The BBC radio programme Sunday has several items of Anglican interest today. Real Player required.
Rowan Williams is interviewed about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
It’s easy to understand why Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran theologian, is a hero, even a saint, to German Christians. Unlike so many of their religious leaders, Bonhoeffer’s opposition to the Nazis was unremitting and he paid for it with his life. He was involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler and was executed in the last weeks of the war.
But what relevance does he have for non-Germans in the 21st century?
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has no doubt of the theologian’s importance. He has travelled to Germany and Poland to attend celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s birth.
Listen (5m 22s)
And two items previewing General Synod debates this week.
Perhaps next Tuesday afternoon’s debate at the General Synod should be held not in the chamber of Church House in Westminster but in a draughty parish hall in a remote country village. They’ll be talking about rural churches – something we might take for granted, but which in many places are facing crisis – just like every other kind of rural service. The synod debate follows an internal report on rural churches which often lose out on grants from government and other funding agencies.
Listen (6m 32s)
Next year will see the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Colonies and next week’s General Synod will debate a motion calling on the Church to help mark the anniversary and use it as an opportunity to campaign for an end to human trafficking and other modern forms of slavery. But an amendment to the motion will also be tabled. It will call on the Church of England to recognise the damage done by its own involvement in the Slave Trade. It will also urge the Church to address the legacy of the slave trade and offer an apology to the heirs of those who were enslaved.
Listen (4m 11s)