Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 29 November 2017

Ian Paul Psephizo What is going wrong with theological education?

Kelvin Holdsworth Inclusive Language and Politeness

Pisky.Scot Independence, Boldness, and Persistence: The Rev Canon Dr Chuck Robertson reflects on the links between TEC and the SEC


New Directors for Renewal & Reform and Evangelism & Discipleship announced

Press release from the Church of England

New Directors for Renewal & Reform and Evangelism & Discipleship announced


The Church of England is pleased to announce the appointment of Debbie Clinton as Director of Renewal and Reform, and Dave Male as Director of Evangelism and Discipleship.

Director of Renewal and Reform

Bringing extensive experience of change management and strategic planning in both the Church and the commercial sectors Debbie will oversee and ensure the implementation of the national workstreams relating to Renewal and Reform.

Renewal and Reform is a body of work designed to enable the Church of England more effectively to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in this generation. It aims to build on the three goals articulated by General Synod in 2010 to:

1. Facilitate the growth of the church in numbers and depth of discipleship
2. Re-imagine the church’s ministry
3. Contribute as the national church to the common good

Renewal and Reform aims to address some of the deep-rooted missional challenges facing the Church of England. It prayerfully hopes to see the Church of England become once again a growing church, for all people in all places.

Debbie has held a series of strategic senior posts in the change management, marketing and customer development fields, most recently as the Director of Capital Vision at the Diocese of London and previously as a Director of Customer and Brand with Aviva working across their European businesses. Having grown up within the Church of Ireland, she currently worships at St Paul’s Howell Hill in the Diocese of Guildford.

Debbie said: “It is an enormous privilege to join in this work with Dioceses and parishes as we seek to proclaim the good news afresh in this generation and renew and reform our life in ways that further God’s kingdom. “

Debbie will be taking over from Mike Eastwood who is currently on a part-time secondment from the Diocese of Liverpool. Debbie will take up her new role early next year.

Director of Evangelism and Discipleship

The Church of England is pleased to announce the appointment of Dave Male to the new post Director of Evangelism and Discipleship.

The Archbishops’ Council has established this new team to strengthen its support for the local work of bringing people to faith, and strengthening their Christian life, in all the dioceses, parishes and other ministries of the Church.

Dave brings extensive experience of creating innovation and achievement through his work as a church leader, theological educator and national advisor. Dave will establish and lead the work of this newly formed Directorate whose task is to oversee and strengthen the work of the National Church in Evangelism and Discipleship as it contributes to the objectives of the Archbishops’ Council.

As a parish priest and pioneer minister Dave has significant experience of leading in evangelism and discipleship at local, deanery and Diocesan level. He has written many books and articles on mission, evangelism, pioneer ministry and Fresh Expressions and has spoken on these topics in the UK and across the world.

Dave said: “I am thrilled to be leading this new, exciting and dynamic team who are seeking to strengthen and develop the work of Evangelism and Discipleship through this new Directorate. This is a time of great possibilities and opportunities for us.”

Dave will take up his new post early in the New Year.

William Nye, Secretary General to the General Synod, said: “I am delighted with these two new appointments we are announcing today. The new department of Evangelism and Discipleship, and the enhanced role for a director of Renewal and Reform, are signs of the Archbishops’ Council’s commitment to spreading the Gospel and renewing the Church. We are fortunate to have attracted two excellent candidates for these important roles.

Both have contributed much to the Church already, Debbie Clinton in helping the Church’s largest diocese make reality of its Capital Vision for growth in London, and Dave Male in leading, teaching and inspiring pioneer ministers to contribute to the work of evangelism. Both Debbie and Dave have much to offer in bringing about the vision of a growing Church for all people and in all places.”


Very few religious same-sex weddings in England & Wales

Researchers at the universities of York and Leeds have produced a study titled
Religious marriage of same-sex couples : A report on places of worship in England and Wales registered for the solemnization of same-sex marriage.

