THE suffragan see of Maidstone in Kent, vacant since 2009, is to
be revived to accommodate a conservative Evangelical bishop, it was
announced on Thursday.
The appointee will take a conservative view on male headship.
Such a bishop was promised by the House of Bishops during the
debates over women bishops, to reassure conservative Evangelicals
who opposed the change that they were still welcome in the Church
The Dioceses Commission agreed unanimously on Thursday with a
proposal from the Archbishop of Canterbury that this conservative
Evangelical bishop be appointed to the see of Maidstone.
In the build-up the meeting of the General Synod in July, a note
from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Synod
acknowledged that the "normal processes" for appointing bishops had
not yet selected an Evangelical with the conservative Evangelical
position on headship (News,
"It is also unclear whether the processes are capable of doing
so within a reasonable timescale. We are therefore now consulting
others with a view to ensuring that the aspiration is met within a
matter of months," the note added.
The House of Bishops' declaration to the General Synod in July
accepted that "the presence in the College of Bishops of at least
one bishop who takes the conservative Evangelical view on headship
is important for sustaining the necessary climate of trust".
A press release announcing the decision to revive the see of
Maidstone said that the new bishop would undertake episcopal
ministry in both Provinces for churches that pass a resolution
requesting oversight from a male bishop, subject to the agreement
of the relevant diocesan bishop.
He will also be able to act as an assistant bishop in several
dioceses if invited by a diocesan bishop, and will work to ensure
those holding the headship view are represented among ordinands. He
will not be expected to act as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of