sarah mullally bishop london
Church of England

“Late ordinand” Sarah Mullally to be next Bishop of London

The long wait is over: the person selected by the Crown Nominations Commission under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be the next Bishop of London is the Rt Rev’d Sarah Mullally, presently Bishop of Crediton. That’s quite a leap – from suffragan to No3 in the CofE episcopal hierarchy in just two years. Of course (quite naturally) most of the media focus (and, indeed, the Church’s) will be on the fact that she is the first female Bishop of London (cue cheers or tears, depending on whether you think this represents breakthrough or apocalypse). It isn’t clear if the CNC wanted “to make a statement” with this nomination, but here’s how No10 announced it:

She is a “late ordinand”?

What, like St Peter?

Or St Paul?

Wasn’t Jesus aged 30 before he commenced his ministry?

It’s good to read that she is a novice potter: God likes those who can tread clay and mould earthen jars. But this “late ordinand” thing irks somewhat. What does No10 believe the right age for ordination to be? 18? 25? 30? May one be ordained “too late”? Was Moses’ call, at the age of 80, not a bit tardy? May one be called “too early”? Is 23 too young? Is 25? Or 28? If Sarah Mullally was a late ordinand in her early 40s, does that mean Theresa May was a late politician?

Chronology quibbles aside, let us be grateful that the CNC (/Holy Spirit) has lighted on a candidate with a distinguished record of service in the world (appointed DBE in 2005). Her gifts are manifest, and her grace radiates (and she tweets a lot). In her own blog, she talks about the daunting challenges she’ll face in London: inequality, deprivation, poverty, poor health. And she’s spot on with this observation:

It is a city where the number of people living alone will rise by over 50% in the next 25 years.

And it is a city where people feel ignored, marginalised and angry.

Loneliness is the new leprosy – isolation, forsaken, abandonment – except that it’s not easily visible to the eye. But the Rt Rev’d Sarah Mullally has the answer, and is eager to proclaim it:

I made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ as a teenager. As one hymn puts it, I found in him my Star, my Sun. I look forward to sharing that good news with others as I come to London.

Before becoming a priest, I was a nurse and then the Government’s Chief Nursing Officer for England. People ask what it is like to have had two careers. I reply that I have always had one vocation – to follow Jesus Christ, to know him and to make him known.

For me that means living in the service of others.

Washing feet is a powerful image which has shaped my life.

As a nurse, the way we wash feet affords dignity, respect and value. As a priest I am called to model Jesus Christ, who took off his outer garments and washed his disciples’ feet, even the one who would betray him.

I keep that model of service before me, seeking to serve others and value them.

To be able to do that here is a wonderful privilege.

It doesn’t matter a fig that she was a “late ordinand”: her vocation is by no means diminished because of that. Of course, you may think it matters that lacks a penis, and so her priestly vocation (and therefore her episcopal calling) is an ontological nonsense. But as you do so (and doubtless the chat thread below will overflow with apocalyptic scorn), consider that her focus is manifestly on serving Jesus, and that she is highly respected by those outside the Church (cf 1Tim 3:7), and so she may reach interested ears and open hearts with whispers of Christian love and dews of Christ-like peace in ways which another may never have been able to.

Don’t criticise, decry or scorn her: please instead pray for her, for the powers that be are ordained of God (Rom 13:1) – late or not.

  • John Rollins

    Let’s hope she’s evangelical and orthodox.

    • Arden Forester

      A sort of orthodoxy that’s jettisoned a goodly portion of orthodoxy.

    • Anton

      We already know she isn’t. The Bible is clear that church leadership is to be male.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Would a faithless man be preferable to a faithful woman? Did God call Deborah to be a prophet in Old Testament times or didn’t He? If God can speak through Balaam’s Ass why can’t He speak through a woman?

        • carl jacobs

          God can speak through a stone if He so desires. That doesn’t mean he would place a stone into a position of authority in a church.

          Would a faithless man be preferable?

          Is that then the standard? Or perhaps should it be obedience?

        • Homer Simpson

          God does speak through Balaam’s Ass even today. There’s one at Lambeth Palace and one at Bishopsthorpe.

        • Anton

          Carl says what I’d have replied below only rather better.

        • Martin

          Why would you think she was a faithful woman, given her disobedience?

        • Little Black Censored

          Faithless man or faithful woman: that wasn’t the choice before us.

  • Inspector General

    Oh FFS…

    To think a fellow woke joyously this morning. And for what…

  • David

    Cranmer is right of course, that the “late” to ordination is of little importance.

    But what is of importance is whether the bishop will clearly and plainly identify sin as sin, or whether this bishop too will slide away from confronting evil, as we, most sadly, saw recently with Archbishop Welby.

    What is also of great importance is of course her theological views. If she is, like every single female priest I’ve ever encountered, a liberal whose theology is somewhere on the progressive scale, then this will hinder and not assist the future preaching of the full gospel and the resultant harvest of souls for Christ.

    And yes all people of good intention should pray for her.

    • Seadog

      Yes, talk to your hands.

  • Arden Forester

    I would never wish to criticise, decry or scorn her. That would be unseemly and unChristian. However, I can believe with all sincerity that the Sacrament of Holy Order is not something to be altered at whim because it suits perceived “glass ceilings” or other worldly thoughts. As a Christian minister no doubt she has God-given talents but the Tradition suggests that the flock will not become one with the Shepherd through novelty doctrines. The Church of England now lives with impaired communion as not all of us are in full communion with each other. Mutual flourishing is the buzz phrase, which I take as relatively meaningless. I believe we should be true to our consciences and guided by the Holy Spirit to maintain the Faith as we have received it. Each to their own and we should remember that Jesus told us to let all grow until the Harvest. Then we will truly know the Truth.

    • David

      Nicely put, and true too.

  • I am a Presbyterian of the Knox view on the place of women. ‘Nuf said.

  • Father David

    Never mind, perhaps Stephen Cottrell will get York once John Sentamu retires?

    • David

      And pigs will fly !

      • Dominic Stockford

        We hope neither will happen.

        • Anton

          Too late…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Floyd_pigs

          The disruption of flights into Heathrow is classic. Imagine the pilots!

          • Dominic Stockford

            I forgot that, and to think I went to the London exhibition only a few months back… doh.

  • Chefofsinners

    No scorn, no criticism. I merely lament the fact that a sister in Christ with such obvious faith and gifts has fallen into this pit. Now she will have to be all things to all men, compromise her faith, watch every word for political correctness, tolerate everything and stand for nothing. Satan has taken her to a high mountain and offered her the kingdoms of this world.

    • dannybhoy

      I’d go along with that Chef. The CofE is a broooaaad Church, and I fear Sarah may run afoul of some other old broads. But she loves the Lord, and as a woman she may well exhibit more courage for the faith than some..
      ..
      https://sarahmullally.wordpress.com/

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    One just hopes the new bishop does not have ‘Stockholm Syndrome…’

  • ardenjm

    When reading about ancient Roman religious practices I was fascinated to discover that even the Vestal Virgins in Rome didn’t take the knife to their animal sacrifices. Men were brought in to do the killing and shed the blood. The proper of a priest is to offer sacrifice of a life to God. The proper of a mother is to give life. This is why Eve is the chef d’oeuvre of God’s creation.

    So the issues are as much to do with the notion of what a priest is (and what a bishop is) as they are to do with the gender of the one holding the office.

    In that respect I have no quibble at all with a man, woman or a stuffed tomato becoming priest or bishop in the Anglican communion. It’s all the same: “NULL AND VOID”.
    (And how prescient Pope Leo XIII was, inspite of the reasonably persuasive lines of valid episcopal ordination that some Anglo-Catholics laid claim to in the vain hope that somehow their church was still part of the Catholic Church. Those waters are now fatally muddied.)

    All the best to Bishop Sarah then. And to Bishops Baby, Tortoise, Green Bean and Old Sock.
    It’s all the same.

    • Anton

      And also with you.

  • carl jacobs

    I don’t know. This fight was lost four years ago. It’s hard to get worked up about it. The problems in the CoE go much deeper than the appointment of a woman as bishop. Really it’s no different from seeing a news report saying “Mormons appoint Bob Smith to Office of Seventy”. It’s not heroic. It’s not new. It’s not particularly relevant to the (capital ‘C’) Church – except that it is an interesting shot across the bow of certain churches in London. Anything that heightens the contradictions is a good thing, I guess.

    A stone sinks. A corpse rots. The CoE appoints a woman as bishop. It’s just the way of the world.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      The CNC obviously didn’t think they could manage a pervert just yet.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    Always fun to watch Cranmer bend over to the deep state

    • Homer Simpson

      Or wriggle like a freshly caught eel.

  • Anton

    When something goes against the written word of God, in this case female church leadership, what is the point of praying that God will bless the situation?

    • John Campbell

      Pray that the Lord would open the eyes of her understanding, in that loving gentle way only He is able to, that she would publicly repent and resign from the office she is holding in direct contravention of His clear unequivocal instruction.

      Humans spend too much time comparing themselves with each other and thereby developing shortlist’s of the so-called worthy. There is absolutely NO Holy Spirit involvement in this and I’m surprised at His Grace for suggesting it. Instead of comparing ourselves with each other we should be comparing ourselves with God, through His Word. That process would leave us in no doubts about how far we have fallen and the only way out of the pit is through and in our Saviour, Whom we are roundly encouraged to obey ….

      John 14:23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

      I’m sure that in human terms Mrs. Mullally is a very worthy woman. Before God however, she is a disobedient woman, nay, a rebellious woman. So pray for eyes to be opened to this, and for her take the only remedial action available to her.

      • Merchantman

        Thanks- John 14:23- profound, I’ll say no more.

  • Dolphinfish

    So, her chief concerns will be poverty, deprivation and inequality, eh? Why stop at London; the way things are going, she could be pope.

    • Homer Simpson

      She clearly forgot to mention global warming or climate change as they now call it!

    • Royinsouthwest

      Can a bishop solve the problems of poverty, deprivation and inequality?

  • A Berean

    “under the guidance of the Holy Spirit”

    I rather doubt it. Would the Holy Spirit guide those in authority, much less anyone else, to violate sacred Scripture? I think the answer to that is abundantly clear.

    First Timothy 3:2 is very clear, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach…” I’m quite sure further explanation is not necessary.

    Or are we to labor under the assumption that the “Crown Nominations Commission”-which, incidentally, has absolutely no biblical authority whatsoever-has access to the Spirit which is denied to anyone else and obviously was when the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy? Or does the Spirit now reside with this Commission exclusively? Pseudo-Christian and non-Christian faiths make similar claims and for the most part they are not believed and therefore ignored.

    “she talks about the daunting challenges she’ll face in London”

    It is interesting to note that preaching the Gospel was not included. Rather interesting that.

    Clearly the “Crown Nominations Commission” has genuflected not to the Holy Spirit but to the spirit of the age. Cultural relativism is in full force in regards to this nomination and I’m sure they’re not going to let anything like patriarchal misogyny-which one cannot help but think that is what they may call it-influence their decision. Let me end this with a reference to Scripture as you have: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes sir. Yes.

    • Chefofsinners

      I suspect there was a touch of irony in Cranmer’s words.
      In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy zeitgeist. Amen.

      • betteroffoutofit

        errr …. isn’t that “the UNHoly zeitgeist”?
        Not that it’ll make much difference to post-mods, who surely can’t make any sense of the old gibe – “more holy than Godly.”

      • A Berean

        That never occurred to me. I guess I’m ironically challenged.

    • Arden Forester

      It was when Bishop David Jenkins was told, regarding women as priests, that it was a venture that the vast majority of Christendom would not be receiving, he retorted “but I think we can” meaning the CofE was quite capable of ploughing its own furrow, that I realised this was never really about the Holy Spirit. It has manifested itself since in a mixture of political correctness, new age thinking, “diversity” and a desire to bring The Kingdom (which is not of this World) straight into worldly secular ways. It kind of turns parts of the Gospel on its head.

      I have no doubt many of those supporting or believing in this change of belief are sincere. Some, a few, I think are more motivated by politics than faith. We now have silly comments about God as Mother, so-called inclusive language and retelling texts to suit. Most of the sacraments are “revised”. Scripture hardly supports it, Tradition certainly does not and Reason? Well that falls a bit flat. The Holy Spirit is also called the Holy Comforter. Not a kindly supporter but one who gives us strength to believe the Faith. What the Holy Spirit is not is a kind of heavenly game show host saying “I’ll have to hurry you. It’s make your mind up time”.

  • Ray Sunshine

    Heythrop College, where the incoming Bishop of London did her postgraduate degree, was originally a Jesuit foundation. At the moment, it’s scheduled to close next year. The 2017-18 academic year is its last, it says here. Will Bishop Mullally be able to save it from the axe?

    http://www.heythrop.ac.uk/about-us

    [Comment moved from Carlile Report thread]

    • ardenjm

      We can only hope she can’t.
      I’m sure St Ignatius of Loyola is thanking God that an institution, fallen so far from the charism of his religious order, is finally shutting its doors. We pray that the same may happen to the multitude of jesuit institutions which have fallen into heterodoxy.

      • Once Ignatian Spirituality became infested with Buddhist mediation and, frankly, shamanic practices, it has become a cesspool of heresy and blasphemy.

        • Martin

          Sounds about right for Rome, they had already imbibed the religions of their ancient city and the philosophies of Athens such that they have lost the gospel

      • Ray Sunshine

        an institution, fallen so far from the charism of his religious order, …
        Some people would say the same about the Holy See under its present incumbent.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Only ‘some’?!

          • carl jacobs

            Well I won’t. I think this current Pope is a great Pope. He is a sterling representation of the breadth and depth of Catholic theology and we need to keep him around for as long as possible.

          • This Papacy is serving to remind one of the beauty and integrity of orthodox Catholic teaching and is revealing the many false shepherds in the Church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Giggle, giggle. Snigger, snigger…..

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Jesuits, step by step, achieving their aim of taking over the UK. Sad to see the CofE actually helping them do so.

      • ROFL

        • ardenjm

          Ex-Father Dominic has drunk the Jack Chick Kool-Aid.

          • Well, he’s certainly on something.

          • ardenjm

            When you think how real Jesuits basically established two South American countries back in the day…
            Today, though, they could barely take over a Robin Reliant on the motorway.

          • So sad …. Jack has great devotion to Saint Ignatius and his spiritual writings. He was a hero saint of Jack’s as a teenager. How low they have sunk. Saint Pope John Paul II should have shut the order down when he had the chance.

            Talking of Robin Reliants, the Jesuits and the Church of England:

            Del Boy on Rodney’s role in the Trotters Independent Traders empire
            “I see it as a combination of my business acumen and salesmanship, and your ability to drive a three-wheeled van. Badly.”

          • CliveM

            You do remember that Del Boy was delusional?

        • carl jacobs

          …said the Jesuit spy. Nervously.

          • You give Jack too much credit. If only he had the power the bring the Church of England down and return Britain to the true faith.

          • carl jacobs

            No one said you could do it on your own. But it’s well known that you are the Jesuit spy here on Cranmer’s. You have admitted as much. Which just means you aren’t a very good spy. You need to be more stealthy and stuff.

          • Jesuits are more liberal protestant than most Anglican’s these days.

          • Little Black Censored

            I once threw myself into a comfortable armchair in Campion Hall and said loudly “Oh, how wonderful to sit down!” Somebody said “Ssh!” and pointed to a lamp flickering in the corner. The well-upholstered room was a kind of chapel in which the Sacrament was reserved. (The real chapel, splendidly designed by Lutyens, was cold and looked forsaken.)

          • Cressida de Nova

            If the Jesuits took over the C of E it would not be Catholic take over just more of the same.
            I think the order should be disbanded . St Ignatius would want this. He did not promote heresy and would not want his name associated with it.

