Comments: Butler-Coekin letter

I do wish that Bishops would stop trying to restrict existing effective initiatives from below; whilst at the same time protesting that they want to create "fresh expressions"!! Several initiatives like Co-Mission are already working and being effective at bringing people into the kingdom of God! Why not encourage them, and change the heirarchy to accommodate them ?

Who is the Church ? Who is supposed to be serving whom ?

Posted by Dave at Monday, 3 July 2006 at 10:54pm BST

"Who is the Church ? Who is supposed to be serving whom ?"

If it's true that the denomination which became involved in the Coekin affair was one which was at least passively supportive of apartheid, perhaps they could do a church plant in (say) Oldham. Now there's a Fresh Expression which might go down a wow.

But less mischievously, isn't Church Order important? It must be significant that the condemnation of Richard Coekin's actions came from all shades of theology and churchpersonship, not just the limp-wristed liberals and the rancid catholics (among which latter bunch I number myself).

Unfettered free-market economics are likely to be as destructive when applied to the Church as when applied to industry. I know of a fervent evangelical church which was doing a good job, both serving its community and doing all the conservative & charismatic evangelical things — until it was suddenly 'gazumped' by an unauthorised church plant. Is that really the way we want to go, that fearful looking-over-the-shoulder in case of a predatory 80's stock exchange hostile takeover bid?

Posted by mynsterpreost at Tuesday, 4 July 2006 at 9:41am BST

Does the tone of this letter suggest that the man who wrote it is prayerfully seeking reconciliation with another Christian? If it does then Christianity is dead in this country or rather it is dead within the Church of England.

Posted by Rupert Standring at Tuesday, 4 July 2006 at 10:38am BST

May I assure mynsterpreost, from my eyrie in the depths of Oldham, that we would welcome an "unauthorised" church plant into this parish from any denomination who will come and get involved and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I, as a lowly parish priest, am all for free market economics in evangelism. Oldham has plenty of non-believers in Jesus to go around.

The parish I serve in has 15,000 people and is growing rapidly. There are three paid clergy serving here - me (Anglican), a Methodist and an RC priest. There's room for many more.

You can't gazump us! We'll welcome Christian brothers and sisters with open arms as we seek to serve this large and deprived inner urban community.

I gather Southwark is not much different (I'm thinking of spiritual deprivation).

Posted by John Simmons at Tuesday, 4 July 2006 at 5:42pm BST

"....the condemnation of Richard Coekin's actions came from all shades of theology and churchpersonship..."

Yes tragically, jealousy and envy infect the hearts of us all. And when they do, repentance is the only godly choice.

Posted by Neil B at Wednesday, 5 July 2006 at 11:41pm BST

Rupert - keep up the good work. I have always thought it self-evident that if we focus on the priorities of Jesus rather than those of church politics, we will not be sidetracked. And, yes, the priorities of Jesus do include speaking the truth without fear or favour.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Thursday, 6 July 2006 at 9:08am BST

Will someone let Tom Butler know that he lost....and caused the ABC a lot of trouble as a result of his actions

Posted by NP at Friday, 7 July 2006 at 7:30am BST
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