Thursday, 21 June 2018

We have moved

The Thinking Anglicans blog has now moved away from this site en route to our new home.

We won’t be publishing new articles or new comments at this old home.

If you are seeing this page then either (a) the change hasn’t quite reached you yet; or (b) there’s been a problem; or © you’re looking at an archive of the old site.

If everything goes well, then problem (a) should be possible only for a few minutes: wait a few minutes and try again by force-refreshing the page.

We will continue to monitor this old site for a while. If there are problems with the change then we will post an update here, and we may publish comments about the problem to this article, so do ask here if you have difficulties reaching the new site.

To be clear: the new site continues at the same address — thinkinganglicans.org.uk — and you shouldn’t have to change anything to reach it.

(Or else go and watch the World Cup until we have got things running again.)

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 8:11pm BST
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Categorised as: About Thinking Anglicans

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

We're moving

Later this week this Thinking Anglicans site will be moving to a new home. We hope to make the move as transparent and as painless as possible, but as it involves a little bit of internet magic (updating the DNS of thinkinganglicans.org.uk) there may be a short period when you can’t reach the new site. We hope this period will be no more than a few minutes, and most readers may not notice it at all.

All posts and comments will be moved across to the new system and no data will be lost. We’ll post a further note here before moving out, and after that point no further comments on the old site will be approved, only on the new site.

This represents the biggest change we have made in the 15 years we have been publishing Thinking Anglicans. From the start we have been hosted by our friends and colleagues at Justus. The new site continues at Justus, and we are grateful for their support.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 12:01pm BST
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Categorised as: About Thinking Anglicans

Opinion - 20 June 2018

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News A Via Media in Safeguarding?
Janet Fife ViaMedia.News The Trouble With Fish….

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer CofE Safeguarding: General Synod is being managed, manipulated, duped and disrespected

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church How do we expect Church Abuse Survivors to feel?

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New Directions for the Church 6: accept diversity of belief

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 11:00am BST
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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Opinion - 16 June 2018

Anna Norman-Walker ViaMedia.News Who Speaks for Anglican Evangelicals?

Rachel Williams spends a day with the Community of St Anselm
Evening Standard These millennials have left behind their friends, families and jobs to live like monks for a year

Andrew Brown The Guardian Taking a lesson from Michael Curry could just save the Church of England
“It is so handicapped by self-importance that applying the flexibility of other churches could revive its plummeting numbers”

Andrew Brown Church Times How right-wing populists appropriate Christ

Philip Welsh Church Times Time to retreat from throwaway liturgy
“Under Common Worship, service sheets have started to get in the way of God, says Philip Welsh. He proposes a solution”

… and here’s one I missed last week:
Torin Douglas Church Times Maintaining faith in the mainstream media
“Religious broadcasting has had a rocky 40 years — but it is now being taken more seriously, says Torin Douglas”

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 11:00am BST
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Friday, 15 June 2018

General Synod agenda - press reports

Updated Friday afternoon

Madeleine Davies Church Times Canons most critical in response to cathedrals consultation

Harry Farley Christian Today Church of England sexuality debate off the cards until 2020
‘Michael Curry effect’: Church of England opens up congregations to black-majority pastors

Steve Doughty Daily Mail Church of England bishops will call on Theresa May to surrender Britain’s nuclear deterrent

Update

Madeleine Davies Church Times General Synod discussions to go nuclear in York

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 10:10am BST
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Beyond Inclusion

OneBodyOneFaith published this on 5 June:

We’re delighted that this film, funded by our supporters and members and featuring John Bell and Nick Bundock, has now been completed and can be viewed on our YouTube channel. As you’ll probably recall, the film arose out of John hearing about Nick’s church’s response to Lizzie Lowe’s death, and the films are a conversation between the two of them, with ideas for reflection by church groups.

Please share the films and encourage others to do so too; we want them to reach the widest possible audience because we believe they have the potential to help people move on in their journey of understanding, and to make real change. If you need more resources for study and reflection, check out some of the books in our online shop - or get in touch and we can help you identify people to talk to, speakers and other sources of support, reflecting your particular context.

Today is Lizzie’s 18th birthday. Her parents Kevin and Hilary appear briefly in the film. Notwithstanding the remarkable transformation of their church following her death, would still give anything to have their daughter back. Please remember them, and Lizzie’s siblings and many friends, today.

Part one of the film is here.
Part two is here
. Do be sure to watch both parts.

