Thinking Anglicans

Pittsburgh: press coverage

Updated again Friday morning

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has Episcopal Church formally warns Pittsburgh bishop over split by Ann Rodgers:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori of the Episcopal Church has warned Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh that he has been declared out of communion with the Episcopal Church and is danger of being removed from office if he does not abandon his efforts to realign the diocese with an Anglican province outside the United States…

The Associated Press report via Episcopal Church acts against Pittsburgh bishop:

An Episcopal committee says that conservative Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan has “abandoned the communion of this church” — a potential first step toward stripping him of religious authority in the denomination.

The committee blocked the national Episcopal Church from imposing the penalty of “inhibition,” which would have barred him from performing religious duties. But the Episcopal House of Bishops is expected to consider imposing the punishment near the end of this year.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who notified Duncan that he had abandoned the communion on Tuesday, told Duncan that she sought permission to inhibit him.

The Living Church has Pittsburgh Bishop Accused of Abandonment; Senior Bishops Deny Inhibition.

Religious Intelligence has Bid to depose US Bishop backfires by George Conger.

Thursday morning update

Ann Rodgers Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Removal vote nearing for Episcopal bishop

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Bid to depose Pittsburgh bishop blocked (the Associated Press report again)

Reuters Michael Conlon Episcopal church cracks down on dissidents

Friday morning update
Church Times Pat Ashworth Consent for inhibition withheld


Bishop Iker gets another letter

Updated Wednesday evening

The Bishop of Fort Worth has received another letter from the Presiding Bishop.

You can read the letter here (PDF). The full text is here below the fold.

Earlier correspondence is here.

The Living Church reports this as Bishop Iker Receives Another Letter Threatening Disciplinary Action.

Bishop Iker also wrote a message to to all Clergy and Convention Delegates of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. And he commented to the press on both the letter from the Presiding Bishop to him (the letter itself is included on the same page) and on the letter from the Presiding Bishop to Bishop Duncan.



The Bishop of Pittsburgh

Updated again Wednesday evening

Episcopal News Service has announced that:

The Episcopal Church’s Title IV Review Committee has certified that Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan has abandoned the communion of the church.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori informed Duncan on January 15 of the certification and sent him a copy.

Her letter told Duncan that she sought the canonically required permission from the House’s three senior bishops with jurisdiction to inhibit him, based on the certification, from the performance of any episcopal, ministerial or canonical acts.

“On 11 January 2008 they informed me that such consents would not be given at this time by all three bishops,” Jefferts Schori wrote.

“Pursuant to the time limits stated in Canon IV.9, the matter will not come before the House of Bishops at its next scheduled meeting in March 2008, but will come before the House at the next meeting thereafter,” the Presiding Bishop wrote in her letter.

“I would, however, welcome a statement by you within the next two months providing evidence that you once more consider yourself fully subject to the doctrine, discipline and worship of this Church,” Jefferts Schori wrote in her letter to Duncan.

The three senior bishops with jurisdiction — Leo Frade of Southeast Florida, Peter Lee of Virginia, and Don Wimberly of Texas — did give their permission on January 11 for Jefferts Schori to inhibit Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield in another case where the Title IV Review Committee certified an abandonment of the communion of the church. The House will consider the case matter involving Schofield in March.

The time limit to which Jefferts Schori referred is a two-month period afforded to bishops subject to such a certification to retract their acts, demonstrate that the facts alleged in certification are false, or renounce their orders by way of Title IV, Canon 8, Sec. 2 or Title III, Canon 12, Sec. 7.

Read the full press release.

The letter from the Presiding Bishop to Bishop Duncan can be read here. (Small PDF file)

The letter from the Title IV Committee to the Presiding Bishop, starting with a cover letter, can be read here. (This is a 2Mb PDF file, with many attached documents.)

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued this press release:

An effort to inhibit the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, has not been supported by The Episcopal Church’s senior bishops.

The news, along with a copy of the allegations made by the chancellor to the Presiding Bishop against Bishop Duncan and the Title IV Review Committee’s decision to certify that, in their opinion, Bishop Duncan “had abandoned the communion of this church,” came in a letter from The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori late in the day on January 15.

