Thinking Anglicans

Cathedrals Count

English Heritage today published a new report, Heritage Counts 2004. (The report has its own comprehensive and accessible website, but be warned that the main English Heritage website is unfriendly to many browsers.)

This report, which covers the entire range of historic monuments, includes new research on English cathedrals. The English Heritage announcement says:

New data on cathedrals are a social and economic asset

Heritage Counts 2004 contains the first comprehensive data showing the social and economic benefits that cathedrals have been able to deliver to surrounding communities. The research, based on a questionnaire sent to all 42 English Anglican cathedrals, demonstrates that cathedrals are directly responsible for generating local spending of £91 million a year. When indirect economic effects are considered, such as the amount spent by cathedrals to procure local services, the total annual economic impact rises to £150 million. This supports 5,500 permanent full time jobs.

The Heritage Counts website contains the entire text of the report (as a series of PDF files), and also the research reports to which reference is made. These include The Economic and Social Impacts of Cathedrals (report by Ecotec for English Heritage and the Association of English Cathedrals) which can be downloaded as a Microsoft Word file here (the document is 70 pages of A4, about 20,000 words).

The Church of England has today published a press release entitled Cathedrals Count. Here is the beginning of it.

– Thought-provoking new research reveals the economic and social value of England’s Anglican cathedrals –

New research has revealed that nearly nine million people visited England’s Anglican cathedrals in 2003 – two million more than visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach, five million more than went on the London Eye and almost twice as many as visited the British Museum in the same year. This is just one of many compelling findings in a report on the value of England’s cathedrals which is launched today (15 December 2004) as part of Heritage Counts, an annual audit of the historic environment carried out by English Heritage on behalf of the sector.

The research, which was commissioned jointly by English Heritage and the Association of English Cathedrals, provides the first comprehensive evidence of the substantial economic and social contribution made by cathedrals in their local communities. Cathedrals are first and foremost places of worship, and well recognised as places of great spirituality and beauty, but until now little consideration has been given to the boost that their presence gives to the local economy and the range of opportunities they offer for education, events and volunteering.

Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “Our cathedrals are at the very heart of England’s heritage and, as this new study shows, their contribution reaches far beyond bricks and mortar. In an increasingly complex world, these great edifices are vital forces for social cohesion and focal points for both celebration and mourning, not just in their cities, but in the large areas they serve.”

The Very Revd Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark and a member of the Association of English Cathedrals Executive, said: “We welcome this report which is published during our busiest time of the year! It underlines the key role played by England’s 42 Anglican cathedrals in the nation’s life. It shows the enormous economic benefit that English cathedrals provide for society – in addition to their vital spiritual and community role.

“In fact, more detailed research by the Church of England – which includes, for example, Westminster Abbey – indicates that across all the cathedrals in England the number of visits in 2003 was as high as 12.5 million.”

More of the release

Some additional data not included in the press release itself is below the fold.



Recent Official Publications

Bishops’ office and working costs for the year ended 31 December 2003
This was published on 10 December 2004. It is online as a 172 kB pdf file here.

In Review
This replacement for the glossy Year in Review was published as a four-page pull-out in the Church of England Newspaper and the Church Times at the beginning of December. It will be published twice a year. The December issue includes

Mission takes shape
Building potential
What’s my line?
Top class
Together for justice
‘Realising the vision’
Church of many colours
Mental health check
February Synod
Retirement homes modernised
Missionary ordinands wanted
Website gets makeover
Youth council
Useful links

and is online here.


More from Tom Wright

An extremely long interview with Tom Wright conducted in June 2004 for the Living Church is now appearing on the interviewer’s blog:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

I will add links here to the newly promised 7 when published.

Hat tip to KH for finding this.

Tom Wright Bishop of Durham issued a press release on 10 December, which currently appears only at this URL. Complete text below the fold.


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David Hope television interview

David Hope the Archbishop of York, was interviewed this morning on the BBC television programme Breakfast with Frost.

