Comments: Wycliffe Hall: Richard Turnbull writes

That's reassuring. Nothing to worry about then. Bless.

Posted by liddon at Saturday, 1 September 2007 at 10:06am BST

Good. We have in writing that they started with a house that was in order and respected. Look forward to seeing what is written in four years time.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Saturday, 1 September 2007 at 11:44am BST

yawn, so this is 'newsworthy'?

It doesn't do much for me except make me feel sorry for Richard

Posted by dodgyvicar at Saturday, 1 September 2007 at 2:50pm BST

Who ever doubted that the Reverend Dr. Turnbull ever had and has my best interests, ever at heart? Even if I do not yet accurately recognize just what my best interests as western liberal democratic citizen and as Anglican believer really are, as defined exclusively and authoritatively by him? Time for tea?

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 2 September 2007 at 5:24pm BST


Maybe he could set up a quarterly communion with souls such as yourself, just to prove how inclusive he really is?

Or would it be like the gestapo before the holocaust, who were hospitable to the Jewish and community leaders, so they knew who to scoop up first once the travesties started? Chile also comes to mind, unfortunately some souls seem to learn the worst lessons from history.

Now of course, we can't shouldn't give prophetic warnings of the fears of the worst possibility happening. We are meant to be happy and smile and allow it to come to pass, and then weep and wail afterwards.

After all, there is no way that God would want tyranny, repression, greed, corruption or accusations to end. Goodness me, if we stopped those cycles, then how could some people demonstrate how nice they are? What, if they actually have to be nice behind closed doors as well as in public? Scandalous!

Women are meant to be submissive and compliant, no matter how cruel or abusive their husbands are. Rubbish. I know heaps of women who are leaving their husbands, women who have put up with abuse for decades. The clincher has been the recognition of the abuse they have been doing to their children when they weren't there to protect them, and the realisation that their husbands see nothing wrong with their conduct and thus have no intention nor capacity to reform themselves.

If God wanted women to be completely passive, he wouldn't have given us brains. Its time both women and their children remember the principles of valour and courage, and start the healing journey, even if their abusive husbands won't or seek to thwart their healing. God will sweep aside these abusive Edomite lovers.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Sunday, 2 September 2007 at 10:10pm BST

>>Women are meant to be submissive and compliant, no matter how cruel or abusive their husbands are.<<

Cheryl, there is something wrong with you mentally if you believe that anyone at Wycliffe preachs or even thinks that. There is something wrong with you spiritually if you know that no-one at Wycliffe thinks that but you are willing to say they do on a public message board.

Posted by Robert Klein at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 10:14am BST


I live in Sydney. There is nothing wrong with me saying that, that is our reality. If you don't believe me, contact Muriel Porter who moved to Melbourne to get away from their cruelty.

There is nothing wrong with my expressing a fear that Wycliffe could become as repressive as Sydney.

At least if it does, you can't claim that no one warned you.

If I am wrong, then it is simply the voice of conscience. If I am right, then get the house in order or don't complain to me later when things go horribly wrong.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 12:28pm BST

'... there is something wrong with you mentally if you believe that anyone at Wycliffe preachs or even thinks that. There is something wrong with you spiritually if you know that no-one at Wycliffe thinks that but you are willing to say they do on a public message board.'

Posted by: Robert Klein on Monday, 3 September 2007 at 10:14am BST

Either Robert Klein is wrong and should not be saying such things. Or he is right ( long distance diagnosis ?) and should employ a pastoral approach -- a loving approach even (in light of Jesus' message)


It shows what women, gays and others whose faces don't fit, are up against in the Church of England.

We put our spiritual and mental health at risk, even by coming near to it, as this Comment (above) demonstrates.

People cannot dissent at Wycliffe without being treated as Elaine Storkey is being treated. And this a matter of public record. Heaven knows what is being done behind closed doors to her and others.

It is also in the public domain that a large number of staff have left of late. -- Hardly a recommendation.....

Posted by L Roberts at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 4:12pm BST

"Either Robert Klein is wrong and should not be saying such things. Or he is right ( long distance diagnosis ?) and should employ a pastoral approach -- a loving approach even (in light of Jesus' message)


I quite agree. It's shocking that this is the second post within a few days questioning the sanity of one individual contributor.

Is there really no way the moderators can ensure that comments like this aren't published?

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 5:19pm BST

Erika and L Roberts

My view was that Robert Klein's views were an interesting insight into the mindset of those who support Mr Turnbull and were unlikely to upset the person addressed, namely Cheryl Clough.

Naturally, I stand to be corrected by Cheryl.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 7:13pm BST

Thank you for your reply, Simon.

Of course, if Cheryl really doesn't mind I shall be less concerned.

But the principle remains - some things are too dangerous to say/print. As L Roberts points out, long distance "diagnosis" is impossible and any comments on the mental state of anyone who appears to the writer to be fragile should only be made by a professional with the necessary skills.

Afterwards it's only possible to assess the damage and to be thankful if it appears that there wasn't any.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 9:14pm BST

There is also (which Erica hinted at) the damage done to Society at large or to the sense/notion of Communion in Society.

The Tone.

I say nothing regarding someone who loses their temper and utters a few angry words in the heat of the moment.

Une fois n'est pas coûtume.

But the Tone, the Damage, the Habit.

The belief (long learnt) that you can get away with anything.

All are God's creatures.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 9:30pm BST

Erika Baker commented above: "It's shocking that this is the second post within a few days questioning the sanity of one individual contributor." I approved the first of these posts. That was a mistake on my part for which I apologize.

Posted by Peter Owen at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 9:30pm BST


I agree with you that these postings provide useful insights into some souls’ mindsets. I chose to work with TA because you do allow such postings to be made, and once they are made they can not be removed. Similar things happen elsewhere, but the evidence is intangible or editable, so the perpetrators can claim they never said/did it and thus their victims must be delusional or insane.

I chose to accept being called insane or delusional a long time ago, as I knew I had the character to tolerate being rejected and abused by "the authorities" due to the extent of my childhood abuse. My enemies did not know the extent of abuse I had survived, so they did not know the strength of character that could endure what they are doing. It is better that they do it to me, and the world can look on and decide that this needs to be healed.

My school teachers told me that we were building societies and educating souls so that things like the holocaust would never happen again. I am mortified to not only see the early cultural dynamics occuring, but the souls doing it consider it to be acceptable.

As Erika witnessed only last week, souls give advice to withdraw affirmations from "insane" souls so that they will come out of their delusion. I would rather be insane than a sponsor to their cruelty and abuse.

I like this torah study that went up overnight It includes“Judaism does not just consist of wise little sayings or mechanical ritual. It provides an entire system of beliefs, a world-view of G-d and His relationship with the universe and mankind. From within it forms a beautiful and cohesive whole. From without it may seem strange and foreign... it is not something one picks up in easy, step by step fashion. One must integrate ideas, digest and grow into new thoughts, and slowly achieve some kind of comprehension of the Big Picture.”

Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who had highly integrated the Torah into his paradigms. He would be mortified to see huge chunks of the bible being dismissed as heretical, especially the promises to end tyranny and repression. Those who claim otherwise do not love as Jesus loves, because Jesus loves the Torah and wants to see all of us ever integrating understandings of the Torah.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 3 September 2007 at 11:05pm BST

Please note:

1) I did NOT call Cheryl insane.....Cheryl said that she might be insane and I agreed with her statement based on certain things she has said about Gaia and being a player in the "end times" herself.....Cheryl did not seem upset but others were determined to be upset.

2)Yes, posts can reveal MINDSETS - see L Roberts post above which could have (quite rightly in my view) criticised R Klein's tone and apparent harshness.....but instead does all sorts of somersaults to turn the whole thing into the old emotional blackmail: "We're being persectuted, we're being persecuted!"

L Roberts says "heaven knows" what is going on WH....sure, but what do you know about it L Roberts given you want to assert that Elaine Storkey is being treated badly....have you spoken to her or are you going on unsubstantiated, anonymous Guardian reports.

