Saturday, 30 June 2007

from this weekend's papers

Christopher Howse at the Daily Telegraph reviews the film, Into Great Silence in Masterpiece of silence.

In The Times Kathy Galloway writes that An inclusive church reaps ever greater rewards for all.

Ian Bradley writes in the Guardian about politicians from Scottish Presbyterian manses in Face to Faith.

Giles Fraser in the Church Times writes that Christians are called to welcome strangers.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 30 June 2007 at 11:40pm BST | Comments (27) | TrackBack
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Friday, 29 June 2007

yet another bishop for North America

Well, more than one. Making in fact a total of eleven twelve (including retired bishop Bill Cox - Southern Cone).

First, this press release:

FROM THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KENYA PROVINCIAL SYNOD

The Province now provides Episcopal oversight to several dozen congregations in the USA through a number of Kenyan Bishops. By a unanimous vote, the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Kenya endorsed the selection of The Revd. Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese (Nairobi) to serve the international interests of the ACK including taking responsibility for care for the congregations and clergy in the USA under Kenyan jurisdiction. The synod also unanimously approved the consecration of The Revd. Bill Murdoch as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese to assist with providing that oversight and Episcopal care. Consecrations are scheduled for August 30th in Nairobi. They will collaborate with others in the Common Cause network, chaired by The Rt Revd Robert Duncan (Pittsburgh) to provide orthodox Episcopal care and oversight, strategically uniting a broad conservative coalition that shares historic Anglican faith and practice.

The Anglican Communion Network has its statement here.

Second, this press release from Uganda:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from the Church of Uganda

At the request of the Rt. Rev. Andrew (Andy) H. Fairfield, retired Bishop of North Dakota, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda voted to receive Bishop Fairfield as a member of its House at its 21st June meeting. Bishop Fairfield will assist Bishop-elect John Guernsey in providing episcopal care and oversight to the 26 congregations in America that are part of the Church of Uganda.

Read the whole text here.

And then, there is also this this resolution from Forward in Faith North America:

5. A reaffirmation of the 2002 request that a bishop be consecrated for the constituency of FiFNA…

…Be it resolved that this 2007 FIFNA Assembly reaffirm the recommendation of the Reverend William Ilgenfritz to orthodox Primates for consideration for consecration as bishop for our constituency.

He was first recommended in 2002. Will any primate agree to do so five years later?

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GS: more Anglican Covenant views

As Archbishop Drexel Gomez has been invited to address the synod, it seems appropriate to draw attention to some earlier remarks of his about the covenant. George Conger originally wrote this up for the Central Florida Episcopalian, although it has since appeared elsewhere. Read Gomez brings ‘Global South’ perspective to Diocese of Central Florida.

Also, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia has published a response to the Draft Anglican Covenant which can be found here as a PDF, but is quite short so is reproduced here below the fold.

Last week in a letter to the Church Times Canon Gregory Cameron wrote a defence of the Covenant principle in response to an earlier letter from John Plant. This week there are three further responses, including one from the Bishop of Lincoln.

A Response to the Draft Anglican Covenant from the Standing Committee of The Diocese of Virginia

We recognize the challenging work undertaken by the Covenant Design Group and acknowledge the draft they have presented. We affirm that the Draft Anglican Covenant is intended for discussion by every Province of the Anglican Communion and is therefore a step in the larger and longer conversation of how we live out our union in Christ.

We affirm and celebrate that we already have a covenant initiated by our gracious God, unmerited, unearned and undeserved, as revealed to us in Holy Scripture. By the love and merit of the Son in his Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, we belong to God for ever. By the charism of the Holy Spirit, we are pledged to one another as members of the Body of Christ in bonds of love which no human action can dissolve. The covenant relationship we share with one another as a gift of the Triune God has been long expressed in the Nicene Creed and in the ancient baptismal confession of the Apostles’ Creed.

We question whether a Covenant that arises out of a particular conflict and disagreement can serve to make us one, as Christ desires us to be. We fear that such a Covenant will lead to more conflict and division.

We recognize that the Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion have developed organically over time and that the interrelationships between the Instruments have been fluid and changeable. We oppose definitions and descriptions of the Instruments that limit them and prevent the emergence in the future of changes or of additional Instruments that reflect the broad riches of the Anglican Communion.

We particularly object to the clauses in the Draft Covenant that limit the authority of the Anglican Consultative Council, the only Instrument of Unity that includes lay people. We affirm that the full inclusion of the laity in decision making and leadership is a hallmark of The Episcopal Church and a particular charism of Anglicanism, and we object to any action that would diminish its vitality.

We also object to the disproportionate power given in the Draft Anglican Covenant to the Primates’ Meeting and oppose efforts to establish any body akin to the Roman Catholic Curia. The establishment of such a body is profoundly contrary to the historic spirit of Anglicanism. We are deeply concerned that the Meeting of Primates has already assumed improper and unprecedented authority to adjudicate genuine theological disagreements and to dictate what actions Provinces may or may not take without regard to the synodical structures of the Provinces, as evidenced in their Dar es Salaam Communiqué.

We conclude that the Draft Anglican Covenant is profoundly impaired by its disregard for the deep theological grounds on which we already belong together, the ecclesial history of Anglicanism as a family of interdependent yet autonomous churches that are both episcopally led and synodically governed, and by a rush to end the current disagreements in which we find ourselves.

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Thursday, 28 June 2007

GS: another view on the Anglican Covenant

Chris Sugden of Oxford has written about this. It is hidden at the back of a Word document linked from here at Anglican Mainstream which starts out with another copy of the Fulcrum article by Andrew Goddard.

An html copy of this article is now here.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2007

ECUSA: California property dispute reversal

Episcopal News Service reports that Appeals court favors Episcopal Church, diocese in Los Angeles property cases.

A California Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Los Angeles in cases where the majority of members of three Episcopal congregations voted to leave the Episcopal Church for oversight by bishops in another Anglican province.

The decision, which overturns rulings by a lower court, comes in the first of the recent cases brought to recover Episcopal Church property retained by congregations now calling themselves St. James Anglican Church, Newport Beach; All Saints’ Anglican Church, Long Beach; and St. David’s Anglican Church, North Hollywood. The congregations voted in August 2004 to amend their articles of incorporation, and maintain that they are now part of the Anglican Province of Uganda.

The trial court had ruled in favor of the departing congregations in August 2005. But the Fourth District Court of Appeal, in an exhaustive 77-page review of U.S. Supreme Court and California appellate decisions as well as a pertinent California statute, held that where a hierarchical church — such as the Episcopal Church — has determined that the real and personal property of subordinate bodies must be used and maintained for the benefit of the larger church, the courts in California must respect and enforce that determination.

The Court of Appeal found that a “‘governing instrument’” of the Episcopal Church — its 1979 “trust” Canon I.7(4) — “expressly impresses a trust on the property of a local church corporation” which must be enforced by the courts.

The court held that in these circumstances “the right of the general [i.e., Episcopal] church in this case to enforce a trust on the local parish property is clear” and declined to “bolster the result … by explaining that an alternative rationale [i.e, the “neutral principles” analysis adopted by numerous courts] leads to the same result.”

The press release from the Diocese of Los Angeles can be found here at present, and is reproduced below the fold.

The press release from the disaffected parishes can be found here.

The text of the decision can be downloaded here as a Word file. Or here as a PDF file.

Los Angeles Diocese Press Release

Landmark court decision upholds diocese’s claim to parish property

LOS ANGELES — The California Court of Appeal, in a 77-page landmark decision issued yesterday, unanimously upheld claims by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national office of The Episcopal Church to the property of three parishes whose leaders and members had left the Episcopal Church in 2004.

Presiding Justice David G. Sills, writing for the Court, concluded “the right of the general church in this case to enforce a trust on the local parish property is clear.”

The Diocese of Los Angeles encompasses the Counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange, and a portion of Riverside County, under the ecclesiastical authority of its bishop diocesan, the Right Reverend J. Jon Bruno.

Three years ago, three parishes of the Diocese—St. James’ in Newport Beach, St. David’s in North Hollywood, and All Saints’ in Long Beach—severed their relationship with the Episcopal Church and Diocese and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of a conservative Anglican bishop in Uganda. Each parish claimed it was entitled to take parish property away from the Episcopal Church and Diocese.

The Diocese, citing church canons which place all parish property in trust for the Episcopal Church and Diocese, asserted it was entitled to retain the property. Litigation followed.

The Court’s ruling yesterday confirms Bishop Bruno’s conviction that parish property cannot be taken away from the larger church by departing members.

“This has been a long ordeal for the Diocese and its faithful members, but we now have clear judicial recognition that parish property is dedicated forever for the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church,” said the bishop. “While individuals are always free to leave the Episcopal Church and worship however they please, they do not have the right to take parish property with them. We welcome with open arms all persons who desire to be part of the Episcopal ministry, including those persons who chose to leave the Church in 2004.”

John R. Shiner, Chancellor for the Diocese and its attorney in the litigation, called the ruling a “decisive decision” for the Episcopal Church. Shiner, a partner of Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP, noted, “Yesterday’s decision contains the most thorough analysis yet of church property law in California, and should dispel any notion that local congregations of a hierarchical church may leave the larger church and take property with them.”

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Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Lambeth invitations: Sydney SC resolutions

The following press release comes from the Diocese of Sydney:

Resolutions from the Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney, held in the Chapter House of St Andrew’s Cathedral from 6.00pm to 10.00pm, Monday 25th June.

1. Consecration of Canon Bill Atwood
Canon Atwood is well known to and respected by many diocesan leaders in Sydney. He was a friend to many during the episcopate of Archbishop Harry Goodhew; he has maintained these relationships since the election of Archbishop Peter Jensen and is especially highly regarded and respected by Archbishop Jensen.

The Standing Committee voted as follows:

“Standing Committee requests the Diocesan Secretary to inform the Rev Canon Dr Bill Atwood of the deep pleasure of the Diocese of Sydney at the news of the announcement by Archbishop Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya, of the forthcoming consecration of Dr Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints’ Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi on 30 August 2007. We assure Dr Atwood of our continuing prayer for his ministry as he supports Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.”

2. Invitations to Lambeth.

Being aware that Archbishop Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, and his five Regional Bishops - The Rt Rev Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney; The Rt Rev Glenn Davies, Bishop of North Sydney; The Rt Rev Peter Tasker, Bishop of Liverpool; The Rt Rev Ivan Lee, Bishop of Western Sydney; and The Rt Rev Alan Stewart, Bishop of Wollongong -had all received personal invitations from Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury to attend the Lambeth Conference to be held in 2008;
and also being aware that Archbishop Williams had requested a reply to the invitation by 23 July, 2007,
Standing Committee engaged in a lengthy discussion about Lambeth 2008 with the Archbishop and Bishops of the Diocese.

Archbishop Jensen commenced the discussion by commenting on the present situation of the Anglican Communion as he observed it and the implications of the invitation to most Bishops in the Episcopal Church, including those who had agreed to or participated in the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire, but excluding Bishop Gene Robinson and also Bishop Martyn Minns.

In response to the discussion, the Standing Committee resolved the following advice to the Archbishop and Bishops:

“Standing Committee notes that disregarding the clear requests of many bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued invitations to attend the Lambeth Conference in 2008 to the bishops of the Episcopal Church of the USA who agreed to and/or participated in the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire.

