Posted by The_Elves



From the Church of England Evangelical Council
...Recently there have been a number of public pronouncements and actions that undermine or are a direct challenge to the authority of Holy Scripture and the faith revealed in it and expressed in the tradition and teaching of the Church of England. These include :

1. Calls for God to be referred to as 'she' which are a direct challenge to the revelation in the Scriptures that God has given of Himself, as Father and Son. God is neither male nor female and beyond human understanding of gender, but the inspired revelation we have received does not allow us the liberty to describe Him as Her, and any attempts to pray to God as our 'mother in heaven' are to be resisted.

2. A serving Bishop appearing in an employment tribunal to oppose a colleague who is upholding church teaching and discipline (which does not endorse same-sex marriage) and, in his testimony, describing the canonical definition of marriage as 'lousy'.

3. The endorsement of Gay Pride through a public prayer of blessing on the recent march outside the Minster Church of the Northern Province.

4. The Shared Conversations as constructed are revealing that the traditional view on same sex relationships is not held by a large proportion of the diocesan representatives and comes across as a minority view. The overarching question and theme for the Conversations is the church's response to the changes in our culture, and not a study of the provided texts and existing teaching of the Church of England. We are told that no particular outcome is expected or sought by these conversations, but the current position of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, arising out of the plain meaning of the scriptural texts, appears to be poorly represented by the diocesan representatives and this is of real concern, as we had hoped for a proper conversation and engagement.

Faced with the gap between these examples and the publically stated adherence of all clergy to the doctrinal base of the Church of England, we reaffirm and celebrate that base as the inheritance of the Church of England. We believe that all called into leadership should give and maintain their assent to it, and be guided by it, in their teaching and ministry.

We therefore invite evangelicals in all the English Dioceses to renew a commitment to praying...

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted July 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“We may or may not like it, but we must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality and we have not fully heard it,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, a year ago. But one of his own bishops says that sticking with the traditional line leaves the CofE suspended in mid-air like Wile E Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon, desperately trying to maintain an impossible position.

“The Church is like a cartoon character who has run off a cliff and is frantically moving his legs faster and faster in the hope it will save him, when he knows there is nothing underneath,” says the Right Rev Alan Wilson, one of the more plain speaking bishops.

“There are about a billion human beings on the planet who have access to same-sex marriage in their country or jurisdiction, so the thought that this is going to go away – or that it is just about a few people in San Francisco – is just wrong.”

He believes a fundamental shift in understanding is happening within the wider Church. “The Evangelicals in particular are in a wibbly wobbly place.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted July 6, 2015 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO, said:

“In his many publications and in his teaching in St Mellitus College, Graham has demonstrated a generous orthodoxy which combines depth with clarity. He has continually combined teaching with pastoral care for those preparing for parochial and other ministries. His whole ministry in a sense has been in support of the ‘local church’ for which he has a passion. As Area Bishop he will be able to develop this theme in his ministry as he serves the remarkably diverse Christian communities in West London.”

Graham trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, was a curate in Exeter, later returning to Wycliffe as a tutor in Historical Theology and eventually becoming Vice Principal. In 2005, he helped found St Paul’s Theological Centre, which is now part of St Mellitus College. Graham is the author of many articles and several books, most recently, ‘The Widening Circle – Priesthood as God’s way of Blessing the World’, published in 2014. He is married to Janet and has two grown-up children.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anne is currently vicar of St Peter’s Church in St Albans, a ‘small, historic city’, where she describes her role as ‘growing a vision for an outward-focused mission and ministry’. Previously, she has worked as a youth worker in West Sussex and then Nottingham, where both Anne and her husband Steve explored a call to ordained ministry.

In 1999, after a joint curacy in another challenging area of inner city Nottingham, Anne and Steve moved to Derby where Anne was Chaplain at the University of Derby and Derby Cathedral for six years. Steve pursued a different path and is currently a part-time tutor with the Church Army and a half-time consultant, trainer and researcher in mission and contemporary culture.

Having moved to Manchester in 2005, Anne served as a Residentiary Canon of Manchester Cathedral and as Chaplain to the Bishop of Manchester where she says she ‘loved the city centre cathedral ministry, but also had a privileged opportunity to learn a lot about the challenges and opportunities of a complex urban diocese’.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Those who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults know only too well the risks associated with residential care. In 2012, of the 16,500 children who were found to be at high risk of sexual exploitation, more than a third—35%—were children living in residential care. It seems to me that these amendments would add additional strength to the general direction of the Bill, which we on these Benches happily support. We also draw on the research and briefing of the Children’s Society.

Places which care for children, young people and vulnerable adults in either residential or supported care facilities can easily become targeted by people who, via grooming and addiction to psychoactive drugs, use control to lead children and vulnerable adults into other very serious kinds of abuse. I note the point that the noble Lord made that accepting the amendment would put this offence on the same footing as that of supplying drugs outside a school, which the Bill already makes an aggravating factor.

My colleague the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Bristol told me that last year, in his own city of Bristol, 13 men were convicted of a string of sexual offences involving sexual abuse, trafficking, rape and prostitution of teenage girls as young as 13 years old. Their tactics were clear: in return for drugs and alcohol, young girls were forced to perform sexual acts with older men. Much more could be said but I want to support these amendments because, as I say, they would help this vulnerable group to receive additional protection.

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Posted July 1, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After her ordination in 1996, Ruth served for fourteen years as a parish priest in Nottingham in one of the poorest areas in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. During this time she served as an Area Dean and was made Dean of Women’s Ministry for the diocese in 2007. In 2010 she took on the role of Parish Development Adviser in the Diocese of Southwark, based in Bermondsey. In 2013 she swapped inner-city life for Wiltshire.

Speaking in advance of today’s announcement, Ruth said, “I am surprised and amused to be chosen as the next Bishop of Taunton as I grew up in a non-conformist church where women held no roles of leadership. I am delighted to be heading to Somerset to join the diocesan team in this wonderful part of the world, moving ‘next door’ as it were. It will be a great privilege to meet and serve everyone who lives and works in the county.”

“In a diocese with such a mix of rural and more urban parishes, each I’m sure with its own distinct personality, I’m really keen to experience how our churches and the diocese are meeting those different needs. And how we can engage in the process of transformation, one which changes lives, both our own and others, and then influences the way in which we are ‘Church’ and brings about a renewed sense of community.”

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted June 30, 2015 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

David Ould reports:

Four prominent Anglo-Catholic clergy in the Buckinghamshire region of Oxford Diocese have joined their evangelical colleagues in speaking out against Bishop Alan Wilson.
Anglo Catholic clergy in Buckingham Area join evangelicals in objecting to Bishop trying to redefine church marriage
‘The definition of Marriage within the Canon Law of the Church of England is in accord with that of the whole Church for almost 2000 years. It is a matter of serious concern that a Bishop of the Church of England, who is one of those “ordained to be shepherds of Christ’s flock and guardians of the faith of the apostles” (Common Worship Ordinal) should describe that definition as “lousy.” ‘
The Rev’d Canon, Fr Victor Bullock, Vicar of Fenny Stratford
The Rev’d Canon, Fr Gary Ecclestone, Vicar of Hanslope & Castlethorpe
The Rev’d Fr Andrew Montgomerie, Rector of Iver Heath (and trustee of Prayer Book Society)
The Revd Fr Ross Northing, Rector of Stony Stratford with Calverton

This very public move by key Anglo-Catholics appears to utterly undermine Wilson’s claim during a number of radio interview this past Sunday that opposition to his public statements was limited to a small number of objectors. On the contrary, I understand that a letter is circulating which has a growing number of signatories. This isn’t going away, in fact quite the opposite. Wilson’s attempts to dampen the fire have failed. Conservatives I’m speaking to are outraged by his radio interviews and according to one prominent figure in the ongoing discussions,
“[Bishop Wilson’s letter] has made things worth as it has displayed a total lack of understanding of what it is that people are unhappy about. I am delighted that more and more people are being encouraged to speak out to show him that we are not a ‘potty’ fringe group”

It’s fair to say that the Oxford Diocese has reached a crisis moment.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 25, 2015 at 11:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England Newspaper
It was a tale of two bishops at last week’s industrial tribunal hearing in Nottingham over the case of Jeremy Pemberton, a hospital chaplain who was refused a license because he entered into a same-sex marriage. Firstly, there was Bishop Richard Inwood, the acting diocesan bishop who didn’t really deserve to be hauled out of retirement to be subjected to forensic questioning in the tribunal. His equivocations over the harmfulness of same-sex marriage to the doctrine of the Church of England, revealed a half-hearted approach to defending his original decision.

An impression was given that he was merely following orders that led the tribunal judge to suggest that the Church of England’s position on same-sex marriage was a ‘busted flush’. The deafening silence from Lambeth Palace and Bishopthorpe hung over proceedings. In contrast, the Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, acting as an expert witness for Jeremy Pemberton, was characteristically and defiantly dismissive of the Church’s orthodox view that marriage is between a man and a woman as a “lousy definition” of matrimony.

Thankfully, clergy in his diocese are now calling for Bishop Wilson’s resignation and refusing his Episcopal ministry. About time, he has for too long been at odds with the Church of England’s teaching. But his decisive and courageous defence of Jeremy Pemberton and his willingness to speak his mind and court controversy, contrasts with the timidity of his colleagues who are supposed to be defending the Church of England’s doctrine. I suspect that this willingness to confront the indecisive handwringing of the Church of England may yet give Jeremy Pemberton a victory in his tribunal case. It is however, likely to be a short-lived victory – the Church of England has protections and exemptions. Further, the courts of the land have no business adjudicating on the doctrine of the Church of England.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...Eighteen months ago, the Archbishop of York stated publicly that the Church of England could not provide blessings for faithful, monogamous gay couples in civil partnerships or marriages. Yet here, in York, his staff, with his approval, have given a public blessing to a large number of people celebrating homosexual relationships and practice, many of whom are involved in lifestyles which do not fit in even to the more narrow category of “permanent, faithful, stable”. Some no doubt feel that this is a public demonstration of the effectiveness of the church’s witness to marginalised people, but for others it is a strong symbol of the church blessing immorality, and meekly capitulating to, and being willingly co-opted by, the dominant powers of the age who are in rebellion against God and his Anointed.

