Thinking Anglicans

letter to CEN supporting Bishop Duncan

Anglican Mainstream has printed the full text, and also the full list of signatories, which does not appear in the newspaper itself. There it says: “Col Edward Armitstead and 41 Members of General Synod from 24 dioceses”.

Letter published in the Church of England Newspaper

The Editor The CEN

Dear Sir,

We write to inform you that we are sending the following letter of support to Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh and his fellow Bishops in the Common Cause Council of Bishops following the letter last week to the Bishop of Pittsburgh,

Dear Bishop Duncan and Bishops in Common Cause

Warm greetings from the UK.

We have read the letter from Presiding Bishop Schori to the Bishop of Pittsburgh. We want to assure you, your dioceses and parishes of our prayers and fellowship as you take your stand on our shared Anglican heritage, accepting the Holy Scriptures as the rule and ultimate standard of faith, contrary to those innovators both in the British Isles and in the Americas who wish to give primacy to the demands of contemporary culture.

We are outraged by the threat and implementation of court actions against faithful Anglicans in the United States by the current leadership of The Episcopal Church who appear to be unitarian and universalist in theology, and coercively utopian in social practice.

We are most disturbed that the current plans for the Lambeth Conference are that the leadership of TEC be invited to the Lambeth Conference but not faithful Anglican bishops.

Yours in Christ

46 Members of General Synod from 26 dioceses

Colonel Edward Armitstead (Bath and Wells), Mrs Lorna Ashworth (Chichester), Mrs Anneliese Barrell (Exeter), Fr Paul Benfield (Blackburn), Mr Tom Benyon (Oxford) , Mr Paul Boyd Lee (Salisbury), Canon Peter Bruinvels (Guildford), Mr Gerald Burrows (Blackburn), Mr Graham Campbell (Chester) , Mr Nigel Chetwood (Gloucester), Mr John Clark (Lichfield) , Rev John Cook (London), Mr Tim Cox (Blackburn), Brigadier Ian Dobbie (Rochester), Rev John Dunnett (Chelmsford), Mr Paul Eddy (Winchester), Mrs Sarah Finch (London), Dr Philip Giddings (Oxford), Rev Ian Gooding (Derby), Rev John Hartley (Bradford) , Rev Richard Hibbert (St Albans), Fr Simon Killwick (Manchester) , Mr Peter LeRoy (Bath and Wells), Rev Angus Macleay (Rochester) , Dr Peter May (Winchester), Mr Steve Mitchell (Derby), Mrs Joanna Monckton (Lichfield), Mrs Gill Morrison (Peterborough), Mr Gerry O’Brien (Rochester), Rev Paul Perkin (Southwark) , Preb Sam Philpott (Exeter) , Mr Andrew Presland (Peterborough), Rev Colin Randall (Carlisle) , Mr Jonathan Redden (Sheffield), Mrs Alison Ruoff (London), Mr Clive Scowen (London), Mr Ian Smith (York), Rev Mark Sowerby (Ripon and Leeds),Mr Michael Streeter (Chichester) Canon Dr Chris Sugden (Oxford), Dr Chik Kaw Tan (Lichfield), Rev Rod Thomas (Exeter), Mr Jacob Vince (Chichester), Rev David Waller (Chelmsford) , Mrs Ruth Whitworth (Ripon and Leeds) Sister Anne Williams (Durham)

Plus Rev David Phillips (St Albans) Director, Church Society, Rev Geoffrey Kirk (Southwark) Secretary, Forward in Faith UK, Stephen Parkinson, Director, Forward in Faith, Rev Beaumont Brandie (Chichester) Chair of College of Forward in Faith Deans, Gill James (Birmingham), Rev Alan Rabjohns, Chair, Credo Cymru. Canon Nicholas Turner (Bradford) Editor, New Directions, Rev Trevor Walker (Lincoln) Forward in Faith Council, Fr Ross Northing (Oxford) Regional Dean, Fr Len Black (FiF dean for Scotland)

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JCF
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JCF

Exceptions which prove the rule: the CofE, overwhelmingly, will stand with TEC.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

How would the General Synod react if +Michael al-Nazir took Rochester out of the CofE, including all properties, trusts and endowments? Wouldn’t General Synod have a fiduciary responsibility to stop this kind of outright theft? What makes TEC a unitarian church? There are no traces of U\unitarianism in the 1979 BCP, which, at key moments, invokes the Triune God, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just fancy that, members of the General Synod speading outright lies about TEC! What makes us coercively utopian? TEC has stood up for civil rights at least since the late 1950s. Is… Read more »

dave paisley
Guest

Nice strawman argument they set up there.