The transcript of the interview is here.

A newspaper report in today’s Sunday Times published in advance of the public transmission is here:
Britain can’t be called Christian, says archbishop


Jayne Ozanne radio interview

Jayne Ozanne, the author of the document reported on yesterday was interviewed this morning on the BBC Radio programme Sunday together with Bishop John Gladwin.

Listen here with Real Player. The interview lasts about 6 minutes.

BBC blurb:

Now if you are a Christian prepare to have your timbers shivered. This is your future, according to a senior Anglican.
“I see a time of great persecution coming, which will drive Christianity all but underground in the West. I believe this will primarily take the form of social and economic persecution, where Christians will be ridiculed for their faith and pressurised into making it a purely private matter. Meanwhile the established Church will continue to implode and self destruct”.
It’s a bleak picture- but there is a ray of light. The writer sees a new church arising – which will “fast become an underground resistance movement”.
The author of this vision is Jayne Ozanne who has just finished a 6 year stint on the Anglican Church’s Archbishops’ Council. Also speaking is the Bishop of Chelmsford, John Gladwin who is still a member of the Archbishops’ Council.


apocalypse when?

The Times has chosen to devote considerable space today to a confidential document leaked to them, addressed to the Archbishops’ Council, and written by Jayne Ozanne, who is completing a six-year stint as an appointed member of the Council.
Church faces implosion and life underground, says senior adviser

There is also a background note on the author:
Brilliant career of evangelist marketing expert
Ms Ozanne attends this parish in the Diocese of London.

and more significantly a leader article:
Lost souls – An apocalyptic warning from within the Church of England

Extracts from both the news article and the leader column below the fold.



peace and goodwill

It was not accidental that a historic peace agreement for Northern Ireland was made a few years ago on Good Friday. To people of goodwill on both sides of the sectarian divide, the ultimately loyalty to Christ, and the significance of the holy day, made a powerful contribution to finalising a deal.

It is therefore tragic that, in this Advent season of looking forward in hope to the coming of the reign of God, a similar spirit could not prevail.

Recriminations turn on the symbolism of photographs of guns. This is claimed to be a “humiliation” of those who give them up.

But surely, it could have been portrayed as a huge victory for both sides. The gun only has the power to destroy. It only has the power of Herod in beheading John the Baptist, or the power of Pilate in putting Jesus to death on the cross.

But what the gun can never yield is the real power to do good for the people, build a kingdom, and build hope. What was on offer in this Advent season was the opportunity to go forward in faith to a new kind of kingdom, with a new law and a new authority, in which people on both sides of a bitter divide could have worked together for the good of all.

It has been made abundantly clear to people on all sides that there is no sharing of that kind of power to do good, unless the power to destroy through the bomb and the bullet are completely renounced. There is no humiliation in publicly giving up the power to terrorise in favour of the power to do good. It is simply a sign of coming to maturity.

A single spoilt child can wreak enormous destruction on beautiful treasures. By contrast a craftsman can spend a lifetime to create works of value and beauty.

What was needed as a symbol of the new spirit of the age was not just photographs of weapons. Rather, it was to see Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley symbolically attempting to beat the guns into ploughshares, or tie broken guns in the shape of a cross. Perhaps it needed that symbol to be set up permanently somewhere as a sign of a new age, and a new kingdom, and a new kind of rule.

The Good Friday Agreement was delivered because people on all sides appreciated the symbolic power of the day. If only the significance of the Advent season could make people appreciate the need to bring in a new kind of kingdom.


Answerable to Parliament

Sir Stuart Bell is the Second Church Estates Commissioner. The work of the Church Commissioners as a whole is described here. As part of the Commissioners’ accountability to Parliament, MPs may ask the Commissioners questions in the House of Commons. This task is performed by the Second Church Estates Commissioner, who is an elected Member of the House of Commons.