      • Dolphinfish

        You’re joking, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong: if the Jesuits were behind this I’d say, “respect!”, because this kind of thing is going through Protestantism like the alien through John Hurt’s chest. But the Jesuits are about as Catholic as Len, and are to us what women bishops are to the CofE.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Let’s see. The Pope is a Jesuit. The Jesuits are one of the foremost Roman Catholic orders, standard bearers for your denomination. The Jesuits have made it their aim, openly, to ‘reclaim’ England ‘for Rome’. And they do it partly by saying to each man what that man wants to hear (so the Pope tells journos on the plane that homosexuality isn’t something he would condemn, because that’s what they want to hear), and then standing in the end for what the RC denomination has always stood for on that matter. So they’ll ensure that this action of the CofE is welcomed (the Cardinal has done this), knowing that some of the less discerning bods in the CofE will then leave for Rome because of what the CofE has done – but they won;t actually mean it at all. Dissembling, like the Labour Party on Brexit, to try to ‘win the votes of all’.

          • ROFLMAO – It’s like reading a Dan Browne novel.

      • Little Black Censored

        That’s funny; did you mean it to be?

        • Sir John Oldcastle

          Uncomfortable facts are often presented as funny by those who find them uncomfortable. A common way to diss truth.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Still can’t get my phone to log in with my name. Bother.

  • Brian

    St Helen’s Bishopsgate will no doubt be contacting Rod Thomas now, maybe All Souls will do the same. Holy Trinity Brompton hasn’t a theological clue, so I imagine they’ll be swooning over this.
    Yet all over London, new Anglican (but not C of E) congregations are being formed under the aegis of Co-Mission.
    And in the north of England, AMiE congregations are forming – such as in Scarborough, although there are two evangelical parishes there. I wonder if that is because the Bishop of Hull is in a civil partnership with his boyfriend?
    Moment by moment, the life is draining out of the C of E.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The hierarchy of the CofE are not fit for purpose, neither is the administration. “What purpose?” you ask. Preaching the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, and Him alone.

    • layreader

      Some wires crossed here? Bishop Alison White (of Hull) has been married for 35 years to Bishop Frank White (retired Asst in Newcastle). First husband-and-wife team to be bishops.

      • Brian

        You’re right. I was thinking of the Bishop of Grantham who came out as ‘gay’ in Sept 2016. Obviously Welby knew of this relationship. Trinity Church in Scarborough is the AMiE plant meeting in a college hall. Their minister was recently ordained by Andy Lines. Maybe AMiE and Rod Thomas will link up.

  • AncientBriton

    “…living in the service of others”. The NHS serves a population in excess of 54 million with growing needs while the Church of England caters for around 700,000 regular worshipers and falling. Hmmm!

  • Homer Simpson

    She is a chameleon who hasn’t made her position on a single controversial-biblical issue clear. No wonder she got one of the top jobs. Why is Cranmer so effusive in his praise for her? What gifts does she has as a bishop: not a theologian, not a bible teacher, not a noteworthy evangelist — just an over-promoted bureaucrat (and most importantly a woman!)

    • Ray Sunshine

      Why is Cranmer so effusive in his praise for her?

      “Effusive”? A bit of an overstatement, I think. All Cranmer is really saying is that he has followed her blog and her tweets, but apart from that he doesn’t know much about her. I read his OP as a appeal to us all to give the lady a chance. No more than that, really.

      • carl jacobs

        She can have any chance she desires. She will have plenty of chances to do some good in a compromised and compromising church. She can start by actually implementing all that “mutual flourishing” boilerplate when leading in her diocese. She’ll need to address that problem with more than carefully chosen words about “respecting” positions.

        But I would never sit under her authority.

      • Martin

        She doesn’t deserve a chance, she is in rebellion.

  • SonoView

    As a reformed non-conformist I don’t accept the whole concept of “priesthood” – Christ is our “great high priest” so no other is needed. As far as I can work the CofE out the Anglo-Catholics believe in priests, but not women priests. The evangelicals don’t regard themselves as priests, but as ministers (of the word), while the liberals don’t really care – anything goes.

    Good luck to the lady, she will need it! I presume she will be on the liberal side, so it will be interesting to see what William Taylor of St. Helen’s will do, and indeed All Souls.

    • Anton

      We are all priests according to Peter (1 Pe 2:9) and John (Rev 1:6). It is the concepts of laity and of ordination to the priesthood that you should be rejecting.

      • Ray Sunshine

        Bear in mind the etymology of the English noun priest.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Which is an argument oft used by those in the CofE, but really doesn’t wash.

          • Ray Sunshine

            The English language has a history, no matter how hard you try to wash it away.

          • Martin

            It’s still a nonsense, as are the altars. It’s quite clear why they call themselves priests and it has nothing to do with etymology.

          • Ray Sunshine

            So what are you going to do about it, Martin? Travel back into the seventh century and persuade the Anglo-Saxons to call their clergy something else instead? Explain to them the terrible mistake they’re making? Good luck with that. Don’t forget to send a postcard!

          • Martin

            Ray

            There are no clergy in the Christian Church. Indeed the first evidence of a Christian church failing is a separation between the people and those who purport to lead. If they seek power they should not be followed.

        • Anton

          I’m aware of it, and also that the Greek is the same word form which we get ‘hierarch’. Words mutate, offices don’t.

          • Ray Sunshine

            No, that’s a different Greek word.

          • Anton

            I now what the Greek words are and where the English words come from and how it got that way. What point are you trying to make?

          • Ray Sunshine

            I had only one point to make and I thought I’d already made it. The word priest is correctly used to designate a minister of the Christian religion, this being the Anglicised form of Jerome’s Latin presbyterus.

      • SonoView

        yes yes, sorry, bad posting

      • Martin

        But our ‘priesthood’ is not an office but a nature.

        • Anton

          I’m not disagreeing. I’m pointing out that the one-word answer to “Are you a priest?” is Yes for any Christian.

  • David Waters

    I have a simple view of bishops. They can’t be bothered to get democratically elected, so I can’t be bothered to listen to them.

    • carl jacobs

      There are no democratic elections in Scripture. Elders aren’t selected that way.

      • David Waters

        So PCCs and the Synod should be selected by our “betters” should they?

        • carl jacobs

          I’m just stating a fact. Make of it what you will. Elders are appointed in Scripture. The election of an elder is a western cultural bias introduced into the church. It has no Scriptural warrant.

          • Yes, but God is evolving as he learns from His creation, Carl. Just as His moral absolutes are now unsuited to modern, enlightened man, He’ll cotton on eventually that man can refashion His Apostolic model for His Church.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh so THAT explains all that stuff about acorns and oak trees. I get It now.

          • carl jacobs

            Rationalizations coming in … 3 … 2 … 1 …

          • ardenjm

            Just leaving this from Aquinas/Happy Jack here.
            Seems relevant somehow…

            “The proud person, on the other hand, has contempt for those who know things that he does not know, and conceals his indocility (as well as his pride) from himself, and is able to misinterpret his vice as a virtue. Thus, the indocile person who is proud often thinks that by his stubborn refusal to allow others to “impose” their ideas on him, he is maintaining an “open mind” or holding to a “truth” he has “privately” arrived at through “personal judgement”.

          • NO, Carl.
            The Protestants attempted to graft a sickly Weeping Willow into the trunk of an Oak Tree.

          • carl jacobs

            I admire you, Jack. Having to defend this “The RCC doesn’t change doctrine except when it does and even then it doesn’t” line takes quite a bit of intellectual agility.

          • Why not read some Blessed John Henry Newman? You might learn something and realise just how silly your constant misrepresentations are. Jack has tried for several years now, and, really, can only conclude you are being stubbornly and wilfully ignorant. Fair enough if you don’t agree but at least try to understand what you’re opposed to.

            http://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/

            It’s a good read too.

          • carl jacobs

            I know what the RCC teaches. I know it better than 99% of the Catholics with whom I converse. My only “misrepresentation” is that I don’t accept your rationalizations. I won’t accept your categorizations. I won’t accept your arguments from definition.

            It ain’t complicated.

          • ardenjm

            So, in short, Happy Jack, allow me to re-post your comment on Aquinas and docility. Carl exemplifies the pride-addled position perfectly with his:

            “I know what the RCC teaches. I know it better than 99% of the Catholics with whom I converse. My only “misrepresentation” is that I don’t accept your rationalizations. I won’t accept your categorizations. I won’t accept your arguments from definition.”

            Happy Jack’s Thomist skewering of carl jacob’s pontificating is worth reading. BTW Carl sounds balanced and perceptive often – but every so often we catch a glimpse of the hardened pride underneath. I ‘pride’ myself on obviously provoking that quite often but, in fact, it’s this from Aquinas which knee-caps Carl’s position utterly:

            “Docility is a great virtue, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, being related to the virtue of prudence. Specifically, it allows us to acquire knowledge through the teaching of another. Even the most learned people need to be docile, since no man is completely self-sufficient. We all stand in great need of being taught by others.

            Aquinas teaches that there are two obstacles that lie in the path of acquiring the virtue of docility. One is laziness, the other is pride. Pride, however, is far more insidious than laziness. The lazy person has difficulty concealing his laziness, even from himself. The lazy person usually knows that he is lazy. The proud person, on the other hand, has contempt for those who know things that he does not know, and conceals his indocility (as well as his pride) from himself, and is able to misinterpret his vice as a virtue. Thus, the indocile person who is proud often thinks that by his stubborn refusal to allow others to “impose” their ideas on him, he is maintaining an “open mind” or holding to a “truth” he has “privately” arrived at through “personal judgement”.

            “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

          • No, Carl, you don’t know what the Church teaches.
            Did you read my comment on indocility and pride?

          • ardenjm

            Just leaving this from Aquinas/Happy Jack here.

            “The proud person, on the other hand, has contempt for those who know things that he does not know, and conceals his indocility (as well as his pride) from himself, and is able to misinterpret his vice as a virtue. Thus, the indocile person who is proud often thinks that by his stubborn refusal to allow others to “impose” their ideas on him, he is maintaining an “open mind” or holding to a “truth” he has “privately” arrived at through “personal judgement”.

          • Might just be worth Jack copying and saving this for regular postings in 2018.

          • Martin

            Of course, when Rome changes it’s doctrine it insists you have merely misunderstood and only the ‘Church’ can truly interpret what it has said.

          • ardenjm

            Just leaving this from Aquinas/Happy Jack.
            Seems relevant somehow…

            “The proud person, on the other hand, has contempt for those who know things that he does not know, and conceals his indocility (as well as his pride) from himself, and is able to misinterpret his vice as a virtue. Thus, the indocile person who is proud often thinks that by his stubborn refusal to allow others to “impose” their ideas on him, he is maintaining an “open mind” or holding to a “truth” he has “privately” arrived at through “personal judgement”.

          • Anton

            The church is ingrafted into the olive tree of Israel: Romans 11.

          • David Waters

            Aha, amazingly, there are still people who believe in Apostolic Succession. Reminds me of the Divine Right of Kings. Charles 1 refused to speak at his trial because he was appointed by God and the court therefore had no legitimacy. Shortly afterwards, he was executed. No doubt the bishops of the CofE will be muttering something similar when their organisation dies out completely. It’s well on the way.

          • There’s no comparison between Apostolic Succession and the Divine Right of Kings. In Roman Catholic jurisprudence, the monarch is always subject to natural and divine law, both being superior to the monarch.

            With the Reformation, there was no longer this countervailing power of the Papacy as the Church of England was simply a creature of the state and subservient to it. This meant that there was nothing to regulate the powers of the king, and he was an absolute power. In theory, divine, natural, customary, and constitutional law still held sway over the king, but, absent a superior spiritual power, it could not be enforced, since the king could not be tried by any of his own courts.

            Anyways, the Church of England lost Apostolic Succession years ago.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            The court which tried King Charles I had no legitimacy according to the laws and customs of that time – the kings was quite right.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Like the court that tried Bishop Bell, then?

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Not exactly, no

          • David Waters

            I agree. There is no Scriptural warrant. But in today’s church, church attendees can vote three ways: with their wallets, with their feet, or with some kind of church democracy. The last of these is likely to be the best. And surely the bishops like a bit of modernity don’t they? Gay marriage for example. Why not democracy? Probably because they know they would be turfed out.

          • carl jacobs

            A word of caution. Bishops were and are elected in TEC. You see where that got things.

          • Martin

            We’re not told in precise detail how elders were appointed in the NT. But there must have clearly been some sort of consultation among the members. Election seems a suitable method.

        • dannybhoy

          Not by our betters but by a Godly congregation as in..
          Acts 6 New King James Version (NKJV)
          6 “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists,[a] because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
          1st Peter 2:5
          4… “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
          The priestly laity divide is a man made construct, not an edict from God..

      • The Snail @/”

        They drew lots!

        • carl jacobs

          The lot is cast in the lap but its every choice belongs to the Lord.

          • The Snail @/”

            Urim and Thummim?

        • carl jacobs

          Oh and for the record, the lot didn’t choose Paul. The Apostles didn’t have any business casting lots to replace Judas. The Apostles were personally chosen by the Lord Jesus – Paul included.

      • Ray Sunshine

        Not even Acts 6:3? The Twelve invite the brethren to select seven men from among themselves, though of course the seven won’t actually be appointed until the Twelve say they are. In the ESV:
        Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

        • carl jacobs

          Deacons aren’t elders.

    • Steve

      In Wales they are. And the last time round, when one particular candidate didn’t get elected, his supporters all started screaming that that they should be appointed instead!

  • makkabaeus

    Deborah judged Israel; Priscilla and her husband instructed the already scripturaly literate Appolos; Paul owned Phoebe as his helper? one who stands before, leader, protector, guardian, pilot; .and just perhaps Junias was…?
    Let’s give her a chance, pray for her, and see if God will give fresh light on His word through her.

    • Martin

      Except that there is clear instruction in the NT that women are not to seek authority in God’s Church. Those you mention in the NT had no authority. Israel is an entirely different matter.

      • makkabaeus

        Not sure Deborah is in a different category. Pentecost brought priesthood and prophecy to all the people of God. I Tim 2.12. is the difficult one for me, but it has to be balanced against women prophesying ie speaking out, and Priscilla teaching with her husband, but in a 2:1 relationship with a man already well versed in scripture. She is atypically often reffered to before her husband. Paul’s word for authority here is not the usual NT word. In some contexts it can mean murder. Perhaps Paul is thinking of a particularly bullying approach.
        I’m not an Anglican, I agree the method of appointment is less than ideal, don’t know what the best choice for London might be, and don’t know much about the lady herself,but now she’s in lets pray and wait and see. Will she do the work of a bishop or become a beacon for every trendy equalism?

        • Martin

          Sounds like you’re wriggling. The Bible is quite clear, and in any case, such a hierarchy doesn’t exist in the Bible.

  • In a sermon by Bishop Newman at her installation as a bishop back in 2015, he called on her and another woman to make a difference in the life of the church. He said:

    “I hope that women bishops will disturb us. I hope they will challenge the conventions of the Church of England, which continues to be led and directed by too many people like me: white, male, middle-aged professionals.”

    So, being led and directed by white, female, middle-aged and professionals is okay then.

    • Royinsouthwest

      It took God a very long time to realise that the problem with Judaism was that it had been run for centuries by male Semites. Nowadays God can rely on the advice of enlightened Church leaders – thank God.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Of course it is, dear Jack…

      • Just as long as they “disturb us”, dear Lady.

  • Sybaseguru

    So shes run one failed organisation full of women and moves to another about to be taken over by women – I guess us men will just have to find another church – and there seem to be plenty of large dynamic churches around the country – all run by straight men as far as I can see.

    • dannybhoy

      “all run by straight men as far as I can see.”
      Well, you’ll just have to keep looking then..