“Standing Committee therefore -
(a) respectfully requests the Archbishop of this diocese to communicate to the Archbishop of Canterbury our dissatisfaction at the attempt to maintain union with the unrepentant while continuing to refuse fellowship to faithful and orthodox Anglicans such as the Church of England in South Africa,

(b) respectfully requests the Archbishop and bishops of this diocese not to accept the invitation to Lambeth without making public in protest, speech and liturgical action, both prior to and at Lambeth, our diocese’s principled objection to the continued participation of those whose actions have expressed a departure from the clear teaching of scripture, and who have consequently excluded orthodox Anglicans from their fellowship, and

© respectfully requests the Archbishop and bishops of this diocese to approach other orthodox bishops of the communion with the purpose of meeting in England at the time of the Lambeth Conference for Christian fellowship and the planning of joint action within the Anglican Communion to contend for the faith of the Apostles once delivered to the saints.”

For Comment on these resolutions,
Contact: Margaret Rodgers
Archbishop’s Media Officer
mrodgers@sydney.anglican.asn.au
(W) 61 2 9265 1507
(H) 61 2 9560 9801
(Mobile) 0411 692 499

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 at 11:53pm BST | Comments (56) | TrackBack
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Lambeth invitations: Rwanda not attending

The House of Bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda has issued a Communiqué which can be read here:

COMMUNIQUE FROM THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS OF THE PROVINCE OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF RWANDA

In response to the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Honourable Rowan Williams, inviting the bishops to the Lambeth Conference 2008, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, who met in Kigali on 19 June 2007, resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference for the following reasons:

1. Our Primates represent the bishops, clergy and laity from their Provinces. Therefore what they decide as representatives cannot be taken lightly when it engages the faith of the churches they represent. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 have been issued in complete disregard of our conscientious commitment to the apostolic faith once delivered.

2. The manner in which the invitations to the bishops of Rwanda were issued is divisive as some of our bishops were not invited. The bishops that provide oversight to the Anglican Mission (AMiA) are not “Anglican Mission bishops,” but rather bishops of the Province of Rwanda given the responsibility to lead Rwanda’s missionary outreach to North America. We are a united body and will not participate in a conference which would divide our number.

3. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 not only contravene the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 but also the positions taken in the communiqués that have been agreed upon in previous Primates’ meetings and in the “Road To Lambeth” document prepared for and accepted by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) bishops.

The following are issues of great concern:

a) This Lambeth 1998 Resolution has not been respected by the Episcopal Church of America (TEC), the Anglican Church of Canada, and other like-minded Provinces, which are now violating the resolution as well as holy orders by making the decision to ordain and to consecrate practicing homosexuals.

b) The leadership of Canterbury has ignored and constantly taken lightly the resolutions from the Primates’ meetings and the statement in the “Road to Lambeth” document prepared for, and accepted by, CAPA which agreed that the crisis of faith in the Anglican Communion needed to be resolved before Lambeth 2008.

c) From his actions and decision to invite TEC, a province which is violating holy orders, biblical teaching and the tradition of the church, and his decision not to invite the bishops of AMiA and CANA, the Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he has now taken sides because the Primates have asked TEC for repentance in order to be in communion with them. In several meetings and in its response to “The Road to Lambeth”, TEC has continually rebelled against the position and counsel of the Primates.

d) In a letter sent to Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini on 18 June 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, “You should know that I have not invited the bishops of AMiA and CANA. This is not a question of asking anyone to disassociate themselves at this stage from what have been described as the missionary initiatives of your Provinces…. I appreciate that you may not be happy with these decisions, but I feel that as we approach a critical juncture of the life of the Communion, I must act in accordance to the clear guidance of the instruments of the Communion….” We would like to know if there are instruments in the Communion more important than the Primates and Provinces themselves. The Archbishop of Canterbury also refers to the consecration of the AMiA and CANA bishops as irregular. We would like to know why their consecrations are considered irregular when the actions of TEC are not considered irregular. We feel that the words of the Archbishop are tantamount to a threat, and we cannot accept this.

Therefore, in view of the above, in good conscience, the bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda have resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008 unless the previously stipulated requirement of repentance on the part of the TEC and other like-minded Provinces is met, and invitations are extended to our entire House of Bishops.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 at 11:40pm BST | Comments (61) | TrackBack
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GS: another briefing on the Anglican Covenant

Fulcrum has published an article by Andrew Goddard The Anglican Covenant - A Briefing Paper for the Evangelical Group on General Synod.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 at 11:34pm BST | Comments (9) | TrackBack
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Monday, 25 June 2007

Canada: votes against primates joining council

The Canadian General Synod voted against the proposal to make all Anglican primates members of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Synod rejects membership of primates on ACC
Winnipeg, June 25, 2007 — General Synod has refused to ratify proposed changes to the membership of the Anglican Consultative Council that would see all primates of the Communion automatically become members.

In moving rejection, Bishop Sue Moxley of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and a member of the ACC, said the changes would add a third more members to the council, resulting in increased costs.

She also pointed out that the changes need the approval of two thirds of the provinces of the Communion.

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Sunday, 24 June 2007

Canada: blessing of same-sex unions defeated

Updated again Monday evening

Following the earlier vote in which a motion on principle (“not core doctrine”) was very narrowly passed, the resolution permitting local option was equally narrowly defeated:

Blessing of same-sex unions defeated
Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 — The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has narrowly defeated a resolution that would have allowed dioceses to decide for themselves whether or not to bless same-sex unions.

Lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor of the motion and clergy voted 63 to 53 in favor But the House of Bishops voted 21-19 against it. As a result the motion was defeated, since it required approval by each of the three orders to pass.

The motion read:

“That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod,

1. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
2. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish,

to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions.”

Anglican Journal had an earlier report: Debate continues on same-sex blessings.

There is a report on the New Westminster diocesan website General Synod turns down blessing by narrow margin.

Monday morning updates

Anglican Journal has Synod narrowly defeats same-sex blessings by Solange De Santis.

Guardian has Canada’s bishops veto synod on gay blessings by Stephen Bates.

Winnipeg Free Press has Anglican Church of Canada shies away from blessing same sex unions.

The New York Times carries a version of the Reuters report: Canada Anglicans Won’t Bless Gay Couples. Longer version of this report here in the Guardian.

The Washington Post carries the Associated Press report: Canada Anglicans Sideline Gay Blessings.

The BBC carries this headline: No gay blessings in Canada Church.

Monday evening updates

Toronto Globe and Mail Michael Valpy Bishops narrowly overturn vote to approve gay unions.

Anglican Journal Marites N Sison Emotions run high after blessings defeated.

CBC News Montreal Anglicans dismayed by same-sex blessing vote.

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a news item from Kenya

The Sunday Vision has a news report headlined Mutebi opens secretariat:

KABAKA Ronald Mutebi has appealed to Ugandans and especially church leaders never to allow religion to divide them.

The Kabaka, flanked by Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, made the remarks on Friday when he officially opened the sh300m Church of Uganda Provincial Secretariat offices at Namirembe.

The new structure houses the office of the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, that of the provincial secretary, plus an 100-seater fellowship hall, among others.

Mutebi castigated men who sit back and leave the women to toil for their families and the nation and appealed to the clergy to use their pulpits to preach work ethics.
Mutebi pledged the support of Buganda to the Church.

Orombi was given an award of $25,000 (about sh45m) by Americans for not supporting homosexuality. He also received an award of $30,000 (about sh54m) from friends in Singapore. All the money was used on the extension of the Provincial secretariat offices.

Other funding was from friends and well wishers within the country. Orombi commended the Baganda for being excellent communicators.

He stated, “The Baganda were the first recipient of the Gospel of the Lord. Out of this central point the gospel spread to the rest of the country. This is a great responsibility and a great challenge to all Baganda.

The Bishop of Namirembe Samuel Balagadde Ssekkadde appealed to Ugandans to avoid selfish tendencies arguing that Orombi would have spent the money on personal issues.

He also urged Ugandan to desist from adultery and witchcraft. The function was attended by the majority of the Anglican bishops across the country, Msgr. Wynand Katende who represented the Catholic leader among others.

Published on: Saturday, 23rd June, 2007

There is also an earlier unrelated story, Ankole, Muhabura get new bishops.

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Canadian update

Updated Sunday 7 pm BST

Same-sex blessings consistent with core doctrine
Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 — Members of the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod in Winnipeg agreed Sunday that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the church’s core doctrine, in the sense of being credal.

Debate resumed Sunday morning after being suspended late Saturday.

The motion carried reads: “That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine (in the sense of being credal) of the Anglican Church of Canada.

The motion was carried by a vote of 152 for, 97 against in the house of clergy and laity and by a vote of 21 for and 19 against in the house of bishops.

Anglican Journal on Friday had New primate keeps mum about blessings vote, and on Saturday had Debate continues on same-sex blessings. That debate should conclude on Sunday afternoon.

More detail can be found in the daily editions available as PDF files here.

The Halifax Daily News reported on the primatial election: Nova Scotia bishop to head Anglican Church of Canada.

This report filed last Friday by Stephen Bates of the Guardian never made it into the newspaper:

Canadian Anglicans last night confounded many expectations by narrowly electing a liberal male bishop as their next church leader instead of a conservative woman bishop.

In a move which may have implications for debates at the Canadian Synod in Winnipeg today (sat) on whether the church should authorise same sex blessing services for gay couples, lay and clergy representatives elected the Rt. Rev. Fred Hiltz, the bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Isle, as their next primate, instead of Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton who, if she had won, would have become the first-ever woman archbishop.

Bishop Hiltz, who has spent his entire 30 year ministry on Nova Scotia, is thought to favour the Canadian church pressing ahead with officially recognising committed gay partnerships. If it does so this weekend there will be immediate demands from conservative evangelicals for the church to be thrown out of the worldwide Anglican communion.

Last night the archbishop-elect spoke cautiously about respecting whatever decision the synod takes - he will have no alternative but to do so - but offered some coded clues as he added that the Anglican communion needed to look at all dimensions of the gay issue and the “full range of interpretations of scripture in matters of pastoral care and justice.” Church conservatives say the issue does not need interpreting because the Bible is plain.

Asked about African bishops trespassing in Canadian dioceses on behalf of conservative parishes, as they have done in the US, he said bluntly: “It’s not on.”

The bishop’s election after five ballots at a church in downtown Winnipeg was greeted by young representatives with whoops of delight. Unusually they had supported Hiltz in preference to the woman bishop, Victoria Matthews, because of her perceived hostility to blessings for gays.

Canada is one of the few countries in the world which allows gays to marry and delegates today will demand that the local church should move with the times and not delay a decision any further.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 24 June 2007 at 3:24pm BST | Comments (9) | TrackBack
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weekend roundup

The Times has Geoffrey Rowell writing about Midsummer is a time to reflect on the joy of song.

In the Guardian Bob Holman writes about Frederick Brotherton Meyer in Face to Faith.

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about Seeking the face of God.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about why The Primates have forced my move to the right.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 24 June 2007 at 1:30pm BST | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 23 June 2007

July agenda - press reports

Following Monday’s press briefing for next month’s Church of England General Synod the Church Times has these articles:
Big debates on pensions, top jobs, and Communion
Marriage rules, simplified, to be debated again

The official Church of England press release is Key debates on Senior Church Appointments, Anglican Communion Covenant, Marriage Law and Iran at the York Synod

Christine Seib writes in The Times on pensions, one of the items on the agenda: God’s work is an expensive enterprise

Our list of links to synod papers is here.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 23 June 2007 at 3:55pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Friday, 22 June 2007

Uganda Elects Bishop for Congregations in U.S.

The Archbishop of Uganda Henry Orombi has made an announcement. See this page on the NACDAP site for the full text.

