Posted by The_Elves

The Global South of the Anglican Communion
21 August 2014

Announcement regarding the Diocese of South Carolina

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to “accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.”

The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 [1]. A recommendation from that meeting stated that, “we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”

Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.

Yours in Christ,

+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

+ Ian Mauritius
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean
Bishop of Mauritius Hon. General Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee
_________________________________________________________________________
[1] The full statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee held in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 may be found on the Global South Anglican website

You can see the original signed letter (a PDF file) here.

[received via email and posted with permission - the elves. Note this is also posted at the Diocese of South Carolina website, along with an accompanying note from Bishop Mark Lawrence.]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAlternative Primatial Oversight (APO)Anglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Province of the Indian OceanThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle EastEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaGlobal South Churches & Primates* South Carolina

15 Comments
Posted August 21, 2014 at 8:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In this interview, Archbishop Beach announces several important new staff appointments and gives some information about how the ministry of both the Anglican Diocese of the South, and ACNA will function under his leadership. The section with Archbishop Beach starts at about 8 minutes and lasts for about 7 minutes in total.




Here is the YouTube link should you need it.

UPDATE: There is an excerpt of a letter from Archbishop Beach at the ACNA website which explains a bit more about these appointments.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Provinces

4 Comments
Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

Read it all

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

2 Comments
Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking ‘a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe’. The letter, signed by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also reportedly accuses the PM of turning his back on Christians slaughtered or made homeless in northern Iraq – and wonders why Cameron has chosen to concentrate on the plight of the Yazidis instead.

These criticisms are spot on. But I’m surprised that the C of E has had the brass neck to make them.

Read it all

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

2 Comments
Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Diocese of Truro is facing a shortfall of more than £1m in the next financial year, a bishop has said.

It comes as new figures revealed Anglican churchgoers in Cornwall currently donate 20% less than those in any other diocese in England.

People in the county give about £5.80 per week, compared with a national average of £8.40.

The Bishop of St Germans said unless urgent action was taken, such a level of debt was unsustainable.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A call by the world's most senior Anglican bishop for Christchurch to stop clinging to the past has been criticised by those fighting to save the city's earthquake-damaged cathedral.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made the comments during a visit to Auckland last week, saying the city should not "be boring" and should look to England's Coventry Cathedral as something to aspire to.

Coventry Cathedral had incorporated the ruins of the city's old cathedrals when they were destroyed by time and war.

Great Christchurch Buildings Trust member and retired reverend Graeme Brady said he was always moved by the old ruins, but the rest of the cathedral had dated very quickly.

It was a shame Coventry's authorities had "completely wiped out" all of the city's old buildings and replaced them with a "concrete mess".

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

6 Comments
Posted August 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Rev. Andrew Symes at Anglican Mainstream offers a reflection on the challenge of balancing "the inward and the outward life," critiques former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' recent interview "How Buddhism Helps me Pray," and examines British values and Christians' response in the face of the challenges presented by multi-culturalism. -the elves


So the life of discipleship is oscillating between rest in God, and fruitful action in the world; both undergirded by active, unhurried, worshipful, compassionate, sometimes agonized prayer. It constantly moves between the two poles of wonder at the sacrifice of Christ dealing with my sin and winning my forgiveness, and engaging sacrificially with others, enabled by the indwelling divine living presence. There is an enormous richness in teaching over the centuries, in different church traditions, on Christ-centred prayer, and on maintaining these two poles, sometimes paradoxical, of inward and outward life, rest and yoke, of abiding and being productive, of atonement and empowerment. Yes there might be imbalance in the teaching of different groups, just as each of us because of our personalities tend to prefer contemplation or activism. But that doesn’t mean we are at liberty to reject clear teachings of Scripture or go searching outside the Christian tradition when Jesus commands us to come to him.

But sadly this is exactly what Rowan Williams advocates in a recent interview:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10942056/Rowan-Williams-how-Buddhism-helps-me-pray.html

The whole article is about Williams’ morning spiritual disciplines – what evangelicals might call his “quiet time”. He begins encouragingly by talking about the ‘Jesus Prayer’ (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”) – one would think that this could be a great opportunity to explain its meaning to the secular readers who clearly are interested in this detail of the personal life of a celebrity. But the phrase does not prompt reflection, in order to worship or pray to the living Christ – it is simply repeated as a mantra, as part of a Buddhist-inspired technique of focusing on one’s body living and breathing in the moment. The former Archbishop does not give any indication at the end of the interview that God might really exist out there, a divine person separate from us, calling on us to repent and come to him in Christ. Rather “God ‘happens’: a life lived in you”, and the uncomfortable meditative technique is apparently a way in which anyone who puts in the work can become aware of this “inner light”.

Is Rowan Williams embarrassed about embracing and articulating fully the Christian story and the wonderful resources that Christ offers his followers by grace? Does he feel that Jesus is not enough, and the insights and practices of others faiths are needed to get closer to God, to feel loved, to have strength to face the day and help others? Or perhaps he believes that in synthesizing aspects of different religions, he is modelling inclusivity and helping to promote community cohesion between the different faith groups in Britain? This is suggested by his recent appearance as a speaker at the Living Islam Festival at the Lincolnshire showground. But again, is modern Britishness best achieved by a synthesis of Christian, secular, Islamic and Buddhist – and if so how, given the radically different worldviews of these four faiths?

Christianity is in retreat, yet secularism and Islam are becoming more confident in demanding the hegemony of their values. Many orthodox Christian leaders are responding by self-ghettoisation: increasingly arguing that faith is a private matter and that Gospel values, the ethics which flow out of taking on the yoke of Christ and being fruitful in him and on which the best “British values” are based, are only applicable to the converted. We continue to thank God for groups like Christian Institute and Christian Concern who have resisted this route. Liberal thinkers such as Rowan Williams want to engage in the public square, but seem to do so with embarrassment about the apparent former dominance of Christianity: the result is the articulation of a more “generous and inclusive” faith which synthesizes, merges with and ultimately submits to other worldviews rather than confronting, challenging and transforming them.

Read the full entry at Anglican Mainstream

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican IdentityAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralism

1 Comments
Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Australian and British child sex victims have finally been vindicated after years of cover-up by the Anglican Church, with an ­official admission that one of its most senior clergymen was a pedophile who had been ­“allowed’’ to abuse children.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu has written to victims of the late Robert Waddington — a ­former Queensland headmaster who later ran hundreds of Anglican schools in Britain — saying he was “deeply ashamed’’ the church had not listened and acted on complaints of child sex abuse.

The extraordinary admission follows a year-long inquiry into Waddington, the former dean of Manchester who died in 2007, and the mishandling of abuse allegations in 1999, 2003 and 2005 against him from former choirboys and students in England and Australia.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

0 Comments
Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore, Harold Miller, called for a united effort to help Christians in the war-torn country.

"It's really very important for the world at large to be supportive of Christians in Iraq," he said. "Christianity has been in Iraq for a very long time and what I have observed is that people are now being beheaded for their faith.

"The main Christian town has had most Christians expelled from it, like they did with Jewish people during the Nazi era.

"They are marking the houses of all the Christians with the letter 'N' because it comes from following Jesus of Nazareth. It's profoundly shocking."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted August 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Research shows that children are best brought up in families where a mum and dad are present. The role of fathers in the nurture of their children is unique and cannot be replaced by other so-called ‘male role-models’ or, indeed, an extra ‘mother’.

Research tells us that children relate to their fathers differently than to their mothers, and this is important in developing a sense of their own identity....

None of this should detract from the heroism of single parents. They should be provided with every support by the State and by local communities.

There is, however, a big difference between children growing up without fathers because of death or family breakdown, and actively planning to bring children into the world who will not know one of their biological parents and where such a parent will never be part of the nurture of these children.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The men in charge of Liverpool's two cathedrals have abseiled down the city's Anglican cathedral, to raise money for charity.

Cathedral Dean Rev Peter Wilcox and his Roman Catholic counterpart, Father Anthony O'Brien, joined an abseil down the cathedral on Saturday.

As part of a two-weekend event, the 150 ft (45m) leap has helped to raise about £48,000 for the cathedral,

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted August 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.

In an interview today, an emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him.

“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he said. “I baptised his child in my church in Baghdad2. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 9, 2014 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

My dear friends,

The Middle East is groaning. You hear about what is happening in Iraq and the many Christians who are being forced to leave their homes and also those who were killed by ISIS (Daash). Over 1,500 have been killed in Gaza and 8,000 were injured in the recent days because of the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Syria is suffering greatly, and we are receiving many Syrian refugees here in Egypt. Libya is struggling with tribal wars and conflicts, and Christ the King Anglican Church in Tripoli is in the midst of this. South Sudan is torn again by fighting and hundreds of thousands are fleeing to neighboring countries, including Ethiopia. Here in Egypt, every other day we hear about a violent and terrorist attack, especially in the Sinai where military and police officers are targeted. What a region, full of flames and blood.

In the midst of all this, many people are saying “Where are you, God? Why are you allowing this to happen to your people?” It reminds me with the cries of King David in Psalm 77 when he said, “Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” We find the answer to all these questions in the same Psalm, “I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”

Indeed, we need to think of how God was faithful to his church in this region in the last 2,000 years. Just as the blood of the martyrs became the seeds of many churches throughout this region, we trust that this current turmoil will turn into something good. We don’t understand now, but one day we or the next generation will.

We don’t have any way to heal the situation, except by prayer. One of the good outcomes of this very difficult time for Christians in the Middle East is that last week all churches in Egypt gathered together in the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to pray. This was a very special time and we felt united in Christ through prayer. We prayed for our fellow Christians and Muslims throughout the region, and we remembered what King Jehoshaphat said in 2 Chronicles 20: “For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” We also remembered the words of St. Peter “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4).

Do pray for peace in our region and grace for us.

+Mouneer

Read it all and more provincial news is linked below the message

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

0 Comments
Posted August 8, 2014 at 8:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Most Revd Clarke said: “One of the most perplexing aspects of the intervention of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, into the debate in England on the side of assisted dying was that a fundamental Christian tenet – that our life on earth is not our property to do with as we choose – appeared to have eluded him entirely.

“Much therefore depends on how we understand the significance of earthly life.

“If life is simply a personal commodity...then life is disposable, entirely at the will of the individual ‘possessor’. This is clearly not the Christian perspective and, even for the non-believer, it is not an automatic understanding of the significance of life.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife Ethics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 8, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the calls I got through the night, it's a revelation that people fear Ebola more than God....! Nobody calls me frantically for Godly things....
Ebola brings death surely, but surely God gives life by grace through faith In Jesus!
(From his Facebook page)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychology* International News & CommentaryAfricaGambiaLiberiaNigeriaSierra Leone* Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 8, 2014 at 5:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An NHS Trust has withdrawn its offer of an appointment to an Anglican chaplain, after his bishop refused to grant him a licence on the grounds that he had defied the House of Bishops' pastoral guidance by marrying his same-sex partner.

The priest, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, is Deputy Senior Chaplain and Deputy Bereavement and Voluntary Services Manager in the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. He married Laurence Cunnington in April, and the Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, then withdrew his permission to officiate.

On 10 June, Canon Pemberton was offered a new job as Head of Chaplaincy and Bereavement Services in the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This was conditional on the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham's issuing him with a licence....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 8, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Various news outlets are carrying a story that this is an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into allegations of indecent assault on a child aged under 18 years and indecent assault on a second female aged over 18 years. The police have confirmed that no arrest has been made. You will all realise that this is therefore a traumatic time for Bishop Michael, his family and for those who have made the allegations. Please hold them in your prayers.

I am sorry that we have not been able to say more until now. I know many people have found this frustrating but I hope you will understand our reasons for this and will appreciate that we have been liaising very closely with Lambeth Palace.

Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury signed an Instrument of Delegation that allows me to act as diocesan bishop.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted August 8, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is breaking new ground by bringing help and hope to a Pygmy community living in the country’s forests.

Pygmy peoples live in several ethnic groups across the forests of central Africa. There are an estimated 250,000 to 600,000 living in the Congo rainforest alone.

These forest dwellers have lived by hunting and gathering for millennia. But in the past few decades their homelands have been devastated by logging, war and encroachment from farmers. Their appearance and lifestyle means they have also been marginalized by much of society

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Congo/Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaRepublic of Congo

0 Comments
Posted August 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do you think spiritual ecstasy is dangerous?

It certainly can be. We have forgotten how dangerous religion can be. We think of it as a minority leisure pursuit – another cup of tea, Vicar. To remember how dangerous it can be, you have to go back to before religion became obstinately metaphysical, to the Civil War, when the streets around here were filled with Levellers and Fifth Monarchists and other fanatics, who had caused a social revolution.

