Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord

The focus of my sermon this evening is what it means to say those words and what it is to set those words at the heart of ministry.

Some of us have the immense privilege as priests of summoning a whole community to lift up their hearts in the Eucharist. But others are called no less to invite God’s people to lift up their hearts in different ways: in the ministry of the word and in the prayers, in pastoral care, in evangelism, as we lead worship or work with children or young people. This call and invitation goes right to the heart of our understanding of every kind of ministry. So what does it mean?

The words have a long and wide pedigree. They go back to the earliest descriptions of the Eucharist in the third century. They are present in the rites of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches and all the churches of the Reformation as well as our own Church of England. What does it mean to say “Lift up your hearts”?

Read it all.

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

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Posted April 17, 2014 at 5:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The marriage of canon Jeremy Pemberton and Laurence Cunnington, the first gay clergy wedding in England, looks like a decisive test of strength within the Church of England between liberals and conservatives. But it may just shift the trenches a few hundred yards. The tangles of employment law and church law make it almost impossible for either side to get all they want.

It looks as if it should be easy for the bishop of Lincoln, in whose diocese the canon works, to discipline Pemberton if he wants to. But Pemberton is not in fact a vicar. He is a hospital chaplain, which means he is employed by the local NHS trust. They are not going to sack him for contracting a perfectly legal marriage. The bishop has no power to get him sacked even if he wanted to.

But this is the Church of England; things are seldom simple....

Read it all (my emphasis).

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Posted April 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A priest has become the first in Britain to defy the Church of England’s ban on gay clergy marrying.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, 58, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington, 51, on Saturday afternoon.

Campaigners expressed delight that the couple had taken advantage of Britain’s newly-introduced gay marriage laws and urged bishops to “bless” their partnership. They predict he will be the first of many gay clergy to marry.

Read it all.

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Posted April 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I had hoped that Church of England liturgy would come to include provisions for church blessing of civil partnerships. I fear that the precipitate and profoundly undemocratic way in which the Marriage Bill was hustled into law has set obstacles in the way of persuasive change. The Church of England will now have extreme difficulty in relating to the law on marriage.

Read it all.

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Posted April 1, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church's real problem, however, is not the hypocrisy of closeted prelates. It's that so many priests are perfectly content to solemnise homosexual marriages in church and will indeed be "creative" in finding ways to do so.

How will Archbishop Justin Welby respond? "I think the church has reacted by fully accepting that it's the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being," he told the Guardian in best Rev J C Flannel mode. Uh-huh. Oh, and there will be "structured conversations" to help resolve the problem.

Here's my prediction. As of today, pro-gay clergy will begin to unpick Cameron's "triple lock" banning parishes from holding gay weddings; during the next Parliament it will cease to exist. Priests who want to marry same-sex couples, or indeed marry their own gay lovers, will just do it. Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical parishes that reject the whole notion won't be forced to host such ceremonies, but both these wings of the C of E are moving in a liberal direction, and in the long run demographic change will finish the job.

Read it all.

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Posted March 31, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Bishop Alan Wilson]...said: “I’ve blessed lots of things, I once blessed a bucket of cement in India, it seems to me very difficult to say that you can’t bless this.

“But the official line which I have to be loyal to in my working practice is that you can pray with people pastorally but you mustn’t use the ‘b’ word.

“That technically is very interesting because if the Church of England produced a liturgy for blessing a civil partnership, for example, there would be an official line on how to do this.”

On the question of equal marriage, he said everybody has a “very basic human right” to order their life and their family and their household in a way that goes with their conscience and their faith.

Read it all (subscription required).

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Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gay clergy should follow their conscience and defy the Church of England’s restrictions on same-sex marriage, a prominent bishop has said as the most radical change ever made to the legal definition of marriage in Britain comes into force.

The Rt Rev Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, said priests should be “creative” to get around restrictions on blessings for same-sex couples and that gay clergy who wish to marry should do so in defiance of the official line.

He also claimed that several current serving bishops are themselves in gay partnerships, and urged them to publicly acknowledge their status for the sake of “honesty and truthfulness” and even consider marrying.

Read it all.

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Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, has congratulated same-sex couples who will be getting married from... [Saturday 29 march 2014] and assured them of his prayers.

Bishop Nicholas said:

“Tomorrow, the first same-sex civil marriages will take place in this country. This is a new reality being undertaken by people who wish their relationships to have a formal status which embodies a commitment to them being faithful, loving and lifelong. These are virtues which the Church of England wants to see maximised in society. I therefore congratulate those who are getting married, assure them of my prayers, and wish them well in all that lies ahead.”

Read it all.

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Posted March 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): What the Church of England’s policy is on priests entering a same-sex marriage; and what guidance has been given on what would happen to a priest who did so.

Sir Tony Baldry: Clergy and ordinands remain free to enter into civil partnerships. The House of Bishops in its pastoral guidance distributed on 15 February said that it was not willing for those in same-sex marriages to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry—deacon, clergy or bishops—and that

“it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church’s teaching in their lives”.

As with any alleged instance of misconduct, each case would have to be considered individually by the local diocesan bishop.

Read it all.

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Posted March 28, 2014 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We’re walking from Amesbury to Stratford sub Castle along the Woodford Valley. Amesbury was the site of a magnificent (Augustinian?) Abbey. Stratford is sub the Castle because once it stood at the foot of the hill on which Sarum’s Castle sat. The first Salisbury Cathedral was on the hill too. So we will be visiting our forebears.

Along the way we will be going to Wilsford and Great Durnford, which has the oldest pews in the country. Evensong at Stratford around 15.45. 10 miles.

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 March 27, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A special commission will be set up as part of moves to repair relations between the Channel Islands and the Church of England.

The islands became the temporary responsibility of the Bishop of Dover in January after a dispute over how a complaint of abuse was handled.

The move has yet to be completed with finances still paid to the Diocese of Winchester.

Read it all.

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Posted March 26, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

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Posted March 26, 2014 at 4:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Picture the scene: the Bishop's post is being opened, and among the invitations, job applications, and clerical outfitters' catalogues are three troubling pieces of correspondence.

The first is from the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, informing the Bishop that an ordinand in training, who is in the process of looking for a title post in the diocese, has entered into a same-sex marriage.

The second is a letter of complaint from a group of parishioners that the Vicar of X has just used the form of service for prayer and dedication after a civil marriage from Common Worship: Pastoral Services to bless a same-sex marriage in church.

Read it all.

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Posted March 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...there are a couple of underlying realities we have to acknowledge. First, as I wrote in my letter to clergy, I hope it’s common ground that we’re part of a Church that’s called to real repentance for the lack of welcome and acceptance extended to gay and lesbian people as children of God. We haven’t listened well to the quiet, hurting voices, nor to those called to celibacy, nor to clergy who have lovingly and sensitively ministered to gay couples through the years.

The second thing we need to acknowledge is that we’re part of a culture that’s chaotically confused about sex. Sex has been outrageously commodified, pornography is ordinary viewing for teenagers and an addiction for very many adults, trafficking is a global business, prostitution is commonplace, sexually explicit films and TV are far beyond anything Mary Whitehouse could have imagined in her wildest nightmare. Multiple sexual partners are wreaking havoc on relational stability, sexual infections are massively increasing, hardly anyone is a virgin on their wedding night, and so on. And in the middle of all that we’re trying steadily to work out a theologically coherent approach to same sex marriage.

But I think in a sense, we’re doing this on behalf of the nation. We’re trying to be responsible. We’re trying to grapple with a serious moral issue in a way that models openness and respect. OK, we’re messing up – badly. But we’re trying to discover how much we can agree on, and to learn how to ‘disagree well’ on what we can’t agree on. And then to decide how we can, or can’t, live with that spectrum of honest belief. The rest of society doesn’t do its moral reasoning like that. It prefers soundbites, three minutes of furious argument, and a YouGov poll.

Read it all and you may read a bit about Bishop Pritchard there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSexuality* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 22, 2014 at 10:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We’re beginning the season of ‘giving up’ things – a tradition of Lent. So what to give up? For us Christians, it is about self-denial, yes, and making time for deeper prayer and repentance too.

But Lent isn’t simply about giving up something for a while, just to start it again when Easter arrives. We certainly shouldn’t be giving up good service to our neighbours, though we may wish to postpone excessive meetings about that work.

We certainly don’t give up meeting together to worship and study God’s Word. Repentance is about ‘doing sorry’ – turning away from wrong (sin) and in Lent we can take extra time to think about whether we’re living as God would have us live – or, as the first of our themes puts it, discovering the heart of God.

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 21, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gay clergy have this week been describing the ramifications of the pastoral guidance on same-sex marriage, issued by the House of Bishops last month. Bishops have begun meeting gay clergy, at least five of whom are reported to be planning to marry.

The Vicar of St Mary with All Souls', Kilburn, and St James's, West Hampstead, the Revd Andrew Cain, said on Tuesday that speaking publicly about his plans to marry his partner of 14 years ( News, 21 February) had resulted in an "uncomfortable" meeting with his bishop, the Rt Revd Peter Wheatley, on Wednesday last week.

"It was very uncomfortable for both of us," he said. "He was with HR, and I was with a union rep. That would not be normal for a meeting between a bishop and a priest. I could not honestly say it was particularly pastoral. It was awkward."

Read it all.

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Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The referendum will have done nothing to have diminished the risk of inter-ethnic violence.