“We think they’re universalist unitarian utopians, so they must be.”

Nice going.

And isn’t “Forward” in faith a bit of a misnomer?

Unless it has a tagline, as in:

Forward in Faith, Backward in Time.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Wow, TEC “coercively utopian in social practice.” I guess we’ve got a gun at their heads Tex, gotta stop mak’in them more mindful of the needs of them other’ns! Okay, there is still a British Airways flight to PIT, you all can come out here, I think I can find a railroad tunnel over in the east end of the Diocese of Quittsburgh near Gallitzin for you poor oppressed and beat down self-loathing people to worship in. You can go hide and whine and call yourself the true Anglican Church rooted in your selfish and fearful interpretation of scripture. Even… Read more »

John Bassett
Guest
John Bassett

Clarify for the us in the US exactly what percentage of the membership of Synod this is. Are all pretty much associated with Reform?

Pluralist
Guest

“appear to be unitarian and universalist in theology”

And appearances can deceive.

Rodney in Melbourne
Guest
Rodney in Melbourne

I just can’t wait for the arrival of an African Primate in London to take under his wing the priests and others who have sent this letter. I check in here most days with eager anticipation. Who will it be? How will the Archbishop deal with it? Will the Bihsop of Fulham turn up in cappa and beretta to welcome him? It’s almost as addictive as good whisky (or should that be gin and tonic?). I’m agog to see how the High Court of Justice takes to the idea – the Dean of Arches is in for a high old… Read more »

Colin Coward
Guest

One of the most shocking things about this letter is that at least one of the signatories is a partnered gay priest. The small number who have signed is an indication of how insignificant are the numbers on General Synod who wish to leave the Church of England and involve themselves with a secessionist body which will, from the start, include lesbian, gay and bisexual lay and ordained people amongst them, many of them dishonest, sexually active and partnered. That they are doesn’t worry me, unless the sexual activity and relationships are unhealthy and being conducted contrary to Biblical teaching… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

To those of you in the US and bewildered by this: The signatories represent “the usual suspects” when it comes to the C of E’s lunatic fringes: Rod Thomas and others from Reform; Chris Sugden and Philip Giddings (who despite appearing so, are not a gay couple), the chief stirrers up of ecclesiastical homophobia in Oxford diocese (they were the big mouths against Jeffrey John); then you have some of the Forward in Faith nutters, who have long been looking for an excuse to split the C of E because of the women issue principally, rather than the gay one.… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

JCF asserts “…the CofE, overwhelmingly, will stand with TEC.” Really? If there is so much support in the CofE for the CA /Integrity/ TECUSA agenda, why did the ABC got J John to step down? The fact is, most of the CofE does not like conflict….this has been used by people to subvert the church and is the root of “don’t ask, don’t tell policies”. So, many are quiet….but this does not mean they support the agenda of a few who would condone behaviour “incompatible with scripture”. The actions of the ABC in the last 4 years of procrastination shows… Read more »

MJ
Guest
MJ

Colin Coward: “One of the most shocking things about this letter is that at least one of the signatories is a partnered gay priest.” The hypocrisy of some in FiF is amazing, given the historical presence of so many gay clergy/laity within Anglocatholicism. They seem to want to retain the old ‘don’t ask / don’t tell’ culture. It’s worth rereading Kenneth Leech’s piece ‘Beyond Gin and Lace: Homosexuality and the Anglo-catholic subculture’ – http://www.anglocatholicsocialism.org/lovesname.html#gin “There is no doubt that the AC movement once played a positive role in helping gay people to find a home within the Christian community. In… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: Abp Rowan let down Jeffrey John because he was bullied. He, and Bp Richard Harries formerly of Oxford, have both said how taken aback at the visceral anti-gay feeling unleashed at them. Like most British liberals, they had always assumed that other people were as reasonable as they are, and they weren’t prepared for the level of sheer nastiness that still lurks within the Church.

badman
Guest
badman

General Synod has 483 members, including bishops and clergy.

