Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – New Year's Eve 2016

Madeleine Davies Christian Today Women In Leadership: Is 2017 The Year HTB Will Practise What It Preaches?

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Should We Work On Christmas Day? After All, Vicars Have To

David Walker ViaMedia.News Bursting the Bubble

Geoff Bayliss Church Times Speaking more of the language of the people
and in response
Doug Chaplin Liturgy: words for speaking, not for reading
Gary Waddington Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi
Justice, Peace, Joy If necessary, use liturgy
[Note: There was a subbing error in the Church Times article, now corrected online. A heading “Complex words that it could be difficult to avoid using” was originally “Complex words that might be avoided”.]

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Anne Lee
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Anne Lee

I am delighted by Madeleine Davies piece in Christian Today about HTB and women in leadership. However a quick look at HTB’s 2017 conference website lists 1 woman speaker out of 6 main speakers and 1 woman speaker out of 10 seminar speakers. Nicky and Pippa, you are saying all the right things and you are admitiing that HTB has a long way to go. Please try to do better at next year’s May conference, which is really disappointing. I look forward to seeing real, positive action!

Pam
Guest
Pam

The Justice, Peace, Joy “If necessary, use liturgy” article’s definition of “complex” words was interesting. I thought of this quote by Abraham Joshua Heschel “Preach in order to pray. Preach in order to inspire others to pray. The test of a true sermon is that it can be converted to prayer.” I’ve also read that “sometimes ‘understandings’ can stand in the way of ‘standing under’.” Wise words by Gerard Moore. Surely, mystery is important?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Doug Chaplin makes a very valid point about making the Liturgy intelligible. This is where imaginative catholic ceremonial can be a wonderful teaching instrument for the building up of faith. I have often wondered why a little more effort is not put into the visible ‘bringing down of the Holy Spirit’ upon the elements of the Eucharist in an outward gesture of invitation by the presiding priest. I remember, in earlier days, being invited to share a close view of the Celebrant at a Greek Orthodox Eucharist. At the Epiclesis, the priest waved the pall over the eucharistic elements to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Actions speak louder than words”. However, with HTB’s tradition of conservative gender enabling; this latest step is, at least, a movement in the right direction. This is only to be encouraged at the present time. Maybe there will be further enlightenment on other important issues presently plaguing the Church of England. “God works in a mysterious way (God’s) wonders to perform!

Susan Hollins
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Susan Hollins

Ages ago, at Lincoln Theological College my Tutor in Liturgy was Rev. Robert Gribben who remains one of the foremost Liturgists of his generation. I can imagine what he would say in response to Canon Bayliss: he would not endorse his ideas at all but would, in his dry, cultured and wry Australian way, rebut everything Canon Bayliss sets out. Not possessing Robert’s encyclopaedic knowledge and skill, what follows here is my summary attempt at a rebuttal of Canon Bayliss’ proposals. One of the reasons why the Book of Common Prayer remains ‘common tender’ for a surprisingly high number of… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

The discussion on the liturgy is merely a meta-argument for the question of whether worship is common or presidential/presbyterian or priestly. The history of Anglicanism is a fight between Anglo-catholics wanting to place the “priest” at the heart of worship and the protestant reformers who want the people to lead worship. If is an argument re-fought in every generation because of the drift of language, a broadening of what common worship means as we become less socially elitist in attitude, and in the present generation because of the increasing number of parishioners for whom English is not their first language.… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Church leadership consistently claims to rely upon discernment to determine who is called to ordination or leadership and whether the Bishops Reflection Group should promote same sex marriage. Yet when one looks at outcomes, as Madeleine Davies describes, there is often a very substantial gender imbalance. That is evidence that leaders do not have the wisdom of discernment. The solution is obvious: replace the leadership group with other people who are able to offer true discernment. Unsurprisingly, whether at HTB or in the House of Bishops or in the Primacies of the Anglican Communion, incumbent leaders seem to dislike that… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I’ve just watched the video link showing HTB’s Nicky Gumbel proclaiming the B.V.M as the Leader of Women’s Liberation (which, of course, she is – but not hitherto recognised as such by con/evos).

Do click on this link, which defies expectations:

https://www.htb.org/media/mary-mother-womens-liberation-nicky-and-pippa-gumbel

David Runcorn
Guest

‘I often think of the set pieces of liturgy as certain words which people have successfully addressed to God without their getting killed. In the high churches they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a strand of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it any minute. This is the beginning of wisdom.’ Annie Dillard Holy Firm

Pam
Guest
Pam

Great quote, David Runcorn. I think of Jeremiah’s call in Jeremiah 1.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

David, I wasn’t aware that we worshiped Zeus!

