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"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Archbishop of Canterbury today wrote to all 37 Primates inviting them to attend a special Primates’ gathering in Canterbury to reflect and pray together concerning the future of the Communion.
The meeting, to be held in January 2016, would be an opportunity for Primates to discuss key issues face to face, including a review of the structures of the Anglican Communion and to decide together their approach to the next Lambeth Conference.
The agenda will be set by common agreement with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions. It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality.
Read it all.
Other posts on this subject - newest first:
+ (Get Religion) The Atlantic goes halfway in reporting on Anglican primates meeting (September 21, 2015)
+ Gavin Ashenden responds to the London Times Editorial on the Anglican Primates Meeting (September 21, 2015)
+ GAFCON Chairman’s September Pastoral Letter on Saint Matthew’s Day (September 21, 2015)
+ (Daily Nation) Kenyan Anglican Primate Downplays Split Call Ahead of Proposed 2016 Primates Meeting (September 20, 2015)
+ Archbishop Mouneer at All Souls Church in London (September 19, 2015)
+ Canon Phil Ashey: What Brings Us Together (September 18, 2015)
+ Note to Blog Readers, the L. Times Editorial on the Primates Meeting is available on Anglican Ink (September 18, 2015 )
+ (The Tablet) Mgr Mark Langham—Too early to call time on the Anglican Communion (September 18, 2015)
+ Philip Johanson—Does C of E require radical emergency surgery or should it bea slow death? (September 18, 2015)
+ (Irish Times) Anglicanism in crisis: Canterbury’s risky move (September 18, 2015)
+ A BBC Today Programme Segment on the proposed Anglican Primates meeting (September 18, 2015)
+ (NYT) Meeting of Anglican Leaders Could Lead to a Looser Federation (September 18, 2015)
+ (Church Times) Crunch time for the Communion as Welby summons Primates to Canterbury summit (September 18, 2015)
+ GAFCON calls for ‘truth on the table’ in the Anglican Communion in called Primates Meeting (September 18, 2015)
+ Archbp Josiah Fearon on the call for a special Primates’ Meeting in January 2016 (September 17, 2015)
+ A Statement from ACNA leader Foley Beach on the Proposed Primates Gathering (September 17, 2015)
+ A S Haley—A Surprise Meeting for an Anglican Family no longer functioning as a Communion (September 17, 2015)
+ (L. Times Leader) The Archbishop of Canterbury is offering the Anglican communion a reality check (September 17, 2015)
+ ([London Times) Archbp Welby holds crisis talks to prevent a church split (September 17, 2015)
+ (Guardian) Archbishop of Canterbury plans to loosen ties of divided Anglican communion (September 16, 2015)
“The test will obviously be the total mobilisation of effort in a focussed way that recognises the long-term needs of security for indigenous populations, and particularly the Christian populations, being harried out of the area at the time.
“For the first time in almost 300 years, we’re facing a conflict that has a distinct theological and religious element which we have not faced before. Recent studies demonstrate the theological basis of extremist groups behind jihadist thinking.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary England / UK Middle East Syria
The Church of England has overwhelmingly backed military intervention in Syria to establish safe routes for refugees. The general synod voted yesterday in favour of a motion that the Archbishop of Canterbury said committed the church to supporting the use of armed force. Justin Welby said that if the motion was passed the “implications are enormous”, adding that he supported it.
It comes as David Cameron today reveals his “comprehensive strategy” for taking on Islamic State in Syria, designed to allay fears that airstrikes alone will not solve the crisis.
The prime minister said there was no “perfect strategy” but added that the UK could not wait for the arrival of a stable government in Syria capable of tackling Isis. “There is a clear and present danger to the United Kingdom from [Isis], based in Iraq and Syria, planning attacks against our country,” he told MPs.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary England / UK Middle East Syria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Speaking to the recent Synod of Bishops Pope Francis said, “The world in which we live and that we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands from the Church the strengthening of synergies in all areas of her mission. And it is precisely on this way of synodality where we find the pathway that God expects from the Church of the Third Millennium.”
So, before we are legislators, we are Christians. We are Christians with different views and attitudes, but we are Christians.
The plumb line that is held to us as follows of Jesus Christ, is Jesus Christ himself.
That means we are called to work together with all those, in this country and around the world – all those – who are fellow members of the Church, baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity.
Loving one another and working together is not a choice we are free to make or not to make. It is an obligation we are given.
Read it all.
Britain's biggest cinema chains have banned the screening of a film in which the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the public recite the Lord’s Prayer – because they say it could be offensive to movie-goers.
Odeon, Cineworld and Vue have refused to show the one-minute film the Church of England planned to run in cinemas across the UK before the new Star Wars blockbuster, which opens a week before Christmas.
Last night the Church of England threatened legal action against the cinemas, saying it was the victim of religious discrimination.
The astonishing decision to block the film was made even though it was given a Universal certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) – meaning anyone, of any age, can watch it – and approved by the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA).
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * International News & Commentary Europe France
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, speaks of his experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit as a 19-year-old new Christian.
In this video message, which was filmed for the centenary celebrations of the Elim Pentecostal family of churches, and shown during their 100th anniversary event in London on Saturday 31 October, Justin Welby says that he was “overwhelmed by the love of God” as he read John 3:16 two weeks after becoming a Christian.
Read it all and enjoy the video.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Pentecostal * Theology Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)
At the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew paid a formal visit to Lambeth Palace from November 2-4, 2015. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is based in Istanbul, Turkey, is Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, and occupies the First Throne of the Orthodox Christian Church worldwide. The occasion was in response to Archbishop Justin’s visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate last year.
The two leaders presided over ecumenical services filled with symbolic significance, participated in formal functions organized by the Nikaean Club and the Greek Community, and shared private conversations. A service was held at Lambeth Chapel, where the Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed His All-Holiness and congratulated him on the twenty-fourth anniversary of his enthronement.
The two leaders prayed for those affected by conflict, persecution, climate change and the refugee crisis. In light of this, they agreed to undertake the joint organization of an international conference in Istanbul next year on overcoming modern slavery and human trafficking.
Read it all.
The Ecumenical Patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew has called for urgent action for climate justice ahead of the UN summit on climate change in Paris in December.
In a lecture held at Lambeth Palace as part of a two day visit, the 'green patriarch' spoke of the ethical and honourable obligation ahead of COP21:
"It is not too late to act, but we cannot afford to wait. We all agree on the necessity to protect the planet's natural resources …. and we are all in this together." The Patriarch urged cities, governments and individuals to voice opinions, make decisions and act to drive a new environmental ethos.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Climate Change, Weather Globalization Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Energy, Natural Resources * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Orthodox Church * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
“The welcome of reconciliation confronts us with our own differences and our own failures, confronts the Other with the gap between us, and at the same time offers us a way of beginning to narrow that gap and of going forward together,” he said.
“This great story of the woman at the well can be interpreted in so many ways and at so many levels. Yet at its heart is the process of change, of the change that comes from a meeting with Jesus Christ.
“There is no substitute for that – and all of us, including Corrymeela, must hold on to that sense that the welcome of reconciliation is not surrendering what we are, but rather encountering definitive truth together in the person of Jesus so that we are changed and enabled to love and see the deep differences which mean that past tensions, conflicts and even murderous outrages can find true reconciliation in the arms and presence of God.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland
notice how similar the final outcomes of all of the last three scenarios are. The UK charity that represents the "Anglican Communion" as such will remain in place, because it is a perpetual corporation, and it is under the more-or-less permanent control of the minority revisionist provinces. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the legal head of that charity, and so will remain in formal relation with it, no matter what the majority of Anglican provinces decide to do. And since that majority will decline to play any part in an organization in which the revisionist minority are also members, they will also have to organize as a new entity, regardless of what the revisionists do (short of repenting, which will never happen).
I conclude from this analysis that the Anglican Communion is almost certainly headed for a formally divided future -- one that reflects in fact the pro forma division which has been in existence ever since the Windsor Report and Dar-es-Salaam. Whether or not it remains a single but two-tiered entity, or becomes two entirely separate organizations (the old one, controlled by the minority, and a new one formed by the majority), will be up to the GAFCON / Global South Primates and how much they value an ongoing relationship with Canterbury. And that outcome will probably be determined by how well Archbishop Welby manages the first few hours of the meeting next January.
