With the candidates

Brechin Electoral Synod heard presentations today from five candidates. I feel for them – it is a crucible experience. Our Canon 4 process feels like a ‘bit much’ at times – but at least everybody knows where they are ..

This was my Homily at the Eucharist. I feel strongly about these things – from personal experience. So you may wonder how I got the word ‘abusive’ in.


  1. Be blessed in this holy process. And know that the Diocese of Brechin and the SEC have friends around the world praying for them.

  2. I was wondering more how you got the word “kenotic” in.

    1. Well it sort of came to hand and so I put it in – and I thought it might persuade the clergy that I knew some Greek

  3. These may have been good words to hear at the last two Electoral Colleges in the CofI. Do you think the Scottish system is fairer, better and or more satisfying in making sure a bishop is chosen?

    1. You might find Malcolm Grundy’s recent book on Episcope interesting. He suggests that what clergy find difficult is to be not chosen/dismissed without knowing why. Our process – which is akin to the American one – probably leaves people feeling that they have been able to ‘give account of themselves’ in the process. But it is not completely transparent – nor can it really be.

      And he records a comment – I think from George Carey – which notes that different appointment systems produce different kinds of bishop. He suggested that the American system – and therefore probably the Scottish system – tends not to produce mystics. Do you think there is any evidence that this might be true?

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