Many had hoped that while the new morality was rapidly taking hold in the C of E at least the Archbishops would hold the line. This statement will ensure that for orthodox Anglicans here and around the world, this hope is rapidly disappearing. Some might say that the C of E is becoming an increasingly unsafe place for bible-believing Christians.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted June 24, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

David Ould reports

This morning not one but two prominent evangelical ministers in the Diocese of Oxford appeared on BBC radio to call for the resignation of Bishop Alan Wilson.

First, Vaughan Roberts of St Ebbes Oxford, one of the largest churches in the diocese, appeared on BBC Radio Oxford. You can hear a brief grab from him here on the Charles Nove Show (available for 30 days from the time of broadcast) at 1:10 into the programme followed by Alan Wilson. Roberts says,
In any line of work if you as a leader of that organisation find yourself in a fundamental disagreement with that organisation and then you publicly speak against it, the only sensible option is to resign. He must be in a very difficult position and if he finds that he doesn’t now support this view on a fundamental issue (of marriage) by the organisation he is called to serve and to lead - obviously he should resign.

An hour later Will Pearson-Gee, the Rector of Buckingham Parish Church appeared on the BBC Radio Berks Sunday morning show. The full audio of his interview and a response from Wilson is below.


It’s worth noting a couple of things at this point...

Read it all [h/t Stand Firm]
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Watch Bishop Alan Wilson speaking in October 2014 here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

"Clergy of the Diocese are entitled to express varying views on the question of human sexuality"

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See also: Milthorpe School: York Pride – Wear a Rainbow Day

At Millthorpe, we will be dressing the outside of the building in rainbow bunting and rainbow flags and staff and students are invited to wear a rainbow piece of clothing, accessory or sticker, if they wish to do so. Students must wear full school uniform but can wear an additional piece of rainbow clothing or a rainbow accessory on top of their uniform. In addition, they will have the opportunity to collect a rainbow sticker and/or rainbow hand stamp from school, to show their support for equality between lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight people in York.

Read it all

More:
- Reform/Oxf’d DEF: Evangelicals call for the Church of England to uphold the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Statement on her gay pride blessing decision by wannabee bishop Vivienne Faull
- York Mix: Minster teams up with York Pride in historic show of LGBT support
- Anglican Unscripted 186 - How to make a Brit mad!
- Prominent Oxford Diocese Evangelicals call for the resignation of Bishop Alan Wilson

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 23, 2015 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The new Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich has been enthroned at Bury St Edmunds Cathedral.

The Right Reverend Martin Seeley formally took up his position in Suffolk following his consecration as a bishop at Westminster Abbey last month. Some 900 people attended the service.

The cathedral dean said bishops should "challenge injustice".

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted June 22, 2015 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

... Rt. Rev. Graham Kings, who in July takes up a newly created seven-year post, mission theologian in the Anglican Communion, believes a fourth element is needed to make the Anderson-Venn vision complete: self-theologising.

This fourth self, he says, now needs to come to the fore, especially the largely unrecognised work of Anglican theologians from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. “It is these theological voices which need to be heard more clearly throughout the Anglican Communion,” he says.

“It’s a partnership to find and publish new voices,” Kings adds. The post is an initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church Mission Society, and Durham University. Kings has been awarded an honorary visiting fellowship at Durham, will be employed by CMS, will work in the Lambeth Palace Library, and will serve as an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of Southwark, London.

Step one will be a series of seminars around the Communion for theologians, particularly from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. There are two further elements: coordinating writing-sabbaticals for hard-pressed theologians of the Global South and publishing a series of books on Anglican theologies. Sabbaticals are being planned at colleges in Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, and at Virginia Theological Seminary’s Center for Anglican Communion Studies.

Kings, an original member and mentor in the founding of Covenant, the weblog of The Living Church, has been Bishop of Sherborne in the Diocese of Salisbury since 2009.
.........
Among the tasks ahead for Kings is setting up an endowment fund at Durham to ensure, after his seven years, a stable foundation for mission theology in the Communion. Another dream is encouraging theologians in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to serve in the role of peritus (Latin for expert) in conferences of the Communion

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 18, 2015 at 11:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Buckingham has described the Church of England's teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman as "a lousy definition".

The Rt Rev Alan Wilson was speaking at a discrimination case brought by Canon Jeremy Pemberton against the Church.

He was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain by the then acting bishop of Southwell and Nottingham after he married his partner.

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Posted June 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Declining numbers at services should not necessarily be a cause of despair for churches because people will still “encounter God” without ever taking their place in a pew, the Church of England’s newest bishop designate has insisted.

Dame Sarah Mullally, the former NHS Chief Nurse for England who has been named as the next Bishop of Crediton, said clerics must recognise that young people are as likely to hear the Christian message through social media sites such as Facebook or in cafés as in a church.

In a remarkably varied career, the 53-year-old mother-of-two has now risen to the top of two very different professions.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted June 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’ve just devoured James Rebanks‘ The Shepherd’s Life, which is a fascinating and brilliantly written account of his life as a shepherd on the Cumbrian fells (with a little international consultancy on the side to help with the bills). As near as I can reckon, it tells us non-farmers what it really means to live with that connection to a place and to a way of life which is almost completely foreign to a market society. Looking at it from the outside, why would anyone work so incredibly hard for such little reward? But that question only makes sense when you’re thinking of ‘work’ and ‘life’ as two different things. You contract for work in order to have enough money to get on with the things you really want to do.

But for farmers – or at least for Rebanks – it’s not like that. The life and the living are one and the same thing. You have to make enough money to survive, so you work as cannily as you can to maximise your return. But that’s not the heart of it. Rebooks begins by talking about the way sheep on the fells are ‘hefted’ to a specific area. Even though there aren’t any fences, they know their territory, and that’s where they stay. It’s their space. As a one-time walker on the Cumbrian fells, I can attest to the indignation of a Hardwick sheep when confronted by a stranger carrying a knapsack. One definitely gets the feeling that they’re thinking ‘if I had proper teeth, I’d be after you …’.

Rebooks leaves the reader to makes the connection with himself and his fellow farmers. But they too are hefted to their places. Not necessarily the individual farm, because people move from time to time. But to the area, the territory, they are inextricably linked. A lot of Church of England clergy feel just the same about their parishes.

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Posted June 9, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The next Bishop of Crediton is to be the Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral.

Dame Sarah, a former nurse, had a distinguished service in the NHS before ordination, culminating in her appointment as the government’s Chief Nursing Officer for England in 1999, when she was the youngest person to be appointed to the post.

She was ordained in 2001 and served her curacy in St Saviour’s Battersea Fields, initially as a self-supporting minister. She left her post as Chief Nursing Officer in 2004 to take up full time ministry becoming a Team Rector in Sutton, Surrey in 2006. In 2012 she was installed as Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral.

She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted June 9, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A different tradition is that of the Eastern Orthodox church, which I mentioned in chapter 12. There the “Jesus prayer” has been rightly popular: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (There are variations, but this is perhaps the best known.) This, like the Jewish Shema, is designed to be said over and over again, until it becomes part of the act of breathing, embedding a sense of the love of Jesus deep within the personality. This prayer, again like the Shema, begins with a confession of faith, but here it is a form of address. And instead of commandments to keep, it focuses on the mercy that the living God extends through his Son to all who will seek it. This prayer has been much beloved by many in the Orthodox and other traditions, who have found that when they did not know what else to pray, this prayer would rise, by habit, to their mind and heart, providing a vehicle and focus for whatever concern they wished to bring into the Father’s presence.

I have a great admiration for this tradition, but I have always felt a certain uneasiness about it. For a start, it seems to me inadequate to address Jesus only. The Orthodox, of course, have cherished the trinitarian faith, and it has stood them in good stead over the course of many difficult years. It is true that the prayer contains an implicit doctrine of the Trinity: Jesus is invoked as the Son of the living God, and Christians believe that prayer addressed to this God is itself called forth by the Spirit. But the prayer does not seem to me to embody a fully trinitarian theology as clearly as it might. In addition, although people more familiar than I with the use of this prayer have spoken of its unfolding to embrace the whole world, in its actual words it is focused very clearly on the person praying, as an individual. Vital though that is, as the private core of the Christian faith without which all else is more or less worthless, it seems to me urgent that our praying should also reflect, more explicitly, the wider concerns with which we have been dealing.

I therefore suggest that we might use a prayer that, though keeping a similar form to that of the Orthodox Jesus Prayer, expands it into a trinitarian mode:



Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth:

Set up your kingdom in our midst.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God:

Have mercy on me, a sinner.



Holy Spirit, breath of the living God:

Renew me and all the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

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Posted May 31, 2015 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Right Rev. and Right Hon. George Carey includes among his passions his wife, Eileen; the Barclays Premier League football club Arsenal; and “certain things such as a peaceful world,” he told The Blade during an interview at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Detroit.

The former archbishop of Canterbury elaborated on obstacles to peace that he sees.

“I really do feel very worried about” what is happening to Christians in the Middle East at the hands of the Islamic State, Lord Carey said. “I think we’re now living in a world more dangerous than ever.”

