by FrDavidH
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  PCCsecretary
1 month ago

“If priests are God’s representatives on Earth, people are going to have to man up (oops, sorry feministas) and learn to take orders…” – ‘PCCsecretary’

The Divine ‘representative’ on Earth was Christ Himself who lives within us.

I do not see Him telling us to do as we are told, telling us what to think, telling us to ‘man up’, and telling us to “learn to take orders” . Nor do I see Him telling us to impose Non-Disclosure Agreements to get rid of meddlesome, rebellious and independently-minded priests – and others – within His Kingdom.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard W. Symonds
Tom Tarling
Tom Tarling
Reply to  PCCsecretary
1 month ago

This is, of course, utter tosh. The imagined hatred of Christianity is not so, and amongst most of the wider population it is rather Christianity is viewed with a sense of total irrelevance and disinterest. Fueled in no small part by church nonsense, like rampant homophobia, institutional corruption and major abuse scandals. However, secularism and such are not the issue here. The Bishop of Basingstoke, David Williams ( one of the key leaders of the rebellion and I believe the only one named) is also a conservative evangelical, so your argument is a straw man. I think, as touched on… Read more »

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Tom Tarling
1 month ago

I don’t think anyone who knows him could call +David a conservative evangelical! Indeed, that was another point of friction with his boss.

Tom Tarling
Tom Tarling
Reply to  Cellariarius
1 month ago

Apologies, you are right of course, and I’m using a poor definition of “conservative evangelical”. Richard W. Symonds put my general point more succinctly. What I was trying to say was they are both evangelicals, open enough to support women in ministry, but conservative enough to not favour full inclusion of LGBT+ folks. Which is a very rough guide, but puts then squarely in EA territory. Therefore the suggestion from “PCCsecretary” that this is liberals and secularists against a poor hard done by bishop is nonsense, as the leader of those against Tim Dakin is, in my _very broad_ terms,… Read more »

Alan Jeffries
Alan Jeffries
Reply to  Tom Tarling
1 month ago

Bishop David is not only personable, he is an experienced pastor who cares about people. While I have no doubt his Evangelical credentials are in good order, I know that several gay clergy in Winchester trust him (in a way they would never trust the diocesan bishop) and have received exemplary pastoral care from him. So, yes, on paper he ticks all the boxes churchmanship-wise; but he also ‘gets it’ about what diversity and inclusion involves if the mission of the church is to flourish for the future and the gospel we proclaim is to be generous. He was the… Read more »

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
Reply to  Cellariarius
1 month ago

Interesting Cellariarius – following the link you give to Andrew Robinson’s biography page on the University of Winchester website – there is also an interesting (though possibly accidental) gilding of his academic lily as well. It states that ‘He graduated from Christ Church College, Kent University with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and Information Technology’ Christ Church College is NOT a college of ‘Kent University’ (more usually referred to as the ‘University of Kent’) which is what the punctuation implies. Christ Church College is a former teacher training college which is a separate institution from the University of Kent.… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Clare Amos
1 month ago

And properly now called “Canterbury Christ Church University”, I think.

Sue
Sue
Reply to  Clare Amos
1 month ago

In former days those who attended Christ Church were awarded their degrees by the University of Kent.

Anon
Anon
Reply to  Sue
1 month ago

I am not sure I’d read it as any reference to University of Kent (not ‘Kent University!) Before it was called ‘Canterbury Christ Church University’, it was known as Canterbury Christ Church College (CCCC) or Canterbury Christ Church University College (CCCUC). It looks like an adapted version of the latter was used, with ‘Kent’ added. In my reading, it makes it clear that it’s not Christ Church, Oxford!

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  PCCsecretary
1 month ago

I see nothing spiteful at all in the passage you quote. Clearly secularists are uneasy about religious influence in education. I too am very concerned about the wrong sort of religious influence on education ( for instance pressure to reach creationism in Northern Irish schools advocated by the current First Minister). However simply to hurl insults at secularists does not enhance the argument. What is needed is to make a positive case for church involvement at all levels of education. Bishop Dakin is the lead Bishop for higher education. Yet from what I can gather most of the Chaplaincy work… Read more »

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
1 month ago

I was interested to read Gavin Ashenden’s account, which certainly, as far as the details of Tim Dakin’s appointment to his position at Carlile College and subsequent ordination in Kenya largely tallies with, though offers more detail about, what I surmised on the earlier TA thread on this several weeks ago. I have had no doubt that Tim Dakin was validly ordained priest by a legitimate bishop of a Church of the Anglican Communion. Whether or not he ever received full and adequate formation for priestly ministry is a separate issue. (However I am also aware of a couple of… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
1 month ago