Bishop Duncan offered a brief response to the news, saying, “Few bishops have been more loyal to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church. I have not abandoned the Communion of this Church. I will continue to serve and minister as the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.”

Update Wednesday afternoon

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has issued a press release:
Progressive Episcopalians See Review Committee Action As Providing Reconciliation Opportunity. See the full text of this below the fold.

Update Wednesday evening

Episcopal News Service has a further report containing information about responses to the earlier letter: Pittsburgh’s Duncan, Progressive Episcopalians react to Review Committee’s certification.



Confusion and tragedy in Harare

Today both Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office issued statements about the Diocese of Harare.

Episcopal News Service has a report by Matthew Davies Williams, Kearon condemn state disruption of Zimbabwe’s Anglican church services.

Episcopal Café has an article titled Confusion in Zimbabwe.

Ruth Gledhill has a blog article titled More on the tragedy of Zimbabwe. And on Times Online she has Churches raided in Zimbabwe for opposing disgraced bishop.

Nehanda Radio has State security moves in to help Mugabe bishop.

New has Zimbabwe police disrupt Anglican services, priests held.

SW Radio Africa has Priests And Parishioners Arrested As Police Disrupt Church Services.

The Association of Zimbabwe Journalists in the UK has CIO called in to help Kunonga’s men take over.

Earlier, the Zimbabwe Independent had Anglicans Revoke Kunonga’s Licence.


Scotland responds to draft covenant

The response of the Scottish Episcopal Church to the Draft Anglican Covenant is now available.

You can read it here.


evangelical differences

Covenant has an article, sparked by the Wycliffe Hall dispute, which discusses the differences between open and conservative evangelicals in England, mostly from an American perspective.

See “Open Evangelicalism”, the Wycliffe Hall Labor Dispute, and Our Theological Divide by Craig Uffman.


Advent Letter rumbles on

Updated Thursday

First Anglican Mainstream published a response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advent Letter.

That response can be read here.

Then Andrew Goddard published an analysis of that response. You can read that analysis here at Fulcrum.

Update Thursday

And now here comes Michael Poon with a response to Andrew Goddard: Reaffirming our Vows and Rekindling our First Love: the Sanctification of the Anglican Communion.


New Zealand responds to draft covenant

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, 
New Zealand and Polynesia has issued a document in response to the Draft Anglican Covenant.

You can read it here.


statements re San Joaquin

First, this statement was issued by email from a PR company on behalf of Bishop Schofield:

The Episcopal Church’s assertion that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church is an admission that TEC rejects the historical Anglican faith which is why The Diocese of San Joaquin appealed to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America for emergency and temporary protection. The majority of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion hold to the traditional faith. It is the primary duty of bishops to guard the faith and Bp Schofield has been continually discriminated against for having done so while Bishops and Archbishops around the world have affirmed not only his stance but the move to the Southern Cone. Bishop Schofield is currently a member of both the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, a position not prohibited by either house. Governing documents of TEC do not prohibit relationships between different members of the Anglican Communion, rather they encourage it. TEC’s action demonstrates that there is an enormous difference between their church and most of the Anglican Communion Again, this action is a demonstrationthat TEC is walking apart from the faith and its expression of morality held by the rest of the Anglican Communion..

The Episcopal Church’s own identity is dependent upon its relationship with the whole Anglican Communion. TEC should consider whether it is imperiling that relationship by taking such punitive actions.

How is it that over 60 million Anglicans world wide can be wrong while a few hundred thousand in the American Church can claim to be right?

Note: The Diocese of San Joaquin at its annual convention on December 8, 2007 took a historic step and voted to disassociate from The Episcopal Church. The convention also accepted an invitation from Archbishop Gregory Venables and the bishops of the Province of the Southern Cone of South America to be welcomed into their membership.

Second, this clarification was issued by The Rev. Cn. Bill Gandenberger Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of San Joaquin:

As a point of clarification, there is no confusion on the part of the Bishop of San Joaquin or the clergy, people, leadership, and convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin of their status. The claims of the Episcopal Church to have oversight or jurisdiction are not correct. The fact is that neither the Diocese nor Bishop John-David Schofield are part of The Episcopal Church. The Bishop is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as of December 8th, 2007. The Diocese is a part of the Southern Cone. Neither the Presiding Bishop or the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church have any further jurisdiction. Bishop Schofield is no longer a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

A statement from The Most Reverend Gregory Venables, dated January 11,2008:

“As of December the 8th, 2007 Bishop John-David Schofield is not under the authority or jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church or the Presiding Bishop.He is, therefore, not answerable to their national canon law but is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone and under our authority.

