Thursday, 31 July 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (15)

Today Anglicans circled prayerfully and slowly around, worked hard at not stepping on each others toes, and eventually all ended up in the centre admiring Canterbury. Yes, it was the official opening of the new University Labyrinth on the slope behind Eliot College and with wonderful views over both city and cathedral. I’m not sure whether the Conference simply coincided serendipitously with the labyrinth’s creation or not, but it made a fine late addition to the programme and afforded yet another way of holding all we are doing before God.

Our indaba group on sexuality was every bit as moving as I had hoped for. Emotionally I think the Conference has gone a long way towards endorsing what I would call responsible, accountable, contextual diversity. The tricky bit may be trying to capture that in a text that will survive the flights home, the determined shredders of the blogosphere and the efforts of some of our absent friends.

The morning video journal, before the dismissal at the end of the Eucharist, featured Tom Shaw from Massachusetts (thank you spell checker) and a Tanzanian bishop (whose name I didn’t catch) explaining how they keep up a warm and loving dialogue on human sexuality, that has now lasted several years, across their obvious and persisting theological differences. It was an example of the same graciousness that has been the hallmark of the last two weeks, but it shows it doesn’t have to end when Lambeth is over. The video introduction featured Rowan, who started by saying, “The 1998 Lambeth Conference spent a lot of energy discussing sexuality”, at which point the audio failed, whilst the picture jumped once or twice then stuck on a still of the Archbishop with his eyes closed (a blink stretched into eternity). Clearly this is where the energy finally ran out. The whole big blue tent roared with laughter, especially Rowan himself, and the mood, already buoyed up by a splendid sermon from the Archbishop of Burundi, rose even further. It was a good start to a good day.

Highlight of the day: I’m invited to supper at the Old Palace Canterbury tonight.

Lowlight of the day: when I get back I’m going to have to pack as tomorrow is my last day here before returning to Worcester for the Three Choirs Festival.

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Lambeth: Thursday press conference

Updated Friday morning

Today the press conference on sexuality occurred. Jim Naughton has captured the event well in Live: talking sex successfully, and see also his earlier, Live: talking sex.

Listen to the press conference here.

Anglican Journal Marites Sison No consensus yet on sexuality, but bishops make ‘significant step forward’

ENS Mary Frances Schjonberg Sexuality discussions bring Lambeth bishops to frank conversation and videos of both the presentations are also available, Archbishop Ian Ernest here, and Bishop Colin Johnson here.

Sorry, it has been pointed out to me that these videos do not have individual Permalinks, you have to locate them from here, by date. The date for these two items is 07/31/08.

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Lambeth: Orombi attacks Williams

Updated Friday morning
The full article in The Times by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi can be read at The Church cannot heal this crisis of betrayal.

And Ruth Gledhill writes about it: Rowan Williams betrayed churches over gay bishop, says African leader

Ruth Gledhill reports: Lambeth Diary: Rowan accused of ‘betrayal’

In a comment piece in tomorrow’s Times, the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, will accuse the Arcbishop of Canterbury of a betrayal at the very deepest level. He will argue that even the Pope is elected by his peers, but Dr Williams in his office is little better than a remnant of colonialism.

Also, in The Times Cardinal Kasper is reported to have been very negative, see Catholic-Anglican relations reach new low over women bishops

The full text of this is now available in English at Zenit Cardinal Kasper to Anglican Communion

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Lambeth: Tom Wright's talk

Fulcrum has the full text over here.

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Lambeth: Church Times blog reports

Pat Ashworth has Rowan Williams: a call for mutual generosity

and also Windsor: mixed responses

Ed Beavan has Bishops talk about Windsor Continuation Group’s proposals

and Greg Venables: We’re still not addressing the basic issue

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Lambeth: BBC reports

Robert Pigott has updated his diary, see the 30 July entry at Lambeth diary: Anglicans in turmoil

Hear what coverage the Today programme had this morning by going here. And also here. 0735 and 0855.

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in other news

Riazat Butt has a Lambeth Diary in the Guardian. Today it is titled Group meetings to resolve conflicts mocked by bishops.

It also mentions the use of diplomatic passports by archbishops. Here’s some more background from Uganda. It’s an inter-faith issue as you can see.

Kampala Monitor Uganda: Religious Leaders Holding Diplomatic Passports Illegally

…Religious leaders who hold diplomatic passports include the Archbishop the Church Of Uganda, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, the Archbishop Of Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Uganda.

When contacted, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said; “I can’t comment on a matter which I have not heard. I will give a comment later.”

However, the Muslim Supreme Council Publicist, Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, defended the religious leaders’ right to possess diplomatic passports. “Did they get these passports through the window?

Religious leaders are sacred people. They are bigger than even ministers. They should hold these passports,” he said. Mr Kasaija, who was defending his Shs290 billion 2008/9 budget said Ugandan diplomatic passports have been abused by criminals who masquerade as diplomats.

He said officials who are supposed to access diplomatic passports include; government ministers and their spouses, foreign service officers, their spouses and children below the age of 18, the head of public service, the chief justice, justices of the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, chancellors and vice chancellors of public universities, the governor and deputy governor of Bank of Uganda, recognised traditional and cultural leaders, the speaker and deputy speaker of Parliament, permanent secretaries, chairpersons and vice chairpersons of permanent commissions…

Red Pepper State Probes Mufti, Orombi over Diplomatic Passports.

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Lambeth Voices

Times Online has a roundup Lambeth Voices: a panel of Anglican bishops share their views with Faith Online. Mouneer Anis is forthright in his views.

Other Blogging Bishops are rounded up regularly by Episcopal Café and the most recent articles in this series are Bishops blogging, July 30, and Blogging bishops, July 29.

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Lambeth: Wednesday press conference reports

Today, the press conference was concerned with the interpretation of the Bible. The speakers were Archbishop David Moxon and Professor Gerald West from South Africa.

Jim Naughton has this: Live: the Bible press conference

Anglican Journal Marites Sison Bishops share common commitment to remain biblical

Episcopal News Service has a report by Mary Frances Schjonberg Lambeth bishops wrestle with Scripture and there is also video of Professor Gerald West addresses media at Lambeth News Conference Search for this video on date 07/30/08.

There are no reports of this in the British newspapers so far.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (14)

Tomorrow is sex day here at Canterbury, so tonight I’m missing any number of receptions being hosted by groups wanting to get the last word to bishops in advance. Meanwhile the work on the “conference document”, whatever that will turn out to be, continues apace; the listeners draft texts which we then meet each afternoon to critique. Today’s session was remarkable only for the fact that hardly any USA bishops spoke, otherwise we made the usual range of strengthening and clarifying amendments that 600 articulate adults are always going to be able to provide. We’re being told that a number of people have responded to Rowan’s question last night about what they might offer in generosity to those of an opposing view. There’ll be more discussion on that tomorrow.

The spouses fled the campus this morning, being taken on a range of day trips to different parts of Kent and its environs. It was suggested over breakfast that the group going to Rochester might pay a friendly call on the bishop; if he won’t come to Lambeth, Lambeth could come to him. In its wilder versions the idea involved large quantities of rainbow ribbon.

I’m clearly getting a reputation in my bible study group; one colleague was quite adamant that I wasn’t going to be allowed to go through a whole session without telling them a story about St Francis of Assisi.

Highlight of the day: a brilliant lecture on scriptural authority by Tom Wright, who combines immense scholarship with a highly engaging style. Unusually for a 4pm slot the room was packed.

Lowlight of the day: my debit card was jammed then swallowed by the ATM. Still, that solves the question as to whether I pay £22 for the official photo. In any case, Dave Walker’s cartoon version gives a far more complete picture of our time here.

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Africa speaks

Yesterday, Dr Maria Akrofi of Ghana addressed the daily press conference.

Watch it all here.

Read the report by Pat Ashworth Rape and the abuse of power: bringing it home to the bishops.

ENS had Bishops, spouses discuss power abuses in joint session

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Tuesday on the lawns at Canterbury

I’ve no idea what a “cage match” is, but Jim Naughton described one that didn’t happen here yesterday.

See Live: the cage match that wasn’t.

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Lambeth: Wednesday news reports

Guardian Riazat Butt Gay clergy: Archbishop urges Anglican factions to ‘show generosity’

The Times Ruth Gledhill Archbishop of Canterbury’s unity plea to Lambeth Conference and also Lambeth Diary: Rowan begs, ‘Choose Life’

Telegraph Martin Beckford Archbishop of Canterbury accuses Anglicans of threatening ‘death to each other’

Anglican Journal Marites Sison Rowan attempts to bridge sides in human sexuality debate

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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (13)

Today we threw over the usual timetable and spent the morning as spouses and bishops together studying the story of the rape of Tamar as a way into seeing what societies, including our own, do to the powerless. To make safe space for all we were divided into male and female on separate halves of the Big Blue. Riding Lights Theatre Company provided some fascinating drama on the same theme from the New Testament, showing us how women are accepted as long as they are infantilised, useful or invisible. The story of how all the men around Tamar work to silence her voice was pretty salutary. Chaplains were available then and all afternoon to help people deal with the personal issues raised. This could have been trivial and corny but ultimately it was challenging and profound. I suspect the more paternalistic the home culture the more shocking the day was. And for many of us the read across to other minorities including LGBT who are invisible, allowed to participate only in as much as they prove particularly useful or blocked from seniority was pretty obvious. It will form part of the narrative we take forward.

Rowan spoke after Evening Prayer, but that’s heavily reported elsewhere so I won’t repeat it here. Conference organisers and insiders to the process seem upbeat about how it is going, the rest of us have to either trust that or make an uninformed decision (not that I’m suggesting bishops ever do make uninformed decisions).

A couple of blogs ago Leonel mentioned the Origins bar at Darwin (yes I know, that really is corny) so we fixed up to have a drink there this evening and I got introduced to some of the wonderful stewards who, for pocket money, look after us all the time. Two weeks in and they’re still smiling. I asked whether they had been put off bishops for life and were all about to become Baptists, but they seemed pretty happy at working with us.

Highlight of the day: the first cool breezes on campus for days

Lowlight of the day: the harrowing scenes of the aftermath of the winds and floods in Burma, shown as part of that province’s presentation of itself during Evensong.

Posted by David Walker on Tuesday, 29 July 2008 at 10:28pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Anglicanism's Wizard of Oz

See this comment article by Stephen Bates on Comment is free about Davis MacIyalla.

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Lambeth: Second Presidential Address

The full text of this has just been released and can be read at ACNS:

The Archbishop of Canterbury Second Presidential Address to the Lambeth Conference 2008

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Lambeth: more on the WCG documents

Telegraph George Pitcher Anglicans struggle to find a safe place for sex

Times Ruth Gledhill’s blog Lambeth Diary: ‘Pastoral Forum’ proposed

The Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham and the Bishop of Mississippi, Duncan Gray gave statements to the WCG hearing. Both can be read by scrolling down at this page.

ENS has video of last night’s news conference about the document, here.

Integrity issued a press release, LGBT Anglicans Back on Chopping Block

The Inclusive Communion response is available as a PDF here.

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Monday, 28 July 2008

Lambeth: Windsor Continuation Group documents

Updated and republished 11 pm Monday Originally published at 7 pm

The full text of the Preliminary Observations issued by the Windsor Continuation Group is now available at ACNS.

Windsor Continuation Group - Preliminary Observations to the Lambeth Conference (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

This document is NOT a report by the Windsor Continuation Group. It constitutes their preliminary observations on the life of the Communion and of the current state of responses to the recommendations of the Windsor Report, and offering some suggestions about the way forward. These observations are offered to the Lambeth Conference for conversation and testing. Are they an accurate description of the current state of our life together?

Update at 11 pm Monday

The document as published by ACNS currently lacks the final page of the paper version which reads

Update 2 pm Tuesday
The omission described above has now been corrected.

Ministering “pastorally and sensitively to all”.

The WCG note that the Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 included a call for “all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex”.

We further note that in Dromantine in January 2005, the primates stated that “the victimisation or diminshment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship”.

We believe that the time is ripe for the bishops of the Lambeth Conference to reaffirm the commitments expressed in these statements, and to invite them to be committed to challenging such attitudes where they may exist in the societies, churches and governments of the nations in which they proclaim the Gospel as good news for all without exception.

Also, there are problems with the two links to PDF files at the bottom of the ACNS page. One of those links is to the PDF version of the same document(s), which contains the same omission, and the other is a PDF version of the first draft of the Indaba process document, but I am unable to open it on a Macintosh.

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News from the Big Blue Tent (12)

One of my hopes in writing this daily piece is that it helps those beyond the university campus to hold what is going on up here in prayer. Today I got to be part of that when I joined the Third Order Franciscan Praying Presence at Greyfriars in the city. Franciscan tertiaries from the UK and beyond are following a daily prayer routine for the conference in the place where the very first Franciscan house in England was founded, during the saint’s lifetime, in 1224.

The chapel is part of the original buildings and has miraculously survived the reformation and all that has happened since. My task was to preside at the noon Eucharist and then share lunch. It was a chance to preach on the day’s text (John 10.1-10; I am the door of the sheepfold) and relate it to the Franciscan charism. Prayer is being stepped up on campus too. From today on there is a vigil from 0900 to 2100.

This afternoon saw the second set of Windsor Continuation Hearings, the papers for which are now available on Thinking Anglicans. The pattern tended to be conservative TEC followed by liberal TEC with some good, and good natured, speeches on both sides. Most telling was the temperamentally conservative bishop who personally opposed the consecration of Gene Robinson but still has territorial invasions in his diocese. We need a tool that will allow these to be examined; maybe the WCG paper suggests something (though it needs some beefing up in my view). (By the way, thanks for all the comments and links readers have added, as I said, I’m not responding to each but am taking you with me on the journey.)

Tonight’s main speaker was Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, he’s well worth listening too, especially on religion and culture, but I’d accepted an invite from USPG who kindly support our work with Peru. Anyway, last time I invited Rabbi Sacks to something he sent apologies, so it felt fair enough. The USPG reception was humbling. In rapid succession I spoke with the Bishop of Harare and the Archbishop of Burma, amazing people living out Christian lives and ministries under appalling conditions. The Archbishop of Southern Africa spoke movingly to the assembled gathering. A wise friend from a conservative African province said to me, “If you disagree with your husband or wife, you don’t kick them out; you just carry on walking side by side and believe things can change in the future”.

This morning’s Eucharist was presided over by the Indian Ocean province. I was surprised to see my friend Graham Cray, bishop of Maidstone and suffragan of Rowan on the platform. For a moment I thought I had the media scoop of the conference: “Diocese of Canterbury goes for alternative provincial oversight”. Surely not even Rowan’s worst nightmares feature that eventuality. All was soon cleared up; the province had invited its three links to each put a bishop on the altar.

Highlight of the day: hearing the voices of children outside playing in the summer sun as we celebrated the Eucharist in the thirteenth century Franciscan chapel.

Lowlight of the day: the heat and humidity in the Spouses’ Venue for the Hearings session. Is God trying to tell us something about bishops and hot air?

Posted by David Walker on Monday, 28 July 2008 at 10:20pm BST | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: clarity needed

Another interview by Pat Ashworth was in last week’s Church Times and is with Archbishop of South-East Asia. Read Clarity needed before next ACC — Archbishop Chew.

Archbishop Deng’s suggestion that 500 of the bishops had been present at a meeting of provinces of the Global South on Monday was described by someone who had been there as a huge over-estimate: the number was around 150. But his claim that 17 provinces agreed with the statement was thought extremely likely to be accurate by the Archbishop of South-East Asia, the Most Revd John Chew…

…“Sudan came out with the statement for reasons of their own, and felt they had to say something. It was important for them to make that statement, and we appreciate them for that. I don’t think you will find any of the Global South provinces disagreeing with what they say. The way they put it will be coming from Sudan, but the essence — yes.”

Archbishop Chew had not studied the statement, but there was nothing new in it, he suggested: it repeated Windsor and was consistent with the Primates’ statement from Dromantine. “They are not calling for anything new, which would have been unfair. They are saying that if we do not take up what we have committed [ourselves to] seriously, then even in the eyes of the secular world, our credibility is reduced…”

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Lambeth: telling it like it is

Pat Ashworth at the Church Times blog has interviewed the Bishop of Botswana, read it in full here.

THE FURORE over the Archbishop of Sudan’s comments last week is dying down: a bit of excitement that grabbed all the headlines, including our own. The story is moving on. But many have since observed that the official statement on sexuality that came from the Sudanese House of Bishops (and with which 17 provinces concurred) did not contain a call for Gene Robinson’s resignation. That came in the afternoon press conference, a day after the statement was put into circulation.

Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia was one of those expressing puzzlement. “We had a meeting of six to eight American bishops with Sudanese bishops, all having diocesan links. It was a very helpful meeting because we respect and appreciate the Sudanese position and at the same time welcome their commitment to remain in relationship with us: we accept that we have much to learn from them and they seem to welcome our participation in their lives,” he said on Saturday.

“Archbishop Deng Bul made it clear at the press conference. He was asked what he would do if he were Gene Robinson. It was a speculative question and he said if he was Gene Robinson, he would resign. It was not a formal call from the Sudanese bishops. He did not repeat that to us as a demand at all.”

The Bishop of Botswana, Trevor Mwamba, was even more forthright on the discrepancy between the statement and the views expressed later by Archbishop Deng. “My personal view is that it wasn’t helpful at all. I can understand where they are coming from in being in a Muslim context. But having said that, I am also aware that somebody organised that position. In the context of the conference it’s regrettable that it was done but here are other factors at play and we need to name those factors.

“We are using each other at times for ends which are not constructive. That’s just one example of people being used. Another is that people are continuously talking up the absence of our brothers from four African provinces from this meeting. But the point is that a lot of those brothers of ours – 200 is a nice round figure – would have wanted to come here. That’s important to say.”

Bishop Mwamba described the situation as it had been in Uganda, “where a special Synod is organised and provision passed which would penalise any bishop coming to the Lambeth Conference. That denied freedom of expression in terms of any individual bishop. The invitation to Lambeth is in the gift of the archbishop and it is up to a particular bishop, not a particular province, to say I will come or I won’t come.

“What are we saying about our leadership styles? It was the same in Nigeria- many would have been glad to come. So when they say 200 of our brothers have boycotted the conference – definitely no. Maybe given the freedom, one or two would have stayed behind. It must be clearly understood: the reason why they didn’t come is that they were forced not to come.” He finds it therefore a paradox that while they stay at home, some of the American allies who have been working with them – for example, Bishop Robert Duncan and others - are here…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 28 July 2008 at 11:11am BST | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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UK government grants asylum to MacIyalla

Changing Attitude reports that:

UK grants asylum to Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria

As Ruth Gledhill notes on her blog about this, Lambeth Diary: Nigerian gay Christian activist granted asylum:

This is extremely rare here and a clear indication of how seriously the British Government is taking the attacks and threats made against him in Nigeria. It will also surely send a signal to bishops meeting here about this whole issue, to be on the agenda of indaba groups this week…

and the Church of Nigeria still has this statement on its official website.

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Sunday, 27 July 2008

Lambeth: Sunday and the scorecard

I spent all of Friday and Saturday at the conference, staying overnight on campus. Some of each day was spent in the Marketplace, where I was helping Dave Walker, the cartoonist, who has a stall there selling his products, but obviously he can’t be on the stand at the same time as he is being cartoonist in a tent elsewhere on the campus.

All of the bishops I talked to so far have been positive about the state of progress, though I did see a few eyebrows raised when I told them what Rowan Williams had said to the press on Friday about the success rate of Indaba groups (around 80% going as expected).

Jim Naughton spent some time on Saturday trying to assess where the Conference had got to so far, see Live: where things stand. As I am quoted there saying that it was late in the 1998 conference before things started to get really difficult, I thought it might be useful to link here to what I wrote on the corresponding Sunday of 1998. I titled it then “calm before the storm”.

Tom Wright wrote a letter home about the Lambeth Conference so far. Read it on Fulcrum at Mid-Lambeth Conference Letter to the Diocese of Durham. He also seems reasonably up-beat about progress to date. I must admit I thought one of the most interesting tidbits of information was:

this is the first time for nearly a year that I have had more than seven consecutive nights in the same bed

which seems quite remarkable given that the Diocese of Durham covers only 987 square miles according to the CofE Year Book, and thus on the small side by global communion standards.

However, it does put into context the problem he had last Saturday when, while he was giving all those interviews to newspaper reporters, he was at the same time trying desperately to find his missing robes to wear for the opening service. In the event, he had to go without, as they had not been posted to him from Bishop Auckland, as planned. (The parcel which at one time was thought to contain the Bishop of Durham’s convocation robes turned out in the end to contain the shoes of the Bishop of Chile.)

I talked to Archbishop Phillip Aspinall fairly late on Saturday afternoon, and was rather surprised to discover that he had no idea at all of that morning’s (rather sensational) UK national newspaper headlines about the conference. This would not be surprising for your average jobbing bishop attending the conference, but he is after all the frontman for the official daily press conferences and I would expect someone or other to have made sure he was properly briefed before that started (at 1.30 pm).

More generally, and more worryingly, the bishops did not seem to be aware of the documents being issued by official bodies like the Windsor Continuation Group to the conference and also to the press. I am left wondering how such information is being disseminated INSIDE the conference itself.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 27 July 2008 at 11:06pm BST | Comments (13) | TrackBack
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News from the Big Blue Tent (11)

Well, I did what I said I was going to do: took the train to Dover, bought a map and bottle of sun tan lotion, then walked along the cliffs to Samphire Hoe (the country park made out of the Eurotunnel spoil heap) read my book for a good three hours then retraced my steps slowly along the coast to catch the London Victoria service back to Canterbury. The sun has shone all day, but hazily enough for me not to burn and I now feel thoroughly into the plot of “Animal’s People”. I’ve had a good supper (before the queues), a cooling shower and made liberal use of the after sun spray.

So what to write about today? Perhaps it’s a chance to give a sense of where I feel I (personally as opposed to the conference as a whole) am at this instant on the Anglican Communion issues we’re going to be dealing with next week. I may well change; I have to be open to that if I’m taking the process seriously, but this is how it feels this middle Sunday evening.

I think it is possible to envisage some sort of covenant document, broadly along the lines that the Design Group have come up with, which uses the traditional Anglican formularies for the bulk of its text, recognises that as Anglicans our mission is to enculture the gospel along with evangelising the culture, and clearly avoids attempting to lay down the line on doctrinal issues that are not part of the historic creeds and on moral positions. A covenant will need to have some criteria for determining whether a particular church is adhering to it, and there have to be ways in which new areas of concern can be raised and addressed in a timely fashion where they are so grave, have so wide an impact or are sufficiently divisive not to be simply matters that provinces (or dioceses) can determine autonomously without being called to some form of account. My area of greatest scepticism is whether such a covenant can ever be used to deal with matters that have already become rancorous.

I’ve heard enough stories this last 10 days to know that even TEC bishops who voted against Gene Robinson are facing territorial incursions from parishes who think the game is now pick-a-bishop. That really will not do. We mustn’t let this particular issue off the hook again.