An interesting aside. Jersey’s final break with Winchester is close. The existing Canons of Jersey reference Winchester and the Bishop of Winchester. The new ones will reference Salisbury. From the States of Jersey Assembly Website, Q&A in the States: WQ.286/2021 WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE DEAN OF JERSEY BY DEP M TADIER OF ST BRELADE QUESTION SUBMITTED ON MON 14 JUN 2021 ANSWER TO BE TABLED ON MON 21 JUN 2021   Question:    Will the Dean advise the Assembly – (a) on the progress, if any, to the changes to Canon Law (including the Articles concerning women bishops); and (b) whether there… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
1 month ago

The Mail reports:

“The diocese is about to lose 22 full-time vicars – more than a fifth of the total – through redundancies or vacant posts being left unfilled.”

I suggest they also cast an eye at Portsmouth, where a Diocesan re-organisation is also being pushed through from above. Their Bishop is about to retire, so there is no point in any rebellions anyway.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Tony Bellows
1 month ago

Losing 23 full-time vicars is beyond a scandal – and beyond traumatic for those who have dedicated their lives to a vocation – a calling from God.

If that is brutally taken away, visiting the local Job Centre won’t help.

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
Reply to  Tony Bellows
1 month ago

Sorry about Portsmouth, a great little diocese that has been happy in the past. I suppose people are aware that similar is also going on in nearby Guildford and Salisbury. Both have recently endured ideological restructurings of their diocesan offices and ministry teams with significant human collateral damage and breakdown of trust. Salisbury is poised to hard prune parish posts but the present bishop wishes to retire gracefully first. Saving money is an obvious driver in all three dioceses but there is also more to it than that. I am still pondering the exact relationship between a certain kind of… Read more »

Fr. Dean
Fr. Dean
Reply to  Filigree Jones
1 month ago

I think that the retrenchment is across the board – the south is catching up with the north of England that’s all. I’m puzzled why there was all that brouhaha about young vocations a few years ago; did no one look at the spreadsheets and realise that there wouldn’t be any jobs for them because the CofE is fast running out of money? I think that the bright young things face an uncertain future; a stipend will not always be available and if a post is secured, the pension scheme benefits have been drastically reduced. Bishops and clergy retiring now… Read more »

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
Reply to  Fr. Dean
1 month ago

Fr. Dean, some of us were raising that question several years ago. The response (from the Archbishops’ Council Finance Committee) was that dioceses should carry on with their vocations drives because if they raised up more candidates than they had posts for, other dioceses would take in the spares. It’s now clear that all dioceses are trying to shed posts and so we have not just a logistical and a pastoral but a moral crisis as we are unable to look after those whom we persuaded and encouraged to trust their future and that of their families to the institutional… Read more »

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
Reply to  Filigree Jones
1 month ago

Your observations about Guildford are interesting, Filigree, because the well-defended Silo of the diocesan ministry team there needed to be dismantled and I think it is fair to say that the managerial culture was not so much embraced as imposed with zero tolerance. Even when you have something as close to a theologian as a diocesan bishop can be (which the previous +Guildford was) it doesn’t mean that the bruisers can’t set the agenda. It’s a question of who he chose to gather around him. The current bishop may be a colourless Evangelical after the manner of Welby, but he… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
Reply to  Michael Dawson
1 month ago

Bishop Christopher is well thought of, but as he approaches retirement, it seems he is not in charge of the process behind restructuring and loss of clergy. I can’t see who is in charge. The paperwork says: Up to 2 year period: • Discussions with Archdeacon on ‘adjustments’ to Deanery proposals • Revised plans to be ready for Bishop’s Council 23 Jun 21 • Jul 21 – start of informal consultation period • Revision of diocesan plan prior to formal consultation period • Submission of diocesan plan to Church Commissioners: date tbc • Formal consultation by Church Commissioners Up to… Read more »

Tony Bellows
Tony Bellows
Reply to  Michael Dawson
1 month ago

Maybe the Acting Archdeacon. I have this:

The Diocesan plan for reorganisation was published on the 6 th March but it did not meet with universal acclaim. At the Deanery Lay Members’ meeting on 7th April our acting Archdeacon, Will Hughes, confirmed that there was disagreement and encouraged us as laity to discuss and agree a way forward.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Filigree Jones
1 month ago