Either way, it looks like it is curtains for your Curmudgeon. Just as I am done with ECUSA, I will not have anything to do with an ongoing Anglican entity which allows ECUSA -- in all its blasphemous ugliness -- to be a member. And as I mentioned, if the minority retains the legal right to the control of the British charitable corporation, the new organization will probably not even call itself "Anglican." I may not even bother to cover the demise, if it follows the most likely path sketched above. But stay tuned for a while longer, because the whole scenario is in God's good hands.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Mark D'Arcy examines the life and times of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. What drives him? And how far is he a political prelate?
Listen to it all (28 minutes).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
Christianity in Africa has benefited from sustained exponential growth, with numbers growing from about 10 million in 1900 to just over half a billion in 2015; but the diversity of the different forms of Christian practices and teachings on the continent means that it may be more accurate to see it as Christianities rather than Christianity – that was the message from Canon Professor Joseph Galgalo as he delivered the inaugural Mission Theology Seminar at Lambeth Palace last week.
The lecture by Prof Galgalo, vice-chancellor of St Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya, was the first in a new series of seminars organised by the Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion project.
“There is no denying that Africa Christianity is increasingly vibrant and as the populations of the countries keep growing, the churches proportionately take their fair share of this growth,” Prof Galgalo said. “The growth is not limited to any particular denomination and increase in numbers often results into variety of Churches. To cite the example of Kenya, during the 2009 national census, 31,877,734 (82.98 per cent) out of the national population of 38,412,088 identified themselves as Christian (of Catholic, Protestant or other denominations). This translates to about nine points percentage increase compared to the result of the 1999 census.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Kenya Church of England (CoE) * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Anglican global south primates say they will attend @JustinWelby's make-or-break summit in Canterbury in January— John Bingham (@John_Bingham) October 18, 2015
Reflecting on the geographical make-up of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop explained that the average Anglican today is “an African woman in her thirties, living in sub-Saharan Africa on less than four dollars a day.”
By comparison Anglicans in the global north have become “the exception”, he said, adding: “On the whole we are, to use Pope Francis’ phrase, a poor church with the poor.”
Asked about the challenges facing such a diverse Communion in the 21st century, the Archbishop highlighted the way that technology has intensified global awareness of diversity.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Globalization Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, explained how Anglican churches are “deeply involved” in reconciliation work in conflict zones around the world, during an interview at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
The Archbishop also said the mainstreams of all faiths must “challenge and subvert” radicalisation and religiously-motived violence within their traditions.
Watch it all (a little over an hour).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet Globalization Religion & Culture Science & Technology Violence * Economics, Politics Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, is travelling to Cairo to meet with the primates of the Global South and GAFCON movements. In a roundtable discussion organized by the Council on Foreign Relations held in Washington on 13 Oct 2015, Archbishop Welby stated he would be flying Cairo to join a meeting of the conservative and center-right primates of the Anglican Communion.
Archbishops from Asia, Africa, North and South America are meeting this week at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, to discuss a common response to Archbishop Welby’s invitation to attend a primates’ gathering in January in Canterbury. Sources tell Anglican Ink that no decision has yet been reached, but the working understanding among the group is that they will act as a bloc.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Global South Churches & Primates * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
Returning to Winnie-the-Pooh and his honeypot, as all good stories must: this building is on top of us when we serve it, and becomes the servant of the people of God when it points to Jesus Christ, and where confronted by that mystery and love we fall in worship, find ourselves reorientated through the liturgy, are captivated by God's holiness and sent out to do His will.
'To the glory of God' may future generations burn with fire in this new chapel, just as they did in the former one – many of you here – to follow the words of Jesus in that chapel and on the arch opposite me here, and 'go ye into all the world and preach the gospel'. Amen.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The Global South and Gafcon primates are scheduled to meet in Cairo on 13 Oct 2015 in Cairo, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East tells Anglican Ink. Writing in response to a story released on 12 Oct 2015 that stated the primates had begun their meeting at All Saints Cathedral on 11 Oct 2015, Archbishop Mouneer Anis stated this was not the case, as not all of the invited leaders of the conservative and center-right coalitions were present and they had not yet begun their formal deliberations. The gathering of primates is expected to discuss the invitation extended by Archbishop Justin Welby for a primates gathering in January in Canterbury. Dr. Annis stated he had written to some of those scheduled to attend warning of the pressures they would face from partisans representing the various factions within the Communion.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Global South Churches & Primates * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Theology
Members of the primates council of the GAFCON movement met yesterday in Cairo, sources tell Anglican Ink, and are understood to have discussed their response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to the January primates gathering scheduled for Canterbury. A source familiar with their deliberations said they would be communicating their decision first to Archbishop Justin Welby before any statement would be given to the media.
Read it all.
THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT by the Church of Ireland was issued to the Gazette following our enquiry as to whether or not the Church of Ireland is in communion with ACNA:
“As a Province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Ireland is in communion with the other Churches or Provinces in the Communion. There has not been a definitive position taken by the Church of Ireland in respect of any Church that has emerged from structural changes or divisions in another Church or Province in the Communion – as in the case of the Anglican Church in north America and The Episcopal Church.
“Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a gathering of Primates in January 2016, it seems likely that a period of discernment will ensue to determine the ways in which Churches within the Anglican Communion and other Churches in an Anglican tradition relate to one another and that this is likely to take considerable time.”
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Theology Ecclesiology
It is now public knowledge that prominent figures, notably the television personality Jimmy Savile and the Liberal MP Cyril Smith, took advantage of their celebrity to abuse children. It was also public knowledge at the time that they were committing these appalling acts; yet those who knew chose to protect the information, and those who merely suspected were given no official encouragement to investigate.
An independent inquiry into historical sex abuse is being led by Justice Lowell Goddard, who has already said that it may last till 2020. That is not her fault, given the scale of the task, but it is scant consolation for the victims whose lives have been ruined and psyches scarred. Archbishop Welby is right to take the initiative in the Ball case and in doing so has signalled a huge change in the way that the clerical establishment approaches these matters.
The Church of England remains the established church and an integral part of the life of the nation, even in an age of secularism and pluralism. The notion that it provided cover for crimes against the vulnerable by the sexually rapacious and that the perpetrators gained the protection of their posts is abhorrent. It must be aired and investigated.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Men Sexuality Violence * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Church of England said the review, which will be published next year, will examine its co-operation with the police and other statutory agencies and the extent to which it shared information.
It will also consider whether it properly assessed the possible risk that Ball posed to others and whether it responded adequately to the concerns of survivors.
The Archbishop of Canterbury in 1993, George Carey, now Lord Carey, was aware of the case at the time and has denied interfering in it.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Men Religion & Culture Sexuality Violence * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
“As of now, the GAFCON primates have said that if the Anglican Church of Canada and the U.S. is at the table for the January meeting, they will not attend,” said the Rev. Paul Stephens, rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tupelo, “And that’s unfortunate.”
Stephens said that worldwide, the Anglican Communion is connected, but not obligated. The Anglican church was spread through British colonization. Wherever there was a British colony, there is now an Anglican church. Globally, 38 Anglican provinces make up the Anglican Communion, the centerpiece of which is the Church of England.
“In terms of authority, the Archbishop of Canterbury isn’t like the Pope. He doesn’t have the jurisdiction to ‘make’ me do anything, though if he did I would almost certainly acquiesce,” Stephens said. “Anglican provinces have autonomy, and make their own rulings within themselves that don’t have bearing on the others. However, there’s a saying that goes something like, ‘If someone sneezes at an Episcopal church in Corinth, someone at an Episcopal church in Bay St. Louis will say “Bless you.”’”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Church of England (CoE) Episcopal Church (TEC) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Culture-Watch Globalization Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Those of you who are shortly going to be commissioned as Church Credit Champions have heard God’s call, as the whole church has in recent years, to be a church of the poor for the poor; to seek justice and the common good for all in our society.
You have set up credit union access points in your churches, brought new people onto the boards of local credit unions, supported people struggling with debt through signposting them to debt advice resources.
You have seen the need, and you have met it with love, grace and hope.
We all know that the Christian relationship with money is, at best, slightly ambivalent. We recognise when it’s got the wrong place, but we find it quite hard to find the right place.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The church has heard a fresh call to be “a church of the poor for the poor” in recent years, the Archbishop of Canterbury said last night as he commissioned volunteers to help churches engage with issues of credit and debt in their communities.
Speaking during a special service at St George-in-the-East in Shadwell, London, the Archbishop told more than 50 volunteers – who have taken part in a pilot scheme in London, Southwark and Liverpool dioceses – that they had “seen the need, and met it with love, grace and hope.”
The first phase of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Church Credit Champions Network is on course to secure benefits worth over £2million for local communities.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Watch and listen to it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Theology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
The gulf is widening among the world’s 80 million Anglicans and now the Archbishop of Canterbury has called a summit of church leaders to work out a new way of running the divided church.
