Thinking Anglicans

Fort Worth correspondence

Bishop Jack Iker has today issued a Memo to All Diocesan Clergy.

In recent days I understand that all of you have received two threatening letters from representatives of the rump diocese. The first is a letter from The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., the Bishop of Kentucky, in a capacity he claims as the “Provisional Bishop” of the rump diocese, threatening to inhibit and then depose you if you do not recognize his authority over you as your bishop. The second is a letter from Jonathan Nelson, legal counsel for the Gulick-led group, addressed to our vestries, treasurers, and finance committee members, as well as to all our vicars and rectors. It too is meant to intimidate and control us. It is the preliminary notification that will lead to additional lawsuits to be brought against us by The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (PECUSA). Both of these letters are now in the hands of our attorneys, and they will be responding on our behalf. There is nothing you need to do at this point in time. We are no longer members of PECUSA and are not subject to their discipline. It is indeed regrettable that they find it necessary to engage in such harsh, uncharitable tactics, rather than enter into negotiation…

The documents to which this responds are appended as PDF files:
Letter to clergy
Letter to churches
They were reported on by the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in this news release, dated 29 May.

And there are two further documents published today by Bishop Iker:
Litigation Perspective
Archbishop Venables writes to the diocesan clergy

Earlier in the month, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth had issued this formal response to a document filed in court on 8 May by the lawyers for Bishop Iker.

Read about it at The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth files response to motion to dismiss suit to recover property and assets of the Episcopal Church.


General Convention is near

Episcopal Café has published two important articles relating to The Episcopal Church. Only the first one is, at present, scheduled for discussion at the triennal General Convention which starts on 8 July.

GC and B033: a preview and an analysis by Jim Naughton explains what may happen in relation to the moratorium in TEC on consecrating bishops who are in same-sex relationships.

Nick Knisely in Report on communing the unbaptized released introduces the text of a report from the House of Bishops Theology Committee entitled REFLECTIONS ON HOLY BAPTISM AND THE HOLY EUCHARIST.


no longer a Christian nation?

Here is what Bishop Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, wrote in the Sunday Telegraph:

Britain is no longer a Christian nation

…The church is being hit by a double whammy: on the one hand it confronts the challenge of institutional decline but on the other hand it has to face the rise of cultural and religious pluralism in Britain.

How it responds to the second challenge will be crucial in determining whether it will be able to survive as a viable organisation and make a contribution to national life.

At present church leaders show little signs of understanding the situation. They don’t understand the culture we now live in.

Many bishops prefer to turn their heads, to carry on as if nothing has changed, rather than face the reality that Britain is no longer a Christian nation.

Many of them think that we are still living in the 1950s – a period described by historians as representing a hey day for the established church…

On the other hand Bishop Jonathan Gledhill, diocesan Bishop of Lichfield, just said this:

“Occasional church attendees are not hypocrites” – bishop

…the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, accused ‘the metropolitan pundits in the broad sheets who constantly sneer at organized religion’ as being ‘out of touch with the deep spiritual desires of most people in our nation.’ And he said the demise of services such as Matins in favour of services of Holy Communion risked turning some churches into an ‘exclusive sect’…


CANA view of ACNA

In a press release headed CANA Celebrates Launch of New Anglican Province, Bishop Martyn Minns is quoted as follows:

“…Since day one, CANA has been and will continue to be a full participant in the life of the new province, and will continue to maintain our own identity. We will encourage groups of congregations, when they are ready, to establish themselves as free-standing dioceses. Our goal is to support the work, mission, and ministry of the Gospel on this continent and bring our own particular distinctive to that task.

“CANA congregations now have a ‘dual citizenship.’ They are members of the Church in Nigeria and as a result of that relationship, full members of the global Anglican Communion. CANA congregations are also members of the Anglican Church in North America and will participate fully in the life of the new province.

“CANA is unique in its connection to the largest province in the Anglican Communion, the Church of Nigeria, which represents about 25 percent of the entire population of the Communion. CANA also has a distinct connection with the GAFCON and Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans movement, and with the Global South. We have a radical commitment to ministry of the poor which crosses all ethnic lines, to planting new churches, equipping the next generation for leadership in the church, and educating the church about how to engage with a resurgent Islam in North America….”

And there is also a Q&A with Bishop Minns on the Inauguration of the Anglican Church in North America which goes into greater detail about how this will work.