I, too, observe a clear correlation between a certain type of evangelical and an aggressively managerialist approach to running the church. The latter has flourished as the former have grown in influence in recent years, and I can think of various senior clergy in various places who get very irritated if their assumptions or plans are questioned or challenged. I am aware of a private members motion going to synod which seeks to replace ecclesiastical titles in order to challenge clericalism and deference. I can’t help thinking that this motion rather misses the point as the clerics who demand deference… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Filigree Jones
1 month ago

From what I understand from what I have read online Bishop Robert Wickham the Area Bishop of Edmonton from the London Diocese is administering the Diocese of Portsmouth at present as the Acting Interim Bishop, until a New Bishop of Portsmouth is appointed. Jonathan

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Appropriate as the Hampshire market town of Wickham is in the Portsmouth Diocese.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Filigree Jones
1 month ago

Perhaps it is a matter of ecclesiology Filigree. For many evangelicals churches are a collection of individuals with faith in Christ who gather together for fellowship and worship and to bring others on board. When they do so the Church exists, That is its current purpose but it is provisional, It exists in a particular place but its historical rootage or symbolic status is not very important even irrelevant . The fellowship is there to do a job but it is essentially a voluntary organisation and its utility evaluated like any other voluntary organisations.

Father Ron Smith
1 month ago

Out of interest, I looked up the web-site of your correspondent Gavin Ashenden (having known that he was once a priest in the Church of England and a Chaplain to H.M. The Queen). Here is what I found therein: “On Sunday 22nd of December, (2019) the 4th Sunday of Advent, Dr Ashenden was received into the Roman Catholic Church by + Mark Davies at Shrewsbury Cathedral.” This factor does make one want to put into perspective the undoubtedly remarkable comments he has made on T.A. about the Bishop of Winchester (currently temporarily out of office) whose dogmatic behaviour in his… Read more »

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 month ago

He can speak for himself but I wouldn’t have thought Gavin’s chief objection with the CofE was the ordination of women. As for an ‘intermediate church’ I suspect most who knew him assumed he would eventually leave Anglicanism altogether. I doubt it was anything but a way station.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 month ago

Father Ron: Just to clarify one point, your chronology is wrong. Gavin Ashenden joined the Christian Episcopal Church in a ceremony in Canada in 2013 and was made a bishop of that church which is not in communion with the C of E. He did not resign his C of E Orders until 2017, while ostensibly also remaining a Chaplain to to Her Majesty in the intervening years. See ‘Christian Today’, the article by Ruth Gledhill dated 5th October 2017 for the full facts. I can’t provide a direct link, but Google will find it. Some here have argued that… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

As far as I can see the Christian Episcopal Church is tiny and quite why an intelligent man like Ashenden ( whatever you think of him) ever got involved in it is beyond me. He appeared on Anglican Unscripted for quite a while until it was clear to Geo Conger and Kevin Kallsen that he had become something of a problem. From Oak Hill to Rome is an interesting progression.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  Perry Butler
1 month ago

I thought it was clear that an “Anglican Unscripted” podcast worked better if the speakers were in fact Anglican. So long as Gavin was in that category, things made sense. But when it became clear that he was finished with Anglicanism, it was logical for him to leave (and start his own Catholic Unscripted). He did keep the reports from AI and AU lively and informed.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Perry Butler
1 month ago

Gavin Ashenden put in the best performance of the three of them on Anglican Ink, at least when it came to safeguarding issues.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Also, in relation to ‘safeguarding’, Gavin Ashenden – like Martyn Percy – was a great defender of the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell, whose name and reputation has clearly not been safeguarded by a hierarchy of hidden power within the Church of England – a Church the late Bishop knew and loved.

As Father Ron Smith says:

“One can’t help wondering about the spheres of influence that must undoubtedly affect the ongoing culture of advantageous relationships within the C.of E. Perhaps the ‘Old-Boy’ network is giving way to something else here”

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard W. Symonds
Gilo
Gilo
1 month ago

Dear Mr Andrew Robinson I hope you won’t mind my asking some questions arising from the diocesan website. Your page on Winchester Diocese lists you as a Member – National Safeguarding Strategy and Policy Group. https://www.winchester.anglican.org/chief-executive/ I’ve not come across this group and can find no trace of its history online. If it’s a Church of England body, it seems to have operated away from daylight and any scrutiny? But it may be a body outside the Church of England? Can you please tell me where we can find this structure, it’s policies and remit, and membership. I gather you… Read more »

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

Thanks, Gilo, nicely worded!