And so to bed! I read and study my bible habitually, prayerfully and hard, learning both from the insights the Holy Spirit provides me and from the long tradition of piety and scholarship within which I am continually formed and reformed. My personal conclusion is that what St Paul and the Old Testament are condemning are not faithful, loving and stable same sex relationships as we see them today but rather matters of cultic sex, sex as the expression of a particular power relationship, and promiscuity. The other main argument, that God didn’t create Adam and Adam, collapses into a narrow form of Thomism (in which every “thing” can have only one good and natural purpose) that is explicitly rejected in the Prayer Book (and its revisions) marriage service and therefore cannot be claimed as Anglican.

Nonetheless, if I ever thought this issue could be “adiaphora” (something a local church can determine without needing to heed others) I no longer do. The consecration of a bishop in an active same sex relationship has certainly helped some Christians in North America to feel more fully accepted by the church, official liturgies and blessings for such partnerships have done the same for the couples involved and their friends. But the price is being paid elsewhere, particularly in places where Christians are on the defensive or in a minority in relation to Islam, and are often seen as slack on topics such as the consumption of alcohol. In countries like these male homosexual activities are often still criminal. There is no way they can tackle these issues at present in their contexts nor could they defend themselves by saying that “it’s not us, it’s just the Americans”. Indeed the very fact that it is the USA (in many parts of the world I doubt Canada is adequately distinguished) leading that plays into the anti-imperialism and hatred of America that is so strong across the globe. Invasion by American cultural values is no more popular than invasion by its troops.

As a C of E bishop I recognise that were I to insist on carrying out the consequences of my own views on this subject rather than upholding what Synod and the House of Bishops have agreed then I would have to resign. But my Anglican ecclesiology and catholic spirituality teach me to be obedient to the collegial will, properly expressed, not least because I might well be wrong. Equally, I believe that any individual church that claims to be Anglican needs to have a polity which gives full weight to the whole communion. It’s here where I find I am looking over the next few days to my American brothers and sisters for reassurance.

Highlight of the day: a good long read.

Lowlight of the day: the campus shop had closed when I got back and there’s no beer in the fridge.

Posted by David Walker on Sunday, 27 July 2008 at 8:44pm BST | Comments (57) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Sunday news

The Telegraph has a report by Jonathan Wynne-Jones which is headlined Homosexual bishops face Anglican Church ban.

This refers to the third report from the Windsor Continuation Group, which is due to be released on Monday afternoon. See here for the first and second reports. According to Wynne-Jones the third one will say:

The paper, “How do we get from here to there?”, stresses that it is vital that an Anglican Covenant be agreed so that churches around the world are mutually accountable and united by a common set of beliefs. This must happen as soon as possible, it says, to prevent further haemorrhaging of the Anglican Communion over the issue of homosexual clergy.

Until a consensus is reached, the American and Canadian churches must refrain from consecrating more homosexual bishops and carrying out blessing services for same-sex couples, the paper says.

If they do not, they will face being pushed to the margins of the communion and find themselves excluded from the councils that are central to the governance of the Church.

This was of course what the original Windsor Report recommended in 2004. But it also recommended an end to boundary crossings, and now it seems that recommendation may also be repeated:

The African churches, which oppose having practising homosexuals in the clergy, will be told that they must stop intervening in the affairs of other churches as their actions are deepening the rift.

Nigerian and Ugandan archbishops have taken control of dozens of parishes in America and Canada opposed to a liberal agenda.

It seems extraordinarily unlikely that the Nigerians, Ugandans, and indeed the Kenyans or Rwandans, would now agree to undo this, no matter what TEC or ACC agreed to do.

The Sunday Times published a long interview with Bishop Gene Robinson by Rosie Millard.

The BBC reports on a sermon given by Rowan Williams at St Dunstan’s Church, Canterbury today and broadcast on BBC Radio 4, in Anglicans ‘must resolve tensions’. The full text of the sermon is here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 27 July 2008 at 7:39pm BST | Comments (22) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 26 July 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (10)

Thanks to those who are adding comments to this blog. I’ve taken a decision that my time is best spent writing the daily instalment than making individual responses, but do rest assured that you are all part of what I am carrying with me into the various sessions here.

Last night and today we’ve looked at environmental issues. The figures for how much the carbon dioxide level has gone up in recent years were, alongside plenty of other statistics, both frightening and compelling. And, given that Anglicans don’t subscribe to the “let’s use the world up so that Jesus will come back soon” heresy, we need to effect the moral leadership that is our only option for a problem market capitalism is singularly unfitted to deal with unaided. I spoke with a bishop from the Pacific region who has already seen five islands disappear under the water in recent years; one from Tanzania told us that the snows are melting from the summit of Kilimanjaro; a colleague from Zambia spoke of how the rainy season which should last from October to late April is now down to December-March. What bishops do in their bedrooms gets put into perspective when we recognise that those bedrooms may be uninhabitable or under water within a generation.

The conference process goes on and there were some deeply moving moments in my Bible Study Group this morning. The group of 15 or so listeners (one from each indaba) has now been chosen. These bishops will produce the draft documents that will eventually be processed by the conference into something that Rowan told us after Evensong today should not be a record of what was said but provide clear and prophetic direction to the communion. I don’t as yet have a full list but I do know two good friends; Michael Perham of Gloucester and Bill Godfrey of Peru are on it. These are people in whom I have confidence.

After lunch we had the Lambeth 08 photo. For forty minutes the staff painstakingly arranged all 670 or so of us in tiers whilst we sweated in the afternoon heat, close proximity and convocation dress, and regressed to schoolboy/girl status. At the point when the whole thing seemed to have completely bogged down we burst into a spontaneous rendition of Amazing Grace (a full four verses) which defused the situation.

The programme has been quiet since then; Evening Prayer was led by TEC. There were plenty of people there (except for a number of English bishops who have shot off home for a 24 hour break) and it was one further nail in the coffin of the rumour that significant numbers of TEC bishops are deficient in Christology (or other areas of doctrine). Tonight there are a handful of fringe events but I’ve bought a can of decent beer and am watching a favourite old film (Pleasantville) on my laptop. Tomorrow I’m skipping both the options of the cathedral and civic reception or a parish visit and will take a train to a decent beach where I can enjoy a long walk and a good novel.

Highlight of the day: the amazingly proficient choir of TEC bishops and spouses who helped lead Evening Prayer.

Lowlight of the day: discovering that the train I need tomorrow goes from the further away station.

Posted by David Walker on Saturday, 26 July 2008 at 9:24pm BST | Comments (15) | TrackBack
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opinions during Lambeth

Rowan Williams writes in the Guardian about A new spiritual politics of limits

Terry Philpot writes in Face to Faith about how The Catholic church has done much lately to protect children, but little to protect priests.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about John Donne on a chill island

In The Times the Credo column is written by the Archbishop of Sydney. No, not that one, the other one. See World Youth Day took Sydney by storm and prayer.

Earlier Simon Barrow wrote on Ekklesia about Peacemaking after Christendom. Read more about his book Fear or Freedom?: Why a Warring Church Must Change.

In the Church Times Giles Fraser wrote Try being transformed by joy.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 July 2008 at 9:24am BST | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: The View from the English Pew

Here’s a piece I wrote for Lambeth Witness. It’s in this issue here (PDF).

Lambeth: The View from the English Pew
by Simon Sarmiento
Thinking Anglicans

I’m fairly sure the average English churchgoer thinks that the Lambeth Conference is something of great importance to bishops. After all it gives them a chance to get away from home with their wives for over two weeks, and the Church Commissioners will pick up the full tab. Unlike their American counterparts, they are already accustomed to the primitive plumbing facilities of English university residence halls, which they experience every July when General Synod goes to York. But hey, it’s free.

I don’t believe though that many Church of England (CofE) parishioners think that the Lambeth Conference is of importance to them. They know that the Church of England is ultimately controlled by Parliament, via powers delegated to the General Synod, but they also know that the General Synod is very rarely able to agree on anything very quickly, if at all. So the chance of anything changing in their parish church because of something a Sudanese bishop said is rather remote.

And most parishioners know that what the national newspapers and television tell them about the CofE is rubbish anyway. They know this because their parish clergy, especially those who are members of General Synod, tell them this all the time.

And because the average churchgoer doesn’t read the Church Times, the only thing they will ever learn about Lambeth is what they hear in the pulpit. Lots of sermons have been preached in England recently about the Conference, and how important it is to pray for the bishops, including those not coming. In fact the main thing most people know about this conference is that hundreds of bishops are staying away. They may not be very clear about why this is, but one thing they are all certain of: it’s not the Church of England’s fault.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 July 2008 at 8:00am BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Saturday morning news reports

(I realise earlier reports for the past couple of days are missing, but I will start the catch-up process with the most recent material.)

Guardian Riazat Butt Lambeth Conference: Archbishop of Canterbury backs Anglican ‘Holy Office’
Telegraph Martin Beckford Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams backs ‘Anglican Inquisition’
The Times Ruth Gledhill Anglican version of the ‘inquisition’ proposed to avoid future schism

What is this about? It is about this document, available here. Right at the end is this sentence:

The Common Principles of Canon law Project ( Anglican Communion Legal Advisers Network) gives a sense of the integrity of Anglicanism and we commend the suggestion for the setting up of an Anglican Communion Faith and Order Commission that could give guidance on ecclesiological issues raised by our current ‘crisis’.

Ruth Gledhill explains further in her blog, Lambeth Diary: Anglican ‘Holy Office’.

Robert Pigott has a diary entry for 25 July about this press conference, see Agreeing to Disagree here.

In the Church Times blog Pat Ashworth had Rowan on ecumenism - all in the same boat.
And here is the Anglican Journal report on this story, by Marites Sison Proposal calls for creation of Faith and Order Commission
and Episcopal News Service has this report by Mary Frances Schjonberg, Lambeth Conference begins considering ‘difficult situations’
and Religious Intelligence has a report by George Conger Lambeth: Is Inquisition on the cards?
and the Living Church has a report by Steve Waring Archbishop: Communion Faith and Order Commission Gains Momentum.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 July 2008 at 7:24am BST | Comments (20) | TrackBack
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Friday, 25 July 2008

News from the Big Blue Tent (9)

It was the turn of the Church of North India to lead the Conference Eucharist this morning. It’s surely no coincidence that the Indian bishops have been more prominent participants in the various events I’ve attended since. Having presided at the breaking of the bread with us they have gone on, like an extended Ministry of the Word, to break open their stories and their lives through the rest of the day.

The conference theme for Friday has been Christian ecumenism. There are huge differences of context between a majority denomination in a majority Christian community and a small church in a land where some other faith dominates, but what all seemed to have in common is that ecumenism works best in places with natural shared boundaries (a town, an island, a nation) but it’s much harder going at intermediate levels where jurisdictions overlap and often make it hard to assemble meetings of the necessary people. It also appears easier to be ecumenical when there is an obvious shared task, particularly in response to a crisis. Someone offered us a lovely quote from Desmond Tutu, that apartheid was too big a problem for the churches to tackle it separately. What I’m increasingly feeling though is that much of what we do is an infantile form of ecumenism based on “what can we all do together?”, grown up ecumenism must lie in what we empower some to do on behalf of all.

It feels like we’re now close to being ready to tackle some of the Anglican Communion agenda items directly. Whilst they are certainly not more important than what we did in London yesterday they are matters for which the conference, as one of the Instruments of Communion, has a particular responsibility and locus. We’ve built relationships and allowed divisive issues to emerge where they have come up naturally and it has been OK. I even get a sense that for some the encounters (let the lobbyists shudder) have led to bishops reflecting on and maybe revising their positions.

I took my daily tour round the marketplace earlier, to honour the efforts of those who have come to Canterbury to be with us. I’m trying to let myself be drawn into conversations both with those whose positions I share and others whose viewpoints I find antithetical or even (in one or two instances) slightly disturbing. Partly, I think it’s important to be open to having my attitudes challenged and changed and partly, as my chaplain used to say when he’d invited the JWs in for a chat, when they’re talking to me they’re not talking to anyone else.

I’m writing somewhat earlier today in the hope of getting to sleep sooner, so I’ll blog something tomorrow about tonight’s plenary on the environment and climate change – another issue far too important to get pushed off the agenda.

Highlight of the day: Meeting Professor Grace Davie, whose work I’ve long admired and whose arguments I’ve written papers attacking. Her work in the sociology of religion has paved the way for humble empirical theologians like myself to do our work.

Lowlight of the day: writing this blog then the program crashing before I’d saved it, so I’ve had to type it all in again. But, dear reader, you’re worth it!

Posted by David Walker on Friday, 25 July 2008 at 7:11pm BST | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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Lambeth Conference: Paul Handley on the press

This week’s Church Times press column is available on day of publication and is written by the Editor himself.

Read Press: Saying no to the media by Paul Handley which includes this:

…THE RELATIONSHIP between the press and the conference organisers — mediated through the media team — is deteriorating nicely. Having been told earlier that journalists could not attend the cell groups, the indaba groups, or the “self-select” seminars, and some of the plenaries, it was found that the fringe meetings were also out of bounds, unless the meeting organiser agreed otherwise. A journalist had been ejected from a meeting (on the subject of mediation) the previous evening.

The latest news was that members of the press were also barred from the 7.15 a.m. eucharist, because “it is important for bishops and their wives to be able to worship freely”. The image conjured up was of obtrusive television interviews being conducted at the communion rail. Journalists do actually know how to behave themselves during services. It felt like dragging our Lord into the organisational pettiness. The least the organisers could do is to lay on a public eucharist before the bishops’ service.

THE OTHER ROW on Tuesday was about a list of those attending. This has not yet been forthcoming — and might never come forth — because of “security reasons” (10.30 a.m. press conference) or “privacy laws” (1.30 p.m. press conference).

We did wonder, briefly, whether the security reasons had something to do with Radovan Karadzic masquerading as Rowan Williams (see below); but the Archbishop later visited Dave Walker’s cartoon tent, and there was no hint of a Serbian accent.

Lots of press questions were about the presence of bishops from provinces that had previously announced that they were boycotting the conference. “Nigerian bishops” (10.30 a.m. press conference) changed to “a fax from a Nigerian bishop indicating that he was coming” by 1.30 p.m. “So,” a German reporter asked dryly, “the fax is here but not the bishop?”

After a tetchy discussion about all these restrictions, a journalist asked, without a hint of irony: “What, then, is the point of our being here?” A member of the media team said grumpily afterwards: “Well, you asked to come here.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 25 July 2008 at 7:23am BST | Comments (46) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: some press comment

Church Times leader: Wheat and tares in Canterbury

Economist Going their own way, by God

Comment is free Theo Hobson The Anglican communion has never been stranger

International Herald Tribune Chloe Breyer The Anglican Church’s shifting center

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 25 July 2008 at 7:03am BST | Comments (18) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Common Cause applies to be a GAFCON province

Common Cause Partnership Welcomes Jerusalem Declaration.

The statement includes this:

The intention of the CCP Executive Committee is to petition the Primates Council for recognition of the CCP as the North American Province of GAFCON on the basis of the Common Cause Partnership Articles, Theological Statement, and Covenant Declaration, and to ask that the CCP Moderator be seated in the Primates Council.

Comment on this is collected at Episcopal Café see Petition for a North American province of Gafcon.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 25 July 2008 at 12:32am BST | Comments (42) | TrackBack
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Keeping the media at arm's length

Pat Ashworth writes on the Church Times blog about this.

See The Lambeth Conference: Keeping the media at arm’s length.

…Our morning press briefings bristle with tension and frustration. The Church House communications team are brilliant: they go the extra mile for us every time and are taking all the flak for whatever higher authority has decreed that we cannot have a list of the 670 bishops who are said to be present. Lawyers and privacy laws have been mentioned. Today we are told there will be a list, but that bishops can decline to be on it. So our readers worldwide - whose Church this is – cannot know whether their bishop turned up or not…

…It’s the story of our lives, speaking to somebody afterwards, if they’ll speak to you at all. It’s second-hand reporting. It just won’t do. None of the bishops’ seminar options, the ‘self-select sessions’, are open to us. I look at the range of issues and am desperate to sit at the feet at some of the renowned people from all over the globe who are leading them.

Here is everything that matters, everything the Church should be engaging with. What wouldn’t I give to go to The Deadly Co-epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS, chaired by the Archbishop of Cape Town? Or The Consequences of Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa? I want to know about the Church’s role in peace building and conflict resolution. The mission challenges posed by eastern spiritualities. Christian responsibility in relation to the Holy Land. And the rest.

I want to hear it from the horse’s mouth. I want to see the flashpoints, hear the burning things I hope the bishops want to say from their own contexts. I don’t want someone else to tell me what was said. The conference is heavily in debt and there’s all the more need for us to know it is doing its work. The only result of keeping the media at arm’s length like this will be the headlines that everyone’s expecting and nobody wants.

Let me repeat that last sentence:

The only result of keeping the media at arm’s length like this will be the headlines that everyone’s expecting and nobody wants.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 25 July 2008 at 12:02am BST | Comments (9) | TrackBack
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News from the Big Blue Tent (8)

We haven’t been in the tent today, we’ve been in London.

I could write about the lunch that Rowan and Jane hosted for some 1500 friends and colleagues in their back garden, or the graciousness of Her Majesty who won the hearts of the conference and our guests with her legendary conversational gifts in another back garden a mile or so away. I could congratulate the staff, stewards and drivers who managed the logistics of decamping the entire conference a two hour journey up the road for a day. If you want a funny, it would be the line from a well-known hymn quoted by the bishop next to me as several hundred purple clad bishops headed in unison for the Embankment Station urinals, “All one body wee”. But the only real story today is of how we marched together to uphold the Millennium Development Goals and to call for a radical commitment to justice and mercy from (especially) the governments of the wealthy nations, and of how Gordon Brown pledged his commitment in person.

We marched not simply as well-fed bishops of the west but as bishops and spouses from (we were told) some 130 or so countries. Many of those marching live in places torn by war, depleted by poverty, threatened by climate change. They come from dioceses where children have no schools, curable diseases kill many and harvests fail. Physically it was a march of 1500 churchmen and women, symbolically it was a march of the 80 million Anglican worshippers we represent and a march for the sake of the billions in whose countries we live and work. Crowds lined the streets and applauded. Some stopped what they were doing and joined us as we journeyed past the great departments of state in Whitehall, past Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, past the Abbey and over the river to Lambeth.

I’ve been in meetings before where Gordon Brown (UK Prime Minister) has spoken on the subject of poverty, so I knew it was a passion of his. But even for me, let alone for those hearing him for the first time, this was a speech to remember. It was an integrated effort of heart and mind. Without visible reading of notes he drew on both the macro-economic statistics of poverty and the individual, named, people he has met at the point of their deepest need. There was oratorical flourish in his comparison of the effects of the speeches of Socrates and Demosthenes on their audiences (was this a subtle contrast between himself and his predecessor?). He set everything within the great tradition of campaigning and action on behalf of the oppressed and excluded by Christians and other faiths. But the crux of the speech was in the specific commitments he made on behalf of his administration, and which he pledged to take to the United Nations debate in September. I must have spoken to dozens of people as the day rolled on; I didn’t find anyone who was less than full of admiration for what we had heard.

Can we take this on into the rest of the conference, as a reminder that the world and we have bigger issues to address than what bishops do in their bedrooms (in my case mostly sleep and blog)? I hope so. The next few days will tell.

Highlight of the day: that Prime Ministerial speech

Lowlight of the day: returning tired to the campus tonight to yet another huge queue at the one outlet and handful of overstretched staff distributing food. But unlike many around the world we did all (eventually) get fed.

Posted by David Walker on Thursday, 24 July 2008 at 10:03pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

the other statement from Sudan

Updated

This evening, the other statement issued yesterday by the Sudanese bishops has been published by ACNS. This is headed Statement of the Sudanese Bishops to the Lambeth Conference on the Situation in Sudan and it starts out with this:

We, the Sudanese Bishops gathering at the Lambeth Conference, would like on behalf of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) and the whole Sudanese people, to acknowledge and appreciate your prayers and support during the 21 years of war in Southern Sudan and in reaching the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Army (SPLM/A) on 9th January 2005. The CPA provides the basis for a just and sustainable peace in the Sudan. We give thanks to God for the agreement and express our support for all efforts to ensure its full and timely implementation.

After 21 years of war, in which more than 2 million people lost their lives and more than 4 million people have become refugees or internally displaced, we are greatly encouraged at the new future offered by the CPA. However, we remain deeply concerned that the conflict in Darfur, in Western Sudan, continues unabated, and at the localized conflict in several places which threatens stability and the sustainability of peace…

Please do read it all.

A helpfully annotated copy with hyperlinks added, can be found here. Thank you, Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 July 2008 at 11:26pm BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: other news reports from Tuesday

(This article has been delayed, sorry.)

More4News, the programme produced by the Channel 4 News team for the More4 digital channel, had a report Tuesday evening on the Lambeth Conference, and the Bishop of New Hampshire. You can watch the report by going here.

Anglican Journal has Lambeth Conference will deal with ‘breakdown of trust’ by Marites Sison concerning the Windsor Continuation Group.

And also, Zimbabwe talks provide ‘a little hope’, says bishop.

The full text of the presentation by Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples in the Roman Catholic Church, can be read on ACNS at The church needs apologists, not apologisers, Cardinal Dias says.

ACNS had two articles relating to the presentation by Brian McLaren on Monday evening. See Evangelist praises passion of bishops and A chat with Brian McLaren.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 July 2008 at 11:00pm BST | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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News from the Big Blue Tent (7)

There was a game Sue and I used to play with the kids on long car journeys. Someone starts by saying, “My aunt went to Paris and brought me….” and names one item. Player two repeats exactly what player one has said, and adds one item at the end”. And so it continues (what we mathematicians call a process of iteration). Anyone who fails to correctly recite the entire list is eliminated. Take this as a metaphor for the Conference.

We began last Thursday with bible study; on Sunday we added plenary sessions; Indaba groups started on Monday; Tuesday saw the first self-select sessions; today we’ve had a double dose with the introduction of fringe events and hearings. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that the real conference process is that whoever, by sometime late next week, can recite in order, all the different types of event we’ve had on the timetable, will get to decide the Anglican Communion’s policy on sexuality. And actually, I can think of plenty of worse ways.

Tonight I was part of a group putting on a fringe event for bishops who are Visitors of Religious Communities. It was well attended, lively and constructive. The monastic orders (who are well represented in the chaplaincy team here) reflect the overall life of the Communion: in places where the church is growing they are typically growing, in other places they are seeking to develop fresh expressions of community life to reach out to those no longer attracted by past formulations. In England the concepts of poverty, chastity and obedience are about as counter-cultural as you can get - in fact the mere notion of making a lifetime commitment is pretty hard to grasp for those who have grown up in a culture where nothing, including the three traditional foci of career, locality and relationships is forever.

The Hearing was the hardest event I’ve been to yet. These broadly relate to the Covenant or Windsor processes. Bishops get three minutes to speak to whoever chooses to turn up. It’s not a forum for formal debate, there are certainly no motions, amendments or votes, but the platform (today they were the Windsor Continuation Group) take back all that is said, together with comments submitted in writing, and process it into a further statement to the conference. I reckon something like two thirds of the bishops attended today’s session. We heard at first hand the real anguish that the divisions are causing to people on all sides of the questions. Speeches were delivered with pain and passion, but with grace. It was pretty heart wrenching, but then that’s exactly how it should be.

