Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Opinion - 9 May 2018

Ian Gomersall St Chrysostom’s Church News and Views Visiting the Archbishop of Canterbury

Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News Nye Letter & The Silencing of Debate

Mark Harris Preludium GAFCON alternative universe expands

Martyn Percy Modern Church The Church of England: Mission and Ministry after the Decade of Evangelism
There is a summary here. The full text of the article can only be found by following the link at the end of the summary.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

'I was struck at how the Justin Welby who is said by some to be too managerial in style, and to have a clearly evangelical approach, came across to me as sympathetic and understanding of an inclusive Catholic position, and clearly wanted it to flourish. I couldn’t help but feel that the impression of the Archbishop I receive from some clergy and from the church press did not quite match the sensitive and sympathetic person I met at Lambeth.'

Ian, I hope you are right. But I was equally impressed by what seemed Justin's passionate and sensitive response at the IICSA hearings - only to find days later that his behaviour did not at all match his words and demeanour on that occasion. Now, I'm reluctant to believe anything he says.

I hope your experience, and that of other members of your group, is more positive.

Posted by: Janet Fife on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at 2:03pm BST

I've often heard the argument that training courses and curacies prepare people for ministry, but not the specific role and nature of a priest. Sadly, what this seems to imply is that courses and curacies no longer produce identikit 'priests' in the rigid mould expected by people from years past (i.e. male, married, with children, in full-time ministry, wears black with a collar all of the time). In this argument, there is also a strongly clericalist slant here that overlooks the rightful role of the laity and the important of collaborative ministry for the flourishing of the church. (Here, I probably show my background as a moderate 'Vatican II' Catholic!) Anyway, if the aim of the SCP (as I understand it) is to try to revert to a model of priestly ministry that is clericalist, then I am quite saddened by its current direction.

Posted by: Anon on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at 7:10pm BST

I read Ian Gomersall's piece and found myself asking whether this was a charm offensive that was all about style and very little about substance. When Welby affirms the catholic tradition, he has very little in-depth understanding of what that really is, either from study or lived experience (has he read any Aquinas, Rahner, von Balthazar, not to mention Gore, Ramsey and Leech?). I suspect this is a case of Welby seeing it as another 'brand' or 'franchise' to attract consumers to his business model, where the successful and the economically active can turn around a failing institution. I am not convinced - either by Welby's words or Ian Gomersall's conclusions.

Posted by: Will Richards on Thursday, 10 May 2018 at 12:49pm BST

I don't see that there's an opposition between 'Thy Kingdom Come' and the kind of creative evangelism Martyn Percy calls for in his full article. It's surely possible both to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit/people to find faith and to engage with the community in a way that is less 'broadcast mode' and more mutual.

In our parish there has been a regular monthly prayer group for one estate that has met for the last 10 years. 5 years ago the church started growing, and has now doubled in size (though still fairly small). This year it will be building a new Community Centre in partnership with the local community association and council, with a view to providing a community hub for 5000 people and taking specific initiatives to tackle deprivation in the local area. Is the foundation of prayer incidental, or fundamental?

Posted by: David Keen on Thursday, 10 May 2018 at 2:18pm BST

What does the SCP (of which I'm not a member) think about the letter that was sent to the US Episcopal Church by William Nye on the Archbishop's behalf? Ultimately "sensitive and sympathetic" is wider than just the way a particular meeting goes.

Posted by: Bernard Silverman on Friday, 11 May 2018 at 12:57pm BST

Re: Giles Goddard,thanks so much for the article. It helps deepen from afar one's understanding of the evolution of the debate in the C of E.

I've been thinking about a question Goddard puts right after reflecting on earlier fears and despair i.e. "Twenty five years on, what has changed?"

Across the board geographically what appears to have shifted is the locus of fear. Same sex couples in the church are no longer acting out of fear. They are visible and articulate. Fear is now a characteristic of the establishment. The letter from William Nye is exhibit 'A'.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 11 May 2018 at 2:59pm BST

"I couldn’t help but feel that the impression of the Archbishop I receive from some clergy and from the church press did not quite match the sensitive and sympathetic person I met at Lambeth."

Or, perhaps, he's just a politician in love with his own (sense of) power adjusting his words to each audience, like Saruman directing his voice at each besieger?

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 at 11:50am BST
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