Anthony Cross
Anthony Cross
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

Miraculously, the information about the Chief Executive referred to above no longer appears to be on the Chief Executive’s page of the Winchester Diocesan website. A Google search for “National Safeguarding Strategy and Policy Group” gets a Googlewhack (one single hit), which links back to the Chief Executive’s page. A check of the Google cache of 18.06.2021 shows that the page previously had these two paragraphs at the end, which have been deleted in the last 10 days: Andrew holds a range of other appointments including: Chair – Hampshire Good Neighbours Network; Director – King Alfred Academy Trust; Director –… Read more »

Nick Drew
Nick Drew
Reply to  Anthony Cross
1 month ago

The ‘Six Weeks’ of Tim Dakin’s standing back is up in less than 48 hours. It would appear that Mr Robinson is able to swiftly amend his bio on the Diocesan website, but still not able to demsontrate any transparency by providing a word of information about what is happening with the leadership of the Diocese. Remarkable. Especially as, I presume, he continues to expect parishes to fund this smoke & mirrors behaviour via the parish share?

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
Reply to  Nick Drew
1 month ago

Perhaps the truth is told by omission. I noticed yesterday that on the Diocesan website the names of those being ordained deacons and priests in the Diocese this coming weekend. However it was just the names of the ordinands, rather than , as is conventional, also the name or role of the bishop who would ordain them. However… I then went to the Winchester Cathedral website, which lists all the names of the ordinands, dividing them up in four groups to be ordained either on Sat or Sun (presumably to deal with social distancing concerns etc) and making it clear… Read more »

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Clare Amos
1 month ago

It was announced soon after Bp Tim ‘stepped back’ that Bp Debbie would be ordaining the Deacons and Priests in the Cathedral. So, it was assumed that Bp Tim would not be making a public return until after the Ordination weekend.

Anthony Cross
Anthony Cross
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

Similarly, he claims to be chair of the National Reward and Remuneration Group (Diocesan Website) and/or the National Reward and Evaluation Group (University of Winchester Website), neither of which appear to exist.

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Anthony Cross
1 month ago

https://www.winchester.ac.uk/about-us/leadership-and-governance/staff-directory/staff-profiles/robinson.php is the Googlewhack for ‘National Reward and Evaluation group’ (although that is 5 words rather than the requisite 2!)

Gilo
Gilo
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

The Chief Executive replied within half an hour to say that the group “pre-dates the current National Safeguarding Panel” and that he is grateful I have drawn it to his attention “as that note is out of date and I have asked the website team to change it”. He declined to comment on its membership or policy. So I have replied.. Dear Andrew Robinson, Thank you for your reply. Some of us wondered whether this might be the case – an older structure hidden within the Church that thrived on little oxygen or daylight. Are you able to share its… Read more »

Gilo
Gilo
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

Andrew Robinson has since replied to say the group was a joint endeavour with the Methodist Church, and he is deferring to colleagues re the terms of reference.

I think this may be during the period that EIG had a regular ringside seat on the Church’s Central Safeguarding Board… I’ll need to check. I know they were regular attenders for a long time, which gave them enormous strategic advantage.

He doesn’t reply to the ‘suffragan question’ so I’ll ask him again about that tomorrow. But he is not blanking me which is good.

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/11827/methodist-church-safeguarding-policy-procedures-and-guidance-april-2019-word.pdf

says:

“In the churches, there is a continuing growth in ecumenical agreement and cooperation on safeguarding, especially between the Methodist Church and the Church of England, as part of the outworking of the Covenant.”

https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/safeguarding%20joint%20practice%20guidance%20-%20safeguarding%20records.pdf

refers to a:
“Joint Safeguarding Working Group comprising Methodist and Church of England Safeguarding Advisers”

This is probably what is meant…

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

And the Revd Pearl Luxon, a Methodist minister, was appointed joint safeguarding adviser for the Methodist Church and the Church of England in 2005 and served for, I think, 7 years.

Gilo
Gilo
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

I received a message from Bishop Debbie Sellin yesterday evening which she has said she is happy for me to use on TA. The diocese has been “planning a new website for some time and work began on the design 6 months ago, which included the decision about individual bishops’ pages”. Apparently the bishops will soon have individual pages with proper bio and details. Debbie also says the diocese will need “encouraging to ensure it is kept up-to-date”. My open reply below… Dear Debbie Sellin Thank you for your response. I am pleased to hear that the diocesan website is… Read more »

Larry Bain
Larry Bain
Reply to  Gilo
1 month ago

Thank you Gilo.

