Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 11 March 2017

Mark Tanner Church Times How to run a perfect PCC

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Episcopacy, sacramentality & identity

Archdruid Eileen The Church of England’s Prayer for Today

Colin Coward Something is dramatically wrong with the C of E

Andy Walton Christian Today Why The Future Of The Church Of England Is In The Balance After The Sheffield Debacle

This is one I missed earlier:
Colin Coward A tale of two bishops

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David Runcorn
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David Runcorn

An outstanding reflection again by Andrew Lightbown. Thank you.

Father David
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Father David

Just as Philip Hammond’s Budget has driven a coach and horses through the Conservative Manifesto commitment, pledge and promise not to increase National Insurance contributions on 1.6 million self employed workers – so too the debacle over the Sheffield appointment has shattered to smithereens the Five Guiding Principles. In both cases – all that can be said is – “We didn’t really mean it!”

Susannah Clark
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“For mutuality to apply both parties have to either progress and develop, or the status quo has to be retained.” On this occasion, I firmly disagree with Andrew. It shouldn’t end up being ‘my way or the highway’. I don’t think everything hinges around systemic relationships between priests and bishops etc. I believe everything hinges on shared life in Christ. What is shared is what Christ gives us, and giving our lives to God, to each other, and others outside the Church. I believe in this context, that everything hinges on love and grace. The love and grace to live… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

Colin Coward is absolutely right about the oppressive culture in the House of Bishops, but it’s a culture the bishops themselves have chosen to create, and any one could break without threatening their position or pension. Given the harm their actions do, I have vanishingly little sympathy. To break it, England needs to consecrate people with the courage of their convictions. Yet when one comes along in Sheffield, he’s driven from his post because he believes the wrong things. The English diocesans would’ve gained a man universally praised as a pastor first and foremost, but no. If the English episcopacy’s… Read more »

Andrew Lightbown
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thanks Susannah for your feedback and reflection.

Susannah Clark
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Fantastic article by Andy Walton (only just got round to reading it between domestic chores!)… In my opinion he nails it, and his points are essentially what James Byron was saying in the previous thread. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d almost imagine James Byron IS Andy Walton, writing under a nom de plume! If the Church of England can’t learn to co-exist, and find unity in diversity… which is predominantly a test of grace and love… then it faces disastrous rifts, separations, and schism. And who wants that? Please take the time to read Andy’s article, right… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

“Just as Philip Hammond’s Budget has driven a coach and horses through the Conservative Manifesto commitment, pledge and promise not to increase National Insurance contributions on 1.6 million self employed workers – so too the debacle over the Sheffield appointment has shattered to smithereens the Five Guiding Principles.” How has it shattered them? Seriously, I don’t see that it has. The fifth principle says: “Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Er no! Peter – you posted Colin Coward’s excellent piece ‘A tale of two bishops’ last Saturday and I commented!

Susannah Clark
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Andrew Lightbown – thank you for your continuing grace, thoughtfulness, and thought-provoking articles. I very much agreed last week with your point on the importance of acknowledging diversity in the Church, and especially the bishops openly doing so, and affording it a voice. This week, I didn’t agree so much with some of what you wrote, and some people might have taken offence at my critique above, and yet you responded with grace. That really heartens me, and teaches me how I should try to engage with other people. We can learn much from one another, and especially so, if… Read more »

Pam
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Pam

“How to run a perfect PCC”. Thanks Mark Tanner (I think). They are not the perfect form of government. Not even close. They are necessary though. Because we have an absolute monarch running the show we need to keep in mind He will be judgemental but forgiving. And just maybe we can run counter to our stereotype.

Father Ron Smith
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” Doctrine is not necessarily static, it can also be progressive. But, what it can’t be is simultaneously static and progressive; at least not when what we are talking about is relational theology, such as the theology that binds priest and bishop together in a shared and mutual undertaking of sacramental ministry.” – Andrew Lightbown – What a masterful summary of Anglican ‘catholic’ order is here given by Andrew Lightbown! Whatever the controversy about ‘mutuality’, there can be no compromise on ACC episcopal recognition of priesthood within any one of the catholic orders of ministry. As Andrew says; the episcopate… Read more »

Gary Paul Gilbert
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Gary Paul Gilbert

I fully agree with Andrew Lightbown that “No amount of slogans, strap lines, or mere rhetoric can change this Anglican fact. A bishop who is not content to ordain cannot be said to be truly affirming, or at least not unless we, as a church, are prepared to accept that sacramentality is incidental to our identity. This would of course be a mega change in our understanding of the theology of both priesthood and episcopacy.” I don’t agree with him that the notion of apostolicity changed when the episcopacy was opened to women, but his call for a return to… Read more »

rjb
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rjb

Thank you, Susannah. You said very much what I would have liked to say, but very much better than I could have done.

gerry reilly
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gerry reilly

Susannah, I love your posts,which are full of light and love and gentleness. But I do not think it is wrong that questions be asked of a bishop- designate as to his true feelings about those to whom he entrusts the care of souls, and whether or not he not only respects them and loves them but also accepts that they are part of his priesthood and true ministers of the sacraments. The events at his consecration, when he wished to be consecrated only by “true ” bishops, and excluded all the others,do not augur well. He may well be… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

Another great article from Andrew Lightbown. As Andrew points out, a diocesan bishop who won’t ordain women contradicts liturgy and sacraments. This was obvious from the start and the Bishops should have recognised and addressed the problem at outset. They did not. The bishops – all men at that time – put themselves in the shoes of traditionalists and thought what might be needed to protect their theological integrity but those male bishops singularly failed to put themselves in the shoes of women to think what we need to protect our theological integrity. The same is happening now with same… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

“Whatever the controversy about ‘mutuality’, there can be no compromise on ACC episcopal recognition of priesthood within any one of the catholic orders of ministry.”

I agree. One of the primary responsibilities of a bishop is to teach the sanctity and efficacy of the sacraments. Why should a potential convert believe in any of the sacraments if our own bishops aren’t all seen to wholeheartedly support the sacraments?

Gary Paul Gilbert
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Gary Paul Gilbert

Thank you, Kate, for your excellent posts! Yes, bishops need to look at theology from multiple perspectives. Moreover, some of the best professional theologians are not ordained sraight white males. Theology should be done by the whole community.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Susannah, I appreciate your sentiments, and those of Andy Walton, but how are female clergy and girls to “flourish” if WO is not affirmed? The problem here and in the LGBTQI inclusion is simply that the privileged, and moderates, are asking the most vulnerable to continue to bear the heavy burden of exclusion, injustice, and attacks on their self-esteem. Psychological studies bear out the nasty fruits of exclusion, and you’re asking girls to carry the burden so that adults can have “good disagreement.” Folks need to speak up for those who don’t have a voice, like girls. I find that… Read more »