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 | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Given the presence of RCs in the Community of St Anselm Iam curious how they handle the matter of eucharistic fellowship? What protocols may heave been laid down by RCs for Rcs here?

Living in France where in effect the Catholic Church is "the sole provider" we have been very pleasantly received. But the Community of St Anselm is in the context of the Church of England. Chemin Neuf faces this as a challenge as well, due to their ecumenical horizons.

Posted by: crs on Sunday, 17 June 2018 at 7:35am BST

Interested to contrast Andrew Brown’s piece with Philip Welsh’s. Working in an unchurched area, many of the CofE’s standard texts are impenetrable to those outside the church, and the flexibility of CW allows us to find liturgies that connect. It doesn’t mean that we change every week, nor that we never use CW, but that liturgy can be contextual. Personally, I like the Iona Community’s approach. They revise the abbey worship book every now and then, including mostly new material, and then use it regularly. And their resource books do offer liturgy that connects with people.

Posted by: Jeremy Fagan on Sunday, 17 June 2018 at 12:41pm BST

Clericalism stalks in some unlikely places, but one of those it is strongest is probably that part of the church striving for 'contextual liturgy.' I'm not accusing Jeremy Fagan, or anyone in particular, of that. But there is a sort of liberal version of 'Father knows best' in which the (doubtless overworked and hard-pressed) parish priest slaves over his/her computer half the week to produce the ideal liturgy. And the congregation smile indulgently as they are handed their badly formatted sheet of A4 folded lengthways, possibly even printed in Comic Sans (I have seen it!) and then miss half the poetry or theology because the words are unfamiliar. But Father/Mother knows that they are more suited to the urban/unchurched/non-graduate congregation.

Whereas at St Hyacinth's down the road the people, of a similar demographic, happily engage in forms of worship which both priest and congregation accept as the worship of the Church. The longstanding faithful have made it their own even if it was originally imposed by diktat of King, Parliament or General Synod, or even Pope. Newcomers sense their engagement with the mystery and are content to let words and concepts float over their heads until they too are caught up in something much greater and deeper than Father's latest big idea.

Posted by: David Emmott on Sunday, 17 June 2018 at 6:08pm BST

Matters of Eucharistic hospitality are an agony. I have been privileged to worship with members of the St Anselm community at Lambeth, but in a Eucharistic service the RC members do not receive communion but do of course receive a blessing. My only sibling, Geoffrey, who is a RC and learning disabled, sometimes takes me to Mass and I known what it feels like not to be able fully to participate. I am sure Pope Francis has a private view on this.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Sunday, 17 June 2018 at 6:55pm BST

Yes, Anthony (Archer). And the odd thing is that when my wife, Diana, and I are in situations where we are overseas (where no-one knows us as Anglicans) and - in all good conscience - go up to receive the Sacrament, both our and their private consciences are at peace - on our part knowing that Christ is available at the Mass to all Baptised Believers.

I sometimes tell the priest at the door upon leaving that I am an Anglican priest who believes that Christ is present in the Elements of the Mass, and this has always been received with respect and welcome.

On an ocean cruise, once, because there was no Anglican/Episcopal Eucharist on board, I approached the R.C. Chaplain BEFORE the Mass, explaining my situation. Not only did he welcome we to receive the Eucharist, he also shared with me the priest's Host. Now there's Eucharistic hospitality for you. I think that, in a situation where one is not known, one can always believe that the Christ we know to be present in the sacred Elements will always welcome us.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 12:28am BST

I taught for over 20 years in Catholic schools in Sydney. Very early in that time (about 1980) I was invited to take part in 3 separate week long retreats (I believe I was the first non-catholic to be invited to do so in the diocese). On the first night I stayed seated when mass was distributed and, being asked why by other participants, I told them I was an Anglican. The next morning the Jesuit priest who was leading the retreat called me over and told me that, as I was a member of the community, I was welcome to participate. On the final night I was asked to help distribute the host. I have never done that in an Anglican Eucharist. From then on I regularly participated in school Masses although some of the celebrants may not have approved if they had known. In my last school, non-catholic teachers were openly invited to participate when on staff retreats. I was often amused, as sometimes it was offered in both kinds and generally only the Anglicans took the wine.

