Friday, April 24, 2009

Sorry bishops, but a diocese is not a church.

From the London Times

Just when I thought I might never have to write about Graham Kings' camel walk ever again, the Bishop of Salisbury goes and makes him his Bishop of Sherborne in Dorset, and I just know that camel walks will be with me for the rest of my professional life. Not that I've got the hump or anything. Because in fact this is a fascinating appointment with far-reaching implications. Dr Kings, currently Vicar of St Mary's Islington and the founder of Fulcrum, is the closest thing we've got in England to an Anglican Communion Institute. And these are the dear folk who've been trying to persuade themselves that their episcopal dioceses are 'proper churches' after all.

It merely adds to the interest that Sherborne is one of the oldest centres of Christian worship in England, and that Dr Kings' diocesan bishop David Stancliffe and his neighbour in Wiltshire, Bishop of Ramsbury Stephen Conway, are both leading lights in Affirming Catholicism, one vehicle by which traditionalists who supported the ordination of women also managed to remain within the Church in the previous debate between 'new' and 'old', namely the ordination of women.

You can read my news story about Dr Kings' appointment at Times Online's Faith page.

So why would the 15 or so conservative bishops in TEC with whom Dr Kings aligns himself in England, even though England is an altogether different kettle of fish and the same circumstances would never apply here, want to assert diocesan supremacy, thus posing an apparent ecclesiological threat to the authority of the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori?

more here-


Bruce Robison said...

Really a sad account. Graham Kings is a thoughtful and scholarly evangelical, and I think his appointment is and will be a great thing for the Church of England and for the wider Anglican family.

Anonymous said...

"posing an apparent ecclesiological threat to the authority of the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori"

What threat? Prior to the realignment vote, those conservatives wishing to remain in TEC argued that the PB had no "ecclesiological" authority over the Diocese of Pittsburgh, taking the same position as these 15 bishops. I quote from Jeff Murph on this very blog, "Neither does she have any authority in any diocese at all..." Interesting.

Bruce Robison said...

I've re-read Gledhill's piece, and I would retract my first sentence, re, "sad." Not really, and I think I was misreading something. I'm glad however to reaffirm my word about Graham.