The Most Rev’d Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda, with the consent of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, given in December 2006 and reaffirmed today, will consecrate the Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, an American priest canonically resident in North Kigezi Diocese, Church of Uganda, as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda. He will be consecrated in Mbarara on 2nd September 2007, together with Rev. George Tibesigwa, Bishop-elect of Ankole Diocese.

Bishop-elect Guernsey will provide local episcopal oversight to the 26 congregations in the United States that are part of the Church of Uganda, on behalf of the ten Ugandan Bishops currently providing episcopal care to Biblically orthodox American congregations. He will also continue to serve as Rector of All Saints Church, Dale City, Virginia…

George Conger has this report in the Living Church Uganda to Consecrate Virginia Priest as Missionary Bishop to the U.S.

Episcopal Café has drawn attention to a Thinking Anglicans report from 2004, which included a link to a report written by Alison Barfoot in March 2004 and entitled Draft Proposal for Overseas AEO (PDF 200K). Martyn Minns, Bill Atwood and John Guernsey are all mentioned in this memo.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 June 2007 at 11:53pm BST | Comments (27) | TrackBack
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Hiltz is new Canadian primate

Bishop Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island has been elected as the new primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Official announcement here.

Anglican Journal here:

After a nail-biting election that took nearly three hours, a majority of the delegates of the General Synod elected Bishop Fred Hiltz of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as the 13th primate – or national archbishop – of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Bishop Hiltz, 53, was elected on June 22 on the fifth ballot, garnering 60 out of 116 votes (51.7 per cent) from clergy, and 81 out of 137 votes from laity (59 per cent). Bishop Victoria Matthews of the diocese of Edmonton came in a close second, with 56 votes from clergy, and 56 from the laity.

Living Church here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 June 2007 at 11:42pm BST | Comments (9) | TrackBack
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reports from Winnipeg

Stephen Bates of the Guardian has this report in the paper this morning:
Canadian votes could prompt Anglican split but there is also an earlier and slightly longer version on the website here.

Anglican Journal has International observers urge Canadians to consider value of Anglican Communion and Anglicans and Lutherans celebrate six years of Full Communion.

Today, a new primate will be elected by the clergy and lay members of the synod: see The election of an Anglican Primate and also Electing the Primate: the process for how it is done.

Other press reports:

Associated Press Canadian Anglicans to vote on blessing gay couples; church to choose new national leader

Vancouver Sun Canada’s Anglicans won’t be sanctioned for same-sex vote

Episcopal News Service Bonnie Anderson discusses Episcopal Church’s response to Windsor Report with Canadian General Synod

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 June 2007 at 7:48am BST | Comments (10) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 21 June 2007

Sentamu addresses Canadian General Synod

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, addressed the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada on 20 June 2007. The full text of his speech is here.

(Some of this may sound familiar. His presidential address to the English General Synod at York last year can be found here.)

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Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Canadian General Synod: presidential address

The text of the Presidential Address delivered by Archbishop Andrew Hutchison at the opening service of General Synod in the Cathedral Church of St. John in Winnipeg can be read here.

Some items:

St. Michael Report:

Following the last Synod, and at its request, I asked the Primate’s Theological Commission to consider whether the blessing of same-sex relationships is a matter of doctrine or not, and to report their findings to the Council of General Synod. Their conclusions are in the St. Michael Report, which comes before you with a motion commended to us by the Council.

Our department of Faith, Worship & Ministry, under the direction of Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, has been kept particularly busy during the triennium staffing both the Theological Commission and the Windsor Response Group, supervising a new Youth Ministry Coordinator, and organizing an excellent national conference on healthy parishes.

Issues Related to Blessings:

Certainly one of the most difficult items for our discernment will be the question of how to proceed on the issue of same-gender relationships. Related to it are other questions. One is the deeper question of how Anglicans receive and understand Scriptures in the light of modern scholarship and contemporary experience. Another is how our decisions will impact our sister churches in the Anglican Communion. And beside that is a question as to the nature of the Communion, and the appropriate relationship between provincial autonomy and global interdependence.

Another way of putting that is, how do we wish authority to be exercised or limited within our family of churches? And perhaps most important, how will our decisions witness to the Good News of God in Jesus Christ for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters within the Church and outside it. There are of course many other questions to consider in the hard work of discernment over this issue. We are taught that the first principle of moral theology is obedience to conscience, and I ask each of you to embrace that principle, and with it the ethic of respect for the conscience of those who disagree with your own. The second principle of moral theology is to inform your conscience to bring it, if possible, into line with the teaching of the Church. And here careful listening using the Anglican approach of Scripture, Tradition and Reason will be helpful.

At the end of the day, when decisions are made, they will not be unanimous. Differences will remain, but the unanimous opinion of the Theological Commission (and of many other sources) is that the question of same-gender blessings should not be a communion breaking issue. So the alternative to that is that in keeping with a long Anglican tradition, we make room at the table for those whose views we do not share. For the table is the Lord’s and not our own. And it is He who invites us to share the life that is offered there for the sins of the whole world….

The Structures of the Communion:

These are indeed difficult days as the traditional structures of our Church are challenged and their roles called into question. Faith and order have always gone hand in hand in the life of the Church. And Anglican order has been both distinctive and clear. The Lambeth Quadrilateral, adopted by the Lambeth Conference in 1888 sets out both faith and order as essential elements for the reunification of the Churches. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and the Creeds — both Apostles’ and the Nicene — are the essentials of faith. The faithful practice of the dominical sacraments (Baptism and the Eucharist) and maintaining the historic episcopate, locally adapted, are the essentials of order. It is within that framework that we are a family of autonomous churches held together by bonds of affection that have frequently been strained, and often mended. It is within that framework that we have achieved full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It is within that framework that the Church of England maintains full communion with the Church in Sweden, under the Porvoo Agreement, and with the Old Catholic Church in Europe despite differences in belief and practice. (Both churches have authorized public rites of blessing for same-sex couples) A serious question before us is how is our present discussion, we can honour both the faith and the order that define who we are.

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further reactions to the Kenyan consecration

George Conger has a roundup for the CEN of reactions to the proposed consecration of Bill Atwood as a Kenyan bishop titled Mixed Reaction to Atwood Appointment.

The statement to which he refers, by Drexel Gomez, who is scheduled to address the General Synod of the Church of England in July on the virtues of the Draft Anglican Covenant, can be found in full here:

The Archbishop supports the decision of the Province of Kenya to provide resident Episcopal oversight for the clergy and congregations in the United States who placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Kenya after they had arrived at the conclusion that the Episcopal Church no longer offered them the assurance of continuity with “The faith once delivered to the saints.” The provision of adequate pastoral care and episcopate oversight constitutes a deliberate and intentional effort to provide stability in an environment in which Anglicanism is being severely tested and challenged.

The Primates of the Communion at their meeting in Tanzania in February produced a communion response to the embattled state of Anglicanism in the United States in their offer of a provisional pastoral arrangement which provided space for the participation of all the major Anglican entities in the United States. Unfortunately, the unanimous offer of the Primates was rejected by the House of Bishops and the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church. In the face of this unequivocal rejection, the Instruments of Communion must determine the most appropriate response to this unfortunate spectacle of a fragmented Anglicanism within the United States of America.

In this context, the decision of the Province of Kenya signals a willingness on the part of that Province to act responsibly to provide care for persons already under its jurisdiction. In addition, the selection of the Rev’d. Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop is highly commendable. Canon Atwood is well suited for this particular ministry given his long association with Kenya and some of the other Provinces in CAPA and his unquestionable knowledge and appreciation of the ecclesial situation in the United States.

Finally, the willingness of the Province of Kenya to collaborate with the other orthodox Anglicans in the United States could serve the point towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.

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another news item from Nigeria

Further to this report, the Daily Champion reports via allAfrica.com that: Onaiyekan Emerges CAN President:

CATHOLIC Archbishop of Abuja, Rt Rev John Onayeikan has been elected president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

In a keenly contested election in Abuja yesterday, Onayeikan polled 72 votes to defeat the incumbent and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Most Rev. Peter Akinola who scored 33 votes…

…Now, CAN’s 304-member general assembly is expected to ratify the election at its July 5 to July 6 2007 meeting in Abuja.

According to the association’s constitution Onayeikan, who won majority of votes of the NEC, shall be deemed nominated as president while Akinola the runner-up is vice-president (VP), nominee.

However, sources at the NEC said: “Akinola is not likely to accept the position of VP. It may be a bit condescending for him. I will be surprised if he accepts that position when the general assembly meets on July 6.”

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GS: a note on the Draft Anglican Covenant

Five General Synod members have sent the following note on the Draft Anglican Covenant to their fellow synod members.

TA will be glad to publish any other communications to synod members on the Covenant that we receive.

The Draft Anglican Covenant

1. The case for a Covenant has not been made out – the so-called crisis in the Anglican Communion has been greatly exaggerated by the media and by some within the Communion who have a vested interest in generating the crisis phenomenon. We need to reclaim the agenda for ourselves. The Communion has always been a federation of allied Churches which has lived with differences of views on a wide range of matters. Trust has been strained across the Communion in the sense that some accuse others of breaking faith on certain issues in relation to human sexuality. But vigorous disagreements are nothing new or startling for us. The four instruments of the Communion are perfectly capable of dealing with difference. It is also possible to argue that trust is not under strain; trust has been strengthened because we are now more open about our different expressions of faith within the body of Christ.

2. The Covenant is an attempt to impose agreement where this did not exist before – a founding principle of Anglican ecclesiology is immortalised in the words of HM Queen Elizabeth I who did not wish “to make windows into men’s souls”. When questioned about the Eucharist, she said “Christ was the word that spake it. He took the bread and brake it; And what his words did make it that I believe and take it.” There has never been a single version of “authentic Anglicanism” and a Covenant cannot begin to grapple with the existing diversity within our Church and the Communion. A true family cannot exist without disagreements and neither can the Anglican Communion. It is because we are in Communion with one another that we need to struggle with one another.

3. The Covenant is a route to disunity – in drawing a sharp distinction between covenanters and non-covenanters, this process would create and constitute division rather than fostering continued Communion-wide dialogue. Province A may have already declared itself out of Communion with province B, even though province B may still regard itself in Communion with province A. People already refuse to share the Eucharist together. But the current structures allow for people and provinces easily to re establish links re assert communion with one another. The Covenant will institutionalise this process and make it harder.

4. If the Communion needs a Covenant, we all need to agree about it; if we can all agree about it, we do not need a Covenant – the Covenant is process focused rather than outcome focused. It ignores the “elephant in the room”: we need to learn to live with difference in witness to the world of Christ’s body broken for us. The Covenant is displacement activity.

5. The mechanisms in section 6 of the Covenant are woefully inadequate to establish what would be, in effect, a new order within the Anglican Communion and the Church of England – the four instruments of the Communion are satisfactory for a federation of allied churches but are not suitable institutions for a new order. No indication is given as to where the balance of power would lie under the Covenant as between the four instruments or how they would operate together in order to enforce the covenant. If a new order were to be established, it would require fundamental institutional reform. It is not possible to superimpose a new order on the existing structure.

6. The gift of Anglican ecclesiology is that it is both a Church catholic and reformed and this is undermined by the Covenant – the Church of England emerged from the Reformation with an essential balance between bishops and the people. This is currently expressed in the jurisdiction of a bishop in Synod. The Covenant fundamentally shifts the balance of power towards bishops in an unprecedented way. Three of the instruments of the Communion are exclusively made up of bishops which subordinates the role of clergy and laity. The Covenant fails to acknowledge that Anglican tradition has never accepted something akin to papal or curial authority, whilst also not being congregationalist. It is critical that the Anglican tradition is maintained, clergy and lay participation synodically expressed with authority, and undue weight is not handed over to episcopally dominated structures.

