Comments: Ugley Puritans - update

Kiddies! There's one-upmanship written all through this report. With that much politicking it began to sound like the House of Commons. :o( When will ppl realise that the church is not some political game?

Posted by Christopher Shell at Sunday, 20 March 2005 at 5:31pm GMT

Which people particularly did you have in mind? And how do you propose to run a synodical church without politics?

Posted by Andrew Brown at Sunday, 20 March 2005 at 7:13pm GMT

Is it known how the signators were selected for the letter to the Times? Where all Bishops asked and most refused, or was it just a few mates getting together?
It is interesting to note who did not sign it - but is this merely because they didn't have the chance?

Posted by Michael Reed at Sunday, 20 March 2005 at 7:48pm GMT

I'm curious, Christopher, to know exactly in this story struck you as "one-upmanship" and "politicking"? Was it the in-your-face "Me too!" applause?

Because I agree, it's not very gracious . . .

. . . any more so, than the "celebration" that so many primates attended (skipping the *ultimate celebration*, the Lord's Supper) at Dromantine.

I say this as someone who's been guilty of this kind of thinking: if we define victory as "whatever makes my opponent unhappy," we are crucifying Christ anew.

When will we begin to bear one another's crosses? :-(

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 3:47am GMT

...but that he had also received 130 letters and messages of appreciation and support."

The trouble about this joint letter that the bishops signed is that it purported to support the Archbishop of Canterbury when in fact it was doing precisely the opposite. Had the 130 people grasped this?

What I find sad about this whole debacle is the way people can use words purporting to mean one thing, when in fact meaning quite the opposite. The devil is indeed having a field day.

Posted by Robert Leggat at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 9:10am GMT

"this joint letter that the bishops signed is that it purported to support the Archbishop of Canterbury when in fact it was doing precisely the opposite"
This is the opposite of the case. All Provinces of the Anglican Communion are in full communion with Canterbury. Canterbury has made no secret of the fact he does not believe the presenting issue should be communion-breaking.
Canterbury was deeply alarmed and disaproving when Provinces began excommunicating others.
The present agenda is not being driven by Canterbury who finds himself being coerced into a position he is finding increasingly repugnant.
The letter is clearly supportive of Canterbury's position, the belief in Lambeth remains that communion in Anglicanism is through Canterbury - not as other would seem to have it.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 2:46pm GMT

The emperor has no clothes on.
A statement of support of the Archbishop was made by the entire House of Bishops before the Northern Ireland meeting. +Rowan needed no further "support" - certainly not "support" of this sort.
No amount of assertion to the contrary can hide the reality that this letter exposes all its signatories to the charge they are undermining.
Communion and unity is not irrespective of truth.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 3:34pm GMT

You are kidding yourself Martin. There was no reason for their letter if it was not to distance themselves from the Archbishop's statement.

Posted by Robert Leggat at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 5:13pm GMT

It seems quite clear from those writting here that there was every reason for this letter. Many seem to be labouring under some mistaken impression that the Church of England is not in full communion with the Anglican Church in America and Canada. Others have suggested that this letter somehow contradicts the Primates Communique. All these beliefs and assertions are incorrect. All the evidence I have suggests that those who drafted the Communique and Lambeth Palace are very comfortable with what was written to the Times.
The Emperor remains very uncomfortable with the straitjacket others have been trying to force him into.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 10:35pm GMT

Hi Andrew-

I suppose what I am getting at is that people can either play the ball or 'play' the man. The best and wisest Christian leaders do the former. They speak with a passion for (and a focus upon) the truth and the gospel - not with any ad hominem or narrow passion which is so much what turns ppl off politics.

Posted by Dr Christopher Shell at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 1:53pm GMT

Clearly there has been a statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury that I have missed but which both Robert and Neil have seen. Could one or other of you just point it out to me. Thanks

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 4:12pm GMT

I can only assume you have a short memory Simon:

I do believe the UK House of Bishops unanimously agreed this:

“3. With the foregoing in mind, the House (of Bishops) therefore:
a Affirms the basis of faith and life that binds Anglicans together as set out in paragraphs 1-11 of the Windsor Report and illustrated by the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and accepts the basic principle of autonomy-in-communion exercised within the constraints of truth and charity set out in the Report. [note 2]
b Supports the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates in taking all steps necessary to seek to achieve reconciliation by persuading all within the Anglican Communion to comply with the mind of the Communion as expressed by the Instruments of Unity, [note 3] in the light of the recommendations of the Windsor Report.
c Supports the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates in requesting ECUSA and other parts of the Communion that have taken similar decisions to provide for the rest of the Communion the thought-out theological rationale, based on Scripture and Tradition, for the actions that have been taken that has been requested in the past but which so far has not been forthcoming."

Posted by Neil Barber at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 5:23pm GMT

Thank you Neil.

That is a resolution of the HoB, not a statement of the ABC.

I can see no conflict whatsoever between that statement and the letter of the six bishops. The HoB resolution was discussed by me at

It is remarkable for its failure to endorse any specific WR recommendations other than one.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 5:54pm GMT

The word nitpicking comes to mind.
1. I don't remember saying, or anyone else saying, that the Archbishop himself made any additional statement.
2. But nevertheless, the House of Bishops motion which went to Synod WAS signed by +Rowan and +David on their behalf - as recorded on your own site

The original point was, in case any one has been bamboozled by the thread, that the position of the whole UK House of Bishops was already clear and did not need clarifying or supplementing by anyone.
The UK House of Bishops unanimously agreed to support the Archbishop as he went to Ireland.
The Communique came out from Ireland.
And then six Bishops then saw the need to make a personal public statement - which must by definition have added to or taken away from all that came before it - or else it was totally and utterly pointless - and would have been better made by the whole House of Bishops again.


It has been a real education seeing people try and deny all this in this thread, including you now Simon. I think for those with eyes to see, the Emperor is still naked.

Posted by Neil at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 7:32pm GMT

It was Robert who referred to a statement by the archbishop. Maybe he had something else in mind than the HoB resolution.

The HoB resolution is a response to the Windsor Report.
The six bishops' letter is a response to the Dromantine Communiqué.
These two documents are quite different in content. The HoB has taken no stand on the latter as yet.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 9:16pm GMT
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