Un fuerte abrazo.

—The Most Rev. Greg Venables, Archbishop of the Southern Cone

Third, this statement was issued by the Bishop of Fort Worth:

It comes as no surprise that the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has initiated canonical actions against the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield to remove him from office. However, the matter is complicated by the fact that Bishop Schofield and the Diocese of San Joaquin, by constitutional action of their Convention, are no longer a part of The Episcopal Church. They now function under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone. Disciplinary actions cannot be taken by this Province against a Bishop who is a member of another Province of the Anglican Communion.

The House of Bishops of TEC can indeed prevent Bishop Schofield from functioning as a Bishop in congregations of The Episcopal Church. However, they cannot invalidate his consecration as a Bishop in the Church of God, nor prevent him from functioning as such in congregations that welcome and affirm his ministry as their Bishop.

The Bishop of San Joaquin has my friendship, my support, and my prayers during this time of turmoil in the life of our church.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
January 12, 2008

Episcopal Cafe also has an article about the confusion at Is he or isn’t he?

Note, other church-related work from the same PR company can be seen here.


opinions after Epiphany

In the Guardian’s column Face to Faith John Coutts argues that “Mainstream Islam stands where the churches stood in 1650 in terms of religious freedom”.

The Times has Baptism allows us to share fully in the life of Jesus by Roderick Strange.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times that Theologians promoted atheism.

Ekklesia has a piece by Simon Barrow titled Rethinking religion in an open society.

Two weeks ago, the Observer had this article by Richard Harries It is possible to be moral without God.


Bishop Schofield inhibited

Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service reports:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on January 11 inhibited Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield.

In the text of the inhibition, Jefferts Schori wrote: “I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Schofield and order that from and after 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, January 11, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this Church; and pursuant to Canon IV.15, I order him from and after that time to cease all ‘episcopal, ministerial, and canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of San Joaquin,’ until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops.”

Jefferts Schori acted after the Title IV Review Committee certified that Schofield had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

On January 9, Upper South Carolina Bishop Dorsey Henderson, committee chair, wrote to Jefferts Schori, telling her that the nine-member committee had met that day and that a majority agreed that the documentation provided to them “demonstrated that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline or Worship of this Church.”

Jefferts Schori needed, in accordance with Title IV, Canon 9, Sec. 1, the consent of the three senior bishops of the church with jurisdiction (as opposed to being retired or not in diocesan seats) to issue the inhibition. She noted in the inhibition that Leo Frade of Southeast Florida, Peter Lee of Virginia, and Don Wimberly of Texas gave their consents January 11.

Read the full press release from Episcopal News Service.

Note that one of those giving his consent to this was the Bishop of Texas, Don Wimberly, convener of the “Windsor bishops”.

See the report of the Title IV Review Committee here (PDF).

See the text of the inhibition here (PDF).

And there is another ENS report on the activities of Remain Episcopal previously reported here, see San Joaquin’s remaining Episcopalians to gather for reconciliation, inclusion, celebration.

See the lengthening list of places of worship here.

Early press reports:

Associated Press Episcopal Church Bans Bishop for 2 Mos.

Rebecca Trounson Los Angeles Times Fresno bishop barred from carrying out religious duties for Episcopal Church

Bakersfield Californian San Joaquin Episcopal bishop ordered out of communion

Fresno Bee Local bishop is banned from practicing


Newcastle Bishop on GAFCON

That’s Newcastle NSW, not Newcastle England.

Bishop Brian Farran of Newcastle New South Wales, Australia has issued a press release.

You can read it as a web page here or as a PDF file here.

It starts out:

The prospect of an international conference of Anglican bishops and other leaders, the Global Anglican Future Conference, immediately prior to the Lambeth Conference is disturbing simply because whatever rhetoric dresses up that conference, it is a counter-conference to the Lambeth Conference. It is a one-dimensional conference designed to bolster the conservative voice within the Anglican Communion.

