Posted by The_Elves

Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude reports on his conversations with David Porter - from 'A Conversation with Colin Coward 18th April 2015' at St Brides, Liverpool
OK, so that’s what we are stuck with, the Shared Conversations. And I have been arguing amongst the LGBTI Anglican coalition, that we should not simply tolerate what we are being offered, which effectively is a two year delay.

I know from the conversations that we had with David Porter at Lambeth Palace that there is, for him at least, a clear intention that there will be a proper, motioned, discussion at General Synod in February 2017, with the intention of legislating for some kind of change in Church of England practice towards LGBTI people. But it’s going to be what they think they can get away with without upsetting the conservatives too much. So my guess is that it is going to be approval for the blessing of relationships in church, it certainly won’t be for recognising marriage. It certainly will not be for changing the quadruple lock and moving towards allowing equal marriages to take place in Church of England buildings.

Listen to it all below - quote is from 11 mins 20 seconds in.

The previous report from January 23rd, 2015 on a meeting with David Porter is here



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

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Posted July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The next likely flashpoint for the Synod currently being elected will be over same-sex marriage and sexuality, once the shared conversations currently being rolled out throughout the dioceses are completed.

Bishop-designate Hardman said that she was hopeful that the Church would learn from the bruising debates over women bishops when it came to discuss sexuality. “I hope we will all reflect on that and take forward the positive things that have happened in understanding ways in which we are going to remain together as a Church, albeit with divergent views.”

She would not be drawn on her own views, saying only that on her first day in her new job she was focusing on “excitement for all that I hope for in this diocese”. Speaking from a C of E academy in Newcastle where the press conference which announced her as the next Bishop of Newcastle was held, she explained that among her priorities as bishop would be education.

Read it all.

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

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Posted September 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Venerable Christine Elizabeth Hardman, aged 64, holds a B.Sc (Econ) from the University of London and trained for ordination on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme. She later studied for a Master’s degree in Applied Theology from Westminster College, Oxford. She became a Deaconess in 1984 and was ordained Deacon in 1987, serving as Curate at St John the Baptist, Markyate Street in the Diocese of St Albans. She took up the role of Tutor and Course Director on the St Albans Ministerial Training Scheme from 1988-1996. During this period the Scheme merged with the Oxford Ministry Course and she became its Director of Mission Studies.

Christine was ordained Priest in 1994 and became Vicar of Holy Trinity and Christ the King, Stevenage in 1996 and also Rural Dean of Stevenage in 1999. She served as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich from 2001 to 2012.

In 2012 Christine became Assistant Priest at Southwark Cathedral and received the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of St Albans where she has been acting Warden of Readers.

Read it all.

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

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Posted September 2, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wycliffe Hall, Oxford has today received a vote of confidence in 13 out of 16 criteria including its governance, management, constitution and organisation as part of a periodic external review (PER) report on published today. Additional categories for endorsement include its teaching and learning; its worship and training in public life; its ministerial, personal and spiritual formation; and its aims, objectives and evaluation of the institution.

At the time of the review, Wycliffe Hall had 50 Church of England ordinands engaged in training. Another 81 students are members of the Hall, comprising a mix of independent part-time students, independent undergraduates and postgraduates.

Revd Dr Simon Vibert, Acting Principal of Wycliffe Hall commented, "Wycliffe welcomes the very positive report from the review team and looks forward to continuing to improve the formation and training offered at the Hall."

Read it all and follow the link.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

1 Comments
Posted September 1, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England Pensions Board ("the Board") today announced that it has issued £100 million of bonds, giving it access to long-term finance to purchase additional retirement properties, which will secure the future of clergy housing in retirement.

The bonds are repayable in tranches between 2038 and 2048 and were issued through a special purpose vehicle, CHARM Finance plc. £70 million of the bonds were placed immediately, and the remaining £30 million retained to provide quick access to the capital markets if required in the future.

Read it all

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

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Posted August 31, 2015 at 12:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England, with the exception of a high profile, now retired, Archbishop (and friend) and without doubt some of our Church members and clergy, has been resolutely against a change in the law.

Of course, this leaves those of us who don’t want PAS open to the criticism that we don’t care about those in great distress in the hour of death. As a former hospice chaplain, I refute this. In fact the Christian Church has a long and noble history of seeking to assist people to die well without killing them.

Palliative care options may be inconsistent across the country, but a huge amount of know how has been, and is being learnt about effective pain control. The Church’s position is not that ‘pain is a noble thing.’ We need more palliative care provision rather than handing out the right in law to take life.

Read it all

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

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Posted August 19, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

On Sept. 11 the House of Commons will vote on a bill to allow people with terminal illnesses to take their own lives with the assistance of doctors. If the bill passes in this second reading stage of the Parliamentary process, little will stand in the way of its becoming law.

The bill would allow euthanasia for mentally competent adults who are deemed to have less than six months to live. They would need the consent of a high-court judge and two doctors.
......
Church of England representatives have released statements opposing the bill. One of the clearest voices is Care Not Killing, comprising Roman Catholic, evangelical Protestant, and disability networks.

“The reality is that Britain’s law on assisted suicide is clear and right and is working well,” said Dr. Peter Saunders, campaign director of Care Not Killing.

The waters have been muddied somewhat by the Most Rev. George L. Carey, the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, supporting the bill.
.....
Supporting him are faith leaders including ... the Rt. Rev. Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham...

Read it all

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

1 Comments
Posted August 19, 2015 at 5:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeremy Timm, a Reader, has described the “tears and soul-searching” that he endured before deciding to convert his civil partnership to marriage, knowing that this would result in the loss of his permission to officiate (PTO).

Mr Timm, a Reader in the Howden Team Ministry in Hull, was told by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, last month, that his PTO would be revoked if he pursued his intention to convert his partnership with Mike Brown.

Writing on the website of Changing Attitude, Mr Timm described being “placed in an impossible situation by the Church of England . . . faced with choosing between marriage or ministry”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted August 14, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Daily Express and the Sun both carried critical front pages of the BBC programme’s decision to film in the church, which they claimed was a waste of licence fee money and a highly politicised gesture.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, made it clear in a tweet that he fully supported the programme, as well as retweeting a positive piece from the influential Anglican blog, Archbishop Cranmer.

“What do they think the church is for? It is for the poor and the vulnerable, it is to voice things that others cannot voice,” [Bishop] Baines told the Guardian. “Everyone else seems to be allowed to be political apart from the church.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsImmigrationPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted August 13, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardshipYouth Ministry* Culture-WatchChildren* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted August 12, 2015 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sheffield Money will vet companies offering loans of up to £7,500, credit for white goods, savings and bank accounts and provide independent money and debt advice.
It is backed by the Church of England, which is setting up its own credit union, business leaders and companies such as Frees, which offers basic bank accounts to people with poor credit history.
Rev Peter Bradley, dean of Sheffield cathedral and chairman of Sheffield Money, said: “Sheffield Money is a bold and innovative solution to the problem of high-cost credit in our city.
“More people are struggling to make ends meet and for many, trapped in a cycle of borrowing more to cover extortionate loan repayments, this becomes a living nightmare.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPersonal FinanceThe Banking System/Sector* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted August 11, 2015 at 5:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Church of England lay preacher has disclosed that he is preparing to be expelled from ministry to marry his male partner.

Jeremy Timm said he had been forced to “choose between marriage or ministry” by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, but is ready to be stripped of his position in the Church in order to tie the knot.
Mr Timm and his partner, Mike, who live near Howden, East Yorkshire, have been in a civil partnership for six years but are planning to convert it to marriage in September, in open defiance of a ban on same-sex weddings in the Church of England.

The 59-year-old licensed reader, who leads services in six churches around Howden, was faced with the stark choice during a in a face-to-face meeting with Dr Sentamu last month at which he discussed his plans.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted August 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The latest publication from the Church of England brings an ancient tradition of following the Psalms to mobile devices and e-readers.

Adding to the popular 'Reflections' series, Reflections on the Psalms is a standalone book, ebook and mobile app written for anyone wishing to follow the ancient practice of the Psalter, reading the Psalms of the Bible each morning and evening. The mobile app is available to buy on the iOS App Store, with an Android version coming soon.

Produced by Church House Publishing, the new publication provides short meditations on each of the Psalms written by Bishops, well-known writers, experienced ministers, biblical scholars and theologians. The book also contains an introduction to the Psalms by theologian Paula Gooder, and a guide to the Psalms in the life of the Church by the Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft. With the mobile app, users can save their favourite Psalms and share them via social media.

Read it all and follow the links.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureScience & Technology* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted August 11, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Vaughan Roberts Interview - Moore College Mission & Ministry Hour - August 3, 2015 from Moore College on Vimeo

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

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Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”

--quoted by yours truly in Sunday school this morning

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryAdult Education* TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted August 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was clear that all four denominations were declining, but that in Wales, Scotland and the USA the Anglican churches were declining much faster than the Church of England. Both the C in W and the SEC had potential extinction dates about 2040, with ECUSA possibly lasting 10-15 years longer. Indeed, although the Church of England is declining, it is only on the margins of extinction if the current pattern remains, thus unlikely to face extinction this century.

