The London Plan 2016

Posted on the 4th March 2016 in the category Resources

London Plan

February 2016

Declaration by the Bishops of London, Stepney, Kensington, Willesden, Edmonton, Fulham & Islington

relating to the

Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014

The House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests 2014

and its associated regulations made under Canon C29


Note: The signatories to this Plan are subject to the Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of Disputes Procedure) Regulations 2014.  The rights of PCCs to bring a grievance under Regulation 8 are protected in law, and cannot be overridden by this Plan or its outworkings.


This declaration is made this 22nd day of February 2016

By RICHARD, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable the LORD BISHOP OF LONDON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of London”);

the Right Reverend ROBERT WICKHAM, the AREA BISHOP OF EDMONTON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Edmonton”);

the Right Reverend PETER BROADBENT, the AREA BISHOP OF WILLESDEN (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Willesden”);

the Right Reverend GRAHAM TOMLIN, the AREA BISHOP OF KENSINGTON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Kensington”);

the Right Reverend ADRIAN NEWMAN, the AREA BISHOP OF STEPNEY (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Stepney”);

the Right Reverend JONATHAN BAKER, the SUFFRAGAN BISHOP OF FULHAM (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Fulham”);

and the Right Reverend RICHARD THORPE, the SUFFRAGAN BISHOP OF ISLINGTON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Islington”).  



(1)           This deed is intended to replace a Deed dated November 2014 and made between the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Edmonton, the Bishop of Willesden, the Bishop of Kensington, the Bishop of Stepney, and the Bishop of Fulham.


(2)           The Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (hereinafter called “The Measure”) was approved by the General Synod on 14th July 2014, received the Royal Assent on 23rd October 2014 and came into effect on 17th November 2014. The House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests 2014 (hereinafter called “The Declaration”) was made on 19th May 2014.


The said RICHARD CHARTRES as the Bishop of London

The said ROBERT WICKHAM as Bishop of Edmonton

The said PETER BROADBENT as Bishop of Willesden

 The said GRAHAM TOMLIN as Bishop of Kensington

 The said ADRIAN NEWMAN as Bishop of Stepney

 The said JONATHAN BAKER as Bishop of Fulham

 The said RICHARD THORPE as Bishop of Islington

hereby affirm and commit themselves to the five principles contained in The Declaration, as follows

  • Now that legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops, the Church of England is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and holds that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience;
  • Anyone who ministers within the Church of England must be prepared to acknowledge that the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter;
  • Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;
  • Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and
  • Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England.

 and further commit themselves to work together in the spirit of simplicity, reciprocity and mutuality as spelt out in the House of Bishops’ Declaration, seeking to maintain the highest possible degree of communion throughout the Diocese.


(1)                The said deed of November 2014 is hereby rescinded and replaced by this Deed


(2)                The Bishop of London The Bishops acknowledge the function of the Bishop of London as the Ordinary and as the focus of unity within the Diocese, to lead the Diocese in its mission


(3)                The Archdeaconries The integrity of the Archdeaconries of the Diocese as constituted under the London Area Scheme (as revised in 2011) shall continue to be respected and maintained by all the Bishops of the Diocese in all matters of general ministry policy and pastoral and mission strategy


(4)                Arrangements for pastoral and sacramental ministry Where, if


(a)                  in any parish the Parochial Church Council, at a meeting convened on at least four weeks’ notice, has passed a resolution at in the form set out in paragraph 20 of the Declaration either (i) by a majority of those present and voting at a meeting at which at least two thirds of the PCC who are entitled to attend are present or (ii) by a majority of all the members of the PCC, which resolution has been accepted by the Bishop of London after consultation with the relevant Area Bishop and further consultation with the parish then either


(b)                  the Bishop of Fulham, acting as Commissary for the Bishop of London, shall, pursuant to the Declaration, visit and enter those parishes and exercise such rights of the Area Bishop as are specified in Appendix A to this plan, such arrangements to be reviewed periodically as set out in paragraph 21 of the Declaration. In line with paragraph 28 of the Declaration, the relevant Area Bishop and the Bishop of Fulham will explore how they can best cooperate in a variety of ways to contribute to the welfare, resourcing and mission of those parishes and their relationship with the diocese.  


(c)                   or, where the nature of the theological conviction expressed by the parish is that of “headship” as expressed in paragraph 11 of the Declaration, then the Bishop of London may make arrangements for an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese, acting as Commissary for the Bishop of London pursuant to the Declaration and in close collaboration with the relevant Area Bishop, to visit and enter those parishes in order to offer liturgical ministry and pastoral care.


(d)                  Where the resolution referred to under section (a) above is received from a parish in the Two Cities Area, the Bishop of London may specify that episcopal duties shall continue to be carried out by him in relation to the Two Cities Area.  