Archbishop Justin Welby has asked Anglican primates from each major region to meet in London in January 2016.
He will discuss religiously motivated violence and the protection of children. But it’s the issue of sexuality and same-sex relationships that’s most divisive.
Is Archbishop Welby trying to achieve the impossible—satisfying the demands of liberal and conservative Anglicans for a church that’s totally inclusive or Biblically conservative? The Rev Dr Stephen Burns, associate dean of Trinity College Theological School in Melbourne and an expert in the worldwide Anglican communion, discusses the dilemma.
Listen to it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) * Culture-Watch Media * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
There was a report that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion office was offering “facilitators” for the January gathering of Primates. He may be planning that, but I would suggest that the facilitators get refundable tickets. There is absolutely no chance that the GAFCON and Global South Primates will stand for another meeting where they are “handled” and manipulated by “facilitators” who have a pre-cooked agenda. This upcoming meeting will either be utterly genuine in all the gritty reality that brings, or it will not happen at all. I think it is truly an important gathering and I pray that it will be effective.
When innovations are introduced, it is done with the expectation that there will be unicorns and skittle rainbows. When they are done thoughtlessly, the result can be catastrophic, as it has been with some Provinces who have discarded the historic Biblical teaching on sexuality. I’m sure that they think all will be well because they want it to be; that there will be rain showers of gumdrops and the pot at the end of the skittle rainbow will be found, but in truth, consequences that they did not anticipate or intend are actually driving the train. Superficial solutions never work more than superficially. This is a time in which we need to actually deal with the departures from Biblical faith, with issues of Christology that are being erroneously embraced, and a disastrous sexual ethic that is not bearing godly fruit.
Here is the bottom line. If the January gathering of Primates does not fully address the real issues, the Communion will not survive—nor should it.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Sir Hector Sants is calling upon the wealthy to lend to credit unions and help run co-operatives in an attempt to raise their profile and fill the vast gap left by the shrinking payday lending sector.
The former chief executive of the City watchdog was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury last year to lead the Church of England’s task force on credit unions, but said they need greater support to help borrowers seeking short-term loans.
In an interview with FT Money, Sir Hector said: “Join a credit union — it doesn’t have to be your sole bank — and deposit money, which can then be lent out. There are often good terms if you need a loan.”
Read it all from the FT.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Poverty Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Archbishop of Canterbury invites the 37 heads of Anglican churches to a meeting....this features Chris Sugden and Colin Coward as the guests.
Listen to it all.
They’ll be discussing what unites them and what divides them; whether the Communion ought to continue as it is presently modelled, and whether the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to change. There will be no ‘Continuing Indaba‘ for the pursuit of “cultural models of consensus”, and no meditation on the mission of “mutual creative action”. The days of fudge, patch and hedge are over – unless, of course, all the gathered Archbishops, Presiding Bishops and Chief Pastors determine to ignore the pleas and prayers of the Primus inter Pares.
But (and it’s a very, very interesting ‘but’), Justin Welby has not only invited the 37 recognised primates of the Wordwide Anglican Communion: according to Lambeth Palace (..and here’s the Guardian headline..) he has also written a letter to Foley Beach. That isn’t a cruise-ship resort in sunny Florida: The Most Rev’d Dr Foley Beach is Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which split from The Episcopal Church (TEC) when The Most Rev’d Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori set her face against social conservatism and theological orthodoxy on matters relating to gender and sexuality. The letter of invitation to Archbishop Foley is significant because ACNA is not a recognised member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion (according to the traditional instruments of communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury).
Yet what credible discussions may take place if he is snubbed, since ACNA is affirmed and recognised by other Anglican provinces, in particular those belonging to GAFCON?
There are clearly provincial fractures and parallel churches already operating throughout the Communion.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology
Any global timeline would have to include 1998, when the worldwide Lambeth Conference passed a resolution affirming scripture and traditional teachings on marriage and human sexuality. Then 65 Episcopal bishops sign another statement of dissent. That was also the year when [Bishop John] Spong released his famous 12 theses, beginning with "Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead." In his 10th thesis, he added: "Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way."
Looking for issues other than sex? Spong was raising some big ones, rejecting most of the basic elements of creedal Christianity.
On a related issue, I have always thought it was crucial that, in 1992, Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison of South Carolina stopped receiving Holy Communion in meetings of the U.S. House of Bishops after several of his colleagues refused to condemn a liberal theologian's statement that she served a god that is "older and greater" than the deity revealed in the Bible.
How much of that needs to be mentioned in a news story? That is a matter for editors and reporters to determine. But the simple fact is that the actual battles over homosexuality began in the late 1970s and efforts to build alternative conservative structures in the United States began in the 1990s. To say that Robinson's election "precipitated" this division is inaccurate. Why settle for flawed or, at best, simplistic language? Why pretend that the battle is about homosexuality, alone?
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A new message is being hinted at to orthodox Christians by the secular state: get with the programme, or we will treat you as extremists.
Thirdly, the episode is an example of revisionist episcopal hypocrisy. David Walker (whose views are well known) claimed on one hand that the “gay” issue was not going to split the church, and that unity in the Anglican Communion was his priority. But then he joined in an attack on the Church of Uganda using false information. If his aim is unity, this will surely have the opposite effect – unless of course he thinks he can bully African churches into following his revisionist views, and creating ‘unity’ that way? Rather than discuss the theological issues behind the fracture in the Communion, the Bishop of Manchester chose to use the radio interview to solicit support from the secular liberal audience for his own brand of Christianity, by demonizing African Anglicans and so further hardening the divisions in the Communion. To what extent does this reflect his own view, or part of a more organized policy?
We are seeing a combination of spin, intimidation and hypocrisy as revisionist church leaders join with the secular media in creating distance between (in their narrative) ‘good religion’ of liberal Western Anglicanism, and the ‘bad religion’ of the orthodox version in the developing world. In North America the faithful confessing Anglicans have faced this, taking a public, costly stand, articulating the Bible’s clear teaching about sex, marriage and what it means to be human as part of a fully-orbed presentation of the counter cultural Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have not been ashamed of association with African Christian leaders, warmly welcoming close fellowship and even oversight from them. The Archbishop of Canterbury needs to show at the January meeting that he rejects the revisionist tactics of the BBC/Guardian/Bishop of Manchester (that is, if the GAFCON Primates accept the invitation). Otherwise English evangelical Anglicans and orthodox anglo-Catholics will need to be moving ahead organizationally along the same lines as ACNA.
Read it all and followi the links, especially noting the one to the detailed background to the situation in Uganda.
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Is the Anglican Communion about to split over different views of sexual ethics?
You might think so after reading headlines about the archbishop of Canterbury’s proposal to “loosen” the structures of the Communion — a way of retaining his relationship to the liberal wing of the Western churches as well as the traditional Anglicans of the Global South.
But to interpret the archbishop’s recent announcement as a split over sexuality is to miss the bigger picture. First, the impending dissolution of Anglicanism as it currently exists institutionally is over much more than sex. Second, the divorce has already taken place, just not formally.
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In the end, it was probably Tim Berners-Lee that did for the Anglican communion. And yet he may also be exactly the right person to show the church how to put itself back together again. But more of that in a moment. The archbishop of Canterbury has just announced a final throw of the dice to keep the family together. He plans a looser structure – not quite a divorce, but “sleeping in separate bedrooms”. It’s the right way forward. But it doesn’t go far enough.
Read it all from the Guardian.
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It is also far from clear that such a shift would either get much support (outside some of the liberal Northern primates) or offer a practical solution. Not just GAFCON but many primates from the wider Global South remain of the view that the solution to the continuing crisis (based around a Primates’ Council and Pastoral Scheme for traditionalists in North America) was put forward at the Dar Primates Meeting in 2007 but never implemented, in large part leading to GAFCON forming. The Archbishop has refused to accept their view that this must be the starting point of any new gathering – that meeting will be nearly a decade old once the Primates meet, much has happened, and very few current Primates attended that meeting despite it being one which had a very high number of newly installed Primates. Justin Welby has rightly insisted, following extensive visits and conversations, that the meeting must find its own way forward face-to-face. But in talking of respecting the decisions of previous Primates’ meetings he has shown he is aware how many Primates still think that the proposal put forward there continues to provide a model for how best to proceed.