Rather than just repeat the standard reasons given for church decline, in the light of the contrasts in decline patterns, I would rather look at a different question: What does the Church of England have, that the other three denominations do not, that may have helped reduce the effects of numerical decline?

Here are some suggestions, not exhaustive, and some may be a bit controversial....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaChurch of England (CoE)Church of WalesEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry

0 Comments
Posted August 9, 2015 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church, once a key institution in the English-speaking world, has suffered decline for over half a century. Although in both the UK and North America there are many examples of growing and lively Anglican churches, as national denominations the trend is downwards. This decline is in marked contrast to continued Anglican growth in Africa and other parts of the world. There the church is healthy. In the West it is sick. The question is – is the Anglican sickness unto death?

In this blog I explore the different patterns of Anglican decline through four denominations: the Church of England (C of E), the Church in Wales (C in W), the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), and the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA). The study is not perfect, nor is the data, but I hope it inspires debate and other studies. A subsequent blog will suggest possible reasons for their differences in decline.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Church of WalesScottish Episcopal ChurchEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Theology

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Posted August 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A century earlier two great mission thinkers, Henry Venn of the Church Mission Society (CMS) and Rufus Anderson of the (Congregational) American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, had spelt out a vision around which this development would take shape. A mature church, they said, should be self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting.

The Rt Rev Graham Kings, who takes up a newly created seven-year post, mission theologian in the Anglican Communion, believes a fourth element is needed to make the Anderson-Venn vision complete: self-theologising. This fourth self, he says, now needs to come to the fore, especially the largely unrecognised work of Anglican theologians from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. “It is these theological voices which need to be heard more clearly throughout the Anglican Communion,” he says.

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

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

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Alternative chrism masses for those who cannot accept women bishops are a consequence rather than a cause of division in the Church, and do not breach the principles in the House of Bishops’ Declaration on women bishops, an independent review has concluded.

The adjudication by Sir Philip Mawer, who was appointed by the Archbishops to consider grievances from those who are concerned that the principles are not being adhered to, was published last Friday. It followed a letter to him from Hilary Cotton, who chairs Women and the Church (WATCH), in April.

She argued that there was “no sacramental need” for the masses, which are presided over by bishops of the Society under the patronage of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, since chrism masses were already held in each diocese. Alternative masses were “a cause of much pain to clergy women and their supportive male colleagues, and an expression of division within the dioceses”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

3 Comments
Posted August 7, 2015 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The delivery of new training programmes for senior leaders in the Church of England is already bearing fruit, according to the senior bishop overseeing the programme.

Writing in the first of a series of blogs reflecting on Leadership and Development training, Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, who chairs the Development and Appointments Group of the House of Bishops, said that feedback from those having attended the courses "has been extremely positive and we feel blessed for the fruits it is already bearing."

The first leadership programme for cathedral deans and leaders of greater churches held in March at Judge Business School in Cambridge, included remarks by one participant who observed that it had been "by a country mile, the most impressive course I have under taken in over 30 years of ordained ministry". Another said, "Overall this has been an outstanding week, both in content and shape. Of course, there has been much value in conversations, etc., but the stand-out feature has been the sessions, with speakers of very high quality, genuinely addressing core issues for this very specific audience".

Read it all.




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

0 Comments
Posted August 6, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ministers will challenge the Church of England to support the biggest shake up of Sunday trading laws in a generation to help boost high streets and cut shopping bills for every household in Britain.
Under plans unveiled in a consultation today, local authorities will be given the power to prevent large supermarkets from opening longer in an attempt to revive Britain's high streets.
The Government will encourage councils to use the new powers to help town centre stores at the expense of larger out-of-town shops.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted August 5, 2015 at 12:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St Thomas Aquinas considers the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in his treatise on Christology in Part III of the Summa Theoiogica, Q53. In the First Article of Q53, he asks Whether it was necessary for Christ to rise again? Thomas quotes St Luke 24.46 (`Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'), and offers five reasons why this is so. I summarize them below: they make a sound basis for a series of Easter sermons from Low Sunday to the Sunday before Ascension Day, inclusive. Note how closely St Thomas roots all his reasoning in Scripture.

First, the Resurrection of Christ attests to the Justice of God. God exalts those who humble themselves for his sake (see Luke 1.52). Christ has humbled himself on the Cross, out of love for God, and obedience to him; therefore, God has lifted him up to a glorious Resurrection.

Second, the Resurrection of Christ instructs us and confirms us in our faith. The Resurrection proves Christ's divinity (2 Corinthians 13.4) and it establishes the sure ground for our belief in him (1 Corinthians 15.14; Psalm 29.10).

Third, the Resurrection of Christ is the grounds for our hope, for where Christ our Head has gone, we too hope to follow (1 Corinthians 15.12; Job 19.25, 27.)

Read it all.


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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Early in the prayer, we are reminded that what we are coming to is a meal. We are invited as guests to a table where God is the generous host, not an altar where we make an offering to appease God’s wrath. The rubric refers to the piece of furniture as ‘the Lord’s Table’ or, in earlier versions, ‘Gods borde’. We shall explore below what it is that we receive at this meal.

This prayer creates in us an attitude of humility, helplessness, and dependency on God. We do not deserve to be here. We have no suitable garment of our own to wear to the feast. The contrast is repeatedly drawn between what we do not have and what God does, between what we are not and what God is: ‘not… trusting in our… but in thy… We are not… But thou art…’ Cranmer alludes to our Lord’s encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman, who says, “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7.28). This allusion is double-edged, for it expresses both great humility and great faith, as seen by our Lord’s commendation of the woman in the gospel accounts.

The Prayer of Humble Access has the same dynamic. It does not leave us in a state of hopelessness and despair. Although ‘we do not presume to come… trusting in our own righteousness’, God’s many, varied (‘manifold’) and great mercies combined with his unchanging essence (‘the same Lord’) mean that we do presume to come. Praying this prayer is an enactment of the gospel of God’s grace.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common PrayerSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySacramental TheologyEucharistSoteriology

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Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Should a “transgender” person be allowed a ceremony of “re-baptism” at their local church? That is what a parishioner requested from the Rev Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster.

“I said we don’t do that, but we did offer him, and then carry out, a service,” Mr Newlands told the Lancaster Guardian. “He was originally baptised as a baby girl, and to him it was about God knowing him by name.”

Mr Newlands mobilised his Deanery and put a motion on the House of Bishops’ agenda for the General Synod of the Church of England: “That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”

That was earlier this year, but such services are already being performed.

Read it all from Christopher Howse at the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPastoral Care* Culture-WatchPsychologySexuality* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySacramental TheologyBaptism

2 Comments
Posted August 3, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

One of our archdeacons said that: ‘An empty church is like the empty palace of a long-forgotten king and people walk past and say, “The king is dead.”’ That’s why when, for example, St Peter’s, Brighton, which was known as the unofficial cathedral of Brighton, was going to close, we said: ‘Please don’t close it. Please allow us to go there.’ And thankfully the Bishop of Chichester invited us to send a team there.

What is it that allows these church plants to fly?

I think a lot of people are unchurched, but there are also a lot of people who are ‘de-churched’. They’ve got a faith of some kind, but they’re looking for a church where they feel at home...There are quite a few people who like to have a relaxed, informal style. They like contemporary worship, a message that hopefully is practical for their life, and somewhere they can receive prayer and community. And it seems that those people are coming back to church.

Read it all

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

3 Comments
Posted July 31, 2015 at 11:23 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

On learning of the death of Owen Chadwick, I was moved to tears. Immediately, I jotted down how much we were in his debt as a friend of scholars, mentor to many, pithy and witty writer, faithful priest, brilliant preacher, diligent professor, supervisor and administrator, with a vast hinterland of history and culture.

He was Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge for 27 years from 1956. When I read New Testament studies as a postgraduate there in 1979-1980, he gave me a small, inspiring grant to study the Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformed churches in Yugoslavia during the summer vacation.

I begin by considering his obituaries and his writing of history, and then will remember his own words on secularization and on the role of friendship in scholarship

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted July 31, 2015 at 11:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Introduction
Finance Statistics 2013 contains information provided by parishes in their annual finance returns.

In the autumn of 2008 the recession hit the economy. For the charitable sector as a whole there was a noticeable decline in income [1]. Parishes were protected during 2009-13 by the dedicated giving of donors, and donor income has increased at the same rate since 2007. However, the increase in donations has not matched the rate of inflation (Tables 3 and 4).

Financial Overview
The past ten years saw income exceed expenditure every year until 2008, with a maximum surplus of £60 million in 2007. This was followed by three years where expenditure was greater than income, with a maximum deficit of £21 million in 2010. Parishes have responded well in curtailing expenditure, with the result that in 2013 there was a surplus of £33 million (Table 1).

