There has been relief for many here in the most local of news reporting, since the Queen’s nominee for next Bishop of Sheffield withdrew 9 days ago. BBC Radio Sheffield devoted a two-hour Breakfast programme to addressing the topic: Steve Bailey (presenter) and Sarah Major (editor) provided interviews with a range of people (including from SAME). Crucially, Steve spoke with our acting Diocesan Bishop, Rt Revd Peter Burrows—who spoke with deep care and precision about what we are facing collectively, across many traditions and perspectives in Goole, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley, Dinnington, Sheffield and the surrounding areas.
The sister papers, the Sheffield Star and the Sheffield Telegraph have also sought to reflect some of the range of local experiences we are having in the light of Bishop Philip withdrawing as nominee.
This matters especially, here, since in the area of Sheffield Diocese there have been some who felt able to be outspoken about the situation and yet many more who wanted to express pastoral concern, anxiety and distress.
Both the outspoken and the pastorally concerned have come from many different places and traditions or sections of the life of Diocese as is shown in those who were concerned. People from the SAME collective are not from just one group or category label (e.g. ‘liberals’)! We continue to applaud all commentators and news outlets who, along with our local news media, have assisted in working for a better quality of conversation about what has happened and what will happen locally for us, in the Diocese of Sheffield, a place that is loved by all who serve and worship here.