(5)                The Bishops commit themselves to the following pastoral and working arrangements:


(a)    The Bishop of London is (inter alia) responsible for ordaining, instituting and licensing clergy in the Diocese of London. He is primarily responsible for the pastoral care and discipline of the clergy throughout the Diocese and for the pastoral arrangements to bring the ministry into effect


(b)    By virtue of a Scheme made under the Dioceses Measure 1978 and revised in 2011, the Area Bishops are (inter alia) entitled to ordain, institute and license clergy in those Areas for which they have episcopal oversight and the Bishop of London is entitled to ordain, institute and license clergy in any Area


(c)    The Bishops recognise that the Measure is effective de jure within the Diocese of London and that women, according to the Canons of the Church of England may be ordained, instituted or licensed to parishes which have not passed the resolution set out in paragraph 20 of The Declaration


(d)    The custom has been established that the Bishop of London ordains all deacons and the relevant Area Bishop or the Suffragan Bishops of Fulham and Islington ordain candidates for the priesthood


(e)    The Bishop of Fulham has determined to declare in this Deed that he is not willing to ordain any woman to the office of Priest


(f)     The Bishops of Stepney, Edmonton, Islington, Kensington and Willesden have determined to declare in this Deed that they are willing, according to the Canons of the Church of England, to ordain both men and women to the office of Priest


(g)    The Bishop of London will make arrangements to ensure that all ordinations, institutions and licensings take place


(h)    It is acknowledged:

 i.     that men and women have the right according to the law of this realm and the Canons of the Church of England to be ordained and to be instituted, licensed or granted permissions to officiate within the Diocese of London


ii.      that it is necessary to make proper provision for the ordination of men and women to the priesthood and to a Title in the Diocese of London


iii.      that, where a parish has not passed a resolution under paragraph 20 of the Declaration, a Patron may determine to appoint either a male or a female priest to a parish, and it would not then be lawful for a Bishop to refuse such an appointment on the grounds of gender


PROVIDED THAT all ordinations, institutions, licensings and permissions to officiate must be in strict conformity with any guidelines laid down by the Diocesan and Area Bishops and the London Diocesan Fund and with any Diocesan policy as to establishment and any instruction from a decision of the London Diocesan Bishop’s Council or the relevant Area Council acting as Pastoral Committee.


(i)     As far as the process of testing vocations and subsequent ordinations to the priesthood are concerned, the process will begin in the same way in each of the Episcopal Areas


(j)     Episcopal oversight shall be exercised by the said Bishops, who pledge themselves to exercise such oversight fairly and justly, regardless of gender, or of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.


(k)    Any oaths to be taken to the Bishops of Stepney, Kensington, Willesden, Islington, Edmonton and Fulham at ordination to the priesthood, institutions or licensings will be taken to the Bishop of London as Ordinary and to the Area or Suffragan Bishop concerned.


(l)     In line with the principles of reciprocity and mutuality encapsulated in the House of Bishops’ Declaration, arrangements will be made for women clergy to have access to alternative pastoral care as necessary.


This declaration is a covenant between the signatories. It is intended to bind successors in title until such time as it is rescinded by the Bishop of London and a majority of the Bishops of Stepney, Kensington, Willesden, Islington, Edmonton and Fulham. It will require re-signing upon the appointment of each new bishop, and the arrangements set out in paragraph 5 will in any case require reconsideration in the event of a new appointment to the see of London. It represents the expression within the Diocese of London of the arrangements presaged in paragraph 29 of the House of Bishops’ Declaration.


The Bishop of Fulham

The Bishop of Fulham, in exercising his powers under Clause 4 of this Plan, shall be responsible for the following functions normally exercised by the relevant Area Bishop in respect of the parishes within his care:


Functions relating to ministry

  1. All decisions in relation to the sponsorship, examination and admission of candidates into Holy           Orders
  2. All decisions in relation to the training, admission and licensing/commissioning of lay Ministers,               LLMs (Readers) and Commissioned Ministers
  3. Grants of licences to minister or perform particular offices
  4. Grants of licences to engage in secular occupations
  5. Acceptance of resignations
  6. Grant of authorisation under Section 3 of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limit) Measure 1975 to               remain in office
  7. Functions under the Sequestration Act 1871 and other episcopal functions under the law of                 sequestration
  8. Functions under the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986
  9. Collations (on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop), Institutions & Licensings
  10. Grants of licences for non-residence of priests in their parishes (Canon C25)

