Thinking Anglicans

CofE Latest finance and ministry statistics

The Church of England has announced the publication of its latest finance and ministry statistics with the following press release.

Latest finance and ministry statistics published on web
11 December 2009

Parishioners’ tax-efficient planned giving averaged more than £9 a week for the first time in 2007, while the total income of parishes increased by £70 million to £898 million, well above inflation, according to the latest statistics from the Church of England. Total voluntary income rose to £485 million or £8.02 per electoral roll member per week. At the same time, total parish expenditure rose to £838 million, with £50 million of this donated by parishes to external charities.

“Data for 2007 shows that giving to parishes by individuals continues to increase year on year, with the landmark figure of £500 million being reached for the first time. We have more than 630,000 people giving in a regular way, with nearly 90 per cent given through Gift Aid enabling parishes to reclaim £78 million from HMRC,” said Dr John Preston, the Church’s National Stewardship and Resources Officer.

“In a time of significant economic pressure, the Church is grateful for the committed support given by so many to their local church. Our givers on average donate more than three per cent of their incomes to the Church, and we estimate that a similar proportion is given away to other causes and charities. However, this remains short of the five per cent of disposable income recommended again by the General Synod in the summer of this year.”

Another 490 candidates were accepted to train as future clergy in 2008, bringing the total in training at the end of the year to 1411. In total, 574 new clergy were ordained in 2008, 19 more than in 2007 and 87 more than in 2006. Of those, 321 were entering full-time paid ministry, compared with 267 in 2007 and 226 in 2006.

While clergy numbers across 2008 remained buoyant, the number of retirements remained high. Revd Preb Lynda Barley, Head of Research & Statistics for the Archbishops’ Council comments: “The large number of clergy retirements reflects the changing age profile of our nation. Parishes continue financially to support clergy in active ministry and in retirement.” Taking retirements and other losses into account, there was a net loss of 112 full-time paid clergy, compared with 192 in 2007 and 182 in 2006.

At the end of 2008, there were some 28,000 licensed and authorised ministers, ordained and lay, active in the Church of England.

Since 2000, the proportion of those under 30 years of age recommended for training has increased slightly to 17 per cent. Further to encourage young vocations to the priesthood, the Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council has developed the Call Waiting campaign including the website, a glossy magazine with essential information for prospective clergy, and a series of eye-catching posters. Audio interviews with young trainee priests, curates and vicars on the Call Waiting website chronicle the journey from initial sense of calling through discernment to training and ministry.

The latest statistics have been added to the Church of England website, alongside attendance statistics published in February.

There are links to statistics for earlier years here.


three more statements on Uganda


Box Turtle Bulletin reports Uganda’s Official Media Centre Publishes Article Suggesting Anti-Homosexuality Act Not Needed.

Columnist Obed K. Katureebe wrote an opinion piece in which he suggests that the Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act may not be needed. While Katureebe does not hold a governmental position, the fact that this piece appears on the government’s official Media Centre web site might be significant. The Media Centre acts as a “centralized location where all official government correspondence and information can be easily accessed.”

Here’s the full text of the media centre article: Homosexuality: we can still avoid foreign bad press.

Update That article has been removed from relocated in the website. However you can still read it over here.

Box Turtle Bulletin also reports Vatican Statement about Uganda’s proposed legislation.

Today the Vatican representative read a statement to a United Nations panel on anti-gay violence. Although the Holy See did not reference Uganda by name, it does address in a general sense its response to the Ugandan Kill Gays bill. The timing suggests that this statement is driven by the publicity surrounding the bill…

And, Warren Throckmorton has this: Rick Warren issues statement to Uganda regarding Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009. Among the points Rick Warren makes is this one:

5. What did you do when you heard about the proposed Ugandan law?

I wrote to the most influential leader I knew in that country, the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, and shared my opposition and concern. He wrote me back, saying that he, too, was opposed to the death penalty for homosexuals. There are thousands of evil laws enacted around the world that kill people (For instance, last year, 146,000 Christians around the world were killed because of their faith.). In this case, I knew the Archbishop in Uganda, so I did what I could, but my influence in that nation has been greatly exaggerated by the media.


Los Angeles – Thursday report

PBS has Bishop Jon Bruno: “No Barriers” for Gay and Lesbian Episcopalians.

There is a Southern California Public Radio interview at The highest stained glass ceiling.

Ruth Gledhill has Canon Mary Glasspool: time for Church to open door to rights for gays in The Times and Lesbian bishop pledges gracious non-restraint on her blog.

