Monday, 17 March 2014

New Bishop of Lewes announced

Press release today from Number 10.

Suffragan Bishop of Lewes: Richard Charles Jackson

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Richard Charles Jackson to the Suffragan See of Lewes.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Richard Charles Jackson, MA (Oxon) MSc, Diocesan Advisor for Mission and Renewal, in the Diocese of Chichester, to the Suffragan See of Lewes, in the Diocese of Chichester, in succession to the Right Reverend Wallace Parke Benn, BA, on his resignation on 31 August 2012.

Reverend Richard Charles Jackson

The Reverend Richard Jackson (aged 53), studied first at Christ Church, Oxford and then at Cranfield Institute of Technology. He studied for his ordination at Trinity College, Bristol. From 1994 to 1998 he served his first curacy at Lindfield in Chichester diocese. From 1998 to 2009 he was Vicar at Rudgwick, in Chichester diocese, and was also Rural Dean for Horsham from 2005 to 2009. Since 2009 he has been Diocesan Advisor for Mission and Renewal.

Richard Jackson is married to Deborah and they have 3 children. His interests include hill walking, carpentry and motorcycling.

The Chichester diocesan website has more about the new bishop: New Bishop of Lewes Appointed.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 17 March 2014 at 10:37am GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

Wonderful news for Chichester Diocese. Richard is a warm, wise, gracious and godly priest who will make a fine Bishop in the Diocese and in the wider church.

Posted by: Tim S on Monday, 17 March 2014 at 6:14pm GMT

Will he ordain women as priests?

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Monday, 17 March 2014 at 7:01pm GMT

Can we have a judgement from Richard as to whether this guy ordains women?

Posted by: John on Monday, 17 March 2014 at 7:18pm GMT

Thank you, Tim. It is very encouraging to hear that.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Monday, 17 March 2014 at 8:38pm GMT

I never quite know what to make of adjectives like "wise, warm, gracious and godly". They may turn out to describe someone exactly as advertised, but sometimes they seem to turn out to mean "feeble, spineless and cowardly, but says all the right things".

Two quick questions: what does he think about men and women in ministry? and where does he stand on human sexuality?

I guess I am looking for someone who will give justice and inclusion a priority (no surprises there) - but if he hides behind the collective view, rather than telling us what he thinks and then acting as if he means it, I will think the less of him.

The stated claim to want to be a focus of unity for all people, while exactly what one would want and expect of a bishop, also slightly concerns me. People in the Church of England now clearly think in very different and sometimes opposing ways about a number of important social issues, and attempts to be a focus of unity for all just like that won't work. He will need to accept that expressing his views on women and gays (for example) will delight some and anger others. So while the ambition to be a focus for unity is laudable, it is also hard to achieve.

I don't myself think it is any different in essence (though clearly in scale) from the challenge that parish clergy face. If they are to be any good at that job they learn fast that while you want to be a focus for unity, you are not going to be able to please all the people all of the time. So you might as well be yourself, and then learn how to treat people who will oppose you and dislike what you stand for decently and fairly. I remember hearing one clergyman (it was a man) at interview answering the question about what he was most proud of in his previous parish with the reply that he was most proud of never having lost a single member of his congregation, and that he would have gone to any lengths to keep them all. Alarm bells went off in the panel's collective head - he did not get the job.

One way that I do not think the attempt to be a focus for unity works is to pursue the polity of the current House of Bishops - where, on the most controversial issue of the moment, they have put out a statement that to liberals seems hard-line, and to conservatives seems to concede too much. The only unity this has produced is that of not really respecting the Statement! That is because it is a political document that is designed to manage the situation, and it does not represent what many bishops really believe.

So I wish Mr Jackson well, and I hope very much that he is what he is billed as. I encourage him to be himself and to tell us what he believes and cares about, and then to frame his own pastoral and episcopal practice around that. If he takes the opposing view to me on all the hot button issues of the day, provided he acts and lives consistently by his principles, then that is infinitely more worthy of respect than a company man who parrots the official line. See Alan Wilson for details of how to do it right.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 5:14am GMT

Whatever he does as regards women's ordination, you can rest assured he will hold the line on homosexual marriage.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 6:35am GMT

I believe being willing to ordain women was one of the requirements set out in the job description.

