Looking back at last year’s predictions

Time to have a look back at the predictions I made at New Year last year.

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.

I got this one wrong – the Diocese of Edinburgh chose someone from the first list.

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.

I got this one mostly right. The SEC did precisely what I expected it to do except that it was not a close vote at all, it was overwhelming.

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).

I don’t think I was far out with this one. The muttering in Scotland is still to be heard out loud. It can already be heard quite loudly from the Church in Wales.

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 fooled (this time).

I wasn’t far off.

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.

Half right – Labour didn’t lose control of Glasgow but Obama did retain the White House. America certainly seems divided.

At least one Liberal Democrat MP will cross the floor and join the Labour party.

I don’t think this has happened thought there has been talk.

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).

I don’t think this has happened but, my goodness, there has been a lot of talk!

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.

Well, the ABC did resign in favour of an academic post. His successor was a surprise. I was hinting at the Bishop of Norwich who was certainly much talked about in the latter stages but I never saw Justin Welby coming through. Indeed, a year ago, I would have been likely to suggest to anyone making that prediction that such an appointment would indicate a surprising lack of confidence in the current leadership of the Church of England.

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.

This one has not taken off as an issue but it simmers, I think. May still bubble up.

The UK government will re-introduce fox-hunting with hounds as an antidote to the dire economic circumstances.

Again, no action but plenty of talk, particularly on recent days.

More UK riots.

I think I got this blessedly wrong.

There will be further Evangelical splinters over gay rights.

Again, this is happening but I expect it will become increasingly public in the coming months.


  1. What predictions do you have for 2013?

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