Responses of WATCH and FiF to Independent Reviewer’s Report

Today the Church of England published the report of the Independent Reviewer on the issues surrounding the appointment to the See of Sheffield, and we reproduced the Press Release containing links to the report and other material. Both Women in the Church (WATCH) and Forward in Faith (FiF) have now issued reponses, which we reproduce in full below. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 2nd April

We managed to avoid initiating or endorsing “fake news” on April Fool’s Day…

…although we did enjoy Bishop Paul Bayes’ tweet: “Anglican news: Sodor & Man annexes @LivDiocese. Bp of Warrington invokes Article 50. @paulbayes flees, demands Methodist/CofE citizenship“. However, at L&RUK we will continue to report on issues relating to Brexit, which has tended to attract “fake news” and misinformation from both sides.

Talking of which … Brexit

The Brexit process began on Wednesday, when the UK Ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, handed over the Prime Minister’s formal letter of notification under Article 50 TEU to the President of the European Council. Continue reading

The Independent Reviewer and the Sheffield See

A Review on the Reviewer

On Friday 24 March 2017, we reported that the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York had issued a joint statement indicating that they had written to Sir Philip Mawer, the Independent Reviewer, requesting him to address the concerns that have arisen in the Church following recent events concerning the Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley. This post reviews the work of Sir Philip to date, the House of Bishops Declaration GS Misc 1087, [“the Declaration”] and the scope of his consideration of the appointment to the See of Sheffield. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 26th March

A week in which events were totally overshadowed by the attack in Westminster

A thoughtful consideration of those events from an insider’s point of view was presented by the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, in his Yorkshire Post article From a Palace of democracy to an Abbey of prayer, the best and worst of humanity, written just two hours after the end of the lockdown of parliamentarians and others, who had been transferred to Westminster Abbey.

Progress on Brexit

Prior to the Commons consideration of the Pension Schemes Bill [Lords] and the subsequent adjournment and lockdown of the parliamentary estate, a first reading was given to Tim Farron’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, Terms of Withdrawal from the European Union (Referendum). A second reading was scheduled for Friday 12 May – although its chances of becoming law are zero. Continue reading

Archbishops write to Independent Reviewer re: Sheffield See

In our 11 March post we expressed our agreement with the comments in Dr Sentamu’s  announcement that “there must now be time for us all to reflect” on events in Sheffield and in the wider Church”; we also suggested that it would be appropriate to refer the matter for assessment by the Independent Reviewer, Sir Philip Mawer under the terms of paragraph 27 in the House of Bishops Declaration GS Misc 1087:

Today, the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York issued the following joint statement indicating that they had written to Sir Philip Mawer to address the concerns that have arisen in the Church following recent events.

Continue reading

Licensed clergy and the House of Bishops Declaration

Last week we reported the publication of the first Annual Report of Sir Philip Mawer, the Independent Reviewer, on the operation of the  Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of Disputes Procedure) Regulations 2014. We also posted on Sir Philip’s  clarification of the Legal & Canonical Status of Provincial Episcopal Visitors; this formed Appendix 3 to the Report and had been circulated last August, but with a limited distribution.

The other legislative issues addressed in the Annual Report concerned two aspects associated with licences issued to ministers, and these are summarized below. In common with the clarification on the status of PEVs, both are broader considerations highlighted by the North Cheltenham case, the subject of Sir Philip’s report of 10 August 2015; both provide informal guidance. Continue reading