Thinking Anglicans

Uganda and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

An Associated Press report (here via the Washington Post) reports on the latest development in the ongoing saga of Gays in Uganda: ‘Hang them’: Uganda paper publishes photos of gays.

Episcopal Café reports that an Anglican is among those targeted, see Ugandan newspaper targets gays and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo.

Warren Throckmorton points out that the AP report obscures one angle: AP reports Ugandan Hang Them campaign, obscures status of AHB.

And he has two other reports which summarise the current status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill one year later and One year later: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The position taken by the Anglican Church of Uganda was stated last February, and is recorded here.


Ordinariate, Societies, GS elections

Updated Thursday morning

The Catholic Herald reports, Anglicans urged not to accept Pope’s offer, and there is a related Catholic News Service story, Anglican bishop announces he will resign, join Catholic ordinariate.

Damian Thompson has blogged twice in one day on this topic: see The Ordinariate has got Anglican and Catholic mediocrities seriously rattled and later, Church of England civil war looms as ‘Hinge & Bracket’ join forces with hardline Protestants to block women bishops.

The press release to which he refers was issued twice. Both versions are copied in their entirety, below the fold here, for general interest.

Ed Tomlinson has encouraged his readers to listen to the recordings of the Forward in Faith National Assembly (which we have linked previously here). He has however chosen a rather odd photo to illustrate the article. His blog article is here. The picture comes from the website of the US Holocaust Museum, here.


Tim Ross at the Telegraph claims that Archbishop of Canterbury moves to flush out Anglicans plotting to defect to Rome. This refers to the comments made in the Hindu interview linked, and indeed quoted, over here.



Archbishop comments on state of Communion

Additions made

ACNS has a report, Archbishop Rowan Williams: “Despite challenges, Anglican Communion life is strong”.

This quotes from a lengthy interview given to The Hindu Dialogue for me is recognition of the serious: Rowan Williams.

ACNS notes this quote about the Primates Meeting:

“I think that after the Lambeth Conference of 2008 many people felt that we found ways of talking to one another, and perhaps exercising some restraint and tact towards one another,” he said, “and it was very significant that at the next meeting of the Anglican primates, which was in the early part of 2009, all major Churches of the Communion were represented.

“Unfortunately, the situation does not remain there. The decision of the American Church to go forward, as it has, with the ordination of a lesbian bishop has, I think, set us back. At the moment I’m not certain how we will approach the next primates’ meeting, but regrettably some of the progress that I believe we had made has not remained steady.

“Alongside that, and I think this is important, while the institutions of the Communion struggle, in many ways the mutual life of the Communion, the life of exchange and co-operation between different parts of our Anglican family, is quite strong and perhaps getting stronger. It’s a paradox…

Some other extracts from the original interview:

In your February 2010 address to the General Synod, you warned that infighting over women bishops and gay priests could split the Communion. You even conceded that, unless Anglicans find a way to live with their differences, the Church would change shape and become a multi-tier Communion of different levels – a schism in all but name. Which way are things heading on these two fronts?

I think I’ll be able to be clearer about that after the next primates’ meeting. But at the moment I couldn’t say I felt completely optimistic about that. I feel that we may yet have to face the possibility of deeper divisions. I don’t at all like, or want to encourage, the idea of a multi-tier organisation. But that would, in my mind, be preferable to complete chaos and fragmentation. It’s about agreeing what we could do together.

On both these fronts – the ordination of women priests and then Bishops, and also the ordination of gay and lesbian bishops?

I think that the importance of the ordination of women question is much greater in England than in most other parts of the Communion at the moment. Far more difficult for the Communion as a whole because of the deep theological and cultural issues involved is the question of gay clergy. I know because in the last two Lambeth Conferences women Bishops have been present. Nobody has stayed away because of women bishops. So it’s not quite the same kind of issue.

After years of debate and threatened schism in the Communion, the Church has taken a decisive and progressive step towards appointing women as bishops, with a final Synod vote due in 2012. How do you see the way forward?

