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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Bishop of Greater London

Edit - after this post was written the Telegraph article was rewritten to remove the Bishop of Greater London and make it clear that Bp Croft thinks the "ban" is silly. There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repents or one journo that corrects a story...

Utterly intrigued by the discovery, courtesy of the Telegraph, of Jonathan Blake, "Bishop of Greater London".  Interestingly the Telegraph lists him alongside Stephen Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, as attacking the Church of England "Lord's Prayer" ad.

It says something for the religious illiteracy of the Telegraph that it takes this comment from Bp Croft:
And The Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, said it was hardly surprising that the Lord’s Prayer had been banned “in the boardrooms of consumer culture” as it promoted everything global corporations were against.
as an attack on the ad, not on corporate culture. But let's leave Bp Croft aside. His point is well-made (if badly understood by the reporter, Victoria Ward, who is presumably hoping that if she writes a really good article she won't have to write in pencil any more.) And we've heard of the Bishop of Sheffield.

The Bishop of Greater London. I'd never heard of him. I mean, it doesn't sound like a proper title, like "Archdruid of Husborne Crawley", a post going back in its current form to 2000 AD and before the interruption due to the evil Celts to 4000 BC. Although I once met the Archdeacon of Charing Cross and that sounds pretty unlikely as well. Very Barchester.

What Victoria Ward fails to mention is that the Bishop of Greater London is not a Church of England or Roman Catholic bishop. He is a bishop, according to Wikipedia, of the Open Episcopal Church. And so entitled to that title. And according to their front page he is very much an action-bishop.

I don't quite understand the point the Bishop of Greater London is making in his comment on his own web site about the Lord's Prayer controversy, where he appears to be saying that identifying God with Jesus is wrong. But then he fell prey to that mistake of typing " fell pray ", so it could just be poorly wordsmithed.

So that's the Bishop of Greater London. I hear he has an Archdeacon of Fulham Broadway and a Dean of Staples Corner, and his cincture is technically called the M25, but that's just a rumour.


  1. If anyone from the Telegraph is reading this - little Vicky Ward is definitely not ready to move on to joined up handwriting yet! The worst aspect of her article is the way it flips between bishops Blake and Cross in such a aways that you have to be reading the article a whole lot more carefully than I was just now to pick up who is saying and doing what. For a moment I thought that she had told us that the Bishop of Sheffield had performed a gay marriage service (which I was surprised that I hadn't heard of before, if true)!

    A cursory glance at Jonathan Blake's website doesn't endear him to me - too much self-promotion and too little punctuation - but, as a Methodist, who am I to criticise dissident Church of England priests who form breakaway movements?

  2. Ah yes, the bishop of GL, I'd been hoping that he'd decided on a period (say, 20 years) of silent prayer and reflection. Presumably the Telegraph's latest religious affairs comic commentator found him in the yellow pages under "bishops".

  3. Looks like the article in the 'Telegraph' that you linked to has been edited in the early hours of this morning to remove all reference to "Bishop" Blake, and to clarify that the Bishop of Sheffield is for the Lord's Prayer, and not much in favour of corporate culture. Ms Ward deserves her pen, and a pat on the back - repentant sinners and all that.

    1. I assume that Lexi Finnigan, who is now a co-author of the piece, already has a pen that she could allow Victoria to practise with.

  4. The original url is still in place: the internet is less forgiving than the blogosphere....

  5. "I hear he has an Archdeacon of Fulham Broadway and a Dean of Staples Corner..."

    Mornington Crescent!

  6. He has "conducted a wedding underwater". I'm struggling to think of any reason why this abuse of the sacraments should take place, other than as a publicity stunt.

  7. Sorry, me again. I see that the good BOGL has decided to improve upon Christ by writing his own modern Lord's Prayer - I'm not sure who the "Lord" is supposed to be in this context, but I can guess that he may be a former Anglican who decided that he wanted to be a bishop.

    Anyway, here it is: