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Friday, 24 February 2017

The cheek of it

Martyn Percy, who said a ‘substantial amount of resistance’ to the appointment was building.
Photograph: Luke Mazziotti/George Fox Evangelical Seminary

Reported in the Guardian:

"A senior Church of England theologian has called on the newly appointed bishop of Sheffield to stand aside ahead of his consecration, saying his opposition to female priests will “cause significant pastoral and public damage to the church”.

Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church, Oxford, urged Philip North to either renounce his membership of the Society, a C of E organisation that rejects female priests, or decline his nomination as bishop of Sheffield, which was announced last month.

Percy claims there is a “substantial amount of resistance building up” to North’s appointment, which he says would “represent the toleration of gender-based sectarianism”..."

In May 2014 the House of Bishops made its Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (GS Misc 1076) in the context of the impending legislation enabling the consecration of women to the episcopate which received final approval by the General Synod in July 2014:

"Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological
conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or
priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of
the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to
enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and

Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church
of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way
that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and
contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England."

It is Martyn Percy who should stand aside. The cause of 'significant pastoral and public damage to the church' both in England and in Wales is the feminist movement which puts secular, women's issues before all else.


The Rt Rev Philip North as Bishop of Burnley has already been consecrated. He is to be translated to become Bishop of Sheffield.
Read the Church of England’s Communication office response to an enquiry from The Guardian here. [24.02.2017]

Church Comes Out Fighting For Conservative Bishop In Row Over Women's Ordination here. [25.02.2017]

Calls grow for new Sheffield bishop to ease ‘distress and anxiety’ here [01.03.2017]
"Rev Sue Hammersley... one of the organisers of the SAME group, said there were ‘subtleties’ to the debate. 'This is not an attack on Bishop Philip – he is part of the system that we’re all part of,' she said. Before Rev North was picked, a ‘statement of needs’ was created for the diocese, with different candidates’ names put forward as the best fit for Sheffield. 'In this situation, something has gone wrong, and it’s unfortunate that it’s coming across that the fault is with Bishop Philip'.”

In the interests of equality I look forward to this group campaigning for the resignation of the non-Welsh speaking bishop of St Davids who is not the "best fit" for the diocese.


  1. Very glad you posted this AB. My blood also boiled when I read The Groaniad article this afternoon.

    Just to clarify what The Groaniad deliberately fails to say in their article:

    Martyn Percy is married to the Rev Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College Oxford AND "chairperson of WATCH". See

    See also the following links from
    a) The Groaniad on 31/01/17 here, and
    b) the original statement by the Rev Mrs Percy here

    Perhaps the Percys should consider changing their names to the Proudies.

    1. As a final postscript on the Percy-Proudies, readers may be interested in this link when Dean Percy installed Mrs Percy as an honorary canon of his cathedral. Presumably this must be their interpretation of 'family values'.

  2. So let me get this right. The Dean of the most affluent college/cathedral in Oxford is presuming to tell the people of the poverty-ridden parishes of the diocese of Sheffield what's best for them? That is indeed rich.

    What's also rich is that Bishop North has a track record of inspiring the mission of the church in deprived communities, and speaking up for the marginalised. This is something the former bishop of Sheffield (now bishop of Oxford... there's a coincidence) manifestly failed to do.

    It's not just rich. It's hypocrisy from Dean Percy who spent so long fighting for the equal rights of a minority (women) to now lead a bullying campaign against another minority in the church. Yet another injustice being perpetrated by so-called liberals.

    The fact that Percy's a good friend of Barry Morgan will come as no surprise to readers of this blog.

  3. Would this be the same Martyn Percy, by any chance, who has consistently railed against compliant bishops, and their failure to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy in the C of E? Surely not. Otherwise, he would not be leading a Daily Mail-style pack of hounds out to liquidate a bishop who will not settle for the status quo, and will actually tell it as it is, especially where people are living in poverty and denied the chances given to successful middle-class high-earners like Dean Percy. Hypocrisy indeed.

    1. North has already been hounded out of the intended appointment to the suffragan see of Whitby (and replaced by the person who was already the local archdeacon and an identikit best-practice last-minute-impulse candidate). These people won't stop till they have got absolutely everything, which won't take much longer.

  4. I wrote earlier today to the Graun's readers' editor. Amazing that a paper with a purported "relgious affairs correspondent" could perpetrate the "before he is consecrated" howler. The "taint" lie - another Graun favouriterears its head again too!

  5. I tried to post something a couple of days ago to point out that Bishop North and the Society of Saints Wilfred and Hilda should reconsider their allegiance to the Canterbury Communion under the guise of 'impaired communion' (or whatever they call it). If, Christ's offering to us of Himself, does not lead those who receive priestly ministry into 'communio sacris', then, yes, it isn't the highest degree of communion, it is simply Not communion in the most fundamental sense. There are no 'degrees of communio sacris'. A large number of his (Bishop Philip's) representatives would not have communio sacris with him as their Apostle of Christ. So, having thought harder about this, and having read the Archbishop Cranmer's blog on the topic, I have to agree with Dean Percy. Bishop Philip should not accept translation. Further, he should do as the Americans and others have done, which is to step away from the Canterbury Communion. There are others with integrity which maintain and promote scriptural and catholic truth (in particular those emanating from the St Louis Affirmation). Even the American Church of North America (ACNA) and GAFCON would be better (though the issue of women's sacramental ministry has not been resolved there, in my humble opinion). No, the reason it was proposed that Bishop Philip take on Sheffield is that 'the powers that be' are trying to pull a fast one along the lines of 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'.
    The confusion goes on as people need clear leadership. The Canterbury Communion and some of its lesser known derivatives (CinW) are at risk of spreading an incurable disease. But, and here's the rub: 'he who pays the piper calls the tune'. Without buildings and social status (such as it is), and without stipends, there is almost zero chance of Bishop Philip doing a Moses, and leading people to a better place. He could form a new and orthodox province (rather than a Society such as SSWH), or he could promote unity with the Continuing Anglican Churches (St Louis Affirmation) which is building on the last few years of stability and is achieving communio sacris. But, I bet he won't. So, less reluctantly, I have to agree with Dean Percy that Bishop Philip should not be translated across to Sheffield. He should lead people away from confusion and intermingling.