Against this uncertain and volatile background, the Christian churches of Europe, through the Conference of European Churches, have been in contact with the All Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations, a body that includes Jewish and Muslim representatives as well as Christian churches. A letter signed by the present CEC president, known to many Members of your Lordships’ House as the recently retired Bishop of Guildford, expresses solidarity and support, urges an end to further polarisation in Ukrainian society and assures them that churches elsewhere in Europe are urging a democratic and diplomatic solution to the problems facing Ukraine. I know that Bishop Christopher Hill will be talking later this week to other European church leaders about how this solidarity and support can be given more tangible shape through the Conference of European Churches.

Even if this crisis has cast a Cold War shadow over Europe, it is important that we remain in dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church. That is not always an easy task given the Russian orthodox world view. I am encouraged that only last month the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London met representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church to discuss the theological education of students from the Russian Orthodox Church here in the UK. However this crisis plays out, and I pray as I am sure many of us do for a speedy and peaceful resolution, it is important that we do not sanction measures that put such dialogue at risk.

Read it all.

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Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Richard Charles Jackson, MA (Oxon) MSc, Diocesan Advisor for Mission and Renewal, in the Diocese of Chichester, to the Suffragan See of Lewes, in the Diocese of Chichester, in succession to the Right Reverend Wallace Parke Benn, BA, on his resignation on 31 August 2012.

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 17, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishops of Newcastle and Winchester have championed the importance of excellent teachers for pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. They were involved in a debate in the House of Lords about the role of schools in improving social mobility on the 13th March.

Read it all.

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

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Posted March 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New Zealand Anglicanism shifted from a firmly-held “marriage cannot be dissolved” to “a couple when getting married should intend to stay together”. ALL references to Marriage-is-like-Christ-and-His-church imagery were completely removed from the three different rites available for getting married in the 1989 New Zealand Prayer Book. Even the Church of England’s own Common Worship rite has removed all but the tiniest single vestigial allusion (quoted above) to what was clearly once a dominant biblical paradigm for marriage.

What once again is clear when those who say the debates are not sourced in prejudice about homosexuality, but are about integrity to scripture and tradition, is that whilst a sea change has occurred in the understanding of marriage, they have only begun to register an issue when the direction heads towards committed same-sex couples.

In the discussion about whether gender difference is essential to marriage it is clear where the inner logic of the trajectory of Christian marriage changes leads, and that the Church of England bishops’ statement is on the wrong side of that trajectory.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and PolynesiaChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 was designed to deal with a range of disciplinary issues concerning the clergy in the Church of England – but to the exclusion of matters of doctrine or ritual.

The 1963 Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure (one of whose chief architects was the late +Eric Kemp) retained the jurisdiction inherited from the Victorian era, and ultimately from the middle ages, expressly as a criminal jurisdiction, modelled on the former Assize Courts.

This meant among other things that the procedures of the consistory court when sitting under the EJM were those of a criminal trial, that prosecutors had to achieve a criminal standard of proof – beyond all reasonable doubt – in persuading the court to convict – and that the court’s sentences were effectively criminal convictions for what in some cases were relatively trivial offences. Its proceedings were open to the public and to the media.

The CDM was designed to be a civil tribunal and to operate without the full glare of publicity brought by EJM proceedings. The world’s press turned up for the trial of the Dean of Lincoln, Brandon Jackson, and the false evidence against him was published on the front pages of national newspapers. He was acquitted.

Read it all.

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Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The focus on analysis has led to (or perhaps is because of?) paralysis among church leaders with traditional beliefs. Typically, there is no urgency. Marriage has been redefined with huge implications for the spiritual and moral health of the nation, and yet many otherwise biblically orthodox clergy are not sure there is a problem – especially since the Bishops have at least for the moment appeared to hold the line. There is little prayer, because of the influence of secularism which teaches us to rely on our management techniques rather than on God, because of the upsetting nature of the topic, and because of a lack of understanding about spiritual realities. “Oh yes, I will pray in general for the nation”, I have been told, “but not specifically about gay marriage”. There is no courage. Clergy tell me privately that they believe in what the Bible says about sex, but their priority is for hassle-free pastoral care, for unity in the congregation, and ultimately for their own livelihood. As a result there is a lack of good teaching in the congregations on this topic, and no action at local or national levels or support for others taking such action.

Of course not all churches in England have capitulated. Many are wanting to stand firm – and this brings division. The church is now irredeemably divided over homosexuality. The Gospel should be truth lived out in experience, but today ‘my story’ is ranged against propositional truth and right principles. Churches which should be based on the Word and oriented towards their communities are now choosing ‘community’ over against the Word. ‘Witness’ seen as cutting the cost of discipleship to get people into church is increasingly opposed to bearing witness to Christ at any cost. Words such as sin, the need for repentance and transformation are now applied more to people who do not approve of same gender sexual relationships, than to people in those relationships.

Read it all.

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1 Comments
Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The sad reality is that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Although it is reported that only one bishop voted against the guidance, it is also being claimed that a significant number, even a majority, are not personally happy with it. The reactions to the guidance make clear just how extensive the divisions are in the wider church and thus how difficult the environment for the facilitated conversations is going to be. They also perhaps highlight two areas where the conversations need to focus their attention but which were largely unaddressed by the Pilling Report:

(1) What doctrine of marriage should the Church have and how should it then bear faithful witness to that in ordering its own life and in mission in a wider society which recognises same-sex marriage? and

(2) What is to be done, what new church structures may be needed, so that those who find themselves unable to accept the conclusions on the doctrine of marriage and its practical implications can faithfully bear witness to their understanding of marriage without undermining the mind of the majority or condemning the Church of England to continuing destructive conflict over this issue?

Read it all and Pt I is here.

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Posted March 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Well, you could knock me down with a feather duster. The Pope is looking into the subject of gay marriage. According to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Holy Father said to him that "rather than quickly condemn them, let's just ask the questions as to why that has appealed to certain people". OK, it's hardly a new Vatican policy. But language matters. And in the week of the first anniversary of Francis's appointment as pope, it is worth recognising how far the language has come.

But things are going to change even faster for the Church of England over the next few weeks. With gay marriage becoming a legal reality on 29 March, it is certain that a number of clergy will be looking to get hitched, in direct defiance of the wishes of their bishops who have vaguely warned of disciplinary action if they do. But the truth is that the bishops can actually do very little about it. The following is slightly nerdish stuff, but for the likes of north London vicar Reverend Andrew Cain, now preparing for his nuptials, it is crucial. Writing on my Facebook page last night, the Bishop of Buckingham explained the clergy discipline measure:

"Its Section 7 lays down that matters of doctrine and worship are not justiciable under the measure, but must be tried under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963. Insomniacs may remember that around 10 years ago there was a proposal to have a Clergy Discipline Measure type measure for doctrine and worship cases but it failed. The legal trail leads from here to section 39 of the EJM63. The maximum penalty it lays down for a first offence is a rude letter telling you not to do it again – which hopefully people getting married won't."

Of course, the bishops could pretend that clergy getting married is not a matter of doctrine, but this would be a bit of a problem given that they have been going round telling everyone that it is.

Read it all.

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7 Comments
Posted March 11, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England bishop has accused the Government of penalising stay-at-home mothers and carers by discriminating against families in the tax and benefits system.

The criticism came after an inquiry by a Christian charity to be launched on Tuesday found that that married couples with only one earner keep less of every extra pound they earn in the UK than in any other country in the developed world.

Last month, church leaders including 27 Anglican bishops condemned the Coalition’s welfare policies for causing hardship and hunger, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said its benefit cuts were “a disgrace". Now the Government is under attack for being “anti-family” in a study carried out by the charity Christian Action Research and Education (CARE).

Read it all from the Independent.

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1 Comments
Posted March 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm [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 SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologyChristology

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Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Channel Islands churches could stop paying money to the Diocese of Winchester and instead pay it into a shared fund.

Lay members of the Anglican Church in Jersey have brought forward the plan.

Bruce Willing, a lay member, says paying the money into a shared fund will help if they decide to become a separate diocese.

The Channel Islands split from Winchester in January after a dispute over how abuse complaints were handled.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Read it all

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Posted March 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Leicester, Rt. Revd. Tim Stevens and the Bishop of Birmingham, Rt. Revd. David Urquhart, have released a joint statement today in response to the draft child poverty strategy issued by the government.

The Bishops said: "We welcome the Government's firm commitment to ending child poverty by 2020. The measures announced in this paper are a step in the right direction, though much more will need to be done to enable us to come close to achieving this very ambitious target. As the economy recovers we encourage the Government to pursue policies to ensure that the proceeds of growth will be shared by low income families with children, and by other groups that have been most adversely affected by the recession."

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

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Posted March 1, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, has described the House of Bishops' pastoral statement on same-sex marriage, which he signed a fortnight ago, as "Anglican fudge".

The Bishops have also been challenged over the accuracy of their guidance, issued on 15 February. In it, they reiterated the ban on same-sex marriages in church, and stated that clergy may not enter into gay marriages... Several priests have publicly declared their intention to defy the Bishops.

Dr Sentamu, speaking at a meeting of Jewish and Christian students in Durham in the middle of last week, said that the Church of England's position was that "a clergy person has a right, an expectation, to live within the teaching of the Church, but for lay people and others they should be welcomed into the Church.

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

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Posted February 28, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop's Palace at Wells was discussed by the Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners at its meeting last Tuesday (25th February). This was the first meeting of the Board since it made its decision at the end of November last year.

At the meeting the Commissioners were given an opportunity to read the correspondence received and examine the petition recently presented to the Secretary to the Commissioners. They were also provided with a report of the public meeting attended by Sir Tony Baldry MP.

During their discussion the Commissioners discussed the views of those opposed to their decision and acknowledged the strong feelings that the decision had aroused within the diocese. It was noted that there were also voices of support for the decision.

