BISHOP NAZIR-ALI’S REPLACEMENT TO BE CHOSENBY "WOMEN IN BONDAGE" VICAR

Well, he will certainly have one huge influence on who it will be. Not only is THE REV ANGUS McSTEAKHOUSE on the committee that will choose the next bishop of Rochester, but he is joined by two other members of his pre-Enlightenment congregation. I haven't checked out the view of women and gays that the other members of the committee possess, but my guess is that this will be a done deal. Poor old Kent is going to get another phobic, Bible worshipping idolator in charge.

The Church of England has never ditched patronage. It is far too easy for a few, aggressive people to get their own way in the election of bishops mainly because it is so easy for serving bishops to make sure their successor will be in their own image (a recent example of this being the replacement of Dow in Carlisle with Bishop Dow Lite). The vacancy in see committees are just quangos and, although they will pay lip service to the concept of listening to the people of the diocese, in practice, like in all walks of life, it is only a few of their number that have the integrity to put other people's views before their own.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't like the competitive element that is so much a part of TEC's, democratic election system (although it's a damn sight fairer than the English one). Perhaps the apostles had it right. Put the names of all possibles into a hat and draw one out. If the Church did a deal with one of the leading bookmakers we could even make some good money out of it. And, at least, it would make it possible for geographical regions to be rescued from an eternity of one churchmanship, whatever the existing ethos might be.

Comments

BISHOP NAZIR-ALI’S REPLACEMENT TO BE CHOSENBY "WOMEN IN BONDAGE" VICAR — 8 Comments

  1. I don’t like the competitive element that is so much a part of TEC’s, democratic election system

    I suspect that reflects your perspective of currently dealing w/ “The Curse of the Strong Field”, MP. [Which is not to say you’re necessarily wrong—just that someone competing probably sees the “competitive element” everywhere. Whereas I can be more equitable, in my current state of “Having Given Up”. :-/]

  2. In the diocese of Melbourne where (unlike Sydney) the numbers of high and low churchmen are fairly evenly balanced there is a tradition of alternating an evangelical archbishop with an anglo-catholic archbishop which seemed eminently sensible to me. However a friend told me he went for the position of public relations officer for the diocese and was told he would not be chosen because, like him, the previous incumbent of even that position had been an anglo-catholic. That was taking it to extremes.

  3. We just heard tonight (we=the Bishop’s Council) who is on Southwark’s selection committee. I know five out of the six rather well and I do not think that we will have the same problem that Peterborough had and now (perhaps) Rochester has. None of the rabid homophobes and Bible-thumpers who still inhabit some dark corners of this otherwise pretty enlightened diocese got on the committee. They also didn’t get a private meeting with the Appointments Secretaries–they had to go to the public meeting along with the rest of the laity. We got 65 people at the public meeting. I understand that Chelmsford got 1.

    The moral of these stories is: always watch out to see who is on the Vacancy-in-See committee. If possible, get yourself elected to it as you never know when your bishop will join the Choir Celestial before his time or will get a bee in his mitre about saving some part of Christianity from being taken over by homosexuals and will resign beforetimes.

    We paid a lot of attention to the V-i-S committee this time around as we knew that +Tom Butler was nearing 70 each and every day.

    Remember: if rational people don’t pay attention to the Vacancy-in-See committee, the wingnuts of the Church will, and you may find yourself with a wingnut for a Bishop and no way out except to join the Methodists or become a temporary agnostic.

    I don’t suppose the Captcha people know what your name is but the captcha this time around is “haggr”…

  4. This is particularly good news, Chris, as I have four applications in at the moment for Southwark parishes. If you could fill the parish rep positions with the “right sort of people” I would be very grateful 🙂

  5. We have a couple of vacancies in my Deanery so perhaps one of them will throw us together a bit more closely than formerly.

    If you want some info on Southwark from a kind-of insider feel free to email me. I can only give the informed layperson’s point of view but you might find that helpful. I know the Woolwich Episcopal area a lot better than the wild and woolly south and west.

    Good luck: Southwark needs more good priests.

  6. As a member of a long past episcopal search committee of a prominant TEC diocese I can affirm that the TEC process is designed to make certain that a great deal of time is taken before a huge mistake is made. And most episcopal elections end up in disaster.

  7. MP; thanks for this. “An eternity of one churchmanship” puts it well – if maybe not going far enough. I’d argue that St Johns College has stitched up every appointment to Southwell/Southwell & Nottingham since the London College of Divinity found a permanent home in Bramcote 40 years ago. All very well with the appointment of the wonderfully open evangelical Dennis Wakeling (who confirmed me). Sadly not so with their last couple of appointments. Chris’ comments about ViS committees are wise indeed.