Saturday, 24 January 2015
Linda Woodhead Church Times The challenges that the new C of E reports duck
Meri-Anna Hintsala Westminster Faith Faiths blog Putting a Church Online – Lessons from Finland
Church Times leader Right sort of growth
Michael Paulson New York Times Inequality as a Religious Issue: A Conversation With the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech at ‘Creating the Common Good’ conference in New York
Friday, 23 January 2015
Burnley consecration: media reports and blog comments
Bosco Peters Anglo-Donatism
Oliver Coss The Suffragan See of Burnley
Earlier articles here.
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Statement about the Forthcoming Consecrations from the Archbishop of York
Archbishop of York
Thursday 22nd January 2015
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has today issued the following statement:
With great joy and thanksgiving the Church of England will, in the next two weeks, see the consecration of two fine priests, The Revd Libby Lane, and The Revd Philip North as bishops, respectively, of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester, and of Burnley, in the Diocese of Blackburn. Nothing should be allowed to constrain our joy, our prayers and our thanksgiving, on either occasion….
Follow this link for the full text of the statement, including a version of the note sent earlier to Northern bishops, and a republication of GS Misc 1079.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Consecration of the Bishop of Burnley
Updated third time Thursday morning
Yesterday, Christian Today published the following article by Ruth Gledhill: Consecration of traditionalist bishop set to highlight Church of England divisions
As the consecration of the first female bishop approaches, Christian Today has learned that at the consecration a few days later of traditionalist priest Father Philip North as Bishop of Burnley no bishop will lay hands on him who has previously laid hands on a woman bishop or priest…
And Ruth noted that:
Twenty-four hours later, there has still been no comment from any of these sources. Nor from Forward in Faith or The Society under the patronage of St Wilfrid and Saint Hilda.
There have been two blog articles though:
Archdruid Eileen has published At the Multiple Episcopal Consecration
Jonathan Clatworthy has published A woman’s touch and spiritual danger
I will add links to any further official or other statements about this that I discover.
WATCH has now issued a statement:
Press Release Wednesday 21st Jan 2015
WATCH Statement on Consecrations
Next Monday the Church of England and the nation will rejoice at the consecration of Rev Libby Lane as the first female bishop in the Church of England. That will be a great day, and nothing should detract from that moment of affirmation for all women in all walks of life.
We have known about the arrangements for the consecration of the Bishop of Burnley for some time, but have not commented publicly out of courtesy to the individuals involved. Our focus has been on the earlier consecration as the fulfillment of a long and deeply held desire by so many, and as a source of good news from the Church.
We are dismayed that it seems that the Archbishop of York will not lay hands on Philip North at his consecration as Bishop of Burnley. We believe it is unprecedented that an Archbishop should be present at a consecration in his own Province and not lay hands on a candidate, and not preside at the eucharist.
We are saddened that there will be such a powerful visual sign of a divided College and House of Bishops at the moment of consecration. The Bishop of Burnley is a suffragan bishop, and not a PEV: he is a minister for the whole Church of England in the Diocese of Blackburn and the people of that diocese are looking forward to working with him across the traditions.
We will issue a statement on the wider ramifications of this in due course.
A reader of Thinking Anglicans who had written to the Archbishop of York has received a reply from his office, which is copied in full below the fold.
Two more blog articles:
Benny Hazlehurst Apostolic Regression
Kelvin Holdsworth One step forward, two giant leaps back – the English Episcopate
Janet Henderson Woman’s Touch Not Welcome
According to the CofE Daily Media Digest, The Times [paywall] reports inter alia that:
Continue reading "Consecration of the Bishop of Burnley"
…the church has yet to confirm whether Dr Sentamu and the Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, will join the service but adds that Dr Sentamu’s most senior aide said last night that Mr North had not insisted on the arrangement himself.
Senior Church Leadership: A resource for reflection
The Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission has published a contribution to reflection on leadership in the life of the church. Arising out of a request from the General Synod in 2009, it addresses three major questions:
- Is it right to make ‘leadership’ a central idea in the life of the church?
- If so, what are the underlying theological principles that inform the exercise of leadership within the church?
- How can these principles best inform the exercise of senior leadership in the Church of England today?