And then consider this question: So - how’s the ‘radical Christian inclusion’ coming along then?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 6:27pm BST
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod | InclusiveChurch | equality legislation

Safeguarding debate at General Synod

On Saturday morning, 7 July, following Morning Worship and a Presidential Address by the Archbishop of York, the synod will consider the topic of Safeguarding. There will be a presentation, followed by questions, followed by a debate. However, the relevant document, GS 2092 will not be published until Friday 22 June but we do now know the wording of the motion that will be proposed. It is highly likely to attract numerous amendments.

SAFEGUARDING (GS 2092)

7 Presentation under SO 107.

Note: The Business Committee has determined under SO 107(3) that this presentation should include an opportunity for questions.

8 The Bishop of Bath and Wells to move:

That this Synod, recognising that safeguarding is at the heart of Christian mission and the urgent need for the Church of England to continue to become a safer place for all and a refuge for those who suffer abuse in any context:

(a) endorse the priorities for action outlined in the report (GS 2092); and

(b) call on the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council to ensure that the plan of action is implemented as a matter of priority.

GS Misc 1192 Summary of decisions by the House of Bishops and Delegated Committees, contains brief reports of various meetings that have considered Safeguarding. The relevant extracts are copied below the fold. I have changed the order of the meetings to put them in chronological order.

Continue reading "Safeguarding debate at General Synod"
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 4:59pm BST
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

General Synod and Sexuality on Saturday afternoon

The Business Committee report GS 2091 contains the following:

Arrangements for the Saturday afternoon

25. The Business Committee has agreed that on Saturday afternoon the Synod will not be in session. Instead, members will be invited to attend a choice of seminars intended to update members on various important areas of work and to encourage our participation in the development of them.

26. The seminars will cover the developing work of the House of Bishops Teaching Document on Human Sexuality, the Pastoral Advisory Group, Digital Evangelism, the Evangelism Task Group and the Environmental Working Group, as well as Children and Young People. Each seminar will be 1 hour long and will take place 3 times on a rotating basis in order to allow those members who wish to attend up to three different seminars. There will also be workshops available on a number of these topics. Full details of these opportunities are set out in GS Misc 1188. This conference style session will be introduced at the end of the Saturday morning session by the Chair of the BC and some of those leading the different workstreams.

27. After due consideration, the Business Committee has come to a mind that the various PMMs and DSMs relating to the matters which are intended to be addressed by the proposed House of Bishops Teaching Document on Human Sexuality will not be scheduled for debate until that document has been published. This decision was taken on the understanding that the work on the Teaching Document will be completed by 2020. In addition, there has been an understanding that from the inception of the project there will be regular opportunities for members of the General Synod to engage with that work, as it develops at each group of sessions. This process of engagement begins with the seminars arranged for the Saturday afternoon of the July group of sessions.

The details of the arrangements for the Saturday afternoon are contained in GS Misc 1198.

The programme for the afternoon comprises

  • four separate seminars and three workshops relating to the four strands of work contributing to the Episcopal Teaching Document on human identity, sexuality and marriage;
  • a seminar on the work of the Pastoral Advisory Group
  • a seminar on mission among children and young people;
  • a seminar on the Church’s environment programme
  • a seminar on digital evangelism; and
  • a seminar on the work of the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group

The nine seminars will each run three times during the afternoon, for an hour, at 2.30 pm, 4.15 pm and 6.00 pm.

The three workshops are described as follows:

…organised so that you can visit them at your own pace and in your own time throughout Saturday afternoon. Each workshop space will have information about aspects of the work of the Teaching Document and offer ways in which you can participate in shaping its work.

One or more members of the Co-ordinating Group for the Teaching Document will be available to respond to your questions and tell you more about the work of the group. These workshops are as much for the benefit of the Teaching Document as to inform you about the project..

There is a lot more detail in GS Misc 1188.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 3:16pm BST
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

General Synod papers published

The Church of England has issued the press release below about papers for next month’s meeting of General Synod.

See the previous article for my list of papers.

New links between Church of England and black-majority churches
14/06/2018

Church of England congregations will be able to share mission and ministry with a range of churches in their area more easily under plans due to receive final approval by the General Synod next month.

A long-anticipated overhaul of rules underpinning ecumenical relations is expected to open the way for parishes to take part in joint worship with more churches than previously possible.

For the first time this will include churches without a large national structure – something which will particularly affect newer independent evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic groups including many black-led churches.

The move - part of a drive to simplify ecclesiastical law - is among several significant legislative changes being considered at Synod which meets in York from July 6-10.

Dr Joe Aldred of Churches Together in England, who serves as an Ecumenical Representative for Pentecostals on General Synod and is a bishop in the Church of God of Prophecy, welcomed the change.