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 10:03am BST

L Roberts commented that 'it is also in the public domain that a large number of staff have left of late.'

Well, it may be in the public domain, but the public domain has got it wrong. As a current member of Wycliffe, I can report that of the 13 academic staff which were in post at the start of last academic year, 2 left to take up jobs which they saw as career progression and 2 left because of disagreements about how Wycliffe is being managed. Given that it is perfectly natural for people to take new jobs on career progression grounds, we are left with a sum total of 2 staff who have left because of disagreements with how Wycliffe is managed - that is hardly the 'large number' which the public domain knows abaout.

This just goes to show that the public domain knows very little of the real Wycliffe Hall and that anything that is written on sites like this and in the press should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Much of what is written on this site comes from a hatred of a caricatured picture of evangelicalism. Given that an official Oxford University report has just found Wycliffe to be a place of a broad range of theological opinion, there is no need for Wycliffe to come under the attack of the sort of venom that is found on this site.

As I read through 'Thinking Anglicans' and 'Fulcrum' I am finding lots of angry and spiteful words directed from Christian to Christian. We all need to do better than this, because if Christians hate each other, the world will not hear the gospel.

Posted by Matthew Firth at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 12:18pm BST

My lingering fears about WH as a clergy training college have less to do with published Guardian reports than with a direct reading of Turnbull's past address to his CoE con-evo confrere's in which he basically lays out strong, clear aspirations involving an institutional takeover Anglican plan, creepily and uncannily similar to what we in USA have come to know as the Chapman-Barfoot documents. His view of training properly con-evo clergy is that they then become the incursion troops who have some exclusive authority to police the pilgrims, and squeeze out progressive believers as well as queer folks from church life - all notably via stealth, misrepresentations about either progressive believers or queer folks as citizens and as believers, and just the sorts of holier than thou preachment that his address publishes.

My fears are hardly about these views as such - way too familiar from growing up in the USA Bible Belt states, actually - but about their steady public aspirations - published plot outlines, really? - toward institutional power over alternative Anglican believers in church life, not to mention society.

Are all Anglican con-evo believers now categorically defined to be closed, not open? And this pattern of being closed is essential to pastoral leadership and spiritual formation?

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 4:12pm BST

Matthew Firth

You must be aware that in your college:
-David Wenham resigned as Vice Principal over disagreements with Turnbull and was then offered a post in Bristol so has gone completely from WH
- Adrian Chatfield has moved to a new post in Cambridge just over a year after joining the WH staff - not a good sign to lose someone so fast
- Geoffrey Maughn has returned to parish life
- Gordon Kuhrt has stepped down as preaching lecturer
- the Mission lecturer has left

and in their place come
- Simon Vibert as VP and in charge of preaching training - a man who is on record as being against women preachin
-Will Donaldson a charismatic evangelical
-Liz Hoare to teach prayer and mission
-someone yet to be appointed but who will haave to be OK by the very conservative Latimer Trust - to teach doctrine

All this is not unqualified good news. Losing good staff (which has provoked strong negtive reaction in the WH students I have spoken to) and while gaining some good new people also gaining some very conservative ones. Surely you see why there is a sense of unease - to put it mildly - at the situation.

Student numbers may not hold up - some DDOs are steering people away from WH. It takes a year for that to have any effect - look at other colleges who have had difficulties in the last decade.

Posted by Frozenchristian at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 8:35pm BST

drdanfee - all groupings within the church, be they Anglo-Catholics, Liberals or Evangelicals, use various strategies to advance their own cause. For instance, each year in the CofE liberal catholic bishops offer disproportionately few evangelical curacies in order to squash evangelical ordinands into less evangelical title posts; a shrewd strategy if ever there was one.

I look towards the day when no such strategies will be needed by anybody: the day when we are all completely unified around Jesus Christ, who is the Truth personified.

