Predictions for 2012

Here are my New Year predictions for 2012.

  1. The Diocese of Edinburgh will have a new bishop by this time next year. (There is currently an Episcopal vacancy). However, they will have been unable to select a bishop from the first list and will end up chosing a bishop from a new short list prepared by a second preparatory committee.
  2. The Scottish Episcopal Church will vote in principle against taking a path that would lead to the Anglican Covenant being adopted in Scotland, whilst also affirming that it regards the Communion as important and life-giving. The vote will be closer than people think.
  3. The Scottish Government (as it really will be by then) will still not have brought in marriage for same-sex couples but by this time next year we will know how they propose to do it. I think that they will allow such marriages to be in a religious context but fear that this will only be for religious denominations who opt in. This will lead to trouble in churches like the Scottish Episcopal Church. Those who completed the Government consultation on behalf of the church will rue the day they completed the response. (“We should beware of what we ask for in future” will be muttered below several mitres).
  4. There will be further significant losses for the Liberal Democrats who will face a wipe-out in local elections north of the border. The message from party leaders will be that we need to keep on with current policies, times were bound to be hard, it was always going to be difficult, government is tricky but it will all be worth it in the end. Activists will pour scorn in private and increasingly in public. The country will refuse to be be fooled (this time).
  5. Labour will lose control of Glasgow City Council but Obama will retain the White House though America will seem more divided than ever. We might hope that he governs more bravely if he does get four more years.
  6. At least one Liberal Democrat MP will cross the floor and join the Labour party.
  7. At least one gay Anglican bishop in  the UK will be outed. (And if the Telegraph decide to do to the Church of England’s dirty linen what it did to the MP’s expenses, there will be a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth).
  8. The Archbishop of Canterbury will resign and take up an Academic post. His successor will not come from York, nor from the North-West, nor from the capital (too many tiaras to carry and too damaged by the Occupy movement), nor from Bradford, nor from anywhere outside England (made that mistake last time). No, the new ABC will come not from the North, not from the West, not from the South but from the East. (Modified in the light of a comment below)
  9. Increasing pressure will be put on Muslim and Jewish communities over the way animals are slaughtered. This one is a bit out of left field, but I think this might take off. Activists from the right (anti-immigration) and the left (animal welfare) and also single issue animal-rights people and secularists could all push this and push it together. Those wanting to defend such religious customs ought to get their arguments in order. I’m not convinced that they will win either and won’t find much support from their liberal Christian friends this time.
  10. The UK government will re-introduce fox-hunting with hounds as an antidote to the dire economic circumstances.
  11. More UK riots.
  12. There will be further Evangelical splinters over gay rights.


  1. william says

    I seem to remember the OT had some pretty strong comments for clerics who dared to ‘predict’ future events.
    If they were to be carried through in this case, another prediction might be that St Mary’s will have a new provost!

    • Strange, William, I thought the ‘biblical’ (i.e. Christ-analogy-bingo reading strategy derived) line was that the OT was full of specific predictions, made by prophets, that came true…

      • william says

        That’s true as well, Ryan.
        We gloried in that as we celebrated the incarnation of the Son of God.
        Both truths are there – and are non contradictory!

      • In the spirit of which, I think I’ll predict that dear Kelvin will not, in fact, be defrocked for allegedly trafficking in the witchcraft of predictions 😉

  2. I’m most struck by No. 1. You don’t see it going the way Argyll did then?

  3. FrPip says

    Kelvin, these predictions about the church may turn out to be clever, but they are not kind. I’m sorry to be negative of someone who’s opinion and friendship I value, but if there is anything I have learned in the last few years at my congregations, it is that it is always better to be kind than to be clever.

    • Thank you for commenting, Pip. I do not set out to harm but simply to say how I see things.

      I’m guessing you are upset by my 2 comments referring to firstly to an Episcopal vacancy and secondly to an Archepiscopal one.

      With regard to the first, I’d be delighted to be proved wrong – if there is rejoicing in the diocese over the current list and people get behind one of the candidates and elect him then that would be great for all concerned and for the wider church. I would not dismiss, by the way, the possibility of one of the candidates on the first list being elected from the second.

      With regard to the AB of C appointment, I think you are right. For that reason, I’ve removed some (though not all) of the more personal asides from my original post.

      • FrPip says

        I would never accuse you of seeking to harm, Kelvin. I have every regard for your abilities and calling as a reconciler.