7. Covenants with other Churches do not have the same legal significance as the draft Anglican Covenant – an expression of common will or mutual respect is very different to, in effect, subordinating the Church of England to the institutions of the Anglican Communion.

8. The Covenant raises such fundamental issues that a period of careful reflection and reception is required – the Anglican tradition of living with difference is one of our core charisms. It is not acceptable for General Synod to be bounced into endorsing the current approach to the Covenant without full reflection and debate. Although the Primates may wish to debate the Covenant at the next Lambeth Conference and we may wish to pray for these deliberations, they should not be seen as having synodical endorsement when we have no idea what representations may be made on our behalf or what the shape of the final draft Covenant will be.

The Very Revd Colin Slee (Deans 55); the Revd Brian Lewis (Chelmsford 90); the Revd Paul Collier (Southwark 217); John Ward (London 359); the Revd Canon Prof Marilyn McCord Adams (Universities 446)

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GS: Anglican Covenant Proposal - Annex 4

Annex 4 of GS 1661, the paper by the MCU, is now available here.

Note that it is not the most recent paper from MCU on this topic. That one can be found here.

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GS: Anglican Covenant Proposal - Annex 3

Annex 3 of GS 1661, the paper by Dr Martin Davie, is now available here.

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GS: fringe meetings

The meetings of General Synod are always accompanied by a wide variety of “fringe meetings”.

At York, one of these will be organised by Changing Attitude as reported here: Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria to visit UK:

In York he will talk at a meeting of the CA York group on Saturday 7 July and a fringe meeting at General Synod on 8 July. He will meet bishops and members of Synod. He also hopes to meet Bishop Benjamin Kwashi of the diocese of Jos, Nigeria, who is at Synod for a meeting organised by Anglican Mainstream.

Want your fringe meeting publicised here? Write to us in the Comments.

Update
Anglican Mainstream has announced its meeting here:

Bishop Benjamin Kwashi, Bishop of Jos, Northern Nigeria will speak at the Anglican Mainstream “fringe meeting” at General Synod on Monday July 9th 2007 at 1 .15 p.m. on The Anglican Communion - an African Perspective.

Bishop Kwashi has been Bishop of Jos since 1992. He has seen a number of his church buildings burnt to the ground and his wife was physically assaulted by terrorists in their home last year.
He is Co-ordinating bishop for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America and Chairman of the board of Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) International.

David Mac-Iyalla of Changing Attitude Nigeria and Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti of Recife Brazil will be joining 70 members of General Synod to hear Bishop Kwashi. .

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Tuesday, 19 June 2007

GS: Anglican Covenant Proposal - Annex 2

Annex 2 of GS 1661, the paper by the Bishop of Chichester, is now available here.

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Monday, 18 June 2007

GS: Anglican Covenant Proposal - Annex 1

ANNEX 1 of GS 1661 THE ANGLICAN COVENANT PROPOSAL is reproduced below. For context read this.

Foreword

There has already been much discussion about the idea of an Anglican Covenant in recent months, including some preliminary discussion by the bishops of the Church of England. The House of Bishops welcomes this debate by the General Synod as part of a longer process of reflection across the Communion. No-one expects a definitive verdict at this stage; but it is important to think through whether the whole idea of a Covenant for the Communion is of value, and the papers circulated will greatly assist such thinking. The plans for the Lambeth Conference have made provision for a full discussion there in the light of responses from the Provinces.

As the papers collected here make plain, the Covenant is not meant to be a new creed or code, dictated by some authoritarian body divorced from the real life of the Communion’s member provinces. It is, of course, in some degree a response to a crisis – and we are all rightly cautious about creating lasting structures in reaction to temporary crises. But our present troubles in the Communion have raised the question, ‘What is the nature and extent of the responsibility we have to and for each other as Anglican provinces, and how is it grounded in the mutual responsibility of members of the Body of Christ?’ This entails deeper questions about our responsibility to and for the whole of our heritage of reading Scripture intelligently in the context of living tradition, and about how that is to be transmitted to those who follow us. And, arising from all that, there are issues about what sorts and levels of consultation and shared decision-making would be an appropriate expression of such responsibility. The Covenant is not an attempt to create an international executive; but if something like a Covenant does come into effect, it may be easier to express and explore the consequences of developments proposed in one province or another, so that decisions may be better informed, and more adequate strategies for dealing with conflict may be created.

Inevitably, this implies that we have to recognize that there are some limits to Anglican ‘diversity’. It is a simply a matter of fact that some questions – not only the debates over sexual ethics – are experienced as fundamentally Church-dividing issues. It could be that a well-structured Covenant would help us not to treat every divisive matter with the same seriousness and enable us to discern what was really – theologically and ecclesially – at stake when disagreements arose. It is not a tool for promoting schism or canonizing heightened intolerance, but an element in the continuing work of handling conflict without easy recourse to mutual condemnation.

And that is the point that we hope will be considered carefully. Whether or not a Covenant is adopted, the question of handling conflict will not go away. In the age of instant global communication, this question is likely to be sharper than ever. If we do not have a Covenant in the Communion, we shall not be absolved from the imperative to manage our conflicts and tensions better than we have been doing. Unless we can do better, the future of the Communion is going to be more and more fragile and uncertain, and we can’t just appeal to some imagined traditional Anglican way of handling things without fuss. That is why many of those who have been engaged in dealing with the fallout from recent conflicts – in particular the Primates of the Communion and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council – have concluded that something like a Covenant is a constructive path for the future, and why the hope has been expressed that the bishops attending the Lambeth Conference will be ready to work with the concept and with the proposals already outlined. We hope the Synod will consider their arguments with sympathy.

+ Rowan Cantuar: + Sentamu Ebor:

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GS: Anglican Covenant Proposal

The General Synod of the Church of England will debate the Anglican Covenant Proposal on Sunday 8 July in a session timed to run from 2.30 pm to 6.15 pm, and intended also to cover a separate debate on the Anglican-Methodist Covenant. The Agenda item reads as follows:

THE ANGLICAN COVENANT PROPOSAL (GS 1661)

17. At the invitation of the Presidents, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez (chair of the Anglican Covenant Design Group) will address the Synod.

A member of the House of Bishops to move:

18. ‘That this Synod:

a) affirm its willingness to engage positively with the unanimous recommendation of the Primates in February 2007 for a process designed to produce a covenant for the Anglican Communion;

b) note that such a process will only be concluded when any definitive text has been duly considered through the synodical processes of the provinces of the Communion; and

c) invite the Presidents, having consulted the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council, to agree the terms of a considered response to the draft from the Covenant Design Group for submission to the Anglican Communion Office by the end of the year.’

Amendments for this item have to be delivered to the Synod Office by 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 7th July.

Here’s what the Business Committee report says:

Anglican Communion Covenant (Sunday, 8 July)

40. All Provinces of the Anglican Communion have been asked by the Primates to offer comments by the end of the year on the draft of a possible Anglican Covenant, which was prepared by a design group and discussed by the Primates in Tanzania in February 2007. This is the first stage in what will be a fairly lengthy process involving the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the subsequent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council and, subject to that, the possible subsequent submission to Provinces of a text for approval.

41. The House of Bishops has considered the Primates’ request and agreed the text of a motion that will be moved at the Synod by a member of the House of Bishops. It invites the Synod to affirm its willingness to engage positively with the process designed to produce a covenant for the Anglican Communion and to endorse a process, under the oversight of the Presidents, which will enable a response to be sent on behalf of the Church of England to the Primates’ invitation for comments by the end of this year.

42. For the Synod debate, the House of Bishops has assembled resources (GS 1661) including a Foreword by the Archbishops, other contextual material and the text of the draft Covenant.

43. The Presidents have invited the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the West Indies, and Chair of the Covenant Design Group, to address the Synod before the debate is introduced by a member of the House of Bishops.

And below is the first page of GS 1661. The electronic copy of this document (.rtf ) does not include Annex 4 or Annex 5. Links are however provided below to the originals of these two. Links to html copies of all the other annexes have now been added.

GS1661
GENERAL SYNOD
THE ANGLICAN COVENANT PROPOSAL

1. In February the Primates of the Anglican Communion asked all Provinces to consider and offer comments by the end of the year on the draft of a possible Anglican Covenant that had been prepared by a design group and discussed by them in Tanzania. The text of the draft Covenant is attached to this note.

2. The Primates noted that this would be only the first stage in what, if the Covenant idea found favour, would be quite a protracted process, involving the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the subsequent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council and the subsequent submission to provinces for approval.

3. The House of Bishops discussed the Primates’ request in May and agreed a motion for Synod to consider in July. The text of the motion, which the Bishop of Chichester will move, is on the agenda. It touches on how the Church of England should engage with the proposed process and prepare a response for submission before the end of the year.

4. To resource this debate, the following documents are attached:

(1) A Foreword by the Archbishops (Annex 1).

(2) A contextual note by the Bishop of Chichester (Annex 2).

(3) A more detailed background note by Dr Martin Davie, theological consultant to the House of Bishops (Annex 3) which draws upon some preparatory thinking on the idea of a Covenant by the Faith and Order Advisory Group.

(4) A copy [RTF version] of some material prepared by Jonathan Clatworthy and Paul Bagshaw of the Modern Churchpeople’s Union (Annex 4 [PDF version here] and circulated at the request of the House. Given the range of comment that the idea of a Covenant has generated, the House thought that members of Synod might find it helpful to be able to read more than one analysis of the issues that arise. An html copy is now here.

(5) The latest text of the draft Covenant (Annex 5) on which the Church of England and other Provinces have been asked to comment.

5.Immediately before a member of the House of Bishops moves the motion, the Synod will be addressed by the Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, who chaired the Covenant Design Group. Members wishing to read the full report to the primates from the Design Group can access it at: http://www.aco.org/commission/d_covenant/docs/covenant.pdf

[hard copies are also available from the General Synod Office on request and will also be available at the Information Desk in York].

WILLIAM FITTALL
Secretary General
11 June 2007

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Senior Church Appointments

The Church of England has released today a report Talent and Calling about how senior appointments (other than diocesan bishops) should be made. The first part of the official press release is below the fold; the full text, including the list of recommendations, is here. The report is scheduled to be debated at General Synod on the afternoon of Monday 9 July 2007.

One recommendation is that “that the right both to appoint to the 28 Crown deaneries and also to choose the person to be appointed should continue to rest with the Crown”, although with changes to the procedures. But Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph reports that there will be calls at Synod to remove the Crown from the process of appointing deans: Church ‘poised to cut ties to state’.

Official press release

Future senior office-holders in the Church of England could be identified and developed through a ‘talent pipeline’, a new report recommends. It also calls for greater diversity among such office-holders, welcoming the work to ensure that women are not discriminated against and calling for greater effort to ensure that the holders of senior appointments broadly reflect the diversity of the clergy from which they are drawn.

Talent and Calling, published today, is the report of a review group appointed in response to a General Synod motion which called for a review of the law and practice regarding appointments to the offices of suffragan bishop, dean, archdeacon and residentiary canon. (The method of diocesan bishops had been reviewed previously and therefore did not form part of the group’s remit.) The group was chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling.

The report, which will be debated by the General Synod in July, recommends a set of improved models for appointments made by bishops. These proposals both reflect current best practice in the Church and in wider society and also allow for an appropriate degree of flexibility.

The group concluded that the Church should not propose ending the active role of the Crown in making certain cathedral appointments. The report sets out for the first time in detail how these appointments are currently made. It also recommends significant improvements to that process.

