Saturday, 26 March 2016

Opinion - Holy Saturday: 26 March 2016

Guy Elsmore Modern Church Can liberals embrace the Growth Agenda? Part 1 of 3

Andrew Lightbown Disability & Easter – thoughts prompted by a Govt. Minister

Daniel Bond Politics Home Justin Welby: “The EU debate is not all about us. It’s about our vision for the world.”

Ysenda Maxtone Graham The Spectator The price of a cathedral – and how deans pay it

Linda Woodhead and Lucy Winkett Prospect The Duel: Should the Church of England be disestablished?

Clerk of Oxford ‘This doubtful day of feast or fast’: Good Friday and the Annunciation

The Salisbury diocesan website reports Bishop Sceptical on Fixed Easter with reference to the Bishop of Salisbury’s Chrism Mass Sermon, Maundy Thursday 2016.

The Anglican Communion News Service has compiled a number of Easter Messages from Anglican primates.

Phil Groves Anglican Communion News Service How do you stop terrorism?

Fiona Gibson Ship of Fools Judging by numbers

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 26 March 2016 at 11:00am GMT | Comments (122) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Jo Wells to be next Bishop of Dorking

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Dorking: Jo Wells
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 24 March 2016

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Jo Bailey Wells for election as Suffragan Bishop of Dorking.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Jo Bailey Wells, MA, PhD, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Suffragan See of Dorking in the Diocese of Guildford. She succeeds the Right Reverend Ian James Brackley, MA, on his resignation on 30 September 2015.

Notes for editors

The Reverend Canon Dr Jo Bailey Wells (50) was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and then at University of Minnesota, USA. She trained for ordained ministry at St John’s College, Durham.

She was Chaplain of Clare College, Cambridge from 1995 to 1998 and Dean from 1998 to 2001. From 2001 to 2005 Jo served as a lecturer in Old Testament and Biblical Theology at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. From there she moved to North Carolina to be Director of the Anglican Episcopal House of Studies and Associate Professor of Bible and Ministry at Duke Divinity School. On her return to the UK in 2013 she took up the role of Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, based at Lambeth Palace. Since 2015 she has also served as Canon Theologian at Liverpool Cathedral.

Jo is married to the Reverend Dr Sam Wells, who is Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. They have 2 children. Her interests include art, architecture and textiles. Jo has spent a significant portion of her annual leave over many years in East Africa, most recently in supporting Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul in theological education in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan.

The Guildford diocesan website has Bishop of Dorking announced.
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s website has Archbishop of Canterbury’s Chaplain to be new Bishop of Dorking.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 24 March 2016 at 9:42am GMT | Comments (37) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

More preparations for ACC-16 in Lusaka

A document has been published by the Anglican Inter Faith Network, see this ACNS press release: Theological resources on persecution published for ACC-16.
The report itself is available as a PDF: Out of the Depths – Hope in a time of suffering.

The ACC-16 web page also links to a report on the work of Anglican and Episcopal women at UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Here is the Statement from the Anglican Communion delegation at UN-CSW60.
And there is this report of a related event: Communion women can help change sisters’ fate, says Anglican leader.

Anglican Ink has published the text of two letters:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 March 2016 at 3:50pm GMT | Comments (21) | TrackBack
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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Church of England settles another sex abuse claim

It was reported this week in both the Church Times and The Times that a settlement has been reached in the case of Professor Julie Macfarlane. This case was reported earlier here: Church of England criticised by survivor of sexual abuse.

Both these news articles are behind their respective paywalls. But the Church Times article says that Dr Macfarlane has agreed to accept £40,000 damages, and a further £40,000 to cover her legal costs.

It also says that A key part of the agreement is a “protocol-review meeting” with interested parties “to agree a protocol for the handling of claims for damages made by victims and survivors of abuse against a body within the Church of England”.

The meeting is to take place before 30 April, and “all endeavours” will be made to ensure that the protocol is in place before 30 June.

Update Tuesday
The full text of Church Times article is now available for all to read.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 6:51am GMT | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Group challenges naming of Bishop George Bell as a paedophile

The George Bell Group has sent a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and also issued a press statement: George Bell’s naming as a paedophile is challenged today by a group of lawyers, academics, politicians and senior Church figures. The statement is copied in full below the fold.

The core members of the George Bell Group are listed here.

The full text of the report is published here as a web page, and also as a PDF file.

