Saturday, 10 December 2011


In The Economist Bagehot writes about God in austerity Britain.
“As recession looms, the Church of England is active and vocal, but in the wrong way.”

Robert Orlando writes for The Huffington Post about A Polite Bribe: A New Narrative For Paul And The Early Church?

In a Church Times article now available to non-subscribers Duncan Dormor writes about Where students can reconnect.
“Cambridge chapels flourish, as the young engage with tradition.”

Joseph Bottum writes for The Weekly Standard about The End of Canterbury and asks “Will the sun set on the Anglican communion?”

Chris Bryant writes in The Independent that As a vicar I found that most churchgoers are liberals trying to find meaning in life.

Savi Hensman writes for Ekklesia about Fruitful love: beyond the civil and legal in partnerships.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 10 December 2011 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Bottum gives us an anti-Anglican (esp. anti-TEC) hate screed: pretty much what one would expect from EWTN (ultra-Papist) regular. [Pretty low, though, even by "Weekly Standard" (politically conservative) standards]

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 10 December 2011 at 7:47pm GMT

I'm not terribly worried about what might be written in a periodical founded by neoconservative godfather William Kristol. I'm more depressed by Bagehot's column in the Economist, a theologically illiterate call for the C of E to stop bothering itself about poverty and politics, and to busy itself instead with running a subscription drive. The theological authority Bagehot cites? Margaret Thatcher. God help us.

Posted by: rjb on Sunday, 11 December 2011 at 12:49am GMT

JCF's reaction to Joseph Bottum's brief article is absurdly shrill. The article reflects what many observe about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I went to a party yesterday evening and there were several church people present. Nobody could understand what was happening to the national Church and further afield. When I suggested that the decomposition was hastened by the decision to ordain women and the resulting divisions and schisms some seem surprised but eventually saw that this opened the door to chaos. Others were concerned that the national Church no longer held reliable standards of morality and seemed over-anxious to accomodate secularism to the point of hopeless compromise. Everybody, however, agreed that they enjoyed listening to Evensong broadcast on Wednesday afternoon on Radio III but otherwise found Anglicanism unreliable.

Posted by: John Bowles on Sunday, 11 December 2011 at 10:47am GMT

Is Joseph Bottum confused about Desmond Tutu?

Posted by: Savi Hensman on Sunday, 11 December 2011 at 6:06pm GMT

Last weekend we had a very well-attended all-parish meeting, the second of two. Somewhere around 75% of the parish were able to be there for one or the other meeting, and most came to both. We are in the process of defining who we are as a parish, which is in turn part of the process of calling a new rector.

Among the top five concerns that our membership focused on, was diversity and an adamant insistence that our published identity as an Open and Affirming congregation should be maintained by whomever we call. It was made equally clear that we were calling “him or her”.

May I suggest that this is perhaps a wider cross-section of opinion than the perhaps more self-selected group Mr. Bowles dined with?

We saw no signs of “decomposition” or chaos, but rather great unanimity and a determination that Christ’s table is open to all. Our morality is expressed more through feeding over 3,000 people per week, through opening our doors to various groups who need a place to meet, through celebrating a gay couple (as we did a few weeks ago) who have been together for 35 years, and through outreach to areas and populations in need, than through exclusion and clucking at the degeneracy and secularism of those less holy.

Posted by: Nat on Sunday, 11 December 2011 at 7:07pm GMT

Whatever Joseph Bottum's motivation was in producing his article of the state of the Anglican Communion, he did get a few points right. However, I agree with Savi, he misrepresented the eirenic intentions of Archbishop Desmond Tutu - perhaps a Freudian slip on his part, but with echoes of the truth. Not bad for a R.C. journalist - despite Mr Bowles' remarks.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 12 December 2011 at 10:03am GMT


Thanks for your comment which, taken together with Mr Bowles' comments above, reflects my own experience. Those in the Anglican church who spend their whole time looking inwards to the church and it's politics seem to emit gloom and despondency, whilst those who look outward to the community and it's needs seem to emit light and hope. There is a message for us in there somewhere.

One question though. Anonymity and secrecy is the enemy of making progress on gay issues. Is there any problem with actually naming this church you describe?

Best wishes


Posted by: Simon Dawson on Monday, 12 December 2011 at 12:31pm GMT

That was a very good testimony of yours, Nat. I'm sure there are many churches around the Anglican Communion that are equally open to ALL people, advocating Christ's openness to everyone. My own Church of St.Michael and All Angels in Christchurch, New Zealand, is just such a Church.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 12 December 2011 at 8:31pm GMT

Bottum says "Western leaders pulled in the other direction, demanding that all churches in the communion embrace their views on human sexuality" and "Freed from their African anchor, the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in America will move even further in a pro-Muslim, anti-Israel direction, providing yet more cover for fashionable liberal anti-Semitism." Really? I was astonished to read this right wing diatribe against Rowan Williams, the CofE, and "western liberalism", while lauding the Roman Church as a model of moral leadership. As a Canadian, I find it difficult to imagine our Primate, Fred Hiltz, insisting that same-sex blessings be practised in every cormer of the Anglican Communion. His caricature of the "western churches" as the enemies of orthodoxy while African churches are paragons of faith makes one wonder. The amount of misinformation and overstatement make this a mean-spirited diatribe. He doesn't even seem to know much about Desmond Tutu, who he stereotypes as a conservative, being African. Yet another article that really can be boiled down to "women and gays are ruining the Church" and that says more about the writer's bias and confusion than reality.

Posted by: Richard Grand on Monday, 12 December 2011 at 9:56pm GMT
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