David Runcorn
Guest

Weren’t you James?

rjb
Guest
rjb

Kate, Anglicanism is – I hope – founded on tolerant co-existence rather than ‘compromise.’ This means that Anglo-Catholics and low-Church Evangelicals can cordially detest each other and privately deem each other heretics while still recognising each other as members of a common communion without anyone getting burned or dismembered in the process. The point is not simply to water down everyone’s convictions to a sort of tepid middle-ground that everyone objects to equally. I am deeply suspicious of people who want to lay down the law about what is and is not “Anglican” – this is the one thing that… Read more »

Malcolm Halliday
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Malcolm Halliday

rjb. That’s very helpful.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

I don’t think ‘cordially detesting’ our fellow-Christians is what Jesus had in mind…!

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“Uneasy tolerance and strained good manners are at the heart of the Anglican tradition; authoritarian precepts designed to enforce unhappy conformity are not.” For outsiders, however, the difference between tolerating the presence of homophobic bigots and being a homophobic bigot may be a little hard to discern. If someone spends their evenings drinking with BNP members, gives money to the BNP and occasionally publishes BNP tracts on their own website, your first and safest assumption would be that they were themselves a violent racist. And if they aren’t, why take the risk; after all, it’s their choice to associate with,… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

The CoE is treated as homophobic not because it tolerates people who take a homophobic position — TEC does that — but because its official teaching is homophobic.

Likewise, the ACLU routinely defends the First Amendent rights of Holocaust deniers, but no one in their right mind would say that the organization condones Holocaust denial. If Chomsky hadn’t rambled, and had instead been clear that he was standing up for free speech, the controversy would never have ignited.

Moral of the tale: if you’re tolerating a detestable position, make it plain that you detest it.

Kate
Guest
Kate

rjb – taking just the nature of the Eucharist as an example, Catholics believe in transubstantiation which is rejected by Anglicans – that is in the 39 Articles. Anglicans believe in a real presence of Christ that is (generally) rejected in the Reformed Tradition. Anglicanism is not the blurred set of beliefs you claim, but liturgically occupies a relatively narrow position which is clearly differentiated from Catholicism and the Reformed Tradition.

Susannah Clark
Guest

I believe in transubstantiation, Kate, and I have been Anglican all my life.

There’s space for all kinds of beliefs in Anglicanism.

None of us is omniscient.

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Further to what Susannah has posted, Kate, you need to remember that the 39 articles were once normative for doctrine in the CofE, but I believe are not so any longer. For example, clergy no longer swear to uphold them. In practice they ceased to be normative in any meaningful way over a century ago — they meant so little in the mid 19th century that Benjamin Jowett notoriously felt that signing them was a meaningless act in the eyes of the law. They were never normative in Scotland and the US. They are certainly not normative today in many… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

With regard to liturgy surely what is done and seen has far more impact than what is written down and said? The visual impact of what happens at a baptism or a wedding and the four Eucharistic actions is far greater than the text. Liturgy is an experience far more than it is a lesson to be taught, Isn’t the old adage “Actions speak louder than words” of relevance in a liturgical context? In a drama on stage the actions of the actors remain in the memory long after the script has been forgotten.

Cseitz
Guest
Cseitz

Religious Walmart. Aisle 12 Transubstatiation. Aisle 31 incense free presbyters. Aisle 7 moral outrage sale. Aisle 4 HTB hats.

Nigel LLoyd
Guest
Nigel LLoyd

When I was at Lincoln we had a resident Roman Catholic lecturer for one term of each year. I remember well the lectures given by Fr. Jean-Marie Tillard OP, a very eminent Dominican Theologian. His subject was The Eucharist and he taught us about transubstantiation in terms of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Perhaps his view does not match popular ideas found within many Roman Catholic congregations, but here was a leading Roman Catholic liturgist/theologian presenting a view of the real presence of Christ in terms that we could all accept. I remember well the comment of… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Father David – ‘surely what is done and seen has far more impact than what is written down and said’. Of course the liturgy at its best is a lived, visual drama – but what is done and seen usually follows what is written down doesn’t it? Unless you are suggesting extemporary. I don’t have you down as an evangelical.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Susannah, just because you believe in transubstantiation and are Anglican does not make transubstantiation an Anglican belief. That is a fallacy in logic. Rather your personal beliefs straddle Anglicanism and Catholicism – as do mine.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Over the last 50 years Anglicans have produced a number of important Agreed Statements on the Eucharist (and other issues) with Lutherans, the Reformed, the Orthodox and notably with the Roman Catholic Church These have attempted to overcome Reformation controversy with an ecumenical convergence. Sadly their results do not seem to have penetrated the Anglican psyche very much …having been hauled out of retirement to help with post ordination training for three years I alas know that to be a fact.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Father David – ‘surely what is done and seen has far more impact than what is written down and said’. Of course the liturgy at its best is a lived, visual drama – but what is done and seen usually follows what is written down doesn’t it? Unless you are suggesting extemporary.”