Read it all [pdf] and the ever optimistic blurb from the CofE Press Office is here and here [pdf]. CofE Statistics for Mission in 2013 may be found here [pdf]

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

0 Comments
Posted July 31, 2015 at 8:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Rev Archie Coates, vicar of St Peter’s, Brighton, describes how a team from HTB rescued the city’s ‘unofficial cathedral’ in 2005. They now welcome over 1000 people into the church for weekend worship services.

'St Peter’s is one of Brighton’s iconic buildings, so when it was due to close there was a huge public outcry and 6,500 people signed the petition to keep it open.

The building is incredible, but it’s also a nightmare because it’s crumbling. I remember giving sermons wearing hard hats. We didn’t have any heating for four winters, so people used to come to church in a hat carrying a hot-water bottle.

I think this is a visual aid for the wider work. The local churches all said that when the building looks like it’s closed and dying on its feet, that sends out the message to Brighton that that’s what God is like as well. But equally if you could do the opposite – open it up, fix it up – then that would send out the message: ‘Wow, the Church is alive and God is on the move.’

When we began, we were about 30, including children: our family and about three other families. If you’re going to attract other people to come, there needs to be a certain group for them to come into, and it’s quite hard to do that with less than 30.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted July 30, 2015 at 8:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Kings said he aims to serve rising theologians, including some in the Global South whom God might use as the Augustines of their time, much like the great fifth-century bishop and theologian, Augustine of Hippo.

On a 100-degree day in Salt Lake City, the crowd of 75 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center got a taste of what a new network of theologians might produce.
.........................
Beyond making peace with persecutors, the Church also has a God-given mission to stand with those who suffer the brunt of unjust systems, both economic and political, said the Most Rev. Francisco De Assis da Silva, Primate of Brazil.

“The charisma is to be beside, aside, or on the side of the people who are suffering too much from unjust structures in politics and in economics,” Archbishop da Silva said. He said a theology of liberation has weakened over time in Latin America as a more conservative, confessional theology gained traction in recent decades. But the time is right for another shift in theological discourse, in his view.

“We have a unique opportunity to change from a confessional position to a more engaged, a more incarnational, theological reflection,” da Silva said.

For his part, Kings said the Anglican Communion’s calling “is to be Catholic, evangelical, and ecumenical.” In practice, that involves the disciplines of meeting together as Anglicans. It also involves remembering how the Church, like the Trinity, is inherently interconnected.

Bishop Kings quoted from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s foreword to Living Reconciliation: “I am eager to encourage each of us to take full account of the way in which decisions of one province echo around the world. The impact of their echoes is something to which we must listen in the course of our decision-making, if we are not to narrow our horizons and reject the breadth of our global family.”

Read it all

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

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Posted July 30, 2015 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A vicar who went on the run to Germany just before he was convicted of stealing thousands of pounds has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Simon Reynolds, 50, took more than £16,500 handed over to All Saints Church in Darton, Barnsley, for weddings, funerals and churchyard memorials.

Reynolds left Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday lunchtime after the jury went out to consider its verdicts on four counts of theft against him.

He never returned and a Europe-wide search began, with police involving Interpol and senior clergy appealing for the vicar to come back.

Alasdair Cambell, defending, told the judge that his client first went to his Sheffield hotel before travelling to Manchester Airport.

The barrister said Reynolds then meant to go Dublin but, in a state of stress, booked a flight to Dusseldorf instead, where he stayed with a friend.

Mr Campbell said this friend drove him back to his home in Farnham in Surrey, and the defendant then made his way to meet police in Sheffield.

Read it all

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

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Posted July 29, 2015 at 9:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

By Lucinda Borkett-Jones Christian Today Features Editor Published 23 March 2015
A Christian street preacher was today found guilty of using "threatening" language by quoting the Bible when speaking about homosexuality on the streets of Taunton in June last year.

Former paratrooper Mike Overd was convicted under section 5 of the Public Order Act, which concerns causing harassment, alarm or distress by using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

The judge at Bristol Crown Court told him that he should not have used the particular verse in the Bible – Leviticus 20:13 – because it uses the word "abomination". The judge suggested that there were other verses he could have chosen if he wanted to talk about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Libby Towell, spokesperson for the Christian Legal Centre, who represented Overd, said: "The judge is effectively censoring the Bible and saying that certain verses aren't fit for public consumption."

Overd was given a fine of £200, and told to pay £1,200 in costs and compensation. This included a sum for the emotional harm caused to the homosexual man, who is also a Christian, to whom he was speaking when he quoted Leviticus.

Read it all

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

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Posted July 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

A Church of England rector who went on the run as he was convicted of pocketing thousands of pounds of fees from funerals and weddings is now feared to have skipped the country, police have revealed.

Interpol is now assisting in the search for the Rev Simon Reynolds, the Rector of Farnham in Surrey amid signs that he has made his way to continental Europe.

South Yorkshire Police made the disclosure as the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, made a personal plea to the cleric to hand himself in, amid fears for his safety.

“Never forget we are praying for you,” the bishop, who has known Mr Reynold for several years, told him.

The 49-year-old, who previously helped oversee music and worship at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, walked out of Sheffield Crown Court - where he was on trial for theft from his former Yorkshire parish - during the lunch break on Thursday and did not return.

Read it all

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

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Posted July 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The latest attempt to change the law on assisted dying, which is to be debated by MPs in a Second Reading in September, has faced opposition from critics from the Church of England and elsewhere.

The Private Member’s Bill, if passed, would enable terminally ill adults who are “voluntary, clear, settled, and informed” to end their life with medically supervised assistance.

In a blog post, “Caring for the vulnerable in a compassionate society”, published on the Church of England website on Wednesday, the Revd Dr Brendan McCarthy, the Church’s national adviser on medical ethics, said that the Assisted Dying Bill “has the potential to damage both the well-being of individuals and the nature and shape of our society”.

“Every person’s life is of immeasurable value and ought to be affirmed, respected and cherished by society . . . even when some people no longer view their own lives as being of any further value. . .

Read it all

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

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Posted July 24, 2015 at 3:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

We have just published a collection of experiences from across the Diocese.

This publication, Buildings on Sure Foundations, tells stories of how buildings that lay locked and empty have been reopened through a commitment of time, money and energy from those who longed to see them filled by new worshipping communities.

It also records simple things: an open door, a new way of using a space, a new welcome to the community.

“I was glad when they said to me, ‘let us go to the house of the Lord!'”
Psalm 122:1


We hope to recount all these in more detail through Capital Vision 2020: the tale of one hundred new and renewed worshipping communities, and church buildings opened up to the communities around them; stories of possibilities in new and old places.

London’s churches are as varied and colourful as London’s communities. They are places where different strands come together, both temporal and eternal: places of quiet and prayer in a busy city; places of history and beauty; places of celebration and mourning; places of splendid ceremony and ministering to the poor.

Churches are also places where international visitors of all faiths and none can connect with God.

They are buildings on sure foundations, built with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.

Read it all and you can read Buildings on Sure Foundations [pdf]

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

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Posted July 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

There is evidence that some conservative and open evangelicals are finding common ground in engaging with church and culture around issues of sexuality.
..Gerald Bray, author of many books and visiting Professor at an American University, writes in the journal Churchman, of which he is Editor: “so warped has discussion of homosexuality become that speaking…truth has become risky”. Bray speaks of “the Lie” of “the gay agenda” which stifles free speech and creates fear – he gives Dolce and Gabbana and Ashers Bakery as examples. Bray says that “the Lie is at work again” in the Pilling Report and the setting up of the Shared Conversations:
“at the heart of the Lie is the assertion that the unbridgeable chasm between those who advocate same sex marriage and those opposed to it can be overcome by a supposedly common dedication to ‘mission’…the Christian church has to surrender to the world in order to reach it, which is exactly the opposite of what the New Testament teaches us.”
Bray concludes soberly: “will we accept public ridicule because we are standing up for truth? Are we so afraid of disestablishment that we will compromise the Gospel in order to preserve our increasingly imaginary secular privileges?”
........................
Reform have issued robust Statements expressing dismay at the Gay Pride march at York Minster and the decision of TEC to prepare for celebrating same sex marriages in its liturgies.

One might expect conservative evangelicals to say this kind of thing but in fact in many circles there has been a reluctance to address these issues publicly. So it is encouraging to see evidence of a move away from the pietism which holds that issues of sex are an internal, pastoral matter, that Christians should not seek a return to “Christendom” which is implied by any critique of the culture, and that all attempts at mission must be preceded by grovelling apologies for “homophobia”.

Within the more “centrist” sections of evangelical Anglicanism there seems to be increasing frustration with revisionism, and the failure of orthodox Bishops to publicly hold the line on orthodox doctrine and ethics...