Chaos reigns over the arrangements for London tomorrow. Many of us UK bishops had not spotted an advance notice telling us we’d need passports or driving licences for this. The details of what we are allowed to take or not take failed to get read out in some indaba groups. When I asked at the information desk I was told that I must take suntan lotion but cannot take any form of bag (except a lady’s handbag). “So, how do I carry the suntan lotion?” I asked. After a reflective silence one of the helpers suggested I carry it in my pocket. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to transport a part used container of lotion in my trousers, it sounds potentially very messy.

Highlight of the day: I visited the “Holy Socks” stall in the marketplace (www.holysocks.co.uk - believe it or not). Having not worn socks for thirty years I threatened to picket it, but the lady (who’s from Scotland) was so nice that I promised to give her a blog mention instead.

Lowlight of the day: the university failed to adjust the time settings on the air-conditioning to take account of evening meetings (clearly something students never have) so we sweltered in a packed lecture hall for our evening fringe event until the events people (hats off to them) brought in several large electric fans.

Posted by David Walker on Wednesday, 23 July 2008 at 10:18pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Monday and the Marketplace

This report about my second visit to Canterbury on Monday has been delayed, mostly because Tuesday, when I was not there, was a much more exciting day, at least for journalists. Whether this is connected to my absence, I do not know.

Anyway, when I went again to the Registration Desk, I was able to obtain the full content of the previously missing Welcome Pack content, namely a paper Campus Map.

Also from a separate IT Desk I was able to get a WiFi login for my own personal use. I have to say that the instructions for using it in conjunction with Windows XP (which is what my laptop runs) are definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, on Monday I was able to connect using the Press Room’s ethernet rather than the WiFi, and so avoided the challenge again.

During the day I attended two press briefings, one conducted by Paul Feheley of Canada and one conducted by Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Australia. The latter was the one at which the Archbishop of Canterbury answered questions, which have been pretty thoroughly reported elsewhere already. I didn’t understand the logic of his answer about why the Bp of New Hampshire had been excluded, but then neither did most other people I talked to.

The earlier briefing was dominated by complaints from several other journalists, but Bill Bowder in particular, about being excluded from the morning and evening worship in the Big Top. I was personally surprised to discover this was the case as I distinctly recall ten years ago that these sessions were not restricted only to bishops and spouses, and plenty of outsiders attended them on various occasions. No convincing explanation of the need for this restriction has yet been offered.

I also spent time in the Marketplace. Among the exhibitors there were Inclusive Church, and also WATCH, Changing Attitude and LGCM.

LGCM, which is sponsoring the Peterson Toscano shows next week, had several interesting documents available, including this review (PDF) of the book by Phil Groves, which has been mentioned as a major resource for sexuality-related discussions at the conference. Unfortunately, Professor Michael King is not impressed by this book, although he does like a couple of chapters in it. These were not the ones written by his professional colleagues. You can read a much more favourable review of this book here, and another critical comment here. I have still not read most of it, so am reserving judgement. There is also more about the book here.

Speaking of books, I was sorry not to be there today, Wednesday, when Peter Francis, who edited the book Rebuilding Communion to which I contributed a chapter, was due to be the LGCM Guest of the Day.

At the end of the day, I went down to St Stephen’s Church for Evening Prayer. Everyone was welcome to attend this service…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 July 2008 at 6:14pm BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sudan bishops statement

Updated six times Originally published at 6.27 pm

Full video of entire press conference now available from ENS, see below.

The Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan have issued a statement, which is copied in full below. In addition, the Primate of ECS held an impromptu press conference in which he stated that the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign.

Jim Naughton has reported on this here, and

Ruth Gledhill has reported on it here. Note this now includes a video of the archbishop’s remarks

Also reported by Marites Sison here.

And by George Conger Lambeth rocked as Archbishop calls on Robinson to resign.

And by Cherie Wetzel here.

Now, reported by Riazat Butt in the Guardian Gay bishop should resign for good of the church, says African archbishop

And by Ruth Gledhill in The Times Sudanese Anglicans demand gay bishop Gene Robinson resigns

And also by Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Gay bishop Gene Robinson ‘must be sacked’ to save church from schism

And Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Service has Sudanese primate wants Robinson’s resignation

Note ENS has also has a full video recording of the entire press conference. Find it here. Navigate to the two videos by date: 07/22/08

And on Wednesday morning by Robert Pigott for the BBC Gay bishop Robinson ‘should quit’

And the Daily Mail Dismiss gay bishop, say Third World church leaders

Original Statement of the Bishops of ECS

In view of the present tensions and divisions within the Anglican Communion, and out of deep concern for the unity of the Church, we consider it important to express clearly the position of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) concerning human sexuality.

We believe that God created humankind in his own image; male and female he created them for the continuation of humankind on earth. Women and men were created as God’s agents and stewards on earth We believe that human sexuality is God’s gift to human beings which is rightly ordered only when expressed within the life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. We require all those in the ministry of the Church to live according to this standard and cannot accept church leaders whose practice is contrary to this.

We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships. This has not only caused deep divisions within the Anglican Communion but it has seriously harmed the Church’s witness in Africa and elsewhere, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment.

The unity of the Anglican Communion is of profound significance to us as an expression of our unity within the Body of Christ. It is not something we can treat lightly or allow to be fractured easily. Our unity expresses the essential truth of the Gospel that in Christ we are united across different tribes, cultures and nationalities. We have come to attend the Lambeth Conference, despite the decision of others to stay away, to appeal to the whole Anglican Communion to uphold our unity and to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church.

Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we appeal to the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada, to demonstrate real commitment to the requests arising from the Windsor process. In particular:
- To refrain from ordaining practicing homosexuals as bishops or priests
- To refrain from approving rites of blessing for same-sex relationships
- To cease court actions with immediate effect;
- To comply with Resolution 1:10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference
- To respect the authority of the Bible

We believe that such steps are essential for bridging the divisions which have opened up within the Communion.

We affirm our commitment to uphold the four instruments of communion of the Anglican Communion: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council; and call upon all Provinces of the Communion to respect these for the sake of the unity and well-being of the Church.

We appeal to this Lambeth Conference to rescue the Anglican Communion from being divided. We pray that God will heal us from the spirit of division. We pray for God’s strength and wisdom so that we might be built up in unity as the Body of Christ.

The Most Revd Dr Daniel Deng Bul
Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and Bishop of Juba

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 10:59pm BST | Comments (89) | TrackBack
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News from the Big Blue Tent (6)

Think of the conference as a body:

its head in Keynes where the indaba groups meet to reflect; its mouth in the big blue where we gather for worship and plenaries; its feet on the path between Park Wood and the Central Campus (personal best time 12 minutes so far); Its hands in the Marketplace where bishops fondle the latest selection of liturgical garments for all climes; its (rapidly extending) stomach in the Rutherford and Eliot dining halls. But its heart is in the Prayer Place.

Situated just behind Dave Walker’s cartoon tent the Prayer Place is a haven of godly silence amidst all the conversation and business of the programme. It’s a roughly octagonal space one floor above ground level with a large amount of window. There’s a prominent central cross (life size, or do I mean death size?), and several items (icons, an open bible) symmetrically around the walls. There are a few chairs and then an inner and outer circle of prayer stools. It can sit (or kneel) around 50 plus people and does so for early morning prayers (I haven’t made it as far as Night Prayer yet) at 0630 each day. The rest of the time there are no more than a handful of people there, sometimes nobody at all, but somehow it feels as though this is what holds it all together.

Here in the silence (Rowan on the retreat mentioned the ancient church father who believed that a good bishop was a silent bishop) I find God closer than anywhere else. The stools are just the right height to support me in the half lotus position that I find most sustainable for a prolonged period. There’s a board for prayer requests and nobody has filled the air with pseudo celtic rhythms - just silence! When I’ve been engaging with God by engaging at a human level for a few hours it’s wonderful to just go there and engage with him directly, on my own.

Highlight of the day: supper with yet another African bishop who is keen to establish links and not at all put off by the Gafcon stuff.

Lowlight of the day: walking back to Park Wood past a stream of bishops holding hands with their spouses and missing my wife. Maybe I should explore Riazat Butt’s story about the escorts being laid on for lonely bishops, with most requests being for young women at night!

Posted by David Walker on Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 7:30pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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CartoonChurch and the owner of the former SPCK bookshops

Dave Walker of CartoonChurch fame has on several occasions reported on the saga of the former SPCK bookshops, subsequently owned by SSG.

Today he has removed all his blog entries on the subject after receiving a ‘cease and desist’ notice from the owner Mark Brewer. He writes:

I have therefore removed all of the SPCK/SSG posts on this blog, as, although I believe I have not done anything wrong I do not have the money to face a legal battle. The removal of these posts is in no way an admission of guilt.

Read all about it at Cartoon Church. [This post has also now been removed from Dave’s blog.]

Update

Matt Wardman has posted an article about this, see Lambeth Conference Cartoonist in Residence threatened with Legal Action over blog

Wednesday morning update

Bishop Alan Wilson has posted this: SPCK Bookshops — Gags & Gimcrack.

Wednesday midday update

Matt Wardman again with a roundup of other links: My Name is Dave Walker: People posting about Mark Brewer’s Cease and Desist Notice.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 5:43pm BST | Comments (24) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: some lighter news

Riazat Butt wrote on the Guardian newsblog about Escorts on offer for lonely bishops at Lambeth conference.

This article also mentions the dining hall flow chart, which can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 3:35pm BST | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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Pittsburgh changes its URL

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has moved its website to a new URL. Peter Frank writes:

www.pitanglican.org To Become Diocese’s New Internet Address

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is in the process of moving its online home to www.pitanglican.org. The new address, based on Pittsburgh’s airport code, now is the primary host for the diocesan website and all diocesan staff email accounts.

“We are grateful for the use of our former address, pgh.anglican.org, which has been very kindly loaned to us by the Society of Archbishop Justus for more than a decade. That said, given the diocese’s coming vote on realignment and the decision of the Society earlier this year to take back the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin’s address after it approved a similar vote, it seemed prudent to make this change now,” said the Rev. Peter Frank, director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

An independent non-profit organization that is unaffiliated with any governing structure in the Anglican Communion, the Society of Archbishop Justus has nonetheless hewed closely to the Episcopal Church’s determination of who is officially Anglican in the controversies of recent years. Explaining their decision earlier this year to revoke the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin’s use of sanjoquin.anglican.org, society member Simon Sarmiento stated “We made the change after receiving a specific request to do so from the Chancellor of the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church.”

“As the sole owner of all ‘anglican.org’ domain names, including pgh.anglican.org , the Society of Archbishop Justus is, of course, free to take advice from whomever it likes on how to parcel out use of that resource. However, we in Pittsburgh would be foolish not to take note of whom the Society chose to listen to in the case of San Joaquin,” added Frank.

While pgh.anglican.org may continue to direct individuals to the diocesan website for an interim period, the diocese encourages individuals to update their web browsers and email lists to reflect the change.

www.pitanglican.org will be our online home for many years to come,” said Frank.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 3:09pm BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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GAFCON's mistake about the Covenant

The briefing paper formerly on the GAFCON website has been removed.

Andrew Goddard explains why this may have happened in this article at Covenant

GAFCON & The Anglican Covenant:

The first and irrefutable conclusion that must be drawn from these two documents is the shocking inadequacy of GAFCON’s theological resource group and wider leadership. To have produced a briefing paper claiming to summarise the changes between the Nassau and St Andrew’s draft covenants but actually comparing the St Andrew’s draft to a quite different document unrelated to the covenant (and which many of the GAFCON team were involved in writing) is an astonishing error. That nobody in the group (or among the GAFCON leadership which released it) realised that the claimed removals from the Nassau draft were therefore all fraudulent suggests an inexcusable level of ignorance about the covenant process on the part of all those involved in writing and then disseminating this briefing paper to the wider Communion. The authorship is unclear but either we have a very small number of people writing what claims to be a representative document commended by seven Primates or we have a large group which failed to spot this basic and serious flaw. I am not sure which of these options is I would prefer to be reality. Unfortunately this all gives the strong impression that the conclusion – “the new document is severely flawed and should be repudiated” – was already decided upon on other grounds.

The second conclusion is that the other response of the same team is therefore seriously discredited, especially if it was put together on the basis of the briefing paper or by people who had seen the briefing paper and not realised its basic error.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 8:46am BST | Comments (30) | TrackBack
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Monday, 21 July 2008

Love Thy Neighbour

Stonewall has issued a report which Ruth Gledhill describes in The Times, see Faith leaders out of touch about gays and also Lambeth Diary: faith people ‘moderate’ on gays.

The Stonewall press release says:

Many faith leaders inadequately reflect their followers’ religious objections to lesbian and gay sexuality, new research has found. Love Thy Neighbour - published today by Stonewall and based on interviews with Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Christian participants from across the north of England - found that many hold significantly more moderate views of homosexuality than is often claimed on their behalf. Participants suggested to researchers from the University of Leeds that when the perceived tension between faith and sexual orientation is discussed in public, the agenda often becomes so dominated by aggression and sensationalism that levels of respect between faith communities and gay communities are overlooked.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: ‘Witnessing the saddening divisions in the Church of England demonstrated at this week’s Lambeth Conference, it’s telling that so many people of faith say they actually live, work and socialise with lesbian and gay people, and that significantly reduces negative ideas about difference. Many Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus are clearly markedly more moderate that we are often allowed to believe. The stark conclusion to draw when it comes to religion and homosexuality is that it may be time to start listening to the voices of the many people of faith in Britain which have until now not been heard enough.’

Interviewees suggested that new legal protections for lesbian and gay people, including civil partnership, have had a ‘civilising effect’ on British society. The increased acceptance of gay people on a national and political level has also had a positive impact on attitudes at a local level, they said. This confirms the findings of Living together, a YouGov survey of 2,000 people published by Stonewall in 2007, which found that 84 per cent of people who identified as religious disagreed with the statement ‘homosexuality is morally unacceptable in all circumstances.’

Ruth has made the full report available here. It’s a 200K PDF.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 July 2008 at 10:23pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Monday press conference

Updated again Tuesday afternoon

There was a press conference today at Canterbury, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury answered questions.

A full audio recording of this can be downloaded from the ACO website, go here.

A video recording of it is available at ENS, go here.
Navigate to the video by date: 07/21/08.

Jim Naughton has posted about it, see Live: ABC meets the press.

I will add links here to further reports about this event.

Anglican Journal Communion not headed for a schism, says Archbishop of Canterbury

BBC ‘Alienation’ over women bishops and also Robert Pigott’s Lambeth diary: Saying sorry

Guardian Riazat Butt Church is not wounded and bleeding, says Williams

Telegraph Martin Beckford Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams: Traditionalists ‘alienated’ by women bishops

Tuesday afternoon

The Times Ruth Gledhill Archbishop confirms church’s anti-gay sex stance

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 July 2008 at 10:23pm BST | Comments (16) | TrackBack
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GAFCON primate never saw the Covenant response

Pat Ashworth interviewed Bishop Greg Venables.

Her report at the Church Times blog is headlined Greg Venables had not seen or agreed the GAFCON Covenant response:

HE WAS diplomatic about it, but it was clearly vexing to the Archbishop of the Southern Cone, Greg Venables, that he had neither seen nor agreed the published response to the St Andrew’s draft Covenant , issued by GAFCON on Friday in his name and those of the Primates of Nigeria, West Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. None of the other six is present at the conference…

…“If the conservative orthodox group within the Communion is going to come out of this very difficult situation in a way that honours God, it’s going to have to be consulting together, agreed not just on what we believe but prepared to be tolerant and considerate and loving on secondary issues and also committed to talking together and doing things together,” said Bishop Venables.
“If we speak, it’s because we have had dialogue and we have agreed on what we’re saying. The GAFCON statement as it came out of Jerusalem [The Jerusalem Statement and Declaration] was fully agreed on and worked out together – but obviously other things haven’t been followed through in the same consultative, collegial way, which is a great pity.”

…Bishop Venables had agreed the accompanying response to some of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s concerns, a response which, although uncompromising, has a markedly less high-handed tone. Was GAFCON starting from a totally fixed position with no compromise and no leeway, I asked Bishop Venables? “That’s the opposite of what a number of us feel, “he said. “I wouldn’t be here at Lambeth if I didn’t think that God had always got the door open, and if we move towards him then hopefully we would be moving towards each other if we were all sincerely seeking the same thing.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 July 2008 at 10:09pm BST | Comments (14) | TrackBack
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News from the Big Blue Tent (5)

With the daily bible study groups and the first two rounds of indaba meetings adding up to something more than 5 hours, today has been a day of much active engagement in conversation. This complex system of study group, indaba, self-select sessions, hearings, listeners, rapporteurs, facilitators and (eventually) groups to draft texts for exposure is scary because it’s untested. But, as Rowan reminded us yesterday, the traditional method of resolutions, amendments and votes hasn’t exactly served us well in the past. Not least because virtually no resolution has ever led on into action! It seems like the great majority are prepared to trust the process, but recognise that we need to work it and own it to ensure that it delivers.

Indaba is not simply 40 people sitting in a circle and talking in plenary for two hours. Most of the time we have been working in smaller groups (of size 1,3,5,10 so far in mine) and then sharing the essence of the conversation with the wider group. The tricky issues are being flagged and discussed, but they are arising in a context and from a developing relationship of collegiality and charity rather than simply being hurled across a divide wrapped round large bricks. Indeed, the people who have most to fear from this relational and contextual method of working are the lobbyists and pressure groups who would dearly love to control the conference from outside. At some point I expect they will try to break the communion we are establishing. Will we be firm enough to resist it? Pray for us!

Today we completed our guests’ initiation into British culture. Having introduced them to the queue we have now added that quintessential, the blocked footpath and hole in the road with accompanying ear-piercing mechanical digger. Another conference has just arrived on site - a group of people doing a two week EFL course. Distinguishable by their lack of badges (with or without lanyards of appropriate colour) they are wandering about a campus full of bishops looking rather more perplexed than the ubiquitous and conference-hardened rabbits.

Highlight of the day: During the Eucharist a Japanese bishop came to the platform to apologise to his Korean colleagues for the past mistreatment of their country by his.

Lowlight of the day: Discovering that there was indeed to be a provincial meeting in the only gap in today’s schedule, and discovering too early to have an excuse to miss it.

Posted by David Walker on Monday, 21 July 2008 at 9:23pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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General Synod - detailed Church Times reports

The detailed reports in the Church Times of the recent Church of England General Synod are now available to non-subscribers.

Index to all reports

The reports on the women bishops debates

Women bishops: debate: ‘I know people say that bishops can’t be trusted, but I think I can’ - reports of the Bishop of Manchester’s preentation on the Friday evening and the take note debate on the Saturday.
Women bishops: the vote - the main debate on Monday 7 July

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 21 July 2008 at 2:57pm BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Monday news reports

Riazat Butt reports on Sunday’s events in the Guardian Church crisis: Simmering dissent, pleas for unity and grass skirts in the aisles as Anglicans meet

Ruth Gledhill reports them in The Times Archbishop of Canterbury says: ‘Now we must work out what is really important’ and Joanna Sugden wrote The shindig begins with nerves and half-naked dancers

George Pitcher in the Telegraph has Bishops boycotting Lambeth Conference ‘are weakening church’s efforts to resolve crisis’

For the BBC Nick Higham asks Will the conference bring communion?

And the Radio 4 breakfast programme Today had Theo Hobson and Nick Baines discussing the conference, go here for the 6 minute segment at 0840.

James Macintyre in the Independent has Bishops back plea for ‘inclusive communion’

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 July 2008 at 9:54am BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Sunday, 20 July 2008

Lambeth: Sunday documents

Rowan Williams gave a Presidential Address. For an html copy of the full text it is necessary to go to ENS who have kindly reformatted it here.

The official press release about it is here.

ACNS has however the full text of the Sermon given by the Right Reverend Duleep de Chickera, the Bishop of Colombo at the opening service in Canterbury Cathedral.

The Order of Service is available as a PDF here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 11:35pm BST | Comments (9) | TrackBack
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a GAFCON fragment

According to Chris Sugden writing in Evangelicals Now August 2008 edition

Gafcon takes off…. [emphasis added]

…A preparatory Conference for 140 was held in Jordan from June 17. However on June 18 the Jordanian authorities announced that sufficient high level permission had not been granted for the conference to take place. the conference hall was shut and no meeting allowed. At the same time Archbishop Akinola, travelling on his diplomatic passport was denied entry. So on June 19, the 140 people relocated early to Jerusalem. the hotels concerned, in the chain, transferred the costs. A miracle…

This doesn’t seem to have been mentioned anywhere else before.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 11:08pm BST | Comments (12) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Sunday newspaper comment

Simon Jenkins in the Sunday Times wrote A broad church with narrow attitudes. Here’s an extract:

…The visible loathing of some Anglicans for gays and women – expressed in terms that would have them prosecuted in any other walk of life – is indefensible. The British make much noise opposing the intolerant practices of Muslims and other imported religions. They seem deaf to the intolerance of members of their home-grown church. That the conservatives have constant recourse to biblical texts has no more to do with the case than if Islamic scholars appealed to the Koran against the Crown Prosecution Service. The law of the land is the law of the land.

No less astonishing is that the parties are largely warring because the Church of England remains stuck in an imperial time warp. A global membership of some 80m – overwhelmingly in the new Commonwealth – is under the leadership of an archbishop in England, custodian of just a million souls, and a governing body meeting in Lambeth.

The origins of this dispute thus lie not so much in the biblical understanding of sexuality but rather in Anglicanism’s inability to handle global diversity in human behaviour. There is no way African cultures will regard sex in the same way as Asians or Europeans. Why does the church pretend otherwise?

This is a relic of the status of the Church of England as the established church in what was once a far-flung empire. It has struggled to mimic the diversity of the British Commonwealth, allowing archbishoprics to flourish and hierarchies to proliferate. But the trappings of doctrinal centralism remain in place.

The obvious solution to the row over gay and women bishops would be to live and let live. Let a thousand sexualities bloom under the capacious canopy of mother church. Do not impose on the cultures of Africa the sexual norms and gender equalities that have evolved under the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant aegis. There is no need for this dispute…

Read it all.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 11:00pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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News from the Big Blue Tent (4)

Today we raised queueing to an art form. From joining the queue for the bus to the cathedral at nine o’clock this morning to getting back off the bus at half past two I calculate I spent two hours in worship, half an hour in coach travel and three hours in queues. We queued to get on the coach, queued to get into the cathedral, queued to get out of the cathedral, queued to leave the precincts and queued for the coach to campus. Mercifully the people serving lunch had kindly stayed on way beyond the scheduled time, so we all got fed. But the crux is that these are not like the queues of the desperate outside a shop in some command economy nor the queues of the frustrated praying that a bus will stop. These are the queues of people who know that they will get where they’re going, and, although it will take some while, there’s some fascinating conversation to be had along the way with the strange assortment of people we find stood beside us. Maybe that’s a metaphor for the conference.

