The New ArchBishop of Canterbury
So Thankfully Rowan Williams who has been Canterbury for quite some time now, and pretty much buggered it up, except for avoiding a full out split in the Anglican Communion, but thats only coz he's actually spent an entire decade doing everything but tackling the issues of Women Priests and openly homosexual Bishops has decided he's going to step down. The philosophical ejit who once said there was provision in England for Islamic Sharia Law to govern those Muslims in this country needs to be replaced.
Therein lies a problem.
They were supposed to announce the Successor last week....The Crown Appointments Committee which is charged with the selection has spent more then three days in debate and apparently the verdict is split, they are failing to come to a decision as to which candidate is best....probably because they either go for a non qualified person, or a conservative whose only method of tackling the issues Rowan wont will be to make a stand and cause the communion, probably, to collapse
By Default The ArchBishop of York must be a contender. John Sentamu however is an evangelic with conservative leanings. There are three issues with his appointment, the first, He's a black man, and thats something that has never happened in the position of ABC before, the issue of race, not an immediate issue until you remember that the split over the issue of gays, tends to be the Black Gospel African Contingent of the Communion against the White Liberal American Episcopalians...the opposing view will no doubt take a racial stance, leaving John in a difficult position. Secondly, he's a bit too noisy with the press. He's abit to supportive of the Greens, the Anarchists, the camping in a tent to make a point about poverty...which might make him seem too undignified for the post. Finally...he's old and close to retirement.
By Default The Bishop of London must also be a contender. The major issue with Bishop Richard is that he has VERY close links with Royalty, particularly Prince Charles, who is unpopular with the public and the government. Need I say that he would be a key supporter of Charles as ABC in the event of the Queens Death and a Royal Accession occuring. Many people would rather that Charles Abdicate, or, with any luck, is outlived by his Mother. Secondly, Whilst London will tollerate Women Priests, and will even receive Communion possibly...he refuses point blank, to Ordain them as Priests, much less consider them for Consecration as Bishops. Need we also say that Richard is Ancient, and therefore also close to retirement.
Another Contender is the Bishop of Norwich, Now he has quite a Synodical background, assistant to archbishops in the past, Government beloved seat in the Lords, Various important councils. The disadvantage of this man is that he might be to connected to the administrations, He's a politician in the Church sence of the word. He may also be highly valued in some of these roles, which he may be forced to give up were he to be appointed, and that might be too much of a loss to the establishment...he is also pushing towards retirement.
The next contender is The Bishop of Coventry and their are serious concerns here. Coventry is an open evangelical, fall on the fall, can I have a Haleuljah type, he also happens to be the youngest Bishop in the Church of England AND He's only been a Bishop since 2008. He's what you might consider a wild card, young, fresh...but unknown and unqualified.
Finally there is The Bishop of Durham. Durham is one of the more important Cathedrals in England, and also of the Northern Province. Now Personally...and beyond a Shadow of a doubt, THIS is who they should choose for the position IMO This Bishop began life as a Business man in the secular world. So he is aware of work place politics, and he's successful at balencing the idea of State (Government) and Church (Religion) He was Dean of Liverpool Cathedral before being consecrated, so as well as understanding life from the point of view of a Bishop, he also understands it from the point of view of the Cathedral Community (Church will be important to him as well as diocise therefore)
He has a background in finance, which will be key since the Church is in a dire state financially, and the economy hasnt helpped. He has practical knowledge in this area invaluable as a transferable skill!
There is but one problem with Durham....He only became a Bishop this time last year
anyone has to be better then what we have right now...after all, we all remember the visit of The Pope to England, and the fact that Rowan Williams allowed him to set foot inside the Royal Pecculiar of Westminster Abbey, something that was LOST to the papacy in 1558....after about 560 years, the Pontif reclaimed the heart of Anglicanism
The Bishop of Durham definitely sounds like the best choice, but would the elder bishops feel slighted if he were picked and would that play a part in his consideration. Why is there such a gap between those near retirement and the "freshmen"? No one in between?