On the other hand, there is this editorial in the Living Church Think, and Act, Globally.

And this Statement from the Communion Partners Clergy Steering Committee on the Bishop-Suffragan Election in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

And also A Statement by the Bishop of Texas on recent Anglican Events.


another Uganda article has a long article The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa by Kapya Kaoma.

Kapya Kaoma is an Anglican priest from Zambia and project director of Political Research Associates. He is the author of PRA’s October 2009 report, Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches and Homophobia.

The Uganda Story

For two days in early March 2009, Ugandans flocked to the Kampala Triangle Hotel for the Family Life Network’s “Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals’ Agenda.” The seminar’s very title revealed its claim: LGBT people and activists are engaged in a well thought-out plan to take over the world. The U.S. culture wars had come to Africa with a vengeance…


Peterborough speaks some more

Andrew Brown has been talking to the Bishop-designate of Peterborough.

See Donald Allister on the Bible.

On behalf of religious writers everywhere I think should welcome the choice of Donald Allister to be the next Bishop of Peterborough. He will be good for business…


latest on Uganda

Acccording to Bloomberg, but curiously so far no other news agencies, Uganda to Drop Death Penalty, Life in Jail for Gays.

Uganda will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays in a refined version of an anti- gay bill expected to be ready for presentation to Parliament in two weeks, James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said.

The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala.

As Warren Throckmorton notes here,

Not enough but a start…

Counseling to be added. Now the ex-gay ministries will come into even sharper focus. Evangelicals who promote change as a political exercise will need to really think through whether the data supports them because real lives are in the balance.

UPDATE: On the other hand, some clergy seem resolute to maintain the bill.

From that last link, Church leaders back govt on anti-gay Bill note the following (emphasis added):

“The Bill is ok. But it has been misunderstood. We need to educate people on this proposed law,” he said.

Bishops from the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventist churches as well as Muslim kadhis agreed to defend the Bill in their centres of worship.

Meanwhile, Time has these reports by Zoe Alsop:

And at MSNBC Rachel Maddow continues her series on this. For links to the latest episodes from her show, and other material, see Warren Throckmorton’s reports:


LA and the Archbishop – Wednesday report

Bishop Alan Wilson wrote a further post, this one is titled Two ways to win an argument….

Richard Morrison in The Times wrote Nothing but sex please, we’re vicars…

Savi Hensman wrote for Ekklesia Liberating the Anglican understanding of sexuality.

The New York Times published an Associated Press report headlined Episcopal Lesbian Bishop Calls Election Liberating.

The Baltimore Sun published a report headlined Lesbian bishop-elect finds support as well as controversy and the transcript of the interview is at Glasspool: ‘I anticipated some kind of reaction’…


Inclusive Church letter on Los Angeles

Open letter to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and the Bishop of Los Angeles

Dear Bishop Katharine and Bishop Jon,

We congratulate you and the people of the Episcopal Church on the electoral process which has led to the election of the Revd Canon Diane Jardine Bruce and the Revd Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool as Suffragan Bishops of the Diocese of Los Angeles. We are aware that the process was carried out with great care and prayer, as will the decisions of Bishops and Standing Committees who consider whether to confirm the elections. We wish the elected candidates all joy in their ministries and assure them of our prayers.

The Anglican and Episcopalian tradition is, at its best, one which celebrates the breadth of human experience and welcomes the many ways in which we, as Christians, try to live out our vocations under God. We are therefore deeply sorry that the reaction from the Church of England to the election of Mary Glasspool has been at best grudging and at worst actively negative.

While it gives us no pleasure to dissociate ourselves from the sentiments expressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose wisdom in so many areas we deeply respect, we greatly regret the tone and content of his response, particularly in the context of his failure to make any comment on the seriously oppressive legislation being proposed in Uganda.

We wish you to know that there are a great many within the Church of England who like us are unequivocally supportive of TEC in being open to the election of bishops without regard to gender, race and sexuality. We pray that the Communion at large will grow in confidence and maturity, so that it can learn to celebrate both those things which hold us together and those things over which we disagree. In that context we greatly welcome the Theological Round Table recently announced by the Churches in India.

We urge you and your fellow Bishops and diocesan Standing Committees therefore not to be persuaded by responses from outside your province in considering the request to confirm these elections, and urge those who disagree to approach the Episcopal Church with a renewed and reinvigorated sense of trust in the actions of the Holy Spirit. As a Communion we are called to be an example to other Christians and those who have no beliefIn a diverse and global world threatened by much, it is time now to move on from these questions which divide us and focus on responding to the huge challenges we face together.

