Comments: General Synod - Thursday sessions

Synod votes to allow suicides to receive Anglican funerals.

262 for 5 against and 6 abstentions ... who in the name of Christian compassion are the eleven who couldn't bring themselves to support this motion?

Posted by Nicholas Henderson at Thursday, 12 February 2015 at 11:23pm GMT

I should like to commend the changes made on both the burial of those who have committed suicide and the liturgy for baptism. They reflect, in different ways, the spirit of love and compassion for each other enjoined upon us by Christ's teachings and are a reflection of the presence of the Holy Spirit which we are assured is always with us.

They also reflect two other aspects of today's Church, perhaps equally apposite; one is the existence of an apparently total communication breakdown between top and bottom, exemplified by the Archbishop of York's comments on the burial of suicides.

The second is the need to take very seriously on board the fact that there are members of the Christian Church who believe that children may be possessed by the Devil, and that they may be witches; it's not the sort of thing that can stay hidden in the days of the Internet. Young couples bringing their tiny infants for baptism would, perfectly understandably, be horrified at the very idea of such a thing; so much so that they might reject the Church and all its works.

I am glad that the people working on the Liturgy are holding open the doorways to let them in..

Posted by Stevie Gamble at Friday, 13 February 2015 at 1:46am GMT

The mother of a fairly significant playwright told me 20 yrs ago that her grandchild had not been baptised because her son and his wife picked up the BCP and read their son had been " conceived and born in sin"..How many BCP baptisms take place now, I wonder?

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 13 February 2015 at 8:27am GMT

Well I abstained. I have conducted the funeral of someone who committed suicide, as we are already allowed to do. The motion states, 'to amend Canon B 38 so as to allow those who have taken their own life, whatever the circumstances, to be buried in accordance with the rites of the Church of England'. If someone came to me, saying that there was nothing wrong with them, but they didn't want to be a burden on anyone in the future, and they were going to Dignitas next week, and they wanted to discuss the funeral with me, then I am not sure in my mind that I would agree. Maybe I would, maybe I wouldn't.

Posted by Christopher Hobbs at Friday, 13 February 2015 at 9:14am GMT

Regarding services for the baptising of infants, I'd note that in the Bible it is God who is referred to as "Saviour" far more than Jesus. And what does trusting in Jesus "as Lord" really mean to many who are welcomed to Baptism? I'd be happy just to use the fine, first half of the BCP service, followed by the baptising, omitting all the questions and certainly any reference to the "Devil" (belief in whom was understandable in our Lord's day but no longer). Using wonderful words, the BCP happily associates infant baptism - christening - with our Lord's welcoming and laying his hands upon and blessing of all the children brought to him, undoubtedly factual. I think his example trumps the commission to baptise attributed to him at the end of St Matthew's Gospel which many scholars think not dominical, and St Paul.

Posted by John Bunyan at Friday, 13 February 2015 at 9:30pm GMT

If I was a member of the Church of England I'd be interested in more conversions, not just more baptisms. Jesus did not make conversions easy; he made them hard. I have no nostalgia for the days when we used to get dozens of requests for 'christenings' a year, very few of whom ever darkened the doors of the church again. The early church preached the gospel and then, when people said 'what must be do?' brought up faith and baptism. By contrast, conventional Anglicanism gets asked about baptism in isolation and trie valiantly to sneak in a watered-down version of the gospel. No thanks. I'm glad those days are gone.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Saturday, 14 February 2015 at 3:31pm GMT

Whether all Evangelical expressions 'of the gospel' are in fact ' the true gospel', at all, is (to be) contested.

Much of it is mere 'Convertianity' and lacks spiritual and intellectual clout imho.

Posted by Laurie at Saturday, 14 February 2015 at 7:00pm GMT

Laurie, no doubt all expressions of the gospel fall short in one way or another. I'm not sure whether my own would qualify as 'evangelical' or not; it tends to take Mark 1:14-20 as its inspiration.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Sunday, 15 February 2015 at 9:40pm GMT
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