There’s no way of knowing how many were anxious about the nomination, here in our diocese. Some of those who were concerned about the nomination and process of announcement did sign a letter. Imogen Clout offers her opinion on what was really going on in her attempt to set the record straight.
Here we release numbers (but never names, they were confidential and have been deleted).
Nine days ago the Queen’s nominee for the role of Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Philip North withdrew, prior to being elected. Twelve days before that a public pastoral letter of concern for people in the local area was released. It was made available for people to sign. Apart from two public signatories the rest who signed are and remain private. It was the intention with this letter that people were sharing their concern directly with the nominee. The chance to send the letter never came.
People, from the Diocese of Sheffield who signed the letter knew their names would be visible to the nominee and so, in the future, were expecting to be known by their future bishop (and probably other senior staff). That meant those who did sign were making a commitment to the consequence of signing and so we imagine that it was a quite serious undertaking, especially for church-workers, church-wardens, lay-readers and clergy to do so.
People from 70 different churches C of E churches and 5 recognised orders or chaplaincies within the diocese signed.
309 people from the diocese
Of the 309 from the Diocese of Sheffield who signed, 141 were regular parishioners. A further 76 parishioners had some lay-leadership role within their church. Then there are 90 who are in a grouping that includes the: licensed; salaried; ordained; in training; or bishop’s representatives—made up of church workers, lay readers, church wardens, ordinands and clergy signed the letter.
Roles the signatories were in
Here is the breakdown of the 314 signatories.
17 church wardens (bishop’s representatives);
15 church workers;
76 in lay-leadership roles;
plus 5 ecumenical representatives within the Diocese and 2 from beyond the Diocese.
People from within the Diocese who signed the letter were resident across the following 33 post-code areas:
s2, s3, s4, s5, s6, s7, s8, s9, s10, s11, s12, s13, s17, s20, s21, s25, s26, s35, s40, s61, s63, s64, s65, s66, s71, s72, s73, s74, s75, s80, s81, dn2, dn4.
This information helps map some of the perspectives of some members and leaderships of some churches in certain parts of the Diocese.