      • Sybaseguru

        Like waiting for Godot

  • ecclesiaman

    I regularly frequented St Helens Bishopsgate when I worked in the City. Christianity was made clear, and it looks like that still applies. Having looked at the blog postings by the new Bishop I doubt the St Helens incumbent will stay in the C of E.
    I expect that other main line denominations share the same issues as the C of E, just to put things in some perspective.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I would hope that St Helen’s does what Tron Church has done in Glasgow, and leaves the vipers nest.

      • CliveM

        The Tron was Church of Scotland, who allowed ordained female ministers since 1969.

        It only left the CofS 2012. Its wouldn’t be woman priests that would upset it!

        Of course the actual Church is still CofS with a new congregation.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Tron church eventually left over homosexuality – but the point is that it did, even if it took longer than might have been sensible, it DID LEAVE.

        • carl jacobs

          So … I have to ask. Was the church lead by a Master Control Program?

          • CliveM

            Of course!

  • ardenjm

    So…taking a step back from this blog you have:
    Old-school non-conformists who do not accept ‘priests nor bishops’.
    Evangelicals and presbyterians who do not accept women in roles of authority.
    Catholics who do not accept Anglican orders be they male or female.
    Conspiracy theorists of various stripes who see this nomination as part of the cultural marxist takeover.

    And no-one who agrees with Cranmer.

    Interesting.

    • CliveM

      Actually as an old school Church of Scotland I’m relaxed about female ministers. As far as female priests and bishops are concerned (as defined by the CofE), I leave that argument to others.

    • dannybhoy

      Cranmer is very brooaad minded. That’s why I like this blog, and of course people who do support ecclesial hierarchies can put forward their points of view; Happy Jack for instance; and I as a non conformist respect and learn from him and others without acrimony. That is the heart of Christianity -our individual relationship with God the Father, through Christ the Son; energised by the Holy Spirit, and our place within the mystical Body of Christ. All else is peripheral.

      • ardenjm

        Sure. I do get that. He puts up with me, for example – though through gritted teeth (and only if I don’t harp on about the Rome Incident or (rightly so) get too “personal” in my remarks) but my point was the only people posting are those who disagree with him on pretty fundamental questions…

        • dannybhoy

          It’s not always that we disagree because he does post some meaty thought provoking stuff. I think what happens is that we often go off on tangents..
          Usually because what’s been posted isn’t very interesting. It seems to me that when it’s about some scandal in your Church or the CofE comments drop..
          If it’s theological we can ramble on for days.
          At least that’s what it seems like..

          • “Usually because what’s been posted isn’t very interesting.”

            *gasp*

          • dannybhoy

            You’ve said some gaspworthy things yourself Jack..
            You stand there on your stubby little legs looking all pleased with yourself…

          • Yes, but in a former life HG awarded Happy Jack the lifetime honourable title of “The Most Annoying and Disruptive Communicant Ever,” so he had a reputation to uphold.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Was that before or after the Linus period?

          • Before – but, as confirmed at the time, it was a lifetime award.

          • dannybhoy

            I like that. I’d be quite chuffed to win that accolade.
            You look after yourself Jack.
            You might win it again..

          • Hmmm …. Jack was excommunicated (twice) thereafter!

            There may be a reappearance of The Last of the Dodos in the New Year – a much reformed and chilled person these days. Happy Jack misses him.

          • carl jacobs

            This is what happens when you start making jokes like that above. You start thinking about bringing him back. You will only get in trouble. Dodo is dead. Leave him that way.

          • Royinsouthwest

            You must have mellowed since then.

        • dannybhoy

          Btw
          Are you a Yank?

          • ROFL

          • carl jacobs

            HEY! That was totally uncalled for.

    • magnolia

      Incorrect. I strongly agree with him. And along with the excellent CliveM underneath, I notice.

    • Ray Sunshine

      If we all agreed with Cranmer all the time, there wouldn’t be much point in having comments threads. Disagreement is what they’re for, innit.

      • Do Anglicans actually agree on anything much? As Jack quoted Father Paul Martin, a former Anglican, now a Roman Catholic priest, above:

        “Anglicanism …. has traditionally offered people ‘pick and mix religion’. Find a God for yourself that you are comfortable with and then a church and parish that best expresses what you want.”

        • Lucius

          I would note that the frustrating fluidity of Anglican beliefs was also the chief ground for Saint Raphael of Brooklyn (Orthodox) firmly rejecting communion with the Anglican Church in the early 20th century.

        • carl jacobs

          Do Anglicans actually agree on anything much?

          Sure. But Anglicanism has no center. It was constructed as a political solution to a political problem. That means there aren’t any real doctrinal boundaries except those that might threaten the authority of the institution. Hence it is vulnerable to entryism. And since it is hierarchical, an entryist group can gain control by taking over the hierarchy. Which is exactly what happened. Liberals have taken over and they are in the process of asserting very definitive doctrinal boundaries. So very soon there will be wide doctrinal homogeneity in the CoE.

          No laity. But at least there will at long last be doctrinal homogeneity. And we will know what Anglicanism is.

    • Chefofsinners

      Yes, let’s burn him. Eh? Someone’s already done it? How dare they?

      • len

        The RCC aren’t allowed to burn people anymore which apparently upsets them quite a lot.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Yes, we are a jolly. convivial lot, but where would you place yourself, dear heart?

    • Cressida de Nova

      Protestantism does not follow the NT. It supports ssm and women priests. If one were not comfortable with these aspects of Protestanism and believed in the NT one could not be a Protestant. I am sure there are a lot who will rejoice at this news of Bishop Sarah.They just do not visit this blog.She will probably perform a lot of charitable works and help a lot with the temporal needs of the poverty stricken and the needy….good deeds by a well meaning person but missing the essential dimension of Christianity i.e.spirituality and directives contained in the scriptures.

  • layreader

    I wouldn’t be a male bishop now. It matters not how qualified or pastoral you are, all you have to be is female, and preferment is yours! And, apart from running the NHS, I can’t quite see what her qualifications are for taking over the biggest diocese of them all. Gosh, a real Dame in the Church of England! Is she Bishop Dame Doctor Sarah or Doctor Dame Bishop Sarah?
    There is a serious sense of ‘stitch-up’ here – many more people to be offended in this diocese than elsewhere in the CofE, and obviously a committee blinded by a enormous string of paper qualifications. And, a serious sense that the C of E is running out of criteria to judge anything sensibly by. We have an ABC elected after only two year’s experience as a Bishop, and now a Bishop of London with a similar two years in a small part of Devon. No wonder the infrastructure of the church is creaking at the seams. Justin Welby flounders, having pleased no-one – expect to see Dame Sarah do the same.
    Come on, the Church of England is sinking, so what expertise does it need? Midwifery, apparently.

    • David

      That brought a smile to my lips, sad though it is really.

  • SonoView

    The great thing about the New Testament is that, other than instructions on appointment of elders etc, and advice on the use of spiritual gifts, there is little else about church structure. This has allowed multiple expressions of church in multiple cultures. I am really not bothered by what a church looks like. The only absolute principle is that it is true to biblical truth and preached the word faithfully, in season and out of season, and does not bow to secular values.

    We have yet to learn where the new bishop stands on these things. We shall see!

    • Martin

      The reason the NT says little about church structure is because it is little:

      Elders/Overseers
      People————————Deacons

      That’s it, the local church, nothing else.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Where do apostles and evangelists fit in?

        • Martin

          Roy

          They are sent by the local church.

  • donadrian

    Given that the diocese of London is one of the dioceses that voted against women bishops and a significant number of the London clergy are not going to be able to accept her ministry as a bishop, it is hard to see how Dame Sarah is going to be a focus for unity in the diocese. WIll Martyn Percy write her an open letter suggesting that she reconsiders, as he so helpfully did to Philip North?

    • carl jacobs

      In a word, no. Reactionaries don’t count, you see. It’s all built into the actual meaning of “mutual flourishing” which might be expressed as “We’ll let you hang around so long as you give us money, don’t presume to exercise any leadership and otherwise keep your mouth shut. We’re going to kill you off within 20 years anyways.”

    • Steve

      She doesn’t believe that there are a load of vicars in her diocese-designate who aren’t priests and that their ministries are fraudulent.

      • carl jacobs

        No there are just a whole bunch of people in her diocese who think she is a fraudulent bishop. But, as I said, that doesn’t count.

    • Albert

      There’s an acute problem here. A bishop is a minister of unity, that’s as much a part of the role as anything else. Sacramentally, every priest acts in the place of the Diocesan bishop, but clearly that cannot happen here. The Rochester Report saw all this clearly:

      7.3.17 If no provision were made for them [opponents] to opt out from having to accept the ministry of a woman bishop or recognize the validity of her episcopal actions, those opposed would seem to be left with three options:
      Refuse to recognize the legislation and break Church law.
      Leave the Church of England.
      Act in ways they conscientiously believed to be wrong.

      So either opponents have to do one of those three things, or they must be able to opt out of having her as their bishop. Neither position sees her as a minister of unity.

      It’s as if the liberal faction got fed up and got on with it, nonsensical though it is.

      • carl jacobs

        Albert

        Forcing that choice was the whole point. Authority is demonstrated by the ability to compell obedience and punish lack of obedience. How do you know a female bishop is a real bishop? She can compel and punish those who reject the exercise of her ministry.

        • Albert

          It certainly looks provocative. I just foresee an awful lot of very unhappy people. Lots of unhappy clergy and people unhappy to receiver her as their bishop, and she being unhappy that they cannot. She’s been in “priest’s” orders for a mere 16 years, and “episcopal” orders for 2. So she hasn’t been appointed for her ministerial experience (I do not doubt that she brings a lot of other good things to the role). So why has she been appointed? It’s political, it seems to me and it seems cruel to be her and her opponents.

          • Next Archbishop of Canterbury?

          • Lucius

            Short answer, “yes.”

          • …. then an undertaker.

          • Cressida de Nova

            What are you doing here.? You are supposed to be resting, sipping tea and looking out of the window at the snowflakes:)

          • Needs must ….. Mrs Happy Jack is reporting him to the surgeon!

          • Cressida de Nova

            Yes the Archbishop of Canterbury could easily be a woman in the future and why not? If a religion supports the ordination of women priests, then it follows they will be Bishops and even the Archbishop of Canterbury.I don’t understand the fuss. If a religion upholds ssm and regards homosexuality as a part of the natural order then how can one object to homosexual married or single clergy or female clergy.

          • John

            The Protestant ethos states ‘Scripture alone’ as one of its three foundational principles. Nowhere in Scripture is ssm even countenanced as a thing, let alone supported. It is the absolute antithesis of what the Bible says marriage is; the joining of the two halves of humanity in covenant love. Elders/bishops/overseers (presbyteroi, episkope) are always referred to in the New Testament as men and Jesus chose 12 men as Apostles. That is why many Anglicans are so disturbed by the current trajectory the Church of England is on.

          • Cressida de Nova

            The muddle is apparently that the majority of the the Anglican clergy and its followers do not hold your views otherwise this situation would never have occurred.I believe they put these changes to a vote.The trajectory is ongoing and will not be stopped…it’s too late now.

            Might be time to shop around for another Protestant denomination which is more compatible with your beliefs.The Anglican Church or the Church is not evidently. Of course the best solution would be to become Catholic i.e.if you have expectations of a religion with true Christian values which adheres to the scriptures.

          • bluedog

            What you describe is part of a secular ethos, nothing to do with any known form of episcopacy, and of course, you know that.

            Bishop Sarah sounds like a jolly good stick who’s done wonders in her earlier career, but nobody is pretending that she is theologically outstanding. In short, she sounds like a lamb being led to slaughter, and someone very unkind is going to cut her to theological pieces at some point. But it needs to be done to prevent a slide into every increasing muddle and mediocrity.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Well presumably those who appointed her thought she was the most suitable person for this position.And I don’t think she should be demonised because your Church supports the ordination of women priests. She is a member of the Anglican Church. I don’t think episcopacy is much of a consideration in the Anglican Church. She does not need to be theologically outstanding .
            I have seen the Archbishop of Canterbury being interviewed where he stated that in the NT there are four references which oppose ssm. I can only draw the conclusion that the NT is of little significance in your religion when that can be ignored.

          • Brian

            Robbery followed by euthanasia.

          • Then it is an undertaker next.

          • Eels

            Butcher, baker and candlestick maker first.

        • Chefofsinners

          She can do no such thing. She can’t lead where the people won’t follow.
          Welby knows schism is inevitable and has thrown in his lot with those who seek to remake God in their own image. It’s good old-fashioned idolatry, wearing a bishop’s robe and lingerie underneath. Although I don’t suppose there’s anything new in that.

          • carl jacobs

            I agree with you. Don’t misunderstand my point. The “provision” was constructed to specifically exclude the possibility that opponents of Women bishops could escape their authority. That would have (in the vernacular) created second-class bishops. So opponents were always going to be left with Albert’s three choices:

            1. Stay, disobey, and be punished.
            2. Stay, obey, and compromise themselves.
            3. Leave.

            That is the essence of “mutual flourishing”. It is a strategy of conquest and it will work.

          • Arden Forester

            As I understand things under the new settlement, female prelates (and male ones not recognised as being sacramentally acceptable) are required to delegate episcopal authority to a PEV. As such the PEV becomes the sacramental authority and the diocesan becomes merely a diocesan commissioner with regard to lawful instructions (in respect of petitioning parishes).

          • carl jacobs

            A couple of things:

            1. This matters if what you are concerned about is Sacramental in nature. How ordained whom? Who communes whom? The bishop is essentially delegating the exercise of ritual. But what if your problem is rooted in her exercise of authority? She isn’t going to delegate the things you need her to delegate. She will still sit in the House of Bishops. She will still make decisions that are binding upon you. Liberals were willing to hold their nose and compromise on sacramental matters. They utterly refused to compromise on complementarianism. There are no complementarians in the HoB. There hasn’t been for years. There will never be one again.

            2. This sacramental solution is not sustainable. They will try to honor the letter and not the spirit. By which Iran they will have men that techno ally fit the requirements. But those men will reject the theology that motivates the requirements. Over time it will become increasingly difficult to supply the need. What happened to Philip North wasn’t an accident. It’s the future. But that’s not actually an accident. In truth they are trying to make provision for the current generation in the expectation that it will die off. It is the provision of the hospice.

            3. Who is going to enforce the requirement to delegate if a bishop says “I don’t want to.” Promises were made and lasted until Philip North was going to become a bishop. And suddenly there was no memory of promises. Or there were clais that “You didn’t understand what we said.” And where was the church leadership? Hiding under a bed while a lynch mob did it’s work. No promise will be kept. Any provision can be repealed.

            A new orthodoxy is coming. And it is very concerned to eradicate heresy.

          • Albert

            You can believe anything you like and be an Anglican.
            Sexually, you can do anything you like so long as it is with a consensual adult. But believe you should follow the scripture in matters of ministry and they show you no mercy. So much for being the Church of England.

          • Albert

            The problem is the delegation. In the end, for an Anglo-catholic, each priest or bishop celebrates the sacraments of the diocesan. Thus, the diocesan may not actually celebrate the sacraments in those parishes, but it is still her sacraments. So the fudge isn’t even a fudge.

          • Chefofsinners

            It is more like a strategy of ethnic cleansing.

          • “wearing a bishop’s robe and lingerie underneath”

            Probably not just the women bishops.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            You may be thinking of the judiciary…

    • David

      An interesting point I was unaware of – looks like there may be a number contacting Bishop Rod Thomas of Reform then, or even opting out go the C of E structure altogether.

      • Albert

        In London I would have thought the clergy are more “catholic” than evangelical.

        • Martin

          Albert

          The Evangelicals are Catholic, it’s you that’s not.

          • Albert

            That’s just not a helpful comment. I could make the reverse point back, but it wouldn’t shed any light on the kind of clergy we are talking about.