Yours sincerely

Giles Goddard
Inclusive Church

PDF version


LA and the Archbishop – Tuesday report


Stuff on this just keeps on coming in.

ENS Los Angeles women bishops’ elections create ‘bit of a wave’; tsunami of reaction, expectations

Bishop Alan Wilson What hath Kampala to do with LA?

Living Church Canon Glasspool’s Election Draws Pointed Responses

Kampala Monitor Orombi angry over new lesbian bishop

Ruth Gledhill has written Friend of Dr Rowan Williams feels ‘betrayed’ by his stance on gays.

The subject of that interview, Colin Coward, has commented in Betrayed by the Church’s stance on gays.

Earlier posts by Colin are here, and also here.

Symon Hill has written Questions for Ruth Gledhill and Rowan Williams.

And now, Ruth Gledhill has blogged Out and Angry: Colin Coward on being gay priest in today’s church.


Chicago Consultation to Archbishop

The Chicago Consultation has issued this press release:

Chicago Consultation Asks Archbishop to Reconsider Statement and Silence

“For weeks the Archbishop of Canterbury has been silent as the Ugandan legislature considers making homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Lambeth Palace has let it be known that it was working behind the scenes to influence the situation because public confrontation would be counterproductive and disrespectful. Yet the election of the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, a remarkably qualified gay woman as a suffragan bishop of Los Angeles, incited the Archbishop’s immediate statement of alarm, implying there would be grave consequences unless bishops and standing committees in the Episcopal Church refused to consent to her election.

“Canon Glasspool is a qualified, respected and beloved servant of God whom the Diocese of Los Angeles has discerned has the gifts of the Spirit to help lead their ministry. She is no threat to the work of God or to Jesus’ commandment that we love our neighbor as ourselves. On the other hand, executing gay people and creating a state system of oppression is a gross violation of the spirit of the one who welcomed the outcast to his table. We are as perplexed by the Archbishop’s speedy condemnation of the former as we are by his prolonged silence of the latter.

“We believe that honoring the relationships and ministries of gay and lesbian Christians, is, in the end, the only way in which the Anglican Communion can be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope that when the Archbishop realizes the damage he has done to the Communion’s ministry among gay and lesbian Christians and those who seek justice for them, he will reconsider both the words he has spoken and the words he has not.”


commentary on the Los Angeles election

Savi Hensman has written A bishop Anglicans can live with.

Riazat Butt has written Election of lesbian bishop divides Anglican community.

Paul Vallely has written Rowan Williams cannot now prevent an Anglican schism.

Scott Gunn has written Of “bonds of affection” and misplaced anxiety

Susan Russell has written Advent is for lighting candles, not for fanning flames.

Tobias Haller has written Episcopalections.


Glasspool's election is good news

George Pitcher writes at the Telegraph A lesbian bishop need not mean Anglican handbags at dawn, his concluding paragraphs are:

…What the American Episcopal direction really means is that we’re moving towards a schism that looks like the Mercedes-Benz logo. In one segment we have the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions; in another, the conservative and orthodox Anglicans and, in the third, those who push the Reformist tradition alongside Bishops Glasspool and Robinson.

To those who say this last category is taking the Church to hell in a handcart, or possibly a handbag, I would say this: when Anglicans started to ordain women priests in the Nineties, female bishops became a logical and rational extension of that Reformist tradition. As for lesbians, the Bible has even less to say about them than it does about homosexuals. It may very well be that Queen Victoria, for whom lesbianism is said to have been removed from the Labouchere Amendment in 1865 when homosexual acts were outlawed because she simply didn’t believe they existed, was being more obedient than she knew to her scripture study.

But, ultimately, what Bishop Glasspool shows us is a God who is infinitely more interested in love than in sex. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth for his human creatures.


Los Angeles and the Archbishop: more articles

Daily Mail Steve Doughty Archbishop of Canterbury calls on Americans to block lesbian bishop’s appointment

Telegraph Tom Leonard Archbishop of Canterbury concerned over lesbian US bishop

Press Association Rethink urged on gay bishop role

Ekklesia Williams questions lesbian bishop’s appointment – but stays silent on Uganda

And at Cif belief Andrew Brown in a piece mainly concerned with Uganda, titled Rowan Williams’ choice concludes with these paragraphs:

What makes his difficulty darkly comic rather than tragic is the speed with which he has reacted to the election of a lesbian assistant bishop in Los Angeles. A statement came out of his office less than 12 hours later urging the Americans not to proceed.

