Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have replied, on behalf of the ACANZP General Synod Standing Committee, to the proposal made by the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, in August.
Like it or not, to be Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand means facing into 200 years of a unique, shared and difficult history between Maori and Pakeha – and acknowledging the pillars of that shared history.
These pou include Anglicans bringing the gospel to these shores in 1814; the foundational and church-brokered Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 – and, after 150 years of struggle by Maori Anglicans, the adoption of Te Pouhere, the Three Tikanga Constitution of The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
So, a proposal advanced by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, that there should be two Anglican Churches in New Zealand, both linked by heritage – but the new one not recognising “the laws, promises, and solemn commitments” that bind The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and which grew out of that painful shared history, does not work.
That is the view of the General Synod Standing Committee – and that view has been expressed in an open letter signed by its co-chairs, Archbishops Don Tamihere and Philip Richardson, and sent to Archbishop Davies today.
The letter concludes: “We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history.”
Anglican Communion News Service reports: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal for overlapping Anglican jurisdiction.
Archbishop Davies’ proposal was contained in this document. The proposal was described in Sydney as: Archbishop presents proposal for NZ Anglican future. We reported it in August as Archbishop of Sydney proposes ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ for ACANZP.
The New Zealand reply to it is contained in this document. It’s worth reading this in full.
The Anglican Church League in Sydney reports it as Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal.
Bill Carroll The Episcopal Café Our piece of the puzzle
Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim Rediscovering the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Remembering, Reliving & Dealing with the Church’s Abuse
Andrew Brown Helmintholog The trouble with religion14 Comments
Updated Thursday to add press reports
The Church of England has published its Statistics for Mission 2017 today. The report can be downloaded here.
Also published today is a report on the Church of England’s digital reach: A year in numbers: 2018 digital report.
In addition there is a press release which is copied below.
Madeleine Davies Church Times Could the Christmas effect boost attendance through the year, Bishop asks
Christian Today Mixed picture for CofE in latest attendance figures
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Attendance at Church of England’s Sunday services falls again
Church of England press release
Christmas attendance at highest level for more than a decade
Attendance at Christmas services in the Church of England is at its highest level for more than a decade, according to new figures published today.
The latest annual Statistics for Mission report shows that while traditional Sunday attendance edged lower in 2017, in line with long-term trends, the numbers attending Christmas services increased by 3.4 per cent to 2.68 million.
It was the fourth successive rise in Christmas congregations since 2013 and the highest figure since 2006. Combined with figures for special services in churches during Advent, including carol services, there were nearly eight million attendances over the festive season.
The Statistics for Mission 2017 were published as #FollowTheStar, the Church of England’s campaign to encourage people to attend Advent and Christmas services this year, was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Meanwhile separate figures also published today show that the Church of England more than doubled its monthly reach on social media – from 1.2 million in 2017 to 2.44 million this year.11 Comments
You are invited to the launch of a book that addresses the role of the church (past, present and future) in the criminalization of consensual same-gender intimacy across the Commonwealth. This event is scheduled for Dec. 4.
This was the first-ever global event that discussed the role of the church (past, present and future) in the criminalization of private consensual same-gender intimacy. The event was live-streamed and there were presentations by international agencies and Christian leaders from all over the Commonwealth, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Archbishop of the West Indies and the Bishop of Buckingham.
An edited volume of some of the presentations is now ready and will be launched in London on 4 December. Attendance is free but booking is required.
Details here: Intimate Conviction Book Launch.
School of Advanced Study
Room 349 Senate House-South Block
London WC1E 7HU
Date: Dec. 4
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be provided.
The Ozanne Foundation is holding a one day conference on Saturday 8 December, involving some of the UK’s most senior academics from the fields of science, health and ethical issues surrounding sexuality and gender, whilst also rooted in real lived experience of well-known LGBTI Christians. Hosted by the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, this confernece will offer Christians the opportunity to engage with the professionals who are at the forefront of science, sexuality and faith.
Tickets and more details of the programme can be obtained from this link.
David Ison has written about the background to this event here: Brexit, Science & Sex: Can We Challenge Fake News?
And Robert Song has written this: The science of sexuality.2 Comments
Updated again Tuesday morning
We reported previously on the Diocese of Albany in September: Diocese of Albany considers same-sex marriages.
Further context for this is contained in another earlier article: Communion Partner bishops issue FAQ on same-sex marriage.
Episcopal Café now reports: Albany bishop draws red line, challenges authority of GC
…Bishop Love has decided to draw a line based on his personal beliefs and understanding of his role on behalf of the entirety of the diocese of Albany; “B012 ignores God’s Word regarding marriage and thus ignores the authority of Holy Scripture.” He lays the blame for General Convention’s actions squarely on Satan and the “Gay Rights Agenda.”
“While I don’t question the sincerity or the well intentions of many in the Episcopal Church who believe the best way to love and minister to our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters in Christ is to embrace them in their sexuality and make provisions for their same-sex attractions through same-sex marriage rites, I do believe they have been deceived into believing a lie that has been planted in the Church by the “great deceiver” – Satan. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul states: “…stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-13).
