John Richardson thought it would be helpful to give us chapter and verse of the things his diocesan bishop has done that he objects to: he spent time over the weekend listing them out, and you can read his list here:
Bishop John Gladwin on the issue of Human Sexuality.
Meanwhile his Anglican Mainstream colleague Chris Sugden has published an interpretation of “Listening” that can best be described as bizarre.
Jonathan Wynne-Jones wrote an article for the Sunday Telegraph which was headlined Bible supports homosexual partnerships, says bishop.
Other responses to the story were reported by Ekklesia.
The tone of the original story, and the reported reactions of conservatives make interesting reading in the light of a recent Fulcrum newsletter article on Homophobia by Andrew Goddard. The long version of his paper (recommmended reading) can be found here.
…it is far from clear to me exactly what alternative resolutions would be favoured by those in the AAC and NACDAP who remain fundamentally opposed to the actions of GC2003. I can find no clear statement of an alternative proposal from them.
with a copy of the text linked here, and:
This document can also serve as a response to Simon Sarmientoâ€™s strange assertion that â€œit is far from clearâ€ to him â€œexactly what alternative resolutions [to those of the special Commission] would be favoured by those in the AAC and NACDAP who remain fundamentally opposed to the actions of GC2003.â€ As the Anglican Communion Institute recognizes, that would be resolutions along the broad lines of the one above from January 2005 as well as four of the five 2005 resolutions of the Diocesan Convention of South Carolina.
Will somebody then be filing resolutions to this effect so that they will in due course appear here? It is the absence of any such submission as yet that I find puzzling. Perhaps I don’t understand the GC legislative process.
The BBC’s Sunday radio programme has two items of interest for the last 14+ minutes of the programme. Using this link, go forward about 30 minutes, for the start:
The last report on TA about action at General Convention concerning the Windsor Report was here, on 1 May.
Since then, there has been much online discussion about the resolutions in the Special Commission report but it is far from clear to me exactly what alternative resolutions would be favoured by those in the AAC and NACDAP who remain fundamentally opposed to the actions of GC2003. I can find no clear statement of an alternative proposal from them.
Some alternative resolutions have been filed by dioceses:
Diocese of Rochester C004 Response to Windsor Report
Diocese of Alabama C014 Response to Windsor Report
Diocese of Florida C025 Affirmation of Windsor Report
Diocese of Upper South Carolina C037 Affirming Windsor Report
The AAC analysis is here:â€œMoving Slowly with Caution Isnâ€™t Stoppingâ€
And the NACDAP statement is here: More Than Twenty Bishops Issue Position Statement
The Anglican Communion Institute has issued this: What it will take
But by far the most detailed analysis of the Special Commission resolutions can be found in this document from PEP: â€œWhat Should General Convention 2006 Do?â€ which can be downloaded from this page as a PDF document. This 17 page document is well worth reading even if you don’t agree with its viewpoint.
Here’s a column from the Northern Echo:
At Your Service: Giving succour to flocks of all kinds
In The Times Roderick Strange writes Forty days is an eternity which reminds us of a transcendent dimension. Also Sholto Byrnes reports on An agnostic happy to nurse the ‘vice’ of religion.
Stewart Dakers reflects in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column about Christian Aid Week.
The Telegraph has Christopher Howse writing on intercessory prayer in Sun for the wedding, please.
From the IWPR a report by Trevor Grundy Zimbabwean Clerics to Seek Help from Archbishop of York
Two Three more items:
Church Times Rachel Harden Kenya visit unravels over gays
The Times Ruth Gledhill OUT OF AFRICA: Bishop John Gladwin. Even allowing for this being in the features part of the paper, rather than the news columns, it seems a little odd to me to call Bishop John a “far-left liberal activist” and the comparison with Dr John Reid, who this week happens to be Home Secretary in the UK Government, escapes me entirely. But hey, it’s Friday.
And another comment piece, this one from the Nation in Nairobi, says Gay laws quite ambiguous.
