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Views on long-awaited episcopal appointments

12 December 2014


From the Revd James Paice and others

Sir, - We are pleased to hear that at last the Church of England is making provision for those clergy who believe in a biblical and complementarian view of ministry, by the announcement that the next Bishop of Maidstone will be a conservative Evangelical. We have waited many years for this provision, ever since so-called "flying bishops" were introduced, all of whom have been Anglo-Catholic.

Key will be the detail, of course, of whether such a bishop is allowed to conduct ministry unimpeded in every diocese, and also whether he will be allowed to conduct ministry alone. But we are grateful for this provision.

To expect one person to cover the whole of the country, however, is to risk that someone fails before he even starts. Can we suggest that the Bishop of Maidstone cover the Province of Canterbury? And that the Archbishop of York now make similar provision for the other half of the Church of England? Perhaps even in the vacant suffragan see of Hull?

James Paice, Adam Young, Gavin Ashenden, Nigel Atkinson, David Craven, Rob Desics as from St Luke's, Wimbledon Park, London SW19 8BZ


From Mr Peter Lewis

Sir, - Where has Robin Goodgame (Letters, 28 November) been for the past 50 years, if he does not know that some men have been "fast-tracked" to senior posts with very little experience of other posts? I will not go into examples from the 1970s and 1980s based on public-school connections or aristocratic family links rather than on evident talent; but I would ask him to look at a happier, recent, example: the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The speed with which Archbishop Welby moved from Liverpool to Durham and then Canterbury suggests a good model for how some of the very able women might need to spend little time "progressing" (if that is the right word) to very high office indeed.

This speedy recognition of one person's gifts has been of immense value to the Church. I am confident that there are also women of such ability, and that the result of their rapid progress will be as happy as it has been in the Archbishop's case.

4 Yokecliffe Hill
Wirksworth DE4 4PE

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