The sad reality is that support for something like the Dar approach has increased following the decisions earlier this year by General Convention (and to a lesser degree the Scottish Episcopal Church). These demonstrated that some provinces are now seeking to repeat the pattern of taking provincial action which disregards the mind of the Communion but in relation to the even more important question of Christian teaching on marriage. Some Global South provinces who were becoming more amenable to moving on from the painful history since 2003 and starting afresh (particularly with a new Presiding Bishop) are now clear that the fundamental problem of TEC unilateralism remains a serious one. That is one reason they have sought and secured a place for Archbishop Foley of ACNA during the meeting.
The way forward after January is unlikely to be simply a reversion to an earlier attempted solution, whether the Dar Primates’ model or the Anglican Communion Covenant in its present form. It is, however, even less likely to be an agreement from the Primates that they need to embrace a “federation” model of global Anglicanism.
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Including Welby, there are 38 primates. With Foley Beach, that makes 39. Foley's inclusion among the world’s primates, which is something conservatives have been wanting for years, is an admission by Lambeth Palace that the Episcopal Church cannot claim to represent all Anglicans within U.S. borders.
Also, the archbishop’s press release adds that Beach will be invited for “part of the time.”
What does that mean? The Atlantic could have inquired about that and about the obvious point that Welby had to have conferred in private with some of the conservative primates before issuing this call and that Foley’s inclusion in this gathering was the non-negotiable they insisted upon if they were going to show up. The Episcopal sites were commenting on this as were the Anglican ones, so The Atlantic should have picked up on these points, which were easy to find with a few mouse clicks.
The Atlantic did note that the only female primate, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will not be at this January meeting because her successor, Bishop Michael Curry, will have been installed. What should have been added is how her absence clears the way for those of the primates who still oppose the ordination of female bishops to attend. Now they will not have to abstain from Communion with someone they regard as having singlehandedly created a scorched-earth policy toward departing conservatives plus contributed to a 12 percent drop in church membership during her tenure. One wonders if Welby timed his gathering with that in mind.
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The reality is a little different, but – I believe – even more exciting. The Community is open to young Christians from around the world, from every part of the church, and with every kind of professional background or ambition. Whether they are already, or plan to be, working in banking, education, politics or the media, or they sense a call to serve the church, the programme offers the same opportunity: to experience a monastic lifestyle focused on Jesus Christ, and to do that while actively serving in the world.
Today in a special service at Lambeth Palace, the first members of the Community of St Anselm will promise to spend the next year living by a Rule of Life that the ancient monastics would have recognised.
They will be committing to a year of prayer, study, rigorous self-examination and committed fellowship with one another. But they will also be committing to live out this loving life of Christ in local communities, serving those on the margins and in most need.
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Young people and their families gathered in the Archbishop's Chapel at Lambeth Palace today to celebrate the launch of the community of St Anselm; a monastic-style year-long programme focused on prayer and service to the poor.
It was a relaxed affair; though featuring a number of sombre prayers of commitment and traditional hymns, the service was undoubtedly a celebration - punctuated with worship songs from countries around the world, choral arrangements by the St Martin's Voices were met with bongo drums. The 36 new community members - all aged between 20 and 35 - come from five continents and countries as far flung as Kenya and Australia, and parts of the service were conducted in French, Spanish and Swedish. As Archbishop Justin Welby called each member by name, they stood to acknowledge their new role, declaring "I am here" in their native language; echoing the words of Moses in Exodus 3 which was read at the beginning of the service.
Welby began his sermon with his trademark jovial style. Noting that many bishops have been consecrated in the chapel, he said to appreciative laughter, "this is a place where people have gone from here to suffering, to martyrdom, and here we are today...I'm sorry, that's probably a bad illustration."
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Archbishop Eliud Wabukala told the Sunday Nation yesterday that any impending split is not a Kenyan affair as those were internal conflicts among the churches in North America.
"Those are internal affairs in the North American churches. I wish you could get in touch with the Archbishop of Canterbury as we are not involved in any way," said Rev Wabukala.
He said that despite having an Anglican communion, every province -- or country -- is guided by its own constitution in terms of discipline and laws.
On the issue of...[homosexual practice] among priests that has hit the local church in recent weeks, he said the discipline of the clergy should be based on morals and teachings of the church.
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..in the “let go and let God” communion the Archbishop of Canterbury proposes, there is no sin to confess. Or perhaps it might be accurate to say that there is no Biblical plumb line to define what sin is. You see, those Anglican churches that have legitimized same sex behavior and marriage have done so over and against the plain meaning of Holy Scripture. That’s why the Archbishop of Canterbury is reduced to speaking about the importance of “culture and context.” Sin, if it can be said to exist at all, is simply a moving target. It is not the heart, soul and conscience-ruining wreck that stems from our fundamental rebellion against God and his high hopes for us. It is simply what we define, shaped by our culture, our desires, what is politically correct and in every case apart from God and His word. We don’t need to “come home”—we are already at home with who we are, and quite content to remain that way.
“So what,” you may say. “Why does it matter, as long as you get on helping the poor, feeding the hungry, serving widows and orphans and others? If you can keep your theology to yourself and get on with ‘mission’ together, isn’t that the most important thing?” No. A church that serves the poor but fails to faithfully preach the Gospel and disciple believers is missing the mark. Jesus said it all in the Great Commandment: “You shall the love the LORD your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40) Jesus challenged his people, his Church, to have both the vertical and the horizontal dimension of love—love for God (vertical) and love for neighbor (horizontal). Jesus said “If you love me, obey my commands.” (John 14:15, 23) We find those commands in the Bible. We also find love of neighbor defined by God’s word (see the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10). In fact, we find immutable principles of justice throughout the Bible, Old and New Testaments. What a terrible bargain this new Communion vision asks us to enter—to exchange immutable truths and standards of right and wrong for what is “culturally and contextually” correct. How many secular relief organizations and NGO’s have made that same bargain? It does not make us a family, much less a church, and even less a Communion of churches.
What brings us together as Anglicans isn’t shared mission or endless indaba. What brings us together as Anglicans is a common confession of Jesus Christ as Lord as revealed in the Scriptures. Out of that flows the greatest missionary imperative of all—Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20), teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded—including food for the hungry, and justice for the oppressed.
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You can find the original post there and the AI post here.
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The current Archbishop seems to have decided that a new approach is called for. There is a mood of crisis. He has postponed indefinitely the Lambeth Conference due to be held in 2018, and last December stated that the worldwide Anglican Communion possibly “will not hold together”.
But we should beware seeing him as wringing his hands in desperation; he is far from saying that it is all up for Anglicanism. Archbishop Welby’s experience in conflict resolution calls for a more hands-on approach: speaking directly to disaffected parties rather than proposing abstract solutions. He has set himself the task of meeting every Anglican Primate personally, and his call to the Anglican Primates to meet in Lambeth next year should be seen in this context.
It is indeed difficult to imagine a solution to the present crisis, when, for example, Nigerian bishops declare themselves to be out of communion with their American brethren. To our Catholic ears, the language used by the Archbishop’s staff of "moving into separate bedrooms" sounds an effective end of communion, a formalising of a rift – and for Roman Catholics, such an arrangement would indeed signal a serious breach of communion.
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There is no doubt that the Church of England is in crisis. Its worshipping life and influence are shrinking, and if it continues in its present trajectory within a generation it will be too small credibly to maintain its position as the National Church.
Indeed William Fittall, the Secretary General of the General Synod has written: “Recognition that the Church of England’s capacity to proclaim the faith afresh in each generation will be decisively eroded unless the trend towards older and smaller worshipping communities is reversed.”
It would be very interesting to know how many members of General Synod come from those older and smaller worshipping communities and how many come from growing churches. One suspects more come from the former than the latter, which begs the question if the Synod in a position to give a lead.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to restructure the Anglican Communion, turning the third largest global family of churches into a much looser federation or grouping. The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, and 37 other Anglican primates from around the world have been invited to Canterbury next January to discuss Archbishop Justin Welby’s proposals. In the new scheme of things, Anglican churches, including the Church of Ireland and the Church of England, could be linked to Canterbury without necessarily being linked to each other.
With 80 million members, Anglicans form the third largest Christian body, after the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. Archbishop Welby’s predecessor, Rowan Williams, became disheartened in his fraught efforts to hold Anglicans together, and they collapsed when they were rejected by the dioceses in his own Church of England. Over the past two decades, it has become more and more difficult to hold Anglicanism together. The main dividing issues are sexuality and the authority of bishops and the Bible, and, to a lesser extent, the ordination of women.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has called a special conference for January for all 38 of the Anglican Communion’s Primates to talk about some of the key issues dividing the Anglican world. Bishop of Manchester, David Walker and Andrew Symes, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream in the UK, talk to us about the key issues in dispute.