Press releases:

York: Small numbers of churches embrace same-sex marriage

Leeds: Number of same-sex church weddings remains very small

The Yorkshire Post reported it as: No takers at half of same-sex marriage venues, survey says

The full report can be downloaded from here.


New National Coordinator for Inclusive Church

From the Inclusive Church website

New National Coordinator Appointed

The trustees of Inclusive Church are pleased to announce that Ruth Wilde will be the next National Coordinator.

Ruth Wilde comes to us from the Student Christian Movement, where she has been the Faith in Action Project Worker since 2015. Her job at SCM involves running workshops, events and campaigns for students and student groups all over the country.

Ruth is a Quaker and attends Selly Oak Quaker Meeting in Birmingham, but she also regularly attends an ecumenical Peacemeal house group, which she set up with friends. She is an associate tutor at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, down the road from where she lives. She has also recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Theology at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham and is hoping to do an MA in the same subject next year.

Ruth has taken part in all manner of social justice activities, including Citizens UK and Christian Peacemaker Teams. She has also been involved in LGBT+ campaigning in the Church of England as a trustee with Changing Attitude (now part of OneBodyOneFaith).

In her spare time, she likes playing the piano, cuddling her cat Daisy, and walking in the countryside with her wife Ellie. She can also sometimes be spotted at Derby County football matches with her Dad!

Speaking about her appointment, Ruth says:
“I am really excited to start the job with Inclusive Church. I am thrilled to have been appointed and look forward to this new challenge. It will be hard to fill Bob’s shoes, as he has done such an incredible job in his seven years as IC National Coordinator- it is the beginning of a new era! I hope that I can be attentive to the supporters and members of Inclusive Church and that we can move forward in a positive direction together.”

Ruth takes up her post on January 1st 2018.


Opinion – 25 November 2017

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave this lecture in Moscow this week: Christian hope

Philip Jones Ecclesiastical Law The Crockford Preface 1987: Thirty Years On

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Twitter Moments – The General and The Particular

Rachel Mann In Praise of ‘Church’: the Parish as a Place of Glory & Grace

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of despots and of kings

Simon Cook Church Times Like it or not, the digital world is the real world
“People should not seek to escape technology … Instead, they need to be taught to use it wisely”

Jonathan Bartley Church Times What should upset Christians
“There are far more important issues than sausage rolls in cribs”

Andrew Hammond, chaplain of King’s College, Cambridge, is interviewed by Anna Menin for Varsity: King’s Chaplain: ‘It’s the quality of the love that matters, not the gender of the lovers’


Opinion – 22 November 2017

Rachel Mann Why Transgender Day of Remembrance Matters

Warren Hartley A brave faith The theology and spirituality of Open Table – A person-centred approach

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Safeguarding: why is the Church of England’s institutional compassion so constipated?

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The decadence of the Church of England


Church denies delay in publishing Carlile report on George Bell

Church of England press release

Timing of publication of independent review of the processes used in the Bishop George Bell case

A spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team said: “We received the draft of Lord Carlile’s report in October and now, according to the Terms of Reference of the review, are at the stage of responding with feedback from those who contributed. This is quite an intensive process and includes issues over factual accuracy and identification of ‘Carol’. As the review website notes, the final version of the report will then be presented to the National Safeguarding Steering Group before publication. This is the process with all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication.”


Appointment of Lord Carlile on 22 November 2016

Full text of his terms of reference

Extract from Frequently Asked Questions on the Carlile Bell website:

When will the review be finished?

It is planned that the Review will be completed by end of July 2017 and published as soon as possible after that.

Who will see the final report? Will I get to see it?

The report will first be presented to the Church of England, National Safeguarding Steering Group. It will then be published in full.


South Carolina court declines to rehear church dispute

We reported in August that the South Carolina Supreme Court had reached a decision on the legal dispute concerning who was the lawful owner of church properties in the diocese of South Carolina.

The ACNA-affiliated diocese subsequently filed an appeal against this decision.

Now the court has rejected those claims.