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Posted February 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As Prime Minister David Cameron enters into tortuous negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the future shape of Europe; and as Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson threatens to resign over certain secret assurances given to Irish Republican terrorists classified as "On The Run"; and as the Ukraine descends into a bloody civil war about historic matters of ethnicity, identity, religion, and whether or not Russia is more Christian and free than the EU; and as Syria (remember that?) pours out a vast sea of destitute and diseased humanity, where Christians are beheaded and mothers die in childbirth; spare a thought for Church of England as it continues to agonise over the House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to move on (with an ecumenical focus on social action projects), but the Bishop of Oxford has written a letter to his clergy in which he pours out his anguish and sorrow over the House of Bishops' statement, and explains his personal torment and the torture deep within his soul over the limbo caused by the statement. For Bishop John, civil partnership is not and can never be the same thing as marriage, and he has long trodden a narrow path which has pleased neither wing of the sexuality divide. It is not so much a question of sheep and goats, as which pasture is most conducive for spiritual grazing and where the theological grass is greener. But the inadequacy, ambiguity, obfuscation and internal contradictions contained in the Bishops' Dog's Breakfast Pastoral Guidance would do Sir Humphrey proud. For some, it comes as a great relief; for others, it is cruel and absurd. God reveals Himself in His Word, which requires exegesis, interpretation and a grasp of its fundamental Sitz im Leben. But the Bishops cloak Him in shadowy puzzlement and shroud the Word in smog. Doing theology in this context is nigh impossible.

This guidance permits the Church of England to begin the facilitated conversations that were advocated in the Pilling Report. There is no predetermined outcome, but the distrust and suspicion on both sides clouds understanding, makes prayer a profound spiritual struggle, and fellowship a depressing hassle.

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Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The impression is that if only poor people would organise their lives more effectively, work harder at work or at finding work, and help each other out a little more, the problems would disappear.

This is not just a comforting fantasy for the comfortably-off, it’s a dangerous delusion. It ignores the huge structural changes affecting the British economy, thanks to technology, international competition and immigration. The top 1 per cent have seen their share of earnings increase from 7 to 10 per cent in two decades, but median pay has been static or falling for ten years. The decline is sharpest for those at the bottom of the scale.

Poor people are getting poorer because full-time jobs are disappearing or wage rates are being cut. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that the income of those in the bottom tenth of the income range peaked in 2004 and has been falling ever since. At the same time there have been above-inflation rises in essential costs. Since 2008 gas and electricity prices have risen by almost two thirds, food by a third, transport by a quarter. The result is that incomes and wealth are being squeezed as never before. Half of all families on average to low incomes have no savings whatsoever.

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Posted February 27, 2014 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A row has broken out between faith leaders and the Government over the impact of reforms to the welfare system.

The war of words was sparked by a letter in the Daily Mirror last week, signed by 27 Anglican bishops, which accused the Government of creating a food-poverty crisis by changing and restricting various benefits.

David Cameron denied that his government was to blame for up to 500,000 visits to foodbanks last year. He said that he was on a "moral mission" to end dependency on welfare payments.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I applaud the 27 bishops of the Church of England for drawing attention to the phenomenon of hunger. Churches and clergy are present in all communities throughout the land and observe at first hand the plight of families facing shortages of money and food. They are right in describing a serious problem but only partially correct in their analysis. It is much too simplistic to blame these problems on cutbacks to welfare and “failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions”.

The problems relate to a great variety of factors, including the loss of essential family networks in which basic skills such as cooking, household management and budgeting are no longer passed down the generations. The welfare system is being asked to replace kinship and neighbourliness and, in contrast to these, it is never going to pass muster as the ideal vehicle to deliver aid to those in greatest need when they most need it.

There is something Canute-like about resistance to welfare cuts. All three political parties acknowledge the need for reductions to welfare spending, wastage and fraud in the system and have all talked about the dangers of welfare dependency and the need to get people into work. They are not agreed on precisely where the axe should fall,...

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Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, is to co-chair a major parliamentary inquiry into foodbanks and food poverty in Britain.

The inquiry, which will involve MPs and Peers from all parties, will focus on the underlying causes of food poverty and reasons for the growth in food banks.

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Posted February 26, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It would be pure cheek for me, as a Quaker, to comment on the substance of an internal matter for Church of England but I am not convinced that the statement by House of Bishops “is in error”. The extract quoted by Professor Woodhead is about what it says it’s about: “the general understanding and definition of marriage in England as enshrined in law”; Archbishop Davidson, however, was commenting on “the law of the State” in relation to whom one could legally marry, not on the definition of marriage itself.

The Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act 1907 did not change the definition of marriage: what it did do was to remove a particular bar in the Table of Kindred and Affinity. Nor did it have anything to do with the indissolubility of marriage as such because, by definition, the man whose wife had died was free to remarry someone: the issue was whether or not he could marry his wife’s sister.

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5 Comments
Posted February 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Wakefield will fast for a day to highlight the plight of starving people.

Bishop Stephen Platten is one of 27 Anglican bishops and 16 other clergy who have accused the government of ‘creating hardship and hunger’ in a letter to a national newspaper.

The letter, which slams benefit cuts, is part of the national End Hunger Fast campaign which launches on March 5 – the first day of Lent.

The letter says: “We must, as a society, face up to the fact that over half of people using foodbanks have been put in that situation by cut backs to and failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions.”

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

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Posted February 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Of course the C of E finds itself in a tricky position where it is being forced to run to keep up with secular law and given its historic stance on homosexuality counterbalanced against an explicit call to accept those in same-sex relationships as far as possible within that framework, there is some tightrope walking going on to find the via media middle ground. Such an approach easily leads to misinterpretation, claims of contradiction and denouncements from those on the ends of the spectrum of views.

The statement has been described as a dog’s breakfast and a master class in doublespeak, but reading it carefully – unless I am missing something obvious – it does appear to be coherent within the parameters of C of E law. Some of the interpretations in the media have been less than helpful implying that the statement is saying that private blessings (effectively informal endorsements) in the form of ‘special’ prayers should be made available following civil partnerships and same-sex weddings, yet the actual wording makes it clear that clergy are not told to offer formal private blessings although some undoubtedly will.

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Posted February 23, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On St Valentine's Day last Friday, the Revd Andrew Cain got engaged to his partner, Stephen Foreshew.

The following day, he saw the House of Bishops statement (reproduced in full below), which repeated the ban on blessings in church for same-sex unions, and ruled out same-sex marriage for clergy or for anyone seeking to be ordained.

Mr Cain's marriage plans remain unchanged, he said on Tuesday. "I have always believed in equal marriage; so it would seem very odd, as someone who supports it, not to take advantage of it.

"I am aware of clergy wanting to get married who now feel unable to do so, and have been very upset about that. They are saying 'Why should I now stay in the Church?" And I am saying 'You have to stay, and you have to get married, because it is our equal right to do so; and if we believe in it, then we should do it.'"

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Posted February 21, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”
4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:
a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.
b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.
c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaSudan--South Sudan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

27 Comments
Posted February 20, 2014 at 8:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An East Barnet vicar says his parish is preparing to challenge Church of England leaders after they reiterated their ban on blessing same-sex couples.

The House of Bishops, which governs practice in Anglican churches across England, earlier this month rejected recommendations that it lifts its ban on blessing gay couples.

But the parish of St Mary’s Church in East Barnet says it plans to lodge a protest against the decision and write a formal letter once its members have met later this month.

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Posted February 20, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Forty-two Christian leaders, including 24 Anglican bishops, have signed a letter urging David Cameron to ensure everyone in the UK gets enough to eat.

They argue that "cutbacks and failures" in the benefits system are forcing thousands of people to use food banks.

The End Hunger Fast campaign called the situation "truly shocking". It wants a national day of fasting on 4 April.

But the government said it wanted to help people "stand on their own two feet" by cutting welfare dependency.

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2 Comments
Posted February 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...It is quite remarkable that what is still the official teaching of the Church of England ie.the 1987 Resolution of General Synod is not mentioned at all. The Pilling Report had already thrown doubt upon it and the Bishops’ silence now reinforces the perception that this is no longer viewed as normative, even though there has been no further resolution of Synod....

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

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Posted February 19, 2014 at 10:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Gay couples who get married will be able to ask for special prayers in the Church of England after their wedding, the bishops have agreed.

But priests who are themselves in same-sex relationships or even civil partnerships will be banned from getting married when it becomes legally possible next month.
.......
The ban, contained in new “pastoral guidance” from the Church of England, comes despite rules which allow those in civil partnerships to become priests and even bishops – as long as they claim to be celibate

But the guidelines, announced by the House of Bishops ahead of the coming into force of the Same-Sex Marriage Act next month, also state that non-clergy who get married to someone of the same sex will be free to continue to receive communion within the Church of England.

Although the Church will not be carrying out same-sex weddings, the new guidance also invites newlywed gay couples to ask their local priest for special prayers which will be seen as informal endorsements of their marriage.

The main stipulation is that the priest must not refer to it as a service of “blessing” – a term which is deeply divisive in the Church of England for theological reasons.
.......
the deal, reached in a meeting of bishops behind closed doors, will also anger traditionalists who see any endorsement of gay marriage as a major departure from what they see as the teaching of the Bible.

Copies of the guidelines were last night sent to bishops and archbishops in other Anglican churches around the world, many of whom have already publicly accused the Church of England of drifting away from Biblical orthodoxy.

In a joint letter accompanying the guidelines, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, acknowledged that there are deep divisions in the Church of England – including between bishops – over the issue.

They described same-sex marriage, which will be possible in England and Wales from March 29, as a “new reality” with implications for the Church of England.