The group recommends the ending of the Crown’s right to make appointments in two circumstances – when the diocesan bishopric is vacant and when the previous post-holder has become a diocesan bishop.

The report calls for the development of a ‘talent pipeline’ whereby those with potential for senior office in the Church can be identified and developed. It also calls for a greater diversity among senior office-holders, welcoming the work to ensure that women are not discriminated against in the appointment of deans, archdeacons and residentiary canons, while calling also for a greater effort to ensure that the holders of senior appointments broadly reflect the diversity of the clergy from which they are drawn.

The report records the group’s view that it would be more appropriate for the right to appoint the Deans of Bradford and Sheffield Cathedrals (currently vested in independent trustees) to be shared formally with the bishops of those dioceses.

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Papers for July General Synod

Papers for next month’s sessions of the General Synod of the Church of England are starting to appear online and are listed below. The list will be updated as more papers become available.

Latest update: Wednesday 27 morning

Agenda
Friday 6 July 2007
Saturday 7 July 2007
Sunday 8 July 2007
Monday 9 July 2007
Tuesday 10 July 2007
Agenda for Legislative Business
First Notice Paper

Papers
(with the days on which they are scheduled to be debated or otherwise considered. Business may be rescheduled, particularly legislation, marked #. Items marked § will only be debated if a member asks for this.)

GS 1616B Draft Church of England Marriage Measure (Saturday#)
GS 1616YY Report of the Revision Committee (Saturday#)
GS 1616Z Draft Church of England Marriage Measure: draft measure for final drafting and final approval: report by the Steering Committee (Tuesday#)

GS 1650 Talent and Calling: Report of the Senior Church Appointments Review Group (Monday)

GS 1651 Transforming Worship: Report of the Liturgical Commission (Saturday)

GS 1653 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2007 (Saturday#§)
GS 1654 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and others (Fees) Orders 2007 (Saturday#§)
GS 1653 and 4X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1655 Present and Participating: A place at the table (Sunday)

GS 1657 Report by the Business Committee (Friday)

GS 1658 Appointments to the Archbishops’ Council and the Church of England Pensions Board (Saturday)

GS 1659 Parochial Fees Order 2007 (Saturday#§)
GS 1659X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1660 Clergy Pensions (Saturday)

GS 1661 The Anglican Covenant Proposal Annex 4 Annex 5 (Sunday)

GS 1663 Disability Issues for Ministry in the Church of England (Monday)

GS 1664 Forty-First Report of the Standing Orders Committee (Saturday)

GS 1665 The Archbishops’ Council’s Draft Budget for 2008 (Tuesday)

GS 1666 Sunderland Minster Representation Scheme (Saturday#§)

GS 1667 Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (General) (Amendment) Rules 2007 (Saturday#)
GS 1667, 1670 & 1671 X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1668 Archbishops’ Council Report (Monday§)
GS 1669 Annual Report of the Archbishops’ Council’s Audit Committee (Monday§)

GS 1670 Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Accrual Rates) (Amendment) Rules 2007 (Saturday#)
GS 1671 Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Guaranteed Increases) (Amendment) Rules 2007 (Saturday#)
GS 1667, 1670 & 1671 X Explanatory Memorandum

GS Misc 855A and 855B Private Member’s Motion: Possible Military Action against Iran (Saturday)
GS Misc 856A and 856B Diocesan Synod Motion: The Church Commissioners(Monday)
GS Misc 857A and 857B Private Member’s Motion: Ethical Investment Advisory Group: Restricted Investments (Monday)

The Anglican/Methodist Covenant: Living God’s Covenant: Second Interim Report of the Joint Implementation Commission (Sunday)

Annual Report of the Church Commissioners (Monday)

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Sunday, 17 June 2007

more news from the USA

Updated Monday afternoon

Alan Cooperman in the Washington Post has a very interesting review today of the American church situation: More U.S. Episcopalians Look Abroad Amid Rift.

…African and, to a lesser extent, Southeast Asian and Latin American prelates are racing to appoint American bishops and to assume jurisdiction over congregations that are leaving the Episcopal Church, particularly since its consecration of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.

So far, the heads, or primates, of Anglican provinces overseas have taken under their wings 200 to 250 of the more than 7,000 congregations in the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism. Among their gains are some large and wealthy congregations — including several in Northern Virginia — that bring international prestige and a steady stream of donations…

Update
epiScope has important commentary on the numbers contained in this report: read Jan Nunley here. In summary many of the 200-250 congregations never were congregations of the Episcopal Church.

The Church Times report on last week’s developments is Archbishop of Kenya to consecrate US bishop by Pat Ashworth.

The Washington Times had this report by Julia Duin Anglican Kenyans name U.S. bishop which includes:

…”We are just working as rescuers,” Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said yesterday, referring to conservatives distressed by liberal trends in the Episcopal Church. “We needed someone there [in America] who understands their culture. I am not there for name and fame and to build myself.”

About 10 of the 30 congregations were immigrant groups overseen by a group of Kenyan bishops and never affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The other 20 congregations were mainly Caucasians who left the denomination over disagreements on biblical authority and the denomination’s 2003 consecration of openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson…

And the Peoria Journal Star had a report on the Executive Council action re “unqualified accession” by Mike Miller Quincy church amendments ignored which starts:

The Episcopal Church’s executive council this week warned the Diocese of Quincy and three other dioceses that changes in their constitutions over the past three years are “null and void.”

The problem, Quincy officials said Friday, is the diocesan constitution has not been changed since at least 1993.

The executive council adopted a resolution “reminding” the dioceses, each of which has requested alternative oversight, that they can’t change their constitutions in an attempt to change their relationship with the denomination.

However, for further explanation of why these dioceses were named in the resolution, epiScope has this article, with several useful links to earlier reports concerning each diocese named.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 17 June 2007 at 5:10pm BST | Comments (10) | TrackBack
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more news from Canada

The Vancouver Sun recently reported that the Anglican Diocese of B.C. reps favour same-sex blessing.

The Diocese of British Columbia is on Vancouver Island, next door to the Diocese of New Westminster. Its own website is unavailable as I write but the New Westminster website reports further on this matter in a news article Neighbouring diocese votes in favor of same sex blessings which includes the full text of the resolution passed.

This week the Vancouver Sun carries a long article by Douglas Todd titled His house divided which reviews the situation in the Canadian church.

Another report is Anglicans gather as threat of schism looms by Richard Foot of CanWest News Service

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 17 June 2007 at 4:28pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 16 June 2007

ECUSA Exec Council: Saturday reports

Religious Intelligence has Anglican Communion moves closer to schism by Ed Beavan.

Stephen Bates has Anglican split comes closer as US church rejects demand over gays in the Guardian.

Ruth Gledhill in The Times has Anglican schism looms closer over gay consecrations.

Episcopal News Service has posted a video report of the Executive Council meeting:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson offer an overview of the recent Executive Council meeting, held June 11-14 in Parsippany, New Jersey. The Rev. Jan Nunley, deputy for communication for the Episcopal Church, reports.

Go here to watch it.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 16 June 2007 at 3:40pm BST | Comments (15) | TrackBack
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columns of opinion

Chris Duggan writes about the meaning of words in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column.

Christopher Howse writes about The case of the missing Gospel in the Daily Telegraph.

Roderick Strange writes in The Times about True forgiveness.

Giles Fraser has a rant in the Church Times.

Commonweal has two articles, one by Timothy Luke Johnson, the other (scroll down) by Eve Tushnet on Homosexuality & the Church.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 16 June 2007 at 2:36pm BST | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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Friday, 15 June 2007

GRAS - Senior Women Clergy Numbers Rise

press release from the Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod:

GRAS Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod
Press Release – For Immediate Release
Senior Women Clergy Numbers Rise

Numbers of women clergy deployed in the dioceses in the Church of England have risen to an average of 25.8 of all clergy in the dioceses. Women now account for 17% of full time stipendiary clergy in the dioceses and for 8% of senior posts, including deans, archdeacons, other cathedral clergy and area deans.

These statistics have been gathered for the second time in five years in the Furlong Table, named in honour of the late Monica Furlong. Furlong, a witty and incisive writer and observer of the Church of England, and also a fearless and tireless campaigner for the ordination of women, suggested to a group of young female ordinands that statistics be gathered to monitor the deployment and promotion of women clergy in the Church of England.

The first Furlong Table was produced in 2000 for GRAS, the Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod, by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, Catherine Butt and Leah Vasey-Saunders, all then students at Cranmer Hall theological college in Durham. The updated figures for 2005 have been produced by the Reverend Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, now Chaplain and Solway Fellow of University College, Durham.

GRAS believes that

  • Women should be ordained bishops as soon as possible.
  • The legislation should be simple, clear, final and unconditional.
  • Provision for opponents in conscience should not be part of the legislation but should be dealt with separately by each bishop.
  • To restore and maintain trust in the integrity and authority of the episcopate and the unity of the church each Diocesan bishop should be responsible for everyone in the Diocese and should be responsible for making the arrangements he or she judges to be right, for the care of opponents.
  • The Act of Synod should be rescinded as proposed by the Diocese of Southwark motion, and General Synod should debate this motion as soon as possible.
  • Since the Church has accepted the orders of women as priests and bishops, then in future those being ordained should accept those orders as valid in accordance with Canon A4.

Contacts:

Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes
University College, Durham, DH1 3RW
Tel: 0191-334-4116
Email: Miranda.Threlfall-holmes@durham.ac.uk

Revd Canon Peggy Jackson
The Rectory, 170 Sheen Lane, SW14 8LZ
Tel: 020-8876-4816
Email: pjackson@fish.co.uk

Position Diocese Score Change in
Position
Change in
Score
Score in
2000
1 Oxford 39.9 +15 19.2 20.7
2 St.Albans 39.3 +8 15.0 24.3
3 Ely 38.9 +12 17.6 21.3
4 Worcester 36.9 -1 5.0 31.9
5 Leicester 36.7 -3 3.8 32.9
6 Southwark 34.3 -5 -0.5 34.8
7 Ripon 34.2 -3 2.6 31.6
8 Durham 33.6 +26 20.3 13.3
9 Liverpool 32.9 +10 13.2 19.7
10 Hereford 32.7 +2 10.5 22.2
11 Peterborough 31.9 +15 14.4 17.5
12 Salisbury 30.8 -3 5.7 25.1
13 Wakefield 30.6 +4 10.0 20.6
14 Truro 29.7 +26 23.2 6.5
15 Sheffield 29.0 -9 0.3 28.7
16 Southwell 28.7 -11 -0.7 29.4
17 Norwich 28.0 +6 9.5 18.5
18 Derby 27.9 +17 14.9 13.0
19 St.Edms & Ipswich 27.5 -6 5.5 22.0
20 Chelmsford 27.4 0 7.7 19.7
  Average 25.8   7.2 18.6
21 Lincoln 25.7 -13 0.0 25.7
22 Manchester 25.7 +3 8.0 17.7
23 Gloucester 25.1 -9 3.7 21.4
24 Bath & Wells 25.0 +9 11.6 13.4
25 Canterbury 24.7 +7 11.2 13.5
26 York 24.7 +4 9.2 15.5
27 London 23.7 +2 8.2 15.5
28 Newcastle 23.1 -4 5.3 17.8
29 Coventry 23.0 -2 7.1 15.9
30 Guildford 22.9 -23 -5.5 28.4
31 Bradford 22.6 +6 11.8 10.8
32 Lichfield 21.9 -11 2.9 19.0
33 Chester 21.7 -5 5.9 15.8
34 Birmingham 20.3 -12 1.7 18.6
35 Rochester 19.9 -17 -0.7 20.6
36 Carlisle 19.0 +2 9.1 9.9
37 Exeter 17.8 -1 5.5 12.3
38 Bristol 17.1 -27 -6.0 23.1
39 Portsmouth 14.4 -8 -0.2 14.6
40 Winchester 13.5 -1 5.2 8.3
41 Sodor and Man 11.8 +2 11.8 0.0
42 Blackburn 10.4 -1 4.4 6.0
43 Chichester 5.5 -1 2.9 2.6

Notes for Editors

The Furlong Table measures the numbers of women clergy deployed in each of the dioceses in the Church of England. The average points score has risen by over a third from 2000 to 2005, from 18.6 to 25.8. This is made up of an on average doubling of the points received from women in senior posts, together with a 50% increase in the number of other ordained women in full time stipendiary posts in the dioceses.