This seems rather different to what the Church of Uganda recently said:

Likewise, the Bishops resolved to release, effective immediately, the Bishops, clergy and churches in America under its ecclesiastical oversight and to transfer them to the Anglican Church in North America. The House of Bishops further resolved to continue its partnership and friendship with them in mission and ministry, extends its hand of fellowship, and wishes them well.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said, “This really is the moment we have been waiting for. We have been longing to be able to repatriate our clergy and congregations to a Biblical and viable ecclesiastical structure in North America, and that day has now come. To God be the glory.”


Religious leaders call for end to 'legal euthanasia'

Updated Tuesday morning

The following letter has been published in the Telegraph newspaper:


Three years ago a move to legalise physician assisted suicide, by way of a Private Members Bill, was defeated in the House of Lords. The debate on the Bill was heated and impassioned. It was also, by and large, respectful and serious.

Shortly before the Bill was debated in Parliament, the Royal College of Physicians asked its member doctors if they thought the law needed changing – and over 70% of those responding said the law against assisted suicide should stay the same. The Royal College of General Practitioners also urged that the law should stay the same.

Now, by way of an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill, the legality of assisting people to end their own lives is once again to be debated. The proposed amendment seeks to protect from prosecution those who help friends or relatives to go abroad to commit suicide in one of the few countries where the practice is legal.

It would surely put vulnerable people at serious risk, especially sick people who are anxious about the burden their illness may be placing on others. Moreover, our hospice movement, an almost unique gift of this country to wider humankind, is the profound and tangible sign of another and better way to cope with the challenges faced by those who are terminally ill, by their loved ones and by those who care for them.

This amendment would mark a shift in British law towards legalising euthanasia. We do not believe that such a fundamental change in the law should be sought by way of an amendment to an already complex Bill. It should be rejected.

The Most Reverend and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

And that’s not all, Martin Beckford of the Telegraph reports: Senior legal figures join in opposition to ‘euthanasia law’ proposals.

Tuesday update

The Church of England has published Protecting Life – opposing Assisted Suicide.

The Church of England is opposed to any change in the law, or medical practice, to make assisted suicide permissible or acceptable.

Suffering, the Church maintains, must be met with compassion, commitment to high-quality services and effective medication; meeting it by assisted suicide is merely removing it in the crudest way possible.

In its March 2009 paper Assisted Dying/Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia, the Church acknowledges the complexity of the issues: the compassion that motivates those who seek change equally motivates the Church’s opposition to change…


two more inspection reports

Reports on St Michael’s College, Llandaff, and on St Mellitus College, London, and Chelmsford & London Reader training, can be found via this link.

The Church in Wales had a press release.


Church 'out of touch'…

The Times reports today on a new survey of public attitudes in Britain to homosexuality.

See Church ‘out of touch’ as public supports equal rights for homosexuals.

And also Sizeable minority remains hostile to same-sex relationships.

A PDF file containing some of the survey statistics is here.

Ruth Gledhill comments on this in Church ‘out of touch’ on gays, says Times poll.


opinions rounded up

Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times that Without a shared moral code there can be no freedom in our society.

Robin Gill wrote in last week’s Church Times about Synthetics — the new moral playing-field.

This week, Giles Fraser writes about a white-water ride of old atheism.

Over at the Guardian Christine Allen writes about the Catholic Church and social justice.

At Cif belief Afua Hirsch wrote about The boundaries between race and faith. For the background, see this news report.

And Antony Lerman asks What can religion offer politics?


Equality Bill update

The House of Commons committee stage continues, you can read the transcripts of all the sessions via this page, or via this page.

The discussion of Clause 12 can be found here.

The discussion on Schedule 9 starts here. See below the fold for an extract.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights also held a hearing on Wednesday. Read the written answers from the Solicitor General to the questions posed in advance by the committee in this PDF file. Several of the questions relate to Schedule 9. One in particular is of interest:

37. Does the Government consider that the provisions of Paragraph 3 of Schedule 9 will permit employers in certain circumstances to make adherence by employees to religious doctrine in their lifestyles and personal relationships a genuine occupational requirement for a particular post?
Paragraph 3 of Schedule 9 permits organisations with an ethos based on religion or belief to require an employee to be of a particular religion or belief. The organisation must show that being of that religion or belief is a requirement for the work, taking into account both the nature or context of it and the ethos of the organisation – the requirement must not be a sham or pretext.
It is very difficult to see how in practice beliefs in lifestyles or personal relationships could constitute a religious belief which is a requirement for a job, other than for ministers of religion (and this is covered in paragraph 2 of Schedule 9). It is perhaps worth noting, however, that if an employee has been employed on the basis of an occupational requirement to be of a particular religion or belief and the employee can no longer be considered to be of that religion or belief e.g. an employee who has lost faith, then the employer would be able to terminate employment as the employee would no longer meet the occupational requirement.