Kevin Liles
Kevin Liles
1 month ago

The Bishop’s ‘disposal’ of the Ministry Development Team around 2014 sadly broke up a cohesive and well functioning team of experienced staff well regarded, liked and loved within the Diocese. I can only think it was Part 1 of a strategy to change the way the Diocese achieved its aims and objectives. Part 2 of course was to start changing the clergy. Changes in an organisation’s strategic direction are important and often essential but they are achieved through sound consultation, keeping best practice and working collaboratively with people to win something new. How unfortunate that the backgrounds of both the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
1 month ago

I was also interested in the fact that the Winchester C.E.O. is on the Board of the ‘Winchester University’, which educational institute granted Bishop Dakin his latest post-graduate degree. One can’t help wondering about the spheres of influence that must undoubtedly affect the ongoing culture of advantageous relationships within the C.of E. Perhaps the ‘Old-Boy’ network is giving way to something else here.

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Latest Update from the Diocese of Winchester (Part 1) Dear Friends,   Jesus said to them, ‘But who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God’. Matthew 16: 15 and 16   This is Petertide, the season when we remember how Peter declared his faith and trust in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, and how Jesus entrusted Peter to build his church, a church that we have the privilege of being part of today. It has been wonderful to see so many of you each Monday morning for… Read more »

Anthony Cross
Anthony Cross
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

“The Bishop of London and the Bishop at Lambeth are being kept fully aware of the ongoing process and are providing welcome support, although they are not part of the conversations.”

I wonder who is facilitating these ‘conversations’…

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Anthony Cross
1 month ago

I would like to think that an organisation such as BridgeBuilders had been invited to facilitate: https://www.bbministries.org.uk/. Their Director of Training was a priest in the diocese (for a short time) and is a thoroughly Good Thing, IMO.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Cellariarius
1 month ago

I see that Lady Brentford is on the “Council of Reference” of BridgeBuilders. Their involvement would be cosy.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago

Their website is out of date by at least seven years, stating that John Pritchard is Bishop of Oxford! But other listed members include Abp Justin Welby and Bishops Rachel Treweek and Martin Warner. Other denominations and the Salvation Army are also represented – or were when the list was published.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

In the midst of all this, I’m struggling to understand why the Bishop of Basingstoke has also taken a step back from public ministry. Has any explanation been given for that?

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

The Diocesan Statement from Bp Debbie says “Bishop David has agreed to continue standing back from ministry in Winchester Diocese to enable the conversations to run their course.” Let the reader understand? At https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2021/21-may/news/uk/bishop-of-winchester-steps-back-after-diocesan-rebellion the Church Times reported “The letter also states that Bishop Sellin, who has been in post for less than two years, has been asked to lead the diocese. The reason for this is that the senior suffragan bishop in the diocese, the Bishop of Basingstoke, the Rt Revd David Williams, is said to be in sympathy with the protesters, and has also stepped back. He is said… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Rev James Pitkin
Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

In essence, because he is the ‘whistleblower’.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Cellariarius
1 month ago

I’m just a simple Church of England boy, so someone is going to have to explain to me why the Bishop of Basingstoke, against whom there appears to be no complaint, is obliged to step back from public ministry. I understand someone being suspended when an allegation is made against them. I’m far from clear about the rightness of someone being effectively suspended when they have not had allegations made against them.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

These comments have become a bit confused. I don’t think he is suspended at all, but I share your implied view that there is no good reason for his not undertaking duties which don’t conflict with the consultation process as he is clearly not involved in it.

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Bp David is not suspended. He has voluntarily stepped/stood back to enable the conversations to run their course. The implication is that if he had not stepped back the conversations would not be enabled to run their course.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

I didn’t express myself well. Of course I knew he was not suspended, but the reason given wasn’t an obvious one. Anyway it’s unimportant. I see + Debbie Sellin has 44 ordinations on Saturday and Sunday. She will be kept very busy in July and August.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Or, possibly, that Bp. Dakin would not have agreed to step back if the whistleblower had been left in charge?

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Latest Update from the Diocese of Winchester (Part 2) I am grateful to you for your prayers through this time and am aware also that, nationally, we continue to live in a time of considerable uncertainty. The overriding questions we have lived with for so many months throughout the pandemic appear to fluctuate almost daily: from when our lives will return to normal, through to whether they even will at all. The answers remain far from clear. Yet, you all continue to work tirelessly for your parishes, your communities, and for each other. This remains a source of great inspiration… Read more »

James Watson
James Watson
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Thanks for the alert, James. So… Tim Dakin is spinning this out until August. That rather confirms suggestions that his unassailable self-belief is working overtime; or, as one priest I have recently spoken to put it ‘he’s fighting like a cornered rat’ to stay put. If so, for whose benefit does Winchester Diocese exist? Is it to continue as a Tim Dakin vanity project, with further casualties along the way? Or will someone confront him with the truth that he is not the Saviour of the world (or even the Church of England in the Diocese of Winchester) and graveyards… Read more »