I also note that the citation for the appointment of one of the new hon Canons in the diocese last month was 'in recognition of her pastoral work in recent years within this diocese, and prior to that, in her promotion of the cause of admission to ordination the full range of people whose lives and circumstances reflect the reality of human experience'.

Posted by: Peter Mullins on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 8:00am GMT

Peter Mullins is right.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 8:40am GMT

Peter Mullins is right. The job specification for the new appointment included a requirement that he would ordain women as priests (as had been promised by the Diocesan) and it is expected that he will do this for the first time in mid June after he has been consecrated Bishop in Westminster Abbey on may 14th.

The track record on lgbt issues in the Diocese is very mixed. The job spec for the Diocesan included the requirement that he adhered to the teachings of the CofE as set out in 'Issues'. Martin Warner has made a point of welcoming both the LGCM conference and speaking at the Brighton pride service in 2013. This requirement did not appear in the job spec for the Bishop of Lewes but while it mentions the high population of lgbt in the diocese nothing was said about working with them.

The Diocesan Synod has approved a plan for a fourth Archdeacon with specific responsibility for the Brighton area. While there are intimations that this person will have specific responsibility for lgbt people I haven't yet seen any official documents which confirm this.

On the other hand the 'ad clerum' from the Diocesan following the House of Bishops 'pastoral letter' and seemingly only available on Peter Ould's blog, is hardly a model of welcome, inclusivity or hope.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 9:18am GMT

Robert -

Thee is no such thing as "homosexual marriage". There is equal marriage - which has been introduced by the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) Act 2013. The bracket tells us the category of people who will be affected by the new law. But the Act is a Marriage Act. So let's hear no more about something called "homosexual marriage" - there is just marriage for everyone.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 9:37am GMT

Oh dear, a new bishop is appointed in the footsteps of St. Matthias and the first question is not
Does he have a passion for Church Growth?
Is he a good Evangelist?
Does he have a heart for mission and a great desire and longing to extend Christ's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?
But
"Will he ordain women as priests?"
The answer to that question is yes he will. The Bishop of Chichester ensured that this was part of the job description?
Contrary wise how many diocesan bishops who do ordain women as priests appoint suffragans now who don't? Answer - Zilch!
We all remember the unseemly fuss last time this was attempted by the Archbishop of York in appointing Philip North to Whitby.
I also remember the good old days when appointing bishops the prime question was not about women in ministry but do they believe in the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth. Witness David Jenkins consecration rumpus when a large petition was presented to John Habgood to unsuccessfully prevent his consecration going ahead in York Minster. Or even further back in time, for the same reasons, when many diocesan bishops were against Hensley Henson becoming Bishop of Hereford.

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 9:48am GMT

IN reply to Father David, of course, ordaining women is not the only thing that is important but in a diocese where bishops have not ordained women in the past and where it was supposed to be a requirement, I am surprised that it was not given even a passing mention in the diocesan publicity. Are they ashamed of it?

I think timing of Philip North's appointment was unfortunate. If the vote had gone through in November 2012, the protest may not have happened or not been so loud.

I doubt whether ordaining women will be a major issue in future, it will just happen.

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 10:42am GMT

The role description and person specification for the Bishop of Lewes is available here:

http://www.chichester.anglican.org/media/documents/document/2013/11/RDPS_1st_Final_1.pdf

Posted by: Peter Owen on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 11:11am GMT

To someone from outside the Diocese of Chichester Father David's cri de coeur would seem reasonable enough. To those of us who live here, and who have fought for years against previous regimes' opposition to women's ordination, this is, unfortunately, the first question which comes to mind. Anything short of readiness to ordain women and to support women priests in their ministry (and positive enthusiasm would be rather nicer) would probably have sent me out of the C of E despite constant active membership throughout my life of 69 years.

Posted by: David Pidgeon on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 3:44pm GMT

I tire of the meme "why focus on women's ordination/LGBT equality, instead of The Things That Really Matter?" (lots of pious talk)

It's precisely where a Christian stands on the dignity of ALL the Imago Dei that *measures* whether they are a "good Evangelist", have "a heart for mission" and "a great desire and longing to extend Christ's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven".

