Saturday, 30 May 2009

The making of regulation 7(3)

Regulation 7(3) in the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 permits religious organisations, but nobody else, to claim an “exception for genuine occupational requirement” related to sexual orientation as distinct from a requirement to be of a particular sexual orientation. The latter exception is provided in Regulation 7(2), and may be claimed by any employer.

The Equality Bill now before Parliament proposes to alter this regulation, among others. In particular a specific definition of “the purposes of organised religion” has been added.

The adoption of the regulation in 2003 was not without controversy. I wrote extensively about this at the time and will review that history here now, for the benefit of those who were not following Thinking Anglicans six years ago.

Regulation 7(3) arose directly from a request made by the Church of England.

Here is the full text of the 23 January 2003 submission made by the Archbishops’ Council to the DTI consultation “The Way Ahead”. The crucial section reads:

…21. This does not mean that the Church challenges the principle that homosexuals should have full equality and protection before the law. On the contrary, we welcome the steps taken over recent years to combat all prejudice, to repudiate homophobic violence and to create new legal safeguards and protections. The new regulations are an important part of that process. Nevertheless, it is crucial that they do not encroach on the freedom which all religious organisations must have to set and enforce their own conduct rules in relation to those who work for and represent them.

22. What those conduct rules should be is a matter of continuing debate within the Church of England and indeed within many other Churches. The point is simply that however those internal debates are resolved, Churches and other faith-based organisations must not find themselves in a position where the law of the land is preventing them from conscientiously applying their own sincerely held doctrines and beliefs on moral issues.

23. The need to safeguard religious doctrine, belief and susceptibilities was, of course, recognised as long ago as 1975 by Section 19 of the Sex Discrimination Act. A corresponding provision was included by the Government in the Gender Reassignment Regulations of 1999. Our officials have already suggested to yours that the solution to our difficulties could be provided by a provision directly modelled on the earlier precedents.

24. We strongly urge the Government therefore to insert in part 5 of the Regulations the following provision:

“Nothing in parts II to IV of these Regulations shall render unlawful anything done for the purposes or in connection with an organised religion so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion or avoid offending the religious susceptibilities of a significant number of its followers.”

That proposal was based on what was at the time the wording of Section 19 of the Sex Discrimination Act.

The government did not accept this wording unchanged but did issue a revised draft on 7 May which included 7(3) for the first time. See here for a comparison of the two drafts. The first was what had gone out to consultation in October 2002, the second was issued on 7 May. There had been no prior notice of the changes being made to Clause 7. The text of the explanatory notes is here.

On 8 May a letter was sent by William Fittall to members of the Archbishops’ Council, members of the House of Bishops, and Diocesan Secretaries, reporting what had been achieved by Church House staff in their negotiations with the government about the Employment Equality Regulations. Here is the full text of the letter. It included this:

…The final and most difficult issue has been the implications of the draft Sexual Orientation Regulations for ourselves and other Churches and faith groups. The nub of the difficulty here is that the courts are most unlikely to make any clear distinction between orientation and behaviour. There was therefore a substantial risk that the Regulations would encroach on the freedom which all religious organisations need to determine their own conduct rules in relation to those who work for and represent them. Our concerns were shared by a number of other Churches and by the Inter-Faith Network.

The Government has moved to meet these concerns, though by adopting a different drafting approach from the one which we advocated. The Sexual Orientation Regulations now include a provision in relation to employment or professional or trade qualification ‘for purposes of an organised religion’. In such circumstances it will continue to be lawful to apply a requirement related to sexual orientation - (i) so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion, or (ii) because of the nature of the employment and the context in which it is carried out, so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly-held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers’.

We have had long and difficult discussions with government officials over the phrase ‘for purposes of an organised religion’. It will clearly provide a much greater degree of protection in relation to Church posts and officers than the earlier draft of the Regulations. But it remains to be seen how precisely the courts will interpret it, for example in relation to Church schools and other Christian organisations.

It is because of this lack of clarity and the risk of contentious and costly litigation, that our welcome for the changes which the Government has made is somewhat qualified.

On 9 June William Fittall wrote to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments ( JCSI), which scrutinises such documents on behalf of both houses of Parliament. The full text of his letter is reported here. He wrote:

…10. Our objectives in relation to the sexual orientation regulations are, therefore, simply put: to ensure that they do not deny faith communities a broad measure of freedom to determine what requirements in relation to sexual behaviour should apply to those who wish to serve or represent them, even though this might otherwise constitute direct or indirect discrimination in relation to sexual orientation.

11. There are, as the Committee’s questioning explored, some difficult issues here over who should be regarded as serving and representing faith communities and whether similar requirements are reasonable in relation to all of them. For some purposes the Church of England draws a distinction between its ordained priesthood and others. But we do not believe that an exemption in these regulations simply in relation to ministers of religion (including ministers of non-Christian faiths, many of whom are subject to rules on sexual behaviour no less stringent than our own) would be satisfactory. Many denominations, including our own, have large numbers of lay people who occupy key paid roles nationally or locally in the churches and their agencies, and are as a result expected to live in a manner consistent with the teachings of the church.

On Friday 14 June the JCSI reported on these regulations. They made specific criticisms of the Sexual Orientation regulations. They expressed serious doubts that this clause was lawful under the European Communities Act 1992, saying: “the body of the Directive affords no special position to religious organisations in the context of sexual orientation… (contrast religion or belief discrimination for which Article 4.2 makes special provision).” They also published various additional documents here and here. A final version of the evidence taken on 3 June can be found here.

The House of Commons Fourth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation considered them the same day. The lengthy debate is reported verbatim, starting here. The committee eventually agreed that it had considered the regulations.

The House of Commons approved these regulations on 25 June.

The House of Lords approved these regulations on Tuesday 17 June. The two hours of debate is reported verbatim, starting here.

The Church Times carried an article about these regulations, written by me, in the issue of Friday 18 July. Here is the draft article as submitted. (The published version is sadly not available in the CT archive for 2003.)

On 21 July the National Union of Teachers announced: NUT launches legal challenge to Government sexual orientation regulations. The litigation had begun.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 30 May 2009 at 10:16pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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equality bill - what are the changes?

As you can see from earlier articles here, there is a considerable fuss about certain clauses in the new Equality Bill. The main, but not the only fuss, relates to sexual orientation.

To understand this subject, you need to have the actual texts, not only of the proposed clauses, but also of the current legislation that they are intended to replace.

Current legislation:

Regulation 7 of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.

Amended version of Clause 19 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

Proposed legislation:

Equality Bill, Schedule 9, Clause 2. On this copy I have underlined those parts of the new wording that are, in my opinion, significant.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 30 May 2009 at 2:58pm BST | Comments (5) | TrackBack
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news from the world of realigning dioceses

From San Joaquin:

ENS Final depositions for 61 disaffiliated clergy

Press release Letters of deposition sent

PDF of deposition notice

Bishop Schofield responds, see here.

From Fort Worth:

ENS Bishop asks clergy to verify decision to leave

Press release Bishop Gulick sends letters to clergy who left the Episcopal Church

PDF of letter from Bishop Gulick

From Pittsburgh:

TEC Hearing Conducted In Diocesan Assets Case

Southern Cone Legal Update- May 27 Hearing

For an eyewitness account see Lionel Deimel My Day in Court.

PDF of TEC intervention here

PDF of Bp Duncan’s filing here

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opinions before Whitsun

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that MPs did not drop from the sky.

Last week, Paul Vallely wrote about The lost art of the expenses claim.

Terry Waite wrote earlier this week in The Times that We independents could bring on reform.

Jonathan Sacks writes today in The Times about How Jacob conquered the defining crisis of his life.

Jonathan Romain writes in the Guardian that Faith communities could improve places of worship by learning from football fans.

Andrew Brown wrote at Cif belief about the trip From Avignon to Geneva.

Mark Vernon reported from the Hay Festival on Rowan, Dostoevsky and a world without God.

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Friday, 29 May 2009

critics of the Equality Bill

Updated

There have been quite a few of these during the last week.

The Church of England Newspaper has a news report by Toby Cohen Churches warned over equality laws. In the paper edition the headline was Minister’s warning to churches on equality.

And Andrew Carey discussed it in his regular opinion column in the same issue, headlined A chilling strategy (reproduced at Anglican Mainstream).

Today, the Church Times reported (scroll down to end of article) on what the Christian Institute said about it, which is based on their press releases, linked earlier.

The Spectator published an article by Melanie Phillips entitled The sexualisation of heresy.

Christian Concern for our Nation published Equality Bill will force Churches to Employ Homosexuals. Earlier this organisation had published Equality Bill: An Unworkable, Muddled Hierarchy of Rights.

Update

Neil Addison at Religion Law Blog wrote Religious Freedom in England Today.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Anglican Covenant Working Group

ACNS has issued Anglican Covenant Working Group - Names announced.

