THINKING ANGLICANS

Dagenham ordination row

The Guardian has a report by Stephen Bates about a dispute in the Diocese of Chelmsford: Ordination spurned in gay row.

The story refers to “a statement written by the Rev Mike Reith, vicar of Dagenham, on the parish website.” You can read that material here:
Why I wrote to the Bishop asking for another Bishop….!
Letter of Monday 23rd April ‘07

Further discussion of this occurs in the comments at Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream’s article Vicar of Dagenham issues statement on non-ordination of Chelmsford candidate.

Update
There is even more here from The Ugley Vicar Lost confidence in Chelmsford

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badman
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badman

The conservatives are going about things correctly here. They are registering strong dissent, which they are entitled to do, but they are nevertheless accepting the authority of the bishop. They are not going off to get an irregular ordination elsewhere – which they easily could do. Conversations are taking place and both sides are looking for an agreed solution. We could wish the divisions away, but they exist and we have to live with them. We in England are fortunate that dialogue is not stopped and division not institutionalised by the intervention of overseas bishops which has afflicted the USA.

NP
Guest
NP

Tolerance……not from this liberal bishop, it seems.

Why not let one of the other bishops ordain a man who merely wants to stick to the agreed positions of the church as set out in Lambeth 1.10 and reinforced in the Windsor Report?

A truly “liberal” bishop would not behave like Gladwin in this case – would he?

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I find the discussions at Chelmsford Anglcian Mainstream quite charming. (Link above). And why had I over-looked the salience of I Samuel ? This young man’s vicar obviously encouraged him at least–or maybe the vicar instigated the whole thing. Hard for a young person straight from college, to resist when seeking a post and harmonious relationship with an established training vicar. So I tend to feel this young ordinand has been exploited in the furthrance of the vicar’s agenda. Namely, to attack and undermine John Gladwin. I do welcome the strong and consistent call for individual freedom of conscience and… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

L Roberts says….”the whole thing was hopeful and moving and joyful in spades ….”

And also flagrantly breaking the rules of the CofE (despite the vows made) as well as ignoring the bible on certain key points?

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I rejoice to see an Evangelical bishop standing by the Gospel and the great truths of Scripture. John Gladwin is also a pastoral person, and in fact he has denied no-one anything. We can’t all have our own private ordination done exactly how we want it. But he has been taken on as a church worker, and housed and granted a curate’s stipend, and offered another date. What more could anyone reasonably want for the time being ? BTW If the ordinand and the training vicar find ordination at Gladwin’s hand acceptable, then why oh why draw the line at… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Mr Wood is prepared to be ordained by the Bishop of Chelmsford (“lovely bloke”), but is not prepared to take communion with him because of the bishop’s patronage of Changing Attitude? How come the expression “sanctimonious pratt” is running through my brain?

The Global South could be consecrating “authentically Anglican” bishops for England in the near future.

NP
Guest
NP

L Roberts says “More honest to decline ordination, oath of obedience, stipend , the lot, surely ?”

Maybe you should say this to others in the church who make vows to uphold the teaching of the church while trying to subvert it from within, ignoring its agreed positions and hiding behind “don’t ask, don’t tell” approaches?

Prior Aelred
Guest

How can you not be willing to receive Communion from the bishop who just ordained you? If there are reasons why one can’t, in good conscience, receive sacraments from a particular person, how can you pick & choose which sacraments? This baffles me!

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I don’t know what ‘positions you have agree to NP., but I have never been consulted about CofE ‘positions’ nor consented to any. In fact, all the authorities of the CofE knew of my relationship with my life partner, and I was waved through at seminary, at diocese, to ordination and thru ordination. I remember how shocked and appalled my training vicar to be was (a married man) when he realised I ahd a partner who would –shock horror actually live with me —- rather than being single and free to cruise. The former is hard to hide for long;… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

Back in the 1970s, I knew at least 3 gay people training in Exeter Universities Theology Department, and all of them became ordained later, with no fuss, no high profile outrage, probably because they didn’t wear being gay in a loud manner (but who does, apart from the clergy in Little Britain?). Why is there so much scrutiny now? I think that ever since America went for a very public, loud and openly provocative ordination (typically American), this has caused ripples and almost a witchhunt where new clergy over here are concerned.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