A perfect score in this table would be 100, representing 50% of all other full time stipendiary clergy in a diocese being female. The top score of 39.9 is still disappointingly low, but it is moving in the right direction. This means that in Oxford, which rose 15 points to become the best diocese in the Church of England for women’s deployment in 2005, women had been appointed to 17% of senior clergy posts, and 23% of other clergy were female.

Overall, in 2005, women represented 5% of cathedral deans, 6% of archdeacons, 14% of other cathedral clergy and 8% of area/rural deans.

The greatest percentage change was for Truro Diocese, which saw its score increase by 354%! Truro was joint with Durham Diocese for the biggest rise up the table, both gaining a massive 26 places. Truro rose from 40th place (out of 43) to 14th, whilst Durham rose from 34th to 8th place.

Other diocese which saw big gains were Derby, up 17 places from 35th to 18th, and Peterborough, up 15 places from 26th to 11th place. Three diocese have fallen badly in the table: Bristol fell 27 places, from 11th to 38th, Guildford fell 23 places from 7th to 30th, and Rochester fell 17 places from 18th to 35th place.

/ends

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 15 June 2007 at 9:54pm BST | Comments (24) | TrackBack
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Canadian General Synod nears

The 38th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will be held in Winnipeg Manitoba from 19 June to 25 June, 2007.

The official web pages for the General Synod are here. They contain details of the primatial election, texts of the resolutions to be considered, and much other information.

The draft agenda is available as a small PDF file here. Yesterday’s news article is here: Anglicans prepare to gather in Winnipeg for crucial General Synod.

There will be detailed coverage of it in the Anglican Journal whose website is here.

Two previous Canadian reports on TA are here, and also here.

Today, the Toronto Globe & Mail carries a report by Michael Valpy Bless same-sex unions, retired archbishops urge which says:

…The archbishops’ statement is signed by John Bothwell, Terence Finlay and Percy O’Driscoll, all former metropolitans, or chief bishops, of Ontario; David Crawley and David Somerville, former metropolitans of British Columbia; and Arthur Peters, former metropolitan of Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.

It says: “We urge the members of general synod to vote in favour of affirming the blessing of faithful, committed, same-gender unions and to agree that dioceses may decide, by appropriate processes, how they will act in this matter.

“We have studied, reported [on] and discussed the place of gay men and lesbians in the church for 25 years…

“We are deeply concerned that ongoing study … will only continue to draw us away from issues which are gradually destroying God’s creation – child poverty, racism, global warming, economic injustice, concern for our aboriginal brothers and sisters, and the growing disparity between the rich and the poor…”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 15 June 2007 at 4:00pm BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 14 June 2007

ECUSA Exec Council declines primates' proposal

Updated Friday morning

Episcopal News Service reports that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, USA (a body similar in some ways to the Archbishops’ Council in the Church of England) has declined to participate in the plan put forward by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in February for dealing with some disaffected Episcopal Church dioceses. This follows earlier action by the ECUSA House of Bishops.

Read the whole of the official press release: Executive Council declines to participate in Primates’ ‘pastoral scheme,’ says only Convention makes policy which begins:

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council told the Anglican Communion June 14 that no governing body other than General Convention can interpret Convention resolutions or agree to deny “future decisions by dioceses or General Convention.”

The Council declined to participate in a plan put forward by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in February for dealing with some disaffected Episcopal Church dioceses.

The statement, titled “The Episcopal Church’s Commitment to Common Life in Anglican Communion,” “strongly affirm[ed] this Church’s desire to be in the fullest possible relationship with our Anglican sisters and brothers.”

The text of the statement and its accompanying resolutions passed with limited debate.

The statement agreed with the House of Bishops, which said in March that the so-called Pastoral Scheme “would be injurious to The Episcopal Church.” An accompanying resolution (EC012) also “respectfully requests the Presiding Bishop to decline as well.” The statement itself “respectfully ask[s] our Presiding Bishop not to take any of the actions asked of her by this scheme.”

Read the full statement text: The Episcopal Church’s Commitment to Common Life in the Anglican Communion.

The Living Church issued this report: Council Rejects Primates’ Pastoral Plan; Insists on Diocesan Accession Clause.

Update
A further ENS report is titled Executive Council puts disaffected dioceses on notice about constitutional changes:

Episcopal Church dioceses that change their constitutions in an attempt to bypass the Church’s Constitution and Canons were warned by the Executive Council June 14 that their actions are “null and void.”

The Council passed Resolution NAC023, reminding dioceses that they are required to “accede” to the Constitution and Canons, and declaring that any diocesan action that removes that accession from its constitution is “null and void.” That declaration, the resolution said, means that their constitutions “shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed…”

Rachel Zoll of Associated Press reports this development in Episcopal Panel Rejects Anglican Demand
Michael Conlon of Reuters has U.S. move on gay bishops may widen Anglican split
New York Times Laurie Goodstein Anglican Demand for Change Is Rebuffed by Episcopalians
Los Angeles Times K Connie Kang Anglicans’ demand on gays is rebuffed

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 14 June 2007 at 6:53pm BST | Comments (41) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Wycliffe Hall: three former principals write

Stephen Bates in the Guardian has Theological college’s head is undermining it, say predecessors. And Jonathan Petre in the Daily Telegraph has Oxford college row escalates. The Guardian begins:

The principal of Wycliffe Hall, the Oxford University Anglican evangelical theological college, was under renewed pressure last night after his three immediate predecessors claimed he was undermining its reputation and threatening its survival as an academic institution.

The unprecedented intervention, in the form of a joint letter leaked among members of the evangelical community, represented the latest twist in the crisis that has gripped the 130-year-old permanent private hall, which trains theological students and candidates for ordination in the Church of England, and its conservative evangelical principal, Richard Turnbull, following revelations about his conduct of the college…

The full text of the letter to Bishop James Jones described in the articles is as follows:

Dear James,

The three most recent former Principals of Wycliffe, Geoffrey Shaw, Dick France and Alister McGrath, met today in view of the publicity given to the crisis in the Hall. Were it simply a matter of media speculation and sensationalism we would not have written to you. Our enquiries from a variety of sources have convinced us of the seriousness of the situation and filled us with deep foreboding.

The resignation of so many competent and dedicated teaching and admin staff all together in such a small community cannot be written off simply as a new broom sweeping away out of date and out of touch lumber. Nor as a supporter of Richard Turnbull has written “a few ruffled feathers reacting with sourness and extreme bad grace”! These are men and women who have given outstanding service to the Hall and its students and it is due to them that Wycliffe has gained a worldwide recognition for its excellence in biblical scholarship, study, exposition, personal devotion and praxis. Yet they have been made to feel stumbling blocks to a new regime by a man who despite the qualities many attribute to him has had no experience of academic and spiritual formation leadership in a college context.

The repercussions of all this are deeply disturbing. Already voices are being raised in the University as to the suitability of Wycliffe as a PPH. Bishops and DDOs may decide to give the Hall a wide berth. Staff with suitable qualifications may not apply for vacancies. Students from the broad range of evangelicalism which has traditionally characterised the Hall are unlikely to apply and the resultant limited focus on one strand of evangelicalism is unlikely to commend the Hall to the wider church. The Hall is running on borrowed capital and we fear for its future. If this sounds melodramatic it is realistic and is prompted by our love and concern for the Hall.

With very great sadness we must in all seriousness ask you to recognise before it is too late that there is a widespread lack of confidence in the present Principal, both in his managerial style and his myopic vision. We find it hard to envisage the Hall maintaining its erstwhile acknowledged reputation under its present leadership.

Not personally signed but authorised by
Geoffrey Shaw Principal 1979 – 1988
Dick France Principal 1989 – 1995
Alister McGrath Principal 1995 – 2004

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 14 June 2007 at 12:20am BST | Comments (53) | TrackBack
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conservative primate plans a consecration

Updated again Thursday morning

There were two news reports Wednesday:

In the Daily Telegraph Jonathan Petre reports under the headline Anglican coalition to force through breakaway that:

A powerful coalition of conservative Anglican leaders is preparing to create a parallel Church for conservatives in America in defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, provoking the biggest split in Anglican history, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

According to sources, at least six primates are planning the consecration of a prominent American cleric as a bishop to minister to Americans who have rejected their liberal bishops over the issue of homosexuality…

In the Living Church George Conger reports Kenyan Primate to Consecrate Former Episcopalian as U.S. Bishop:

The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya, has announced he will consecrate the Rev. Canon Bill Atwood as a suffragan bishop to oversee the U.S.-based congregations of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK).

The Aug. 30 consecration of Canon Atwood as “Suffragan Bishop of All Saints’ Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi” is “part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces,” Archbishop Nzimbi said on June 12, to “support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.”

An undisclosed number of Global South primates are expected to participate in Canon Atwood’s consecration in Nairobi and are expected to work with the Kenyan Church in forming a “North American Anglican Coalition…”

For those who have never heard of Bill Atwood, this website may provide information (it’s rather out of date).

Update Kendall Harmon has posted the full text of an email from Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi:

FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KENYA

RE: CONSECRATION OF THE REVD. CANON DR. BILL ATWOOD AS SUFFRAGAN BISHOP ON THURSDAY 30TH AUGUST, 2007

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ.

God in His mercy has granted us a great salvation in Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit. The foundations of that faith have been celebrated and shared through many centuries and cultures. In particular, we rejoice in the godly Christian heritage of this faith that we have received in the Anglican Communion.

Now, the fabric of the Anglican Communion has been torn by the actions of The Episcopal Church. The damage has been exacerbated by the failure of the House of Bishops there to provide for the care called for in the Windsor Report and to reject the Pastoral Council offered through the Primates in their Communiqué from Dar es Salaam.

Tragically, the Episcopal Church has refused to provide adequate care for the faithful who continue steadfastly in “the faith once delivered to the saints.” Following months of consultation with other provinces, the Anglican Church of Kenya is taking steps to provide for the care of churches under our charge.

As a part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces, the ACK will consecrate The Revd Canon Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi of the ACK to support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.

Our goal is to collaborate with faithful Anglicans (including those in North America who are related with other provinces). A North American Anglican Coalition can provide a safe haven for those who maintain historic Anglican faith and practice, and offer a way to live and work together in the furtherance of the Gospel.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi
ARCHBISHOP OF KENYA &
BISHOP OF ALL SAINTS CATHEDRAL DIOCESE

Wednesday evening update
Archbishop Akinola has also issued a statement which begins:

I have received news of the proposed consecration of Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi, in the Anglican Church of Kenya, to serve Kenyan related congregations in North America. Canon Atwood has worked tirelessly throughout the Communion for the sake of the Gospel and is well known to many of us in the Church of Nigeria.