The text of the Ridley Cambridge Draft of the Covenant received strong support at the recent ACC meeting in Jamaica. However concern was expressed that Section 4 had not received the same degree of Provincial consideration that Sections 1-3 had. ACC-14 proposed that Provinces be given time to consider Section 4, that a small Working Group be set up to consider adjustment to Section 4 of the text in the light of Provincial responses, and to ask that Group to report to the Standing Committee before the end of the year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General have now announced the names of the Working Group. They are:

  • The Most Revd Dr John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin (Chair);
  • The Most Revd Dr John Chew, Primate of South East Asia;
  • Dr Eileen Scully, Anglican Church of Canada;
  • The Rt Revd Dr Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph in the Church in Wales and former Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

All have been involved in the Covenant Process to date. Staff support will be provided by Neil Vigers (Anglican Communion Office) and the Revd Canon Joanna Udal (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs).

Meanwhile the Ridley Cambridge Draft text of the Covenant has been sent to Provinces seeking their comments on Section 4 of the Covenant. Responses are requested by 13th November this year. The Working Group will meet on 20 - 21 November in London and report to the Standing Committee meeting of 15 - 18 December.

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next Bishop of Stockholm elected

Updated

Although the Church of Sweden is not a part of the Anglican Communion, several provinces of the latter are in full communion with it, by virtue of the Porvoo Agreement. See map showing which provinces here.

The Diocese of Stockholm (link to website in English) has just elected a new bishop. The official news reports are here and also here (both in Swedish). (if the CofS website not working well, here is a Swedish church newspaper report.)

Here’s a report in English from Karl’s Comments:

Lesbian bishop-elect in Stockholm

The Diocese of Stockholm in the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden has elected a new bishop after Caroline Krook, who is retiring. The new bishop-elect is Eva Brunne (55), who received 413 votes against 365 for Hans Ulfvebrand, her opponent in the final second round of the election on May 26.

Bishop-elect Brunne has extensive experience as vicar in the parishes of Flemingsberg and Sundbyberg. Especially Flemingsberg has given her insights into the present religious situation in urban Sweden, where the Church of Sweden is increasingly becoming a minority church, in parallel with Catholic and Orthodox churches of different hue, as well as Muslim and non-religious people. In Flemingsberg, she habitually introduced herself as “the Evangelical Lutheran pastor”, just to make sure.

Eva Brunne lives in a registered partnership with another woman, and has a three-year-old son.

Another blogger reports change is a-coming at prästflickan:

On Monday the Diocese of Stockholm voted for a new bishop. The person who won is called Eva Brunne, and she will be the fifth female bishop in the Church of Sweden.

I know her a little. My experience of her is that she is wise, kind, pious, structured, humble and funny. She is also known to be loyal and a very good leader who takes care of her flock, both employees and other sheep smiles

All in all, she seems to be a perfect choice for bishop, right?

But are those qualities listed above what people discuss? Are they what makes blogs and comments splutter with indignant rage? Of course not. Some people don’t care about Eva’s suitability. The only thing that makes all of these bloggers go absolutely bananas is the fact that Eva happens to be married to a woman.

Funny. And tragic. Mostly tragic.

Please pray for Eva and the Diocese of Stockholm. They have made a good choice, and a brave choice, and your prayers will be needed.

Hat tip Kelvin.

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next Bishop of Carlisle

From the Church of England website today

Next Bishop of Carlisle announced

Downing Street announced this morning that “The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend James William Scobie Newcome MA, FRSA, Suffragan Bishop of Penrith, for election as Bishop of Carlisle in succession to the Right Reverend Geoffrey Graham Dow, MA, BSc, MSc, MPhil, who resigned on 30 April 2009.”

Penrith is a suffragan see to Carlisle.

The local Cumbrian press published this about three quarters of an hour before the CofE.
Times and Star New Bishop of Carlisle announced

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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

St Albans Festival Pilgrimage 2009

Saturday 20 June

10.30 Pilgrimage Procession from Roman Verulamium
(the site of Alban’s trial)

11.30 Festival Eucharist
Preacher: The Rt Revd Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul’s

11.30 Children’s Worship and Activities in the Abbey Primary School. Celebrations of St Alban continue with drama, games and worship. All children welcome.

From lunchtime food and drink will be available from the Café at the Abbey and stalls on the Abbey Orchard, along with chariot racing, lion taming, bouncy castles, circus skills, and lots more.

14.00 Molieben (Orthodox Service of Intercession)
held at the Shrine of Saint Alban: all welcome.

16.00 Festival Evensong and Procession to the Shrine
Preacher: The Revd Canon Giles Fraser, Vicar of Putney

Groups and individuals are warmly welcome to take part in the Festival Pilgrimage.

To help with our planning, please register to let us know you’re coming! Contact the Cathedral Office on 01727 890245 or email pilgrimage@stalbanscathedral.org.uk

Information for Pilgrims is available as PDF file.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 at 11:47am BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

New Westminster court case opens

Updated again Saturday

The trial before BC Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher over the lawsuit brought by members of four dissident congregations against the Diocese of New Westminster began today (May 25) in Vancouver.

Those bringing the suit, 22 leaders in the four congregations, including three former diocesan priests, have left the Anglican Church of Canada, but want to keep their parish buildings, which the Diocese of New Westminster says it owns.

Read more about this from the diocese:

Cases outlined before BC Supreme Court Justice

Trial involving suit brought against Diocese of New Westminster begins

Some prominent members of the Church of England are supporting the group bringing the lawsuit, see Bishop Michael Nazir Ali adds support to St John’s Shaughnessy at Anglican Mainstream. Also, Letter of support for St John’s Shaughnessy Vancouver from Anglican Mainstream.

Wednesday updates

Court learns former bishop was asked to help in diocese

From the Anglican Network of Canada:
Mediation unsuccessful; Parishes and Diocese of New Westminster head for trial on May 25 over church property
Day 1 – Trial of ANiC Parishes v Diocese of New Westminster
Day 2 – Trial of ANiC Parishes v Diocese of New Westminster - May 26, 2009

And now also from Anglican Journal
B.C. Supreme Court begins to hear case over New Westminster diocese properties

And again from the diocese:
Dissident Anglicans say they were upset by more than same sex blessings

And support from Church of England Evangelical Council recorded here.

Saturday updates

Leader of St. John’s Shaughnessy says he wanted to remain in Canadian Church

and
Day 3 – Trial of ANiC Parishes v Diocese of New Westminster
Day 4 – Trial of ANiC Parishes v Diocese of New Westminster

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Sunday, 24 May 2009

bishops oppose repeal of Waddington amendment

Updated Tuesday evening

Update The text of the “Waddington amendment” can be seen in the context of the legislation it amends by going here.

Today’s Observer has a report by Jamie Doward headlined Bishops fight for right to criticise gay lifestyle.

Church of England bishops are on a collision course with the government over its plans to amend the incitement to hatred laws, claiming they will stifle what they believe is legitimate criticism of homosexual lifestyles.

In what is being portrayed in some parliamentary quarters as a battle for free speech, a coalition of Anglican bishops, Conservative peers, Labour malcontents and leading crossbenchers have united to block the proposals.

You can read exactly what the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham said over here.

For the background to this development, see these two TA articles from 2007:

The latter item contains a link to the statement issued jointly by the Church of England and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales at that time.

More recently (my copy undated, but was sent to me in March) the CofE issued a briefing note to parliamentarians which is reproduced in full below the fold. This shows that the CofE has changed its mind since 2007 about the adequacy of the legislation as originally proposed:

While we were satisfied with the definition of the offence as it stood, we believe that the amendment successfully moved by Lord Waddington now provides a valuable safeguard

(The relevant clause was numbered 58 in the original bill but because of other amendments has now becomes clause 61.)

CofE briefing note to parliamentarians - Coroners and Justice Bill - Clause 58

The Church of England, in common with many other organisations - not all of them religious - has concerns about Clause 58 of the Bill, which seeks to remove the so-called “free speech” provision on incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation. The Church of England is not convinced of the necessity for this change and as such supports the cross party amendment 297, which seeks to leave out Clause 58 from the Bill.

When the offence of incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation was first put forward within the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill (now Act) 2008, we supported it on condition that it did not infringe freedom of expression on issues of sexual morality and conduct. We were satisfied that the high threshold of the offence (intention to stir up hatred by means of threatening words, behaviour or material) struck a reasonable balance between protecting people from attacks directed against their sexual orientation and maintaining freedom of expression.

Subsequently though a “freedom of speech” provision was inserted by a Lords amendment in the name of Lord Waddington and now stands part of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. While we were satisfied with the definition of the offence as it stood, we believe that the amendment successfully moved by Lord Waddington now provides a valuable safeguard (parallel to the freedom of expression protection in relation to religious hatred) by making it clear that “the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices” does not in itself constitute an offence. If, as the Government argues, removing the amendment would not lower the threshold of the offence it is hard to see any justification for doing so. If it is argued that it is necessary for the effective operation of the law that the amendment should be removed, the implication would be that such discussion or criticism could in itself constitute an offence, and to this we would be strongly opposed. The present provision was made “for the avoidance of doubt” and in the absence of compelling grounds for change, it seems to us that this is an example of the kind of restless fidgeting with the law that Government and Parliament would do well to avoid.