Posted by: Brian Ralph on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 1:46am BST

Thank you for the clarification AA.

We have fortunately been spared that.

I suspect at the level of St Anselm, and because located inside the C of E, the flexibility is difficult to receive an OK from the RCC for.

Posted by: CRS on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 5:40am BST

Philip Welsh has put his thumb on the pulse. Yes, Common Worship is better than anything we've had before, but boy-oh-boy do clergypeople love to play about with our worship from Sunday to Sunday! How we are expected to internalise ever-changing alternatives, as well-meaning clergy spend too much of their time re-arranging the jigsaw pieces of liturgical text to make every service searingly 'relevant' is beyond me. That's what makes the liturgical text 'impenetrable' (@Jeremy Fagan) because we are not given time for words to work their way into the fibres of our souls, to repeat them, and rediscover them afresh, because they are changed every week!

The precentor of York Minster (where I go from time to time) once wrote very tellingly that clergy need more training in the theological principles of liturgy, and to understand more about the structure and flow of liturgy, as well as seeing the transformational potential of liturgy. How can that happen if those leading it think it is only about the words, always changing the words, and printing a different sheet of paper every time we come to church? Perhaps some of them need to get out a bit more. Then they would discover that most of us don't actually worship like they think we do!

Posted by: Bill Broadhead on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 9:08am BST

David Emmett, you may be right in some cases, but some do work hard at contextual liturgy and do it collegially. When I was in a very tough parish and CW had just come in I worked out with the PCC what would best suit our people, and we road-tested it until people were happy with it. We then printed 4 booklets, for the 4 seasons, and used those for years.

The CofE has a poor record in building congregations in deprived areas, which suggests that the St. Hyacinth's approach of 'engaging with the mystery' hasn't always been effective.

Posted by: Janet Fife on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 11:06am BST

My experience is similar to Janet's: forming a small group of church members, resourced by me but chaired by a couple of laypeople, and spending a whole church year trying out different options for each season, with lots of consultation, before printing a worship folder which is still in use seven years later. We called the group the non-music worship team, and I was surprised at the creativity unleashed - often I (the vicar) would have made different liturgical choices, but it wasn't for me to decide!

Posted by: Andy gr on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 2:24pm BST

I'm a CoE (persistent) lay participant, married to "a Catholic". It's a quite discomfiting to read the accounts of Anglican priests/clergy being welcomed to RC communion. For me it's been made very clear that, with the exception of our wedding, paragraph 1400 of the CCC applies ( not possible.)

Posted by: Participant observer on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 3:57pm BST


The English context is certainly a special challenge for RC-Anglican relationships given the long and conflicted history and the established church reality.

Discomfiting personally -- how so?

Posted by: crs on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 4:45pm BST

It may be "discomforting" to hear that "Catholics" ignore official rules with regard to inter-communion. I would suggest "Catholics" also ignore their own rules with regard to contraception, masturbation, same-sex marriage, divorce and abortion and most think that celibacy is pointless. Only the unmarried man in the Vatican, who make the rules, believe they should be obeyed.

Posted by: FrDavidH on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 6:29pm BST

Participant observer: I'm sorry that has been your experience (and the experience of many Anglicans and others denied communion by official RC policy). But in practice many Catholic priests do not take a hard line approach and it's not just as if clergy were in a particularly privileged position. I hesitate to name names or places for obvious reasons, but I can point to several RC institutions where intercommunion is taken for granted (even if they don't make a song and dance about it.) And as far as I know the direction of the French hierarchy that Anglicans unable to access their own church should be admitted to Holy Communion, is still in force.

Posted by: David Emmott on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 7:48pm BST

Common Worship like the many alternative service books used in the US Episcopal Church provide such a vast array of options as to be bewildering to most people. My parish was a waning one during the era when the clergy insisted on using all the varying options week by week season by season. With new leadership the decision was to offer essentially the same mass every day according to the '79 prayerbook as it made it easier for visitors and newcomers. I'm happy to report a nearly 200% increase in attendance over the past 20 years.

Posted by: Davis on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 8:41pm BST

"Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in 2015. Here in the heart of London, tucked away inside Lambeth Palace, millennials from around the world have waved goodbye to flats, jobs and friends to spend 10 intense months in prayer, study and service — and being very, very quiet."