There is a new website, still in beta,, which makes reading Hansard much easier. Recent entries for the Second Church Estates Commissioner in the House of Commons look like this:

6 December 2004

Written answers: Church Commissioners

Debates: Church Appointments

Debates: Terms of Employment

Debates: Women Bishops

Debates: Redundant Churches

This system would be even more useful if it were to be applied to the speeches of bishops in the House of Lords.


Robin Eames interview

On Friday 10 December, Robin Eames issued this statement:

“I have been dismayed that certain remarks of mine in a telephone interview with the Church of England Newspaper have been taken completely out of context to mean I believe the Windsor Report will not have much effect. Nothing could be further from my hopes and convictions for the Windsor Report which contains the unanimous recommendations of the Lambeth Commission after a year’s prayerful work. Those unanimous recommendations are already receiving widespread and thoughtful study and response. They will now go to the Primates Meeting in February with my full endorsement as Chairman of the Commission. Some of the recommendations relate to long-term adjustments to the way we do things as Anglicans and will need a process of continued study and discussion. Other unanimous recommendations relate to immediate problems and need to be implemented by the Primates. I would again emphasise that the Lambeth Commission Report contains the unanimous recommendations of a widely representative body of Anglicans from around the world. The Report has my full support and endorsement as Chairman of the Lambeth Commission and represents my own personal views on the problems facing the Anglican Communion at this time.”

The Church of England Newspaper has a major story this week: an interview with Robin Eames.

The interview is on the CEN website in two parts:
Robin Eames: The Eternal Optimist, part 1
Robin Eames: The Eternal Optimist, part 2

There is also a news report based on the same material:
American Church ‘never likely to face discipline’

One of Anglicanism’s most senior leaders has signalled that the American Church is never likely to face discipline for its decision to consecrate the Anglican Communion’s first practising gay bishop.

The Irish Primate, Archbishop Robin Eames, warned that the Communion’s conservative provinces should not expect calls to be answered for the American Church and diocese of New Westminster, which authorised same-sex blessing rites, to be punished.

In an interview with The Church of England Newspaper, Archbishop Eames, the Chair of the Lambeth Commission, urged the warring factions to avoid recriminations and look to the future.

Dr Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh, said: “I would welcome decisions [at February’s Primates’ meeting] more if they’re directed to how we deal with the nature of Communion rather than reiterating ‘they did something wrong’ or ‘they didn’t express regret’.

“I think we need to move on in terms of what have we learned from this – I’m a great believer in trying to learn the lessons of these things. I think we must move on.”

Primates from the Global South had demanded the expulsion of the American Church and New Westminster diocese if they refused to repent for their actions, but the Windsor Report took no action against them.

“Expulsion was one of the things that confronted us,” Archbishop Eames said. “We didn’t fudge the issues, but I have to be a realist and recognise that maybe there won’t be expressions of regret.”

The African Church is preparing to become self-sufficient in a bid to separate itself from Western liberalising influences and has planned to build more of its own theological colleges. Its Primates have vowed to continue crossing provincial boundaries to provide pastoral oversight to orthodox parishes ostracised by their liberal Church.

Archbishop Eames said that the meeting of Primates in February would mark the start of attempts to implement the Windsor Report, but conceded that the homosexuality crisis had changed the Anglican Church.

“We’re going to have to take some decisions on some of the proposals on the Windsor Report. The Council of Advice, [for example], needs to be looked at. We’ll need to see if people have moved on in their thinking from the positions that they took up before the Windsor Report was published.

“I’d have hoped that what the report has drawn attention to will provide a clearer roadmap as to how to deal with other differences that arise in the future. Those differences are going to come as the world develops and the Church develops and the Communion develops. There are going to be issues that will divide.

An extract from the interview itself is below the fold.



ACI responses to Mark Dyer

Earlier I posted an article with links to two very lengthy presentations (one transcribed, one in audio only) by Mark Dyer, who was the only ECUSA member of the Lambeth Commission, about the Windsor Report. I noted there that conservatives had reacted strongly against his interpretations, with both ACI and IRD publishing responses.

