Comments: Reform plans a Religious Society

I do hope they choose a Protestant name and not a Catholic Saint.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Thursday, 21 October 2010 at 10:42pm BST

I wonder how this proposed society links with the Society of Sr Wilfrid and St Hilda already announced by the Bishop of Plymouth and others. It is also suggested that the draft Measure cannot now be amended. However we do have the precedent of the Churchwardens Measure which had to be amended twice *after* it received Final Approval before it was acceptable to Parliament. I am not an expert in General Synod Standing Orders but it seems to me that the draft Measure should be capable of amendment before it faces the Final Approval vote, and some amendment might improve its chances of getting hte requisite special najority.

Posted by Roger Stokes at Thursday, 21 October 2010 at 11:23pm BST

I thought Reform WAS a society? Their trouble is that they don't have enough clout in our church at large, or haven't wielded it effectively enough. They certainly have not persuaded others of the rightness of their cause. So now they are looking to make maximal trouble - how very unattractive.

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 5:07am BST

Why do I feel that today's C of E societies (in this and SWOOSH) will become tomorrow's breakaway groups.....the English schism gathers pace

Posted by Ed Tomlinson at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 6:51am BST

It's amusing that Richardson quotes Crockford on the proper use of titles in order to rebuke the framers of the press release yet ignores them himself by calling himself a vicar. The usual inconsistency from a self-appointed monitor of orthodoxy.

Posted by junius at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 7:52am BST

Ed "Why do I feel that today's C of E societies (in this and SWOOSH) will become tomorrow's breakaway groups?"

Because they are being set up by schismatically minded extremists who just love perpetually painting themselves into corners, perhaps?

Posted by Fr Mark at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 8:28am BST

'Reform has over 1,700 members, of whom more than 350 are ordained clergy'.

Am I alone in not being overly impressed by these numbers?

Posted by Richard Ashby at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 9:43am BST

Reform already has a religious society here in the U.S.

It's called the Southern Baptist Convention.

Posted by JPM at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 4:19pm BST

The group calling itself "Reform" might want to begin by examining their own sin and by making attempts to at least open their minds and hearts in dealing with the women's ordination issues and the glbt issues facing all Christians. This extremism EXCLUDES both women and glbt persons from an equal role in the Church. It is actually better that these elements LEAVE the CofE, as their bigotry and hatred should no longer be tolerated. I believe "sacramental assurance" is nothing more than a red herring. It's time for the religious right wingers in the CofE to leave and form their own peculiar brand of Church.

Posted by Chris Smith at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 6:02pm BST

'Reform has over 1,700 members, of whom more than 350 are ordained clergy'.'

Wow ! I'm quaking !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 6:14pm BST

It appears that John Richardson is impatient with the delay in setting up the Society of St Augustine. He has signed up to the Facebook page of the Hinge and Bracket Society. What an amazing conversion to Anglo-Catholicism.

Posted by Rev Sidney Jensen at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 6:16pm BST

If these groups become truly schismatic they will just have added two ( and probably more since these sort of groups tend to split further)tiny denominations to the English Church scene.The "free market in religion" operates rather differently in England compared with the US and I would have thought financial viability for such bodies would be a major issue the US people are used to coughing up.
I rather suspect the 350 clergy in Reform, assuming they all departed ,are unlikely to lead more than a few thousand into schism.Conservative Evangelical churches tend to attract a lot of youngsters who often move out/on, sometimes just drop out altogether and also attract a lot of free floating evangelicals who move about churches of different denominations looking for what suits them in terms of style and preaching. They are rarely rooted in anything specifically Anglican and little ,if any, effort is made to form any sort of Anglican identity, often not even Confirmation. It would be interesting to know from Ministry Division how many cons evangelicals have dropped out within the first decade of ordination.