          • Martin

            Albert

            It’s a fact, Rome is schismatic. It has abandoned the gospel for secular power. There are, of course, no clergy, it is an invention of men.

          • ardenjm

            Ah bless…

          • Martin

            Oh dear, you’ve no answer. It’s a bit of a mistake to admit that.

          • Albert

            You would know, as someone who so often dodges the harder points, but then proceeds as if they haven’t been made.

          • Martin

            That’s a claim you can’t support.

          • Albert

            On the contrary, anyone who reads our conversations will see that you do not deal with the difficulties I raise in relation to your interpretation of James, just to take one example.

          • Martin

            Albert

            As I pointed out to you, you ignore the parts of James 2 that set the context for the parts you quote.

          • Albert

            As I have pointed out to you, on probably five occasions, those parts can be interpreted in accordance with my broader interpretation, but cannot, without contradicting scripture, be interpreted in your fashion.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Yes, you’ve made that mistaken claim.

          • Albert

            If it’s a mistaken claim, I’m puzzled as to why you don’t answer it.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I’ve done so, you apparently cannot be bothered to read what I write. Another sign of your laziness, along with your failure to reference the passages of Scripture your quote.

          • Albert

            You haven’t done so. In order to maintain your position, you are prepared to make the same passage mean two contrary things at the same time. It seems you hate Catholicism more than you love scripture. As I have said, I must have repeated my argument against your interpretation on 5 separate occasions. You are unwilling to repeat your argument. Another sign of your laziness, along with your inability to defend your human tradition against scripture. Incidentally, anyone who reads my posts can hardly regard me as lazy. But then when you haven’t got an argument you resort to an ad hominem.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, I don’t maintain two contradictory things, you simply do not understand or have not sought to understand.

          • Albert

            Here’s your contradiction. According to you, when James quotes Genesis 15.6 (Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness) “credited to him as righteousness” means “righteousness in the sight of men and not of God.” This is because, if it means “righteousness in the sight of God” then the next line in James 2.24 (You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone) would mean “justified by works and not by faith alone in the sight of God and not of men.”

            There are so many problems with this that is hard to know where to begin, but the contradiction is that when Genesis 15.6 is quoted in Romans and Galatians, you have to take it there to be “righteous in the sight of God and not of men” (which incidentally, is what it means in Genesis 15). Here are the quotes:

            Romans 4: if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
            [3] For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
            [4] Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due.
            [5] And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness…[9] Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised? We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness…[20]No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
            [21] fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
            [22] That is why his faith was “reckoned to him as righteousness.”
            [23] But the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone,
            [24] but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,
            [25] who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

            And Galatians:

            Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
            [6]
            Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
            [7] So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
            [8] And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
            [9] So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.
            [10]
            For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.”
            [11] Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for “He who through faith is righteous shall live”;

            Now clearly, in Romans and Galatians, Genesis 15.6 (Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness) means “righteousness in the sight of God and not of men.” But that means that Genesis 15.6 means “righteousness in the sight of God and not of men.” Which means that when James quotes it (2.23) he must be speaking of righteousness in the sight of God and not of men. Which means that when he then says (in the next verse):

            You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone

            he means justification in the sight of God and not of men. But that overthrows your entire reformation – as Luther saw.

            So you deny that James can mean this, on the implausible misreading of 2.18. And so you end up contradicting yourself:

            Genesis 15.6 (Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness)

            Means “righteousness in the sight of God and not of men” when it suits you (Genesis, Romans and Galatians) and “righteousness in the sight of man and not of God” when it suits you (James). And that’s just contradictory (quite apart from the fact that the interpretation is wrong-headed for a whole basket of other reasons) for it means the same passage means opposite things depending on what you human demands. Why not just give up your human tradition and believe the scripture?

          • Martin

            Albert

            “According to you, when James quotes Genesis 15.6 (Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness) “credited to him as righteousness” means “righteousness in the sight of men and not of God.” This is because, if it means “righteousness in the sight of God” then the next line in James 2.24 (You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone) would mean “justified by works and not by faith alone in the sight of God and not of men.””

            No, that is not what I’m saying. I am saying it means that Abraham was righteous before God because, like us, he is justified by faith alone. But James sets the context for what he is saying in verse 18:

            But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18 [ESV])

            He is speaking about how we can tell someone is justified, and he says we can do so by their fruit. So how can we tell we ourselves are justified, by examining our own works. Why is it so hard to understand? Why do you always ignore that verse?

          • Albert

            I don’t ignore that verse. Why do you keep saying that when I keep explaining how it doesn’t have the effect on 23-24 that you say it does?

            He is speaking about how we can tell someone is justified, and he says we can do so by their fruit.

            As I have said once already (thereby proving I do not ignore that verse, as you falsely claim), that’s not what he is saying. He is saying that we can see someone has faith from their good works. Consequently, the passage is as open to your interpretation as to mine, since both positions proceed on the basis that works come from faith. Where we differ is that you follow your human tradition in believing we are justified by faith alone (and so whenever you hear a man has faith, you assume he is necessarily justified, even though it does not say this), whereas I follow scripture in believing a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            Now you say:

            No, that is not what I’m saying. I am saying it means that Abraham was righteous before God because, like us, he is justified by faith alone.

            Well, if therefore Jas 2.23 is saying Abraham is justified before God, then it follows that that is the meaning of “justified by” in 2.24:

            the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            Now we know that the word “righteousness” in 23 and “justified” in 24 are the same word in Greek (i.e. has the same root: dikaios). Thus, the meaning of “justified by” in 24 is controlled by the Genesis quotation in 23 (and not by the more distant v.18 which does not as you claim, speak of justification), and means “justified in the sight of God.” In other words, when 24 says…

            You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            …it is using the word “justified by” in exactly the sense that Paul uses it when he says (for example):

            For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith…For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. Romans 3

            In all cases, the issue is how are we justified before God, not men. Therefore, he says:

            a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            But, the works themselves are God’s good works in us, and are the fruit of grace received through faith.

            work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil.2

            and

            I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Phil.4

            and

            Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do John 14.

            Now in ascribing these works to us, no one is saying we have this power in ourselves, they are saying that God does it in us. This is obvious. In Acts 28, we read:

            It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery; and Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.

            But although that healing is attributed to Paul, he would clarify himself:

            it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.

            So we are not saved by our own good works (lest any man should boast Eph. 2), but by faith God does good works in us, which may, in the sense of Acts 28 (Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him) be attributed to us, although we have no power of our to do them.

            Thus, all the parts of James fit together coherently with all the parts of Paul. Justification (=we are made righteous, not just declared to be so) is a gift of God. Hence, as Ephesians 2 says:

            by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

          • Martin

            Albert

            “I don’t ignore that verse. Why do you keep saying that when I keep explaining how it doesn’t have the effect on 23-24 that you say it does?”

            You claim that, but I disagree.

            “As I have said once already (thereby proving I do not ignore that verse, as you falsely claim), that’s not what he is saying. He is saying that we can see someone has faith from their good works (read the verse, no mention of justification, just faith). Consequently, the passage is as open to your interpretation as to mine, since both our positions proceed on the basis that works come from faith. Where we differ is that you follow your human tradition in believing we are justified by faith alone (and so whenever you hear a man has faith, you assume he is necessarily justified, even though it does not say this), whereas I follow scripture in believing a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 [ESV])

            Seems to me that you are disagreeing with Paul

            “Well, if therefore Jas 2.23 is saying Abraham is justified before God, then it follows that that is the meaning of “justified by” in 2.24:

            the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            Now we know that the word “righteousness” in 23 and “justified” in 24 are the same word in Greek (i.e. has the same root: dikaios). Thus, the meaning of “justified by” in 24 is controlled by the Genesis quotation in 23 (and not by the more distant v.18 which does not as you claim, speak of justification), and means “justified in the sight of God.” In other words, when 24 says…

            You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            …it is using the word “justified by” in exactly the sense that Paul uses it when he says (for example):

            For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith…For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. Romans 3

            In all cases, the issue is how are we justified before God, not men. Therefore, he says:

            a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            But, the works themselves are God’s good works in us, and are the fruit of grace received through faith.

            work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil.2

            and

            I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Phil.4

            and

            Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do John 14.”

            But you will note, these are all works carried out after salvation. And as you say, Romans 3 tells us “a man is justified by faith apart from works of law”. Faith is the gift of God, so justification comes through faith, making justification also a gift. Since justification is a gift, and righteousness being an aspect of justification, our righteousness is a gift, not something we earn by deeds. For if it were earned, to paraphrase Paul, righteousness would be a wage, not a gift.

            “So when scripture puts faith in opposition to works (or works of the law) it means works done in our own strength (and these clearly do not justify us), but when scripture makes justification depend on works (Jas 2.24) it means works done by God in us, by grace received through faith, by which we become righteous, and are not simply declared righteous. Surely you can see that this makes endless passages of scripture utterly coherent (e.g. all those passages in which the Bible speaks of rewards for good works), in a way in which you current face difficulty?”

            Scripture does not make justification depend on works, the works we do, once justified, cannot be claimed to cause our justification. Our good works gain us reward in Heaven, but that is not the same as salvation.

          • Albert

            You claim that, but I disagree.

            So you acknowledge that I am not ignoring it then?

            For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 [ESV]) Seems to me that you are disagreeing with Paul

            Well that’s telling isn’t it? Where have I said you need works of the law, or that works done by ourselves (and not by God in us) are needed for justification? Paul says one thing and you assume he means something more. I say one thing and you assume I mean something more. The result is that you are a long way from understanding either of us.

            But you will note, these are all works carried out after salvation.

            No. It says they are works carried our after faith. Salvation is a dynamic concept. At one level, there is no “after” until we are in heaven. As Paul says:

            salvation is nearer now than when we first believed Romans 13.

            Thus, when you use salvation in the way that you do you depart from scripture because (i) it speaks of faith not salvation in the passages of discussed (ii) salvation has a wider dimension than you allow.

            And as you say, Romans 3 tells us “a man is justified by faith apart from works of law”. Faith is the gift of God, so justification comes through faith, making justification also a gift. Since justification is a gift, and righteousness being an aspect of justification, our righteousness is a gift, not something we earn by deeds. For if it were earned, to paraphrase Paul, righteousness would be a wage, not a gift.

            The fact that you think I disagree with any of that tells us something is wrong. You are arguing against a straw man.

            Scripture does not make justification depend on works, the works we do, once justified, cannot be claimed to cause our justification.

            You keep saying this, but scripture says:

            a man is justified by works and not by faith alone

            And this scripture cannot be explained away by verse 18, but must be understood in the light of verse 23.

            Our good works gain us reward in Heaven, but that is not the same as salvation.

            Now that’s interesting. What do you mean by that?

          • Martin

            Albert

            “Well that’s telling isn’t it? Where have I said you need works of the law, or that works done by ourselves (and not by God in us) are needed for justification?”

            Do you not reject faith alone? Clearly you are saying works of the law are required.

            “Paul says one thing and you assume he means something more.”

            No, I understand Paul to be saying we are saved by faith alone.

            “No. It says they are works carried our after faith. Salvation is a dynamic concept. At one level, there is no “after” until we are in heaven.”

            On the contrary, salvation is assured at the new birth but not completed until we receive our new body.

            “Thus, when you use salvation in the way that you do you depart from scripture because (i) it speaks of faith not salvation in the passages of discussed (ii) salvation has a wider dimension than you allow.”

            As Paul says:

            because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 [ESV])

            “The fact that you think I disagree with any of that tells us something is wrong. You are arguing against a straw man.”

            You disagree with that because you insist that faith is not sufficient.

            “You keep saying this, but scripture says:

            a man is justified by works and not by faith alone

            And this scripture cannot be explained away by verse 18, but must be understood in the light of verse 23.”

            Verse 18 explains it, it doesn’t explain it away.

            “Now that’s interesting. What do you mean by that?”

            Do you imagine we will all be the same in Heaven, that those who laboured long and hard would receive the same as those who had done little?

          • Lucius

            “There are, of course, no clergy, it is an invention of men.”

            That simply does not fit with historical facts. Even in the First Century the early Church Fathers (i.e., a generation or two removed from the Apostles themselves) recognized a Bishop-Priest-Deacon Church hierarchy. Is it your position that those who received the Faith from the Apostles themselves were wrong and that subsequent interpretation of Scripture a thousand years or more later is correct? Did not the Church exist before the Bible was even collated and bound? It seems your position is dubious at best.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Just get one thing into your head: the true Christian church didn’t exist before Martin.

          • Lucius

            I like Martin, and if I recall, we have discussed this same issue in prior posts. But his position on this particular issue is simply ahistorical. Martin obviously supports ideas propounded by some 16th century Protestantism theologians that the true Church should possess no hierarchy and be governed only by each individual’s own interpretation of Scripture. That’s fine. However, these ideas are irreconcilable with the documented ideas and actions of the early Church Fathers relating to Church organization and structure.

          • Anton

            You mean “Martin understands how to read his New Testament regarding church polity.”

          • Lucius

            Martin has his own interpretation, but that was not the understanding of the early Church Fathers, who received the Faith directly from the Apostles or a mere generation or two later and before the Bible was even collated and bound. Maybe the early Church Fathers got it all wrong and Protestant re-interpretation a 1000+ years later fixed it. You can make that argument, but it’s just not one I support.

          • Anton

            Interpretation is a waffle word. There is a plurality of episkopoi and presbyteroi in a single congregation in the NT, the same men, and once its founding apostolos has passed on it IS the church in that place. All readily provable from specific verses and not contradicted by others. You want them?

          • Lucius

            Anton, you have the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop of Antioch, written in the First Century that clearly indicate a Church hierarchy of Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. These letters were written before the Bible itself was even bound. For purposes of historical scholarship, this is called the “gold standard.” Plus you have a host of Second Century Christians writing on Church hierarchy, e.g. Clement of Alexandria (AD 191), Hippolytus (AD 215), etc. The line of argument that the true early Church was never understood to have a clerical hierarchy is wholly unfounded.

          • Martin

            It does fit both the NT and earliest practice. Rome had elders initially, hence 1 Clement was written on behalf of the elders, maybe by Clement, to Corinth where the elders had been deposed. This is the NT structure of local church government by a group of elders/overseers responsible to Christ and the people.

          • Lucius

            “This is the NT structure of local church”

            As an initial matter, you’re putting the cart before the horse. The Church pre-dates the compilation of the NT by at least a couple centuries. Saint Ignatius, “Bishop” of Antioch, and his writings (which for historical scholarship purposes are the “gold standard”) confirm the Deacon – Priest – Bishop hierarchy of the First Century Church. Think about it, Ignatius was a mere generation removed from the Apostles and by some accounts (albeit disputable) was appointed to his position by the Apostle Peter himself.

            There is simply no sound historical ground for concluding that the Early Church Fathers interpreted the Faith, as handed down from the Apostles themselves, as demanding the type of flat organizational structure that you advocate. This was much, much later Protestant interpretation of NT Scripture. By supporting later Protestant NT interpretation, you must disagree with the Church Father’s understanding of the Faith as communicated by the Apostle. There’s no way around it.

          • Martin

            Ignatius may have believed in a hierarchy, but that is not what the Bible teaches, nor is it practice in other churches such as Rome and Corinth initially. And we know that errors crept into the Church even while the Apostles lived, so there’s no reason to not think Ignatius is in error.

          • Albert

            That’s not a fact. It’s a misinterpretation.

          • Martin

            Albert

            They are facts.

          • Albert

            In that case, it is also a fact that ever (Roman) Catholic is an evangelical. There we are – you are silenced by facts.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Since salvation is by God alone there is nothing to stop an adherent of Rome from being saved. Most leave and find a Christian church these day, some remain, as they did for generations. So you can have Catholics in Rome although Rome is not Catholic.

          • Albert

            Those who call themselves Evangelicals are not evangelicals in the biblical sense, since they follow the 16th Century traditions of men, rather than the word of God.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Rubbish.

