There is no such thing as ordination in the Church of England as the withholding of permission to officiate by bishops without any due process is proof that the leaders of the Church of England do not believe in the efficacy of the sacrament. Imagine a bishop telling somebody that they were no longer baptised. It is the same for those priests whose bishops effectively tell them they are no longer ordained by withholding permission to officiate.

That which God has ordained let no one, except
a bishop in the Church of England, tear apart.



  1. On the other side of the argument there is a case to be made for the authority of the diocesan to license clerics. In order to be licensed in the diocese where I live, but am not canonically resident, I had to have a congregation that would agree to accept me as part of the clerical leadership. I initially thought that was an unreasonable requirement, but soon came to see the wisdom.
    Of course, the authority to license – or not – can be abused, as I suspect it has been in your case.

    • I think there should be the possibility of priests who are not leaders. Who just do what they are asked to do by the laity. I think that PTO should be automatic and removed by legal process if necessary.

    • And also, if the bishops want all priests to be attached to a congregation they should do their job and facilitate this. I would be very happy to be attached to a church in this way and wouldn’t need even to be part of its leadership. In fact, a priest in Durham wrote to the bishop asking if I could be attached to their church. But the bishop didn’t even bother answering and then buggered off to Canterbury.

  2. I don’t know whether this is relevant, but I think I’ve seen major policy changes over the decades. When I applied for ordination in 1971 there were policies about which kinds of people they were looking for. I don’t know much about them but later, ability to manage went up the priority list, and I knew of good potential priests turned down because they wouldn’t be good managers. Indeed my experience of parish ministry was that the pressures from the dioceses were increasingly to expect parish clergy to be club managers, running the church building and congregation. I had never had any interest in that. My interests were in God and ethics. It’s nearly 15 years since I stopped being a parish priest and, looking back, I think this is why I was never a success at the job. If I’d wanted to be a club manager I’d have preferred to run a strip club. At least you wouldn’t have to work so hard persuading people to come.