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  James Watson
1 month ago

The extension until the end of August seems to be by agreement. I cannot see what changes with the extension – but I am not involved in any of the discussions! I do encourage parishes to keep paying Parish Share/CMF – nothing will be gained by not paying (and it is not as if any Parish Share goes direct to the Bishop – but it does pay the stipends and housing of the parish clergy). The mission of the Church continues (as it has done) and until recently the distractions have not affected many parishioners. The Diocese will continue –… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Looking at this from a distance, I observe two things: firstly, the extension just drags out the misery for everybody concerned, and leaves me wondering why the C of E is so incapable of ever resolving anything swiftly; secondly, this statement seems to imply that it is at least conceivable that this process might not end in Dakin’s resignation, which raises the awful spectre of the diocese having to limp on with a bishop with whom it has a deeply impaired relationship. It is hard to see how the mission of the church is furthered by such an arrangement.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

I suspect the problem (or part of the problem) may be the lack of a mechanism for removing a bishop, unless s/he has actually committed a crime.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Many thanks. I believe that a primate *probably* has the power to deprive a suffragan (Winchester being a suffragan of Canterbury) where there are sufficient grounds. There are at least three useful precedents (there may be others). In 1458 Reginald Pecock lost the see of Chichester, on the grounds of heresy. The scholarly Pecock was found guilty in 1457, but abjured, receiving absolution from Calixtus III (at the behest of archbishop Thomas Bourchier). However, the crown and Pecock’s enemies wanted him deprived on the grounds that when he had been preferred to Chichester in 1450 he had been a heretic,… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

I’m intrigued to learn that Winchester is a ‘suffragan’ of Canterbury. I thought that the distinction which you make only operates in the Roman Catholic Church, and hence no longer applicable since the Reformation in this particular relationship. But if that is incorrect, I defer to your erudition! Bishops are subject to the CDM and the same ultimate penalty as other clergy. A CDM against a bishop is determined by the Archbishop of their province who, however, can delegate to the other Archbishop if there are proper grounds to recuse himself as +John Sentamu did in the CDM against the… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Many thanks, as ever, but I should defer to you! As far as I am aware (although I may be wrong), the word suffragan simply indicates a subordinate relationship between a bishop and his/her metropolitan, and the big OED states that the relationship is that of a “bishop considered in relation to the archbishop or metropolitan to whom he or she is subordinate, and by whom he or she may be summoned to provincial synods or councils”, though it notes this is now used mostly in an RC context. I also note the oath of obedience in the rite of… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Perhaps the delay until August is to allow time for Justin to come back from sabbatical and have a firm word with Tim. If rumours of Justin’s temper are to be believed, that might be enough to make sure that Tim resigns.

Hilary Dawes
Hilary Dawes
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

Wouldn’t that be simply perpetuating the institutional bullying we all want to see ended? If this is how things are modelled at the top, no wonder we’re in the current mess – and not just in Winchester, either.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Thank you for that lengthy and erudite exposition!

To be clear, I was not writing in the context of what might or might not happen in the case of Bishop Dakin.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Rowland you are right the way the Church of England uses the word Suffragan Bishop and the way the Roman Catholic Church uses the word Suffragan Bishop is quite different, when we speak of Suffragan Bishops we mean A Diocesan Bishop under obedience to a Metropolitan Archbishop, whereas in the Church of England, when they speak of Suffragan Bishops they are speaking about what we in the Roman Catholic Church would call an Auxiliary Bishop. In my Church when an Auxiliary Bishop is appointed and Ordained Episcopal he is given a Titular Title, as Titular Bishop of a See, which… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Nonetheless it is true that in the CofE diocesan bishops are suffragans of the provincial archbishop. Henry VIII introduced a sub-layer of suffragans, who were suffragans to the diocesan, precisely because auxiliary bishops with foreign overseas titles could no longer be appointed, and the titular sees of his new suffragans were taken from the names of English towns because he could only create English titles. It used to be common for them to be called Bishops Suffragan rather than suffragan bishops, leaving the latter description for the diocesan bishops who were suffragans of the archbishop. This subtlety seems to have… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

Many thanks for this. Indeed, it was commonplace prior to the repudiation of the papal supremacy for bishops ‘in partibus infidelium’ to act as suffragans, and a number of these would be the heads of monastic houses. In addition, it was also common for Irish bishops (whose sees were either miserably endowed and/or victims of conflicts between tribes or septs) to do turns in English dioceses; some Scottish bishops also did so. This support was especially important when so many English bishops were heavily involved in the administration of the state and could devote little time to pastoral work. In… Read more »

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

I confess that I don’t understand why the ‘facilitated conversations’ are confidential. Surely healing is achieved through transparency and including the whole diocese, not by back room conversations?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

To continue the healing analogy, would you want all your medical treatments to be conducted in public? Negotiations, like doctors’ consultations, are best carried out in private. But of course the results must become public eventually.