St Paul’s cathedral is, in some ways, Christopher Wren’s answer to religious enthusiasm – God as a mathematician rather than the terrifying arbitrary God of the Civil War.

The great Bishop Butler says to John Wesley: ‘pretending to special revelations of the Holy Ghost Mr Wesley is a very horrid thing. It’s a very horrid thing indeed.’ And it is indeed a very horrid thing. Unless it’s held firmly within a community of interpretation, with a shared communal experience of discerning between evil spirits and good spirits, then it’s very dangerous.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer

2 Comments
Posted August 7, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Diocese of Esan, Anglican Communion has condemned the ravaging activities of terrorists and insurgents in Nigeria while urging Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliation or religious inclinations to avoid making inflammatory statements capable of worsening the already bad security situation in the country.

The diocese in a communiqué issued at the end of the third session of the fourth synod held in Eguare, Ebelle, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State also noted the helplessness of Nigeria in curtailing the ravaging insurgency in the country, inspite of assistance from the international community.

This, the diocese noted “makes the resort to divine intervention both imperative and timely”,In the communiqué signed by the Archoishop of Bendel province and Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. F.J. Imaekhai and the synod clerical secretary of the diocese, Ven A.O. Isibor, the diocese noted that divine direction is underscored by the fact that any nation that fails to heed the call for divine direction is bound to experience the kind of problem the Nigeria nation is confronted with.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

0 Comments
Posted August 7, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Killucan, Co Westmeath, Parish Registers (1696–1786)

Drogheda, Co Louth, St Peter’s Parish registers (1702–1900)

Taughboyne Union Registers, Co Donegal, (Taughboyne, All Saints’ Newtowncunningham, Killea & Craigdoonish)
(1820 – 1900)...

Check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

0 Comments
Posted August 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Primate of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, on Tuesday, advised Nigerians to be wary of clerics claiming to have spiritual healing for the deadly Ebola virus.

Okoh said this in Abuja on the sideline of the 2014 Conference of Chancellors, Registrars, and Legal Officers of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

The primate advised persons infected with the virus not to waste time in seeking medical attention from...[in]appropriate authorities.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted August 6, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England faces fresh scrutiny over its handling of historic child abuse after the outgoing Bishop of Gloucester was placed at the centre of a police inquiry over allegations of indecent assault on a child more than 30 years ago.

The Rt Rev Michael Perham, 66, suddenly quit after nearly a decade as bishop on Friday citing “personal reasons” but it can be revealed that a police inquiry was launched centred on the parish in south London where the senior cleric started his career in the Church as an assistant curate in 1976.

The force confirmed today that officers from its sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command are investigating “allegations of indecent assault on a child said to have occurred between 1980 and 1981”. Nobody has been arrested during the course of the continuing inquiry, the force said in a statement.

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, has announced this Sunday will be a day of lamentation and a will feature a public apology “to those hurt by the Anglican Church”.

On behalf of my Episcopal colleagues and the leadership of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, I wish to convey our deep and genuine sadness in relation to the pain and brokenness that people have experienced as a result of their engagement with our Church.

I take this opportunity to apologise for any abuse or mistreatment that those sharing in this event may have experienced by individuals or groups connected with our Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The President of Italy has formally signed a decree which recognizes seven years of preparation by the Church of England to have official status in the country and be recognised as a denomination. It was granted after careful and detailed examination of the Ministero dell’Interno (Italian Home Office) the Direzione Centrale degli Affari dei culti (central department for religious affairs) and Consiglio di Stato (advisory body of the Italian government on administrative matters and their legal implications, with the approval of the Consiglio dei Ministri (Italian Cabinet). It gives legal status to the association Chiesa d’Inghilterra and accepts its statutes.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly

3 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new Christian community has started up in Crewe. ‘Restore’ is part of the ‘Fresh Expressions’ movement. The Revd Tim Watson is the leader of ‘Restore’, which will have a focus on the arts and has an ambitious plan to open an arts centre in Crewe.

The group currently meets twice a week – 8pm on Tuesdays at 30 Oakhurst Drive, Wistaston; and 10am on Sundays in Costa Coffee in the town centre.

In the months ahead, Tim and the team have also set themselves the task of restoring the old Christ Church site in the town centre, to turn it into an arts centre and café.

Read it all.


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

0 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

3 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An ethics committee has been set up to tackle moral issues faced by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the area's police and crime commissioner.

The independent committee is one of the first of its kind in the country and aims to make recommendations on moral and ethical dilemmas.

It will look at issues such as surveillance operations and the use of body cameras and water cannon.

Members of the public can make referrals to the committee.

The panel of 13 is chaired by the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity Government* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first priest to marry his same-sex partner is to issue a legal challenge to the Church of England after his offer of a job as an NHS chaplain was withdrawn when his bishop refused the necessary permission.

The Rev Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington in April, was informed on Friday that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS trust had withdrawn its offer of a job after Bishop Richard Inwood had refused him the official licence in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

"It this is not challenged," Pemberton said on Sunday, "it will send a message to all chaplains of whom a considerable number are gay and lesbian. This is an area of law that has not been tested and needs to be."

Read it all from the Guardian.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

3 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

War must always represent the abject failure of humanity, the head of the Anglican church in Ireland has said. Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Clarke said commemoration of the first World War could not be spiritually separated from carnage in Gaza and other contemporary trouble spots.

He addressed a Belfast service marking Britain’s declaration of hostilities against Germany. The Duke of York read a lesson and lit a candle.

“War must always represent the abject failure of the human spirit and of humanity itself,” Dr Clarke said. “It can never be other and we should never pretend it is other.”

Read it all.




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the Great War, we see heroism and cruelty standing side by side, we see cynical disillusionment and moral determination intertwining, and we see hope and despair in equal measure, and on every side. This was the first time that the weaponry of war could be fully industrialised and it was, also for the first time, that the phrase ‘total war’ was coined to indicate that civilians were to be regarded as being as much part of the war as the military.

But there are of course also the myths to be debunked. It was not only foot soldiers who died in battle. Indeed, if one was an officer, one’s chances of dying on the western front were fifty percent greater than for those in other ranks. The British generals were for the most part not the total incompetents they are presented as being in popular mythology. Many of them too died in battle; they were not relaxing in beautiful chateaus miles behind the front lines. And personally I can well remember as a child knowing a number of veterans of the First World War whose memories of the conflict were not uniformly terrible.

For all of this, however, the 1914–18 War undoubtedly changed the history of the twentieth century. Three European empires had disappeared by the end of the War in 1918, and we can also trace to this war the beginnings of the sunset on a fourth empire, the British Empire. Also emerging from the Great War are the seeds of the development of two ‘super–powers’ – the United States of America and Soviet Russia – that would come to dominate the world for almost half a century after the ending of the Second World War, that further titanic war that in many respects cannot be totally separated from the First. The course of history changed, brutally, dramatically and forever.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted August 5, 2014 at 4:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Keep Me Posted campaign, which is pressing for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted by banks, utility companies and other service providers, has been joined by The Church In Wales.

In the face of an increasing trend for businesses to switch their customers to mainly digital communication, the campaign is calling for service providers to give customers the choice to retain paper bills without charge. Research from the campaign shows that it is often the poor and most vulnerable people in society who rely the most on traditional methods of communication.

The Church, which takes very seriously the economic, social and environmental needs of the communities of Wales, and works in areas of deprivation facing economic inactivity, poverty, debt and low skills, has recognised the barriers many people have to using the internet.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Wales* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Up to one in 10 Catholic priests are former Church of England clergy, according to new figures.

Professor Linda Woodhead, a sociologist of religion at Lancaster University and organiser of the Westminster Faith Debates, worked with the Catholic bishops' vocations director Fr Christopher Jamison OSB to establish that 389 Catholic priests are former Anglican priests, including 87 priests in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingam.

Currently it is estimated that in England and Wales there are 3,000 active diocesan priests, 800 retired priests, 1,000 religious priests and 700 deacons. Most of the Anglicans are believed to be working in parishes or chaplaincies.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted August 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England has demanded that the British government offers sanctuary to thousands of Christians fleeing jihadists in northern Iraq, warning that ignoring their plight would constitute a "betrayal of Britain's moral and historical obligations".

A number of bishops have revealed their frustration over David Cameron's intransigence on the issue, arguing the UK has a responsibility to grant immediate asylum to Iraqi Christian communities recently forced to flee the northern city of Mosul after militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) threatened them with execution, a religious tax or forced conversion.

On Monday, France responded to the so-called religious cleansing by publicly granting asylum to Christians driven from Mosul. The Anglican Church argues the UK has an even greater responsibility to intervene, citing its central role in the 2003 allied invasion, which experts say triggered the destabilisation and sectarian violence that shaped the context for Isis to seize control of much of northern Iraq.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Gloucester has stood down with immediate effect "for personal reasons".

The Right Reverend Michael Perham was due to retire in November after almost a decade in the role.

In a statement, The Diocese of Gloucester confirmed Bishop Michael had "stepped back" from his ministry.

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The gentle probing in today’s debate, and the view that it is up to the CofE to address such issues, contrasts with the attitude of parliament towards the Church of England in the debates, PQs &c which followed the General Synod’s defeat on 20 November 2012 of the draft legislation to allow women to become bishops. Furthermore, the parliamentary record indicates that during this session of parliament, Sir Tony Baldry has not been required to respond or give a written answer on the marriage of clergy to their same-sex partners.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 2, 2014 at 11:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Court documents have revealed the Commonwealth Bank is looking for damages of more than $24m from the former Anglican bishop of Bathurst and five other defendants.

The Commonwealth Bank's court action includes a summons against the diocese's former bishop, Richard Hurford.

This action involves Bishop Hurford and eleven other defendants.
........
Another summons calls for a joint levy on all parishes, schools and other organisations to help repay the diocese's debts.

The summon documents also call for assets, including the All Saints College in Bathurst, to be "realised" or sold if enough money cannot be raised or the parishes do not cooperate with a demand to prioritises the sale of assets

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

0 Comments
Posted August 1, 2014 at 11:47 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grace Davie, the distinguished British sociologist of religion, has proposed an interesting idea: A strong establishment of a church is bad for both religion and the state–for the former because the association with state policies undermines the credibility of religion, and for the latter because the support of one religion over all others creates resentment and potential instability. But a weak establishment is good for both institutions, because a politically powerless yet still symbolically privileged church can be an influential voice in the public arena, often in defense of moral principles. Davie’s idea nicely fits the history of the Church of England. In earlier centuries it persecuted Roman Catholics and discriminated against Nonconformist Protestants and Jews. More recently it has used its “bully pulpit” for a number of good causes, not least being the rights of non-Christians. Thus very recently influential Jewish and Muslim figures have voiced strong support for the continuing establishment of the Church of England, among them Jonathan Sacks, the former Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, and the Muslim Sayeeda Warsi, currently Minister of Faith and Communities in David Cameron’s cabinet.

Of course it would be foolish to recommend that the British version of state/church relations be accepted in other countries—as foolish as to expect other countries to adopt the very distinctive American form of the separation of church and state. However, as I have suggested in other posts on this blog, the British arrangement is worth pondering by other countries who wish to combine a specific religious identity with freedom for all those who do not share it. For starters, I’ll mention all countries who want legislation to be based on “Islamic principles” (not full-fledged sharia law); Russia, struggling to define the public role of the Orthodox Church; Israel trying to define the place of Judaism in its democracy; India, similarly seeking to fit hindutva into its constitutional description as a “secular republic”. In a globalizing world, cross-national comparisons can be surprisingly useful.

Read it all from the American Interest.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersReligion & CultureWomen* Theology

4 Comments
Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who seton foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth "thrown in": aim at earth and you will get neither.
--C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book III, Chapter 10

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyEschatology

0 Comments
Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is a rare person who possesses such an indomitable spirit and yet offends almost no one. But John Hughes was this rare person - without ambition, but able to assume with radiant humility any elevation; as innocent as a child and yet as wise as an ancient sage; full of fun and yet attuned to sorrow; able to polemicise, yet also to offer wise counsel. In debate, like no other, he knew how not to alienate while avoiding vacuity. In his sermons (several of which have or will be collected in print) he knew how to delight as well as to instruct. In his life as in his work, he managed to interweave gentleness with an optimum pitch of boldness and exactitude - and in such a way that these attributes combine as one.

As John Dryden described Henry Purcell, who died when he was just one year older and equally in the full flood of his creativity, John Hughes was a "matchless man." It is now up to those who knew him to ask him and all the saints to assist us in dealing with this new lack in our lives. We can envisage this lack as being like guilt, since John had a strong New Testament and Patristic sense that sin and death are bound up with one another - are indeed in the end but one abyss.

