Thinking Anglicans

more on Southwark evangelicals withholding money

The Guardian has this report by Andrew Brown: Money becomes new church battleground.

Some excerpts:

The Rev Paul Perkin seemed bewildered by the question: what was his take on the latest scheme for conservative evangelical churches to withhold money from the rest of the Church of England in order to keep it out of the hands of liberals, gay people or women priests?

“I can’t talk about that,” he said. “You’ll have to ask James Paice.” Both men are vicars in south London. And both are directors of the company set up last month to implement this scheme, the Southwark Good Stewards Company. It is the latest, and perhaps the most serious, move in a bitter power struggle within the CofE and the wider Anglican communion.

Not contributing to central funds could represent a serious threat to the rest of the CofE, whose cohesion depends in part on a redistribution of money from rich, largely suburban and middle-class parishes to the inner cities and the countryside where congregations are too small and the buildings too old to be economically sustainable.

Although the Good Stewards Company claims not to be separating from the rest of the CofE, this reading is plausible only if you assume it is the rest of the CofE that has separated from Christianity.

The money will be made available only to churches that commit themselves to a rejection not just of homosexuality, but of liberalism: they must sign “in good faith” a declaration that they will “reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed … Pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.” Such people include the present archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams…

And this:

…Five retired English bishops, among them Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester who was the evangelical candidate for archbishop of Canterbury last time, have promised to act as bishops for those clergy who sign up to the pledge not to accept women bishops or tolerate gay people in the church. It is not at all clear that these arrangements are legal, since the authority of the bishops over their clergy is established by the law of England. But any legal battle would be enormously expensive and time consuming. There is no sign that the rest of the Church of England has the stomach for it.

One crisis is approaching rapidly. This summer the synod must decide whether to accept legislation allowing women to become bishops that will not make special provision for their opponents. The present draft is the product of years of wrangling. If it goes through unamended Nazir-Ali predicts that more clergy will come over to his organisation. They will attempt to leave the rest of the CofE, taking their money and their churches with them – all the while claiming, as their rhetoric already suggests, that it is the rest of the church that has left them.

But if the bishops water down the draft to avoid this open split the other side – a great majority of the church – will probably rebel. Campaigners for women bishops threaten to vote the whole measure down rather than accept amendments that would give them a permanent second-class status. The bishops meet later this month to decide and their space for compromise is vanishingly small.


Archbishop of York's response on Marriage and Civil Partnerships

The Archbishop of York has issued a lengthy statement: A response on Marriage and Civil Partnerships.

Following reports of my interview, in Jamaica, with Martin Beckford of the Daily Telegraph, I have received a number of letters and emails relating to the views which I shared in that interview, including an open letter from students in the JCR of my beloved college, Selwyn, Cambridge.

Media reports of long interviews are inevitably selective, and the full transcript is available here for clarification: ( daily-telegraph).

A number of letters endorsed the points I made in that interview. Others challenged my views, raising a number of points on which my arguments differ from theirs.

I am therefore writing a general open reply to all the issues raised in these letters.

Let me start by setting out the areas where I believe there is agreement.

First, there is no question about the equality of all human beings, “heterosexual” or “homosexual”. None of us is of greater value than anyone else in the eyes of the God who made us and loves us. ‘At the deepest ontological level, therefore, there is no such thing as “a” homosexual or “a” heterosexual; there are human beings, male and female, called to redeemed humanity in Christ, endowed with a complex variety of emotional potentialities and threatened by a complex variety of forms of alienation.’

Second, I have pastorally supported people in same sex relationships even before Civil Partnerships came into being. And it is important to note one aspect of the remarks I made to the Telegraph. The interview took place in Jamaica, a country where homosexual relationships are still criminal acts. It was in this context that I said same sex relationships must not be diminished, condemned, criticised, or patronised in any sort of way.

Some people have expressed surprise that for me it is another thing entirely to say that there is no difference between civil partnerships and marriage. Explaining that difference is not a matter of simple, knock-down arguments or slogans, so I will try to set out my case clearly…


Women bishops: do not amend the current draft legislation

WATCH has published two documents which argue against making any changes whatsoever to the current draft legislation concerning women in the episcopate.

The first is a letter sent by Rachel Weir on behalf of WATCH to all members of the House of Bishops who will be meeting next week. This is available here as a PDF, and is reproduced below.

