Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – Sunday roundup

Today’s business

The members of General Synod joined the congregation at York Minster for the 10.00 am Eucharist today (Sunday). The preacher was the Rt Revd Peter Skov-Jakobsen, the Bishop of Copenhagen. Alastair Cutting has published the text of the bishop’s sermon: The Bishop of Copenhagen’s sermon.

Official summary: General Synod – summary of business Sunday 10th July 2011 PM

Riazat Butt’s blog for Sunday

Comment on yesterday’s business

David Green writes on his blog about yesterday’s vote against the new Parochial Fees Order: Synod, wedding fees and allowing some churches to rake it in.

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Laurence RobertsSamuel DenyerPerry ButlerCynthia Gilliatt Recent comment authors
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Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

Whatever one thinks of the Bradford motion ,it highlights an important problem. We have a situation where there is a small percentage of baptized and confirmed and a huge number of baptized but unconfirmed. The Parish Communion movements success means that in many places the only service on offer is eucharistic.In the last 50 yrs Mattins has all but disappeared and Evensong too. ( Esong was the best attended service at the church where I was a choir boy in the 1950’s) The number of working class kids confirmed at 11-13 has dropped substantially I suspect though the number of… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

” … in some places children are admitted to communio before confirmation…how many actually get confirmed?” I can only base this comment on local experience at my own parish. TEC abandoned confirmation as a requirement for Communion some years ago. I’ve noticed no sudden drop in confirmations locally. We prepare confirmands [children and adults] with a curriculum that includes church history, theology, liturgics – not as you would study in seminary – but as an introduction to the church. One of the reasons we have both a bishop and a bishop suffragen and an assisting bishop in this large diocese… Read more »

Samuel Denyer
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Samuel Denyer

The present situation is indeed a muddle. The simple acceptance of baptism as full initiation (with chrismation) and demise of confirmation would cut the Gordian knot but we are nowhere near agreement on that. This proposal would have more credibility if admission of unconfirmed children to communion was already sweeping the board, thus indicating widespread acceptance of baptismal initiation as full and final, but local observation tells me that it is not (anyone have any figures?) Clergy and PCCs: take advantage of the existing legislation and sacramentally embrace your children!

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I think part of the problem in the C of E is that the Geoffrey Lampe line that baptism constitutes full sacramental initiation, forcefully expounded by Colin Buchanan, hasn’t really won hearts and minds…and you can see why. It identifies the minimal with the essential. Of course the act of baptism is the minimum essential rite of entry into the Church but does that make everything else more or less dispensable illustrative extras? Confirmation, in the sense of publicly acknowledging ones faith surely has an essential connection with the process of initiation.I think this can only be resolved ecumenically…taking into… Read more »

Samuel Denyer
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Samuel Denyer

Agreed that baptism as full initiation has not ‘taken’ in the C of E. The problem is that tying reception into communion either with confirmation or attainment of a particular age do not come with a satisfying and widely accepted sacramental theology either. Instead, objections by congregations to baptism as full reception tend to the rather lame ‘it would be a shame to lose confirmation’, ‘it’s worth waiting for something special’, etc. These are often expressed tentatively because they correctly recognise that these are weak arguments. In other words, to the thoughtful church member, the status quo is not particularly… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Not a word about that inner commitment without which baptism, confirmation and holy communion are moot. Why are discussions so lacking in this dimension? As the BCP makes it clear that people who have not been Confirmed may receive holy communion ‘if desirous’, I find much of the discussion here, somewhat beside the point. Yes, the loss of the non-sacramental forms of worship of Morning Prayer is an enormous loss. Loss – of those people whose spirituality was not of a sacramental sort. And good, modest people who ‘would not presume’ … Communion services can come across as quite glib,… Read more »