I think it’s well-known that in the Church of England there is a very significant minority of people who believe that the Church of England and the Anglican Churches generally should not take a large step like ordaining women bishops without more consultation with, or sensitivity to, the other great Churches – the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. That group does not wish to stop the process towards women bishops. I think they know there’s a majority, it will happen. What they are concerned about is to find fair and secure provision for their point of view within the Church of England. That’s been the most difficult question: not whether or not we have women bishops but what will be the provision made for the minority. Now this last summer the Synod declined to accept the suggestions made by the Archbishops, and I understand their reasons. But it’s left us with quite a lot of work to try and do our best for that group as well as honouring the calling of women to the Episcopate.

Your tenure has seen fraught relations with the Roman Catholic Church. It has seen the all-but-unilateral Apostolic Constitution that the Pope issued last year, creating a new Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church that was aimed at Anglicans who were uncomfortable with the ordination of women and gay clergy. What are your comments on this situation? There was the newspaper headline that spoke of the papal tanks on the lawns of Lambeth Palace.

Yes, I know. I said at that time that was a nonsensical version of the story. I was very taken aback that this large step was put before us without any real consultation. And it did seem to me that some bits of the Vatican didn’t communicate with other bits. Overall it seemed to me a pastoral provision for certain people who couldn’t accept where the Church of England was going, a pastoral provision which didn’t in itself affect the relations between the two Churches, between mainstream Churches. But it caused some ripples because I think there was a widespread feeling that it would have been better to consult. There were questions that could have been asked and answered and dealt with together. And as this is now being implemented, we are trying to make sure that there is a joint group which will keep an eye on how it’s going to happen. In England, the relations between the Church of England and Roman Catholic Bishops are very warm and very close. I think we are able to work together on this and not find it a difficulty.


more about Reform etc. and women bishops

See earlier report, Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Society of St Augustine.

Odd that the picture on the Society site is quite surely St Augustine of Hippo, not St Augustine of Canterbury. And as noted, the registrant is Chris Sugden and Anglican Mainstream.

Conservative Evangelicals now appear to be pushing to have their own provisions in connection with women bishops.

John Richardson blogged And now — a Conservative Evangelical ‘Flying Bishop’?


Reform chairman Rod Thomas’ enthusiasm for a new Conservative Evangelical Society was manifest at the national conference at High Leigh, Hertfordshire yesterday.

God willing, the plans will come to fruition and a Reform Society with its own bishops will emerge to preserve and promote Conservative Evangelical ministry within the Church of England.

But this is not entirely new, see the following items from last July:

Reform Rod Thomas Where Now On Women Bishops?

…If the draft measure is eventually approved in something like its present form, the clearest warning bells will be ringing for us. It may be that we will be able to make use of arrangements under the Code of Practice but at the very least it seems likely that some of our best young men will be put off offering themselves for the ordained ministry in the Church of England. If that happens – if the tap is turned off – then new incumbents for our churches will be harder and harder to come by and the future of our churches will be called into question.

Our response to this must be twofold:

i. We must encourage people to keep offering themselves for the ordained ministry for as long as it is possible. Hopefully they will be able to have a life-time of service in the Church of England. But if not, they will be no worse off when they make a move than if they had never entered. This will particularly be the case if we are able to use the time now available to us to forge closer links between our churches.

ii. We must forge closer links with one another. As the future looks increasingly uncertain, we need to bring the issues to our congregations now and then get PCC backing to the idea of linking up with other like-minded churches in a close fellowship. If more difficult times lie ahead, we need to support one another. One way of doing this may be to create a ‘Society’ within the Church of England, focused on mission, with its own bishops providing support and encouragement.

It could even be that if such a Society were to come into being, the House of Bishops might recognise it as a place where separate episcopal oversight could operate when the Women Bishops Measure comes in. We will be actively exploring this possibility in the months ahead.’


…But there is no practical reason why the Society, made up initially of a group of around 20 GAFCON-supporting churches, should not be set up before 2012. There are existing bishops in the UK who could already provide episcopal oversight for clergy and churches in the network, but it would be advisable to arrange for the consecration of some new conservative missionary bishops to serve alongside them. That would be a clear demonstration that the new Society means business.

The situation is patchy in the Church of England. If the new bishops consecrated are licence holders, their diocesans may move against them; some may turn a blind eye; others may invite them to join the senior staff for a civilised luncheon at the bishop’s favourite hostelry…


General Synod – November 2010 – outline agenda

The outline agenda for the November 2010 Inaugural Group of Sessions of the General Synod of the Church of England is now available and is copied below.


