EMAIL NEWS ALERTS
Nomination of the next Bishop of London
Posted on the 18th Dec 2017
The nomination of the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally as the next Bishop of London is – like that of Bishop Philip North as Bishop of Sheffield earlier this year – a natural consequence of the settlement reached by the Church of England in 2014 regarding the ordination of women as bishops. We send her our good wishes and assure her of our prayers as she embarks upon this new ministry.
The Crown Nominations Commission will have been conscious that, in a diocese in which so many are unable, for theological reasons, to receive the sacramental ministry of women as bishops (including the ministry of ordination), this nomination will result in a deeper impairment of communion. Faithful to the Five Guiding Principles adopted by the Church of England in 2014, we remain committed to maintaining the highest degree of communion that is still possible in these changed circumstances, while being realistic about its limits.
We are grateful for the respect that Bishop Sarah has expressed in her message to the Diocese of London for those who share our theological convictions, for her commitment to maintaining the diversity of the tradition of the Church of England, and for her hope ‘that this diversity will flourish’. 46 of the Diocese of London’s parishes (almost one in eight) are Anglo-Catholic parishes under the Bishop of Fulham’s oversight. The arrangements already in place for them – and for others that may join them in future – provide a secure basis for their flourishing and growth.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has acknowledged the continuing importance of the commitment made by the House of Bishops in 2014 to senior roles within dioceses being filled both by women and by those who, on grounds of theological conviction, cannot receive their sacramental ministry. Since that commitment was made, there have been numerous appointments of women as bishops and archdeacons, but only one new appointment of a traditional catholic. If this commitment, and those who made it, are to have any credibility, action needs to be taken urgently.
† TONY WAKEFIELD
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson
The Revd Ross Northing