Loving your brothers & sisters---in EQUALITY---is the standard:

1 John 4:20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 7:17pm GMT

Jeremy...."Equal marriage" does not exist in the Church of England and is in fact still illegal.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 9:19pm GMT

Let's be clear. The game is up for non-ordainers. There will be no future appointment of a diocesan who will not ordain women as priests (but the central members of the CNC would not admit to that) and most diocesans (male, and certainly female) will not appoint a suffragan who will not ordain women. It is good on balance (in my view) that the PEVs survive the new Measure. That raises the question as to whether ++Cantuar would be well advised to create a new PEV see and appoint a conservative evangelical. I would rather it was not necessary, but his take on reconciliation and keeping all in the tent suggests it might happen. It's time the Church at large woke up to the fact that its settled mind has changed on the issue (not a moment too soon!).

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 10:18pm GMT

JCF, Your argument appears to imply that the priest who was to be Bishop of Whitby is a poor evangelist, has no heart for mission, has no desire to extend Christ's kingdom, hates his brothers and sisters and therefore hates God.
I appreciate that I am biased since I am tainted with the same evil as he, but I have not observed those traits in him myself and presumably neither did the Archbishop of York.

Posted by: Peter Bostock on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 11:22pm GMT

"The stipend for 2011-2012 is in the range of £31,830 - £32,520". No doubt a bit more in 2014-2015, and a house on top - but even so, the C of E is not a place to get rich.

Posted by: Jamie Wood on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 12:19am GMT

Robert -

from 29th March, marriage in England will include opposite sex and same sex couples. It will be legal for pretty much anyone in the country to be married or not to be married as they choose. You may not have noticed, but the Church of England is a church by law established, and therefore the law of the land applies to it. The Church may choose not to celebrate the marriages of same sex couples - but it can't and won't stop lots of its own Christians entering into them. It can't declare them illegal, because it is governed by the law of the land. It was the Church's own Supreme Governor who signed the Act making it so.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 3:47am GMT

Anthony, "There will be no future appointment of a diocesan who will not ordain women as priests" & "The game is up for non-ordainers". What happened to " mutual flourishing", that idea which was all the rage not so very long ago? Judging by some of the comments on this thread this concept seems to have had a very short shelf life. Have Traditionalists had the wool pulled over their eyes? I hardly regard irrevocably changing 2000 years of our great Christian heritage as a "game "!
As for JCF's scandalous comment with its unworthy assertions, he is hardly shewing Christian love towards those who do not hold his point of view. Hardly a good example of " mutual flourishing"

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 6:29am GMT

The appointment means that conservative evangelicals of the Reform persuasion remain unrepresented in the episcopate of the Church of England. For how much longer are they to be excluded?

Posted by: Nigel Aston on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 8:18am GMT

" Have Traditionalists had the wool pulled over their eyes?" - Father David -

Dear Father David, the condition of myopia may be the real cause of people not seeing what is going on in front of them. It does not require blanket obfuscation.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 8:21am GMT

The issue regarding both Whitby and Lewes is that these sees have been occupied by non-ordainers of women. In the case of Whitby, over four incumbents and in Lewes in the context of a diocese where no bishop has ordained women. A change was therefore at least appropriate if not necessary (and most thought it was necessary).

It has been hard to appoint a headship believing evangelical to a bishopric because candidates either change their minds on headship or are not able to work with the diversity of the CofE.

Posted by: Charles Read on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 11:37am GMT

Thinking about Whitby, it is now some considerable time since Dr. Warner moved to the south coast thus leaving the suffragan see vacant. Is the somewhat autocratic Archbishop of York shewing his displeasure at the people of North Yorkshire in delaying making an appointment because of their rejection of one who would have made a first rate pastoral bishop or, as in the case of Hereford, is the pool of acceptable "company men" simply drying up?

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 2:12pm GMT

Father David - your cynicism is showing...

Apparently Selby and Whitby are being considered together.

Posted by: Charles Read on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 3:27pm GMT

Following the withdrawal of Philip North, the archbishop was unable to proceed with the Whitby vacancy until the Dioceses Commission had completed its review of the York episcopal arrangements. Only when it had done that, was he able to proceed with the Whitby vacancy, now joined by the Selby one.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 3:42pm GMT

"Apparently Selby and Whitby are being considered together" Does that mean that there will only be one bishop instead of two? If so, what a good idea, as it will save a bob or two, for bishops cost the Church of England a vast amount of money not only in stipends but also in expenses. Lincoln has already led the way by culling the position of Bishop of Grantham, it would set a good example if York were to follow suit by reducing the number of bishops within the diocese. After all they already have the Bishop of Hull, why do they need three suffragans? I'm quite sure they could easily manage with two suffragans, one for the north of the diocese and one for the south.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 3:55pm GMT

No, the two vacant sees are intended to be filled by two separate persons, though a single advertisement was used to request comments from the public.

