*** DEBUG END ***

Review findings on diocese of Lincoln

05 October 2012


From Mr Ian Newton
Sir, - I know nothing of the circum­stances in the Lincoln dio­cese (News, 28 September); nor do I wish to cast personal aspersions on any holding posts as diocesan chief executives. I do, however, think that the diocesan review puts its finger on a most important point.

In the wider world, the term "chief executive" indicates the person who leads an organisation and sets its direction. In a diocese, that has to be the diocesan bishop, who alone can give spiritual leader­ship. The widespread change in terminology from "diocesan sec­retary" to "chief executive" suggests that lay staff, crucial though they are, have authority inappropriate in a Church.

At a practical level, the practice that bishops work from home - often large homes that they are keen to make good use of - further removes them, day to day, from the centre of operations.

Both clergy and lay people need to see the diocesan bishop as the key source of authority. The present arrangement in many dioceses is rather akin to the bursar's being the chief executive of a school. The Church needs good management, but it needs management rooted in spiritual direction and leadership.

The Vicarage, 15 Noyes Avenue
Suffolk IP13 8EB

From Mr Philip Johanson
Sir, - On announcing his forth­coming retirement as Bishop of Lincoln, Dr John Saxbee said in March 2010: "I believe the diocese is in good heart." He stood down as diocesan Bishop in January 2011.

In the light of the recently published report from a group set up in December 2011 was the assessment made by Dr Saxbee inaccurate, or did things go very wrong during the vacancy-in-see?

10 Ditton Lodge
8 Stourwood Avenue
Dorset BH6 3PN

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

8 September 2022
Church Times Cricket Cup: North v. South
Join us to watch the match at the Walker Cricket Ground, in Southgate, north London.

26 September 2022
What am I living for? God
Sam Wells and Lucy Winkett begin the St Martin-in-the-Fields autumn lecture series in partnership with Church Times.

More events

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)