High Court throws out Anglican case …Let it be solved at church level is the headline of the cover story in the Malawi Daily Times.
Another report from Nairobi:
Nation 26 May Envoy sent to resolve gay row
The latest report from Nairobi:
Nation 25 May Request for sermon by gay rights bishop turned down
Today’s London reports:
Jonathan Petre Telegraph Kenyan hosts abandon bishop due to his liberal views on gays
Maxine Frith Independent Bishop of Chelmsford left stranded in Kenya in row over gay rights
Xan Rice in Nairobi and David Pallister Guardian Kenya’s Anglicans snub bishop over liberal view of homosexuality
And Fulcrum has this article: The Chelmsford Diocese/Mt Kenya link must not be allowed to die
Update Church of England Newspaper has Kenya Archbishop pulls the plug on Bishop Gladwins visit
Reuters Wangui Kanina Kenyan Anglicans reject UK bishop linked to gay group
Yorkshire Post Paul Whitehouse Bishop stranded over gay dispute
Ekklesia English bishop rejected in Kenya over gay row
EADT24 Bishop’s trip stopped over views on gays
A further article has appeared in the Nairobi press:
Nation Anglicans disown bishop over gay claims
The Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream website is here. Their first
press release announcement complaining about their bishop’s association with Changing Attitude is here: Bishop of Chelmsford new patron of ‘Changing Attitude’
See also Dave Walker’s cartoon blog entry
There has been a series of news reports from the Nairobi newspapers in the last few days about the visit of a delegation of Chelmsford Diocese to the Anglican Church of Kenya.
A series of press releases published on the Changing Attitude website sheds some light on the matter:
22 May John Gladwin falsely accused of lobbying for homosexuality in Kenya
22 May Archbishop of Kenya unable to â€œadvance the lined-up activitiesâ€ for Bishop Gladwinâ€™s visit to Kenya (Anglican Church of Kenya press release)
23 May The Bishop of Chelmsford and the Anglican Church of Kenya (Diocese of Chelmsford press release)
23 May Senior Kenyan Anglican holds different views on homosexuality from the Archbishop
Also this copy of the second item above.
The explanation for all of this can be found in the following:
STATEMENT BY CHELMSFORD ANGLICAN MAINSTREAM
Today, the Church of England and the Methodist Church of Great Britain published Faithful Cities.
The website for this is at the Commision on Urban Life and Faith.
There has already been some press coverage of this:
Earlier, Ruth Gledhill had this in Saturday’s Times Archbishop in call for action on age of false celebrity and this blog entry today.
The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke in the House of Lords last Friday on a related theme.
No cinema reviews here.
In The Times Stephen Plant Hope for the hereafter nourishes the urge to live better in a grime present
In the Telegraph Christopher Howse The lives and souls of the nation
In the Guardian Alec Gilmore writes in Face to Faith about religious liberty.
In the Church Times Giles Fraser writes about The subtle sin of lay presidency
This week, stories about the Windsor proposal for an Anglican Covenant resurfaced:
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Archbishop backs two-track Church to heal divisions
Ruth Gledhill That Petre ‘covenant’ story
Living Church Steve Waring Anglican Covenant Unlikely in Less than Five Years
Jim Naughton had this comment.
First, the Guardian’s blogsite, comment is free published Partners in prejudice by Peter Tatchell. This is described by Jim Naughton as a “searing attack” on the Archbishop of Canterbury. Tatchell is not polite about the Archbishop of Abuja either.
Second, Changing Attitude has issued a press release entitled IDAHO - the International Day Against Homophobia. This notes that the proposed Nigerian legislation will:
Any Nigerian bishop who tries to listen to homosexual experience in accordance with commitments made by the Anglican Communion will be labelled a supporter of homosexual people and be at risk of prosecution under the terms of the new bill, subject to a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.
The bill will make it impossible for any Nigerian bishop fulfil the commitment of the Anglican Church expressed in the Windsor report to listen to the experience of lesbian and gay people.