The Dioceses Commission evidently was persuaded by the evidence that three suffragan sees were still justified, though it did recommend changes to the terms of reference for these posts.

The Archbishop of York does spend a large part of his time on matters outside his own diocese.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 4:00pm GMT

I wonder, has it occurred to JCF or others that that verse also condemns liberals who hate conservatives? Unfortunately in so much of the church today disagreement=hate. There is no such thing as tolerance. That's not good enough. It's full approval or nothing. Anyone who is of a different mind can't be a Christian. In TEC I think it's probably true that gay marriage and women's ordination have become the first order doctrinal beliefs, much more important than Christ's divinity, resurrection, salvation, etc. Apparently that is true in the CoE too now. The question of who should be bishop doesn't hinge on the Biblical or traditional standards of the type of person to be bishop; no, only a pro-gay marriage and pro-women bishop will do. Politics is everything.

Of course, in a state church there's no way to be countercultural in the end,is there? The church and state are tied so that one must follow the other and in a pluralist/secular society where the church is the smaller of the two it must be dragged along. Another tradition to break perhaps?

Posted by: Chris H on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 6:35pm GMT

Thank you Chris H for such a perceptive comment on what has now become the new "orthodoxy". Even so sage a commentator as Anthony Archer admits as much with his claim that no non-ordainer of women will ever become a diocesan bishop in future. For anyone seeking to be a future Diocesan in the Church of England a new clause must be added to the ancient creed, namely -" I believe in the ordination of women to both the priesthood and the episcopacy. Amen!"
I recall an episode of Rev (soon joyfully returning to our tv screens to entertain and delight) when that fearsome Archdeacon was being interviewed for the job of a bishop. All was going perfectly well until it emerged that there was a significant male other in his life. The look on the venerable gentleman's face told it all - he knew that his goose was cooked and that he would not be offered the preferment he so much desired.
In reality the highly talented and enormously gifted Jeffrey John remains in his St. Albans Deanery as a Very Reverend rather than a Right Reverend which he so richly deserves to be.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 11:36pm GMT

"In TEC I think it's probably true that gay marriage and women's ordination have become the first order doctrinal beliefs, much more important than Christ's divinity, resurrection, salvation, etc."

False, false, false, absolutely false. The doctrine that includes women and LGBT is that Jesus's love and salvation is for ALL people, not the white, male, status quo that's been oppressing us for so long.

Inclusion is a result of doctrine, it is a result of listening to the Radical Jesus who defended the oppressed from the powerful and treated women like people.

The sooner that "traditionalists" recognize that the liberal position has powerful support in the Living Christ, the sooner we might have a real conversation.

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 12:32am GMT

Cynthia's illustrated the heart of the problem: it's a theological battle between ongoing revelation (living Christ) and closed revelation (the Bible).

Personally, I've no horse in this race, treating, as I do, all revelation claims with skepticism. It's sufficient for me that the equality of all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, is right.

Justice is central to the spirit of Jesus' Kingdom preaching. Even if the historical Jesus considered homosexuality to be a sin (since it was condemned by the Mosaic law, he almost certainly did) the spirit of his message can overcome the specifics, just as the spirit of the words "all men are created equal" overcomes their authors' slaveholding.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 7:57am GMT

Nay, Cynthia, what Chris H writes is True, true, absolutely true.
Your own comment reminds me of nothing more than Albert Schweitzer's conclusion to his "Quest for the Historical Jesus" in that it was like people peering down a deep well looking for Jesus and seeing their own faces reflected in the water.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 8:13am GMT

The sooner that "traditionalists" recognize that the liberal position has powerful support in the Living Christ, the sooner we might have a real conversation.
Or to put it another way.
As soon as you acknowledge I'm right and you're wrong,I'll have a conversation with you!

Posted by: ian on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 8:18am GMT

"The stipend for 2011-2012 is in the range of £31,830 - £32,520". No doubt a bit more in 2014-2015, and a house on top - but even so, the C of E is not a place to get rich.

Nice cover up...no mention of all the untaxed perks..no rates, utility bills, transport, even scholarships for the kids etc...actually double the stipend in value.