Listen to it all (starts 02:37 in).
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The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, will soon be replaced by Bishop Michael B. Curry, who was elected this summer and will be installed in the next few months. A spokeswoman for the church, which has 2.1 million members, said Bishop Curry planned to attend the meeting.
Archbishop Foley Beach, the leader of the Anglican Church in North America, which counts 112,000 members in Canada, the United States and Mexico, said Wednesday that he had received a call from Archbishop Welby inviting him to the meeting, and that he planned to go if conservative primates in other countries also attended.
“The challenges facing the Anglican Communion over the last couple of decades are no secret,” the Rev. Dr. Beach said, “and it is time to face them.”
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The statement talks about “space”: “The difference between our societies and cultures, as well as the speed of cultural change in much of the global north, tempts us to divide as Christians. . . A 21st-century Anglican family must have space for deep disagreement, and even mutual criticism, so long as we are faithful to the revelation of Jesus Christ, together.”
The invitation represents a desire by the Archbishop to take a tougher line on division and “start treating people like adults” and “stop messing around with internal rows”, a source said. It is understood that Archbishop Welby spoke to all of the Primates by phone during the summer, and that only three expressed doubts about attending.
One item on the agenda will be the next Lambeth Conference. It is thought to be too late to arrange something in 2018, but the Archbishop is said by a source to be determined that another will take place, perhaps in 2020 — even if those attending could only fill a telephone box.
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It is on this basis that the GAFCON Primates will prayerfully consider their response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter. They recognize that the crisis in the Communion is not primarily a problem of relationships and cultural context, but of false teaching which continues without repentance or discipline.
Consistent with this position, they have previously advised the Archbishop of Canterbury that they would not attend any meeting at which The Episcopal Church of the United States or the Anglican Church of Canada were represented, nor would they attend any meeting from which the Anglican Church in North America was excluded.
It is therefore of some encouragement that the Archbishop of Canterbury has opened the door of this meeting to the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Foley Beach. He has already been recognized as a fellow primate of the Anglican Communion by Primates representing GAFCON and the Anglican Global South at his installation in Atlanta last October and he is a full member of the GAFCON Primates Council.
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“This is a most welcome development. The Anglican Communion must now allow the Holy Spirit to intervene in the differences that divide us. We at the Anglican Communion Office are positioned to assist in fostering a desirable outcome,” Archbishop Josiah said.
The Secretary General also affirmed Archbishop Justin’s intention to extend an invitation to Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America to be present for part of the Primates’ meeting. “This is an opportunity to listen to useful ideas from this group on how we continue as a Communion in light of the search and openness to the leading of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
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I did indeed receive a personal call from Archbishop Justin Welby inviting me to attend and participate.
If my fellow GAFCON Primates accept the invitation, and I am expecting that they will, then I have also pledged to attend. The challenges facing the Anglican Communion over the last couple of decades are no secret, and it is time to face them.
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The challenge to Archbishop Welby and the gathered Primates will be to find a path that will allow the greatest possible number of shattered relationships to heal, and so in time (perhaps) to move the Communion to a new consensus.
But for that to happen, the Anglican Communion Office (through both the Archbishop of Canterbury and its Secretariat) will have to distance itself further from financial and ideological dependency on ECUSA and its wealthy constituents, such as Trinity Wall Street. For too long now, from GAFCON’s point of view, the revisionists have been calling the shots, but now there are signs that they at last are weakening. That is why Archbishop Idowu-Fearon will play a key role, along with Archbishop Welby, in resolving how best to start the realignment the Communion at the upcoming Primates’ Meeting, if that process is to begin at all.
If they try to help ECUSA and ACoC retain their erstwhile roles of influence, they will hasten the eventual disintegration of the Anglican Communion. Likewise, if they listen only to the voices of modernity, according to which each church’s or denomination’s view of Scripture needs to get in step with the culture, then they will seal that disintegration, by recognizing it as a fact that has already occurred. But if they actually listen to the voices that are seeking to hold the Communion in line with its traditional understanding of Scripture—an understanding that stems from the very beginnings of the Anglican Church—they may yet hope to call a halt to the disintegration, and to lay the first firm paving-stones for a Communion that will, one day and once again, derive its strength from its collective faith in the good news of Christ crucified.
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The Most Rev Justin Welby will propose that Anglican communities with differing views loosen their links. Many have refused to speak directly to each other for more than a decade, but he will try to persuade them not to break away altogether.
Faced with the biggest crisis in the church since Darwin developed his theory of evolution, the archbishop intends to offer each of the churches “wiggle room” to hold different positions on issues such as gay marriage, sources say. They could sever links with churches holding different views as long as they keep a basic connection with the “mother church in Canterbury”.
The archbishop believes that he could then maintain relations with the liberal churches of North America as well as the African churches, some of which favour the criminalisation of homosexuality. The changes would in effect turn the church into a semi-independent federation.
Sources put the chance of success at only 30 per cent, however. Traditionalist bishops are expected to reject the proposals, meaning that the church could ultimately divide permanently.
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The archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to effectively dissolve the fractious and bitterly divided worldwide Anglican communion and replace it with a much looser grouping.
Justin Welby has summoned all the 38 leaders of the national churches of the Anglican communion to a meeting in Canterbury next January, where he will propose that the communion be reorganised as a group of churches that are all linked to Canterbury but no longer necessarily to each other.
He believes that the communion – notionally the third largest Christian body in the world with 80 million members, after the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches - has become impossible to hold together due to arguments over power and sexuality and has, for the past 20 years, been completely dysfunctional.
A Lambeth Palace source said the archbishop felt he could not leave his eventual successor in the same position of “spending vast amounts of time trying to keep people in the boat and never actually rowing it anywhere”.
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"Does the Noble Lady accept, however, that 20,000 is still a very slim response in comparison to the figures given by the UNHCR and the European Commission, and to the other needs we see; and that it is likely that it is going to have to rise over the next five years, unless of course the driver – which, I hope she also accepts, is local conditions in the camps – is dealt with significantly?
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It appears, then, that it is a question of when, not if, there will be a change in the law. And yet we must heed John Stuart Mill’s call to be wary about the tyranny of the majority. For, as the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, argues in today’s Observer, such a change would mark the crossing of a legal and ethical Rubicon. “We are asked to sanction doctors participating in individuals taking steps to end their lives,” Welby writes. “This is a change of monumental proportions both in the law and in the role of doctors.”
Welby observes that any “change in the law would place very many thousands of vulnerable people at risk”. Fearing that they were a burden, some would choose to end their lives, he says. The risk, ultimately, he warns is that we end up in a society “where each life is no longer seen as worth protecting, worth honouring, worth fighting for”. For Welby, “the current law is not ‘broken’. There is no need to fix it.”
Society seems to disagree, as does one of his predecessors, Lord Carey. So, too, do the majority of Christians, according to at least one poll. But this is not to say that polls should determine policy nor that the church’s entrenched opposition to reform be ignored.
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Britain will cross a “legal and ethical Rubicon” if parliament votes to permit terminally ill patients to end their lives, said the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as leaders of all the UK’s major faith groups call on MPs to reject plans to allow assisted suicide.
In an extraordinary show of unity on Sunday, the heads of Britain’s Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities wrote a joint letter to every MP – published in the Observer – urging them to throw out the assisted dying bill, which will be debated in the Commons on Friday.
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My third concern is that we need to reflect on what sort of society we might become if we were to permit assisted suicide. At present, we can show love, care and compassion to those who at all ages and stages of life are contemplating suicide. We can try to intervene, to support them to embrace life once more. We can do all in our power to surround those who are terminally ill with the best possible palliative care, including physical, emotional and spiritual support. We can redouble our efforts to alleviate suffering. We can show that we love even when people have given up on caring for themselves. We can support our doctors and nurses as they act consistently in the best interests of their patients, affirming life and caring for the vulnerable.
We risk all this for what? Becoming a society where each life is no longer seen as worth protecting, worth honouring, worth fighting for? The current law and the guidelines for practice work; compassion is shown, the vulnerable are protected. In spite of individual celebrity opinions and the “findings” of snap opinion polls (that cannot hope to do justice to the intricacies of the issue) the current law is not “broken”. There is no need to fix it.
Read it all from the Observer.
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In less than two years we will have a referendum on our place in Europe. There will be passionate arguments on both sides.
POverlaid Flagseople will say that we should not take the risk of leaving, others that it is less of a risk than staying. There will be talk of national sovereignty, of national confidence, of repatriation of laws, or being bound by European laws over which we have no control. The only certainty is that there will be much heat, probably slightly less light, but that it is a hugely important decision, with thoughtful and committed people, including Christians, on both sides.