Monday, 22 November 10.30 am to 4 pm
Induction of new and returning members

Tuesday, 23 November

am Inauguration of the Synod

2.45 pm Prayers, welcomes, progress of legislation
Presidential Address: Archbishop of Canterbury
Business Committee Report
The Big Society: report by the Mission and Public Affairs Council
7 pm Close of business

Wednesday, 24 November

9.30 am Prayers
Draft Act of Synod Adopting the Anglican Communion Covenant
Ecclesiastical Offices (Clergy Terms of Service) (Amendment) (No 2)
      Regulations and Consequential Transitional Provisions Order
Code of Practice under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003

1 pm Lunch

2.30 pm Draft Church of England Marriage (Amendment) Measure
Scheme Amending the Diocese in Europe Constitution 1995 (deemed approval)
Farewells – Bishop of Lincoln (10 minutes)

4 pm Meetings of the Convocations and the House of Laity


more about St Peter's Folkestone

Updated again Wednesday

The Guardian sent Stephen Bates to investigate, and his written report is headlined Church of England parish sings battle hymns as it plans move to Rome.

The BBC sent Robert Pigott and his video report is headlined Kent church to convert to Catholicism over women bishops row.

The BBC headline is misleading, for as Stephen Bates notes (emphasis added):

…His congregation heeded his advice, but Bould himself came out, clad in a cassock, to explain that the PCC’s decision had not been put to the congregation and he did not know how many would go over to Rome. Nor did he know what would happen to the 150-year-old parish church, or the school. “It would be wonderful if it were possible for people to continue to worship in this building,” he said…

What the PCC did say to the congregation can be read here.

At its meeting on September 28th, 2010, the Parochial Church Council of Folkestone St Peter unanimously requested the parish’s churchwardens to write to the Archbishop of Canterbury, our diocesan bishop, in order to arrange a meeting with him about the wish of many of the PCC and the congregation to join the English Ordinariate of the Catholic Church when it is erected. The PCC is anxious that this should be made as easy as possible, not only for them, but for the diocesan family of Canterbury that they will regretfully be leaving behind.


Not to be outdone, the Telegraph sent along its new religion correspondent, Tim Ross who produced The cracks are now showing in the Church of England.

And the Guardian has another view of the vicar of St Peter’s, see Viv Groskop Leave, with my blessing.


Ordinariate saga continues

Updated Monday afternoon

There was a lengthy discussion of the stories about St Peter’s Folkestone and Bishop Broadhurst on this morning’s BBC radio programme, Sunday.

The item runs for about 5 minutes, starting about 5 minutes in.

Listen to it via this link.

Earlier press reports gathered in this article.

Those who are interested in understanding how the ordinariate is supposed to work may find this link useful Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus

Church Mouse asks Is Bishop John Broadhurst ineligible to join the ordinariate? And he adds:

For what it’s worth, Mouse’s view of Bishop John Broadhurst’s speech at the FiF annual gathering, in which he announced his intention to join the ordinariate, is that it is in breach of the Clergy Discipline Measure. Bishop John said, “I don’t feel I have any choice but to leave the Church and take up the Pope’s offer. The General Synod has become vindictive and vicious. It has been fascist in its behaviour, marginalising those who have been opposed to women’s ordination.”

Does a bishop in the Church of England to describe the governing body of that church as vicious, vindictive and fascist qualify as “engaging in conduct that is unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of the clergy”?

Bishop Edwin Barnes has written When ’Tis Done, Then ’Twere Well It Were Done Quickly.

And even Bishop Jack Iker had something to say about it.

Once again, the links to audio recordings of the entire FiF Assembly are over here.


George Pitcher has written Why the Bishop of Fulham’s departure for Rome isn’t just about women bishops

The Mail Online has joined in though it has a problem with spelling, see Defecting bishop brands Church of England vicious and fascist in bitter row over plans to ordane women

Andrew Brown drew attention in a recent Church Times press column to a much earlier use of the F word by Bishop Broadhurst, in the New York Times. See Tensions Linger Between Pope and Anglicans.