He said: “This is a great moment for relations between the Church of England and Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations and congregations, including many black-led churches, as we share the task of building the Kingdom of God in this country.

“In working together and worshipping together our churches have the potential to transform their neighbourhoods.

“The shape and style of the Church in England has changed considerably over the years and this legislation reflects the new reality on the ground.

“Through the work of the Pentecostal Presidency in Churches Together in England, I have seen just what is possible by strengthening relationships, engaging in prayer and mission together and I hope and pray this change in legislation will mean we can do even more together.”

In one of the most broad-ranging agendas in recent years, Synod will also discuss national and international issues from nuclear proliferation and responses to climate change to the future of the NHS.

There will be a major debate on the Church of England’s work on safeguarding and Synod will be asked to endorse the priorities for action outlined in the report (GS 2092) to be published with the second set of papers next week.

Synod will also have an opportunity for a detailed update on progress on the episcopal teaching document on human sexuality and marriage and to engage with those working on it through a series of seminars and workshops.

The document, due to be completed in 2020, will be entitled Living in Love and Faith: Christian teaching and learning about human sexuality and marriage.

Synod papers published today also include the final report of the Church of England’s Cathedrals Working Group which sets out new ideas to help secure the cathedrals for the future.

Further details on the Cathedrals Working Group report are set out in a separate press release.

Notes to editors

A full set of papers from the first circulation is available here. A second circulation will follow and will be available on Friday June 22.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 11:08am BST
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

July General Synod - online papers

The first batch of papers for next month’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod are now available online. The remaining papers will be issued on 22 June and I will add links when these become available.

Papers in numerical order with a note of the day scheduled for their consideration are listed below the fold.
Synod meets from Friday 6 to Tuesday 10 July 2018 in York.

Timetable
GS 2090 Agenda

Continue reading "July General Synod - online papers"
Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 10:30am BST
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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Opinion - 13 June 2018

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England Seascapes: a retreat for those being ordained.

Jonathan Clatworthy St Bride’s blog Food with dignity - The origins of the Eucharist
[first of a series]

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 5: open membership

Emma Percy Women and the Church Install Updates

Sam Wells preached this sermon at the Service of Hope for LGBTI equality in the Church of England held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Clapham, on 7 June: Not until you give me your blessing

Simon Cross After evangelicalism: tipping over the certainty curve

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Are Abuse Survivors Prophets to the Church?

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 13 June 2018 at 11:00am BST
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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Lessons learned from the Mawer report on the See of Sheffield

Updated Friday

press release from the Archbishops’ Council
Lessons for the National Church Institutions following Independent Reviewer’s report on Sheffield

Following the publication of Sir Philip Mawer’s independent review into the nomination to the See of Sheffield, William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, has published a ‘lessons learned’ review in response to Sir Philip’s fourth recommendation.

He said: “I would like to add my thanks to that of the Archbishops to Sir Philip for his review, and in particular for suggesting that I review the lessons to be learned for the National Church Institutions from the handling of the process after Bishop Philip North’s nomination.

“Having done this, I hope that my suggestions for a way forward will ensure that those nominated to a see, as well as the dioceses in question, will be better supported by the National Church Institutions both before and after the announcement.

“We have already put this learning into practice and have reaped the benefit of this in the announcement of the new Bishop of London last December and the new Bishop of Bristol in May.

“We will continue to learn from each nomination, keeping to our commitment to mutual flourishing in every process.”

The full text of the review is available here.

Notes

Sir Philip’s report can be found here.

The House of Bishops response to Sir Philip’s report can be found here.

Update

Forward in Faith has issued this press release: Nomination to the See of Sheffield: Lessons Learned

…Like Mr Nye, we look forward to news of the progress of the Implementation and Dialogue Group in carrying out its task of remedying this lack of education about the Five Guiding Principles and the 2014 settlement more generally. We hope that, when the next traditional catholic is nominated to a diocesan see, the fruit of its work will be seen in much more generous responses within and beyond the diocese concerned.

The House of Bishops’ Declaration also said, ‘It will be important that senior leadership roles within dioceses continue to be filled by people from across the range of traditions.’ The non-implementation of this commitment over the last four years suggests that educational work might usefully begin within the House of Bishops itself.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 at 12:59pm BST
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Categorised as: Church of England

Supreme Court refuses South Carolina petition

The Episcopal News Service reports:
US Supreme Court refuses to hear South Carolina Episcopal Church property case
Breakaway group vows to continue legal fight

The United States Supreme Court refused June 11 a petition by a group that broke away from the Episcopal Church in South Carolina asking it to review a state court ruling that said property, assets and most of the diocese’s parishes must be returned to the Episcopal Church and its recognized diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

The petition for a writ of certiorari from a group that broke away from the Episcopal Church in South Carolina asked the court to consider “whether the ‘neutral principles of law’ approach to resolving church property disputes requires courts to recognize a trust on church property even if the alleged trust does not comply with the state’s ordinary trust and property law.”