But what about those in the UK for whom our membership, or withdrawal, from the Union, is not a major question, those for whom the needs and responsibilities of each day take precedence, and mention of political debates such as this leave them cold?
This new blog is a contribution to the debate. It is a joint initiative between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland...
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Worldwide Anglican Communion Feature: What are the main challenges for the new Secretary General? (about 6 minutes)
Anglican Communion Interview: Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon outlines his position on key issues (about 6 1/2 minutes)
You may find both audio links here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria * Culture-Watch Globalization Religion & Culture * Theology Ecclesiology
Justin Welby was once a member of HTB and knows there is great potential to be found in the Church of England. He sees the need for change if it is to not just survive, but flourish. He also knows that for that to happen, things most definitely cannot stay as they are, and after decades of denial and procrastination, some urgent measures are needed. He describes himself as a spiritual magpie, drawing inspiration in his faith from different Christian traditions. He is equally happy to take the best of what he has seen outside of the church and adapt it for the needs within it. These are not the dealings of a misguided amateur. Those who doubt what he is working to achieve or demur from some of his more unorthodox methods should think carefully about their own understanding and motives before issuing harsh judgements.
If it is a stark choice between Linda Woodhead’s prosaic plan for the Church of England or the Welby-Gumbel vision for holiness, transformation, revival and growth, I know which I prefer.
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He is the economist credited with having the most influence on the Archbishop of Canterbury. And Paul Dembinski is clear that regulation is not enough to improve banking - a fundamental cultural shift is needed
Paul Dembinski and I are shaking our heads at the craziness of the response to the “greed is good” speech delivered by Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street.
Except we are not really finding it amusing at all. It is the sheer nuttiness of folk we struggle to comprehend. What was intended as a piece of satire by Douglas and director Oliver Stone was seized upon by a generation as a justifying mantra for appalling deeds where banking and the financial markets are concerned. It is proof, agrees Dembinski, of the scale of the task that confronts him as he seeks to emphasise the place of ethics in the financial services industry.
Listening to him and meeting him, it is not difficult to see why Dembinski is so often name-checked by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as an economist he closely follows...
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Welby has a reputation as a guy who enjoys a good laugh and discourages formality. His manner when I meet him is aﬀable but circumspect. This is a man who once observed that he didn't want the top job and was "one of the thicker bishops" in the Church of England.
"I can spot an old Etonian a mile oﬀ ," I venture, "and your deﬁning characteristic is precisely that kind of phoney diﬃdence."
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“One of the highlights for me in the last few months has been the visit of the Grand Imam of Al-Alzhar. He came and stayed here at Lambeth Palace for three days, and we spent much time in conversation. The importance of those sorts of relationships cannot be overestimated. In spending time together we were able to discuss our differences, as communities and as individuals. We need to recognise that we differ on crucial points of faith, but that we are united in understanding the importance of faith, and in our commitment to the common good.
“During this last few weeks as well you have been on my prayers as news has put pressure on the Muslim community. I never forget how much you need support and encouragement when you’re under pressure, as we do as well.
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Symon Hill, Christian writer and a coordinator of Christians for Economic Justice, said: "Jesus said that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.
"By hosting events sponsored by arms dealers, Church House Conference Centre is sending a clear message that they are happy to profit from those selling weapons to the dodgiest regimes."
Campaigners are calling on Welby, as President of the Corporation of Church House, for his "assurance that the conference center will never again host events which support and legitimise the arms industry."
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How we develop and prepare some of those who have wide responsibilities in leadership is both demanding and potentially prophetic as regards the world around. Our interest is in discerning and developing God's gifts and graces in his people. Let me just say, given a couple of the questions that came up last night: that we're committed to nurturing vocation across the whole of God's people, regardless of sexuality and regardless of whether lay or ordained.
The FAOC report shows that leadership needs preparation: in prayer, in theology, in skills of every day matters, in collaborative working, in interpreting the times, in safeguarding, in how to ensure that what the church discerns as necessary, the church does. We must have a system that is pastorally sensitive for those being formed, self-consciously inclusive of all those we too easily exclude, and ensures that those being considered for appointment in posts of wide responsibility are from all areas of the church, and are diverse especially in the areas of major weakness: BAME people and gender balance, disability and others. Our theology and practice must challenge inherited or widely accepted bad models through prayer and also theological thinking.
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Where do we find the antidote to fear? Where do we find the capacity to be prophets of grace and hope, joyful, fervent and clear against injustice in a world of martyrdom and torture, or of inequality and greed? Even in the days of William Temple, his call to a different model of life was ignored, mocked and opposed by the government of the time, when he brought before them the needs of the poor. The language of opposition was the same as today.
Few of us like criticising; we know that, thank God, we have much to praise in our society, much for which to give thanks, under governments of all colours now and for years past. Yet, under this and every government the church is constantly called to a loving critique of the secular powers.
Temple asked what right has the church to speak? So how do we keep our nerve, and find the way to overcome our fears and inhibitions, in love but also with passion for the poor, for the environment, for justice, for the lost, how do we obey the Spirit who sent Amos and John the Baptist?
The answer is found in that great reading of the hymn of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.
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In recent days, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis have all spoken out on the vital issue of climate change. It is vital, because the long-term future of the Earth and its inhabitants is at stake. It is no less a matter than that.
The issue of climate change led to the landmark Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to avoid dangerous interference with the climate system. What is termed the Conference of Parties (COP) regularly reviews the implementation of the Rio action programme. The next COP will be held next December in Paris and, for the first time in two decades of UN negotiations, will seek to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, aiming to keep global warming below 2°C.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked plans by oil companies to begin drilling in the Arctic.
The Most Rev Justin Welby, who worked in the oil industry before he was ordained, said that he was concerned by how difficult it would be to contain and clean up an oil spill should there be an accident in the region.
Shell is expected to begin drilling in the Arctic this month after its plans were approved by the US government. A fifth of the world’s undiscovered gas and oil is believed to lie in the Arctic.
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“Today, the survivors and families of the 7/7 London attacks continue the journey that those of Tunisia have just begun. Our hearts grieve with those who lost loved ones ten years ago, and with those so suddenly and cruelly bereaved less than a fortnight ago. We hold them all before God and our spirits call out to Christ to strengthen them.
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“We may or may not like it, but we must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality and we have not fully heard it,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, a year ago. But one of his own bishops says that sticking with the traditional line leaves the CofE suspended in mid-air like Wile E Coyote in a Road Runner cartoon, desperately trying to maintain an impossible position.
“The Church is like a cartoon character who has run off a cliff and is frantically moving his legs faster and faster in the hope it will save him, when he knows there is nothing underneath,” says the Right Rev Alan Wilson, one of the more plain speaking bishops.
“There are about a billion human beings on the planet who have access to same-sex marriage in their country or jurisdiction, so the thought that this is going to go away – or that it is just about a few people in San Francisco – is just wrong.”
He believes a fundamental shift in understanding is happening within the wider Church. “The Evangelicals in particular are in a wibbly wobbly place.”
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Amongst Princess Charlotte’s own ancestors, now buried in the Holy Land, is a saint, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, whose life was one of transparent beauty and death one of beautiful courage and service. In her life she forgave the man who killed her husband. At her cruel murder she continued to care for those suffering with her. It is of such beauty that Jesus speaks when he talks of being great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Such beauty of character begins with baptism, and is established in the habits of following and loving Jesus Christ, habits to be learned from parents and God parents, and the whole community of the church.
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I look forward to the responses from the three Primates here: of Korea, Paul Keun-Sang Kim; of Pakistan, Samuel Robert Azariah; and of Brazil, Francisco De Assis Da Silva; for I have been given an impossibly wide-ranging title!
He has written a significant Foreword to the 2014 book, Living Reconciliation by Phil Groves and Angharad Parry Jones. It is entitled ‘Reconciliation is the Heart of the Gospel’, and is worthy of an extended quotation:
We agree on these [five] marks [of mission]. Yet in so many other things, we disagree. Given our transparent and open structures, we often do so loudly. But we do so as part of a family which, however much it falls out, remains linked. We have to deal with the reality that, no matter how strained our relationships may become at times, we belong to each other…
I am not arguing that we should resist making decisions until the whole Anglican Communion (let alone the universal Church) is in total and unanimous agreement. That would be a legalistic and regulatory response to a problem that is relational and missional.