GAFCON is being organized because its proponents are dissatisfied with the breadth of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation list to Lambeth. It is therefore a theologically political conference. It will cause embarrassment whether intended or not to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the rest of the Anglican Communion.

Dr. Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, is one of the conservative leaders who are promoting this conference. It needs to be understood that Dr. Jensen is an organizer of this conference in his own personal capacity or possibly in his capacity as the Bishop of the Diocese of Sydney. It must be seen that Dr. Jensen has no authorization to do this as the Metropolitan of the Anglican Province of New South Wales. I am not suggesting that Dr. Jensen would act in this way as the Metropolitan of New South Wales but public perception might not be discriminating in this regard.

As the Bishop of Newcastle I wish to dissociate myself from any movement such as GAFCON that might damage or lessen the moral authority of the 2008 Lambeth Conference…

There’s a lot more.


The Covenant tightrope walk

The Covenant tightrope walk is the title of an article in last week’s Church Times by David Walker Bishop of Dudley.

…LOOKING at contributions to the debate, one can see a parallel with the way diocesan synods debate parish share. Ostensibly, the discussion is about principles, but (by apparent coincidence) everyone’s proposal just happens to benefit his or her own parish financially.

In the case of the Covenant, many responses rest on whether or not their authors favour a text narrow enough to expel provinces that take unilateral decisions on same-sex relationships. These authors then create the necessary theology to lead to this outcome — again, by apparent coincidence…

Please read the whole article. He also said:

…THIS IS the first significant Anglican Communion debate in which bloggers have played a major part. They were particularly in evidence in their responses to Archbishop Rowan’s Advent letter to his fellow Primates, which was hailed by some as a shot across the bows of the theological conservatives, and by others as a capitulation to the right wing.

The challenge, especially once a revised text is issued and subjected to their intense scrutiny, is how to harness the bloggers’ energies and passions for what needs to be a prayerful, reflective, and non-polemical search for the widest degree of consensus. Can they be part of the solution, not just part of the problem?


Press Release on behalf of Elaine Storkey

Press release on behalf of Dr. Elaine Storkey surrounding her unfair dismissal from Wycliffe Hall

Issued by Mortimers Solicitors

Following the pre-hearing review in the Reading Employment Tribunal on Monday 7th January Dr. Storkey is very pleased that Wycliffe Hall has acknowledged that she had been dismissed unfairly and has accepted that appropriate compensation is payable.

This was not merely a procedural matter. Dr Storkey brought a claim against the Hall alleging both that procedures were not followed and there were no grounds for dismissal.

The Hall, as Dr Storkey’s employer had alleged that Dr Storkey contributed to her dismissal in that there had been a breakdown of trust as a result of Dr Storkey’s behaviour. This was strongly contested by Dr. Storkey whose contention was that any breakdown of trust and confidence was due to the conduct of the Principal, the failure by the Hall to consider the concerns repeatedly presented by a large number of staff members, and the further failure to properly address her written grievance against the Principal.

Dr. Storkey had raised a formal grievance to the Hall Council, concerning the treatment to which she had been subjected. But that procedure which had been commenced in February 2007 was not concluded, before being prematurely terminated by her dismissal.

At the hearing the Hall formally withdrew the allegations it had previously made against Dr. Storkey and agreed a settlement for this part of her claim which will equate to her salary and benefits until her previously anticipated date of retirement together with a 50% uplift in recognition of its unlawful failure to follow statutory procedures.

The Tribunal, given Dr. Storkey’s intent on pursuing her claim for religious discrimination, has listed the matter for a preliminary issue hearing later in the year. At that hearing the Tribunal will consider whether the religion or belief relied upon by Dr. Storkey which she defines (for this purpose) as ‘open evangelicalism and/or membership of Fulcrum’ constitutes a religion or belief for the purposes of the Employment Equality (Religion of Belief) Regulations 2003 as distinct from conservative evangelicalism.

The Tribunal, expressing some disquiet as to its qualification to determine matters of theology has given the parties leave to adduce independent expert evidence and to call one witness, which they anticipated in the case of Dr. Storkey, given her expertise, would be her.