Posted by: robert ian Williams on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 8:59am GMT

Women bishops will be voted in precisely because there will be provisions to ensure that those opposing them will always have a bishop they can happily serve under. It is therefore wishful thinking to suggest that no conservative bishops should ever be installed again.

But there is no doubt that within another decade or two anti gay sentiments will be seen to be as immoral as racism is now.
We do not tolerate racists who are racist on theological grounds, and for the same reason the church will eventually no longer tolerate homophobes, whatever theological reasons they claim.

As always - you can think what you like, but you cannot set out to translate your thinking into active discrimination.
Society has got there before the church, but there is no doubt that the church is beginning to change too.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 9:40am GMT

Father David, I'm a little confused. You appear to be wholly in favour of Jeffrey John becoming a bishop; and wholly against any woman even being a priest? Presumably you have sound theological justification for both these stances?

Although I am very aware that being a supporter of women's ministry does not always go hand in hand with being a campaigner for LGBT rights. When i was in the ministry there were more than a few male gay clergy who abhorred the idea of women's ministry; and I knew women clergy who felt most of the antipathy towards them was coming from their gay male colleagues.

Some of the recent posts on TA seem to assume that being a supporter of LGBT rights must make one an advocate for women's ministry. Unfortunately, that is not always the case!

Posted by: Stephen Morgan on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 10:23am GMT

The type of priests that Stephen refers to tend not to be out and proud supporters of LGBT rights, but closeted so deep you'd need the 'Alvin' to find them. Homophobic pronouncements are often used as cover.

It's hard to think of any *supporter* of gay rights who opposes the ordination of women.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 11:54am GMT

I think I must have heard Jeffrey John lecture on at least three occasions and each time I have been deeply impressed by the way in which this brilliant teacher presents the Good News of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am sure that the congregation at St. Albans cathedral benefit greatly from having such a talented and gifted Dean but those self same gifts are much needed by the wider Church and if he were to be consecrated a bishop could be used on a much bigger platform.
The current situation at Hereford shews us just how difficult it is at present to get suitable candidates to fill vacant dioceses. Any diocese fortunate enough to have Jeffrey John as its Father in God would be richly blessed indeed.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 12:57pm GMT

but closeted so deep you'd need the 'Alvin' to find them.

I may seem like the judge who said "and what is a Beatle?".... What is the 'Alvin'?

Posted by: ian on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 2:10pm GMT

May I take the thread back a little? Bishops aren't a focus of unity but a source of unity. You don't have to agree with them but you do derive the reassurance of sacramental ministry through them.

Posted by: Commentator on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 2:37pm GMT

Father David says "Nay, Cynthia, what Chris H writes is True, true, absolutely true. Your own comment reminds me of nothing more than Albert Schweitzer's conclusion to his "Quest for the Historical Jesus" in that it was like people peering down a deep well looking for Jesus and seeing their own faces reflected in the water."

Cynthia says: Intriguing comment. Because as I see it, the "traditionalists" go a long way towards creating God in their image, rather than seeing ALL people in God's Image.

Ian quotes me: "The sooner that "traditionalists" recognize that the liberal position has powerful support in the Living Christ, the sooner we might have a real conversation." And then says: "Or to put it another way. As soon as you acknowledge I'm right and you're wrong,I'll have a conversation with you!"

The sooner we talk about Jesus breaking taboos to teach, heal, and generally hang with women, the sooner we might gain a productive understanding, one that is true. As opposed to the lie that liberation and the love of God poured out to ALL is strictly coming from culture. Biblical "traditionalists" have used the Bible to justify slavery, anti-semitism, and the burning of witches. But people of conscience have similarly used the Bible, especially the teaching of Jesus, to help us repent of those evils.

Once we can understand the culture of the early church, when women were treated as chattel, perhaps we can see how radical Jesus was. Perhaps we can question if the old Jewish, Greek, and Roman cultural attitudes towards women were God's will, or simply human culture. Perhaps we can discuss why we aren't rushing to re-institute other customs of those "good old days?"

Maybe we can consider whether the woman priest and bishop thing has to do with "traditionalists" personal comfort levels, more than the actual Living Christ. I believe that there should be a pastoral response to the comfort level issue. However, based on "traditionalists" comfort levels, it is completely unacceptable to continue to oppress women. And it is unacceptable to deprive majorities of people of the gifts that women clergy have to bring - which is why God is calling them!

