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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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By Michael Brown
The fourth most senior figure in the Anglican hierarchy says too many demands are these days being made of bishops.
The complaint is forthrightly made by the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Tom Wright, (pictured) in the September issue of Newslink, the newspaper of the Durham diocese.
And the 59-year-old church leader confesses that he has been finding it particularly hard to run his diocese in recent months since the departure for Oxford of his suffragan, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Jarrow, and before the arrival next month of the Ven Mark Bryant, at present Archdeacon of Coventry, as the new Bishop of Jarrow.
Bishop Wright says: “I have enjoyed this period of interregnum—in a funny sort of way. I’ve done more confirmations and licensings per week and month than ever before, and visited several churches for the first time.”
But the bishop goes on: “But I have discovered... that if there is only one of you, it’s not only a bit lonely but, frankly, more or less impossible. The demands on bishops these days are enormous.”
The 71st Bishop of Durham, in a reference to the 63rd bishop of the same see — the famous and controversial Hensley Henson who was at Durham from 1920 until 1939 — declares: “Gone are the days when Hensley Henson could spend all morning writing a letter to The Times, all afternoon walking round the park [of Auckland Castle] chatting with unemployed miners, and all evening at a great dinner party.”
And he bemoans: “Goodness, I’ve only played golf three times this year — and one of those was official diocesan business.”
With apparent relief, Bishop Wright declares: “I am enormously looking forward to sharing ministry with Mark,” and in a message to the flock of his diocese he adds: “I know you will welcome him with open arms and hearts.”
--This article appears in the Church of England Newspaper, August 31st, 2007, edition, on page 3
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