The cathedral service itself was splendid, both expectedly and unexpectedly. It was always going to be something special but in two places it excelled itself. The gospel procession, featuring melanesian religious carrying the book in a model boat whilst singing and dancing, will no doubt feature in everyone’s list of images from Lambeth 08. It was stunning. I hope the TV reports have focussed on that rather than processions of prelates. But equally amazing was the sermon preached by the Bishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Hardly using notes he reflected on the day’s lectionary gospel (the parable of the wheat and tares) and called us to three things: rigorous self-scrutiny, unity in diversity and prophetic ministry.

Hardly had lunch digested when we assembled in the tent for an explanation of the conference process. It builds on what has been most appreciated in previous conferences - the small bible study groups - and drops what has been least effective. The western pattern of resolutions and amendments is replaced by the indaba groups (5 bible study groups working together) and a robust process for collating the indaba discussions. Its a recipe to allow everyone to speak and be heard, rather than one that favours the politically astute, the most articulate and the accomplished manipulators. When Rowan rose to give a Presidential Address he got no more than a few words out before conference stood spontaneously to give him a prolonged ovation. He was visibly moved. For that matter, so was I.

Highlight of the day: that sermon

Lowlight of the day: hot water supply was dodgy again this morning

Posted by David Walker on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 7:34pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: BBC radio report

The BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme had a major report on the Lambeth Conference. It includes recorded interviews with Vincent Strudwick, Graham Kings, Norman Doe, Lucy Winkett and Judith Maltby, by Trevor Barnes, and live interviews with Paul Handley and Stephen Bates, by Roger Bolton.

Go to this page, open the link there, and go forward 23 mins 45 secs (URL will not persist after one week).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 4:57pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Saturday and the Welcome Pack

I visited the University of Kent at Canterbury on Saturday.

My main purpose was to give a Media training session to some Americans and Canadians, but before I did that, I wanted to collect my Press credentials and to check in at the Media Centre. I was interested to see if the accommodation there was as dire as Ruth Gledhill had originally reported. I had forgotten how ugly some of the buildings are.

The letter telling me where to go to collect my credentials had said:

Your accreditation pass and welcome pack will be available from the Accreditation Desk in the GRIMOND Building, University of Kent at Canterbury, from the morning of Wednesday, July 16.

While waiting in what turned out to be the wrong queue at the GRIMOND building, I met an English bishop of my acquaintance who, when I explained to him what I had come to do, said he thought the CofE bishops might find a similar session useful. Before you ask, he wasn’t NT Wright.

When I went to the right desk, I got my accreditation pass and blue lanyard quickly enough, and also a very welcome free pass for use in either of two car parks on campus. But when I asked if there was anything else I should receive, I got an emphatic No.

Expecting to receive perhaps at least a paper map of the campus (how minimalist can a Welcome Pack be?), I was a bit surprised but tried not to show it. I asked again, just to make sure. Still No.

So then I asked if other material was to be obtained from the Media Centre. Yes, she said, it was. So off I went to find the Media Centre. Luckily I had written down its location before leaving home.

When you get there, it is indeed up a lot of stairs and down a lot of corridors, and the space allocated for journalists seems extraordinarily small for the huge number of them that have been given accreditation. I was told (I did not see it for myself) that the room to be used for press briefings only seats a few dozen.

But on the other hand, it is much, much closer to the main conference venues than the place used for these purposes in 1998. It was at the other end of the campus, but was a lecture theatre with ample room for everyone to sit. And it had been equipped with CCTV to allow journalists to watch the plenary proceedings from afar. Space for journalists in the tent ten years ago was extremely limited.

Anyway, when I got to the Press Office I found Peter Crumpler, and told him what had happened at the Registration Desk. He rolled his eyes and said: “Didn’t they give you a personal ID and login for the WiFi?” “No”, I said, “they didn’t.” Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me to ask specifically for that, in the absence of absolutely any other paperwork.

I really didn’t want to go all the way back to the other building at that point, so I borrowed a login ID from another journalist and tried to get my laptop connected to the University network. I did succeed eventually, but it was not straightforward. I will start again on that trail on Monday morning.

Before I left the Media Centre, I did get from Peter’s friendly staff a copy of the paper Official Programme & Event Guide, which lists all the separate events in detail and contains lots of useful information. Today, I’m at home perusing the Programme Guide to plan my future visits.

But I still have no idea what else might have been in the Welcome Pack.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 2:57pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: more Saturday news

I said earlier that news was scarce yesterday. The Bishop of Durham leapt to the rescue, and gave interviews to all the journalists he could find, who happily quoted him at some length, but apparently didn’t ask any questions.

The longest quotes were in the Telegraph where Jonathan Wynne-Jones wrote Anglican communion a ‘train wreck’, says bishop.

“All sorts of forces have built up over the years in the communion through misunderstanding and people doing things differently without really consulting,” he said.

“Sooner or later this was all going to meet and hit the buffers. It’s been like a slow-moving train wreck.”

The bishop, who is highly respected and a close friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, told The Sunday Telegraph that the presence of American bishops involved in the consecration of Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual Anglican bishop, was proving divisive.

“A lot of people here have a lot of questions about why the American bishops are here,” he said. “Those questions are in the room.”

…Bishop Wright said that there was mistrust between the different factions over who was going to make the next significant move. “It’s like a very odd game of cards,” he said. “We’re all being very civil and talking politely, but people are wondering who is going to play which card next and hence what responses may be possible.”

Bishop Wright added that the summit was lacking direction and questioned how effective it would be.

“There’s a sense that we’re all not quite sure where this is going. That’s the mood of the conference. It is gloriously confusing at the moment and slightly worrying in that one has no idea what’s actually going on.”

But he also spoke to either Victoria Combe or Ruth Gledhill who wrote Gay bishop’s ‘row ‘like Iraq war’ for the Sunday Times.

One of the Church of England’s most senior bishops has compared the consecration of a gay bishop in America to the invasion of Iraq.

Tom Wright, the bishop of Durham and the fourth most senior in the English hierarchy, said both events showed Americans were prepared to act “how they please” with disregard for the rest of the world…

…Wright, who represents moderate conservative clerics who, rather than schism, want provision within the church for conservatives opposed to gay clergy and women bishops, said: “George Bush said he was going to invade Iraq. Everyone told him not to because there would be consequences, but he did it anyway.

“The Americans floated the balloon in 2003 when they consecrated Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. They knew exactly what they were doing then and they know exactly what they are doing now. They knew it would be unacceptable to the majority of the Communion. They are doing exactly as they please.”

He continued: “Either the rest of the world caves in or someone has to stand up to them.”

And he spoke to Riazat Butt whose article for the Guardian was mainly about Church of England unrest threatens to harm links with Vatican.

As a consequence of all this Jim Naughton had a dream nightmare of an interview with Bishop Wright, as reported at Live: a lesson in moral reasoning on the Episcopal Café.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 2:27pm BST | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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The Lambeth Reader

This document, which was mentioned in various earlier reports on the conference, is now available as a PDF file on the official site.

You can also obtain the official bible studies booklet, Signs on the Way, from this page in two formats.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 July 2008 at 2:13pm BST
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Saturday, 19 July 2008

News from the big blue tent (3)

The retreat finished at lunchtime today after a fifth and final address from Rowan. Among the gems was a quotation from Alan Ecclestone (I did my curacy in the parish next door to where Alan spent many years; I always found his writing more complex than Rowan’s!) that “episcope is insight as well as oversight”. The main theme took us into Hebrews and the notion of Christ who clears a new and living way so that we can go where otherwise we could not. Christians (and bishops in particular) lead by following Jesus. Writing it down makes it sound simple and obvious, but there’s a huge depth in what we have heard and it sets the context within which we will turn to the conference part of Lambeth on Monday.

Various ecumenical guests joined us this afternoon. There is enormous support for us from orthodox, catholic, protestant and pentecostal denominations, mostly in presence but some with letters of greeting. Reading all the titles of the writers made me wonder whether the problem we have with Anglican authority is that we just don’t have impressive enough words in front of our names. If Rowan styled himself catholicos, supreme head, patriarch, holiness or beatitude who’d dare oppose him? Personally my vote is for “His beatitude”, there’s something about Rowan that encapsulates what Matthew 5 is all about. We had a reading from the works of the sixth century St Dorotheus. I’m starting a rumour that he/she is the patron of Changing Attitude.

It’s been humbling to eat and speak with bishops from Sudan and Zimbabwe. To hear stories of the faith lived out under persecution from bishops whose courage and humour are intact. As when I went to Peru three years ago, it has convinced me that the Anglican Communion may seem to make little difference in England, but to these leaders of small, young churches in difficult and hostile surroundings it matters hugely to be part of something global and steeped in history. The catholicity of Anglicanism is far more at stake here than it was at General Synod two weekends ago.

Highlight of the day: I met my namesake, the cartoonist, whose work I’ve admired since I first found it on a website. We had our photos taken together to prove we’re really not the same person.

Lowlight of the day: This is the only conference I can recall that doesn’t provide good quantities of tea and coffee at every meal and break. It took me 20 minutes to find a mid afternoon hot drink.

Posted by David Walker on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 8:42pm BST | Comments (5) | TrackBack
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Alongside Lambeth

Press Release

If you are in Lambeth for a few days please consider taking part in this program for visitors, guests and volunteers. Gathering ‘alongside’ the Bishops and Spouses meetings, we will be sharing our experiences of faith through Bible studies and discussions. Everyone is welcome regardless of faith background. Alongside Lambeth is sponsored by Inclusive Church and Thinking Anglicans.

Bible Study
Meet at the café in the Marketplace at 11 am any morning except July 24 and July 27. After a brief devotional, small groups will meet for Bible Study and discussion. We’ll be paralleling the Bishop’s process by using the ‘Signs on the Way’ Bible study booklet. This is a time to set aside roles and agendas as we discover the person of Jesus together through the study of John’s Gospel.

Buzz Groups
This is a unique opportunity to meet with other Anglicans. If you want to meet with people who have similar interest to you, or if there’s something you particularly want to share, you can offer a Buzz Group. You can sign up at the Inclusive Church booth in advance or give your information to the Buzz Group coordinator before the morning’s Bible Study. Groups will normally take place at 12 noon, starting on Tuesday July 22nd. After gathering at the Marketplace Café, each group will find its own space to meet in one of the public areas of the campus.

Growing in Mission
Each afternoon at 4 pm, except July 24, there will be a talk and discussion in St Stephens Church, (down the hill from the campus) followed by Evening Prayer. A variety of speakers and panels will offer reflection on the same subjects that the Bishops are considering (not necessarily in the same order). Topics include
* Care-full listening
* Anglican Identity
* Youth and Mission
* Sexuality and mission
* Environmental stewardship
See below for confirmed speakers. Information will be available at the Inclusive Church stall as speakers are added.

Evening Prayer
Each day except July 27, Evening Prayer will be led by the clergy team of St Stephens, at St Stephens. They are also available to pray and meet with people individually as needed. For Chaplaincy services please contact the Rev. Caro Hall 0750 368 1408 or enquire at the Inclusive Church Booth.

Monday July 21st Care-full Listening
Sue Burns (New Zealand): Sissi Loftin and Janet Brocklehurst (US/UK)

Sue Burns is a priest from Aotearoa/New Zealand where she works in ministry formation and theological education. In response to the request for listening in the Anglican Communion, Sue developed a process of respectful conversations which she facilitated in dioceses in Aotearoa / New Zealand and Pasifika. Together with Janet Trisk of Grahamstown SA Sue contributed a chapter on sexuality and Identity for the book prepared for Lambeth, The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality.
Sissi Loftin and Janet Brocklehurst are training as facilitators with The Compassionate
Listening Project and have been with them a couple of times to Israel-Palestine, listening to all sides of the conflict. They have also offered Compassionate Listening in their home parish and hope to find a way to use their skills in building bridges within the Anglican Communion.

Tuesday July 22nd Communion for Creation: Co-operation for the sake of God’s Earth
Eric Beresford (Canada)

Eric Beresford was the staff person responsible for planning and putting together the Anglican Communion Environmental Network. During his time with the Anglican Communion Office he worked with the ACC to prepare and pass a motion on the Patenting of Biological and Genetic materials and the implications of this for food security. Eric has taught Environmental Ethics both at McGill University and at Atlantic School of Theology where he is the President. He will be discussing the possible impact the Anglican Communion might have on current efforts to reduce climate change.

Wednesday July 23rd Youth Inc – Why’s it so scary?
Rev Canon Dianna Gwilliam (UK)

Dianna Gwilliam worked for many years as a youth minister during her training for ordination and since then. She is currently Vicar of a parish in south-east London and Chaplain to an Educational Foundation which includes 6 schools. She is particularly interested in theological education for children and young people and says that serving a parish in which there are eight schools is ‘brilliant!’

Coming soon…
Giles Goddard (UK)
Andrew Wingate (UK)
Rowan Smith (S Africa)
Jenny TePaa (New Zealand)
A panel on Sexuality and Mission

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 6:15pm BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: Saturday news

News is scarce.

Riazat Butt reports on the GAFCON releases, in Prelates ‘are justifying sin’

And also reports on the new book by Jane Williams, World of a Wah: wife of Rowan Williams speaks out.

Ruth Gledhill also reports on the GAFCON material in The Times, in Rowan Williams takes up the cross of diplomacy.

George Conger at Religious Intelligence says No signs of crisis as Lambeth Conference begins.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 7:32am BST | Comments (14) | TrackBack
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opinions as Lambeth starts

Christopher Howse avoids Lambeth entirely and writes about gravestones. See Finding a fitting stone reminder in the Telegraph.

In the Guardian Chris Chivers writes that the Anglican communion needs to take a more global perspective on its problems, see Face to Faith.

In The Times Cathy Ross writes that the average Anglican is a black, female teenager.

Giles Fraser writing in the Church Times asks Can there be compromise on women bishops?

And at Comment is free Judith Maltby notices that Suddenly, it’s time for tolerance.

Graham Kings at Fulcrum and the Church of England Newspaper asks how can bishops disagree Christianly?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 19 July 2008 at 7:07am BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Friday, 18 July 2008

Rebuilding Communion

In last week’s Church Times Bishop Kenneth Stevenson reviewed the book to which I contributed a chapter, Rebuilding Communion: Who pays the price? From the Lambeth Conference 1988 to the Lambeth Conference 2008 and beyond Peter Francis, editor.

The review was published under the headline Telling it like it is.

Read more about the book here.

Bishop Stevenson writes:

IT MUST be hard to be gay and Anglican at the moment. After a largely hidden history, Anglican gays now find themselves the subject of open discussion, caused partly by a greater general readiness to talk about issues of sexuality, and partly by activists in the gay community speaking up for their rights. Sadly, the majority of them feel excluded from this discussion, and some of them even echo what some Jews used to say in Nazi Germany — “Don’t champion us, because it will only make things more difficult for us.”

A turning-point in England was the General Synod in February last year, when gay members fearlessly spoke up for themselves in a chamber that had not hitherto heard from them in that way.

This timely little book opens with an essay by Simon Sarmiento chronicling events, resolutions, and decisions about homosexuality in the Anglican Communion over the past decade. His personal views are clear, but the facts he describes are indisputable. There is a hardening of the line in many places, with some obvious exceptions.

There follow six essays from different continents, telling personal stories about what it is like to be gay and Anglican — the African perspective is particularly significant. And a third section is made up of six further short contributions, including one from Martyn Percy on Anglican history and attitudes, and one from Michael Ingham, arguing in favour of something that is still too far for many sympathisers: the same-sex blessing.

This book needs to be read far beyond the confines of the gay community. In some ways, it provides a worldwide Anglican counterpoint to those speeches at last year’s Synod. Those who are deaf, or over-ready to condemn, need at least to recognise the historic pain that this increasingly vocal minority brings to the discussion table. Whatever our views, we should all be ready to condemn homophobia, as Cardinal Hume used to remind us.

I voted for Lambeth 1.10 on that desultory Wednesday afternoon in 1998, and I have regretted it ever since. As these essays show, it has become far too blunt an instrument; moreover, the “listening process” for which it calls should have been well under way by the time Archbishop Rowan Williams arrived at Canterbury.

Here’s hoping that we can be helped to locate exactly where our disagreements lie, and to find an authentically Anglican way through them.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 11:16pm BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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more GAFCON statements

Two main documents have been issued:

GAFCON responds to the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Global Anglican Future Conference gathered leaders from around the Anglican Communion for pilgrimage, prayer and serious theological reflection. We are grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for engaging with the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration. We wish to respond to some of his concerns…

Response of GAFCON to the St Andrew’s Draft Text of an Anglican Communion Covenant

…Sadly this new draft of An Anglican Covenant is both seriously limited and severely flawed. Whether or not the tool of covenant is the right way to approach the crisis within the Communion, this document is defective and its defects cannot be corrected by piecemeal amendment because they are fundamental. The St. Andrews Draft is theologically incoherent and its proposals unworkable. It has no prospect of success since it fails to address the problems which have created the crisis and the new realities which have ensued…

A third document is Changes between the Nassau and St Andrew’s Drafts of an Anglican Covenant

BRIEFING PAPER from the Theological Resource Group of GAFCON

Changes between the Nassau and St Andrews Drafts of An Anglican Covenant

Executive Summary

The St Andrews Draft is not a conservative revision of the Nassau Draft. Its changes are so significant theologically and practically that they completely recast both the grounds of common life together and the process by which the assault upon that common life by TEC and ACoC is to be addressed. The Nassau Draft is a much better document than its successor. The new document is severely flawed and should be repudiated…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 11:00pm BST | Comments (16) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: first Friday evening

Some more news reports and blogging from Canterbury today.

Rachel Boulding in the Church Times Dr Jefferts Schori: ‘We can get beyond sexuality’

Riazat Butt on the Guardian News blog Americans are calling the shots - with gusto - at Lambeth conference

The American bishops’ blog is here.

Ruth Gledhill Lambeth Diary: Nigerian bishop flees and also Lambeth Diary: Anglicans in Recovery.

Marites Sison Anglican Journal Lambeth prays for those present and those absent

Martin Beckford at the Telegraph has Archbishop of Canterbury faces calls to stop American clergy defecting.

Fulcrum points us to BBC World Service, where

This weekend the talking starts in earnest at the Lambeth Conference, the global meeting of the Anglican church that takes place once every ten years.
This year’s event is being overshadowed by fears of a split in the church - between liberals who support the ordination of openly gay bishops and clergy, and more traditionalist leaders who say that homosexuality is fundamentally a sin.
Ed Butler examines the theological basis for the rift in the Anglican Communion.

Those interviewed include Graham Kings and Colin Coward.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 6:39pm BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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News from the big blue tent (2)

Friday has been like Thursday, only more so. Once again the bulk of the day has been spent at the cathedral, listening to Rowan, praying and quietly getting to know one another. In the Bible Study Groups we’re getting to a deeper level of engagement and beginning to touch on areas that we can’t simply agree as platitudes. It’s still early but the process seems to be doing what it was set up to do. As Rowan explained, we’re modelling what it is to be a cell of the Body of Christ; that doesn’t promise to resolve all disputes, but we won’t get far without it (what in my mathematician days we called a “necessary” as opposed to “sufficient” condition).

In the dining halls as well as the formal sessions there is a good mixing of traditions and stances - it doesn’t appear that many are seeking the comfort of the likeminded. Today I’ve talked with bishops from Tanzania, Canada, West Indies, USA, India, New Zealand, Eire and the UK.

The security looks big because to cordon off an outdoor area (the surrounds of the big blue) you need a lot of fencing, but it’s no more than I’m used to when I attend secular voluntary sector conferences for which participants have had to pay fees. Delegates get in, others don’t. We wouldn’t want the press in the bible studies or indabas either, but there it will be more discreet because it’s all indoors. The media have a pretty free run of much of the rest of the site. This is hardly going to be a conference that maintains a high level of secrecy, but we do have the right to do our business in a manner that allows (encourages) us all to feel able to open up to one another.

Highlight of the day: being given an invite to a drinks party hosted by Jack Iker tomorrow. Perhaps this really is engagement across the fault-lines. I felt touched, honoured, and minded to go listen.

Lowlight of the day: 2 minutes later being told the invites were only meant to be given to “sympathetic” bishops. But hey, I do sympathy really well, perhaps I am invited after all.

Posted by David Walker on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 6:20pm BST | Comments (5) | TrackBack
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ten years ago

While we are all waiting for news to emerge, or not, from the 2008 Lambeth Conference, I thought it might be of interest to remind TA readers of the reports I wrote ten years ago, from the 1998 Conference.

You can find them all here, at the archive kept by SoAJ.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 11:11am BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: first Friday

Updated
First, the Church Times has a news report by Bill Bowder Bishops rally behind Dr Williams as Conference starts.

And there is a leading article Bishops should do their duty:

…A key constituency, though, is the conservative one. The loss of so many Nigerians, Ugandans, and Rwandans is critical. Given that the Lambeth Conference is not a church council with the authority to legislate for the Communion, one of its most important functions is to enable bishops to inform themselves of other models of the Church. The gay debate of the past five years has suffered from too much niche internet activity, whereby each side has logged on merely to those sites with which they agree. As a consequence, the personal encounters that would formerly have taken place through letters or telephone conversations have been lacking. This has made a face-to-face meeting all the more desirable…

And the Church Times blog carries an item on Blogging bishops.

Anglican Mainstream carries this report Today at Lambeth: Thursday 17th July 2008.

Scott Gunn has a report on Debunking mainstream media: the fence.

The official website has Lambeth Daily - Thu - 17- July. The latest issue of this official news will appear here each day.

There isn’t much news as yet, and Jim Naughton has a good analysis of why this should be so, in Live: Can a quiet conference produce “good stories”?

Added
Rebecca Paveley interviewed Rowan Williams in last week’s Church Times. It is now available online at Defiant amid the doubters.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 July 2008 at 10:42am BST | Comments (21) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 17 July 2008

More on The Lambeth Reader

Pat Ashworth has written on the Church Times blog about The Lambeth Reader. A sample quote:

…“There are occasions when a church falls out of sympathy with its bishop on matters of doctrine or conduct. It must not be the case that the mere fact of ease and communication of travel become the excuse for choosing a leader in another territory to be one’s chief pastor. In the case of serious and extensive conflict, it becomes the duty of diocesan bishops to provide pastoral support in particular congregations. When a diocesan bishop fails to undertake his duty, the matter becomes a provincial responsibility.”

Reflections offered to the Primates emphasise mutual accountability. “The cost of genuine dialogue is considerable… If conservative voices are not to be driven out, it must be possible for an admonition about recent issues to do with homosexuality to be delivered, clearly argued from biblical sources. Not all such arguments are well expressed and would be supported by scholarly writing; but it is a mistake to dismiss all of them as if their sole basis was literalism or naive fundamentalism.”

The paper continues: “On the other hand, if progressive views are not to be ignored, new knowledge has honestly to be confronted. Though there is still much uncertainty, it is evident that the existence in some people of homosexual inclinations has to be understood in a way not available to biblical writers. It has to be recognised as a cost of the engagement of the gospel with the world, that Christians remain open to changing ideas with their attendant uncertainties and controversies.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 11:21pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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News from the big blue tent

Yesterday was a quick course in the essentials of British life for our guests (how to queue for registration, how to queue for supper, how to queue for an internet ID and password); today has seen Lambeth find its feet, with the first of three days of retreat.

