Thinking Anglicans

BRIN comments on the British Social Attitudes Survey

We reported previously on this major survey here.

British Religion in Numbers has now published its analysis at British Social Attitudes Survey, 2012.

In addition to discussion of the specifically religious questions asked, BRIN notes that

responses to all questions in the survey can be quickly analysed by religion, through the BSA Information System website at (prior registration is required)

And BRIN reports the following example analysis, taken from the chapter on personal relationships in the survey report:

  • All religious groups apart from non-Christians have become more accepting of premarital sex over the past three decades, the number of Anglicans and Catholics describing it as always or mostly wrong now being reduced to one in ten (much the same as in the population as a whole), compared with almost one in three in 1983. Most tolerant of all are people of no religion, only 2% of whom in 2012 considered premarital sex to be wrong (11% in 1983). Frequency of attending religious services also has an impact; whereas 71% of non-attenders said in 2012 that premarital sex is not at all wrong, this was true of only 23% of weekly attenders at worship.
  • Despite a similar process of liberalization of attitudes over time, people of faith are still appreciably more disapproving of homosexuality than society at large. Indeed, the gap between the religious and non-religious on this issue is now far wider than in the past. Overall, 28% of Britons in 2012 deemed sexual relations between two adults of the same sex to be always or mostly wrong, but the proportion fell to 16% among the irreligious and climbed to 61% of non-Christians (with 35% for Catholics and 40% for Anglicans).
  • Religion continues to be closely associated with attitudes to abortion. Catholics are the least accepting, with only 39% supporting a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy if she wishes to, against 56% of Anglicans. Those professing no religion are most supportive of all (73%, compared with 62% of all Britons). However, acceptance of abortion has increased among all faith communities since 1983; in the case of Anglicans, for example, just 34% endorsed abortion in these circumstances thirty years ago.


Fulcrum was founded ten years ago this month, as we noted here. Graham Kings wrote about the early history here.

Fulcrum has announced today that it has a new chair, the Revd John Watson, and three new leadership team members: the Ven Alastair Cutting, Dr Paula Gooder, and Andy Walton. Details are here: 10th Anniversary of Fulcrum: New Chair and 3 New Team Members.


Archbishop Kattey set free

We reported a week ago that the Most Revd Ignatius Kattey, the Archbishop of the Niger Delta, had been kidnapped in Nigeria. The Nigerian Press has now reported his release.

Daily Post Nigeria Bishop Kattey regains freedom from kidnappers
Osun Defender Kidnappers release Anglican bishop
P M News Nigeria Kidnapped Archbishop Kattey freed
The Sun news Archbishop Kattey set free
Leadership Bishop Kattey Released In Rivers
This Day Live Kidnapped Anglican Bishop Kattey Regains Freedom


The BBC has also reported the Archbishop’s release: Archbishop Ignatius Kattey freed by Nigerian kidnappers.



Jim Macdonald writes about Victory to the People. “Those who love sausage and the scriptures shouldn’t watch either of them being made.”

Antonia Honeywell has A Cautionary Tale for Justin Welby.

Peter Barron explains how the Northern Echo covered the announcement of the new Bishop of Durham: Breaking news – on the school run.

Janet Henderson blogs about Boy Bishops, Women and Outsiders and Lessons for the Church of England.

Jonathan Clatworthy writes for Modern Church about Liberals on the move.


Church in Wales – Statement by Forward in Faith


Forward in Faith regrets the decision of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to authorize the ordination of women as bishops without first agreeing arrangements for those who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive episcopal ministry from them.

We cannot see how a female bishop could be what a diocesan bishop should be – a Father in God and a focus of unity for all within his diocese. This vote therefore makes the question of the provision of episcopal ministry for those who continue to uphold catholic faith and order in the Church in Wales even more pressing.

Experience in Wales and elsewhere does not give us confidence that the promised ‘code of practice’ could offer the level of assurance that would encourage growth and flourishing – so sorely needed in Wales – or the degree of certainty that would remove the possibility of damaging and distracting disputes.

Our brothers and sisters in Credo Cymru will seek to enter into dialogue with the Welsh bishops. We can only hope that their representations will be met with the generosity of spirit that ought to be the hallmark of Christian episcopacy. Meanwhile, we continue to pray for and with our Welsh sisters and brothers, encouraging them to follow St David in being joyful and keeping the faith.

