Saturday, 9 June 2007

Dispute grows over 'abrasive' Oxford principal

Pressure is mounting on Church of England authorities to take action against the principal of an Oxford theological college accused of alienating staff.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, is being urged to withdraw his support for the Rev Richard Turnbull, the principal of Wycliffe Hall, who has been criticised for his allegedly abrasive management style and conservative brand of Christianity.

Alister McGrath, a leading theologian and Wycliffe's previous principal, has pulled out of delivering a prestigious lecture in Liverpool in protest at the lack of action by Bishop Jones, who is the chairman of the hall's governing council.

The Bishop, meanwhile, has tried to assuage the concerns of senior colleagues in a confidential briefing at a meeting of the House of Bishops earlier this month. The dispute erupted following allegations of clashes between Dr Turnbull, who is introducing reforms in the college, and disgruntled academics, some of whom have resigned. Read more

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