Scripture, fellowship and worship are to the fore. Every day, even the retreat days, begins with Eucharist, breakfast and bible study. It’s quite something to hear people harmonising to hymns they’ve nver sung before in languages they don’t speak. Rowan has been superb. This is what he is at his very best at, weaving bible passages together in ways that draw out depths of insight into what being a bishop is about.

The cathedral and its precincts have been closed off for us today and tomorrow. As I arrived I heard one frustrated visitor to Canterbury complaining that she was going home Saturday and wouldn’t get to see the city’s main attraction. But frankly, it’s a working cathedral not a monument and we’re working it pretty hard.

Down in the crypt after lunch I found a quiet side chapel with some magnificent medieval wall-paintings and fell into prayer. About 20 minutes later I sensed someone cross my vision and opened my eyes. A nun had climbed over the altar rails and was stood in the sanctuary, arms stretching upwards towards one side of the ceiling, her hands obscured by a massive supporting pillar. What a lovely posture for praise I thought, then her flash bulb went off.

Highlight of the day: Rowan’s addresses.

Lowlight of the day: No hot water in the showers this morning. Conspiracy theorists will assume this is a plot by the organisers to stop bishops even thinking about sex, let alone talking about it.

[Editors’ note: David Walker is the Bishop of Dudley in the diocese of Worcester. He will be blogging for us regularly on Lambeth from a bishop’s perspective.]

Posted by David Walker on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 9:27pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: some further reports

Riazat Butt wrote this morning for the Guardian about the forthcoming documentary on BBC2, Battle of the Bishops, to be shown next Monday evening. Read US bishop hits out at ‘demonic’ African church leaders.

The Christian Science Monitor had BOYCOTT UNDERSCORES ANGLICAN RIFT by Mark Rice-Oxley.

The Anglican Journal has Boycotting bishops at Lambeth cause ‘great grief’ by Marites N. Sison

Martin Beckford has Archbishop of Canterbury: Lambeth Conference won’t solve church’s problems in the Telegraph.

The BBC has Lambeth diary: Anglicans in turmoil and also Lambeth Conference: Anglican voices.

And also ‘I was a gay priest’ by Mark Vernon.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 9:27pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: what happened on Wednesday

The official account of the opening session is on ACNS and is imaginatively titled The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams opens the Lambeth Conference.

From this we learn the important fact that:

Some Bishops have chosen to stay away although only one Province (Uganda) has no Bishops present.

Dave Walker who was actually and corporeally present at the session has a guarded account on the Church Times blog at The opening session of the Lambeth Conference.

His first batch of cartoons are now available here.

The view from the press room is rather different, see Ruth Gledhill’s blog post titled Lambeth Diary: the ‘Clean and the Unclean’, although I fancy the picture of Bishop Martyn Minns was not taken yesterday. She writes:

…Read and believe if you like the official stuff trickling in a tightly-controlled way out of Jim Rosenthal’s entirely independent press operation operating from a place I’ve yet to track down somewhere on the university campus. This is where the ‘on side’ ‘journalists’, many of whom seem by coincidence to wear episcopal clerical collars, are permitted to hang out. I am sure the citizens of the former USSR were similarly enlightened by what Pravda produced on a daily basis. The real operation, the concrete prison where proper journalists do their work, is being run by the staff from Church House. Peter Crumpler and his minions, themselves shut away in an even more terrible bleak hole of a broom cupboard than our own, are brilliant. (Update: Incredibly, TEC might be coming to our rescue. A series of unofficial bishop briefings is to be organised, beginning this evening. I’ve been asked to make clear that these are nothing at all to do with the official Lambeth press operation.)

There’s nothing like a Lambeth Conference or two to swing me back into the conservative camp. Here I am, separated from the leaders of the Anglican Communion, of which I happen to be a covenanting member, by a ten foot wall. I’ve helped pay for this! Oh it makes me so cross.

Ok then, it’s not a wall, merely a security fence. And it’s probably closer to eight feet than 10, a closer inspection today has established. It comes complete with security guards. The wire lacks barbs but I’ll try and supply those. I guess David Virtue, George Conger and Riazat Butt and I, all equal in our exclusion, are the ‘terrorists’. I’m telling them, a three-foot fence of hurdles, or even a green line made of ribbon, would have been enough. Or even, they could have just asked us not to go in the Big Blue Top. But no. Forget simple human means of exchange. The staff running the Anglican Communion Office have moved beyond that. They’re probably wearing bomb-proof vests under their copes in case my pen is loaded with a bullet. Pathetic.

George Conger has an account of the day, and his own comments on the environment for the press at Religious Intelligence in Lambeth Conference: ‘Efforts must be made to preserve integrity of Church’:

…Bishops began arriving on Wednesday on the campus of the University of Kent situated on a hill to the south of Canterbury, with lines snaking across the campus as the bishops registered for the conference and were assigned dormitory rooms. A corps of yellow-sashed volunteers ranging in age from university students to elderly clergy escorted the new arrivals to their assigned rooms, while also enthusiastically patrolling the boundaries of the plenary areas —- keeping the press and on-lookers on the far side of a 10-foot high chain link fence.

Participants in the Conference have been divided into castes denoted by the color of the lanyard holding their name tag, with the freedom to roam determined by one’s colour. Bishops and their spouses wear purple, volunteers yellow, exhibitors at the Marketplace —- the venue for shops and special interest groups wear white, the press blue and conference staff red.

“Red is home, blue away” the bishops were told in the closed evening session that outlined the mechanics of the conference in between bouts of hymn singing, with the bishops cautioned to be careful in what they say to “outsiders.”

In other news about Wednesday, I had lunch with Jim Naughton who has told you all about it here. As he reveals, I shall be in Canterbury for the first time on Saturday, and will give you my own on-the-scene report after that.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 6:33pm BST | Comments (11) | TrackBack
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Women Bishops: clergy votes

Below the fold are details of clergy votes in the debate on women bishops on Monday 7 July similar to my earlier details for bishops. So far only three of the votes (the Packer amendment, the vote on the adjournment and the final vote) are included.

I have matched my list of members and the voting lists by synod number. My list is based on the June 2008 list of members, which may not be totally up-to-date.

Clergy Votes   72 adjourn 20
7 July 2008   Packer Wright final
    consider
statutory
transfer
or code
wrong
time to
decide
 
Diocese etc number & name      
Deans (Canterbury) 54 Vivienne Faull against against for
  55 Colin Slee against against for
  56 Robert Willis for for for
Deans (York) 57 Rogers Govender against against for
  58 Michael Sadgrove against against for
Chaplain General of Prisons 59 William Noblett      
Forces Synodical Council 60 John Green for for for
  61 Ray Pentland      
  62 Stephen Robbins for    
Bath & Wells 64 Paul Langham against for for
  65 Jonathan LLoyd against against for
  66 Stephen Lynas against against for
  67 Colin Randall against against for
Birmingham 68 John Hughes for against for
  69 Hayward Osborne against against for
  70 Peter French against abst for
Blackburn 71 Peter Ballard for for for
  72 Paul Benfield for for against
  73 John Hall for    
  74 James Garrard against against for
Bradford 75 Paul Ayers      
  76 John Hartley against for for
  77 Ruth Yeoman against against for
Bristol 78 Alan Hawker for for against
  79 Douglas Holt      
  80 Paul Roberts against against for
Canterbury 81 Gill Calver against against for
  82 Philip Down for against for
  83 Simon Tillotson for against for
  84 Mark Roberts for for against
Carlisle 85 George Howe for against for
  86 Ferial Etherington against against for
  87 Colin Randall for for against
Chelmsford 88 Annette Cooper against against for
  89 John Dunnett   for against
  90 Brian Lewis against against for
  91 David Parrott against against for
  92 David Waller for for against
  93 Martin Webster against against for
Chester 94 Donald Allister for for against
  95 David Felix against for for
  96 Judy Hunt against against for
  97 Rob Munro for for against
  98 Marc Wolverson against against for
Chichester 99 Hugh Atherstone      
  100 Ian Chandler for for against
  101 Alastair Cutting for for for
  102 James Houghton for for against
  103 Douglas McKittrick for    
  104 Mark Payne for against against
Coventry 105 Mark Bratton against against for
  106 Mark Beach against against for
  107 Elizabeth Dyke against against for
Derby 108 John Davies      
  109 Ian Gooding for for against
  110 Katie Tupling against against for
Durham 111 Sheila Bamber for for against
  112 Graeme Buttery for    
  113 Meg Gilley for against for
  114 Ian Jagger for for for
Ely 115 John Beer      
  116 Alan Hargrave against against for
  117 Rhiannon Jones against against for
Europe 118 Jonathan Boardman against against for
  119 Debbie Flach against against for
Exeter 120 vacant      
  121 Sam Philpott for for against
  122 Roderick Thomas      
  123 Carl Turner against against abst
  124 Anthony Wilds for for against
Gloucester 125 Andrew Dow for for for
  126 David Primrose for against for
  127 Celia Thomson against against for
Guildford 128 John Ashe against against for
  129 Robert Cotton against against for
  130 Julian Henderson for against against
  131 Jolyon Trickey for for against
Hereford 132 Malcolm Colmer abst for for
  133 Kay Garlick against against for
  134 Brian Chave against against for
Leicester 135 Richard Atkinson against against for
  136 Peter Hobson      
  137 John Plant against against for
Lichfield 138 Paul Farthing for abst against
  139 Mark Thomas for against for
  140 John Hall against against for
  141 Maureen Hobbs against for for
  142 Mark Ireland against against for
  143 Richard Moy against for for
Lincoln 144 Arthur Hawes for for for
  145 Chris Lilley for against for
  146 John Patrick for for for
Liverpool 147 Peter Bradley      
  148 Cynthia Dowdle against against for
  149 Pete Spiers against against for
  150 Tim Stratford for for for
London 151 Philippa Boardman against against for
  152 John Brownsell for for against
  153 Philip Chester against for for
  154 Jonathan Clark against against for
  155 Stephen Coles against against for
  156 John Cook for for against
  157 David Houlding for for against
  158 Rose Hudson-Wilkin against against for
  159 Martin Warner for for against
  160 Andrew Watson for abst for
Manchester 161 John Applegate      
  162 William Raines against against for
  163 Nick Feist for    
  164 David Griffiths for for for
  165 Simon Killwick for for against
  166 Alma Servant against against for
  167 Cherry Vann for for abst
Newcastle 168 Adrian Hughes for for against
  169 Michael Webb      
  170 Dagmar Winter against for for
Norwich 171 Stephen Betts for for for
  172 Jeremy Haselock for for against
  173 David Hayden for for against
  174 Jan MacFarlane abst for for
Oxford 175 Moira Astin against against for
  176 Jonathan Baker for for against
  177 John Wynburne against against for
  178 Susan Booys against against for
  179 John Chorlton for for for
  180 Tim Dakin for for against
  181 Hugh Lee against for for
  182 Norman Russell for for against
  183 Chris Sugden for for against
Peterborough 184 Christine Allsopp against against for
  185 David Bird for for abst
  186 Stephen Trott for for against
Portsmouth 187 Peter Hancock for for for
  188 David Isaac against for for
  189 Bob White against for for
Ripon & Leeds 190 Brunel James      
  191 Kathryn Fitzsimmons for against for
  192 Mark Sowerby for for against
Rochester 193 Nicholas Kerr against against for
  194 Angus MacLeay for    
  195 Clive Mansell      
  196 Gordon Oliver      
St Albans 197 Peter Ackroyd for for against
  198 Jeremy Crocker for for abst
  199 Joan Crossley      
  200 Richard Hibbert for for for
  201 Trevor Jones against for for
  202 Stephen Lake against against for
St Edmundsbury & Ipswich 203 Jonathan Alderton-Ford for for against
  204 Geoffrey Arrand for for against
  205 Max Osborne against for for
Salisbury 206 Maureen Allchin against against for
  207 Mark Bonney against against for
  208 Nigel LLoyd against against for
  209 Alistair Magowan for for for
  210 Chris Strain for against for
Sheffield 211 Geoffrey Harbord for for against
  212 Matthew Porter      
  213 Simon Bessant for against against
  214 Lydia Wells for for for
Sodor & Man 215 David Green      
Southwark 216 Simon Butler against against for
  217 Paul Collier against against for
  218 Giles Fraser against against for
  219 Christine Hardman against against for
  220 Andrew Nunn against against for
  221 Paul Perkin for for against
  222 Anne Stevens against against for
Southwell & Nottingham 223 Nigel Peyton against against for
  224 Anthony Thiselton      
  225 Tony Walker against against for
  226 Ruth Worsley against against for
Truro 227 Alan Bashforth against for for
  228 Roger Bush for for for
  229 David Miller for   for
Wakefield 230 Ian Gaskell against    
  231 Jonathan Greener against against for
  232 Susan Penfold against against for
Winchester 233 Sarah Chapman against against for
  234 Adrian Harbidge against against for
  235 Michael Harley for for for
  236 Clive Hawkins for for against
  Channel Islands 237 Paul Mellor for for against
Worcester 238 Stuart Currie for for for
  239 Jane Fraser against against for
  240 Joy Tetley      
York 241 David Bailey for against for
  242 Gill Henwood against against for
  243 Cathy Rowling against against for
  244 Richard Seed for for against
  245 Suzanne Sheriff against against for
  246 Glyn Webster for for against
Universities 446 Marilyn McCord Adams against against for
  447 Duncan Dormor against against for
  448 Prof Richard Burridge against against for
  449 Gavin Ashenden for for against
  450 Miranda Threlfall-Holmes against against for
  451 Kevin Ward against against for
Religious Communities 452 Sister Rosemary against for for
  455 Thomas Seville for for against
         
  for 84 78 124
  against 92 90 44
  abst 2 3 4
  total 178 171 172
Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 5:43pm BST | Comments (13) | TrackBack
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Kenyan bishops at Lambeth?

The Nation reports on Kenyan bishops in England by Kenneth Ogosia:

About 10 Anglican Church of Kenya bishops are in England, raising fears that they will attend the Lambeth Conference that kicks off today, the Nation can reveal.

The Kenyan church alongside other conservative provinces, have decided to boycott the conference, protesting the laid back handling of gay clergy in the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi has said that he is aware of the collaboration programmes of the bishops with other churches in Europe and expressed confidence that none of them will attend the conference.

However, he said that no specific action would be taken against any bishop who decides to attend the conference on an individual capacity.

“It is upon their synods and personal conscience because morality is the pillar of Christianity,” he said.

Addressing the Press in his office, Archbishop Nzimbi said that all Orthodox Anglicans were not attending the conference since they could not preach wine and drink something else.

The bishops for Bondo, Nyahururu, Nakuru, Kericho, Machakos, Mt Kenya, Mbeere, Taita Taveta, Embu and Mumias are meeting diocesan partners in England.

He said that since it takes 10 years for all the Anglican bishops in the world to meet at Lambeth, bonding sessions take place even two months prior to the official opening of the talks.

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria are unanimous that none of their bishops should attend the conference.

“If we allowed immorality to take place, then soon some African clergy will demand to break their vows of marriage to enter polygamy,” he said.

He said that the 1998 Lambeth Conference made a resolution rejecting homosexuality, which was not enforced by the head of the Anglican Church.

Archbishop Nzimbi pledged to ensure conservatives were united in fighting immorality.

A priest, the Rev Kenneth Wachianga, however, urged the bishops to attend the conference, saying that boycotting it would be tantamount to abandoning sinners. The priest said the mission of the church was to change sinners.

“Jesus died for sinners and left us as fishers of men. You cannot help sinners by running away from them,” he said.

And from the Standard Lambeth boycott betrays our homophobic prejudice by Kang’ethe Mungai

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 3:37pm BST | Comments (28) | TrackBack
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Lambeth: critical paper issued to bishops

Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times Bishops ‘weakening body of Christ’ in row over gays and women, and there is more detail on her blog Lambeth Diary: Welcome to the Circus.

Conservative bishops have been accused of breaching their duties and damaging the welfare of Christians as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, fights back against his critics.

Anglican bishops arriving for the Lambeth Conference yesterday were told to stop their backstabbing and in-fighting if they were not to “weaken the body of Christ”.

A background paper distributed to 650 bishops and archbishops attending the ten-yearly conference in Canterbury told them to remember that their relationships with each other were “fragile and tainted by sin”.

Anglican rows over ordaining gay priests and women bishops were damaging for “all the baptised”, it said. But the most stinging criticism was for conservative bishops, of whom 230, mainly from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, are boycotting Lambeth.

The paper, commissioned by Dr Williams, made clear that bishops who had transgressed diocesan and provincial boundaries in search of “orthodox” primacy were considered guilty of undermining collegiality. An even worse sin, it suggested, was boycotting the conference…

As Episcopal Café has noted, this paper sounds quite similar to an earlier report of the IATDC.

IATDC? That would be the Inter Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 July 2008 at 8:24am BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Outbreak of peace?

Inclusive Church press release
Outbreak of peace?

Inclusive Church is hoping that the Lambeth Conference will witness an outbreak of peace in the Anglican Communion. IC has organised two events for the Lambeth Conference

“Strangers to Friends” - the IC Network Eucharist. 17 groups will come together to celebrate the peace we know in Christ, having worked together all year. All are welcome. Saturday 26th July: 7pm, Keynes Lecture Theatre. President – Rt Revd Carlos Touché-Porter, Archbishop of Mexico and a Primate of the Anglican Communion. Preacher – Canon Lucy Winkett, St Paul’s Cathedral.

“Inclusive Imperative – Anglican Welcome” Revd Dr Richard Burridge, Dean of King’s College London and Ms Nomfundo Walaza from Cape Town, SA will speak on “Using the New Testament now in peace-making and conflict resolution.” All are welcome. Thursday 31st July, 6.30 pm, Darwin Suite 1.

Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of IC, said “The conference has been planned as a chance for people to meet and talk. That’s it. As a church we have to work out new ways of living together. It’s not a time for point scoring or arguing but for engaging and listening.”

IC welcomes the acknowledgement by the Archbishop of Wales on Sunday that he would, if agreed by the Church in Wales, consecrate a gay bishop in a relationship. The first Lambeth Conference was born out of controversy, and focused on unity as a way forward. The reality of Anglican welcome means that the issues which face us are here to stay.

For further information contact;
Revd Canon Giles Goddard: 07762 373 674 office@inclusivechurch.net
Revd Clare Herbert: 07504 577 210 herbert.clare@googlemail.com

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 at 10:59pm BST | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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Women Bishops: bishops' votes

Voting lists for the electronic votes at the recent sessions of the Church of England’s General Synod are now online. I have summarised the bishops’ votes in the debate on women bishops held on Monday 7 July, both in a table below the fold and online as a pdf file.

The table records whether each bishop voted for or against each motion or amendment, or recorded an abstention. Some of the 45 bishops present missed some of the votes altogether and this is indicated by a dash.

Bishops are listed alphabetically by surname, and their synod number is given in the first column.

I have already given the text of each amendment and of the substantive motion, and the overall voting figures here. The table includes my very brief summary of the purpose of each amendment.

Note: Not included in the table are the bishops of Sheffield and Truro (sees vacant) and the bishops of Coventry, Chester, Ely, Leicester, Salisbury and Sodor & Man, none of whom took part in any of the votes. The bishop of Coventry was only consecrated on 3 July, the bishop of Leicester was on duty at the House of Lords and the bishop of Salisbury was ill. I don’t know why the others were absent.

  Bishops’ Votes     66 67 68 69 70 71 72 74 75 77 adjourn 20
  07 July 2008     Winchester Houlding Trott Threlfall-
Holmes
Killwick Langrish Packer Henwood Baxter Cotton Wright final
  Bishop of … Name   legislation
and code
only a
majority
in favour
omit all
references
to code of
practice
simplest
possible
statutory
approach
new
dioceses
new
diocesan
structures
consider
statutory
transfer
or code
provide
ministry of
women
bishops
require two-
thirds
majority for
code
code for
episcopal
functions
only
wrong
time to
decide
 
47 Dorking Ian Brackley against against against against against against against against against against against for
49 Willesden Pete Broadbent against against against against against against for against for against against for
40 Southwark Thomas Butler against against against for against against against for against for against for
41 Southwell George Cassidy for for against against against for for
3 London Richard Chartres for for against against against against for against abst against for against
50 Forces David Conner against for against against against against against
31 Peterborough Ian Cundy against against against against against against against
11 Carlisle Graham Dow against for against against against against against against against against for
12 Chelmsford John Gladwin against against against against against against against against for against against for
24 Lichfield Jonathan Gledhill against against against against against against for against abst against against for
53 Burnley John Goddard for for abst against for for for against against against for against
35 St Albans Christopher Herbert against for against against against against against for
21 Guildford Christopher Hill against for against against abst abst for for for abst for for
10 Bristol Michael Hill against for against for against against against against against for
14 Chichester John Hind for for for against for for against against against against for against
44 Worcester John Inge against for against against against against for against for against for for
9 Bradford David James for for against against against for for against for against for for
29 Norwich Graham James against for against against against against for against against against for for
51 Beverley Martyn Jarrett for for for against for for for abst abst abst for against
26 Liverpool James Jones against against against for against against against against against against against for
19 Exeter Michael Langrish for for against against for for for against against against for against
52 Hulme Stephen Lowe against against against against against against against for against against against for
27 Manchester Nigel McCulloch against for against against abst abst abst abst abst abst abst for
34 Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali for against for against for for for against for against for against
33 Ripon & Leeds John Packer against for against abst against against for for for against for for
20 Gloucester Michael Perham against for against against against against against against for against against for
43 Wakefield Stephen Platten against for against against against against against against for against for for
6 Bath & Wells Peter Price against against against for against against against against against against against for
22 Hereford Anthony Priddis against for against for against against against against against against for for
30 Oxford John Pritchard against for against against against against against against for against for for
8 Blackburn Nicholas Reade for for against against for for for against against against for against
16 Derby Alastair Redfern against against against for against against against against against against against for
18 Europe Geoffrey Rowell for for abst against for for for against for against for against
25 Lincoln John Saxbee against for against against against against against against for against against for
5 Winchester Michael Scott-Joynt for for against against for for for against against against for against
2 York John Sentamu against against against against against against for against abst against against for
32 Portsmouth Kenneth Stevenson against against against for against against against for for against against for
36 St Ed’bury & Ips Nigel Stock against for against against against for for abst for against for for
7 Birmingham David Urquhart for against against against for for against against against against for against
45 Dover Stephen Venner for for against against for for for against for against for against
48 Dudley David Walker against against against against against against against
28 Newcastle Martin Wharton against for against against against against for against against against against for
1 Canterbury Rowan Williams for for against against abst for for against against against for abst
46 Basingstoke Trevor Willmott against against against against against against against against against abst against for
4 Durham Tom Wright against against against against against against against against against against for against
  for     14 28 3 7 10 14 21 5 15 1 22 28
  against     31 17 40 37 32 29 21 31 19 35 18 12
  abst     0 0 2 1 3 2 1 3 5 4 1 1
  total     45 45 45 45 45 45 43 39 39 40 41 41
Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 at 8:50pm BST | Comments (25) | TrackBack
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threats from Nigeria

The Nation reports: Anglican Church to bishops: attend London conference at your own risk:

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) yesterday threatened to impose “serious sanctions” on any Nigerian bishop who attends the forthcoming Lambeth Conference in London.