The second is an article by Miranda Threlfall-Holmes which has now appeared here but is reproduced below the fold in its original form. (Also available as a file here.)

Re: House of Bishops meeting 21-22 May

Dear Bishop,

I am writing on behalf of WATCH (Women and the Church) to urge you to resist making any amendment to the face of the current draft Measure concerning women in the episcopate and to resist placing any assurances into ancillary documents that would work against the spirit of the Measure as currently drafted.

I am sure that you have had a great deal of correspondence on the matter but please bear in mind the following reasons for resisting any amendment:

1. This draft Measure is the most generous compromise that is possible for those who support the ordained ministry of women.
As the Bishop of Gloucester reminded us at last February’s General Synod, this draft legislation is the compromise. It represents a very significant concession from those who support the ordained ministry of women and would have preferred legislation in the form of a single clause measure. Many mainstream Synod groupings have compromised in order to show generosity to those opposed, but this is as far as we can go. We want women as bishops but not at any price.

2. This draft Measure is the legislative package most likely to be passed by Synod in July.
Amended draft legislation, that makes even more provision for those opposed, will be voted down by women clergy and others in July. The best way to get legislation for women in the episcopate passed this summer is for the House of Bishops to throw its weight behind the current draft legislation.

3. This draft legislation commands a consensus in the dioceses and represents a basis for unity moving forward.
The current draft legislation has the support of 42/44 dioceses. It commands a consensus that provides the basis for maximum ecclesial unity going forward. There are no winners and losers here; significant compromise underpins the consensus the draft Measure has achieved across the Church.

4. The draft Measure is a carefully worded document that has been produced after lengthy and detailed consideration of the issues. Hasty amendment is unlikely to improve it.
The Revision Committee wrestled with drafting in detail for over a year. After this level of scrutiny, it is inconceivable that any genuinely new amendment could be found or given adequate consideration in the course of a 24 hour meeting. Furthermore, any amendment worth making would certainly go to the substance of the issues that were considered at length by the Revision Committee.
The two issues under consideration at present, namely ‘delegation’ and ‘maleness’ were the two issues that preoccupied the Revision Committee more than any others, as you will note from the Report of that committee. It is difficult to see, in that case, how any amendment on those points could be considered ‘insignificant’. The Dioceses considered those two issues above all others and would expect to be consulted were there to be any changes in these areas.

5. Assurances in ancillary documents will be a source of ambiguity and cause problems for future implementation of the Measure.
Please be wary of introducing ‘harmless’ explanatory wording whether in a Preamble or any other ancillary document (aside from the Code of Practice). The status of ancillary documents is ambiguous and any ambiguity will be taken to signal a lack of support for draft legislation thereby encouraging those who are dissatisfied to find ways of avoiding the intentions of the Measure in future years.

6. Please pay attention to the signals any amending intervention would send.
Any intervention to amend the draft legislation would send signals to Dioceses and Deaneries that their time and input was ultimately insignificant. It would send signals to the whole Church that the House of Bishops is prepared to overturn the careful settlement achieved after great labour and to seek to impose a new settlement on the Church.
Such an intervention would risk the House presenting itself in opposition to the will of the wider Church. For people outside the Church it would convey the clear impression that the bishops are out of touch with what is both wanted and needed. It would also do enormous damage to the morale of ordained women and those who support their ministry.
We respectfully remind you that that this legislation involves reforming the House of Bishops. Many would see it as deeply inappropriate for the very body that is the subject of reform to intervene at the eleventh hour to alter a compromise that has been so carefully negotiated.

7. Please listen to the mind of the Church and lead us into renewal with enthusiasm
We would therefore ask you to exercise your episcopal leadership by listening to the mind of the Church. The clear desire, as expressed in diocesan voting, is for this legislation, to be put to Synod in July unamended.
It sometimes easy to forget that a vote for women as bishops will be wonderful news for the Church of England. There is an opportunity over coming weeks for the House to lead the Church towards this exciting phase of renewal with enthusiasm – anticipating the great enrichment to the House that female colleagues will bring. Please embrace this opportunity wholeheartedly!

With our prayers and good wishes,

Rachel Weir
The Reverend Rachel Weir
Chair of WATCH (Women and the Church)

On behalf of the National WATCH Committee



Statement on marriage from CofE Evangelical Council

The Church of England Evangelical Council has issued this St Matthias Day Statement (PDF).

The CEEC has several FAQ pages on its website including answers to: What is CEEC? and Who does CEEC actually represent? and How big is the Council?