Rather, I am eager to encourage each of us to take full account of the way in which decisions in one province echo around the world. We do not have a volume button that can limit or determine how our voices are heard beyond our own country or region. The impact of their echoes is something to which we must listen in the process of our decision-making, if we are not to narrow our horizons and reject the breadth of our global family. That process requires extensive conversation and prolonged engagement – an honest reinforcement of the bonds of the relationship – amidst the confusing and costly work of common discernment.
Justin Welby, ‘Foreword: Reconciliation is the Heart of the Gospel’ in Phil Groves and Angharad Parry Jones, Living Reconciliation (London: SPCK, 2014), p. x and xi.
Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the new Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, will be commissioned in September 2015. His long term work of mission and dialogue with Muslims in Nigeria, and on the Network for Inter Faith Concerns of the Anglican Communion, is remarkable.
Frank Griswold, the 25th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, has known him since 1998. He told the Episcopal News Service in April:
Josiah is, above all, a man of communion, a careful listener, and a respecter of the different ways in which we are called to articulate and live the good news of God in Jesus Christ.
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In this conversation, Azariah outlines the growing need for reconciliation within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
“I also think the Episcopal Church is going through a major time of challenge,” he said. “There is a need of great healing. There is a need for great understanding within the family of the Episcopal Church and within the Anglican Communion here in the United States of America. It is not easy, but it is something which has to be done in love, in faith, in trust upon God, and in not being judgmental to one another.
“I appeal to my brothers and sisters here in the Episcopal Convention — and I also appeal to those Christians and Anglicans who were a part of the Episcopal Church but ... do not relate to the Convention — that the time has come when we cannot live like this. Let us not exhibit a ‘holier than thou’ game over here. … Let us stand together and believe in whatever we believe in and continue to do that — but let us not break up the life of the body of Jesus Christ.”
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The Archbishop of Canterbury's attention has been drawn to a statement forwarded to him from the Office of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, on the above subject. This statement was first posted on the Church of Nigeria website April 30, 2015.
The appointment of the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO) is made by the Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) with the approval of the President of the Standing Committee, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
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Capitalism that cannot find £200 for a highly-motivated individual, with good skills, is simply not adequate to the task of creating a stable society.
That hard-working, self-starting man will be on my mind tomorrow, when I take part in the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism in the City of London. This brings together leading figures from business, finance and public policy committed to creating economic systems which will encourage a long-term prosperity that is broadly shared. I am sure I will learn a great deal. I also hope to contribute in a small way, bringing a perspective informed by both economics and theology.
A Christian understanding of inclusive capitalism begins with the nature of God, who in Jesus Christ reached out to include all humanity in salvation. What that looks like for each individual is purpose, calling and a destiny with God. The New Testament teaches us that none of this happens because we are good - in fact, St Paul says in his letter to the Romans that Christ died for us while we were still God’s enemies. It happens because God sought to include all human beings in his love and purpose for them, if they would accept his invitation.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined faith leaders in Britain pledging to fast and pray for the success of key international negotiations over climate change, in a new declaration warning of the “huge challenge” facing the world over global warming.
Representatives of the major faiths, including Archbishop Justin Welby, said climate change has already hit the poorest of the world hardest and urgent action is needed now to protect future generations.
In the Lambeth Declaration, which will be launched tomorrow, signatories call on faith communities to recognise the pressing need to make the transition to a low carbon economy.
The call comes ahead of the international climate change talks in Paris this December where negotiators from more than 190 nations will gather to discuss a new global agreement on climate change, aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 when current commitments run out.
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"Archbishop Stephen Langton was mediator between the King and his barons, counsellor to both, and an advocate of civil harmony, cohesion and goodwill. His great legacy was this remarkable document, the spring from which so much of the human quest for political liberty has drawn, here and abroad, especially in the United States of America.
"The vision of the dignity of the human being, however limited that vision is, in Magna Carta sets a standard for our consideration of all human beings – however important or unimportant, near or far, they may seem to be.
"Langton was not alone. His was an age of giants at Canterbury. Alphege whose love for his people led him to give his life to save them from paying a crippling ransom. Anselm, the wise scholar and yet brave counsellor, whose advice cost him years of exile.
In such self-giving and courage Magna Carta found fertile soil to grow. It sets the bar high for all of us today...."
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The Bishop in Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, the Most Revd Dr Mouneer Anis will give a presentation on the situation in his vast diocese to members and invited guests of the Egypt Diocesan Association at Lambeth Palace on Friday 12 June by kind invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of York, Patron of the Association, will be present at the meeting.
The occasion celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Egypt Diocesan Association (EDA) which has supported the mission and ministries of that diocese over six decades.
The region covered by the Episcopal Church in Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa includes no fewer than eight countries, and the Christian communities in many parts of the diocese face huge challenges. Dr Mouneer is also in his second term as Archbishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East and so in close touch with the situation of many throughout the Middle East and Arabic world.
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On Trinity Sunday we are drawn into the presence of God by the Spirit through Jesus, sent by love of the Father. We are drawn inward in order to be sent out to give and bless and be the presence of Jesus. Trinity is community, perfect in love and acceptance and giving out, going out. We are to be like that in the church.
All true, but full of issues about how. How? Peter was writing to churches in what is now Turkey. He writes all about how to live a complicated life with households, with worries and pressures, and how to be the community that God wants us to be, because that community is mainly the means through which He loves us.
So today's sermon is about community in the light of Trinity. That community of the church is above all called to witness and worship. We witness every day by what kind of people we are individually and as a community.
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Faith groups are now filling a “huge gap” in British life occupied by the state until the financial crisis and onset of austerity forced a rethink, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Most Rev Justin Welby said churches, mosques, temples synagogues and other religious organisations had stepped in “in a most extraordinary way” over the past seven years.
He was speaking as a detailed national “audit” of faith groups was published calculating that their members give more than £3 billion worth of time a year on volunteer social action projects.
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The public view of religion among young people, according to a YouGov poll - well, alright it’s a poll, but … [laughter] the reputation of religion among young people is actually more negative than neutral: 41% – this was a poll in 2013, when they still got them right – 41% of 18-24 year olds agreed that “religion is more often the cause of evil in the world” and only 14% say it is a cause for good.
The Faith Action Audit reveals something different. It shows the breadth of commitment across the country, the depth of commitment, and above all the strength of experience and good practice. Thanks to Cinnamon [Network] and other bodies like it, this is not mere do-goodery. It is seeking to find best practice and put it into action in the most professional way that can be imagined.
We’ve heard some of the figures, but just a reminder: the faith sector collectively is delivering, according to the audit – I’ll round it – 220,000 social action projects, from which 47 million people benefit.
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Dr Williams also presented a long service certificate to Sue Beales, who has been big supporter of the Children in Need charity.
He then went on to speak to 80 people in the Boathouse on his personal journey.
Mr [Sean] Finlay said: “He was able to hold us spellbound for 45 minutes.
“Rowan is very engaging and spoke about how he started as a Presbyterian in Wales before progressing into the Anglican church.”
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The power that comes is to be given away not hung onto; Jesus was no Mugabe clinging to power. There would be no public glory or acclaim, merely hard work and sacrifice, like most of those who serve the church round the world today. I spoke to someone yesterday working for reconciliation in a civil war, whose name will never be known outside the circles of his own friends – yet he carries a cross of suffering for Christ.
Put like that it makes the worst of any recent party manifesto looks like words of gold, to which people would flock by contrast. Few would be elected on the manifesto of Jesus, surely?
Yet the church grew at such a rate, despite opposition and suffering, that 300 years later the Empire that had casually swiped away the life of Jesus with the sort of attention we might give to a mosquito, found itself honouring and converting to the faith. The same disciples who beforehand seem foolish and act only in their own interests, were willing to lay down their lives, confident in the promises of God, the Kingdom of God and the triumph of Christ.
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Archbishop Justin Welby said: “Helping people to get out of debt, and freeing them from the anxiety and exploitation that often goes with being in debt, is part of the Church's commitment to human flourishing.
“I welcome this new training resource to help local churches play a vital role in encouraging people to seek assistance earlier and to make use of the many free debt advice services that are available."
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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has become the first patron of debt charity Christians Against Poverty.
The charity runs debt services through local churches with the aim of releasing people from the prison of debt. Around 60 of its 280 debt centres are based in Church of England churches.
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And now we gather again, 70 years on, thankful for victory over the greatest darkness of the twentieth century, perhaps of all history. Our gratitude is not simply for victory-in-Europe, but also reconciliation-in-Europe that followed, neither obviously nor automatically. Peace is more than the end of war: reconciliation dismantles the hostilities which previously separated and alienated us from one another and from God.
