Comments: opinion

Giles Fraser nails it! This to me, is what it means to be a practicing Christian. All are included and Giles Fraser explains it so beautifully. Oh, if only a man such a Giles Fraser could become the next Archbishop of Canterbury. This would be a truly great moment for Anglicanism. In realty, I know this would likely be impossible because those elitist elements within the Church hierarchy would never allow a man such Giles Fraser to be considered for the next ABC. Still, we can always hope that such a person might fill the shoes of the next ABC.

Posted by Chris Smith at Saturday, 14 July 2012 at 4:19pm BST

Thank you Giles for your comments from the coal face of South London. I spent over 15 yrs in South London, and agree with your experience.. Inclusivity was the watchword, and I learnt that Cinamonn should be added to all meat dishes.

Fr John

Posted by Fr John Harris-White at Saturday, 14 July 2012 at 5:33pm BST

Giles I do agree with you about parishes being the centre of gravity. It is however not just the Bishops who fail to see this. Last Monday I sat in the gallery listening to General Synod debates in York. It felt like cloud cuckoo land. It was not at all like the parishes around Hexham where I help out. It was a church 'against everything' and not 'for anything' and one which is miles from where people in society are. Yet pathetically people kept on talking ahout our mission.To begin by being inclusive without legalism might help.

Posted by Jean Mayland at Saturday, 14 July 2012 at 8:39pm BST

For preaching the Gospel, I see GilesF gets the usual Guardian treatment: condemnation by the Fundamentalists (of Roman and Prot flavors), or condemnation of ALL religion by the Cultured Despisers!

Keep up the Good (News) work, Giles. 0:-)

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 14 July 2012 at 9:53pm BST

"The parish church is typically a more inclusive place than the church's leadership understand. Here there is neither rich nor poor, black nor white, gay nor straight. The archbishops are out of touch. The parish is the centre of gravity of the church."

- Giles Fraser -

And it is in the highways and byways of parish life that the reality of the Gospel can be encountered - not in the palaces of the bishops!

God's plan of redemption in Christ will not, however, be thwarted by the opponents of Women and Gays in the Church. While parish priests are faithfully and conscientiously pastoring their flock - regardless of race, status, gender or innate sexual-identity, Christ will be met in the 'Communion of the Faithful - Sinners yet Redeemed!

Sadly; Giles Fraser's advocacy of Gays and Women, however, may be a major barrier to his being accepted as a Bishop in the Church of England
Jesu, mercy; Mary, pray!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 15 July 2012 at 1:27am BST

@ Fr John: I learnt that Cinamonn should be added to all meat dishes.

A grating or two of nutmeg surely instead.

Posted by Randal Oulton at Sunday, 15 July 2012 at 7:51am BST

"The parish is the centre of gravity of the church" (Giles Fraser)
"making the deaneries the focus of mission" (Sam Norton)
In the Early Church there was only the Church Universal and the local church. If it comes to a choice between either the parish or the deanery - I think that the vast majority of active Christians would undoubtedly opt for the parish, in spite of Tiller's entreaties.

Posted by Father David at Sunday, 15 July 2012 at 12:50pm BST

I often wish the Queen as Supreme Governor of the Church of England would step up to the plate and voice her support for Women Bishops without that horrible amendment that was added by a select group within the Church. Perhaps also using her throne as a kind of "Bully pulpit" for more outreach to the glbt communities who have been disenfranchised for most of the Church's history. I know this may be wishful thinking but I can see the positive impact this might have on the Church.

Posted by Chris Smith at Sunday, 15 July 2012 at 4:31pm BST

"I often wish the Queen as Supreme Governor of the Church of England would step up to the plate and voice her support for Women Bishops"

Except HM is widely believed to be rather conservative on this matter. IIRC, she banned women priests from serving in St George's Chapel, Windsor. Anyway, if the Queen graciously refrains from comment on whether or not her subjects should be sent off to pointless foreign wars, or left to freeze when their benefits get cut, it seems asking a bit much of her to make weighty pronouncements on pressing theological issues.

Posted by rjb at Monday, 16 July 2012 at 5:52am BST

How do you think our gracious Queen has managed to reign for the past 60 years? By precisely NOT getting involved in political or religious disputations. As RJB points out none of the current Residentiary Canons of St. George's Windsor are female. It is also widely held that H.M. did not get on so very well with her first and, so far, only woman Prime Minister. After all, there can only be one queen bee in this realm of ours.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 16 July 2012 at 10:09am BST

Bishop Alan Wilson rightly points out the opinion of Bishop Desmond Tutu on the problem of the Church's collusion with some African states in their brutal treatment of the LGBT community.

He also, I feel, rightly comments on the admission of the Archbishop of Canterbury to his audience of youth at Lambeth Palace; that the Church has its own problems of dealing with issues such as Women's Ordination and Same-Sex Partnerships.

Both Archbishops are formidable influences in the Anglican Communion, but it seems that they have to be either retired, or nearing retirement, before they feel free to express their heart-felt feelings about the intransigence of the Church on these contentious issues.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 16 July 2012 at 10:36am BST

I'm going to shock rjb and Fr David by agreeing w/ them. I want to see called bishops-who-happen-to-be-women ASAP . . . but I do NOT believe this goal would be advanced by HMtQ stepping into it.

Calling women to all orders is about the EQUALITY male and female have in God's eyes. An endorsement by the quintessentially UNEQUAL (super-equal) person, would be oxymoronic! [Said the Yank (small 'r') republican ;-/]

Posted by JCF at Monday, 16 July 2012 at 8:51pm BST

There's a good discussion on David Keen's article going on over at his place. As a Canadian Anglican who visits my aged parents in the UK frequently, my observation is that the C of E is trying to carry the burden of far too many parishes, aged buildings, and the whole 'we are the Church for everyone in England' idea, with shrinking clergy numbers and not enough resources (financial and otherwise) to be able to keep it up. These are complex issues that don't admit of simple solutions, but surely there needs to be some serious study going on about the sort of radical change necessary to reverse the trends that David identifies.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 3:30am BST

How do we get rid of the aged buildings? I had a chat with an archdeacon about some issues in this regard, and the reply was something on the lines of,'If we made redundant the buildings which need to be made redundant, there'd be no money left in the diocese to pay the clergy'. If that's the case, we're stuck whatever we do.

Posted by david rowett at Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 12:37pm BST
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