Registrar of the church, Mr. Abraham Yisa, issued the warning following reports that a Nigerian bishop had broken ranks and would attend the conference opening in London tomorrow.

Yisa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “Lambeth is a once-a-decade meeting of all Anglican bishops. We have not confirmed whether any Nigerian bishop is attending the Lambeth or not; we are waiting till the conference opens.

“Should any Nigeria bishop be at the Lambeth, then we cannot rule out serious sanctions against him because it would be contrary to the position of the House of Bishops”.

A source said at least one bishop “is already in London for the conference”.

The source said the bishop, a former employee of Lambeth, might be the only Nigerian attending the conference.

The source added that the bishop was absent at the just-concluded Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem, Israel.

“The bishop had explained that he was absent from GAFCON because he submitted his travel documents late,” the source added.

Nigerian bishops led by the Primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, said they were boycotting Lambeth because of the invitation of pro-homosexual bishops to the conference.

The bishops also decided to stay away from the conference because of the exclusion of Rev. Martyn Minns, an American, who was consecrated as a bishop by the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Officials of the Lambeth Conference recently said 230 of the 880 bishops in the worldwide Communion were staying away from the Lambeth Conference.

The entire Anglican provinces of Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria and at least four bishops from the Church of England are boycotting the event.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 at 6:28pm BST | Comments (11) | TrackBack
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Lambeth Conference starts today

The official Lambeth Conference site is here and the official press release is here.
Lambeth Palace published this History.

It’s interesting that only 2 of the 38 provinces now have no bishops registered to attend.

Several sites have published primers about the conference:
The Guardian has this Q&A, the main players, and the absentees.
The BBC has What is the Lambeth Conference?
The Times had this history article.

Many bloggers will be there.
Dave Walker of the Church Times blog explains what he will be doing in this post.
Episcopal Café has a list of Blogging bishops and other Lambeth resources.
Fulcrum has two blogging bishops.
The Conference takes place within the parish of St Stephen’s, and the parish priest has noticed this.

The first press conference will not occur until next Sunday.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 at 7:59am BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Bishop Schofield and Lambeth

Bishop Gregory Venables has written a letter to Bishop Schofield and others in San Joaquin, which has been published in full here as a PDF file. It includes the following:

…In addition, I have been in conversation with Archbishop Rowan. Over the weekend I received the following message from him: “I understand that Bishop John-David Schofield has been accepted as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion and as such cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. However, it is acknowledged that his exact status (especially given the complications surrounding the congregations associated with him) remains unclear on the basis of the general norms of Anglican Canon Law, and this constitutes one of the issues on which we hope for assistance from the Windsor Continuation Group. Bishop Schofield has elected to decline the invitation to the Lambeth Conference issued to him last year although that decision does not signal any withdrawal from the Communion. I hope there may be further careful reflection to clarify the terms on which he will exercise his ministry.”

This statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury is clear, even though we are in somewhat new territory; you remain within the Anglican Communion. Given the rigors of international travel and the work that there is to do in the Diocese, I am in agreement with Bishop John-David’s decision not to attend the Lambeth Conference. I am also aware of statements by Bishop Jerry Lamb in which he makes statements and demands that miss the mark of Christian leadership and fall short of what many consider propriety. I would encourage the clergy and lay members of the diocese to ignore this.

We are glad to have you as full members of the Southern Cone. As you can see, you are well regarded as members of the Anglican Communion. May God richly bless you!

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 8:59pm BST | Comments (12) | TrackBack
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House of Lords reform: what about bishops?

The Government has published yet another White Paper on Lords Reform. You can find it over here.

The section relating to Church of England Bishops is reproduced below the fold.

Ekklesia has already published its opinion, Time to remove Bishops from the House of Lords:

…The Church of England, an external institution with its own particular agenda, would be able to parachute whomever they choose into the second chamber of Parliament as a matter of right. This would not be a step forward but a step back into the dark ages of special political privilege. With the Prime Minister’s power to appoint bishops being ended, that section of the House of Lords would be more unaccountable than it has ever been…

Church of England Bishops

6.45 The Church of England’s unique place in society and the valuable role it plays in English national life, both religious and secular, is widely recognised. Within England, the position of the Church of England is that of the Church by law established, with the Sovereign as its supreme Governor. The relationship between the Church and State is a core part of our constitutional framework that has evolved over centuries. The presence of Bishops in the House of Lords signals successive Governments’ commitment to this fundamental constitutional principle and to an expression of the relationship between the Crown, Parliament and the Church that underpins the fabric of our nation.

6.46 However, the Church of England’s role stretches further than constitutional principles. The Church takes a leading part in a range of spheres, both religious and secular. In partnership with many of the UK’s other religious communities, the Church offers spiritual support to everyone, regardless of their beliefs. The fact that the Church’s staff and volunteers often live in the heart of the community they serve adds to the effectiveness of this support. The Church of England Bishops’ position in Parliament reflects this culture of promoting tolerance and inclusiveness.

6.47 The Wakeham Commission highlighted the valuable parliamentary role that the Church plays and its wider implications: “The Church of England Bishops’ position as Lords of Parliament reflects the British history and culture of seeking to heal religious conflict and promoting ever greater religious tolerance and inclusiveness.”

6.48 The Government is clear that if a reformed second chamber is wholly elected, there should be no seats for Church of England Bishops or any other group.

6.49 If the number of seats available in a mainly elected second chamber reduced compared with the current House of Lords, it would be logical to reduce proportionally the number seats available for Bishops. However, practice is that Bishops attend the House of Lords on a rota basis, reflecting their other commitments. Reducing the number would make it harder for the Bishops collectively to carry out their functions in the second chamber and to continue to make their current level of contribution. The Government therefore proposes that if there is an appointed element in a reformed second chamber, there should be a number of seats reserved for Church of England Bishops. As the number of seats generally available in the second chamber will be reduced in comparison with the current House of Lords, it would also be logical to reduce proportionally the number seats available for Bishops. These would not count towards the 20% of members appointed by an appointments commission.

6.50 The Church of England would be invited to consider how it would in future select Bishops for membership of the second chamber.

6.51 The Liberal Democrats do not think there should be reserved seats for Church of England Bishops in a reformed second chamber. Their view is that if there were to be an appointed element, there would be opportunities for Bishops or other representatives of the Church of England, as well as from other faiths, to be put forward to the Appointments Commission as candidates for membership.

6.52 Before firm decisions can be made, consultation with the Church of England authorities would be necessary on the details of any proposals affecting Bishops’ membership of the second chamber.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 12:44pm BST | Comments (11) | TrackBack
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Trumpington parish update

We reported earlier on the outcome of the legal dispute at the Parish of Trumpington.

The Cambridge Evening News now has this report: Sacked vicar’s tirade over departure:

A VICAR sacked for “spitting” at his parishioners has posted a lengthy website criticism over his departure.

However, the Rev Tom Ambrose has withdrawn his bid to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights and an employment tribunal after being sacked from his Trumpington parish.

The parish becomes vacant from today and in two ‘vicar writes’ articles on the St Mary and St Michael Parish Church page of the diocese site, the Rev Ambrose is critical of the Bishop of Ely’s handling of the matter…

The two articles in question can be found (for now at least) at

Response to the Bishop of Ely’s decision

Legal representation to the Bishop

Copies of both documents have been archived: here, and also here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 11:22am BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Monday, 14 July 2008

Guardian profiles Williams

Stephen Bates has written a major essay: Church of England: Beset by liberals, hounded by conservatives, Williams needs a miracle to keep church intact.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 12:19am BST | Comments (26) | TrackBack
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Putney analysed by the Guardian

Preaching to the converted
Gene Robinson is the Anglican church’s only openly gay bishop. He was denied an invitation to this week’s Lambeth conference but came anyway and on Sunday gave a dramatic sermon in London disrupted by heckling. What’s all the fuss about? Stephen Bates explains, while political sketch-writer Simon Hoggart, theatre critic Lyn Gardner and gay atheist Gareth McLean review the bishop’s performance.

Read it all here.

Giles Fraser made his own comments earlier, in Here’s to you, Mr Robinson.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 12:08am BST | Comments (23) | TrackBack
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Presiding Bishop visits Salisbury

Christopher Landau of the BBC has a report Sexuality stance ‘embarrasses’ Anglicans.

Episcopal News Service has this report by Matthew Davies of her Sunday activities in Salisbury, Salisbury diocese welcomes Presiding Bishop, Sudanese bishops for pre-Lambeth hospitality initiative.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 10:59pm BST | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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advice to the Lambeth Conference

Two items that fall into this category:

Martin Beckford reports Archbishop Desmond Tutu warns Anglican leaders not to abandon tradition of tolerance

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has warned Anglican leaders not to abandon the church’s tradition of tolerance ahead of a critical conference which is set to be dominated by divisions over homosexuality and women bishops.

Ephraim Radner has written, at Covenant an Open Letter to the Lambeth Bishops. This is also available at Fulcrum, see here.

…I write to urge you to prayerful action in the face of widespread concerns that the upcoming Lambeth Conference will prove not only wholly irrelevant to the needs of our common life, but perhaps also the last such conference that our Communion will engage. Yet, in large measure, God has placed these matters in your hands. Although I am not privy to the planning, the intentions, and the ordering of the Conference, there are clear signs that the Conference runs the risk of failing to face and respond faithfully to the needs of God’s people within our Communion and her churches…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 6:36pm BST | Comments (10) | TrackBack
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two more items on women bishops

The Tablet had a leader article about this: Peter, Paul and women bishops. (The previous week they had Flight from women bishops.)

The Bishop of Durham issued an Ad Clerum on General Synod, which can be read here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 July 2008 at 4:24pm BST | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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more from Putney

Jim Naughton has published some further reflections on the event, at Live: the sermon, the protester, the press, etc. Part II.

He also corrects some misinformation elsewhere, viz:

1. It is true that many people in the Episcopal Church would like to get us out from under Resolution B033, the legislation passed on the last day of our 2006 General Convention which calls upon “Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” This isn’t a secret. Numerous dioceses have already submitted resolutions to next year’s General Convention asking that the legislation be repealed, or superseded. If this legislation passes (a big if—I am not sure there are enough votes in the House of Bishops to get the job done) a gay candidate would have a better chance of being elected and confirmed. The notion that if the legislation passed we’d immediately elect another gay bishop is speculative. The notion that we’d suddenly have five or six is hallucinatory. At this point, it is not even possible to know for which dioceses will be electing bishops, which priests would be chosen as candidates, or how the internal dynamics of the dioceses would affect the elections. (I have gone on about this at some length because I have had calls from three reporters about this story this morning.)

2. Integrity has not provided cell phones for all of the Episcopal bishops attending the Lambeth Conference—or even for those sympathetic to its agenda. The Episcopal Church has provided cell phones for all its bishops—and their spouses, too, I believe.

Those who are not yet satiated with information about last night can find even more material here:

Full video of the sermon is here.

The Bishop of New Hampshire’s own blog is here.

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Rowan Williams is the man to do it

Madeleine Bunting has written an article in the Guardian about Rowan Williams.

It is titled If they did it over transubstantiation, they can find a way over gay priests.

The cliches have been used so often in recent months that one wonders how the reporters will find any thing new to say about the Lambeth conference, which starts on Wednesday. We have already had the headlines announcing “the end is nigh”; the Church of England is collapsing; the Anglican communion is falling apart; and “Rowan Williams’ authority is in tatters”. They have all become so mechanical that one wonders if they have been keyed into some media keyboards: type Lambeth and out they all pour. They betray an astonishing ignorance of much of what is at stake…

Ten years ago, Madeleine was the Guardian’s Religious Affairs correspondent covering the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

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Nigeria: primate not to retire early

The Vanguard reports:

Anglican bishops reject Akinola’s voluntary retirement

Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) yesterday rejected a notice of voluntary retirement from Archbishop Peter Akinola, as Primate of the Church.

They requested him to complete his tenure, which ends in 2010.

The Dean of the Church, the Archbishop Maxwell Anikwenwa, said yesterday in Abuja that the bishops prevailed on Akinola to rescind his decision to retire by January 2009.

Anikwenwa, who spoke at a consecration service, said the bishops took the decision after they received the Primates retirement notice on Saturday.

He said the veto by the bishops was pre-empted by wide consultations with other Anglican leaders, particularly from the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON)…

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Sunday, 13 July 2008

Robinson preaches in Putney

Press Association Protester hits gay bishop’s sermon

BBC Protest disrupts bishop’s sermon

Channel 4 News Katie Razzall Protestor disrupts the sermon by the world’s first openly gay bishop
This video report includes fragments of an interview made earlier today before the service, and summarises the background events leading up to the Lambeth Conference.

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Marr interviews Robinson, McKellen

Riazat Butt writes at the Guardian that Ian McKellen accuses Anglican church of homophobia.

Watch the entire interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC website here.

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pre-Lambeth newspaper roundup

Updated Sunday lunchtime

The Associated Press reports that Pope prays for end to rifts in Anglican church.

The Telegraph has several articles:
Jonathan Wynne-Jones writes Church of England should appoint Britain’s first gay bishop, says Archbishop of Wales and
US gay cleric Gene Robinson ‘received death threats’ from England and also
Dr Rowan Williams’ Anglican power to be tested at Lambeth Conference
and the Telegraph’s list of the 50 most influential figures in the Anglican church (sic) starts here
while George Pitcher writes Dr Rowan Williams: Robust in the face of torment.

The Independent has Gay bishop defies his Lambeth Conference ban.

Theo Hobson wrote in The Tablet It’s good to talk:

The average family gathering relies on certain truths being left unspoken, carefully skirted around. As the bishops and their spouses travel to Canterbury for this decade’s Lambeth Conference, which begins on Wednesday, they resemble members of a large family congregating for a wedding. All are uneasily aware that at the last such event something went wrong: things were said that should not have been said, and a row ignited that has resulted in one branch of the family staying away. Should they try to return to the old friendly atmosphere, or has a new spirit of brutal honesty made that impossible?

Until recently, few British Anglicans gave much thought to the Lambeth Conference, which (in theory) brings all Anglican bishops together once a decade. It was a reminder that Anglicanism was thriving in the colonies and former colonies. It was an insight into the exotic issues that faced native evangelists in sunnier climes. It was a way of discovering what help they needed in spreading Canterbury’s light through the globe…

The Observer has The gospel on being gay.

The BBC has Gay bishop will preach in London.

Updates at lunchtime

The BBC has more reports: Archbishop’s gay ordination offer and Archbishop’s position ‘untenable’ (these two articles refer to different archbishops) and also Bishop supports gay row boycott (this is not an English bishop).

The Press Association has Gay bishop calls decision a mistake and Gay bishop to deliver UK sermon.

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Sentamu on Zimbabwe

The Sunday Times has an article by John Sentamu Britain’s cruel snub to exiled Zimbabweans.

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Saturday, 12 July 2008

opinions before Lambeth

Gene Robinson writes in the Guardian about The God I know is alive and active in the church, not locked up in scripture.

In The Times Muhammad Abdul Bari writes that British Muslims plan a summer vision.

Christopher Howse writes about a forthcoming TV documentary in Koranic verses on the duty to kill.

Alan Wilson wrote about Church of Navel-Gazers?

‘Facebook Generation’ Faces Identity Crisis, according to Medical News Today (hat tip Mark Vernon).

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Friday, 11 July 2008

Lambeth: some American views

Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press has interviewed Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her report of that can be read here.

The Bishop of Arizona, Kirk Smith was interviewed in the Arizona Daily Star and his views are reported in this article: Ariz. Episcopal bishop: Gay’s exclusion ‘insult’.

The Bishop of New Hampshire spoke this week at the conference of the Modern Churchpeople’s Union and what he said is summarised in this article: Lead, don’t manage.

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Lambeth: who is coming?

Ruth Gledhill reports in As Lambeth beckons, Anglican rebels don’t know if they are coming or going that:

A Nigerian bishop has broken ranks to fly to Britain to attend next week’s Lambeth conference. More than a dozen other Nigerian bishops have telephoned the organisers privately to say that they wish they could come but dare not disobey their archbishop, who has ordered all his 100 bishops to stay away in protest at the liberalisation of the Western Church.

The Right Rev Cyril Okorocha, the Bishop of Owerri, will defy Dr Peter Akinola, the Nigerian primate, when he arrives at his host parish in Oxshott, Surrey, this weekend. He will be the only Nigerian bishop at the Lambeth conference when it opens on Wednesday.

A source close to the bishop, who used to be on the staff at Lambeth Palace, where he looked after mission, said that he was coming because he believed strongly in the unity of the Anglican Communion.

Martin Beckford writes in the Telegraph: Anglican Communion: More than one in four bishops to boycott Lambeth Conference, and says this about English bishops:

As The Sunday Telegraph disclosed last month, the Bishops of Rochester, Lewes and Willesden are boycotting Lambeth because pro-gay bishops will be there.

But following the controversial decision of the Church of England’s ruling body this week to ordain women as bishops without compromise measures, several Anglo-Catholic bishops may also stay away.

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, who is likely to become the first English bishop to convert to the Roman Catholic church over female bishops, has said he is unlikely to attend while the Bishop of Richborough is still considering whether he can go.

The Bishop of Europe, the Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, said he would attend but could not take part in a Eucharist service held by the female head of the Episcopal Church of the USA, the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori.

He added that he was “astonished” that so little information about events at Lambeth had been given out so far.

“We know the themes for each day and that we shall be in study groups of eight, but not much else.”

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, added: “I too am very surprised that we have had little more than a sketchy outline. I’ve never been to a conference before where we have had such little information.”

The Times also has a series of comments from individual bishops printed under the headline In search of the wisdom between the extremes.

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More news from Uganda

New Vision has published this “clarification” of the earlier article:

Gays not after Orombi’s head

Kampala

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi yesterday clarified that he did not say gays were planning to kill him or that he fears for his life over his campaign against the practice. This followed reports that the bishop had told Christians at Kitunga in Ntungamo district that he feared for his life over his anti-gay stance. Orombi noted that gays were not only in the church, but were a big movement and some of them were drug addicts, who could kill anybody.

The Daily Monitor reports Archbishop Orombi re-affirms anti-gay stand by Paul Aruho

Bushenyi

The Archbishop of Uganda has rallied Christians to stand by him in his fight against homosexuality in the Anglican Church. He said his life was under threat from the gay community.

“The team of homosexuals is very rich, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said, “They have money and will do whatever it takes to make sure that this vice penetrates Africa. We have to stand out and say no to them.”
Archbishop Orombi, on a week-long tour of the western region said the advocates of homosexuality, a crime under the Uganda code act, are taking advantage of the abject poverty in Africa to lure people into their club.

“As a Church, we want to worship the living God; we want to obey God and we have to submit ourselves to God so you pray for us; we shall remain faithful to God,” Archbishop Orombi said.

Homosexuality has been a sticky issue in the Anglican Church lately, with the climax happening last week when the Church of Uganda and other Anglican provinces in Africa, South America and Australia formed a new movement which is not under the authority of Canterbury at the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem, Israel.

The conference criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, for failing to discipline the errant Episcopal Church of the US and the Anglican Church of Canada, which promote same-sex marriages. The two churches supported the consecration of a homosexual, Gene Robinson, as bishop in 2003.

Meanwhile, New Vision also reports this: Bishop Ssenyonjo invited to Lambeth but see comment below which contradicts this.

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Church Times on women bishops

The full reports of General Synod debates in this week’s newspaper are subscriber-only until next week.

The following news reports by Bill Bowder are available:

Will Catholics stay? The answer is in code

Cracking the code

And, there is a leader column: Not the time for hasty reactions:

THERE ARE, of course, no women bishops in the Church of England; nor will there be for several years. This means that there is a long time in which to reflect on the outcome of Monday’s vote in the General Synod. It is clear that the mind of the majority in Synod was against introducing a legally separate body for those unable to accept the ministry of women bishops, and who is to say that this does not reflect the mind of the Church at large? Apart from the wish to represent generally the view of those in the pews, it is probable that last week’s talks of splits relating to the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) made the Synod even warier than it might formerly have been of anything that looked as if it encouraged formal division. At issue now is whether the manner in which women bishops will be introduced will lead to just such a division in any case…

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Thursday, 10 July 2008

women bishops: yet more reactions

The Economist weighs in with When compromise fails.

Time magazine has Could the Pope Aid an Anglican Split?

The New Statesman has Doing the splits by Stephen Bates:

…Like Mr Rochester’s first wife, the misogyny and homophobia of its factions keep leaping out of the attic to scare off decent folk. No use conservative evangelicals and high church Anglo-Catholics insisting the Church’s interminable internal rows are all about obedience to scriptural authority and the protection of tender consciences. What the public sees is arcane debates, conducted with a ferocity more in keeping with the 1980s Labour Party than an institution founded on hope and charity…

The Spectator has A Very English Coup — And The End Of Our National Church by Theo Hobson.

The Telegraph has a report by Martin Beckford saying that US Anglican leader Katherine Jefferts Schori wades into women bishop row.

Andrew Carey wrote for the Church of England Newspaper a column (republished at Stand Firm) titled Walking on Broken Glass:

…Observers reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury was visibly discomfited at times by the tone and direction of the debate. His deputy in Canterbury, the Bishop of Dover, Stephen Venner, was reduced to tears. Yet while Dr Williams has often given traditionalists hope that he would back a structural solution to their problems of conscience, he seems to have completely ruled out strong leadership on theological and ecclesial issues. Wearing permanently now, it seems, the persona of the mediator, Dr Williams was seen by Synod trying to have it both ways. “I am deeply unhappy with any scheme… which ends up structurally humiliating women.” But he was equally unhappy about marginalising traditionalists. He therefore came “not very comfortably to the conclusion”, we needed a “more rather than less robust form of structural provision”…

Ruth Gledhill asks Will Rome really take our trads?

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Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Orombi fears for his life

New Vision reports that Gays want to kill me, says Orombi. The article is copied below in full.

Update There is a further article in New Vision which shows that Orombi is not alone in his views, see Canterbury should not tolerate gayism.

Gays want to kill me, says Orombi
Wednesday, 9th July, 2008
By Chris Ahimbisibwe

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi yesterday said he fears for his life because of the campaign he has waged against homosexuals.

“Nowadays, I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals,” he said while addressing Christians at Kitunga archdeaconry, West Ankole diocese in Ntungamo district.

“I am forced to dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous. They can harm anybody who is against them. Some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them.”

Orombi is among the Anglican archbishops who have led the boycott against the Lambeth Conference, which takes places later this month, over the issue of homosexuality.

The Global Anglican Future Conference, which was held in Jerusalem last month, resolved to form a new movement and broke ties with the authority of Canterbury over the consecration of gay bishops.

Despite the threats, Orombi yesterday continued his anti-gay campaign, asking Christians to pray for him and others who are against homosexuals.

“Homosexuals are agitating that it is a human right. But how can it be a human right for a man to sleep with another man or a woman to marry a woman?” he asked.

“What we need is to wake up and protect our church and children against this practice.”