An actual list of members can be found here.


Church Commissioners announce annual results for 2011

The Church Commissioners have today announced their annual results for 2011 with a lengthy press release starting “The Church Commissioners have today published their full Annual Report and Accounts for 2011, announcing a 2.9 per cent total return on their investments during 2011 and confirming the fund’s strong long-term performance.”

Also available for download are

The full reports from two previous years are also available: 2010 and 2009.


Church of Ireland: report of sexuality debate

Updated again Monday morning

This is what happened on Saturday.

The motions were re-introduced as a single motion, in this form.

The Archbishop of Dublin proposed them in this speech.

The Bishop of Down & Dromore seconded them in this speech.

Four separate amendments were proposed. After some debate, they were voted on, and all of them were defeated.

Text of amendments:

The unamended motion was then passed.

Some official reports now published:

Motion Passed On Human Sexuality In The Context Of Christian Belief

General Synod Passes Motion On Human Sexuality In The Context Of Christian Belief

Discussion On Human Sexuality Motion Encompasses Broad Range Of Views

The following voting figures for the main motion have been reported on Twitter

Clergy 81-53 in favour, Laity 154-60 in favour, Bishops 10-2

They are confirmed by this Irish Times report CofI affirms marriage teaching and there appears to be a later version of this article here.

The motion, proposed by the Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson and the Bishop of Down & Dromore Harold Miller, was supported by 81 clergy and 154 laity. It was opposed by 53 clergy and 60 laity.

Following the general vote, the church’s bishops then voted, by standing. All but the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross, Paul Colton, and the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory, Michael Burrows, supported the motion.

Church News Ireland has several additional reports, including:

General Synod debate on sexuality 2 – Contributors and voting

Votes on amendments

There were then votes by orders on the four proposed amendments which involved members passing though tellers and in accord with standing orders a five minute interval was required before each vote was taken. The process in all took over 45 minutes.

A proposal by Canon Patrick Comerford and the Reverend Stephen Fielding which inter alii sought to include reference to the BCP pp 405 − 438 was lost. Clergy for 58, against 73 – Laity for 84, against 122.

A proposal by Mr Andrew McNeile and the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunn, to replace the fourth paragraph of the motion was lost. Clergy for 54, against 75 – Laity for 84, against 126.

A proposal by Neville Bagnell and AG Oughton to remove a word and insert the word bigotry was lost. Clergy for 56, against 73 – Laity for 89, against 121.

A proposal by the Reverend Darren McCallig and Mrs Joan Bruton extending the definition of marriage and referring to “the normative context for sexual intercourse” was lost. Clergy for 48, against 81- Laity for 60, against 148.

Vote on substantive motion

The motion in the names of the Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Down was passed. Clergy for 81 , against 53 – Laity for 154 , against 60 .

The House of Bishops then voted in public. Two against.

General Synod debate on sexuality 3 – Media coverage



Richard Beck asks us to Let Them Both Grow Together.

Christopher Howse for The Telegraph has been on A journey with Nikolaus Pevsner to the very edge of Englishness to see a 12th-century font and a 1902 church.

Giles Fraser in The Guardian asks Why should spirituality prioritise the needs of the busy?

Also in The Guardian Andrew Brown writes about A vicar’s war against English Heritage Christianity.

Symon Hill of Ekklesia writes about Trusting in what is not real.


Church of Ireland: Sexuality resolutions to be reintroduced

This morning there is a further development in this story. From the official news service:

Following morning devotions, the Archbishop of Armagh announced that the majority of the bishops were of the view that the General Synod should have the opportunity to discuss the issues raised by Motions 8a to c on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief which was not able to happen yesterday. He said a revised motion was to be introduced. The discussion on the new motion will take place tomorrow morning (Saturday) immediately after the completion of consideration of Bill No 6.

Belfast Newsletter CoI U-turn on gay row motion

THE Church of Ireland will debate gay relationships tomorrow after a decision to stop the debate taking place was effectively overturned following behind the scenes negotiations in Dublin today.

A motion brought to the church’s General Synod by two bishops to re-affirm the church’s teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman was ruled out of order by the Archbishop of Armagh, Alan Harper, on Thursday in dramatic scenes which led to two other motions about same-sex relationships being withdrawn.