Therefore we can apply his words in his Lear essay on the recognition of guilt also to the recognition of lack: "Properly, the recognition that the judge may be as guilty as the thief can be understood, not as universal innocence, but as the universal need for forgiveness and transformation." We are all both lacking and guilty, but beyond this negative diagnosis of much secular existential and social critique, and consequent illusions as to either "natural" innocence or incurable anxiety and ferocity, lies the faith that alone allows us to build each other up once more.

This was the Christian Socialist vision of John Hughes. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The government should consider intervening to stop the Church of England sacking gay vicars who marry, a former Conservative chairman has said.

Lord Fowler raised the case in the House of Lords of Jeremy Pemberton, who had his licence to preach revoked after marrying his partner.

He called on the government to "see if there is anything that could be done to help reconcile the difficulties".

Gay marriage is legal in the UK but the Church of England has not accepted it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted July 31, 2014 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria Most Reverend Nicholas D. Okoh has urged the Boko Haram insurgents to lay down their arms and embrace dialogue to stop the bloodletting that has pervaded the country.

Addressing newsmen at the sidelines of its second synod organised by the Diocese of Kubwa in Lugbe at the weekend, Rev Okoh said the best way to have a comprehensive end to the insecurity in the country was for the gunmen to come forward and "discuss issues as is done in civilized environment".

He said the attempt on the life of former Head of State Retired General Muhammadu Buhari last Wednesday in Kaduna forebodes worse days ahead.

"It sends signal of insecurity. And again, its sends another signal that is let everybody, east, west, north, south, Christians, Muslims, African traditional religionists put hands together and stop this terrorism. Nobody is spared, nobody is free, and nobody is safe," said the Anglican Primate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 30, 2014 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out on Youtube.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchPoetry & LiteratureReligion & Culture* Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 29, 2014 at 11:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and the President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, stated that the suffering, persecution and displacement of Iraqi Christians, especially in the Mosul area, is a disgrace to the international community which is not doing enough to rescue the people of Iraq from the terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq* Religion News & CommentaryOther Churches

1 Comments
Posted July 28, 2014 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Being more cynical, one might buy into the famous Marx quotation: “religion is the opium of the people”. While it’s true that Marx was articulating his belief that religion was a way of “power” saying “don’t worry if you’re downtrodden in this life, you will find a reward in the next”, in the wider quotation from which those words are taken, he was actually being more sympathetic: acknowledging the potential of religion to give solace where there is distress.

That’s how I feel when I look on in bemused fascination at members of my own family’s religious devotion despite their never-ending series of trials in this life. As a callow, arrogant youth I would try the Marx line out on them, only to be dismissed. And rightly so, because back then I was merely trying to provoke them.

Today, the conversation is different. I respect their beliefs because I can see the solace they have brought them, whilst absolutely rejecting any attempts to continue to force those beliefs upon others, or to marry them to the state.

The need for complete dis-establishment of church and state not only in this country, but in all countries, appears so obvious in the face of the many inequalities that accompany “establishment” that it is mystifying that in the 21 Century that there can be any argument against it. But then, what do I know? Apparently, my heart is closed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

2 Comments
Posted July 28, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Pope Francis in a plea to prevent the ordination of women bishops from derailing plans for the eventual reunification between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.

The Most Rev Justin Welby acknowledged that the vote at the General Synod earlier this month would be a “further difficulty” on the tortuous road towards eventual unity between the two churches which formally separated in the 16th Century.

But in a letter to the Pope and other global church leaders including leading orthodox patriarchs, he asked for prayers for the Church of England, telling them: “We need each other.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * Theology

3 Comments
Posted July 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The congregation of a Hamilton church divided by a denominational debate on the proposed blessings of same sex relationships spent yesterday's services in separate buildings praying for one another.

Around 100 members of West Hamilton Anglican Parish left the Rifle Range Road church last week under the Rev Michael Hewat and his wife Kimberley Hewat's leadership. The departure came following months of discussion of a controversial motion passed in May by the General Synod of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and Polynesia.

The motion aimed to establish a working group to recommended a process and structure which included a "yet-to-be-developed liturgy for blessing right ordered same-gender relationships".

The Hewats, supported by 95 per cent of the congregation who attended a special meeting this month, opposed the motion on the grounds that it was contrary to the teachings of the Bible.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and PolynesiaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With his waxed moustache and tattoos, Darren Wolf could be either the founder of a tech start-up or a cage fighter, depending on your view of London’s East End.

In fact he is a Cambridge graduate, a former director of the Terrence Higgins Trust and last month became one of the latest batch of vicars enlisted to revamp church services in the Diocese of London.

His first posting as an ordained minister is to Christ Church Spitalfields, the Nicholas Hawksmoor-designed masterpiece that sits at the border between the City’s banks, Brick Lane’s curry houses and the tech companies of Shoreditch.

Rev Wolf’s first assignment at this striking white temple is to launch an informal 5pm service.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 25, 2014 at 10:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Allegations in the so-called "Trojan horse" letter of an organised attempt by some governors and senior staff to impose a hardline, politicised Islamic agenda on a group of Birmingham schools were largely true, the report of a top-level investigation into the letter's claims, published on Tuesday, says.

Sent anonymously to Birmingham City Council last November, and leaked to the press earlier this year, the letter was originally dismissed by the council as a hoax designed to disturb community relations in the city. The allegations were comprehensively denied by those involved.

But, as further complaints surfaced, a former Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, commissioned Peter Clarke, a former head of counter-terrorism in the UK, to conduct an inquiry.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted July 25, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group of Anglican clergy and laity have taken a stand against Bill C-36, the Conservative government’s proposed legislation whose Scandinavian model shifts the main criminal burden in prostitution from vendors to buyers.

Bill C-36 proposes to decriminalize the selling of sexual services but not the buying of them.

Fearing the bill will further marginalize and endanger workers by driving sex-for-hire transactions underground, some 35 Anglicans led by Victoria’s Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott recently sent an open letter to the hearings held by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons. “We were too late for the panel discussions, but the letter has been noted as part of the public record,” said Bryant-Scott, rector of St. Matthias Anglican Church, diocese of British Columbia.
- See more at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/anglicans-protest-sex-trade-bill#sthash.gl2n0zgd.dpuf

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Received by email and cleared for publication
ALL BISHOPS,

Dear Brother Bishops,

RE: STAND ON CONSECRATION OF WOMEN BISHOPS IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KENYA

Greetings in Jesus’ name,

Having received several media requests to pronounce our stand on the consecration of women following Church of England resolve to consecrate the same forthwith, I have stated the following; According to the Article VI of our Constitution ON THE MINISTRY; Clause 4 and 5, there is a clear demarcation between the work of a Bishop and that of a Priest. In clause 4, the Bishop is referred to exclusively as male while in Clause 5, which deals with priests, the constitution recognizes that the holder of such office could be male or female.

The ACK constitution does not address itself to the issue of consecration of lady bishops and shall do so at the appropriate time.

We had earlier requested dioceses through their bishops to make their contribution on this matter but we received only two comments. We are yet again requesting you to consult with your diocesan synod on the same.

In the meantime, the status quo remains until the Provincial Synod reviews the position.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, EBS
ARCHBISHOP OF KENYA
& BISHOP OF ALL SAINTS’ CATHEDRAL DIOCESE


cc. Provincial Chancellor
cc. Deputy Provincial Chancellor

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Kenya

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt. Rev. James Newcome, who speaks for the Church of England on health, has called for Lord Falconer to withdraw the Bill in favour of a Royal Commission on the subject.

The Bishop of Carlisle said: “It has brought the issues to the forefront of public discussion and highlighted what an important issue this is. Certainly, our hope as the Church of England is that the Falconer Bill will be withdrawn and that, because this is such an important issue, it could be discussed at length by a Royal Commission.”

A Royal Commission would allow the arguments to be “carefully assessed” and for expert opinion to be taken.

He added that the Church of England is in favour of the law on assisted suicide to remain unaltered as it provides a “good balance” between compassion and protection of the vulnerable.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The church's perceived obsession with homosexuality has seen an Anglican pastor break camp and lead his flock into the religious wilderness and find a new home in the city.

Reverend Michael Hewat, the vicar of West Hamilton Anglican Parish on Rifle Range Rd, was the second high profile Anglican leader to leave the Anglican Church in opposition to Motion 30 - a national declaration by the governing body to bless same sex relationships.

He said homosexuality had dominated the church's agenda for two decades and "it amounts to an obsession", he said in a letter to Waikato Times.

His refusal to submit to General Synod on the motion passed in May that aimed to recognise same-sex relationships meant a forfeiture his licence to practice as an Anglican pastor.

In May, former Auckland pastor Charlie Hughes walked away with his congregation and Hewat said more would come.
.......................................
A special general meeting was held earlier in the month where he received 94 per cent support from parishioners and a further postal vote brought that figure to greater than 95 per cent.

"It's a family breakup and even though its only 5 per cent it still hurts," he said.

There were about 250 members on the parish roll but children were too young to vote and some older members were unable to make it to the meeting.

A handful of churchgoers were expected to show up at the church next Sunday but the rest - more than 100 who voted and their families - were looking for new place to call home in Hamilton's western suburbs. "We're not pushing it too far and we're not going to some promised land but we believe that our ministries will continue and that's what is important."

Motion 30 was an "unmitigated disaster" and illegal as it contravened the Church of England Empowering Act, he said.

Read it all and the story of the first departure is here and the Synod decision here and here

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

2 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The church got the message. Although it contained only nebulous safeguards for conservatives, the latest proposal was backed by a thumping majority of lay delegates to the Synod: 152 in favour and just 45 against. Even among the church’s growing contingent of evangelicals, a survival instinct prevailed. Survival as what, though? Some clergy, like Giles Fraser, an outspoken leftist, think the church should cut loose from the state and deliver hard truths from the margins of society.

In England, as in many historically Christian countries, the national church faces a choice. Either it can use its ancient privileges to cast a pale wash of religion over a secular society, making the necessary compromises; or it can morph into one or several minority subcultures, guided by their own particular lights, whose views are no business of politicians.

Over women bishops, the church stepped in the first direction. But if, as is expected, most bishops in the Lords vote against a forthcoming bill on assisted dying, it will swing the other way. Fresh questions may be asked about why bishops of one church, which attracts 2% of the population to its services, should vote at all.

Read it all.

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

4 Comments
Posted July 23, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England’s prolonged struggle to sell its stake in Wonga, the payday lender, illustrates the problems that investors can encounter when they lock up their capital in illiquid private vehicles instead of buying publicly traded securities that offer a straightforward exit.

However, buying and selling positions in existing private equity funds in the secondary market is becoming increasingly popular, attracting growing interest from institutional investors.

Ardian, a Paris-based manager, raised $9bn earlier this year to create the largest private equity secondary market fund to date while Lexington Capital Partners is looking to raise $8bn to $10bn for its latest secondary vehicle.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsStock MarketThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A priest tasked with leading one church which accepts women bishops and another which refuses them had to be blessed by two bishops, all in one service.

The Reverend Carl Peters’ new job will see him take charge of St John’s Church in Brandon, County Durham, which supports female priests and bishops, and St Luke’s in nearby Ushaw Moor, which rejects both.

Hence, he had to be formally licensed both by the Right Revered Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow, and the Rt Rev Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley, whose job includes providing pastoral care for opponents of women bishops within the Durham diocese.

Read it all.

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

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Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Back in march we posted this interview but many people may have missed it or may not have good video access and so here is a partial transcript this week there. It includes the following:
What does it mean to be an Anglican?

It first of all means to be a Christian – to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The most important decision any person can ever make is to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s the best thing anyone can do. Secondly, they follow in a particular tradition, which varies around the world.

What about the Church of England? If you go to Starbucks in London and then to a Starbucks in Liverpool they are similar, you know what you are going to get. But in the Church of England, you can go to services in London and Liverpool and they are completely different.

That’s because people and cultures are completely different. And the Church is a family, it’s not an organisation. It’s the people of God called by God – to serve him and follow Jesus Christ. And as in any family, bits of it work better than others. So you go to one church and it might not be working brilliantly well at a given moment, to another and it’s really fizzing along and is absolutely amazing. But the wonderful thing is that churches can change very dramatically and when the Spirit of God moves among us – and when people turn afresh to Jesus Christ – even the equivalent of a Starbucks that is all over the shop suddenly becomes the living presence of God in its community. So yes, it is different all over the place, it’s better and worse, it’s up and down – the only thing that is common to every church is that it is full of Christian disciples and it’s full of sinners.