Is the position different if a religious organisation is wholly or mainly delivering public functions?



senior church appointments

There is now a section of the Church of England website that contains information on the current procedures for the selection of diocesan bishops, suffragan bishops, deans, archdeacons, and residentiary canons.

See Senior Appointments, and follow the links from there for

Diocesan bishops
Suffragan bishops
Residentiary Canons

The front page says:

The aim of the attached guidelines is to ensure that the process of discernment is underpinned by a selection framework which incorporates best practice methods and aspirations. The documents set out common national standards and, as with any such document, there may be cases where the detail of provisions might need to be varied according to local circumstances. They are designed to make recruitment as transparent, fair and consistent as possible as well as open to the Holy Spirit. The structure they provide should assist all involved in appointments in making more informed decisions. Candidates who are being considered for senior office are engaged in the deeply personal experience of examining their own calling whilst having it tested by the Church. It is hoped that these guidelines will also provide the support and clarity they need.

These guidelines replace the Senior Church Appointments Code of Practice (GS Misc 455, 1995). They are based on the report Talent and Calling (GS1650, 2007), which recommended that:

‘The Church adopts an integrated and consistent method for making of appointments to senior ecclesiastical office and that all appointments are transparent and encourage the confidence of the Church in the procedures’.

The availability of these documents was announced to Parliament on 23 June, see this statement by the Second Church Estates Commissioner.


more about ACNA

Updated Friday morning

The Church of Uganda has issued this statement:

Church of Uganda Declares itself in Full Communion with Anglican Church in North America

The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, in its regularly scheduled meeting on 23rd June 2009, made several resolutions concerning the state of the Anglican Communion and the future of global Anglicanism.

…Finally, concerning the formation of the Anglican Church in North America, the House of Bishops resolved that it warmly supports the creation of the new Province in North America, the Anglican Church in North America, recognizes Bishop Bob Duncan as its new Archbishop, and declares that it is in full communion with the Anglican Church in North America.

Likewise, the Bishops resolved to release, effective immediately, the Bishops, clergy and churches in America under its ecclesiastical oversight and to transfer them to the Anglican Church in North America. The House of Bishops further resolved to continue its partnership and friendship with them in mission and ministry, extends its hand of fellowship, and wishes them well…

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has issued this statement:

ACNA Faces Difficult, Divisive Future

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — June 25, 2009 — The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) faces a difficult and uncertain future. The new “Anglican” denomination formed this week in Bedford, Texas, that elected Robert W. Duncan, deposed Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh, as its archbishop, seems more likely to fracture the Anglican Communion permanently than to strengthen or “reform” it.

ACNA faces the difficult task of embracing diversity while adhering to the restrictive polity, theology, and membership set out in the Global Anglican Future Conference’s Jerusalem Declaration. The disparate groups that met in Texas have in common a desire to be a part of the Anglican Communion, a disdain for The Episcopal Church and for the Anglican Church of Canada, and a passionate desire to believe as they think their forebears have always believed. Future conflicts over polity, power, and theology appear inevitable…

Friday morning update

ENS has a report North American Anglican group holds inaugural gathering and another one UGANDA: Bishops declare full communion with Anglican Church in North America.

The Church Times has this: North American Anglicans hold inaugural gathering.


ACNA update

Updated Thursday evening

There have been many reports from the meeting being held in Bedford, Texas.

Official reports can be found at

Some media reports:

USA Today U.S. Anglican Church launches, will ban female, gay bishops.

Religious Intelligence George Conger New US Province is formed.

Living Church OCA To End Relations with TEC, Forge Ties to ACNA and OCA Synod ‘Enthusiastic’ About Dialogue with ACNA.