Today ACI has published a further lengthy article by Andrew Goddard: A Critique of Mark Dyer’s Explanation of the Windsor Report, as recorded at Virginia Seminary (note that the October date on this page is self-evidently incorrect)

The ACI has also very usefully published A Complete Compendium of Tom Wright on Windsor which includes all his recently published articles on the topic, plus some additional comments not previously seen. This is item 5 in the compendium, about two-thirds down the page. The page also includes a sermon preached on 31 October, and a copy of Oliver O’Donovan’s article ‘The Only Poker Game in Town’ which can be found on the Fulcrum website but only as a pdf file.


trouble in Harare

The Church Times reports this week on this.

CAMPAIGNERS against the pro-Mugabe Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, are increasing pressure to have him brought to trial in a church court.

Charges were filed against the Bishop, including one for incitement to murder, in October 2003 (see below). The Archbishop charged with forming the court, the Most Revd Bernard Malango, has so far been unable to do so, despite constant pressure from those who say that the Bishop is bringing the Church into disrepute.

It emerged on Tuesday that lawyers for the campaigners have now applied to a secular court to compel Archbishop Malango to bring proceedings against Bishop Kunonga…

Courts used to end delays over bishop

A further article featuring a interview with Pauline Makoni will not appear on the Church Times website until later. I will add the link here in due course.

Meanwhile similar details are contained in the BBC radio report on the Sunday programme. Listen with Real Audio here.

It’s not only President Robert Mugabe and the Government of Zimbabwe which is mired in controversy, the Anglican bishop of Harare is being taken to court by some members of his diocese. They say it is a last resort as the Anglican communion has let them down by refusing to act against the Bishop. They accuse Bishop Kunonga of falsifying minutes, withholding church finance records and even of incitement to murder. It has been alleged that the pro-Mugabe Bishop diverted 1.3 million dollars into an account of which he was the sole signatory and that in October 2003 he seized a white owned farm close to the city, evicting black workers in order to move his son into the 2,000 acre property. Pauline Makoni is a lay councillor at the Harare Cathedral and one of those involved in the campaign. Roger [Bolton] asked her how much support she’d received from the people in the diocese of Harare for her actions. So why can’t the Anglican Communion do more to help Pauine Makoni and the Harare diocese? We asked the Anglican Consultative Council for an interview but no-one was available to comment. However Roger is joined by the Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler whose own diocese has links with churches in Zimbabwe.


Improvisation: the Drama of Christian Ethics

In The Times yesterday Stephen Plant wrote about a book by Samuel Wells, previously published in the USA,
Improvisation: the Drama of Christian ethics whose British edition is imminent.

Stephen Plant’s article can be read in full here: How to face moral problems in a fluid world.
An extract is below the fold.

Nick Ralph writes:

I thought this was a tremendously helpful insight into our ethical decision-making as Christians. We need to be reminded that what we are often trying to negotiate is not easy. Whether conservative or liberal, there are often no Biblical verses which will immediately supply an answer to complex issues in a modern world. All we can do then, as this article suggests, is to rehearse, and dance perhaps like Sydney Carter’s Lord of the dance, trying to learn the way the steps work so that we can improvise new steps in the ethical theatre in which we now play. I cannot help but find it appealing and wonder if it might perhaps help us, at least to understand each other better, in the plays we are currently trying to interpret.



David Hope warns of "implosion" risk

The Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, has warned that the Anglican church is on the brink of “implosion” over the divisive issues of the ordination of homosexual clergy and women bishops.

In an interview with The Telegraph on the eve of his retirement as the second most important clergyman in the Church of England, Dr Hope, 64, said that the Church’s “fundamental Christian message” was in danger of being lost in the midst of disagreement over differences that were “neither here nor there”.