Posted by Matthew Firth at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 8:39pm BST

'The public domain knows very little of the real Wycliffe' !
I am very sorry that Matthew Frith is so anxious to protect Turnbull that he cannot face the truth. No fewer than 12 staff have left Wycliffe since Turnbull went there as Principal. Most left because they found it difficult to work with him, or in the atmosphere he created. This academic year, none of the 6 academic staff who left went for 'career progression' as those of us who have talked to them know very well. Has Matthew Frith seen the resignation letters? Has he seen the many joint letters which 9 members of the staff sent to the Bishop of Liverpool sharing their very grave concerns? The 'public domain' knows rather more of the 'real Wycliffe' than the students who have only one source of their information. We don't enjoy knowing these things, but unfortunately cannot deny them.

Posted by philbody at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 8:48pm BST

Still posting NP? Your name wasn't mentioned in this thread and it's not yet November.

4 out of 13. That's 32.5% turnover in twelve months. It would have been better to acknowledge there was a big change than to pretend that no significant change has happened at all.

For those who do not seem to understand the power that educational bodies have and the damage that can be done behind closed doors, look at this boarding college example

If challenged, I could go trawling the net and find other examples from the UK, Australia, US...

I have accepted that this can happen, have looked at how it is possible for an educational/church body to deteriorate to this or other terrible levels (a distorted Islam that justifies flying planes into buildings comes to mind). We need to accept these horrible possibilities, that there are times in history that this can move from shamed behind closed doors secrecy to becoming the norm in society (the holocaust, Rwanda, Apartheid come to mind). We need to understand that this can happen, go back to our bibles, look at God tells it comes about, and fix our theology to make it harder to happen in future.

The Daughter of Zion imagery augments Jesus' teachings and are in concordance with each other.

Those who obstruct me inadvertently condone abuse, I am not their enemy, I am their friend. Sometimes friends tell you things that you don't want to hear, but need to hear e.g. Ezekiel 3:17-21 Others would claim they are acting on the same passage, the difference between them and myself is that I don’t force others to change their behaviour, all I do is sound the warning, judgment still resides with God. This is consistent with Jesus who exhorted people not to sin, but did not accuse or impose; they still had the free will. Maybe it would help to move beyond black or white and contemplate shades of grey, souls are choosing how much of their life they want to be in concordance with God, and what areas they can easily change and what areas are too hard. For someone born a hermaphrodite, who is anyone else to judge which gender they should be? If we can accept the dissonance of a physical hermaphrodite, then who are we to judge the chemical/psychological variations?

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 10:19pm BST

Apologies if I am being a bit slow, but Cheryl did you really intend to put your last post on this thread as I am honestly struggling to see the connection?

Posted by Paul Frost at Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 11:33pm BST


Please date and time which post you are referring to. You will get a more appropriate answer to your questions. Posts are quite disparent and what answers one merely confuses another. Quoting the passage or sentence that has confused you would be even more helpful. :-)

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 4:21am BST

"For instance, each year in the CofE liberal catholic bishops offer disproportionately few evangelical curacies in order to squash evangelical ordinands into less evangelical title posts; a shrewd strategy if ever there was one."

Maybe there aren't enough "evangelical curacies" (?) to fill the demand from an outpouring of anti catholic ordinands?

And God forbid that this be a stratagem ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 5:10am BST

Apologies for the vagueness - I was referring to the post on Tuesday, 4 September 2007 at 10:19pm BST. I realise that the turnover percentages refer to Wycliffe Hall but fail to see how the awful situation as reported in the globe and mail etc connects.

On reflection maybe your point was that educational institutes can be impacted by sin? Perhaps I misinterpreted the hyperbole - although it is a bit like comparing an argument between my children to the 2nd World War... come to think of it... :-)

Posted by Paul Frost at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 9:36am BST

Frankly, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has read Cheryl's posts here and thought 'this really sounds quite bonkers'. And I'm usually arguing on the same side of the debate. This is not a slur on Cheryl's sanity: it's a criticism of her florid prose style and the occasionally bizarre theological connections she makes. I'm trying desperately hard to follow the line of reasoning which links Wycliffe with 9/11; gender discrimination with Rwandan genocide; conservative evangelicals with wife-beating - but it seems to me that these are impressionistic and instinctive rather than reasoned associations.
As for the extraordinary statement that 'Those who obstruct me inadvertently condone abuse', I find this just as an intolerable an attempt to disarm critics as the attempt to discredit its author as mentally unstable.