He said that “our biggest enemy now is [ISIS] and Islamic fundamentalism, which now exists in America in all those Muslim families that you have graciously invited and said, following the Statue of Liberty, ‘Come and make your home here.’

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Posted May 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a boy I was fascinated with space travel. Perhaps it was growing up during the so-called ‘space-race’ when the USSR competed with the USA to send a human into space or land a man on the moon. Although the Soviets won the initial stage with the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin they were soon eclipsed by the Americans, 12 of whom stepped onto the lunar surface.

My reading material reflected this fascination as I went through a series of library books with such gripping titles as Mission to Mercury, Voyage to Venus and Journey to Jupiter. At around that time, it must have been in the second half of junior school, I was introduced to the concept of infinity. The universe itself was presented as infinite and I can remember lying in bed thinking about the vastness of space and finding myself feeling afraid, pulling the bed covers over me as if that would make a difference!

Scientists do not now regard our universe as infinite, though the notion of ‘multiverses’ – the theory there may be an infinite number of other possible universes – keeps the thought alive. Yet even if our universe may have bounds, its immensity is truly overwhelming and intimidating.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted May 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of London has launched the Diocese of London’s week of prayer, in the Chapel of St Michael and George, within St Paul’s Cathedral. The prayer room has been set up in association with 24-7 Prayer and will enable London churches to engage in a week of continual prayer.

The Chapel will have various prayer stations this year which reflect a theme of journeys. The first is a rolling visual presentation of the Lord’s Prayer, after which visitors will journey through a series of banners – allowing them to reflect on their faith and pray. As they leave the Chapel, people will be invited to add a small pebble to a jar as they thank God for those who inspired them in their life’s journey and also take a small jenga brick away with them to remind them to pray for those they meet in their daily journeys.

People will also be invited to join in the Diocese of London’s Pray for Seven initiative, which invites each person to pray for seven people and enables them to share the story of their faith.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues

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Posted May 20, 2015 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Salisbury will bless 42 young yew trees on Wednesday at the cathedral.

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam — the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment — will hold the service as part of a campaign to celebrate the heritage of the nation’s ancient yew trees.

The trees represent the 42 dioceses of the Church of England.

The Conservation Foundation's 'We Love Yew' campaign is being launched to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Prime Minister, fresh from his election victory, has been warned not to listen to "harsh, strident voices", but to lighten burdens and "build one nation".

Last Friday, David Cameron celebrated the "sweetest victory of all", defying the polls by securing an outright majority in a General Election that had been widely predicted to be inconclusive.

The Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft, in a blog post written at the start of this week, counsels him to "reach out to the whole nation, to connect with the disaffected, to listen to the people and to be their servant".

The Bishop warns: "There will be those who see the Conservative majority as a mandate to fulfil and go beyond the manifesto commitments, blind to the risk of increasing the burdens of those who already bear the heavy load (of sickness, disability or the struggle to find sustainable employment)."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 15, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

An update from the Archbishop of Canterbury – Chair of the Commission

You will be aware that the Crown Nominations Commission met on the 11th and 12th May to consider the nomination of the next Bishop of Oxford and to meet with possible candidates.

I am writing to advise that the Commission has been unable to discern the candidate whom God is calling at this stage to be the next Bishop of Oxford. Under the election rules under which we operate, no candidate received the required number of votes for nomination.

The Crown Nominations Commission already has a number of meetings in place for the rest of this year. The Oxford CNC will reconvene on the 4th February 2016...

Read it all and the BBC has an article here


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted May 14, 2015 at 10:53 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Reform is delighted that their Chairman, Rev’d Preb Rod Thomas, has been appointed to the revived See of Maidstone. Rod has served as a senior officer of Reform for nearly two decades. In that time he has been unswerving in his commitment to the principles set out in the Reform Covenant. But for Rod’s passionate advocacy of conservative evangelical Anglicanism the Church of England would have been much impoverished.
...
Director of Reform, Susie Leafe said, “The members of Reform are all too aware that this is an immense undertaking and we will be in prayer for Rod as he seeks to establish the necessary working arrangements to allow conservative evangelicals to flourish throughout the country.”

Read it all and the official announcement is here and the blurb from the Church of England is here and Lambeth Palace here


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:53 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Dioceses Commission has given its approval to revive the See* of Islington paving the way for a new bishop to lead on church planting within the Diocese of London.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has written to the Commission expressing his strong support for the new See. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, formally submitted a proposal to the Commission laying out the support of both the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop's Council.

Most bishops exercise their ministry within a defined geographical area. The proposal to revive the See of Islington is innovative as the bishop would hold a particular brief for church-planting initiatives primarily in the Diocese of London but to provide advice for other dioceses across England as invited to do so by the local bishop.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted May 2, 2015 at 11:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England's lead bishop on the environment says he shares a Vatican statement's clear view that climate change is largely caused by human activity and mitigating it is a 'moral and religious imperative for humanity'.

The Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, welcomed the statement on climate change by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences after a landmark conference in the Vatican this week.

Bishop Holtam said:

"Climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our day, for people of all faiths and people of no faith. I am delighted that the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences have so clearly supported the scientific consensus that the major driver of climate change is almost certainly our burning of fossil fuels.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 30, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My heart skipped a beat when I heard on the radio earlier today that 10% of 12-13 year old children fear that they may have an addiction to pornography and a similar proportion have actually taken part in a sexually explicit video clip. This is the kind of statistic that should send a jolt to the adult conscience of the nation.

What worries me is that any discussion of pornography in the media seems to unquestionably accept that pornography for adults is perfectly acceptable. The problem, given its wide spread accessibility via the internet, seems uncontainable. The idea that pornography is fine for adults but we that must try and keep it away from our children is doomed to failure, both morally and practically.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenMarriage & FamilyPornographyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted April 29, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Twenty-first-century Britain still aspires to be an international player. We may no longer be kingmaker across large swaths of the globe, but we like to see our influence, and our military assets, being used to destabilise and engineer the removal of some of the more unpleasant dictators who strut the world stage.

To go on doing this, in the belief that next time round what will ensue will be a peaceful, human-rights observing, multi-party democracy is getting us close to the classic definition of madness.

The moral cost of our continual overseas interventions has to include accepting a fair share of the victims of the wars to which we have contributed as legitimate refugees in our own land.

Ironically, all the evidence is that families who come and make their homes in Britain, as asylum seekers and through the free movement of European citizens, add to our wealth, increase job opportunities for all and are not a net drain on housing, healthcare or other public resources. The positive case for a steady level of inward migration into the UK is economic as well as moral.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyForeign RelationsImmigrationPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 27, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A robust defence of the Archbishops' programme Reform and Renewal was delivered at a gathering of Evangelicals last week, addressing critics who have questioned everything from its theology to its methodology.

Organised by the Evangelical group Fulcrum, the event, which asked whether the Church of England was "drinking in the last-chance saloon", was addressed by the Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, and the Revd Dr Ian Paul, associate minister of St Nicholas, Nottingham, and lecturer at the University of Nottingham.

The audience heard an unapologetic defence of the drive to tackle numerical decline, and a frank dismissal of some of the programme's most vocal critics.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

2 Comments
Posted April 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So why did the early Christians use the word resurrection to describe what they believed had happened to Jesus? The large package of heaven-sent renewal expected by many Jews, including the general resurrection, had not occurred. Pilate, Caiphas, and Herod were still ruling. Injustice, misery, oppression, and death were still features of life for Jews and everyone else. Nor were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and the prophets alive again. From that point of view, “the resurrection” expected by Jesus’ contemporaries had obviously not occurred.

And yet they said that it had—and proceeded to built a new worldview, a significant variation from within contemporary Judaism, on this belief. “The resurrection,” as something that has already happened that must now determine life, faith, prayer, and thought, dominates a good deal of the New Testament: the early Christians really did believe that they were living in the “age to come” for which Israel had longed, the time of forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Spirit, when the Gentiles would be brought in to worship the one God of Israel. The “present age” was still continuing, but the “age to come” had been inaugurated.

We see the same pattern if we ask the vital question: why did the early church believe and declare that Jesus was the messiah? Other would-be messiahs executed by the authorities were thereby forever discredited: a messiah was supposed to lead Israel to liberation from the pagans and to rebuild the temple, not die in pagan hands, leaving the temple still in the grip of Israel’s oppressive pseudoaristocrats. Other groups whose messiah was killed faced a choice: either find a new messiah, or give up the revolution. We have evidence of both patterns. Declaring that God had raised one’s messiah from the dead was not an option. First-century Jews do not seem to have had time or mental energy to indulge in that peculiar twentieth-century phenomenon, cognitive dissonance, believing that something is still true when events have in fact disproved it. Life was too short and hard for fantasy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyChristologyEschatologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 18, 2015 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Committee meets at least twice. Its discussions are kept confidential.

The first meeting is aimed at members getting to know one another and for the committee to elect a deputy chair. At a future meeting, the national Appointment Secretaries attend to clarify the process and answer any questions members of the Committee might have.

At this meeting the Committee elects the six members to serve on the CNC of which at least three must be lay people. Only one member of the Bishop’s senior staff team may be elected. After the meeting, the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary briefs the diocesan CNC representatives on the next steps.

The description of the Diocese and the Statement of Needs prepared by the Vacancy in See Committee are considered by the Crown Nominations Committee (CNC) together with feedback from the Appointment Secretaries on the consultation process and information about the needs of the national church. The CNC normally meets twice, and on the second occasion interviews potential candidates.

