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Church of England
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Church of England
World News

Flying bishop consecrations U-turn results in apology from Canterbury Cathedral

by Sophie Drew

The Diocese of Canterbury has been the victim of considerable backlash on Twitter after announcing the consecration of the new flying bishops would not be livestreamed, despite citing Lambeth Palace as the people behind the decision.

Provincial episcopal visitors - otherwise known as flying bishops - offer leadership to churches that do not believe women should be ordained.

There has been considerable discussion surrounding their consecration in Canterbury Cathedral on Thursday.

The new Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Rev Dr Rob Munro, will minister to conservative evangelicals, whilst the Bishop of Oswestry, Rev Paul Thomas, will oversee Anglo-Catholic parishes.

The Dean of Canterbury, Very Rev David Montieth, released a letter on Monday announcing that neither consecration would be livestreamed, as is usually the way, saying it would be “unhelpful overall” to the Church’s commitment to “mutual flourishing”.

Very Rev Montieth said the Church recognised that, whilst the Anglo-Catholic consecration was historical, the evangelical installation “doesn’t do that,” and therefore was likely to ruffle feathers.

He cited “colleagues at Lambeth and beyond” as the body behind the decision.

However, hours later the Diocese of Canterbury released a second statement saying the decision had been reversed.

It read: “After further consideration over the last day, we’re pleased to say that both consecration services taking place at the Cathedral on Thursday will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.

“We’re sorry for any confusion caused by earlier correspondence.”

The first service, to consecrate the Bishop of Oswestry, will be held in the morning. The consecration of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet will take place in the afternoon.

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