        The two issues you mentioned were the ones which which struck me immediately. I would disagree, by the way – I doubt any candidate for the episcopacy would put their name forward a second time.

        But I was more concerned about the covenant issues and the gay Bishop issue. I’m very happy that you have a good media profile for speaking out on issues that matter to both you and me, but I would rather you didn’t get picked up by those hungry for column inches by being misrepresented in a way which is likely to hurt others. Maybe I’m being negative about how your post will be perceived, but then again, they’re not exactly hope-filled predictions… 🙂

        • Thanks Pip.

          History would suggest that some candidates for the Episcopacy do have a second go – it would depend surely on what reason a list failed to produce a bishop. The process can fail on several grounds and I’ve not speculated on why I think this one might not succeed.

          I’m surprised that the Covenant issue was one which caused you concern. I don’t think it would be a scandal if the SEC voted against the Covenant and that must be at least a strong possibility, given that there was no group in last year’s Synod “Indaba” discussions which reported positively on it. Those responses are a matter of public record and are available on the SEC website. Is what I’ve said about the Covenant really surprising or shocking or unkind? I’m not sure I can see that. I was amongst those last year who were surprisd (yes, and pleased) that there was not more support for the Covenant. I was also surprised, (yes, and pleased again) at the comments the Primus made at the time when he said – “I believe that either adopting or not adopting, can be seen as enriching for the Anglican Communion”.

          With regard to bishops being outed, it seems to me that it is only a matter of time. I think that the deal, is that people who are gay in public life are entitled to their privacy so long as they don’t take actions which harm other gay people or engage in complicity in anti-gay policies without themselves speaking out.

          I’m hardly the first person to observe that there are gay bishops in the UK churches. Didn’t even George Carey acknowledge that he had appointed such?

  4. william says

    Well, to be sure of that prediction! – Ryan – you would need to refer to the differing types of prophetic statement in the OT, and discern into which category Kelvin’s lay.

  5. well, they’re hardly supernatural are they? Perhaps your proclivities could be better served in picketing evangelical bookstores like Wesley Owen, who sell those (literally) Godawful “Left Behind” books that traffic in all manner of pernicious and silly predictions.

    • william says

      Your first statement is certainly true; it was precisely the lack of divine input which made some prophetic words in OT days culpable.
      Wesley Owen bookstores are already no more [Glasgow is an anomaly]; sounds as if you don’t frequent that kind of bookstore too often!
      Which prompts the next question, Ryan, which kind of books would you engage with so that you can benefit from non pernicious and wise words?

      • Please try to stay on topic William. This is a thread relating to my preditions for 2012. If you want to engage Ryan in a disucssion about book choices, there may be other places to do it but not here.

      • I was unaware that Wesley Owen is largely defunct. Hallelujah! Hopefully the Glasgow one will go the same way, perhaps by people reporting to trading standards a “Christian” bookstore that is no such thing (the wackier, creationist, republican-party-at-prayer extremes of evangelicalism that they traffic in being, to riot in understatement, not exactly synonymous with the H.C.F.) 😉

        Secondly, I said “supernatural” for a reason. The ‘predictions’ condemned in the OT were of the oogie-boogie, possibly demonic kind. I’d hazard a guess that Kelvin did not, in fact, use a ouija board or the like to come up with the harmless and interesting list above. If you genuinely believe otherwise then may I respectfully question whether your tendency to ad hom Kelvin specifically and ‘liberals’ generally has become somewhat detached from reality?

  6. william says

    I notice your guess about how Kelvin arrived at his predictions – but you don’t really know, I guess!
    After all he wants to express predictions on quite a number of issues, some of them he no doubt wishes to happen.
    “The ‘predictions’ condemned in the OT were of the oogie-boogie, possibly demonic kind”
    I don’t think that is quite as universal a claim as you suggest; many of the claims of the ‘false’ prophets, as they were described, were merely the human longings of these ‘false’ prophets – neither ‘oogie-boogie … [nor specifically] demonic’, I would guess.
    Some of Kelvin’s list [eg 1,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12!] might not seem to those involved as ‘harmless’ as you think.