Changing Attitude Nigeria thanks the Canadian bishops who have spoken their mind robustly in criticising the Nigerian bill and disassociating from it.
Forward in Faith has issued a press release in response to this.
A campaigning group and a network of Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England have agreed the fundamental principles by which women should be appointed as bishops. For the first time, the leadership and members of the Executive Committees of Affirming Catholicism and WATCH (Women and the Church), which between them represent nearly half the members of the Church of Englandâ€™s General Synod, have jointly drawn up a list of key, non-negotiable principles for moving forward on women bishops.
Affirming Catholicism and WATCH had previously submitted separate proposals to the House of Bishops working party which consulted on proposals set out in the Guildford Report published earlier this year. The joint key principles draw heavily on their separate submissions and challenge the scope of the Guildford proposals which would, if implemented, provide a â€˜women bishops free zoneâ€™ for those opposed to the ordination of women.
Christina Rees, Chair of National WATCH said: â€œThe Church is currently discussing proposals which so limit the ministry of women bishops in order to take account of those who wonâ€™t accept them, that there is a danger of creating a second class of bishops who are women. Our principles â€“ which we regard as non-negotiable â€“ call for the Church to affirm unequivocally its confidence in the ordination of women by not discriminating against them.â€
The formal consultation process on women bishops began in 2000 with the setting up a House of Bishopsâ€™ Working Party on Women in the Episcopate, but the journey began over 30 years ago when General Synod agreed that there was â€˜no fundamental objection to the ordination of women to the priesthood.â€™ There are now over 2,500 clergy women in the Church of England. For the past two years there have been equal numbers of women and men being trained for the ordained ministry in the Church of England.
The Revâ€™d Richard Jenkins, Director of Affirming Catholicism said: â€œThe Church of England has always made room for different opinions. But the theology and law of the Church must give priority to the fact that we are a Church which has now joyfully accepted and overwhelmingly received the ordination of women. Our principles suggest ways in which those who are opposed can be given security and space, but still remain recognisably within one Church.â€
The groups now aim to discuss their principles with evangelicals and other groups in the Church in order to reach the widest possible agreement about how to move forward. The House of Bishops will meet again at the beginning of June to discuss the results of their consultation. The bishops will then produce a revised plan to be debated by the General Synod in July.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Principles drawn up by a joint Affirming Catholicism/WATCH working party according to which the Church of England can and should proceed to the ordination of women as bishops:
A. HOW THE CHURCH SHOULD PROCEED IN CONSECRATING WOMEN BISHOPS.
1. The Church of England is competent to make the decision to ordain women as bishops. This principle is enshrined in the Canons of the Church of England. [See especially Canon A6.] Further, the Lambeth Conference has recognised that Provinces of the Anglican Communion are competent to move on the question of the ordination of women to all stages of the three-fold ministry when the time seems right to each Province. [Lambeth Conference 1978; Resolution 21.]
2. Legislation must express the Churchâ€™s joyful acceptance of the decision to ordain women as bishops, whilst making suitable pastoral provision for those who continue to have difficulties with the ordained ministry of women.
3. There may therefore be no discrimination in the enabling Measure. The historic and catholic identity of episcopal ministry and office must be retained, and all women and men who are appointed as bishop must have the same authority and responsibilities.
4. Pastoral provision for those who have private reservations about the ordained ministry of women can â€“ and should â€“ be made, but such provision should not create structures which undermine the catholic order of the church or suggest ambivalence about the Churchâ€™s decision to admit women to the threefold ministry. [Cf. Guildford Report, Â§ 130.]
5. If pastoral provision is to have the force of law, it must be enshrined in secondary legislation or in an enforceable, statutory code of practice. Provision should be made for alleged breaches of such secondary legislation / statutory code of practice to be referred to an independent body (to be defined in law) for mediation (in which the agreement of both parties would be binding) or arbitration (in which a decision would be imposed on both parties).