Press Statement
George Bell’s naming as a paedophile is challenged today by a group of lawyers, academics, politicians and senior Church figures

20 March 2016

George Bell’s condemnation as a paedophile has been challenged by a group of lawyers, academics, politicians and senior Church figures. The treatment of George Bell has been taken up today with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

George Bell is famed for being one of the first to speak out against the dangers Hitler posed in the 1930s and for saving many lives during these years by guaranteeing refugees from Germany. He was one of the few to condemn our government’s obliteration bombing of German cities during the Second World War.

A surprised world learnt on 22nd October 2015 that this much-admired wartime Bishop of Chichester had in 2015 apparently been found guilty, by Church authorities, of child sexual abuse. As a result, his reputation has been irreparably damaged, and schools and institutions dedicated to his memory have been renamed.

The Church of England’s statement appears to accept the allegation of abuse as true. It contained a highly damaging statement that the Sussex police would have arrested the Bishop had he still been alive. But this would have been no more than standard police practice, a fact not mentioned in the statement. The police have confirmed that after investigation arrests lead to charges in less than 30% of cases, and of course, not every charge leads to a guilty verdict. It is significant that neither the police nor the NSPCC have received any further complaints against the Bishop. Although challenged, the Church has not provided details of any corroboration to enable the complainant’s story to be judged.

A detailed report compiled by the George Bell Group, today reveals that the Church’s inquiries were astonishingly inadequate, especially since they followed an uncorroborated allegation, first made many decades after the alleged offence, and so far unaccompanied by any further accusations of the same nature. The report shows that the Church authorities:

  • failed to seek, find or interview the most qualified and knowledgeable witness to George Bell’s daily life at the time of the alleged abuse, though his name and details appear in the Church’s own clergy directory. This witness, interviewed by the George Bell group, utterly and in detail rebuts the allegations and regards them as incredible.
  • made no attempt to consult George Bell’s extensive papers and diaries, kept at Lambeth palace Library, to check these allegations, their dates and nature, against the recorded details of his life at the time.
  • failed to find or contact any of George Bell’s living relatives, to warn them in advance of their plan to blacken George Bell’s name publicly, most notably his niece, Barbara Whitley, who also strongly rebuts the claims.

The Group does not challenge the survivor’s belief in her account; the question is whether others should believe it.

The group questions whether the safeguarding group had the legal and forensic expertise to come to a judgement that would support the idea that, on the balance of probabilities, George Bell was guilty of child sexual abuse.

Victims of child abuse are as interested as the wider community, if not more so, in having a robust system to investigate their claims of abuse. It is clear to the George Bell Group that such a system still needs to be established by the Church of England.

The group’s concern is that the valuable reputation of a great man, a rare example of self-sacrificing human goodness, has been carelessly destroyed on the basis of slender evidence, sloppily investigated. The group also feels that the Church’s whole approach to such cases needs to be more transparent, and more in tune with the principles of justice. The guilty must indeed be punished. But the innocent must be protected, whether they are living or dead, and whether they are ordinary citizens or eminent in the eyes of the world.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 March 2016 at 1:00am GMT | Comments (36) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Opinion - 19 March 2016

Simon Butler ViaMedia Why R & R is Good for the Health of the Church

Laurie Goodstein interviews Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for the New York Times: Episcopal Church’s First Black Leader, a Gay Marriage Backer, Focuses on Race.

Church Times Interview: Rowan Williams, theologian, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 19 March 2016 at 11:00am GMT | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse has preliminary hearing

Updated again Friday midday

The Independent Inquiry into Child Abuse (IICSA) has begun hearings into church-related cases. For general background on why this government-initiated inquiry exists, see here and also here.

More about the Anglican aspect of this inquiry can be found here: Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church and this file contains the Definition of Scope.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing is explained here: Preliminary hearings for the Anglican Church and Rochdale and here: Preliminary Hearing Note.

Media reports focus on the claim by Richard Scorer that one alleged victim of Peter Ball wrote to the then Archbishop of Canterbury in 1992 and was ignored. Lord Carey has said he had no recollection of receiving any such letter.

