May 5, 2011

Flying bishops appointed

by Jan Harris

The archbishop of Canterbury has announced the appointment of two new ‘flying bishops’, or “Provincial Episcopal Visitors” as they are officially known.

In their new roles, the Rev Jonathan Baker and the Rev Norman Banks will provide pastoral care for parishes and priests who believe that the ordination of female clergy as bishops is contrary to doctrine.

In 2010, 363 out of 12,894 parishes sought the help of a “flying bishop”.

Baker and Banks replace previous flying bishops, Keith Newton and Andrew Burnham, who left the Church of England to join the ordinariate, a self-governing section of the Catholic Church that allows converts to practice elements of their Anglican faith.

Dr Rowan Williams said: “I am very happy to welcome two such faithful and gifted priests as colleagues.

“They are taking up a very demanding pastoral ministry at a time of much upheaval and uncertainty, and will need our prayers and friendship as we work in the Church of England for a future in which there is full mutual respect and constructive work in mission to be undertaken together.”

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