[Putting the detail of the arrangements for the exercise of Episcopal authority in the Code or into secondary legislation keeps these discriminatory provisions out of primary legislation. The Measure can then be short and simple. This approach also gives Synod the necessary power to deal with this matter without reference to Parliament. It would also put these provisions on a firmer legal footing than the existing Act of Synod given that the 1993 Measures on the ordination of women to the priesthood do not mention the Act.]
6. The process of reception should be recognised as the means by which the Church enters into the fullness of its joyful acceptance of womenâ€™s ministry; it is not a continuing process of judging the rightness of the decision. The pastoral provision must be drafted on this basis.
7. There can be no amendment to Canon A4. That is, â€œthose who are made, ordained or consecrated bishops, priests or deaconsâ€ according to the ordinal and by a bishop of the Church of England are â€œto be accounted, both by themselves and others, to be truly bishops, priests or deacons.â€ Consequently, there can be no re-ordination of a priest or deacon ordained by a bishop of the Church of England who subsequently moves to another Diocese; similarly there can be no re-confirmation.
B. HOW THE CHURCH SHOULD MAKE PASTORAL PROVISION FOR THOSE WITH PRIVATE RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN
1. The pastoral provision may not create a parallel jurisdiction of those who are not prepared to accept the ordained ministry of women, but must seek the highest possible degree of communion together with the highest possible degree of permeability.
2. The pastoral provision must not give rise to a â€˜theology of taintâ€™ whereby opponents of women clergy are able to declare themselves out of communion even with those male clergy who have shared a sacramental ministry with ordained women.
3. Arrangements requiring ordained women to exercise pastoral sensitivity towards those who are opposed must be balanced by reciprocal arrangements requiring pastoral sensitivity from those who are opposed.
4. With respect to Dioceses and Diocesan structures, the pastoral provisions must maintain the integrity of the Diocese as the fundamental unit of the Church.
5. The bishop is and must be recognised to be Ordinary in his / her Diocese.
6. Any bishop who exercises a ministry specifically with respect to those opposed to ordained womenâ€™s ministry must therefore share in the ministry of the Ordinary.
7. Any such bishop must accordingly work within and according to the policies and practices of the Diocese where he exercises that ministry.
8. In Dioceses where the Ordinary is opposed to the ordination of women and does not ordain women as priest and/or deacon, the interests of women priests and those who are supportive of the ministry of ordained women must have episcopal representation within the Diocese.
9. All bishops and all parishes of a Diocese must continue to be part of the same synodical structures (through which the ministry of oversight or episcope is also exercised).
The Connecticut Six have issued a press release in response to this.
We, our priests, vestries and congregations, were shocked and gravely disappointed to learn of the Panel of Referenceâ€™s actions in causing the Archbishop of Canterbury to withdraw his referral of our applications to the Panel. Our congregations appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, requesting he refer our situation to the Panel of Reference in July 2005 in light of the abusive and hostile actions of the Rt. Rev. Andrew Smith, Bishop of Connecticut….
…Bishop Smith reported at a clergy meeting on February 8, 2006, that the Panel of Reference had notified him of their review and requested a response from him in early January 2006. We received no word from the Panel regarding its communications with Bishop Smith. Now we read in a public document that the Archbishop of Canterbury has withdrawn the Connecticut reference to the Panel â€œuntil such time as the matter of the civil cases has been resolved.â€
Regrettably, the Panel of Reference did not consult with us or give us an opportunity to speak to their need for a stay of pending civil litigation. Through our counsel, we have repeatedly advised the Diocese of Connecticut that we are agreeable to a referral to the Panel of Reference. Accordingly, we can only assume now that the Diocese and the remaining defendants in the civil litigation have advised the Panel that they will not agree to the Panelâ€™s request to stay the civil litigation. Once again, it appears that the Diocese of Connecticut has denied Parishes the relief and a fair hearing to which they are entitled by evading an acceptable process providing for dispute resolution. Presumably, the Diocese has concluded that it cannot persuade a disinterested mediator of the rectitude of its position…
ACNS has published a CommuniquÃ© from the Panel of Reference which reports on a meeting held in London from 9 to 12 May.