          • Albert

            And that’s what I could say to your comments. All I’m doing is reversing your claims.

        • David

          I am no expert Albert, but as you’d expect in a very big city you have all types present.

          • Albert

            Absolutely. But London has always been a traditionalist Anglo-catholic stronghold.

          • chiaramonti

            Not during the reformation period. London was where most evangelicals were to be found and where most heresy trials took place. Cuthbert Tunstall was moved from London to Durham (there were no heretics in Durham) because he was considered too soft (he regarded having to condemn a heretic as a pastoral failure on his part.) In the next reign Thirlby, the only Bishop of Westminster, who was inclined towards Catholic doctrine and eventually deprived under Elizabeth) was moved to Norwich, then Ely, to get him out of the capital when the evangelicals were dominant. (He would be less trouble in Norwich, it was said) Interesting that the position seems to have reversed again over the centuries. I wonder where the lady will end up?

  • Chefofsinners

    Bishop of London goes into Starbucks.
    Orders a latte ordinand.

    New female leader of Isis announced:
    Mullahly Sarah.

    • Brian

      New Bishop of London announced – and you can’t fight fate. Que Sarah sera.

      • Chefofsinners

        Whatever Welby Welby.

        • Brian

          Ha ha, evidently a stitch up. You go that one in Justin time.

          • Homer Simpson

            You guys made my evening! thanks so much!!!

  • worrywort

    As I sit reading this article, the radio news is on and the buzzword generator is firing on all cylinders. “ We need more women and ethnic minority Clergy to reflect the diversity of London. Bzzz Bzzz’’ Wimin bzzz bzzz efnics bzzz bzzz” what no mention of more Imams to join the C of E? And no mention of trans whatever inclusion. Oh dear It must have gone out of calibration.

    • Brian

      But Nurse Sarah in her press release expressed concern about the poor health of women in Tower Hamlets. Is this anything to do with the lack of Christians in Tower Hamlets.
      And has she any idea how to change this?
      There was not a single comment in her press release on the fundamental purpose of the Church: to make baptised disciples of Jesus Christ.

      • Homer Simpson

        Oh no! She shouldn’t say that her vocation is to make baptised disciples of JC. Where will it all end?

  • betteroffoutofit

    Sorry, Your Grace — I don’t attend churches run by feminazis.

    • Royinsouthwest

      You might disagree with women bishops but that is no reason for referring to them as Nazis.

      • Martin

        After the resistance to a male bishop recently there probably is.

      • betteroffoutofit

        “You might disagree with women bishops” :Thank you, Sir, for your kind permission. I am honoured.
        “that is no reason for referring to them as Nazis” : I never said it was. If you’d encountered as many academically inspired Marxist/Feminists (or even put up with as many jumped up nurses) as I have over the years, then you might be able to imagine that I have a reason or two. In any case, I wasn’t talking to you, but to His Grace.

        You, on the other hand, lead me to recall old Omar Khayyam re “potters” in mosquitous places:
        For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
        I watch’d the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
        And with its all obliterated Tongue
        It murmur’d—”Gently, Brother, gently, pray!”

        And further:
        Listen again. One Evening at the Close
        Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
        In that old Potter’s Shop I stood alone
        With the clay Population round in Rows.

        And strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
        Some could articulate, while others not:
        And suddenly one more impatient cried—
        “Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?”
        . . .
        (“Rubaiyat,” 36: and “Book of Pots,” 59/60; Ed. 4; trans. Edward Fitzgerald)

  • len

    Simple solution to this problem of women Bishops…get them to self identify as men..Its the secular way and the way the church seems to be going?.

  • Brian

    From her blog:

    “About Me
    If you wanted a blog run by an experienced blogger look elsewhere – I am a beginner. I am a mum, Anglican Bishop, Dame and poor potter – welcome.”
    Yes, there ain’t nothing like a dame.

    • Hah ….

      Nothin’ else is built the same,
      Nothin’ in the world
      As the soft and wavy frame
      Like the silhouette of a dame!

      There is absolutely nothin’ like the frame of a dame.

      There ain’t a thing that’s wrong with any man here
      That can’t be cured by putting him near
      A girly, womanly, female, feminine dame!

      • The Snail @/”

        Does Welby agree with these sentiments?

  • Martin

    “Don’t criticise, decry or scorn her: please instead pray for her, for
    the powers that be are ordained of God (Rom 13:1) – late or not.”

    Except that she isn’t so ordained, and is in rebellion against God. Indeed, is she even a real Christian, that has to be asked of all women who deliberately repeat the sin of Eve and seek an authority not their own.

    • It was the sin of Adam too – and all protestants.

      • Anton

        What you call authority I call law, set in contrast to grace.

        • Jack calls it obedience to Our Lord, Jesus Christ, through grace.

      • len

        Judgemental……get to that confessional..or failing that 500 hail Mary’s.

      • Martin

        Hj

        No,their sins differed, Eve usurped the authority of her husband, while Adam chose his wife over God.

  • Inspector General

    Well. This won’t do at all. Best come up with a REAL Bishop of London, you dog collored

    • There is one. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, responsible for most of London and based at Westminster Cathedral.

      [You been to Confession to yet?]

      • Martin

        He’s not a Christian.

        • Ah, Bless.

          • not a machine

            There is more of Christ in your response than I think I have seen in a long while happy Jack, bless you

          • Martin

            HJ

            Oh dear, you can’t answer.

        • dannybhoy

          I think he might be a Unitarian..
          He’s part of what makes the blog interesting, that’s for sure.
          Our resident expert on all things pink..

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Cardinal Nichols is a Unitarian? Good heavens! I am shocked!

          • CliveM

            Who knew?

          • CliveM

            I thought Martin was referring to Cardinal Vincent.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh, maybe.
            I thought he was referring to IG.
            Sometimes newer comments make it difficult to follow a thread.

          • CliveM

            Never mind DB It’s late you’ll be tired!

          • dannybhoy

            You’re right Clive, I am. Spent a couple of hours up at the church with an electrician trying to sort out problems with the floodlights. Freezing cold..
            Then quite an exciting telephone conversation about arranging a public meeting next year..
            Think I’ll call it a night!

        • Royinsouthwest

          Leave that up to God to decide.

          • Martin

            Roy

            It’s something we have to discern so that we are not led astray.

    • Homer Simpson

      Gavin Ashenden would have been my top choice!

      • David

        His abilities are beyond question. But for spiritual reasons he left the C of E a few months back.

  • Ordaining women has not saved the Church of England from impending extinction

    Over the period 1983 to 2014, the Anglican population of the United Kingdom almost halved, falling from 16.5 million adherents to 8.6 million, from 40% of the British population to 15%. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, the proportion of Britons who described themselves as Anglicans fell from 21 to 17%, a loss of 1.7 million people in two years.

    And, of course, the drop in Anglicans has also led to a drop in church attendance. According to the Faith Survey, 1,370,400 people in England were recorded as Anglican churchgoers in 1980. In 2015, there were only 660,000.

    Citing the BSAS, the Spectator reported that “Anglicanism is declining faster than any other majority denomination. With the current rate of decline, it would be set to disappear from Britain by 2033.”

    In an article titled “Women clergy will be the death of the Church of England,” Anglican Kathy Gyngell commented that a correlation between the rise in female clergy and the drop in Church attendance cannot be ignored.

    “And guess what, as the wimmin have risen, church attendance has fallen. It’s halved in the forty years since my dad retired with more churches losing congregation members than are gaining them. If there is no correlation between these two trends, then I am the Pope,” she wrote.

    “But instead of waking up to this self fulfilling downwards spiral of destruction, all the Church of England feebly does is push it further. Having women bishops has become more important than dealing with declining church attendances – as though ‘gender equality’ was of spiritual significance. It is not. It is purely ideological and political. It says more about women’s demands for status and power than about any godly calling – more about the modern female ego than about spiritual humility that is for sure,” she continued.

    “No wonder congregations drop off and no wonder there are fewer baptisms, weddings and funerals in church. No wonder at all when those leading the Church are too blind to see this connection or are too ready to sacrifice their belief and their mission on what can only be described as the altar of gender politics,” she added.

    The Church of England began ordaining women to its priesthood in 1994, and by 2014, 32% of Anglican clergy in England were female.

    A former Anglican, now a Roman Catholic priest, Father Paul Martin told LifeSiteNews that one significant reason for the decline in Anglican membership and practice is the rise of relativism and secularism in western society.

    “People no longer feel a need for God in their lives, especially a God who must be worshipped and adored,” he stated. “Anglicanism was always going to be especially vulnerable because it has traditionally offered people ‘pick and mix religion’. Find a God for yourself that you are comfortable with and then a church and parish that best expresses what you want.”

    Unfortunately the ‘pick and mix’ attitude has been taken to its logical conclusion.

    “Now – largely because they have not been challenged to think differently – people are taking the choice option a stage further and saying ‘Actually when I think about it I don’t want or need God at all. I’m fine on my own. And if there is such a thing as eternal life then I’ll take it as my right rather than something I have to consciously seek and find’,” Martin explained.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/ordaining-women-has-not-saved-the-church-of-england-from-impending-extincti

    • ardenjm

      People don’t want to hear this…
      Just as in our own Church those religious orders and dioceses attracting vocations and with life in them and a future are the ones that hold fastest to the full teaching of the Faith.
      Does that make liberal bishops and religious change their minds?
      Of course not! Full speed ahead: into the iceberg! Godspeed and all that!

      • Only openness to the Holy Spirit can make heterodox liberals change their minds. No amount of reasoning or evidence works once He is barred from acting on one’s soul.

    • It always worries me when I agree with you, Jack. Thankfully this does not happen very often.
      But a woman minister by definition cannot be a Bible-believing Christian; if she were, she wouldn’t be a church minister.
      The FIEC, of which my church is a member, is an association of Free churches, but membership entails three points.
      1. Full acceptance of the FIEC basis of faith, to which all church leaders must sign up each year.
      2. Non-participation in Churches Together.
      3. No women ministers/pastors or elders.
      .
      Most FIEC churches, including my own small fellowship, reported modest growth last year. ‘For those who honour Me I will honour, and those who despise Me I will lightly esteem.’

      There is nothing inevitable about the decline of the churches in Britain. Many people in the UK are depressed, confused, miserable and hurting and would respond to the Bible’s message of hope and salvation in Christ Jesus. But alas! Most people never hear it, even if they go to church.

  • Chefofsinners

    Nurse Mullally has hit the ground running it appears. Heard over the Lambeth Palace internal tannoy today:

    Matron Mullally to the secure psychiatric unit. Mr Welby is refusing his medication and threatening to go on the Andrew Marr show again.

    Matron Mullally! Bed bath required in Mr Sentamu’s private apartments again.

    Matron Mullally to accident and emergency. Rectal examination required. Giles Fraser has got stuck up his own arse again.

    Matron Mullally! Please report to head office to discuss the ‘Do not resuscitate’ sign placed on the Church of England.

    • Mr Sentamu’s private quarters, surely.

      • Chefofsinners

        I defer to your recent experience of hospitals.

        • Jack did have a few bed baths. Very refreshing. He had wounds in both groins too requiring careful and skilled tending.

          • Chefofsinners

            Some of those Catholic rituals are a bit much for me.

    • Homer Simpson

      Matron Mullally! Jayne Ozanne is refusing her conversion therapy pills in the Transgender Surgery Unit!

      • Off to the Mutual Flourishing Ward for you!

  • ‘Tis true! Jack had to lie on his back for two whole days and was not allowed to move. In addition to the AAA, he had to have stents in both his stomach arteries. Please do not ask how he peed!

    • carl jacobs

      I would never think to ask such a thing. Nor would I act upon such a thought if I ever had such a thought. But you must remember that jokes like that got you in trouble. You need to be more sensible. More pedestrian. Like Chef. Nothing off the reservation.

      It’s for your own good.

      • These are not jokes, Carl.

        • carl jacobs

          You must think I travel exclusively by turnip truck.

          • You might think that, Jack couldn’t possibly comment.

    • len

      Vertically?

  • Brian

    Clearly a political stitch up. She is not a theologian or Bible scholar or great preacher or outstanding missionary church builder and her pastoral experience is quite limited.
    There are literally hundreds and hundreds of men in the C of E better qualified than she.
    In other words, she is exactly like the present incumbents of Canterbury and York.

  • Dominic Stockford

    The Daily Mail is helping us with a bit of insight into where she comes from, or where she thinks she is going. For instance:

    “She has previously served on Church committees trying to cope with allegations of sexual abuse – an issue that continues to cause top-level rifts among Anglicans. She has also been identified with the cause of gay rights in the Church.”

    and

    “In February, after a bid to allow blessings for same-sex couples was defeated in the General Synod, she wrote in a blog: ‘What does radical inclusive Christianity look like in a church where there continues to be a vast distance between views over sexuality?’”

    They quote Jules Gomes:

    “Reverend Jules Gomes, pastor of Church of England St Augustine’s in Douglas, Isle of Man, said: ‘Conservative evangelical and Anglo-Catholic churches will struggle to accept a woman bishop, but will find it even more difficult given that Bishop Mullally is completely unremarkable as a theologian, biblical scholar, preacher, evangelist or pastor.’”

    The full article is currently at – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5190457/Former-NHS-chief-nurse-female-Bishop-London.html

    • Chefofsinners

      Jules makes a good point. The inevitable conclusion being that Mullally is bishop of London because she is a woman. It is a deliberate up-yours to traditionalists. Flipping us the bird, so to speak. Cranmer appeals for a prayerful response. Perhaps something like ‘Our mother who art in Devon, Sarah be thy name, Thy queendom come, thy Jill be done, in Wandsworth as it is in Acton. Give us this day our daily bread and wash up afterwards and bring us our pipe and slippers….

    • Homer Simpson

      Ah! Committees! That’s how you get to be a bishop.

  • not a machine

    Can’t say I was sure what her opening speech of office was on about, inclusive, safe space, I understand those who don’t accept women’s ordination, grateful yet terrified, all on the back of a church news feed on old male abusers in church very odd sequence. As your grace points out this is a crown nominations committee. I dont want to judge her following of Christ, we all have to make what our faith is at various stages of life nor do I wish any ill thought. For myself it is sadness in a number of areas, as it is possible now for poor theology to mimic good and that cannot co exist.

    • Arden Forester

      I think that is a good comment. I too would not want to judge her following of Christ anymore than anyone else’s. However, it is what comes out of our mouths that matters and if it is no more than felicitous waffle, then that is hardly going to set hearts aflame. The problem really is that female prelates cannot by definition espouse the Traditional Faith as they are completely central to the radical alteration of the sacraments as the revisionists have chosen to follow. So it is always going to be for them a new “inclusive” religion devoid of mentions of sin or waywardness so as not to upset anyone.

      • not a machine

        I hadn’t reasoned in such a precise way, but you make a good point which I have some agreement with. I don’t think it is delineated to old fogey anti women conservatives, the traditional faith has great gifts and benefit, neither is this reform, it is something new, clever but new, and it does not answer some questions.

  • Father David

    Every pantomime must have its Dame!

    • Ray Sunshine

      And its horse! One pair of legs must be Martyn Percy’s. Not sure about the other.pair.

      • Front or rear end?

        • Ray Sunshine

          We’ll have to wait and see. When one of them falls over, it’ll be because the other one was Martyn Percy and he tripped him up.

    • Royinsouthwest

      “Oh no it shouldn’t!”

      I was hoping that someone else would write that so that I could reply “oh yes it should!” since I agree with you, but after waiting patiently for 12 hours for the proper pantomime response I felt I had to give in and voice the dissent myself.

  • Arden Forester

    I’m wondering how many parishes she won’t be covering so to speak. Not all have petitioned for alternative provision. All Saints Margaret Street is one. I can’t see her in there but I may be wrong. Whatever else, it’s going to be a roller coaster of a ride for Diocese of London.