While insisting that traditional doctrines remain unchanged, they added that they recognise that same-sex relationships contain some of the same “virtues” as marriage, upheld by the Church for centuries.

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

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Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was not the "hell-for-leather gallop" suggested by one member. The General Synod, none the less, set a brisk pace for the passage of the women-bishops legislation on Tuesday. As a result, the way was opened for a woman to be appointed a bishop "in the early months of next year", the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff (above), said after the debate.

The Synod was swift in its own proceedings. Comfortable majorities were secured for both the draft Declaration from the House of Bishops and the draft procedure for the resolution of disputes, with few queries from the floor.

The Draft Measure and Draft Amending Canon were both revised quickly - in full Synod, without a revision-committee stage. Amendments concerning the Equality Act fell, after reassuring speeches that parish representatives and patrons would have enough protection against claims under this legislation.

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

1 Comments
Posted February 14, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Anglican Communion should not start a debate on issues as marriage and sexuality. The Bible is clear, says the Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala.

The pastor is the chairman of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (Gafcon), a group of conservative Anglicans. He responded to the decision by the English bishops to form discussion groups on marriage and sexuality.

This is a response to the so-called Pilling report, published in November, which dealt with the way the church deals with the theme of sexuality. It proposes, among other things, that gay people in the church be treated fairly. It also advocates an open attitude of the church towards gay men who want to play an active role in the church, among other things fullfilling a role as minister. In addition, the Anglican Church must determine its position this year when it comes to dealing with the religious same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Wabakula says that the solution to a difference of opinion on issues such as gay marriage and sexual morality, cannot be found with debate. “We should be grateful that the college of bishops does not embrace the idea to bless what God calls sin something. Nevertheless, they unanimously agreed on the formation of discussion groups. That is worrisome. According to the church leader, there has been debate for years in the Anglican Communion. The underlying issue is whether one has to accept the Bible as the Word of God.

Read it all

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

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Posted February 13, 2014 at 9:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England is not tidy, nor efficiently hierarchical. There are no popes, but there is a College of Bishops and there are Synods and collections and lobbies and groups and pressure and struggle. When it works well it works because love overcomes fear. When it works badly it is because fear overcomes love. The resources for more fear lie within us and the resources for more love lie within God and are readily available to all those who in repentance and humility stretch out and seek them. With Jesus every imperative rests on an indicative, every command springs from a promise. Do not fear.

Already I can hear the arguments being pushed back at me, about compromise, about the wishy-washiness of reconciliation, to quote something I read recently. But this sort of love, and the reconciliation between differing groups that it demands and implies, is not comfortable and soft and wishy-washy. Facilitated conversations may be a clumsy phrase, but it has at its heart a search for good disagreement. It is exceptionally hard edged, extraordinarily demanding and likely to lead in parts of the world around us to profound unpopularity or dismissal....

We have received a report with disagreement in it on sexuality, through the group led by Sir Joseph Pilling. There is great fear among some, here and round the world, that that will lead to the betrayal of our traditions, to the denial of the authority of scripture, to apostasy, not to use too strong a word. And there is also a great fear that our decisions will lead us to the rejection of LGBT people, to irrelevance in a changing society, to behaviour that many see akin to racism. Both those fears are alive and well in this room today.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

16 Comments
Posted February 12, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Hopes of an end to the Church of England’s 40-year battle over women bishops could face a last-minute challenge this week amid wrangling over ordination services and an argument about the definition of a single word....

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

3 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:23 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


Thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV
Story Index
00:00 The New Oxford Movement
15:44 Elephant Politics
21:42 AS Haley on South Carolina
31:00 The perfect answer for Immigration
39:35 Closing and Bloopers

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

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Posted February 10, 2014 at 8:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jersey's longest-serving Anglican rector is warning that a split between the Deanery of Jersey and its mainland diocese could damage the Church of England in the island.

In January, it was announced the Channel Islands were to split with the Diocese of Winchester.

Now the Reverend Dr Anthony Swindell has called for a "cooling-off period" before any permanent changes are made.

Read it all.

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

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Posted February 10, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Baines will finish working as Bishop of Bradford when the diocese ceases to exist on Easter Day. Along with the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds and the Diocese of Wakefield, the Bradford diocese is being “restructured” into the new Diocese of Leeds in West Yorkshire and the Dales.

The diocese will be the largest geographically in the country.

Unusually, because the three cathedrals will remain as centres of the Church’s mission, Bishop Nick will have three enthronements. He will be enthroned in Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield cathedrals on three separate dates in the summer. He told The Times that the rationalisation of the three dioceses was not about cost cutting but about enhancing the Church’s mission. There will be no redundancies, he said. The appointment of two new area bishops is among his priorities.

Read it all (subscription required).

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

0 Comments
Posted February 8, 2014 at 1:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...Is it actually relevant in a modern world and should a Christian fight for his or her right to visibly exercise their faith in the secular world?

Some Christian writers, bloggers, and would-be spokesmen have suggested that we have lost the sexual battles and need to get over it and move on: lost on the pre-marital sex issue, lost on the multi-divorce-remarriage issue, lost on the homosexual-bisexual-transgender issues, and certainly the homosexual marriage issue as well. The advocates of this position point to the changes both in culture and law that are taking place in Europe and North America, and these advocates seem to take the Anglo-centric view that what Europe and North America do is of course superior to what other continents, nations, cultures and peoples might think, believe or practice. The truth is, until very recently the entire Christian church family agreed on moral standards for individuals, family and marriage, and the battle for the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage and family is anything but lost on a global basis. While many western denominations are rapidly declining in attendance and vitality, non-western Christian churches are booming.

Read it all

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

1 Comments
Posted February 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was the 1980s, the Cold War was at its height, the Russians were the enemy, and even today Nick cannot talk about the work he did during his four years at Government Communication Headquarters, except to say that it involved his skills as a Russian linguist.

Move forward three decades and that very same Nick Baines is now in a different job. He is in fact the Right Reverend Nicholas Baines, who this week has been announced as the new Bishop of Leeds and put in charge of the newest and biggest diocese in the whole of England. You have to admit, it’s quite the change.

As to how it happened, well that’s a big question.

Bishop Nick, as he is now known, was an active church member but it was his experience of GCHQ that made him question the world more deeply.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted February 6, 2014 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Concern for ‘right doctrine’ is not even present in the majority of evangelicals, argues Dr Anna Strhan; experience of God, being in community and speaking the language of hope are more important among charismatic Anglicans, according to her research.

Its easy to see where this is leading. The Pilling Report and the Bishops’ response is largely based on the reasoning we find here. The sociologists writing in the Church Times are describing reality, the “revolution” of which Archbishop Justin spoke last year. The old “Christendom” is gone, but what has replaced it is not a secular state with inevitable church decline but a new opportunity for preaching the Gospel in a new context. And the Gospel is: you can have your cake and eat it! You can have a relationship with God, be part of a warm welcoming community, but be relaxed about theological doctrine and sexual ethics. Those with a more conservative or puritanical streak can still have their congregations, and we do not need to immediately change liturgies or have damaging debates in Synod about official documents. Rather, Bishops and congregations can show by their words and actions that the church is listening and changing, including and affirming, “de-toxifying the brand”. It is this which will arrest decline and promote growth, not anxiousness about the Pilling Report.

There is a variation on this theme which is more acceptable to some conservative Anglicans. That is to say that we should teach heterosexual monogamous marriage and celibate singleness within the church to those who have accepted Christ, but we should not pronounce on sexual morality outside in the public square as if to fight a rearguard action in a culture war which as already been lost. It is too toxic, and Christians who do this are harming the mission of the church.

How to respond to such compelling arguments? Why does it matter that the Church holds on to traditional sexual morality? What has sex got to do with the Gospel, and how can the Church engage with a culture that considers this aspect of its teaching ridiculous and even harmful?

The answer is in the way we interpret the Bible, in how we understand God and the spiritual realm, and in whether we trust him and his word even if it seems foolish and offensive. When a main feature of prevailing humanistic philosophy is to deny God’s clear plan on gender, sexuality and marriage, a main feature of countercultural Gospel preaching and disciple making must be to talk plainly about sex. The idea taking root among some evangelicals that we can promote the biblical Gospel more effectively by not talking about sex and silencing conservatives who do, comes from a love of popularity and fear of offending, and becomes a capitulation to a false and deceptive philosophy.

Read it all

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3 Comments
Posted February 5, 2014 at 9:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all (4 and 3/4 minutes).

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Posted February 5, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Bishops of Portsmouth and Peterborough are becoming the latest members of the House of Lords this week.

The Right Reverend Christopher Foster has asked for prayers as he becomes one of 26 Church of England bishops in the House of Lords.

The bishop has said he will use his position in Parliament to speak up for issues affecting south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Read it all.

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Posted February 5, 2014 at 6:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

All sexual acts outside marriage (including all homosexual acts) are viewed very seriously indeed in Scripture but false teaching which leads people into sexual sin is viewed even more seriously (Luke 17:1-2) and warnings about the affirmation and endorsement of sexual immorality (2 Peter 2 and Jude are poignant examples) are particularly strong.

Those who lead ‘little ones’ astray (Matthew 18:6), like those they mislead, are in great danger. This is why it is so important for us to exercise godly discipline with them (Matthew 18:15-20; Luke 17:3-4; Galatians 6:1; James 5:19, 20) for their own sakes, as well as for those who they might mislead or have already misled.

The Apostle Paul urged his co-workers to ‘command certain men not to teach false doctrines’ (1 Timothy 1:3) and to ‘gently instruct in the hope that God will grant repentance’ (2 Timothy 2:25). He added that false teachers ‘must be silenced’ (Titus 1:11).

