Thinking Anglicans

Global South: Nigerian press release

This can be read in the original here. What it says is this:

Press Release

Friday, 18 November 2005

Our attention has been drawn to some media reports of one or two primates alleging wrongful inclusion of their names in a document they were privy to its formation.

While every person is entitled to a change of opinion, the incontrovertible and indisputable fact remain that at our meeting in El Sukhna, the first draft of the response was circulated to all present to peruse, and give us any additional input or objection. It is pertinent to say NO ONE objected. All those that responded will see that the final draft reflected their inputs.

The presentation of the Archbishop of Canterbury to us was made public and has been widely discussed by many who were not present at our Encounter. It is only fair that our collective response to that publication should also be publicly available. Our response was released when it was fully ready and timing was not deliberately planned as being suggested.

We find it pitiable that the media spin is drawing attention away from the deep Biblical discussions contained in our response.

This controversy has been brought upon us, by those that would undermine all that we stand for in preserving the sanctity of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith. They are the ones who are dividing the Church. Of course, anyone who wishes to have their name removed from this letter is free to do so. All formal requests to dissociate will be immediately effected.

This information has earlier been communicated to all concerned.

Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola DD, CON
South –South Encounter

Ruth Gledhill has some comments about all this in Comment on Global South letter


Global South: Friday press reports

The Times Ruth Gledhill Bishops want signatures taken off anti-gay letter

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Attack on archbishop rebounds on rebels

Guardian Stephen Bates Archbishop disowns attack on Williams
and a leader column, Sex and schism

Church Times Letter from the Global South

The site that originally published the letter has added this note:

(GSA Admin note:
This letter is posted here for the benefit of those who attended the Encounter and the people they represent. Archbishop Rowan William’s talk and sharing was appreciated and well received with deep gratitude, though as expected, it will raise some questions as well, some which were conveyed by the delegates to the Primates. This letter is a part of the on-going process of dialogue between Global South and the Archbishop of Canterbury and should not be interpreted in other unhelpful ways.)

And Ekklesia has Anglican Primates deny attack on Archbishop of Canterbury and also Global leaders query Church of England state link


Southwark irregular ordinations: more documents

The Diocese of Southwark website now has:
original press release
full text of Bp Tom’s letter to clergy
full text of Bp Tom’s presidential address to diocesan synod

Christ Church Sanderstead has
letter of support to Bp Tom from Evangelical clergy in Southwark

Fulcrum has a background note about CESA by Colin Craston

And also, an article by Stephen Kuhrt about Why I as an Evangelical Anglican in the Diocese of Southwark support Bishop Tom Butler

Anglican Mainstream has
Irregular Ordinations at Southwark A Comment by Anglican Mainstream UK

The statement of support for the ordinations has (at the time of this posting) 290 names.


more Nigerian and Network activity in the USA

First, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) announced a covenant with two North American church bodies:
press release
text of covenant
TLC Nigerian Ecumenical Agreement Snubs ECUSA
Also Nigeria issued this press release:
The miracle of CANA continues!

Second, some follow-up to events in Pittsburgh last week:
TLC Maryland Won’t Recognize Ordination
and Network Strengthens Resolve at Pittsburgh Conference

Maryland – Ihloff letter to the clergy
letter from the Bishop of Washington



more from the Global South

Updated Thursday


Statement from Lambeth Palace following publication of the Global South Primates’ Letter

One of the supposed signatories to the letter below has issued a statement: Press Statement from the President Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Global South Primates response to Archbishop Rowan Williams

This document, which criticises Rowan Williams on various counts, has been published over the signatures of 14 primates. It is unclear whether 3 others who had to leave before the document was finalised also endorse it. See the bottom of the document for the names.

News Reports

Ruth Gledhill has this in Thursday’s edition of The Times
Church of England evil, say archbishops
(see also here)

Stephen Bates has Archbishops threaten split over gay clergy and Ambush imperils Williams’ conciliation hope in the Guardian

Jonathan Petre has Primates challenge Williams over stance on homosexuals in the Telegraph

The BBC Today radio programme had this report:

0834 The Anglican Communion is under strain this morning after 17 senior Archbishops have criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of the issue of gay bishops.