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

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Posted July 22, 2014 at 7:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The] MOST Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Archbishop of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), on Saturday in Abuja urged Anglican youths to build bridges of unity and shun tribalism and ethnic sentiments.

Okoh, who spoke during the investiture of 95 national patrons and patronesses by the Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF), said that tribalism and ethnicity posed danger to spiritual growth.

"There are many ills afflicting our church today and principal amongst them is the emergence of tribalism amongst the leadership and members of the congregation.

"We must consciously build bridges to keep the church together, and we should imbibe the spirit of give and take because division is not the way to progress," Okoh advised.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

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Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A simplified baptism service could soon be rolled out across the Church of England, in a move away from the ‘wordy’ traditional liturgy. The Additional Texts for Holy Baptism was before Synod for First Consideration, having been changed since it was introduced by the Diocese of Liverpool, following criticisms of it ‘dumbing down’ the service. The Bishop of Sodor and Man moved the motion, explaining the need stemming from the ‘wordy and complex’ nature of the current provision. It is now to be considered by the Revision Committee. The new text shortens the service by omitting elements that are not obligatory. “When a child is brought for baptism he or she comes with empty hands,” Robert Paterson said, “Simply the most precious thing in God’s sight is a child of his creation.” Feedback from families who have taken part in baptism show they remember the symbols of the service more than words. “This is a specific request to draft liturgy to meet pastoral need,” he continued. The Group believed the word ‘submit’, seen in the current text, ‘seemed to some like bullying’. All of these texts in their authorised form would be additional, not to replace Common Worship texts, the Bishop promised, and is subject to yet more synodical processes. He alluded to the backlash over the absence of the devil in the new baptism service. “We all know that, for many people, the devil has been turned into a cartoon-like character of no particular malevolence. “We have no quarrel with standing up to the devil: the problem is helping people with little doctrinal appreciation to understand what we mean by affirming that the devil is a defeated power.” The press was heavily criticised by many speakers in the debate highlighting the omission of the devil and sin from the first trial draft. “Wherever possible, the final ‘Commission’ should be expressed simply and directly, eye-to-eye, and not read from a prepared text.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

6 Comments
Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The new legislation is simpler and based on Christian understandings of trust. Crucially, it includes a commitment for diocesan bishops to abide by five guiding principles, to take proper care of and provide oversight for dissenters, with recourse to an independent reviewer, or ombudsman, to resolve disputes. This was a concept introduced to steering-group discussions by Dr Philip Giddings, the leading conservative Evangelical, who specialised in politics and the work of the Parliamentary Ombudsman. His speech to synod, where he committed himself to vote in favour, coming as it did early in the debate, was influential in securing the result.

Even the Catholic group seemed happy, relatively speaking, with the result. Canon Simon Killwick, the chairman, remained deeply concerned for the wider unity of the whole Church but “pleased that the spirit of reconciliation continued to be displayed during the debate”. Archbishop Bernard Longley, chairman of dialogue and unity for the Catholic bishops, reiterated the goal of full ecclesial communion and acknowledged that the decision “sadly places a further obstacle on the path to this unity between us”. He affirmed the progress made in recent decades.

Whatever the theological and ecclesiological disagreements that remain, for the established Church to have once again rejected women bishops could well have spelled disaster for Christian mission in Britain. The signals from Rome and Canterbury give every ­appearance of grace in action – surely a prophecy of interesting times to come.

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

It's been a busy season for news from the Church of England. Below are just a few of the recent important stories about the CoE General Synod, the Women's Bishop vote, the Assisted Dying debate, the new Baptismal liturgy, and more..

You can find all CoE posts using the Church of England category link.
For more on Assisted Dying, check out the life ethics category or the ethics/moral theology category..
For more on women bishops, use the CoE bishops category

Links below are from the period July 7 - July 21. Some earlier stories of note may be found in our July 8: Other recent featured entries post.

Featured Entries:
July 18: Russian Orthodox Church Statement on Unilateral CofE Women Bishops Decision
July 14: May I Vote or Should I Go? Transcript CofE Synod Friday Afternoon Women Bishops
July 11: CofE General Synod 11th to 15th July 2014 Links
July 10: Papers for Business at Church of England General Synod which Begins Tomorrow

Assisted Dying:
([A Terrifying] Economist Leader) Most Western people favour assisted suicide, change the law
The assisted dying debate has been dominated by Christian voices – sadly in disagreement
Latest: House of Lords allows Assisted Dying Bill to proceed
Archbishop John Sentamu Speaks Against Assisted Dying bill today
(Guardian) Legalising assisted suicide is a mistake I learned from my wife’s death says Bishop Inge
(Telegraph) Follow the Assisted dying debate in the House of Lords—live
“Assisted Dying”: Archbp Welby signs faith leaders’ statement against Lord Falconer’s Bill
(Telegraph) Michael Nazir-Ali—Lord Carey’s judgment on assisted dying is un-Christian
Jeffrey Bishop—The Hard Work of Dying: Refusing the False Logic of Physician-Assisted Death
(Observer) Desmond Tutu: a dignified death is our right – I am in favour of assisted dying
(BBC) Assisted dying: The Church of England seeks inquiry
Peter Saunders—Why Lord Carey is so desperately wrong about legalising assisted suicide
(Bishop of Leeds) Nick Baines—Dying matters
(Church Times) Archbishop Welby and Lord Carey part ways on assisted dying
George Carey-Why I’ve changed my mind on assisted dying says a former Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop Justin Welby writes for The (London) Times arguing against the Assisted Dying Bill
A Pastoral Letter on the Assisted Dying Bill from the Bishop of Shrewsbury (Mark Davies)
(C of E) Malcolm Brown on Assisted Suicide—Is the choice to be killed the same as choosing a car ?
(Telegraph) Charles Moore—If ‘dying with dignity’ is legalised, soon it will be expected

Women Bishops
(The Tablet) Ruth Gledhill on the Women Bishops Vote in General Synod
Rod Thomas writes Reform members in response to the York General Synod
Statement by Forward in Faith North America
Interfax: Russian Church chagrined by Church of England vote allowing women to be bishops
(Church Times) General Synod delivers a confident vote for women bishops
Albert Mohler: ‘Get with the Program’ — The Church of England Votes to Ordain Women Bishops
[WATCH] We will behave like our hero the TEC Presiding Bishop - CofE women bishop hopefuls
(Ephraim Radner) What Women Bishops Mean For Christian Unity
A Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops of The Society on the Women Bishops Vote
(TLC) Key Moments in C of E Synod’s Debate on Women Bishops
(RC Church in Eng. and Wales) A Statement on Women Bishops and the C. of England
(Lambeth Palace PR) C of E approves women bishops
(BBC) Church of England General Synod backs women bishops
NCR: Church of England’s Impending Ordination of Women Bishops Poses Ecumenical Challenge
[John Bingham] Women Bishops: What are the issues?

Other Stories:
(CEN) Yes to new Baptismal service
Church Times’ Paul Handley talks to TEC’s Katharine Jefferts Schori, the only woman Primate
Bishop of Sheffield orders Welby Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality in Communion/CofE
Lee Gatiss: What does ‘flourishing’ actually mean?
(RNS) Church of England kicks the devil out of baptism rite
Archbishop Justin Welby at Synod, speaking on the common good
Church of England Church Commissioners confirm Wonga exit
(Church Times) A Chaplain is blocked from new post after same-sex marriage

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Culture-WatchLife Ethics* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last Tuesday, on the front page of The Daily Telegraph of London, which I buy like thousands of other dementia-fearers because of the kindly crossword, I saw the face of a young woman at the General Synod at York with a bright teardrop sliding down her cheek. I thought, Oh dear! More misery. Newspapers now are only frigates of misery.

But the gleaming teardrop was not for sorrow; it was for joy! This girl, in an ecclesiastical, once exclusively male, dog collar, was weeping for joy because the synod, which governs the Church of England, had at last decided to allow women to become bishops.

Not that there are not some tough preliminaries. The dog collar has to be earned. And more. But starting next year, if all goes well, a female Anglican priest will be able to become even an archbishop should she believe she is called to do the job.

And she doesn’t even have to look like a male bishop.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[On Friday]...hundreds of locals flocked to St James in West Hampstead to celebrate the post office's grand opening.

Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain, who made the decision to mix consumerism with spiritualism, said: "We're bringing a service to the local community which is an expression of Christian love.

"The local post office closed and there was nowhere else for a new one to go.

"An awful lot of hard work has gone on to make it happen, but it was worth it - God has provided."

Read it all.


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

1 Comments
Posted July 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You will have been saddened, but probably not surprised, by the General Synod’s vote last Monday on women bishops. This was the logical outcome of the decision in 1993 to enable women to be ordained to the presbyterate in the Church of England. That decision prompted the formation of Reform and since then we have actively sought to urge the Church to reform herself under the authority of the Word of God.

Read it all.


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

0 Comments
Posted July 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Up until yesterday for someone who has little love for what I consider to be a deeply flawed bill, it’s been pretty depressing following the coverage. The pro-assisted dying lobby are a slick and well oiled machine and it’s most vociferous cheerleaders have been out in force to bang the battered right-to-die drum. In contrast the voices of opposition, at least in the secular mainstream media, have been few and far between. Having spent some time attempting to record as many articles as possible from the papers and the BBC over he last week that have either had an opinion piece or an item on an individual or group with a partisan view, the results have been stark. There have been 34 pieces with strongly held views in favour of assisted dying and only 8 against. In the last day and a bit at least there has been a noticeable increase in the voices opposing the bill. This is partly because the BBC has produced various interviews, being very careful to finally balance their coverage and also because the Guardian somewhat surprisingly came out strongly against the bill and also published a powerful piece by the Bishop of Worcester whose wife died of cancer in April. Andrew Lloyd Webber has also revealed that he contacted Dignitas whilst struggling with depression last year seeking to end his life, but now believes that taking such action would have been “stupid and ridiculous”.

It’s not that those in favour have more to talk about, it’s more that the same things have been said more frequently. Predictably, so much of this talk has been emotive and far less has been focused on the mechanics of what assisted dying would look like in practice. ComRes have published a poll today that finds that although 73 per cent of the public back assisted dying in principle, this dwindles to 43% when they are presented with (mostly empirical) arguments against it. Doctors who need to be listened to and considered more than any other group still overwhelmingly oppose assisted dying, but you probably wouldn’t know it from the coverage in the last few weeks.

Having trawled the internet it has become apparent that much of what has been driving the media coverage has been the religious aspect.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 20, 2014 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In the light of recent events within the Church of England, and reports regarding Forward in Faith (U.K.), the officers of Forward in Faith North America (FiFNA) hereby issues the following statement.

First, it is with deep sorrow that FiFNA acknowledges the vote by the General Synod of the Church of England to proceed with the “consecration” of women to the episcopate. This action heightens the level of difficulty for Anglicans during this period of reception, by placing more barriers before those who are seeking to live under and promote the historic priesthood and episcopate. Sadly, the autonomy of the local church, albeit provinces, has usurped the authority and unity of Ecumenical consensus and the Church catholic, exposing yet again the ecclesial deficit of our Communion that can only be addressed through the historic tools of Conciliar discernment.

For our brothers and sisters in the Church of England who maintain the worldwide majority position of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church regarding Holy Orders, we pledge our prayerful support, love, and respect
...................................
We also reaffirm the position which FiFNA published previously concerning human sexuality, the importance of which, in many current challenges in Church life, cannot be overstated: “Under the authority of holy scripture and the tradition of the church, we affirm that sexual activity can only properly take place within the context of holy matrimony between a man and a woman. We affirm that any other type of sexual relationship is sinful regardless of context or degree of fidelity, and that the church cannot bless any type of sexual relationship outside of holy matrimony between a man and a woman. We affirm Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference as the standard for Christian sexual behavior.”

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

19:46h After a debate of nine hours and 43 minutes of debate the bill was granted its second reading and now goes forward to a committee of the whole House for scrutiny. Lord Falconer described it as a “historic day”.

Read it all and it may be possible [depending on locality] to watch the debate here

Update: Frank Cranmer has a summary of key speeches here and the full transcript of the debate is available from Hansard online here or in pdf form here or indexed by speaker here

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchLife Ethics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Moscow, July 17, Interfax - A senior Russian Orthodox bishop slammed Monday's vote at the Church of England General Synod that allowed women to become bishops.
"The Orthodox Church takes a negative stance on so-called female priesthood and female episcopacy. We see this process as representing the diversion of the Anglican Church and a whole range of Protestant denominations from the initial church order and as following modern liberal trends. We regret that such decisions have been made," Metroplitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion.