In November 1940 Coventry was terribly bombed. The fires lit the skies for miles, so many people died and were wounded, and amongst much else, the Cathedral burned. Yet from the next day the Provost of Coventry, the Very Reverend Richard Howard, set a course towards reconciliation and the dismantling of hostility.
Six weeks later, on Christmas Day 1940, he gave a sermon on the BBC, in which he said: "we want to tell the world... that with Christ born again in our hearts today, we are trying, hard as it may be, to banish all thoughts of revenge... We are going to try to make a kinder, simpler - a more Christ-child-like sort of world in the days beyond this strife."
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Unity among Christians releases a power that is “impossible to exaggerate”, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the Leadership Conference 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall this morning.
The Archbishop was speaking during an on-stage interview with Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of HTB, alongside Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
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‘There is a crisis in the world; there is a crisis in the Church; there is a crisis of faith,’ he said. ‘Unity is the only hope for the world.’
‘The same Spirit lives in the Catholic, the Pentecostals, the Anglicans – that’s what makes us one.’
Unity around Jesus, he said, is the key to the evangelisation of a nation. ‘A divided world demands a united Church.’
Achieving a united Church boils down to our own individual choices in how we lead and how we follow. ‘Ultimately, unity is not doctrinal, it’s relational,’ he said.
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Update: There is a report from Day 2 here
Rose appreciated the opportunity for people on opposites sides of the theological and ethical divides to really get to know each other and hear each other. However she has serious concerns about the process as well. Firstly, the Conversations appear light on theology:
“There wasn’t enough time to get into the nitty gritty of the Biblical texts, or to dig into the ‘issues behind the issues’: our approaches to scripture, what is sin, what is truth, what is salvation.”
Secondly, there was an assumption that ‘good disagreement’ was the right outcome: “We hadn’t answered the question of exactly what we were disagreeing on; or whether that disagreement was something we could live with, or something which was so definitive that a split had to happen.”
Thirdly, there was theological bias: “the process was geared towards those of a more liberal standpoint – those who were more likely to agree that the church could coexist with different theologies.”
Lastly, “there weren’t enough conservatives”. Rose herself was assumed to be conservative as she identifies as evangelical. “It’s not his [the Bishop’s] fault I happen to be…a flag-waving, rainbow-wearing lesbian.”
Here is a report from someone who could embody more and more the future of the C of E as envisioned by its current leaders: young, talented and committed to Christ, but coming to radically different conclusions about Christ’s teachings and his demands in ways that align more with the grain of contemporary culture and one’s own self understanding and identity. If even she finds the process of the Shared Conversations too skewed away from a historic, conservative understanding of faith, this is yet more evidence of what Dr Martin Davie has called “a deeply flawed process supported by deeply flawed resources. They are in fact an object lesson of how a church should not go about handling a serious theological issue.”
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The Dioceses Commission has given its approval to revive the See* of Islington paving the way for a new bishop to lead on church planting within the Diocese of London.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has written to the Commission expressing his strong support for the new See. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, formally submitted a proposal to the Commission laying out the support of both the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop's Council.
Most bishops exercise their ministry within a defined geographical area. The proposal to revive the See of Islington is innovative as the bishop would hold a particular brief for church-planting initiatives primarily in the Diocese of London but to provide advice for other dioceses across England as invited to do so by the local bishop.
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An Executive Summary of a paper commissioned by Church of England Evangelical Council.
How evangelicals should respond.
Firstly…Evangelicals need to say loudly and clearly that, for the reasons explained above, the shared conversations are a deeply flawed process supported by deeply flawed resources. They are in fact an object lesson of how a church should not go about handling a serious theological issue.
Secondly, Evangelicals need to be aware that the shared conversations are only the ‘warm up act.’ It will be in the General Synod, probably in the session in February 2017, that a substantive debate will take place that could change the Church of England’s theology and practice. Such a debate would be proceeded by discussions in the College and House of Bishops so Evangelicals need to be ready for the lead in to the debate to begin as soon as the shared conversations have finished in the summer of 2016.
Thirdly, since it is clear that, whatever criticisms are offered, the shared conversations process is going to take place Evangelicals need to ready to keep on making the following key points during the process:
1. The position of the Church of England has not changed…The burden of proof is on those who want to change the Church’s position.
2. In considering its teaching and practice in relation to human sexuality the Church of England has to base its approach on the teaching of the theological authorities specified in Canons A5 and C15, namely the Bible, the teaching of the orthodox Fathers and Councils and the Historic Formularies of the Church of England (the Thirty Nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the 1662 Ordinal)…
4. In thinking about sexuality it is important not simply to focus on those biblical texts that directly address the issue of same-sex relationships, but to set those in the wider context of the fact that the Bible everywhere presumes a heterosexual norm for sex, marriage and family life on the basis of God’s creation of human beings as male and female.
5. No one has yet succeeded in successfully challenging the fact that the Bible takes a universally negative view of same-sex sexual activity in all its forms, a truth acknowledged by many who would like the Church to change its position on sexuality.
6. It is important not to let our experience determine our reading of the Bible. Rather we must interpret our experience in the light of biblical teaching.
7. The question of sexual orientation is a red herring. There is no agreed account of the cause(s) of same-sex attraction, studies of sexual attraction indicate that in a large number of people who they are attracted to sexually is something fluid rather than fixed and even in the case of those who have a life -long attraction to those of their own sex whether they choose to act on this attraction remains an act of voluntary choice for which they are morally accountable.
8. The issue of human sexuality is not a secondary issue on which we can simply agree to disagree…The Bible is clear that unrepented sexual sin cuts people off from God in this life and in the world to come…
9. The Church of England has a responsibility to take into account the effect that any decision that it makes will have on Christians in other parts of the world, particularly in those places where the Church is facing persecution.
10. It is not enough simply to say ‘no’ to same-sex relationships. The Church of England needs to take seriously the pastoral needs of those people who experience same-sex attraction and it needs to honour those who live lives of Christian holiness in the face of such attraction.
The full paper can be found here
The Bishop is respectful of the genuine Christian discipleship of those who disagree with his traditionalist position, sees their points of view and is not sure that this is a “red line issue” about the core Gospel message. Because of this he will not “leave the Church of England” even if the church changes its doctrine of sex and marriage. He does not appear to say anywhere that he will fight to maintain the current teaching, but rather suggests that change is inevitable, and that arguing over this issue divides rather than unites, and is a bad witness to the world.
This gives us a clue about what is happening in the minds of at least one theologically orthodox Bishop in the C of E. He will strongly promote the Gospel of Jesus crucified and risen, and will defend this against revisionism which undermines basic Christian theism. But lets be honest, these views are not going to be attacked on Twitter or the comments pages of the Guardian, the Independent and Pink News. Bishops such as Richard Jackson know they will be attacked if they defend the historic Christian position on sex, and so he has backed off; saying that he personally has not changed his position supporting the current Church teaching on sex and marriage, but he respects the views of others and will respect the outcome of any Synod resolution. Unity of the Institution, and protection from hostile media attack comes first. This then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – how can the orthodox teaching of the church be defended in Synod if those regarded as the leaders of the orthodox do not contend for it and essentially abstain from the debate?
Read it all, and please pray for the Church of England and the 'evangelical' bishops
You may find the full video of this talk on prayer there.
In an interview broadcast last week with Anglican TV, the former Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen confirmed “the Bishop of Salisbury has delivered a disciplinary note to Bishop John Ellison” and charged him with violating the ecclesiastical boundaries of his diocese.
In their communique released at the close of their London meeting on 18 April 2015 the GAFCON primates gave Bishop Ellison their full backing, denouncing the “unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury.”
Read it all. For more background about the controversial Bishop of Salisbury and the way the CofE House of Bishops changed the rules on divorce to enable him to be appointed see:
Sunday Telegraph: Divorced bishops to be permitted for first time by Church of England, June 6, 2010
Pageantmaster—Comments on the Southwark Bishop Candidates, July 6, 2010
‘Rising star’ made Bishop of Salisbury, April 12, 2011
John Richardson—Bishops married to divorcees ‘pose serious challenge to traditionalist Anglicans,’ April 13, 2011
([London] Times) Bishop of Salisbury Openly Supports Same Sex Marriage, February 3, 2012
The Bishop of Salisbury—Marriage and same-sex relationships, February 24, 2012
Peter Ould responds to the Bishop of Salisbury—Nick Holtam’s Case for Polygamy, May 30, 2013
Bishop Holtam of Salisbury Congratulates and Prays for Same-Sex Couples Getting Married, March 29, 2014
Read it all.
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