He argued that God created men and women so that they could have children and fill the world so that the generations could continue. “So where do the homosexuals want to get their children?” he asked.

Orombi noted that homosexuals were trying to take advantage of Africa’s poverty by making donations, building schools and offering scholarships.

“We should not accept any donation that comes our way and has strings attached. Some people have already fallen victims in Uganda and we need to stop it,” the archbishop said.

Bishop Yona Katonene, the bishop of West Ankole diocese, who accompanied the archbishop, said he had received a report that a male teacher in Bushenyi had married a male student.

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women bishops: the Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Updated Friday

There was a third article, Ex-Anglicans will bring new life to our Church by Damian Thompson

The Catholic Herald has published two articles.

A news report by Anna Arco is titled Bishop to lead flock to Rome after synod vote:

A senior traditionalist Anglican bishop has urged the Pope and the hierarchy of England and Wales to help Anglo-Catholics convert to Rome following the General Synod’s vote to ordain women bishops.

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, called for “magnanimous gestures from our Catholic friends, especially from the Holy Father, who well understand our longing for unity and from the hierarchy in England and Wales” as he prepares to lead his flock to Rome in the aftermath of the Church of England’s General Synod.

“Most of all we ask for ways that allow us to bring our folk with us,” he wrote in an article explaining his position in The Catholic Herald…

Bishop Andrew Burnham has written ‘Anglo-Catholics must now decide’:

So we are to have a code of practice. Traditional Anglo-Catholics must now decide whether to stay in the Church of England in what, for a while, will be a protected colony - where the sacramental ministry of women bishops and priests is neither acknowledged nor received - or to leave.

Leaving isn’t quite so easy as it sounds. You don’t become a Catholic, for instance, because of what is wrong with another denomination or faith. You become a Catholic because you accept that the Catholic Church is what she says she is and the Catholic faith is what it says it is. In short, some Anglo-Catholics will stay and others will go. It is quite easy to think of unworthy reasons for staying - and there are no doubt one or two unworthy reasons for leaving.

There are also honourable reasons for staying. Like the Anglican clergy who wouldn’t swear allegiance to William and Mary at the end of the 17th century and the Catholic clergy who wouldn’t swear allegiance to the French Revolutionary government a century later, the “non-jurors” of the present day will soldier on and die out but they will be faithful to what they have believed and history will honour them for their faithfulness…

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women bishops: two press releases

Inclusive Church has issued a press release, The vote for women bishops. A copy of the text is also below the fold.

WATCH has issued a press release. The text appears below.

WATCH Press Statement
WOMEN BISHOPS: A STEP CLOSER
9th July 2008 – for immediate release

The Church of England has been debating whether women should be ordained as deacons, priests and bishops for nearly 100 years, and today marks the beginning of what we hope is the 26th and final mile in the marathon of discussions and debates since then.

Yesterday the Church agreed to drawing up legislation for women bishops and also for a code of practice with arrangements for those who in conscience cannot accept the Episcopal ministry of a woman.

After 6¼ hours of debate, the House of Bishops Motion was passed by a substantial majority in all three houses. The Legislative Drafting Group for Women Bishops will now work on the legislation and on the contents of the code of practice, which will be debated in General Synod in February 2009.

In spite of the recent statement from the Vatican that Synod’s vote created new obstacles to unity between the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, two facts remain: Rome’s official stance is still non-recognition of all Anglican orders, male and female, and the Anglican Church has had women bishops for the last 20 years. The question remains as to why the vote presents a fresh obstacle?

WATCH welcomes the outcome of the vote and rejoices that women will soon takes their place alongside men as bishops in the Church of England.

WATCH Chair and member of General Synod, Christina Rees said, “This is good news for the whole Church and for the nation we serve. Women will soon be able to bring their experience and gifts to the Episcopal leadership of our Church. We rejoice that God has led the Church to this moment.”

During the debate, Robert Key MP said that the people of England are making a judgment on us; a reference to how detached the church has become from the rest of society through refusing to make women bishops. The Bishop of Bath and Wells stressed that we need to trust each other and not have legislation.

Earlier this year, over 1,300 clergywomen signed a statement which was sent to all bishops in the Church of England, declaring that they wished the Church to proceed on a basis of trust and not law: that arrangements for those opposed to women bishops should be managed by the local diocesan bishop, be they male or female as is the case in the fifteen provinces which have already agreed to consecrate women to the episcopate. If such arrangements were enshrined in law then their response would be “thanks but no thanks”. It is to be hoped that the Statutory National Code of Practice requested by General Synod will reflect these concerns.

Contacts:
Christina Rees Chair, WATCH
Hilary Cotton Co-Vice Chair, WATCH

Inclusive Church press release

Women as Bishops
9th July 2008

Inclusive Church is delighted that General Synod voted by a large majority to move to the consecration of women as bishops.

Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of IC, said “It is a time for rejoicing. We have reached another milestone in the long process of removing the barriers to inclusion in the Church of England. The gospel is a gospel of welcome and this decision will make us more able to be welcoming in our churches.“

Inclusive Church includes many catholics, liberals and evangelicals among our supporters, who have recognised that a national code of practice is the best way forward. Through a code of practice, the concerns of those who do not yet accept the ministry of women can be recognised, but there not be “no go areas” for women. It has worked in other provinces and no doubt it will work in England.

Although the response of some of our ecumenical partners has been negative, we have no doubt that many members of other churches will welcome the decision.

We pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the Church of England continues to try to fulfil its role as the Established Church. There is still a great deal of work to do to complete the process. We look forward to working with our partners and, we hope, with those who are opposed to the decision. We hope that helpful past dialogues can be revitalised to make sure that the legislation and the code of practice are as effective as they can be.

Canon Giles Goddard

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more legal trouble for Bishop Duncan

Updated Thursday evening
ENS has also published a news article about this, see PITTSBURGH: Parish wants court-appointed monitor to oversee possession, use of diocesan property by Mary Frances Schjonberg.

Lionel Deimel reports from Pittsburgh in an article titled Calvary’s Cavalry Again Rides to the Rescue:

As the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh heads toward a “realignment” vote on October 4, 2008, when Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan plans to declare the entire diocese removed from The Episcopal Church to become a diocese of the province of the Southern Cone, loyal Episcopalians in Pittsburgh are becoming increasingly anxious about the looming apocalypse. Yesterday, however, they were given some reason to cheer, as Calvary Church attorney Walter P. DeForest rode to court on his white horse to file papers with the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Calvary is petitioning the court to appoint a “monitor to inventory and oversee property held or administered by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to assure compliance with this court’s order of October 14, 2005,” as well as to request “creation of an additional escrow account(s)” for parishes concerned about the use of their funds by the diocese for the benefit of a church other than The Episcopal Church…

The legal filing for this case is available as a PDF here.

And there is additional background from 2006 here.

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women bishops: further comment

George Pitcher in the Telegraph Women win bloody battle at the Synod

Giles Fraser in the New Statesman Ending women free zones

Simon Barrow Church as Spectacle

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women bishops: British press opinion

Leading articles appear this morning in several London newspapers.

The Times has The Church of England: A Vote for Clarity

The Telegraph has A Church divided

The Guardian has Speaking for England

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

women bishops: reactions

Forward in Faith has two items: General Synod Vote - Initial Reaction

Forward in Faith and the Catholic Group in General Synod note with regret that, despite the clear advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Durham, the Bishop of Winchester, the Bishop of Exeter and other Bishops, the Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury and the Chairman of the House of Laity and the obvious lack of consensus, the General Synod today resolved to make no meaningful provision for those in conscience unable to receive the ministry of women bishops.

There must now be a period of prayerful reflection. However, members of both the General Synod and of the Church of England will understand that actions always have consequences.

and General Synod vote - further reaction

The consistent behaviour of the General Synod compels Forward in Faith and the Catholic Group in General Synod to recognise that, without intervention by the House of Bishops, there is little prospect of gaining a synodical majority which would provide a structural solution that would meet the needs of those who, out of obedience to scripture and tradition, are unable in conscience to receive the ordination of women to the episcopate. We will in the coming days continue to explore all possible avenues which might secure our corporate ecclesial future and look to our bishops to facilitate this.

Vatican Radio has Vatican Regret at Anglican Vote to Ordain Female Bishops.

WATCH has this:

Synod votes in favour of women as bishops, with a Code of Practice
We are delighted that General Synod after many hours of debate, voted to proceed to the consecration of women as bishops with arrangements for those who will not accept their ministry simply in a Code of Practice. This was the stance proposed by the House of Bishops and supported by WATCH, and in the final voting there were clear majorities in each House in favour of taking this step. The voting figures were:
Bishops: 28 for, 12 against, 1 abs
Clergy: 124 for, 44 against, 4 abs
Laity: 111 for, 68 against, 2 abs
The Legislative Drafting Group will now prepare the relevant legislation, along with a Code of Practice, to be brought to the next meeting of General Synod in February next year.

Reform has a statement Reform predicts Synod vote will “further rouse the ‘sleeping giant’ of evangelical Anglicanism”

Reform members who took part in the Synod debates are very disappointed that no legal provision has been made for those who cannot in conscience receive oversight from a female bishop. We note that the opinions of four out of the five most senior bishops on both the content and timing of this measure were swept aside in the course of the debate.

We will scrutinise the proposed code of practice in February’s debate carefully, but remain very sceptical as to its usefulness.

By giving no legal provision Synod has effectively said: “We don’t want people like you in our Church of England.” This message will no doubt further rouse the ‘sleeping giant’ of orthodox and evangelical Anglicanism in the UK and around the globe.

Interfax reports Russian Church alarmed by Anglicans’ decision to ordain women.
Update A further Interfax report has Anglican Church decision to consecrate women-bishops challenges Orthodox-Anglican dialogue - Bishop Hilarion.

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General Synod: Tuesday's business

The official report of business conducted today is found at General Synod - Summary of Business Conducted on Tuesday 8th July 2008.

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General Synod: reports and comments on women bishops

Updated to add link to article by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes

Reports

Riazat Butt in The Guardian Church vote opens door to female bishops

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Church of England set to split over women bishops

Jennifer Gold in Christian Today Church of England votes to ordain women bishops

Jerome Taylor in The Independent Church risks split as Synod votes to ordain women bishops

Steve Doughty in the Mail Church of England faces clergy revolt after paving way for first woman bishop by 2014

The Press Association Church turmoil over women bishops

Ekklesia Church of England makes historic decision for women bishops

John F Burns in the International Herald Tribune As schism lurks, the Church of England endorses women as bishops

The Age [Melbourne] Anglicans vote in favour of women bishops

Stephanie Kennedy in ABC News [Australia] Anglican Synod votes to allow female bishops

Comments

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes in The Guardian There will be women bishops

Andrew Brown in The Guardian Super-bishops fly in

Damian Thompson in the Telegraph The Church of England is Protestant again

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 8 July 2008 at 10:15am BST | Comments (54) | TrackBack
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Monday, 7 July 2008

General Synod: Monday afternoon's debate

For the final form of the motion before Synod and the voting figures see the end of this article

Synod began its main debate on women bishops at 2.30 pm today.

The Order Paper is here

I have copied this below, but have amended it to include the votes in synod as they took place.

Note: Where a vote is taken by houses, the motion must be carried in all three houses to be carried.

The Bishop of Gloucester moved:

20. ‘That this Synod:
(a) reaffirm its wish for women to be admitted to the episcopate;
(b) affirm its view that special arrangements be available, within the existing structures of the Church of England, for those who as a matter of theological conviction will not be able to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests;
(c) affirm that these should be contained in a national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard; and
(d) instruct the legislative drafting group, in consultation with the House of Bishops, to complete its work accordingly, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice, so that the Business Committee can include first consideration of the draft legislation in the agenda for the February 2009 group of sessions.’

The Bishop of Winchester moved as an amendment:

66. After “That this Synod” leave out paragraph (a) and insert:
“(a) anticipating the ordination of women to the episcopate in the Church of England, and noting the Manchester Group’s assertion in paragraph 22 of GS 1685 that “far and away the most important question that the Church of England now has to face is the extent to which it wishes to continue to accommodate the breadth of theological views on this issue that it currently encompasses”,
(i) affirm the assurances included in paragraphs 67-69 of GS 1685;
(ii) reaffirm (GS 1685 paragraph 74) Resolution III.2 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference “that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate are both loyal Anglicans”;
In paragraph (b) leave out “within the existing structures of the Church of England”; and
In paragraph (c) after “in” insert “legislation and in”.

Amendment 66 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
14
31
0
clergy
62
120
0
laity
78
114
0

The Revd Prebendary David Houlding (London) moved as an amendment:

67. Leave out paragraph (a) and insert:
“(a) affirm that the wish of its majority is for women to be admitted to the episcopate”.

Amendment 67 was carried after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
28
17
0
clergy
90
89
4
laity
97
85
7

The Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough) moved as an amendment:

68. Leave out paragraphs (b) and (c) and in paragraph (d) leave out “, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice,”.

Amendment 68 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
3
40
2
clergy
28
149
4
laity
36
147
5

The Revd Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Universities, York) moved as an amendment:

69. In paragraph (b) leave out all the words after “affirm its view that” and insert “this should be done with the simplest possible statutory approach, with local diocesan arrangements for pastoral provision and sacramental care;”;
Leave out paragraph (c); and
In paragraph (d) leave out “, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice,”.

Amendment 69 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
7
37
1
clergy
66
107
9
laity
68
118
4

The Revd Canon Simon Killwick (Manchester) moved as an amendment:

70. In paragraph (b) leave out “the existing structures of”;
In paragraph (c) leave out “national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard” and insert “Measure”; and
In paragraph (d) leave out “accordingly, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice,” and insert “by preparing a draft Measure and associated code of practice providing new dioceses for those who cannot in conscience receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests,” and after the words “so that” insert the words “, if possible,”.

Amendment 70 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
10
32
3
clergy
53
124
4
laity
71
116
2

The Bishop of Exeter moved as an amendment:

71. In paragraph (b) leave out “the existing structures of”;
In paragraph (c) leave out “national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard” and insert “Measure”; and
In paragraph (d) leave out all the words after “accordingly” and insert “by preparing drafts of possible legislation in accordance with paragraph (c), to include further draft Measures, together with associated codes of practice, based on diocesan structures for those who cannot in conscience receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests, so that, if possible, the Business Committee can include consideration of these options in the agenda for the February 2009 group of sessions.”.

Amendment 71 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
14
29
2
clergy
65
116
1
laity
77
112
0

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds moved as an amendment:

72. In paragraph (c) after the words “affirm that these should be” insert “either by way of statutory transfer of specified responsibilities or”; and
In paragraph (d) leave out “complete” and insert “develop” and leave out the words “first consideration of the draft legislation” and insert “further consideration of both alternatives envisaged in paragraph (c) ”.

Amendment 72 was lost after a vote by houses (since it was defeated in one house).
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
21
21
1
clergy
84
92
2
laity
98
87
0

At this point (6.30 pm) Synod broke for its dinner break. The session will resume at 8.00 pm

[Miss Emma Forward (Exeter) did not move her amendment so it was not considered:

73. In paragraph (b) leave out “special”.]

The Revd Gillian Henwood (York) moved an amendment:

74. Insert after paragraph (b):
“(..) affirm its view that special arrangements should be available, within the existing structures of the Church of England, for those who as a matter of theological conviction wish to exercise or receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests in episcopal areas where the bishop has stated that he is not able to ordain women;”.

Amendment 74 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
5
31
3
clergy
68
85
20
laity
82
90
7

Canon Dr Christina Baxter (Southwell and Nottingham) moved as an amendment:

75. After paragraph (c) insert as a new paragraph:
“(..) require that the Measure enabling women to be admitted to the episcopate should require:
(i) that the Measure should only come into force once the code has been agreed;
(ii) that in order for the code of practice to come into effect, it must receive the approval of the General Synod with a two-thirds majority in each House; and
(iii) that any future changes to the code can only be made by the General Synod with a two-thirds majority in each House;”.

Amendment 75 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
15
19
5
clergy
86
78
8
laity
81
88
10

Ms Jacqueline Humphreys (Bristol) moved as an amendment:

76. In paragraph (c) insert “statutory” before the words “national code of practice”.

Amendment 76 was carried on a show of hands.

the Revd Canon Robert Cotton (Guildford) moved as an amendment:

77. Insert as a new paragraph after paragraph (c):
“(..) agree that the code of practice should relate only to the exercise of episcopal functions and describe a commitment to mutual support and cooperation between members of the House of Bishops to help with pastoral provision and sacramental care when situations arise affecting those with conscientious difficulties relating to ordination to the priesthood and the episcopate; and”.

Amendment 77 was lost after a vote by houses.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
1
35
4
clergy
38
129
5
laity
44
129
7

His Honour Thomas Coningsby QC (ex officio) moved as an amendment:

78. In paragraph (c) leave out all the words after “national code of practice” and insert “which all concerned would be required to follow”.

Amendment 78 was lost on a show of hands.

The Bishop of Durham moved that the debate be adjourned. This motion was lost with 180 votes in favour, 203 against and 9 abstentions.

Final form of the substantive motion

As a result of the two successful amendments (67 and 76) the final form of the substantive motion became:

That this Synod:
(a) affirm that the wish of its majority is for women to be admitted to the episcopate;
(b) affirm its view that special arrangements be available, within the existing structures of the Church of England, for those who as a matter of theological conviction will not be able to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests;
(c) affirm that these should be contained in a statutory national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard; and
(d) instruct the legislative drafting group, in consultation with the House of Bishops, to complete its work accordingly, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice, so that the Business Committee can include first consideration of the draft legislation in the agenda for the February 2009 group of sessions.

After a vote by houses the substantive motion was carried.
Voting figures

 
 for 
 against 
 abstentions 
bishops
28
12
1
clergy
124
44
4
laity
111
68
2
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

General Synod: Monday's business

Here is the official report of Sunday’s business at General Synod.

General Synod - Summary of Business Conducted on Monday 7th July 2008

It is being updated during the day and will include links to audio of each session.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 7 July 2008 at 3:20pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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GAFCON: more comments and reports

Three recent items from Fulcrum
Further Thoughts on GAFCON and related matters by the Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright
The GAFCON Movement and The Anglican Communion by Andrew Goddard
A briefing paper for PCCs. It is “against the resolution suggested on the Anglican Mainstream site: ‘We stand in solidarity with the Jerusalem Declaration and Statement on the Global Anglican Future’”

An interview on ABC Sydney with Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, the primate of Australia
This is reported in The Sydney Morning Herald as Aspinall warns Jensen.

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General Synod: women bishops agenda

General Synod will be debating Women Bishops later today. The debate was orginally scheduled for this afternoon, but because of the large number of proposed amendments it will now continue into the evening.

The order paper for this debate is online here and copied below the fold.

Monday 7th July 2007
2.30 p.m. to 6.15 p.m.
8.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.

ORDER PAPER VI

WOMEN BISHOPS:
REPORT OF THE WOMEN BISHOPS LEGISLATIVE DRAFTING GROUP (GS 1685)
REPORT FROM THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS (GS 1685A)

The Bishop of Gloucester to move:

20. ‘That this Synod:
(a) reaffirm its wish for women to be admitted to the episcopate;
(b) affirm its view that special arrangements be available, within the existing structures of the Church of England, for those who as a matter of theological conviction will not be able to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests;
(c) affirm that these should be contained in a national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard; and
(d) instruct the legislative drafting group, in consultation with the House of Bishops, to complete its work accordingly, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice, so that the Business Committee can include first consideration of the draft legislation in the agenda for the February 2009 group of sessions.’

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
PART I – AMENDMENTS AFFECTING PARAGRAPH (a)

The Bishop of Winchester to move as an amendment:

66. After “That this Synod” leave out paragraph (a) and insert:
“(a) anticipating the ordination of women to the episcopate in the Church of England, and noting the Manchester Group’s assertion in paragraph 22 of GS 1685 that “far and away the most important question that the Church of England now has to face is the extent to which it wishes to continue to accommodate the breadth of theological views on this issue that it currently encompasses”,
(i) affirm the assurances included in paragraphs 67-69 of GS 1685;
(ii) reaffirm (GS 1685 paragraph 74) Resolution III.2 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference “that those who dissent from, as well as those who assent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate are both loyal Anglicans”;
In paragraph (b) leave out “within the existing structures of the Church of England”; and
In paragraph (c) after “in” insert “legislation and in”.

If item 66 is lost the Revd Prebendary David Houlding (London) to move as an amendment:

67. Leave out paragraph (a) and insert:
“(a) affirm that the wish of its majority is for women to be admitted to the episcopate”.

PART II – ALL ‘MANCHESTER’ REPORT OPTIONS KEPT OPEN

If item 66 is lost the Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough) to move as an amendment:

68. Leave out paragraphs (b) and (c) and in paragraph (d) leave out “, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice,”.

PART III – ‘MANCHESTER’ REPORT OPTION 1 (SIMPLEST STATUTORY APPROACH)

If items 66 and 68 are lost the Revd Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Universities, York) to move as an amendment:

69. In paragraph (b) leave out all the words after “affirm its view that” and insert “this should be done with the simplest possible statutory approach, with local diocesan arrangements for pastoral provision and sacramental care;”;
Leave out paragraph (c); and
In paragraph (d) leave out “, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice,”.

PART IV – ‘MANCHESTER’ REPORT OPTION 3 (NEW STRUCTURES)

If items 66, 68 and 69 are lost the Revd Canon Simon Killwick (Manchester) to move as an amendment:

70. In paragraph (b) leave out “the existing structures of”;
In paragraph (c) leave out “national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard” and insert “Measure”; and
In paragraph (d) leave out “accordingly, including preparing the first draft of a code of practice,” and insert “by preparing a draft Measure and associated code of practice providing new dioceses for those who cannot in conscience receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests,” and after the words “so that” insert the words “, if possible,”.

If items 66, 68, 69 and 70 are lost the Bishop of Exeter to move as an amendment:

71. In paragraph (b) leave out “the existing structures of”;
In paragraph (c) leave out “national code of practice to which all concerned would be required to have regard” and insert “Measure”; and
In paragraph (d) leave out all the words after “accordingly” and insert “by preparing drafts of possible legislation in accordance with paragraph (c), to include further draft Measures, together with associated codes of practice, based on diocesan structures for those who cannot in conscience receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests, so that, if possible, the Business Committee can include consideration of these options in the agenda for the February 2009 group of sessions.”.

PART V – ‘MANCHESTER’ REPORT OPTION 2 (ARRANGEMENTS WITHIN EXISTING STRUCTURES)

If items 66, 68, 69, 70 and 71 are lost the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds to move as an amendment:

72. In paragraph (c) after the words “affirm that these should be” insert “either by way of statutory transfer of specified responsibilities or”; and
In paragraph (d) leave out “complete” and insert “develop” and leave out the words “first consideration of the draft legislation” and insert “further consideration of both alternatives envisaged in paragraph (c) ”.

If items 68 and 69 are lost Miss Emma Forward (Exeter) to move as an amendment:

73. In paragraph (b) leave out “special”.

The Revd Gillian Henwood (York) to move as an amendment:

74. Insert after paragraph (b):
“(..) affirm its view that special arrangements should be available, within the existing structures of the Church of England, for those who as a matter of theological conviction wish to exercise or receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests in episcopal areas where the bishop has stated that he is not able to ordain women;”.