Read it all

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

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Posted July 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

‘From my seventh till my twelfth year I sang in the church choir. I knew God existed, but I had no idea you could have a personal relationship with him. After high school I had a gap year in the army: I was miles away from God there. Then I went to Oxford to read law and I got to know some committed Christians. I started reading the gospels again and the Jesus I met in the gospels matched the Jesus I saw in the lives of those Christians.

Someone asked me along to an outreach service and there, on Sunday evening January 20th, 1974, I committed my life to the Lord. On Wednesday after that I met my future wife, and on Friday I attended a missionary prayer group of Operation Mobilisation. That was not just your average week!

In April, Alison and I started going out. At her parents’ house, I encountered books, music and arts, which I had not grown up with. A whole world opened itself up for me to do with faith and culture. I thought: do I really want to be a lawyer? I went for theology. My Dad was furious. After two weeks, he gave up his resistance and said: “Give me something to read then.’’ I gave him the New Testament in the Good News version. He went away with my Mum for a week and read the whole thing. My mother, who had chronic colitis, had been healed by prayer shortly beforehand in a Charismatic Church, nearby. And my Dad saw me change. Through all these ways God was speaking to him. In November he came to church and when the vicar made the altar call, he went up to give himself to Jesus. A week later my sister did the same. So God drew the whole family to himself in one year.’

Read it all from here originally and and there is a translation into Spanish here

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

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Posted July 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The vicar who is the star of a reality television show in which couples are married as soon as they meet has been criticised for allowing his clerical collar to give respectability to a “seedy” experiment.

The Rev Nick Devenish is one of five experts who selected six strangers to tie the knot in the Channel 4 show Married at First Sight.

The team vicar at the Church of St Mary & St Michael in Cartmel, Cumbria, analysed the participants’ understanding of marriage, what they wanted from their union and how well they understood the seriousness and commitment required. He was part of a panel of experts alongside a sex therapist, a psychologist and two anthropologists.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, accused the show of “inappropriate and rather seedy behaviour” and has said that a Church of England vicar should not have been involved.

Read it all.

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

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Posted July 21, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...Dodgson’s writing bears subtle witness to the wonders of both creation and its creator in ways that deserve more attention. He was a committed, lifelong member of the Church of England. Although he balked at taking Holy Orders, he was ordained as a deacon in the church in 1861.

While his doctrinal views parted ways with those of his high church ancestors (his great-grandfather had been a bishop and his father a clergyman), Dodgson shied from the religious controversies plaguing the church at the time, remaining essentially what would have been considered orthodox.

“Most assuredly I accept to the full the doctrines you refer to — that Christ died to save us, that we have no other way of salvation open to us but through His death, and that it is by faith in Him, and through no merit of ours, that we are reconciled to God,” Dodgson wrote in a letter to a friend in 1897, “and most assuredly I can cordially say, ‘I owe all to Him who loved me, and died on the Cross of Calvary.'”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchBooksChildrenHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

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Posted July 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The religious historian Owen Chadwick, who has died aged 99, was one of the most remarkable men of letters of the 20th century. He held two Cambridge University chairs over a period of 25 years, was its vice-chancellor during the student unrest of the late 1960s, chaired a commission that transformed the structures of the Church of England, and declined major bishoprics.

His range of publication was exceptional: he was a master of the large canvas – The Secularisation of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century (1976) or The Popes and European Revolution (1981); of the full-scale biography such as those of Hensley Henson (1983), the stormy petrel of church politics, and of Michael Ramsey (1990); and of the cameo, as in Victorian Miniature (1960), his study of the fraught relationship between a 19th-century squire and parson, drawing on the papers of each, or as in Mackenzie’s Grave (1959), his wonderful story of the bishop sent to lead a mission up the Zambesi and whose disappearance brought out the best and the worst in Victorian Christianity and public life.

In addition to his one textbook – The Pelican History of the Church: The Reformation (1964), the first book on many reading lists for a quarter of a century – he produced several books for a wider readership, including A History of Christianity (1995) and a short biography of John Henry Newman (1983), but few articles or reviews.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBooksEducationYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A church which put out an urgent appeal for financial help has been saved.

Grade II listed St John's church in Bemerton, near Salisbury, closed in 2010 when the heating broke and there was no money to fix it.

The building was declared redundant by the Church of England but supporters have raised more than £500,000 to turn it into a community centre.

Read it all.


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

2 Comments
Posted July 20, 2015 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of London commented:
“The Studd brothers were great servants of two of this country’s most historic institutions: the Church; and the game of cricket. May their memory inspire England as they take on Australia this week at Lord’s.

“The proud tradition of the Church and cricket together continues to this day. Once again, I’m delighted that the Diocese of London’s team continues to fly the flag and has reached the final of the Church Times Cricket Cup.”
The Studd Brothers were from a large cricketing and evangelical family. All three captained Cambridge University, played for Middlesex and one, CT, played for England in the test match giving rise to the Ashes. CT was in the losing Engish side in the 1882 Oval match which prompted the Sporting Times mock obituary, ‘The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia’. CT and GB were both members of the touring side which recovered the Ashes in the winter of 1882-1883 during which the England captain was presented with the famous urn.

CT went out to China on missionary work and remained there between 1885 and 1895. Invalided home, he did missionary work in England and America. He then went as a missionary to the Belgian Congo. Wisden records that ‘despite numerous illnesses and many hardships, devoted the remainder of his life to missionary work there.’ In the Congo, he built a church whose aisle measured 22 yards from end to end.

Read it all.

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

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Posted July 17, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churchgoers are being encouraged to contact their MPs to highlight the risks involved in proposed legislation to legalise assisted suicide.

James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, has asked that parishioners either make an appointment to see their MP or write them a letter expressing their concerns about a Private Member's Bill to be debated in the House of Commons on Friday September 11.

The Bill is expected to seek to grant physician assisted suicide for mentally competent, terminally ill adults, who have six months or less to live.

Bishop James, the Church of England's lead bishop on health care, said the proposed legislation, if passed into law, would have a detrimental effect both on individuals and on the nature of society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 16, 2015 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Revd Dr Andrew Atherstone, Welby’s biographer, says Church growth is the ‘golden thread’ that ties all the reforms together. Welby, he says, wants people to see that decline is ‘not inevitable’. In Africa and China churches are booming. ‘Globally, church growth is normal,’ he says. Welby, he suggests, is ‘very optimistic about turning the Church of England around’.

Yet Atherstone admits that Welby’s tendency to focus on numbers ‘makes some in the C of E nervous’. One Church observer says the reason clergy are panicky about the reforms is that they seem ‘very bottom line — if you can’t get more punters in then you’ve failed’.

Atherstone suggests Welby wants the Church to be more entrepreneurial. The change to dioceses’ funding is intended to encourage that. Instead of the old model of one vicar looking after his medieval parish, the idea is to fund projects that no one has yet tried. Welby, says Atherstone, thinks the Church is too ‘safety-conscious’, smothering start-ups in paperwork.

Critics, on the other hand, say the reforms are merely depressing the workforce. Talented young clergy are ‘in despair’, they say — head office doesn’t seem to grasp what their ministry is really about.

Read it all from the Spectator.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted July 16, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Symon Hill, Christian writer and a coordinator of Christians for Economic Justice, said: "Jesus said that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.

"By hosting events sponsored by arms dealers, Church House Conference Centre is sending a clear message that they are happy to profit from those selling weapons to the dodgiest regimes."

Campaigners are calling on Welby, as President of the Corporation of Church House, for his "assurance that the conference center will never again host events which support and legitimise the arms industry."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeStock MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 15, 2015 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the basis of the well-known fact that those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, we should ask first what has been going on in the English church in the last half century which has – shall we say – coincided with its collapse. Let me mention a few of what seem to me to be the most significant features.

The last fifty years have seen the rise of theological reductionism. Bluntly, this means that ancient doctrines, always previously proclaimed as true and the foundational beliefs of the church have been, in the jargon, demythologised. So Jesus was not born of a virgin and he didn’t rise from the dead. His miracles were really “acted parables” – that is more jargon for the claim that they didn’t actually happen.

Concurrent with theological reductionism has run a fifty years programme of liturgical “reform” which has seen the discarding of The King James Bible and The Book of Common Prayer. This means that there is no longer observance of the rule that all the realm shall have one use. In fact, these changes mean that you have no idea what you’re going to find in a church service until the service begins. It’s a sort of churchy babel in which no two churches do the same thing and many priests and ministers seem to do as they like.

In addition to these changes, the bishops, the clergy and the synod have endorsed the secular mores of the age.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Theology

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Posted July 14, 2015 at 11:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a more ethereal sense, singing is an influence for a lifetime. Sometimes it has been derided as not cool but the real truth is that it is something beyond and altogether different; a gift from nowhere.

Well rehearsed, like all the best things in life, it becomes time to appreciate something deep and far more than oneself. It is an ultimate in sustained concentration, a skill too often denied at times by multitasking emptiness, in a rushed existence of stressed over-communication.

The last generation has witnessed the switch to an existence where pace of life is often overwhelming.