Telegraph Lord Carey might have delayed investigation into church sex abuse for 20 years, inquiry hears

Guardian Archbishop did not pass abuse claims to police, Goddard inquiry told

BBC Goddard Inquiry: Focus on CofE handling of abuse claims

Daily Mail Carey ‘held up inquiry into priest for 20 years’: Former Archbishop of Canterbury ‘failed to pass allegations of abuse to police after receiving a complaint in 1992’

Mirror Ex-Archbishop of Canterbury allegedly helped delay sex abuse probe into bishop for 20 years

Independent Peter Ball: Details of paedophile priest’s abuse delayed ‘because former Archbishop George Carey failed to pass on information’

Updates

Gavin Drake Church Times Justice Goddard opens IICSA investigation into the Anglican Church

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Sex abuse public inquiry begins investigation into Church of England

David Henke and Tim Wood Exaro CoE finds one million pages of documents about child sex abuse

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 March 2016 at 10:59am GMT | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

ACC-16 in Lusaka: Nigeria will not attend

Updated Wednesday morning

See earlier announcements by Uganda and by Kenya.

A letter from the Primate of Nigeria has now been published: Church of Nigeria Statement on the Lusaka ACC Meeting 15 March 2016

This statement is now also available at the GAFCON site, and the text is copied below the fold (bold emphasis in the original).

Ruth Gledhill reports for Christian Today in Nigeria pleads for ‘special status’ for conservative Anglican Christians over homosexuality.

THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE UPCOMING ACC MEETING

Source: Church of Nigeria

STATEMENT BY THE MOST REV’D NICHOLAS D. OKOH, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria. Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Deputy Chair of the GAFCON Primates Council

THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA: OUR PERSPECTIVE

The Church of Nigeria was one of the Provinces that protested against the consecration of Gene Robinson (an active homosexual clergyman in New Hampshire), by The Episcopal Church USA, and the promulgation of a liturgy for blessing of same sex union; boycotted the Lambeth Conference 2008, and organized the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON 2008), in Jerusalem. A remarkable legacy of that conference is the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration.

Since then, the theological position of the Church of Nigeria on the human sexuality palaver raging in the Anglican Communion is by no means ambiguous. In pursuance of its position, it has had to amend its constitution to emphasize the basis of our relationship with any other Province or church namely:

The Church of Nigeria shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal of 1662 and in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.

In other words, the amendment places emphasis on the “Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and The word of God rather than, and instead of, historical institutions. It was intended to save the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) from derailment in the context of challenges engendered by theological ambivalence such as the present human sexuality controversy illustrates.

In further pursuance of that same amendment, the Church of Nigeria resolved to break communion with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (not on account of redefinition), but on the practice, promotion and advocacy of homosexuality and its allied practices.

As part of the stance of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), it resolved not to attend any future conference or meeting where the above named two Provinces will sit and participate in discussion.However, the January 2016 Primates meeting in Canterbury was considered an exception. Thus, the GAFCON and Global South resolved to attend.

In spite of the hollow restrictions placed on The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop of TEC and the Chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council have avowed that the Primates had no authority to take that decision. During the Canterbury meeting itself, the way and manner in which those who hold the orthodox view of human sexuality and marriage were spoken of by the authorities, and denounced as “homophobic”, left no one in doubt that we were in the wrong place. In fact, the authorities believe that patience was being exercised to enable the communion to bring up the scripture-believers gradually to embrace the homosexual doctrine. Thus, the Anglican Communion’s journey is very uncertain for the orthodox. They are walking into a well-rehearsed scheme to gradually apply persuasion, subtle blackmail, coercion on any group still standing with the Scriptural Provision as we know it, to join the straight jacket of the revisionists and be politically correct. Somehow, they are succeeding!

At this point we find great wisdom in the attitude of the British Government in relation to the European Union, It has not joined the Euro Zone; it did not join the Schengen conglomerate. Now the British Prime Minister is asking for a “Special Status” in the European Union for the United Kingdom.

The Anglican Communion should begin to think in that direction for those Provinces that may never, for obvious reasons, embrace the sexual culture being promoted by some Provinces of the Church over and against the Bible as we received it. We need a “Special Status”.

In summary, as long as we are now candidates for whom every opportunity in the Anglican Communion should be explored to gradually teach us to embrace the new sex culture, it will be unwise to deliberately walk into a well-prepared camp of recruitment, blackmail, indoctrination and toxic relationship.

Therefore, we regret our inability to attend the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

We continue to pray for God’s Church to return to the Holy Bible, for its faith and practice.

The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 11:37pm GMT | Comments (63) | TrackBack
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Church of England publishes part of Elliott report into sexual abuse case

Updated again Wednesday morning

The Church of England has today published portions of the report that was commissioned in September 2015 into a particular case of alleged sexual abuse by a member of the clergy.

The materials published by the church do not disclose the names of any of the persons involved. However, the Guardian newspaper carries a report by Harriet Sherwood which names the perpetrator and states that the Guardian has seen the full report. The Guardian has also interviewed the survivor in this case.