It is Dr Storkey’s hope that the resolution of these issues will leave Wycliffe Hall in a stronger position to pursue its calling of training people for Christian ministry in a context of truth and good governance.

The case continues.


Wycliffe Hall: Church Times report

Bill Bowder has Wycliffe Hall admits breach of law over sacked lecturer:

THE Bishop of Liverpool and the Mayor of Kensington, named trustees of the Oxford theological college Wycliffe Hall, in an action brought against them and against the Hall’s Trustees as a body, have admitted this week that they broke employment legislation….

…Dr Storkey also claimed that she was religiously discriminated against by the college. That claim was now due to be tested at a two-day preliminary hearing on 11 and 12 June, which opened up the possibility of a “Punch and Judy” battle between conservative and liberal Evangelicals, the pre-hearing was told.

Mr Lewis said that the preliminary issue to be tested at that June meeting would be “whether the religion/belief rested on by the claimant in these proceedings which she defines as open Evangelicalism, liberal Evangelicalism, and/or membership of Fulcrum constitutes a religion or belief for the purposes of the 2003 regulations as distinct from conservative Evangelicalism”. Was open Evangelicalism “a religion or belief within the meaning of the regulations and could it attract the protection of the discrimination laws”, he wondered.

Mr Carr said that Dr Storkey, who chairs Fulcrum, was saying that she had a kind of belief that stood in distinction to conservative Evangelicalism. She would have to say that this nuanced difference between liberal open Evangelicals and conservative Evangelicals was a religion or belief protected by the discrimination laws.

The tribunal would have to decide whether those differences were enough to amount to a separate belief protected by the regulation. He said that the position of the Trustees was that there was no such difference. They believed that there was nothing in the regulations that required a further definition within a sub-set of beliefs.

For Dr Storkey, her counsel, Mr Charles Crow, said that she should not have to show that open Evangelicalism was a separate religion or belief, only that she had been discriminated against on the basis of those beliefs. That her beliefs might match the beliefs of others did not deprive her of protection. It would be sectarian to argue that she was protected only if she could that show her beliefs were different.

Mr Lewis said that the ability to make such theological distinctions was “wholly absent” from his job description; but the matter was important, and the tribunal would be prepared to hear it. He ruled that for the preliminary hearing one witness and one expert witness should be heard from both parties. They should exchange the papers they would rely on beforehand.


Nazir-Ali: Church Times weighs in

Pat Ashworth has a lengthy article in the Church Times headed Clergy criticise Nazir-Ali’s talk of no-go areas.

CLERICS working in predominantly Muslim areas of British cities have rebutted assertions by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, that Islamic extremism and multiculturalism have resulted in “no-go” areas for non-Muslims.

The Bishop’s comments, made in an article for The Sunday Telegraph, have angered many working in interfaith relations, who says that he has undermined years of patient work. He wrote that one result of a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism had been “to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and turn separate communities into ‘no-go’ areas”…

The article includes comments from clergy working in Leicester, Oldham (Manchester), Tower Hamlets (London) and Manningham (Bradford).

There is a leader as well: Dr Nazir-Ali’s view of Britain:

THE Bishop of Rochester is uniquely placed in the House of Bishops to speak about the experience of Christians as a beleaguered minority in a hostile society, though not by virtue of his see in southern England. His continuing interest in Pakistan has shown him how Christians there are becoming increasingly anxious about the growth of intolerant strains of Islam. As a global observer, he is inclined to take the “clash of cultures” view of the relationship between Islam and the West, and the treatment of Christians in the Indian subcontinent and parts of the Middle East contributes to this view.

There are several surprising aspects about his attempt, in a newspaper article, to place the British situation in this context. It is perhaps unfair to criticise him for what he did not say: Dr Nazir-Ali tends to need a larger canvas to develop his views. None the less, there were three elements missing from his article which might have tempered the glee with which his comments about no-go areas were seized on in some quarters….


Virginian property dispute continues

The Washington Post has a report by Michelle Boorstein on the legal disputes in Virginia: In Property Dispute, Litigation Drags On, And the Costs Grow.

An earlier report in the Washington Times by Julia Duin Va. Diocese opens $2 million line of credit is referenced but not linked by the Post.

