The New Directions Interview

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet

The first in a series of interviews; this month with The Right Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

ND New Directions: Now that the dioceses have voted on the Measure and considered the following motions, how do you see the outcome?

Favourite composer?

Favourite piece of music?

 

ND: So how do you see the Synodical process developing to July or possibly November next year?

Favourite author?

Favourite book?

ND: Do you see the issue coming to the July Synod for the final vote, or might it be pushed on to November?

ND: How have you found your absence from General Synod, where you were such a powerfully articulate voice, how has that affected your contribution to the debate do you think? Would you not rather be there to see the final scenes enacted?

ND: How have you found your relations with dioceses and bishops since youíve been consecrated?

Favourite painter?

Favourite painting?

ND: In the past few months you have become a bishop, you have remained as Principal of Pusey House in Oxford, you have been appointed Chairman of Forward in Faith, and also General Secretary of the Society of the Maintenance of the Faith. How have you, over the past six or seven months, been able to balance and manage those individually rather demanding roles?

What programme is unmissable on television?

  • Have I Got News for You.

What programme is unmissable on radio?

  • Iím Sorry I Havenít a Clue.

ND: You did not join those who responded to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus by joining the Personal Ordinariate. This was a surprise to some. How did you come to your decision?

Who is your favourite historical character?

  • I suppose Iíd be tempted to say Shakespeare again if thatís not too dull

Who is your least favourite historical character?

  • Thomas Cromwell.

ND: There has been some very sharp division between those who remain in the Church of England, at least some of them for the time being, and those who went to the Ordinariate and some very unhelpful and rather unpleasant things have been said. What are the relations between the Ordinariate and those who remain at present as you see it and your personal relations, if any, with the members of the Ordinariate?

ND: You touched on it slightly in your answer there but how do you now see relations between what you might call loosely the Anglo-Catholics who remain in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches?

Who is your favourite fictional character?

  • Inspector Morse.

Who is your favourite actor?

  • I remember seeing Ralph Richardson once, and he was superb.

ND: At the Assembly of Forward in Faith you said that after an initial scepticism about the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda you were now a Ďconvertí. Can you tell us how that came about?

What is the last film you saw?

  • It is called The Help which is a film about the experience of Negro housemaids in the southern United States in the 1950s and 60s before the Civil Rights Movement.

What was the last live music you heard?

  • A recital of operatic arias at St Johnís Smith Square in memory of my deceased former English teacher and opera critic J. B. Steane.
  • What is your favourite food?
  • Roast belly of pork.

ND: If you were to be asked to prophesy, where do you see yourself and Forward in Faith and AngloCatholics generally by the end of the year 2012?

Who is your favourite actress?

If not doing what you are doing now, then what?

Bus driver.

What is your favourite drink?

  • Early in the evening, Bombay Sapphire and tonic; over dinner a good Burgundy.
  • What annoys you most? People who wonít shut up!

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