"Very, very quiet", if only the ABC could make that work with oppressed sexual minorities in the church.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 18 June 2018 at 11:44pm BST

I am intrigued by Janet Fife's comment about liturgical contextualisation, because I thought Common Worship was precisely that: services and prayers for the Church of England. It is not as if it is has been generated by a central bureaucracy like the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and then has to be inculturated for an English context. The process of authorising it has been extremely collegial: initial drafting by a liturgical commission representing different shades of theological stance and ecclesial experience; General Synod; quite a bit of 'road testing and feedback in parishes and other institutions; back to General Synod; House of Bishops; Revision Committee; and back to General Synod again.

As Philip Welsh's citing of the prefaces in the BCP illustrates, worship in the Church of England can never be a purely 'local' matter. It is the primary means by which we express our doctrinal identity, as well as being an expression of the corporate life of the Church. It is for this reason that I wish clergy would stop tinkering with, and tweaking, what the Church has collectively agreed will be its liturgical text.

Posted by: Simon R on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 8:46am BST

This may spoil Participant observer’s entire day! The Remembrance Day tradition at the NATO base in S. Netherlands in the early 70s was for Sittard (RC) Cathedral to invite a Brit contingent to join with them on ‘our’ day in Nov, rather than theirs in May. Though not a concelebration, I accepted the Dean’s gracious invitation to distribute the host with him. This was noted. So was our tiny but accomplished choir who sang John Ireland’s ‘Greater Love hath No Man’ perfectly, accompanied on the organ by Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Hodges’ PSO, their “choir” comprising 80 singalong teenagers in the gallery. Perhaps most moving of all was the way the squaddies and airmen sang the Wilhelmus in phonetic Dutch, having been practised the day before. After the service, a Dutch lady, seeing my daughter run up to greet me, remarked to the Dean “how sensible of Anglican clergy to marry their wives”.

I take no credit. That goes to a Gp Capt I approached beforehand, a highly decorated WWII Pathfinder who had no love for the Dutch – 30% chance of being smuggled away if you baled out over Holland, 70% if over France. He knew the occasion was as much a rude gesture to the Germans as gratitude to Brits for putting money into their faltering economy. He said “go for it”. He was the agent of the Holy Spirit, I just the instrument.

That was not the end. After my last church service months later, the ACM called me back in some distress, saying he had received a stinging report from the Senior Chaplain in Europe (Church of Ireland), accusing me of “taking part in illegal church services”. I produced a letter I had written to Mervyn Stockwood, who had assured me that what I proposed was “well within the growing edge of ecumenical outreach”. The ACM said nothing, but his feelings were obvious. I learned later that he had flown Lysanders into N. France during WWII.

The question is: how does the Spirit operate in *new* ways in the C of E? Only after approval from ecclesiastical authorities? Hardly. By breaking church rules? Usually. But what about inspiration (literally) from so-called secular, ungodly or not-very-nice situations? Perhaps we should re-examine the casual remark: “can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Answer, yes.

One of my basses was a German Lt Col, btw.

Posted by: Michael Skliros on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 11:22am BST

Simon R, I was referring to a parish on a very tough estate, where most people had a non-book culture. Processes for forming liturgy in the Church, including Synod, are heavily geared towards middle class, educated, and mostly white - hardly representative of the nation as a whole. The original set of collects for CW were particularly impenetrable, but I found the liturgy as a whole generally didn't reflect the concerns of the people I was working among. I think that would be true of many working class, post-industrial, or heavily ethnic minority areas. At least that was the experience of my fellow members of the diocesan urban mission and ministry committee.

Posted by: Janet Fife on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 1:59pm BST

My most entertaining (if that's the word) experience with intercommunion was on the Camino de Santiago. It was one of the traditional starting points, so many were gathered at Mass for the first time.

The President welcomed us all in (if I remember rightly) Spanish, German, English and French. He then went on to explain that only Catholics (sic) could receive the sacrament. This he said only in Spanish....

Given that non-Catholics are thin on the ground in Spain, the letter of the law was kept quite neatly I thought. If the guy wasn't a Jesuit, he should have been!

Posted by: David Rowett on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 1:59pm BST

I am another Anglican who from time to time has received RC Communion with the knowledge of the priest.