Also there is ACNA Adds Five Bishops. But also at Religion News Service there is Running the number on ACNA:

But what about those 100,000 members that ACNA claims? Shortly after it launched last February, the group actually lowered that number to 81,311 people in the pews every Sunday. In June, ACNA lowered that number again to 69,197.

For some context, the Episcopal diocese with the largest average Sunday attendance in 2007 was Virginia, with 25,300.

It’s not unusual for membership numbers to be much higher than average Sunday attendance. But that usually happens in large, longstanding churches, like the Episcopal Church, which may have people on the membership rolls who stopped attending church long ago, or who are Easter-Christmas attenders only. One would assume that in a new church committed to orthodoxy, the gap between average Sunday attendance and membership would be quite a bit smaller.

Speaking of leavers, this site reported (emphasis added):

Rumors abound that Ft. Worth Bishop Jack Leo Iker’s long term goal is to take his diocese to Rome. Not true. Numerous sources have told VOL that he is deeply committed to the new North American Anglican Province and he will work with his fellow bishops over the thorny issue of women’s ordination.

A number of his Ft. Worth priests were recently seen at the Anglican Use conference in Houston. He has told them that if they want to go to Rome, they can do so, but they can’t take their property with them.

Thursday evening update

Colin Coward has helpfully summarised the support for ACNA that can be found in England, see Why are Church of England bishops betraying the Communion?

…On behalf of the Church of England Evangelical Council, Bishop Wallace Benn of Lewes and Archdeacon Michael Lawson sent greetings and expressed delight to be in full communion with the dissident Province. On behalf of Anglican Mainstream Canon Chris Sugden (who is present at the meeting) and Philip Giddings sent very warm greetings, rejoicing at this very significant stage of development and expressing their fellowship and communion in the Lord with the dissident body. Philip Giddings is Vice Chair (House of Laity) of the General Synod of the Church of England.

A report posted by Anglican Mainstream says that Archbishop Bob Duncan informed the assembly on Tuesday that greetings had been received from the Bishops of Rochester , Winchester, Chester and Chichester. The Bishop of Rochester is speaking at a meeting on Sunday 5th July in support of the launch of FoCA.

The bishops of Lewes, Rochester, Winchester, Chester and Chichester and the Lay Chair of General Synod are all supporting a dissident, ultra-conservative, reactionary movement which aims to destroy and replace the Anglican Communion as at present constituted.

The plan doesn’t end with replacing Provinces in North America. The FoCA launch on the 6th July is the first step in a movement to replace the four UK Anglican Provinces. The only names missing from this list of usual suspects are the bishops of Blackburn and Exeter who signed a letter of support for Bishop Bob Duncan last year…

TA Note: The Bishop of Rochester has formally resigned his see effective from 1 September 2009 although he has already ceased public engagements in the diocese.

There is a long article by Ann Rodgers profiling the new Archbishop of ACNA and the history behind ACNA in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette headlined Bishop Robert Duncan is trading sacred places.

It includes this quote from one of the Episcopal Church’s most respected retired clergy, a former President of the House of Deputies of General Convention:

But a retired Pittsburgh cathedral dean said Bishop Duncan followed his own agenda. “The only program he has kept to totally for the past 11 years has been developing this parallel universe and his position in it,” said the Rev. George Werner.

An earlier NPR report Conservatives Push For Rival U.S. Anglican Church included this quote from Susan Russell:

“It would be as if Sarah Palin were to take a small, but vocal, percentage of very conservative Republicans and decide that they were going to create a parallel United States without having the White House at the center,” Russell says.

and this from George Pitcher:

George Pitcher, an Anglican priest at St. Bride’s Anglican Church in London and religion editor at the Daily Telegraph, agrees. He says the communion welcomes conservative views.

But, he says, “when they want to say this is the one true way, and we want to impose it on all Anglicans, then it’s at that stage that the broadly tolerant Anglican Communion says, ‘Well that’s not the way we do things.’ ”


General Synod – July 2009 – online papers

Updated Monday 22 June, Tuesday 23 June, Thursday 2 July, Wednesday 22 July, Monday 27 July, Friday 31 July

Many papers for next month’s meeting of General Synod are now online. The list below will be updated as the remainder become available. Papers are also listed when they are known to exist but are not yet online.


Outline agenda
Full agenda

Papers for debate

The scheduled day for debate or presentation is appended.

