New Year Predictions 2013

1 – The UK will lose its triple A credit rating.
2 – The Scottish Episcopal Church will have poor statistical returns this year prompting very quiet wailing and gnashing of teeth except in Argyll.
3 – At least one Church of England bishop (and maybe a pair) will be outed. (Only time I’ve retained a prediction from one year to the next).
4 – The Scottish Parliament will vote for new legislation allowing gay couples to get married. (But no such weddings this year). The details of the new category of “belief marriages” will be substantially changed and much more heavily regulated than is suggested in the recent consultation response from government.
5 – Sadly, I expect renewed campaigning for straight people to be able to enter Civil Partnerships with preparations being made for a legal challenge for 2014.
6 – The Coalition will have lower public opinion ratings by end of year due to public concerns as austerity measures bite. It will record one of the lowest public opinion rating of any UK govenment in modern times.
7 – The Church of Scotland will have a difficult General Assembly, but one characterised by fine speeches. They will approve a report which suggests having a theological study into blessing civil partnerships but not actual marriages of gay people. (This will please no-one who has any opinions about the matter and will thus be regarded as a success by those who don’t).
8 – The Church of England will be unable to agree a way forward on opening the Episcopate to Women.
9 – Justin Welby won’t put a foot wrong.
10 – The new Bishop of Durham will come from a relatively small congregation in London.


  1. Prediction 5 is an interesting one since all registered unions in Scotland are Civil Partnerships, it just that some are solomnised outside the register office by authorised persons (Church, Temple, Mosque, local hotel or top of a munro). So how can there be a campaign or legal challenge for something that already happens.

    • Nonsense, Stewart.

      What you say is not so.

      In Scotland, marriage is an institution that one can enter by either civil or religious marriage. (Religious marriage includes other belief systems, including at the moment, humanist ceremonies). Although it is the case that civil registrars regulate all marriages, it does not make them civil partnerships. Civil Partnerships are regulated by a similar system and by the same civil authority. No religious person can currently solmonise any civil partnership, only marriages and only then in some circumstances. Saying otherwise does not make it so.

      Full chapter and verse on the General Registrar of Scotland‘s website.

      See also the detailed Analysis of the Responses that the Scottish Government made following its own recent consultation exercise.

      • You note that I did not use the words “marriage” or “wedding”

        All partnerships in Scotland require the persons concerned – same sex or opposite sex – to visit the local registry office. The partnerships are registered by the civil authorities – local authorities on behalf of the Register General.

        Despite all the legalise that surrounds it, if a couple decide on a registry office ceremony it is a Civil Parternship / Civil Ceremony / whatever you wish to call it. Their partnership is carried out by the civil authorities at their premises.

        Your comment about humanist ceremonies is heartening as this is not currently allowed in England. A relative had to have a civil ceremony (registrar came to the hotel) and then the humanist ceremony took place afterwards. But then England is in such a mess over this topic.

        It needs just one simple change – persons over than the (local authority) registrars being permitted to solomnise all types of partnership in all approved places.

        • The “legalise” is the law.

          ” if a couple decide on a registry office ceremony it is a Civil Parternship / Civil Ceremony / whatever you wish to call it. ”

          Well no. And that’s the point. What a couple may choose to call their relationship has absolutely no bearing on what it actually, legally is.

  2. Interesting list. Care to put a name to who you think will be number 3 (cheekily he asks) and 10 (seriously he asks).

  3. pamela says

    10. Interesting as that goes against much of what Duham has previously endured… Bishops with little or no parish experience but accademics and deans of cathedrals. Hope it comes pass.. Would love a pastorpriest … And from the Catholic wing of the Church– meant to say English deans of cathedrals…

  4. #pedantalert It’s solemnise, nothing to do with Solomon.

  5. Thank you Pam. All are welcome here, including pedant’s.

  6. “The Scottish Episcopal Church will have poor statistical returns this year prompting very quiet wailing and gnashing of teeth except in Argyll.” – Settle an argument here: are you saying that all will be sweetness and light in Argyll while the rest of the SEC goes to the dogs?

    • Well, yes.

      Well, up to a point.

      It might be my view that Argyll went to the dogs a few years ago and is showing some signs of coming back from the dogs.

      I expect Argyll and possibly Moray, Ross and Caithness to have reasonable figures to display to the rest of the world. Wailing and gnashing of teeth from the rest.

  7. Kirstine says

    10. Rev. Adam Smallbone for Durham? We can but hope …

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