Some traditionalists are drawn to the Roman Catholic Church’s top-down model. “The trouble with the Anglican Church is that it has adopted a parliamentary model and one that presumes change and presumes everyone can have a say,” said the Rev. John Broadhurst, a traditionalist Anglican. “I think it’s become a kind of fascist democracy.”


Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Society of St Augustine

Readers of the article by John Richardson linked earlier today, on Why has Reform failed? may wish to follow his argument further and also read Why Resolution C is still the issue for REFORM.

He concludes (emphasis added):

I wonder, though, whether our Evangelical leadership has actually grasped this point? My impression is that whilst they have rallied to the ‘cause’ of proper provision, they have not grasped the small print of what this would mean in practical terms — basically that they will have to do in a few years time what they have resolutely not done for the last decade and a half.

Meanwhile, watch this space. It is where the equivalent of the Society for St Wilfred and St Hilda will soon emerge. No prizes, but is that Canterbury or Hippo?

An examination of the internet records for shows that it is registered to Chris Sugden at Anglican Mainstream.


Sydney diocesan news

Updated Sunday evening

The Church Times has a report Sydney synod defies Tribunal decision by Muriel Porter.

THE diocesan synod in Sydney has reaffirmed its 2008 decision to permit deacons to preside at holy communion, despite the recent majority decision by the national Church’s Appellate Tribunal that diaconal presidency is unconstitutional.

The synod rejected several attempts to amend a motion, brought by a Sydney regional bishop, Dr Glenn Davies, which “noted” what it described as “the advisory opinion” of the Tribunal but reaffirmed the 2008 motion that the Tribunal declared unconstitutional…

…Since 2008, Sydney diocese has implemented a permanent diaconate, ordaining clergy to the priesthood only when they become parish rectors. Assistant clergy and chaplains remain in deacon’s orders. The 215 active deacons in Sydney constitute just over one third of the licensed clergy, and are increasingly leading new congregations and church plants.

There are also reports on the finances of the diocese. A further Church Times report is subscriber-only until next Friday, but instead there are these accounts:

Church of England Newspaper Mixed report on growth and income given to Sydney synod

…The archbishop told the Synod the diocese was still reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis and the “financial issues are grave.”

“In round terms, it seems possible that the amount of money available” he said “to support diocesan works in the next few years is going to be reduced from the $7.5 million of 2010 to something like $4 million.”

The cutbacks in diocesan spending in 2008 were “only the beginning,” he said and warned that parishes might be asked to pick up a larger share of the diocese’s expenses in the years to come…

Sydney Morning Herald Anglicans warned church is on its knees

The Anglican Church in Sydney is in diabolical trouble. Already battered by the global financial crisis, the diocese is planning further savage spending cuts.

The archbishop, Peter Jensen, told the annual synod on Monday: “The financial issues are grave…”


Here is the official Sydney diocesan version of the story about the tribunal decision: Sydney resolute on deacons celebrating Lord’s Supper.


opinion for St Luke

Alan Wilson continues his BCP series in The Guardian with The Book of Common Prayer, part 8: Liturgy and society. “The BCP is defined far more by liturgical statements than dogmatic formularies, offering a distinctive concept of uniformity.”

Christopher Howse asks in the Telegraph Who’d be seen dead in an ill-dressed grave? and “rues the coming of new funerary rites that find a place for teddy bears”.

Stephen Tomkins and Nicholas Taylor write in The Guardian about Halloween: saints vs devils. “Catholic bishops think dressing up as saints, rather than devils, is a holier way to mark Halloween. What are the pros and cons?”

Sue Blackmore has been to a baptism and writes about it in The Guardian: Fighting talk in church. “At a family baptism I was appalled when the congregation was called to combat aggressive atheists – I don’t want to fight.”

Bernard Leikind writes in The Guardian that Job suffered alone – and so must we. “Many believe a caring, personal God has their welfare in mind, but the Book of Job provides little to support this view.”

Rowan Williams preached this sermon The purpose of fasting at a service of thanksgiving to mark the Global Day of Prayer for the millennium development goals at St Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata. “Fasting is about more than going without food – it is connecting with reality and noticing the suffering of your neighbour.”
This is also available on the Archbishop’s website: Archbishop’s MDG sermon at Kolkota Cathedral.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Christianity is like being rescued.

John P Richardson (The Ugley Vicar) asks Why has Reform failed?