GS 1642D Draft Amending Canon No 28 [Saturday]

GS 1692B Draft Vacancies in Suffragan Sees and other Ecclesiastical Offices Measure [Saturday]
GS 1693B Draft Crown Benefices (Parish Representatives) Measure [Saturday]
GS 1692-3Z report by the Steering Committee

GS 1715A Draft Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure [Saturday]
GS 1715Y report from the Revision Committee

GS 1723 Christian Stewardship: Report from the National Stewardship Committee [Friday]

GS 1724 Additional Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to Calendar, Lectionary and Collects [Saturday]

GS 1725 Opening the Doors: Report from the Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled people, and the Mission and Public Affairs Division [Sunday]

GS 1726 The Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009 [Monday]
GS 1726X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1727 Draft Care of Cathedrals Measure
GS 1727X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1729 Business Committee Report [Friday]

GS 1730 Archbishops’ Council’s Draft Budget and Proposals for Apportionment for 2010 [Saturday]
GS 1731 Archbishops’ Council’s Spending Priorities 2010-2015 [Saturday]
GS 1732 Archbishops’ Council’s Annual Report [Saturday]

GS 1733A Episcopal and Senior Church Posts: A note from the Diocese of Bradford [Sunday]
GS 1733B note from the Dioceses Commission [Sunday]

GS 1734 Appointments to the Archbishops’ Council [Friday]
GS 1735 Chair of the Archbishops’ Council Audit Committee [Friday]

GS 1736 ARCIC Report Life in Christ: note from the Faith and Order Advisory Group [Friday]
GS 1736-01 ARCIC Report Life in Christ: note from the Archbishop of Canterbury
GS 1736-02 ARCIC Report Life in Christ: note from Mgr Andrew Faley and John Sherrington

GS 1737 Archbishops’ Council Review of Constitutions [Sunday]

GS 1738 The Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2009 [Monday]
GS 1739 The Clergy Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2009 [Monday]
GS 1738-9X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1740 Draft Pastoral and Mission Measure [Monday]
GS 1740X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1741 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2009 [Monday]
GS 1742 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2009 [Monday]
GS 1741-2X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1743 Parochial Fees Order 2009 [Monday]
GS 1743X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1744 Being Adult about Childhood: A Consideration of the Good Childhood Inquiry [Sunday]
accompanying pamphlet: Children’s Evidence

GS 1745 The Urban Church: Three Years on from Faithful Cities [Saturday]

GS 1746 Clergy Pensions [Saturday]

GS 1747A Diocesan Synod Motion: Clergy Discipline Measure [Monday]
GS 1747B Clergy Discipline Measure: A note from the Clergy Discipline Commission

GS 1748A Diocesan Synod Motion: Confidence in the Bible [contingency business]
GS 1748B The view of Scripture taken by the Church of England and the Anglican Communion

GS 1749 The Church of England Funded pensions Scheme (Additional Lump Sum) (Amendment Rules 2009 [Monday]
GS 1750 The Church of England Pensions (Lump Sum pensions) (Amendment) Rules 2009 [Monday]
GS 1751 The Church of England Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2009 [Monday]
GS 1749-51X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1753 The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Revaluation) (Amendment) Rules 2009 [Monday]
GS 1753X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1754 The Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (Exclusion of Ineligible persons) (Amendment) Rules 2009 [Monday]
GS 1754X Explanatory Memorandum

Background Papers

GS Misc 918 Human Genome
GS Misc 919 Retirement housing review: second report
GS Misc 921 Engaging with Europe
GS Misc 922 Illustrative Material in Support of the Draft Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations
GS Misc 924 Clergy Discipline Committee Annual Report for 2008
GS Misc 925 Archbishops’ Council:Report on its activities since the February Group of Sessions


General Synod – July 2009

The General Synod of the Church of England will meet in York from 10 to 13 July 2009. The following press release was issued a short time ago.

NEWS from the Church of England

For immediate use

July Synod Briefing – Debates on Church finance, legislation, governance, and the Church’s ministry in the community

The Agenda for the July Synod, meeting at York University from Friday 10 July to Monday 13 July, will be primarily concerned with financial issues, legislation and other governance issues. There will also be opportunity for discussion of The Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Inquiry, urban life and faith, and ministry with people with learning disabilities.