But between Thursday night and Friday morning, conservative members of the church succeeded in bundling all three motions together and re-introducing them for discussion on Saturday morning under Standing Order 31 (d) in what could be a bitter debate.

Tomorrow’s motions will allow for the church to publicly discuss homosexuality for the first time since the News Letter revealed last September that Dean Tom Gordon had become the first serving Church of Ireland cleric to enter a civil partnership.

The three original motions had been presented by the liberal Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, and the evangelical bishop of Down and Dromore, Harold Miller in a public show of unity.

But on Thursday as the first motion came to be debated the liberal Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, Michael Burrows, raised a point of order about his fellow bishops’ motion which led to Archbishop Alan Harper ruling that it could not be discussed.

Bishop Burrows, who was aware of Dean Gordon’s civil partnership before it took place, was openly jeered by large sections of the synod in Dublin’s Christchurch Cathedral but applauded loudly by others in a public sign of the considerable strain within the church.

Reintroducing the motion has infuriated some liberal members of the church who yesterday believed that they had defeated a motion which they believe will make it harder to get the church to accept gay relationships at a later point.

The Church of Ireland press office said that while the text of the three motions had now been incorporated into a single motion, the ‘preamble’ to the original motions had been dropped.

That preamble had said: “Having regard to the present discussions in the Church of Ireland on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief, the General Synod affirms that…”



Church of England Canons

The seventh edition of the Canons of the Church of England was recently published. Paper copies are available for purchase from Church House Publishing and elsewhere, and a Kindle version is available from Amazon.

The Canons are also available to view online. This is new, but it does replace the pdf version which was available for the sixth edition.


News from the Church of Ireland General Synod

Go here for recent updates to earlier press reports. Official news releases from the synod can be found here.

The Archbishop of Armagh, Alan Harper delivered a Presidential Address.

…The other matter, along with clergy pensions, that may occupy us at this year’s synod is that of Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief. I want to say something about the way in which we should address this sensitive subject and the interplay of different factors that impact upon the way we should respond as a church.

Arising out of the atmosphere created and the desire expressed at the Conference on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief that we should continue the journey of respectful and charitable listening in pursuit of deeper and clearer understanding of the will and purpose of God in these matters, the archbishops and bishops of the Church of Ireland, with the encouragement of the Standing Committee, will seek to present three motions offering a possible way forward.

The motions that the Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Down and Dromore will seek to introduce belong together. The first sets out the doctrinal understanding of marriage and the appropriate context for sexual intercourse, as currently set forth in the formularies of the Church of Ireland. To set out the current position is not to pre–determine any future adjudication the General Synod may reach on such matters. Indeed, Canon 31, which is quoted in the first motion, actually takes the form that it does as a direct result of decisions taken by the General Synod permitting the re–marriage in church of divorced persons is itself witnesses to the fact that Canons may be added, altered, refined, replaced or abolished by the General Synod at its absolute discretion.

The second motion acknowledges openly the hurt and injury experienced at times by Lesbian and Gay people as a result of the words and actions of Church members. It articulates the commitment of the Church of Ireland to being sensitive to the pastoral needs of Gay and Lesbian people and a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

The third motion, if approved, directs the Standing Committee to bring to next year’s synod recommendations for the formation of a Select Committee to study the issue of Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief and to report progress to the General Synod on the basis of a specific timetable.

The additional work generated by the need to provide for the special conference for synod members that took place at the Slieve Russell Hotel in March, followed by the framing of motions to be brought to the synod, have made heavy demands on the time and energy of my fellow bishops. Therefore, I want to pay a particular and personal tribute to my colleagues in the House of Bishops, not only for their commitment to providing means by which the Church of Ireland may address what are experienced in all the churches as difficult and potentially divisive issues, but also for their commitment to modelling and sustaining a spirit of unity in the Church of Ireland.

Members of the General Synod, this is but ‘work in progress’, and it is work not for bishops alone but for the General Synod on behalf of the Church of Ireland as a whole. Leadership in the Church of Ireland, especially in the context of the role of bishops, consists not in telling the Church what to think but in assisting the Church in coming to a richer, deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the faith we have received.
The archbishops and bishops of the Church of Ireland guard and define the doctrine of the Church only to the extent that they may be called upon to declare whether or not a particular view is consonant with the current teaching of the Church as the Church of Ireland has received it. Ultimate sovereignty under God rests with the General Synod. Therefore, I want to say something about the character of the Church of Ireland, particularly in the context of the work of the General Synod and especially the role of the laity…


Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan elected to the CNC

One more member of the Crown Nominations Commission to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury has been announced by the Anglican Communion News Service.

