"We are grateful that the Archbishop of Canterbury has made it possible for us to be consecrated on the same day, in spite of the Covid-19 restrictions. We are hugely looking forward to working together in the same diocese and across theological divisions, united as we are by our faith in Jesus Christ and our calling to live and proclaim his gospel.
It is untrue to say [as some are reporting] that Prebendary Will Hazlewood declined to be consecrated as bishop of Lewes by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The arrangements for consecrations are the sole responsibility of the Archbishop: we are thankful for the distinctive arrangement he has made for a traditionalist provision.
The Church of England’s 5 Guiding Principles recognise that the theological discipline of those who are unable to receive sacramental ministry from ordained women has a recognised and respected place within the spectrum of our practice. These Principles also require recognition and acceptance from traditionalists that female priests and bishops lawfully and truly hold office in the Church of England. The oath of Canonical Obedience to an archbishop or bishop is taken by traditionalists, irrespective of the archbishop's gender.
In recognition of the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, we will both take the same oath of Canonical obedience in all things honest and lawful. We will also be recognising that the consecration of Will takes place through the Archbishop’s free and generous exercise of that jurisdiction in delegating the act of consecration to one of the Archbishop’s suffragan assistants under the 5 Guiding Principles.
The Archbishop’s decision to make a distinctive arrangement for that consecration is consistent with other examples of provision that the Archbishop makes under the 5 Guiding Principles. This provision ensures continuity and respect for ordaining priests and deacons, and celebrating Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, within the traditionalist discipline of the Church of England.
As Bishops of Horsham and Lewes, we will minister to people of all theological viewpoints within the spectrum of the Church of England’s life. We will serve all those who are entrusted to our care as an example of how to live and work with a focus on faith in Jesus Christ that enables us to bear our differences with humility, joy and love.
Please pray for us as we embark on this daunting and exciting venture of faith."
Ruth Bushyager, Bishop-designate of Horsham
Will Hazlewood, Bishop-designate of Lewes.