Friday, 6 May 2016

ACC-16 Walking Together: A Clarification

The following statement has been issued by the outgoing members of the ACC standing committee.

Walking Together: A Clarification May 6, 2016

Since the enriching, empowering and constructive meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC16) in Lusaka, 8 - 19 April 2016, a number of statements have appeared with respect to ACC16’s engagement with the outcome of the January 2016 Primates’ Gathering and Meeting.

As outgoing members of the Anglican Consultative Council and of the Standing Committee, we are writing to clarify our understanding of what transpired at ACC16 with respect to the earlier Primates’ gathering.

ACC16 approved a resolution ‘Walking Together’, as follows:

The Anglican Consultative Council

1. receives the formal report of the Archbishop of Canterbury to ACC16 on the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting of January 2016; and

2. affirms the commitment of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to walk together; and

3. commits to continue to seek appropriate ways for the Provinces of the Anglican Communion to walk together with each other and with the Primates the other Instruments of Communion.

In receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury’s formal report of the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting, ACC16 neither endorsed nor affirmed the consequences contained in the Primates’ Communique. There was no plenary discussion or decision with respect to the Primates’ Communiqué. From our perspective there did not seem to be a common mind on the issue, other than the clear commitment to avoid further confrontation and division. ACC16 did welcome the call for the Instruments of Communion and the Provinces to continue to walk together as they discern the way forward. No consequences were imposed by the ACC and neither was the ACC asked to do so.

During the meeting there were many opportunities, both formal and informal, to explore the ACC16 theme of ‘Intentional discipleship in a world of differences’. This was done faithfully and respectfully.

As outgoing members of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Standing Committee, we remain passionate about the ACC’s distinct and independent role as one of the Instruments of Communion. The ACC provides a crucially important space for the sharing of our stories in God’s mission as laity, priests, deacons and bishops from the many and diverse contexts of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion. At ACC16 we truly witnessed the stated commitment to walking together in our life as the Body of Christ.

Helen Biggin, The Church in Wales
Prof Dr Joanildo Burity, Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
The Rt Revd Ian T. Douglas, The Episcopal Church
The Rt Revd Dr Sarah Macneil, The Anglican Church of Australia
Canon Elizabeth Paver, The Church of England, Outgoing Vice-Chair
The Rt Revd James Tengatenga, The Church of the Province of Central Africa, Outgoing
Chair

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:59pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

House of Commons: Question on Same-Sex Marriage for Clergy

A Question on Same Sex Marriage: Clergy was put to the Second Church Estates Commissioner on Thursday. Here is a transcript (scroll down for the other topics covered):

Cat Smith (Lancaster and Fleetwood) (Lab)

1. What discussions the Church Commissioners have had with the Church of England on supporting clergy who have entered into same sex marriages or civil partnerships.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Mrs Caroline Spelman): I should first declare my personal position, which is that I voted in favour of same sex marriage when the decision was before Parliament, but I do recognise that it is difficult for the Anglican Church. The Anglican Communion extends over many different cultures and many continents, and not all cultures and societies move at the same pace. It is therefore all the more remarkable that the Archbishop of Canterbury managed to get a unanimous agreement among all the bishops of the Anglican Communion, in Canterbury, in January, that there should be a new doctrine condemning homophobic prejudice and violence, and resolving

“to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation.”

Cat Smith: I thank the right hon. Lady for her answer. She will be aware that many people feel called to ministry, including, naturally, many people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Although Church of England policies protect heterosexual couples if they are in a marriage by not taking their status into account when it comes to jobs within the Church, the same is not true for those who have entered same sex marriages. Is she aware of cases of written permission from Bishops placed on file, and of refusals to issue licences when new positions are sought, including even secular positions? Will she do her best to ensure that LGBT clergy are not discriminated against here in the Church of England?

Mrs Spelman: As I mentioned, the Anglican Communion is extremely diverse. What we must remember, living here in the liberal west, is that a typical Anglican communicant is in Africa and black, female and under 35; in many African nations there are also very strong views on this subject, and keeping the Communion together is a big challenge. It is open to Church of England clergy to enter into civil partnerships, and many do so. The Church of England in England is moving forward in its understanding with a shared conversation, three parts of which have already occurred. In July this year, the Synod will move forward with the shared conversation about sexuality—the nature of human sexuality. I reiterate the point that the whole Communion agreed unanimously that the Church should never, by its actions, give any impression other than that every human being is the same in God’s sight regardless of sexuality.

Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): The Dean of Lichfield cathedral, Adrian Dorber, is always telling me how short of money the cathedral is. May I just say that I live for the day when gay clergymen can be openly gay and there will be gay marriages, which will be paid for in Lichfield cathedral and all the other cathedrals in England and the rest of the United Kingdom, in a liberal nation.

Mrs Spelman: I look forward to visiting the Lichfield diocese. Indeed, the Government have been very generous in their funding for repairs to that beautiful cathedral. On the specific subject of human sexuality, I do not think that the Archbishop of Canterbury could have been clearer about his leadership in bringing the whole Anglican Communion together for the first time, united behind the doctrine that we should condemn homophobic prejudice and violence at home and abroad.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 6 May 2016 at 1:37pm BST
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on ACC-16

The Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on the recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka: ‘Holding together in diversity’ [also online here].

Tom Ferguson, the Crusty Old Dean responds: Justin Welby’s Doomsday Device: Or, Humpy Dumpty as Archbishop.

…In a desperate attempt to keep spinning what did or didn’t happen at the most recent Anglican Consultative Council. yesterday Archbishop Welby released his own fanciful interpretation, which can be found here, dropped on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend in England, weeks after the conclusion of the meeting itself. Let’s count the problems here…

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 12:18pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Opinion - 30 April 2016

Bosco Peters Eastern Orthodox Easter

James Jones BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day

Andrew Lightbown ‘Fear not’ for the C of E

Stephen Cottrell ACC 16 - A full time report: Hope triumphs

Simon Butler “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”?

The Telegraph Photographer visits abandoned places of worship, in pictures — photographs by Matthias Haker

Elaine Graham presented this paper to the Modern Church Council in March: Modern Church Between a rock and a hard place: Negotiating religious voices in public places — with links to the full 7000 word paper and a two-page summary and reading list.

Kelvin Holdsworth Six things I have learned about anti-semitism and the church

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 30 April 2016 at 11:00am BST
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Categorised as: Opinion

Thursday, 28 April 2016

ACC-16 - ACNS reports

Updated

Since the close of this month’s meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council the Anglican Communion News Service has published a number of articles about its work, including these, all by Gavin Drake.

Reformation and unity in ACC’s ecumenical resolutions
Provinces urged to adopt Anglican Communion Sunday
Central Africa applied “embassy” protocol for ACC’s visiting female priests
Anglican Consultative Council adopts 45 resolutions by assent
Men and boys have role in fight for gender justice

Update

Before the ACC meeting, ACNS published this video: Gender justice and the Anglican Communion.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 1:38pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Suffragan Bishops

David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK has written this very useful article: Suffragan bishops: from selection to ordination & consecration.

Prompted by the forthcoming translation of the Bishop of Sheffield to Oxford he has also written Bishops: from announcement to installation.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 28 April 2016 at 11:45am BST
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Categorised as: Church of England

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Opinion - 23 April 2016

Michael Ainsworth Law & Religion UK Thoughts on railways, clergy, religion and the law

Jim Grover The Guardian How my camera helped me re-focus on my faith

Darrell Hannah Church Times Robust approach to fossil fuels required

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 23 April 2016 at 11:00am BST
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Categorised as: Opinion

Friday, 22 April 2016

GAFCON Primates meeting

The Primates Council of GAFCON (the Global Anglican Future Conference) met in Kenya this week and issued this Communiqué. It includes the following appendix referring to the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Appendix: From Canterbury to Lusaka

Last January, we spent time together at the Primates Gathering contending for a restoration of godly order within the Anglican Communion. The sanctions passed at that meeting were not in themselves capable of restoring order, but they were a potential first step.

At that meeting, we acknowledged the reality of the “significant distance” between us and “expressed a desire to walk together” if possible. This distance was created when The Episcopal Church walked away from the Anglican Communion’s doctrine on sexuality and the plain teaching of Scripture.

Within hours of the meeting’s end the public responses from many bishops, clergy, and lay people of The Episcopal Church made it clear that they did not desire to share the same journey. The biblical call to repentance is a call to make a 180 degree turn. It grieves us that many in The Episcopal Church have again rejected this call. While we desire to walk together, until there is true repentance, the reality is that they are deliberately walking away from the Anglican Communion and the authority of Scripture at a distance that continues to increase.

The recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia has again highlighted the inability of the current instruments to uphold godly order within the Communion. Delegates from the Episcopal Church, by their own admission, voted on matters that pertained to polity and doctrine, in defiance of the Primates. This action has damaged the standing of the Anglican Consultative Council as an instrument of unity, increased levels of distrust, and further torn the fabric of the Communion.

Nonetheless, we give thanks that these events have brought further clarity, and drawn GAFCON closer together in the mission of the Gospel. We are of one mind that the future of the Anglican Communion does not lie with manipulations, compromises, legal loopholes, or the presentation of half-truths; the future of our Communion lies in humble obedience to the truth of the Word of God written. What others have failed to do, GAFCON is doing: enabling global fellowship and godly order, united by biblical faithfulness. This unity has provided us with great energy to continue to work for the renewal of the Anglican Communion.

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 22 April 2016 at 3:11pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

ACC-16 - It's all over now

Madeleine Davies presents her final report from Lusaka for the Church Times: ACC members depart with stories of unity.

The Anglican Communion website has published a list of the resolutions passed by ACC-16: Resolutions. In this list the earlier temporary numbering of the draft resolutions has been replaced by permanent numbering. In particular Resolution C34 has now become Resolution 16.23.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 at 5:48pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

ACC-16 final day

The Anglican Consultative Council concluded its sixteenth meeting today.

Mary Frances Schjonberg Episcopal News Service ACC-16 concludes in Lusaka on note of unity amid diversity

Video: Bishop James Tengatenga’s sermon at ACC-16 closing Eucharist [includes transcript]

Anglican Communion News Service
Gavin Drake New leaders elected for worldwide Anglican Communion
Bellah Zulu ACC-16 members worship with Lusaka parishes
Anglicans share strategies to retain the youth

From the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website: Archbishop reflects on ACC-16 as it draws to a close

Episcopal News Service
A Letter from Lukasa: Episcopal Church team writes to the church at conclusion of ACC meeting

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 at 10:37pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Monday, 18 April 2016

ACC-16 - Monday reports

The Episcopal News Service today carries these reports by Mary Frances Schjonberg

Margaret Swinson elected as Anglican Consultative Council vice chair
A summary of Anglican Consultative Council resolutions
Anglican Consultative Council declines to go along with ‘consequences’

and this Video: Archbishop Welby speaks on human sexuality issues at ACC-16.

The Living Church has this article by Mark Michael ACC Picks Diverse Leaders.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 18 April 2016 at 5:54pm BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Sunday, 17 April 2016

ACC-16 latest reports

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave his presidential address to ACC-16 on Friday.

The ACC will vote for five places on its standing committee tomorrow. There are eleven candidates: ACC-16: Nominees for membership of the Standing Committee of the ACC.

Update

The Episcopal News Service has tweeted that “CofE lay ACC member Margaret Swinson will be council’s next vice chair. She is only one standing for election.”

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 17 April 2016 at 11:48am BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Opinion - 16 April 2016

Bosco Peters The End of Confirmation?

Giles Fraser The Guardian We cannot fix people’s grief, only sit with them, in their darkness

Jemima Thackray Church Times Poor sent empty away

Kelvin Holdsworth Apologies have consequences too

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 16 April 2016 at 11:00am BST
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Categorised as: Opinion

Friday, 15 April 2016

ACC-16 latest reports

Updated Friday afternoon with the result of the election for the chair of the ACC

Madeleine Davies Church Times ACC complies with Primates, in a way
Communion seeks clarity over ‘can’t pay’ and ‘won’t’

Church Times Leader comment Messy Church

Gavin Drake Anglican Communion NewsService (ACNS) Two candidates for chair of Anglican Consultative Council
Adult Sunday Schools suggested in discipleship move
Anglican Communion directors report back on wide range of initiatives

Mary Frances Schjonberg Episcopal New Service Connecticut bishop will not stand for Anglican Consultative Council chair

ACNS has also published these group photographs.

Update

Gavin Drake ACNS Primate of Hong Kong elected as new chair of Anglican Consultative Council

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 15 April 2016 at 10:12am BST
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Diocese to be known as ‘Diocese of Leeds’

The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales has announced today that from later this year it will only use its official name, the Diocese of Leeds. Here is the official announcement.

Diocese to be known as ‘Diocese of Leeds’

Since its creation two years ago, the Diocese of Leeds has largely been known as ‘The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales’. However, given the confusion this continues to cause, in future, once new branding has been created, the diocese is to be known only by its official title, the Diocese of Leeds…

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 at 12:03pm BST
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Categorised as: Church of England