 Functions relating to the ordering of worship


  1. Issue of authorisation to lay persons to take services, preach, take funerals, and distribute Holy Communion (including distribution of Holy Communion to the sick and housebound and authorisation to lead services of extended communion)
  2. Functions under Admission of Baptised Children to Holy Communion Regulations 2006
  3. Issue of orders and directions in connection with the exclusion of persons from Holy Communion
  4. Conduct of confirmations, subject to the Diocesan Bishop’s right to hold confirmations in any area of the Diocese
  5. Approving forms of services under Canon B2A and B4
  6. Determination of issues arising in connection with forms of service or variations in forms of service (Canon B3)
  7. Issue of directions as to the services which are required to be held or are not required to be held in churches, other than parish churches or in buildings licensed for public worship (Canons B14 & B14A)
  8. Authorising minister to dispense with reading of services in parish church or parish centre of worship (Canon B14A)
  9. Determination of dispute as to change in form of vesture in use in church or chapel (Canon B8)

 Functions relating to Office Holders

  1. Functions under the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009

 Miscellaneous Functions

  1. Functions arising during vacancies in benefices
  2. Functions under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978
  3. Powers under the Church Representation Rules, except where the rules relate to General Synod or Diocesan Synod
  4. Functions under the Churchwardens Measure 2001

Other delegated functions under the London Area Scheme remain with the respective Area Bishop. 

A Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops

Posted on the 18th July 2014 in the category Events

We invite you to read this Pastoral Letter, and make it available, in all our churches on Sunday 20th July 2014.

Please click here to download the Pastoral Letter

A new initiative aimed at encouraging vocations to ministry in the Church of England is launched

Posted on the 1st July 2014 in the category Events

The Bishops of The Society are delighted to support the launch of the Here I Am initiative.  Bishop Tony Robinson, the Chairman of the Council of Bishops said, "We are very aware that the Church constantly needs more people called to serve the sacred priesthood. We hope this new campaign using up to date digital media will encourage more vocations."


Here I Am is the title of the campaign which has the backing of the catholic societies of the Church of England with the full support of the Additional Curates Society.  Those responsible have embraced digital media to encourage people to explore a vocation to priesthood alongside other kinds of ministry in the Church of England and the Church in Wales. 


A new You Tube channel features specially commissioned films looking at how people are called to ministry, what the selection process involves as well as examining the kind of people who are called to follow a path to priesthood.


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has backed the initiative: “I am delighted to see the Catholic Societies working together in order to promote and encourage more vocations to the sacred priesthood under this new and exciting banner of Here I Am”.


Fr Darren Smith, spokesman for Here I Am, said that vocations were emerging across the church in a variety of ways: 

“People looking at the material we have carefully produced will quickly discover that there is no single mould, shape or pattern for the priestly vocation.”


He adds: “Browsers to our website will find details of courses, what happens if they want to take it to the next step and what the work of a priest in the Church of England today involves.”


A new Twitter account @hereiamvocation will be launched at the same time. Organisers hope that people will follow the initiative and join in a wave of prayer for vocations. Bishops and priests representing the catholic societies are already working in every part of England and Wales and it was felt that material that had served them well previously was ready for an upgrade to reflect where the digital audience can now be found.  “We are excited and expectant about the future of ministry and mission in anglican catholic churches and communities,”  Fr. Smith explained.


The next Vocations Conference is at St Stephen’s House from 29 - 31 August


For full details and booking form contact


Additional Curates Society

Gordon Browning House

Unit 7, Spitfire Rd

Birmingham B24 9PB


tel 0121 382 5533


tweet @hereiamvocation

visit them on Facebook

Welcome to the See of Fulham website

Posted on the 1st April 2013 in the category Announcements

It is my great privilege as Bishop of Fulham to provide episcopal ministry and pastoral care in parishes across the dioceses of London and Southwark, to those who continue to have theological reservations about the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate in the Church of England.


A strong sense of ecclesial identity already exists among both clergy and laity in the parishes comprising the See of Fulham, and it is my hope that this website will help foster still further our common life and mission, as we seek together to witness to Our Lord Jesus Christ both in our worship and in our daily lives.


+Jonathan Fulham

The General Synod vote on Women Bishops

Posted on the 22nd November 2012 in the category Announcements

Bishop Jonathan writes


After the General Synod failed to give Final Approval to the draft legislation on the ordination of women to the episcopate, I had hoped for a period of calm, prayer and reflection all round; and perhaps some sense of regret, on the part of the proponents of the Measure, that they had not got the legislation right. Of course, as we now know, this was very far from the case: instead, a media furore, and a sense from some quarters that those who had voted against the Measure need to be punished in the future for daring to step out of line.


We need to say very clearly, that we understand, and deeply regret, the pain, hurt and anger felt on the part of many women clergy and their supporters; that we value the huge contribution of ordained women to the life of the Church of England; and that we recognise the gifts which God has given in and through their ministries.