Now that covers Ordination of Women into the priesthood...but a Bishop isnt ordained, a Bishop is Consecrated....Consecration doesnt mean that the Established Church recognises a personal calling from GOD for a person to minister...it means the Established Church recognises that GOD has decided he shall make Holy an individual.
Those who dont really aggree with Women in Ministry, obviously are going to dissagree even more with making women Holy in some way. Adam, they say was made Holy by Christ, the Second Adam so to speak theologically...but Eve...well she was never redeemed in that way theologically...so can you really say that GOD would ever make Holy a Woman like he would a Man, not just to minister, but to be a Shepheard of His Sheep...for Bishops then have Flocks, their Diocise.
Some say the theology should be ignored, after all, its theological, Bishops, whilst Consecrated still make mistakes and are therefore not Holy in the sence of being infallible...but Holy in the sence of a Church, or a Graveyard being Holy...Sacred Land, Sacred Person. Others say that if you've ordained women then you recognise GOD has called some, and therefore you have to recognise he could equally call them to be consecrated...and in some areas of the Anglican Church that has already been approved as a logical step...but not yet in England itself
I have to say from having been present at a Consecration of Bishops Service and many Ordinations...there is FAR greater power...almost tennable power, in a Consecration Service....GOD really does seem to reveal the hearts of the men involved...and sometimes, I gotta say he reveals that they are NOT of the Standard...and yet the Church still goes ahead with its Ceremony anyway...I know a Priest who I cant even think of as being a Priest...and he moved on, in the 8 years since we parted company, to become a Sufferegen Bishop in the Diocise of York...and more recently, has actually become a Bishop of Chichester. Thats the ultimate conflict of Church Vs GOD...where the Church consecrates and considers Holy, people GOD has rejected...if that happens, then, in my eyes, even if GOD never considers a woman Holy...it doesnt stop the church from simply deciding she is...so what bloody difference does it actually make...GOD seems to work with whats put infront of him by the Church whether he truely selected them or not.
I dont really know how they draw up this list of candidates. The real problems with the other three is that they havent been Bishops very long...so is it right to make them Archbishop? To do so, would be to technically do what the United States did with Barack Obama...make the most important person someone with no great experience in their field, the top dog...thats one hell (pardon the pun) of a gamble.
With Durham...one has to also say, is it fair on the diocise to rob them of two Bishops within such close succession? The Guy has only been on his throne one year since the last...and every time their is a new bishop, the whole mood and order of the diocise changes...is it fair to do that to Durham as a Diocise?
I dont know...but I imagine this is why they cant decide...They havent got a middle of the range player...the guys are either young and free thinking, or old and dangerously conservative.
We saw how with Rowan Williams, they took a gamble and it flopped...Rowan was selected from the Church in Wales...Not surprisingly one of the things he's talked about is Dis-Establishment of the Church from the Crown....why might that be? because HE ISNT ENGLISH and therefore its not as important to him...But should you really but a Welsh Man as head of the Church of England...when that position relies on the State-Religion unification? Obviously not...because your asking someone who isnt native, to cherish what is not native to him....yet absolutely essential to his post....If the Church is disestablished it is no longer the Church of England, and it will loose its rights and privilages that it gained during the Civil War.
For Example...if you get married in a Church of England Church then the Priest acts not only as a Minister of Religion, but also as a minister of the Crown, in a LEGAL sence refering to the Laws surrounding Marriage....IF you get married in anyt other Denomination...EVEN any other Protestant denomination...then you need a Priest AND a Legal Registrar...because that particular priest is not backed by the Crown, and All Laws must therefore be made in the presence of Someone who does have the legal capacity to say these two are wed in British Law, as well as just Spiritually.
The Government also have to do things like make sure that there is a Church of England Church in every part of the Kingdom...because as well as being Spiritual, they are, in essence, an ancient form of Government Department...and just like you have a local Government Council for each area...so this is the Government providing Spirituality for their population.
Do you follow...The Church of England, is Truely, and Historically, The British Governments Department of Spirituality...which makes the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, The Cabinate Minister for Spirituality...But because this form was taken BEFORE a permanent Government sat...its independant of the Government, and actually classed as a DIRECT Branch of the British Crown...its MORE akin to Castles and the Military...its somewhere between Government, and Civil Service.