Music, whatever genre, is timeless in what it means. Recent reflections on British values are seldom encapsulated in the great Anglican tradition of making time in the present.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryMusicPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted July 14, 2015 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Urgent action is needed to tackle climate change the General Synod pledged today in a wide ranging motion acknowledging that global warming is disproportionately affecting the world's poorest.

Members overwhelmingly backed a call for world leaders to seek to limit the global rise in average temperatures to a maximum of 2 C - widely considered to be the threshold above which the impacts of climate change will be the most severe.

The motion on combating climate change, the Paris climate change conference and the mission of the Church, included a pledge to draw attention to an initiative to pray and fast for the success of the Paris talks.

The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, the Church of England's lead bishop on the environment, introducing the motion, said: "In the last 150 years we have burned fossil fuels that took one billion years to lay down in the earth. The earth cannot sustain this level of consumption. This is about our 'reading the signs of the times' and 'seeking the common good'.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 14, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Around 1,000 apprentices from across Liverpool are set to take part in the UK’s largest graduation ceremony at the end of the month.

Organisers are keen to make sure attendance is as high as possible and have put out a call to make sure apprentices who are eligible should get signed up in time.

The ceremony will take place at the Anglican Cathedral on July 30 but Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub, who are in charge of the event, say apprentices need to register by July 21 to guarantee their places.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments
Posted July 13, 2015 at 3:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Where do we find the antidote to fear? Where do we find the capacity to be prophets of grace and hope, joyful, fervent and clear against injustice in a world of martyrdom and torture, or of inequality and greed? Even in the days of William Temple, his call to a different model of life was ignored, mocked and opposed by the government of the time, when he brought before them the needs of the poor. The language of opposition was the same as today.

Few of us like criticising; we know that, thank God, we have much to praise in our society, much for which to give thanks, under governments of all colours now and for years past. Yet, under this and every government the church is constantly called to a loving critique of the secular powers.

Temple asked what right has the church to speak? So how do we keep our nerve, and find the way to overcome our fears and inhibitions, in love but also with passion for the poor, for the environment, for justice, for the lost, how do we obey the Spirit who sent Amos and John the Baptist?

The answer is found in that great reading of the hymn of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics

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Posted July 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all (page 12).


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* South Carolina* TheologyChristologySoteriology

0 Comments
Posted July 12, 2015 at 1:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yesterday, Felix, a special touch was felt by you as a number of us surrounded you and placed our hands on your head. If you have a recollection of someone pressing your ear, that was me! That moment of ordination was not a kind of mysterious masonic initiation ceremony but an incorporation in an apostolic calling that, wonderfully, takes us back to the very times of the Lord.

Just over fifty years ago, the great Austin Farrer, surely one of the greatest Anglican theologians of the 20th century, preached at the Ordination of a priest and used these words:

‘Here before you is a new made priest; and what does he do? What place does he hold in the mighty purposes of God? The answer is before you. He is not special in himself, he is special because the sacraments are special. Apples don’t drop from the sky, they grow on apple trees. And sacraments don’t hurtle down here, they grow on the great planting tree of the Apostles’ ministry; the tree planted by Christ when he called twelve men and made them his ambassadors; a tree which has grown and spread and thrown its arms out through history. So, a priest is a living stem, bearing sacraments as its fruit, to give you the body and blood of Christ. And that’s not all, the man who bears the sacrament is sacramental himself. He is, one might almost say, a walking sacrament’.

Read it all.


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

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Posted July 12, 2015 at 1:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget on Wednesday included a proposal to allow local control over liberalising Sunday trading.

The campaign in the 1990s for more Sunday trading was presented as a matter of freedom: “We should be able to shop on Sunday if we want,” but it was not about creating a more just society – it was about trying to find business advantage. A determined lobby successfully argued against total deregulation to preserve some of the value of a shared day off and some protection for retail workers and associated employees.

The legislation, which was passed in 1994, was a compromise which tried to balance rights and opportunities for all sections of society. That must still be the objective today.

Retail and associated workers are hardly well off, and it is they who will pay the price of longer opening hours on Sundays. While most of their bosses will still enjoy weekends off, many retail workers already find they have no choice over Sunday working. They have lost, for a large part, the premium payments they enjoyed at first. In addition, they will face more childcare costs, which will probably be more expensive on a Sunday, or lose precious family time.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This Report, (GS1999B) available on the Church of England website, is the subject of a debate at the forthcoming General Synod and is very welcome. I would like to draw together a particularly timely strand in the report.

Paragraph 43 tells us bishops will

“be teachers, whose task it is to ‘uphold sound and wholesome doctrine, and to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange opinions’ (C 18) so as to ‘hand on entire’ the Christian faith (Ordinal) – to ensure, including by example, the vitality of proclamation and the richness of teaching and formation; “
..........
What this paper helpfully exposes is the error of the theologically entrepreneurial and innovative bishop and the erroneous suggestion that their opinions over against the tradition of Jesus and the settled teaching of the church might be prophetic.

Read it all - the report is being debated on Saturday July 11th by General Synod

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

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Posted July 11, 2015 at 8:25 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Church of England hosts away-days and retreats in luxury stately homes in bid to break deadlock over homosexuality.
The Church of England is spending over a third of a million pounds [US$558,702.00] on a series of away-days and retreats to talk about sex.

Clergy and lay members are being invited to a series of “facilitated conversations” behind closed doors, aimed at breaking down divisions between different factions over issues such as homosexuality.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, hopes encouraging people to take part in frank face-to-face discussions will help break the deadlock over what has become one of the most toxic issues in the Church.

A similar tactic led to breakthrough over the issue of women bishops which was finally agreed last year after decades of argument.

Read it all

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

2 Comments
Posted July 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

It is the contention of evangelicals that they are plain Bible Christians, and that in order to be a biblical Christian it is necessary to be an evangelical Christian.’ So wrote John Stott in 1970. To drift from evangelical convictions is to create a perverted form of Christianity.

Melvin Tinker argues that we have a problem: it is no longer clear who or what is an “evangelical Christian.” Can an evangelical be defined doctrinally?

Tinker answers with a resounding affirmation. It is not enough to have shared institutions and even shared heroes. What is needed is a shared gospel. To many that statement will sound blindingly obvious, and yet it is increasingly rejected by so-called evangelicals in the Church of England.

This is because, argues Tinker, evangelicals have been heavily influenced by liberalism in its rational, experiential and institutional forms. You end up with a modern evangelical ‘Humpty Dumpty’ perched unsteadily between classical evangelicals and postmodern liberals. It is looking increasingly unlikely that Humpty will fall off into the traditional fold.

Tinker has been in hot water recently over comments made in a radio interview. What he gives us here is a robust statement on the biblical foundations of evangelicalism. In many ways what he says here is far more contentious. Will we heed his call to get our house in order?

“It is certainly time that the ill-fated affair that evangelicalism has been having with liberalism should end and for the movement to regain confidence in its defining convictions once more.”

Read it all

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

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Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...How does one with a clear conscience institute a man into a living who you know is not going to proclaim the gospel? This issue has been around a lot longer than the question of instituting women into such positions. How does one work in a ‘senior staff’ team with people who deny fundamentals of the faith or add traditions which amount to a subtraction? The answers are not easy. One common ploy is to adopt what can be called the Anglican fairytale; that despite our apparent differences, deep down we are all one and on the same side. A more moderate rationalisation is conciliation or compromise for the sake of influence. This is not very different from the sell-out to the academy. There does, however, seem to be the need to deny reality in adopting either approach. Regarding the former, it is manifestly not the case that the likes of Jeffrey John and John Stott are on the same team. Relating to the latter, the increasing number of ‘evangelical’ names added to the episcopal list has hardly resulted in a more orthodox and spiritually vigorous national church as evidenced by dwindling congregations and ordinations.

In 1984, Dr. Francis Schaeffer made a passionate appeal to the world evangelical constituency to stop its ‘worldly accommodation’. In its place he called for ‘loving confrontation’, not for its own sake but for the sake of truth and the glory of the God whose word is truth and the ultimate well being of the people he has made. The need for such confrontation remains, more so than twenty years ago. Liberalism in the threefold form we have identified has made significant inroads into Western evangelicalism and more specifically Anglican evangelicalism. Confusion results on matters of belief and behaviour when there should be clarity; compromise where there should be conviction with a resulting fragmentation and drift. Perhaps the fragmentation should continue and realignment around the centre needs to occur for a more authentic and robust evangelicalism to arise. It is certainly time that the ill-fated affair that evangelicalism has been having with liberalism should end and for the movement to regain confidence in its defining convictions once more.

Read it all [pdf]

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

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Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

The July General Synod has now ended - reports and audio recordings for each session are being updated below.