If items 66, 68, 69, 70, 71 and 72 are lost Canon Dr Christina Baxter (Southwell and Nottingham) to move as an amendment:

75. After paragraph (c) insert as a new paragraph:
“(..) require that the Measure enabling women to be admitted to the episcopate should require:
(i) that the Measure should only come into force once the code has been agreed;
(ii) that in order for the code of practice to come into effect, it must receive the approval of the General Synod with a two-thirds majority in each House; and
(iii) that any future changes to the code can only be made by the General Synod with a two-thirds majority in each House;”.

If items 66, 68, 69, 70, 71 and 75 are lost Ms Jacqueline Humphreys (Bristol) to move as an amendment:

76. In paragraph (c) insert “statutory” before the words “national code of practice”.

If items 66, 68, 69, 70, 71 and 72 are lost the Revd Canon Robert Cotton (Guildford) to move as an amendment:

77. Insert as a new paragraph after paragraph (c):
“(..) agree that the code of practice should relate only to the exercise of episcopal functions and describe a commitment to mutual support and cooperation between members of the House of Bishops to help with pastoral provision and sacramental care when situations arise affecting those with conscientious difficulties relating to ordination to the priesthood and the episcopate; and”.

If items 66, 68, 69, 70 and 71 are lost His Honour Thomas Coningsby QC (ex officio) to move as an amendment:

78. In paragraph (c) leave out all the words after “national code of practice” and insert “which all concerned would be required to follow”.

Note: The headings to the Parts of this Order Paper are included solely for ease of reference.

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Archbishop of Canterbury's Sermon at York Minster

The Archbishop of Canterbury preached at the 10 am Eucharist at York Minster yesterday. The service was attended by most members of General Synod as well as by the regular minster congregation. The text of the Archbishop’s sermon is now online here.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 7 July 2008 at 11:02am BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Archbishop of Armagh and homosexuality

The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Alan Harper, spoke to the USPG conference last week on Holy Scripture and the Law of God in Contemporary Anglicanism in the Light of Richard Hooker’s “Lawes”. His address is online here and here.

Ruth Gledhill in the Times Archbishop of Armagh invokes scripture in defence of homosexuality

BBC We may allow gay unions: COI head

David Young and Alf McCreary in the Belfast Telegraph Church of Ireland may accept gay marriages

Belfast News Letter C of I may accept gay marriage – Harper

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General Synod: Monday morning press reports

updated at lunchtime

A mixture of articles looking forward to the debate on women bishops later today and back to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon yesterday.

Riazat Butt in The Guardian Church of England to consider introducing ‘super-bishops’ to avert crisis over women

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Anglican Church may create ‘super bishops’ to avoid splitting and
Church of England to debate women bishops

Ruth Gledhill in the Times Day of reckoning for Anglicans amid split over women bishops

Steve Doughty at the Mail Church of England plans male ‘superbishops’ for rebel clergy who refuse to be led by women

Alastair Beach in The Independent Anglican rebels ‘in Vatican meeting’

BBC Jesus ‘would feel Anglican pain’

BBC Synod set for women bishops vote

Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the Telegraph Dr Rowan Williams stands tall in the Church

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Sunday, 6 July 2008

General Synod: Sunday's business

Here is the official report of Sunday’s business at General Synod.

General Synod - Summary of Business Conducted on Sunday 6th July 2008

It is being updated during the day and will include links to audio of each session.

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 6 July 2008 at 5:10pm BST | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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General Synod: other people's reports

The Church Times is publishing its usual daily reports from General Synod.

Alastair Cutting and Justin Brett, both synod members, are blogging from the floor of the synod.

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General Synod: Sunday reports

Riazat Butt in The Observer Archbishop hits back at the evangelical rebels

The Archbishop of York condemned leaders of a breakaway global church yesterday for their ‘ungenerous and unwarranted’ scapegoating of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Jonathan Wynne-Jones at the Telegraph Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit

Senior Church of England bishops have held secret talks with Vatican officials to discuss the crisis in the Anglican communion over gays and women bishops.

Mail on Sunday Church of England must go ahead with plans to create women bishops, says senior clergyman

A senior bishop urged the Church of England yesterday to ignore warnings that allowing women to become bishops would ‘shatter the unity of the Church’ – and to plough ahead with the historic reform.

Emily Dugan in The Independent on Sunday Church schism widens over women bishops

Divisions appeared to widen yesterday between senior Church of England clergy on opposite sides of the debate over the consecration of women bishops, as the issue dominated the agenda at the General Synod.

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Sunday comments

Will Hutton in The Observer Rebel bishops threaten the very heart of our liberal traditions

Anglicanism is a liberal tradition central to the very conception of Englishness, but it finds itself under mounting threat. Last Sunday around 300 Anglican bishops, largely from Nigeria, Uganda and Australia, but including at least one from England, issued the Jerusalem Declaration. They no longer accepted that the Archbishop of Canterbury led the Anglican Church.

Giles Fraser in The Independent on Sunday Enough is enough. The extremists must be confronted

Rowan Williams has been too compliant in the face of the Church’s conservatives and homophobes

Jane Hedges in the Telegraph Women bishops shouldn’t scare the Synod

“Church in crisis over women priests.” This is the kind of headline that was appearing in the press 30 years ago when the general synod of the Church of England began to debate the ordination of women.

Damian Thompson in the Telegraph Bishops plan conversion to Rome

The Sunday Telegraph carries the news that senior Church of England bishops have met the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to discuss the apocalyptic crisis in Anglicanism and the prospect of converting to Roman Catholicism.

I’m glad that Jonathan Wynne-Jones has respected the anonymity of the bishops in question. We at the Catholic Herald have known for some time about these historic negotiations. I pray that they succeed.

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

General Synod: Saturday's business

Here is the official report of Saturday’s business at General Synod.

General Synod - Summary of Business Conducted on Saturday 5th July 2008

It is being updated during the day and will include links to audio of each session.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 5 July 2008 at 4:19pm BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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General Synod: reports on the first women bishops debate

Synod debated the report of the Women Bishops Legislative Drafting Group this morning. The debate was on a “take-note” motion (which was passed). There will be debate on what to do next on Monday afternoon.

Here are the early press reports.

Ruth Gledhill in the Times Church of England faces ruin over women bishops

Tom Chivers and agencies in the Telegraph Introduce women bishops, Synod told

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General Synod: Archbishop of York's presidential address

The Archbishop of York gave his presidential address to synod this afternoon. He spoke about the building blocks of the mission and ministry of Jesus. The press release from the Archbishop’s office concentrated on two points mad during the address: knife crime and support for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Archbishop Calls For Church To Reach Out on Knife Crime
The text of the press release is copied below the fold.

When the Archbishop said “It has grieved me deeply to hear reports of the ungracious personalisation of the issues through the criticism and scapegoating of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.” synod members burst out in spontaneous applause.

NEWS issued on behalf of the Office of the Archbishop of York

Saturday 05 July 2008

For immediate release

Archbishop Calls For Church To Reach Out on Knife Crime

Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has today urged the Church of England to reach out to young people involved in knife crime.

Speaking at the Church’s General Synod in York, Archbishop Sentamu used his presidential address to urge the Church to face outwards in its work: “Our call is to reach out to our neighbours with God’s message of love in Jesus Christ. To be a servant in the Church of God, you too are volunteered. The call is addressed to people who are not expecting to be invited - and not those who have become their own good cause!”

“We are called to reach out to people who are desperately searching for identity, meaning and belonging. When crime involving the use of knives by young people is on the increase, we can stem the tide by our outreach to young people.

“Attempting to change the behaviour of young people by tough talk will not solve it.”

During his address the Archbishop referred to his conversations with former gang member from Birmingham life had been transformed through the Christian Gospel:

“He said to me: ‘what you must do is to get us, young people, to feel better about ourselves. Help us to achieve confidence about ourselves without needing the dangerous prop of a knife. Help us not to judge ourselves in the eyes of others. Stop viewing us through the eyes of failure. Help us to overcome self-loathing. Your job is to stop the merry-go-round of our culture of immediacy by providing us with hope and long-term solutions to our longing for belonging. To us all the brave talk and actions of adults towards young people are similar to the gang culture. We are not all bad.”

Dr. Sentamu also used his speech to re-affirm his support for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

“It has grieved me deeply to hear reports of the ungracious personalisation of the issues through the criticism and scapegoating of Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Rowan Williams exemplifies that quest of holding together holiness, truth, love and unity.

The accusations and inferences of what has been said by some are not only ungenerous and unwarranted but they describe a person I don’t recognise as Rowan. He demonstrates, in his dealings with others, the gift of gracious-magnanimity.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, in the current contested debate on sexuality, is a model of attentive listening, interpretative-charity, and exemplifies a Christian - occupying the seat of St Augustine.”

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General Synod: Friday's business

Here is the official report of Friday’s business at General Synod.

General Synod - Summary of Business Conducted on Friday 4th July 2008 PM

It includes links to audio of each session.

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Lord Chief Justice and sharia law

Readers will recall the Archbishop of Canterbury’s February lecture on sharia law. Now the Lord Chief Justice of England has given a lecture on the same topic.

Update
On the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website Welcome for Lord Chief Justice Remarks on Sharia Law
The Lord Chief Justice’s speech is online Equality before the Law

Patrick Wintour and Riazat Butt in The Guardian Sharia law could have UK role, says lord chief justice

Britain’s most senior judge reopened one of the most highly charged debates in Britain last night when he said he was willing to see sharia law operate in the country, so long as it did not conflict with the laws of England and Wales, or lead to the imposition of severe physical punishments.

Frances Gibb, Legal Editor of The Times Case dismissed: Lord Chief Justice lays down law on Sharia

Britain’s most senior judge declared last night that there was no place for Sharia courts in this country and insisted that all residents were governed by the laws of England and Wales.

Christopher Hope and James Kirkup in the Telegraph Muslims in Britain should be able to live under sharia, says top judge

Christopher Hope in the Telegraph Sharia will ‘inevitably’ become part of British law, says barrister

Comments on the Lord Chief Justice’s speech

Madeleine Bunting in The Guardian Lord Phillips: talking sense on sharia

Alexandra Fawcett in The Guardian We must have equality before the law

Inayat Bunglawala in The Guardian There’s a place for sharia

Matthew Parris in the Times The Sharia debate: we can’t all be equal under different laws

Charles Moore in the Telegraph Is cosying up to Muslim extremists the best way to defeat terrorism?

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weekend opinion

Melanie McDonagh in The Times The Anglican wars are bad for all of us subtitled “If the pews of the Church of England empty, we’ll lose an army of public-spirited volunteers”

Giles Fraser in the Church Times When slaves turn on their oppressors

Damian Thompson in the Telegraph Women bishops? Just get on with it.

Robin Harris in the Times The disaster for Christians in Iraq subtitled “They used to live peaceably with other faiths but now they have been driven out and become refugees”

Andrew Brown in The Guardian Pennies for heaven subtitled “The Church of England relies heavily on its collection plate to fund each diocese – but a threat to solvency is threatening tolerance”

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 5 July 2008 at 12:13pm BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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General Synod: Saturday morning roundup

The Church of England General Synod has the first of two debates on women bishops later this morning.

Ruth Gledhill in the Times Church faithful may block the move for women bishops to stop the risk of defection by clergy. She writes:

Proposals to consecrate women bishops in the Church of England could fall at the last hurdle as church members take fright at the prospect of mass defections among the clergy, The Times has learnt.

Tom Peterkin in the Telegraph Church of England urged to ‘disagree in love’ over women bishops

The Church of England has been urged to be an example of how Christians can “disagree in love” as it debates plans for women bishops that threaten to tear it apart.

Paul Vallely in the Independent Church in the lurch

Big words are being thrown around in the Church of England these days; words such as schism, with echoes from 1,000 years ago when the world divided between Rome and the Orthodox; words such as Reformation, with echoes of the split between Catholic and Protestant, which spilt a deal of English blood in the 16th century.

Paul Handley in the Yorkshire Post Where democracy works in mysterious ways

“OH, goody – it’s the General Synod this weekend.” I’m sorry to report that this is not a phrase I hear very often.

Judith Maltby in The Guardian’s page writes on the Face to faith page It is odd that the opponents of women bishops should now adopt the language of ‘pain’. The same article is on the Comment is free page How to solve the question of female bishops where it is subtitled “When ‘pain’ enters into arguments about the future of Anglicanism, we’re faced with an impossible conundrum”.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 5 July 2008 at 10:26am BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Friday, 4 July 2008

GAFCON: today's reports

Updated to include more Church Times articles

Today’s Church Times has three reports from GAFCON.
GAFCON draws a mixed reception
Paul Handley New fellowship to unite ‘confessing Anglicans’ is born
Ed Beavan Jensen: ‘sleeping giant is roused’

The Church Times has this leader Leader: Treat GAFCON with respect
Paul Vallely comments in the Church Times GAFCON’s thinking is out of date.

Barbara McMahon in The Guardian profiles Archbishop Peter Jensen He is a very astute, very intelligent and able man. He is almost worshipped - what he wants he gets - subtitled “Figure behind Anglican schism is a puritan who sees no room for compromise”.

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General Synod: Friday morning

The Church of England’s General Synod will meet in York from this afternoon until Tuesday lunchtime.

Bill Bowder in the Church Times Tension mounts as women-bishop vote approaches

George Pitcher and Rev Dr Peter Mullen in the Telegraph Should women become Church of England bishops?

Robert Pigott at the BBC Church’s division lines drawn up

George Pitcher in the Telegraph Church of England campaign to target young priests at General Synod

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Thursday, 3 July 2008

Comments on GAFCON etc

At the BBC Bishop attacks anti-gay movement. The bishop is Tom Wright of Durham and the article is about an interview that he gave to the World at One programme today. The article includes a link to audio of the interview. One quote from the interview:

“And to be told that I now need to be authorised or validated by a group of primates somewhere else who come in and tell me which doctrines I should sign up to is not only ridiculous it’s deeply offensive.”

Today’s Times has these two comment articles.
A leading article Crossroads for Anglicans: Rowan Williams must face down opposition on all fronts
George Walden Time to come out of the liberal closet on gay clergy, Archbishop: If Rowan Williams continues to claim moral superiority to politicians, he must be honest on this issue

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 3 July 2008 at 6:21pm BST | Comments (31) | TrackBack
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Gregory Cameron: Anglicans and the Future of the Communion

Ruth Gledhill of The Times draws our attention to a recent lecture on “Anglicans and the Future of the Communion” by Canon Gregory Cameron, Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

Anglican Church told ‘unite or risk war’ over gay Christians

A senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned Anglicans against making homosexuality a “shibboleth” that could result in the destruction of their church.

She goes into more detail in her blog: Summer of Schism: Gregory Cameron on the ‘dark side’

You can download the text of the lecture here.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 3 July 2008 at 8:54am BST | Comments (13) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Inclusive Church and GAFCON

Inclusive Church has issued a press release on GAFCON

GAFCON and the Anglican Communion
1st July 2008

The “Statement on the Global Anglican Future” released after the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem shows once again how deeply many people misunderstand the nature and spirit of Anglicanism. It misrepresents loyal, orthodox, traditional Anglicans across the world who are working and praying, in the spirit of the Gospel, to bring about the reign of God on earth.

continued below the fold

Anglicanism is is a dynamic, changing, growing and living faith which takes its authority from scripture, reason and tradition. It is unafraid to learn and receive anew the lessons of God’s unconditional love. The last century has taught us how we must make sure that there are no barriers to the welcome we offer to God’s house. Anglican Christians in the United States, Britain and across the world have applied those lessons and, in accordance with scripture, opened their doors to those previously shut out.

We welcome the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the GAFCON statement. The arbitrary creation of a “Primates’ Council” without legitimacy or authority cuts directly across the Anglican Instruments of Communion – the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting. The Statement represents, in sum and despite its denials, a schismatic document which seeks to re-form Anglicanism in a way which is without justification historically and ecclesiologically.

We regret the stumbling blocks which are created by the insistence on a narrow understanding of scriptural authority, especially for members of Anglican Churches in provinces whose leaders support the ideas of GAFCON. And those who break away from the Anglican Communion will still have the challenge of celebrating the diversity in God’s universe, and acknowledging the divine gifts bestowed on people who may be marginalised in some provinces – especially women and lesbian and gay people.

We are reminded of Matthew 11.16 – To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we wailed and you did not mourn.”

Above all we give thanks that the Spirit which leads us into all truth continues to inspire and refresh the Anglican Communion. We all have much to learn from each other, and we look forward to the Lambeth Conference. We pray that in humility and openness those who attend will grow in their understanding of the Gospel, of the Communion and of one another so that we can all be newly equipped to serve the God who calls each of us into God’s immeasurable love.

For further information visit www.inclusivechurch.net

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 1:30pm BST | Comments (18) | TrackBack
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Chris Sugden and GAFCON

Chris Sugden writes in the Comment is free section of The Guradian Gafcon can save Anglicanism.

We are a response to the current authorities’ unwillingness to check the flouting of Bible teachings and can lead it forward without a split

Canon Sugden is executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream and one of the organisers of GAFCON.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 12:06pm BST | Comments (49) | TrackBack
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England and GAFCON

A meeting was held at All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London yesterday evening on Global Anglicanism & English Orthodoxy?. Speakers included three of the (arch)bishops who had attended GAFCON last week: Henry Orombi (Archbishop of Uganda), Greg Venables (Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone) and Peter Jensen (Archbishop of Sydney).

Riazat Butt at The Guradian Church of England crisis: Mass defections loom as rebel faction appeals to English clergy

Hundreds of English clergy appear poised to defect from the Church of England to join a new conservative movement after a conference led by rebel archbishops was swamped with delegates in London yesterday.

George Pitcher at the Telegraph Anglican Church crisis: Phoney war becomes an invasion

The phoney war declared on the The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in the Holy Lands last week has turned into an invasion.

Ruth Gledhill at the Times Evangelical Christians sign up to a ‘Church within a Church’

Nearly 800 clergy and lay leaders from the Church of England took the first steps yesterday towards forming a “Church within a Church” to be an evangelical stronghold against the ordination of gay people.

Andy McSmith at The Independent Anglican rebels ‘punched gay rights activists’

Three gay rights protesters say they were punched while being forcibly removed yesterday from a conference at which rebel bishops were trying to attract recruits to a network for Anglicans who believe all same-sex relationships should be condemned.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 10:17am BST | Comments (30) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Women bishops and GAFCON

Some press articles are now referring to both women bishops and the fall-out from GAFCON so we list them together.

Theo Hobson in a Comment is free article for The Guardian The Evangelicals are moving in for the kill subtitled “Foca doesn’t want to form a breakaway church; it wants to take over the Anglican Communion, and depose Rowan Williams”.

George Pitcher in the Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury braves the crossfire

Riazat Butt and Peter Walker in The Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury hits out at breakaway Anglicans

WATCH issued a press release “Women Bishops: the Church should move ahead in faith, not fear” yesterday; it is reproduced below the fold.

Tom Butler, the bishop of Southwark, writes in The Guardian Anglicanism’s militant tendency must be resisted with the subtitle “The Gafcon rebels are unrepresentative ultras – and I, for one, am glad Rowan Williams has lost patience with them”.

WATCH Press Statement

WOMEN BISHOPS: THE CHURCH SHOULD MOVE AHEAD IN FAITH, NOT FEAR

30th June 2008 – for immediate release

WATCH would like to express support for the motion on women bishops from the House of Bishops. Overwhelmingly, bishops, clergy and lay members in the Church of England would like women to be bishops. Substantial numbers of these want to proceed with legislation that is free from discrimination against women and that does not include ‘safeguards’ against the ministry of ordained women.

When women are able to be bishops, it will show that the Church accepts the ordained ministry of women on the same basis as it accepts the ordained ministry of men. This move will help to bring to an end years of legal discrimination against women in the Church, and will implicitly repudiate beliefs and behaviours which have diminished and demeaned women’s lives for many centuries.

We believe that the legislation to enable women to be consecrated as bishop should provide for the simplest possible statutory approach. Arrangements for those unable in conscience to receive the ministry of women bishops should take the form of a Code of Practice, which would provide pastoral and sacramental care to those concerned and establish mutual support and co-operation between bishops throughout the Church of England. The Measure should not enshrine in legislation any form of discrimination against women or against men who ordain women.

We are committed to ensuring care for those who in conscience cannot accept women bishops, and we commend the experience of 20 years of women bishops in the Anglican Communion, who make arrangements within their dioceses or areas for the care for their clergy, without any of these arrangements being contained in law. 15 Provinces in the worldwide Anglican Communion have legislation which allows both men and women to become bishops. All of these make provision for those opposed to women’s ordained ministry, but none has enshrined this provision in law.

We believe that the Church should now move ahead in faith, and cease to use the language and tactics of fear. This is not about winners and losers, ‘them’ and ‘us’, but rather about where God is leading, and has been leading, our Church. Over the past 14 years women have enriched the priestly ministries of the Church. Their presence has spoken in new ways of the Good News of Jesus Christ and we believe that having women as bishops will further expand and deepen our understanding of the nature of both humanity and the Divine.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 5:36pm BST | Comments (11) | TrackBack
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Peering Past Lambeth

We recommend this essay by the Rt Revd Pierre Whalon, the Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. He writes on ‘what lies past Lambeth 2008. And Lambeth 2018. And 2028…’

Peering Past Lambeth

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 10:19am BST | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Women Bishops in England

Updated to include Ruth Gledhill’s blog entry

Reports today of both those in favour and those against.

George Pitcher in The Telegraph Church of England faces split over women bishops
This is actually a report of a news conference held by supporters of the ordination of women as bishops as this pargraph shows.

Leading figures supporting the women’s campaign from politics and the Church gathered at Westminster Abbey to warn legislators that the time has come to consecrate women as bishops, with no formal provision in law for traditionalists who object to the move on grounds of conscience.

Ruth Gledhill in The Times Church of England clergy plan mass exit over women bishops
She writes about those who against.

More than 1,300 clergy, including 11 serving bishops, have written to the archbishops of Canterbury and York to say that they will defect from the Church of England if women are consecrated bishops.

Ruth Gledhill in her blog at The Times Trads threaten walk-out over women
This includes this link to the open letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York threatening to leave the Church if women are consecrated bishops with no legal provisions for opponents. The letter contains the names of all 1300 signatories.

And a brief report from the BBC
Quit threats over women bishops

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 9:18am BST | Comments (42) | TrackBack
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GAFCON: the Tuesday after

More reports on responses to the GAFCON final statement and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s response to it

Riazat Buttt in The Guardian Church of England: Archbishop confronts Anglican rebels

George Pitcher in the Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury warns Gafcon over new church structures

George Pitcher and Graham Tibbetts in the Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams warns rebels over Church of England split

Two articles at Episcopal Life Online
Archbishop of Canterbury calls conservative Anglicans’ proposals ‘problematic’
Presiding Bishop responds to GAFCON statement

Reflections on GAFCON by Tom Wright, the Bishop of Durham
After GAFCON

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 9:05am BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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