(London) Times Editorial: The crisis in Anglicanism threatens its position in national life

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the field of investment the man who is reliably wrong is a twisted genius. A good return is possible if the investor can do the precise opposite of everything that he recommends. The Church Commissioners, the asset managers for the Church of England, have a claim on the title of anti-investors supreme. Stung by sinking the lottery plate into property at the top of the market, they switched heavily into equities just as the long boom came to an end.

The result is a severe depletion of the Church’s pension fund at a time when retired clergy are living longer than ever. The clergy live in tied accommodation and earn only a small stipend, which makes reforming their fixed-benefit scheme difficult. As the task force established by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York concluded: “A guaranteed pension and access to affordable retirement housing have come to be seen as important ingredients of the compact.”

The fund is therefore in a parlous state.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsStock Market

Posted November 29, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

” There is still a case for the Church to be the spiritual witness to moments of temporal national communion but the privilege of establishment becomes much harder to defend when the congregation is thinning out and the Church cannot pay the bills. ”

The CoE faces the double disaster of unfunded pensions and declining revenue base. If it loses also its legitamacy as the religious voice of the nation and its taxpayer support, it will be facing the spectre of bankruptcy.

Who then will support the ancient, empty cathedrals?

November 29, 8:54 am | [comment link]
2. Ian Montgomery wrote:

Jesus said, “When He the Spirit of truth is come . . . He shall glorify Me.” When I commit myself to the revelation made in the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit Who begins to interpret to me what Jesus did and does in me subjectively all that Jesus Christ did for me objectively.

I prefer to add what Jesus said to the woman at the well. “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. ... the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
We in the US who seek to be orthodox are losing our buildings and the bricks and mortar of the past and so discovering a new freedom in the Gospel.  Those who have slipped either into heterodoxy or nominal Christianity will lose the same to attrition.  Where is our treasure?  In magnificent buildings or Jesus Christ?  I believe the church is being pruned and “judgement begins with the household of God.” Rejoice in His discipline, it shows His love for us.

November 29, 9:07 am | [comment link]
3. Fr. Dale wrote:

the very question of the Church of England’s role in the nation’s affairs is at issue.

It is not the lack of money or parishioners. It is politically correct but no longer prophetic. If the church were disestablished, it would then be an official recognition of what has already taken place and an opportunity for the church to stand on its own two feet. It would be an opportunity to become once again the Church of Christ.

November 29, 2:55 pm | [comment link]
4. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

Alas it will struggle to become the church of Christ until it returns to an orthodox expression of faith in regards holy orders and human sexuality…...

November 29, 3:10 pm | [comment link]
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