Posted by: Kate on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 3:32pm BST

ASB was never all that popular with our congregations but having invested in around 100 books in 1980 there was reluctance to spend more money, which we could hardly afford, so we decided to look at the new options in CW as a church, see where we wanted to be and then produce our own service booklet. Once we had our booklet we stayed with it week in week out. It became familiar in just a few weeks, newcomers easily pick it up. Working in what is sometimes called a 'non-book' culture I have found familiarity with texts works well, constant change not so much. Last year the worship group asked if it might be time to look at some of the material we have not used and after wide consultation we've done a bit of tweaking and produced a new booklet for the next few years. I provided resources as requested but took no part in the decision making. It may take longer to get there but we do reach a fairly pain free consensus.

Posted by: AnotherFrDavid on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 3:53pm BST

I think its gone beyond tweaking and tinkering in some places SimonR.I sense a rejection of liturgical forms in some places. Hauled out of retirement to do 3 yrs of POT I was surprised how few of the newly ordained saw liturgy in your sense as formational at all. Several saw it as an impediment to mission, along with too much holy communion.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 4:16pm BST

'Only the unmarried man in the Vatican, who make the rules, believe they should be obeyed.'

I suggest that you read up a little on the way the Catholic Church actually operates before making such sweeping generalisations.

Posted by: William on Tuesday, 19 June 2018 at 4:55pm BST

In the wake of the ACNS report on the opening of the Gafcon Conference in Jerusalem, one couldn't help thinking about the consequences for worldwide Anglicanism when the Gafcon Primates are in the process of encouraging delegates from other countries to set up rival Churches to those they have left behind in their home countries.

Of course, there are supporters of sexism and active homophobic reaction in every part of the civilised world – some even living in relatively civilised Aotearoa/New Zealand. In fact, some of them are now present at the Gafcon conference in Jerusalem – the site of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ himself, who was put to death for his love for sinners and his obvious disregard for the harshness of the religious leaders of his day. The rich irony of this situation has obviously been quite lost on the assembled Gafconites.

There has already been talk of the possibility of one of these dissident Kiwis returning – freshly-bishopped by the assembled prelates at the Gafcon – to lead a Church-in-exile in this country, fostered by a newly-opened branch of Gafcon’s offspring FOCANZ. Though this may sound a little outlandish, it is completely in accord with what has happened in other Western Provinces of the Anglican Communion: to TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada – (with the rise of ACNA) and even in the Mother Church of England – with the recent ordination of a bishop by Gafcon for AMIE, the ‘Anglican Mission in England’ – set to rival the mission and work of the Founding Province of the Anglican Communion!

Whatever else GAFCON may stand for – sadly, it is not the Unity of The Church. Its mission of schismatic severance – on the grounds of ritual purity – can never overcome the grace and mercy of Almighty God as revealed to the world in the liberating Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 9:55am BST

Although the Prayer Book preface uses standardisation as justification for Cranmer's reforms, if uniformity was his true motivation then he could have achieved it simply by combining the usages of Sarum, Bangor, York, Hereford and Lincoln in some way.

The justification for alternative services, including Common Worship is the very opposite of uniformity. The Prayer Book is the only permanent liturgy, it alone is normative and doctrinally definitive. But Common Worship provides a plethora of alternatives. Common Worship cannot be other than locally determined since using it at all constitutes a local and temporary decision not to use the standard permanent liturgy of the Church.

Whether all involved with producing alternative services were genuinely motivated by the idea that every parish have its own usage may be doubted. But it could have been pased in no other way than as an alternative option and with all its "or other suitable words" clauses.

What other words are suitable seems to demand local contextualisation or sectarian preference.

Posted by: T Pott on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 10:25am BST

Simon R, the process of compiling CW was collegial - but it was a pretty selective college. General Synod has a heavy preponderance of middle class, older, mainly white members, so is not really representative of the Church as a whole - let alone the whole nation. The first set of collects were particularly impenetrable and I stopped using them (I used the excellent 'Opening Prayers' from ICEL instead). I had to work hard to put together services which my people felt reflected the lives they led. This was the general experience among my fellow members of the diocesan Urban Mission & Ministry Committee.