Listen here (Real audio 3 minutes)

And the BBC website later published Archbishop attacked in gay debate

Reuters Anglican archbishops attack Williams over gays

Associated Press Anglicans Advise Archbishop on Policy


synod: reports on Wednesday session

Updated Thursday thrice

Press reports

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Dioceses face axe in financial crisis

Guardian Stephen Bates Give prayer a chance to heal church rifts, says Williams

The Times Ruth Gledhill England head for World Cup with God on their side

and Ruth’s blog has Church Times praised blog (synod diary 2)

Times Online Ruth Gledhill Archbishop wants less Groundhog Day, more God

BBC Williams calls for Church harmony and Church plans for World Cup final


Archbishop speech moving the Loyal Address

Presidential Address by Rowan Williams

Official report of morning session

Official report of afternoon session

Rowan Williams remarks during the debate on The Review of Clergy Terms of Service

Rowan Williams farewell tribute to the Bishop of Oxford


synod: reports on Tuesday session

Updated Wednesday morning

Frances Young’s sermon is available in full

Rowan Williams:
Archbishop’s remarks at opening session
Archbishop’s contribution in debate on terrorism
Archbishop’s contribution during the presentation on ‘Episcopacy in the Church of England’

Guardian Stephen Bates Queen opens church synod

Jonathan Petre
Queen extols the ‘unique’ power of Christianity
‘We must forgive suicide bombers’
Bishops’ wives ‘need help running palaces’

and an editorial opinion, The Queen reminds us of lasting values

Times Online carries Ruth Gledhill’s report, now under the headline Bishop backs ‘shoot-to-kill’ police for suicide bombers, but earlier in the day, before the afternoon write-through it was headlined York Archbishop attacks ‘scandalous’ divisions in Church.

Ruth’s blog has Christian church ‘unique’ says Queen.

The press release about the morning tells us what The Queen said.

What the Archbishop of York said to The Queen is published in full. This was certainly the best speech of the day.

ACNS has photographs here (click on individual photos for large versions).
Another picture taken inside the synod chamber is here (warning this is 470K in size).

And also this one.

The official bulletin of the afternoon’s events is here.

There was one attempt to amend the terrorism motion, by substituting “while condemning” for “without excusing” in paragraph (b). This failed.

Earlier the BBC Today radio programme had interviewed Bp Tom Butler: listen here (Real Audio, 5 m 40 s)


synod: agenda for Wednesday

Wednesday 16th November 2005

9.15 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
The Archbishop of Canterbury to move:

That a Loyal Address be presented to Her Majesty the Queen.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will give a Presidential Address

The items in Special Agenda I will be taken – these are listed below the fold.

Lunch break

2.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

8. REVIEW OF CLERGY TERMS OF SERVICE: Property Issues and Progress Report (GS 1593)
The Revd Preb David Houlding (London) to move:

That this Synod welcome the recommendations in the report and request the Implementation Group to reflect them in the draft legislation which it is preparing.

See list of Questions.



civil partnerships: LGCM legal opinion

The LGCM has issued an opinion on Civil Partnerships. You can read the full text of it here.

1 Comment

General Synod Agenda for Tuesday

Tuesday 15 November

There will be a service of Holy Communion in Westminster Abbey at 10.30 am, at which Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be present. Following the service, at about 12.15 pm, Her Majesty will address the Synod at a brief ceremony in the Assembly Hall of Church House, Westminster. After the Inauguration ceremony, the Synod will adjourn for lunch.

The first Business Session starts at 2.30 pm and runs until 7.00 pm. Here is the Agenda:



The Chairman of the Business Committee (the Revd Dr Richard Turnbull (Winchester)) to move: “That the Synod do take note of this Report.”

“This will provide the customary opportunity for members to raise points about content and shape of the Agenda for this Group of Sessions, or about the Synod’s business generally.”

