Comments: The Movement for a Renewed Orthodox Anglicanism

Same old same old.

We're aware of these differences in the Church of England.

I will observe yet again: out of over 20,000 ordained priests in the Church of England, what we have here are the signatures of about 20 (and not all priests, and not all in the Church of England).

The best these fellow Christians can hope for is 'Unity in Diversity' where we agree to respect one another's consciences.

Alternatively they have the choice to leave and set up their own church in new buildings and locations.

What they can't do is impose their conscience on other people's consciences. That kind of attempt to dominate and impose 'their' uniformity on everyone else is doomed to fail. We've already rejected 'The Covenant'. We've already sent back the 'Bishops' Statement'. We've affirmed the transitions of trans people. We've repudiated the widely-recognised brutality of 'gay conversion'.

So yes.

More of the same. These are the actions of fellow Christians who can't abide the acceptance of gay sex and relationships. May God bless them. May we seek God's grace and love as we listen to them, and pray for their own flourishing.

But they are an enclave. They are circling the wagons. They are alienating a generation of young people in this country. They vilify the tender love and faithfulness of gay and lesbian couples. They are afraid. They are getting left behind.

In protective terms, the Church needs to start offering mechanisms to protect their consciences, their right to disagree in sincerity. We need a sincerity in our quest for diversity in the Church, including their own diversity.

But what they can't really hope is to impose their views on human sexuality on the Church of England, because society - and ultimately the Church - are moving on.

There are about 20 C of E priests who have signed this letter. There are over 20,000 who have not.

Most people in the pew want above all to serve their communities, to get on with helping the elderly and the sick. They are not obsessed with sex.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 1:25pm BST

Same old arguments re capitulating to or adopting secular cultural values. These arguments are presented as a given but do they stand up to scrutiny? Not necessarily. The Gay and Lesbian Christian movement alongside various allies have been arguing for greater levels of inclusion for decades. It is simply inaccurate to suggest that those arguing for 'radical new inclusivity,' have necessarily been (mis) led 'secular' values. It's a tired and worn out proposition. Most progressives have a very strong sense of biblical values and virtue, or at least most of them that I know.

Posted by Andrew Lightbown at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 1:38pm BST

"One which has capitulated to secular values, and one that continues to hold the faith ‘once delivered to the saints’."

Herein lies the crux of this gratuitous and odious misrepresentation of reality.

If they want to draw sides, how about:
Side 1 = narrow-minded, defined by misunderstanding the role of scripture, tradition and reason and threats of schism or supplanting the establishment that nourishes them;
Side 2 = more open-minded, permitting all views within side 1 and more besides

This pattern of argument holds across multiple topics over the last 50 years at least, probably more.

I think what's actually needed is for those of us firmly in Side 2 to start getting used to this pattern and accept it with the condescending "Yeah, and?" that it deserves.

Posted by Tim at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 2:58pm BST

I would not dismiss the Movement for a Renewed Orthodox Anglicanism as being an insignificant tiny minority. I seem to remember people saying the same about the Ordinariate when that emerged.
No doubt people said it of the Oxford Movement, and look at the consequences of that.

From tiny oak apples do great oak trees grow.

Posted by Paul Waddington at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 5:04pm BST

'The booing of traditionalists and the levels of personal abuse aimed at them during the General Synod has only deepened mistrust between the different sides.'

Is it true that traditionalists were booed and abused during GS? If so that is wrong, we don't want to stoop to their level.

When Chester Diocese held discussions on sexuality in every deanery a few years ago, I facilitated a discussion group in 2 of the deaneries. One of these signatories hosted his deanery's discussion in his church. Even as a facilitator whose role was to be neutral, it was such
a bad experience that I spent the whole of a 3-day retreat recovering from it. God help those who were arguing for more acceptance and openness.

They don't seem to find many women willing to sign their letter. Do women tend to be more open on these issues, or are they not asking women their views?

Posted by Janet Fife at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 6:15pm BST

Are none of the signatories of this preposterous letter aware of the BBC Gay Britania season? A series of TV and radio programmes chronicles the progress over 50 years, from the imprisonment of men for being gay, to the present-day acceptance of gay marriage. The dinosaurs above object to the "booing of traditionalists and the levels of personal abuse aimed at them during the General Synod" Perhaps this is a small taste of the opprobrium usually heaped upon LGBTQ people over the years by evangelicals and so-called bible believers. If they can't stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen.

Posted by FrDavidH at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 6:36pm BST

The comparison by Paul Waddington of the Ordinariate being like a "great oak tree" is not borne out in reality. Pope Benedict's attempt to steal Anglican clergy is a damp squib which depends upon a never-ending supply of disaffected Anglican Catholics to continue. The Catholic Herald compares the size of the Ordinariate with a large parish. The Movement for Renewed Orthodox Anglicanism will go the same way. It's a sounding gong and clanging cymbal. It shouldn't be taken too seriously as most people will regard it as being very funny.

Posted by FrDavidH at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 7:48pm BST

'From tiny oak apples do great oak trees grow.'

Oak trees grow from acorns. What grows from oak apples (a form of gall) is a parasite on the oak tree. Appropriate, maybe?

