Monday, 17 December 2012

Fr North withdraws from Whitby post

Fr Philip North has withdrawn his name to be the new Bishop of Whitby:

From the Diocese of  London's website: [here
 Father Philip North, who earlier this year was appointed to be the new Bishop of Whitby in the Diocese of York, has announced he is withdrawing from the role. He has notified the Archbishop of York and his current bishop, the Bishop of London, of his decision. He will now remain as Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras in North London.
Philip North commented:
"It was a great honour to be chosen for this role and I had been very much looking forward to taking up the position. However, in the light of the recent vote in the General Synod and having listened to the views of people in the Archdeaconry of Cleveland, I have concluded that it is not possible for me, at this difficult time for our Church, to be a focus for unity. I have therefore decided that it is better to step aside at this stage.
"I have reached this decision after a time of deep reflection and feel sure that it is for the best. I now look forward to refocusing my energies on the pastoral needs of my parish."
The Bishop of London added:
"I can understand the reasons for Philip's decision. He is a gifted and energetic priest and I am glad that he remains in this Diocese to continue his outstanding work in Camden Town."
" is not possible for me, at this difficult time for our Church, to be a focus for unity..".
This is a sad commentary on the present state of the Church of England. 


  1. This is surely and inevitably a sign of things to come. It is oxymoron to talk about a Church of England bishop being a focus of unity. There is too much that divides them - perhaps always has been but it's coming to a head with the liberal agenda. Prayers needed for Fr Philip who is a good man and who now seems to have come to his senses - leading lambs to the slaughter is not something a bishop should do!

  2. It's difficult to know how to react to this. Without knowing exactly what has gone on since Fr North's nomination, and his precise rationale for withdrawal, who knows what the real reasons are? (It won't stop people forming conclusions based on their own prejudices of course...)

    Fr North was conducting a mission here during the vacancy just before I moved to these parishes. He seemed to be a man consumed by a passion for the Gospel, and determined to make the Shrine at Walsingham a focus for unity, welcoming Christians with a legitimate variety of views on current issues.

    This is an approach sorely needed by the Church in these times - and especially the passion and priority for the Gospel.

  3. When the women-bishops legislation is finally forced through, I wonder whether the first female episcopal candidates will likewise decline their appointment on the (indubitable) grounds that "it is not possible for me … to be a focus for unity"?

    Daft question. One thing that has become clear throughout this whole process is that it is only those on one side of the argument who are prepared to adhere to principle even when it works against them.

  4. The Church Times has the following article which says that there was a campaign against Philip. This is harassment but what do you expect from liberals who are well known for being really very illiberal


Anonymous comments will not be published