The Church Times has also seen the full report, see below.

…Elliott examined the case of “Joe” – described in the report as “B”, and whose identity is known to the Guardian – who as a 15-year-old was subjected to a “sadistic” assault in 1976 by Garth Moore, a leading figure in the church, the chancellor of three dioceses and vicar of St Mary’s Abchurch in the City of London. Moore, who died in 1990, is described in the report as “A”…

  • And a later write-through of the story for the front page of the Wednesday morning paper edition names the bishops concerned:

…The Guardian understands that among those told of the abuse were three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop. None of them are named in the report by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding expert, but the survivor identified them as Tim Thornton, now bishop of Truro; Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal church, now retired; John Eastaugh, former bishop of Hereford, now dead; and Stephen Platten, former bishop of Wakefield and now honorary assistant bishop of London…

…In a statement, Thornton said: “I remember having several conversations with [Joe], mainly about his faith. But I am sorry to say that I simply do not recall the conversation that he has referred to. Had I been party to a conversation of that nature, I would either have referred him to somebody who would have been well placed to help him, or would have told somebody myself about such a serious disclosure.”
A statement from the diocese of London said Platten had apologised to Joe for his “lack of detailed recollection of their conversations in the 1980s” and “regretted he was unable to help further”.
Holloway said he did not recall any disclosure: “I have no memory of it, but I’ve no reason to challenge it. I had many pastoral conversations with many people…”

…Last month, Paul Butler, the bishop of Durham, who leads the C of E’s safeguarding work, privately apologised to Joe for the church’s response to his disclosures. He said he had no doubt that Joe had been abused by Moore, and there were likely to be other survivors who have not yet come forward. He ended his handwritten letter, seen by the Guardian, with: “I am … deeply sorry for the hurt I have caused you.”

But there has been no apology from Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, to whom Joe reports writing 18 letters after the church began examining his case. He had one reply, from a correspondence secretary, assuring him that “the archbishop would hold him in his prayers”…

Links to the officially published material:

Report by Tim Wyatt in the Church Times Abuse case turns spotlight on to flawed C of E safeguarding practices

…The report will not be published in full, although the conclusions and recommendations will be published by the C of E. Bishop Mullally said that this was because of pastoral concerns, although Joe has told the Church Times that wants the detail of the review to be made public…

…Joe said he was optimistic that the report would lead to real reform, but still had reservations. He had asked for a female bishop to lead the implementation of the recommendations because he had wanted a new broom to sweep the Church clean.

“I wanted someone to look at this with fresh eyes,” he said. “It needed to be somebody who wasn’t part of the layers of complicity and loyalty, who didn’t carry all that baggage.”

Although he has not yet met Bishop Mullally, he said he had heard positive things about her. “I have the sense that she could kick the Church out of its complacency…”

Earlier material from the Church Times

Earlier material from the Guardian

Other media reports:

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 2:24pm GMT | Comments (21) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Opinion - 12 March 2016

The Church of England marked International Women’s Day 2016 with Women Inspiring Women — video stories from seven of its women bishops.

Andrew Lightbown Church leadership; just a few thoughts as I approach incumbency

Kelvin Holdsworth The Three Great Festivals of Distress

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 12 March 2016 at 11:00am GMT | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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Thursday, 10 March 2016

Programme published for Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka

See this press release from the Anglican Communion Office: Draft programme for Anglican Consultative Council meeting published.

[ACNS] Anglican Bishops, priests and laity from across the world will gather in Lusaka next month for the 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-16). Members will discuss a range of issues around the theme “Intentional discipleship in a world of difference” – how Christians can be faithful to the Gospel in all aspects of their lives in the different cultures and situations that Anglicans find themselves in.

The Anglican Communion Office is now inviting applications for media accreditation for journalists who wish to attend ACC-16.

The ACC facilitates the co-operative work of the 38 autonomous but interdependent national and regional Churches and the six extra-provincial churches and dioceses that are in Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Through the ACC, churches of the Anglican Communion exchange information and co-ordinate common action. The ACC also advises on the organisation and structures of the Anglican Communion, and seeks to develop common policies on world mission and ecumenical matters.

There is more information here and the actual draft of the programme is available as a PDF here.

The meeting will be held in Lusaka, Zambia from 8 to 19 April, 2016.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 5:13pm GMT | Comments (23) | TrackBack
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Primate says Kenya will not attend ACC-16 in Lusaka

According to an announcement on the GAFCON website, the Anglican Church of Kenya will not participate in the upcoming Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, in April. The full statement is available here as a PDF - from the official provincial website, and is also copied below the fold.