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 3:27pm GMT

"Some of the recent posts on TA seem to assume that being a supporter of LGBT rights must make one an advocate for women's ministry. Unfortunately, that is not always the case!"

Fundamentally, the issues of WO, WB, and LGBT inclusion all come down to whether or not one believes that ALL people are created in the Image of God.

1. If ALL, then that has important implications as to how we treat one another, women, LGBT people, people of all races, the poor, etc. It has implications about our polity, and it strongly points to inclusion.

2. If some are more perfectly created in the Image of God than others, then that's a different story. The elites (men) are specially ordained by God to do as they see fit. A situation that may or may not be benevolent. And male supremacy must be maintained at all costs, after all, that's God's Will, right?

But who decides which people are created more perfectly in the Image of God? Is it really the Bible, or is it really the culture of Biblical times? Can straights really make the determination that they are more perfectly created than gays? Ditto men and women. Ditto rich and poor. Ditto race.

In "deciding", are we not creating God in our image? Is it possible that our "tradition" is all about creating God in our image? Or does it just so happen that the "chosen people" always seem to be the ones who hold the power? Coincidence?

Given the misery in the world, does anyone actually believe that the status quo is a good platform for loving our neighbors as ourselves and bringing the Good News to the poor, etc.?

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 4:15pm GMT

Glad to see, Chris H and Father David, that you have become liberal pluralists. Of course, the reason you have done so is the fact that you are losing numerically. Others among us, Erika,* for example, and myself are liberal pluralists because (a) we have compassion; and (b) we have a better grasp of reality, that is, the inevitable compromises members of the Body of Christ have to make if it is to exist at all. Makes you think - at least I hope so.

*Erika, hope I haven't misrepresented you.

John.

Posted by: John on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 7:51pm GMT

As I have said on a previous thread, women's ordination and lgbt issues are inextricably linked because it's all about male domination of women, the supposed inferiority of women and the fear that homosexual men are thus less than manly. That is why women themselves don't feature very highly in the obsessions of homophobes, because they don't matter unless they are bringing up male children who might thus be one less than 'manly'.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 7:59pm GMT

Cynthia: Thank you for insightful comments about our human image in relation to God and the implications for issues relating to sexuality and ministry that are dominating the Anglican Church and consequentially its credibility in God's world.

Posted by: Malcolm on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 8:18pm GMT

"Some of the recent posts on TA seem to assume that being a supporter of LGBT rights must make one an advocate for women's ministry. Unfortunately, that is not always the case!" - Steven Morgan -

Sad but true, Steven. It seems that some of the very same Anglo-Catholics prone to bury their homosexuality are sometimes fierce opponents of women in ministry. I don't think is an intrinsic fear of women but it may be distrust.

It seems the more open one is able to be about one's innate homosexuality, the more accepting one can be of other mistreated members of the Church - of whatever gender or disposition..

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 11:31pm GMT

Methinks that this blog is having more and more to do with sociology and psychology and less and less to do with theology and Christology. At least that's what this well known liberal pluralist finks anyway!

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 21 March 2014 at 6:04am GMT

Fr David,
that's probably because we don't seem to be getting anywhere when conservatives simply ignore liberal theology instead of engaging with it.
And any theology worth having takes psychology into account.
We've been given a brain and we've not been asked to leave it at the church door.
Where science and psychology plainly contradict theology, it is theology that needs to be reconsidered.
Not because God got it wrong but because it indicates that we got our theology wrong.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 21 March 2014 at 8:52am GMT

"that's probably because we don't seem to be getting anywhere when conservatives simply ignore liberal theology instead of engaging with it."

Exactly, thank you, Erika.

It is amazing that after discussing Jesus's relationship to women, despite cultural taboos, the response is "well we're onto sociology and psychology and not theology"!!!!!!!!!

That response is totally inadequate to the question of who is created in the image of God and who gets to decide.

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 21 March 2014 at 3:28pm GMT

"As for JCF's scandalous comment with its unworthy assertions, he is hardly shewing Christian love towards those who do not hold his point of view."

The epistles of John were undoubtedly scandalous to their hearers, but to call them "unworthy" is surely rather risky for a clergyman! Gay and lesbian people are not, of course, a "point of view", and those who believe that the apostle's admonition can be set aside so long as the "brother or sister whom they have seen" is gay cannot invoke "difference of opinion" as an escape hatch.

Posted by: Geoff on Friday, 21 March 2014 at 4:45pm GMT
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