Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shopping for an Archbishop? Make sure he is "Made in Sydney"

How extraordinary to begin looking publicly for your next Archbishop before a retirement date has been set! Is it 'Anglican' to mention possible names for the new Archbishop in print? Is it limiting the Holy Spirit to already put the case for your next Archbishop of Sydney to be "Made in Sydney"? Are the Scriptural requirements for a bishop best characterised as a shopping list? But not to worry, Peter Bolt heads to the supermarket anyway:

Here are some names:

"Three out of four of our last Archbishops have served on the faculty of Moore College prior to taking office, which also provides added advantages, such as already knowing the next generation of clergy very well, and having a good bird’s eye view of Sydney’s congregations. Any list of potential candidates should have representatives from the Moore College faculty on it. Whatever their own thoughts about this matter, men such as Mark Thompson, Bill Salier, Andrew Shead and Archie Poulos deserve serious consideration."

Here is a 'pull the other leg' moment for those who know the power of party politics in the Sydney Diocesan Synod:

"Archbishops of Sydney do not appoint their successors. The next Archbishop must be freely chosen by those who will sit under his Episcopal oversight. This election also needs to be a grass-roots movement, as the members of Synod each exercise their own reflection upon the theological requirements for the office, and then vote for the man who holds most promise of bringing that theological leadership to the office."

The whole article in the Australian Church Record is a thoughtful, even inspiring read. It has the feel, frankly, of a Diocese without an obvious successor in mind, which is a little paradoxical when the case is being made for "Made in Sydney" need only apply.


Lynne said...

Leaving aside Sydney's theological issues (not easily set aside for those who live here), one of the issues I've heard people (clergy particularly) complain about here is the lack of pastoral experience in our bishops. Pastoring no longer seems to be part of a bishop's job description, and that is hurting churches at parish level. The emphasis on "made in Moore College" isn't going to help that

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Lynne,
In the end there is some truth in the adage that we 'get the leaders we deserve'. You may find you get a great pastoral archbishop!

Lynne said...

we can so pray

Rev. Z said...

Hi Peter,
This isn't a phenomenon that is only happening across the ditch. At general Synod in 2008 +John Patterson (Auckland) proposed a motion which allowed for coadjutor bishops, so that he might have a "hand over" period with the new bishop, due to the Auckland diocese’s "vast size and complexities" (dare I giggle? GET REAL).

+Patterson assured the General Synod that he would have nothing to do with the process, which I think is a 'pull the other leg' situation in almost ANY electoral college/ synod, but especially when the current Bishop is still in office. It may as you suggest be ‘un-Anglican’ but it was suggested in the ACANZP before it happened in Sydney.

I notice that you italicise publically, at least they are being upfront and honest, rather than the skulduggery and secretive manoeuvring that I’m sure most of us have witnessed in electoral colleges/synods.


Peter Carrell said...

Of course, Rev Z, if enough Anglicans do something it becomes 'Anglican'!

I need to ask you to supply at least a first name for further comments ... that is to be fair to all other commenters whom I have asked to supply at least a first name, and in certain instances, both first and last name. I realise this may lead you to cease to comment, but I have to be firm about this, having some unfortunate experiences with commenters unwilling to supply names.

Thank you!

Rev.Z said...

More than happy to supply first name and I don't think you will make me cease and desist so easily!You should be well aware of my stubborness by now.


Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,
I'm a Melbournite currently working overseas, and it did amuse me to see the shopping list of our Sydney cousins. What amuses me is Sydney's willingness to export, but refusal to import. We elected Peter Watson as our archibishop a few years back, and have gladly accepted clergy, youth ministers, lecturers, from Sydney for years. Can't say the reverse is true, though. It's a good practice to 'grow your own' but to not even consider anyone outside Sydney is bordering on pride, frankly. Would a John Harrower or Peter Brain as Archbishop be so terrible? They seem to forget that they tried very hard to get John Stott to agree to be nominated when Marcus Loane was elected.
Andrew Reid

Peter Carrell said...

Ah, that 'Rev Zane', Zane!

Andrew, I think, to be fair to Sydney, that their overwhelming desire (in the Bolt view of things) is for doctrinal certainty and security. Theoretically that can be achieved by an imported archbishop, but it is human nature to doubt those who are not 'one of us'. So "Made in Sydney" it is. But you are right, it was not always thus.

Craig said...

Not all of us rule out imports; see here and here , although I'm not sure the names I mention would be all that popular here.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Craig,
Interesting two names. One at least would put the other Australian bishops on edge!

Craig said...

Peter, You say that like it's a bad thing! :-P