Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 22 October 2016

Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool, ViaMedia.News “Calm Down Dear…” – Love and Anger
This article has attracted the attention of The Telegraph (‘Calm down, dear’: how bishops talk down to gay people – by leading bishop) and Christian Today (You Have The Right To Be Angry! Bishop Of Liverpool Advice To LGBT Christians).
Ryan Cook blogs in response.

Andrew Brown The Guardian Scepticism gets you only so far. Even nonbelievers need to have faith

Liz Clutterbuck Church Times Wanted: young women priests

Madeleine Davies Church Times Funding decision sharpens debate about the vision

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Susannah Clark
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Fantastic article by Paul Bayes: “…please, for all our sakes, exercise your courage, the virtue by which your aggression becomes reasonable. And bring your courage to bear on the councils of the church. And share facts and logic and truth and history and perspective, and (yes, of course!) argument. But never lose your anger, even after you’ve let it blow through you as the sun goes down, and refused to allow it to consume you. Bring your next-morning anger, your tempered anger, your reasonable passion, the truth of how you feel, and contribute it to the whole community, which desperately… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

How many times I have been chided (particularly, I’m afraid by some close, evangelical friends) for too much *feeling*, when actually, feeling is a huge part of what it is to be truly human (look at Jesus himself). Passionate, crying out for justice, opening up the heart… and not just the cold, chill rationality of the mind (though as Paul makes clear, our reason should not be jettisoned, but harnessed, and fuelled by the burning desire for justice and love that includes anger, and is not afraid to be angry. Courage does require us to be passionate, and it’s sometimes… Read more »

Froghole
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Froghole

As to Madeleine Davies’ article, I cannot help but note that the proposed amendments to Canon B14 coincide with the reconstitution of the Darlow formula. Is this happenstance or policy? The conclusion to be drawn by many churches might prove to be thus: (i) your parish share will go up still further even as your numbers decline; (ii) central support will be redistributed (leading, in many places, to a greater pressure on the parish share); and (iii) it will be easier to discontinue regular worship, and thus to proceed to closure. This is a problem since a very large proportion… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

Andrew Brown (he’s an atheist, isn’t he?) continues to play word games to defend faith. With a hoary appeal to consequences tossed in for good measure. As usual with his writing, it’s inoffensive enough, but what’s the point?

Kate
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Kate

Google images of the “Archbishop of Canterbury” and “Pope Francis”. Compare and contrast. Most front page images of the Pope show him simply dressed in white; most images of Archbishop Justin show him in lavish, EXPENSIVE episcopal regalia. Is it any wonder that the Church of England struggles in poorer areas? The Church of England often does very well on the ground at local level. Most ministers are hard-working and committed. But the impression from the House of Bishops is too often that they are, as Bishop Paul says unrepresentative in terms of demographic, out of touch with social trends… Read more »

Pam
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Pam

I read Paul Bayes’ and Ryan Cook’s words with interest. Anger is a legitimate emotion, especially in the face of assumed superiority. People read scripture, and interact with the world and learn. And then church doesn’t always practice what it preaches. Then anger gives way to cynicism. But, even at the worst of times, we have a God who loves and keeps on loving. So, that’s what we have to do too. But not at the expense of authenticity and truth.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I listened to the talks given by both Bishop Paul and Jayne Ozanne and have been wondering just how many anti-Gay Evangelicals will have heard what they each have to say about the issue of LGBTI people who actually belong to the Church. I think that careful listening has to be undertaken seriously by Leaders – especially those in the House of bishops – in the Church of England before any progress can be made on the issue of how the Church is to deal with Same-Sex partnered people actually in the pews – before they depart our of sheer… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I don’t know if I agree with Andrew Brown. Human rights and liberal values do not exist independent of human beings. Whether one believes that they are God-given or arrived at by humans through moral reasoning – they are not abstract truths, but ideas that have a purpose – to be the yardstick against which human actions are measured, with the aim of improving human lives and interaction in a very tangible way. Faith, on the other hand, is different in that it refers to something outside human reference. It is a belief in a reality that simply IS. And… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Kate Thank you for continuing to unveil your strategies for the radical reform of the Church of England. But the thought of the poor forming their opinion of the CofE by googling images of the Archbishop and Pope to compare what they are wearing is a bit of a stretch. But Google search will also tell you what he has never kept secret, that the Archbishop buys most of his clothes from Oxfam and charity shops. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2323153/Buses-pizza-Oxfam-clothes-Justin-Welby-lifts-lid-life-Archbishop-shuns-chauffeur.html .Not sure where the Pope buys his.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

