Richard Chartres writes in The Times about church finances. In Church coffers are half full, not half empty he writes in part:
ALL Barchester has been roused by reports that a cash crisis in the Church of England could lead to a cut in clergy numbers by up to a third, with worshippers being directed to meet in one another’s homes. This doomsday scenario is mistaken, but despite Archdeacon Grantly’s derisive snorts, it is good to have a serious debate about the present state of the Church of England…
…The report which gave rise to the initial press reaction will be discussed by the General Synod next month. Its main thrust is that “the key challenge facing the Church is not financial but the need for it to develop a more dynamic mission emphasis”. This is the point on which we need the real debate to be focused.
The inhibiting factors have to be faced. One is the way the Church does its business, with the postwar explosion of boards, synods, councils and committees, all involved in a carousel of consultation,. John Sentamu, the new Archbishop of York, as Primate of England is just the right person to tackle this plate of spaghetti. His appointment is very good news…
Over in the Guardian Jane Shaw writes about the Anglican Communion in Rival bids for the Anglican franchise, and she concludes her column with:
…There is a new set of alignments, in which people want to be with other people who read the Bible like them more than they want to unite with all other Anglicans. These alignments cross national boundaries. We might call this the confessional versus the communion.
The bullying behaviour of those united in an alignment to oppose the North American decisions suggests that they have no interest in the integrity of the communion unless we all think like them.
The Windsor report, the 2004 document meant to sort out the divisions within the communion, attempts to do that by changing the nature of the communion. We need to be clear about that. We will go from being a “fairly loose federation of kindred spirits, often grateful for mutual fellowship but with each province reserving the right to make its own decisions”, as church historian Henry Chadwick described the communion in 1993, to one in which, as the report says “no province, diocese or parish has the right to introduce a novelty”.
Local differences, or dispersed authority as we understand it in Anglican terms, will have no place in this more authoritarian global structure. Someone’s version of Anglicanism will prevail, but whose? Who will own the Anglican franchise?
Christopher Howse in the Telegraph discusses Prayer and God’s rescue plan