Friday, 18 July 2008

Hmm. . .and a Statement from the Bishop of Fulham and updated again and again(!)

Bishop Nigel, Bishop of Manchester and my Diocesan Bishop.

The Archbishop of York.

For the first time since last Monday, I am genuinely sad. Read this:

Here's the nub....

The 14 bishops who voted for the Bishop of Winchester’s motion, including the reaffirmation of the Lambeth 1998 resolution that both sides in the argument on women priests and bishops are ‘loyal Anglicans’ were the Archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Blackburn, Bradford, Chichester, Exeter, Europe, London, Rochester, Southwell and Winchester, together with the suffragans of Birkenhead, Burnley, and Dover, and the Bishop of Beverley. Those suffragans must have done so knowing that as a result they would never become diocesan bishops.

Orthodox clergy and laity will also wish to know which 31 bishops voted against, unable or unwilling to allow them to be recognised as loyal Anglicans. They were the Archbishop of York, the bishops of Bath and Wells, Bristol, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Derby, Durham (though Tom Wright did vote against the final substantive motion), Gloucester, Guildford, Hereford, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Ripon and Leeds, St Albans, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Southwark, and Wakefield. The suffragans were Basingstoke, Dorking, Dudley, Hulme, Huntington, Willesden and also the episcopal Dean of Windsor. No surprise there, save for the Archbishop of York.

My hitherto upbeat, liberal views are in for some serious consideration over the weekend.


Fr. Kenyon writes: And this, which I think is equally disappointing and surprising:

"Only 7 bishops voted for the most extreme amendment asking for a single clause measure but again there were no surprises: Bath and Wells, Bristol, Derby, Hereford, Liverpool, Portsmouth, and of course Southwark.

On the final substantive motion, the same bishops who voted for the Winchester amendment voted against, with the exception of Canterbury who abstained, and Bradford and Southwell who voted in favour. The Bishop of Durham also joined the Noes."

I add my heartfelt sadness to Andrew's, especially when the votes of +Ebor and +Cantuar are assessed. Thanks, though, to those not of our constituency who, nonetheless voted against the final motion.

Ah well. . .

The Bishop of Fulham

Here is a statement, published today from the Chairman of Forward in Faith, the Rt. Revd. John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham:

In no way do I want to under estimate the seriousness of the present situation. Indeed the shocked response from those I would call the ‘real liberals’ reveals just how nasty the atmosphere was in the General Synod. Though the situation is terrible and does not augur well, I do not believe that it is necessarily the end. There are few advantages in being old but one can remember the past. In 1992 the House of Bishops and the General Synod had on many occasions rejected any provision for us and although the atmosphere was not as unpleasant as that in the present Synod to all appearances everything was lost. In spite of that we ultimately ended up with the Act of Synod and 10 years of reasonable dignified life. To me that suggest that everything is not necessarily lost given that the Archbishops and many others are appalled at the Synod’s decision.

It is quite apparent that we are being subjected to what I would call institutional bullying of a kind that if it were found in the commercial world would be the subject of serious litigation. The atmosphere and the approach of some of those opposed to us reveals that not only are they not very good Christians; they are also not nice human beings.

The other thing that strikes me quite hard is that most of the assets of the Church of England in terms of buildings, schools and other property either come from the pre reformation Catholic Church or as a direct result of the Tractarian and Catholic Revival. This property is very much our heritage and inheritance and to suggest that many wish to steal it from us in a very unpleasant form of legalised theft would not be an understatement. I know that many people will be looking at the legal implications lying behind both these matters.

There is a lot of pressure for rapid decisions and quick answers. I have no desire to be part of either. We need to quietly and prayerfully analyse where we are and wait for the situation to unfold. As someone whose temperament has always been to shoot first and ask questions afterwards, I recognise this will not be easy but there is an enormous amount of literature coming from members of General Synod and others which we need to digest.

There will be an emergency meeting of the Forward in Faith Council here in Canterbury on Monday. We will be grateful for your prayers as we meet to take counsel together.

Every Blessing,

+ John Fulham


Andrew writes: Even so my friends, let us be sure of our ground and of our calling. The Holy Ghost is not wrong, scripture is not changed nor is it misled. Stay faithful to this Church which has made errors. Stay faithful to each other. What of our communicants, our confirmands, our novices and our old sisters? Do they not have a right to be supported and nurtured, even in the midst of division? Pray, my friends, pray. Pray for England and pray for us. I am not much given to hyperbole, but maybe never has this isle needed our prayers more. And pray for me, servant of God as you are all, servants of a greater King.


Voting results from the Synod debate, which make for interesting reading. Tip of the biretta to Fr. Nicholas Davis, Rector of Holy Trinity, Tarleton.