The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala has been the Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council since 2010.

Earlier this year, he issued this statement following the Primates Gathering in Canterbury in January.

And then in February he issued this pastoral letter.

To the Bishops, Clergy and all the Faithful of the Anglican Church of Kenya

from the Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Bishop, All Saints Cathedral Diocese Nairobi

Statement on Anglican Consultative Council 16, Lusaka

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I am deeply committed to the unity and restoration of our beloved Anglican Communion. It was for this reason that I and brother Primates from GAFCON and other orthodox provinces were willing to accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to a meeting of Primates in Canterbury earlier this year, despite the representation of Provinces with which the Anglican Church of Kenya is in a state of broken communion.

It seemed that this might be an opportunity to restore godly faith and order and, although the resolution agreed by an overwhelming majority of those present was not all we hoped for, it sent a powerful message around the world that the collective mind of the Communion was to remain faithful to the Scriptures and God’s purpose for man and woman in marriage.

In particular, the Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) was required to withdraw its representatives from groups representing the Anglican Communion ecumenically and it was agreed that TEC should not participate in votes on doctrine and polity in the Communion’s institutions.

However, the Presiding Bishop of TEC has made it clear that his Church will not think again about same sex ‘marriage’ and he expects his Church to play a full part in next month’s Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Lusaka. This defiance of the Primates’ moral and spiritual authority has been supported by the Chairman of the ACC, Bishop Tengatenga, who has confirmed that TEC will participate fully.

There can be no true walking together with those who persistently refuse to walk in accordance with God’s Word and the Anglican Church of Kenya will not therefore be participating in the forthcoming meeting of the ACC in Lusaka.

An opportunity has been missed to use the ACC for good and it is increasingly clear that the GAFCON movement must continue to provide a focus for that godly unity so many of us desire.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 4:28pm GMT | Comments (15) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Archbishop of Canterbury appoints new Chief of Staff and Strategy

From the Archbishop’s website:

Archbishop of Canterbury appoints new Chief of Staff and Strategy

Wednesday 9th March 2016

Canon David Porter will take up the new role at Lambeth Palace in early May.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of Canon David Porter as Chief of Staff and Strategy at Lambeth Palace. He takes over from Kay Brock, who retires this month after four years at Lambeth Palace.

David is currently in the Lambeth Palace leadership group working as the Archbishops’ Director for Reconciliation. He will start in his new role in early May.

David, originally from Belfast, comes with experience in several Christian organisations at senior staff, CEO and board level. He has long experience in public affairs and was a member of the Northern Ireland Civic Forum and Community Relations Council. Prior to joining the Lambeth Palace team in 2013 he was the Canon Director for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral.

Speaking about the appointment, Archbishop Justin Welby said:

“This is an exciting appointment that draws together David’s recent experience leading one of my priorities and his extensive background in developing strategic and effective organisations to serve Christ and the church.

“David will lead on strategy development and implementation, as well as public affairs, working closely with senior colleagues. Along with the Bishop at Lambeth, the Rt Rev Nigel Stock, he will be responsible for enabling the entire team at Lambeth Palace to work effectively together, with colleagues at Church House, Bishopthorpe, the Anglican Communion Office and across the wider church.”

Speaking about his new role, David Porter said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Archbishop Justin and colleagues at Lambeth over the last three years in what has been an immensely fulfilling role. It is an unexpected privilege to be given this new responsibility within the team at Lambeth Palace. The next few years will be exciting and challenging for the church, and all those who work at Lambeth are deeply committed to supporting the Archbishop in his ministry. I look forward to enabling them to flourish in this task.”

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 9 March 2016 at 11:47am GMT | Comments (16) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 5 March 2016

Opinion - 5 March 2016

Wyn Beynon Join Up The Dots: Reflections on General Synod February 2016

David Walker, Bishop of Manchester Rediscovering “Good Disagreement”

Photographer Jim Grover shadowed south London priest Kit Gunasekera for a year: Tending the flock: a year in the life of a London priest – in pictures.