    • Jack advises not to worry too much. If present trends continue, the prediction is there will be no Church of England by 2033:

      Over the period 1983 to 2014, the Anglican population of the United Kingdom almost halved, falling from 16.5 million adherents to 8.6 million, from 40% of the British population to 15%. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, the proportion of Britons who described themselves as Anglicans fell from 21 to 17%, a loss of 1.7 million people in two years.

      And, of course, the drop in Anglicans has also led to a drop in church attendance. According to the Faith Survey, 1,370,400 people in England were recorded as Anglican churchgoers in 1980. In 2015, there were only 660,000.

      Citing the BSAS, the Spectator reported that “Anglicanism is declining faster than any other majority denomination. With the current rate of decline, it would be set to disappear from Britain by 2033.”

      https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/ordaining-women-has-not-saved-the-church-of-england-from-impending-extincti

      • Lucius

        The rapidity of decline is breathtaking. I guess when you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing.

        • True, the Christian faith is in rapid decline in England and Wales but Catholicism is not is as sharp a decline:

          3.8 million persons identify as Catholics in England and Wales (8.3% of the adult population) and 6.2 million were raised Catholic (13.7%). Put another way, the retention rate of Cradle Catholics was 55.8% (the highest among Christian denominations) . However the church also had the lowest conversion rate at 7.7%.

          The Catholic percentage of the total population has remained fairly stable over the last 30 years or so. By way of contrast, the Anglican percentage has declined from 44.5% in 1983 to 19.0% in 2014.

          59.1% of adult Catholics are women, roughly in line with the percentage of female Christians as a whole (58.6%). 25% of weekly Mass attendees are women in the over 65 age group.

          Combining male and female numbers, 46.7% (nearly half) of all weekly or more Mass attendees are over 65.

          17.1% of Cradle Catholics attend Mass once week or more but 59.6% attend “never or practically never”.
          44.4% of those who identify as Catholic are aged 18 to 44, compared to 32.6% of Christians in general.

          https://faithsurvey.co.uk/catholics-england-and-wales.html

          • Lucius

            I appreciate the statistics. If you have time, I would like your thoughts on a few things (but if not, no problem). Here we go:

            1. What are your thoughts on the purported “Protestanization” of Catholic worship, i.e. “guitar Mass,” “clown Mass,” and other novelties?

            2. Related to #1, has the RCC been vigilant in protecting Holy Tradition?

            3. Is there a “gay lobby” within the RCC or is this wholly unsubstantiated?

            4. Is the re-introduction of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass bound to create division as Catholics more outwardly align themselves as “traditionalists” and “progressives”?

            5. Can you see the RCC going the way of the Anglican Communion in the next 50 – 100 years, which is, to elevate “unity” to the position of guiding principle, such that it sacrifices century’s-old teachings on the alter of inclusion?

          • Painful to write:

            1. The Catholic Mass, whilst still valid, has been “protestantised” and much of its rich liturgical content has been stripped out and dumbed down. We’re losing sight of the Eucharist as the centre of our worship and adoration at the Sacrifice of the Mass. Personally, Jack has no real issue with musical instruments accompanying modern hymns at the Novo Order Mass, but it’s not his preference. All other novelties are, to his mind, invalid and many border on sacrilege.

            2. Sacred liturgy is not being protected by the current magisterium. Traditional teachings have until recently been preserved but are under great attack – under the deception of “pastoral accompaniment”, “mercy” and “inclusion”. Thankfully,
            the Church has infallibility and indefectibility to protection to the Deposit of Faith.

            3. There is most certainly an undue influence of homosexuals within the Church, and it seems to be growing stronger as more and more heterodox priests, bishops and cardinals give voice to their liberal views.

            4. With or without the Latin Mass, there is a de facto schism in the present Church. There appears now to be a determined attack on traditional Catholic forms of worship and prayer.

            5, Jack is confident the Church will eventually recover from its present crisis; that or Christ will return.

          • len

            It is somewhat ironic that members of the RCC jump on the bandwagon to attack the C of E but cannot see the flaws within their own Church?.
            Some who claim theirs is’ the one true church ‘ appear to wear blinkers to their own predicament?.

          • Lucius

            Are you insinuating that HJ “wears blinkers” or “jumps on the bandwagon to attack” or were those rhetorical questions? Regardless, I do not know any RCC or Orthodox who will not concede that challenges exist within their respective Churches. However, the challenges in the Apostolic Churches, I would submit, differ in degree and/or type.

          • It’s because we know the true Faith of our shared Fathers and orthodox members of both Churches will fight spiritually and temporally to defend it when it comes under threat. We recognise the heterodox because we have a genuine touchstone. There is genuine substance to our faith which reaches back unbroken to the Apostles.

          • len

            None so blind as those who will not see.

          • Martin

            You may fol.low the faith of your fathers, but it isn’t the Christian faith because you have abandoned the authority of the Bible and replaced it with the authority of the hierarchy. You are heterodox and your faith is not that of the Apostles. You are pagan idolaters.

          • Ah, Bless.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Rather implies you have no answer.

          • Lucius

            Thank you for the thoughtful response HJ. Out of sense of curiosity and for some personal reasons, I have attended weekday Mass for a couple weeks. Just as an observer and to pray. We Orthodox, after all, recognize the Apostolic origin of the RCC and have great respect for the Seat of Peter. Still, I could not help feeling, however, that the RCC today is where the Episcopal Church was about 30 years ago with regard to the changes in worship and growing liberalization of Church culture. Pope Benedict’s further encouragement of the pre-Vatican II Mass compounded my concerns, as I view it as a double-edged sword, in that it appeases traditionalists while exacerbating visual division (but if I were RC, I would support doing away with the New Mass). The same thing happened in the Episcopal Church were “traditional” and “contemporary” worship services were provided. It seemed like a good idea at the time (i.e., be more inclusive), but in the end, it simply knocked down another foundational pillar, leading to disunion. I have great concern for the future integrity of the RCC, perhaps that is why I have been going to weekday Mass, just to pray for reunion. I think the RCC and Orthodox need each other. The Orthodox need “big brother’s” leadership and the RCC needs “little brother’s” commitment to Holy Tradition.

          • Jack agrees with you about the Catholic and Orthodox Church. He has great respect for Orthodox worship although confesses he finds some of it too overwhelming. He also greatly respects the more spiritual approach it has. As you say, the Churches complement one another. It was Saint Pope John Paul II who said “Europe has two lungs, it will never breathe easily until it uses both of them”.
            Access to the Latin Mass is rare indeed unless you live in the South East. Jack used to attend regularly and found it uplifting. God willing, the Catholic Church will not follow the Episcopalians because it has too much defined doctrine that cannot be changed. It’s why there has been such a push from the modernists to undermine Papal infallibility and also the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium once a matter has been definitively settled. However, that said, the current Curia is a real threat.

          • Dominic Stockford

            One of the London bishops in the RC Church, Bernard Longley, with whom I was in Seminary, has frequently performed church actions which would indicate the existence of a quasi-official-gay-lobby. There is an RC church which advertises itself as ‘gay friendly’. This is London though, so I doubt anything similarly unpleasant happens elsewhere.

          • Royinsouthwest

            How much of the relatively good health of the Catholic Church in Britain is due to immigration, particularly but by no means exclusively, countries like Poland? I am asking just out of curiosity and not in a sectarian spirit. Protestant evangelical churches in some parts of Britain have also benefited from immigrants who were already committed Christians before coming here.

          • Dominic Stockford

            In London this is a salient point. In this area there are vast numbers of Polish people, and I did hear an RC priest acknowledge that their presence had transformed his congregation size from dwindling to reasonable (and that was back in about 2006!).

          • Ray Sunshine

            Also Filipinos in some places in London, I believe.

          • Possibly – but God Bless them. The Poles who attend Jack’s Church come together as families, dress in their “Sunday Best”, show great respect for the service and Eucharist, and are very outgoing and generous of spirit.

          • Martin

            That’s cos it’s already dead.

          • Ah, Bless.

          • Martin

            HJ

            You’re unable to answer again I see.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Still unable to answer, sad.

      • len

        If the church cannot be salt and light it will disappear.

      • And yet there are many churches within the C of E where attendance is positively booming.
        St. Leonards Church in Exeter has two morning services which are both choc-a-bloc full and one in the evening where they get around 250 people. There are dozens of students, including many foreign ones. St. L’s has already planted one congregation on the outskirts of Exeter and is, I believe, about to repeat the exercise.
        .
        The point, of course, is that St. Leonards and others like it preach the Gospel. But the sooner that they come out of the dead husk that is the C of E in general, the better.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Yes. Absolutely. When Alistair Payne and John (can’t remember his surname) were there I went there for a few years. They are the type of congregation which has no place in the CofE as it is now.

          • That would be John Skinner, I expect.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes, yes. That would. An excellent man, a sound preacher, and a great challenger, even though towards the end of his time we had a few too many ‘and finally’s in each sermon! (Which last is a lesson I have sought to take on board).

          • Martin

            There’s a few preachers like that. 😉

          • IrishNeanderthal

            too many ‘and finally’s in each sermon!

            Which reminded me of the following.

            But it’s not just the language: it shows how we have been heading in this direction for decades, or more.

            One way of putting it is that this is a psychological age, which is the opposite of an intellectual age. It is not a question of persuading men, but of suggesting how they are persuaded. It is an age of Suggestion; that is, of appeal to the irrational part of man. Men discussed whether Free Trade was false or true; they do not so much discuss whether Empire Free Trade is false or true, as whether it is booming or slumping; whether it is based on an understanding of Mass Psychology, or whether its opponents or supporters have what Americans call Personality. It is all great fun, and there is doubtless a truth in it, as in other things. But, whatever else it is, it is not a mark of stronger mentality, and any old Scotch Calvinist farmer, who could follow his minister’s desolate and appalling sermon to Seventeenthly and Lastly, had an immeasurably better brain.

            G.K.Chesterton, The Intellect of Yesterday (1931)

    • Father David

      That remains to be seen but my guess is that Fulham and Maidstone are going to have their work cut out in the diocese of London. Do we know, for example, how St. Helen’s Bishopsgate has reacted to news of the appointment? Is their any truth in the rumour that as Dean of the Chapels Royal, Sarah will preside over Harry and Meghan’s Nuptials at that Royal Peculiar – St. George’s Chapel, Windsor where Harry’s father and stepmother had their marriage blessed? From what Welby said on the Andrew Marr Show – it seems that he would be willing to officiate if asked so to do. The implication being that the one who is definitely off the Careys Christmas Card list has yet to be approached by the palace with regard to taking part in that other event on F A Cup Final Day. Hey Ho!

      • Dominic Stockford

        I have read that Welby is doing that gig.

    • Dominic Stockford

      She’ll be here in Teddington week after week, I expect. They’ll have broken out the champagne in the local vicarages. Sadly.

  • Happy Jackie

    Oh goodie, goodie, goodie. She’s my heroine.

    • Royinsouthwest

      And a role model for all women, no doubt. Every profession needs them.

  • Chris Bell

    There is nothing wrong with female ordination. There is nothing wrong with gay marriage. But there is a lot wrong and much grievous cant and hypocrisy in trying to constantly put the CoE into refit.
    If a woman wishes to be a Bishop then start another Church. If a gay wishes to get married then again start another Church. No problem. But to take 2000 yrs of accepted values and due to fear and weakness try to re-purpose the entire ship is an enormous arrogance.
    ‘Inclusion’ is merely the euphemism for ‘not having the backbone’ to recognise the traditional church cannot be expected to become something that it is not and bravely seek out their own salvation in their ‘new’ church.
    However, the CoE itself is happily refitting itself as a pleasure cruise liner. No it will not recover Jack.

    • Father David

      Ding-Dong! Well said and spot on in hitting the nail on the head.

    • Martin

      Yes, both those things are wrong. Read your Bible.

    • carl jacobs

      There is nothing wrong with female ordination.

      There is actually a lot wrong with it – beginning with the fact that it is unscriptural.

      There is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

      Except that it is rooted in the normalization of perversion and sexual sin.

      You argument amounts to “Why are you disturbing my traditional church? Go build your own traditions and leave us alone.” Is it then about truth or is it about your comfort and familiarity?

      A church does not exist to give us a connection to time and place. It exists for worship and to declare the word of God. It exists to disciple and teach and train. If it does not do those things, it is worthless and fit only to be thrown out – no matter how precious it may be in our own personal lives.

      • Chris Bell

        The church is not God. There are many ‘religions’, all would claim as you do, their dominance. Which merely means that there will never be a universally accepted ‘One Church’. Each train and teach but each must accept the other as a viable path. Islam proves the falsehood of the ‘One Church’ in its arrogant violence and shows the ignorance of the notion of exclusivity. The Christian church is dying in its ‘inclusivity’ as Islam will die in its exclusivity. The health of the Christian church is simply to return to its orthodoxy. All who would seek canonical change must be encouraged to leave. The teaching does not follow the disciple……the disciple follows the teaching.
        Orthodoxy needs neither change nor alteration it requires, on the contrary, total faith and trust in its mystery for then its followers will be protected.
        The lack of this trust and love is the fundamental and egregious error of those who lead the Christian church today. Already the Christian church has split from its intrinsic ancient teaching for it has tried to include those who find the message of Christ anathema rather than expelling them.

  • bluedog

    It seems, Your Grace, that Bishop Pete’s education stopped short of any French history. If it hadn’t, he would remember that ‘Paris is worth a mass’, and his description of himself as ‘socialist and republican’ would have been deleted or diplomatically altered in order to help seize the prize. His tweet in support of the appointment of Bishop Sarah is brave but inevitably reflects hurt. So near, and yet, so far.

  • Homer Simpson

    The ‘Rebel Priest’ has taken a very different view of Matron Mullally in his column in The Conservative Woman this morning. Gor blimey, according to him, she can’t even define the ‘gospel’. It’s all about ‘safeguarding’ she proclaims! A super and highly entertaining read! https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rebel-priest-rev-jules-gomes-safe-space-sarah-box-ticking-bishopette-londonistan/

    • dannybhoy

      Can’t quite square what yer man Rebel Priest is saying with what she says on her own blog..

      “I made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ as a teenager. As one hymn puts it, I found in him my Star, my Sun. I look forward to sharing that good news with others as I come to London.

      Before becoming a priest, I was a nurse and then the Government’s Chief Nursing Officer for England. People ask what it is like to have had two careers. I reply that I have always had one vocation – to follow Jesus Christ, to know him and to make him known.”
      Yes ther’e a lot of worthy social worker waffle preceding it, but I doubt the lady would write the above unless she meant it.
      Perhaps she has been overwhelmed by the forces of Inclusion/Diversity and Equality, and perhaps overawed by the Church its self..
      Which brings me back again to one of my (increasingly) favourite topics, the assumption that because someone belongs to a large, established, and still respected Church (Catholics and Anglicans take note), it does not repeat NOT, follow that everyone who wears a dog collar, uniform or robe automatically demands your respect, trust and obedience.
      Just as in politics, it is not often that the competent, honourable and transparent person rises to the top of the greasy pole..
      A person in authority still has to earn my respect.

      • Dominic Stockford

        In any organisation larger than one where all members fit in a small hall (and some smaller too), you have to stand on a lot of people’s heads in order to get to the top of that greasy pole. And to manage to stand on so many in such a short time is ‘interesting’.

        • dannybhoy

          That’s true, and it may be that by bringing in more women priests as bishops Synod becomes even more ‘compliant’ to those who have ‘a agenda..’.
          Interesting that the lady describes herself as ‘risk averse’, which at the risk of offending our female contributors I would suggest is more of a feminine trait than a male one.
          The great preachers and evangelists have always been men, and leadership -good or bad- is usually but not always male.
          Btw I’m not defending the lady becoming a bishop, more that from what I’ve read her faith seems genuine.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Early Methodist leaders, and followers, were not “risk averse.” Today the Quakers are regarded as even more harmless than the Buddhists, whose peaceful reputation has been damaged by events in Burma, but the early Quaker leaders were certainly neither inoffensive nor risk averse.