There will also be one item of liturgical business (the Additional Weekday Lectionary), an update by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Anglican Communion matters (following the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Jamaica), and consideration of the Archbishops’ Council and Church Commissioners annual reports.

The credit crisis and the accompanying recession provide a new and challenging context and opportunity for a debate on Christian Stewardship. The debate is resourced by a report from the National Stewardship Committee and an accompanying parish guide, which the Synod is invited to commend to dioceses, deaneries and parishes for discussion and action. The Synod will have the opportunity to consider the current target of Church members giving 5% of their income to their local church.

The Synod will also receive a presentation from the Clergy Pensions Task Group on the main findings of the Group’s work and the options for the future of the Clergy Pensions Scheme. The Task Group’s report, which looks at the funding of the scheme and the impact of the current financial recession, will start a consultation process with bodies which sponsor the scheme, with a prospect of a Synod decision in February 2010 on the way forward.

The Archbishops’ Council established a review group under the chairmanship of Andrew Britton (Chair of Finance Committee) to undertake a strategic financial assessment of the Council’s spending priorities for the period 2010-2015. The report will be the subject of a take note debate in the Synod before the Council gives more detailed consideration to the outworking of the report’s conclusions, in the context of the 2011 and subsequent budget rounds. The Synod will also be asked to approve the Council’s budget for 2010.

The principal two items of legislative business are the revision stage for the draft Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure, which received first consideration at the February Synod, and approval of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations, which will set out the detailed terms of ‘Common Tenure’, following on from the Measure which will introduce new terms of service for the clergy having received the Royal Assent.

There will also be the final approval of two draft Measures, revised in February, which deal with issues relating to Crown appointments, a number of changes to the Rules of the Funded Pensions Scheme and the Past Service Scheme, and some detailed changes to the Church Representation Rules and the Clergy Representation Rules (which give effect to the recommendations of the Synod’s Elections Review Group).

Synod will give First Consideration to two draft measures which will consolidate various pieces of legislation on pastoral reorganisation and on the care of cathedrals.

The motion from the Bradford Diocesan Synod invites the General Synod to request the Archbishops’ Council to formulate proposals for reductions in the number of episcopal and senior clergy posts, taking into account the number of stipendiary clergy over the past 30 years, and to make recommendations to the Synod within three years. Amongst the resources for this debate is a paper from the Dioceses Commission, which sets out the work which it has been undertaking since its reconstitution last year.

Diocesan synod motions from London and Chelmsford express concerns about the pastoral implications of the Clergy Discipline Measure and ask for a review of the practical outworking of the Measure and the Code of Practice. The debate will take place on the London DSM. The Clergy Discipline Commission has itself undertaken a review of aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure and the Code of Practice under it and this is one of the resources for the debate.

The Constitutions Review Group was set up by the Archbishops’ Council under the chairmanship of Dr Christina Baxter to conduct the quinquennial review of constitutions of bodies accountable to the Archbishops’ Council. The report of the review group was the subject of a presentation and questions at the February Synod. Since then there has been a consultation process. The Archbishops’ Council has considered the revised report of the review group and invites the Synod to endorse the Group’s recommendations, and to ask the Council and the Standing Orders Committee to take steps to implement them. Under these proposals, which aim to make present arrangements lighter and more flexible, the present Boards and Councils would be replaced from November 2010 by lead persons for each area of work, supported by small reference groups.

The Church’s ministry and the community
A Good Childhood was published just before the February Synod. It was a landmark report of the first major independent inquiry into childhood and was commissioned by The Children’s Society. The purpose of the Synod debate is to provide an opportunity for Synod members to respond to the findings of A Good Childhood, and to lay foundations for a debate in due course on the Board of Education’s children’s and youth strategies.

A presentation by Bishop Stephen Lowe will provide an opportunity for him to reflect on his three years’ work as Bishop for Urban Life and Faith, and there will be opportunity for Synod members to ask questions and offer brief reflections.

A report entitled Opening the Doors: Ministry with People with Learning Disabilities and People on the Autistic Spectrum has been produced by the Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled People and the Mission and Public Affairs Division, and an accompanying DVD is also being circulated. The Synod is invited to commend the guidelines contained in Opening the Doors to dioceses and parishes.

There will also be a presentation and group work for Synod members on a report from the Council for Christian Unity and the Faith and Order Advisory Group, on the report from the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission on Life in Christ.

