Sunday, 10 August 2003

Grassroots Church movement calls for inclusiveness

Thinking Anglicans has received the following press release, announcing the formation of a new movement in the Church of England.

Grassroots Church movement calls for inclusiveness
PRESS RELEASE

Sunday 10th August 2003

For immediate release

The call for an inclusive Church will be heard loud and clear at a mass meeting to be held at St Mary’s Church, Putney on Monday 11th August 2003. During the meeting an online petition will be launched at www.inclusivechurch.net. The meeting is an occasion for Christians to express their views over issues such as the Jeffrey John debacle and the Church’s resistance to women bishops. The organizers have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people wanting to attend. Inclusivechurch.net is the result of that response.

Giles Fraser, the vicar of St Mary’s Church and one of the organizers of the meeting, said: ‘The church is not full of bigots. Debates in the church over homosexuality or women bishops are too easily hijacked by conservatives claiming to speak for a majority of Christians. Inclusivechurch.net is a chance for regular church-goers everywhere to say that they believe the Church must be inclusive. We want to see thousands of different voices uniting behind that belief.’

The meeting will begin at 10.30am with a Eucharist. During the service there will be an ‘open mike’ session during which people will be invited to express their views. A number of senior Anglican clergy will be present, including Deans and Archdeacons. Bishops have not been invited to safeguard the grassroots nature of the meeting.

The meeting began as a group of friends from Southwark, London and Oxford who were increasingly worried about the future direction of the Church of England. Others asked if they could come including individuals from the evangelical wing of the Church. It snowballed very quickly. A number of organizations including LGCM, Changing Attitudes, Affirming Catholicism, MCU, GRAS and the Open Synod group are sending representatives.

Inclusivechurch.net contains a Statement of Belief written by a group of Oxford theologians. The statement expresses the strong conviction that the Church is for all people regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation. It calls on the Church to act justly, particularly in the appointment of clergy and bishops regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation. Visitors to the website, be they individuals, PCCs (Parochial Church Councils) or other organizations, are invited to register their support.

Notes:

Press are invited to attend the meeting respecting the fact that it is open to anyone. It is on Monday 11th August, starting at 10.30am, at St Mary’s Church, Putney.

Pictures from Putney Bridge of the tower of St Mary’s Church draped with a massive banner declaring the church’s inclusivity will be available.

Giles Fraser can be contacted on 07811 444011 on Sunday 10th August & Monday 11th August. Thereafter press enquires should be made to Mark Vernon on 07966 376564 or the Rev’d Mark Harris on 07813 676892.

St Mary’s Church, Putney is on Putney High Street, SW15.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 10 August 2003 at 1:18pm BST | TrackBack
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Comments

I find the comment of Mr. Fraser very un-christian. Who is he to judge me as a biggot because I disagree with having a practicing homosexual as my Bishop. I live in New Hampshire and this has caused great sadness to me and many others. I suppose he is one of those that are into interpretating the Bible to his liking. I suggest they all join a book club.

Posted by: avril on Wednesday, 27 August 2003 at 4:12pm BST

Sir,

I have looked up the word bigot to which you object, and understandable so. It is after all, according to the dictionary, a perjorative term. The rest of the dictionary definition, though, does seem to accurately describe the actions and stated beliefs of the fundamentalist faction of our great church. Here's the definition to which I refer: "A bigot is a pejorative term for a person who is obstinatately devoted to their opinions. Often engaging in a rude and intolerative manner when these are challenged." This certainly does seem to describe much of the fundagelical talk I hear. As a group, you are fairly entrenched, unyielding. So, while i regret that it has such a perjorative connotation, it appears to me that you are in fact a bigot. I shall keep looking for a less perjorative word that might be equally descriptive, yet less offensive.

Yours sincerely,

Linda McMillan

Posted by: linda mcmillan on Tuesday, 16 September 2003 at 1:26pm BST

I think that if people call everything "demonic" that they do not understand, then they can hardly be upset if someone else referrs to them as "bigoted". It is very difficult to "turn the other cheek" in the face of a growing and powerful movement that pretends to be about love but is, in fact extremely separatist, exclusive and in a state of denial about that. Also a movement that is very attractive on the outside, but in fact somewhat deceitful in recruiting converts by failing to explain its need for the devil. Instead of the cross of Christ being the place where sin and suffering is brought, the devil is used to explain any difficult issue in life. This defies logic, intelligence and love. Compared to this, the term "bigot" is very minor. There were some things that Jesus allowed himself to be publicly angry about.

Posted by: Cari on Monday, 29 September 2003 at 2:41pm BST