            I imagine that the early Quaker leaders would respect modern Quakers for their humanitarian principles but would be dismayed by how heretical the denomination has become.

          • dannybhoy

            I think we will see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church in the UK in order to proclaim the Gospel once more, especially as persecution against Christians becomes widespread.

            “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
            Isaiah 59:19

        • ichabod

          It is most easily achieved by being so extremely “nice” and inoffensive, so while no one may strongly like your stance, no one dislikes your stance enough to oppose you.

          • Dominic Stockford

            If you try that in these circles you will find them stamping on your head. they all want to get up that pole, and then when they get there they do nothing for Christ.

      • Martin

        No one ever “a commitment to follow Jesus Christ”. Has she actually read the 39 Articles?

        • dannybhoy

          Not in so many words perhaps Martin, but that’s what the first disciples did..
          John 6>
          “66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

          68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
          I know what you’re getting at but it’s perhaps time to change the record.
          Why not try “By their fruits shall ye know them..”

          • Martin

            Danny

            It’s the parable of the soils, is it not. Only where the soil is prepared does the seed take root and flourish. The sower is the one who commits, the soil is passive.

          • dannybhoy

            Hm, but the soil -aka human beings made in the image of God- is not passive.
            Else our wonderful, righteous and holy God would have no right to send men women and children into Hell, which was originally only intended for Satan and all those angels who joined him in rebellion against our Creator God..

          • Martin

            But that soil is now dead in it’s sins, unless made alive.

          • dannybhoy

            But you’re assuming that man whilst dead In his sins is unable to respond to the Gospel.
            When a man is stuck in a swamp and a passerby with a rope offers to save him, what then has the man in the swamp contributed to his rescue other than assent?
            Your position (and I know what you base it on) goes against the whole evidence of Scripture where God calls men to do… what?

          • Martin

            Danny

            But the man in the swamp isn’t dead. the spiritually dead are unable to respond to things of the spirit.

            That God commands does not imply that men are capable.

    • Dominic Stockford
  • IanCad

    Thoughtful and considered as I am; not given to hasty or precipitate comments, calm and reason being my watchwords, I was content to sit this one out.
    Not being altogether too uptight with the appointment of gal vicars, I was expecting a specimen of ecclesiastical femininity who would be forthright and humble, direct and open – a motherly sort one could trust.
    Not So!! A more evasive, politically minded equivocator would be hard to find. About an hour ago I listened to her interview on R4. Diane Abbott in a cassock! Slippery, awful woman. Schism is coming – or should.

    • Dominic Stockford

      On same-sex marriage and so on she seems to be saying that whatever the CofE brings in, she will happily do. Which seems to match up to “strong in faith” not one bit. And the rest of it, hopeless nothingness.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Although I am not a great fan of politically correct clerics I did think yesterday that some of the comments were a bit harsh and premature since she has not started her job yet but like Homer Simpson I read the Rebel Priest’s article was rather amused by his outspoken criticisms of the new bishop. More seriously, if IanCad’s extremely brief description below of her interview on Radio 4 is a fair one then I must admit the signs are worrying.

  • ichabod

    I heard Sarah Mullally preach at an induction service for new rector shortly after she became a bishop – so a lot of people there you would not normally see and an opportunity for a gospel message. She spoke for 10 minutes without saying anything – it amazes me how some people can do this – and concluded with her only item of content that we should “show people God’s love”. No explanation of what that might be, or how she thought it might be shown. No message of what Jesus Christ has done, or need for faith in Him. Says all you need to know.

    • Absolutely right!
      I heard her giving a talk at a Bible Society meeting in October which purported to be celebrating the Reformation.
      She is a nice smiley lady and a fluent speaker, but I’m sorry to say that it did not appear to me at the time that she knew the Gospel.

      • Dominic Stockford

        I won’t get the firm support from her that I got from her predecessor when I protested about the local vicar encouraging same-sex marriages in churches, and giving over an entire article in his parish newsletter to the matter – without the agreement of his parish council I may add!.

    • layreader

      She was interviewed for 10 minutes on Radio 4 this morning without saying anything. Other than the usual Anglican clichés, of course. We have learned from experience that ‘mutual flourishing’ means absolutely nothing – apparently the Dame still thinks it does, from the number of times she used it. if an audience of 10 million isn’t a gospel opportunity, I don’t know what is, but I don’t think she would know what to say.

    • Royinsouthwest

      She spoke for 10 minutes without saying anything – it amazes me how some people can do this …
      That suggests she is well qualified for the House of Lords although before the Blair “reforms” the quality of debates in the Lords was generally regarded as superior to that in the Commons because in the Lords people tended to speak only if they did have something to say and knew what they were talking about.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Ten minutes? That puts her well ahead of most Anglican bishops these days…

  • Father David

    I was expecting a nice smiley photograph of the next Bishop of London on the front page of The Times this morning but I had to wade through to page 19 before my eye caught the headline “Church divisions deepen as first woman named Bishop of London”. I’ve never heard her preach but several people who have comment on how poor her sermons are and lacking in content. Surely, what London needs is a really good orator and preacher of the Gospel. Bishop Stephen Cotterill is an admirable preacher and would have been a good choice for London. Still, perhaps the Bishop of Chelmsford may well become Ebor when that Metropolitical See next becomes vacant?
    Also included in the same edition of the newspaper is an article by Andrew Chandler entitled “Welby was wrong to leave a stain on Bell’s memory” How true, how very true. What a disgrace it is to besmirch a great saintly man’s name with allegations which would have been thrown out of court for being so confused and so contradictory.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Let us hope when the bongo drums cease the Morris dance may begin…

      • Father David

        Ah yes, dear old Thaxted in the diocese of Chelmsford where that great Christian Socialist – Conrad Noel held sway for so many a long year. How well I remember the Battle of the Flags and his noble fight to keep the Red Flag flying there.

    • The Snail @/”
  • Jilly

    What a stitch-up of the traditional wing. Just like the Labour Party has been taken over so has the CoE: for Corbyn read Welby – floundering, out of his depth, obstinate while the McDonnell-style ultra modernists pull his strings and quietly get on with the job of mobilising Momentum ( the trendy liberals) to gradually infiltrate the committees and manipulate from within and take over. A sexual agenda, not a sacramental one, left wing social issues and vacuous sound-bites rather than Biblical or traditional truths.
    And the timing….. last week Welby pleads for a Christmassy truce…just before the Carlile Report and while that furore gets going – Lo! Behold! Another announcement calculated to dilute and distract. Something to really get the supporters of George Bell going but label that wing as misogynists, old fashioned etc.
    Mutual flourishing? Guiding Principles? Yeah, right.

    • Fr Kevin

      Well put

      • Jilly

        Thank you.

  • Another Welby.
    I feel sorry for all the dedicated clergy who have devoted their whole lives to the Church who find these posts filled by some up-start newcomer. Are we so sure that there wasn’t one person who has served the Church for a lifetime who wasn’t suitable for filling this role?

    No way will she replace Richard Chartres.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      A Welby or a Welbi…or a Wimminby? Hmmmmm

      • Wibbly wobbley. I suspect that to her, the Bible comes second to political correctness.

  • len

    God does not dwell in Churches built by human hands but in the hearts and minds of believers.We do not need a Church structure to know God .We do not need Priests to mediate for us and to attempt to administer’ grace’ to us.There is but one Mediator between us and God.

    ‘ Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ (Hebrews 4:14)

    The Israelite’s wanted a physical being to lead them and they got Saul, and look where that led. People I suppose want a physical being that they can focus on so they got Popes and other leaders who led them astray.

    • dannybhoy

      And shift the weight of personal responsibility from them to the clergy..
      Much easier to say ” I was told to do this”ll
      In fact when you think about it had the Israelite priesthood had the same reverence and authority ‘some Christian Churches’ appropriate to themselves today, it is very unlikely there would have been any prophets….

  • len

    When the majority fails(as it appears to be doing with’ the church’) God is neither phazed or surprised because He will carry on and work through the faithful remnant as He has done so many times before.
    The main thing for believers is not to be drawn along by the church when the Church has departed from scriptural truth ( as it has done so many times before)

  • IrishNeanderthal

    This, from Gavin Ashenden, is worth watching:

    Less than 7 minutes, with a minute or so ex ore paraveredi.

    But would Milady Bishop listen?

  • Inspector General

    One must say that this is encouraging…

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/12/19/first-female-bishop-of-london-god-loves-gay-people-too/

    There are no comments thereon as this is typed, but if there are if you visit the link, don’t read them. They’ll be vile ones from haters of Christ and his Christians.

    • Goodness, she’s a slippery one, Inspector.

      Whatever happened to: “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one”?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Ah, but everything today is thoroughly modern.

        It sounds and looks better when sung and danced to the Charleston, even though this is no longer 1922.

        • dannybhoy

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          1922 is too thoroughly modern…

      • carl jacobs

        Silly Jack. She’s a bishop in the CoE. It’s what they do. If I believed in evolution I would suggest it was a specifically adapted survival trait of homobishopicus.

    • Maalaistollo

      And when she talks about ‘standing on the traditions of the Church of England’ does she mean she intends to get her boots on their necks?

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Standing or stamping?

        • The Snail @/”

          My dear lady – surely not with your high heels!

    • She’s as slippery as an eel. Got her eye on the top job.

      • Inspector General

        You may well be on the money, Marie. Going by other comments on this blog, she looks
        to be the classic careerist. Achieving the top job by telling every one what they want to hear on her way up. Everyone, with no hindrance on herself either.

        • chiaramonti

          At a dinner for ex-Prime Ministers given at Downing Street in Margaret Thatcher’s time, the assembled company were having drinks before dinner when someone asked if there were a collective noun for prime ministers. No-one answered until MacMillan (the only PM for many years of any real religious faith) suggested “A Lack of Principles.” Perhaps this would apply to Bishops of the C of E too?

  • Sarah Mullally describes herself as “risk averse”. So was Pilate. At least when she washes her hands we can be confident it will be with an anti-bacterial solution.

    • dannybhoy

      And in a hospital that’s gotta be a good thing Jack.

      • Then she should have stayed in one.

        • dannybhoy

          Gasp!

          • The Church needs courageous leaders, not risk averse diplomatic bureaucrats who network and compromise with evil.

            [Jack shouldn’t say it, she wears the sort of plastic grin and talks with the kind of passionless “reasonableness” that causes him to want to slap her. He’s met too many senior NHS managers and civil servants like this down the years]

            Not that’s worth a double gasp.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Gasp gasp…there, I’ve done it….happy Happy Jack?

          • dannybhoy

            That’s a quickie Mrs Proudie.
            Personally I refused to give him the satisfaction …

          • Calm yourself, dear Lady.

          • Chefofsinners

            Or you’ll have to slap her?

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Unhand me, sirrah!

          • carl jacobs

            One does not slap Mrs Proudie … and live.

          • dannybhoy

            One does not even dream of slapping a lady..

          • Father David

            We don’t have to look very far to see what a mess the NHS is in.

          • chiaramonti

            One must not judge by appearances, of course, but she does rather resemble Pauline from the ‘League of Gentlemen’. No doubt she has a steady supply of pens. She really must learn to answer a question directly and not speak in slogans.

          • It’s a virus affecting most institutions these days.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Exactly!

  • Lucius

    “What we have to remember is this is about people, and the church seeks to demonstrate love to all, because it reflects the God of love, who loves everybody.” – Sarah Mullally

    What does this collection of slogans strung together in a sentence actually mean? Any ideas?

    • Chefofsinners

      It means she doesn’t actually love people enough to tell them they are sinners who must repent.

      • Lucius

        Ah, she’s a pro-“[n]either do I condemn you” and anti-“from now on sin no more” Christian. Got it.

    • Ray Sunshine

      It means she failed to follow the recommended procedure, “Engage brain before opening mouth.”

      • Lucius

        No, I think she did “engage brain before opening mouth,” and therein lies the real concern.

        • betteroffoutofit

          All mouth, no brain?

      • Charitas Lydia

        It means she followed Welby. He exhibits the same traits.

    • Merchantman

      She strings together phrases that conflate issues that ignore the fact that God commands certain things and does not see all thoughts and actions as equal.
      To rearrange what she says makes all the difference.
      – What we have to remember is this, The Love of God loves everybody and the church seeks to demonstrate love to all. However……
      Its what she doesn’t say

      • Lucius

        It came across to me as meaningless “hippy” talk, like “make love, not war.”

        • Merchantman

          Ya.. right on man.

  • Charitas Lydia

    Cranmer has really got it wrong this time. Too much sucking up to the establishment during the Christmas season, Your Grace? Here’s a transcript of what Ms Mullally had to say on al-Beeb this morning. I’ve just found this transcript of her interview. Look at how she cannot answer a single theological question backed up by scripture. Here we have a woman of absolutely no convictions — except, of course, her culturally Marxist drivel. MH is Mishal Husain and SM is Sarah Mullally:

    MH: Would you bless a same sex marriage?

    SM: At the moment there is no provision to do that

    MH: Would you like there to be that provision?

    SM: As I said there is a period of reflection that is going on at the moment, and I am part of that…

    MH: Have you not decided how you feel about blessing a same sex marriage?

    SM: I think that, what we have to recognize is a real diversity within the Church of England, and if we are going to take seriously the wish of the two Archbishops to take a period of reflection, then we need to allow that process to go ahead, and I have been very encouraged by those who wish to work with us on that. And at the same time we do have to recognize that this is a challenge for all people, and we do this as we have always done it in the past, we manage difference…

    MH: [Interrupts] I recognize that this is difficult…a sensitive issue…[continues, then mentions] St Helen’s Bishopsgate where the vicar has said he is looking to the new Bishop to condemn homosexual relationships as sinful, otherwise there will be some kind of break. [Deep breath]. Do you think homosexual relationships are sinful?

    Says it all, doesn’t it?

    SM: Er, well, the comment came across in the press, and one the things I’m doing is meeting those people that reflect the whole diversity across the Church of England. And in a sense it’s not avoiding the subject but it’s recognizing that there is a difference, that the Church of England, um, is taking a period of reflection, and recognizing that it does involve people, so there is a sense in which you have to compassionately, um, deal with these issues, and, er, I am forever encouraged that the church across London is undertaking a whole series of things in communities, to be, er, welcoming to that diversity. And one of the wonderful things yesterday was being out in Hackney, and seeing, er, a church that is welcoming people…

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      shameful twaddle…but so very Anglican 21C….

      • “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts …”
        (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)

        “I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”
        (C.S. Lewis, Preface: The Screwtape Letters)

        • Jilly

          Oh well found!

      • dannybhoy

        I have to say that this is just so pathetic, so very ‘corporate speak’.
        Someone who has given up her own opinion for the common good..

        • Merchantman

          “given up her opinion for the common good”…..correction Common Purpose.

    • Father David

      Absolute drivel. I remember the last time someone was selected to occupy a position in the Top Five (Number One, in fact) after a mere two years in the episcopacy and what a disaster that turned out to be. I’m only too pleased that I am not on his Christmas card list and therefore not in a position to receive his round robin!

    • Inspector General

      Dreadful…

    • carl jacobs

      Translation: “Yes, I would perform a SSM. No, I don’t think homosexuality is sinful. But I can’t say those things out loud or I will blow my diocese to pieces.

      These things must be done delicately.”

      Do you suppose the people in her diocese will be fooled? Let them be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

      • Now, now, she’s waiting on the Holy Spirit to guide Synod and wants to give God time – to catch up and change His mind, ’tis all.