The Episcopal Church and Western Society have been hijacked by the “Gay Rights Agenda” which is very well organized, very strategic, very well financed, and very powerful. Satan is having a heyday bringing division into the Church over these issues and is trying to use the Church to hurt and destroy the very ones we love and care about by deceiving the leadership of the Church into creating ways for our gay and lesbians brothers and sister to embrace their sexual desires rather than to repent and seek God’s love and healing grace. B012 plays right into this.”
Read the full text of his Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive here.
The Albany Times-Union reports this news: Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches.
News & World Report has this: Episcopal Bishop, William Love, Bans Gay Unions on His Turf.
Episcopal News Service Albany bishop rejects General Convention compromise on gay marriage, refuses to allow rites
And the bishop of the adjacent diocese ( Central New York) has also issued a statement available here.85 Comments
Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim My Journey into Catholicism
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of sex, sin and church unity
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Secrecy, Cover-up and the Cause of Truth
Colin Blakely ViaMedia.News Is an Armistice Needed for Divided Nations & Churches?2 Comments
Jeremy Pemberton From the Choir Stalls Fake Participation: what is wrong with Living in Love and Faith?
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Iwerne: what did David Conner (now Dean of Windsor) and others know about John Smyth’s regime of abuse?
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Safeguarding and the Church’s future
David Mitchell The Guardian Trust the Church of England to miss the point of Halloween
Ben Ryan LSE Religion and Global Society blog Christianism: A crude political ideology and the triumph of empty symbolism
Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England The Centenary of the Great War: Thoughts on Good Remembrance
Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News We Will Remember Them…..All!30 Comments
The Church of England collected figures on the extent of social action by its churches were collected as part of the annual Statistics for Mission 2017 survey, and these have been published today.
Full extent of Church of England work to support local communities revealed
More than 33,000 social action projects – from food banks to debt counselling – are run or supported by churches, according to figures setting out for the first time the full scale of the Church of England’s service to communities.
The findings – which amount to the largest survey to date of the extent of the Church of England’s work with some of the most vulnerable in society – show that 80 per cent of congregations are involved in one or more forms of social action…
The full Statistics for Mission 2017 report will be available soon.
Press report3 Comments
Updated Tuesday morning (scroll down)
…The Oxford bishops are committed to building a Christ-like church and have identified three values as animators of this aspiration: compassion, contemplation and courage. By pledging to listen to the experiences of LGBTIQ+ Christians and allowing such experiences to help shape the future direction of the church, alongside the acknowledgment that ‘as a Church we have continually failed our sisters and brothers in Christ’ the bishops have shown real compassion. Listening, deep listening, is of course also the very heart beat of contemplative practice. In writing this letter, in the sure and certain knowledge that there will be some very real kick-back, and through their insistence, that silence does not serve the Church well, alongside a commitment to express their own views with integrity the Oxford bishops have been courageous, for courage is worked out in the most difficult, most contentious and most potentially divisive issues.
One of the most moving responses I have seen so far to the Oxford bishops’ letter on inclusion came from someone who said that she was surprised and delighted by the way in which the bishops made her feel part of the church by their words. Usually, this kind of official pronouncement makes gay people feel slightly ‘other’, a separate order of humanity within the church, but here the respondent was grateful to feel like she was genuinely listened to and part of the same church…
Marcus goes on to discuss at some length the article by Giles Goddard on Via Media to which we linked yesterday.
…The bishops also announce in the letter that they will be setting up a chaplaincy for LGBTI+ people and their families across the diocese. We very much look forward to seeing how this latest exciting development unfolds, and hope and trust that LGBTI+ people will continue to be integral to the development, delivery and dissemination of this important and innovative work.
…We would encourage other dioceses to consider following the Oxford lead, to meet with LGBTI representatives from within each diocese to listen to their concerns, and to say explicitly that LGBTI people are welcome in their diocese, and should be welcome in each and every parish.
The LGBTI community and their allies are looking for tangible proof that the words”radical new Christian inclusion” are being taken seriously by each diocese. It is in concrete proposals, such as the provision of LGBTI chaplaincies and the creation of LGBTI reference groups, that they will begin to be reassured that a truly inclusive welcome is sincerely being offered for all…
For a roundup of comment from a conservative viewpoint, see Anglican Mainstream’s post: Oxford Diocese promotes inclusion.
Jen Williams A brave faith What Open Table means to me
Janet Fife Surviving Church Shibboleths and the Love of God
Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News C of E Risks Failure on Human Sexuality Because of Privileged Power
Church Times No action songs, please: there are adults present
“Services that infantilise are counter-productive, says Ines Hands”
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Challenges for Lambeth 2020. The end of the Anglican Communion?
Erika Baker ViaMedia.News Gender Recognition Act – Whose Lives Are Actually At Risk?
David Ison ViaMedia.News Brexit, Sex & Science: How Do We Tackle “Fake News”?