Posted by Janet Fife at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 7:55pm BST

I rather resent the implication that I might have succumbed to the dark forces of secularism as suggested in the above letter.

I'm a grown up Christian who can think for himself and I'd wager I know my Bible as well as anyone.

As far as I know I've been heterosexual all my life, I've been blessed within a long term, fulfilling marriage over 37 years which has made me/us mostly happy. We have always believed in and maintained a faithful marriage consistent with biblical ethics as we understand them.

So why then should I not believe that the opportunity for long-term intimacy be available to anyone of same sex orientation as it has been for me ? If I believe I was created as I am why can't I believe others to be created as they are?

Are stability and faithful, biblical living really the sole preserve of one sexual orientation ? I have too many dear friends whose example proves otherwise for me to take this nonsense seriously.

Posted by anotherFr.David at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 10:13pm BST

Is it true that traditionalists were booed and abused during GS?

I am no longer on General Synod, but I understand that there was a display of irritation (perhaps even boos) on the Friday when Andrea Williams spoke. In my time on Synod I heard her speak on several occasions and, like many others on synod, I profoundly disagree with her views. Yet we always listened to each other in a spirit of respect. Much has been made of traditionalists being booed at this Synod, but as far as I can see this is very much a twisted report about what actually happened. AMW wanted to say something and she abused the procedures of Synod by claiming she had a point of order. This gave her the right to speak and make a point about something she thought was wrong in the procedure of the debate. She had no such point of order to make. She simply used this device to be called to speak and Synod expressed their distaste at such an abuse of synodical procedure.

Posted by Nigel LLoyd at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 10:28pm BST

In response to Janet's first post, the calls for them to resign etc. were not because they are traditionalists but because they were using GS speeches to make personal attacks on others. Good letters in CT on this today.

Posted by Charles Read at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 10:52pm BST

Great (and moving) post by 'anotherFr.David' and *thank you* father.

This is not just LGBT+ people stirring up trouble out of self-interest. This is a justice issue, an issue of decency and covenant love.

Straight LGBT+ allies are hugely valuable, and really appreciated.

May God bless your marriage, and all people who commit themselves to one another - in tender love, sacrificial care, through the laughter, through the tears.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Wednesday, 26 July 2017 at 11:53pm BST

>>Is it true that traditionalists were booed and abused during GS? If so that is wrong, we don't want to stoop to their level.

There were a couple of letters in the Church Times referring to this. This comment from Simon Butler, the Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury:

"The booing came in response to two speeches: an intervention from the leader of Christian Concern which named a Synod member and made mention of her relationship with her partner and the partner’s child (neither of the last two being Synod members) in an out-of-order speech; and an ad hominem accusation of “false teaching” made against the House of Bishops by a member of the Business Committee (in the debate on the Business Committee report, which the member concerned had not raised when the committee signed off its report).

The latter is discourteous to the Synod and its Business Committee, the former simply bad behaviour.

The Synod may be very diverse theologically, but we often unite in collective disdain when “speaking the truth in love” or “contending for the faith” slips into personal attacks or grandstanding, especially when some of those mentioned are not present to defend themselves."

Posted by Kennedy Fraser at Thursday, 27 July 2017 at 8:53am BST

Nigel and Charles, thank you for clarifying what happened in Synod. I didn't like to think that Synod had departed from its usual high standards. Although sadly, it sounds as if a few of its members had.

Posted by Janet Fife at Thursday, 27 July 2017 at 9:28am BST

I seem to recall that Dr Ashenden announced quite some time ago that he was leaving the CofE. I also recall encountering a video in which he explained at some length why. So what is taking so long? Does he want to inflict the maximum damage on the church which has nurtured him before going? Or is there some other reason?

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Thursday, 27 July 2017 at 2:54pm BST

Orthodoxy is overrated.

Posted by Roy Murphy at Friday, 28 July 2017 at 7:07pm BST

Can someone explain to me how and why Andrea Williams, who signed this letter, and Lorna Ashworth, who signed the other can remain as reoresentaives from Chichester on general Synod, and the latter on the Archbishops Council now they are explicitly promoting schism? Surely the two are incompatible.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 29 July 2017 at 2:50pm BST

I share Richard Ashby's question.

Certainly if someone is on the Archbishop's Council then that person should support the Church of England.

If someone wants to leave, then leave. But to remain an officer of the Church of England, and yet at the same time to agitate against it, is a violation of the fiduciary duty of loyalty.

Posted by Jeremy at Saturday, 29 July 2017 at 6:26pm BST

As always with these "sign if you agree" petitions, there seem to be rather a lot of people from overseas, people from other churches, representatives of bodies outside the communion of the CofE, people who can't recall that they signed up the previous day...

Posted by cryptogram at Sunday, 30 July 2017 at 3:31pm BST

You don't get to side w/ the (alleged!) "majority of faithful Anglican across the globe"---in places where LGBTs are *murdered w/ impunity* (and Anglicans there say zilch about it)---and simultaneously whine about being "booed".


Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 2 August 2017 at 6:23am BST
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