It reveals that only three cases have been referred to it so far. Of these:
1. The Diocese of Fort Worth, which does not ordain women to the priesthood, and appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the grounds that it is in serious theological dispute with the Episcopal Church, which at its 72nd General Convention in 1997 passed canons to make the ordination of women mandatory. The Panel considered the preliminary draft of its report, and hopes, after consultation with the parties, to publish its recommendations in the near future.
2. An appeal by six parishes in the Diocese of Connecticut against the oversight of their Bishop. Because the Panel decided last year as a matter of principle that it should not normally consider references where civil cases are proceeding, the Archbishop of Canterbury has withdrawn the reference to the Panel until such time as the matter of the civil cases has been resolved.
3. Parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada which have appealed for alternative episcopal oversight. The Panel has developed a preliminary draft of its report and representatives of the Panel would be visiting Vancouver in the immediate future in order to meet with both parties.
No mention at all of any other cases, such as Recife or Florida. However, it also says that two additional references were received in the course of the meeting, upon which work was undertaken.
The Panel has also revised its procedures.
Geoffrey Rowell writes about dance: Let us ignore the mantras of modernity and dance the sacred dances.
Michael Binyon writes about a tent: London opens its desert tent of timelessness.
Christopher Howse writes about the Hidden life of Charterhouse.
Bob Holman writes about obituaries in Face to Faith.
Earlier in the week, following this news report, Simon Jenkins wrote about church buildings: The most important financial appeal I know is new roofs for old churches. This caused some letters in response today.
The Times David Charter The religious and the righteous unite in a moral crusade and Greg Hurst Peers wreck Bill to legalise euthanasia for terminally ill
And this leader: Means to an end
Telegraph Graeme Wilson Peers split as assisted dying Bill is derailed
Guardian Will Woodward Lords vote to block assisted suicide bill for terminally ill
Independent Ben Russell Lords vote against ‘right to die’ Bill after impassioned debate and this leader: Peer pressure
New York Times Alan Cowell British Religious Leaders Urge Defeat of Assisted-Suicide Bill
Here are Hansard links to:
To read these in the context of the entire debate, start here.
The amendment by Lord Carlisle was passed by 148 to 100 votes.
BBC Lords block assisted dying bill
The Times Lords block mercy killings Bill
Guardian Lords block right to die bill
Telegraph Lords reject right to die Bill
Archbishop of Canterbury Extracts from a speech given in the House of Lords debate on Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster appeared together on the BBC radio programme Today this morning. Link here (Real Audio, 15+ minutes total). Or link here to download an mp3 file. Or read a transcript on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.
Together with the Chief Rabbi they also have a joint letter published in The Times this morning. You can read the letter here.
Related news story by Ruth Gledhill: Religious leaders fear ‘right to die’ law would turn into ‘duty to die’.
The Guardian is editorially in favour of the bill.
As I mentioned last Saturday, the Church of England is opposed to the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill to be considered in the House of Lords on Friday. A lot of information is available here.
According to Anglican Mainstream:
In a surprise development regarding Lord Joffeâ€™s Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, Lord Carlisle tabled an amendment yesterday â€˜that the bill should now be read a second time this day six months henceâ€™ . This, in effect, kicks the bill into the long grass and will kill it. The vote will take place after the debate on Friday. We expect it to occur sometime after 3pm.
The Care Not Killing petition has been signed by over 100,000 people so far.
This legislation is also heavily opposed by the membership of the Royal College of Physicians. See RCP cannot support legal change on assisted dying - survey results.
The bill is also opposed by many disabled people, see Not Dead Yet in the U.K. - Disability Coalition Opposes Assisted Suicide Bill. And also this.
Detailed reports on what they have done can be found here. A few randomly selected items:
The report (again in PDF format) on the Anglican Consultative Council may also be of interest.
Jonathan Petre reports that Williams turns to ‘wise men’ in crisis over gays by which he means:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has quietly appointed four “wise men” to advise him on the crisis over homosexuals that is threatening to tear the worldwide Anglican Church apart.