An excellent numbered list, by Dr Peter Owen, who is one of the founders of Thinking Anglicans, can be examined here:

http://peterowen.org.uk/articles/gsmembers.html

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: and bizarrely, of course, Jeffrey John was given preferment, and is now Dean of St Albans. So, whatever it was that made him too sinful to be a bishop doesn’t make him too sinful to be a dean. And an excellent dean he is too, by all accounts. Is that a just way for any employer to deal with its staff?

NP
Guest
NP

not at all, Mark…..we see CofE hypocrisy in that………. but when we do see an AC split, I hope to see him in TEC Global which will be a church not in communion with the AC and will be a church which agrees with Dean John on Lambeth 1.10 (Trouble is TECUSA, despite its inherited money, still prefers to be part of a bigger global church than to launch TEC Global and rally liberals from around the world…..TEC Global would not be big but it would have more integrity than the current situation in which we have some clergy subverting… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I noticed that one too, Colin. of course, if they were in a body with conservative evangelicals, their cover would very soon be blown once the convenience of ‘alliance’ no longer mattered.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Colin Coward: “One of the most shocking things about this letter is that at least one of the signatories is a partnered gay priest.”

Can anyone explain to me why a sane person would sign this letter if he was in this situation? Keeping your head covered in the current Anglican climate is understandable, but this?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“…..we see CofE hypocrisy in that” As I understand it, he is an intelligent man, a good theologian, and well liked and respected by those who have been his parishioners in the past. Yeah, how hypocritical to have such a man in a leadership position! But, of course, intelligence, education, and actually practicing one’s Christianity mean nothing, he’s a homo so he’s unfit. Notice how for him celebacy wasn’t enough. He still couldn’t be a bishop because he wouldn’t browbeat gay people into frightened submission with threats of Hellfire. Yet another example of Conservatives moving the goalposts so that, when… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

I like seeing a Brigadier & Colonel on the list — I can’t imagine that on this side of the pond — it seems to quaint from here.

Query — are these gentlemen retired from active service or are they opposed to the current requirement that gays be allowed to serve (the EU forced that, IIRC) or do they have a double standard for the church & the forces?

Just curious.

Pluralist
Guest

Let’s be clear what about the actual way things are happening here. We have the continuing statements via Nigeria, and via the Global South, and the Southern Cone will oversight people where TEC will declare the diocese vacant and continue with those who do not leave. Presumably these who go along with the declarations and threats and interventions will not turn up at Lambeth next year, and will organise themselves. Well they will not be this Anglican Communion will they? The Church of England bishops (we assume – maybe one or two will change allegiance?) will turn up at Lambeth.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Abp Rowan let down Jeffrey John because he was bullied.”

But what’s your point? You say he was bullied, NP’s argument always has been that +Rowan gave in to pressure from the right. These are just two different ways of saying the same thing. Thing is, you and I think it was a bad thing, NP thinks it was a good thing. And St. John Crysostom’s statement that we Christians have non right to force others to our will is just “the traditions of men” I guess.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: that’s fine: I’ll go with the TEC global church in preference to the Church of the Last True Homophobes any day, and so will a lot if other British Anglicans.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

” …despite its inherited money…” Here you go again. What ‘inherited money?’ NP, you keep darkly hinting that somewhere – the basement of 815 perhaps? – TEC has stacks and stacks of money. It doesn’t. As a 501C3 entity, TEC is required by law to make public its finances. You can see the budget in the reports made each General Convention. And, if there were any, what would be wrong with ‘inherited money?’ Episcopal clergy are required, once a year, to remind their congregations to make plans for their detahs. This includes preparing a document about preferences for the burial… Read more »

John Robison
Guest
John Robison

So a group of CoE clergy condones Donatism and the new Duncanian Ecclesiology of self service. The accusations of “Unitarianism” are so faded, worn and outright false to make it almost a catch phrase in a failing situation comedy. I swear you guys need to get better material. There is no bravery here, only the fearful and angry tactics of a bunch of people living in a theological cul de sack angry that the rest of the Church is moving along. I just wonder how long it will be until they figure out that all of this “forward movement” is… Read more »