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham
13 September 2013


WATCH: Church in Wales says ‘Yes’ to women bishops

Women and the Church has issued this press release:

WATCH is delighted at the result of the vote on allowing women to become bishops passed by the Governing Body of the Church in Wales. In the end the vote was a straightforward one, either yes or no to allowing women to join the episcopate. The House of Laity voted For, 57, Against, 14, Abstentions, 2, in the House of Clergy For, 37, Against, 10 and Abstentions, 0 and in the House of Bishops For 6, Against, 0 and Abstentions, 0. The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan said before the vote that if it was a yes vote, the Bishops would consult widely on a code of practice and that there would be discussions about it at the Governing Body in April 2014.

The vote in Wales provides much encouragement to those praying and campaigning to see women take their rightful place alongside men at every level , including the episcopate, in the Church of England.

The Reverend Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH said “This is fantastic news and we are delighted that the Church in Wales has opted for simple legislation enabling women to become bishops. The vote will provide a welcome boost to the morale of female clergy well beyond the welsh borders and help to set a positive context for our own ongoing legislative process in the Church of England”


Church in Wales votes in favour of women bishops

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales this afternoon voted in favour of the consecration of women as bishops. Here is the official press release.

Church votes to ordain women as bishops

A Bill to enable women to be consecrated as bishops was passed by members of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales meeting at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter today.

The Bill was amended, following a lengthy and passionate debate, to become a one-stage vote to enable the consecration of women as bishops, with a “code of practice” to be written by the Bishops for those who in conscience could not accept the authority of women bishops. The amendment had been tabled by the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy Jackson, and Revd Canon Jenny Wigley.

The Bill was proposed by the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, and seconded by the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John.

Addressing members, the Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “Thank you for the way in which the debate has been conducted and I hope you will trust us as Bishops to prepare a code of practice.”

House of Laity – 57 yes 14 no 2 absentions
House of Clergy – 37 yes, 10 no
House of Bishops – unanimous.

A two thirds majority was required in each house.


ACNS reports Wales says ‘yes’ to women bishops.

One year from today, women priests can become bishops in the Church in Wales.

The historic decision to allow women bishops was made at today’s meeting of the Church’s Governing Body in Lampeter, Ceredigion.

The Bill that came before today’s meeting was a modified version of the one that was narrowly voted down in 2008.

The modification proposed that, were the Church to vote ‘yes’ to women bishops, a second Bill dealing with provision for those opposed to women bishops would be considered before any women were elected to the episcopate.

This would have delayed the election of women bishops in the Province for several years.

The Bill was amended, following a lengthy and passionate debate, to become a one-stage vote to enable the consecration of women as bishops, with a “code of practice” to be written by the bishops for those who in conscience could not accept the authority of women bishops. The amendment had been tabled by the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy Jackson, and Revd Canon Jenny Wigley.

Wales now joins the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Ireland, both of which allow women bishops, though which have not appointed any to date.

The members of the Governing Body meeting spent several hours in debate. Around 3pm it looked as if they were going to vote on whether to pass the amended bill. However, the group voted instead to continue the debate.

People around the world were able to follow the highlights of the debate on the Social Media microblogging site Twitter using #govbody. Comments came from people inside and outside the meeting in English and also in Welsh.

When the Church finally voted on the amended bill at 4.50pm, the following votes were cast:

Laity – For 57 Against 14 Abstentions 2.
Clergy – For 37 Against 10 Abstentions 0.
Bishops – Unanimously For.

To date there have been 33 women bishops in the Anglican Communion. Twenty-four are either in post or are bishop-elect.

The latest election of a woman to the episcopate is Helen-Ann Hartley, an English priest who will become a bishop the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in early 2014.

With today’s decision, Wales joins Bangladesh, Brazil, Central America, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, North India, Philippines, Scotland, Sudan and Uganda as Provinces that permit women bishops but have not yet appointed any.

Those Provinces or ‘extra provincial’ churches or diocese with women bishops include Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia; Australia; Canada; Southern Africa; United States and Cuba (an extra-provincial diocese).

Press reports

BBC Church in Wales backs women bishops
Gavin Drake in the Church Times Church in Wales votes for women bishops
Wales Online Church in Wales votes to ordain women as bishops
Steven Morris in The Guardian Female bishops voted in by Church in Wales
John Bingham in The Telegraph Women bishops given go-ahead in Wales


Paul Butler of Southwell and Nottingham to move to Durham

Updated several times during the morning and afternoon

The Diocese of Durham has announced that its next bishop is to be Paul Butler, currently Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.

