Tuesday, 16 February 2016
How blessed we are within the Church of England to have bishops of the calibre of Philip North, an Anglo-Catholic with a great zeal for Evangelism. At long last the mantle of Bishop David Sheppard has fallen upon Bishop Philip North with his bias to the poor.
I have to agree with Philip North on this one. I could wish that his concern for the poor and oppressed included women and LGBTI people, but he's certainly on target with the Gospel call for the preferential option for the poor.
According to Antony Bushfield, ABC "didn't know why the [Columba Declaration] story had been leaked to a journalist"
It should have been discussed with SEC in the first place!
'Kirk Moderator to make history'. How excruciatingly embarrassing that the latest Moderator of the Church of Scotland is to be complicit in the Church of England itself making history by its first unashamed act of 'border crossing' as it tramples over its sister the Scottish Episcopal Church. If this is ecumenism then it's far from the definition we've been working with over the years.
About time we have heard the prophetic voice from an (Episcopal) Leader who sees the reality of being church where financial resources are not plentiful, but where faith is beyond any riches that can be imagined. +Philip is a great advocate that it is faith, perseverance and presence which builds the body of Christ and extends the Kingdom of God. Well done +Philip, Burnley
This Anglican baptised in the Church of South India concurs with the Moderator of the General Assembly on wondering why it has taken so long for the Church of England and the Church of Scotland to come to this point. Besides, evidence would strongly suggest key reps of the Scottish Episcopal Church were aware of progress here. Maybe even Prof Ian Henderson, who wrote Power Without Glory in 1967, might not now see the ecumenical movement as an Anglican plot. But who really do we or should we follow and serve? Despite our various and best patch-protection policies, practices and sentiments, and being otherwise constrained, perhaps the Holy Spirit is not so constrained. Better we heed the Lord who taught John not to stop those acting in His name from doing good even though they were obviously not of the in-group/same ilk (Mark 9:38-39, Luke 9:49-50).
I listened to and watched the Columba Declaration debate yesterday on the live video stream. There was a gracious and "historic" speech by the Moderator of the Church OF Scotland followed by a very thorough and forensic speech by the Bishop of Chester during which he gave a blow by blow account as to how the Declaration came into being. From what he said I understood that the Scottish Episcopal Church was involved and included in the discussions at every twist and turn until half way through the process they chose to exclude themselves but were thereafter represented by an SEC Observer. This understanding was confirmed by the Vicar of Belmont in the Diocese of Durham who also, for different reasons, withdrew half way through. The Declaration received strong support from representatives from the dioceses of Carlisle and Newcastle - the two dioceses which adjoin the Scottish Border. The ABC also spoke and apologised for any unintentional hurt suffered by the Episcopalians North of the Border. The Bishop of Truro's amendment was specifically designed to heal any wounds that may inadvertently have been inflicted. I do think that the Chairman of the Synod debate might have been more fulsome in his thanks to the Moderator for his "historic" speech, he merely said that the applause of the Synod members said it all!
So, having been involved in the discussions from the start and then choosing to withdraw themselves from the discussions and the process, I am somewhat at a loss to understand why the SEC is getting its tartan knickers in a twist over this? I for one rejoice that a step towards greater Christian Unity was made at Westeminster yesterday. I'm sure that this should gladden the heart of the late, great Michael Ramsey, who was so disappointed at the failure of the as Anglican-Methodist Reunion Scheme. Yet more to the point would it not warm Our Blessed Lord's sacred heart of love, He who once so earnestly prayed that they MAY BE ONE?
The Columba declaration. Once there is dissent over ecumenical proposals they are no longer truly ecumenical, rather they become an exercise in politics and power struggles. However detailed and fulsome the justification for the Church of England's high-handed behaviour, it does not excuse it. People and provinces have got hurt in name of Christian unity - it's a disgraceful chimera.
No, Fr David, I don't see it as you have painted it. I'm all in favour of moves towards greater unity, but any such initiative in Scotland should have been between the Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland. What has happened here is undoubtedly border crossing, which we have rightly condemned when others do it. The amendments and hand-wringing apologies in the debate yesterday do not go nearly far enough to address the insult and deep offence caused to our Anglican friends in Scotland.
Another appalling misjudgement by our appointed leaders. As someone else said in these pages recently, is there NO misjudgement these people are incapable of?
WHY did not more Synod members rise up and vote against it? Shameful!
The Vicar of Belmont did not appear to me to cover herself with glory yesterday when she was unable to distinguish between the SEC and C of S in her speech and got the two muddled up. For someone who was claiming to know what she was talking about, she did seem rather to undermine herself.