His willingness to be ordained by a man from whom he will not receive the Sacrament is telling, if baffling. It shows a very different understanding from anything I am familiar with, for starters. What does he think Communion is, much less Orders? Combined with NP’s: “Why not let one of the other bishops…..” this points up what may be a root cause of our problems: just as their understanding of Biblical authority is quite different, so is their understanding of Church, sacraments, specifically the Eucharist and orders though I assume the other 5 as well, and likely a whole… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the expression “sanctimonious pratt” is running through my brain?” In Genesis, God brings all created things to Adam and he names them. It is an intergral part of the way God made us that we see patterns and objects in His Creation and give them names. This expression in your brain is merely you naming things for what they are, as God made you to do! And, Tony, I agree that if we make waves, we shouldn’t be surprised if the boat rocks, but there is an equally valid argument that hiding and sneaking around are not good things, not… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

But Tony the dishonesty couldn’t continue for ever. Why shouldministers have to pretend that their boyfriend / girlfriend or partner, is a lodger ? In one’s 20s it is possible but stressful — but on into middle age and retirement ? Oh come on ! The american church has done us all a service in bringing this hypocrisy out into the open. For heavens sakes ! –even George Carey has ‘admitted’ (or should that be ‘come-out’ ?) as having knowingly ordained gay people— as did Runcie before him; and as has Rowan Williams himself. Some anglo parishes are like (old… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Tony,

The Stonewall Riots, the Suffragettes, Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela were “very public, loud and openly provocative”. Civil Rights initiatives often are.

But Gene Robinson’s appointment was an entirely legal process in accordance with the polity of the Church and the wishes of his diocese. Others made it a scandal.

Pluralist
Guest

It is now an issue of non-compliance for a bishop to have an opinion about something despite obeying all these apparent rules that aren’t actual rules…

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Rev Mike Reith, vicar of Dagenham, on the parish website . . . quoted the 26th article, approved in 1571, which states: ‘Sometimes the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the word and sacraments.'”

“Mr Reith told the Guardian: ‘The trouble is that the bishop has taken up an irreconcilable stance and precipitated this crisis. He could show a degree of flexibility.'”

So he calls his bishop “evil” but then chides him for not showing “a degree of flexibility”??? :-0

You can’t make this stuff up.

Lord have mercy!

NP
Guest
NP

Hmmmm Ford, you make far too much of having Gladwin do the honours…..you do realise that if Gladwin happened to have flu, one of the other bishops would do the ordination…….and it would be no less legal and right?

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

NP John didnt have the flu.

Not sure what the vicar and ordinand had–or were on.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“do the honours”
“legal and right”

So, what is ordination, NP. Your use of these terms suggests you disagree with the last statement of my post, and think priesthood is simply a job and ordination is merely the way the Church gives you that job. If not, please explain. What, if anything other than some show of acceptance of the candidate for the job does it mean? I yhink you make far too little of sacraments, NP.

Craig
Guest
Craig

NP said: ‘Hmmmm Ford, you make far too much of having Gladwin do the honours…..you do realise that if Gladwin happened to have flu, one of the other bishops would do the ordination…….and it would be no less legal and right?’ It’s interesting that you equate being liberal on the gay issue with an illness. But anyway, you miss the point completely. The diocesan bishop, and he only, has the RIGHT to ordain in his diocese. If other bishops ordain it is at the request and permission of the diocesan. The bishop is chief pastor of the diocese. Priests are… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“you do realise that if Gladwin happened to have flu, one of the other bishops would do the ordination…….and it would be no less legal and right?” And if the entire bench of bishops were to be wiped by avian ‘flu, one assumes that they’d bring in outside bishops to ordain and consecrate. And indeed, if it were done in proper fashion, it would be totally “legal and right”. But the bishops haven’t – yet – been wiped out by avian ‘flu, and Bishop Gladwin was not indisposed. So what point germane to the argument is being made here? Ought… Read more »

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

“you do realise that if Gladwin happened to have flu, one of the other bishops would do the ordination…….and it would be no less legal and right?”

And I suppose you’re going to turn up on the good Bishop’s doorstep and sneeze in his face, NP?