Bishop of Durham Designate – Announced

The new Bishop of Durham Designate was announced today. The announcement from by Downing Street this morning confirms that the next Bishop of Durham Designate is The Rt Revd Paul Butler.

Currently Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Bishop Paul was installed at Southwell Minster on 27 February 2010. He was consecrated at Southwark Cathedral on 24 June 2004 and served as Bishop of Southampton until his move to Southwell. Commenting in advance of today’s announcement Bishop Paul said that he was very much looking forward to coming to the North East and continuing the work started by the previous Bishop of Durham, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury…

Somewhat later than the press release from Durham, the announcement from the Prime Minister’s office has now appeared online.

Diocese of Durham: nomination approved

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Paul Roger Butler BA for election as Bishop of Durham.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Paul Roger Butler, BA, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, for election as Bishop of Durham in succession to the Right Reverend Justin Portal Welby, MA, on his elevation as Archbishop of Canterbury on 4 February 2013.

Notes for editors

The Right Reverend Paul Butler (aged 57) was educated at Nottingham University where he took a BA in English and History in 1977. He trained for ordination at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. From 1983 to 1987 he was a Curate at All Saints with Holy Trinity, Wandsworth, Southwark. From 1987 to 1992 he moved to the Scripture Union as Inner London Evangelist and was then Deputy Head of Missions from 1992 to1994. From 1987 to 1994 he was a Non Stipendiary Minister at East Ham St Paul, Chelmsford. From 1994 to 1997 he was Priest-in-Charge at Walthamstow St Mary with St Stephen and also Priest-in-Charge at Walthamstow St Luke, Chelmsford. From 1997 to 2004 he was Team Rector of the Parish of Walthamstow. He was Area Dean of Waltham Forest from 2000 to 2004. Since 2001 he has been Honorary Canon of Byumba, Rwanda. From 2004 to 2009 he was Suffragan Bishop of Southampton. Since 2009 he has been Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham. Since 2004 he has also acted as Archbishops’ Advocate for Children. He currently is Co Chair of the Joint Safeguarding Liaison Group for the Church of England and Methodist Church. He was Chair of CMS from 2008-10 and is currently President of Scripture Union.

Paul Butler is married to Rosemary and they have 4 adult children. His interests include reading, writing, travel, gardening and listening to music.

The Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham has also announced the appointment.

The Diocese of Durham has published an alternative version of their announcement.

Press reports

John Bingham in The Telegraph New Bishop of Durham announced as Rt Rev Paul Butler
BBC Paul Butler to be new Bishop of Durham
Steven Morris in The Guardian Supporter of female bishops to replace Justin Welby as bishop of Durham
Matt Westcott in the Northern Echo New Bishop of Durham unveiled
Bruce Unwin in the Northern Echo New Bishop of Durham will “carry on good work” of now Archbishop Welby
Mark Caplin In Christian Today Paul Butler announced as next Bishop of Durham
Madeleine Davies in the Church Times Next Bishop of Durham announced


Church in Wales – Governing Body meeting

Updated Thursday morning

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales is meeting today (Wednesday) and tomorrow. The agenda, with links to the papers, is online here.

There are already two press releases

Be inspired by two great Welsh clerics, Archbishop tells Church
Archbishop calls on parishioners to invest in credit unions

with links to speeches by the Archbishop of Wales.

The main item of business tomorrow is the Bill to Enable Women to be Consecrated as Bishop. The meeting is scheduled to continue into Thursday afternoon.

Wales Online yesterday previewed the debate with Women bishops vote could be derailed again.

The chair of WATCH has sent this Message to the Church in Wales.


BBC Church in Wales to vote on women bishops


Two bishops comment on Church of England homosexuality policy

The Bishop of Worcester, John Inge is reported in the Worcester News as saying Attitude to gays is in need of rethink:

THE Bishop of Worcester says the church should “reflect deeply” on the fact that many youngsters believe its attitude to homosexuality is wicked.

The Rt Rev Dr John Inge threw his weight behind comments made last week by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said a lot of people under 30 think the Church’s view on gay men and lesbians is “incomprehensible”.

The city’s bishop told your Worcester News that the Most Rev Justin Welby was “undoubtedly right” about the stance taken by young people.

“The Church needs to reflect deeply on the implications of this,” said Bishop John. “For the first time in many generations, our traditional teaching is being seen by large numbers of people as being on the wrong side of the moral argument. It’s important that we recognise this and do some soul searching, recognising that God doesn’t only speak through the Church of England.”