The breakaway group said in its Feb. 13 petition that the majority of the South Carolina Supreme Court justices did not take the “neutral” approach.

The high court justices discussed the case (17.1136) during their June 7 conference and denied the request without comment on June 11…

The (ACNA-affiliated) Diocese of South Carolina has issued this press release:
Diocese’s Petition for Cert Denied by United States Supreme Court

…The Diocese of South Carolina will now return to our state courts, where the case has been remitted to the Dorchester Courthouse where it originated. An element of TEC’s argument for the United States Supreme Court to deny our petition was the “fractured” nature of the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling. Constitutional issues aside, the Diocese believes the conflicted nature of the current State Supreme Court ruling is virtually unenforceable as written. Interpretation and implementation of that ruling, given its five separate opinions, with no unified legal theory even among the plurality of the court, means there are still significant questions to resolve.

The Diocese remains confident that the law and the facts of this case favor our congregations. We plan to continue to press both to their logical conclusion, even if that requires a second appearance before the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Statement by the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Diocesan Bishop: “While, obviously, we are disappointed that the Court did not review this case, our hope remains steadfast in our Heavenly Father. There are many unresolved legal questions which remain before the State Court as well as matters for prayerful discernment as we seek to carry out the mission to which we are called in Jesus Christ. We shall seek his guidance for both.”

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina issued this:
US Supreme Court Decision

… Today’s decision does not cause an immediate change in the physical control of the properties, according to Thomas S. Tisdale Jr., Chancellor of TECSC. It is now up to the state’s 1st Circuit Court of Common Pleas to execute the lower court’s decision.

TECSC and The Episcopal Church on May 8 asked the state court to place diocesan property and assets under control of TECSC’s trustees, hand over ownership of property of the 28 affected parishes to The Episcopal Church and TECSC, and appoint a Special Master to oversee the transition.

The Episcopal Church has been hoping to engage with leaders of the breakaway group since the state Supreme Court ruling in August. Bishop Adams and other diocesan leaders have been seeking direct contact with people in the affected parishes, offering a “Frequently Asked Questions” publication and arranging individual meetings to work with those who want to remain in their home churches as Episcopalians.

Direct talks are even more important now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the Bishop said. “We invite people in each of the parishes affected by this decision to read the FAQ document and get in touch with me directly, so we can discover how best to work together for the good of the parish, the diocese and the whole Church,” Bishop Adams said…

The FAQ document mentioned above can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 at 7:20am BST
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Categorised as: ACNA | ECUSA

Monday, 11 June 2018

More reporting on the Bishop of Maidstone's letter

Updated again Friday afternoon

The reply from the Bishop of Maidstone to the Diocese of Lichfield ad clerum continues to get coverage.

We first reported this in our roundup of 6 June, which included a link to Colin Coward’s Open Letter to Archbishops Justin and Sentamu re: +Maidstone.

Since then:

Savi Hensman wrote about this at Ekklesia Bishop’s call to deny communion defies church on LGBTI welcome.

David Ison wrote about this at ViaMedia News Welcome, Disorder & Hypocrisy in the Church of England.

The Church Times reported David Ison’s article: Dean of St Paul’s enters debate on Lichfield’s ‘inclusion’ letter.

The Times (£) reported Gays and unmarried lovers should repent, bishop insists.

The Sunday Times (£) reported Gay Christians ‘being forced out’ by evangelical churches.

And Colin Coward has written a second article: A bishop authorised to discriminate against LGBTI people.

Updates

catholicity and covenant How +Maidstone gets ‘worthy reception’ wrong

Colin Coward has written The Archbishop of York refers matters to the Pastoral Advisory Group.

And he has subsequently written two further letters:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 11 June 2018 at 6:51am BST
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Categorised as: Church of England

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Opinion - 9 June 2018

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of worthiness and sacraments

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love A bishop authorised to discriminate against LGBTI people

Savi Hensman Ekklesia Bishop’s call to deny communion defies church on LGBTI welcome

Meg Warner ViaMedia.News Sex & the Single Girl

Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts Inclusion is more than being nice

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 9 June 2018 at 11:00am BST
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Categorised as: Opinion