Posted by Sarah at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 12:08pm BST

"each year in the CofE liberal catholic bishops offer disproportionately few evangelical curacies in order to squash evangelical ordinands into less evangelical title posts; a shrewd strategy if ever there was one."

Granted I live across the pond and in a relatively isolated place far from the high and mighty, but this sounds to me like the usual Fundamentalist "we're being persecuted" myth. Is it really the case that evil liberals are refusing to put Evangelically minded clergy in Evangelically minded parishes in order to crush Evangelicalsim in the Church of England? Are there so many "liberal catholic" (from which words the disdain absolutely drips, does it not?) bishops? NP assures us there are not, and that they will soon have no flocks anyway, so can we maintain that two images of a liberal wing of the Church that is wasting away because of it's compromises with the World, yet remains powerful enough to oppress the poor Evangelical faithful remnant? It must make for some galvanizing sermons, and must encourage the yoof, primed as yoof are to fight the good fight against some evil enemy or another, to hold the line, but is it not all just smoke and mirrors? it must be difficult to feel oppressed by something one also feels is withering away.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 4:05pm BST

philbody - Students at Wycliffe are only aware of 4 academic staff who have resigned this past academic year, and I myself have heard two of those say that their new jobs were quite surprising because they had not intended to leave. If you are claiming that 6 academic staff have left, perhaps you could list them in a new post on here because I for one would be very interested to hear about it. You might as well also list the 6 others that you claim to have left, too.

You ask if I have seen any of the resignation letters or letters from the staff to +Liverpool. Obviously I have not, but I am very interested that you imply that you have seen such information. Surely resignation letters and letters to +Liverpool are highly confidential and would only have been seen by staff at Wycliffe.

There must therefore have been a serious leak if you have seen the information that you claim to have seen. In that case, any blame for the situation at Wycliffe must be shared by more than one person.

If you are going to write posts like your previous one, you ought to be totally transparent and tell us all who you are and how exactly you know what you claim to know. Otherwise, your comments are rightly taken with a pinch of salt.

Posted by Matthew Firth at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 4:43pm BST

This letter by Turnbull was for wide public consumption. The video of him speaking to Reform was a private communication to friends. Which do you believe? you may think that this letter suggests he is a liar; far from it. He is a politician, which is a completely different thing, I'm told.

Posted by liddon at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 5:05pm BST

The last three Principals feel constrained to write, making thier grave concern public, it would be wrong to ignore them.

On another matter, the idea of squahed evangelical ordinands does not appeal to me, and must be unscriptural in most contexts

Posted by L Roberts at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 6:47pm BST

"each year in the CofE liberal catholic bishops offer disproportionately few evangelical curacies in order to squash evangelical ordinands into less evangelical title posts"

Proof, please? If you are going to make this very inflammatory claim, which only bolsters the already overpowering myth of the poor persecuted Evangelical in a sea of conniving Liberals, you need to document.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 7:37pm BST

Hi Paul

Well done, yes it is about recognizing that sin (e.g. abuse of power, aiding and abetting acts of aggression or violations) can impact educational institutions.

Your liking the dynamics between yourself and your children and World War 2 are not that far fetched. One of the things that struck me in this lifetime is that human dynamics follow fractal patterns.

One previous corporate job was as Staff Development Manager. Often developmental issues or conflicts in a team were often similar to their family difficulties. Each soul has internalized paradigms about power, implementation, consequence, team contributions, the voice of conscience. Some are more aware of their paradigms than others, we often have blind spots.

We also have different levels of personality. There is the public image of what we like to portray we are. The image of how others actually see us. The personality that operates on a day to day basis and then the personality under stress, as well as a personality that "preens" to garnish favors. The Mel Gibson movie "What Women Really Want" shows he was relieved to find a woman who actually said what she really thought, versus others who might say flattering things but actually had no respect for him.