Read it all and note the timescale.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted April 16, 2015 at 1:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Love is a very powerful motivator. Their love had made them brave, but now it seemed there was nothing left to love. Even Jesus’ body was gone and the manifestation of love they’d intended was redundant. Love had brought these remarkable women back to the tomb that first Easter morning, but now, in the midst of their confusion, they ran and said nothing.

Except, of course, at some point they must have stopped running and told their story because it is their story we’ve heard this morning, their story that is recorded and honoured in Scripture, their story that gives account of the greatest demonstration of love ever known. ‘This is what love really is’, we heard in the letter of John, ‘not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his son … to atone for our sin’. And the story of that first Easter morning from Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, shows us the dumbfounding extent of God’s love.

‘He has been raised’ the women are told. And eventually it is that good news that filters through to them, and renews their courage. Jesus was not where they expected because he is alive, victor over death and sin, and he’s gone ahead to where he promised, to be with us always. God’s love, made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, experienced the fear we all know and overcame it.

These women, the first to witness the empty tomb are not listed among the disciples nor named as apostles, but, in their faithful following of Jesus to the bitter end and in the fulfilment of their commission to go and tell, they are both.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyChristologyEschatologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 15, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jesus sends Mary Magdalen to find the disciples because together they can create the interaction that is needed for making the music of Christian faith. Worship, singing the Easter alleluia, praising God, demands the formation of a community. Ultimately of its very nature, demands the inclusion of others. As a faith statement in sound it expresses what we do in holy communion, sharing in the one bread and the common cup, tasting the food of heaven in a context that is never private, though always personal, for it unites us with all other participants on earth.

As long ago as the 4th century St Gregory Nazianzus observed that “God has made humanity the singer of his radiance” – that’s an amazing claim about the capacity to convey the glory of God through music – ‘singers of his radiance’. And although worship will always be the context in which this capacity becomes most fully evidence, as it gives praise to God – the very meaning of Alleluia – let’s not limit the outpouring of humanity’s potential. The Orthodox writer Paul Evdokimov outlines the greater scope of bringing all our gifts, knowledge and imagination into the activity of worship:
“In the eternal liturgy of the future age, human beings will sing the glory of the Lord through all the cultural elements that have passed through the fire of the final purifications. But already here and now, people in community, scientists, artists, etc,...celebrate their own liturgy where Christ’s presence is manifested…Like talented iconographers they sketch a completely new reality by using the material of this world…and in this new reality the mysterious face of the Kingdom [of God] slowly begins to shine through.”
Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologyEschatologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 10, 2015 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“He became what we are so that we can be what he is.”
St Athanasius (296-373 AD)

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5. 21

Two images dominate western art. You can see them in every art gallery in Europe and in the stained glass windows of every church. One depicts a child in his mother’s arms. The other shows a young man dying on a cross.

The Christian faith says this child and this man are the same person. They say that he is God come down to earth.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyChristology

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Posted April 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Love is a very powerful motivator. Their love had made them brave, but now it seemed there was nothing left to love. Even Jesus’s body was gone and the manifestation of love they’d intended was redundant. Love had brought these remarkable women back to the tomb that first Easter morning, but now, in the midst of their confusion, they ran and said nothing.

Except, of course, at some point they must have stopped running and told their story. “He has been raised,” the women were told. And eventually it is that good news that filters through to them, and renews their courage. Jesus was not where they expected because he is alive, victor over death and sin, and he’s gone ahead to where he promised, to be with us always. The women did tell their story, and so we know that the risen Jesus is the completion of God’s love and that “perfect love casts out fear”.

Today the courage of these women is replicated around the world by those continuing to face persecution and violence in the peaceful practice of their faith. This Easter, in honour of these women and those who follow their example, let us be loving and courageous in telling our stories of God’s love at work in our lives, especially perhaps when we too have known grief or pain, anxiety or guilt, anger, disappointment or fear; and then let us, after the example of these women, embody that love in action.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Culture-WatchWomen* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted April 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jesus of Nazareth was certainly dead by the Friday evening; Roman soldiers were professional killers and wouldn't have allowed a not-quite-dead rebel leader to stay that way for long. When the first Christians told the story of what happened next, they were not saying: “I think he's still with us in a spiritual sense” or “I think he's gone to heaven”. All these have been suggested by people who have lost their historical and theological nerve.

The historian must explain why Christianity got going in the first place, why it hailed Jesus as Messiah despite His execution (He hadn't defeated the pagans, or rebuilt the Temple, or brought justice and peace to the world, all of which a Messiah should have done), and why the early Christian movement took the shape that it did. The only explanation that will fit the evidence is the one the early Christians insisted upon - He really had been raised from the dead. His body was not just reanimated. It was transformed, so that it was no longer subject to sickness and death.

Let's be clear: the stories are not about someone coming back into the present mode of life. They are about someone going on into a new sort of existence, still emphatically bodily, if anything, more so. When St Paul speaks of a “spiritual” resurrection body, he doesn't mean “non-material”, like a ghost. “Spiritual” is the sort of Greek word that tells you,not what something is made of, but what is animating it. The risen Jesus had a physical body animated by God's life-giving Spirit. Yes, says St Paul, that same Spirit is at work in us, and will have the same effect - and in the whole world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* TheologyChristologyEschatology

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Posted April 5, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Because the newly public message which is the good news of Easter is at one and the same time so obvious – the message of new creation, which answers the deepest longings of the whole cosmos – and so utterly unexpected that if we are to announce God in public in these terms, as Paul did so spectacularly at Athens, we need the preceding private stillness to rinse our minds out of preconceived notions and make ready for God’s startling new world. Note, by the way, that it is the public truth of Easter – the dangerous, strikingly political truth that the living God is remaking the world and claiming full sovereignty over it – that has been for two hundred years the real objection, in western thinking, to the notion that Jesus rose bodily from the tomb. Western thought has wanted to keep Christianity as private truth only, to turn the Lion of Judah into a tame #####-cat, an elegant and inoffensive, if occasionally mysterious, addition to the family circle.

And part of the point of where we are today, culturally, socially, politically and religiously, is that we don’t have that option any more. We face a dangerous and deeply challenging future in the next few years, as the demons we’ve unleashed in the Middle East are not going to go back into their bag, as the ecological nightmares we’ve created take their toll, as the people who make money by looking after our money have now lost their own money and perhaps ours as well, as our cultural and artistic worlds flail around trying to catch the beauty and sorrow of the world and often turning them into ugliness and trivia. And we whose lives and thinking and praying and preaching are rooted in and shaped by these great four days – we who stand up dangerously before God and one another and say we are ready to hear and obey his call once more – we have to learn what it means to announce the public truth of Easter, consequent upon the public truth of Good Friday and itself shaped by it (as the mark of the nails bear witness), as the good news of God for all the world, not just for those who meet behind locked doors. Every eye shall see him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn as they realise the public truth of his Easter victory. But we can only learn that in the quiet privacy around the Lord’s Table, and the humble stillness where we lay aside our own agendas, our own temperamental preferences, in the darkness of Holy Saturday. When we say Yes to the questions we shall be asked in a few minutes’ time, we are saying Yes to this rhythm, this shaping, of our private devotion to our Lord, our private waiting on him in the silence, in order to say Yes as well to this rhythm, this shaping, of our public ministry, our living out of the gospel before the principalities and powers, our working with the grain of the world where we can and against the grain of the world where we must.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted April 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Bishop Mark Rylands]...said: “I have long been a supporter of including women as bishops in the Church and it is very good to see Libby called to serve as Bishop of Stockport.

“I welcome this move.”

He said he believed it was as good move for the church moving forward.

He added: “The Church of England is for everyone because God is for everyone.

“And whilst we are now clear that women will be bishops in the Church of England, we want to include those who, for theological reasons, cannot accept this move and make sure there is still a place for them in the church.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

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Posted April 2, 2015 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Knowing that his hour had come to depart from this world; and knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, on the night before he dies Jesus rises from table, and as he does this we rather assume it might be in order that a throne be set in place for him to receive the homage of his followers. It is, therefore, something of a shock to discover that on the contrary he takes off his outer robe, ties a towel around his waist and washes his disciples’ feet. Such an act of provocative charity raises as many questions as it answers. Peter isn’t the only person to find this difficult. ‘Are you going to wash my feet?’ he asks. Jesus replies enigmatically: ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ When Peter continues to object, Jesus says, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’

So the first question for us might be this: ‘Will we let Jesus wash us? Will we humble ourselves before him, and let him minster to us?’ And then there is his deeply uncomfortable new commandment: ‘Love one another, as I have loved you. If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.’ Which leads me to ask: ‘whose feet have I washed lately?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly Week* TheologyChristology

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Posted April 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social Networking* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* General InterestHumor / Trivia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted April 1, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If the font leaks, then so do we. Something we can't hide from this week – Holy Week – as Christians walk with Jesus and his friends from Jerusalem towards a place of execution called Calvary.

This journey has not been comfortable for anyone. The friends of Jesus protest undying allegiance one minute, then run away the next. They want some of what they think will be the glory, only to melt when the heat is turned up. In other words, they turn out not to be as big or strong as they had thought themselves to be. Peter, the man who would deny even knowing Jesus when confronted by a young girl in the garden, takes his name from Petros – the rock – yet he turns out to be more porous limestone than impenetrable granite.

Now, for Christians this is no big deal. Almost every service in an Anglican Church begins with us all putting our hands up and admitting – publicly and corporately – that we have messed up. Yet, this isn't some group therapy session – nor is it any sort of bah humbug nonsense. Rather, it's a recognition of what every human being knows: we fail and we fall. And there's no point pretending otherwise. It isn't about being maudlin; it's about facing the truth about ourselves as people, then moving on with resolve, but without illusion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly Week* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

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Posted March 31, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A study guide designed to promote discussion about the House of Bishops' Pastoral Letter for the General Election has been issued by the Church of England.