John Robison
Guest
John Robison

One more thing:

In almost all of the cases where there are lawsuits involved it is the Diocese in question that is the respondant to the (specious) claims of the schismatics. The law suits would go away if the Donatistic thieves would drop their attempts as stealing the property of TEC.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Prior Aelred: I would think it most likely that the army officers are retired. Here, they keep their rank after retirement; and the irascible dyed in the wool retired army officer is as much a traditional feature of British village life as the liberal Vicar!

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

prior aelred, it is a tradition in england that officers of the rank of major and above may keep the title in a honorary sense after leaving the forces. most don’t bother. you can draw your own conclusions about the those who do.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I liked John Henry’s comment “Which group has departed from the “faith once delivered to the saints”? Those who treat their fellow human beings with loathing and hatred and bear false witness against their neighbors.” It was so much fun yesterday to go back to the bible passages they’d thrown at us (Joel 3 and Jude 1). The thing in both instances is that they used one sentence in each passage against us. Yet both sentences were out of context, in both circumstances the consequence was for those who would cast out God’s children, refusing to acknowledge them as members… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Well said, Cheryl. It is good that you take on the Conservative Evangelicals on biblical interpretation, because they often accuse the rest of us of not being biblical enough, preferring the claim exclusive ownership of the texts themselves. It is very important to keep reminding them that there are many ways to interpret the Bible, and that no-one has a monopoly on it. In fact, I had always understood it to be a key feature of Protestant doctrine that each person has the right to interpret Scripture for her/himself – a doctrine that, weirdly, the Con Evangelicals don’t seem to… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Cynthia…you still think TECUSA has no money, no endowments?

You may have heard of Trinitiy Wall St?

How do you think a church which gets 0.9m and falling on a Sunday finances itself? (it ain’t all from the shrinking TEC churches, you know)

TECUSA and the CofE (amongst others) have inherited money….from people who did not imagine some of the things that go on today in the clergy.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: is this paragon church of yours Holy Trinity Brompton?
If so, it is a church which caters to the wealthiest social set in London, situated as it is just across the road from Harrods. Ministry to the upper middle class is fine by me, but don’t then go telling all the charming people on TA that such a church could possibly be a universal paradigm.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: “some of the things that go on today in the clergy” – I am afraid you are very naive indeed if you imagine they haven’t always “gone on” in the clergy. The only difference is that today we articulate what before was hidden, and therefore became the cause of blackmail, suicide, etc. I suppose those would be the good old days you’d like to bring back?

NP
Guest
NP

Mark says “such a church could possibly be a universal paradigm”

Never said it was, Mark
YOu been there???? Bet you ain’t but you feel free to stereotype the congregation.

The “universal paradigm” I would advocate would be one in which the CofE does only allow behaviour compatible with scripture – because it is God’s word

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: of course, the good old sexually repressive days of the 1950s were also the ones when your chums at Holy Trinity Brompton’s grandparents were governing places like… Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, etc.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

NP:

Yes, it is true that Trinity Church has a large endowment—but that endowment, like most such funds, is restricted in its use for specific purposes. Further, of course, that money does not belong to TEC at large, but to Trinity parish, and–should Trinity somehow cease to exist or separate itself from the diocese–to the Diocese of New York. There is no way–under canon or civil law–that the national church can lay any claim to it.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Fr. Mark,
I think you’ll find that wealth is one of the marks of being among the Elect. There have always been some who took the attitude “I’m rich because God loves me, if God loved you, you’d be rich too.” Since Calvin, they have had theological validation.
NP’s assertions that HTB is growing by leaps and bounds because of God’s blessing on their righteousness is on that path, though I get the feeling he considers it more ‘reward’ than some natural state willed by God.

Kennedy
Guest
Kennedy

I like seeing a Brigadier & Colonel on the list — I can’t imagine that on this side of the pond — it seems to quaint from here.

You’d be surprised how quaint it seems form here as well.

Kennedy

Anglocat
Guest

Hey, NP! I’m on my way to Trinity Wall Street, right now, for a spirit-filled Eucharist, where all are welcome.

Which is what differentiates TEC from the Akinolistas.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

The irony of anyone in the Church of England yipping at the rest of the Communion over endowments. Delicious.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I just love the way that same gender unions are always vilified — whereas one-nite stands pass without commment. While I have no problem with the latter, I would have thought the conseratives would have felt they should be more of a priority than ‘stable’ relationships, that is those that continue over (longer) time. I suppose **the unions can’t be hidden from view, whereas the non-unions are invisible –unless the conservative bishops are going to institute Clinton-Lewinky style DNA testing of clothing etc ?! ** Their superficiality, shallowness and dishonesty never fails to surprise me. I am not a bit… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Laurence,

I would love to know what it is that makes people like that.
No-one becomes a Christian, having experienced the amazing love of Christ, thinking “I shall spend my future life lying about myself and persuing ideas that punish those like me. I shall live a life of double standards, of hatred and fear. All in the name of Christ’s saving love”.

I mean – how does one end up at such a place?

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Erika yours is a good question, and compassionate. The people who spend their lives ‘lying about themselves’ do I think, need to be seen in the context of the first ‘group’ I mentioned. The former attack ‘gay unions’ as they call them, ignoring the fact that most of the states do not offer such an institution. But these unions spring not from law but from the hearts, love and relationality of countless lesbian & gay couples. Couples who have formed and kept going for decades with little of the support Church or society lavish on opposite gender couples. These couples… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Continued from above. So before you know where are, many years of ‘Celibacy’ have passed, and your sex life is seen as non-existent. Or rather your sex life is not seen at all. It doesn’t count. The people involved are very sincere. Unfortunately, this approach seems dishonest and empty to those outside — and those within it perhaps in their moments of self possession. HA Williams is wonderfully honest & moving on all this, of course. ‘Some Day I’ll Find You’ (autobiog) I think many of us came to refuse to live like this, realising it was not good for… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

The only other thing I would add, Erika, is that people have very different experience(s). Many I think, might well not have such vivid experiences of Christ in their initial spirituality, as you mention. Or ever necessarily. So this more gradual or ‘level’ spirituality will evoke different images, symbols and perhaps need a different approach. It seems very English to me. Quaite staid. A spiriual director / guide or therapist could help a lot with that kind of spiritual journey. Of course vivid experiences (if I may so put it, for shorthand) may come at any time, over a person’s… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Laurence, thanks for your comprehensive and fascinating reply! Yes, I think you’ve probably hit the nail on the head. The doubt remains – all your comments apply to people living a hidden sexual life largely made up of one night stands and “slip ups”. I can even see how long term partnered relationships can come under that heading. I’m not sure how they alone can explain that additional step of vilifying other gay people from the pulpit and signing a FiF petition against people like yourself. Not coming out, even self-deception, are one thing. Active vilification and extreme public denunciation… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Thanks Erica. Hard to get my head round that. Or rather my heart. I think it’s based on a complex psychological mechanism, which may best be elucidated in the well-known ‘kicking the cat’ phinomenon; which often receives recognition in jocular spirit ! In a living system, such as a family household (or firm, place of work, church or society etc), father gets at mother, who shouts at Billy, who is real mean to Jilly, who slaps Laurie — who kicks the cat, who … It is noticable how minorites find a groups or person ‘lower’ than themselves in the (societal)… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Laurence,
thanks for that.
I’m not sure I follow completely. Kicking the cat is kicking someone lower than yourself, as are many of the other examples you provide.
Kicking people quite like yourself takes the pathology to new levels.

How wise the one who told us not to judge – because ultimately, we truly do not understand what we’re judging!

NP
Guest
NP

L Roberts says “I just love the way that same gender unions are always vilified — whereas one-nite stands pass without commment”

Nonsense…..if clergy are teaching people what the bible says, there will be no such double standard (for anybody, regardless of orientation)

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

You certaily have remained uncharacteristically silent on this sublect “NP” !

Until you pop in to pronounce “Nonsense” upon me.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

NP: if clergy are “just teaching what the Bible says”, then they will be going out and stoning gay couples to death, of course.