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Church of England Bishops: Nigel Stock

Time for another bishop, I think.

Working group on new legislative proposals on women bishops announced 19 December 2012

The group includes members of all three houses of the General Synod – Bishops, Clergy and Laity – and a senior member of clergy who is no longer on the Synod. The members are: The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich (chair)

The Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry,The Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester,The Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester,The Very Rev Vivienne Faull, Dean of York,The Ven Christine Hardman,The Rev Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Dr Philip Giddings, Dr Paula Gooder, Mrs Margaret Swinson

The group’s task (see PR 160.12 ) is to assist the House when it meets in February and again in May to come to a decision on the new package of proposals which it intends to bring to the Synod in July. The group has been tasked to arrange facilitated discussions in February with a wide range of people of a variety of views. It is expected to have two initial meetings in January.


Bishop Nigel’s Wikipedia entry is so short it can be quoted in full:

William Nigel Stock (born 29 January 1950) is the current Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich; a post he has held since 2007. Stock was educated at St Cuthbert’s SocietyDurham University and studied for ordination at Ripon College Cuddesdon. From 1976 to 1979, he was a curate at St Peter’s Stockton in the Diocese of Durham. From 1979 to 1984, he was priest-in-charge of St Peter’s in Taraka in the Diocese of Aipo RongoPapua New Guinea. From 1985 to 1991, he was vicar of St Mark’s Shiremoor in the Diocese of Newcastle; moving to become Team Rector of North Shields from 1991 to 1998. He was also Rural Dean of Tynemouth from 1992 to 1998 and an honorary canon of Newcastle Cathedral from 1997 to 1998. He was a canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral from 1998 to 2000 and also Chaplain of Grey College, Durham in 1999 and 2000. He became Bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester in 2000.  Stock has been a Commissary for the Archbishop of Papua New Guinea since 1986. He entered the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual in March 2011.


The Crockford’s entry is of course even shorter:

+STOCK, The Rt Revd William Nigel. b 50. St Cuth Soc Dur BA72. Ripon Coll Cuddesdon. d 76 p 77 c 00. C Stockton St Pet Dur 76-79; Papua New Guinea 79-84; V Shiremoor Newc 85-91; TR N Shields 91-98; RD Tynemouth 92-98; Hon Can Newc Cathl 97-98; Can Res Dur Cathl 98-00; Chapl Grey Coll Dur 99-00; Suff Bp Stockport Ches 00-07; Bp St E from 07




I have found no books published by Bishop Nigel, but he has an easy and engaging manner in this short clip about the Church’s outreach in his diocese:


And here he is in more reflective mood in his Christmas message:

Christmas is for all from St Eds & Ips on Vimeo.



Although Bishop Nigel voted in favour of the Anglican Covenant in November 2011, it was rejected by his diocese. In general this has tended to indicate a relaxed model of episcopal oversight. At the General Synod meeting on 20 November 2012,  Bishop Nigel and all synod members from his diocese voted in favour of the motion “That the Measure entitled “Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure” be finally approved.”


Leap in the dark assessment

I think and hope I can detect a twinkle in the eye of Bishop Nigel. I also detect – and I hope this is not just wishful thinking – the same smile of reason that I saw in Bishop John Inge (see last paragraph if you are interested).

If he is to succeed in the enormously difficult task which lies ahead, we must pray that my hopes are not ill-founded.


8 comments on this post:

UKViewer said...

He seems to be a sound, safe pair of hands for his diocese. I would think that while relaxed, his is a party line person, aka, the Anglican Covenant position he took, or perhaps he saw it as better than the mess the Church seemed to think that it was in at the time?

Chosen for a difficult job, with others who might be considered more liberal, such as James Langstaff (Rochester)(I live in his diocese) who has impressed me with his care for his women clergy.

Hope springs eternal…..

Lay Anglicana said...

Hoping, praying, keeping my fingers crossed and tying a knot in my handkerchief!

29 December 2012 20:30
29 December 2012 19:06
Kate ardern said...

Does sound a calm and wise influence & don’t forget he’s got the marvellous Frances Ward as the Dean of his local cathedral, Hopefully he’ll be able to marshal the disparate opinions around the table although things might get tricky if the mooted extraordinary meeting of the House of Laity passes a vote of no confidence in its current chair who I see is also a member of this working group as he wouldn’t then, technically, have a mandate to be there. +Nigel’s negotiation and chairing skills will be tested.

Lay Anglicana said...

I think they will indeed – the Archbishops Council had a tough job in choosing a chairman, and my sense is that he will listen politely to everyone’s point of view without attempting to force his own. But I am hoping that in the end he knows some skillful way to finesse the ‘right’ answer!

29 December 2012 20:28
29 December 2012 19:52
Chris Fewings said...

“the least and the last and the lost”

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you Chris, damning with faint praise? Google offers:

Live a life of privilege
Pushing back the last, the lost
The least of these
To dull the edge of conscience with conceit

Live a life and see the world
Feel its weight on the shoulders
Of the least of these
It spins and twirls without rest or relief

We all, we all wear dignity
It covers the strong, the weak
We all, we all wear dignity
Even the last, the lost, the least, whoa, whoa

Step into a spacious place
Where pride and right will give way
To the least of these
To know the face of who a man can be

We all, we all wear dignity
It covers the strong, the weak
We all, we all wear dignity
Even the last, the lost, the least, whoa, whoa

His image shown, oh
When we give our lives, our time, our own
To feed, to clothe, oh
Those in His image we have left alone

We all, we all wear dignity
It covers the strong, the weak
We all, we all wear dignity
Even the last, the lost, the least

We all, we all wear dignity
God help the blind like me
Finding at last a voice we cry
And see with clear, unblinking eyes”

The Latter-Day Saints have a sermon of that title full of biblical quotations, but they do not claim that the phrase itself is from the bible.

And George W Bush’s second inauguration included a homily from the Methodists on this topic.

And now we seem to have run out of gas….

31 December 2012 11:25
Chris Fewings said...

In case I was misunderstood, I was picking up some words from the video of Nigel Stock “an all-embracing God who comes to the least and the last and the lost”

Lay Anglicana said...


01 January 2013 17:58
31 December 2012 22:32
30 December 2012 12:50

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