This action demonstrates a growing recognition by Anglican provinces in Africa that the situation in North America continues to deteriorate because of the intransigence of the leadership of The Episcopal Church. This was made most evident by the response of their House of Bishops to the carefully crafted Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communiqué. We cannot sit quietly by while those who continue steadfastly in the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’ are denied adequate pastoral care and made the targets of pernicious lawsuits…

Religious Intelligence has a report: New blow for Anglican Communion unity hopes by Nick Mackenzie.

Ruth Gledhill had US conservatives to defy Archbishop of Canterbury in Times Online.

And Archbishop Henry Orombi who issued this statement, was also quoted on a related matter in this report from the Kampala Monitor via AllAfrica.com, Fight Gay Acts in Schools - Orombi:

…Bishop Orombi reaffirmed his stand that the Church of Uganda will not restore links with churches in America that support homosexuality. “We shall not associate with them even if it means losing aid. We rather remain poor than accept aid which will in the end lead to moral decay of society,” he said…

The Anglican Communion Network issued a statement and so also did CANA. And there is also one from Fort Worth’s Bishop Jack Iker.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 13 June 2007 at 7:55am BST | Comments (102) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Frank Wade on the Anglican Covenant

In a Reader’s Viewpoint article in the Living Church for the issue dated 24 June, The Revd Francis H. Wade has written about the Windsor Report and the draft Anglican Covenant, which he describes as a Coup d’Eglise. He starts like this:

In 1851, French President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte seized dictatorial powers that eventually allowed him to become Emperor Napoleon III, the last monarch of France. His actions gave currency to the term coup d’ètat, literally “strike the state,” which has described political takeovers from that day to this.

The parallel phrase coup d’èglise (strike the church) has not made it into the common lexicon but may be the only way to accurately describe the lightning ascendancy of the primates of the Anglican Communion. From their first meeting in 1979 to their asserted role in the proposed Anglican Covenant, the group has moved from non-existence to centrality. This may or may not be what the Anglican Communion needs; it may or may not be what every devoted Anglican wants; it may or may not be the leading of the Holy Spirit; but we should all know that it is happening…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 June 2007 at 6:45pm BST | Comments (22) | TrackBack
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Monday, 11 June 2007

Anglican Covenant: Our Unity is in Christ

Carolyn J Sharp, Associate Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Yale Divinity School has written an essay about the Anglican Covenant.

You can read it here: Our Unity is in Christ.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 11 June 2007 at 11:03pm BST | Comments (27) | TrackBack
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MCU responds on the Anglican Covenant

The Modern Churchpeople’s Union opposes the Draft Anglican Covenant and urges its rejection.

Jonathan Clatworthy, Paul Bagshaw and John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln, have prepared a detailed response to The Draft Anglican Covenant on behalf of the MCU.

Three documents are available here in several formats:

  • Response (prepared for the meeting of General Synod in July 2007 and submitted to the Anglican Communion Office as MCU’s response to the consultation) in Word, .rtf, .pdf
  • 2 page summary of the paper in Word, .rtf, .pdf
  • Summary of the arguments (prepared as a more general briefing) in Word, .rtf, .pdf

The Response concludes:

We oppose the Draft Anglican Covenant on the grounds that:

  • it would transform the Windsor process from admonition and counsel into an unprecedented and unjustifiable ecclesiastical coup d’état;
  • its central proposal is to transfer power from the presently autonomous Provinces to a Meeting of the 38 Primates. The ambiguity of the text leaves open the possibility that this power would be unlimited, unaccountable, and irreversible;
  • the consequences of this development for Anglican theology and polity, and for ecumenical agreements, would be extensive and have scarcely been explored;
  • the proposed innovation in granting juridical power to the Primates’ Meeting would be a distortion and not a legitimate development in Anglican ecclesiology;
  • the consultative processes and timetable are wholly inadequate and in particular they completely marginalise the voice of the laity;
  • the proposals have not been adequately justified in their own terms (the creation of trust) nor in the wider terms of better ordering and facilitating the mission of the Church;
  • and yet Anglicanism has a rich storehouse of dispersed authority, of hospitality, mutual respect and trusting co-operation, of valuing difference and openness to new developments, of the honest and open search for truth, all of which can provide an alternative to the Draft Anglican Covenant as grounds for hope for the future.
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Sunday, 10 June 2007

Global Centre comes to UK

press release from InclusiveChurch:

“Global Centre” Comes To UK

InclusiveChurch is delighted to announce that the Most Revd Dr Idris Jones, Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway, has agreed to join the Archbishop of Mexico as a Patron of InclusiveChurch.

Bishop Idris is Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and a Primate of the Anglican Communion. He said:

“It is a privilege to be associated with Inclusive Church. The Anglican Communion is seeking how it may develop and deepen its life today - what better way could there be than working to keep our church as welcoming and encouraging to everyone who wants to follow Jesus so that everyone of us can be challenged by God’s love.”

We also announce that the Archbishop of Mexico, Bishop Carlos Touché-Porter, will be in England in September 2007. Bishop Carlos was a co-signatory of the Declaration by the Global Centre released in May 2007 which reaffirmed the call of Latin American bishops to preserve the “participative, diverse, ample and inclusive” nature of the Communion.

During his visit the Archbishop will take part in two major conferences:

  • “Renewing our Vision – Anglicans and the Global Centre” on Saturday 22nd September, at St Matthew’s Westminster. 11.00 – 4.00 Cost £10
  • Bishop Idris and Bishop Carlos will both speak at “Celebrating Anglican Diversity” on Sat 29th September, at Manchester Cathedral. 11.30 – 3.30 Cost £5

These conferences will inform discussions at “DRENCHED IN GRACE”, InclusiveChurch’s first residential conference to be held in Derbyshire on 21st – 23rd November. “Drenched in Grace” will be a celebration and restatement of broad and inclusive Anglicanism. A discount of £20 applies for bookings received before the end of June. For further information go here.

For further information or advance registration contact InclusiveChurch here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 10 June 2007 at 5:37pm BST | Comments (23) | TrackBack
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InclusiveChurch responds on the Anglican Covenant

Two documents have been published by InclusiveChurch and can be found from this page:

An Anglican Covenant?

InclusiveChurch believes that the Anglican Communion offers a creative and dynamic vision of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our structures, while loose and complex, mean that both tradition and development have a vital place in our attempts to live out the Gospel. Following the first Draft issued by the Covenant Drafting Committee and the way in which it influenced the Primates’ discussions in Dar Es Salaam, we have serious doubts about the proposed Draft Covenant. Tim Bartel and Savi Hensman have written responses which can be seen below:

The links above are to MS Word documents. For ease of access html pages are also available:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 10 June 2007 at 4:36pm BST | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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a news item from Nigeria

The “King of the Tabloids” in Nigeria, the Sun reports that

The love of money is the root of all evil, so says the Holy book. Love of power, it appears, is today threatening the brotherhood of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) following alleged attempts by the out-going National President, Right Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola, to “manipulate the electoral process”.

Read all about it here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 10 June 2007 at 10:51am BST | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 9 June 2007

bishops who value diversity

A leader in this week’s Church Times is titled At last, bishops who value diversity:

IT IS with a degree of shame that we acknowledge the statement from the bishops in Central and South America who met in Costa Rica at the end of last month. After all, a declaration by a group of Anglican bishops which talks of “the plurality and diversity that are universal characteristics of Anglicanism” was once an obvious candidate for the news editor’s spike. Times have changed, however. Now it is a relief to report determined, if somewhat fluffy, pronouncements about the Anglican Communion and its “participative nature, diverse, ample, and inclusive”. The Bishops support the view, often rehearsed in this paper, that plurality and diversity are a “rich source of growth” rather than a cause of dissension.

The present debate in the Communion has been undermined by unsubstantiated claims about who represents whom. Individual dioceses and provinces have their own structures of decision-making and accountability. The Church of England’s understanding of episcopacy — that bishops operate in synods or councils together with representatives of the clergy and laity — is replicated in one form or another across the provinces. The rise of the Primates’ Meeting has disturbed this balance, and its coincidence with — some would say, contribution to — the disunity in the Communion leaves many ordinary Anglicans unconvinced that the innovation is to be welcomed.

The expectation behind episcopacy is that the Church is governed by individuals with theological understanding and a particular charism to keep the flock together. In the same way as MPs are supposed to represent all their constituents, regardless whether they share any political views, bishops are called to mediate for and between Christians of all flavours. The Costa Rica statement is a pleasant reminder that this has not been entirely forgotten.

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follow-ups to the Time interview

Reuters Anglican schism not inevitable says Williams by Michael Conlon

The Times Archbishop: Church unity is ‘very fragile’ by Ruth Gledhill

Daily Telegraph Anglican Church is ‘fragile’ over gay split by Jonathan Petre

Religious Intelligence Archbishop ‘hopeful’ Church will not split by Matt Cresswell

GetReligion Canterbury’s Time diplomacy by Doug LeBlanc

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 9 June 2007 at 9:09am BST | Comments (18) | TrackBack
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Wycliffe Hall: pressure is mounting

Jonathan Petre has an article in today’s Daily Telegraph headlined Dispute grows over ‘abrasive’ Oxford principal:

Pressure is mounting on Church of England authorities to take action against the principal of an Oxford theological college accused of alienating staff.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, is being urged to withdraw his support for the Rev Richard Turnbull, the principal of Wycliffe Hall, who has been criticised for his allegedly abrasive management style and conservative brand of Christianity.

Alister McGrath, a leading theologian and Wycliffe’s previous principal, has pulled out of delivering a prestigious lecture in Liverpool in protest at the lack of action by Bishop Jones, who is the chairman of the hall’s governing council….

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 9 June 2007 at 8:57am BST | Comments (20) | TrackBack
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columns on Saturday

Jonathan Sacks asks in The Times Can we really learn to love people who aren’t like us?

Christopher Howse writes about The Beautiful Names of God.

Mordechai Beck writes in the Guardian about The New Sanhedrin.

Clifford Longley writes in the Tablet about Catholic bishops and their approach to UK politics.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times Remember that manners makyth man.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 9 June 2007 at 8:28am BST | Comments (5) | TrackBack
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Friday, 8 June 2007

Time magazine interviews Rowan Williams

Amended Saturday

Time magazine has the Archbishop of Canterbury on the front cover of the European and African editions:

In an exclusive interview with TIME, his last before a three-month leave, the Archbishop Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, describes the Anglican Communion as “very fragile” — and explains how he hopes to reconcile its bitter factions.

The feature article, written by David Van Biema and Catherine Mayer is headlined Saving Grace.

An edited interview transcript is headed Keeping the Faith but there is also a podcast mp3 file (9 Mb) under the title Anglicanism in Crisis which contains much more material than the transcript.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 8 June 2007 at 8:34am BST | Comments (41) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The Church of England and the draft Anglican Covenant

Last Sunday, the Sunday Telegraph carried a report by Jonathan Wynne-Jones headlined Church to impose ‘rule book’ of beliefs.

Here’s what is actually happening, based closely on the so-called “bishops’ paper” to which the Sunday Telegraph refers.

The House of Bishops met at Market Bosworth in May. At that meeting they were asked to agree to a process for the Church of England to respond to the request made for all provinces of the Anglican Communion to comment by the end of 2007 on The Proposal for an Anglican Covenant.

This is only the first stage in quite a protracted process, involving the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the subsequent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council and the subsequent submission of a final Covenant text to all Anglican provinces for synodical approval.