Problems in this area often arise less from the formulation of the law than from over-zealous action by the police based on misunderstanding of what the law means. This was seen in investigations of alleged homophobic conduct carried out under existing public order legislation. In a joint submission with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to the Public Bill Committee of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill in November 2007, we said: “We believe it is vital that there should be the maximum possible clarity about what is forbidden and what is permitted. Christians engaged in teaching or preaching and those seeking to act in accord with Christian convictions in their daily lives need to be assured that the expression of strong opinions on marriage or sexuality will not be illegal…. We also draw attention to the possible ‘chilling effect’ on free speech, which formed part of the debates on religious hatred. Uncertainty in the law has the effect of inhibiting behaviour which may not in fact be illegal. People holding firm opinions on sexuality will generally be reluctant to risk the emotional and financial costs of being challenged by a neighbour or colleague and investigated by the police, even if this does not lead to prosecution or conviction.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 24 May 2009 at 2:44pm BST | Comments (32) | TrackBack
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joint statement from archbishops on elections

Joint Statement from the Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury

“The European Parliamentary and local elections on June 4th will take place at a time of extraordinary turbulence in our democratic system. It is a time for great vigilance over how to exercise our democratic right to vote.

“The temptation to stay away or register a protest vote in order to send a negative signal to the parties represented at Westminster will be strong. In our view, however, it would be tragic if the understandable sense of anger and disillusionment with some MPs over recent revelations led voters to shun the ballot box.

“Those whom we elect to local councils and the European Parliament will represent us and our collective interests for many years to come. It is crucial to elect those who wish to uphold the democratic values and who wish to work for the common good in a spirit of public service which urgently needs to be reaffirmed in these difficult days.

“There are those who would exploit the present situation to advance views that are the very opposite of the values of justice, compassion and human dignity are rooted in our Christian heritage.

“Christians have been deeply disturbed by the conscious adoption by the BNP of the language of our faith when the effect of those policies is not to promote those values but to foster fear and division within communities, especially between people of different faiths or racial background.

“This is not a moment for voting in favour of any political party whose core ideology is about sowing division in our communities and hostility on grounds of race, creed or colour; it is an opportunity for renewing the vision of a community united by mutual respect, high ethical standards and the pursuit of justice and peace.

“We hope that electors will use their vote on June 4th to renew the vision of a community united by the common good, public service and the pursuit of justice.”

Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

This statement also appeared on the CofE website at 8.45 pm Sunday. It has yet to appear on the Lambeth Palace website.

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Saturday, 23 May 2009

bank holiday weekend opinions

Nitin Mehta writes about Indian religions in the Guardian.

Also Stephen Bates reviews Rupert Shortt’s biography of Rowan Williams, see God’s squad.

In The Times Roderick Strange writes about Bede. See More than a brief flight through warmth and light.

At the Church Times Giles Fraser reflects on his job change in Seeking the reality of solid joys.

A week ago, Paul Vallely wrote Get some perspective on MPs’ cash.

And Adrian Thatcher wrote The Word was made of flesh and blood, not ink.

Over at Cif belief Ben White wrote Palestinian rights deserve Anglican action.

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Friday, 22 May 2009

Archbishop speaks about parliament

Updated again Monday morning

Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times about an article to be published on Saturday by Rowan Williams.

Her blog entry: Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘Stop humiliating our MPs.’

Her preview article, with video: Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams: humiliation of MPs must stop

Here is the article itself: Enough humiliation. We must move on by Rowan Williams.

Updates Saturday
The Independent has a leader agreeing with the archbishop, The pursuit of MPs is becoming a witch-hunt.

The Telegraph has an article headlined MPs’ expenses: politicians and church leaders defend Telegraph’s investigation which reports the opinions others, including Lord Carey and the Bishop of Rochester, and opening with:

There was strong opposition to a call from Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for an end to the “systematic humiliation” of MPs, which he claimed was undermining democracy…

Ekklesia has published Poll challenges Archbishop’s idea that expenses scandal is bad for democracy and You’re missing the point, archbishop told over scandal-hit MPs. And also Public backs independent candidates to challenge failing system.

Update Monday morning

George Pitcher has some interesting comments about all this, in the Telegraph. See MPs’ expenses: Things the Archbishops never told us.

…unbeknown to either of us, as we were talking a column by his successor to the See of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was being put to bed by The Times, along with the headline: “Archbishop appeals for end to MPs’ humiliation”.

When I relayed the headline to Lord Carey later, he said he was “surprised that Rowan is taking this approach”. So, presumably, was Dr Williams. Because actually he had said nothing of the sort.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 May 2009 at 10:32pm BST | Comments (13) | TrackBack
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two more college inspection reports

Reports are now available (PDF files) concerning

Download these and earlier reports from this page.

See earlier article with some background.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 May 2009 at 1:12pm BST | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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reactions to Saturday's conference

There have been several reports following up on the conference last Saturday.

Ekklesia was first onto the web with Religious and non-religious unite to combat homophobia and transphobia by Savi Hensman.

Telegraph Matthew Moore Law ‘will force churches to employ gay staff’.

The Christian Institute has Equality chief ‘regrets’ appointing evangelical as well as Government to force gay
youth workers on church
.

Pink News has Trevor Phillips acknowledges ‘intense hurt’ caused by Evangelical appointment and Churches to be banned from turning down gay staff.

The Church Times has a report Equality exemption ‘narrow’, written by me. See text below the fold.

A GOVERNMENT MINISTER has confirmed that the new definition of the “purposes of organised religion” published in the Equality Bill is intended to restore the scope of the exemption to “what it was supposed to have been in the first place”.

Speaking at a conference in London on Saturday, Maria Eagle, Under-Secretary of State in the Government Equalities Office, said that, apart from a few key issues such as whether to have women clergy, churches could not claim to be outside the scope of discrimination law.

Responding to a question about the Church’s intention to support amendments “to restore the status quo” (News, 15 May), Ms Eagle said that in recent years the existing exemptions had been “over-inter­preted”. The intention was to make clear now that this exemption was “as narrow as it possibly can be”.

Another speaker at the conference on “Faith, Homophobia, Transpho­bia and Human Rights” was Trevor Phillips, who chairs the Equality and Human Rights Com­mission. He spoke candidly about the con­troversy caused by the choice of the Revd Joel Edwards, formerly general director of the Evangelical Alliance, as a member of the commission. The TUC Annual Con­gress had unanimously called for Mr Edwards to be removed last year.

Mr Phillips said that he had failed both to “understand what the Evan­gelical Alliance represents” and “to anticipate the intense hurt” that the appointment had caused within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual (LGBT) community. He hoped that the commission would be judged on the basis of what it was able to deliver, and he promised that in relation to the LGBT strand there would be significant improvements soon.

Other speakers included the Regius Professor of Divinity at Ox­ford, Canon Marilyn McCord Adams, and Canon Giles Fraser. Both called for the Church of England to withdraw its claims for exemption from equal-opportunity laws. Canon Fraser saw no difference between these claims and the homophobia of the football terraces. Professor McCord Adams identified their origins in the “systemic evils” of idolatrous civic and fertility religion.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 22 May 2009 at 1:05am BST | Comments (16) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 21 May 2009

looking back at the ACC - 2

There was more in the Church Times last week that was subscriber-only at the time: Williams: Feel others’ pain and Pro-Israel group slams ‘ghastly’ statement.

And in a related story Bill Bowder wrote Pope could help, says Nazir-Ali.

Ruth Gledhill also reported that address, see Michael Nazir-Ali: Anglicans must ‘look to Pope for unity’.

Mouneer Anis published Bishop Mouneer’s Reflection on the ACC-14 Meeting in Jamaica, May 2009.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 21 May 2009 at 11:59pm BST | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

UK Government Stands Firm against Faith Exemptions

Updated

This press release from the Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, & Human Rights Conference held on Saturday:

UK GOVERNMENT WILL STAND FIRM AGAINST FAITH EXEMPTIONS ON LGBT EQUALITIES

Government Equalities Minister, Maria Eagle pledged that she and other Ministers would stand firm against any attempts by faith groups to get out of the demands of LGBT legislation and the forthcoming Equality Bill.

Addressing a cutting-edge UK conference, Faith, Homophobia. Transphobia, & Human Rights - building positive alliances for equality and sexual diversity, Ms. Eagle pointed out :

“Values of equality and social justice are held by many within as well as outside faith communities. The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between. While the state would not intervene in narrowly ritual or doctrinal matters within faith groups, these communities cannot claim that everything they run is outside the scope of anti-discrimination law. Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment.”

The Minister’s position was reflected in the views of other Conference speakers from a variety of faith, spiritual, and non-religious backgrounds. Bringing greetings from TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, Peter Purton from the TUC Equality & Employment Rights Department, warned that people resisting progress towards rights for all “have stolen the language of religion.”

The full press release is published here as a PDF file and most of it is also available here, republished by Religious Intelligence.

Audio recordings of the speakers are also available:

More material is available here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 at 3:35pm BST | Comments (39) | TrackBack
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Monday, 18 May 2009

Giles Fraser becomes a canon of St Paul's

Updated Wednesday

Downing Street announces:

Monday 18 May 2009
Canonry of St Paul’s Cathedral

The Queen has approved that the Reverend Canon Giles Anthony Fraser, MA, PhD, Team Rector of St Mary’s Putney, in the diocese of Southwark and Honorary Canon of Sefwi-Wiawso, Ghana, be appointed to a Residentiary Canonry of St Paul’s Cathedral in succession to the Reverend Canon Edmund John Newell, BSc (Econ), DPhil, MA, FRHistS.