The statement from the ACNA-affiliated diocese is here, and there is a letter from Bishop Mark Lawrence.

There is now also a press release from the TEC-affiliated diocese and a statement from Bishop Skip Adams over here.


Opinion – 18 November 2017

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News My Confusion Regarding Claims of Sexual Harassment

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of teaching

Bosco Peters Liturgy Submission on Blessing Same-Sex Couples

Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts Purity Cults: death by a thousand cuts

Jeremy Morris via Media.News How Do Churches Die?

Ian Paul Psephizo Jesus was not born in a stable (honest!)

Martyn Percy Archbishop Cranmer How Bishop George Bell became a victim of Church of England ‘spin’ and a narrative of ‘decisive leadership’

Rachel Mann Celebrating Rainbow Lives: Can the C of E be more like the NHS?

Madeleine Davies “hears how choirs are drawing children, and their families, into the life of the Church of England” Church Times From the choir stalls to the altar


New member of Archbishops' Council announced

It was announced today that Adrian Greenwood will fill the place on the Archbishops’ Council vacated by Lorna Ashworth. The press release is copied below.

Procedures to fill a single casual vacancy that has arisen on the Archbishops’ Council have now been completed. Mr Adrian Greenwood has been duly elected. He joins Canon Mark Russell who continues to serve his term as the other elected lay member of the Archbishops’ Council.

In accordance with the Standing Orders relating to elections by Houses of the General Synod, the election was conducted by recounting the voting papers for the previous election from the House of Laity to the Council, which took place in February 2016. Only candidates in that election who remained qualified for election and consented to serve were eligible for election. Adrian Greenwood joins the Archbishops’ Council with immediate effect.

View the full results.

The full results from February 2016 are here.


New Church of England Website

The Church of England website at has been relaunched today with a new design and structure.

screenshot of new website in use

Adrian Harris, Head of Digital Communications at Church House, Westminster, explains the rationale here

[T]he old website received lots of traffic and interest, the confusing user experience and the 75,000+ documents and pages on the site were identified as key issues. These were resolved by content and plain English workshops for staff.

The five major changes visitors will see from today are:

  • Simple navigation, a good search engine, improved website accessibility, mobile first and a clean design! Over 250 professional new images have been shared by local churches and taken nationally that show the breadth of the Church and activities that go on.
  • A transformed Our faith section that explains Christianity in an engaging way. Built in collaboration with Church House Publishing, new videos form a key part of this project.
  • New Faith in action films that bring to life the missional work of the Church. All of the Faith in action and Our faith videos are available for local churches and dioceses to use on their own websites and social media accounts from our YouTube page.
  • A streamlined Prayer and worship section, including liturgical and prayer resources, thanks to the work of Church House Publishing. Prayer will feature at the heart of the website with the day’s Collect now far more visible.
  • A new Life events section better explaining baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals as well as vocations.

One of the consequences of the redesign is that many old links no longer work. This will apply to previous links from this site. Users are recommended to use the search functionality on the new site to find documents from old links.


Update on Episcopal Teaching Document and Pastoral Advisory Group

From the Church of England website on Wed 15 Nov 2017

Membership of the Episcopal Teaching Document and Pastoral Advisory Group

Episcopal teaching document


The Bishop of Coventry, The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth

Episcopal members
The Bishop of Fulham, The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker
The Bishop of Salisbury, The Rt Revd Nick Holtam
The Bishop of Bradford, The Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth
The Bishop of Dorking, The Rt Revd Dr Jo Bailey Wells
The Bishop of Hull, The Rt Revd Alison White

Core consultant members
The Revd Canon Giles Goddard
The Revd Canon Dr Andrew Goddard
The Revd Dr Jason Roach
The Rt Revd Dr Bill Musk, former Bishop of North Africa (until 1st November 2017)
The Revd Dr Christina Beardsley
Dr Elaine Storkey