The Bishop of Gloucester, Michael Perham is reported in the Gloucestershire Citizen Bishop of Gloucester apologises for church treatment of gay community:

…”The church has to be sorry,” he said.

“It has not treated the gay, lesbian and transgender community very well. “The church may be moving slowly, but it will get there. The vast majority of Christians are moving relatively fast towards a more modern way of thinking and towards a position where they should be. It is a place where they should have reached a long time ago, but clearly not as quickly as the rest of society. The church is slow because it is trying to pull together this universal family from all over the world to have the same understanding.

“The church’s view on same sex marriage is not sustainable. But homosexuals must realise that the church is not homophobic. We should all celebrate committed, faithful and loving relationships.”


Bishop of Ripon and Leeds to retire

The Rt Revd John Packer, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, has announced that he will retire on 31 January 2014. His final duties as bishop of the diocese will be on 31 December 2013.

Since his diocese will cease to exist at Easter 2014 with the creation of the new Diocese of Leeds, Bishop Packer will not be replaced.


Changes in British Social Attitudes

Updated Friday

The annual British Social Attitudes Report has been published. You can find the key findings, the whole report, and related materials at this website.

Media reports on this:

John Bingham at the Telegraph has Marriage ‘no longer the foundation stone of family life’ and Revolution in attitudes to homosexuality is biggest change in generation

The Guardian has
Britons more liberal, cynical and individual than 30 years ago, says survey
Changing British attitudes: rise in support for benefits since last year
Changing British attitudes: can you guess them?
Changing British attitudes: press and politicians out, royal family in

The Conversation has this: British social attitudes report finds trust is in freefall and specifically mentions the Church of England:

…Over the past 30 years, the hold of that the country’s religious institutions have on the British public has similarly weakened. In 1983, 69% classified themselves as “belonging to a religion”, whereas in 2012 this figure was 52%.

This fall was not spread over all religions, however. The drop is driven by the declining popularity of the Church of England. Those who affiliate themselves with the Anglican Church has dropped from 40% to 20% in the same period.

Linda Woodhead, Director of Religion and Society at the University of Lancaster, said, “11% of 20 year olds identify themselves as Anglican, compared to 50% of over 60s”. The Church of England, like political parties, is failing to retain or attract young people.

However, the drops in these figures do not signal a correlative increase in levels of atheism. “In fact, levels of atheism have not grown a great deal in the past 30 years, and stand at under 20%” Woodhead explained. “People are just less likely to associate with, or relate to, a particular religion.”


The Church Times has Christians more liberal, survey finds.

…The survey suggests that Christians have also become more accepting of pre-marital sex over the past 30 years. In 1983, for instance, 31 per cent of Anglicans who were surveyed said that pre-marital sex was “always” or “mostly” wrong; in 2012, only ten per cent thought this.

When first asked, in 1989, whether “people who want children ought to get married”, 71 per cent of all those surveyed agreed, and 17 per cent disagreed. By 2012, the proportion agreeing had dropped to 42 per cent, and the proportion of those disagreeing had risen to 34 per cent.

In 1989, more than three-quarters of Anglicans surveyed (78 per cent) thought that people should marry before having children. In 2012, just over half of Anglicans (54 per cent) thought this. Roman Catholics have become even more accepting of having children outside of wedlock: in 1989, 73 per cent thought people should marry before having children; in 2012, just 43 per cent thought this…


Nigerian Archbishop kidnapped

The Most Revd Ignatius Kattey, the Archbishop of the Niger Delta, has been kidnapped in Nigeria. David Hamid, the suffragan bishop in Europe, has this report: Nigerian Archbishop with links to our Diocese has been kidnapped.

A Nigerian Anglican Archbishop, one of two who visited our diocese earlier this year, has been kidnapped by armed men on Friday 6 September. The Most Revd Ignatius Kattey and his wife Beatrice were kidnapped near their residence at Eleme, Port Harcourt, last Friday 6 September.

Archbishop Ignatius is the Dean of the Nigerian Church, and Archbishop of the Niger Delta Province, and the second most senior Anglican bishop in the country. According to reports, the kidnappers abandoned the Archbishop’s car containing Mrs Kattey after a police chase. The Archbishop is still missing.

Archbishop Ignatius accompanied Archdeacon of Italy and Malta Jonathan Boardman on visits to Turin and Padua last April, and along with his colleague Archbishop Joseph Akinfenwa came to my office afterwards to report on their visit and explore with me how our partnership and cooperation might be deepened.