The following item will start not later than 3.15 p.m.
The Bishop of Southwark to move:

That this Synod

a) condemn the 7 July terrorist atrocities, express its sympathy to the victims and families of all who suffered as a result of those and subsequent events, record its appreciation for the work of the emergency services and acknowledge the daunting responsibility of the Government, police and security services for safeguarding the lives of all our people in these times;

b) nevertheless affirm that a successful counter-terrorism policy must, without excusing violence, understand and address its underlying causes;

c) urge all political parties, in considering draft legislation to heed the clear warnings from history about the progressive erosion of fundamental rights in relation to habeas corpus, free speech and religious liberty; and

d) call upon members of the Church of England to set an example in the promotion of greater understanding, reconciliation and respect within their local communities, especially where there are significant numbers from other faith traditions.

Presentation under Standing Order 97. Extract from the Business Committee report:

In his contribution to the July Synod debate on women in the episcopate, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested that the General Synod agenda might include a theological seminar on the episcopate. This would enable Synod members to reflect further on some of the wider theological issues in preparation for later debates on the specific question of women bishops. The Archbishop’s remarks were made in the light of earlier exchanges at the July Synod, during debates on the Ordinal, on the meaning of episcopacy in the Church.

The Business Committee has agreed (in the light of discussion at the House of Bishops) that there will accordingly be a seminar at this Group of Sessions, in the form of a presentation, under Standing Order 97. The Bishop of Rochester will open the seminar; his contribution will focus on theological issues concerning the episcopate and will be based on Chapter 2 of the Rochester Report, which will accordingly be circulated to Synod members to help resource the session (GS 1568). The Bishop’s contribution will be followed by other theological contributions. This first phase (lasting no more than 45 minutes) will then be followed by an hour for questions and comments, with a panel consisting of the initial contributors responding at intervals, prior to some closing comments from each of the initial speakers. There will be neither a debate nor any vote at the end of the session.

Wednesday’s agenda will be posted tomorrow.


Pittsburgh conference videos

A number of videos are now available from this URL:

Choose The Day is a video which was shown at the conference.
The Anglican Decision is a video (which is actually titled The Decision) that is packaged with the previous item on the DVD which was offered as a take-home item to all participants at the conference.

The first of these two features Robert Duncan, Kendall Harmon and others. A full transcript can be found here.

A full transcript of the second video can be found here. It tells the story of two parishes that left The Episcopal Church in 2004.

The opening narration is:

In this turbulent time of the Episcopal Church, your congregation is going to have an important decision to make, a decision brought on by national church leaders who have turned their back on the authority of scripture. This is the story of how two small parishes in Washington state, stood up and decided for good, between the current opinions of men and the unchanging heart of God.

The concluding narration is:

The people of St. Charles’and St. Stephens’ Parishes had a choice. They could follow a national church that’s turned its back on 2000 years of biblical orthodoxy or they could remain true to God’s unchanging holy word. Your church has the same choice. When it’s all said or done, what will you do? Will you put your faith in the changing opinions of men, or will you stand firm and remain faithful to the Lord whose faithfulness never ends?


Network conference in Pittsburgh

Updated Sunday morning and again Sunday evening

A huge conference of conservative Anglicans has been happening in Pittsburgh. See the conference site, the diocesan site, and the Network site.

For press reports of the event, see
New York Times Conservative Episcopalians Warn Church That It Must Change Course or Face Split
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Anglicans urge disgruntled Episcopalians to join them
Associated Press via the Washington Post Anglican Bishops Urge U.S. Church Split
Washington Times Episcopal Church’s rift has asset edge and U.S. Anglicans called to ‘repent’
PBS Anglican Communion Network Meeting (this transcript links to a video report which includes quotes from many senior figures at the conference, well worth watching)
Religion News Service Episcopal Liberals Plan for Division

Update Sunday morning
Later press reports contain important developments:
Washington Times Bolivian ordains Anglican clerics
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Priest, deacons ordained to serve Episcopal splitoffs
and Pittsburgh bishop expects an effort to oust him

Update Sunday evening
Three Global South primates (Drexel Gomez,Datuk Yong Ping Chung, Emmanuel Kolini) held a press conference, and there is a 33 minute video of this (.wmv format) which can be viewed here. The sound is not very good, but it is worth persevering – a better version is promised to replace it soon
Also, another 11 minute video of the Bishop of Pittsburgh summarising the conference here.
(hat tip KH).


