I was very sad today when I heard the news that Father Philip North has withdrawn his acceptance of becoming the new Bishop of Whitby but will remain at his present parish of Old St. Pancras where he is Team Rector..
This is a great loss not only to the people of the See of Whitby but to Anglo-Catholics generally.
Fr. North said in a statement issued on the Diocese of London website: “It was a great honour to be chosen for this role and I had been very much looking forward to taking up the position.
“However, in the light of the recent vote in the General Synod and having listened to the views of people in the archdeaconry of Cleveland, I have concluded that it is not possible for me, at this difficult time for our Church, to be a focus for unity.
“I have therefore decided that it is better to step aside at this stage.
“I have reached this decision after a time of deep reflection and feel sure that it is for the best. I now look forward to refocusing my energies on the pastoral needs of my parish.”
Bishop of London the Rt Rev Richard Chartres said: “I can understand the reasons for Philip’s decision. He is a gifted and energetic priest and I am glad that he remains in this diocese to continue his outstanding work in Camden Town.”