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan elected to the Crown Nominations Commission
Posted On : May 9, 2012 4:40 PM

The Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan, Primate of The Church in Wales, has been elected to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission for Canterbury, the body that will nominate the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Archbishop Morgan was elected by members of the Standing Committee. They had been asked to nominate one Primate to represent the Anglican Communion on the Commission and their chosen Primates were grouped according to the five regions of the Communion. The Standing Committee then voted by single transferable vote—the method agreed by the Anglican Consultative Council for all its elections—and the name of Abp Morgan emerged.

The vote took place by email and was overseen by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Standing Committee with advice from its legal advisor.


Notes to Editors

This is the first time that a Primate of the Anglican Communion has been invited to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission.

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Canon Kenneth Kearon is a ex-officio member of the Crown Nominations Commission.

The Standing Committee comprises members elected by the Anglican Consultative Council together with the Primates Standing Committee whose members are themselves elected at the Primates’ Meetings.

The five regions of the Anglican Communion are Africa; Central, North and South Americas & the Caribbean; East Asia & Oceania; Europe; Middle East & West Asia


Church of Ireland synod to discuss sexuality resolutions

Updated again Friday morning

The Church of Ireland General Synod 2012 which will take place in Christ Church Cathedral Dublin from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th May. The official synod website is here.

One item of business is receiving a great deal of attention. The Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson, and the Bishop of Down & Dromore, Harold Miller, have tabled three motions on the subject of Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief. The text of these motions can be found as a PDF file here.

Because these were submitted after the regular closing date for receipt of Motions, Tuesday 10 April, the synod has to agree by a two-thirds majority to accept them for debate. However, if that is achieved, then only a simple majority is required for approval.

Some Irish press reports:

Belfast Newsletter Gay backlash ahead of CoI debate on sexuality and earlier there was Unease in CoI at gay row motions.

An open letter has been published in several newspapers:

Belfast Telegraph Church motion on sexuality needs debate

Belfast Newsletter Group urges delay over gay debate.

And this letter: Serving clergy are afraid to ‘come out’

Irish Times (along with two more letters) Church of Ireland and same-sex relationships

Irish Independent Exclusive church

A website has been established at Say No to Resolution 8A.

Belfast Newsletter Church group’s petition opposes gay relationships

Belfast Telegraph Gay clergy could face witch-hunt if Church of Ireland synod backs motions, say campaigners

Church News Ireland General Synod Sketchbook – 10th May and then General Synod sketchbook – Day 1 and then this one. These reports are the most detailed and uptodate available.

Three motions in the area of human sexuality and Christian belief (Ref – 8 a,b,& c) are being brought before the synod by two members of the House of Bishops. A cursory examination of the C of I e-mail forum, the correspondence in yesterday’s Irish Times – see this site May 9 – and of an independent web site set up to rally opposition to the first of the motions (8a) indicate that a good number of clergy and laity regard the nature of the motion as being extremely contentious at worst and unhelpful at best…

From the comments below:

Motion 8A was ruled out of order and Motions 8B & 8C were then withdrawn by the bishops. Canon Nigel Dunne raised a point of order that 8A clashed with the Order Two marriage service in BCP 2004 and therefore sufficient doubt was raised that it was a change in doctrine.

From the Diocese of Down & Dromore:

Motions on Human Sexuality fail to come before Synod

The Bishops’ Motion 8A on Human Sexuality did not come before the General Synod on a point of order. After submissions from several speakers, it was ruled that there was doubt as to whether motion 8A constituted a change of doctrine which would necessitate bringing a bill before Synod.

Following this ruling by The Archbishop of Armagh, the proposer and seconder of motions 8B and 8C withdrew the motions altogether.

Friday’s Irish Times carries this report of yesterday: Motions run high as synod debate on same-sex marriage is called off on a technicality

…Raising the point of order, Dean of Cork Rev Nigel Dunne said that the church’s teaching on marriage “as expressed in Canon 31 stands in conflict with an understanding of same as expressed in Marriage Service Two in the Book of Common Prayer”.

He continued: “Canon 31 gives first place to the procreation and nurture of children. Marriage Service Two does not. Marriage Service Two is quite clear that sex and sexual intercourse is firstly to strengthen the relationship. The procreation of children comes second.” Motion 8A, he suggested, could “constitute a modification or alteration of doctrine” and ought not be considered as a motion but ought to be a Bill.

Following some debate on the matter the Church of Ireland primate and Synod president Archbishop Alan Harper, concerned with “the avoidance of doubt”, ruled that the motion not be taken. Related motions 8B and 8C were withdrawn by proposers Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson and the Bishop of Down and Dromore Harold Miller, who had also proposed motion 8A…

Belfast Telegraph Gay row: Church of Ireland’s resolutions withdrawn

The row over same-sex relationships in the Church of Ireland has ended after three motions opposed by gay rights campaigners were withdrawn from the General Synod without debate.

The issue may be raised again within the next two days at the synod in Dublin, although it is more likely that any major decision on the issue will be delayed for up to two years…


some Southwark evangelicals rebel on finance

Updated Tuesday afternoon

Last week’s Church Times carried a report by Ed Thornton Evangelicals warned on cash. (This earlier report gives the background.)

…Some Evangelicals in the diocese are setting up an alternative parish-share scheme, which will be a registered charity (News, 20 April). It is understood that a presentation about the plans will be made to members of the South­wark Diocesan Evangelical Union in the next couple of months, and that briefing papers will be available for PCCs to discuss.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Kuhrt, Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church, New Malden, in Southwark diocese, criticised the plans for an alternative fund. He said that he did not want “further schism and separation” in the diocese. “Creating separate structures is tempting, but is virtually always unhelpful because it creates confusion. We don’t need Evangelical ghettos being created, and we mustn’t use money as a means of blackmail… Anyone who’s really concerned about the mission of the diocese will not be wanting to go down this track.”

One source of information used in this report was this statement at, which is run by Church Society:

Ministry Trust to be established in Southwark Diocese

Due to widespread concerns in the Diocese of Southwark, a Trust is being established to support the ministry cost of parish clergy.

There will be a presentation for members of the Diocese of Southwark Evangelical Union and other interested bodies within the next couple of months, which will include a question and answer session, and briefing papers to take away for Parochial Church Councils to discuss, should they want them.

There has already been an expression of interest from clergy in the Diocese of Salisbury, because of their own local concerns.

However, a letter in this week’s Church Times from the chairman of the Southwark Diocesan Evangelical Union says:

…it is under­stood that a presentation about an alternative parish-share system in Southwark is to be presented to members of the DEU next month. The Executive Committee of the DEU has no plans to organise such a meeting.

Details were then published of the Southwark Good Stewards Trust in this article: Southwark Ministry Trust releases FAQs

The Southwark Good Stewards Company Limited report that because there has been, in the last few days, much misrepresentation of the Southwark Good Stewards Trust, the Directors have issued the below Frequently Asked Questions, ahead of the official Trust launch and reception. The Directors hope that the FAQ’s may be of interest to members of churches of other Dioceses where there is also widespread concern about revisionism…


Fulcrum has published an article by Stephen Kuhrt titled Why the ‘Southwark Ministry Trust’ is not the solution.

…Within Southwark Diocese, most of us describing ourselves as evangelicals are agreed that we are facing a major problem. A diocese of considerable diversity that has for several years maintained a balance between its different traditions has very suddenly appeared to lurch in one direction. This has come about through seven successive senior posts within the diocese all being given to liberal-Catholics. Hopefully for evangelicals in Southwark, this imbalance is temporary rather than indicating something more permanent. But it is definitely serious and has created a good deal of damage to the perception of how evangelicals are viewed and valued. At an extremely delicate time, these appointments have also created a very specific anxiety about so many of the leadership positions within the diocese now being held by those committed to a revisionist position on homosexuality. It is for these reasons that I have been among those who have criticised the imbalance within the Southwark appointments and strongly communicated this upset and dissatisfaction to our Bishop, Christopher Chessun.

At the basis of this response has been a commitment to what I see as the ‘principled comprehensiveness’ of being part of the Church of England. Part of what the ‘principled’ aspect of this involves is being prepared to make strong protest when decisions are taken that are seen as wrong or misguided and being committed to patient and ongoing pressure to reverse them. Part of what the ‘comprehensiveness’ side of this involves, however, is an equal commitment to remaining fully embedded within a diverse church partly because of the conviction that evangelicals equally need those of other traditions to tell us (just as strongly) when we go wrong as well…



St Boniface Trust has held a prize essay competition for people to write on the subject of Why I am an Anglican and believe I shall remain so. The winning entry by Natacha-Ingrid Tinteroff is available to download.