This is why the Queen is The Defender Of The Faith...and the Archbishop of Canterbury The First Amoung Equals.
With their very essence so tied...how can you say they should be disestablished?? Yet the present ABC actually said that publically and was in favour...thankfully noone was really listening at the time.
Who makes up this Crown Appointments Committee, and does the Queen have any input or influence in this decision?
I know that for this particular Comittee there is a pannel of Sixteen who will interview each person as a collective obviously. The Crucial things which remain unknown are who decides which people sit on the Pannel, and who makes the nominations for the Pannel to consider...I suspect this is a collective thing between Government representatives in the Civil service, one of whom will no doubt be the chair of the comittee, and between something known as the General Synod, which is like the Church Council on a National Level. There is also such a body as The Church Comissioners, they, I believe have a vested interest in the Church Lands, Property, and Finacial situations...having taken over from the old Land Barons during the Reformation when the Church suddenly inherited one third of the entire landmass of England, to Rule under the Crown as property owners. Finally there is such things as the Convocation, which is to do with a gathering of the Bishops. I suspect its between all these institutions that one or two names eventually reach the top.
The selection Pannel will no doubt have representatives on all major parties, so Government Officials, Crown Representatives, Civil Service Personnel, a range of Clergy...and I do know there are several Lay people involved (that is people unordained)
As with all matters, Her Majesty, The Queen has the power, but she will almost certainly not use it. This means that, in theory, She has tasked this pannel to decide for her, and whilst, in theory, if she dissagreed with their findings, she could refuse their suggestion to appoint a specific candidate...but she simply will not do this on a realistic level without an unimaginable cause.
Because as I mentioned before, the Church is in essence a outlet of the Government, bizzarly, The Prime Minister must also give his official signiture to the new candidate. So the Comittee with report to the Prime Minister, and he shall take the suggestion to the Queen that under her charge, Her Government has enforced this selection pannel, and they have suggested she appoint Blah.
She will of course aggree...they are in this circumstance acting as her Counsel, or Chief Advisor. As far as I understand these two signitories must be added to the charter in order for the candidate to be selected. He may very well be summoned to Buckingham Palace...it is likely, that all Candidates have also met the Queen, and probably personally once their names were put forwards. She has a habit of being very well wired into the Church...but that meeting wont be part of the official decision, because she has tasked a committee to do it for the sake of the democratic process of Government which occured during the Glorious Revolution, which after the Dissolution, Reformation, Abolition, Civil War and Restoration, removed her as Absolute Monarch, and instead placed her as a Constitutional Monarchy bound by the laws of the Church and the Government of that period, which include the acts of settlement and such like which actually place great restraints on her power...they dont forbid her to use power...they simply make it clear there will be shyty consequences if she does
Make no mistake...England is a Post-Revolution Nation...contrary to popular opinion, the true Revolution happened nearly a century AFTER the Civil War and Two Centuries after the Reformation...its simply forgotten about because it was settled by Courts and Coronations...NOT by battlefield warfare or Madame Guillotine
Interestingly enough, almost all Proper Clergy positions at Cathedral Level are Crown Appointments. Bishop and Archbishop Consecrations, and Translations, Cathedral Deans, and even Residential Canons of the Cathedral Chapter are Crown Appointments.
I am uncertain about Prebendary Canons, but, frankly, I wouldnt be suprised if they have to have the Queens seal of approval also
Sometimes the Cathedral Charters will actually spell out for example how big a Chapter can be. At Saint Paul's Cathedral, Ironically, the Chapter was always Three Residential Canons...When Lucy Winkett was a Minor Canon and was Installed as a Residential Canon, The Dean wanted to keep her, which is most unusual and unorthodox...usually she would be a Canon at another cathedral...
I think there was an aggreement that if the Dean be allowed to Keep Lucy as a Canon, a Fourth Residentiary Canon had to also be appointed. Its like Canon Warner was the consequence for the Deans insistance that the Cathedral keep Lucy
So there was an amendment that the Chapter would have Four Residentiary Canons, a Treasurer, a Chancellor, a Precentor...and "A Pastor" its like he was thought up in a rather uninspired rush.