Notes for the Editors

The Reverend Dr Fraser (aged 45), was educated first at Newcastle University and then at Oxford University. He studied for his PhD at Lancaster University. He trained for the ministry at Ripon College. His first curacy was at Streetly, in the Lichfield diocese from 1993 to 1997. From 1997 to 2000 he was a curate at St Mary Virgin with St Cross and St Peter, in Oxford diocese, and was also Chaplain at Wadham College Oxford. From 2000 to 2004 he was Vicar at St Mary’s Putney in the diocese of Southwark before becoming Team Rector in 2004. Since 2009 he has been Honorary Canon at Sefwi-Wiawso in Ghana.

Dr Fraser is married to Sally and they have three children. His interests are golf and cooking.

And from the Diocese of London:

Giles Fraser becomes Canon Chancellor at St Paul’s

18/05/09

The Revd Dr Giles Fraser, currently Vicar of Putney in the Diocese of Southwark, is to be the next Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.

As Canon Chancellor, Dr Fraser will oversee the work of the St Paul’s Institute for ethics, and its ambitious, outward-facing programme. He will play a full part in the life of the cathedral and will contribute to its overall mission as a place of prayer, pilgrimage and debate.

Dr Fraser (45) was educated at Newcastle and Oxford before being ordained into the Oxford Diocese in 1993. He worked as a parish priest and chaplain in Oxford until 2000 when he moved to Putney in south London.

In recent years, he has developed a reputation for facing difficult issues head on in his weekly column in the Church Times and as a regular presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. He is the author and co-author of several books.

A passionate Anglican, he is regarded as a priest with a rare ability to identify those issues which non church goers find off-putting and to engage in debate with them.

The Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres said:

“The St Paul’s Institute is one of the most exciting aspects of the developing ministry of St Paul’s Cathedral. Giles Fraser brings imagination, energy and wide experience to this crucial educational task.”

The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Rt Revd Graeme Knowles said that he was delighted that Dr Fraser is to join the team at St Paul’s:

“This appointment will add a new dimension to the life of the cathedral and we look forward to working collaboratively with Giles as the newest member of Chapter.”

Dr Fraser said:

“I am hugely excited about working at St Paul’s. The church in general, and St Paul’s in particular, has a significant role in public debate. I am looking forward to joining a great team and playing my part in such an exciting place.”

Dr Fraser is expected to leave Putney during the summer and be ready for his new ministry at St Paul’s later this autumn.

Update

This event is now reported on the website of the cathedral itself, but because the news items there do not appear in date order (newest item should be at the top - the new item is in fact undated!) it is easily missed:
Giles Fraser becomes Canon Chancellor

The Revd Dr Giles Fraser, currently Vicar of Putney in the Diocese of Southwark, is to be the next Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.

St Paul’s is run by the Dean and Chapter which includes men and women as Residentiary canons with various portfolios. They represent the whole working life of one of the world’s best known Cathedral churches.

As Canon Chancellor, Dr Fraser will fulfil the role of Residentiary Canon overseeing the work of the St Paul’s Institute for ethics, and its ambitious, outward-facing programme. He will play a full part in the life of the cathedral and will contribute to its overall mission as a place of prayer, pilgrimage and debate…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 18 May 2009 at 11:23am BST | Comments (44) | TrackBack
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Sunday, 17 May 2009

update on Inclusive Church

First, there is a fund-raising event:

Friday 26 June • 6.00pm–9.00pm
Inclusive Church Presents…
The National Gallery. Your own private view.
with Neil MacGregor and Nicholas Holtam
followed by a reception buffet with wine at St Martin-in-the-Fields
Tickets £75

A unique opportunity to view some of the famous works hung in The National Gallery, London as well as the chance to hear Neil and Nicholas discuss some of the Gallery’s artworks. Later in the evening there will also be a opportunity to see the newly-restored St Martin’s and a very special illuminated Bible that is currently being exhibited there.

Neil MacGregor is Director of the British Museum and was, from 1987-1992, Director of the National Gallery. Nicholas Holtam is Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Further details from icevents2009@btinternet.com or download the flier with full information and booking form from here.

Second, there is additional information about the residential conference “Word on the Street - reading the Bible inclusively” on Monday 5th - Wednesday 7th October 2009. See earlier article here.

The Most Revd Dr Idris Jones, Primus of Scotland and one of IC’s Patrons will preside at the eucharist - Canon Frankie Ward from Bradford Cathedral will be our inspiring and exciting preacher, and Dr Andrew Mein from Westcott will speak on Inclusion and the Old Testament.

Download the PDF with full details of the conference and a booking form from here.

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Saturday, 16 May 2009

more weekend opinions

Marilyn McCord Adams writes in the Guardian about “The ‘size gap’ between God and man”. See Face to Faith.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about faith schools, see How schools ought to discriminate. So, last year, did Paul Vallely, see Beware the erosion of faith schools.

Simon Barrow and Jonathan Bartley respond to all this at Ekklesia in On not being idiotic about church schools.

Over at Cif belief Andrew Brown has written twice about the Californian teacher who described creationism as “superstitious nonsense”. See Enemies of creationism may be hindering science teachers and then Creationism judgement followup. (Original news story by Riazat Butt is here.)

Mary Boys writes in The Times that Christians should respect God’s covenant with Jews.

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Friday, 15 May 2009

Equality Bill - Church of England briefing

The Equality Bill 2008-2009 had a second reading in the House of Commons on Monday. The Hansard record of that debate starts here.

The full text of the bill can be found in two PDF files, here, and here. For html formatted versions go here.

For background papers, this page is very useful.

See earlier article for my report in the Church Times on the Church of England’s criticism of the bill’s definition of the phrase “for the pur­poses of organised religion”.

The Mission and Public Affairs Council of the CofE issued a parliamentary briefing in advance of Monday’s debate. A PDF version is now on the Church Times website. An html version can be found here.

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looking back at the ACC

Updated Friday evening

First in the Church Times.
From last week: Pat Ashworth Dr Williams calls for ‘shared honesty’ and Gomez gives warning over Covenant
This week: ACC’s close vote delays debate on Covenant and ACC backs up Windsor moratoriums

Next, Ephraim Radner wrote at ACI The Wisdom of the Cross: Some reflections on ACC-14 and the Anglican Covenant.

And, in the CEN Defeat for Archbishop as Covenant draft is rejected by George Conger.

Friday evening update

Colin Coward has some comments on the reports in Dreaming of global cooperation in the Church.

Anglican Journal reports Canadian delegates to ACC hopeful about future of Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Life has a video titled ACC participants reflect on meeting.

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Thursday, 14 May 2009

Church criticises Equality Bill definition

The following article appears in this week’s Church Times.
(Reproduced with permision.)

Link now available here.

Church criticises Equality Bill definition

THE Archbishops’ Council is un­happy that the new Equality Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, has changed the scope of an existing ex­emp­tion in employment law relating to sexual orientation. It has added a definition of the phrase “for the pur­poses of organised religion” without prior consultation.

The new definition says that the exemption applies only when “the employment wholly or mainly in­volves (a) leading or assisting in the observation of liturgical or ritualistic practices of the religion, or (b) pro­mo­ting or explaining the doctrine of the religion (whether to followers of the religion or to others).”

Previously there had been no such definition, but it was widely believed that the exemption had been intend­ed to have a very narrow scope, and primarily applied to clergy. The employment tribunal ruling on the case of John Reaney v. the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance (Com­ment, 27 July, 2007) took a different view.

An Archbishops’ Council spokes­man said: “This definition . . . was inserted in the Bill without our re­ceiv­ing any prior consultation or warning. It represents a substantial narrowing of the exemption.”

Referring to such posts of secretary general of the Arch­bishops’ Council or a diocesan secretary as examples of “senior posts represent­ing the Church”, the spokesman said: “That could mean, for example, that the Church would not be able to decline to employ some­one in a such a role on the grounds that that person’s previous marriage had ended in divorce as a result of his or her own adultery.

“We shall be raising the issue with the Government, and are likely to support the tabling of amendments that would preserve the status quo.”

Other parts of the exemption are preserved. As now, the discrimin­ation must also be shown to be either: a proportionate way of com­plying with the doctrines of the religion; or a proportionate means of avoiding conflict with the strongly held religious convictions of a signif­icant number of the religion’s followers.

When it does apply, however, any of the following six distinct require­ments (combining an earlier list re­lating to sex discrimination with the sexual-orientation clause) can still be imposed: to be of a particular sex; not to be a transsexual person; not to be married or a civil partner; not to be married to, or the civil partner of, a person who has a living former spouse or civil partner; relating to circumstances in which a marriage or civil partnership came to an end; related to sexual orientation.

The Archbishops’ Council’s Mission and Public Affairs Council says that the Church “supports the broad objectives of the Bill”, but it has issued a four-page briefing to MPs that details seven areas of con­cern. One of these is that the law should not be formulated in ways that improperly restrict the freedom of religion, belief, and conscience guaranteed by Article 9 of the Euro­pean Convention on Human Rights.

The briefing says: “There is there­fore potential for conflict when different protected characteristics give rise to claims of discrimination, harassment or victimisation. . . Guidance will be needed on how to resolve such conflicts, without leaving them to the adjudication of the courts, and that guidance must be religiously literate.”

