Friday, 2 August 2013

New Bishop of Ebbsfleet appointed

No, not the 1st April post again; this time - at long last, after an interminable and potentially damaging delay - it's for real:

From Forward in Faith [here
Forward in Faith welcomes new Bishop of Ebbsfleet 
Forward in Faith welcomes the appointment of Canon Jonathan Goodall SSC as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

In addition to his gifts as a priest and pastor, Fr Jonathan brings with him significant diocesan and national experience. As a former bishop’s chaplain, as a staff member at Lambeth Palace, and as a key participant in ecumenical relationships and dialogue nationally and internationally, he is well equipped for his new role as bishop, counsellor, spokesman and advocate. His expertise will complement that of the other Provincial Episcopal Visitors, the Bishop of Fulham, and the other bishops of the Society, with whom he will work closely.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In making this appointment, he has given a clear signal about the continuance of appropriate episcopal care for our parishes and people.

We look forward to welcoming Fr Jonathan to membership of Forward in Faith and of its Council and National Assembly.

The official announcement from 10, Downing Street is here 

The See of Ebbsfleet website has this message (scroll down) to the Ebbsfleet parishes and clergy from their new  bishop designate


  1. Joseph Golightly2 August 2013 at 13:20

    Does that mean he was not a member of Forward in Faith?

    1. I don't know. Given his position on the Archbishop of Canterbury's staff that wouldn't be surprising. However, his long-term membership of SSC commits him to far more than membership of Forward in Faith itself...

    2. And, I should add, is a very welcome and reassuring indication of where he stands.

    3. Joseph Golightly2 August 2013 at 17:03

      It is admirable that he is a member of SSC but for the last 20 years he has not been at the coal face. I just hope that his very establishment background will help lead members of Forward in Faith and to help create an ecclesial structure which is greatly needed

      PS and NB in North America SSC priests have thrown in the towel and joined the establishment position!

    4. Yes, plainly, Fr Goodall, in terms of the posts he has held, comes from within the establishment of the Church of England. Time will tell, but I remember similar doubts being expressed - quite needlessly as it later turned out - about Bishops Richards and Gaisford in the early 1990s.

  2. Joseph Golightly3 August 2013 at 10:13

    Just in case you missed this rather good article from William Tighe which seems to sum up where FIF has got to.

    +Gaisford and +Richards were both fighters for what FIF used to stand for and were not afraid to put their heads above the parapet unlike the men in Tighe's article. As they say how do you know when a bishop is lying?

    1. You may be right. There seems to be a developing theme at the moment of conciliation (I resolutely won't say appeasement)with the liberal establishment. Of course, no one is in favour of unnecessary confrontation, but with the bishops very definitely in the pocket of the C of E's 'senior women,' one wonders what will be gained. There is a fine line between a policy of conciliation and the wish to minimise and even try to heal our divisions and something which looks like desperation - being polite and well- behaved in the hope that just a few crumbs will be tossed our way from the grown-ups at the table.
      But, for the moment, FiF and the Society & its bishops should be given a generous measure of benefit of the doubt; there is much we don't yet know and even more, we can assume, that can't be made public.


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