These biblical standards of leadership apply to all of us who exercise leadership within the Christian Church.

The real test of Justin Welby’s leadership of the Church of England will be whether or not he allows the current situation - whereby senior leaders in his church both in these islands and across the Atlantic are teaching that homosexual acts are sometimes acceptable - to smoulder and fester.

If he fails to grasp this nettle in the interests of ‘unity’ he may find himself presiding over a greatly reduced Anglican communion. I believe he will also find himself on the wrong side of history. But to deal with it firmly and graciously will require not only the wisdom of Solomon, but also the courage of Daniel.


He needs our prayers. But he also needs other Christians within his own denomination to help him be faithful, in both word and deed, to the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul on this matter.

Read it all

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Posted February 4, 2014 at 10:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


from here

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Posted February 3, 2014 at 9:27 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Gloucester has announced he is to retire after almost a decade in the role.

The Right Reverend Michael Perham said he would go in November after more than ten "happy, stimulating and fruitful years" in the diocese.

Bishop Michael said the "time was right for him and his family" and that he would be "moving to Wells".

Read it all.

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1 Comments
Posted February 3, 2014 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Recommendation #13 states, in part, “The church needs to find ways of honoring and affirming those Christians who ….in good conscience have entered partnerships with a firm intention of life-long fidelity.” Is this not a change in church doctrine?

The actual foundational reasons for the report are stated below.

“16. We believe that there can be circumstances where a priest, with the agreement of the relevant PCC, should be free to mark the formation of a permanent same sex relationship in a public service but should be under no obligation to do so. Some of us do not believe that this can be extended to same sex marriage. (Paragraphs120, 380–3)”

“17. While the Church abides by its traditional teaching such public services would be of the nature of a pastoral accommodation and so the Church of England should not authorize a formal liturgy for use for this purpose. The House of Bishops should consider whether guidance should be issued. (Paragraphs 118, 384–8, 391–3)”
But doesn’t ‘guidance’ become policy and policy lead to doctrine?

Does this sound familiar? “Resolved that bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same gender marriage civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church. “ (Excerpted from Resolution CO 56, TEC 76th General Convention, 2009)

Of course, assurances are given that “The recommendations do not propose any change in the church’s teaching on sexual conduct.” This is stated in the report from Archbishops Welby and Sentamu (28 November 2013). It is restated in the college of Bishops affirmative response to the Pilling Report (27 January 2014). Does this sound familiar also? Both Katharine Schori and Bonnie Anderson (head of house of deputies) said, “Nothing has changed” after the resolution passed in General Convention.

And all of this is repeatedly stated, with “…the guidance of the Holy Spirit”, “…reflecting upon the Scriptures.” and “…attempting to discern the mind of Christ.” So much of all these documents is boilerplate cobbled together to ‘stay on message’.

The Pilling Report should have been research based outcome but it was outcome-based research. Did the person(s) who wrote the “Findings and recommendations” section actually review the preceding research section? The two are disconnected.

Did anyone doubt how things would turn out thus far? Does anyone doubt where this will end? Will there be a formal split between GAFCON and the CoE? It seems inevitable. Kyrie eleison

Read it all

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3 Comments
Posted February 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The English Archbishops of York and Canterbury have fired the equivalent of a broadside into the respective Anglican Provinces of Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, and naturally it has to do with the Western hot button issue of homosexuality. While this subject seems to be causing the implosion of Anglican Provinces in America, Canada, England, Wales, and Scotland, the English Archbishops, rather than stand their Biblical ground against unnatural acts between individuals, choose rather to lecture and caution the three largest Anglican Provinces on the laws their civil governments are enacting.

When the head, nominal though he be, of the Anglican Communion lectures and cautions any Province, the implications and threat cannot be missed. It is odd that this lecture and caution would be directed toward the orthodox Anglicans of the Communion and not against the heterodox Anglicans both in North America and indeed within the Church of England itself. It seems that the Pilling Report may define the path that the Church of England will actually take. The Anglican Communion will soon have to face the prospect of a Mother Church which is spiritually unable to lead the worldwide flock of Anglicans. Interestingly, both the Archbishop of Kenya and now Uganda have responded to this English broadside and, commendably, they understand exactly the kind of spiritual bullying that is being directed toward them.

Read it all

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0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 6:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt Rev’d James Newcome will chair a county Commission which will review the impact of current and proposed Welfare Reforms.

The Commission has been established at the request of the Cumbria Leaders Board which is made up of key public and third sector leaders in the county.

Evidence from charities, community organizations and individuals will be collected over the coming months.

Read it all.


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0 Comments
Posted February 1, 2014 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

30th January 2014
Read it here and below the fold

See also:
GAFCON Chairman’s February pastoral letter
A Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee Cairo, Egypt 14-15 February 2014
CofE: House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage
How TEC funds Facilitated Conversations
Church of Uganda: Statement from Archbishop Ntagali
GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Statement
Archbishop Welby interviewed on Sexuality and the Anglican Communion with Transcript
A Statement from the C of E College of Bishops on the Pilling Report

Recent Featured Entries on the Pilling Report and Responses
Links to recent posts about alternative baptism liturgy for the Church of England

Robert Munday’s 5 part Series—Edward Salmon Invites the TEC PB to Preach at Nashotah House

A response to the statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York of 29th January 2014

This week, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York sought to remind the leadership of the Anglican Communion and the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda of the importance of friendship and care for homosexual people.

Christians should always show particular care for those who are vulnerable, but this cannot be separated from the whole fabric of biblical moral teaching in which the nature of marriage and family occupy a central place.

The Dromantine Communiqué from which the Archbishops quote also affirmed (Clause 17) the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 which states that ‘homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture’ and that the conference ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions’.

Yet earlier this week, the English College of Bishops accepted the recommendation of the Pilling Report for two years of ‘facilitated conversation’ because at least some of the bishops could not accept the historic teaching of the Church as reaffirmed in the Lambeth resolution.

Indeed, in making the case for such a debate, the Pilling Report observes ‘In the House of Lords debate on same sex marriage, the Archbishop of York commended that the Church needed to think about the anomalies in a situation where it is willing to bless a tree or a sheep, but not a faithful human relationship.’ The anomaly only exists of course if it really is the case that a committed homosexual union can also be Christian.

The good advice of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York would carry much more weight if they were able to affirm that they hold, personally, as well as in virtue of their office, to the collegial mind of the Anglican Communion. At the moment I fear that we cannot be sure.

Regrettably, their intervention has served to encourage those who want to normalize homosexual lifestyles in Africa and has fuelled prejudice against African Anglicans. We are committed to biblical sexual morality and to biblical pastoral care, so we wholeheartedly stand by the assurance given in the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution that those who experience same sex attraction are ‘loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.’

May God in his mercy grant that we may hold to the fullness of his truth and the fullness of his grace.

The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala

Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman, GAFCON Primates Council.

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

10 Comments
Posted January 31, 2014 at 10:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Why do I think College of Bishops have made the right decision? Well, most obviously because their response to Pilling is exactly the one I said in November was needed. The reason for this is more and more evident in public responses, particularly on social media, from all sides of the debate.

On the one hand, many ‘conservatives’ say that there is nothing to be done, and no need any further discussion. I don’t think this takes into account sufficiently the need for the Church of England to develop more credible pastoral response, taking into account what Justin Welby described as the revolution in attitudes within society on this issue.

On the other hand, many ‘revisionists’ agree there is no need for further discussion, but for exactly the opposite reason. It is clear what God is doing in society, and the Church needs to catch up without any further delay. You can see this very clearly in the fulminating responses to yesterday’s announcement on the Thinking Anglicans website (was there ever more irony in a website name?).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Theology

4 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On one hand, it's disappointing both to conservatives and liberals that the Bishops can only state the obvious – that people are divided over the issue of homosexuality – and cannot give any clear lead on what the church should be teaching. On the other hand, it is encouraging that the diversity is recognized; that capitulation to Western cultural norms is not seen as inevitable; that the viewpoint of majority global Anglicanism is taken into account, and above all, that
the Church of England’s pastoral and liturgical practice remains unchanged during this process of facilitated conversation…No change to the Church of England's teaching on marriage is proposed or envisaged.

This presumably means that Pilling’s most contentious proposal, namely that blessings of gay couples in church should commence at the same time as facilitated conversations, has been decisively rejected. It also appears not to leave the door ajar for the acceptance of gay marriage.

There was fear among conservatives that those of their number among the Bishops would be marginalized, especially in the wake of the Bishop of Fulham’s endorsement of Pilling. However it seems clear that some kind of stand - which may have been costly – must have been made to ensure a collegiate pulling back from the brink. For that we can be grateful.

Read it all.

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0 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England’s bishops have finally reached agreement on homosexuality – by saying that they might never be able to agree.

They emerged from a frank, day-long meeting behind closed doors, discussing their response to radical proposals to offer wedding-style blessing services for gay couples, and admitted they are deeply divided over the issues and are likely to remain so for years to come.

Read it all.

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0 Comments
Posted January 30, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Bishops of the Church of England have spoken...
...When the very context of such “facilitated conversations” is misplaced, the results surely will be. This is precisely what Archbishops Drexel Gomez and Maurice Sinclair predicted in 2001 in To Mend the Net when they described the fatal flaw of facilitated conversations AFTER innovations have been allowed to disrupt the spiritual unity of the church without any consequences:
“the way the ‘process of reception’ is presented and set up for consideration has, practically speaking, only one or two possible results, eventual acceptance of the innovation or a never-ending period of reception.” (63) To Mend the Net.