Moves like this do not bring various Christian communities closer to unity "that is still proclaimed at inter-Christian meetings as the aim of such meetings," he said. "The space for dialogue is narrowing down at the fault of our partners, and it is with great regret that we have to state this."

"The presence of women in the episcopate shuts for us the door to any discussion on the issue of succession in the Anglican episcopate," he said, but added that the Russian Church would continue to maintain dialogue with the Anglicans in the hope of its voice being heard.

The Russian Orthodox Church began a dialogue with the Anglican Church immediately after the latter came into being in the 16th century. Since then, the Church of England has repeatedly made various attempts to come closer to the Russian Church but has never sought to resolve their disputes over dogma.

Via its missions in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, the Russian Church also maintained close contacts in the 19th century with the U.S. Episcopal Church, the U.S.-based part of the world Anglican Communion.

Relations between the Russian Church and the world Anglican Communion soured in the second half of the 20th century and remain strained.

The first irritant was the U.S. Episcopal Church's decision in 1976 to ordain women as priests. In the late 80s, the Episcopal Church started consecrating women as bishops. In the early 2000s, it consecrated open homosexual Gene Robinson bishop in a move strongly condemned by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 2:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Statement by Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations regarding the decision of the Church of England to allow women to serve as bishops

At the session that took place on the 14th of July 2014, the General Synod of the Church of England made a decision allowing women to serve as bishops. The Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations is authorized to make the following statement in this regard:


The Russian Orthodox Church has been alarmed and disappointed to learn about the decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate, since the centuries-old relationships between our two Churches had shown possibilities for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in Anglicanism. As far back as the 19th century, the Anglicans, members of the Eastern Church Association, sought “mutual recognition” of orders between the Orthodox and the Anglican Churches and believed that “both Churches preserved the apostolic continuity and true faith in the Saviour and should accept each other in the full communion of prayers and sacraments.”

The decision to ordain women, which the Church of England took in 1992, damaged the relationships between our Churches, and the introduction of female bishops has eliminated even a theoretical possibility for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in the Anglican hierarchy.
Such practice contradicts the centuries-old church tradition going back to the early Christian community. In the Christian tradition, bishops have always been regarded as direct spiritual successors of the apostles, from whom they received special grace to guide the people of God and special responsibility to protect the purity of faith, to be symbols and guarantors of the unity of the Church. The consecration of women bishops runs counter to the mode of life of the Saviour Himself and the holy apostles, as well as to the practice of the Early Church.

In our opinion, it was not a theological necessity or issues of church practice that determined the decision of the General Synod of the Church of England, but an effort to comply with the secular idea of gender equality in all spheres of life and the increasing role of women in the British society. The secularization of Christianity will alienate many faithful who, living in the modern unstable world, try to find spiritual support in the unshakable gospel’s and apostolic traditions established by Eternal and Immutable God.

The Russian Orthodox Church regrets to state that the decision allowing the elevation of women to episcopal dignity impedes considerably the dialogue between the Orthodox and the Anglicans, which has developed for many decades, and contributes for further deepening of divisions in the Christian world as a whole.

Read it all and also this and you can find the response of the Catholic Church in England and Wales here

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

26 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 8:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My Lords, this present Bill is not about relieving pain or suffering. It makes that quite clear in its definition of a terminally ill patient to include those whose progressive illness can be relieved but not reversed. This bill is about asserting a philosophy, which not only Christians, but also other thoughtful people of goodwill who have had experience in care for the dying must find incredible: that is, the ancient Stoic philosophy that ending one’s life in circumstances of distress is an assertion of human freedom. That it cannot be. Human freedom is won only by becoming reconciled with the need to die, and by affirming the human relations we have with other people. Accepting the approach of death is not the attitude of passivity that we may think it to be. Dying well is the positive achievement of a task that belongs with our humanity. It is unlike all other tasks given to us in life, but it expresses the value we set on life as no other approach to death can do.

We need time, human presence and sympathy in coming to terms with a terminal prognosis. To put the opportunity to end one’s life before a patient facing that task would be to invite him or her to act under their influence rather than dealing with them.

It is possible to think abstractly that one’s early death would be welcome to one’s nearest family and would spare them trouble. But in fact the best service one could do for them would be to accept their care, and to show appreciation of them at the end of one’s life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsPsychology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 6:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many, including former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, argue that it would have been the “compassionate” and “caring” thing to do. How difficult it would have been for Denise to argue with me if she was made to feel that she was a “burden” to myself and others. Had assisted dying been legal, I daresay the medics might have agreed with me, and the pressure on her, though subtle, would have been unbearable.

That is one of the many reasons I believe Lord Carey’s arguments to be so profoundly misguided and dangerous. He quotes a dying woman parishioner of his who whispered in his ear before she died that, “It is quality of life that counts, not length of days”. Well, maybe – but who is to decide, when, and on what grounds?

Denise’s quality of life at the time of her prognosis and following it was poor by any standards. However, against the odds the chemo did have an effect and the tumour shrank for a while. Had assisted dying been legal, we might never have had the opportunity to enjoy the precious months together that we were given as the more debilitating effects of the treatment wore off. The despair of the moment would have determined our actions. What a tragedy that would have been.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 18, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

11.20 Lord Tebbit, whose wife was left disabled by the IRA’s bombing of the Brighton hotel, speaks against the Bill.

“No-one could dispute the good intentions of this bill, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

“I notice Baroness Greengrass talked of the right we have to take our own lives. We do not have that right. We have only the capacity to do it.”

It creates financial inventives to end the lives of the "ill, disabled, frail and elderly".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As if they needed reminding, given the cameras trained on them, General Synod members were told on Monday morning that there were "many eyes and ears which are attentive to what we say and do".

Eighteen months after the collapse of the previous women-bishops draft Measure, a new creation was awaiting approval, gestated during hours of negotiations led by a diplomat with reconciliation in Northern Ireland under his belt. There was a mood of trepidation.

Introducing the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure, the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, was clear: "While we may be aware of those others, we are here today to do what we believe under God to be right."

Read it all.


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

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2014 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Writing about the age of John Milton, the British author A. N. Wilson once tried to explain to modern secular readers that there had once been a time when bishops of the Church of England were titanic figures of conviction who were ready to stand against the culture. “It needs an act of supreme historical imagination to be able to recapture an atmosphere in which Anglican bishops might be taken seriously,” he wrote, “still more, one in which they might be thought threatening.”

Keep that in mind as you read the news that the General Synod of the Church of England voted yesterday to approve the consecration of women as bishops of the church.

The votes came less than two years after a similar measure failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote before the same synod. The election of women as bishops had sailed through the bishops and the clergy, but opposition from lay members of the synod had blocked the measure late in 2012.

What few even in the British media are now mentioning is the massive pressure brought upon the church by the larger British culture and, most specifically, from the British government.

Read it all

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

4 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gender is really not an issue, she said in a phone conversation a fortnight ago, just before travelling to the UK to preach at the annual pilgrimage in St Albans. "It's been a very minor theme. When I was first elected, there was profound objection from a couple of bishops who did not think that women should be ordained. We've long ago gotten past that: they decided they didn't want to be part of the Episcopal Church.

"My gender is really beside the point. I think it was more significant for the Episcopal Church that I was the first scientifically trained Presiding Bishop, and the first Presiding Bishop who was elected from the Western part of the US; and I'm probably the first one who was elected not having spent one's whole adult life in the Church as a primary vocation."
....
"There is a long history of disagreement in the Episcopal Church. At heart, it's about how people read scripture. Some people argue for the primacy of scripture, and won't accept that there are other sources of authority."

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori


Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This article from London’s Guardian reports that, should the Church of England General Synod again reject the ordination of women as bishops that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has plans to bulldoze the measure through–trampling on the whole synodical process in the Church of England.

For those who don’t know how it works, the Church of England decides everything through a democratic synodical system. The General Synod is made up of three houses: laity, clergy and bishops. For a major decision like women’s ordination they need a three quarter majority in all three houses. When the vote for women bishops happened in 2012 it was defeated in the house of laity by six votes. When that happened the church was in an uproar. The feminists had campaigned for women bishops tirelessly since their victory over women’s ordination twenty years earlier. That they lost by six votes was a major reversal.

According to church rules they were not allowed to bring the legislation back to the General Synod for another five years. Never mind. The powers that be changed the rules. A few back room deals, a few hush hush conversations in the House of Lords and the Bishops stacked the deck in their favor. Old white men calling the shots? Patriarchal types moving the goalposts? High up establishment white men doing whatever they damn well please? Privileged upper class white male elite changing the rules to suit themselves and their agenda? We’ll have none of that talk now! None of that. No sir.

Anyway, the C of E bishops got together and changed the rules so they can all vote on it again this summer. If it doesn’t go through this time they are going to dissolve this synod and have new elections and try again.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pivotal votes of a small num­ber of members of the General Synod who helped to defeat the women-bishops Measure in Novem­ber 2012 have swung to the Yes camp.

The earlier Measure was lost by six votes in the House of Laity. Instrumental to the defeat were a handful of members who, despite being in favour of the consecration of women as bishops, voted against the Measure, prompted by a concern that it did not offer enough provision for those who were opposed on principle.

Five of these members told the Church Times this week that they now planned to vote in favour.

Read it all.


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

10 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

There are days when words cease, when the only possible response to what we see is to stand and weep for joy. Concelebrating at the Eucharist in one of England’s ancient cathedrals in the company of a female Bishop was for me one of those times.
....
The Presiding Bishop made time in a packed day to accept an invitation from the St Albans branch of WATCH to meet with members and women in lay and ordained ministry in the Diocese. Christina Rees chaired a Q and A for us, as Bishop Katharine generously shared something of her experience and ministry
....
In her sermon, Bishop Katharine talked about heroes, and I think I have found a new one. A woman who has been prepared to take on headship, vulnerably exposing herself to all that has meant. A woman who is wise, passionate and measured. A Bishop who defines herself as a bridge builder. We give thanks to God for raising up Presiding Bishop Katharine, and pray that it might not be long before we see another female bishop in an ancient English Cathedral, an inheritor of the legacy of all who have paved the way.

Read it all

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

6 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet the approval of women bishops reflects the fact that ecumenical “consensus” is an empty slogan at best. If women in the episcopate are not considered worth such consensus, one must ask, “what is?” And, when the time comes, will there be the means to achieve it? My own concerns mostly lie here: Even if most Anglicans consider this a secondary issue of Christian “truth” or moral imperative, should we not have worked much harder to implement the means of open discussion, debate, and accommodation with our Christian sister churches, if only to fulfill our calling to such a work on its own terms?

Having said that, one decision can never be said to have foreclosed an ecumenical future. I remember well the witness of the late Rev. Dr. Susan Cole-King, one of the Church of England’s first ordained women. She was one of those who were willing to return to England (from the US) and work as a deacon before her orders were recognized there. Cole-King was the daughter of Bp. Leonard Wilson, the Singapore bishop who was tortured by the Japanese during World War II. In 1998, just a couple of years before her untimely death, she spoke at a Lambeth Conference eucharist that had followed a recent statement of repentance by Japanese Anglicans, many years in the making. She referred to her father’s divine gift of forgiveness of his torturers, including one who later became a Christian and whom he personally confirmed. Her father, she said, could forgive in the power of Christ; but true reconciliation, she went on to say, required an “acknowledgement of wrongs done,” “the truth faced,” and “painful self-examination [that] leads to confession and apology.”

Without knowing how it will be parsed out, I can say that there is much of this acknowledgement, truth-facing, examination, and confession still to come among Anglicans and their brethren on the matter of women’s ordination and consecration to the episcopate. As on much else. Our work now is to determine how this will happen.

Read it all.


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

1 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 3:22 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Sometimes it can be right to alienate one's own supporters if an important issue of Christ's truth is at stake, but Forward in Faith [UK] appears to be increasingly alienating its supporters for the wrong reason.

Cranmer's Curate had noticed some rather disturbing equivocations on the received biblical teaching of the Church on human sexuality in the FiF magazine New Directions in recent months, but a very incisive piece by a blogger with the priceless name of Balaam's Ass, posted by Anglican Mainstream - Gay Pride, Sex Discrimination and Anglo-Catholic Incoherence - has crystallised the issue.

Since losing some of its best and brightest leaders to the Ordinariate, the FiF high command has started openly flirting with the LGBT agenda, and this is causing consternation among Anglo-Catholic Christians in local churches.

The implications of this spiritual and moral drift in the FiF leadership are serious for conservative evangelical co-belligerency with Anglo-Catholics against the revisionist agenda in the Church of England. There has certainly been evidence of late that the Anglo-Catholics are proving unreliable allies.