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Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Christians to be persecuted?

The Church of England Newspaper published an editorial last week which suggested the Equality Bill, which was published last month and had its second reading on Monday, was all part of an anti-Christian plot. The full text of this editorial is reproduced below the fold.

I will be reporting here on the progress of the Equality Bill through Parliament, with emphasis on those aspects which are of particular interest from a Church of England viewpoint, as I have reported on many previous items of anti-discrimination legislation.

Those who are looking for more material along the lines of this CEN editorial will find it at such places as the website of the Christian Institute and at the website of Christian Concern for our Nation.

CEN editorial 8 May 2009

Anti-Christian discrimination on the rise

The government had better start building more prison space — for Christians and moral conservatives generally. We are now used to hearing of such folk being sacked and losing their appeals for daring to air any view which criticises or disapproves of gay sex. The new Equality Bill issued by Harriet Harman last week lumps together groups needing special legal status to ensure them against discrimination including disabled people, women and homosexuals, for example. The Bill aims to permeate all society with the requirement that employers in all sectors show they have a percentage of such group in their workforces, in the various echelons of seniority, that their specific requirements are being provided for. The news media focused on the issue of women’s pay and the need to ensure it gains total equality with that of men, and that the figures be published accordingly. The homosexual component was kept very quiet, but is clearly there. The ‘Christian Institute’ website is worth consulting on this issue, at the very least for information on the legal facts.

The extraordinary success of the gay rights campaign in securing a special place for practitioners of gay sex in the legal framework is now moving ahead to suppress any who dissent from their agenda. It seems that the clause inserted into the recent Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill by Lord Waddington, guaranteeing freedom of speech to religious people who disagree with gay sex, has been over turned by a whipped vote in the Commons. So the steady build-up of the gay agenda is accompanied by the steady removal of dissent, even for religious groups. This has all been achieved by the success of making homosexuality a fixed ‘identity’, and removing the focus of discussion from activity. Homosexuals are defined into a legal distinct group, joining minorities similarly defined into existence by government diktat. It should be said that the Anglican Communion, according to its Lambeth Conference of 1998, disagrees with this pseudo-scientific labelling of people, and so do the more intelligent secular commentators, see for example Professor Weeks’ contribution to this secular seminar.

So Christians, and of course Muslims and others who just disagree with the Stonewall line, are being told to shut up and get into their closet — the gays are not tolerant of dissent and have got the state to crackdown. This agenda is also being pursued in schools. Section 28, banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools, has been totally inverted and children are to be educated in the moral neutrality, indeed the moral merit, of gay sex. The Times last week worryingly said that the right of parents to withdraw children, as young as 11, from such sex lessons, was to be stopped. Now churches and mosques up and down the land will not be happy with this, and parents are bound to want to withdraw their youngsters from lessons with a major component of the Stonewall ideology woven into them. A time of persecution is at hand.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 at 3:47pm BST | Comments (67) | TrackBack
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ACNA appeals for $700K

The Anglican Church of North America recently announced the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer, Brad B. Root.

Here’s evidence of what he is doing. As reported at the blog of a member of the Reformed Episcopal Church, he has issued an appeal for contributions to a Special ACNA Thank Offering. Here’s the letter:

Sent: Friday, May 08, 2009 10:50 AM
Subject: Special ACNA Thank Offering

Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

I am writing to give you advance notification of a mailing that you should expect to receive early next week. It is a letter to you and your vestry from Archbishop-Designate Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Upon receipt I ask that you and your Vestry prayerfully receive this invitation of financial support with a gracious heart, and respond as generosity as you can for the sake of all that God has bestowed upon us and is doing among us.

This special Thank Offering was presented to and strongly endorsed by all of the Lead Bishops and Stewardship Group when our Provincial Council met last month to formally accept the 28 dioceses and dioceses-in-formation from all across North America. The idea is to collect an average of $1,000 from each of our more than 700 congregations. It will allow us to start-up effectively and meet the initial financial needs of the new provincial office. In the years ahead, the operations of our province will be funded by regular tithes from our dioceses, not extraordinary congregational offerings.

Full details of this extremely important offering including a sample bulletin insert, suitable for reproduction, and a return envelope will be enclosed in this forthcoming mailing. This offering can be taken on Pentecost and subsequent Sundays up to June 21st (the Eve of the Inaugural Provincial Assembly). We would also encourage your church to include news of this offering in leaflets and newsletters the next few Sundays.

This is an incredibly exciting time marked by both celebration and gratitude. No one among us doubts what the Lord has undertaken for us. The outcome of this offering will be instrumental to our start-up as we begin to fulfill our mission of “Reaching North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ.” Thank you in advance for your support and please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you have any questions.

I remain deeply grateful for the tremendous privilege of serving you and your parish.

Blessings, Brad B. Root

Chief Operating Officer Anglican Church in North America

The blogger wasn’t favourably impressed. Read his own comments (scroll down) here.

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ACC final reports

Updated Wednesday afternoon

ACNS
Festive Service Closes ACC-14

ACC-14 Press Briefing 12th May 2009

Resolutions of ACC-14

Anglican Journal
ACC delegates end meeting ‘more hopeful’ for future, says Williams

‘We go home with hope’

Episcopal News Service
Anglican Consultative Council Digest

Anglican Consultative Council meeting closes on hopeful note

Anglican TV
Unedited video of last Friday’s debate concerning the Covenant can be found here.

Update Wednesday afternoon

The American Anglican Council appears to attach great importance to the source of external funding for the continuing of the Listening Process. In a press release they refer to a PDF file issued by the Satcher Health Leadership Institute.

Anglican TV
ACC 14 Alternative Press Conference
This event involves four delegates from the “Global South”.

Religious Intelligence has Archbishop says summit ended in ‘glorious failure’ .

Global South Anglican
A response to ACC-14 in Jamaica from Global South delegates

ENS Lively worship at historic Spanish Town cathedral closes ACC meeting

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Tuesday, 12 May 2009

ACC reports - Tuesday

Updated twice on Tuesday evening

ACNS has several items:
The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 6
Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion.

The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 7
The International Anglican Family Network.

ACC-14 Press Briefing 11th May 2009

On Monday May 11,2009 the current ACC Chair Bishop John Paterson of Auckland New Zealand, the newly elected chair Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi and Canon John Rees (the legal advisor to ACC participated in a press briefing… Canon Rees provided some important information to clarify the process concerning resolutions and the power and authority of the Chair at ACC meetings.

ACC-14 Presidential Address by the Archbishop of Canterbury see below for link to transcript

ENS
Divisions are deep but can be healed, Archbishop of Canterbury tells ACC

Update: Anglican Consultative Council Digest

Anglican Journal
Future shape of Anglican Communion uncertain, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Sixth mark of mission focuses on peace and reconciliation

Changing Attitude has more detail about Results of election to ACC Standing Committee.

New Vision reports Orombi protests over Jamaican meet.

An earlier report at Religious Intelligence was Uganda Primate angry over delegate’s ban.

Pluralist has How It Was Done (ACC).

Dave Walker has written Anglican Consultative Council: Andrew Brown on newspapers and blogs which includes a link to Andrew Brown’s column in last week’s Church Times titled Press: A marked bias against journalism.

Tuesday afternoon update

ACNS now has the transcript of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Presidential Address.
ACC-14 Presidential Address by the Archbishop of Canterbury

And also The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 8
The Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

Tuesday evening update

ACNS
The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 9
The Revd Terrie Robinson, Anglican Networks Co-ordinator.

ACC-14 Election of Vice Chair and Joint Standing Committee

Nyasa Times Robbers loot Bishop Tengatenga residence

Daily Episcopalian Adrian Worsfold Reigning in the Ridley draft

Anglican Journal ACC seeks equal but ‘non-voting’ membership at primates’ meeting

second Tuesday evening update

Living Church Archbishop Williams: Begin Covenant Discussions Now

ENS Anglican Consultative Council Digest

Changing Attitude Canon Phil Groves briefed the press last Thursday on the Listening Process

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Monday, 11 May 2009

ACC - Monday reports

Updated Monday evening

Colin Coward has had an encounter with a Nigerian bishop, see Nigerian bishop not Jamaican homophobe threatens UK gay activist, What might the conservative strategy be? and also How do LGBT Anglican Nigerians endure satanic claims?

Anglican Mainstream has published Nominees for ACC Standing Committee Announced and ACC 14: Anglican Report from AnglicanTV.

Anglican Journal has Ecumenical partners stand firm with Anglican Communion and Delegates reflect on ‘mission encounters’ with Jamaican churches.

The Chicago Consultation has published a response to the Anglican Communion Institute GOING FORWARD, GOING TOGETHER: Chicago Consultation Urges Deeper Communion Through Justice, Mission.

Tobias Haller has also commented on the ACI document, see Vanity of Vanities.

Monday evening update

ENS Ecumenical partners pledge to continue journey with Anglican Communion

Living Church Confusion Reigns as ACC Postpones Covenant

Religious Intelligence Defeat for Archbishop as Covenant draft is rejected

Anglican Mainstream ACC Day 14. Rules of the Game? There are none.