Saturday reading

First, the Face to Faith column in the Guardian is by Martyn Percy. It’s about Remembrance.

In the Telegraph Christopher Howse writes about a well-known hymn in Hashish-drunk hymn lyrics.

The Times has Jonathan Sacks commenting on the French riots in We are in danger of forgetting that waiting comes before wanting.

Also in The Times Ruth Gledhill reports on what Rowan Williams said when asked about his journey of faith, in Archbishop reveals his unorthodox way to God.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times that we should Beware the Bible traffic Wardens.


Reform on Southwark ordinations

Several resolutions from the recent Reform conference bear on the latest events in Southwark:

Encouragement of Principled Irregular Action
1. This conference acknowledges that the crisis facing the Anglican Communion is to be found in the Church of England as acutely as in ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada.(see para. 1 & 4 of ‘Reform in Every Diocese’)
2. This conference instructs the Council of Reform to encourage, help, and further partnership and action at the local level in accordance with the ‘Reform in Every Diocese’ paper.

The Formation of a Panel of Reference
1. The Council of Reform remains resolved to promote and support, wherever possible, the existing structures for selection and training of ordinands and others within the Church of England.
2. This conference see the Panel of Reference as set out in the paper as a positive step in encouraging new ordinands for the Church of God and instructs the Council to further the proposals.
3. This conference invites the Council to finalise the Selection Criteria for Ministry in the light of the conference discussion. 4. This conference asks the members of the Panel of Reference to be appointed in the light of the categories of people mentioned above.

Alternative Episcopal Oversight
In response to the ‘Panel of Reference’ and ‘Reform in Every Diocese’ paper this conference invites the Council to consider establishing an effective route to recognizably Anglican Ordination for ordinands who are in an impaired relationship with their Diocesan Bishop.

Support for Co-Mission Initiative Churches
This conference expresses its full support or those involved in seeking to provide ordained ministry in accordance with the Anglican tradition in Co-Mission Initiative churches.


Reform on civil partnerships

The latest Reform press release is titled ‘OUTRAGEOUS BISHOPSSTATEMENT ON CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS MUST NOW PROVOKE ACTIONSAYS REFORM. If you scroll down, you will also find the resolution on this topic from the recently concluded 2005 conference of this organisation. I reproduce both the press release and the resolution text below the fold.

There is also another document, also available from either Church Society or Anglican Mainstream, written by John Richardson and in PDF format. It is titled The Church of England, Civil Partnerships and the House of Bishops.

And a further document from Reform is Key Issues Arising for from the Civil Partnerships Act September 2005 by Charles Raven (remember him?)



General Synod elections analysed

The Church Times today carries an article headlined General Synod faces unpredictable future which is accompanied by a detailed review of the election results, diocese by diocese (scroll down for this).


Gene Robinson in the Church Times

This week, there is an interview with Gene Robinson by Pat Ashworth and also a report of the St Martin-in-the-Fields service by Rachel Harden. Both of these items are found in ‘I can’t be unmade a bishop,’ says Robinson (scroll down for the news report)

Last week, there was a back page interview with Rachel Harden which you can now read on the web.


Global south documents

updated Sunday evening

A new blog site has appeared which contains many documents emanating from the recent meeting in Egypt (more precisely at Ein El Sukhna on 25-30 October 2005): Global South Anglican

These include:
A full transcript of all the Questions and Answers put to and answered by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Additional Comment: this transcript now appears to have been mysteriously truncated.

Other items not available elsewhere include sermons or presentations by several archbishops:
Peter Akinola,
Datuk Yong Ping Chung, and
Drexel Gomez.

Ruth Gledhill had some comments on all this last Friday, which you can read here


southwark ordinations: church press reports

Updated Friday morning

The Church of England Newspaper carries this report by Andrew Carey
Southwark minister stripped of licence after irregular ordination
and this article, by no less a person than Richard Coekin himself, is entitled
No option but to ordain

In the Church Times Pat Ashworth reports Dr Butler blasts irregular ordinations
and there is editorial comment:
The perils of Surbiton


General Synod Questions

The questions to be asked (and answered) at next week’s General Synod are now online here.

The questions are now also available as a web page here.

Question time is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon (16 November).