The January issue of the Virginia Episcopalian can be found as a PDF file here.


Fort Worth and the Southern Cone

Episcopal News Service has this report by Mary Frances Schjonberg FORT WORTH: Bishop, Standing Committee give preliminary approval to joining Southern Cone province.

Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and the diocesan Standing Committee said January 9 that “the structure and polity of the Province of the Southern Cone would afford our diocese greater self-determination than we currently have under the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.”

Iker and the committee came to that conclusion in a “preliminary report” issued in response to a resolution passed at the diocese’s November 17 convention. The resolution, which thanked the province for its invitation, asked for a report within 60 days on “the constitutional and canonical implications and means of accepting this invitation.”

…Iker and the Standing Committee said that they reviewed the South American province’s constitutions and canons — an English-language version of which is due to be released soon, according to the report.

…Early on in the two-page report, Iker and the Standing Committee accuse the leadership of the Episcopal Church with threatening the diocese “with false claims of canonical power to correct and discipline us while condoning or even promoting in other dioceses false teaching and sacramental actions explicitly contrary to Holy Scripture.”

Read the full report which has hyperlinks to all the relevant original documents,including the “preliminary report” and goes on to say:

…Episcopalians who do not agree with the direction in which Iker and the rest of the diocesan leadership is headed have been gathering and exchanging information through the Fort Worth Via Media organization. The group is a member of Via Media USA, an alliance of Episcopal laity and clergy formed in 2004 to offer a counterpoint to efforts to “realign” the Episcopal Church along more conservative lines.

Fort Worth Via Media sponsored a visit to the diocese September 8 by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson. After Iker issued a letter criticizing Anderson’s visit, the group said Iker sees disagreement as disobedience and disrespect and he did not object to the meeting in mid-July when he was invited to attend.

On January 19, the organization plans a workshop, titled “What is at stake for Episcopalians in the Diocese of Fort Worth?” The leader will be the Rev. Tom Woodward who recently retired as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas, California, a part of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Woodward, who now attends St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the Diocese of the Rio Grande, has opposed the “realignment” efforts…

Details of the Fort Worth Via Media workshop can be found here.


Newfoundland discipline

The Right Reverend Cyrus Pitman Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador has issued an ad clerum. You can read it in full as a PDF file here.

You can read more about it in this news report from the Toronto Star Anglican clergy told to declare loyalties:

In what could be the start of real schism in the Anglican Church, a Newfoundland bishop is demanding clergy come to the provincial capital to declare whether their loyalties lie with him or his predecessor, the leader of a breakaway conservative movement.

“Attendance at these gatherings is mandatory,” Cyrus Pitman, bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador warns in a Dec. 18 letter to clergy obtained by the Star.

Clergy from Eastern Newfoundland’s 33 parishes are to be in St. John’s on Jan. 21 to restate their ordination vows and to get new licences, with a date for those from the six Labrador parishes yet to be set.

Clergy need a licence from the church to minister to a parish or perform marriages…


Wycliffe Hall press release

There is as yet no trace of this press release on the website page that one might logically expect it, but it is to be found here:

Wycliffe Hall press statement regarding Elaine Storkey’s dismissal
January 10th, 2008

1. At a Pre-Hearing Review in relation to Dr Elaine Storkey’s claims of unfair dismissal and religious discrimination, the College accepted that she had been unfairly dismissed as the College had not, prior to dismissal, gone through the statutory procedures. We are hopeful that a full and amicable settlement can be reached.

2. Nevertheless, we strongly refute any allegation that Elaine’s dismissal from Wycliffe was in any way connected with her religious beliefs. At Wycliffe Hall, our key priority is to equip men and women for modern ministry and this happens in an environment that encourages wide discussion and debate, reflective of the broad range of thinking within the Church as a whole.

3. We look forward to resolving the whole matter as swiftly as possible so that we can concentrate purely on our priorities of maintaining high standards of training, theological teaching and academic excellence at Wycliffe Hall, in equipping men and women fully for modern Christian ministry.

Helen Mitchell
College Administrator
Wycliffe Hall, 54 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PW
Direct line: +44(0)1865 274201

College office: +44(0)1865 274200
College fax: +44(0)1865 274215