Changing Attitude Bishop James Tengatenga, new ACC chair, responds to question about lesbian and gay Anglicans

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Saturday, 9 May 2009

some other views on the Covenant

Updated finally on Monday morning

For the latest reports from those actually in Jamaica, go here.

Earlier in the week, Ruth Gledhill published this article, Covenant: Is this an instrument to castrate Gafcon?

In that article, she links (though currently the links are broken) to several other analyses:

Today, Stephen Noll has published another article, The Anglican Communion Covenant: Where Do We Go from Here? in which he argues that the Covenant is now dead.

Saturday evening update

Charles Raven has also written a new article, this is titled Tipping Point in Jamaica.

Jamaica is not only the end of the Covenant process, but is also likely to mark a decisive shift of confidence away from the Lambeth based Instruments of Unity and a fresh appraisal of GAFCON by those of the orthodox Anglicans who have been wary. A Communion which looks for leadership from this Archbishop of Canterbury and the existing Instruments of Unity will surely descend into deepening chaos.

The Anglican Church League in Sydney has issued Apostacy and deception: Statement on ACC-14 from the Anglican Church League.

“We have once again been shown how firmly apostasy and deception is embedded in the international structures of Anglicanism. There is no hope for the future there.”

Sunday evening update

Stephen Noll has written another article today, RESUSCITATION OR RESURRECTION? Second Thoughts on the Demise of the Anglican Covenant in which he expands his thoughts.

And, the Anglican Communion Institute has published ACI Statement on the Anglican Consultative Council.

Monday morning update

A.S. Haley has published Shine, Perishing Communion

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opinions in mid-May

Both The Times and the Guardian have Quaker columnists this morning.

B.P. Dandelion writes about how Uncertainty speaks volumes in the sound of silence.

Kathryn Lum writes about the Indian caste system in Face to Faith.

Giles Fraser warned in the Church Times Beware the dark side of liberalism.

Libby Purves was interviewed in the Church Times last week by Terence Handley MacMath.

Alan Wilson wrote about Social Media, Church and Bishopping.

Oliver O’Donovan wrote in the Church Times last week, How can people obey the scriptures?

(Full text of this lecture is at Fulcrum, and a critique of it by Adrian Worsfold is titled Postmodern Authoritarianism.)

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ACC - other reports - Saturday

Updated yet again Sunday morning

ACNS has the official texts of resolutions passed on Friday: Resolutions of ACC-14 from 8th May.

ACNS also has Bishop James Tengatenga elected Chair of Anglican Consultative Council

ACC-14 Press Briefing 8th May 2009
This one deals with the Windsor Continuation Group.

Anglican Journal has ACC rejects proposed moratorium on litigation over property

The latter topic is also covered in this report from Anglican Mainstream Report from ACC-14 Day Seven: No Fourth Moratorium and No Covenant.

Update Saturday evening

A range of ACC documents can be found on this page.

They include the final report of the WCG (PDF).

There is an official photo gallery here.

Further update

ACNS has Resolutions of ACC-14 from 9th May
These cover ‘The Bible in the Life of the Church’, Network on Inter-Faith Concerns, and Middle East (from APJN).

Anglican Journal New ACC chair is skilled in mediation

ENS Anglican Consultative Council reaffirms two-state solution for Israel, Palestine

Sunday morning update

ACNS
The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 5
Network for Inter Faith Concerns of the Anglican Communion.

ACC-14 Press Briefing 9th May 2009
Ecumenical Guests.

Anglican Journal
Project aimed at helping Anglicans read Bible with ‘fresh eyes’

ACC tones down resolution on Middle East conflict

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Friday, 8 May 2009

ACC - reports on the Covenant

Updated yet again Sunday evening

11.25 pm Friday
ENS is first with a report on the Covenant: Bulletin: Anglican Consultative Council postpones release of covenant. ENS says:

The council had originally been asked to send the entire text to the provinces. However, some members were concerned about the practicalities of the processes outlined in Section 4 of the covenant, “Our Covenanted Life Together,” which attempts to provide a method for resolving disputes in the communion. Much of the concern centered on the provision in paragraph 4.1.5 that “it shall be open to other Churches to adopt the Covenant” because it lacks a definition for “other churches.”

The members agreed 33-30 (with two abstentions) to ask for more work on Section 4.

Saturday morning update

That Bulletin has now been replaced with a much longer detailed report.

Anglican Journal also has a detailed account, Delegates vote to delay distribution of latest draft of covenant

ACNS has ACC-14 Press Briefing 8th May 2009 with the Secretary General which includes audio of the half-hour session.

Anglican Mainstream has ACC Bishops from Egypt, Peru and Nigeria reflect on the delay to the Covenant. and there is comment about the covenant debate in Report from ACC-14 Day Seven: No Fourth Moratorium and No Covenant.

The text of the document itself can be found at An Anglican Covenant - The Third (Ridley Cambridge) Draft.

Saturday afternoon update

Video from ENS is available here. There is an interview with the TEC delegates, as well as videos of the press briefings.

Saturday evening update

Colin Coward has Covenant debate – who was to blame for chaos?

…My perception was that there were two reasons for the chaos. The first and most significant, which hasn’t been reported elsewhere, is that no-one was at hand to advise the chair on the standing orders which set the rules for ACC meetings. At meetings of the Church of England General Synod a legal adviser always sits to the left of the chair and can offer instant advice. Yesterday’s debate would have benefitted from having John Rees closer at hand to provide advice.

The second cause of the chaos arose within the meeting itself. Delegates for whom English is not their first language ( and for some, not even second or third) find it understandably difficult to follow the process. Cultural differences about process and the way decisions are made and where power lies or should lie also affected delegates’ understanding of what was happening. And finally, some delegates carried a very strong agenda to the debate and their interventions contributed to increased tension and rising confusion.

When the Archbishop of Canterbury intervened, he did so to rescue the session from increasing chaos. I thought he summed up very succinctly and helpfully exactly where the debate had reached and what the delegates intended. Other journalists thought the Archbishop had abused the democratic process and had been putting that possibility to delegates as they dispersed at the end of the debate. This enabled them to say at the press briefing, “Delegates think …”

Sunday evening update

Anglican Mainstream has ACC 14 - Day 9 : It’s the property - stupid!

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 8 May 2009 at 11:23pm BST | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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ACC - Anglican Covenant

Updated again 10.45 pm London time
Colin Coward now has Final version of the Resolution on the Anglican Communion Covenant. Colin writes:

This is the resolution as amended in the course of this afternoon’s debate at the ACC-14 meeting in Jamaica.

The effect of the resolution is to delay sending the Covenant out to the Provinces for something like 6 months and to open the possibility of Section 4 of the Ridley Cambridge draft being revised.

Clauses c and d were included from an earlier draft after people spoke strongly both for and against. The vote was 40 in favour and 33 against integrating the clauses. I think the votes represent the division between those who want no further delay but want the present Ridley Cambridge draft to be sent straight to the Provinces, and those who prefer that the Communion takes proper time to consider the possible revision of section 4 of the Covenant.

Clause e was amended in the course of the debate, adding ‘as The Anglican Communion Covenant’.

The vote on whether to approve or not the final clause, f, has yet to be reported. If approved, the agreed resolution will read as follows:

Resolution B: Draft Resolution on the Covenant

The ACC:

a) thanks the Covenant Design Group for their faithfulness and responsiveness in producing the drafts for an Anglican Communion Covenant and, in particular for the Ridley Cambridge Draft submitted to this meeting;

b) recognises that an Anglican Communion Covenant may provide an effective means to strengthen and promote our common life as a Communion;

c) asks the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Secretary General, to appoint a small working group to consider and consult with the Provinces on Section 4 and its possible revision, and to report to the next meeting of the Joint Standing Committee;

d) asks the JSC, at that meeting, to approve a final form of Section 4;

e) asks the Secretary General to send the revised Ridley Cambridge Text, at that time, only to the member Churches of the Anglican Consultative Council for consideration and decision on acceptance or adoption by them as The Anglican Communion Covenant;

f) asks those member Churches to report to ACC-15 on the progress made in the processes of response to, and acceptance or adoption of, the Covenant.

——————————-
10.00 pm update

Colin Coward has this report of what happened in the morning session and the new draft resolution that has emerged: Confused morning session results in Draft C of Covenant Design Process resolution

This session of ACC-14, which has been extended into the afternoon, has been getting itself hopelssly confused in trying to deal with the original draft motion on the Covenant Design Process which contained two Resolutions, A and B (see earlier blog). Delegates are in conflict as to whether or not to adopt section A or instead, revise Section B. They have just voted and agreed to reject in its entirety Clause A, 17 votes for, 47 against, 1 abstention.

A new draft resolution was prepared during the lunch break and is now being debated, with two new clauses being debated as amendments to the original Section B.

Draft Resolution C reads:

The ACC:

a) thanks the Covenant Design Group for their faithfulness and responsiveness in producing the drafts for an Anglican Communion Covenant and, in particular for the Ridley Cambridge Draft submitted to this meeting;

b) recognises that an Anglican Communion Covenant may provide an effective means to strengthen and promote our common life as a Communion;

c) asks the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Secretary General, to appoint a small working group to consider and consult with the Provinces on Section 4 and its possible revision, and to report to the next meeting of the Joint Standing Committee;

d) asks the JSC, at that meeting, to approve a final form of Section 4;

e) asks the Secretary General to send the revised Ridley Cambridge draft, at that time, only to the member Churches of the Anglican Consultative Council for consideration and decision on acceptance or adoption by them;

e) asks those member Churches to report to ACC-15 on the progress made in the processes of response to, and acceptance or adoption of, the Covenant.