Apparently, no group has claimed responsibility and no ransom demand has been made.

Please pray for the safe release of the Archbishop.

The Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion has a brief statement on its website.

There are many reports in the Nigerian press including these.

This Day Live Anglican Archbishop Kattey Kidnapped in Rivers
Nigerian Tribune Anglican Arch-Bishop kidnapped in Rivers State •Police begin manhunt
The Guardian Anglican Bishop Kidnapped In Rivers
PM News Archbishop Kattey kidnapped by gunmen

Other reports include:

Anglican Communion News Service Nigeria Archbishop and wife kidnapped
Anglican Ink Anglican Archbishop kidnapped in Nigeria



Ian Paul blogs about What we should do about Syria.

Andreas Whittam Smith (the First Church Estates Commissioner) writes for The Independent about Here’s how a ‘good’ bank could operate.

Thom S Rainer blogs about Eight Areas Where Many Ministers Are Unprepared for Ministry.

Ted Olsen writes for Christianity Today about The Wars Over Christian Beards.

Jonathan Clatworthy writes for Modern Church about Greenbelt as a churchmanship.

Vicky Beeching has interviewed Steve Holmes for Faith in Feminism: Christian, feminist & conservative on sexuality?
Earlier in the week she interviewed Rachel Mann: Meet Rachel: a trans-woman, gay, feminist priest.

Jon Kuhrt writes for Fulcrum about The Secularisation of Martin Luther King.


First meeting of Women Bishops steering committee

Press release from the Church of England today.

First meeting of Women Bishops steering committee
06 September 2013

The first meeting of the women Bishops steering committee set up after the General Synod debate in July 2013 took place on 5th and 6th September in Coventry.

The committee considered a first draft of the Measure and amending canon as requested by Synod and also looked at the possible shape of a declaration from the House of Bishops and a mandatory grievance procedure. The discussions were serious, honest and constructive.

The committee is due to meet again on 11th and 12th of October 2013.

We listed the members of the steering committee here.


Church Commissioners' ethical investment policy

The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a written question in the House of Commons yesterday on the Church Commissioners’ ethical investment policy.



Helen Goodman: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what the category limits are of the Church Commissioners’ ethical investment policy.

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners are advised on ethical investment policy by the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group. In directly held investments, the Church Commissioners avoid investment in companies involved in indiscriminate weaponry and, if their strategic military supplies exceed 10% of turnover, in companies involved in conventional weapons. The Church Commissioners do not invest in companies that derive more than 3% of revenues from the production or distribution of pornography, nor companies a major part of whose business activity or focus (defined as more than 25% of group revenues) is tobacco, gambling, alcoholic drinks, high interest rate lending or human embryonic cloning. Where the Church Commissioners are not able to invest in an asset class directly they do so indirectly (in pooled funds). In indirectly held investments, where the Church Commissioners usually cannot fully implement their ethical restrictions, exposure to businesses operating in excluded sectors is monitored. If the level or nature of exposure to excluded sectors in any one fund becomes unacceptable, the Church Commissioners review the options for remedial action.


Third woman bishop in New Zealand


The Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki in New Zealand has announced the election of the Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley as the next bishop of Waikato.

The Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley has been elected the next Anglican Bishop of Waikato.

Helen-Ann, who is 40, will become the 7th Bishop of Waikato – and the first woman to hold the office. She succeeds Archbishop David Moxon, who is now the Anglican Communion’s ambassador to Rome.

Bishop-elect Helen-Ann is at present Dean of Tikanga Pakeha students at St John’s College in Auckland.

She was born in Edinburgh and grew up in north-east England. She is the fourth generation of her family to be ordained, and was priested in 2005 in the Diocese of Oxford…

The Bishop of Taranaki has issued this letter.

ACNS reports that Church of England female priest elected as NZ bishop.

Dr Hartley was featured in an article published by The New Yorker in 2010 before she moved to New Zealand – A Canterbury Tale: The battle within the Church of England to allow women to be bishops by Jane Kramer.


Bosco Peters writes about having two co-equal Diocesan Bishops in Waikato and Taranaki: New Bishop of Waikato.


Defending Bishop Tengatenga

Updated Thursday morning

Bishop James Tengatenga has been in the news recently because Dartmouth College reneged on a job offer they made to him, after he had already resigned his previous position as Bishop of Southern Malawi. See for example this ENS report by Matthew Davies Dartmouth withdraws Tengatenga’s appointment as foundation dean:

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, has withdrawn the appointment of former Southern Malawi Bishop James Tengatenga as dean of its Tucker Foundation saying that his past comments about homosexuality “have compromised his ability to serve effectively.”