.Ryan Cook’s gently liberal blog,seems to assume there are two equally balanced parties in the gay ‘debate’. However, one party faces having its life, love and personal essence put on the line and constantly ‘debated’, while the other party holds a world-view or view-point firmly. One party has in living memory in Britain been condemned by the criminal law and suffered imprisonment etc., and been called sick by the medical profession, perverted by scientists and sinful by clergy. This is the truth. All in my life-time. There is no parity here. Ryan can put as his by-line ‘Husband.Dad…’ How many… Read more »

Savi Hensman
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Savi Hensman

Kate, oddly enough, if you Google ‘Justin Welby’ rather than ‘Archbishop of Canterbury’, most of the pictures show him in simple clerical garb. However there is a genuine concern that the established church often tends to be seen as a church primarily of the middle and upper classes, even if concerned for the poor.

Peter S
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Peter S

On the matter of episcopal dress: I have sympathy with Kate and appreciate very much David Runcorn’s reminder. What I think is important here is a distinction between what a person who is a bishop wears, etc. and what the “office” provides. We are blessed with many bishops who live simply and quietly set an example that our wider society would do well to follow. We are also blessed with the provision of art works in the form of vestments that have been lovingly and generously provided, not for the glorification of the individual or the office, but in to… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Since you picked the Daily Mail try “Daily Mail Archbishop of Canterbury”, “Daily Mail Archbishop of York” and “Daily Mail the Pope” which will get you a representative sample of the images showing how they are portrayed. Which give the impression of being establishment (suits, purple shirts, dog collars, mitres, crooks, lavish robes etc) and which gives the impression of modesty (white robe, skull cap)? If you were struggling to feed your children, who would you consider taking spiritual advice from? (If you start looking at Catholic bishops and cardinals, they don’t fare so well. Work for Pope Francis to… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Bishop of London in the official representation of his office: comment image

Bishop of Stepney in private capacity as football enthusiast: comment image

Bishops are human, and what matters is mainly what love they have in their hearts. That is the acid test.

Personally I have no preference, either for reformist ministers who wear ordinary clothes in services, or those who wear vestments as part of the spectacle and solemnity of the worship and love of God.

I really don’t mind.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Andrew Brown (he’s an atheist, isn’t he?) continues to play word games to defend faith.”

I believe he’s speaking of faith in the Alcoholics Anonymous (et al 12 Step groups) sense. As the 12 Traditions will tell you, one need not be a theist to work the Steps w/ a “Higher Power”: even the group itself (“Group Of Drunks”, if you see the abbreviation) will do. It’s having faith (trust) enough to ACT—not what the content of the faith is.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Savi, well spotted! Which suggests to me that Archbishop Justin himself understands the issue but his Press Office hasn’t climbed onboard. In a 21st Century church, the press offices of Lambeth Palace and the various dioceses are critical. Attention Interest Desire Action That’s the standard marketing maxim. Each matters. It is down to local initiatives to impart the message to build Desire for Jesus and Action but if Interest has been quenched because of how senior bishops are portrayed in the media, local teams will have to work that much harder. I think my essential point remains. Indeed, this is… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Kate If I was struggling to feed my children I doubt I would be a Daily Mail reader at all.

Kate
Guest
Kate

JCF – that’s a very interesting comment.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Which, given AA’s less-than-stellar success rate, isn’t the strongest of arguments!

Pam
Guest
Pam

James Byron, AA’s less than stellar success rate may be due to the fact that alcoholism is an illness. And a number of complex factors need to be in play for control of it, including medical treatment.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Couldn’t agree more Pam, which nixes any magical role for faith.

realist
Guest
realist

Of course not, David Runcorn. Everyone knows that starving families read the Guardian.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Of course not, David Runcorn. Everyone knows that starving families read the Guardian.” – ‘realist’

Maybe, but only if they can afford the fish and chips in which the Guardian is wrapped – By far its most significant use for the poor.