My observations are that characters that have a high level of dissonance (e.g. street angels but house devils) are more likely to be abusive. They are also more likely to create cultures that do not tolerate variation or questioning of their ethics. Souls that are being overly challenged also go into learning lockdown, refusing to countenance new paradigms because they are emotionally or psychologically at the limit of what they can cope with. Souls who are emotionally and psychologically spent will find it easier to revert to tyranny and accusations, that to draw from the deeper wellspring of faith and hope. We need to understand the need for the everlasting covenants of peace and forgiveness, and act as leaders that pour out calming oils that calm the surging storms of fear and anger.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 10:28pm BST

Ford Elms - you will find the proof you requested by consulting the minutes of the Association of Ordinands and Candidates for Ministry (a CofE organisation). Each year, the hierarchy of the CofE, which has a disproportionate number of liberal catholic bishops, offers disproportionately few evangelical curacies, despite requests for a fairer system and the fact that there are plenty of evangelical incumbents who are able and willing to train curates. However, as Petertide approaches, the bishops get very unsettled when they realise how many evangelical ordinands are still unplaced in title posts and suddenly they magic up a bunch of evangelical curacies.

The same sort of thing happens with the choice of training college, with certain DDOs and bishops putting pressure on evangelical ordinands to stay away from certain colleges like Oak Hill and Wycliffe Hall. (again, please refer to the minutes of AOCM).

This is how things seem to work in the CofE. You say my claims are inflammatory when all I am doing is reporting the various strategies that certain groups in the church use in order to get their own way. Evangelicals do it, Catholics do it and Liberals do it, and it's all very sad.

You say that disdain 'drips' from my use of the term 'liberal catholic', however, I am simply using a recognised label! Your comment is interesting, though, on a website such as this which routinely causes disdain to drip from the term 'evangelical'.

Posted by Matthew Firth at Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 12:47am BST

MF is correct insofar as there is pressure in some places for mainstream (not Mainstream, note)evangelicals to avoid, certainly Oak Hill. But the question is not so much whether it is right for bishops to do so (after all, it is the bishop who accepts a candidate and who ordains), but whether there are lessons to be learned by a college when that happens.

When I went forward, I was looking at two colleges of the catholic persuasion: the bishop (himself a catholic) made it very clear that he thought it would be a bad idea to go to either. That was because of my personal circumstances (married, small child) as much as anything, but also because, coming as I did from a rather narrow A/C parish, I needed to get out in the fresh air a bit.

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 8:23am BST

MF writes of the CofE having "a disproportionate number of liberal catholic bishops"

I strongly suspect that the true reason for this is that the rise in strength of the evangelical constituency is relatively recent. Those who've been around long enough to be diocesan bishops were ordained at a time when there was a larger proportion of catholic ordinands. Look at the ranks of suffragans and you will see that many of those who will be diocesans within the next 10 years come from the more traditionally evangelical colleges.

Posted by cryptogram at Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 10:24am BST

Most of the evangelical colleges find their students are placed in curacies fairly early on, I gather from friends who work in them, but Oak Hill anf WH often have students left unplaced at Easter because such students are rather fussy about only going to a curacy which ticks all the right boxes. (Again, so I am told by staff in colleges).

Ordinands can always turn a curacy down, so the idea that helpless evangelicals are being forcibly rigged out in tat and sent to work with a vicar who does not believe in the creeds in frankly laughable.

Posted by Frozenchristian at Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 12:16pm BST

"consulting the minutes of the Association of Ordinands and Candidates for Ministry (a CofE organisation)."

I live on another continent in another country, how do I get my hands on this?

"a fairer system"

You should consider this statement in terms of the comment you make at the end of your post. It asumes the conflict that underpins these political machinations. I would think an exposure to the various styles of Christianity practiced by Anglicans is a good thing.