It is now being debated and voted on clause by clause.

Again, there is a status report at Episcopal Café .

———————————-
Colin Coward has published the text of the draft resolution:

Covenant Decision Process

Resolution A: Status of Section 4

The ACC:

a) resolves that section 4 of the Ridley Cambridge Draft be detached from the Ridley Cambridge Draft for further consideration and work;

b) asks the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Secretary General, to appoint a small working group to consider and consult with the Provinces on Section 4 and its possible revision, and to report to the next meeting of the Joint Standing Committee;

c) resolves that the reconsidered Section 4 may, at the request of the JSC, be offered for adoption as an addendum to the Covenant text.

Resolution B: Draft Resolution on the Covenant

The ACC:

a) thanks the Covenant Design Group for their faithfulness and responsiveness in producing the drafts for an Anglican Communion Covenant and, in particular for the Ridley Cambridge Draft submitted to this meeting;

b) recognises that an Anglican Communion Covenant may provide an effective means to strengthen and promote our common life as a Communion;

c) asks the Secretary General to send the Ridley Cambridge draft, at this time, only to the member Churches of the Anglican Consultative Council for consideration and decision on acceptance or adoption by them;

d) asks those member Churches to report to ACC-15 on the progress made in the processes of response to, and acceptance or adoption of, the Covenant.

There is a status report on the debate here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 8 May 2009 at 6:54pm BST | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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ACC - Windsor Continuation Group recommendations accepted

ENS has a report Bulletin: ACC affirms Windsor Continuation Group recommendations.

The representatives of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) affirmed May 8 the Windsor Continuation Group’s final report, which includes moratoria on same-gender blessings, cross-border interventions and the ordination of gay and lesbian people to the episcopate.

The resolution noted the “deep cost” of observing those moratoria and calls the Anglican Communion to “pray for repentance, conversion and renewal; leading to deeper communion.”

The members narrowly rejected (33-32) an attempt to add a fourth moratoria that would have banned litigation over the taking of property by those who leave a diocese or province.

The text of the resolution follows.

The ACC:

1. thanks the Archbishop of Canterbury for his report on the work and recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group;
2. affirms the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group;
3. affirms the request of the Windsor Report (2004), adopted at the Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007, 2009), and supported at the Lambeth Conference (2008) for the implementation of the agreed moratoria on the consecration of bishops living in a same-gender union, authorization of public rites of blessing same-sex unions and continued interventions in other provinces;
4. acknowledges the efforts that have been made to hold to the moratoria, gives thanks for the gracious restraint that has been observed in these areas and recognizes the deep cost of such restraint;
5. asks that urgent conversations are facilitated with those provinces where the application of the moratoria gives rise for concern;
6. encourages the Archbishop of Canterbury to work with the Joint Standing Committee and the Secretary General to carry forward the implementation of the Windsor Continuation Group report recommendations as appropriate;
7. asks the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order to undertake a study of the role and responsibilities in the Communion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting; the ecclesiological rationale of each, and the relationships between them, in line with the Windsor Continuation Group report, and to report back to ACC-15;
8. calls the Communion to pray for repentance, conversion and renewal; leading to deeper communion.

In other business, Bishop James Tengatenga of the Diocese of Southern Malawi, in the Church of the Province of Central Africa, was elected to succeed Auckland Bishop John Paterson as chair of the ACC meeting. Tengatenga will serve in that role until the conclusion of the 2015 ACC meeting.

Colin Coward notes that Amendment to add 4th moratoria against litigation lost by one vote.

The Living Church also notes Proposed Moratorium on Litigation Omitted from Draft Resolution.

The text of the original Primates Communiqué on this topic read as follows:

On property disputes

The Primates urge the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation. We also urge both parties to give assurances that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations.

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ACC reports - Friday morning

Updated Friday lunchtime

Anglican Journal
People ‘feel they can contribute’
In order to understand the workings of “discernment groups,” Anglican Journal staff writer Marites N. Sison talked to Stephen Lyon, partnership secretary of the Church of England’s Partnership for World Mission.

Ecumenical ‘box of chocolates’ laid out for council
The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations (IASCER) on May 7 asked the 14th ACC meeting here to endorse a set of resolutions, including one that urges the resumption of the Anglican Communion’s dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches of the Middle East.

Anglican Mainstream
Report from ACC-14 Day 6 -The $1.5 million Indaba

Changing Attitude
What does it mean to be gay?

Friday lunchtime update

Changing Attitude
Gay journalist attacked for writing the truth

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Thursday, 7 May 2009

ACC reports - Thursday evening

ACNS
The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 3
This covers the Anglican Peace and Justice Network.

ACC-14 Press Briefing 7th May 2009 with Canon John Rees

ACC-14 Press Briefing 7th May 2009 with Canon Phil Groves

Anglican Journal
‘Free-floating’ body seeks formal relationship with council

ENS
Anglican Consultative Council Digest

Anglican Mainstream
ACC-14 Day 6 Candidates for election as chair of ACC.

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Wednesday, 6 May 2009

ACC reports - Wednesday evening

Two more items from ACNS

Resolutions of ACC-14 from 5th May
These cover numerous topics relating to the various Anglican networks.

ACC-14 Press Briefing 6th May 2009
This deals with the final report of the Windsor Continuation Group. There is a link there to the audio of the press conference, featuring Bishop Gregory Cameron.

Another important matter to come before ACC-14 is consideration of the final report of The Windsor Continuation Group. The WCG was set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2007 to advise him on the implementation of the recommendations of the Windsor Report, how best to carry forward the Windsor Process in the life of the Communion, and to consult on the “unfinished business” of the Report.

The Windsor Continuation Group was chaired by Archbishop Clive Handford, the retired President Bishop of Jerusalem & the Middle East.The Group presented a first set of observations at the Lambeth Conference in 2008 and met following Lambeth to prepare a final report. The Primates at their meeting in Alexandria, Egypt in February 2009 received it.

At ACC 14 the Archbishop of Canterbury made a presentation on the report and the meeting will be considering a resolution on this subject on Friday May 8.

A press briefing was held on Wednesday May 6 where Bishop Gregory Cameron spoke of the background and importance of the Windsor Continuation Report and answered questions.

Changing Attitude has an article, The abusive language and myths used about TEC. The article to which this refers was also linked in the earlier TA item below, and is here.

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ACC reports - Wednesday morning

Dave Walker, who has drawn this cartoon about the meeting, has also drawn attention to the location of the official Flickr photostream.

ACNS

ACC-14 Press Briefing 5th May 2009

On Tuesday May 5 Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Gregory Cameron held a press briefing reviewing the document and Bishop Gregory explained the process that ACC will follow in considering the text and discussed the kind of resolution that would be needed to forward the Covenant to the provinces for their consideration.

This includes links to the audio of the press conference, and a link to the PDF file containing the address of Archbishop Drexel Gomez concerning the history and current text of the Covenant draft.

The Networks of the Anglican Communion Podcast 1

In the podcast the Rev Paul Holley the Anglican UN representative in Geneva discusses the proposal and the benefits that the Anglican Communion would receive by establishing the Anglican Health Network.

Anglican Journal

Delegates weigh ‘tighter time frame’ for covenant approval process

Anglican Networks gain prominence at ACC

Episcopal News Service

‘Evolving’ covenant adoption process makes for ambiguity

ACC commits to communion’s peace, justice and reconciliation work

Changing Attitude

Accreditation issues

Archbishop of Canterbury emphasises patience and reconciliation, not instant resolution

Anglican Peace and Justice Network panel on homosexuality

Anglican Mainstream

Report from ACC 14- Day Four by Chris Sugden and the Rev. Philip Ashey, C.O.O, American Anglican Council.

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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

ACC reports - Tuesday evening

The full text of his sermon last Sunday is available, together with an audio recording, on the website of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

ENS and Anglican Journal each report on today’s events:

Williams calls for more cohesive, theologically aware communion

Anglican body considers ‘relational consequences’ proposal for breaches of moratoria

Further material is also available:

Ruth Gledhill has Archbishop of Canterbury ‘Chaos and division’ in all around we see which includes, among other things, the text of the DRAFT resolution:

The ACC

a) thanks the Archbishop of Canterbury for his report on the work and recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group.

b) affirms the recommendations of the Windsor Continuation Group.

c) encourages the Archbishop of Canterbury to work with the Joint Standing Committee and Secretary General to carry forward the implementation of these recommendations as appropriate.

d) affirms the request of the Windsor Report (2004), adopted at the Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007 and 2009) and supported at the Lambeth Conference (2008) for the implementation of the agreed moratoria on the Consecration of Bishops living in a same gender union, authorisation of public Rites of blessing for Same Sex unions and continued interventions in other Provinces, and urges gracious restraint in all these areas.

e) requests IASCUFO to undertake a study of the role and responsibilities of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting in the Communion, their ecclesiological rationale and the relationships between them in line with the recommendation of paragraph 76 of the WCG Report, and to report back to ACC-15.