The Anglo-Catholics do extemporise – a bell to indicate the Real Presence is one example.

Michael Skliros
Guest
Michael Skliros

Perry, I respect your experience and comments about convergence over the various meaning of the Eucharist in the 1980s(?) meaning nothing to today’s clergy, and would like to hear more.

Is this a sign of postmodern distaste for any definitions or “correct views”, or – as I suspect – simply a desire to retreat to the various heavily defended trenches of yesteryear?

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Strictly speaking, transubstantiation is a technical term which refers to a *theory* about how Christ is present in the sacrament. It was not embraced by many not because they did not believe Christ was present–they did–but because they judged it a “theological” commitment based wrongly on a philosophical basis, indebted to Aristotle (accidents of bread; substance of Christ). One can believe they need a theory about the sacrament but Anglicans have judged it scripturally unwarranted and unnecessary. Elizabeth’s little ditty is often quoted. The catholic parish where I live does not use the term, preferring real presence. Not all Catholics… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Of course not all Anglican clergy are ignorant of the convergences on issues like the eucharist, ministry,justification etc since the 1970s but I am surprised how little is known about these dialogues or even that they have taken place, and wonder what part these Agreed Statements play in theological formation..it also me how newer clergy are often pretty vague about the history of the Church they are being ordained into. These agreements seem to me to have had as a by product an important role in healing divisions within Anglicanism not only between Anglicans and others. Yes there has been… Read more »

Daniel Berry, NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry, NYC

@ c seitz – that’s true enough: I believe I recall correctly (though so often I’m wrong) that when Aquinas first enunciated the “transubstantiation” argument, it was condemned as heresy at Rome. And, of course, the Orthodox still do, preferring to allow the Mysteries to remain, well, mysteries.

Myself, I believe that the way transubstantiation had come to be understood by the late Middle Ages was correctly criticized in our catechism because it “overthroweth the nature of a sacrament.”

Kurt Hill
Guest
Kurt Hill

Of all of the theories of the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Mysteries, Consubstantiation makes the most sense to me.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

I think Luther’s view — he was of course an Augustianian monk and disliked scholasticism — was, Let us rely on what Christ said and not theories about how what he said could be translated into explanations. Elizabeth’s poem took the same tack. ‘By his word he spake it/He took the bread and brake it, etc.’ Even Trent tried to redeem Thomas and extricate him over-reliance on substance/accidents thinking. Most would agree on Real Presence as indicating most closely what Christ intended to say, after the dust settled over reformation era debates. I agree that amnesia over important historical facts… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Kate “Extempore – spoken or done without preparation:
synonyms: impromptu · spontaneous · unscripted · ad lib.”
I am struggling to see the sanctuary bell in catholic sacramental worship as an example of this. The place and frequency in the liturgy is very precisely prescribed. But if you go to an anglo catholic church where the sanctuary bell ringer goes off on spirit inspired riffs at odd, unscheduled moments in the service please tell me where it is – I would love to worship there.

Kate
Guest
Kate

In Anglicanism it IS extemporisation.

John Holding
Guest
John Holding

Kate — in what conceivable way is the ringing of a Sanctus Bell, following very strict rubrics, “extemporisation” in Anglicanism or anywhere else. Something done according to rules cannot, by definition, be extemporized. Or do you disagree with the commonly accepted meaning of “extemporize” cited by David RUncorn. Two other things: the Sanctus bell is not rung to “indicate the Real Presence”, as you have said, but to draw the attention of the faithful to the moment at which bread and wine are transformed. And: you continually use “Anglican” to mean something many people simply don’t understand. It seems to… Read more »

Michael Skliros
Guest
Michael Skliros

Perhaps she means “externalise”?