Communicating Synod
Anyone can keep in touch with the General Synod while it meets. Background papers and other information will be posted on the Church of England website ahead of the General Synod sessions. Audio files of debates along with updates on the days’ proceedings will be posted during the sessions, which will also be live streamed by Premier Radio.

To hear a new podcast with David Williams, Clerk to General Synod, click here.



Little Gidding Pilgrimage

Saturday 11 July

You are warmly invited to join the annual Pilgrimage to Little Gidding
commemorating the life and example of Nicholas Ferrar

This year’s pilgrimage is led by Bishop John Flack, formerly Bishop of Huntingdon, and formerly the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome

Join the celebration of Holy Communion in Leighton Bromswold Church
whose restoration was funded by George Herbert and directed by the Ferrars

Share lunch with fellow pilgrims at the historic Green Man at Leighton Bromswold

Enjoy the gentle walk through the Huntingdonshire countryside
from Leighton Bromswold to Little Gidding
(about five miles along the country roads, with three short stations for prayer and rest)

Gather round the tomb of Nicholas Ferrar for prayer

Sing Evening Prayer at Little Gidding (led by the Hurstingstone Singers)

Delight in Tea and conversation at Ferrar House

For more details see

Timetable for the day

10.30am: Holy Communion at Leighton Bromswold Church
12 noon: Pilgrims’ Lunch at the Green Man
1pm: Start of Pilgrimage Walk from the Hundred Stone at Leighton Bromswold
1.45pm (approx): First Station at Salome Wood
2.45pm (approx): Second Station at Hamerton (refreshments and toilets available)
3.30pm (approx): Third Station at Steeple Gidding Church
4pm: Prayers at the Tomb of Nicholas Ferrar at Little Gidding
followed by Pilgrimage Evensong and Tea

What is the Pilgrimage about?

Born in London in 1592, Nicholas Ferrar gave up a life in commerce and politics to move to Little Gidding, with his mother and his brother and sister and their families, establishing a life of prayer and charitable works. Ordained deacon, he was the leader of the household, foremost in the life of prayer, study, and work, setting an example of devotion and spiritual life to the English Church that has stood as a beacon to those who have followed. Nicholas died on 4 December 1637, and his devout life and example have consecrated Little Gidding as a holy place to this day. Our pilgrimage to his grave not only honours his memory and devotion, but also binds us into that same story.


opinions at Albantide

George Pitcher wrote in the Telegraph that A good claret, Bishop, is a menace to no one.

Last week, in the Church Times Colin Buchanan wrote that The time is up for first past the post.

Paul Vallely also wrote about the recent election, see Not thugs so much as alienated.

This week, Giles Fraser writes that Art should point further than cash.

Theo Hobson at Cif belief wrote that We must separate church and state.

In answer to the question Can religion save the world? Parna Taylor writes that Religious literacy matters.

Nick Jowett writes in The Times that Great music can unite the sacred and the secular.


Anglican documentation

From Ireland:

The Rt Revd the Lord Eames of Armagh, OM, gave the Annual Lecture of the College of St George, Windsor Castle on 26 May 2009. Speaking on the theme of the mechanics of reconciliation, he drew from his extensive experience both in the Anglican Communion and in ministering in Northern Ireland.

Full text of his lecture at Lord Eames’ St George’s Windsor Lecture 2009.

From Canada:

Twelve of Canada’s finest theologians explore issues relating to same-sex blessings in a series of essays now posted online. These essays by members of the Primate’s Theological Commission form the third and final part to the Galilee Report, which considered questions of human relationships and the blessings of same-sex unions.

The first two parts, a report on the commission’s discussion and the essay “Integrity and Sanctity” were posted in May 2009…

Full press release
Links to all the papers at The Galilee Report Primate’s Theological Commission.

From the USA:

We Will, With God’s Help, published in June 2009 by the Chicago Consultation, is a collection of essays about perspectives on baptism, sexuality and the Anglican Communion….

Full press release
The full text of the essays, as a PDF file.


news of ACNA bishops

Updated Friday evening

There is a report from Rwanda: Three Bishops Consecrated for American Dioceses

Kigali — The Episcopal Church of Rwanda has elected three new Bishops to serve in one of the provinces of the Anglican Church in North America.