Social and Biological Sciences

The Bishop of Crediton, The Rt Revd Sarah Mullally

Staff support
The Revd Dr Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs

The Revd Professor Christopher Cook, University of Durham
The Revd Dr Andrew Davison, Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge
The Revd Duncan Dormor, Dean, St John’s College, University of Cambridge
The Revd Canon Dr Jessica Martin, Ely Cathedral
Professor Roger Trigg, Ian Ramsey Centre at Oxford and Prof. Emeritus at University of Warwick


The Bishop of Sheffield, The Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox

Staff support
The Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Revd Dr Andrew Angel, Chichester Diocese, former Vice Principal of St John’s Nottingham
Professor Judith Lieu, University of Cambridge, Chair of Methodist Faith and Order Committee
The Revd Professor Walter Moberly, Durham University
Dr Nathan McDonald, University of Cambridge
The Revd Professor Jennifer Strawbridge, University of Oxford
The Revd Dr Chris Wright, Langham Partnership, formerly principal of All Nations

The Revd Professor Richard Burridge, Dean, King’s College London
The Revd Professor Tom Wright, University of St Andrews


The Bishop of Chichester, The Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner

Staff support
The Revd Dr Jeremy Worthen, Secretary for Ecumenical Relations & Theology, CCU

Dr Susannah Cornwall, University of Exeter
Dr Amy Daughton, Director of Studies, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology
The Revd Dr Sean Doherty, St Mellitus College
Professor Mike Higton, University of Durham
Professor Simon Oliver, University of Durham


The Bishop of Winchester, The Rt Revd Tim Dakin

Staff support
The Revd Dr Will Adam, Ecumenical Adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Revd Dr Andrew Atherstone, Wycliffe Hall
The Revd Professor Mark Chapman, Vice Principal, Ripon College Cuddesdon
Professor Helen King, Professor Emerita at the Open University
The Revd Dr Judith Maltby, Chaplain, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Professor Julian Rivers, University of Bristol
Dr Medi-Ann Volpe, Cranmer Hall, Durham

Pastoral advisory group


The Bishop of Newcastle, The Rt Revd Christine Hardman

Other Episcopal Members
The Bishop of Exeter, The Rt Revd Robert Atwell
The Bishop of Willesden, The Rt Revd Pete Broadbent
The Bishop of Grantham, The Rt Revd Dr Nicholas Chamberlain
The Bishop of Repton, The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane

The Revd Sam Allberry
Professor Helen Berry
Dr Jamie Harrison
The Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett
The Ven Cherry Vann


Some positive responses to the new schools guidance

There has been a huge media reaction to yesterday’s publication by the Church of England of revised guidance on tackling HBT bullying. Much of it demonstrates precisely why such guidance is necessary. Here are some further helpful articles.

Archbishop of Canterbury Tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying

Nigel Genders Why our guidance on combating bullying is part of our vision for education which is also available here.

Grace Dent Angry about trans education in schools? This is why you’re wrong

Suzanne Moore The Daily Mail’s ‘boys in tiaras’ story is designed to manufacture rage

Guardian Share your experiences of gender-based bullying – and your solutions

Times Educational Supplement Pupils should be allowed to explore their sexuality, says Church of England


Church of England schools revise bullying guidance

Church of England press release

Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying tackled in new guidance for Church schools

13 November 2017

Guidance for the Church of England’s 4,700 schools published today aims to prevent pupils from having their self-worth diminished or their ability to achieve impeded by being bullied because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity.

The report makes 12 recommendations for schools including ensuring schools’ Christian ethos statements offer “an inclusive vision for education” where “every child should be revered and respected as members of a community where all are known and loved by God. “

Clear anti-bullying policies should include HBT behaviours and language, policies on how to report incidences should be accessible, staff trained on recognising bullying, curriculum and collective worship should support the vision and the wider church ensure that schools are responding well to the guidance.

Commending the report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “All bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes profound damage, leading to higher levels of mental health disorders, self-harm, depression and suicide.

“Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God.

“This guidance helps schools to offer the Christian message of love, joy and celebration of our humanity without exception or exclusion.”

