Bishop Steven announces membership of new advisory group

15th October 2014

Bishop Steven writes:

"I outlined in my Presidential Address to the Diocesan Synod in July my intention to establish a small advisory group to reflect on the new provision for parishes unable in conscience to receive the ministry of women as priests and bishops and to advise me on its implementation. 

I have now appointed this group and a list of members and the terms of reference are attached to this letter.  You will see it is to be chaired by Bishop David Hawtin and I am very grateful to Bishop David for undertaking this additional responsibility. 

The group is charged with consulting parishes and clergy, monitoring progress in other dioceses and making recommendations to me and to the Bishop’s Council about possible ways forward in Sheffield, if possible, by early 2015.   If PCC’s pass the new provision before the group has reported, I will take the group’s advice into consideration in any decisions which need to be taken. 

Under the terms of the House of Bishop’s declaration, the final decision as to what constitutes appropriate arrangements will rest with me as diocesan bishop. 

As you will know, a small group has been working on a process for indaba style conversations to begin across deaneries to help us to gain a deeper understanding of one another’s views on these issues.  The House of Bishops declaration and the associated provisions give us a new opportunity to begin to build good structures for collaboration and mutual flourishing over the next twenty years in the life of the diocese.  It will take time to establish these and to discern right ways forward.

I commend the work of the group to your prayers as they begin to gather wisdom and to reflect on possible ways forward."

The Advisory Group will aim to report to the Bishop and the Bishop’s Council by the early 2015. 

Membership

  • The Rt. Revd. David Hawtin, Assistant Bishop (and formerly Bishop of Repton), Chair
  • The Venerable Malcolm Chamberlain, Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, Secretary
  • The Revd. Canon Mary Gregory, Dean of Women’s Ministry
  • The Revd. Andy Brewerton, Area Dean of Wath
  • Father Jeff Stokoe, Dean of the Hickleton Chapter, General Synod member
  • Dr. Jackie Butcher, Lay Chair of Ecclesall, General Synod member

In attendance as required: Mr. Andrew Vidler, Diocesan Registrar, consultant to the group.

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