The clergy transfer season ended today with a frenzy of unexpected, last minute transactions taking place between Dioceses.
The much publicised signing of the Bishop of Durham by Canterbury had already gone ahead before the transfer window closed, but in a last minute frenzy, the impending retirements of the Bishops of Liverpool, Exeter, Bath & Wells, Tewkesbury, Dunwich, Colchester and the Diocese in Europe coupled with existing vacant team slots in St. Germans, Lewes, Whitby, Blackburn and Manchester meant that the field was wide open for a major bout of surprise signings. This was further complicated when Ian Duncan Smith at the Department of Work and Pensions became aware of the large number of vacancies and attempted to insist that these were filled by signing the Crown Nominations Commission up to his flagship Workfare scheme.
Under the Government’s Workfare scheme, the disabled, the terminally ill and those unable to find paid employment (due to austerity forcing many businesses to fold) are made to work unpaid for large corporations in order to continue to receive benefit payments.
A Crown Nominations Commission spokesperson commented, “While the concept of working for less than subsistence level income and becoming ‘a slave to all’ is very much in line with the kind of servant ministry we seek from Bishops, we feel that making the terminally ill turn up to the House of Lords and General Synod will breach their human rights as it possibly counts as a “cruel and unusual punishment”.
Anyone wishing to become a Bishop was asked to write to the Crown Nominations Commission, enclosing a CV and a sworn statement that they were not openly gay, a woman or a conservative Evangelical.