Based on work undertaken by the Commission over a five-year period, the report complements the series of documents recently published to support the Archbishops’ programme for reform and renewal of the Church of England.
In his Preface, the Bishop of Coventry notes that that the report is offered as a resource for theological reflection that can “inform the improvisations the church will continue to require in its practice of leadership and anchor them in faithfulness to the gospel…. How do the dynamics of Church life and leadership in the New Testament apply to the Church today? How might we draw faithfully and creatively on the rich traditions of the church over two millennia around authority, responsibility and service? How can we talk constructively about ambition in church life and deal with the realities of disappointment and the experience of failure? These are not just issues for those who exercise senior leadership in the Church of England. We hope this report can contribute to fostering serious thought and prayer about them.”
Professor Loveday Alexander, one of the members of the Faith and Order Commission, comments: “What we are offering, as a gift to the Church and as the result of many years of collective reflection, is a theological contribution to practical thinking about leadership development in the Church. We have tried to set out some of the deep spiritual roots of the Church’s understanding of what it means to exercise leadership within the body of Christ.”
The report is available at:
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
One of the papers sent to General Synod members last week was the Dioceses Commission Annual Report for 2014 (GS Misc 1095). It is for information only, so will not be debated next month.
Two sections of the report might be of particular interest to readers.
The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales
7. 2014 saw the historic creation of the new Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire and the Dales). The appointed day for the dissolution of the former Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield and the creation of the new diocese was Easter Day (20 April). The new diocese was formally inaugurated in a special service in York Minster on the Feast of Pentecost (8 June) at which Bishop Nick Baines’ Election as the Bishop of Leeds was confirmed. The Archbishop of York presided and preached and a special congratulatory message from Her Majesty the Queen was read out.
8. Most of the work of implementing the provisions of the Commission’s Reorganisation Scheme fell on those in the diocese, and the Commission wishes to pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly to make the vision a reality. This work is, however, on-going and much inevitably remains to be done. The Commission itself had specific responsibilities concerning the designation of interim diocesan structures (such as the DBF of the new diocese) and determining compensation for some office holders who would lose their posts under the terms of the Scheme, and appointed sub-committees to handle these tasks.
9. The Commission was very conscious that its Scheme was the first of its kind and, with this in mind, it commissioned one of its number, Professor Hilary Russell, to conduct an evaluation of the process. She conducted about 50 interviews with a range of interested parties in the course of the summer and her Report was published in December – see here.
10. While it needed to be recognised that the Scheme itself was a considerable achievement - being at the maximal end of anything envisaged under the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 – the Report made a number of key recommendations for the future, including the following:
- The need for clearer articulation of the case for change; and better communication particularly to diocesan staff directly affected by the Scheme;
- The appointment of an adequately resourced facilitator early in the process, supported by a programme management board with representation from the Archbishop’s office, the dioceses, Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council;
- Better HR and pastoral support for individual post holders directly affected by the Scheme.
Professor Russell’s report is well worth reading in full. It should not be allowed to gather dust in Church House.
22. The Dioceses Commission is responsible for keeping both the provincial and the diocesan structure of the Church of England under review. Following the inauguration of the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales this year, the imbalance of the Provinces is now even more apparent with 12 dioceses in the Province of York and 30 in the Province of Canterbury.
23. The Commission has been encouraged by both Archbishops to review the boundary between the two provinces so as to create a more balanced archiepiscopal workload. The Commission intends to canvas the views of the House of Bishops at a future meeting.
Gavin Drake has these comments and suggestions on where the boundaries should be: Church of England considers moving the north-south divide.
Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill
This bill completed all its Commons stages yesterday. First Reading was on 18 December 2014. Yesterday the Commons dealt with an allocation of time motion, the second reading, the committee stage (in a committee of the whole house) and the third reading. As no amendments were made to the bill there was no report stage.
The bill now goes to the Lords.
There are links to the text of the bill, and a summary of its progress through Parliament here: Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill 2014-15.
