Conflicting views aired on who should follow ‘significant presence’ as Bishop of London

Jun 18, 2017 by

by Madeleine Davies, Church Times:

SHOULD the next Bishop of London continue the London Plan or begin to ordain women priests, affirm gay clergy, do more to attract children and teenagers into church, or value pastoral diligence as much as high-profile mission? These were among the issues raised at a public consultation held on Tuesday evening.

Twenty-one people spoke during the meeting at St Alban’s, Holborn. It was chaired by the chairman of the vacancy-in-see committee, the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison. The Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary, Edward Chaplin, and the Archbishops’ Appointment Secretary, Caroline Boddington, were present to hear the debate.

Dean Ison set out nine priorities set out in the Statement of Need, which will shortly be published, alongside a profile of the diocese. The first was evangelism: “to proclaim the historic and eternal Gospel in a changing world and society”. Another was: “to ensure we live in generous orthodoxy . . . enabling mutual flourishing of all the whole Christian church, recognising that there is a diversity of views on various matters across the diocese, but we want to live together as the people of Christ”.

After outlining a priority to “reach out to an ethnically diverse population”, the Dean admitted that “we are not doing very well in encouraging the ministry and engagement of people from different ethnic groups”. There were “very few teenagers” in the churches of the diocese, he said, after outlining another priority: securing a “step change” in engaging with children and young people.

Several of the speeches that followed related to questions of diversity and inclusivity and a third called for a Bishop who would ordain women. The last Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, continued on the lines of the London Plan put in place in 1993-94 by his predecessor, Dr David Hope, an Anglo-Catholic traditionalist, to hold the diocese together, by ordaining deacons, but not priests, either male or female.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This