This is the heart of the new religion of relational reconciliation. It is as if “reconciliation” is some kind of common good or end in itself. Facilitated conversations (aka “Indaba”) can have only two possible results: eventual acceptance of the innovations, or a never-ending process of facilitated conversations, until all resistance is vanquished.

3. The very recommendation of facilitated conversations across the Communion betrays an unwillingness to acknowledge the plain authority of the Bible as it speaks to human sexuality, marriage and the qualifications for ministry. The proponents of innovations in each of these areas– TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada since 2003 (with respect to same sex blessings and consecrations of partnered same-sex persons as bishops), and now the Church of England with regards to both blessing civil partnerships and permitting such partnered clergy to be eligible for the episcopate– have had ample opportunity to make their case. Time and again, they have failed to show how these innovations are in keeping with the Bible or the uninterrupted teaching authority and tradition of the Church.

For over 10 years, such “conversations” within the Instruments of Communion have simply enabled TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada to project false teaching and confusion across the Communion without any consequences. And now, I am sad to say, it appears that the bishops of the Church of England propose to follow the example set by TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada.

Culture changes. God’s word never changes. Cultures and contexts can and do err. God’s word does not. It is a tragedy that TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada have decided to “indaba” themselves to death rather than speak prophetically and lovingly to Western culture with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. It is an even greater tragedy that the bishops of the Church of England should now propose to join them in projecting confusion and error through “facilitated conversations” across the Anglican Communion.

Read it all

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1 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Taunton has called for more consultation over plans to move the new Bishop of Bath and Wells out of a flat in the 800-year-old palace.

The Right Reverend Peter Maurice said the Church Commissioners had not spent enough time before making "a major decision of this kind".

Bishop Maurice plans to put a question about the decision to the General Synod - the Church of England's ruling body.

The Church Commission said the move would give the bishop more privacy.

Read it all and there is also more there.

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Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The £900,000 mansion that will become the home of a newly-appointed bishop was previously sold by the Church of England for less money, it has been revealed.

The Grade II-listed Georgian former rectory was sold for £750,000 in 2007 after the church deemed it 'unsuitable' for the clergy.

But the diocese is set to buy back the imposing property for the Right Reverend Peter Hancock in a controversial move away from his traditional historic palace.

Read it all.

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0 Comments
Posted January 29, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

I think, where there’s differences, at the moment, as I say, the Church of England’s view on same sex marriage is very, very clear and my own view on that is very, very clear. In this country we also need to be very, very clear about our profound opposition to homophobic behavior. And we are working on, and if I am really honest, struggling with the issue of how we recognize the love that exists between people who have a same-sex orientation; and who are committed to each other, and how that is recognized.

Now the Anglican Communion has set clear rules about that, and it’s a disagreement within the Communion that will continue for some time. My own view on same-sex marriage is one thing; my own view on same-sex unions is I recognize, again I have said in public, the immense quality and profound love and commitment of many same-sex unions. I don’t think that marriage is the appropriate way forward.

AAC: The BBC program “Hard Talk” interviewed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on some of the issues challenging the Anglican Communion. Below is a video of the interview as well as a partial transcript [which starts 13 and a half minutes in]


Justin Welby:...What am I doing? I am trying to ensure that people meet, listen to each other, hear what each other are saying, understand each other properly, and learn afresh, where it’s not happening, to love one another as Christ commands us.

Zeinab Badawi: But you have yourself put yourself in one particular camp, and so can you really have this dialogue with an open mind, when for example you were quoted in the Daily Telegraph newspaper in August last year saying:

“we have seen changes in the idea of sexuality, sexual behaviour which quite simply mean we have to face the fact that the vast majority of people under 35 think we are plain wrong and wicked, and equate it [i.e. I suppose homophobia] to racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice."

So you clearly have indicated that you really adhere to one side of the argument, perhaps something which could be described as a more Western liberal interpretation.


Watch and Read it all and the transcript is copied below thanks to the American Anglican Council [Update: See also the interview with Iain Dale here]

JW: No, what I was doing there was commenting on the changing culture, not on my personal position, on the issue. The changing culture is undeniable. It is a simple fact of the world in which we live.

ZB: but not if you are in Africa, if you are under 35 and in Africa....
___________________________________________
Zeinab Badawi: OK, where do you stand on the issue of gay priests and same-sex marriage for instance? I mean, what is your own personal view?

Justin Welby: My personal view has been stated very clearly in the House of Lords. I do not support the idea of same sex marriage, and I hold the teaching of the Church of England which has not changed to any degree at all, that marriage is a lifelong union of one man with one woman.

ZB: Do you think that this issue could really tear the church apart?

JW: Yes, of course it could. It’s – as I say there’s never been a moment at which the church hasn’t had disagreements over this – the first Lambeth Conference in the 19th Century was called to deal with very massive disagreements within the church on another issue.

I think, where there’s differences, at the moment, as I say, the Church of England’s view on same sex marriage is very, very clear and my own view on that is very, very clear. In this country we also need to be very, very clear about our profound opposition to homophobic behavior. And we are working on, and if I am really honest, struggling with the issue of how we recognize the love that exists between people who have a same-sex orientation; and who are committed to each other, and how that is recognized.

Now the Anglican Communion has set clear rules about that, and it’s a disagreement within the Communion that will continue for some time. My own view on same-sex marriage is one thing; my own view on same-sex unions is I recognize, again I have said in public, the immense quality and profound love and commitment of many same-sex unions. I don’t think that marriage is the appropriate way forward.

_____________________________________________________________________
Partial Transcript – BBC News Hard Talk Interview 27th January

(beginning at 13 mins 30 secs in – to 24 mins 33 secs)

ArchbishopJustin Welby [JW]

Zeinab Badawi [ZB]

ZB: Talking about Nigeria – 80 million Anglicans there – and a different issue, the issue of gay priests and same-sex marriage. The Church of Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi have said – look, we really are not happy about what’s happened on this matter ever since the Church of Canada allowed same-sex marriage in 2002 and the church in the United States ordained Gene Robinson as a bishop in 2003, there’s been what you can describe as the traditionalist wing of the Anglican church and the liberal wing. What are you doing to reconcile these two wings?

JW: Well first of all, news headline: People from 145 different countries from even more different cultures and traditions don’t all agree with each other on everything. I mean it’s not exactly startling that we have disagreements.

What I am trying to do is to – not to get everyone to agree, because I don’t think we are going to agree. It is to try and transform bad disagreement to good disagreement. There is some very good disagreement. There are headlines, and you could have added a number of other countries to the list.


ZB: of course, I was just giving you a couple, yes

JW: people like Uganda, who feel very, very strongly about this.

There are countries like this where, in the church here, we are struggling with the issue and we are not of one mind over it – and it’s going to take time.

What am I doing? I am trying to ensure that people meet, listen to each other, hear what each other are saying, understand each other properly, and learn afresh, where it’s not happening, to love one another as Christ commands us.


ZB: But you have yourself put yourself in one particular camp, and so can you really have this dialogue with an open mind, when for example you were quoted in the Daily Telegraph newspaper in August last year saying:
“we have seen changes in the idea of sexuality, sexual behaviour which quite simply mean we have to face the fact that the vast majority of people under 35 think we are plain wrong and wicked, and equate it [i.e. I suppose homophobia] to racism and other forms of gross and atrocious injustice."

So you clearly have indicated that you really adhere to one side of the argument, perhaps something which could be described as a more Western liberal interpretation.

JW: No, what I was doing there was commenting on the changing culture, not on my personal position, on the issue. The changing culture is undeniable. It is a simple fact of the world in which we live.

ZB: but not if you are in Africa, if you are under 35 and in Africa.

JW: No, but at the time I was talking in the context of the Same Sex Marriage Act and how that has changed. But at the same time the House of Lords in the debate on the Same Sex Marriage Act, in the second reading, I said I disagreed with the, what was then the bill, is now the Act, and spoke against it very clearly in the House and we were overwhelmingly defeated. But the realities of a change in Western culture are beyond any debate at all, and a church that fails to acknowledge that the culture around it is changing, doesn’t mean it changes what it does, but if it simply says is willfully blind to the change around it, it is being foolish.

ZB: But the fact is, that’s what is putting you or the church in the West at odds with, as we said, the church in Africa because they accuse the church in Canada, and in England, and in the United States of producing revisionist forms of the Christian faith that are unrecognizable to the majority of Anglicans worldwide. That’s what the leaders of the Anglican Church in Nigeria and Kenya said in October 2012, so there it is very very clearly..

JW: They also said it in November 2013 when I was with them, in Nairobi

ZB: …there you are

JW: As I say, it is not news that we have disagreement, nor is it something that particularly worries me that we have disagreement

ZB: OK, where do you stand on the issue of gay priests and same-sex marriage for instance? I mean, what is your own personal view?

JW: My personal view has been stated very clearly in the House of Lords. I do not support the idea of same sex marriage, and I hold the teaching of the Church of England which has not changed to any degree at all, that marriage is a lifelong union of one man with one woman.

ZB: Do you think that this issue could really tear the church apart?

JW: Yes, of course it could. It’s – as I say there’s never been a moment at which the church hasn’t had disagreements over this – the first Lambeth Conference in the 19th Century was called to deal with very massive disagreements within the church on another issue.

I think, where there’s differences, at the moment, as I say, the Church of England’s view on same sex marriage is very, very clear and my own view on that is very, very clear. In this country we also need to be very, very clear about our profound opposition to homophobic behavior. And we are working on, and if I am really honest, struggling with the issue of how we recognize the love that exists between people who have a same-sex orientation; and who are committed to each other, and how that is recognized.