The initial process proposed was this:

  • The General Synod should be asked in July to give some kind of mandate for the preparation of a Church of England response. It is thought that it would be disproportionate to convene a special session of Synod in November 2007 for the purpose and February 2008 would be too late.
  • The text of the response should be agreed by the Archbishops towards the end of the year following discussion in the House in October. The Archbishops’ Council, as the Standing Committee of Synod, should also have an opportunity to comment on the draft response during the autumn.
  • The Faith and Order Advisory Group [FOAG] and the House of Bishops’ Theological Group have been tasked to work together on the first draft of the possible Church of England response. These two groups, headed respectively by the Bishop of Chichester and the Bishop of Rochester, plan to work on this, in the light of the promised minutes of the Tanzania discussion (as soon as they are available), and of the discussions at Market Bosworth and at the York Synod, consulting members of the House as far as time permits;
  • They hope that it may be possible to bring a draft Church of England response to the meeting of the House of Bishops at Lambeth on 1-3 October, to which members of the College of Bishops (i.e. bishops outside the House of Bishops) will be invited to join the discussion;
  • That will allow some time for further revision and further circulation, with clearance in correspondence or submission to the meeting of the House of Bishops Standing Committee at the beginning of December as necessary. It will also give the Archbishops’ Council the chance to be consulted before the response goes.

At the meeting in Market Bosworth, the House of Bishops had before them a draft motion for the General Synod to consider in July, and two further documents intended as drafts of material to resource the July debate. The draft motion was as follows:

That this Synod

(a) affirm its willingness to engage positively with the unanimous recommendation of the Primates in February 2007 for a process designed to produce a covenant for the Anglican Communion;

(b) note that such a process will only be concluded when any definitive text has been duly considered through the synodical processes of the provinces of the Communion;

(c) invite the Presidents, having consulted the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council, to agree the terms for a considered response for submission to the Anglican Communion Office by the end of the year on the draft from the Covenant Design Group.

One of the two further documents is a personal reflection entitled An Anglican Covenant? written by the Bishop of Chichester. The other is a paper entitled The rationale for the development of an Anglican Covenant written by Dr Martin Davie.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 at 1:10pm BST | Comments (54) | TrackBack
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Bishop of Southwark: today's reports

Updated yet again Thursday evening
The Guardian has a news report about the apology! See Times apologises for bishop story.

Thursday morning
The Times issued this apology in the News in Brief column:

Bishop of Southwark

We were wrong to say in our headlines (June 6, 2007, front page and page 4) that the report of Judge Rupert Bursell, QC, into a complaint of drunkenness against Dr Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, had concluded that Dr Butler was drunk. Judge Bursell did not hear any evidence or reach any conclusions as to the truth of the complaint. We apologise to Dr Butler for the distress and embarrassment this must have caused him.

Times archive Dec 19, 2006: Bishop of Southwark denies being drunk

Wednesday evening update

Damian Thompson offers an explanation for all this in The Bishop’s hangover.

The report in The Times has been republished at a new URL, with a new headline, Leaked report into Bishop of Southwark.

And there has been a further write-through of the Daily Mail report, now headlined Whitewash claims over bishop cleared of drunkenness.

Noon update

The story has been removed from the website of The Times although it still appears here. A new version of the story Bishop of Southwark escapes disciplinary action for drinking now appears on the Daily Mail website. And according to the Wimbledon Guardian:

The Bishop of Southwark is to go to the Press Complaints Commission after a report in the Times claimed he was drunk after a Christmas party.

The newspaper said a leaked Church of England document confirmed the Right Reverend Tom Butler was inebriated when he left a bash at the Irish Embassy.

But Lambeth Palace, which took “no further action” after a full investigation into the incident, said the preliminary report was based entirely upon a complainant’s account…

And, Ruth Gledhill has written further about all this on her blog at Judge’s report into Bishop of Southwark.


My original article:

Following a report in The Times by Ruth Gledhill and Lucy Bannerman the following press briefing from Lambeth Palace was issued early this morning:

Times report on the Bishop of Southwark - a correction

A report in today’s Times is headlined Bishop was drunk after Christmas Party, leaked report says (online version as at 12.35am; wording for other versions may differ). The headline accompanies a story about a report into allegations around an incident last December involving the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Dr Tom Butler.

The suggestion in the headline that the report has concluded that the Bishop was drunk is completely misleading. It comes as a result of a misunderstanding of 1) what the report, prepared by Chancellor Bursell, is intended to address, 2) the stage it represents in the procedures of clergy discipine, and 3) the untested nature of the allegations which were set out in the complaint.

The report in question was a preliminary report, intended merely to assess whether - if true - the allegations made by the complainant would be strong enough to justify proceeding further with the disciplinary process under the Clergy Discipline Measure. The report’s finding is that some of the allegations - if true - would be serious enough to justify being taken on to the next stage. Some allegations it discounts.

At this preliminary stage, no explanation or answer by the person complained against is required or expected. Only at the next stage would the opportunity be given to the person complained against to give his side of the story. This report, therefore, is based on only the complainant’s account.

For that reason, the report does not make any judgement as to the truth of the allegations. A footnote makes it clear that other evidence ‘may in due time put a different complexion on the matter’ and, crucially, a clause in brackets makes it clear that the question of the truth of any allegation is yet to be determined: Chancellor Bursell qualifies references to the alleged drunkenness in the complaint with the phrase ‘if it occurred’.

The finding of the report was that the complaint was sufficiently serious to justify further exploration under the Measure. Although the complainant was not qualified under the Measure to bring it forward, a subsequent complaint was taken to the next stage in the disciplinary process, enabling the bishop to give his own account of what had happened. It was only at that point, on the basis of all the evidence then before the Archbishop, that he took the decision, announced last month, that no further action should be taken.

It would, therefore, be entirely misleading to represent this preliminary report as being any kind of judgement or finding that the Bishop of Southwark was drunk on the night in question.

ENDS

Revd Jonathan Jennings
Archbishop’s Press Secretary

A shorter version of the original report appears also in the Irish Independent and there is a derivative report in The Sun and another one Bishop of Southwark was drunk says church in the Daily Mail.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 at 8:07am BST | Comments (21) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 5 June 2007

about comments (again)

We have noticed an increasing tendency by some commenters to make ad hominem or derogatory comments about other people — sometimes about other commenters and perhaps more often about people in the news.

We want discussions here to be conducted in a spirit of Christian charity and we are going to take a strong line on this. We will not approve comments that include ad hominem remarks. Comments on someone else should concentrate on their words or deeds. People should be accorded their proper names and/or titles, not a pretend or derogatory name or sarcastic title preferred by the commenter. Please note that this applies to people on all sides of discussions.

Secondly, we reiterate a plea we made a year ago: ‘please consider seriously using your own name, rather than a pseudonym. While we do not, at this time, intend to make this a requirement, we do wish to strongly encourage the use of real names.’

Finally, a reminder about comment-length: ‘a few people have sometimes written very long comments that really are essays in their own right, rather than being comments on the original article, or direct responses to previous comments. We have therefore decided to introduce a length limit of 400 words per comment, with immediate effect. Longer comments than that will in future quite probably not be published. If you still want to write such essays, we suggest that you set up your own blog, and you will be very welcome to then link to them in the comments here.’

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 5 June 2007 at 2:48pm BST | Comments (48) | TrackBack
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Monday, 4 June 2007

more government guidance on SORs

I previously drew attention to a page from the UK Department of Communities and Local Government, with links to guidance booklets.

There are now two further pages from the same department:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 4 June 2007 at 9:05am BST | Comments (5) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 2 June 2007

Americans study the Tanzanian communiqué

In an Episcopal News Service press release, Bishops’ Theology Committee offers Primates’ communiqué study document it says:

The Theology Committee of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on June 1 released a study document aimed at helping the bishops respond to the requests made to them by the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

The 15-page “Communion Matters: A Study Document for the Episcopal Church” is available online. A color PDF version of the document is available here. A black-and-white PDF version is here…

Go to the release for much more detail on the content of the document, the proposed process, and for links to other documents. The colour PDF version is 660K, and the black-and-white one is 375K.

There are many useful links to other background documents at this page here.

(There was also an earlier release - 16 April - of a draft covenant study guide.)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 9:11am BST | Comments (98) | TrackBack
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Anglican diversity upheld

Episcopal News Service has a report Latin America, Caribbean bishops uphold diversity of Anglicanism which includes the full text - in both English and Spanish - of a declaration signed by signed by 21 Latin American and Caribbean bishops, including the Primates of Brazil, Central America and Mexico, and Bishop Lloyd Allen of Honduras, president of the Episcopal Church’s Province IX.

The press release begins:

Anglican bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in San José, Costa Rica, May 18-22, released a declaration reaffirming their call for the Anglican Communion “to preserve its participative nature, diverse, ample and inclusive,” characteristics they say are essential to Anglicanism.

The English text is reproduced here:

Declaration of the Anglican Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (Global Center)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3

“By this all men would now that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

We the Anglican Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, who sign below, gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica from the 18 to 22 of May 2007, renew and ratify our position proposed in Panama, better known as the Global Center, in which we call the Communion to preserve its participative nature, diverse, ample and inclusive, characteristics which we consider essential to Anglicanism and at the same time our contribution to the Christian tradition.

Since our last meeting, our concern has grown because of the polarization regarding the biblical and theological positions manifested in the Anglican Communion, during the last years; positions known as Global North and Global South, non reconcilable in their character and putting the unity in the Communion at risk.

In the midst of this painful controversy, we do not identify with either side, because they don’t fully represent the spirit of our thoughts.

It has been proven in our relations that we greatly represent the plurality and diversity that are universal characteristics of Anglicanism and that we hold different positions on the themes that are presently discussed in the Communion. However, we have also experienced that the plurality and diversity we represent has become a rich source for growth, rather than a cause for controversy and division.

We unanimously express our determination to remain united as members of the same family and will continue to come to the Lord’s Table, together.

We invite our brothers and sisters in the episcopate, as well as all the members of the Clergy and laity who identify with this vision, to join together and work for an effective reconciliation, interdependence and unity in the diversity of our family of faith and so preserve the valuable legacy of which we are guardians.

As disciples of Jesus, called to live out the mandate of love (St. John 15:17), we declare our commitment to be together and with all our strength, struggle for unity, as an act of obedience to His will expressed in the Holy Scriptures. Trusting that the Holy Spirit, whose descent we are about to celebrate on the Feast of Pentecost, will guide and strengthen us on such a difficult journey.

The experience of these few days confirms our conviction that, we will make it with God’s blessings. Of this, we are sure and now we return to our dioceses comforted and full of joy and hope.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 8:52am BST | Comments (72) | TrackBack
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from the papers on Saturday

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about Norfolk’s heir to the Punjab.

In The Times Stephen Plant writes about why Trinity Sunday helps us to see the real dangers of bad faith.

The Guardian’s Face to Faith column is written by Joanna Collicutt McGrath and discusses Richard Turnbull’s opinions. As the Guardian explains:

The Rev Dr Joanna Collicutt McGrath is a lecturer in the psychology of religion at Heythrop College. A former student and visiting tutor at Wycliffe Hall, she co-wrote The Dawkins Delusion with her husband, Professor Alister McGrath.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 8:33am BST | Comments (12) | TrackBack
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Friday, 1 June 2007

Wycliffe Hall responds

Richard Turnbull reacts to the earlier article by Giles Fraser in the Guardian in I didn’t say you’ll all go to hell. (Some of the comments are also interesting.)

The elected present, past and future Student Presidents of Wycliffe have a letter in both the Church of England Newspaper and the Church Times. Anglican Mainstream has reproduced the CEN version.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 2:02pm BST | Comments (62) | TrackBack
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