The election took place on Saturday 13 at the Anglican Diocese of Kigali…

Here is the official statement on the website of AMiA:

Meanwhile, ENS reports that

Two Episcopal Church bishops, one active and one retired, are among the members of newly-announced committees of a proposed Anglican Church in North America, which is holding what it is calling its “inaugural provincial assembly” later this month…

See Southern Illinois bishops serving as committee members for proposed Anglican province.

Friday update See this Press Release from the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield concerning the role of Bishop Beckwith in ACNA.

The assembly mentioned above has its own dedicated website which contains a large amount of information about the new ACNA organisation.

News, video, photos and documents from the Inaugural Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America is now available. The new website is also optimized for web capable cell phones…

Additional website changes will mark the creation of The Anglican Church in North America. The Common Cause Partnership Website, at, will be relaunched as the homepage of the Anglican Church in North America on June 22. Key features of the old website, such as the parish map, will remain in place. With the relaunch will come a domain name change to


July General Synod

The Church of England General Synod meets from 10 to 13 July in York. An outline agenda has been published, and is copied below.


July 2009 Group of Sessions


Sitting hours: 9.15 am – 1.00 pm, 2.30 pm – 6.15 pm and 8.30 pm – 10.00 pm (except where otherwise stated)

Friday, 10 July

3.30 pm Prayers, introductions, welcomes, progress of legislation; greeting on behalf of the ecumenical guests
Business Committee Report
Appointments to Archbishops’ Council and of Chair of Audit Committee
Christian Stewardship: Report from the National Stewardship Committee
Introduction to group work: Paper from the Council for Christian Unity/Faith and Order Advisory Group on the ARCIC report Life in Christ

8.30 pm Questions

Saturday, 11 July

9.00 am Group work (including prayer)

10.15 am Faithful Cities: Urban Life and Faith: presentation
Legislative Business:
Amending Canon No 28
Vacancies in Suffragan Sees and Other Ecclesiastical Offices Measure
Crown Benefices (Parish Representatives) Measure
Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure

2.30 pm Clergy Pensions: presentation
Archbishops’ Council’s Spending Priorities 2010-2015
Archbishops’ Council’s Budget
Liturgical Business: Additional Weekday Lectionary and Amendments to Calendar, Lectionary and Collects

8.30 pm Archbishops’ Council’s Annual Report
Church Commissioners’ Annual Report: presentation

Sunday, 12 July

2.30 pm Opening Doors: Ministry with People with Learning Disabilities: Report from the Committee for Ministry of and Among Deaf and Disabled People and Mission and Public Affairs Division
Review of Constitutions
Episcopal and Senior Church Appointments: Bradford Diocesan Synod Motion

8.30 pm Being Adult about Childhood: A Consideration of the Good Childhood Inquiry: Report by the Children’s Society and Mission and Public Affairs Division

Monday, 13 July

9.15 am Prayers
Anglican Communion: an update, by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Legislative Business:
Changes to the Rules of the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme and the Past Service Scheme
Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations
Two Consolidation Measures (if debated)
Church Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2009 and Clergy Representation Rules (Amendment) Resolution 2009
Usual Fees Orders (if debated)

2.30 pm Clergy Discipline: London Diocesan Synod Motion (and Chelmsford Diocesan Synod Motion)

4.45 pm Prorogation

Contingency Business: Chelmsford DSM: Confidence in the Bible

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New Westminster court case concludes

Earlier reports here and also here.

Final reports from the diocese:

Network’s lawyer says judge should recognize Anglican division is “real”
Trial ends in the case of 22 leaders of four dissenting congregations vs. the Diocese

and from the other side:
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11

Anglican Journal New Westminster diocese court case hearings end

Supreme Court of British Columbia hearings have concluded in a case that will decide whether the Anglican diocese of New Westminister or parishes that have split away from the Anglican Church of Canada own disputed church buildings and resources. Judge Stephen Kelleher reserved his judgment and did not say when he might announce a decision.

Two lawsuits were filed against the diocese of New Westminster and its bishop, Michael Ingham, by clergy who cut ties with the Anglican Church of Canada and individuals who say they are the lawful trustees of church properties and resources for several congregations that also voted to leave the church. Other hearings have resulted in decisions about interim possession and sharing of Anglican church buildings in British Columbia as well as in Ontario, but this trial will be the first in Canada to rule on which side owns the buildings and resources…