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:
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
Surviving Church: Finding Solutions for the Winchester Crisis