Monday, 19 January 2015
General Synod Questions - new arrangements
Questions at General Synod are generally allocated about an hour and a half at the end of the first day’s business. Questions must be submitted in advance, and on arrival at Synod members are given a booklet of all the questions. Each questioner also receives the answer to his/her question. Most questions are for oral answer. In the chamber these questions are not read out, but the person answering reads a pre-prepared answer, and members then have the opportunity to ask one or two supplementaries. As a general rule there is not enough time to answer all the questions.
A few copies of all the prepared answers are available to members after the questions session, and they are all published in due course in the official report of proceedings.
For next month’s meeting, the Business Committee has decided to trial a new format, described in this extract from their report (GS 1974).
21. Based on feedback received from members, the Business Committee has decided to trial a new format for Questions at this Group of Sessions. During the trial period Synod members will receive copies of all the answers to questions, in a booklet which will be emailed to them two working days prior to the start of the group of sessions. Paper copies of the booklet will be available at the Information Desk for collection on arrival by those Synod members who do not have access to email.
22. The oral delivery of pre-prepared official answers will be dispensed with. Instead of this, the person answering the question will begin simply by referring to the written answer published in the booklet. The intention is to focus the main business of Questions on the asking and answering of supplementary questions. Priority will be given to the original questioner in the usual way. It is hoped that this new format will allow greater spontaneity and enable Questions to flow more smoothly.
23. The Business Committee would welcome feedback on the trial format for Questions so that they can consider whether to continue with it in the future and promote Standing Order changes to facilitate it. All comments should be sent to the Chair, via the Clerk whose address is available at the end of this Report.
In general only two supplementaries per question are allowed. Since the usual amount of time has been allowed for questions next month it is likely that this new procedure will allow more questions to be dealt with during the question session. Perhaps for some questions the chair will feel able to use his/her discretion and allow more supplementaries.
A list of who may be asked questions is below the fold.Continue reading "General Synod Questions - new arrangements"
The Tablet reports on the CofE Reform and Renewal programme
I wrote an article last week for The Tablet’s website, about the Reform and Renewal programme, which was published under the title Can the Church of England save itself?
The unpublished FAOC report mentioned in that article can still be found here.
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Some more comment on the Green report
The “Green report” was reissued at the end of last week as an attachment to GS 1982 which is a covering note by the Bishop of Ely. See Discerning and Nurturing Senior Leaders.
Senior Ordained Leadership - a new approach to development of those with
potential for posts with wider responsibility and to the leadership development of
bishops and deans
1. The report “Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for
Bishops and Deans” was commissioned by the Archbishops in January 2014. Though
theologically rooted, it was presented, as requested, as a business case to the Spending Plans Task Group who agreed to commit funding for the project through to the end of 2016. This decision was reported to the Archbishops’ Council and Church Commissioners in September 2014. The proposals were also discussed with the College of Bishops, the Deans Conference and a meeting of Directors of Ministry in autumn 2014. For ease of reference it is set out at attachment 1.
2. This paper is prepared to support the presentation at General Synod on the 10th February 2015 and the subsequent hearing the following day. The Development and Appointments Group (a sub-committee of the House of Bishops) wishes to take the opportunity the Synod discussions will give to i) set the proposals in their wider context ii) connect the theological underpinning of this work with the organisational language of the proposals iii) create space to explore the various issues and concerns that have arisen and iv) provide an update on the detailed design…
The remainder of GS 1982 is well worth a read.
Other articles that appeared before this:
Janet Henderson Leadership Means Partnership
It’s been an interesting time to reflect on leadership. While I’m currently in the middle of an MA in Hospice Leadership, the Church of England has produced The Green Report (nothing to do with ecology!) about senior leadership in the church. Given the coherence and creativity of approach toward leadership training I experience among my hospice peers why, I ask myself, has the Green Report met with such an outcry and so much criticism?
Andrew Lightbown What is leadership? A short post Green reflection.
Saturday, 17 January 2015
Ben Irwin blogs How Newsweek Got the Bible Right — and Still Got it Wrong in response to the Newsweek article that I linked to three weeks ago.
The Economist Go forth and multiply
Mark Clavier blogs Fragmented formation: training clergy.
Father Richard Peers SCP ‘Liberals in vestments’: What is the Society of Catholic Priests for?
Friday, 16 January 2015
General Synod agenda - press reports
Following today’s publication of the agenda for next month’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod these articles have appeared.