Now the Anglican Communion has set clear rules about that, and it’s a disagreement within the Communion that will continue for some time. My own view on same-sex marriage is one thing; my own view on same-sex unions is I recognize, again I have said in public, the immense quality and profound love and commitment of many same-sex unions. I don’t think that marriage is the appropriate way forward.


ZB: OK – so Civil Partnerships for gay priests for instance – is fine, the ban, that’s all right?

JW: Civil Partnerships are permitted by the Church of England for same sex couples – of both priests, both laity and ordained

ZB: But the priests have to remain celibate?

JW: Er, that is the rule of the Church of England

ZB: Which is going to be pretty difficult to enforce – but anyway

JW: There are plenty of difficult rules to enforce

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

33 Comments
Posted January 28, 2014 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The College of Bishops met on 27th January, 2014 to begin a process of reflection on the issues raised by the Pilling Report (GS 1929). The College expressed appreciation to Sir Joseph Pilling and to all members of the working party for the work they have done on behalf of the Church.

We are united in welcoming and affirming the presence and ministry within the Church of gay and lesbian people, both lay and ordained. We are united in acknowledging the need for the Church to repent for the homophobic attitudes it has sometimes failed to rebuke and affirming the need to stand firmly against homophobia wherever and whenever it is to be found.

We are united in seeking to be faithful to the Scriptures and the tradition of the Church and in seeking to make a loving, compassionate and respectful response to gay men and women within Church and society.

We recognise the very significant change in social attitudes to sexuality in the United Kingdom in recent years.

Read it all.

Recent Featured Entries on the Pilling Report and Responses
Links to recent posts about alternative baptism liturgy for the Church of England

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

22 Comments
Posted January 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Thanks to Lent and Beyond

Matthew 22:15-22 (ESV)
“Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.
Dear Jesus, there are plots within the Church of England to confuse the truth. Defeat all the clever arguments of those who by human reasoning desire to confuse the truth of the gospel. Shut the mouths of the hypocrites who profess one thing and do another.

Good Shepherd, just as You have mercy on the lost sheep entangled in the brush, have mercy on the leaders who have been enticed by ideas that are not of You and have strayed away. They are entangled in ungodly teaching and the generational dysfunction of the Church of England. They have become easy prey for predators.

Jesus, seek them out. You are the Truth. Grab hold of them, just as You would grab hold of the sheep in the brush. May they renounce these false beliefs and place their guilt on Your shoulders. Bring them to a broad place.

They are stamped with Your image. May the leaders of the Church of England render to You the things that are Yours. The Church is Yours. May Your kingdom be established in the Church of England as it is in heaven.
Amen.

Read it all - more prayers are here

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

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Posted January 27, 2014 at 11:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The College meets January 27th
Dear Heavenly Father,
Dare we despise the day of small beginnings? We thank You for inauspicious beginnings. We thank You that there is no tragedy You cannot redeem. We are grateful that Your thoughts are not our thoughts and Your ways are not our ways. We look to you in glad expectation. We look to You in joy.
We know that You have saved and that You will continue to save. We claim the salvation, the healing, and the love of Your Son Jesus. He is the balm of Gilead. May He so completely fill the hearts of the College of Bishops of the Church of England that His light will blaze forth across England.
Don’t pass them by, Lord. Show Yourself strong on behalf of the church. Take their small beginnings and bless them.
Amen.

Read it all and there are more prayers here

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

1 Comments
Posted January 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Four bishops and a retired civil servant shut away in a palace, talking about human sexuality — it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But the resulting Pilling Report is, in spite of 200 pages’ worth of double entendres, neither funny nor enlightening.

It has been clear ever since the Lambeth conference in 1998, which contained the ponderous resolution that ‘we commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons’, that the Anglican church’s position has been to agree not to agree on the issue. From the Jeffrey John affair to the debate over gay marriage, the church has handled the question like a whoopee cushion at a vicar’s tea party — with a mixture of bemusement and embarrassment.

Having spent many months interviewing everyone from the Society of Ordained Scientists to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Sir Joseph Pilling’s report comes up with the less than profound conclusion that the issue requires the church to have a ‘facilitated conversation’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 23, 2014 at 5:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I wanted to contact you all following Lambeth Palace’s announcement today that the Bishop of Dover is to take temporary responsibility for episcopal oversight of the Channel Islands. This follows a proposal I took to the Archbishop of Canterbury last year, which has now been supported and implemented by Archbishop Justin and his colleagues and which also has the backing of representatives from the Islands.

It will be evident to a number of you that, what began as an important and ongoing safeguarding matter in Jersey last year has steadily become complicated by a range of political and legal issues. The safeguarding investigations will, of course, continue and I hope in time we will benefit from improvements to our policies to help vulnerable people in the Islands and across the Diocese. Nevertheless, I am all too conscious of the additional, fundamental issues that have been raised and I believe they also warrant urgent and full attention. Equally I believe that the best way of achieving the reconciliation that we all want is for me to step back for now from the tensions that have arisen and allow for fresh, external input. I am very grateful therefore that Bishop Trevor is able to devote the time to take on this role, on a temporary basis, bringing with him knowledge of the Channel Islands as a former Bishop of Basingstoke.

Read it all.

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

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Posted January 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, is to assume interim episcopal oversight of the work of the Church of England in the Channel Islands on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, delegated the oversight of the Islands.

The interim arrangement, which has the fullest support of the Bishop of Winchester, will be in place within a matter of weeks. The reports commissioned by the Bishop of Winchester, being conducted by Dame Heather Steel and Bishop John Gladwin in relation to safeguarding issues, will be completed in due course.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

0 Comments
Posted January 22, 2014 at 6:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have signed the Time to Change pledge to end the stigma attached to mental illness. I encourage you to join this campaign in the UK, or similar campaigns where you live. Like many of you, I have been close to a number of people who have struggled with poor mental health. I became my late father’s carer in the last years of his life. It was only then that I recognised how we had colluded as a family in not knowing about his mental state for years. He was relatively well supported; but this did not prevent his early death as a result of the physical consequences of his struggle with life.

Research reveals that nine out of ten people in Britain who live with some form of mental illness are stigmatised. As if the illness were not enough to cope with, they are penalised in the workplace and over welfare benefits. They are shunned and laughed at. Worse still, moral blame is still applied to those living with persistent mental illness. We are frightened of it because it is so close to us and any one of us call fall prone to it in some form. It is also scary that, while there can be periods of recovery in any illness, the condition itself may well be chronic and incurable.

Understandably, we all dread that prospect for ourselves or for our loved ones; but it does not follow that we should blame sufferers for reminding us of their need. The media do not help. Of course, it is a tragedy if a psychotic person becomes dangerous and does serious harm to another person. The way that this is often reported suggests that people with mental health needs are likely to be dangerous. The sad truth is that most of those who suffer psychosis, or clinical depression or severe bi-polar illness are only likely to be a danger to themselves as they feel they can no longer endure the isolation and pain.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyMental IllnessReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has been accused of scoring an “extraordinary” own goal spending hundreds of thousands of pounds buying a house for a bishop so he would not live in the grandeur of a medieval palace.

The Church Commissioners, the Church’s property arm, announced last month that the next bishop of Bath and Wells will not live in the 800-year-old palace occupied by his predecessors.

Instead, the Rt Rev Peter Hancock will be housed in a property outside Wells offering greater “privacy” and which would be more “conducive to effective ministry and mission”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

4 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fasting is not just physically demanding. It's also psychologically tough, says the Anglican Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker, who has drunk only tea and water one day a week during lent for the last decade.

"The night before you start, you think: 'How am I going to get through the day?'" says Bishop Walker. But it's never as bad as you expect, he adds.

The key thing is to make sure you're busy at normal mealtimes, he says. The body is conditioned to want food according to a routine.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/Nutrition* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, said family breakdown had become a “modern plague”.

He blamed a “conspiracy of silence” perpetrated by the Church, the BBC, Parliament and the Press that discouraged people from speaking up for marriage. It has left hundreds of thousands of children “living a tragic life,” he said.

“In our permissive society a view has grown up that people are happiest if they are totally liberated. It is about ‘me’,” he said. “We are told Britain has changed and we have to accept it but don’t we have a responsibility to speak out for what’s right?”

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Something is going right with the British economy, and Chancellor George Osborne is keen to take the credit, “The plan is working”, he announced a few days ago in a speech in the West Midlands. But for many of those I meet, as I visit church supported projects across the Diocese of Manchester, if the plan really is working, then it’s the wrong plan.

I can offer one cheer for the chancellor. The figures for non-welfare related public spending grew year on year under the previous government in a quite unprecedented fashion, one that could only ever be sustained by a continuous rise in national wealth. Once the banker led scandals of six years ago broke, and plunged much of the globe into deep recession, that was never going to remain affordable. Deep cuts in public expenditure became inevitable; someone would have to bear the brunt. As the chancellor said this week, there are no easy answers; tough decisions still need to be made. In an economy that can never be trusted to grow consistently it is fair to say that the proportion of national income spent by government will need at some stage to return to something closer to the historic post-war average. Whether it should be falling so quickly, and whether Mr Osborne has in his head a long term target for it rather lower than the norm, are matters worthy of public debate.

I can raise a rather bigger cheer for British workers and their employers. Unlike many previous recessions this one was not a result of a systemic lack of international competitiveness. And so the solution didn’t have to be, and wasn’t, mass unemployment. A combination of loss of overtime, shorter working hours, miniscule pay increases and early retirement has allowed many British families to tighten their belts and survive. The independent decisions of the Bank of England to keep interest rates, and thereby mortgage payments, low have played an important part too. All of this has placed the nation in a better state of readiness to expand output now that the global economic climate is becoming warmer.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 14, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England spokesman said that the baptism service used would be decided by the priest, in consultation with the family.