The online document, aimed at individual and group study, includes a short summary of each section of the Pastoral Letter and offers questions for consideration and conversation.

Read it all and follow the link to the guide.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 31, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft says preparations are under way for the Queen's visit to the city's cathedral for her Maundy Thursday service.

The Queen will hand out Maundy money to 89 men and 89 women, the first time the service has been held in Sheffield.

Maundy Thursday recognises the service of elderly people to their community and their church.

Dr Croft said it had been a "huge amount of work for several months - in secret".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted March 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An influential group of bishops have called on Anglican churches to remove their investments from the fossil fuel companies that are driving climate change.

In a declaration and set of requests aimed at focusing the church’s attention on the “unprecedented climate crisis”, the 17 bishops and archbishops said investments in fossil fuel companies were incompatible with a just and sustainable future.

“We call for a review of our churches’ investment practices with a view to supporting environmental sustainability and justice by divesting from industries involved primarily in the extraction or distribution of fossil fuels,” they said.

Read it all.

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3 Comments
Posted March 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Nicholas has is one of 17 Anglican bishops from all continents who have produced a Declaration calling for urgent prayer and action to tackle what they call an “unprecedented climate crisis”. Their declaration The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice, released on Monday in Holy Week, sets a new agenda on climate change.

Bishop Nicholas was the Church of England’s representative on the group that produced the Declaration. Speaking after its launch, he said, “We accept the scientific evidence that human activity is more than 95% likely to be the main cause of global warming. This century began with fourteen of the fifteen hottest years ever.

“That our Declaration is issued in Holy Week and addressed to the Church on Good Friday is a mark of the seriousness with which we view the crisis of climate change.

Read it all.

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Posted March 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the challenge to be a Church with a mission to the nation grows more complex as society and communities change, and the size, strength and make-up of our churches also change.

50 years ago churches largely reflected the demographics of their context; today they are markedly different. Put simply, churches have not successfully retained young people as they move into adulthood.

Numbers attending Church of England services have declined at an average rate of 1% a year in recent decades. In any given week, less than 2% of the overall population attend our churches. In some areas, particularly outer estates and the inner city, this is less than 1%. The age profile of our membership is now significantly older than that of the population.

As I said in my Synod address in December, the harsh truth is that there is a massive cultural gap between what we do in our churches and the subcultures amongst whom we dwell.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

3 Comments
Posted March 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archdeacon Treweek said: "Lots of people have spoken about it as if it is about saving the Church of England."

But it is not about this, she insists.

"It is about us gaining more confidence with what God is doing in growing His kingdom. I do not start from a place of a failing institution. For me it is not about starting from a place of fear and anxiety, but starting in a place of hope and confidence. I do feel hugely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. The Church is in a very exciting time."

Passionate about faith and about the message Jesus had for society at large, she is not frightened either to discuss politics from an overtly-Christian, though not party political view. She will be the first woman bishop to sit with the 26 diocesans in the House of Lords, giving her voice additional significance and making her a woman to watch as well as listen to on the part of both secular and religious leaders.

Read it all and the official announcement is there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

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Posted March 26, 2015 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is doubtless crucial for the Church of England to reconsider its form and presentation, but it cannot do this until it has established what its essential core actually is, and made every effort to communicate and inspire the next generation to its identity. Unfortunately, many of the panellists remained so unified on their desire for radical change, that the real debate about what this core might actually be rarely reared its head. So is there something about the church’s liturgy and worship, its structure and communion, its history and heritage that remains important? If so, is the radical task not to discard these in the name of modernisation, but to excite those to whom they appear foreign? Several times during the proceedings, the discrepancy between the beliefs and opinions of the clergy and those of the laity were noted—evidence again of a church that is lost to its academics and fatally disjointed from its people. But is the radical task, therefore, to give the church up to the people, or to inspire those same people about the riches, dynamism, and truthfulness of the doctrines and Scriptures that lie behind it?

As the church considers its future, one thing is certain: it must not fight for its own survival. Perhaps it will have the strength to realise that there is, actually, nothing distinctive about it that truly needs preserving amongst the denominations, and will show the greatest sacrifice for others by facilitating its own demise. Or, perhaps, it will understand that there is something about the Church of England as the Church of England that is important—something that is not worth fighting for in itself, but which is so crucial to its illuminating truth, so essential to its gospel message, and so intuitive to its mission, that it becomes the foundation of its fighting “for others.” But have we given up on this task? Doubtless reform is needed. But what is the core on which it must be founded? Are we so clear on our own ideas of what needs changing that we can no longer see what doesn’t? Perhaps we still need to ask: What does the Church of England offer the next generation?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureTeens / YouthYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted March 26, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England appointed its second woman bishop on Wednesday (March 25), only two months after it consecrated its first.

Alison White, 58, will become the next suffragan bishop of Hull, following closely on the heels of Bishop Libby Lane, who was consecrated in January as a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Chester. A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan or diocesan bishop.

White is married to the assistant bishop of Newcastle, Frank White.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

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Posted March 26, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Her Majesty the Queen has appointed the Revd Canon Alison White, priest-in-charge of Riding Mill in the Diocese of Newcastle and Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction, as the Bishop Suffragan of the See of Hull.

As Bishop of Hull, Alison will also have diocesan-wide responsibilities both as Ambassador for Prayer, Spiritual & Numerical Growth and Ambassador for Urban Life & Faith.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “This is a joyous day! I am delighted to be welcoming Alison as the next Bishop of Hull. Whilst she will be working with others across the Diocese of York encouraging faith in urban life, she will have particular responsibilities for the vibrant city of Hull and the glorious coastline and countryside of the East Riding. Alison is a person of real godliness and wisdom – it is fantastic that she has accepted God’s call to make Christ visible together with all of us in this Diocese of York.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted March 25, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Both Stephen Cottrell and Michael Kitchen were born in Essex, both are the sons of non-religious parents and both went on to study religion. But that is where the similarities end.

Michael Kitchen laughs and shakes his head when asked the inevitable question: do you have a light sabre?

He does not. In fact he is not particularly keen on the Star Wars films. Though he does have a robe.

Born and raised in Saffron Walden, Mr Kitchen has been a member of the Temple of the Jedi Order for seven years. His Jedi name is Akkarin and he is a member of the order's inner sanctum, the council.

Stephen Cottrell was born in Leigh-on-Sea and has been the Bishop of Chelmsford since 2010. A founding member of the College of Evangelists, he has also served on the Church of England's Mission, Renewal and Evangelism committee.

But how do their spiritual journeys compare, what do they make of each other's beliefs and does Jediism shed any light on the world of "new religions"?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted March 23, 2015 at 7:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the beginning of December [2014] I went on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, for a few days to the north of Iraq, to Kurdistan, first to Erbil, the Kurdish capital, and then a three-hour journey to Dohuk. I went to see and know at firsthand the situation of the many thousands displaced by the forces of the Islamic State, which in August last year over-ran Mosul, Iraq’s second city, and then swept across the Nineveh plain, with its many Christian villages.

In one camp, in the grounds of Mar Elias Church, they were putting up their Christmas crib. It was in a tent, a tent like those which had been the shelter for families who had had to flee from their homes, their culture, their churches. As they put up the tent, and placed the nativity figures in it, of Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child, with the shepherds and the angels, it was a indeed a reminder of the reality of the Incarnation: God chose to come down into our midst – he pitched his tent among us.

The advance of ISIS forces, with their distorted fanatical interpretation of Islam, and appalling associated brutality, echoes the invasion of the Mongols centuries earlier, which likewise had devastating consequences for the Christian population of what is now Iraq. Christians and Christianity in the Middle East are under threat as never before. They find themselves ground so often between upper and nether millstones – between the conflict between Sunni and Shia, or between Israel and Palestine.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOther FaithsIslam* Theology

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Posted March 23, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Right now, in Syria and Iraq, militant Islamists are taking over churches by force and turning them in to mosques. In the Church of England, apparently, all that’s needed is an ask. On March 6, in the heart of London, St. John’s Waterloo hosted a Muslim prayer service or “Jummah” in the sanctuary, on consecrated ground. Apparently the “Inclusive Jummah” was exclusive of anything Christian—hence what appears to be the covering up of all Christian imagery so as not to offend the worshippers.

Can you think of anything more bewildering, more offensive to Anglican followers of Jesus Christ and others who are suffering persecution at the hands of radical Muslims—watching their children beheaded by ISIS in places like Mosul, Iraq because they would not deny Jesus Christ? Watching their loved ones burned alive in hundreds of Anglican churches in Northern Nigeria by members of Boko Haram? Watching their relatives and friends be blown up during Sunday worship services by Islamic extremists in Pakistan?

Would it seem to them simply “a strange and erroneous opinion”?

And what sense could they possibly make of the relative silence and inaction of the bishops in the Church of England who are overseers of this church—the Bishop of Southwark, the area bishop who directly oversees this congregation, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury who is, apparently, the patron of St. John’s?

Well, there has been an “apology” by the Vicar of St. John’s, in a joint statement from the Bishop of Southwark. But in fact it isn’t an apology at all. The apology is only for the “offence” that it caused, for the “infringement” of the “guidelines and framework” of the Church of England. There is no acknowledgement that this service denied a core doctrine of the Christian faith. No acknowledgement that it was simply wrong to cover up Christian symbols and to permit a prayer service that begins with the assertion that only Allah is God and Muhammed his prophet.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedSpirituality/Prayer* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyThe Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

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Posted March 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Rochester has addressed more than 2,000 people at a rally pressing for all political parties to commit themselves to a long term plan for ending the housing crisis.

