Wednesday, 9 July 2008

It's now or never - your Resolution C

Until Parliament approves any legislation General Synod may bring forward, it is still perfectly possible to pass Resolution C, petitioning the diocesan bishop for episcopal oversight to be provided under the terms of the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod (1993).

In plain English, you can still opt for a flying bishop.

If you are in a parish thinking of doing this, could you please contact me.

(A read through the Act will also show how far we've moved from the broader Church of those days.)

When posting your comments please give a full name and location. Comments without this information may not be posted.


  1. There does seem to be some confusion about the status of flying bishops - the suggestion among SSC clergy is that while they will continue to exist (ie the current individuals will be available to minister to C parishes)they will not be replaced once the legislation is passed. A definitive statement is surely needed before people making decisions on inaccurate information

  2. Hi Tom

    Two points of clarification.

    1. The existing provisions (Resolutions A, B and C) will certainly disappear once the necessary Measure to admit women to the episcopate has been passed. (This is all outlined in the Manchester Report.)

    2. This process, which will require several sessions of General Synod and Parliamentary approval, will take quite a while - some reports are suggesting that 2014 is the earliest date by women could actually be appointed as bishops, though I would not personally put it that far ahead. The first draft should come to the Synod in February 2009.

    Until then, the present legislation and arrangements will continue to apply unless separately repealed.

  3. The term "Flying Bishops" creates an irresistable mental picture does it not?

    We have this "solution" here in the U.S. under what is termed "Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight" or DEPO. (see

    To date, this plan has not been a resounding success. One parish, St. Christopher's Spartanburg, in our diocese was offered DEPO, but the DEPO Bishop suggested was not to their liking and the Bishop requested (Mark Lawrence) by the parishoners was refused by our Bishop (Dorsey Henderson).
    The end result was that St. Christopher's congregation vacated their church building this year and started anew.
    Underground Pewster, Rock Hill, SC USA (name withheld for previously stated reasons).

  4. For those that have requested them here, Flying Bishops have actually worked very well. (We are ourselves a group of Resolution C parishes.) The reason it works is that the 'solution' was agreed in advance by the people for whom it was designed.

    The tragedy of what General Synod did on Monday was that it voted to take away this solution and given the same people another 'solution' they have said they don't want and won't work. In other words, the Church here has gone down the DEPO route in the sense that it is a solution convenient for those in power, not those on the edges.

    It is also a solution that will further strengthen Liberalism at the expense of Conservatism.

  5. What could emerge is a split between Dioceses - where some are in effect C tolerating Diocese (London Chichester and Blackburn)while others become no-go areas (after Synod Southwark Diocese and its Bishop)with those Diocese ensuring that acceptable suffragans are appointed - on the Blackburn Model where flying bishops have not really be necessary because of the ministry of successive Bishops of Burnley.