Well, for once I am surprised by the speed at which the Church of England has moved.
It’s not often us Anglican’s can say that, but in the matter of appointing a new Diocesan Bishop to the See of Winchester, this seems to have been the case. I had the privilege of meeting the Appointments Secretaries earlier this year as a representative of the Readers in the Diocese, and at that point we were warned that an announcement was unlikely before November! So let us praise God for such a pleasant surprise.
The second part of this great news as far as I am concerned anyway, is that Revd Canon Tim Dakin, currently Executive Director of CMS, has a passion for mission, for the connection between the people, the bricks and mortar of church, and the communities they live in. Update: some folk on twitter who know him suggest he’s ‘think outside the box’ on mission… or even ‘leave the box behind’!
The third part of the news that I see as positive, as a woman minister in the Diocese of Winchester, is that it would appear that since he is married to an associate priest, he’s probably fairly positive about women in the priesthood. He is also on General Synod already. This means that I now have someone to send the WATCH postcard I picked up at #gb11 to regarding the issue of women and the episcopate, who might have a positive response. Update: again Twitter conversation with some who have met him during the day suggests he is indeed very pro-women in ministry.
So, with those thoughts, and as I go to do a bereavement visit, below are the weblinks I’ve picked up so far this morning. I only wish I had time to go to Basingstoke’s Festival Place about 2.15pm, or to Winchester Cathedral around 4pm where he will be meeting people as he has a rather hectic day in the limelight. Update: Given the stream of positive comments among my Twitter and Facebook friends it would seem that this hectic schedule was well worth it.
[Update: For what it’s worth I’ve also learnt that Revd Dakin has also been Vice-Chair of Fulcrum in the past.]
I am sure our Bishop Elect (sorry Designate), coming as he does to ‘Bishoping’ in a very senior post, without having been a suffragan first, and with much else to sort out as he leaves CMS, needs all our prayers – he will have mine.
Diocese of Winchester announcement – on their new much improved website, launched yesterday.
BBC local news coverage so far – I’ll try and up date this later.