You may have to knock out a couple of other alternatives in the diocese, just to make sure you get the ‘right’ bishop, or hold a hanky over your face until the inquisition has decided to infect or save…

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

A question that sat at the back of my mind reading the material from the parish website: who in their right mind refers to their bishop as a “bloke”??? I can’t imagine anything more patronising – perhaps here is where the real agenda comes out; belittle the man by making him sound closer than you want to keep him. Deny the man the real dignity of his office by making out that he’s just a nice bloke, the type of bloke you’d find hanging out at the local pub, bible in one hand and lemonade in the other, evangelising the… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

Seems a trifle odd to me to say you are prepared to accept ordination at the hands of the diocesan, but not the eucharist.

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

Whilst I can excuse the Guardian for its ignorance, I find it incomprehensible that he who runs the websites of Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream and the Ugley Vicar (same person, JPR?) should write of someone being (not) ordained curate. Since when has the Church of England ordained *curates*? Deacons, yes; priests, yes, curates, NO!

David Gould
Guest
David Gould

He refuses to be ordained but is taking a salary as a curate. How very noble.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“who in their right mind refers to their bishop as a “bloke”” I once had an online discussion with an Evangelical bishop who disapproved of entrance processions and people standing when such things entered the church because he didn’t think it appropriate that such a fuss be made over him! He didn’t seem to get that the fuss was being made over God, not him. I think it comes from a much deeper antipathy to “things Papist” actually. To consider that a priest is anything other than an ordinary man in an ordinary job is a little too “Romish”. Same… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

In brief, it appears that Wood, in the interest of career and job security, was prepared to accept the sacrament of ordination at the bishop’s hands, compromising his principles thus far in the interest of his career, but thought that he could then thumb his nose at Gladwin by refusing to accept Holy Communion at the same hands, presumably to announce that he considers himself to be in a state of impaired or broken communion with the bishop. When I was a kid the “nice bloke” comment fell in a category that was termed “cheeky”. I suspect that it still… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

David Gould – lots of people refuse to stick to and even actively subvert the teaching of the church eg Lambeth 1.10 and receive salaries, housing and pensions – you think that is noble too?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“a state of impaired or broken communion with the bishop.”

I think you’re spot on. I don’t understand how any bishop would be willing to ordain someone with such a poor understanding of the sacraments.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP,
Do you really think this guy would make a good priest? I can’t say, I don’t know the man, but his attitude towards the Eucharist and the nature of priesthood would at least call for a better examination of his discernment of his call, don’t you think?

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

NP said: “Lots of people refuse to stick to and even actively subvert the teaching of the church eg Lambeth 1.10 and receive salaries, housing and pensions – you think that is noble too?

I doubt, though, that the Primates of Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya are prepared to give up their salaries, housing and pension. Nor would I ask them to do so.

JPM
Guest
JPM

This guys seem to think that ordination is nothing more than some sort of professional licensing procedure.

cryptogram (John Marshall)
Guest
cryptogram (John Marshall)

JPM says: “This guys seem to think that ordination is nothing more than some sort of professional licensing procedure.”

Well, if you believe that ordination is in no sense sacramental, as, to judge from comments on this and other blogs, a number of Cons Evoes of the Oak Hill/Sydney tendency do, that it is in no sense “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us”, it doesn’t leave a lot of choice, does it? How that squares with classical Anglican theology, and such liturgical formulae as “Receive the Holy Spirit…” we may well wonder.

The young fogey
Guest

‘His willingness to be ordained by a man from whom he will not receive the Sacrament is telling, if baffling.’ You’re right; it doesn’t make sense. Even if one side is wrong in his opinions (I’m not here to argue Controversial Issues™), not to receive Communion is inconsistent and seems Donatist. If one objects that strongly there is the theoretical possibility of joining another church, no longer being in communion, in the same church, with the person or faction whose views offend you. Sad but sometimes understandable and arguably necessary if one and (the rest of) a church are that… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford – I am not sure what you object to in his attitude – if you did consider someone a false teacher, would you take the sacrament from them? I guess we have seen many splits in the church because of this sort of situation…..but there are 5 other bishops in the diocese who could easily ordain the man and he would take communion from them……no reason for a problem unless +Chelmsford wants to make one here. I suspect a man who desires unity such as yourself would advise this pragmatic course on +Chelmsford? I hope he goes for it…..given… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, “if you did consider someone a false teacher, would you take the sacrament from them”. It’s standard AC teaching and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to go against that: ‘The problem with Donatism is that no person is morally pure. The effectiveness of the baptism or administration of the Lord’s supper does not cease to be effective if the moral character of the minister is in question or even demonstrated to be faulty. Rather, the sacraments are powerful because of what they are, visible representations of spiritual realities. God is the one who works in and through them and… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“If you did consider someone a false teacher, would you take the sacrament from them?”

