Thursday, 1 November 2007

Bishop of Chelmsford continues to refuse ordination to Richard Wood

In a letter sent within the past few days, the Bishop of Chelmsford has once again told Richard Wood, an ordination candidate in the Diocese of Chelmsford, that he cannot be ordained whilst he continues to refuse, on grounds of conscience, to receive Communion with the Bishop.

The precise contents of the letter are confidential, but the Bishop has claimed on previous occasions that if a candidate is told by the diocesan bishop that he or she will be ordained by a particular person, then that is a 'lawful' instruction which must be followed in order for the candidate to comply with the oath of canonical obedience.

The diocesan authorities in Chelmsford had agreed to provide funding for Richard up to the end of October, and to allow him to live in a house in Dagenham parish owned by the Diocesan Board of Finance and provided for the residence of a curate.

Richard has met several times since the summer with the Bishop, the Archdeacon and the Canon Theologian of Chelmsford Cathedral, to discuss his situation and his objections.

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