Consider the case of two Anglicans of the same gender who love one another. If they are in the USA, the Anglican church will marry them and may elect one of them to office. If they are in Uganda, the Anglican church will have try to have them jailed for life, and ensure that any priest who did not report them to the authorities within 24 hours would be jailed for three years; anyone who spoke out in their defence might be jailed for seven.

Under Williams, the church that marries two women who love each other is to be thrown out of the Anglican Communion. The church that would jail them both for life, and would revile and persecute their defenders, stays snugly in his bosom. Not even the Archbishop’s remarkable gift for obfuscation can conceal these facts forever.


Archbishop responds to Los Angeles election

Updated again Sunday evening

At 10 am Sunday London time, this statement was issued by both Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office:

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Statement on Los Angeles Episcopal Elections

Sunday 06 December 2009

The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.

Reporting of this statement in the media:

The Times Ruth Gledhill Election of lesbian bishop ‘is very serious’, says Dr Rowan Williams and on her blog Lesbian Bishop: Archbishop of Canterbury warns of serious questions and later, Dreams of Church liberals are almost dead

The first link above has had the headline changed to Anglicans split over election of lesbian bishop after a write-through for the Monday paper edition

BBC Anglican church leader worried by US gay bishop vote

American Anglican Council
Anglican Mainstream


Los Angeles elects two suffragans

Updated Sunday morning

The Diocese of Los Angeles has elected two women as suffragan bishop. They are:

This election is attracting more attention than most suffragan bishoprics do, because of Canon Glasspool’s status as “openly gay partnered”.

Diocesan press releases:
L.A. diocese elects Diane Bruce as bishop suffragan
L.A. Episcopal diocese elects Glasspool as bishop suffragan

First media reports:

Associated Press Lesbian Episcopal priest elected LA assist. bishop

AP via San Francisco Chronicle Christopher Weber and Rachel Zoll 2nd gay bishop for Episcopal Church, Anglicans

Los Angeles Times Larry Stammer Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elects openly gay bishop and later Newly elected gay Episcopal bishop: Excited about church’s future and later still, L.A. Episcopal Diocese elects openly gay bishop by Larry Stammer and Paul Pringle

Press-Enterprise Lesbian priest from Maryland elected Episcopal bishop at Riverside meeting by Larry Olson

Baltimore Sun Md. priest becomes first lesbian Episcopal bishop

BBC US Episcopal Church elects second gay bishop headline changed to Rift flares after US Episcopal Church elects gay bishop after a write-through

Mail on Sunday Jonathan Petre Fury as lesbian is chosen by Anglican Church to be a bishop

Press Association Lesbian elected US Anglican bishop

ENS news reports:
Los Angeles diocese elects Diane Jardine Bruce as first woman bishop suffragan
Los Angeles diocese elects openly gay bishop suffragan: Mary Douglas Glasspool

Press Releases:
Chicago Consultation


Equality Bill developments

The UK Equality Bill passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday, and has now moved to the House of Lords, where the Second Reading is scheduled for 15 December.

The Hansard record of the debate on Wednesday starts here, or TheyWorkForYou has it in a rather different format here. Only 8 members voted against the bill at Third Reading.

An amendment to delete entirely Schedule 9, Clause 2, Paragraph 8, was proposed by David Drew Labour MP for Stroud, who made this speech in support of it. But when put to the vote it was defeated Ayes 170, Noes 314.

The debate on the religious exemptions and related topics starts at this point.

There has been some comment about the bill on blogs. For example Cranmer has written EU forces Government to put gay equality over Christian conscience and also European Commission ‘lobbied Parliament’ to pass Equality Bill which refers to the debate on Wednesday.

The full text of the EU Reasoned Opinion has not been published by the Government, but the Conservatives have obtained a copy from Brussels (they said) so it is surely only a short matter of time before it is available. Meanwhile, according to Mark Harper Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean it does say this:

“The UK Government has informed the Commission that the new Equality Bill currently under discussion before the UK Parliament will amend this aspect of the law and bring UK law into line with the Directive.”