He said the new wording was the third revision of the baptism service in 30 years.

He said the current service had been in use since Easter 1998 and the wording had been amended by general synod in 2000 and in 2005.

Read it all.

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

4 Comments
Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Since at least the 1970s there has been a fashion in the Church of England to minimise depth and mystery in its worship because of the alleged need to make its services ‘accessible’.

The new alternative service for baptism, which has been sent for trial, continues this trend. Instead of explaining what baptism means and what the various parts of the service signify, its solution is to do away with key elements of the service altogether!

From ancient times, the structure of the service has included the renunciation of sin, the world and the devil and the turning to Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Read it all from the Mail on Sunday.

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

1 Comments
Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the alternative so-called baptismal rite - the salient questions are:

1. Why is it so semi-Pelagian when it claims to be about grace? "Will you help them?" It's wet... and not in the water sense!

2. Where is the sense of their own pilgrimage which was expressed in "walk with them in the way of Christ?"

3. Where is the truth that we are rebels against God expressed?

4. Where is repentance from sin?

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted January 5, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nearly 300 of us gathered yesterday (Saturday 4th January) at St John’s Church, Somersham on the Cambridgeshire fen-edge to give thanks for the life of the Revd John Galbraith Graham MBE, better known world-wide as “Araucaria”, the premier crossword-setter in the English language. John had asked me to look after the service, and I am most grateful to everyone who lent a hand in arranging, speaking, making music, providing refreshments, and everything else that helped make it a very special occasion. A number of people asked for the text of my homily, so I now reproduce it here.

I’ve always enjoyed crosswords, as many of you here today do, and like so many others I’ve turned to Araucaria to put a smile on my face, though (tell it not in Gath, or at least in Libertarian company such as this) I also wrestle the Listener to the ground each week in what is probably a futile attempt to prove that my little grey cells are in still in functioning order.

So imagine the extra wide smile on my face when I discovered five years ago that the said Araucaria was no other than the Revd John Galbraith Graham whose name was hiding innocently and without fanfare in the list of retired clergy of my new diocese, and who was despite his advancing years making a valuable contribution to the ministry here in Somersham.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals

0 Comments
Posted January 5, 2014 at 5:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In other words in that Bethlehem stable, not only are people visiting Jesus, but God is visiting us. He no longer just speaks through the prophets. Now he steps onto the stage himself, and not just to visit, but to redeem.
An ancient nativity play has the child Jesus standing in the middle of the stage with an angel approaching him from either side. One angel offers him a gorgeous bouquet of roses, the other a crown of thorns. For a moment the child hesitates. He fingers the petals of the roses, enjoys their fragrance, and then with a tiny sigh, he takes the crown of thorns.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted January 3, 2014 at 6:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The divine strategy is different. God so loved the world that he was generous. When he communicated he did so in person. He came not as a celestial CEO with a shower of inter-galactic memos but as a child. Jesus Christ is the human face of God. He embodies God's plan for the spiritual evolution of the human race.

A baby seems to be no threat and can melt and disarm the toughest herder and the most politique wise man. For some of course a baby is a provocation which excites and releases their inner destructiveness and cruelty. The birth of Jesus was rapidly followed by the massacre of the innocents because Herod may have understood better than anyone the real threat posed by this particular child.

The birth of Jesus Christ is part of God's plan to draw us into his generous self-giving, a way in which the more we give ourselves away the more we discover our true selves; the more we are equipped to build together a civilisation of love and a little taste of Heaven here on Earth. Government which enforces obedience to regulation in this world of ours is a necessity. Jesus Christ not only points the way to the future, but in solidarity with him we are opened up to the Holy Spirit who is at work bringing God's plan for the spiritual evolution of the world and its people to completion.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted December 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are the two dozen Church of England Bishops, and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, who enjoy reserved places denied Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and those of other faiths and none.

Nor can we ignore the 92 hereditary peers, survivors of Tony Blair’s cull, selected from the Dukes and Earls to sustain feudal bloodlines.

The Establishment guards its perks with a ferocity sadly lacking when it comes to austerity and the Bedroom Tax.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Graham has been Rector and Lecturer of Hexham since 2004. In that time, the congregation has grown and links have been developed to support an area of regeneration and a domestic violence charity, to open a foodbank for West Northumberland, and provide 2000 children visiting the Abbey each year with tailor made activity days linked to the National Curriculum.

The Abbey has recently reunited its former monastic buildings taken from it by Henry VIII, and having raised £3.2m is currently developing a new visitor centre, refectory, education rooms and meeting spaces.

Before moving to Hexham, Graham was vicar of a parish in Middlesbrough which is in one of England's 2% most deprived communities, where he chaired the neighbourhood management group and developed an innovative arts based project to divert young people from crime.

Alongside his parish work, Graham currently chairs the Northeast Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee of the Forestry Commission, and is a Secretary of State appointee on the Northumberland National Park Authority. He has served as Area Dean while at Hexham.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted December 13, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

the bishops may also want to consider the significant omissions of fact in the PR's revision of Anglican history since 1998:

that the issue dominated the 1998 Conference because of the threatened actions of the North American churches;
that Resolution I.10 was approved by a vast majority of bishops and continues to be held as normative by virtually all the churches of the Global South;
that the primary ground of the resolution was fidelity to Scripture, and several additional resolutions affirmed this point;
that the North American churches followed through on their threat with the consecration of Gene Robinson despite repeated warnings from various Instruments; and the more "collegial" atmosphere at Lambeth 2008 was purchased at the expense of 280 bishops being absent from Lambeth 2008.
It is astonishing that the PR in fact lacks any reference to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Church of England's bishops may wish to consider these omissions of fact, and, by contrast, the recitation of the actual history of the failure of the Instruments of Communion to discipline the North American churches that repeatedly breached Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) in the last 15 years - a recitation which can be found in the October 26 Nairobi Communique and in other communications from Global South Anglican leaders.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsGlobal South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Sunday 1 December, St George's Anglican Church in Berlin celebrated the 10th anniversary of the restoration of regular services in central Berlin (Mitte).

The first St George’s in the city was built in 1885 under the patronage of the Crown Princess of Germany, Victoria (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria) who was married to the future Kaiser Friedrich III. It was the only Anglican Church in Germany to remain open during World War I, as the Kaiser was the Church’s Patron. It was closed in the Second World War and hit by allied bombing 24 Nov 1943 and the remains were pulled down by the East Berlin authorities. After World War II, new St George's, a garrison Church, was built in the British sector. In 1994 the new St George’s became a civilian congregation of the Diocese.

Read it all and check out the pictures as well.

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

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Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:03 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The next Bishop of Bath and Wells has been announced. The announcement from Downing Street was made at 9am and confirms the next Bishop of Bath and Wells will be the Rt Revd Peter Hancock. His current role is Bishop of Basingstoke in the Diocese of Winchester, which he has held since September 2010.

Bishop Peter says he is "delighted" at the prospect of becoming the 79th Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Before his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop Peter served two curacies before serving as a parish priest for 13 years in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Later he became Archdeacon of the Meon - a position he held for 11 years.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Guernsey will not be "forced" into any relationship change with the Anglican Church, the island's Dean has said.

It follows questions raised over the relationship between Jersey and the Diocese of Winchester after a review of how an abuse complaint was handled.

Guernsey's Anglican Dean the Very Reverend Canon Paul Mellor, said it was not clear if any changes would be made.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted December 11, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The House of Bishops of the Church of England met for two days in York on December 9 and December 10. This meeting was the first at which 8 women regional representatives attended the meeting as participant observers with the same rights as Provincial Episcopal Visitors.

Over its meeting the House covered a wide range of business including discussion of women in the episcopate, the Pilling report, the approval of experimental liturgy for Baptism, changes to legislative approaches on Safeguarding and discussion of the Anglican-Methodist covenant.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The House of Bishops of the Church of England has today welcomed eight women as participant observers to its meetings. The welcome follows the election of the eight senior women clergy from regions across the country.

In February of this year the House decided that until such time as there are six female members of the House, following the admission of women to the episcopate, a number of senior women clergy should be given the right to attend and speak at meetings of the House as participant observers. The necessary change to the House's Standing Orders was made in May.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted December 10, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...in any case in which you take the view that you are required by local law to disobey me, or defy my requests, you may not elect to follow the local law rather than fulfil your duty of obedience to me.

Whatever the local law may seek to impose on you, you may not agree to follow it where my lawful requirements require you to do otherwise.

Read it all the latest in this bizarre saga.

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

6 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England witnessed a change of heart last month when the General Synod debated legislation to allow women to be consecrated as Bishops. With the closest indication yet that there could be a change in the law in 2014, Debbie Waite spoke to some of the county’s female clergy about life in a man’s world....

Read it all.

Update: The Oxford Mail also has an editorial on this matter there.

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

0 Comments
Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In particular, in the light of the Dissenting Statement, we express the following concerns about aspects of the Report:
Although the church’s teaching is upheld, its theological and biblical basis is not clearly articulated and there appears to be a willingness to separate teaching and practice in a way which threatens incoherence and charges of hypocrisy.

The emphasis on the qualities of a relationship without clear reference to the gift of marriage fails to do justice to Scripture and tradition in relation to both sexual same-sex relationships and heterosexual cohabitation (para 148).

The recommendation “to mark the formation of a permanent same sex relationship in a public service” and to leave the form of this to the discretion of the parish priest risks undermining the unity of the church’s teaching and practice and our ecclesiology.
Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted December 4, 2013 at 3:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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