Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Bishop of Maidstone

We come to terms with the news that yesterday it was announced that Rod Thomas, Chair(man) of Reform, has been appointed Bishop of Maidstone. Although the person appointed might be a surprise, the principle should not be. The Archbishop of Canterbury had made clear his intention to appoint a 'Headship Bishop'. That is to say a bishop who holds the view that headship, in a Christian community, is a responsibility only a man can discharge.

Although this places in the heart of church leadership a man with whom a huge number of people disagree I think it behoves those of us who dissent to do so gracefully. He represents views. Many of the churches who hold these views are growing. Voicing disappointment is not clever.

That said his supporters need to watch their words too. The suggestion that this will ensure that the leadership of the church is more missional and more biblical is offensive. I stand proud on my missional credentials and happily insist that I have a biblical ministry. It is just that my biblical exploration took me in the direction of a more liberal approach than I found in the tradition that nurtured my faith.

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