        Back in February 2017, after the Synod debate on homosexuality, she wrote on her blog:

        “Even from a distance, the hurt, and the love of those seeking to apologise for that hurt was palpable. It was an impassioned debate, full of pain, full of questions, full of a desire to discern God’s will. It made me think that the Church of England can do good disagreement – whatever the headlines promising ‘turmoil’ say today. It was a debate full of grace …..

        (emote, emote, emote)

        I am left with some questions.
        What does radical inclusive Christianity look like in a church where there continues to be a vast distance between views over sexuality?
        How can we clarify what we disagree on and still find common ground which looks radical?
        How can we ensure that everyone is included in moving forward?”

        (avoid, avoid, avoid)

        What we need is time – I know this is frustrating to those who think we have taken far too long already. But we will need time if we are to do better.

        https://sarahmullally.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/moving-forward/

    • David

      She has uttered meaningless nonsense – shameful !

    • Martin

      She sounds devious and dishonest to me.

    • Anton

      She is either a coward or ashamed of the word of God and in neither case fit to be a bishop before we even start on episkopoi being male by requirement in the word of God.

      • Dreadnaught

        What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality (or whatever it was called in those days)?

        • carl jacobs

          What did the Law say about it? Answer the second question and you answer the first.

          • Dreadnaught

            Our laws say that it is not a crime.

          • carl jacobs

            Wrong law. But since you mentioned it, why do you appeal to the law now? Was the law wrong when homosexuality was illegal? Will it still be right when it is again declared illegal?

          • Dreadnaught

            I am governed by the law of today. Yes it was wrong to criminalise homosexuality. Locking people up because of their sexuality seems pointless if it is consensual.
            same gender sex happens in all species; its no big deal or any of my business.

          • carl jacobs

            So it really doesn’t matter to you that the current law says it’s illegal. What matters is the prior moral conclusion that you think should inform the law. So why did you say “Our law says it is not a crime”? That’s a morally meaningless statement by your own admission. You certainly knew that I was not referring to laws made by Parliament.

          • Dreadnaught

            I have no idea what the law of Jesu’s time actually said.

          • carl jacobs

            The Law to which I referred was the Old Testament Law. Homosexuality was condemned as toevah – an abomination – in the Law. It is that Law that Jesus repeatedly and consistently affirmed. That is what he said about it.

            Remember that you live in a world of moral autonomy where the penultimate good is the exercise of human will. That’s why you focus on consent. But that is not a perspective that Jesus would share. His is a world of imposed boundaries. You are not your own moral master.

          • betteroffoutofit

            “its no big deal or any of my business” — except that they tend to force it on us and make it our business. Then it turns into something we don’t want to deal with.

          • Dreadnaught

            Is it forced on us any more than the overt heterosexuality in film, music, personal communication mediums or advertising? I dont think it is. Its just that we are more conditioned to accept what we are seemingly unable to challenge.

        • Dodgy Geezer

          I don’t think he had anything to say specifically about homosexuality, but on sexual misdemeanours generally, He said ‘Go your way, and sin no more…”

          • Dreadnaught

            Well it was worth a shot, given the amount of opprobrium registered from within these walls . If it is such a big deal now I find its surprising that it did not get highlighted specifically by the man during his lifetime.

      • Lucius

        Her response was filled with meaningless platitudes because she is caught in a classic “Catch 22.” If she cites Scripture, Holy Tradition, and 2,000+ year old Judeo-Christian teaching relating to sexual morality for the proposition that homosexual behavior is sinful, then she fatally undercuts her own position as Bishop, as the same evidence is equally clear that women should not occupy ecclesiastical positions.

        • Indeed, and the same applies to every “ordained” cleric in the Church of England – currently over 30% and rising – and all those supporting women in these roles.

          • Lucius

            It puts the CoE in an impossible position insofar as opposing homosexual behavior, and frankly, virtually any other limit placed on human behavior based upon Judeo-Christian or Church teaching (however long-standing and unambiguous).

          • It’s all about God’s love and mercy once you give your life to Him – or if He arbitrarily chooses you for salvation. It comes from an alternative religious universe where cooperating with God’s grace to resist sin and to endeavour to perfect oneself in this life through acts of self sacrifice and prayer, is deemed to be “semi-pelagianism” or “legalism”.

          • Lucius

            I don’t know if you have seen it yet, but American media is celebrating the “courage” of a RC priest for coming out as gay (link below). More troubling then mere coming out, however, was the priest’s accompanying statement that unmistakably insinuates that homosexual behavior is, in fact, positive moral behavior. Not sure what action his Bishop will take, but as Pope Felix III stated: “An error which is not resisted is approved.”

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/12/18/gay-priest-comes-out/961960001/

          • Here’s a more brutal account from Mr M.

            https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/kick-him-out/

            [He doesn’t do political correctness]

          • Lucius

            If you want a bare knuckle account about the LGBT movement more generally then I suggest you view Father Josiah Trenham’s (Orthodox) lecture in Tblisi, Georgia.

          • He clearly hasn’t taken his Gaviscon today. The tone of the posts is always somewhat diagnostic as to the state of his digestion… 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            Not sure what action his Bishop will take,

            Ooh! This looks like a job for …

            Faster than a Tridentine anathema. More powerful than an Ecumenical Council. Able to surmount Church dogma in a single Bull.

            Look! Up at the microphone. It’s a Journalist. It’s a Lawyer. It’s … SuperPope!

            Yes, it’s SuperPope, who came to Rome with visions and ideas far beyond those of mortal theologians. SuperPope, who can change the meanings of settled Canons, bend infallible teachings with his bare hands, and who disguised as Francis I, mild mannered Pontifex for a great metropolitan tourist attraction, fights a never-ending battle for Truth, Justice and the Vatican Way.

            And I can’t wait to see what he says about this.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Over 80% of ministers in the Swedish church are now female. Think on that, see the future in the CoE, and (perhaps) weep.

    • Fr Kevin

      Well from reading the above she sounds like she’d make a fine politician. Shame that’s not her job then….

    • Father David

      I thought that nowadays bishops and potential bishops were interviewed as part of the selection process in discerning the will of the Holy Spirit (stop sniggering at the back there!)? If so, how on earth was the Bishop of Crediton appointed to London if she gave limp and vacuous answers like these? My God, no wonder the Church of England is in the bed nearest to the door. What a Casualty!

      • Darter Noster

        She was appointed because she gave limp and vacuous answers like those.

        • Father David

          That it should come to this! Woe, woe and thrice woe!

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        One wonders if HMQ appointed her bishops personally, what sort of folk would receive the mitre?

        • Father David

          Men like Garbett and Fisher I suspect.

  • Hopefully not a Buddhist chanting Sister.

    • dannybhoy

      Nope.
      These are the real thing, and we really are hoping to get to know them better.
      Unlike Jack, Danny can be incredibly charming, in a winsome nonconformisty kind of a way. That’s probably why I lead an all female group..
      Did you see those programmes Jack?
      http://www.channel5.com/show/bad-habits-holy-orders/

      • You’ll need to learn the difference between a Sister and a Nun, dannybhoy.

        • dannybhoy

          Had to look it up..
          They’re sisters.
          http://fdc-sisters.org.uk/reflections/
          Actually reading their webpages, I can see now why the wife and I are drawn to them..
          Our Lord Jesus.

      • Just watched the first episode.
        Interesting …..

        • dannybhoy

          We thought it was riveting, but then us Prods are easily pleased..
          :0)

  • Chefofsinners

    Most of Britain is far more interested in the new female Doctor Who than this new female Nurse Who?
    Bishopette Doolally is no match for the new Doctor and her sonic hair straighteners, but at least Justin Welby is a successful science fiction author, with blockbusters such as “mutual flourishing”, “period of reflection” and “shared conversations” to his name. However his latest release “Christmas Truce” has now been translated into English and found to mean “The stuff I’m about to announce is going to make The Somme look like a Sunday School outing.”

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      The Church of England is rather sick. Perhaps a nurse is just what the doctor ordered…but then again

    • betteroffoutofit

      Dr. Who is a woman? Oh no — I’ll never watch it again.

  • Chefofsinners

    Does the picture of Sarah make anyone else feel like buying Sugar Puffs?
    Tell them about the honey, Mully.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    A Sermon for the New Bishop (ess) of London,
    I take as my text the words of Queen Elizabeth I, who sought not to make windows into men’s souls. When I say ‘men’ of course, I mean persons, for we are all persons in Christ…but let’s call him Jesus, as I’m sure he’d prefer that. Anyway, what it really means is we cannot impose things on people, things like doctrine, dogma and all those dry-as-dust thingies that bothered people in the past. We don’t like ‘bother’ in the Church of England – we like cuddly fuzzy kumbaya embracy-ness, where all comers are catered for. We are, after all, a broad church, even broader now we have so many women priests (perhaps we should cut down on the after-service tea and cakes). Anyway, I digress…where was I? Oh yes, God…now there’s a funny concept…perhaps we should think of God not so much as a patriarchal figure but more of a CEO of a HR Department, ever vigilant and caring, making sure we have lots of diversity and equality and other yummy things. Its all about love, isn’t it, and as that passeth all human understanding I think we should leave it there. Well I mustn’t take up any more of your time – three minutes is quite long enough to hear me prattle on…remember, Jesus loves you, this I know, because the Bible tells me so…

    • Chefofsinners

      Madam, you’re a classy broad, but your sermons are like the peace of God, for they passeth all understanding.

      • Brian

        … and they endure for ever.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          How kind…

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        That was rather my point…

    • bluedog

      Is she Dawn French in a blonde wig?

      • Father David

        Well, certainly not the Reverend Bernice Woodall who has also been recently promoted to high office and is now in addition to her ecclesiastical duties also the Mayor of Royston Vasey.

        • dannybhoy

          “Mayor of Royston Vasey.”
          Royston Vasey??

          • Father David

            The League of Gentlemen

          • dannybhoy

            Oh, you mean Jack ‘Orkins, Nigel Patrick, Dickie Attleborough et al?

          • Father David

            No, I mean Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss.

          • dannybhoy

            Ohhhhh!
            You mean “The wannabes!”
            The ones who haven’t got an original non PC thought in their heads, and are therefore reliant on plagiarising real talent…

          • Father David

            Have you ever been to Royston Vasey?
            You’ll never leave!

          • dannybhoy

            It’s a left wing brainwashing centre?
            btw you didn’t pick up on Dickie Attleborough..

    • Father David

      And ending with …. If s/he exists – “God Bless Us, Everyone”

    • Brian

      And remember: when you enter church, please, please bless yourselves from the font of holy alcohol hand cleanser. Amen – by which of course I mean ‘Apersons’.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    What is the advantage to anyone of appointing soneone divisive from the get-go? Nothing other than to gratify the spite of those who are not part of the business. All the commission had to do was appoint a Chartres-clone and everyone would have been happy. But no … they had to, had to, desperately had to appoint someone unfit.

    We need reform of the process of appointments. At the moment the wreckers are in charge.

    It was Chartres realisation that all he had to do was stop the liberals harassing everyone else and his diocese would just work. I suppose the wreckers hated him badly.

  • Graham Lake

    I wonder what St Thomas Moore and St John Cardinal Fisher would say in response to His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, a Prince of the Church congratulating a woman on becoming the Bishop of London? At the end of the day His Holiness Pope Leo XIII in 1896 sums it all up in Apostolicae Curae:-
    ttp://www.papalencyclicals.net/leo13/l13curae.htm.

    • Brian

      Probably not to lose your head over such things.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Advent sermon of the Bishop (elect) of London
    Consider the lentil. A humble thing, nurtured in the Water of Life, prepared and served by loving hands to give nourishment and build strong bodies. The Word of God is like that lentil, filling the tummy with goodness and yumminess, keeping one regular like the Methodists and helping us sustain the body of Christ, who was a very nice chap indeed – the sort you could take home and introduce to your mother. It was the humble lentil which sustained the Three Wise People as they made their way to Bethlehem, for they had no sat nav to guide them, only a star. In our own time people have followed a star…one thinks of Sir Cliff Richard for example, who has led a very pure and simple life I’m sure and I know loves us all Statistically it was more than likely that one of the Wise People was LGBGTQWERTY, though the Gospels are tremendously discreet about it, as one had to be in those unenlightened times. So, as we too journey through life, following our star, even when Tory clouds form above us, remember, don’t let it rain on your parade, and may the Force – though I think we now call it a Service as it is less hierarchical and more user-friendly – be with you. Blessings…

    • betteroffoutofit

      Its spelling’s not too good, I’ve noticed. Surely it meant “may the FARCE be with you”?

  • Arden Forester

    The House of Bishops’ Declaration – Five Guiding Principles. My thoughts currently.

    1. “Respect for lawful office-holders”. This now means that there is a clear distinction between the law of the land regarding office-holders and the sacramental aspect. Therefore Sarah Mullally can be regarded as a diocesan commissioner in a legal secular sense but not as a bishop or priest in a sacramental sense for those who do not believe in this innovation. BTW, she suggested her appointment might be “difficult” for some. Not really. If one doesn’t believe it, that’s it. Not difficult.

    2. “A clear decision”. I think we are all agreed that the Church of England came to a clear decision. No need to suggest it was a rigged ballot.

    3. “A process of discernment within the universal Church”. Now this is where it gets a little absurd. There is no discernment in either the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Catholic Church. Pope Francis has made that clear and Constantinople has too. For the Church of England to infer this is universal is a tad disingenuous. There may be some agitating for change in these communions but that is not discernment. Added to this principle is “the Church of England’s decision regarding women’s ordination may be clear, but it cannot be regarded as absolute because, as the Preface to the Declaration of Assent says, the Church of England is only ‘part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church’. Orders belong to the whole Church, and it is the whole Church that must ultimately decide on changes to them. Only the whole Church knows the whole truth”. So whilst it is clear Ms Mullally is a bishop it is not absolutely so that she is. Element of doubt? Absolutely that is clear!

    4 & 5. These relate to the spectrum of Anglicanism and to mutual flourishing. The first is really acknowledging the spectrum has widened. The second suggests mutual flourishing. I can’t see that as an honest situation. By all means allow each their own space but I for one could not in good conscience wish to see an innovation to the Faith “flourish” particularly as it has been touted as not being absolute.

  • Father David

    I remember the fuss that was made when it was announced, to the joy of many and the despair of others, that Philip North was to be the next Diocesan Bishop of Sheffield. I see no similar ruckus in London at the divisive appointment of Sarah Mullally as the next diocesan? It must be Christmas! The Times heralded and headlined the announcement with these words “Church divisions deepen as first woman named Bishop of London”

    To paraphrase Martin Niemoller

    First, they came for Stockport
    I did not speak out
    Then they came for Newcastle
    I did not speak out
    Then they came for Gloucester
    I did not speak out
    Then they came for London
    I did not speak out
    Then they came for York
    I did not speak out
    Then they came for Canterbury ……

    • Anton

      “I’m sorry, Your Majesty, but your Coronation will have to be delayed until the Archbishop’s pregnancy has run its term and she has given birth.”

      • Father David

        As the next Bishop of London (a hot tip for the next Cantuar) is currently 55 it will be a bit of a miracle for her to conceive – although older women being blessed with offspring is not unknown in Old and New Testaments.

        • Martin

          It’s more likely to be someone who’s only been a vicar for a few months.

  • Father David

    I see there are now 451 Comments on this item which beats the 450 posted on the item about Trump deciding to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem – is this a record?

    • len

      Every time i look at that smiley face of Sarah Mullally it morphs into Welby. Is that sinister or what?
      One more to count Papa Dave.

      • Father David

        Rather more to the point – where is Papa Lazarou when you need him to quickly visit Crediton and say those immortal words – “You’re my wife now!”

    • Anton

      Not remotely. One of Mrs Proudie’s contributions elicited more than 900 comments a few months ago. I was hoping it would reach four figures.