But not all Chapters have Four and sometimes they have others, Canon Theolgian for example...or many have whats called a Sub-Dean. To make matters even more complex...some Cathedrals will say some positions like Precentor for example, is important enough to be a Canon, and some will say its only important enough to be a Minor Canon.
In my knowledge of Cathedrals, the hierachy somewhere must include a Dean, a Succentor and a Precentor at the very least. This is because you need someone to lead, someone to service plan, and someone to be incharge of music. But you dont really need a Sub Dean...or a Theologian, or a Chancellor...and you can pass the post of Treasurer, and Sacrist, onto people who are not ordained.
I suppose the actual Charter specifics will depend entirely on the circumstances at the time the city was given its charter and responded by building a Cathedral. The changes along the way being political circumstances...many of which will probably have occured in the early 2000s when finally the Church decided that its Clergy had to retire, and that no new Canons could be given life Tenure...YES, originally, these people appointed to these positions were there until they died...thats why they had to be crown appointments..in theory, they could be incontrol of cathedrals for decades...and only ever replaced when they die
around the Millenial Year the church decided that these posts would be Tenures, Five Years for a Minor Canon, Between Eight and Ten Years for a Residential Canon...and that Cathedral Deans and Prebendary Canons and Bishops, they had to be gone by retirement age....The Archbishops were given ten year tenures, which they could choose to continue with as long as they wanted until they either died, or had to retire.
But before 2000, at least for the Cathedrals, these people, once appointed, sat for ever. Now when they changed it, many of the Chapter of Saint Paul's freely chose to be released...so did nearly all Prebendaries.
One exception was Chad Varah...who was the founder of the Samaritans. One day I turned up early in the morning to open the Cathedral, and there was this old man with a zimmer frame at the doors who said he wanted to come in and pray...of course I let him...but after the early services, I could see him...and then discovered he was sat in a prebendal stall in the Quire...which is not permitted to visitors...So I kindly asked him to leave, and that he was not allowed to sit in the Quire ...and he told me it was his stall... He was old...and...I wasnt sure if he was all compus mentus...so I let him be as he wasnt causing any harm...he just sat there. Finally when another older verger came in, they were able to inform me that he really was a Preb and because he was so old, he still owned the stall from a time when the Prebs had life tenure. The chair was his, until he gave it up, or died, whichever came first.
Chad Varah, sat, unmovingly in his Stall the ENTIRE day...for about Eleven Whole Hours. He was waiting for the doors to open at 7ish...he was still sitting in the Quire at mid day mass....and, bless him, he couldnt find his way back to his stall when he got up to receive...he couldnt remember which seat was his...so we made sure he sat back in the right place. Then he was still there for Choral Evensong...soooo we got him dressed up, and he processed in, with his squeaky Zimmer frame and all.
He stayed in the seat until we were ready to close...and then he said he was going now. My Friend told me he had decided to give up his seat at long last, and he said "now he will probably go home and die"
I dont think Chad Varah ever came back to Saint Paul's Cathedral...and he died not too long afterwards This was in 2004 when he also left the Samaritans organisation, upset that they had changed what he felt was their fundemental reason for being. He fell ill and died about two years later aged 96. He was the oldest Prebendary Canon of Saint Paul's...some say he had to be one of the oldest people in the entire church of England not to have either died at an earlier age or been forced to retire.
I shall never forget that day.