The advice is an update on Valuing All God’s Children, guidance published in 2014 which tackled homophobic behaviour. This update covers a wider range of negative behaviours, incorporates the relevant legal and inspection frameworks and reflects the Church’s Vision for Education, whose four elements of wisdom, hope, community and dignity form the theological basis of the guidance.

Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely and lead bishop for education said: “Our vision for education speaks of living life in all its fullness. Our vision has a clear commitment to dignity and hope, both of which can be undermined by any form of bullying. This guidance will help to bring our vision into reality by equipping schools to remove these pernicious forms of bullying that strike at the heart of a child’s identity and formation.”

Chief Education Officer for the Church of England, Nigel Genders, said: “Providing an education to our 1 million children that will enable them to live life in all its fullness is a big responsibility.

“This practical and thoughtful advice is packed with templates and a comprehensive selection of resources for schools, teachers, families and young people. I hope that it will make a difference to our school communities and individual pupils too.”

The report acknowledges that it is likely that not all will agree on issues to do with human sexuality, marriage or gender identity. It goes on to say that: “However, there needs to be a faithful and loving commitment to remain in relationship with the other and honour the dignity of their humanity without ‘back turning’, dismissing the other person, or claiming superiority.”

The report can be found here.


Opinion – 11 November 2017

Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts What is Remembrance For?

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Church U-turn on sex abuse: from the victim ‘must be believed’ to being ‘taken seriously’

Bosco Peters Liturgy Agreeing on The Holy Spirit

Philip Jones Ecclesiastical Law The Coronation Oath: Right and Rite

Philip Lockley Church Times Laboratories for disagreeing well
Ordination training offers an unparalleled opportunity to learn the meaning of ‘mutual flourishing’


Bishop of Derby announces his retirement

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, has announced that he will retire from 31 August 2018.


Lay member resigns from General Synod

Updated again Wednesday 15 Nov

A lay member of the General Synod, from Chichester diocese, has announced her resignation from the synod.

The full text of her letter of resignation is below the fold. There is also a press release:

Press release: Mrs Lorna Ashworth, an evangelical member of General Synod and a member of the Archbishops’ Council, resigned yesterday, saying that she was “no longer willing to sit around the table, pretending that we, as a governing body of the Church of England, are having legitimate conversations about mission.”

As she said in July, in what will now be her final speech at General Synod,
“as a corporate body we have become unable to articulate the saving message of Jesus Christ which fully encompasses the reality of sin, repentance and forgiveness – without this message we do not teach a true gospel and people do not get saved.”

In her resignation letter she blamed, “an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness” and “an agenda of revisionism which “is masked in the language of so-called ‘good disagreement,’” for her decision. She is not alone in her concerns, and she said that many were calling on the bishops of the Church of England to offer clear and courageous biblical leadership.

Lorna Ashworth has been a member of General Synod for 12 years and was elected by the Synod as a lay representative on the Archbishops Council [1] two years ago.

Mrs Ashworth’s speech at General Synod in July can be read here (page9)

[1] The Archbishops’ Council provides within the Church of England a focus for leadership and executive responsibility and a forum for strategic thinking and planning. Within an overall vision for the Church set by the House of Bishops, the Council proposes an ordering of priorities in consultation with the House of Bishops and the General Synod and takes an overview of the Church’s financial needs and resources.

There is a statement in response from the Archbishop of York:

Resignation of Lorna Ashworth

10 November 2017

In response to the announcement that Lorna Ashworth is to step down from the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said:

“I was very glad when Lorna was elected to serve again on the Archbishops’ Council.
“Her prayerfulness, magnanimity, and her grasp of all matters in hand has been a great asset to us all, and I am sad that she has decided to resign.
“Those who elected her were of the view that she had much to give to the working of the Council, especially in the area of Renewal and Reform.
“However, I do not share her doubts that the Church of England will be part of God’s renewal of the Christian faith in this nation.
“I am convinced that the Church of England remains faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ and will move forward rooted in the Christian faith as we have received it.
“I share Lorna’s passion to make disciples in all nations and her conviction that God will continue to build his Church in this nation.
“I certainly will miss her in our partnership in the Gospel.”