The Rt Rev James Langstaff, who is chair of Housing Justice, the national voice of the churches on housing and homelessness, told the Homes for Britain event in central London that ensuring decent and secure housing in the right place and at an affordable cost is one of the most important issues for our society.

Read the whole address there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the economy of great achievement, two things stand out in my own mind:
• A compelling vision, usually involving a big idea;
• A plan that addresses the primary challenge that stands in the way of the realization of that big idea.

It would be very easy for us to imagine that the primary challenge was one of our own internal challenges around finance or church buildings. These are things that we can’t ignore, but surely the big challenge is something more like this:

How does the Church of England re-engage with a culture that is increasingly secular and post Christian?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyApologetics

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Posted March 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Not long ago]...sixteen bishops from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network are meeting in Cape Town to exchange ideas and concerns about the impact of climate change. We have done some of the preparatory work by Skype, and we all recognize the impact of air travel, but we also know that there is no substitute to our meeting in person, face to face.

The scientific collective that is the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s assessment is 95 per cent certain that human activity is the main cause of current climate change. The burning of fossil fuels is the biggest source of the problem: as CO2 increases, so does temperature. Although the increase has flattened, this century has begun with fourteen of the fifteen hottest years on record. The warming of the oceans has caused average humidity to increase by 4 per cent in fifty years, with greater floods and storms in consequence.

At Davos a few weeks ago, Al Gore was asked not only, “Do we have to change our current course?” but also, “if we do, can we?” He was hopeful about our capacity to change at the speed that is needed, pointing out that we are making better progress towards renewable energy than was thought possible: ten times better with wind power than was predicted fourteen years ago; seventeen times better with solar energy. Germany is the European leader, producing 35 per cent renewable energy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Revd Canon Dr Michael Beasley has been named as the next Bishop of Hertford, in succession to the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, who is now Bishop of Liverpool. Canon Beasley is at present Director of Mission in the Diocese of Oxford.

The announcement was made this morning, 5th March 2015, by 10 Downing Street and in a press conference hosted by the Mayor of Stevenage, Cllr Sherma Batson MBE, in the Council Chamber at Daneshill House. Canon Beasley will live near Stevenage, in Knebworth, when he takes up his post later in the year.

Canon Beasley has been Director of Mission in the Diocese of Oxford for the last five years. This follows a career in the scientific world, which for over a decade combined priestly ministry and epidemiology, the study of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted March 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new "bishop for church-plants" has been proposed by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. The aim is to support the burgeoning movement as it spreads across the country.

The plan, which involves reviving the see of Islington, vacant since 1923, will be given final consideration by the Dioceses Commission later this month.

In a report presented to the London diocesan Bishop's Council last Wednesday, Bishop Chartres argues that there is an "urgent" need for church-planters to be given "knowledgeable support and mentoring in the early years". The Bishop of Islington's ministry would be "inherently episcopal but not territorial; thoroughly collegial but with an independent sphere of responsibility".

He or she would "open up new possibilities; provide reinforcement for the oversight which already exists for pioneer ministries; and disseminate the learning gained from new ventures".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the Ordained

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Posted March 6, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill is today announcing his retirement as Bishop of Lichfield.

Bishop Jonathan, 66, formally announced his retirement at a meeting of the College of Canons at Lichfield Cathedral this afternoon. He will leave office in September 2015.

In a video message, Bishop Jonathan said: “Forty years of ministry seem a good stint to Jane and me.”

“It is with great mixed feelings that I make this announcement. But Jane and I know that, much as we will find it difficult to leave your love and prayers, it would not be right to continue much longer.”


Read and watch it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted March 2, 2015 at 4:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Trevin Wax: Could you give us a brief definition of “the gospel”?

N.T. Wright: I could try taking a Pauline angle. When Paul talks about “the gospel,” he means “the good news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and therefore the Lord of the world.” Now, that’s about as brief as you can do it.

The reason that’s good news… In the Roman Empire, when a new emperor came to the throne, there’d obviously been a time of uncertainty. Somebody’s just died. Is there going to be chaos? Is society going to collapse? Are we going to have pirates ruling the seas? Are we going to have no food to eat? And the good news is, we have an emperor and his name is such and such. So, we’re going to have justice and peace and prosperity, and isn’t that great?!

Now, of course, most people in the Roman Empire knew that was rubbish because it was just another old jumped-up aristocrat who was going to do the same as the other ones had done. But that was the rhetoric.

Paul slices straight in with the Isaianic message: Good news! God is becoming King and he is doing it through Jesus! And therefore, phew! God’s justice, God’s peace, God’s world is going to be renewed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* TheologyChristologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 2, 2015 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Given that the connection of Islam to Muslim-majority cultures is particularly strong, does there not need to be, nevertheless, a proper distinction between religion and culture? Should not this be so, even if many cultural practices and values are derived from a particular religious tradition? The problem with identifying culture entirely with religion is that contextualization can begin to look very much like capitulation. The issue becomes sharply focused in the debate about “insiders,” or followers of Jesus within Muslim communities who maintain their Muslim identity. To what extent has there been conversion if people continue to participate in the salat (ritual prayer), make the shahada (the Muslim profession of faith), derive their knowledge of Jesus and devotion to him mainly from the Qur’an and the Hadith, and so on? Other questions concern the relation of communities of such followers (if they are in communities) to other local churches and the worldwide church. Also, how are persons and cultures to be transformed by the Gospel if the status quo ante is largely maintained? There remain serious questions about whether such communities or persons will be allowed to survive within the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam).

We must remember that evangelists and missionaries stand within the apostolic tradition and are not semidetached from it or outside it altogether. This means, for instance, not making up elements of contextualization but using the rich and varied sources of Christian tradition—for example, in patterns of worship, liturgy, the public reading of the Scriptures, and forms of private devotion. In Islamic contexts, we are particularly fortunate that so much has been taken from Eastern Christian traditions and can be reappropriated without violence to the integrity of the Gospel. The problem sometimes is that Western Christian missionaries, and even Westernized indigenous Christians, are unaware of this rich heritage waiting on their doorstep or are suspicious of it. In some places, Islam is an import into an existing Christian culture; elsewhere, both Christianity and Islam have come from outside. Whatever the case, rich resources for inculturation are available because of the historic interaction between Muslims and Christians. Let us use them!

The book represents a brave attempt at assessing the many opportunities and problems for Christian witness in Muslim contexts. I hope it is only the beginning and that some of the issues raised in this review essay will be tackled at the next conference and in any publications that result from it.

Read it all (requires free registration).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* Theology

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Posted February 26, 2015 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over at Faith Forward, Paul Holloway responds to my earlier post about his denunciation of Sewanee University for awarding N.T. Wright an honorary doctorate.

Thankfully Holloway’s response attempts some actual reasoning and tries to provide some kind of substance to his criticism of Wright rather than resorting to hyperbolic and vitriolic protest as he did previously. Let me say that there is nothing wrong with robust criticism of Wright, for case in point, see John Barclay’s critique of Paul and the Faithfulness of God. The problem is that Holloway’s initial complaint about Wright was filled with inaccuracies, pejorative anthems, and was transparently tribal.

Let me address some of his recent claims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has defended its stance on the Living Wage after it was revealed that cathedrals and churches were hiring staff on salaries below the benchmark.

An investigation by The Sun found that Canterbury Cathedral was advertising for porters and kiosk assistants on salaries between £6.70 and £7.75 an hour. The Living Wage (outside London) is currently set at £7.85.

Lichfield Cathedral was also revealed to be hiring waiting staff on £6.50 an hour, which is the national minimum wage.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 24, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The Pastoral letter from the House of Bishops was addressed to churches and encouraged them to implement the living wage. The Living Wage Commission, chaired by the Archbishop of York, recognised in its report last year, that a phased implementation may be necessary in some businesses and organisations. It welcomed employers seeking to implement the pay level progressively. What is important is that those who can, do so, as soon as is practically possible. The vast majority of those employed by or sub-contracted to the Church's central institutions are already paid at least the Living Wage and all will be by April 2017...."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 24, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What does a Christian mind bring to the debate about the future of our nation? The first thing is the belief that it matters to God, and must therefore matter to us. G. K. Chesterton famously said that the problem with British elections was not that only a small part of the electorate voted, but that only a small part of the elector voted: so little was the lack of conviction about politics and public faith. The Bishops want us to cast our vote, not in a routine, token way, but by giving the whole of ourselves to this privileged task of decision-taking in a free democracy.

Formation in citizenship will motivate us to think and talk about 'a worthwhile society and what it means to serve the common good, and how politics helps serve that end'. The Bishops are not dreaming of the unattainable ideal of Athenian democracy under Pericles. They do however dare to hope that we can shed our cynicism and start believing in politics, politicians and political processes again. 'This letter is about building a vision of a better kind of world, a better society and better politics. Underlying those ideas is the concept of virtue – what it means to be a good person, a good politician, a good neighbour or a good community.' That's a good example of how the letter is motivated by a spiritual concern for citizenship, inspired by the theological ideas of justice and compassion in pursuit of the common good.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 21, 2015 at 11:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Good morning. I’ve been re-reading Peter Ackroyd’s Life of Thomas More recently, prompted to do so by watching Wolf Hall. More’s characterisation in Wolf Hall seemed to drain him of his well attested sense of humour. It puzzled me. Ackroyd has reminded me of More’s wit. Sometimes it’s assumed that no seriously religious person will have a sense of humour at all. ‘Where are the jokes in the gospels?’ I was once asked.