Anglican Mainstream has The Archbishop of Canterbury’s presentation of the Windsor Continuation Group report.

Episcopal Café has drawn attention to a report from Canadian delegate Suzanne Lawson, concerning the draft resolution relating to the Covenant.

The resolution we’ve been asked to consider, prepared by the Joint Standing Committee, addresses my major concern with the draft Covenant, and that is that there is the provision that other “churches” (read, potentially, the break-away splinter group in Canada, or individual dioceses or parishes) can adopt the Covenant. The resolution asks that only the current member churches of the ACC be asked to consider and adopt the Covenant at this time. A wise insertion in the draft resolution…I hope it remains there to keep us together and not encouraging further splintering.

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other ACC reports - Tuesday morning

From ACNS
ACC welcomed at opening Service at National Arena Kingston Jamaica

ACC-14 Press Briefing 4th May 2009

Changing Attitude Peace and Justice Commission will keep homosexuality on the agenda until justice prevails

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more on the Ugandan nominee's rejection

The following official statement has been issued:
Statement from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

That page has a link to the audio of the press conference.

There is also a PDF file containing all the correspondence.

Report from ENS Church of Uganda nominee denied participation in Anglican Consultative Council.

Report from Anglican Journal Uganda primate protests decision to disallow delegate to ACC.

Anglican Mainstream has this account from Chris Sugden Report from ACC-14 Day Three: The Anglican Communion Covenant and Uganda’s right to choose its delegate.

And there is a report from Uganda, Uganda People News: Orombi writes to Williams as row in the Anglican Church widens

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Monday, 4 May 2009

ACC reports - Monday evening

Two reports on the Covenant, ENS has ACC asked to send covenant to provinces for approval and Anglican Journal has Non-approval of proposed covenant could ‘make or break’ Anglican Communion, warns design group chair.

There is a further unrelated Canadian report World economic crisis an opportunity to redirect priorities, says Anglican Environmental Network convenor.

Colin Coward has Covenant anxieties expressed in first ACC Plenary.

Anglican Mainstream has The Covenant: an introduction by Archbishop Drexel Gomez.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 4 May 2009 at 10:43pm BST | Comments (5) | TrackBack
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ACC rejects Ugandan nominee

The Church of Uganda has attempted to seat the Rev. J. Philip Ashey, Chief Operating Officer of the American Anglican Council, as its clerical representative to the Anglican Consultative Council Meeting in Jamaica.

The Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting and the ACC has refused the request.

Read more details of the story at Episcopal Café.

The Living Church has a report, ACC Meeting Starts with Credentials Flap

The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Jamaica began May 2 under protest when the credentials of the Rev. Philip Ashey, the clergy representative designated by the Church of Uganda, were rejected by the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) of the primates and the ACC.

“The Joint Standing Committee has discussed this at length,” wrote the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the ACC in a letter dated April 30 and sent to the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda. “We understand that the Rev. Philip Ashey’s relationship with the Church of the Province of Uganda is as a result of a cross-provincial intervention, and note that such interventions are contrary to the Windsor Report and other reports accepted by successive meetings of the Instruments of Communion, including Primates’ Meetings you have attended.” Canon Kearon was to offer a statement on the credentials situation at the conclusion of a May 4 press briefing.

More links soon.

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reports from the ACC - Monday

ACNS ACC-14 Opening Plenary

Anglican Journal ‘Worship: Jamaica-style’ reflects celebration and message of hope

Episcopal News Service In Jamaica, thousands attend Anglican Consultative Council Opening Eucharist

Robert Lundy and Chris Sugden of the American Anglican Council and Anglican Mainstream are jointly reporting on the meeting, see Report from ACC-14 Day One and Report from ACC-14: Day Two - Opening Festival Service.

So also is Colin Coward of Changing Attitude, see ACC Opening Service in the National Arena, Archbishop Rowan’s sermon at the ACC opening service, and also earlier reports, What do Jamaican Anglicans really think about homosexuality? and Anglican Consultative Council 14 – Kingston Jamaica.

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Sunday, 3 May 2009

reports from the ACC - Sunday

The Anglican Church of Canada has set up a news hub for reporting from the ACC.

The first official press briefing can be found at ACC-14 Press Briefing 2nd May 2009.

ENS has Members of Anglican Consultative Council prepare for meeting. More links to video coverage here.

The Canadian Anglican Journal has these reports so far:

Canadian Anglicans express high hopes for ACC meeting

ACC to decide whether draft covenant can now be sent to Anglican member churches for approval

Plenary ACC meeting opens

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on the way to the ACC

Three articles published last week in the run-up to the ACC meeting:

Savitri Hensman Comment is free Gay people need justice in Jamaica

Graham Kings Fulcrum and also Church of England Newspaper Between the Primates’ Meeting and the ACC

Michael Nazir-Ali Church of England Newspaper via Religious Intelligence Is the much-debated Covenant fit for purpose?

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Abp Jensen in Ireland

The Archbishop of Sydney has recently been in Ireland. The Church of Ireland Gazette has full coverage:

Archbishop of Sydney in rallying call to Church of Ireland evangelicals

and also has an editorial, ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA.

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Saturday, 2 May 2009

opinion for the May Day weekend

Giles Fraser Church Times Why blogs can be bad for the soul

Theo Hobson Guardian: Comment is free Face to faith: Christians disillusioned with the churches should articulate an alternative

B P Dandelion Times Credo: Uncertainty speaks volumes in the sound of silence

Christopher Howse Telegraph Green men cut in church stonework

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Friday, 1 May 2009

Anglican Consultative Council

The 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council opens today in Kingston Jamaica, although there is no business until tomorrow.

The official website of the world-wide Anglican Communion has these pages:

Daily Programme (copied below the fold for ease of reference)
Documents
List of Participants

There is also a News page. At present it only has

The Anglican Consultative Council, made up of lay people, clergy and bishops from the 38 Anglican Provinces of the Communion, meets in Kingston Jamaica May 1 - 13, to consider among other things, mission in the 21st century, the future structure of the worldwide Church, and theological education.

Also relevant are the Anglican Covenant papers.

The Anglican Church of Canada has set up a “a web hub with links to news and blogs that will be updated during the ACC meeting”.

Anglican Consultative Council - ACC 14 - Programme
Location:Kingston, Jamaica
Dates: 1st - 13th May 2009

Friday 1st May
Arrivals

Saturday 2nd May
Morning
Quiet Morning led by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Afternoon
Orientation to the ACC in Deliberation Groups
Welcome Plenary, including a provincial and diocesan welcome. Followed by dinner
Evening
Unscheduled

Sunday 3rd May
Morning
Diocesan service
Afternoon
“Mission in the Anglican Communion”
An opportunity to see the big picture of the work of the Anglican Communion Networks and other mission initiatives, also organisations and projects sponsored by the diocese.
Evening
Meeting of the Laity of the ACC and Meeting of the Clergy of the ACC

Monday 4th May
Morning
Bible Study
Information Plenary - An Anglican Covenant
Discernment Groups - An Anglican Covenant
Afternoon
Network Groups
Evening
Unscheduled

Tuesday 5th May
Morning
Bible Study
Information Plenary - Windsor Continuation Group
Discernment Groups - Windsor Continuation Group
Afternoon
Network Groups
Plenary - Report & Resolutions relating to/from Networks
Evening
Unscheduled

Wednesday 6th May
Morning
Bible Study
Discernment Groups - Covenant & Windsor Continuation Group
Afternoon
Information Plenary: Commissions & ACO work (i)
Business Agenda Session (i)
Evening
Cultural Evening hosted by the Governor-General and the Diocese of Jamaica at the residence of the Governor-General.

Thursday 7th May
Morning
Bible Study
Information Plenary - Ecumenical Matters
Ecumenical Streams (i)
Afternoon
Choice of island tour or free time
Evening
Unscheduled

Friday 8th May
Morning
Bible Study
Decision-making Plenary - Covenant & Windsor Continuation Group matters
Afternoon
Ecumenical Stream (ii)
Information Plenary - Commissions & ACO work (ii)
Evening
Diocesan Reception at Bishop’s Lodge

Saturday 9th May
Morning
Bible Study
Decision-making Plenary - Ecumenical Matters
Business Agenda Session (ii)
Afternoon
Briefing for Mission Encounters (on Sunday)
Travel (for some) to more distant parishes
Evening
In parishes

Sunday 10th May
Morning
Parish Visits - Worship and Conversation
Afternoon
Travel back to the hotel
Evening
TBA

Monday 11th May
Morning
Bible Study
Mission Encounters - what was seen and heard ; how we as a Communion might respond. These sessions will include engagement with the work at the UN Anglican Observer’s Office; the proposed new Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative; and the proposed Relief and Development Alliance.
Afternoon
Mission Encounters cont’d
Presidential Address (following Evening Prayer)
Evening
Unscheduled

Tuesday 12th May
Morning
Bible Study
Discernment Groups - what are we taking back to our Provinces?
Final Plenary
Afternoon
Closing Service at the Cathedral in Spanish Town

Wednesday 13th May
Departures

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 1 May 2009 at 8:34pm BST | Comments (10) | TrackBack
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