There is a myth generating machine that all of us can get sucked into, and it is not good. Our previous bishop, a founder of Essentials, goes on about "faithful" Anglicans suffering in "faithless" parishes and such like. Yet, I am unaware of ONE such parish in the tridiocesan area, or anywhere in the country, so why this talk of "faithful" and "faithless"? Essentials has been trying to organize here, most underhandedly. Our current bishop has been very slow to act against those who are going behind his back and disobeying him, so as not to make martyrs of them, presumably. He is a good middle of the road type, and very humble, but he knows that if he should discipline them for their behaviour, they will claim oppression,so he must tread carefully.
"Evangelicals do it, Catholics do it and Liberals do it, and it's all very sad."

In this we agree. We're not alone. So why is our voice lost in the din of those who see this as nothing more than a good method of getting their way? One thing you could do is go to a catholic parish when your time comes. I could try harder to not see Evangelicals as some woefully misguided enemy.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 1:08pm BST

Ford made reference to "...about "faithful" Anglicans suffering in "faithless" parishes and such like..."

Before resorting to non-Anglican correspondence, I did a lot of internet research to understand what was happening to me, if I was being unreasonable or if there was a pattern. I looked to see if others had gone through similar experience to me and what research had been documented.

That is how I came to understand how bullying is done in a church context. How there are less overt signs of aggression (they don't hit you in the face, they just advise others not to talk to your face), that some churches can become quite dysfunctional and take on a cult-like culture of identifying "evil" infections and moving to contain outbreaks. That includes moving parishioners in to "hose down" unacceptable theology, helping parishioners out of their delusions through social ostracization, reducing infection by discrediting their character within their parish, attempting to break the evil one by putting the pressure on so that they resort to sedative behaviors, lose their jobs/health and/or families (the latter then being cited as proof that the "evil one" had control over them). Depending on which PR spin works best, they are either a victim of the "evil one" or they are "the evil one".

Of course, if a parish is too rebellious, they choke the funds or remove ministers/lay leaders from office. Worst case scenario, they bring in outsiders to stack the game. Here is an example that popped up on the internet recently

Organizational politicking does not just occur at inter-Christian councils, within synods. It also occurs within parishes and within families. Misuse of power is a risk that needs to be recognized and managed, if it is allowed to go unfettered, tyranny and repression become inevitable.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 6 September 2007 at 10:41pm BST

Before this thread completely disappears, the Canadian example has given us the gift of showing how the church and theological colleges can be interweaved.

So just after the scandal hit the papers, there was a denial that the college was even Anglican.

But in the last day, the Canadian Anglican authorities have begun an investigation. This article reports "...the school's board of directors met with the allegations on their agenda and the board chairman, Canon Geoff Jackson, was quoted in the Brockville, Ont., Recorder and Times as offering a personal apology to any student of the school who suffered abuse. Also yesterday, a former student received a letter from the office of the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz… stating: "It is clear that you have experienced a great deal of pain. The issues that you raise in the letter are serious and the Anglican Church of Canada is very committed to addressing all allegations of abuse, particularly where children are involved." Bishop Bruce yesterday invited complainants to meet him in his office in Kingston. The first meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow."

The second approach is the appropriate approach.

Now lots of souls could go around finger pointing and gloating at others' suffering, but there are lessons that apply to us all. This revelation is on par with a child carer discovering that someone close molested their children for decades.

The responses follow the typical change/grief dynamics.

There is the denial of the evidence - that it even occurred or affects you personally. Historically, victims who sought help were often disbelieved and unfortunately often killed by the perpetrator if it became clear the victim would not remain silent.

Once accepted, there are a suite of issues: what do you do to heal the child before you from past injuries, how do you prevent further injuries to that child, how many other children have been affected, where are they and how do you help them? How did this happen? How were they able to do it? How come no one recognised what they were doing? Did they have outside help? Did we inadvertently enable such atrocities?

Wise souls heal the injured, reform the culture so that future abuse can not occur, and take appropriate steps to handle the perpetrator. How that is done depends on the seriousness of the injuries, and the motivations of the perpetrator/s.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Friday, 7 September 2007 at 11:22pm BST
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