The Bishop of El Camino Real Updates Her Diocese on her England visit

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear Friends,

Some of you may have heard that on a recent visit to England, +Katharine Jefferts-Schori was asked to verify her orders of ordination and asked not to wear her miter. As you know, I am here on a partnership visit in the Diocese of Gloucester. Attached is a greeting and explanation from Bishop Michael regarding our own correspondence with Lambeth Palace, hopefully clarifying a policy that has been in place but not enforced. The incident with +Katharine was of course exacerbated by +Rowan’s Pentecost letter and +Katharine’s response. I must say that I have not met anyone here that is happy with +Rowan’s letter and the actions that it announced; but...rather many are embarrassed and upset.

As you will see from an update that Celeste Ventura and Channing Smith will send shortly, we are having a wonderful time in Gloucester being treated very well and shown great hospitality. There are no major issues regarding the wearing of my miter or being a woman bishop, although of course there are those who do not approve of women’s ordination. It is a very live issue here and there are lots of feelings and emotions as the Church of England approaches another vote, hopefully towards women in the episcopate, in just a few weeks.

Read it all and read the letter from the Bishop of Gloucester also.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

13 Comments
Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. phil swain wrote:

“I have not met anyone who is happy with +Rowan’s letter… .”  This supercilious comment is so typically Episcopalian.

June 23, 9:58 am | [comment link]
2. Eastern Anglican wrote:

I love anecdotal evidence.  I went to a baseball game and did not meet anyone who did not like baseball.

June 23, 10:16 am | [comment link]
3. David Keller wrote:

# 1 and 2—In fairness to Bp. Mary, she might be right.  I didn’t like it either, because I don’t think it went nearly far enough with TEC and went way too far with The GS.

June 23, 12:08 pm | [comment link]
4. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

#2, LOL.

The attached note from +Michael Perham insists that +Mary Gray-Reeves wore her miter (and presumably purple) while visiting Gloucester Cathedral, and was openly treated as a bishop there.  It’s striking that +Perham seems to value the three-partner relationship with the oversees dioceses of El Camino Real and W. Tanganyika more than Goucester’s relationship with the other dioceses in the CoE.

David Handy+

June 23, 12:08 pm | [comment link]
5. jamesw wrote:

Note the letters very carefully and read the Anglican Curmudgeon’s review.  According to the correspondence here, MGR never wore her mitre when she PRESIDED at the Eucharist.  And that seems to be the key.

June 23, 12:39 pm | [comment link]
6. cseitz wrote:

#5—that is correct. Note how carefully this is stated:
“The Measure makes no reference to what the bishop wears. As it happens, the simple weekday Eucharist at which Bishop Mary will preside is not one when either she or I would expect her to wear a mitre. However in the Cathedral on Sunday, when she stood at my side when I presided at the Eucharist and again when she preached at a Partnership Service later in the day, she did, like me and Bishop Gerard, wear her mitre.”
The Lead now shows a letter from Lambeth Palace clarifying the matter. However, one detail requires explanation. LP says that the PB was not required to present Letters of Orders. In her ‘bizarre’ comment, the PB refers to ordination letters being asked of her.

June 23, 2:31 pm | [comment link]
7. Cennydd wrote:

And to think that my wife and I came from her diocese!  We’re glad we left seven years ago, and we’ve never looked back.

June 23, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
8. driver8 wrote:

I believe the largest parishes by far in Gloucester are evangelical. I imagine that Bishop Mary did not spend much time discussing with them. Whether mitred or not it is currently illegal for Bishop Mary to function as a bishop in the COE and neither Bishop Michael nor even Archbishop Rowan is able to alter that.

Notice how carefully the Bishop of Michael describes his recognition of Bishop Mary:

There has never been any doubt within our dioceses that the three bishops are equally bishops of the Anglican Communion

Of course this is true. However it is not true that Bishop Mary can currently function as a bishop in Gloucester Diocese and despite his evident reluctance the Bishop of Gloucester is obliged to obey the law as much as any member of the COE.

June 23, 6:18 pm | [comment link]
9. driver8 wrote:

I should also add that I understand that the Diocese of Gloucester has/had a link relationship with two dioceses in the Church of South India (CSI). As CSI is itself also a member of the Anglican Communion I am surprised that this relationship is not mentioned in the bishop’s letter.

June 23, 6:25 pm | [comment link]
10. cseitz wrote:

#8. I thought the same thing. The University of Gloucestershire (formally Cheltenham and Gloucester) had the evangelical scholars Gordon Wenham and Craig Bartholomew (he organised the British Bible Society funded Scripture and Hermeneutics Consultation) and Gordon McConville is still there. The big downtown church in Cheltenham is evangelical and very much a going place.

June 23, 6:26 pm | [comment link]
11. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

jamesw (#5),

You are correct in pointing out that loophole about presiding at the eucharist as the key, but that technicality only underlines the sense of quiet, intentional defiance that I think runs through +Perham’s brief note.  Granted, it’s much less obvious than in the case of the openly rebellious Dean of Southwark, but it’s still undeniably there.

I stand by what I wrote in my #4. “+Mary Gray-Reeves wore her miter…while VISITING Gloucester Cathedral and was openly treated as a bishop there.”  And all this happened AFTER the flap in Southwark.

David Handy+

June 23, 8:00 pm | [comment link]
12. driver8 wrote:

Yes, my view is that this is intended to be politely provocative. What he doesn’t want to say, but is true all the same, is that as a bishop in the COE he is in a relationship of impaired communion with Bishop Mary.

June 23, 8:22 pm | [comment link]
13. azusa wrote:

Miters are un-Anglican. The Reformation rightly did away with this papal medieval millinery. Miter right? No!
And they look miter silly.

You miter guessed I’d say that.

June 24, 12:32 am | [comment link]
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