That Jesus had a sense of humour became evident to me once I began to preach. In the Church of England scripture readings are set for every day. One of the many purposes of what’s called the Lectionary is to stop clergy just using their favourite bits of the Bible....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* General InterestHumor / Trivia* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The House of Bishops has called on politicians to offer a disillusioned electorate a bigger vision of society in the run-up to May's General Election.

In a pastoral letter to the members of the Church of England, released on Tuesday, the Bishops note how both the Labour government of 1945 and then the Thatcher government from 1979 "changed the political weather". However, neither of these two transformative ideologies - either establishing a welfare state or freeing markets from state interference - is enough today, they say.

"Neither vision addresses our condition," the Bishops write. "Placing excessive faith in state intervention on the one hand or the free market on the other" leads to a narrowing of ambition does not nurture the common good.

This is the first time the House of Bishops has released such a letter before an election. The letter, which is 126 paragraphs long, does not offer support to any party, but seeks to get Anglicans thinking about how best to use their vote on 7 May.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The suggestion in your leader ("Bishops' Blunder", Feb 18) that the role of the church should be limited to "the soothing and saving of troubled souls" ignores the daily ministry of the Church of England across the country, often in partnership with local government, schools, universities, hospital trusts and other faiths. Research by the Church Urban Fund published last month found that 76 per cent of churches run activities in local schools, 66 per cent help to run food banks, 60 per cent offer parent and toddler groups and 53 per cent organise lunch clubs or drop-ins. A fifth of churches are also involved in helping credit unions in some way - a strong show of support for the Archbishop of Canterbury's initiative.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Sherborne Dr Graham Kings is moving on after six years in the role.

Dr Kings will be taking up the mantle of Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion.

This is a new post created in partnership by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Durham University and the Church Mission Society (CMS).

His new role will see him based in London with frequent visits to Durham. Dr Kings will travel the Anglican Communion convening seminars for theologians, especially in Africa and Asia and Latin America.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Theology

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cycling Bishop Edward Condry has swapped four wheels for two again this Lent in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.

The 61-year-old Bishop of Ramsbury will continue to work full-time, travelling to churches in rural parts of Wiltshire.

This is the second time Rt Rev Condry, who lives in Warminster, has given up his car for Lent, saving more than 2,000 miles of driving last year by cycling and using public transport.

He said:”I was surprised how much of a spiritual experience it was to give up the car, in a way that struggling to give up chocolate had never achieved, for me.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchTravel

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...We are all over stimulated. Blessed Lent, the sad springtime of the Church's year is the time when we support each other as believers in simplifying our lives; removing fuel from the fires of rage and fear; facing a little more of the shadow world within by laying aside some of our usual comforters...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The House of Bishops of the Church of England have today expressed the hope for political parties to discern "a fresh moral vision of the kind of country we want to be" ahead of the General Election in May of this year.

In a pastoral letter from the House of Bishops to the people and parishes of the Church of England, the Bishops urge Christians to consider the question how can we "build the kind of society which many people say they want but which is not yet being expressed in the vision of any of the parties?"

The letter also encourages church members to engage in the political process ahead of the General Election and to put aside self-interest and vote for 'the common good': "The privileges of living in a democracy mean that we should use our votes thoughtfully, prayerfully and with the good of others in mind, not just our own interests."

The letter also states that: "In Britain, we have become so used to believing that self-interest drives every decision, that it takes a leap of imagination to argue that there should be stronger institutions for those we disagree with as well as for those 'on our side.' Breaking free of self-interest and welcoming our opponents as well as our supporters into a messy, noisy, yet rich and creative community of communities is, perhaps, the only way we will enrich our almost-moribund political culture."

Read it all and please follow the link to the full letter there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 17, 2015 at 7:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church Mission Society and Durham University have become partners in creating an innovative seven year post: Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion.

The purpose is to research, stimulate, connect and publish works of theology in the Anglican Communion, with particular focus on insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in their ecumenical contexts.

The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, currently Bishop of Sherborne, has been appointed and will take up this new post in July 2015. He will be based in London, visiting Durham University, as an Honorary Fellow, and will travel in the Communion. He will convene a series of seminars in Anglican Communion Studies for theologians, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A new web site, launched today, MissionTheologyAngCom.org, will publish the papers.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted February 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the Diocese in Europe we pride ourselves on offering residents and visitors a warm welcome to our congregations but as Bishop Robert discovered during a pastoral visit to Berne and the Swiss Archdeaconry Synod he needs a good supply of warm clothing and the ability to adapt quickly to temperature changes.

Read it all and see what you make of the Bishop's sermon.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryEuropeSwitzerland

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Posted February 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to information disclosed by the Church Commissioners, which is responsible for its property portfolio, six out of 10 bishops live in a large official residence.

The details of the comfort afforded to members of the episcopate emerged an official question and answer session to the Synod which is meeting in London.

Andreas Whittam Smith, the First Church Estates Commissioner, outlined details of spending on bishops’ living arrangements in response to a question by Sam Margrave, a Labour councillor and lay member of the Synod from Coventry.

He disclosed that the Commissioners spend just over £207,000 a year providing drivers for 11 of the Church’s 42 diocesan bishops.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 11, 2015 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt Revd Paul Williams has been announced as the next Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham on the 10 Downing Street website

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 10, 2015 at 7:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The Diocese of Guildford has taken extremely seriously the reports and complaints regarding Stephen Sizer over the past two weeks. Concerns surrounding Stephen were raised both in response to allegedly offensive materials linked from his Facebook account, and to comments he made to the Jewish News and the Daily Telegraph thereafter.

"Commenting on this matter, the Council of Christians and Jews has helpfully highlighted that:

‘It is perfectly possible to criticize Israeli policies without such criticism being anti-Semitic, and Christians and others should feel free to do so. However, such legitimate criticism must not be used as a cloak for anti-Semitism, nor can anti-Semitism itself ever be disguised as mere political comment’.

"Having now met Stephen, in my brand new role as Bishop of Guildford, I do not believe that his motives are anti-Semitic; but I have concluded that, at the very least, he has demonstrated appallingly poor judgment in the material he has chosen to disseminate, particularly via social media, some of which is clearly anti-Semitic.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIsrael* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

4 Comments
Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Emerging through the great west door of York Minster to be photographed, flanked by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and the Bishop of Stockport, the Rt Revd Libby Lane, the new Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, reflected on a "wonderful expression of the unity of the Church".

Consecrated on Monday, exactly a week after Bishop Lane, Bishop North is the first traditionalist bishop to be appointed since the passing of the women-bishops Measure. His laughter with her on the steps - both were beaming in the winter sun - was indicative of a jubilant atmosphere among the many bishops present.

After receiving a long line of people seeking his blessing (and at least one selfie), the new Bishop spoke first of unity.

"We had all the bishops together, including Bishop Libby, gathered around in prayer for the Holy Spirit, and I got a real sense of the unity of the Church, and of the precedents that have been set this last week: eight extraordinary days in York Minster, which have seen the consecration, to great joy amongst many Anglicans, of the first woman, and then what's happened today, which has shown that there's a future for those who in good conscience can't accept that development."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

10 Comments
Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churches have a key role to play in rural matters and I get frustrated with some ‘incomers’ into our villages who do not seem interested in supporting their local parish church and who fail to engage with their new Community. It is indifference that has resulted in the loss of the village shop and pub and school and frankly will put at risk the future sustainability of many of our rural church buildings. The message is clear – use it or lose it! We must focus the resources that God has given us where there is opportunity for mission and growth. This is nothing new - read Matthew 10:14!

The encouraging news is that despite all the challenges, many young people are still going to agricultural college and want to work in our rural areas. Many Young Farmers I meet are incredibly lively and upbeat and I admire both their enthusiasm and their commitment. The Young Farmers support and encourage one another and I warmly commend the local groups to any young person who is looking to make friends and try new activities - you do not have to be farming to join!

It is essential that we find ways to keep the cost of housing in our rural communities realistic to enable these young people who WANT to engage to do so. Bringing young families back into our villages is essential if they are to have any future and their loss would be tragically detrimental to the life of this nation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

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Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A service to consecrate the new Bishop of Burnley that was changed to take into account his opposition to female bishops has taken place.

The Rt Rev Philip North's consecration was led by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu at York Minster.

However, in a break from tradition, some parts of the service were overseen by the Bishop of Chichester.

Dr Sentamu said he had not led those parts of the service to "demonstrate respect" for the new bishop's views.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu

1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week in York Minster I presided over the ordination of the Rt Rev Libby Lane, the first woman bishop in England. It made history. This week I shall lead another bishop’s ordination, this time of a man who, in all conscience will not ordain women to the Church’s priesthood, or take part in making them bishops. He is the Rev Philip North, who is going to be Bishop of Burnley in the Diocese of Blackburn. He and Bishop Libby Lane will both be bishops in the Church of God in England. They will hold their differences in Christian love. It is my prayer that nothing should be allowed to constrain our joy, our prayers and our thanksgiving, on their consecrations.

Consecration arrangements are in law a matter for the Archbishop of the relevant province. While they normally act as chief consecrator, and will continue to do so, Archbishops have always had the power to delegate the role on a particular occasion. This is something within their absolute discretion.

To demonstrate my respect for Father Philip’s position, I have decided to delegate part of my function at his ordination to other bishops who share his theological conviction regarding the ordination of women. That part of the service in the Minster when fellow bishops lay their hands on his head to signify his calling to join them and the blessing of the Holy Spirit, will be conducted by the Rt Rev Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester. He will also preside at the Holy Communion on that occasion, at my invitation. Please note that I am delegating, not abdicating and this is not an indelible pattern to be adopted by me or anyone else in the future.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu

1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Memories of a man known as "the people's bishop" are being sought on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Ian Ramsey was appointed Bishop of Durham in 1966, but died in 1972 from a heart attack.