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 7:26pm BST

350 clergy? I have a strong suspicion that many of them will be of the ranks of the retired (of which number I am also a part). A perusal of the much trumpeted GAFCON petition revealed a lot of retireds and quite a number of camp followers who were not listed in Crockford. Is Reform any different? I doubt it.
As for Reform's subterranean bishops, I can't see this proposal getting anywhere except out of the CofE and into the Free Church of England because the ordination of bishops is hedged around with all sorts of legalities.
Reform is an ecclesiastical bullfrog, forever puffing itself up, but the reality is, it's pretty tiny in size and even smaller in potential influence.

Posted by cryptogram at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 8:17pm BST

Southern Baptists tend to be Arminian, but Reform are resolutely and proudly Calvinist..once saved , always saved.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 8:25pm BST

What facebook page has he signed up to , where?

I can't see such a page on fb.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 8:42pm BST

Reform may be traditionalists, but they seem to be using new math. Their claim that one more clergy "no" would put them up a further 1.81% defies any math that I know.

How many members are there in each house of synod?

Posted by Jim Pratt at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 8:51pm BST

I say find a way for them to stay. Their numbers are probably small and their half-life will be ten years at most. The Anglican Communion is a big table. If Jesus could eat with tax collectors...

Posted by Doug at Friday, 22 October 2010 at 11:39pm BST

Actually, Robert, Southern Baptists generally believe in what they call eternal security.

Posted by JPM at Saturday, 23 October 2010 at 12:21am BST

Hardly 'Semper Reformanda'.
More like 'Look Back in Anger'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 23 October 2010 at 7:12am BST

John Richardson has signed up to Hinge & Bracket here:

Posted by Rev Sidney Jensen at Saturday, 23 October 2010 at 7:57am BST

'the Bible says that there should be different roles for men and women both in the family and the church'

I must admit that an unregenerate part of my soul would dearly love to be sitting in the Strangers' Gallery when the Members of Her Majesty's loyal Government, and the Members of Her Majesty's equally loyal Opposition, sitting in Her Majesty's loyal Parliament, discover that Reform thinks that not only the Church of England itself, but also families of all faiths, and none, should be governed in conformity with the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

That's Danvers, Massachusetts.

Now admittedly the duty of the loyal Opposition is to oppose, but on grave matters involving the national interest they are constitutionally entitled, and, indeed, obliged to ally themselves with Her Majesty's loyal Government.

And as far as both sides are concerned there can be no higher national interest than that of maintaining our Constitution, which asserts that we are governed by the Queen in Parliament via Her loyal Government, not to mention Her loyal Opposition.

Parliament has held out before in the face of rather scarier threats than the 1700 odd members of Reform waving pamphlets at them, even if they weaponed up to add the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to their fire power.

That's Chicago, Illinois.

I hope you will forgive me for quoting Lord Justice Laws once more:

'The promulgation of law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified. It is irrational, as preferring the subjective over the objective. But it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary. We do not live in a society where all the people share uniform religious beliefs. The precepts of any one religion – any belief system – cannot, by force of their religious origins, sound any louder in the general law than the precepts of any other. If they did, those out in the cold would be less than citizens; and our constitution would be on the way to a theocracy, which is of necessity autocratic. The law of a theocracy is dictated without option to the people, not made by their judges and governments. The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law; but the State, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.'

I don’t think Reform likes people thinking for themselves…

Posted by chenier1 at Wednesday, 27 October 2010 at 12:50am BST

I don’t think Reform likes people thinking for themselves…
Posted by: chenier1 on Wednesday, 27 October

Reform care only for what 'is hammered on their (own) anvil.'

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Wednesday, 27 October 2010 at 5:59pm BST

Laurence Roberts

'Reform care only for what 'is hammered on their (own) anvil.'

Indeed so, and that will be their downfall.

Their overwheening ambition, their obsession with their own personal desires, and their predilection for listening only to people who agree with them on each and every possible point, has dumbed them down to such an extent that they have lost the ability to do joined-up thinking.

Presupposing, of course, that they had the ability in the first place, which many people outside Reform would probably wish to chsllenge.

Pride goeth before the fall...

Posted by chenier1 at Thursday, 28 October 2010 at 1:29am BST
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