Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 17 September 2016

Lawrence Moore Windermere Centre What Does Your Church Coffee Say About Your Hospitality?

Colin Coward A dream of the future
and Time for open conversation leading to good disagreement about the fundamentals

Kelvin Holdsworth 9 Pointers towards how LGBT Inclusion will be won in the Church of England

Theo Hobson The Spectator Why CofE schools must resist becoming more religious

Guy Elsmore Modern Church The future Church [Can liberals embrace the Growth Agenda? Part 3 of 3]
Parts 1 and 2 are here and here respectively.

Andrew Lightbown Goodwill: R&R’s most important asset?

Richard Beck Experimental Theology Memento Mori

16
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
16 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Fr AndrewKateRod GillisDavid RuncornJo Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Pam
Guest
Pam

Richard Beck’s memento mori made me feel strangely hopeful. What a strange book the Bible is.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

From the Colin Coward article (Open Conversation Fundamentals): “Resolving Anglican differences over human sexuality requires us to attend to far more serious, fundamental differences over biblical authority and interpretation. This includes the inability to know (despite the dogmatic assertion of conservatives) what Jesus might have thought about homosexuality and equal marriage and behind that, what the elusive construct we call ‘God’ might intend in creation for the diversity of gender and sexual identities. The Bible and tradition and Christian orthodoxy do not and cannot ever resolve these differences. In the end, human beings and societies will resolve the differences. I… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Fantastic article by Lawrence Moore which clearly can be extrapolated to the obscenity of charging admission fees – or pressured donations – for visiting cathedrals. I would also extend the same to the way the collection is organised in some churches. Instead of allowing private donations a plate is passed round, again pressuring people into donations. Envelopes with names on – or inside – are even worse. I know it’s done that way for tax reasons but that’s a poor excuse against the sort of objections Lawrence raises. The collection should be a dip bag only and envelopes, cheques, standing… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

Colin Coward is quite correct. Decisions about human sexuality can never be reached by referring to something outside ourselves. Whether it be God, or a holy book or Tradition, marriage is defined by human society, and who can marry whom is up to us.

David Runcorn
Guest

Kate Lawrence’s article is quite specific in its focus. Bad coffee in church and donating towards the perils of drinking it. It does not extrapolate to church collections of Cathedral admission charges at all. The latter is part of a much more complex and continuous discussion about the cost of maintaining ancient places of worship that are part of the nation’s public heritage. I am not at all sure from your brief comments where you think the money comes from for that.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Bad coffee is the humour. To mix metaphors, bad coffee is the metaphorical sugar which makes the medicine go down. The key points are welcome / hospitality, and that welcome / hospitality is not really a welcome if it is charged for – and that pressured donations are a disguised charge in this context. The article absolutely extrapolates to charging admission rather than freely welcoming people to God’s temple. It also speaks loudly to any pressure to donate during collection, including any removal of anonymity. In both cases, the tactics destroy the welcome, remove the sense of hospitality and that’s… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

I dislike the secularism and pessimism in Colin Coward’s piece on good disagreement. He assumes that because it is hard to decide what the Bible says, we cannot ever reach a consensus. That’s a secular argument which entirely overlooks the guidance of the Spirit. It is pessimistic because he argues we shouldn’t try to reach consensus but should learn to live in good disagreement. He is in good company. That’s clearly the view of the Archbishop of Canterbury and many other prominent Anglicans. But there’s a risk that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – we don’t reach agreement on anything… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Truly great piece by Guy Elsmore, thank you.

Brian Ralph
Guest
Brian Ralph

In Australia where I use to live, church donations (unlike hospital, school, war memorial and other charities) are not tax deductible. I have not been comfortable with the situation in NZ where they are. I do not like the idea tax deductions for giving to some (in my opinion) extreme sects so why should they be allowed for my particular church. However these days, bank deductions are so much easier than remembering to have correct money with you on Sunday. As with her comments about clergy stipends, I think Kate is living in a fantasy world about how priests and… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

@Kate: I don’t know about where you are, but here the envelopes are numbered, not named, and only the gift aid coordinator (not the treasurer and not the minister) know who has given what. This information is kept confidential because it’s recognised that it could be unhelpful to know where money is or isn’t coming from.

David Runcorn
Guest

Kate Well these claims are nothing if not sweeping. Two responses. ‘Without charges, everyone who visits a cathedral has an encounter with God, whether they intend to or not.’ We simply have no way of knowing this. There is also an argument that says that if people pay for something they may value it more and give greater attention to it. But as the financial burden upon those congregations is already crippling I think your approach is wildly idealistic. As to withdrawing stipends from all in ministry, there have always been Christian ministers who pay their way by ‘tent making’… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Kate, “[Colin Coward] assumes that because it is hard to decide what the Bible says, we cannot ever reach a consensus.”

Leaving aside your reductionist reading of his article, the assumption you are decrying is pretty solid. Instance the myriad of Christian denominations, and their sub-groupings, each adverting to a reading of the bible and each adverting to the Holy Spirit. Bible reading and claims of Spirit filled inspiration decrease, rather than increase, the possibility of consensus.

Kate
Guest
Kate

David On stipends, charity was at the heart of the very early church. But over the years, priests have started taking the first cut for themselves rather than seeing first to the most needy, then that grew to supporting a family too. Now, priests take the lion share of gifts given to the church with almost nothing left over for the sick, the disabled, the elderly and the homeless of the parish. How can you possibly justify a stipend in the face of the present levels of homelessness? That’s the sort of OT Temple structure Jesus manifestly disliked rather than… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

“If someone has a mission to minister, they will still be there next Sunday, and the Sunday after that.” Kate, you seem to think all clergy do is services on a Sunday. Church of England stipendiary clergy ministry means working six days a week, full time. Unless you foresee a clergy entirely comprised of retirees or those rich enough to have independent means, where, one may ask, is the time /energy to come for that vital vineyard work if one is making tents? Who- to mention just a tiny bit of clergy work- takes the funeral at 1:30 pm on… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Kate, you seem to think all clergy do is services on a Sunday. Church of England stipendiary clergy ministry means working six days a week, full time.” In what way is that different to other Christians? Do you think we stop being Christians Monday to Saturday? Do you think we don’t minister and witness full time, in whatever we are doing? And as to English Heritage – the point is to keep churches out of the hands of English Heritage and Redundant Churches and remaining as temples. The temple in a place should never be closed unless a replacement temple… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

“In what way is that different to other Christians? Do you think we stop being Christians Monday to Saturday?” I’m not suggesting this is different. What I’m suggesting is that the clergy work. Unless you think everybody should work unpaid, why do you think the clergy should be different? Do not the labourers deserve their wages? How do they feed themselves or their families? Do they need to work in some other employment, perhaps part time? If so, who is going to do the work they were doing when they were full time clergy? You seem to be suggesting that… Read more »