Posted by: Janet Fife on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 11:56am BST

Perry Butler I agree with you. That is my experience too - particularly candidates from evangelical/charismatic churches. The irony of course is that evangelicals were hugely involved in the very liturgical revision processes that many are now sitting light too.

Posted by: David Runcorn on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 2:15pm BST

And the field testing, @Janet Fife? Did none of that take place in tough estate parishes in the North (I know of three) and in parishes that are not majority white, middle aged and middle class? Yes, of course, I get where you are coming from; but there seems to be a bold assumption underscoring your stance. Taking your point about Collects as an example (and reflecting on @Bill Broadhead's comment on this thread) do we ever give people the chance to ponder more deeply the demanding texts (as much from scripture as the liturgy)? Or do we as white, middle-class, higher-educated people know what is best for people on tough estates and UPAs, thus limiting their access to the bits of Common Worship that we think they should know about?

Genuinely, this is not a back-handed question. I know a parish church in Greater Manchester, serving an economically and culturally deprived community, whose parish priest retired not long ago after 20+ years in post. There has been a flourishing worshipping life and imaginative outreach into the wider community. They use only the Book of Common Prayer. I am not a Prayer Book banner-waver; but I do question the default that says the more we dilute the language and symbolism, the more engaging and sustaining the worship is - especially in our most challenging communities.

Posted by: Simon R on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 3:34pm BST

The irony is that the more liturgy is 'contextualised' and tailor-made to suit the needs (preferences?) of a local congregation, the less it appears as the liturgy of the whole church. All very well if people stay rooted in their own villages and never move (as doubtless in the Middle Ages, when that did not happen), but in today's mobile society it is a recipe for confusion.

I take all the points about Common Worship being over-influenced by white middle class culture and all that, but at least there is a core of liturgy that we can all accept as usable if not ideal. One can participate in the Mass even if it is in a foreign language because the structure is familiar; so surely it is possible to worship even in Cranmerian prose (and certainly CW English) and gain familiarity with it through regular use. Liturgy isn't all about words anyway.

Too much of this talk about 'accessible language' seems patronising to me. As if schools in working class areas refused to teach Shakespeare.

Posted by: David Emmott on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 3:37pm BST

OK William. Would you prefer that "the unmarried Magisterium" makes the rules and everyone else ignores them?

Posted by: FrDavidH on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 5:40pm BST

RS, can you please cut this out? Jesus Christ died, 1) by his own willful intention, as all the Gospels make clear, 2) because he claimed he was God, and so provoked a central internal Jewish debate, continuing to this day, so as to fulfill the promises of Abraham, the Law and the Prophets, and 3) because Pilate had the power to substitute Barabbas and the entire crowd asked otherwise.

Pilate wouldn't have bothered to hear the case and would have had Jesus flogged with beach towels on your scenario.

More Pascal, more Luther, more Aquinas and Augustine, more Cranmer, and less non-NT dreaming, please.

For the love of God.

Posted by: crs on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 7:28pm BST

Re: "right-wing appropriating Christ"

In another act of shame, the US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, actually quoted the Bible to justify the separation of children from their families at the US border with Mexico. It turns out that the United Methodist Church is bringing a case against Sessions for that, over 600 UMC clergy signed a petition to support that action. Sessions is a Methodist and Sunday School teacher. Also, TEC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and numerous other Episcopal (TEC) and Catholic bishops opposed the practice on TV and whatnot. And every American with a conscience kept the phones of Congressmen and women ringing off the hook.

It has been announced that Trump is signing an executive order to end the heinous practice today. People of faith and conscience can successfully push back. Praise God.

Posted by: Cynthia on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 7:48pm BST

Re: William, " up a little on the way the Catholic Church actually operates ..."

Good idea. Linked is an article from National Catholic Reporter regarding the 'inclusive tone' a new pre-synod document is taking with regard to youth who disagree with their church.

"The document speaks of 'LGBT youth' in a brief paragraph noting that the Vatican's Synod office received 'various contributions"'from young gay people during its consultative process. Its use of the acronym seems significant, as the Catholic Church has in the past formally referred to gay people as 'persons with homosexual tendencies.' "

The document also recognizes that studies indicate the measurable difference that Catholic youth have with their church's official teaching on issues such as sexuality, roles of women and so forth.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 8:24pm BST

To live like monks for a WHOLE YEAR?!