Hilary Dawes
Hilary Dawes
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

That’s a very valid point, Janet. As a point of principle, I agree wholeheartedly. The problem for us in Winchester is that the lack of a clarity, even in general terms, is compounding the pain. Bishop Debbie’s statement alludes to the involvement of the Bishop of London, but gives us scant idea of what it is (does she just assume we all read the Daily Mail?). And what are these facilitated conversations? A simple line saying (in effect) ‘some clergy and lay people of the diocese are working with an external facilitator to address their concerns to the Bishop’ would… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
1 month ago

Yes, you are all in a very difficult position, and the lack of clarity about what process is underway, and who is heading it up, must make it all so much worse. The substance of negotiations must be confidential for the time being, but the fact there are negotiations shouldn’t be. You have a right to be treated as responsible adults, as you say.

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
1 month ago

Hilary, I am hoping that there will be some clarity in the next couple of weeks – and that we won’t have to wait until September! Members of the Diocesan Synod are also eager to gain clarity – preferably before the current Synod ends on 31st July 2021. There are some elections taking place at the moment but we should know the results soon (and who has been elected/re-elected to Diocesan Synod). The voting ends on Weds 14th July.

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
1 month ago

The missio Dei certainly continues, but the missio ecclesiae flounders when well-funded SDF projects have lost their episcopal champions; temporarily perhaps, but who knows? And what chance of attracting and/or retaining clergy in a dysfunctional Diocese?

Given the timing, we will be very interested to see the outcome of the synodical elections.

Angela Tilby
Angela Tilby
1 month ago

Perhaps a simple, if brutal, way to resolve this would be for Tim Dakin to return as Diocesan Bishop and for the Diocesan synod to propose a vote of no confidence in him. If it were not passed, he would continue. If it was passed he would have to step down as the way he exercises authority is as Bishop-in-Synod, and without support of his Synod he cannot continue. This is much more economical and effort, fairer, does not involve command and control from the Archbishop of Canterbury even if he is able, legally and politically, to exercise it which… Read more »

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Angela Tilby
1 month ago

Any motion of no confidence might fall at Diocesan Synod in the House of Bishops…

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Technically true, but that would be a Pyrrhic victory, wouldn’t it?

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

But no action is required from a vote of no confidence anyway?

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
1 month ago

Legally no. But it would have considerable moral force, I imagine.

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

Hmmm

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Angela Tilby
1 month ago

I think that there is an issue with Bishops having managerial functions in the current context. Managerial functions in our society are exercised in a context of routine accountability. Episcopal functions have not traditionally been seen that way. The episcopate, traditionally (catholically) conceived, cannot sustain the burdens placed upon it and has to give up either functions or autonomy to be tenable.

Fr. Dean
Fr. Dean
30 days ago

Can I ask the legally qualified contributors to TA if the CofE has any mechanism similar to the Freedom of Information Act, to ask Winchester about the fees paid to Luther Pendragon?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Fr. Dean
30 days ago

All it needs is the right person with the moral courage to do what is morally right and/or another ‘whistleblower’.

Last edited 30 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Michael Nash
Michael Nash
30 days ago

Just opened today’s “Church Times” (you do get it, don’t you?) and find on page 2 the latest on our mate Tim and opposite a piece headed “Ten thousand lay-led churches in ten years is target for discussion” up before the General Synod apparently. This is the first I’ve read of this idea which seems to centre on new churches of some 20/30 parties meeting in homes. Now it’ll all need holding up to the light and a good deal of argument I suppose but at first cut the congregation size fits our Winchester rural churches and the laity led… Read more »

Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes
30 days ago

Diocesan Statutory Accounts, not normally regarded with much interest are revealing in the most recently published by Winchester – the notes in particular. Other diocese provide insight into their priorities, numbers employed, and the support given to them during the year, Exeter is an example of such good practice. By contrast, Winchester makes almost no mention of deaneries, or indeed clergy. It is as though they are of little further interest. Will the present reduction in their numbers get any mention in the accounts for 2020/21 one wonders? And what explanation will be given?