They have yet to be named, but are expected to include the liberal Primate of Wales, Archbishop Barry Morgan, and the conservative Primate of Central Africa, Archbishop Bernard Malango.
The group will play a pivotal role following next month’s General Convention of the US Episcopal Church, the American equivalent of the Church of England’s General Synod…
Stephen Bates in the Guardian reports on Anglican relief as California diocese elects straight bishop:
…The election was greeted with some relief in senior church circles but not by the conservative American Anglican Council, which hopes to overturn the Episcopal leadership. A statement said that California remained a “bastion of amorphous Christianity” and criticised all the candidates for not pledging to withhold consent for “same-sex partnered individuals” as bishops.
James Bone in The Times Anglicans avert clash over gays
Meanwhile back in England, Ruth Gledhill reports Church seeks spirituality of youth . . . and doesn’t like what it finds:
THE Church of England has debunked the widely held view that young people are spiritual seekers on a journey to find transcendent truths to fill the â€œGod-shaped holeâ€ within them.
A report published by the Church today indicates that young people are quite happy with a life without God and prefer car boot sales to church…
Ruth has also written on her blog about the California election in US election makes schism unlikely.
Meeting of the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada
Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, Niagara Falls ON
2006 04 23-27 [regular spring meeting of the house]
moved by Bishop Lawrence [Archbishop of Moosonee] / seconded by Bishop Poole [Suffragan - Toronto/Credit Valley]
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada notes with grave concern legislation before the Nigerian parliament that would prohibit or severely restrict the freedom of spech, association, expression, and assembly of gay and lesbian persons in Nigeria. This legislation is inconsistent with the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that recognises these rights as derived from the inherent dignity of the human person.
The Archbishop and Bishops are especially grieved by the strong and public support for this legislation given by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Whereas Lambeth 1998 resolution I.10 called on churches to listen to the experience of homosexual persons, the proposed legislation criminalises civil and religious same-sex marriage as well as the public and private expression of same-sex affection, all public affiliation between gay persons, and even publicity, public support, and media reporting of the same. The proposed legislation, endorsed in an official communique of the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria signed by its Primate, would make the very act of listening to homosexual persons impossible.
The members of the House of Bishops are in full agreement with the Primates’ statement from Dromantine in 2005, that ‘The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.’ The Nigerian legislation, and its endorsement by the Church of Nigeria, is indeed anathema to us, and quite at odds with the grace and love given to all human beings in Jesus Christ.
We therefore disassociate ourselves from the actions of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) that are inconsistent with the Commitments of its bishops made at Lambeth and Dromantine, and we call on Anglicans throughout the Communion to listen and respect the human rights of homosexual persons.
There is extensive news coverage this morning of the election by the Diocese of California of a heterosexual male as its diocesan bishop.
The BBC Sunday radio programme has an interview (about 3 minutes duration) with Craig Martin of the diocesan nominating committee.
Go 16 minutes into the recording, available here (Real Audio). (Better link on Monday).
Reactions came from:
The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes A Statement by Bishop Duncan on the California Election
The American Anglican Council The American Anglican Council (AAC) Comments on the Episcopal Election in the Diocese of California
Integrity html copy here of PDF original here
The Bishop of Upper South Carolina, Dorsey Henderson and Canon Kendall Harmon, S.C. bishop reacts to California election
New York Times Neela Bannerjee Election of Episcopal Bishop Avoids Inflaming a Crisis
Washington Post John Pomfret Episcopalians Reject Gay Candidates
San Francisco Chronicle Episcopalians avoid rift in picking bishop
San Jose Mercury News Episcopalians avoid schism
Chicago Tribune All Saints keeps its pastor
Los Angeles Times Episcopalians Elect Straight Bishop in S.F.
Here is a eyewitness description of the election by Karen on Kinesis Habemus episcopam!
I refer of course to the ECUSA episcopal elections.