Winnie Varghese Patheos Oh, preacher, give us a good word
Andrew Brown The Guardian The Church of England should learn from Harry Potter this Halloween55 Comments
31 Oct 2018 – four bishops from one of the largest dioceses in the Church of England have written to 1,500 ministers setting out the bishops’ expectations of inclusion and respect for all and announces a new LGBTI+ chaplaincy team.
Silence is both painful and damaging for LGBTI+ people in the midst of continuing debate within the Church about human sexuality, say the bishops. Their letter, sent to all clergy and LLMs in the Diocese of Oxford, sets expectations of inclusion and respect towards all and affirms LGBTI+ people called to roles of leadership and service in the church.
The Oxford letter commends five principles for welcoming and honouring LGBTI+ people and looks at work underway in the Church of England to develop new pastoral guidance and teaching resources relating to human sexuality and same sex marriage.
A new chaplaincy team for LGBTI+ people, their families and loved ones is promised too. The chaplaincy team will also provide LGBTI+ insights and advice to clergy and bishops about being church together.
The Oxford letter concludes with a commitment from the bishops to continue to listen well to LGBTI+ people from a variety of perspectives, ‘including those seeking change in the Church of England’s polity and those seeking to live faithfully within it’…
The full text of the letter can be found here: Clothe Yourselves With Love.17 Comments
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Reflecting on ecumenism, liturgy and mental health.
Harriet Sherwood has interviewed Michael Curry for The Guardian: Bishop Michael Curry: ‘moderate religious voices’ are not being heard.
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Reflections on human power. The Christian stand against bullying
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of cathedrals, mission and evangelism.
Archbishop Cranmer Why, when church attendance is falling, is cathedral attendance soaring?
Fergus Butler-Gallie Church Times ‘Stay weird, Church of England’
“Fergus Butler-Gallie celebrates the evangelistic potential of the weird, and mourns their demise”
Madeleine Davies Financial Times Why I’m still an evangelical in the age of Trump [£]
“Madeleine Davies explains why she isn’t giving up on the movement despite its support for the president”
Jonathan Merritt The New York Times It’s Getting Harder to Talk About God
“The decline in our spiritual vocabulary has many real-world consequences.”
Steve Morris Christian Today Why do I have such a problem with Christian books?
David Goodhew The Living Church Mission in Europe and the Future of Anglicanism
Simon Jenkins Ship of Fools Why Halloween ought to be part of the church year
Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Bishops’ Letters and the Case for the Defence – “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord”
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Church of England is open and welcoming to LGBTI+ people – discuss35 Comments
Updated Thursday to add some press reports
Adam Becket Church Times Cathedral attendance rose by three per cent last Christmas
Mike Wright The Telegraph Christmas Cathedral congregation numbers swell thanks to spiritually inquisitive, festival-going millennials
Christian Today England’s cathedrals continue to enjoy a strong turnout for Christmas services
Record numbers attend cathedrals at Christmas
Attendance at Christmas services in England’s cathedrals has broken records for the second year running, statistics published today show.
A total of 135,000 people came to Church of England cathedrals to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2017 – an increase of three per cent on the previous year, and the highest total since records began.
Attendances at Sunday worship in cathedrals throughout the year also continued to hold steady over a five-year period, while average weekday attendances continued their pattern of increase, with just over 18,000 attending in 2017, compared with 7,000 in 2000 when this data was first recorded. Over 10 years, the total number attending all regular services in cathedrals has increased by 10 per cent.20 Comments
Press release from Number 10
Queen appoints Suffragan Bishop of Ramsbury
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Andrew Paul Rumsey to the Suffragan See of Ramsbury.
Published 22 October 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Andrew Paul Rumsey, MA, DThMin, Team Rector of Oxted in the Diocese of Southwark, to the Suffragan See of Ramsbury, in the Diocese of Salisbury, in succession to the Right Reverend Edward Francis Condry, MA, BLitt, DPhil, MBA, who resigned on the 12 May 2018.
There’s more on the diocesan website: New Bishop of Ramsbury Announced. Dr Rumsey will be consecrated on 25 January 2019.19 Comments
Madeleine Davies Church Times Clergy Discipline Measure: a harsh discipline?
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Religious Trauma Syndrome. When Faith causes Harm7 Comments
The second set of findings from a 10-year research programme into how clergy can flourish in ministry has been published today by the Church of England. Research from the Living Ministry project into the wellbeing of 85 ordinands and clergy is featured in the study Negotiating Wellbeing: Experiences of Ordinands and Clergy in the Church of England. This qualitative study builds on quantitative findings based on responses from 761 clergy and ordinands published by the Living Ministry programme last year.
Adam Becket has written about the report for Church Times: Change is worse than a rest, say stressed clergy.
Clergy struggle to cope with change, a new report on their well-being has said.
Published today, the report, Negotiating Wellbeing: Experiences of ordinands and clergy in the Church of England, says that periods of transition, for example coming to the end of a curacy, can cause physical and mental stress, and prompt clergy to question their vocation…
The Church of England has today published its response (copied in full below the fold) to the UK Government’s consultation on Reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. You can read about that consultation, which opened in July and closes today, over here.6 Comments