Read it all

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

1 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Pilling Report, published in November 2013, recommended that the church’s internal dialogue on the subject of human sexuality might best be addressed through a process of conversations across the church and involving others in the Anglican Communion. This recommendation was endorsed by the College of Bishops in January. The outlines of the process were agreed by the House of Bishops in May.
.....
Under the direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, Canon David Porter, a team of around 20 trained facilitators will support a process of conversations across the Church of England. They will bring the skills necessary to ensure that the process provides a safe place for all viewpoints to be expressed and to keep the conversations to the objective of seeking understanding rather than having any predetermined trajectory.
.....
Following the meeting of the College of Bishops, the process will then extend across the dioceses, with dioceses working in “clusters” to enable 12 regional conversations, each involving around 60 participants, to experience the process....
....
Dioceses will look at ways to use their relationships with their companion links to involve participants from elsewhere in the Anglican Communion.
+Steven Sheffield
26 June 2014

Read it all [pdf]
________________________
The previous appeals and warnings given to the Church of England Bishops not to compromise their position in the Anglican Communion include:

Statement of the Global South Primates
The Global South considers forward movement on the Pilling Report’s recommendations as equal to what the North American churches did ten years ago which caused much confusion in the Communion.
....
After more than 10 years of listening and conversation, we do not see a value of endless conversations and indabas.

We are clear on what the Bible teaches about sexual relationships outside of the marriage of one man and one woman, and the need for pastoral care for those who find themselves in relationships outside of this. The dissenting view written by the Bishop of Birkenhead captures well our position. For us in the Global South, his view is the majority view, and we hope the Church of England Bishops will recognize this. The Church of England needs to be cautious in taking decisions that will compromise faith and the position of the Church of England within the Anglican Communion as well as the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury more

and from the GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala
If this report is accepted I have no doubt that the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Communion, will have made a fateful decision. It will have chosen the same path as The Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada with all the heartbreak and division that will bring.

The problem is not simply that the Report proposes that parish churches should be free to hold public services for the blessing of homosexual relationships, but the way it justifies this proposal. Against the principle of Anglican teaching, right up to and beyond the Lambeth Conference of 1998, it questions the possibility that the Church can speak confidently on the basis of biblical authority and sees its teaching as essentially provisional. So Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth conference, which affirmed that homosexual practice was ‘incompatible with Scripture’ and said it could ‘not advise the legitimisation or blessing of same sex relationships’, is undermined both in practice and in principle.

The proposal to allow public services for the blessing of same sex relationships is seen as a provisional measure and the Report recommends a two-year process of ‘facilitated conversation’ throughout the Church of England which is likened to the ‘Continuing Indaba’ project. This should be a warning to us because it highlights that the unspoken assumption of Anglican Indaba is that the voice of Scripture is not clear. This amounts to a rejection of the conviction expressed in the Thirty-nine Articles that the Bible as ‘God’s Word written’ is a clear and effective standard for faith and conduct.

We should pray earnestly that the English House of Bishops steps back from endorsing this Report, but the developing situation in the Church of England, the historic Mother Church of the Communion, underlines the need for our Global Fellowship to build on the success of GAFCON 2013 and implement our commitments. As we noted in the Nairobi Communiqué, the GFCA is becoming an ‘ important and effective instrument of Communion during a period in which other instruments of Communion have failed both to uphold gospel priorities in the Church, and to heal the divisions among us

other appeals and warnings here

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

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The mood of the Church of England's General Synod in York was set by a key intervention by a leading conservative evangelical early on in the debate.

Dr Philip Giddings, chairman of the House of Laity, said a better way had been found than November 2012, when the last package failed by six votes, but the package still did not meet the needs of everyone in the Church. He said: "The key for me is that this package is adequate."

This was because of the new House of Bishops' guidelines, which bishops and clergy will be disciplined if they fail to adhere to and which pledge proper oversight for those opposed to women bishops.

Read it all.

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

9 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

In this article from the latest edition of Crossway, Lee Gatiss has a question for the General Synod as it considers the provision to be made for complementarians, those who do not believe we should have women bishops.
In the last edition of Crossway and a recent edition of The Church of England Newspaper, I suggested that there is something of a credibility crisis in the Church of England. We are officially told by the House of Bishops that they want us ‘to flourish’. Some, no doubt, voted in the dioceses to progress the women bishops legislation because they believed such fine sounding words.

But it does not feel very much like flourishing when a constituency of our size and significance is never represented at the episcopal level. Despite over half a dozen appointments being made since my articles, nothing has changed.

We are compelled therefore to ask what exactly ‘flourishing in the life and structures of the Church’ means, if we will never again see a single complementarian evangelical serving as a diocesan bishop, as some have suggested.

As General Synod approached, the Archbishops confessed (in GS Misc 1079), that the current process of appointments has in a sense failed and cannot deliver on the aspiration to have ‘at least one’ complementarian evangelical bishop.

They respond directly to my consistent campaigning on this and make it clear that even though Synod in 2007 approved by 297 to 1 a report calling explicitly for conservative evangelicals to be included on the Preferment List, this has been conveniently forgotten for seven years...

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the traditional service, godparents are asked whether they are ready to renounce the devil and all his works for the sake of the child being baptized.

The new wording, approved Sunday (July 13), only asks whether parents and godparents will “turn away from sin” and “reject evil.”

Speaking after the new wording was overwhelmingly approved, Bishop Robert Paterson denied that the baptism service had been watered down.

“We all know that for many people, the devil has been turned into a cartoonlike character of no particular malevolence,” he said.

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The approval of the Women Bishops legislation brings to an end a decade of debate about what provision should be made for those who are unable, for theological reasons, to receive the ministry of women as priests and bishops.

In the earlier stages of that debate we offered the Church of England a vision of how provision could be made with full ecclesiological integrity not just for us but also for the Church of England as a whole. It is now clear that the reality will be shaped differently, and will fall short of our ideal.

None the less, we believe that we can have confidence in our future as catholics who are called to live out our Christian vocation in the Church of England, maintaining a distinctive witness to the quest for the unity of the Church. The House of Bishops’ Declaration embodies a commitment to enabling us to flourish within the Church of England’s life and structures. It does so because our theological convictions about ministry and ordination remain within the spectrum of Anglican teaching and tradition. As Resolution III.2 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference stated, ‘those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to, the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate are both loyal Anglicans’.

Read it all.

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

2 Comments
Posted July 17, 2014 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Paula Gooder, a theologian who voted in favor of the change both times, was devastated when it did not pass in 2012. On BBC television she said of the debate then versus now, “The tone in the synod chamber last time was really difficult and very angry and hard to experience, whereas this time was much more welcoming and accepting.”

The change of tone was in large part due to the addition of compromises to the legislation. The measure that passed on Monday contained concessions for traditionalists unwilling to serve under a woman bishop, giving them the right to ask for a male alternative and to take disputes to an independent arbitrator. Though some in favor of the change worry that this may undermine female bishops’ authority, most were willing to take that risk in order to see the legislation pass.

Though the added concessions played a key role in changing the outcome of the vote, some voters also reported experiencing a change of heart with regard to the issue over the last 18 months. Among those who voted differently today than in 2012, is the bishop of Dorchester, Colin Fletcher. Addressing the synod prior to the vote, Fletcher explained that he used to believe, as most who oppose the legislation do, the Bible teaches that male leadership of the church is God's will. He said that he interprets scripture differently now.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureWomen

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Some observers think a speech in the final stages of the 2012 vote tipped balance and led to defeat of the measure. This time the final speaker, a blind member who is an evangelical from Bristol, the Rev. John Spence, seemed to tip it the other way.

Directing comments to evangelical opponents, he said: “Your faith is my faith, is all of our faith, and every one of us has a vital role to ensure that the searing vision of the risen Christ is taken out into this country. … I am confident that we can walk hand in hand, and return the risen Christ to his rightful place at the centre of this country, its conscience, and its culture.” Spence won a standing ovation.

In greeting the result the Archbishop of Canterbury said: “Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases, disagreeing. The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement.”

Read it all.

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

3 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic Church remains fully committed to its dialogue with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. For the Catholic Church, the goal of ecumenical dialogue continues to be full visible ecclesial communion.

Such full ecclesial communion embraces full communion in the episcopal office. The decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate therefore sadly places a further obstacle on the path to this unity between us. Nevertheless we are committed to continuing our ecumenical dialogue, seeking deeper mutual understanding and practical cooperation wherever possible.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby today joins over 20 British faith leaders calling for Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill not to be enacted.

In a joint statement ahead of the House of Lords debate on Friday, the faith leaders said that if passed the bill would have "a serious detrimental effect on the wellbeing of individuals and on the nature and shape of our society."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I yield to no one in my respect for Lord Carey and for the good things he has said and done, but I am simply amazed at his arguments (or lack of them) in support of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill for the terminally ill. Lord Carey says that he has changed his mind after encountering the cases of Tony Nicklinson and Paul Lamb, who had severe paralysis but were not terminally ill. In what way do these cases support a Bill specifically for those with a life expectancy of six months or less?

The majority of those who are terminally ill want what Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, calls “assisted living” rather than “assisted dying”. This is what the Christian-inspired hospice movement seeks to do, enabling those nearing the end of their lives to prepare for a peaceful and good death. The fact that good hospice care is based on a postcode lottery is what should shame us, rather than not having our own answer to Dignitas in Switzerland.

Instead of concocting expensive ways of getting rid of those at their most vulnerable, I strongly believe we should be making sure that good hospice care is evenly available across the length and breadth of the country.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 15, 2014 at 11:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The United States and other western nations have ignored the religious motivation of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and must understand the theological dynamics in Nigeria in order to curb terrorism in the western African country, the archbishop of Nigeria's Anglican Church told Baptist Press.

For a long time, "the United States did not come out to say anything about Boko Haram," Nicholas Okoh, primate of the Church of Nigeria, said in an interview. "They kept talking about economic problems, [saying] that Boko Haram is fighting because of economic problems. That is not true ... The United States deliberately ignored the fundamental issues of religious ideology."

Based in northeast Nigeria, Boko Haram has killed an estimated 10,000 people since 2002 with an escalation in murders recently. In April the group received wide media coverage for kidnapping 273 schoolgirls, 219 of whom remain missing and may be enslaved as wives of Muslim men. Loosely translated, the phrase Boko Haram means "Western education is sinful."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 15, 2014 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years with the ordination of women as priests. I am delighted with today's result. Today marks the start of a great adventure of seeking mutual flourishing while still, in some cases disagreeing.

"The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds. Very few institutions achieve this, but if we manage this we will be living our more fully the call of Jesus Christ to love one another. As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow.

"My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together.“

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchWomen

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2014 at 11:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted July 14, 2014 at 10:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“I am against Lord Falconer’s Bill because actually, it has got lots of holes in it and it is not really fit for purpose,” argued Dame Grey-Thompson, describing the Bill as “too vague”.

Speaking on internet station Fubar Radio, she added: “I am worried that there will be people, vulnerable people, who will think they have got no choice, who will be encouraged to choose assisted suicide when it is not really their choice.

“What we have to make laws for is to protect the vast majority of people in society and there are vulnerable people who just would not be protected and that is the biggest worry.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 14, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This takes me to the question of what does it mean to be alive. What constitutes quality of life and dignity when dying? These are big, important questions. I have come to realise that I do not want my life to be prolonged artificially. I think when you need machines to help you breathe, then you have to ask questions about the quality of life being experienced and about the way money is being spent. This may be hard for some people to consider.

But why is a life that is ending being prolonged? Why is money being spent in this way? It could be better spent on a mother giving birth to a baby, or an organ transplant needed by a young person. Money should be spent on those that are at the beginning or in full flow of their life. Of course, these are my personal opinions and not of my church.

What was done to Madiba (Nelson Mandela) was disgraceful. There was that occasion when Madiba was televised with political leaders, President Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. You could see Madiba was not fully there. He did not speak. He was not connecting. My friend was no longer himself. It was an affront to Madiba's dignity.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Anglican Church of Southern Africa* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth AfricaEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted July 14, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

You can listen to the debate on the Audio file here from from 1hr:19mins:40secs in until1hr:53mins:27secs in

[Note: Monday's debate on the womens bishops legislation has taken place and the legislation has been passed by Synod - see the Synod links post below for more]
Pete Spiers: Liverpool 147
...when it comes to Monday, let’s not forget that we have three choices as to how we should vote. We can vote for; we can vote against; or we can abstain. Contrary to perceived wisdom I would like to suggest that abstention is not a wasted vote. People who abstain are those who say ‘we recognise that this legislation if it were to fail would be catastrophic for the Church of England, we recognise that every single diocese and synod has voted in favour by a huge majority, but we can’t vote for it because in principle we can’t agree with it.’...abstention by those opposed would demonstrate their appreciation that all the discussions that had been held to bring this back so quickly were not in vain, and would also affirm the 5 guiding principles which respects everyone’s integrity and conscience and which I think have been unanimously welcomed....Abstention would I believe be the best way for opponents to signal that they and we are determined as a church to walk together into the new and exciting future that God has planned for us...