Meanwhile, some North American church leaders are surprised and saddened by the decision, saying that they know Tengatenga as a bridge-builder and reconciler who has a deep understanding of the complex issues concerning human sexuality.

Tengatenga, a long-standing member and current chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), the Anglican Communion’s main policy-making body, announced in mid-July that after 15 years as bishop of Southern Malawi he was tendering his resignation to become the Virginia Rice Kelsey Dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College from Jan. 1, 2014…

Today the Living Church has published a letter signed by a number of notable people, which criticises Dartmouth College. See Defending Bishop Tengatenga:

Dartmouth’s folly and the struggle for LGBTQ rights in Africa

Earlier this summer an offer was made to the Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga, Anglican Bishop of Southern Malawi, to become the next Virginia Rice Kelsey ’61s Dean of the William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College, an organization charged with educating students and the Dartmouth community into “lives of purpose and ethical leadership, rooted in service, spirituality, and social justice.” Tengatenga accepted, announced his resignation as Bishop of Southern Malawi, made plans to come to Dartmouth in early 2014, and news of the appointment was made public on July 16. With a swiftness that hardly seemed possible, even in this age of electronic communication, messages started to circulate on blogs and over email, as were letters of protest sent to the College’s top administrators, charging the Bishop with homophobia. On July 22 the Dartmouth College Chapter of the NAACP sent a letter protesting the appointment to the president, provost, and members of the search committee…

Much of this communication was vague. Some of it, however, was quite specific, citing comments made by Tengatenga on matters related to human sexuality within the context of the Anglican Communion. Despite issuing a statement declaring his unequivocal support for marriage equality and the sanctity of human rights for all individuals appearing on the official “Dartmouth Now” site, Tengatenga continued to be criticized. One month after his appointment was announced, the President of the College, Philip J. Hanlon, released a statement saying that the appointment had been rescinded.

The President’s decision brought applause from some in the Dartmouth community. Others were appalled, as are we. The action represents a gross injustice to an individual who would have made an ideal person to provide moral and ethical leadership at the College. It casts serious doubts on what is being learned in American universities when members of those communities fail to distinguish between public positions of institutions and the views of individuals who participate in those institutions. It reflects badly on western human rights advocates who consciously or unconsciously engage in forms of cultural imperialism that undermine their own success and credibility by demanding proofs identical to their own kind and, in this instance, by also ignoring the voices of Africans and church leaders who have known and worked with Tengatenga in some cases for decades….

Do read the entire letter.

A response to this letter by Joseph Asch has been published at Dartblog A Public Letter for Tengatenga. This response contains numerous links to earlier discussions on the same site.


Ten years of the Anglican-Methodist Covenant


The Church of England issued this press release: Church of England and the Methodist Church moving closer to unity

* 10 years since signing of historic Covenant

The Joint Implementation Commission (JIC) of the Church of England and Methodist Church in Britain has called for “Church leaders and decision-making bodies to make the Covenant a priority in order to bring our Churches closer together in mission and holiness.”

In a major Report published this week the JIC calls on both Churches to consider the impact that the 10-year-old Anglican Methodist Covenant has made on their relationship; to rejoice in the progress that has been made; and to face together the challenges of mission.

The Report, entitled “The Challenge of the Covenant: Uniting in Mission and Holiness”, provides numerous examples of where the Churches have worked well together over the past 10 years, including areas of education, ethical investment, mission, theological education, safeguarding and Fresh Expressions. There are now 533 local ecumenical partnerships between Anglicans and Methodists across the country. However, the Report also identifies a number of continuing challenges, such as the need for further collaboration, consultation and decision making at both national and local levels…

…The JIC Report: “The Challenge of the Covenant: Uniting in Mission and Holiness” , the Quick Guide and a Draft Report to the Methodist Conference and the General Synod in 2014 will be available for download from 6th September at:

The Methodist Church has this page about the Anglican Methodist Covenant.

…Full information about Covenant, including its Affirmations and Commitments, and how it is worked out locally can be found at Please note this website is now rather dated and there are plans to create a new website for the Anglican Methodist Covenant.

The second quinquennial JIC report ‘The Challenge of the Covenant’ will be available here on September 6 2013…


The Quick Guide is now available here. For the full report go to this page, and scroll down. The report to go to General Synod can be downloaded here.