Andrew Lightbown What on earth were the Primates up to, and why we should be worried.
[with reference to this Church Times news item]

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 5 March 2016 at 11:00am GMT | Comments (32) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Michael Ipgrave to be next Bishop of Lichfield

Press release from Number 10

Bishop of Lichfield: Michael Geoffrey Ipgrave

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 2 March 2016

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Michael Geoffrey Ipgrave for election as Bishop of Lichfield.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Michael Geoffrey Ipgrave, OBE, MA, PhD, Area Bishop of Woolwich, in the Diocese of Southwark, for election as Bishop of Lichfield in succession to the Right Reverend Jonathan Michael Gledhill, MA, on his resignation on 30 September 2015.

Notes for editors

The Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave (57) grew up in a small village in Northamptonshire, in the English Midlands. He studied mathematics at Oriel College, Oxford, and trained for the ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford after a year spent working as a labourer in a factory in Birmingham.

He was ordained Deacon in 1982 and Priest in 1983 in the Dicoese of Peterborough. After more than 20 years ministry in Leicestershire and Japan, he became Archdeacon of Southwark in 2004. He was also Canon Missioner at Southwark Cathedral from 2010 to 2012 and was Chair of the Southwark and London Diocesan Housing Association, and Anglican Borough Dean of Southwark. Prior to this he had been Inter Faith Relations Adviser to the Archbishops’ Council and Secretary of the Churches’ Commission on Inter Faith Relations.

He was awarded the OBE in the new year’s honours list in 2011 for services to inter-faith relations in London. Since 2012 he has been Area Bishop of Woolwich, in the Diocese of Southwark and is also diocesan Warden of Readers. He chairs the Council of Christians and Jews, and is Co-Chair of the Anglican-Lutheran Society and of the Church of England’s Mission Theology Advisory Group.

Bishop Michael has written extensively on inter-faith issues and on questions of religion and human rights. He has edited 6 volumes on Christian-Muslim relations, is the author of Trinity and Inter Faith Dialogue (Peter Lang, 2003), and has contributed about 30 journal articles and book chapters.

Bishop Michael is married to Dr Julia Ipgrave, who works at Roehampton University as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities. They have 3 grown up sons, 1 with a German and 1 with a Russian wife, and are looking forward to the imminent birth of their first grandchild in Germany. Michael and Julia are enthusiastic about things Japanese; they enjoy walking, and are looking forward to exploring Staffordshire and Shropshire on foot.

The Lichfield Diocesan website has this: 99th Bishop of Lichfield named.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 2 March 2016 at 10:10am GMT | Comments (51) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Canadian Bishops unable to agree to marriage canon change

The Canadian House of Bishops has issued this:

Statement from the House of Bishops from its Special Meeting. Here is an extract:

…We spent a considerable amount of time discussing the theology of marriage and our episcopal role and responsibilities as chief pastors, and as guardians of the Church’s faith, order and unity. We concentrated on the relationship of the bishop to the Church locally, nationally and with our Anglican Communion partners, and alongside and within synods. These conversations led into considerations about the nature of our relationships within the House in light of the deep differences we have on the matter of changing the Church’s teaching on marriage.

In our exploration of these differences it became clear to us that the draft resolution to change the Marriage Canon to accommodate the marriage of same-sex partners is not likely to pass in the Order of Bishops by the canonical requirement of a 2/3rds majority in each Order. Some of us talked of being mortified and devastated by this realisation. We feel obliged to share this with the Council of General Synod as they give consideration to the process for handling this resolution at General Synod. We have grappled with this issue for three meetings of the House, and we feel a responsibility to convey our inability to come to a common mind in discerning what the Spirit is saying to the Church. We share this out of respect for the considerable work that the Church has invested in preparing to debate this motion at General Synod. We continue to wonder whether a legislative procedure is the most helpful way of dealing with these matters.

We have been conscious that the presence of this motion has brought distress to some, and we acknowledge the deep pain that our statement will cause both within and beyond the Church. And we are all saddened that we do not seem capable of unity on this issue. Nevertheless we are committed to work toward the deeper unity for which Christ died, and we pray daily that God would mend our divisions. Our hope is not in ourselves, but in Christ, and so we are committed to staying together that we might witness the miracle of our healing.

In our deliberations, we affirmed a commitment to continuing conversations and engagement with the Report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon, and to achieving the greatest pastoral generosity possible. There is a desire among us to explore other options for honouring and fully embracing committed, faithful same-sex relationships. We will also engage Indigenous and minority cultural perspectives in our Anglican family in our understanding of marriage…

There is an accompanying press release: House of Bishops sends message to CoGS.

And the Anglican Journal has this report: Same-sex marriage motion ‘not likely’ to pass in Order of Bishops

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 1 March 2016 at 10:55am GMT | Comments (34) | TrackBack
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