The Bishop of Liverpool The Right Reverend James Jones is to retire on his 65th birthday, in August.

A good man who won the trust and respect of people of all traditions in the Church. In many ways it is a great shame that it was traditionally the turn of a liberal when Rowan Williams was promoted to Archbishop of Canterbury. If it had been an evangelical's turn we could well have ended up with Bishop Jones leading us and, strange as it may sound, we would, most likely, be worshipping now in a modern, relevant church which was equally concerned with both evangelism and social justice and where "listening and possibly changing your mind about something" was seen as a mark of strength not weakness.

Bishop Jones is a person with well above average discernment. In a way it is a shame that he is also a quiet, polite man without malice, because if he wasn't he may have warned us of what is to come before it became too late. However, perhaps he will become the anticarey - an evangelical bishop who speaks out bravely and loudly following retirement but without any attachment to the Thatcherite/Torygraph reactionary agenda.

On Facebook, a friend of mine, no doubt disgusted at my out of character hagiography of Bishop Jones, wrote, "He's as much a player of people games as any of them."

To which I replied, "Well, he wouldn't be a bishop if he wasn't. In fact, he wouldn't even be a parish priest if he wasn't. He wouldn't have got through the selection procedure for training if he wasn't. And do we not, when we recognise the players of games, play them?"



    • The singer is Adrienne Findlay from Edmonton in Canada (or somewhere close to there). The song is off the album “She Moved Through The Fair” which she recorded with harpist, Jia Jia Yong and released last November. The whole album has the same etherial quality of this track.

    • “Adrienne Findlay”

      There’s a name that moves me to grief and bitterness [The GORGEOUS Jessica Brown Findlay‘s character on “Downton Abbey”, Lady Sybil, having just been killed off. And my hermeneutic-of-suspicion says the Popoid auteur Julian Fellowes killed her JUST to set up a sectarian brouhaha between her Irish-Catholic widower Tom and Lord Grantham re “What shall we baptize the baby as?” Better that BOTH those dickheads should have croaked, than MY Lady Sybil! Grrr! >:-( ]

  1. As long as your bishops are appointed by higher-ups this sort of thing will happen. Elections by the people and clergy (as we do over here), while not perfect, do seem to have better outcomes.

    • I’m not so sure. My guess is that your wannabe bishops have to be more manipulative than ours in order to get the votes. I know people who have not been elected who were just too humble to big themselves up. However, our system stinks of privilege (see new ABC) and I have absolutely no idea what would be a better other than the Hitchhikers’ Guide To The Galaxy solution where everyone who wants to be bishop is automatically banned from becoming bishop and you never tell the person you end up electing that they have been elected.

  2. He wouldn’t have got through the selection procedure for training if he wasn’t

    This is a guy who was groomed for high office before he even put in for ordination – the Leamington Spa Mafia (aka CPAS) saw to that.

    Mind you, with the way he chaired the enquiry that got the truth about Hillsborough out, perhaps this once they picked the right man.