Monday Afternoon July 13th
Report on Monday Afternoon Business and [Audio]
Press release: General Synod welcomes climate change policy
- Climate Change and Investment Policy (GS 2004)
- Farewells, Prorogation and Dissolution

Monday Morning July 13th
Report on Monday Morning Business and [Audio]
Press release: Urgent action needed on climate change urges Synod
Order Paper of Business for Monday
- Small indaba group work on 'The Environment'
- Combatting Climate Change: The Paris Summit and the Mission of the Church (GS 2003) - [The Bishop of Salisbury wanted the Church to 'fast for climate justice on the first day of each month' - by amendment Synod rejected this by 160 for, 147 against and 13 abstentions - moving on, the Bishop of Sheffield wants climate justice to be included as essential to Christian formation and catechesis - Main motion on climate change as amended carried 305 for, 6 against and 4 abstentions - Synod went to lunch.]

Sunday Afternoon July 12th
Report on Sunday Afternoon Business [Audio]
Order Paper of Business for Sunday
- Christian Initiation: Additional Texts for Holy Baptism in Accessible Language (GS 1958B and 1958X) - [Dumbed down version removing reference to the Devil and replacing the resurrection of Christ to life "raised your son to life" with the apparently more accessible "Jesus, who has passed through the deep waters of death and opened for all the way of salvation". Voting on additional baptismal texts passed by 2/3 majority by orders - Bishops: for 23 against 1 abstentions 1; Clergy for 114 against 6 abstentions 5; Laity for 126 against 10 abstained 6]
- 51st Report of the Standing Orders Committee (GS 1991) Proposed text of the Standing Orders (GS 2000)
- Legislation - Administration of Holy Communion Regulations (GS 1992) – Final Approval
- Leeds Diocesan Synod Motion: Nature and Structure of the Church of England - National Debate (GS 1928A and GS 1928C)
- Presentation by the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns - [Press Release: Church should reflect reality of multi-cultural society]
- Presentation: Introduction to Group Work and Bible Study on the Environment
Evening
- Financial Business: The Archbishops' Council Budget and Proposals for Apportionment for 2016 (GS 2002) [Audio]

Saturday Afternoon July 11th
Report on Saturday Afternoon Business
[Afternoon Audio] and [Evening Audio]
Order Paper II - Saturday business
- Farewells [to the former Bishop of Gloucester Michael Perham by the Archbishop of Canterbury "no secret that Michael was on the Crown Nominations Commission..in one sense or another, I owe him something"]
- Private Members' Motion from Canon Simon Killwick on Senior Leadership [passed as amended] (GS 1999A AND GS 1999B)
[Probably the most interesting and contentious debate of the day - see:
- - this background note from Canon Chris Sugden;
- - Blurb from the CofE
- - the full report is at GS 1999B here]

- The Church: Towards a Common Vision: Report from the World Council of Churches (GS 1986A)
- Church Commissioners' Report and Archbishops' Council's Report [GS 2001]

Saturday Morning July 11th
Report on Saturday Morning Business - [Legislation: Safeguarding, Terms of Service, Diocesan Stipendiary Funds and Faculties to do works to churches]
Synod gives final approval for Safeguarding legislation
[Audio Awaited]

Friday Afternoon July 10th
Report on Friday Afternoon Business - [Part Audio]
- Welcome to Anglican and Ecumenical Guests
- Address by Archbishop of Uppsala Dr Antje Jackelén [Audio] [Pro-gay activist from liberal Church of Sweden which in 2009 consecrated a partnered lesbian as Bishop of Stockholm]
- Archbishop of York's Presidential Address [Audio]
- Report by the Business Committee (GS 1988)
- Appointment to the Archbishops' Council (GS 1989)
- Appointment of Secretary General (GS 1990)
- 51st Report of the Standing Orders Committee (GS 1991) [and GS 2000 - Consolidated Texts of the Standing Order (further information: STV regs as to be amended, Table of Consolidated Origins and Table of Consolidated Destination)] [voting and meeting arrangements]
- Legislative Business [Holy Communion and enabling distribution of Holy Communion by lay communicants including children]
- - 500 Amending Canon No. 35 (GS 1964D) - Canon for Enactment
- - 501 Administration of Holy Communion Regulations (GS 1992 and GS 1992x Explanatory Memorandum) - Preliminary Consideration
- Presentation on behalf of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group and the National Investing Bodies
Evening
- Questions and Answers - Booklet and Supplementary Questions and Answers [Audio]
------------------
■ Press release about Agenda
■ Timetable
■ Full Daily Agenda and Timetable
■ Brief Agenda and Papers
■ Live Video Feed when in session or listen here for prior recordings
■ Twitter: #synod and it may be worth following: CofE Official Synod tweets; and @C_of_E if interested.

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

2 Comments
Posted July 10, 2015 at 7:23 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church leaders, trade unionists, and politicians have expressed concern over government plans to relax the Sunday-trading laws.

Currently, large stores can open for up to six hours on Sundays, but the Chancellor, George Osborne, used his Budget speech on Wednesday afternoon to announce his plans to devolve responsibility for Sunday-trading laws to directly elected mayors and local authorities.

The move has come in for sharp criticism. The Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham tweeted: “Sundays are only day people who work in shops can bank on some time with their kids. I will oppose this all the way.”

The leader of the shop workers’ union USDAW, John Hannett, said that the Government should “honour the promise of a full consultation and parliamentary process for any proposed changes to the Sunday Trading Act....'

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 10, 2015 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Soon after 7/7 the families and the friends of the victims compiled a Book of Tributes. It is a taste of the ocean of pain surrounding the loss of each one of the victims. The tribute book is also very revealing about the character of the London which the bombers attacked.

The majority of the victims were young. They came from all over the UK and all over the world. There were Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Humanists. There are in the book tributes in Italian, French, Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Tamil, Polish, Farsi, as well as English.

London is an astonishing world-in-a-city but beyond the diversity the book also conveys a unifying agonised outcry – this was a terrible crime which robbed us of beloved sons and daughters, partners and friends.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersPolice/FireReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEschatologyEthics / Moral Theology

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

Posted by The_Elves

As the Steering Group of Reform met last week, the events surrounding the blessing of the Gay Pride march in York could not be ignored.

Whilst the Reform Steering Group stands opposed to homophobia, nevertheless they were unanimously of the view that it was an offense to all bible-believing Christians for the Minster to endorse, without qualification, the activities of York Pride with the intention of “affirming the LGBT community”.

They appreciated the Archbishop of York’s statement affirming the “traditional Christian understanding of human sexuality, orientation, and behavior” and agreed with him that God loves and values all people, whatever their sexual orientation, and that that same love should be shown by Christians. They hope that the Archbishop of York is prepared to stand by the whole of Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and the Dromantine Conference of Anglican Communion Primates Communiqué which affirms this teaching.

Read it all

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

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Posted July 9, 2015 at 10:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Downing Street has today announced the appointments of two new Bishops in the Diocese of London. The Revd Rob Wickham, Hackney Area Dean and Rector of St John at Hackney, is to become the new Bishop of Edmonton and the Revd Ric Thorpe, the Bishop of London’s Adviser for Church Planting and Rector of St Paul’s Shadwell, is to become the new Bishop of Islington. In addition, the Bishop of London has confirmed that Prebendary John Hawkins will become the new Archdeacon of Hampstead.

Commenting on the three senior appointments, the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO, said:

“Rob brings to the London team an enormous amount of experience and, in his eight years in Hackney, he has helped to provide a distinctive Christian contribution to the regeneration of his community. He will be well supported by John as Archdeacon of Hampstead, who has already experienced serving in an archidiaconal role in the area. They will form a highly effective partnership when they take up their roles in the autumn.

“As Bishop of the revived See of Islington, Ric will expand on his important work to date, supporting those involved in new Christian ventures, as well as applying the lessons learned for pioneers in training. He will harvest and share experience of church growth strategies as well as supporting people beyond the Diocese who are interested in the London experience.”

Read it all.

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

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Posted July 9, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A spokesman from Church House, Westminster, said: “The Church of England has always maintained that a common day of rest is important for family life, for community life and for personal well-being. Increased Sunday trading will inevitably lead to further erosion of shared leisure time when a majority of people can count on being able to do things together. It will have an impact on community activities of many kinds, amateur sport, contact across extended families and religious observance. It seems quite contrary to the objectives of the Big Society, which once helped to shape policy and which the Church of England enthusiastically supported. Any further erosion of shared community life, whether that is driven by central or local government, will be detrimental to all of us.”

Bishop Colin added: “Clearly we await with interest to see what the Chancellor is actually proposing but it would be very sad for many people if Sundays were to become just like every other day of the week in terms of shopping. Even with the current levels of shop-opening there is something different about Sundays for most people – and certainly for most families – with its change of pace and we would be unwise as a society to encourage that to disappear.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 8, 2015 at 11:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

R S Thomas, who died in 2000, was a priest and a poet, described as lacking charity and patience, and known for his crabbiness, his poetry however captures some of the realities around about life and faith, about pondering some of the deeper things of life, as we do in a service such as this one.