Last week I linked to two articles about a new translation of the Bible. Savi Hensman also writes about it for Ekklesia in Approaching the Bible with an open heart.

Adam J Copeland writes for The Huffington Post about Acts 8:26-40: Castrating Our Customs .

Giles Fraser writes for The Guardian Goodbye, St Paul’s. Hello, St Mary’s.


Canterbury reps on CNC elected

The Canterbury Vacancy-in-See Committee met yesterday, and as part of their business elected the following six diocesan representatives on the Crown Nominations Commission responsible for the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Reverend Canon Clare Edwards
Mr Raymond Harris
Mr David Kemp
The Reverend Canon Mark Roberts
Mrs Caroline Spencer
The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott

The Church of England centrally and the Diocese of Canterbury have both published these names.

Canterbury Diocese elects six representatives to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission
Archbishopric of Canterbury: Canterbury Diocese elects six representatives to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission


more on VAT changes

I have written about this earlier here and here.

The Church of England reports on a VAT lobby on alterations held on 23 April.

Also on 23 April Tony Baldry MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered two Written Questions in the House of Commons.

A Treasury minister was asked a question in the House of Lords on 24 April.

Madeleine Davies has reported in the Church Times that Oppose ‘alterations’ levy, Baldry urges.

George Parker writes in the Financial Times that Churches reprieved from new VAT charge (free registration required).
But David Ainsworth writes for Third Sector that Archbishops’ Council says compensation for listed churches won’t cover loss of VAT relief.

Tony Baldry asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer a question about VAT on improvements to listed buildings and received this written answer on 30 April.

This doesn’t just affect the Church of England. The Baptist Union of Great Britain has published this: VAT and listed buildings.

Aaron Morby writes for Construction Enquirer that Greens, builders and RIBA call to scrap listed building VAT.

The Construction Index has Builders join heritage lobby in calls for listed buildings VAT plan to be axed.

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103rd Bishop of Chichester Announced

Updated Monday

The next Bishop of Chichester is to be the Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Whitby. This has been announced by Number 10 this morning.

Diocese of Chichester
Thursday 3 May 2012

Queen approves Right Reverend Martin Clive Warner for election as Bishop of Chichester

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Martin Clive Warner, MA, PhD, Suffragan Bishop of Whitby, for election as Bishop of Chichester in succession to the Right Reverend Dr John William Hind, BA, DD, on his resignation on the 30th April 2012.

Notes for Editors

The Right Reverend Martin Warner (aged 53) trained for the ordained ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his first title at St Peter’s, Exeter from 1984 to 1988. From 1988 to 1993 he was Team Vicar of the Parish of the Resurrection, Leicester. The Right Reverend Martin Warner was the Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham from 1993 to 2002, and also Priest in Charge of Hempton with Pudding Norton from 1998 to 2000. He was an Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral from 2000 to 2002. From 2003 to 2010 he was Canon Residentiary of St Paul’s Cathedral. Since 2010 he has been Suffragan Bishop of Whitby.

The Right Reverend Martin Warner has wide ranging interests in the arts, including opera, theatre and medieval and contemporary art. He enjoys writing and has been widely involved in the area of theological and spiritual exploration. Preaching engagements have taken him round the world, and he has led pilgrimages in Europe and the Holy Land. For relaxation he enjoys travel by bike.

The Diocese of Chichester has a longer announcement on its website and there is also this video.


The Rector of Chichester Diocese Society of Catholic Priests Chapter and the Convenor of Affirming Catholicism in Chichester Diocese have written to their members following the announcement of Bishop Martin Warner’s appointment as their new Bishop. You can read their letter as a PDF here.

WATCH has issued a press release which is copied below the fold, as it has not appeared on any other website yet.



Tom Sutcliffe: Lost in the Wilderness

Updated Thursday

Tom Sutcliffe has provided us with an improved version of his article about Archbishop Rowan Williams which we have published as a web page here.

Readers may like to know that an earlier, much shorter version of this article originally appeared here.
Tom Sutcliffe has written a very perceptive article about Rowan Williams which has been published by Anglican Ink.

The title is Lost in the wilderness: Rowan Williams’s via crucis as Archbishop of Canterbury, and the future without him.

This is well worth the time to read in full, even though it is over 6000 words.