Back here in England, we have columns of opinion:
The Times Jonathan Sacks The Jewish tradition is firmly opposed to assisted dying.
Also in The Times we have Ian Hislop on Broad of church and broad of mind.
In the Telegraph Christopher Howse reports on a new opera about Thomas Becket in King’s friend and victim.
The Guardian has a Face to Faith column by Simon Rocker in which he argues in favour of state funding for faith schools.
Earlier in the week, the Guardian had a column by Giles Fraser titled God is the God of all about the relationship between the BNP and evangelical Christians. The Methodist Church website to which he refers can be found here.
Addendum some more detail on the BNP/Christian issue can be found here.
Updated Saturday evening
There are a total of four episcopal elections in the USA today.
As any results are likely to be published late today, or even from an English viewpoint early tomorrow, I list here the places where the outcomes are most likely to be found.
Initial press coverage afterwards:
BBC Bishop vote avoids gay clergy row
Reuters Heterosexual elected Episcopal Bishop of Calif
Corrected Version of Reuters report
AP via Washington Post Calif. Episcopalians Elect New Bishop
And Elizabeth Day in the Sunday Telegraph gets it spectacularly wrong with Anglicans on brink of crisis as California aims for first lesbian bishop
The Church Times has a report today by Bill Bowder: Dioceses asked to find Â£10m to shore up pensions
The letter referred to in the article can be found on the Church of England web site linked from this page.
WARNING the .rtf file there is (at present) 4.3 Megabytes in size. [file size now fixed] You may find it more convenient to read the letter below the fold here.
The Church of England Pensions Board 29 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3PS
To: All Responsible Bodies
Church of England Funded Pension Scheme
Clergy Pensions Scheme
At its meeting on 28 February the Board received and considered the report Clergy Pensions â€“ The Challenge Facing the Church â€“ produced by the Task Group commissioned by the Archbishops. Copies of the report can be accessed via the Church of England website at www.cofe.anglican.org.
The report included an annual update on the financial position of the scheme from the Boardâ€™s actuary. He indicated that as a result of reduced investment returns, increasing life expectancy and most recently new government scheme funding regulations, there is a strong likelihood that the formal valuation of the scheme (due to take place as at 31 December 2006) will reveal the need for a substantial uplift in the contribution rate. Following the timetable used in previous years, the results of the formal valuation would be discussed in the course of 2007 with any change to the contribution rate taking effect from 1 April 2008.
At its meeting on 28 February the Board registered its concerns about the emerging situation and the possibility that, in the light of the information now available, it would have to give serious consideration to seeking an interim increase in the contribution rate pending the outcome of the formal valuation and the current discussions taking place to consider the future structure of the scheme.
The Board met yesterday to consider the position again in light of recent consultations including the special meeting of the Inter-Diocesan Finance Forum which took place on 27 March.
It has become clear that, based on the actuaryâ€™s latest advice, insufficient funds are now coming into the scheme to meet future pension obligations. The Board concluded therefore, that it would neither be acting responsibly nor in the best interests of the schemeâ€™s members if it were to leave the contribution rate unchanged until 2008. It therefore decided that the contribution rate would need to rise, on an interim basis, by 6% to 39.8% with effect from 1 January 2007. This equates to a standard annual contribution of Â£ 7,188 per clergy person (an increase of Â£1,083 over the current rate). The rate payable in the longer term will be reviewed in the light of the formal valuation of the scheme next year and the progress made in the interim period to determine the future benefits structure.
With regard to the latter, further meetings with representatives of the Pensions Regulator are taking place to assess precisely how the new scheme funding regulations will apply to the clergy scheme and the Task Group is aiming to produce its second report by mid June. This is likely to include for consideration, specific propositions relating to the future of the scheme including the scope for the potential use of the Church Commissioners capital resources, in partnership with the rest of the Church, to support the funding plan (recognising that any involvement would come at some cost in terms of their overall support for the Church).
We envisage that responsible bodies will be invited to respond to that report by the end of the year so that recommendations can be made to General Synod in the course of 2007 (ideally in February).