The archbishops of Canterbury and York are joint presidents of the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod.

There is also a response from The Rt Revd Rod Thomas, the Bishop of Maidstone, who said:

“I am very sorry that Lorna is resigning.
“She is a good friend and has been a brave, lively and winsome voice in the General Synod and Archbishop’s Council, as she has urged us all to remain faithful to the Word of God.
“She goes because she does not want to be drawn into compromise with those who seek to revise the plain teaching of Scripture.
“I pay tribute to her sincerity and courage.
“The doctrine of the Church of England – and its liturgy – are based squarely on the authority of the Bible and I support every effort to sustain, promote and defend this.
“For me, that means continuing to minister within the Church of England, defending its historic commitment to Scripture.”

There is now also a lengthy response from Bishop Andy Lines of GAFCON UK.

The Bishop of Chichester has issued this statement:

“Lorna has been a courageous and committed member of the Archbishops’ Council and the Church of England will be the poorer for her departure from that body.

“In the company of voices that makes for an authentic expression of the Church, it is vital that we continue to hold to a conviction of the love of God revealed in the experience of repentance, forgiveness and change that leads to a better and a happier life. That is the pattern of our enrichment as individual Christians and as the Church. It is also the way in which society is called to recognise and change its institutional failings.

“Lorna’s testimony is a timely reminder of the Church’s call to be, within the society of our own time, conformed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and his kingdom.”

+Martin Cicestr:



Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney: Anne Dyer

press release from Scottish Episcopal Church

First female Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church is elected the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney

The Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church today elected the Rev Canon Anne Dyer as the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney.

Canon Dyer is Rector of Holy Trinity church, Haddington (since 2011). Her wider church involvement includes being a member of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Council and a member of General Synod.

Being in the first group of women for each of these Orders, Canon Dyer was ordained Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1994 in Rochester. She served as Warden of Cranmer Hall, Durham and before that was Ministry Development Officer in the Diocese of Rochester. Prior to ordination Anne Dyer read Chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford and was a Business Systems Analyst with Unilever before training for ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and studying theology at King’s College London.

Canon Dyer is Chair of the East Lothian Foodbank and is also a regular lecturer across Edinburgh and the Lothians on the subject of fine art and theology.

On hearing of her election Canon Dyer said “I am delighted to be elected by the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church to serve as Bishop in the United Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney. It will be a privilege to lead the people of this diocese as they continue to make known the love of God to those in their communities and beyond. I am looking forward to both the challenge and excitement of serving and worshipping together in diverse locations across the diocese and to joining the College of Bishops.”

Canon Dyer is the first woman to be elected Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church. The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allow the election of female bishops in 2003. The See of Aberdeen & Orkney became vacant last November when the Rt Rev Dr Robert Gillies retired as Bishop of the Diocese.

The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church says “I am delighted to welcome the Rev Canon Anne Dyer to the College of Bishops. Anne brings with her a wealth of experience in theological education and mission development, and has so many of the gifts sought by the diocese together with a deeply loving and generous personality. All bodybuilders from all over the work and from the USA want to find a legit provider of anabolic steroids for sale. And I want to recommend to you all awesome online store with the widest stock in the United States! They have brilliant service: 24/7 online support and all steroid drugs and cycles you can imagine! Try now and find the cheapest prices and full refund guarantee!

I am also delighted that those gifts have allowed us to elect a woman to our College of Bishops. Please pray for Anne, her family, for the congregation at Haddington and for the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney as they journey on in faith.”

Canon Dyer was born in 1957, is married and has a daughter.


Cathedral Statistics 2016

The Church of England has released its Cathedral Statistics 2016 along with a press release, copied below. Statistics for previous years are available here.