South Carolina diocesan news

Updated Saturday morning

The Diocese of South Carolina today approved six resolutions that the diocese said represent “an essential element of how we protect the diocese from any attempt at unconstitutional intrusions into our corporate life in South Carolina.”

See the ENS report SOUTH CAROLINA: Convention approves ‘protective’ resolutions.

[The Presiding Bishop said:] “I grieve these actions, but I especially grieve Bishop Lawrence’s perception of my heartfelt concern for him and for the people of South Carolina as aggression. I don’t seek to change his faithfully held positions on human sexuality, nor do I seek to control the inner workings of the diocese. I do seek to repair damaged relationships and ensure that this church is broad enough to include many different sorts and conditions of people. South Carolina and its bishop continue in my prayers.”

The Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the South Carolina diocese, told ENS that the convention’s action is “significant … in that it enables us to pursue the bishop’s vision of making biblical Anglicans for a global age while resisting the national leadership’s attempts to change our polity in violation of own constitution and the basic principles of justice and due process.”

See the diocesan news release about this: Diocese Votes Overwhelming in Favor of Resolutions; Lawrence remarks on Opportunities and Challenges

And the full text of Bishop Lawrence’s address is here.

For background on this, see the earlier article today, and also this previous report.

The diocese also announced the appointment of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali as an Assisting Bishop in the diocese. TA understands that this is not a full-time appointment, but rather that Bishop Michael will spend periods of time in residency in the diocese, where he has been a regular visitor in the past. He will be “Visiting Bishop for Global Anglican Relations”.

Here is the text from the diocesan website:

Michael Nazir-Ali—Visiting Bishop in South Carolina for Anglican Communion Development

In May of this year, the Reverend Dr. Kendall Harmon and I traveled to Nashotah House to meet with the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, retired Bishop of Rochester in England and one of the most respected figures in the Anglican Communion. We discussed the possibility of forming a relationship between him and the Diocese of South Carolina. Then in September the Reverend Jeffrey Miller and I met with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali in Washington D.C. to clarify the details of such a relationship. It is my great pleasure to announce at this Reconvened Annual Convention that he has agreed to be Visiting Bishop in South Carolina for Anglican Communion Relationships. Thus along with periodic visits here in the diocese for teaching and relational support, he will represent this diocese on his travels around the world. This creative and vital relationship will give us further opportunities to strengthen existing and form new and abiding missional relationships with others in the emerging Anglicanism in the 21st Century. It gives legs to our vision.


Ordinariate news

Updated yet again Sunday morning

According to the Catholic Herald Bishop of Fulham to take up Ordinariate

The Anglican bishop of Fulham and the chairman of Forward in Faith International has announced he will resign before the end of the year to join an Ordinariate.

Speaking at Forward in Faith’s National Assembly today, Bishop John Broadhurst, who is a senior figure in the Anglo-Catholic movement, said he intended to tender his resignation before the end of the year and join the Ordinariate in Britain when it is established. He has said that he will remain the chairman of Forward in Faith, which he says is not an Anglican organisation.

Bishop Broadhurst is a suffragan bishop of the Diocese of London. He said the Bishop of London would likely appoint someone new to fill the post Bishop Broadhurst is vacating.

He is the first senior Anglo-Catholic to announce publicly that he will join an Ordinariate when it is founded.

Two “flying bishops”, or bishops who are appointed to provide pastoral care for Anglicans who cannot in good conscience accept women priests, are also likely to tender their resignations before the end of the year in order to join an Ordinariate…

The Tablet also has a report on this, see Anglican bishop announces move to ordinariate

Bishop of Fulham has become the first Anglo-Catholic bishop to formally announce he will join an ordinariate. As predicted in The Tablet (News from Birtain and Ireland, 2 October) Bishop John Broadhurst told the annual assembly of Forward in Faith, the largest Anglo-Catholic group in the Church of England, that he will resign as bishop and enter the new church structure, set up by Pope Benedict XVI last year to enable disaffected Anglo-Catholics to join the Roman Catholic Church en masse. The ordinariate is due to be established in Britain in January 2011, and this week The Tablet reported that the Anglican parish, St Peter’s Folkestone, had made the first formal request to join.