However, we also need to challenge some errors and misunderstandings which have been widespread since the vote was taken. 

First, it has been suggested that the draft Measure represented the fruits of work done over many years by representatives of all traditions in the Church of England, and that it was a compromise and the best possible way forward. This is simply not the case, as anyone – myself included – involved in the various processes of preparing the legislation for Final Approval (the legislative drafting group, the revision committee stage, and so on) would have to admit. At every step of the way, provision for the traditionalist minority was withdrawn altogether or significantly watered down. Looking back, we can see a number of decisive forks in the road: when delegation (rather than a transfer of jurisdiction) was adopted as the basis for the legislation; when the Archbishops' amendment for co-ordinate jurisdiction was defeated – by just 5 votes in the House of Clergy – in 2010; when the amendment to Clause 5.1. (c) of the Measure, proposed by the House of Bishops, was withdrawn in the face of pressure from members of WATCH in July of this year. In the light of all this, it seems to me that there is only one analysis of the vote on 20th November which rings true: that the draft Measure was driven 'over the cliff' by those unwilling to agree proper provision for those of us who have conscientious difficulties concerning the ordination of women.


The second misunderstanding is that the Synod's processes were somehow abused or manipulated to produce this result. Again, we need to say clearly that this is not the case. Every member of General Synod understands very well what the processes are which are followed in order to pass legislation: processes which, in matters of doctrine, are designed precisely to ensure a high level of consensus, such as is surely appropriate for a Christian community. The meetings of General Synod are always framed with prayer – prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide the hearts and minds of those speaking and voting. It is difficult not to be amazed at the confidence with which many people have rushed to conclude that the Holy Spirit could not have spoken through Synod on 20th November. Having said all that, I would be the first to agree that the Synodical system has not served the church well in discerning the way forward on this matter. Perhaps one thing that the Holy Spirit might be saying to us, is that there might be a better way.

The third thing which I have found puzzling in the last week or so is the growing sense in some quarters that there was an 'unholy alliance' between traditional cathiolics and conservative evangelicals to defeat the Measure. To say this is again, surely, to misunderstand how General Synod works. Individuals vote on the legislation laid before them, and, while it is true (and hardly startling) to say that of course anglo-catholics and evangelicals will have different – often, markedly different – theological instincts and insights, what mattered in this case was only the fact that Synod members from both traditions found the draft Measure wanting. We also know now that a significant number of Synod members who are wholly supportive of women in the episcopate nevertheless voted against this draft legislation; they did so out of concern for their brothers and sisters in the Church of England with whom they disagree, but whose flourishing they desire: surely a model for us all.


Where do we go from here? I very much hope that all parties to this debate will resist the calls from some MPs and peers that Parliament should legislate 'over the head' of the Church of England in order to impose a solution. That way cannot be right.

The Bishop of Durham, our next Archbishop of Canterbury, has called for fresh discussions early in the New Year, with a view to preparing the way for fresh legislation on women bishops. I am sure that is right, although I do hope that the desire for haste in some quarters will not squeeze out what I am sure the whole Church truly needs: real listening, engagement, and, above all, mutual charity. We must get away from the whole sense which has dogged us for so long, that this is a zero-sum power game, with winners and losers, and, at the end of the process, first and second class bishops, serving – as Fr Simon Killwick put it so well – first and second class Anglicans.

So what, in our local context, can we – priests and people of the See of Ebbsfleet – actually do? The first thing, obviously, is to pray – and the fact that this is such an obvious thing to say makes it no less true. My late confessor and spiritual director always urged upon me the virtue of praying, consciously and by name, for those with whom I disagreed, had fallen out, or had (in reality or just in my imagination) done me wrong. That was good advice then, and I commend it to all of you now.

The second thing to do is actively to work to maintain the bonds of charity with all those who are your partners in the mission of the Church in your area – clergy and laity of other traditions, male and female, all those involved in the life of your diocese and deanery. Let it never be said that the traditional catholic voice is absent from the life of the local church.

Third, we must all seek renewal in those great gifts which our tradition brings to the life of the whole of the Church of England: our zeal for souls; our liturgical worship; the sacramental life; our incarnational faith, rooted in the community and especially in service to the poor; our deep commitment to the full visible unity of the one Church of Jesus Christ. You can all, I am sure, add other things to that list of equal or greater importance, but there are five to be getting on with!

We have just celebrated the great feast of Christ the King; now we come to prepare for the celebration of the birth into this world of time and space of that same Word of God who is King of the Universe and King of our lives. May each of us be deeply renewed in our discipleship this Advent and Christmastide, and may the Lord stir up in us those supernatural gifts given us at our baptism: faith; hope; love.


+Jonathan Ebbsfleet




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