John Bingham The Telegraph Vicars face end to job ‘for life’ culture as Church of England fights extinction
Tim Wyatt Church Times Synod to tackle raft of reports in small groups
Church Times Group wants to cut C of E’s red legislative tape
Gavin Drake Church Times Church of England proposes halving of Synod days
[This refers to GS Misc 1094 Optimising the Roles of the NCIs which was issued to Synod members today and states “It requires no decisions by Synod at this stage but is being circulated for information.”]
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Radical shake up of CofE urged to stop ‘terrifying’ decline
General Synod agenda published
General Synod Group of Sessions February 2015
The General Synod of the Church of England will meet at Church House, Westminster, SW1 from 1pm on Tuesday 10 February 2015 until 5 pm on Thursday 12 February 2015.
The Agenda for the meeting is published today. The main focus of the Synod’s work will be engagement with the wide-ranging programme of reform and renewal of the Church emerging from the various Task Group Reports and the materials on Discipleship. These discussions will take up most of Wednesday 11 February and will involve group work and meetings in larger groups as well as plenary sessions on a series of motions relating to the Tak Groups.
Tuesday 10th February will feature an address by Archbishop Bashar M Warda, CSSR, the Archbishop of the Chaldean Diocese of Erbil (Eastern rite Catholic) in northern Iraq (Kurdistan). Archbishop Warda will speak further on the issues raised at the panel debate in November on violence against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria. The Archbishop of Canterbury will give a Presidential Address later that afternoon. This will be followed by a Report on Immersion Experience in India by Regional Representatives to the House of Bishops, including the Rt Revd Libby Lane, the new Suffragan Bishop of Stockport.
The Synod’s engagement with the programme for Reform and Renewal and the Task Group reports will begin on the afternoon of Tuesday 10th February with a presentation by the Chairs of the Task Groups on the reports that will be discussed on Wednesday.
On the morning of Wednesday 11 February, Synod members will start with worship in small groups before moving into group work on the Discipleship report to prepare for the discussion of the Task Group reports. Later the same morning, Synod members will move into larger groups which will be meeting in parallel to discuss the programme emerging from the Task Groups. These will take the form of four ‘ACT’ groups (Accountability, Consultation and Transparency) which will cover Resourcing Ministerial Education, Discerning and Nurturing Senior Leaders, Resourcing the Future and Inter-Generational Equity and Simplification.
The Synod will move to a sequence of debates on the Discipleship paper and each of the Task Group reports on the afternoon of Wednesday 11 February. The sequence will begin with a debate on a motion on Discipleship moved by the Bishop of Sheffield. The Synod will then move into a debate on a motion on ‘Resourcing the Future and Resourcing Ministerial Education’ introduced by Canon John Spence. The Bishop of Willesden will introduce a debate on the proposals in the Simplification Group’s report. Finally, the First Church Estates commissioner will introduce a motion on Commissioners’ Funds and Inter-Generational Equity. This will conclude the sequence of debates on the Task Groups.
The final day of Synod, Thursday 12 February, will return to more usual business. In the morning there will be a debate on the Revision Stage of the Draft Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure. Synod will also be debating a Private Members’ Motion from the Revd Dr Michael Parsons on Canon B38 which calls for the introduction of legislation to amend the Canon to allow those who have taken their own life to be buried in accordance with the rites of the Church of England. Synod will be debating the Revision Committee stage of the draft Alternative Baptism Texts which are being introduced by the Liturgical Commission as an optional alternative to current baptism services in use in the Church at present.
Finally, Synod will be debating a report from the Mission and Public Affairs Council on the subject of ‘Mission and Growth in Rural Multi-Parish Benefices’.
There are two items of contingency business at this Group of Sessions. The first is a Diocesan Synod Motion from the former Diocese of Wakefield on ‘The Nature and Structure of the Church of England – National Debate’. The second item is a debate on a report fro the World Council of Churches entitled ‘The Church: Towards a Common Vision’. This will be introduced by the Chair of the Council of Christian Unity.
Synod will conclude at 5pm on Thursday 12th February.
February General Synod - online papers
Updated 23 January to add second circulation papers
Papers in the first and second circulations for next month’s meeting of General Synod on 10-12 February are now online here in agenda order. Here is a list in numerical order, with a note of the day scheduled for their consideration.
