The Rt Revd. Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester
There have been a number of surprising and even shocking news items emerging from the Church of England in the last few days.
The early retirement of the Bishop of Winchester
after he had already “stepped back” from his role last May.
Not least surprising is the rather sudden announcement by the Bishop of Winchester (consecrated in 2011) that he is to retire early. He had already stepped aside from his position since May when he was threatened with a vote of no-confidence at a coming Diocesan Synod. This was said to be on account of his high handed manner of running diocesan affairs
He explained at that time (last May) that he was “stepping back” in order to “focus on discussions about future leadership and governance reform in the diocese”. In announcing his decision to retire next year he stated that “”The painfully difficult financial decisions made over the last year have caused real anguish,” and that, “In trying to secure a sustainable future for the growth of the diocese, it is clear that I’ve not done enough to acknowledge what we have lost in this process…..I realise that the steps taken to stabilise the finances continue to cause upset. ” and further that “To those I’ve hurt or let down, I am sorry,”
The (suffragan) Bishop of Southampton, Debbie Sellin, will continue to fulfil bishop Dakin’s duties in the interim.
It has also been reported that the more senior suffragan in the diocese, the Rt. Rev. David Williams, has also stepped back, on account of the fact that according to the Church Times he was “said to be in sympathy with the protesters”
Bishop Dakin will not be resuming his role but will not formally retire until February 2022, by which time he will not have been performing his functions as the Bishop for nine months..
During his tenure there had been a very notable earlier dispute with the Dean of Jersey. This led to the Channel Islands being removed in 2014 from the oversight of the Bishop of Winchester, reportedly over safeguarding concerns, a change that interrupted a relationship of 500 years standing. (For the BBC report, see: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-57201264).
Report on Bullying in the Church
The seemingly ever expanding horizons for allegations of abuse, of one form or another, in the church now look to be widening yet further in the Church of England, — most recently in regard to possible allegations of bullying. A new “Research Paper”, originally written by Clive S.G Billeness (seemingly within one week of being requested) has been presented to the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe. This report argues that bullying allegations need to be taken every bit as seriously as those about any other form of abuse and should fall under the extensive Safeguarding apparatus which has been created across the entire Church of England.
The Paper can be read in full here: