Thinking Anglicans

more about Reform etc. and women bishops

See earlier report, Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Society of St Augustine.

Odd that the picture on the Society site is quite surely St Augustine of Hippo, not St Augustine of Canterbury. And as noted, the registrant is Chris Sugden and Anglican Mainstream.

Conservative Evangelicals now appear to be pushing to have their own provisions in connection with women bishops.

John Richardson blogged And now — a Conservative Evangelical ‘Flying Bishop’?

And, today, Julian Mann blogged REFORM SOCIETY MUST GROW OUT OF OXBRIDGE

Reform chairman Rod Thomas’ enthusiasm for a new Conservative Evangelical Society was manifest at the national conference at High Leigh, Hertfordshire yesterday.

God willing, the plans will come to fruition and a Reform Society with its own bishops will emerge to preserve and promote Conservative Evangelical ministry within the Church of England.

But this is not entirely new, see the following items from last July:

Reform Rod Thomas Where Now On Women Bishops?

…If the draft measure is eventually approved in something like its present form, the clearest warning bells will be ringing for us. It may be that we will be able to make use of arrangements under the Code of Practice but at the very least it seems likely that some of our best young men will be put off offering themselves for the ordained ministry in the Church of England. If that happens – if the tap is turned off – then new incumbents for our churches will be harder and harder to come by and the future of our churches will be called into question.

Our response to this must be twofold:

i. We must encourage people to keep offering themselves for the ordained ministry for as long as it is possible. Hopefully they will be able to have a life-time of service in the Church of England. But if not, they will be no worse off when they make a move than if they had never entered. This will particularly be the case if we are able to use the time now available to us to forge closer links between our churches.

ii. We must forge closer links with one another. As the future looks increasingly uncertain, we need to bring the issues to our congregations now and then get PCC backing to the idea of linking up with other like-minded churches in a close fellowship. If more difficult times lie ahead, we need to support one another. One way of doing this may be to create a ‘Society’ within the Church of England, focused on mission, with its own bishops providing support and encouragement.

It could even be that if such a Society were to come into being, the House of Bishops might recognise it as a place where separate episcopal oversight could operate when the Women Bishops Measure comes in. We will be actively exploring this possibility in the months ahead.’

Cranmer’s Curate Julian Mann NEED TO MOVE FAST ON REFORM SOCIETY.

…But there is no practical reason why the Society, made up initially of a group of around 20 GAFCON-supporting churches, should not be set up before 2012. There are existing bishops in the UK who could already provide episcopal oversight for clergy and churches in the network, but it would be advisable to arrange for the consecration of some new conservative missionary bishops to serve alongside them. That would be a clear demonstration that the new Society means business.

The situation is patchy in the Church of England. If the new bishops consecrated are licence holders, their diocesans may move against them; some may turn a blind eye; others may invite them to join the senior staff for a civilised luncheon at the bishop’s favourite hostelry…

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Bishop Andrew BurnhamFr MarkLaurence RobertsjuniusJohn Richardson Recent comment authors
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Keith Johnson
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Keith Johnson

Why would any young ordinand want to offer themselves to serve in a church when they disagree with its orders of priesthood and episcopate? Surely they need to find a church denomination which they can fully support, and offer themselves there. Sadly this might mean they need to help establish a new denomination which will accept only male clergy.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Cranmer’s Curate wrote ‘There is a real danger that good local churches could be dragged down by an institution fast spiralling into TEC-scale wickedness’.

Hooray for TEC scale wickedness I say. Let’s have lots more of it.

Honestly do these people expect us to take them seiously. Last week it was the fascist Church of England, now this. One can’t help feeling that there is a serious disconnection with the real world somewhere.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

“our churches” seems to be a refrain in Rod Thomas’s remarks. “Our churches” You would hardly believe he was talking about a national parochially ordered church whose clergy exist to serve a parish and whose parishioners might legitimately expect to find something resembling C of E “norms” when they worship there. It seems the National Church is expected to pick up the bill for the theological training of clergy who will be difficult to deploy outside the “Reformed network” or “church within a church” and whose loyalty beyond that particular network is questionable. A recipe for trouble if you ask… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

May I mention that the John Richardson piece was ‘unobtainable’ the times I tried it ? Thanks.

ED NOTE: you may, and I apologise, the error was mine, not his. Now fixed.

Matthew Duckett
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Of course it’s Hippo, not Canterbury – the favourite non-scriptural source of proof-texts for mad reformation doctrines.

More telling is the strap-line, “Establishing anew the ancient faith”. That is radical protestantism through and through. The Church has failed (which is to say, Jesus didn’t know what he was doing when he founded it), so we need to start it again. And, as said above, why anyone who believes that would want to be part of the Church of England – historical, continuous and catholic as it is – I really don’t know.

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

John Richardson says that episcopal opposition to the ordination of women has been halted because since 1993 no diocesan or suffragan bishops of that flavour have been appointed – the Bishop in Europe was appointed in 2001 when his predecessor (also agin’ the ordination of women) went to Chichester, so there’s two right there…….

JCF
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JCF

“TEC-style wickedness”

These “Reform” people HAVE their reward. (Though I wish the Rev Mann would leave holy martyr Thomas Cranmer’s name out of it)

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Thanks for that ED.

Jonathan Jennings
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Jonathan Jennings

Sara – I read John Richardson’s point as being that, aside from such posts in dioceses where the issue of women priests is live at an episcopal level, all other senior appointments seem to have gone the other way. If the Act of Synod originally envisaged or expected a pattern of random or proportional distribution within senior appointments, or that someone’s views would not ultimately prove relevant, then it has to that extent been frustrated. But I think John fails to take account of the idea that a process of reception (about which there was much talk at the time)… Read more »

John Richardson
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Could I just thank Jonathan Jennings for observing that I was not saying “no bishops opposed to women’s ordination were ever appointed after 1993” – Wallace Benn would be another obvious example to add to the two given – but that “not appointing such bishops to diocesan and suffragan posts” has been the general rule (or in my view, policy), resulting in the gradual elimination of bishops opposed to the ordination of women? I admit a lack of clarity and hope this rectifies the confusion. As to whether this was or was not actually a deliberate policy, I think Sara’s… Read more »

junius
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junius

It’s only my opinion, but in answer to John Richardson’s point about the quality of the men appointed to be PEVs, I think that they are not men of the calibre even to become suffragan bishops. Further, I think that the way they have conducted themselves, in trying establish para-administrations, and now in taking themselves off for ‘study leave’ at this crucial time, reveals that they are not of the highest grade. I doubt if any of them would have become bishops through any other route. May I disarm criticism of this point by admitting that many suffragans at present… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

I really cannot see what kind of sense it would have made, to be appointing as bishops, people opposed in principle, to the ordination of women –in a denomination which er– ordains women. That has become more the case as the years have passed. It has now become indefensible. We cannot both ordain and not ordain (women). The residual misogyny in the C of E is shocking– and apparently can sink to almost any depths, morally or intellectually. Now they are threatening an unholy alliance of ultra-high and ultra-low church, to see off those who wish for women’s ministry–just as… Read more »

Fr Mark
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John R: “Anecdotally, I have heard of a candidate for the episcopate who was told on the highest authority he would not be appointed if he did not support the ordination of women…” Sara’s is a case in point, though: she works in a diocese where her bishop does not believe she is a priest. How can anyone really think they have a right to be a bishop if they cannot recognise that a good number of the clergy whom they aspire to manage and be a figure of unity for are actually priests at all? (Some of the objections… Read more »

Bishop Andrew Burnham
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Thanks, Junius. At the age of 62 I am enjoying the first sabbatical of my working life. It was planned a year ago, though, because of a broken wrist, I have had to abandon plans to travel. The last time I planned a sabbatical, ten years ago, it had to be dropped because of the call to the episcopate. The one I was contemplating seven years before that fell foul to a move from the parish to teach in Oxford. One of the difficulties, as any priest will tell you, is that there is never a good time to take… Read more »