Thursday, 10 January 2008

Wycliffe Hall press release

There is as yet no trace of this press release on the website page that one might logically expect it, but it is to be found here:

Wycliffe Hall press statement regarding Elaine Storkey’s dismissal
January 10th, 2008

1. At a Pre-Hearing Review in relation to Dr Elaine Storkey’s claims of unfair dismissal and religious discrimination, the College accepted that she had been unfairly dismissed as the College had not, prior to dismissal, gone through the statutory procedures. We are hopeful that a full and amicable settlement can be reached.

2. Nevertheless, we strongly refute any allegation that Elaine’s dismissal from Wycliffe was in any way connected with her religious beliefs. At Wycliffe Hall, our key priority is to equip men and women for modern ministry and this happens in an environment that encourages wide discussion and debate, reflective of the broad range of thinking within the Church as a whole.

3. We look forward to resolving the whole matter as swiftly as possible so that we can concentrate purely on our priorities of maintaining high standards of training, theological teaching and academic excellence at Wycliffe Hall, in equipping men and women fully for modern Christian ministry.

Helen Mitchell
College Administrator
Wycliffe Hall, 54 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PW
Direct line: +44(0)1865 274201

College office: +44(0)1865 274200
College fax: +44(0)1865 274215
www.wycliffe.ox.ac.uk

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 6:45pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | equality legislation
Comments

A confession that they didn't follow all the rules, so they accept that they got slapped, but they now advocate sweeping the whole matter under the carpet.

It still worries me is that there is no remorse about their conduct or that they do not see there is a theological implication to what has happened.

How did souls become so myopic that they can no longer see that how they conduct themselves and treat others is as much a measure of the fruits of their Spirit as any theory that is espoused? Many people are inspired to go to theological college in order to become better people; yet this college purports that how one treats people is not a measure of Spirit and there is no accountability before God.

Romans 2 refutes them "… do you show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? …God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” … There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil… but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good… God does not show favoritism… Now you… if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” … A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 7:40pm GMT

'Nevertheless, we strongly refute any allegation'
grrr, coming after their press spokesperson referred to evangelists rather than evangelicals - they clearly need someone who can write English and know what they're talking about.

Posted by: robert on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 8:41pm GMT

What is it about evangelicals?

The expressions 'we got it wrong' and 'sorry' seem utterly alien to them.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 11:48pm GMT

Merseymike is spot on here.

Several lives upended causing deep hurt and anxiety, probably £100,000 and more in reparations, as yet unknown costs and untold damage to the reputation of the Hall and the Church – and to be frank not only is there little sign of repentance rather the view apparent behind this statement is: “I would do it all again!”.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 9:13am GMT

I'd be slightly reticent to label all evangelicals, merseymike, with the inability to say sorry just because this press release from Wycliffe doesn't say such a thing. To be fair, how many press releases have you ever said where someone has said sorry? The press release does say that Wycliffe have accepted that she had been unfairly dismissed.

What strikes me about it is that they reiterate that, in their opinion, Elaine was not dismissed for her religious beliefs but then fail to say what it was they thought they were dismissing her for.

No doubt, people will draw a number of conclusions as a result. If it's simply because she stood up to the Principal in a college meeting and dared to disagree with him, then to me that is even more scary than whether or not she was the 'right kind of evangelical'.

Posted by: David on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 1:00pm GMT

To want to apportion a finite amount of time so that things of first importance, things that bring some kind of outward-looking progress or advancement, have the lion's share of the time: this does not equate to sweeping things under the carpet. Navel-gazing is arguably precisely the anglican problem.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 1:03pm GMT

"The expressions 'we got it wrong' and 'sorry' seem utterly alien to them."

God is on their side, they speak with His voice, how could they possibly get anything wrong?

Posted by: Ford elms on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 1:13pm GMT

Hi Ford-

There is no 'they'. Evangelicals, even Wycliffites, come in many different shapes and sizes, and a first prerequisite of the debate is to acknowledge this, rather than stereotyping 'the other'.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 1:57pm GMT

Christopher: gays come in all shapes and sizes too, but we are continually dehumanised en masse by being denigrated by those from a particular doctrinal bloc within Anglicanism. Yet the subscribers to that particular doctrinal strand within Anglicanism are also the most thin-skinned when anyone else criticises them!

Posted by: Fr Mark on Saturday, 12 January 2008 at 5:49pm GMT

"There is no 'they'. Evangelicals, even Wycliffites, come in many different shapes and sizes, and a first prerequisite of the debate is to acknowledge this, rather than stereotyping 'the other'."

You are absolutely right Christopher. I fear I have done so on several other boards today. I can only claim in my defence that when people speak as a group, they are liable to being called "they". Whether it is right for me to make that liability manifest is another thing entirely, of course. Can I chalk it up to the spirit of the Season?:-)

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 14 January 2008 at 2:14pm GMT
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