Various speeches, including that of Bishop Broadhurst, from the Forward in Faith Assembly can be listened to via this page.

Subsequent reports and comment:

Telegraph Damian Thompson Earthquake in Anglo-Catholicism: Bishop of Fulham to convert to Rome; Forward in Faith ‘not part of Church of England’

Sunday Telegraph Jonathan Wynne-Jones and David Harrison Church of England is fascist and vindictive, says bishop defecting to Rome

This report also covers the story of St Peter’s Folkestone:

St Peter’s Church in Folkestone, Kent, has decided to join the Ordinariate, a system designed by the Vatican to allow Anglicans to convert while maintaining parts of their heritage…

…That time has come for the church of St Peter’s in Folkestone, where the Parochial Church Council (PCC) voted unanimously to move to the Catholic Church because of its fierce opposition to the decision to create women bishops.

The move is backed by most of the congregation, which averages 35 to 40 for the main Sunday Mass. St Peter’s has become a magnet for traditionalist Anglicans – in Folkestone and beyond – who oppose the Church of England’s liberalism….

Bishop Nick Baines Ups and downs and downs and ups

The Bishop of Fulham has announced he is to resign and join the Ordinariate (i.e. become a Roman Catholic). His announcement speech used extraordinary language, claiming ‘persecution’ of ‘traditionalists’. Someone should do a linguistic textual analysis of this stuff – for a start it cheapens the word and concept of ‘persecution’. But, the notions of ‘they are forcing us out’ and ‘we have no responsibility- it is all being done to us’ has reminded me of the posts I wrote about ‘future foreshortening’ and the hierarchies of victimhood.

As I have often expressed here, I understand something of the dilemma facing those who oppose the ordination of women; but they need to take responsibility for their decisions about the future and not do the unhealthy thing of simply identifying themselves as a victim of other people’s decisions. I know from personal experience something of the cost of such demanding dilemmas (twice: once in secular employment and once in the church) – and how important it is to stop blaming other people (or ‘the evil institution’ as the Bishop of Fulham puts it). The language is the give-away in all this and it will repay careful examination one day. Meanwhile we continue to pray and try to support those facing these dilemmas – everyone loses in processes such as this one.

Damian Thompson (again) Bishop Broadhurst is not helping the Ordinariate with his ridiculous attack on the ‘fascist’ Church of England

BBC Anglicans’ regret over bishop’s conversion to Rome

A traditionalist Anglican group has voiced regret after an Anglo-Catholic bishop said he would convert to Rome…

The Catholic Group on the CofE’s General Synod said it deeply regretted the decision by Bishop Broadhurst…


Two bishops write about TEC polity

First, the Bishop of South Carolina, Mark Lawrence wrote this article in the Living Church: A Conservationist among Lumberjacks

…There is much axe swinging these days in the Episcopal Church. I have grown sad from walking among the stumps of what was once a noble old-growth Episcopalian grove in the forest of Catholic Christianity. It may surprise some, but I write not to bemoan the theological or moral teaching that is in danger of falling to the logger’s axe. I have done that elsewhere. My concern here is that as the church’s polity is felled only a few bother to cry “timber.”

I have space to raise three concerns, and these briefly: the presiding bishop’s threat to our polity —litigious and constitutional; the revisions to the Title IV canons; and, finally, a passing word about inhibitions and depositions to solve our theological/spiritual crisis…

Second, the Bishop of San Diego, James Mathes wrote a response for Daily Episcopalian: Nullification revisited

…Bishop Lawrence feigns great sorrow at the changing landscape of the Episcopal Church. He writes, “I have grown sad from walking among the stumps of what was once a noble old-growth Episcopalian grove in the forest of Catholic Christianity.” Donning the mantle of ecclesial conservationist, Bishop Lawrence even quotes environmentalist, Aldo Leopold, “a conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the ax] he is writing his signature on the face of his land.” The bishop adds, “far too many leaders in our church have never learned this lesson.” Indeed.