    • William, neither do you know. Are you really saying that the burden of proof is , what, on me to establish that Kelvin wasn’t consulting the occult? (!) Why is that? Do you consider all ‘liberals’ to be evil-until-proven-otherwise? (depressingly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you did)

      I find it amusing that a self-styled ‘biblical’ type as yourself appears not to know the difference between ‘prophecy’ and ‘predictions’. Kelvin is not angling to get the book of Isaiah or even Habakkuk replaced with The Book of Kelvin (although I’d probably read the latter ;-))

      As to your last point: even if I conceded this – which I don’t – that hardly makes such predictions ‘false prophecy’, does it?

  7. Zebadee says

    William I cannot imagine what goes on in your mind when you come out with statements such as ” He [Kelvin] no doubt wishes to happen”. Can I suggest before ‘bursting’ into print that you take time and space to seriousy meditate on the impact that your outbusts could have. Predictions are NOT the same as wishing things to happen. One could make a number of predictions for this year but certainly do not wish them to happen. I realise that you might find this difficult to take in but it would be a helpful if you could ‘ Think on these things’.These remarks are made with as much Christian charity as I have towards people such as yourself.

  8. william says

    “I cannot imagine what goes on in your mind ”
    But isn’t that part of what it is to be human?
    By our words – like Kelvin’s predictions, or Ryan and my perusals from opposite ends of a fairly broad ecclesiatical spectrum, or the many observations that find their way onto this website…… we begin to learn and gain some inklings.
    And provided we learn with respect for one another, and even with “Christian charity “, hopefully that is for the good of all of us. Especially within the church.
    I suppose that’s at least part of the raison d’etre of this website – ‘What’s in Kelvin’s Head?’!

  9. I happened to be reading last night the history of what happened over an Episcopal vacancy in 1974. A proper cock up in which it leaked out that the Bishops would not form a majority approving any of the candidates – leaving one candidate threatening civil action, and the synod clerk charged with conveying this information to the candidates asking to be indemnified against legal action! I think the rules have changed since then, but perhaps the dynamics of these things have not. But despite all, the Spirit bloweth wherever it short-listeth…

    (Comment amended – 10 Jan 2012)

    • Thanks Duncan.

      We’ve certainly changed the rules since 1974. Indeed, for a period, it seemed as though there was an attempt to change the rules just after every election that we had.

      Things have stabalised since then and Canon 4 (which defines the rules for electing Bishops) has been stable for quite a while now though it would not surprise me hugely if it were revised a little over the next few years.

      (Comment amended – 10 Jan 2012)

      I think that it is important to note that of the six current bishops, two of them were not elected from a first short list. (For different reasons too).

      What that makes me conclude is that the Spirit sometimes bloweth through the other parts of Canon 4 than the first short list…

  10. Rosie Bates says

    Perhaps I am not appearing exactly humble with this comment. We all need to become more vocal INWARDLY and outwardly. Outing Bishops? Sad move in my view that could only cause damage and scandal. I am an Anglican priest and a mother of three and grandmother of six and just recently a great-grandmother (or hopeless one depending on colicky littlie!) So here I am outed. Predictions are self limiting but prophetic hopes may endure. I live in an obscure part of France and my ministry within the C of E is one of contemplative prayer – mostly during Roman Catholic worship! Fortunately, folks have generally supposed me to be a really ignorant fool which is exactly why I have so often stumbled into truths or half truths. I have seen what I have seen and heard what I have heard.(despite really being an ignorant fool some of the time) 2003 was something of ‘a descent into hell’ for me in Oxford Deanery. However, I belong to a people of Resurrection and what deeply interests me is what God hopes for in 2012. It is time for profound prayer folks, as I believe Holy Mary Mother of God has high hopes and prayers for one of her sons.Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales. I suggest we ponder the readings, especially Ephesians 3:8-12 and the Gospel. Thursday is The Conversion of St Paul. I know whose conversion I am praying for with the whole of my being. All shall be well all manner of things shall be well and please God we shall live to see it – this is my prophetic hope. Most of you will know what I am refering to so PRAY, without ceasing to hope. Michel Qoist’s Prayer ‘Lord why did you tell me to love?’ is helpful.

  11. Rosie Bates says

    Sorry, should read today is the Feast of St Francis de Sales – started this yesterday!


  1. Peter Ould says:

    […] CA and others to become more vocal? Will there be an attempt to out at least one bishop this year (Kelvin Holdsworth certainly thinks so)? Share this:ShareEmailPrint Church of England, Sexuality    Top Ten 2011 […]

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