I wonder whether you have had a Romeo or Juliet moment? Balancing gravel in your hand, throwing it up at a window, wondering if it will be heard? Maybe it actually happened for you, the window really and literally opened and someone responded to your voice. Or, maybe sometime in your life, you have called out, perhaps in prayer, just wondering if anyone is there at all.

The poem is an illustration of faith in most of our lives today, some of us detecting the slight movement of a curtain, be it a hunch, a mysterious coincidence or a curious inquisitiveness to push at the door, or throw that stone up at the window, just to see what might happen.

Today, that curtain has moved that bit more noticeably for all of us as we observe faith in action. As these candidates respond to God’s call on their lives by being ordained. 25 being ordained in services here today, and of many hundreds being ordained across the country over the last few weeks.

Read it all.

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

1 Comments
Posted July 8, 2015 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic Church in England and Wales is turning to the pioneer of the Alpha course to inspire parishes to evangelise.

The Revd Nicky Gumbel, vicar at the Holy Trinity Brompton church in South Kensington, London, is due to address 850 diocesan representatives at Proclaim ’15, a national Catholic evangelisation gathering in Birmingham on Saturday.

The Alpha course is a 10-week introduction to Christianity borne out of the charismatic Evangelical movement and is now used by more Catholic churches worldwide than Anglican ones.

Clare Ward, home mission adviser to the bishops’ conference said Mr Gumbel had been invited to help parishes shift their mentality “from maintenance to mission”.

Read it all.


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

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Posted July 8, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Today, the survivors and families of the 7/7 London attacks continue the journey that those of Tunisia have just begun. Our hearts grieve with those who lost loved ones ten years ago, and with those so suddenly and cruelly bereaved less than a fortnight ago. We hold them all before God and our spirits call out to Christ to strengthen them.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 7, 2015 at 10:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Shops across the country will be able to stay open for longer on Sundays, George Osborne will announce in this week’s Budget.

The Chancellor will use his first Budget as Chancellor in a majority Tory Government to begin a massive shakeup of Sunday trading laws that currently prevent businesses opening for more than six hours.

He said that “there is still a growing appetite for shopping on a Sunday” and that businesses need the change to ensure that they can compete with online retailers.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifePolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 7, 2015 at 7:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by The_Elves



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Known as the “red carpet curate” for his appearance at glitzy film and theatrical premieres, he wants to make the church relevant to creatives struggling with life and their spirituality.

We meet in a public relations office in Soho, the heart of London’s theatreland. (The PR executives are donating their time for free.) His dog collar is accessorised with a bright blue jacket, bowler hat and a multicoloured scarf. The flamboyance reflects his vivacious and garrulous personality. “I am groovy. I am theatrical. I am loud,” he says, redundantly. “I love people. Not everyone gets me.” Yet, he says, he is also a “contemplative soul”.

It is the larger ambition that is so arresting. For Rev Feital is on a mission to create a social enterprise — called the Haven — in central London. This is part of the Diocese of London’s strategy, Capital Vision 2020, which aspires to reach new people and engage with the creative arts to find fresh ways to convey the church’s message. The steering committee is being put in place, which Rev Feital says will include a City investor as well as representatives from the music, film and fashion industries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTheatre/Drama/PlaysUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted July 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchDrugs/Drug AddictionLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

David Ould reports:

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

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

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Capitalism that cannot find £200 for a highly-motivated individual, with good skills, is simply not adequate to the task of creating a stable society.

That hard-working, self-starting man will be on my mind tomorrow, when I take part in the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism in the City of London. This brings together leading figures from business, finance and public policy committed to creating economic systems which will encourage a long-term prosperity that is broadly shared. I am sure I will learn a great deal. I also hope to contribute in a small way, bringing a perspective informed by both economics and theology.

A Christian understanding of inclusive capitalism begins with the nature of God, who in Jesus Christ reached out to include all humanity in salvation. What that looks like for each individual is purpose, calling and a destiny with God. The New Testament teaches us that none of this happens because we are good - in fact, St Paul says in his letter to the Romans that Christ died for us while we were still God’s enemies. It happens because God sought to include all human beings in his love and purpose for them, if they would accept his invitation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 25, 2015 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This case comes hard on the heels of an attempt sponsored by Unite to establish that a beneficed parish priest is employed by his bishop or enjoys the status of a worker, thereby paving the way for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims. That was roundly rejected by the Court of Appeal in April. Lord Justice Lewison in his judgment sketched the history of the relationship between church and state and more particularly the jurisdiction of royal or civil courts over clergy from the investiture controversy in the 11th century right through to the establishment of the modern ecclesiastical courts. He appears to have accepted the proposition that employment tribunals could determine such questions as an attack on the balance that has been struck. Similar considerations apply to the Pemberton case, although the legal analysis is distinct.

While many will feel sympathy for Canon Pemberton, it should be remembered that even in the secular field, activities outside the workplace can result in a lawful termination of employment, although rarely. It should also be remembered that when ordained as a priest, he not only took an oath of canonical obedience to his bishop but also declared that he would fashion his own life “according to the way of Christ” and to be “a pattern and example to Christ’s people”.

What that amounts to cannot be a matter of private judgment. Plenty of other homosexual priests have at some cost followed the House of Bishops guidance and previous similar utterances from the hierarchy.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 25, 2015 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

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

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

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

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

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon


Watch and listen to it all.

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Living, breathing buildings which exist to serve God

Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries has praised the important role of cathedrals in national life, highlighting the Government's award last year of £20 million for fabric repairs to cathedrals in the First World War Centenary Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund.

He was speaking at the launch of a new book showcasing the Church of England's Cathedrals, today at St Paul's Cathedral.

Cathedrals of the Church of England has been written by Janet Gough, who is the Director of ChurchCare, the Church of England's Cathedrals and Church Buildings division. The book features short descriptions of each cathedral, and is illustrated with photographs including some specially commissioned images by Paul Barker (best known for his photographs over many years for Country Life)*.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted June 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

This week began with Katherine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC) of the USA, preaching in Westminster Abbey; it will end, we are told with Canon Michael Smith of York Minster blessing the York Gay Pride March. In between we have seen the Bishop of Buckingham describe doctrine that he swore to teach and pass on as ‘lousy’.

Nowhere in any of this has there been the clear message of the Gospel that despite our rejection of his ways we are all loved by God and can find forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not surprising, then, that the majority of the world’s Anglicans now look to the Primates of Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) for Leadership – the only question is whether after weeks like this one, those in the Church of England who wish to proclaim this Gospel will be forced to follow the same path.

“Christianity is based on revealed doctrine, enabling individuals to live rightly before a Holy God as followers of Jesus Christ. He tells us how to live in all areas of life, including in areas of sexual behaviour. No denomination is at liberty to invent its own doctrine or to sacrifice revealed doctrine on the altars of contemporary fashion. We cannot be authentically Christian whilst simultaneously rejecting the teaching of the one we claim to follow.”
Rev Simon Austen – Rector of St Leonard’s Church, Exeter Diocese

“York Minster’s leading the way in the Gay Pride march is symbolic of what the Church of England’s leadership is doing generally on this issue – leading people away from the clear teaching of the Bible and the Gospel. It exposes the sham of the consultation process for what it is – a means by which the church can validate homosexual activity. One would hope that the Archbishop of York would do his duty and speak clearly, upholding the Bible’s position.”
Rev Melvin Tinker, St John’s Church, Newland, York Diocese

“I am deeply disappointed that Alan Wilson persists in undermining the teaching of the Church by his overt support of those who have gone against the clear rules governing clergy discipline. Describing the Church’s teaching and doctrine as “lousy” is quite breathtakingly arrogant and not language that one would expect from a senior leader in the Church. Were I in secular employment and so at odds with the leadership and core values of the company that employed me, I would resign forthwith as a matter of conscience.”
Rev Will Pearson-­‐Gee -­‐ Rector of Buckingham, Oxford Diocese

“The Bishop of Buckingham courts publicity for his revisionist agenda and gets it. He has sadly become a figure of disunity in the Oxford Diocese and a cause of grief to many faithful Anglican Christians. The version of marriage he espouses is incompatible with Biblical Christianity.”
Rev Will Stileman – Vicar of St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead and Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship

“Sooner or later everyone in the Church of England will have to decide whether they have confidence in what God says about marriage and human sexuality in the Scriptures. If we are not willing to trust what God says is good for us and for our society then we lose the claim to be authentically Christian. And in the course of time God will make it plain that our claims to be Christian are hollow. Jeremiah 7:28 speaks of truth perishing and being cut off from the lips of God’s people, and the prophet is clear about the disastrous consequences of that”.
Rev Mark Burkill –Vicar of Christ Church, Leyton, Chelmsford Diocese

“The Bishop of Buckingham is a runaway train, and has lost the confidence of many of the clergy in the Diocese of Oxford who would have him nowhere near their churches. There is now a crisis of leadership in Oxford Diocese, shown in the fact that the Diocese was unable to appoint a Diocesan Bishop who can work with Buckingham. The Bishop of Buckingham thinks he can make up doctrine on the hoof to suit his own revisionist agenda. That is not how the Church of England does things”.
Rev James Paice, Vicar of St Luke’s Wimbledon Park, Southwark Diocese

Read it all [pdf]

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

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Posted June 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

For me, the low point came in reading the testimony of Richard Inwood yesterday. I need to exercise some caution here—until very recently Richard was my Acting Diocesan Bishop. My strong impression is that he has been put in a very difficult position, in effect the key player in the most pressing issue of the moment for the Church, on which national Church issues might hinge, but perhaps without the support from the centre that one might have expected.
.........
if there is ‘no harm’ when clergy defy their bishops, then we are heading for a time of institutional chaos, when everyone ‘does what is right in his (her) own eyes’. As we move into a more clearly post-Christendom context, where residual loyalty to the institutional church is disappearing faster than the bath-water down a plughole, this is going to be a practical disaster.