Mrs Susannah Leafe: Susie Leafe Truro Diocese 416: I’m not going to make a big speech. I’d just like to draw your attention to something that worries me. In all this talk about ‘Flourishing’ and now a demand that perhaps we should abstain rather than vote against, I would like to draw your attention to the figures in 3 dioceses: Norwich, Oxford and Guildford where there was just about the same number of people voting in favour this time as last time, but where the ‘No’ vote disappeared entirely. They didn’t move from a ‘No’ vote to a ‘Yes’ vote, or even to an abstention. They just appear to have disappeared.

If you want us to ‘Flourish’, please let us come to your diocesan synods and speak our mind. If you want us to flourish, please let us vote ‘No’ if that’s what our theological convictions make us need us to do. If you want us to flourish, please don’t make us disappear

Tim Allen, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich 393:
...It would be wonderful if those of us who previously voted ‘No’ could bring themselves to be generous enough to abstain, so that following the example of Suffolk, no one votes against. In that way the Church of England and the Synod can move on to more fruitful work than quarrelling about the role of women.

Revd Christopher Hobbes, London 153: Conservative evangelical Christians are asking for what was agreed when women vicars were introduced in the 1990’s – provision not to have female clergy over them in accordance with their understanding of the Bible. It was said then that the provision would continue for as long as necessary. If the Church of England is big enough to allow different types of robes, or not, different translations of the Bible, different liturgies, different songs, different accompaniments, why is it not big enough to allow to flourish even more, some in the church who hold what the majority of the Christian churches around the world hold: that God has ordained men to be bishops in the church? I personally am prepared to say women can be bishops, but I am not prepared to say that holding women cannot be bishops is unchristian. The legislation before us in my view is still unbalanced against conservatives. If there was any intention of letting conservative evangelicals flourish in the Church, surely we would have had a conservative evangelical appointed a bishop somewhere in the last 16 years, or even with 6 or 7 appointments this year [Madam Chair rings bell] – there are competent candidates in the Diocese of London, conservative evangelicals [Madam Chair interrupts notwithstanding the generosity given to the previous speaker]

Madam Chair: – excuse me I am going to interrupt you just for a moment and hope that you very quickly bring this speech to reference the report under consideration

Revd Christopher Hobbes: Yes – I was wondering whether I would abstain but I don’t think that signals enough that the legislation is unfair concerning the swearing of oaths, regarding the rights of individual clergy rather than whole PCCs, so in the end, with a heavy heart, I will not be voting for it.

Canon Sue Booys responding: ...Pete Spiers, thank you for your comments on voting. It is perhaps worth just commenting that there is a fourth alternative as it’s possible not to press the button. You can abstain by pressing the button, but you can fail to press the button and register your vote at all and that will have the same effect as an abstention...

Professor Richard Burridge on Point of Order: 452, Dean of King’s College: Could I invite the Chair of the Business Committee just to clarify, it may be that I misheard, but she said not pressing the button would have the same effect as registering your abstention. I understood the point to be there are 4 things you can do: press the button to say Yes; press the button to say No; press the button to have your abstention registered; and not to vote at all. Could that be clarified please because Sue said it would have the same effect?

Canon Sue Booys: I am advised, that if you do not press the button you do not formally record any kind of vote at all, and so for example your name will not appear on any lists but not pressing the button will have the same effect to the whole vote as abstaining.
[murmering]
...…
Madam Chair: Please bear with us for just one moment

Canon Sue Booys: I may, I may have worded that slightly poorly. The two thirds majority has nothing to do with either abstentions or votes not cast. I see nods. Is everyone happy with that response? Thank you.

Madam Chair: Good afternoon Synod. We now come to item 501. We come to the first item of business at this group of sessions relating to the draft legislation to allow women to be consecrated to the episcopate. It’s focus is the Report of the Business Committee on the reference of the draft legislation to the dioceses under Article 8 of the Synod’s Constitution.

Members will accordingly need that report which is GS1951. The form of the debate is very straightforward being a take note debate on the Report. I would remind members that they should confine their comments to matters addressed in the report under debate. I shall be ready to call them to order if they do not do so.

I now call on the Chair of the Business Committee, the Re. Canon Sue Booys to move Item 501. You may speak for up to 10 minutes.

Canon Sue Booys, Chair of the Business Committee, 175 Oxford - I beg to move ‘that the Synod do take note of this Report’ and I don’t think that I will be taking as much as 5 minutes of your time.

The Business Committee Report GS 1951 outlines the results of the Article 8 reference to the dioceses on the Draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and Draft Amending Canon No. 33. Our Debate on this report is the first step in what is potentially quite a complicated sequence at this Group of Sessions before we get to Monday, so as well as offering a few comments on the diocesan reference I’d like to say something about that sequence.

I want to begin by acknowledging the very large amount of work that this exercise has entailed for the dioceses. This is particularly due to the fact that Synod voted in February to shorten the reference period from the usual six months to three months in order to expedite this process. I realise that this put considerable pressure on diocesan synods to meet and to organise the votes. Nevertheless, all save the Diocese in Europe was able to do so by the deadline of midnight on the 22nd of May, albeit in Manchester’s case by only a few hours.

Given all these pressures, the Business Committee is hugely appreciative of the effort that was made by dioceses to turn this round in such a short period, and particularly to the staff of diocesan offices; to those who oversaw the circulation of the relevant material; to those who planned Synod timetables and agendas; and to those who contributed to debates in diocesan and deanery synods. This kind of exercise does not happen without considerable preparation and care.

Our debate today is not the moment for airing wider issues that will be more properly for other discussions over the next few days. I simply want to summarise briefly the information that is given in the report. First, it is notable, as the table in Annex A shows, that all 43 dioceses that voted did so in favour of the motion: the motion ‘That this Synod approve the proposals embodied in the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 33.’

Secondly, a total of 3,799 people voted and a 114 abstained. Of those who voted
91% voted in favour and 9% against. Not counting abstentions, the level of support was 96% amongst the bishops, 92% in diocesan houses of laity and 90% in diocesan houses of clergy. If you add in the number of abstentions the breakdown in the dioceses is as follows: 88% in favour across all three Houses, 9% against and 3% of members abstaining.

It is perhaps worth comparing this with the vote on the Article 8 reference on the previous Women in the Episcopate legislation on which my predecessor the Venerable Julian Henderson (now the Bishop of Blackburn) reported back to Synod in February 2012. On that occasion, 42 of the 44 dioceses voted in favour of the legislation and two against. Back then, looking at the individual numbers of votes, Julian noted that just over three quarters of diocesan synod members voted in favour and just under one-quarter did not. Well, it is for you to draw your own conclusion from that. The role of the Chair of the Business Committee is simply to try and facilitate an orderly process.

So in conclusion let me say a little bit about what happens next. Assuming that you are content to take note of our report, we shall move immediately to the final drafting stage when I shall hand over to the Bishop of Rochester as Chair of the Steering Committee. Given the nature of that report I doubt whether this will detain us for very long.

The business will then stand committed to the House of Bishops under Article 7. They are due to meet, lucky them, at breakfast time tomorrow and it is for them to decide whether the Measure and Amending Canon be submitted to the Synod, in the form they will take after Final Drafting and for final approval. At the same time they will deal with the Article 7 reference to the Act of Synod which Synod considered in February which proposes to rescind the 1993 Act of Synod

Immediately after that the Clerk to the Synod will consult the relevant officers of the House of Laity and the Convocations to see whether they are going to claim Article 7 references. If they do, as I have said in another place, those references will take place after lunch on Sunday. And if not, we have scheduled other business for that time.

Then, we come to Monday, when all being well we will come to the final approval debate to the legislation and, if the votes are in favour, the final approval of the Act of Synod.

For the avoidance of doubt I should make clear that it is only the draft measure that requires the two thirds majorities in each House. Sometimes amending canons also require that level of support but I am assured that on this occasion, it doesn’t.

And so I have pleasure in commending our report to the Synod and look forward to hearing any responses you may have.

Madam Chair. Synod, this item is now open for debate. I call on Mrs Margaret Condick, followed by Mrs Anneliese Barrell

Mrs Margaret Condick: Thank you Chair, Margaret Condick, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich 394 – And St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was the first diocese where no one voted against this legislation. We had a 100% majority. Along with 3 other dioceses on the 1st of March we began the process, a wonderful start. Since then as we all know other dioceses have voted either 100% or overwhelmingly giving a complete endorsement of this package. Our vote at diocesan synod reflected the views I hear at deanery synods and locally. People say things like: ‘When on earth are you going to get this done?’ ‘Why is it taking so long?’ ‘What’s the problem?’ It’s incomprehensible to most people.

Someone I know and respect from an evangelical church said to me after the November 2012 debate: ‘Oh that was rubbish what happened then.’ He and others, General Synod, are completely switched off, General Synod, by the whole process. That vote brought us into disrepute. The wider church and the whole country are beginning to treat us with contempt. We have not so far reflected the views back home. I have had, for instance, people saying to me: ‘Can our next Bishop be a woman?’ – Answer: ‘No, because even if we pass this now, the process won’t be finished before we in St Edmundsbury and Ipswich appoint. But others will have the chance. Please listen to the view expressed by your diocesan synod. Please, let’s not have to go back to the deaneries and apologise yet again. Let’s vote as our church members are asking us. Thank you.

Madam Chair: Anneliese Barrell followed by Canon Pete Spiers please.

Mrs Anneliese Barrell, Exeter 309: Members of Synod, I believe that the point at which we have all arrived is nothing short of a miracle. To achieve this miracle, we have to give very grateful thanks to both our Archbishops, David Porter, the Bishop of Rochester, the hard-working Steering Committee, and not forgetting those in our deaneries, our dioceses, and us here.

The vision of a united and trusting Synod seemed impossible to achieve in November 2012, but thanks to the foresight of our Archbishops and the advent of the Facilitated Discussion Groups, we now talk amicably to each other outside our defined groups. We’ve learned to trust each other, to talk to each other, not at each other. We listen, and try to understand, and to prayerfully value the views and beliefs of those with whom we differ.

And surprise, surprise [and this was echoed throughout the dioceses] many of us have found that there is much more that we agree about, than which we disagree about. We actually smile and speak to each other as we pass in the corridors of Church House, or on the campus here at York. What a difference, and how welcome.

This friendly atmosphere of trust was certainly evident in my own diocesan debate on this Article 8 business. The reference to the dioceses is always a final check on what is being decided at General Synod, and this time the green light shines even more brightly.

Despite having said that, I regret I cannot vote for in the final debate. If I do so, I will, with my fellow Catholics be denying our theological convictions and beliefs, and make a mockery of all we have been saying during the past years. The measure before us which we have, is not entirely acceptable to the Catholic Group. But what it represents is an exciting possibility – one that would engender a very harmonious and diverse Church of England, and we are extremely grateful for the comments made by the Archbishop of York and his clear recognition of our position – that is one of conviction.

But I do however promise, and so do my fellows, that we will do our very best as the measure is passed, to continue to work in close and prayerful cooperation with all God’s chosen ministers to promote His Kingdom. Thank you.

Madam Chair: Pete Spiers, followed by the lady right at the back – yes you madam.

Pete Spiers: Liverpool 147 – In Acts Chapter 15 we hear how when the early church faced difficulty and division, they held a council in Jerusalem. And as a result of that Council, they wrote a letter in which they used the following phrase: ‘It seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit.’ There was no hint of a two thirds or a simple majority there.

So what is the Holy Spirit saying to us about these voting figures in the dioceses? Some would say there is massive support for this current legislation. Others might say that it simply shows that there is biblical illiteracy alive and well in the Church of England, or that the Church of England is intent on furthering divisions in the Church. I hope no one would say that the current legislation has not been worked out carefully and conscientiously. You will know that I have often spoken about how adversarial Synod seems to be.

So when it comes to Monday, let’s not forget that we have three choices as to how we should vote. We can vote for; we can vote against; or we can abstain. Contrary to perceived wisdom I would like to suggest that abstention is not a wasted vote. People who abstain are those who say ‘we recognise that this legislation if it were to fail would be catastrophic for the Church of England, we recognise that every single diocese and synod has voted in favour by a huge majority, but we can’t vote for it because in principle we can’t agree with it.’