I have also included the papers that I expect to see in the second circulation, due in a week’s time. I will add links to these papers when they become available. [now done]
GS 1902D - Amending Canon No.32 [Tuesday]
GS 1973 - Agenda
GS 1974 - Report by the Business Committee [Tuesday]
GS 1975 - General Synod Elections 2015: seat allocations [Tuesday]
GS 1976 - A programme for reform and renewal. A note from the Archbishops [Tuesday]
GS 1977 - Discipleship [Tuesday & Wednesday]
GS 1978 - Resourcing the Future Task Group Report [Tuesday & Wednesday]
GS 1979 - Resourcing Ministerial Education Task Group Report [Tuesday & Wednesday]
GS 1980 - Simplification Task Group Report [Tuesday & Wednesday]
GS 1981 - Church Commissioners’ and Inter-Generational Equity [Tuesday & Wednesday]
GS 1982 - Discerning and Nurturing Senior Leaders [Tuesday]
GS 1983 - Petition to change the names of the Suffragan Sees of Knaresborough and Pontefract [Thursday]
GS 1984 - 50th Report of the Standing Orders Committee [Thursday]
GS 1985 - Mission and Growth in Rural Multi-Parish Benefices: report from the Mission and Public Affairs Council [Thursday]
GS 1986 - The Church: Towards a Common Vision: Report from the World Council of Churches [contingency business]
GS Misc 1092 - Released for Mission: Growing the Rural Church
GS Misc 1093 - Update on Electronic Voting
GS Misc 1094 - Optimising the role of the NCIs
GS Misc 1095 - Dioceses Commission Annual Report
GS Misc 1096 - Clergy Stipend Report
GS Misc 1097 - Archbishop’s Council - Review of Consitutions
GS Misc 1098 - The Church of England’s National Work on Education
GS Misc 1099 - Report on the Archbishops’ Council Activities
GS Misc 1100 - Report on Immersion Experience in India [Tuesday]
GS Misc 1101 - The Church of England’s National Ecumenical Relations
GS Misc 1102 - House of Bishops Summary of Decisions
Notice Paper 1 [contains proposed amendments to standing orders]
Thursday, 15 January 2015
On Rock or Sand?
On Rock or Sand?: Firm Foundations for Britain’s Future, edited by the Archbishop of York, is published today (according to Church House Bookshop and Amazon) or next week (according to the Archbishop).
The Archbishop’s announcement states:
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu’s book ‘On Rock or Sand?’ is to be published next week with contributions from experts in economic, political, social and religious disciplines, including Lord Adonis, Sir Philip Mawer, Oliver O Donovan, Andrew Sentance and Archbishop Justin Welby…
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “The book addresses crucial questions about the moral principles that undergird the way Britain is governed. It is about building firm foundations for Britain’s future and setting out the essential values we need to build a just, sustainable and compassionate society in which we can all participate and flourish. We need to rediscover the true meaning of the word economy – it means a household, a community whose members share responsibility for each other. The giant that must be slayed is income inequality - where some few have far too much and the many have too little.”
and includes a video introduction to the book by the Archbishop.
Press reports and comments
Ian Johnston The Independent Anglican archbishops accuse Coalition of abandoning poor amid culture of selfishness
Ben Riley-Smith The Telegraph David Cameron pledges to do more to help poor after Church of England criticism
Isabel Hardman The Spectator Archbishop John Sentamu on why politicians are like men arguing at a urinal
Mark Tran The Guardian UK economy is a ‘tale of two cities’ say archbishops
Andrew Brown The Guardian Archbishops try to inject Christianity into welfare state with inequality attack
Lucinda Borkett-Jones Christian Today Archbishop of York: “English Christians ain’t persecuted”
Pat Ashworth Church Times C of E’s pre-Election publication warns of lose-lose situations for many towns and cities
Peter Dominiczak The Telegraph David Cameron facing row with Church as he ‘profoundly disagrees’ with Archbishops’ attack
The Telegraph editorial Selective wrath
Helen Warrell, Jim Pickard and Clear Barrett Financial Times English archbishops attack government over rising inequality