Thinking Anglicans

opinion

Norman Ivison guest blogs at God and Politics UK about Building churches fit for the future – 7 lessons that need to be learnt.

Jayne Dawson of the Yorkshire Evening Post has been talking to Nick Baines: New Bishop of Leeds is the spy who loved God.

Michael Northcott writes in the Church Times about The argument against fossil fuels.

Part two of the Church Times series on the health of the Church of England includes these two articles available to non-subscribers:
Linda Woodhead Not enough boots on the ground
Abby Day Generation A — the dwindling force

Christopher Howse writes in his Sacred mysteries column in The Telegraph about The mermaid on the church roof.

Malcolm Clemens Young writes for the Huffington Post about Our Common Identity.

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J Drever
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J Drever

I could not agree more with the useful pieces by Linda Woodhead and Abby Day. Since there are very few churches with a critical mass of young people, we should scarcely be surprised that there are also very few young ordinands. Moreover, if we were to look at the background of those ordained under 35, we should not be surprised to find that they are mostly from a few powerful party churches – possibly rather more from an evangelical than Anglo-Catholic or liberal background. As usual, most young ordinands are middle class. The extreme paucity of ordinands under 30 is,… Read more »

Stuart, Devon
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Stuart, Devon

Student loans are hardly an issue, given the level of stipends. For good or for ill, paying 9% of whatever you earn above £21k imposes an annual cost of no more than a couple of hundred pounds for the vast majority of clergy.

Unless an ordinand has a large private income or expects rapid promotion, their student loan will end up being cancelled without them having to make a significant contribution to repaying it.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Given that (a) an increasing proportion of the attendees and officers of the Church of England are women and that (b) the general synod voted to continue the (in all other occupations illegal) policy of restricting women’s career progression to the junior roles only, reserving all the senior (and therefore better paid) posts in the church to men only, it’s hardly surprising that the number of applicants is falling. Given the church also has a policy of open hostility and exclusion towards homosexual men who might wish to take jobs, the church is currently restricting its senior staff to men,… Read more »

John
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John

‘The figures cited are so frightening, it almost looks like the end of the road.’

I’m afraid I completely agree with that.

Alastair Newman
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‘Perhaps men who might otherwise join the church think similarly about joining an organisation which excludes women and gays?’

What about those of us men who might want to change the church for the better…?

I also think characterising every Bishop (as it is Bishops we’re talking about here) as ‘sufficiently uncaring’ is grossly unfair to many of the bishops who have been very strong advocates and for many years of the removal of barriers to the episcopate on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“What about those of us men who might want to change the church for the better…?” Given that the synod voted down equal rights for women, thus firmly anchoring the CofE in what historians call “the long nineteenth century”, they don’t seem to be making a terribly good job of it, do they? Every time the CofE has been given a chance to vote on not continuing a sexist policy against women, it votes for sexism. Every time the CofE has been given the chance to vote on not continuing to be homophobic, it votes for homophobia. Anyone who joins… Read more »

Laurence Cunnington
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Laurence Cunnington

“grossly unfair to many of the bishops who have been very strong advocates and for many years of the removal of barriers to the episcopate on the basis of sex or sexual orientation.” Alastair Newman

‘or sexual orientation’ Really? With the exception of the Bishop of Buckingham, this is news to me. If you are able name these ‘many’ others, I am happy to be corrected.

Pam
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Pam

Thanks to Christopher Howse – enlightening, as ever. I have a book titled “The Secret Language of Churches and Cathedrals” by Richard Stemp, visually wonderful.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Alistair – would you like to name those bishops who, over the years, have been ‘very strong advocates’ for the removal of barriers to episcopal ordination for lgbt people? And why episcopacy in particular?. All candidates for the episcopacy have to be ordained deacon and priest first.

The prime characteristic of any such advocacy seems to have been an embarrassed silence.

James Byron
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James Byron

Chalk me up as another interested party when it comes to those Church of England bishops who’ve proved “very strong advocates” for LGBT rights.

My own definition of a “very strong advocate” would be a bishop who denounced ‘Issues’ and its “discipline” as abusive homophobia, said that it had no place in his diocese, and called on every single bishop who supported it to resign in disgrace from the church in particular and public life in general.

Sounds a remarkable man. What’s his name?

Alastair Newman
Guest

Oh dear, it doesn’t seem to be exactly in vogue to defend the CofE on here, but I’ll try… “Given that the synod voted down equal rights for women” And some of those who voted against were…WOMEN! Conservatism is not a male prerogative, on this or on any other issue (as I was told by a female Orthodox friend who sadly left the CofE over this issue). It was, of course, also the house of laity rather than bishops or clergy who defeated the measure last time round. “Well, perhaps had bishops not voted solidly against civil partnership, solidly against… Read more »

Alastair Newman
Guest

“What’s his name?”

Alan Wilson apparently.

So, is this significant enough denouncement of “Issues” for you? Not being a diocesan bishop he has no diocese which is “his”…

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/04/its-time-for-the-church-of-england-to-drop-the-culture-wars/

Are Nick Holtam’s statements on this not strong enough for you?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10087845/Opponents-of-gay-marriage-like-supporters-of-apartheid-says-senior-bishop.html

Or will only calls for resignation satisfy?

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“And some of those who voted against were…WOMEN!”

So what conclusion do you reach from that? Newsflash: women do not form a homogenous bloc who share a single viewpoint.

James Byron
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James Byron

Actions are what count, Alastair Newman.

As a suffragan, Wilson is in no position to suspend the application of ‘Issues.’

Holtam has committed himself to “supporting marriage as it is currently understood” and “upholding the current discipline and practice of the Church of England.” (While taking full advantage of the liberal “discipline and practice” that allows his own marriage to a divorcee.)

Unless Holtam says, unequivocally, that ‘Issues’ and its toxic “discipline” doesn’t apply in Salisbury Diocese, he’s part of the problem, not the solution.

Alastair Newman
Guest

“So what conclusion do you reach from that? Newsflash: women do not form a homogenous bloc who share a single viewpoint.” Which I said where? This was in response to your original post which contained such as “heterosexual *men* who are sufficiently uncaring about others that they are happy to take a job knowing that a lot of their colleagues are excluded by sex or sexuality from applying” (actually not all of the bishops are heterosexual, but anyway) or “History has not been kind to the non-Jews who took jobs in German universities when Jews were excluded. Perhaps men who… Read more »