Father Philip North Withdraws From Bishop of Whitby Post
London 17 December 2012:  Father Philip North, who earlier this year was appointed to be the new Bishop of Whitby in the Diocese of York, has announced he is withdrawing from the role. He has notified the Archbishop of York and his current bishop, the Bishop of London, of his decision. He will now remain as Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras in North London.
Philip North commented, “It was a great honour to be chosen for this role and I had been very much looking forward to taking up the position. However, in the light of the recent vote in the General Synod and having listened to the views of people in the Archdeaconry of Cleveland I have reached the conclusion that it is not possible for me at this difficult time for our church to be a focus for unity. I have therefore decided that it is better to step aside at this stage.
“I have reached this decision after a time of deep reflection and feel sure that it is for the best. I now look forward to refocusing my energies on the pastoral needs of my Parish.”
The Bishop of London added, “I can understand the reasons for Philip’s decision. He is a gifted and energetic priest and I am glad that he remains in this Diocese to continue his outstanding work in Camden Town.”

A response to the General Synod’s decision on Women Bishops from the Clergy of the Parish of Old St Pancras.

On Tuesday the General Synod rejected legislation that would have paved the way for women to be consecrated as Bishops. As you will be aware this has led to a great deal of very negative coverage in the press and has triggered a serious crisis for the Church.

It is very important to understand what this vote was about. Synod was not voting on the principle of having women Bishops. That in itself was agreed a long time ago. This was about the legislation  which is required to make it possible. A number of people, especially in the house of laity, did not believe that the legislation put in front of them was fair because it did not make sufficient provision for those who in conscience feel unable to accept such a development.

As a Parish we hold together people with very diverse views on this issue. If you oppose the idea of women as Bishops, this vote is no cause for celebration for many faithful Anglicans will be deeply grieving. If the consecration of women is a development you want to see, then do not despair. It will come, and perhaps the current crisis will mean that it can be done in a way that gives greater respect to the consciences of all.

Meanwhile it is crucially important that, as a Parish, we go on praying and witnessing together. With its diversity of opinion amongst clergy and laypeople on this and other issues, our Parish can provide something of a model of a church which is united in witness whilst holding together the breadth of Anglicanism. Let us all pray that that may long continue for the good of the communities we serve.

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