Here is the key passage from the interview:

“What I do worry about is whether or not by so concentrating all our hopes and energies on these two particular issues, we are imploding on ourselves,” he said. “If you take people back to the Christological controversies of the first five centuries of the church, there were huge fallings out. Have we not learned the lessons from that? At the end of the day, what is the business of the church? It’s about bringing people to Jesus Christ and about living the life of Jesus Christ. Whatever the divisions, those are the key issues.

“The infighting puts off both young and old people. If it [the Church of England] doesn’t see this in a much larger context of the whole Christian doctrine of creation, redemption and sanctification, it will allow itself to implode on these two issues. We need to turn ourselves outwards.

“If you go to a hospice where they’re working with the dying, they’re not asking you whether you’re in favour of women bishops or whether you’re gay or any of this, that or the other. The important thing is that the work of the persons there actually engages.”

The full article:
Church is imploding, says Archbishop of York

Press Association report based on this:
Church ‘About to Implode’ over Gays and Women, Archbishop Warns

A good review of David Hope’s views on various topics can be found in this blog entry by Fr Jake.


Los Angeles: Orombi's reply to Bruno

Uganda is a long way from Los Angeles, but yet was close enough to Pittsburgh for Archbishop Henry Orombi to have been a guest at their diocesan convention on 5/6 November, see picture here.

The full text of Archbishop Orombi’s reply to Bishop Bruno’s letter, dated 3 November, inviting him to come to a meeting in Los Angeles, has now been published. You can read that reply here. The original report about Bishop Bruno’s invitation is here.

The letter from Orombi concludes:

Our churches in Los Angeles came to us like children who were running away from home, and we have offered them a safe place to be. So for us, the first question that must be asked is Why are they running away? We didn’t look for them or hunt for them. We are responding to a need. And, we will continue to respond to a need until the local problem is resolved; we will not relinquish them into a spiritually dangerous situation. Therefore, we see no need for a meeting until you and the Diocese of Los Angeles have repented of your participation in and promotion of unbiblical behavior and teaching.

What the Windsor Report said was (my emphasis added):

150. In these circumstances we call upon the church or province in question to recognise first that dissenting groups in their midst are, like themselves, seeking to be faithful members of the Anglican family; and second, we call upon all the bishops concerned, both the ‘home’ bishops and the ‘intervening’ bishops as Christian leaders and pastors to work tirelessly to rebuild the trust which has been lost.

and also:

155. We call upon those bishops who believe it is their conscientious duty to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own:

* to express regret for the consequences of their actions
* to affirm their desire to remain in the Communion, and
* to effect a moratorium on any further interventions.

We also call upon these archbishops and bishops to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care.


Pittsburgh lawsuit: the diocese responds

A page of “Frequently Asked Questions” has been posted on the website of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the lawsuit against 18 clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh

The FAQ confirms that Bishop Duncan and his Standing Committee are serious about the threat of expulsion of two parishes from his diocese:

7. Are the Bishop and Standing Committee serious about invoking Canon XV, Section 6 dissolution?

Yes. The notice was recommended reluctantly and the strong preference of the Bishop and the Standing Committee is that it will not be necessary to pursue dissolution. Diocesan leaders intend to do their part to achieve reconciliation. Nevertheless, the Standing Committee would not have recommended this course if the diocesan leadership was not prepared to follow through if necessary.

The whole idea that a diocese can simply expel a parish with whom it is in dispute is extremely difficult to understand.

The FAQ is also interesting for the interpretation it puts on the Dennis Canon, described as “controversial”:

3. What is the Dennis Canon?

The essence of the “Dennis Canon” (Title 1, Canon 7, Section 4 of ECUSA’s canons) is this statement: “All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission or Congregation is located.”

Those that brought this lawsuit claim that by virtue of this canon, controversial since its adoption in 1979, ECUSA has a trust interest (constructive or express) in all parish real estate and assets irrespective of how the title is held or the source of the funds used to acquire the property.

This is the same Canon which is discussed in some detail in this email exchange (pdf file) between Robert Devlin, and Michael Woodruff in the documents filed earlier.