In a Flow Chart of Power from the Crown
Monarch As Head of State
Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of York
Bishop of London
The Great Officers of State
Lord High Steward
Lord High Chancellor
Lord High Treasurer
Lord President of the Council
Lord Privy Seal
Lord Great Chamberlain
Lord High Constable
Lord High Admiral
The Prime Minister First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service
The Privy Council (The Cabinate)
Deputy Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Secretary of State for Justice
Secretary of State for the Home Office and Minister for Women and Equalities
Secretary of State for Defence
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Secretary of State for Health
Secretary of State for Education
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Secretary of State for Transport
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Secretary of State for International Development
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Secretary of State for Scotland
Secretary of State for Wales
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Minister without Portfolio
Leader of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Ministers of State for Policy
Ministers of State for Universities
Leader of the House of Commons
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
The Speaker and Mace of The House of Lords Temporal and Spiritual
The Speaker and Mace of The House of Commoners
Her Majesties Government and Shadow Government (Ministers for Parliament of the Political Party in Power, and their Alternatives within Opposition parties)
The Coilition Comittee
Coalition Operation and Strategic Planning Group
National Security Council
NSC (Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies)
NSC (Nuclear Deterrence and Security)
National Security Council (Emerging Powers)
European Affairs Committee
Social Justice Committee
Child Poverty sub-Committee
Home Affairs Committee
Public Health sub-Committee
Economic Affairs Committee
Reducing Regulation sub-Committee
Banking Reform Committee
Parliamentary Business and Legislation Committee
Public Expenditure Committee
Advocate General for Scotland
The Civil Service
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE
Law Officers’ Departments
National Fraud Authority
Treasury Solicitor’s Department
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade
Minister of State (Universities and Science)
Minister of State (Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning)
Minister of State (Business and Enterprise)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Business, Innovation and Skills)
British National Space Agency
National Measurements Office
UK Intellectual Property Office
Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform)
Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Civil Society)
Central Office of Information
Agency of the Office of Government Commerce
DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Minister of State (Decentralisation)
Minister of State
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Fire Service College
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, OLYMPICS, MEDIA AND SPORT
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Tourism and Heritage)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Sport and Olympics)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries)
The Royal Parks
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Minister of State (Minister for the Armed Forces)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (International Security Strategy)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Defence Storage and Distribution Agency
Defence Support Group
Defence Vetting Agency
Metropolitan Police Office
Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency
People, Pay and Pensions Agency
Service Children's Education
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
UK Hydrographic Office
DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION
Minister of State (Children and Families)
Minister of State (Schools)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Children and Young Families)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Schools)
DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS
Minister of State (Agriculture and Food)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Natural Environment and Fisheries)
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Forest Enterprise (England)
Food and Environment Research Agency
Marine and Fisheries Agency
The Rural Payments Agency
The Veterinary Laboratories Agency
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate
FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Minister of State (Care Services)
Minister of State (Health)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Public Health)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Quality)
Medicines, Healthcare Products and Regulatory Agency
The National Health Service
NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency
Minister of State (Immigration)
Minister of State (Policing and Criminal Justice)
Minister of State (Security and Counter-Terrorism)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Crime Prevention)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Equalities and Criminal Information)
Criminal Records Bureau
Identity and Passport Service
UK Border Agency
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
HM Courts Service
HM Land Registry
National Offender Management Service
Office of the Public Guardian
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Driving Standards Agency
Government Car and Dispatch Agency
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
Vehicle Certification Agency
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
Economic Secretary to the Treasury
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury
Asset Protection Agency
UK Debt Management Office
DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS
Minister of State (Employment)
Minister of State (Pensions)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Disabled People)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Welfare Reform)
Pension, Disability and Carers Service
HM Prison Service
HM Customs and Revenue
The Inland Revenue
The British Transport Police
CHARITY COMMISSION FOR ENGLAND AND WALES
COMMISSIONERS FOR THE REDUCTION OF THE NATIONAL DEBT
CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE
FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY
GOVERNMENT ACTUARY’S DEPARTMENT
NATIONAL SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS
NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT
OFFICE FOR STANDARDS IN EDUCATION, CHILDREN’S SERVICES AND SCHOOLS (OFSTED)
OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING
OFFICE OF GAS AND ELECTRICITY MARKETS
OFFICE OF QUALIFICATIONS AND EXAMINATIONS REGULATION (OFQUAL)
OFFICE OF RAIL REGULATION
OFFICE OF WATER SERVICES
POSTAL SERVICES COMMISSION
PUBLIC WORKS LOAN BOARD
SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE
UK STATISTICS AUTHORITY
UK TRADE AND INVESTMENT
The British Armed Forces
The Lord Mayor of London
The Mayor of London
The Greater London Assembly
The Chain Gangs
British Government in a nutshell