Peter Carver
Peter Carver
28 days ago

Very interesting choice of preacher for the ordinations at Winchester (obviously organised well before Tim Dakin’s decision to stand back) and the theological/ecclesiological assumptions being propounded in the sermon… rather laboriously, if over-confidently. An interesting snapshot of the assumed direction of travel, not least in the light of ‘limiting factors’ and all that.

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Peter Carver
28 days ago

Who was the preacher?

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  peter kettle
28 days ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjX-Y8EYDxU – Preacher Revd Dr Andy Angel

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
Reply to  Rev James Pitkin
27 days ago

A review of the preacher’s recent book here, whihc presumably +Tim endorses: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2020/14-august/books-arts/book-reviews/the-jesus-you-really-didn-t-know-rediscovering-the-teaching-ministry-of-jesus-by-andy-angel

For Angel, there is an elephant in the room of today’s Christianity: the Church emphasises unconditional love and affirmation, while sidelining judgement and repentance … Angel unpacks five biblical words: authority, teach, obey, command and judgement. The heart of the gospel, then, is not unconditional affirmation, but sin and repentance”

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
28 days ago

I certaintly think logically speaking, if there was to be a Vacancy soon in Winchester, whatever circumstances leads to that vacancy, the Church of England might be very wise when looking for the next Bishop of Winchester, to get either a Bishop Suffragan or an Area Bishop of considerable Episcopal experience, who has all the right skills to lead the Diocese of Winchester and if we were for starters to start to list a few of these skills, one could start with 1. A Good listener 2. a Caring Pastor 3. a Person Of Prayer, deep Spirituality and personal holiness… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
28 days ago

Traditionally, Jonathan, Bishops of Winchester have usually been diocesan bishops ‘translated’ from another see. I believe only one Suffragan has ever been appointed, Tim Dakin’s immediate predecessor Michael Scott-Joynt, who came from Stafford. Other than that, there have only been two appointments without prior episcopal experience since 1595! They were John Vernon Taylor in 1975 and Tim Dakin in 2011. Both have a common background of missionary work in Africa, and both on returning to this country became General Secretary of CMS. By further coincidence, both held that office for eleven years immediately preceding their consecration to Winchester.

Peter Carver
Peter Carver
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
27 days ago

And Bishop John V Taylor brought vision, intelligence, artistry and confidence to the Diocese, where he was greatly loved and the Church flourished. He may have been a Wycliffe Hall Evangelical, but he had studied poetry and literature before he studied theology, which meant he had wide academic and human sympathies; and, because his theology was rooted, he understood how the whole oecumene could enrich the Church. That is why we never heard him diminishing other perspectives, insisting on his own way, or treating other people as if they were disposable. His writing (which is undeniably beautiful – even when… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter Carver
26 days ago

I love John V. Taylor’s books, especially ‘A Christ-like God.’

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
26 days ago

A special issue of Salisbury Diocese digital newsletter which came today includes the following: This is a special edition, celebrating Bishop Nicholas. A Man of the People ‘A man of the people and a champion of “the lost, the last and the least”, a Bishop that our Diocese has come to know and love.’ That is how Bishop Nicholas, the 78th Bishop of Salisbury, will be remembered. And from Bishop Nicholas himself, during the Evensong to mark his retirement, this prayer: “Lord God, Thou hast appointed me in the church as bishop and pastor. Thou seest how unfit I am… Read more »

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Clare Amos
26 days ago

Also on the Diocesan website:

Bishop Nicholas has also reflected on his ten years in the Diocese in conversation with Tim Daykin

You couldn’t make it up, could you?!

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  peter kettle
26 days ago

Not sure what happened there, but the name on the website was actually Tim Daykin

Rev James Pitkin
Rev James Pitkin
Reply to  peter kettle
26 days ago

A very different Tim (Tim Daykin has recently retired from BBC Local Radio)!

Cellariarius
Cellariarius
24 days ago

Comment piece from the local paper, raising visibility: “The bishop is seemingly being allowed more time for contemplation over his future. To put it bluntly: how much time does he need?”

https://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/news/19426830.chronicle-comment-delay-tackling-crisis-winchester-diocese/

Simon W
Simon W
Reply to  Cellariarius
24 days ago

Not so long ago a paper like the Hampshire Chronicle or the Southern Daily Echo would have been the one to break this news and use their widespread contacts in the local community to publish some substantial follow-up and background stories. Sadly local newspapers like this have been denuded of so many reporting staff ‘on the ground’ in recent years that they are left chasing the national media and ending up producing stories which reference comment threads on TA. As a former regional news desk journalist. I think that’s a huge loss for the local community and for accountability and… Read more »

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