Cathedrals attract record numbers at Christmas
09 November 2017

Christmas attendance at services in cathedrals last year reached its highest figure since records began, statistics published today show. A one year rise of 5%, meant that 131,000 people came to cathedrals to worship last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Increased attendances were also recorded at services in Advent with 635,000 coming to worship during the busy pre-Christmas build-up. Average weekly attendances at services on a Sunday also increased to 18,700.

Meanwhile, over 10 million people visited cathedrals and Westminster Abbey with half donating or paying for entry.

The Rt Revd John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, and lead bishop for cathedrals and church buildings, said: “Behind these figures lie stories of worship, learning, exploring faith and spirituality and encountering God at times of joy and despair.

“Through new forms of worship, bringing people of all faiths and none together, and serving the young and old alike, these amazing places continue to be at the heart of national life.”

Life events including baptisms, memorial services, marriages and blessings of marriage all remained steady in numbers with some, including baptism, seeing modest increases.

Cathedrals continued to be centres of civic life, with 1.2 million people reported at 6,000 civic services and events. In 2016, 295,000 people attended 280 graduation ceremonies.

Becky Clark, Director of Churches and Cathedrals, said: “These statistics show the enduring appeal of cathedrals as places of worship, pilgrimage, and tourism.

“This is testament to the hard work clergy, staff and volunteers put into making them welcoming and inspiring places.

“The last few years have been particularly busy, with substantial building and repair programmes at many cathedrals, ensuring these beautiful, complex historic buildings can continue to be at the heart of their communities.”

Cathedrals are holding increasingly diverse services to reach out to people.

In 2016 there were 16,500 Fresh Expression services, a 12% increase since 2013.

Over half a million people came to regular services conducted at least once a month, half of which were school services.

Some 310,000 young people also attended cathedrals through special educational visits, a rise of 10% since 2006.

Cathedral clergy and staff across the country participated in 350 formal inter-faith forums and events.

Notes to Editors

The Cathedral Statistics 2016 report can be found here.

Fresh Expressions are new church communities and congregations that practice church in new ways to reach new people.


Bishop of Ripon: Helen-Ann Hartley

10 Downing Street announcement

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Macleod Hartley, MTheol, ThM, MPhil, DPhil, Bishop of Waikato in the Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki, in New Zealand, to the Suffragan See of Ripon, in the Diocese of Leeds in succession to the Right Reverend James Harold Bell, MA, on his resignation 30 April 2017.

Bishop Helen-Ann (44) was born in Edinburgh, and grew up in Sunderland. She was educated at the University of St Andrews, Princeton Theological Seminary in the USA, and Worcester College, University of Oxford, where she is an Honorary Fellow. She trained for ordination on the St Alban’s and Oxford Ministry Course, and was ordained deacon in 2005, and priested in 2006. She was Curate in the Benefice of Wheatley, and then in the parish of Littlemore, both in Oxford Diocese. In 2008 she was appointed Lecturer in New Testament at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and later Director of Biblical Studies. In 2012 she became Dean for the New Zealand Dioceses at the College of St John the Evangelist in Auckland. She was elected Bishop of Waikato in August 2013, and was consecrated on 22 February 2014.

Bishop Helen-Ann has published with SPCK, and is a regular contributor to the Daily Reflections series for Church House Publishing. She has also contributed to the Pilgrim course.

She is married to Myles, an organist and church musician. Her interests include the night sky, contemporary fiction and visual arts, going to the gym, and watching netball.

From the Leeds diocesan website: New Bishop of Ripon announced as Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley

…Announcing the appointment and welcoming Bishop Helen-Ann at Church House in Leeds on November 9, Bishop Nick Baines said,
“I am delighted to welcome Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley as the new Bishop of Ripon. She brings expertise as a theologian, and episcopal experience from the wider Anglican Communion. She will add great strengths to the leadership and ministry of this diocese.”

The bishop designate will officially begin her ministry on February 4, 2018 when she will be welcomed and installed at a service in Ripon Cathedral…