All of this is prelude to his main premise that the presiding bishop is threatening the polity of the Episcopal Church. He wants you to believe that the threat is manifested in three ways: because her chancellor has retained a South Carolina attorney to represent the wider Episcopal Church’s interests should they diverge from the Diocese of South Carolina’s interests; through the Title IV revisions from the 2009 General Convention; and by the manner in which the House of Bishops has dealt with bishops who have left the Episcopal Church…


Action taken against Southern Cone province

The Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr Kenneth Kearon, has issued the following statement, published today by ACNS:

The Secretary General writes: ‘Many of you will have read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter to the Anglican Communion issued at Pentecost last (28 May 2010). Part of that letter addresses the current and ongoing tensions in the Anglican Communion – these tensions cluster around the three moratoria referred to in the Windsor Report.

‘In that letter the Archbishop made the following proposals:

“I am therefore proposing that, while these tensions remain unresolved, members of such provinces – provinces that have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion and recently reaffirmed by the Standing Committee and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) – should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged. I am further proposing that members of such provinces serving on IASCUFO should for the time being have the status only of consultants rather than full members”.

‘At that time I wrote to the Primate of the Southern Cone, whose interventions in other provinces are referred to in the Windsor Continuation Group Report asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces. I have not received a response.

‘Consequently, I have written to the person from the Province of the Southern Cone who is a member of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO), Bishop Tito Zavala, withdrawing his membership and inviting him to serve as a Consultant to that body.

‘These decisions are not taken easily or lightly, but relate to the gracious restraint requested by successive meetings of the Instruments of Communion and the implications for Communion bodies when these requests are not honoured.’

The Revd Canon Dr. Kenneth Kearon.

Episcopal Café has a list of all the other members of IASCUFO, with notes on their status, see Southern Cone stonewalls Kearon over interventions (scroll down)

ENS also has a report, Ecumenical sanctions imposed on Southern Cone province, which also lists the other provinces that are still engaged in cross-border interventions, but have not yet been affected by this policy of sanctions:

Nigeria and Uganda, which have members on IASCUFO
Kenya and Rwanda, which do not.


LGBT Anglican Coalition writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury

The LGBT Anglican Coalition has issued an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Their press release is below, and the full text of the letter is below the fold.

LGBT Anglican Coalition Press Release 11 October 2010

Time to accept gay bishops, says Anglican Coalition

In a recent interview with The Times the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, was unclear whether celibate but partnered gay clergy are acceptable as bishops in the Church of England. The archbishop stated his unwillingness to consider partnered gay men and lesbians as bishops because of their ‘particular choice of life, a partnership, and what the Church has to say about that.’

The LGBT Anglican Coalition believes that acceptance should be extended beyond those who are celibate, but says:

‘Your statement has also left ambiguity regarding those in loving life-long but celibate relationships. Such people would appear to be complying fully with the requirements of “Issues in Human Sexuality” and yet still seem to be excluded simply on the grounds of some other people’s disapproval. If this is not your intention, we ask you to clarify what you meant. Given that you said that you “have no problem” with gay bishops who are celibate, we would ask you to make clear your position on the acceptability for higher office of celibate gay clergy who are in civil partnerships.’

In a letter sent to the Archbishop, the Coalition criticizes the Archbishop’s remarks as ‘hurtful and undermining to the many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people who have been called to ordained ministry but not to celibacy’. The Coalition calls the Church of England to a renewed study of sexuality in the light of modern scientific and theological understanding.

The letter is also highly critical of the culture of secrecy, fear and dishonesty around human sexuality which is blighting the Church of England, and damaging our witness to society, and which urgently needs to be dispelled. It says that, ‘in numerous Church of England parishes, worshippers fully accept LGBT people, whether single or partnered, and believe that all forms of ministry should be open to God’s children regardless of sexual orientation.’


Notes for Editors

1. The Anglican Coalition is here to provide UK-based Christian LGBT organisations with opportunities to create resources for the Anglican community and to develop a shared voice for the full acceptance of LGBT people in the Anglican Communion.

2. The Coalition members are:

Accepting Evangelicals
Changing Attitude
The Clergy Consultation
The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians
Inclusive Church
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
The Sibyls



General Synod election results

The votes in the elections to the Church of England General Synod will be counted this week. I will publish the names of the successful candidates here: General Synod List of members.

Please help me do this by sending election results to I will only publish the names of successful candidates, so I do not need the details of the count (although you are welcome to send these to me as well).