I know that this letter will come as unwelcome news but I wanted you to be aware of the situation as quickly as possible. I trust that you will understand why the Board decided that it had to take this action.
If you have any questions about this letter or the current process do please let me know.
M G S Farrell
Secretary & Chief Executive
The Church of England Pensions Board
Meanwhile Mr Coekin is busy as described by the CEN in Why reaching men with the Gospel is no picnic in the park as well of course as here.
In the Church Times Pat Ashworth reports: Archbishop defies court.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Central Africa, the Most Revd Bernard Malango, and the disputed Bishop of Lake Malawi, the Rt Revd James Mwenda, have been found in contempt of court, and were due to appear with others before a judge yesterday. If they failed to appear, a warrant would be issued for their arrest…
According to the Anglican Journal:
Canada’s Anglican bishops unanimously endorsed a motion expressing “grave concern” about proposed legislation in Nigeria that “would prohibit or severely restrict the freedom of speech, association, expression and assembly of gay and lesbian persons.” Their motion also called criticized the (Anglican) Church of Nigeria for its support of the legislation…
Anglican Mainstream has issued an editorial comment, defending the Nigerian church, in response to this news story. You can read that here.
Update Saturday morning
The Times carries this article by James Bone Lesbian priest who could split the Anglican Church
Chicago Tribune via CentreDaily.com Lesbian priest may be selected for bishop position Original version: Pastor doesn’t shy from call
Reuters Episcopals consider gays in Calif. bishop election
Washington Post In Bay Area, Diocese May Elect Gay Bishop
Tri-Valley Herald Faithful facing colossal decision
National Public Radio feature on this (3.5 minutes) Listen via this page
San Francisco Examiner Anglicans choosing a bishop and see also the front page headline of the newspaper today (pdf format)
BBC Radio: Today programme interview of David Anderson and Susan Russell (4 minutes)
(hat tip KH for several of these links)
The New York Times has this on the eve of the election Episcopalians Divide Again Over Electing Gay Bishop
San Mateo County Times Bishop hopefuls aim for diversity
AP via San Jose Mercury News California Episcopalians consider electing gay bishop
San Franciso Chronicle Gay issue at forefront of Episcopal bishop vote
Marin Independent Journal Episcopal churches brace for election of bishop
Los Angeles Times Church Braces for Possible Election of Gay Bishop
Christian Science Monitor Episcopalians face key votes over gays
Time has announced its 2006 list of
…the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example, is transforming our world”.
Under the category of
Leaders & Revolutionaries - Dictators, democrats, holy men (and a TV host) - these are the people with the clout and power to change our world,…
they have included Archbishop Peter Akinola.
Hat Tip: PoliticalSpaghetti.
This matter is reported in the Church of England Newspaper by Andrew Carey in an article titled Archbishop Akinola recognised on Time list.
The Church Times reported it only in a nib (not on web until next week) as follows:
Akinola makes top-people’s list
THE Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, and Pope Benedict XVI have been included in Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. The Iraqi Muslim Shia cleric and military leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, was also included.
Some further items have appeared. This is not a complete list, so please propose additions that I may have overlooked.
First, from the Anglican Communion Institute I want to link to two earlier articles that although not directly in response to the commission’s report, do have some relevance:
If there is a future for ECUSA and the Anglican Communion, then what? by Ephraim Radner dated 2 April
An open letter from the ACI to General Convention members, dated 4 April.
(More recently, Dr Radner wrote a personal note entitled Why I am Still a Member of the Anglican Communion Network and there is also this footnote.)
Next, a further article by Michael Watson Are the SCECAC resolutions intended to authorize private blessings?
Fr Jake proposed some Amendments to the Special Commission’s Proposed Resolutions.
Christopher Landau interviewed John Sentamu for the BBC Sunday programme.
This took place at the Fulcrum conference on in Islington last Friday, at which the archbishop was a main speaker. You can find out all about the conference at this page.
Update CEN report of conference: Finding a place for the Gospel in modern day Europe