One of the things most often said by supporters of this legislation is why should we accommodate opponents when they will vote against anyway at the end of it? So abstention by those opposed would demonstrate their appreciation that all the discussions that had been held to bring this back so quickly were not in vain, and would also affirm the 5 guiding principles which respects everyone’s integrity and conscience and which I think have been unanimously welcomed.

It may be that there are those that think that there are enough people in favour for a two thirds majority to be achieved, in which case voting against is actually a wasted vote. It would be great if this legislation could be passed by as few against votes as possible. The people who read the letter from the Council of Jerusalem were glad for its encouraging message. So I hope and pray that by the end of Monday this Synod will be able to send out a similar message that will make people glad. Abstention would I believe be the best way for opponents to signal that they and we are determined as a church to walk together into the new and exciting future that God has planned for us.

Madam Chair: Susie Leaf followed by Tim Allen. Speech limit is still 5 minutes.

Mrs Susannah Leafe: Susie Leafe Truro Diocese 416: I’m not going to make a big speech. I’d just like to draw your attention to something that worries me. In all this talk about ‘Flourishing’ and now a demand that perhaps we should abstain rather than vote against, I would like to draw your attention to the figures in 3 dioceses: Norwich, Oxford and Guildford where there was just about the same number of people voting in favour this time as last time, but where the ‘No’ vote disappeared entirely. They didn’t move from a ‘No’ vote to a ‘Yes’ vote, or even to an abstention. They just appear to have disappeared.

If you want us to ‘Flourish’, please let us come to your diocesan synods and speak our mind. If you want us to flourish, please let us vote ‘No’ if that’s what our theological convictions make us need us to do. If you want us to flourish, please don’t make us disappear.

Madam Chair: Tim Allen, followed by Christopher Hobbs and then I would welcome a motion to test the mind of Synod on closure.

Tim Allen, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich 393: Madam Chair, like my friend Margaret Condick, I have a brief and clear message from Suffolk to the General Synod. According to the list on page 3 of the Business Committee Report, there were just 4 dioceses where there was no objection at all in diocesan synod to these proposals to allow women to be bishops. St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, that’s Suffolk was one of these. Our sole acting bishop [since both the diocesan and suffragan sees are sadly vacant] voted yes, 48 of the clergy voted yes, 62 of the laity voted yes, no one voted against and 3 people in all abstained.

There could not Madam Chair, be a clearer message from Suffolk to this Synod: for heaven’s sake give a resounding yes to the present package of allowing women into the episcopate, and giving generous protection for those at either extreme of the Church of England who find it difficult to accept them.

Historically, Suffolk has swung from one pole to the other in terms of churchmanship. In the Middle Ages, the county’s marked devotion to the church led to it being called Silly Suffolk, that is Holy Suffolk. During and after the Reformation, Suffolk became for a time violently Protestant – witness the iconoclasm led by William Dowsing which smashed so much of the architectural and artistic beauty created in the Medieval period.

Happily Suffolk is now calmer and really rather normal. In present day Suffolk manifestations to the spirit of Dowsing are rare and diluted; though I should say that as DAC Chair I sometimes catch a glimpse. Well the DBF chair would I think affirm that there is all too little residue of the generous devotion of our Medieval ancestors who sacrificially paid for so many wonderful parish churches. But being normal now, I think the reason Suffolk stands out as one of the only 4 dioceses where the diocesan synod registered no objection whatsoever, is probably because in Suffolk we have had extensive and happy experience of excellent women in leadership positions, headship positions I might say, within the Church. Our cathedral which celebrates its centenary this year flourishes under an inspiring female dean, Frances Ward. Our bishops have been well served by two female chaplains in succession. Though we no longer have a female archdeacon, nearly half of our rural deans are women, 7 out of 18 to be precise, and very many of our parish priests are women too.

Many of those who voted ‘Yes’ in the diocesan synod will be disappointed for the timing of our Crown Nomination Commission meetings in September and October will be tantalisingly just too early for Suffolk to secure a women diocesan in place of Bishop Nigel who was so prematurely plucked from among us to assist at Lambeth, and many will hope that his necessarily male successor as diocesan will commit himself to select one of the excellent senior women to be his suffragan as Bishop of Dunwich. But that depends, Madam Chair, on the General Synod accepting the clear signal from all the diocesan synods to give overwhelming final approval to the measure.

It would be wonderful if those of us who previously voted ‘No’ could bring themselves to be generous enough to abstain, so that following the example of Suffolk, no one votes against. In that way the Church of England and the Synod can move on to more fruitful work than quarrelling about the role of women. Thank you Chair.

Madam Chair: Christopher Hobbes

Revd Christopher Hobbes, London 153: Conservative evangelical Christians are asking for what was agreed when women vicars were introduced in the 1990’s – provision not to have female clergy over them in accordance with their understanding of the Bible. It was said then that the provision would continue for as long as necessary. If the Church of England is big enough to allow different types of robes, or not, different translations of the Bible, different liturgies, different songs, different accompaniments, why is it not big enough to allow to flourish even more, some in the church who hold what the majority of the Christian churches around the world hold: that God has ordained men to be bishops in the church? I personally am prepared to say women can be bishops, but I am not prepared to say that holding women cannot be bishops is unchristian. The legislation before us in my view is still unbalanced against conservatives. If there was any intention of letting conservative evangelicals flourish in the Church, surely we would have had a conservative evangelical appointed a bishop somewhere in the last 16 years, or even with 6 or 7 appointments this year [Madam Chair rings bell] – there are competent candidates in the Diocese of London, conservative evangelicals [Madam Chair interrupts notwithstanding the generosity given to the previous speaker]

Madam Chair: – excuse me I am going to interrupt you just for a moment and hope that you very quickly bring this speech to reference the report under consideration

Revd Christopher Hobbes: Yes – I was wondering whether I would abstain but I don’t think that signals enough that the legislation is unfair concerning the swearing of oaths, regarding the rights of individual clergy rather than whole PCCs, so in the end, with a heavy heart, I will not be voting for it.

Madam Chair: I see no one standing, and therefore I ask Canon Sue Booys to reply to the debate. You have up to 5 minutes.

Canon Sue Booys: Madam Chair I want to begin with an apology to Synod members. No one has picked me up on this but some of you may be aware, this is an apology that would be deemed very rare in my own house. I prepared too far in advance of this meeting, and you may have noticed that my speech actually contained an error, and so I will read to you the correction which appears on the Fifth Notice Paper with regard to the two thirds majority:

A two thirds majority in each house of the Synod is required for the final approval of both the draft Measure and the draft Amending Canon. It is the final approval of the draft Act of Synod that requires no special majority. As I say my husband would be highly amused at my preparing too far in advance.

There is a practical outworking of this in terms of Monday afternoon that it’s very important that you stay in the chamber for the entire outworking of the business.

Can I continue by responding to the debate to thank Margaret Condick, Anneliese Barrell and Tim Allen for their messages from their dioceses and reflection on those debates. Also Anneliese Barrell to share her thanks for all those who were involved in the conversations that have brought us to this point, everyone involved in the conversations as well of course as our Archbishops and David Porter.

Pete Spiers, thank you for your comments on voting. It is perhaps worth just commenting that there is a fourth alternative as it’s possible not to press the button. You can abstain by pressing the button, but you can fail to press the button and register your vote at all and that will have the same effect as an abstention.

Christopher Hobbes and Suzy Leafe, I don’t want anyone to disappear, but I did reflect as I listened, that I chaired the debate in the Oxford Diocese, and it was clear in our diocese that people who had voted no had not disappeared but they had changed their minds. So people are not being spirited away, there was a real change of mind and heart there. Nevertheless, its clear to me that we don’t want people to disappear. We hope you’ll stay, and we hope that everyone will be here on Monday to vote. Thank you very much indeed.

Madam Chair: Point of order – Professor Burridge

Professor Richard Burridge: 452, Dean of King’s College: Could I invite the Chair of the Business Committee just to clarify, it may be that I misheard, but she said not pressing the button would have the same effect as registering your abstention. I understood the point to be there are 4 things you can do: press the button to say Yes; press the button to say No; press the button to have your abstention registered; and not to vote at all. Could that be clarified please because Sue said it would have the same effect?

Madam Chair: I will just take advice Professor Burridge.
…..
The Chair of the Business Committee will clarify that point:

Canon Sue Booys: I am advised, that if you do not press the button you do not formally record any kind of vote at all, and so for example your name will not appear on any lists but not pressing the button will have the same effect to the whole vote as abstaining.
[murmering]

Madam Chair: Could you please direct your remarks through the Chair

Canon Sue Booys: I will just clarify absolutely

Madam Chair: Please bear with us for just one moment

Canon Sue Booys: I may, I may have worded that slightly poorly. The two thirds majority has nothing to do with either abstentions or votes not cast. I see nods. Is everyone happy with that response? Thank you.

Madam Chair: With that clarification I now put item 501 to the vote. All those in favour of Item 501 please show...thank you. Those against 501 please show…. Item 501 is clearly carried. Thank you.
[1:49:24]

Review of Legislation by Synod: Item 502
Madam Chair: We now move swiftly on to Item 502, the draft Amending Canon, No. 33. For the final drafting stage, members will need the draft Measure [GS 1925B] the draft Amending Canon [GS1926B] and the Steering Committee’s Report [GS 1925-6Z]

This is again a take note debate, this time on the Steering Committee’s Report. Members will see from the report that the Steering Committee is not proposing any amendments to the Measure and is only proposing drafting amendments to the Amending Canon. Those drafting amendments will not be moved, but will under Standing Order 59C be deemed to have been made if the take note motion is passed.

I again remind members that they should confine their comments to matters addressed in the Report of the Steering Committee and should not stray into wider matters.

I call on the Chair, the Bishop of Rochester to move Item 502. You may speak for up to 10 minutes.

Rt Revd James Langstaff, Rochester 34: Tempting as it might be to speak for 10 minutes I’m not going to speak for 10 minutes. I don’t necessarily make the same promise in regard to Monday. The main paper you need before you is really the Steering Committee’s Report which has already been referred to [GS1925-6Z] and not least the annex to that report on Page 3.

During some legislative processes this final drafting stage is an important opportunity for some necessary tidying up of the form in which the legislation is presented, and as has already been hinted at, some steering committees go beyond simple technical drafting changes to offer what are known as special amendments.

On this occasion your Steering Committee has been exceedingly restrained. We have no special amendments to bring to you and even the drafting amendments are not about words, but as you will see from the Annex to our Report, simply about some clarificatory renumbering of paragraphs. So it is simply about that sort of clarification – nothing I think which touches upon content or wording at all. I think therefore that our report speaks for itself and I need to detain the Synod no longer. I beg to move the Item at 502 ‘That the Synod do take note of this report.’

Madam Chair: this item is now open for debate. I see no one standing. I therefore put Item 502 to the vote. Those in favour of 502 please show…thank you. Those against please show….That Item 502 is clearly carried.

The motion having been passed, the drafting amendments referred to in the Steering Committee’s Report are deemed to have been made. That completes this item of business. Thank you

to [1:53:27]

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Posted July 14, 2014 at 4:47 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was hopeful that the Church of England's governing body would approve women bishops when it votes on the issue this week.

Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans, said the general public would find it "almost incomprehensible" should the General Synod fail to support the move on Monday.

The long-running debate pits reformers, keen to project a more modern and egalitarian image of the church as it struggles with falling congregations in many increasingly secular countries, against a minority of conservatives who see the change as contradicting the Bible.

Read it all.



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

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Posted July 14, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The General Synod is in session.
1 Chronicles 15:22 (ESV)
Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it.

1 Chronicles 15:27 (ESV)
David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod.

1 Chronicles 26:29 (ESV)
Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were appointed to external duties for Israel, as officers and judges.

CHENANIAH– literally “established by God”

Our Father in heaven,
Your Son told the woman at the well,
“True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

We cry out for true worshippers in the Church of England. We cry out for the General Synod to worship in spirit and in truth. We cry out for the General Synod to conduct its responsibilities in spirit and in truth. We cry out for the General Synod to vote in spirit and in truth.
Mantle the true worshippers in Your authority! We cry out for true worshippers to be established by God as officers and judges. We cry out for the Church of England to be established by God, established in God, established for God.
We pray this in the name of Your Son Jesus, who is the Truth. Amen.

Read it all

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Posted July 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of England (CofE) has called for an inquiry into assisted dying.

It follows a U-turn by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who said he would back legislation to allow the terminally ill in England and Wales get help to end their lives.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says the Assisted Dying Bill is "mistaken and dangerous".

But the Church said an inquiry would include expert opinion and carefully assess the arguments.

Read it all.

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Posted July 13, 2014 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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