His ashes are interred at Auckland Castle - the home of the Prince Bishops of Durham for more than 900 years.

Curators are now appealing for films, photographs and recollections to build up a "more complete picture of an extraordinary man".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 2, 2015 at 11:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Through the MPA, the Church of England contributed to this consultation process, affirming the aim of using mitochondrial replacement (or donation as it is also termed) while also differentiating between the two methodologies being proposed; one of which (pronuclear transfer – PNT) required embryos to be created as mitochondrial donors and recipients, the other (maternal spindle transfer) did not. Although the creation of embryos may be licensed by the HFEA, the MPA pointed out that PNT carried greater ethical concerns for many Christians and, indeed, those of other faiths or none.

More significantly, mitochondrial replacement involves modification of the human germ-line, with donor mitochondria being transmitted to future generations through the maternal line. As well as ensuring the techniques were as safe as possible, concerns were expressed that this would not be taken as approval for modifying defective mitochondrial genes that resided in the nucleus. Other concerns had to do with as yet unknown interactions between the DNA in the mitochondria and the DNA in the nucleus; these might potentially cause abnormality or be found to influence significant personal qualities or characteristics.

Such concerns were recognised by the HFEA in its work and recommendations to the secretaries of state.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHurricane KatrinaLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyMenReligion & CultureScience & TechnologyWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 2, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt Rev Philip North replaces the Rt Rev John Goddard, who retired in July.

He will pledge obedience to the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who will lead the service at York Minster.

But because Dr Sentamu last week consecrated the Church of England's first female bishop, the new bishop will be consecrated by another bishop.\

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

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Posted February 2, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sharp divisions over sexuality mean that as many as 20 per cent of the Church of England may become disaffected, it emerged last week.

As the Church prepares to begin its "shared conversations", a formal process aimed at reconciling Anglicans with differing views on sexuality, it is being acknowledged that the fundamental nature of the division, rooted in different understandings of scripture, identity, and obedience, is likely to prove too much for those at both ends of the spectrum to agree to differ.

The difficulty appears to have been acknowledged by David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury's director for reconciliation, according to a Changing Attitude blog published last week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 30, 2015 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic archbishop of Birmingham says he wishes the Church of England’s first female bishop well in her ministry and will be remembering her in his prayers. Archbishop Bernard Longley is the Catholic co-chair of ARCIC, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. He told Vatican Radio that the consecration of Bishop Libby Lane on Monday was a “historic moment in the life of the Church of England” but noted that there has long been “the presence, the witness and the work of women” as bishops within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Reverend Libby Lane was ordained in York Minister as the new Bishop of Stockport, after the Church of England voted to adopt legislation last November to allow women bishops. Archbishop Longley said that while the ordination of women presents challenges to the Anglican-Catholic dialogue, this latest development “shouldn’t affect the way in which the dialogue is continued”.

Read and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 29, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all (starts after the gospel reading at about 3:20).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 28, 2015 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England consecrated its first woman bishop on Monday, the culmination of years of efforts by Church modernisers to overcome opposition from traditionalists - one of whom briefly shouted a protest during the service.

More than two decades after the Church allowed women to become priests, 48-year-old mother-of-two the Reverend Libby Lane became Bishop of Stockport in a ceremony at York Minster, a Gothic cathedral in northern England.

The protest came as John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, asked the congregation whether Lane should be consecrated as Bishop.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen

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Posted January 27, 2015 at 9:53 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a statement shortly after being consecrated, Bishop Libby said she had been encouraged by the thousands of messages of support she has received since the news of her appointment was announced. She said:

"Archbishop Sentamu has observed, "the way that we show our faith and our love for one another is with two simple things, prayer and parties." Today is an occasion of prayer and of party - and I am thrilled that so many want to share in both. I cannot properly express how encouraged I have been in the weeks since the announcement of my nomination, by the thousands of messages I have received with words of congratulation, support and wisdom. I've heard from people of all ages, women and men - people I have known for years, and people I have never met; people from down the road, and people from across the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

10 Comments
Posted January 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamSecularism

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Posted January 26, 2015 at 7:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has consecrated its first female bishop during a ceremony at York Minster.

The Reverend Libby Lane, 48, has been ordained as the new Bishop of Stockport in front of more than 1,000 people.

The Church formally adopted legislation last November to allow women bishops, in a move which ended a centuries-old tradition of exclusively male bishops.

The move continues to divide some Anglicans. The service was briefly delayed by an opponent of the changes.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

0 Comments
Posted January 26, 2015 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Blackburn vicar has held a 10-minute silence in protest over the upcoming installation of the Bishop of Burnley.

Changes have been made to the Reverend Philip North's ceremony because of his opposition to female bishops.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said the arrangements were made "for prayer, not politics".

The Reverend Anne Morris, who serves the same diocese as Rev North, replaced her sermon with the protest over the changes, at St Oswalds in Knuzden.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained

1 Comments
Posted January 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has today issued the following statement:

With great joy and thanksgiving the Church of England will, in the next two weeks, see the consecration of two fine priests, The Revd Libby Lane, and The Revd Philip North as bishops, respectively, of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester, and of Burnley, in the Diocese of Blackburn. Nothing should be allowed to constrain our joy, our prayers and our thanksgiving, on either occasion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Good morning. The British Museum opened its doors on this day in 1759, the first national public museum in the world. Sir Hans Sloane had gathered 71,000 artefacts from many parts of the world and these formed the core of the collection. 5,000 visitors a year to begin with has grown to six million annually now. As success stories go, the British Museum is hard to beat.

I must have been eleven when I first went there. I recall being surprised that not everything in the British Museum came from Britain. My juvenile and literal mind needed broadening. Fortunately my education provided windows onto different cultures and histories. At places like the British Museum many of us realise how much we have to learn from countries we’ve never visited, people we’ve never met and things which happened long before we were born.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchHistoryPsychologyReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 15, 2015 at 4:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Following interventions by a few high profile Christians, some people are suggesting that the Church of England's position on the 'Assisted Dying Bill' lacks clarity. For once, nothing could be further from the truth. In February 2012 the current law was debated by General Synod, a representative body made up of bishops, clergy and lay people. No member of Synod voted against a resolution to support the law as it stands. It is relatively unusual to find an issue which attracts such an overwhelming consensus of opinion. This is one such issue, and the reasons for that massive level of agreement were well rehearsed.

Foremost among them is the view - shared by many people of other faiths and none - that every person's life has an intrinsic value regardless of circumstance. Whatever they themselves or other people may think of their 'value' to society, and despite any apparent lack of productivity or usefulness, nothing can alter their essential significance as human beings. To agree that some of us are more valuable than others when it comes to being alive would be to cross an ethical Rubicon. Until now, our society has regarded this as self-evident. That is why we have 'suicide watch' in prisons; and why we try to stop people killing themselves by jumping off bridges or cliffs or high buildings. It is why doctors undertake to give only 'beneficial' treatment to their patients, and why we attach so much importance to human rights legislation.

Then there is our fundamental responsibility as a 'civilised' society to care for and protect the most vulnerable among us.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted January 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(For detailed information on the bill, you may go here)-KSH.

I shall not address the elements of the Bill in exhaustive detail. Others have far greater expertise in each of the areas concerned. However, I want to make some points about the Bill’s provisions in their own terms. As I do so, I believe that it is important to step back and see the proposed changes in the context of broader trends in how we live, govern ourselves and seek to ensure the security of our people.

I begin where local churches begin: trying, under God, to be agents of reconciliation; building communities marked by trust, mutual respect and care, and not by fear and suspicion. In many places, faith communities are coming together to build understanding and break down prejudice and stereotypes. Yesterday, in response to events in Paris, in my previous diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, faith leaders from Muslim, Jewish, Christian and other communities enacted a day of fasting as a sign of mutual commitment and dependence on God in seeking peace for all. They stood in solidarity with one another. In my current diocese of Durham, where the numbers of adherents to faiths other than Christianity are relatively small, work is continually done by the faith communities in places such as Sunderland, Gateshead, South Shields, Stockton and Darlington to build strong community relationships. The Near Neighbours programme nationally has had a significant impact on every place in which it is run.

This groundswell of community building is, and is seen by faith groups as, the most powerful force against radicalisation, especially among young people, on whom so much of the sense of risk tends to be focused. The Department for Communities and Local Government is doing some excellent work supporting local initiatives in this field. Groups with wider knowledge than local churches, such as the Quilliam Foundation, emphasise that this type of work in the community is vital to the Prevent Strategy.

Read it all (starts toward the end of column 673).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith Relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 14, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain is not a secular state, with Anglican Bishops sitting in the House of Lords, and the church makes regular forays into British domestic politics.

But some say it is too partisan on occasions and too involved in domestic politics.

Watch it all (3 minutes and 20 seconds, approx.).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 13, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For some years I worked in two parts of the West Midlands—wonderful places to live and work; I have many friends there still—but they were both characterised as areas that had extremely low aspirations. It was one thing to change the school but if the child went home and was told repeatedly, “Actually, that sort of thing does not make any difference to us. You are wasting your time”, all the work was undone. There needs to be a profound social and cultural change in the family as well.

That was one of the things that struck me when I was reading the comments in the interim report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility, which reported back in 2012. It summarised its conclusions into seven “key truths”. I will pick out just the first four, which show precisely this connection. The first key truth was:

“The point of greatest leverage for social mobility is what happens between ages 0 and 3, primarily in the home”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenDieting/Food/NutritionMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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