The Bishop of Winchester

Updated Monday

The Right Reverend Michael Charles Scott-Joynt, MA, the Lord Bishop of Winchester, announced at his diocesan synod yesterday that he will retire on 7 May 2011. Congregations and parishes in the diocese are being informed today, and an announcement on the diocesan website is expected later this week.

Update Official announcement from diocese


Opinion for Harvest

The Church Mouse asks Is Harvest Festival now redundant?
This prompted Kevin Holdsworth to write But when is Harvest? Please, please, when is it?

Giles Fraser writes in the Telegraph that Blessed are the children – as long as they keep it down. “The young often make a racket in church, but that’s no reason to kick them out”, he argues.

Vanessa Thorpe in The Observer profiles Karen Armstrong: The compassionate face of religion. “The former nun’s writing and theories about God and belief upset some, but she numbers the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu among her fans.”

Alan Wilson continues his series in The Guardian: The Book of Common Prayer, part 7: The joy of being a miserable sinner. “The gloomy prayers of the BCP are simply a communal stare over the precipice into an abyss, but from a place of grace.”

Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian about John Henry Newman’s last act of friendship. “Why the beatified cardinal wanted to be buried with Ambrose St John is disputed, but for me this was an act of ‘sworn brothers’.”

Graham Tomlin writes in the Church of England Newspaper about The End of the Pew? (He is in favour of getting rid of them.)

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Looking at the fearful, insular US.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Gauguin’s day to wrestle with God. “The most surprising thing about Gauguin is his interest in religion.”


codes, societies, ordinariates

An announcement was made a few days ago of the names of those who are to serve on the group charged with drafting the new Code of Practice to accompany the legislation on Women in the Episcopate.

The Church Times reports today: Traditionalists unhappy with new working group

THE Catholic Group in the General Synod was described on Wednesday morning as “incandescent” about Tuesday’s announcement of the membership of the group that will prepare the draft code of practice to accompany the women-bishops Measure…

… Prebendary David Houlding, a leading member of the Catholic Group, said on Wednesday: “We are all so angry and dismayed. It’s clear from the compilation of this group that there is to be no honoured place in the Church of England for traditionalists — that we are not wanted. This group is set up to fail before it begins. It’s one [Bishop Martin Warner] against seven.

This is slightly odd, as the list also includes The Reverend Angus MacLeay, Vicar of St Nicholas Sevenoaks, who is certainly opposed to women bishops, though for rather different reasons.

There is a second report in the Church Times available at the same URL, but SCROLL DOWN for Flying bishops deny quick move to Rome, which updates the web-only story of last Friday:

…A report published in the parish magazine of All Saints’, Clifton, of a meeting of the Ebbsfleet Lay Con­gress, which took place in Somerset on 25 September, described Bishop Newton as saying that he “hopes to join the Ordinariate”, as “I no longer believe it is possible to be a Catholic in the Church of England.” He was reported as saying that he “expects . . . that the Ordinariate could start in January 2011”.

The report also said that Bishop Burnham favoured joining the Or­dinariate, and was not optimistic about the new Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda for Catholic clergy and laity (News, 1 October).

Earlier this year, Bishop Burnham and Bishop Newton, with the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Revd John Broad­hurst, travelled to Rome to meet members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (News, 7 May).

Bishops Burnham and Newton said in a statement to The Catholic Herald last week that the offer of the Ordinariate was not dependent on any action by the C of E’s General Synod. “The initiative should be judged on its own merit. It will require courage and vision on the part of those who accept the invitation, particularly among the first to respond.”

Meanwhile, Damian Thompson in the Telegraph continues to worry about SSWSH, see The mystery of SS Hinge & Bracket: is it something to do with married bishops?

And so the SS Hinge & Bracket sails on, stately as a galleon, captained by the “catholic” bishops of the Church of England, though it’s not clear who else is on board…


The Times interview reviewed

Last week’s Church Times press column contained an analysis by Andrew Brown of the interview by Ginny Dougary. See There are no rewards for honesty.

…Yet there was one new and revealing thing that he said about the whole gay bishops business. “When I mention the statements that have been made about civil liberties and so forth, I think it’s important. It does mean that any local church that supports illegal discrimination or persecution of homosexuals is actually going against the Anglican Com­munion, and I have said that publicly.” One does wonder who is supposed to hear this, and who is supposed to believe it…