That's half what the average novitiate would be, just the introductory period to learn the life and its lessons.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 7:58am BST

@Simon R and @David Emmott get to the crux of the issue. It struck me powerfully at an ordination, recently. The ordinands were asked "Will you faithfully minister the doctrine and sacraments of Christ as the Church of England has received them, so that the people committed to your charge may be defended against error and flourish in the faith"?

The primary way of doing this in the Church of England is through the liturgy. Once we start imposing cultural perceptions and personal preferences on what the Church has agreed will be its doctrinal standards, our worship is diminished - along with those who are being led in worship. Clergy have an awesome responsibility in this respect, and any temptation to sit light to the doctrinal dimension of changing and diluting the liturgical text should send every priest straight back to his/her ordination vows.

One other small, but significant, point when it comes to worship in different cultural, social and economic settings. Worship is always - always - infinitely more that the text on the page. And always - always - much more than can ever be appropriated or absorbed on first encounter (back to @Bill Broadhead's point about words working their way into our souls - and that doesn't happen overnight). My sense is that much of the disconnect with Common Worship in the kind of contexts @Janet Fife describes is as much about how it is presented and performed, than about perceived linguistic barriers.

Posted by: Will Richards on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 11:01am BST

Re: CRS, "Jesus Christ died ....because he claimed he was God..."

Tendentious statement. We are all aware of the long standing controversy among NT scholars about whether or not Jesus made such a claim. Nice to have your opinion on it though.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 12:57pm BST

Alas Will Liturgical discipline in the C of E is weak and liturgical formation not great. AngloCs often use the Roman rite entire or bits of including the calendar, evangelicals sit light to liturgical forms and lectionary now, unlike their forbears, often using little of the Xian Year. "What's epiphany?"asked one of my POT group. We don't wear fancy dress said another. And CW itself? At a recent conference replying to +Coventry, Mgr Andrew Burnham detected 2 or 3 contradictory theologies in the eucharistic prayers. I fear LexOrandi isn't going to be much help in defining Anglican identity in the future.and diversity btw parishes is likely to increase in the years ahead rather than decrease.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 3:55pm BST

So Rod Gillis, do you remain silent or cross your fingers when you say the Creed? And, given your comment, which challenges the Creedal affirmations, how is it that you commend the Creed for people/to people week by week? Where is the integrity in that?

Posted by: Wm Bill Paul on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 5:26pm BST

To my various critics:

a) as I said earlier, I did not make all the decisions myself, let alone impose my 'middle class' (my family is working class) perceptions on the parish. We made collegiate decisions.

b). We were using the pattern from Common Worship, and its texts (mostly) and operating within the latitude it permits. No diluting of doctrine there. So yes, we did use the acceptable, if not ideal, common core of liturgy.

c) We had in mind not only regular worshippers who would know churchy words and be familiar with churchy concepts, but also those from the estate who wandered into services.These were of all ages; several had mental health difficulties, some spoke little English. It was important that they were not put off at the outset, but felt that this was something they might at least be able to get used to. There was enough in the service, sermon, and prayers for those familiar with Anglican worship to think about.

I have never forgotten my experience as a 20-year-old walking into an Anglican Church for the first time, being handed 2 books I'd never seen before, and being given no guidance as to what I/we was supposed to be doing. It was awful and I couldn't wait to get out. All my ministry I have tried to avoid doing that to anyone else.

I was also influenced, in my last year of training, by hearing a lecture given by Rosemary Hartill at Christ Church, Oxford. She said that England, and the Church of England in particular, have a strong 'insider' culture. But the gospel and the ministry of Jesus are outsider-oriented, and so should we be.

Posted by: Janet Fife on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 5:36pm BST

"RS, can you please cut this out? Jesus Christ died, 1) by his own willful intention, as all the Gospels make clear"

Christ's destiny was strong. He fulfilled that destiny with grace in the knowledge of the meaning His death would have but that is subtly - but importantly - different to the suggestion that He had wilful intent to die.

Posted by: Kate on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 6:39pm BST

RG, forgive me if I prefer the NT and the tradition to opinions of NT scholarship in some odd quarters in recent vintage. I may have opinions but I know the difference between them and the NT as such.

Posted by: crs on Thursday, 21 June 2018 at 7:47pm BST
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