Earlier in the House of Lords, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds had used the occasion of the Queen’s Speech to speak there about the Equality Bill. You can read his speech in full here.


more Ugandan developments

Updated Saturday evening

I linked earlier to the statement by the US Presiding Bishop. ENS now has a news report on this, see Presiding Bishop says church opposes proposed Ugandan legislation.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said Dec. 4 that the church believes “the public scapegoating of any category of persons, in any context, is anathema” and thus is “deeply concerned” about a proposed Ugandan law that would introduce the death penalty for people who violate that country’s anti-homosexuality laws.

Jefferts Schori also noted in her statement that “much of the current climate of fear, rejection, and antagonism toward gay and lesbian persons in African nations has been stirred by members and former members of our own church.”

“We note further that attempts to export the culture wars of North America to another context represent the very worst of colonial behavior,” she said. “We deeply lament this reality, and repent of any way in which we have participated in this sin.”

Yesterday, the Guardian reported that a Ugandan church leader brands anti-gay bill ‘genocide’.

If Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill becomes law, it will be little short of state-sponsored “genocide” against the gay community, a prominent member of the Ugandan Anglican church said this week.

Canon Gideon Byamugisha said the bill, which recommends the death penalty for anyone repeatedly convicted of having gay sex and prison sentences for those who fail to report homosexual activity to the police, would breed violence and intolerance through all levels of society.

“I believe that this bill [if passed into law] will be state-legislated genocide against a specific community of Ugandans, however few they may be,” he said..

Today, the Guardian has this this editorial comment: Uganda: Unjust and infamous.

…Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill 2009, which is now before parliament, is unpleasant even by the standards of anti-gay laws around the world. Its supporters will decry any criticism as neocolonial interference, but the reality is that Uganda is being misled, not least by evangelical churches, some of which have links with the American Christian right.

The proposed law is more a rant against homosexuality and the west than a workable piece of legislation intended for Uganda itself. Much of it consists of a list of unfounded claims, starting with the statement that “same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic”. Infamously, it calls for the execution of gay men found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – by which it means those who are HIV positive, or who have sex with someone who is under 18 or disabled. The bill may be amended during its passage through parliament to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, but that change would be only a gesture to spare the blushes of Uganda’s aid donors. If passed – which looks likely, since its sponsor is a member of Uganda’s ruling party – the bill will continue to write hate into law…


Episcopal Café unearthed this gem:

A senior member of the Anglican Church has thrown support behind the government move in a bid to phase homosexuality out of the country.

Rev. Michael Esakan Okwi said on Friday that not even “cockroaches” who are in the “lower animal kingdom” engaged in homosexual relations.

Read Anglican funeral occasion for comparing gays to roaches.


opinions before Copenhagen

In the Guardian Jonathan Chaplin writes about why public discourse should not be secularised. See Face to Faith.

In The Times Geoffrey Rowell writes that Church movements will always fall short of perfection.

Earlier in the week, Libby Purves wrote that Faith and power is the fundamentalist’s brew.

Alan Wilson wrote about Church new media futures….

Nick Baines wrote about (not) being a Grumpy bishop.

The Church Times has a useful article, Decided in Denmark: a climate Q and A. And also a Leader: Copenhagen: a tipping point.

And last week, Ann Petifor argued that UK needs more not less government.

Giles Fraser wrote at Cif belief about Choosing for oneself.


developments in the Uganda story


Ruth Gledhill reports: Archbishop of Canterbury in ‘intensive’ efforts to combat Ugandan anti-gay death law.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has been criticised widely for failing to speak out against the new anti-gay law in Uganda that could see some homosexuals being executed. But there is method in his silence. Today, Lambeth Palace told me: ‘It has been made clear to us, as indeed to others, that attempts to publicly influence either the local church or political opinion in Uganda would be divisive and counter productive. Our contacts, at both national and diocesan level, with the local church will therefore remain intensive but private.’

And there is an excellent set of links there to what various other people have said recently on this topic.

Warren Throckmorton reports:
Extreme Prophetic declines to oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Is Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill part of reclaiming the 7 mountains of culture? – Part One
Addition Is Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill part of reclaiming the 7 mountains of culture, Part Two

He also provides links to the coverage of this story by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, here, and earlier here.


The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued a statement, see Presiding Bishop expresses concern about Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality bill for the full text.


Inclusive Church responses to the Archbishop

Inclusive Church has issued two documents, which were compiled in response to the letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury last August, entitled Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future.

These responses express grave concern about the content and implications of “Our Anglican Future”. They were written after consultation and are intended to reflect a variety of responses to the Archbishop’s paper.

There is a short paper here.

And a much longer paper here.

(Both in PDF format.)

Earlier IC responses are here.