Ask rather “if you did consider someone a false teacher, would you adopt a ‘cafeteria’ approach to receiving the sacraments from them, selecting such sacraments as are essential to your self-advancement, rejecting those that are not?”

The main issue is what seem to be Richard Wood’s flexible values on this point.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Ford – I am not sure what you object to in his attitude – if you did consider someone a false teacher, would you take the sacrament from them?” No, indeed. This is my point. He seems to think his bishop is a “false teacher” but he is quite willing to receive a sacrament at his hands. How can a person think he will “receive the Holy Ghost for the office of priest” from someone with whom he will not celebrate the most important and most basic act of Christian worship? That this not only does not jump out at… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

So I guess we’re now down to the 37 Articles.

Having already set aside “The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England,” by rejecting its logical corollaries, the “conservatives have now likewise rejected “The unworthiness of the minister hindreth not the effect of the sacraments.”

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

I would receive the sacrament from a properly ordained ‘false teacher’ who was still an accredited priest – or indeed an adulterer, thief or shareholder in Exxonmobil…. Not because I approve of what they do, but because Traditional Orthodox Christianity (as opposed to the innovations of which some soi-disant conservatives approve) demand that I look not on the person wearing the funny clothes but on God who is guarantor of the sacrament.

Odd that NP and co know so little about Christian doctrine which goes back via Aquinas to Gregory the Great.

NP
Guest
NP

Mynster – as usual, in my stupid way, I put more weight on the bible than on church traditions etc……and St Paul definitely does not teach me or you to be in communion with false teachers, does he?? I can imagine so many on TA telling Paul to take it easy, show the Galatian heretics and others some respect and learn to get along with them…… Even the Lord would have been told by some modern liberals to go easy on the Pharisees and stop talking about judgment and hell, I guess… Sorry, you have to show me the biblical… Read more »

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

NP: the judgment on who constitutes a false teacher is not for me nor for you to make. That radical individualism is not part of the Catholic church.

NP
Guest
NP

Mynster – is it “radical individualism” to want to stick by Lambeth 1.10???

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

But it does seem quite clear that NP rejects both the Church’s condemnation of Donatism, and that article which says that “the unworthiness of the minister hindreth not the effect of the sacrament.”

Having already set aside the article which rejects governance by foreign prelates, NP is now down to a mere 37 Articles, along with a few bits cherry-picked from one Lambeth resolution and one committee report.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I put more weight on the bible than on church traditions” And you are trying to tell us your faith is not a radical innovation? Even the Epistles tell us to be faithful to the TRADITION we have received! The early Church wasn’t told to be faithful to the Bible, NP, they had no Bible. They were still expected to be faithful to something, and it is that something they passed on to us. It is a mark of your belief that you have no respect for the tradition we have received. Fine. That is a more radical part of… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Ford – so what do you think St Paul meant when he wrote to the early church that “all SCRIPTURE is God-breathed”…..they had the OT and they had the NT (maybe not in a nice book but they had it) – and we have never been told to follow man-made traditions and institutions where it conflicts with the scriptures. We have seen for years attempts by many liberals to get what they want by undermining all authority in the church – we even get the ridiculous response that TEC cannot be asked to repond to the Tanzania Communique because of… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

human tradition is not reliable, Ford – do you think the Lord would even recognise much of the tradition we see in the church?

think of the communion ceremonies you love….what would he make of all the fine robes and walking about – do you think he would recognise it as what he did in the upper room??

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP
“Bring on the covenant and let all who cannot say anything is right or wrong finally have the courage to set up a liberal church “

Well, as there isn’t a single person who says that nothing is right or wrong (or that don’t means do, as you also often claim), that means we’ll probably all stay together.

And don’t tell me you can’t live side by side – your hope that Ford will remain in Communion with you has proved that point wrong.

NP
Guest
NP

Sure Erika – but please be clear: I think Ford is a great person and I want to stay in the same church as him and you (!) ….but I can only do that because Lambeth 1.10 is the official position of the church. TEC’s promotion of VGR is a direct challenge to the interpretation of the bible in Lambeth 1.10…..we evos have to know that the teaching of the church stands and such challenges to it are not acceptable in order to continue to be in communion……and do remember, we who have stayed in the AC are the soft… Read more »