But the underlying issue is (intriguingly) the one that the tribunal judge intervenes on. If doctrine has been breached, but no harm will come, what (he asks in effect) is the point of doctrine? If the bishops of the Church of England have lost confidence in the importance of right doctrine, and the danger of wrong doctrine, then we are all in deep trouble.
........
as Anthony Thiselton points out in The Hermeneutics of Doctrine, for the first Christians doctrine was about their fundamental disposition in life; the claims of the creeds and credal statements weren’t simply claims about facts, but what they based their life on. They really believed that ‘The truth will set you free’ (John 8.32). That is why doctrine matters, not least in this area of what it means to be created, male and female in the image of God, and the implications of that for sexual behaviour. If the bishops do not believe that wrong doctrine in this area is harmful, then now is the time to abandon any theology of marriage. In fact:
Christianity is based on revealed doctrine, enabling individuals to live rightly before a Holy God as followers of Jesus Christ. He tells us how to live in all areas of life, including in areas of sexual behaviour. No denomination is at liberty to invent its own doctrine or to sacrifice revealed doctrine on the altars of contemporary fashion. We cannot be authentically Christian whilst simultaneously rejecting the teaching of the one we claim to follow.” (Rev Simon Austen, Rector of St Leonard’s Church, Exeter Diocese) [Ref from here]

That is why the ministry of teaching is at the heart of Anglican understandings of what it means to be deacon, priest (presbyter) and bishop. That is why, in the Articles, preaching and the sacraments go hand in hand—teaching must lead to action, but action without teaching is like a ship without a rudder.
......
I sincerely hope that senior bishops in the Church will now speak up and correct the impression that has been given. Doctrine does underlie this issue; doctrine does matter; wrong doctrine causes harm. If they don’t speak now and publicly, I cannot see but that it will be the end of the Church of England as we know it.

Read it all

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

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Posted June 23, 2015 at 10:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

York Minster will join this year’s York Pride in an historic show of support for the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBT).

The 50m-long rainbow flag, at the heart of the Pride parade on Saturday (June 20), will be unfurled on the steps of the Minster for the first time.

Canon Michael Smith of the Minster will launch the parade. He said:
I am delighted to be involved in the York Pride Parade as it prepares to start again, this year, from the steps of the Minster.

At York Minster we invite everyone to discover God’s love through our welcome, worship, learning and work, and I am looking forward to sharing with other local organisations in welcoming and affirming the LGBT community from our city and beyond and saying a short prayer and a blessing as they begin their Parade.

Read it all

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

4 Comments
Posted June 23, 2015 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Read it all

See also: Telegraph - CofE’s top female cleric: I would have ‘no problem’ with blessings for gay marriages
The Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull – tipped as a future bishop – says effect of the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage is ‘dreadful’


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

3 Comments
Posted June 23, 2015 at 8:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves


With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV

See: Reform/Oxf’d DEF: Evangelicals call for the Church of England to uphold the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

0 Comments
Posted June 23, 2015 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

David Ould reports

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

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

Read it all

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

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

Read it all

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

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Renovation work to Derby Cathedral has discovered remains of the previous church, long thought lost.

The six-month, £670,000 project will upgrade heating and electrics, as well as seeing large areas repainted.

The 14th Century church was demolished and rebuilt in the 1720s and it was believed all trace of the older building had gone.

Read it all.

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

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Posted June 22, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

The cathedral dean said bishops should "challenge injustice".

Read it all.

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

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

Posted by The_Elves

A bishop has been asked if the “hot potato” issue of a clergyman marrying his partner in a same-sex marriage was delegated by the archbishop of Canterbury, to avoid a Church of England split.

Former acting bishop of Southwell and Nottingham Richard Inwood was asked if the Most Rev Justin Welby decided “to leave it (the issue) alone, politically,” in allowing individual bishops to handle such a breach of the church’s rule as they saw fit.

The bishop replied: “To paraphrase the TV programme [House of Cards], you may say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.” Inwood was speaking at an employment tribunal for Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who has made a claim for discrimination against the bishop.

Read it all

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

0 Comments
Posted June 19, 2015 at 10:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 1944 settlement, the basis for governing religious education, school worship, and denominational schools for the past seven decades, should be replaced with an agreement in tune with modern reality, a former Secretary of State for Education, Charles Clarke, said this week.

Mr Clarke calls for the change in a pamphlet, A New Settlement: Religion and belief in schools, cowritten with Professor Linda Woodhead, a colleague at Lancaster University, where he is a visiting professor in politics and religion.

"It is clear to us", they say, "that the educational settlement between Church and State formalised in the 1944 Education Act, and reflected a different era, no longer serves its purpose."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Theology

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

Posted by The_Elves

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

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

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

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

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

Read it all

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

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

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Joseph] Stiglitz is also particularly critical of the banking system: “If they (the banks) are too big to fail and they know it, excessive risk-taking is a one-sided bet: if they win they keep the profits, if they lose, taxpayers pick up the tab.” He summarises this as socialising losses while privatising gains.

Furthermore, there is a growing chorus of opposition to lax executive pay habits. Fidelity Worldwide Investment has urged companies make their long-term incentive plans less short term in nature, or face votes against remuneration at annual meetings. Last year the Church Commissioners opposed executive pay deals in two-thirds of the companies where they have a holding.

Adam Smith, said to be the father of modern economics, wrote: “Servants, labourers and workmen of different kinds, make up the far greater part of every great political society. But what improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconvenience to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged.”(2)

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted June 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

What is happening?

The Revd Jeremy Pemberton is taking the Archbishop of York and Bishop Richard Inwood (who was the acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham) to an Employment Tribunal over the refusal of Bishop Richard to grant Mr Pemberton a licence. Jeremy Pemberton was offered a job with the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as a Chaplaincy Manager, but the NHS terms of employment required the appointee to hold a formal denomination’s recommendation.

Why was Jeremy Pemberton refused a licence?

Read it all


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

0 Comments
Posted June 17, 2015 at 3:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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

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

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

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted June 16, 2015 at 4:52 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 HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchArchitectureArt

0 Comments
Posted June 16, 2015 at 11:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
"The Church of England continues to be committed to the provision of high quality RE in schools which is vital for a balanced understanding of the world today where more than 80% of the population are people of faith. The Church strongly supports the statutory requirement for collective worship in all schools and there is plenty of flexibility in the provision to enable all pupils to benefit without compromising their faith or lack of it. Where there are real objections it is a parent's right to withdraw their child from worship, and the very few who take up that right demonstrates that schools have found exciting and creative ways of using collective worship to further children's spiritual and moral development. There is no expectation of commitment and the exposure to the range of religious traditions encourages community cohesion." --[The] Revd Nigel Genders, Church of England Chief Education Officer


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

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Posted June 16, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Traditional Christian teaching could effectively be “criminalised” in some settings under David Cameron’s plans for new anti-extremist banning orders, a top Anglican theologian and former Parliamentary draftsman has warned.

The Rev Dr Mike Ovey, a former lawyer and now principal of Oak Hill Theological College in London, a training school for Church of England clergy, said proposals for new “Extremism Disruption Orders” could be a “disaster area” for people from all the mainstream religions and none.

Mr Cameron and Theresa May have signalled that the new orders, planned as part of the Government’s Counter-Extremism Bill, would not curb the activities of radical Islamist clerics but the promotion of other views deemed to go against “British values” even if it is non-violent and legal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

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Posted June 16, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thinking of oneself as "Church of England" or "Anglican" is increasingly irrelevant, clergy have suggested, responding to last week's statistical analysis indicating that Anglicans were in steep decline in the UK....

The Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, writes (Letters) that parish priests and deans are leading "increasingly post-denominational" communities.

He points to the decline in confirmations, even in churches that are growing, as "a version of the same story. . .

"Confirmation suggests an ownership of a specific denominational identity, which is simply not part of the deal for most people. I would suggest that even most people of my generation, and certainly those of my children's, find denominational identity increasingly irrelevant."

Read it all.

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

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Posted June 12, 2015 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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