Thinking Anglicans

A Covenant for Clergy Well-being

Press release from Church of England Communications Office

First step towards Covenant for Clergy Well-being

07 November 2017

Plans for a new deal between clergy and the wider Church of England – modelled on the ideas behind the Military Covenant – have taken a step forward after a panel was established to begin drafting.

The Church of England’s Appointments Committee has set up a group, made up of members of General Synod, both lay and ordained, alongside others with expertise in areas such as health and education, to draw up a Covenant for Clergy Well-being.

It is being produced in response to a vote in the General Synod in July of this year after a debate which heard of the impact of stress, isolation and loneliness on clergy’s lives and ministries.

The debate heard how the Military Covenant recognises that the nation relies on the sacrificial service of those in the armed forces and in return has a duty to support and value them in practical ways.

Although the parallels with the Church are not exact, Synod heard how a similar pattern of mutual commitment could be recognised in the Church.

The working group will begin work later this month and aims to bring proposals for such a Covenant back to this Synod by July 2019…

A background paper provided to members of Synod ahead of the July 2017 debate can be found here.

Further details of the Military Covenant, and the Armed Forces Covenant which followed it, are available here.

Here is the Church Times report of the July debate: Causes of clergy stress aired in the General Synod.

And the Church Times recently carried several related feature articles:

I was pushed close to the edge

All in the mind, body, and soul


Opinion – 8 November 2017

Lizzie Lowrie Saltwater and Honey A Letter to the Churches

Tim Crane The Times Literary Supplement Join the club – what religion is and isn’t.

Richard Mammana Mockingbird Praying Twice

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love By what authority?


Same-sex marriage: Parliamentary Questions and Answers

On 26 October, Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden):

What recent discussions Church of England bishops have had on allowing parishes to hold ceremonies to celebrate same-sex marriages?

You can read the ensuing answers here. Perhaps the most intriguing answer was the last one:

An important step forward was made by the worldwide Anglican Church in accepting a new doctrine against homophobia, which is part of trying to stamp out such persecution across the wider Anglican communion.

A full transcript of all the questions and answers from that session with the Second Church Estates Commissioner can be found here.


Sexual harrassment in the Church of England

Harriet Sherwood wrote this article in the Guardian recently: Church of England urged to tackle sexual abuse within its ranks. That article references a letter to the Guardian from Jayne Ozanne published the same day.

Channel 4 News carried an interview with Jayne Ozanne that evening.

This week, Christian Today has published a further article by Jayne Ozanne, I was raped by a CofE priest and I know the system’s broken, and she has also written this letter to the two archbishops asking for them to commission a report on all this that could be debated at General Synod in February 2018.

Rosie Harper has written this at ViaMedia News: Let’s Talk About….(oh no…Let’s Not!)

Some weeks ago, ViaMedia News carried this article by an anonymous writer: A Zero Tolerance Approach to the Weinsteins in the Church?

The Bishop of Crediton, Sarah Mullally has written this: Making the Church Safe for All.


Opinion – 4 November 2017

Kelvin Holdsworth The Episcopal Way of Death

Mark Clavier Covenant ‘Time makes ancient truths uncouth’
“Reflections of a Former Theological Educator”

Lois Lee Church Times Take the beliefs of the non-religious seriously


Sexual abuse survivor writes open letter to Justin Welby

We recently reported on correspondence between a sexual abuse survivor, three bishops, and the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group. See Church apologises to a sexual abuse survivor.

We are today publishing an open letter from that survivor to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The full text of the letter is copied below the fold. The letter is also published on the website of Ekklesia.

The letter from the archbishop to which this replies has not been published. But it has been quoted in various news articles, some of which are linked in our earlier article.


Press release

Abuse Survivor replies to Archbishop Welby’s letter of apology and says the CofE still recompenses victims badly and calls for Church to fund fair settlements.

Archbishop Justin Welby, has been sent an open letter by prominent abuse survivor Gilo (surname withheld on request) complaining about the derisory ammounts victims are in effect forced to accept by the Church’s insurers, and asked to remedy this. The letter calls upon Archbishop Welby to join three bishops in recognising major flaws in the Church’s response and concludes with six searching questions that the Archbishop may find difficult to answer candidly, but are questions that need to be faced by the Church.

Gilo explains the long term consequences of the abuse he suffered on his quality of life, relationships and finances and describes the financial settlement for this as being “derisory and heartless”.

Gilo notes that the “Church’s claimed policy of exercising pastoral responsibility” is not matched at all by the actions of its insurer. He explains how settlements are made by the Church’s insurer, typically in the low tens of thousands, and under duress, and are based on settlements “20-30 years out of date” and long before the long term consequences of abuse were properly recognised. The insurers strive, he believes, to keep cases out of court to prevent appropriate new settlements being established. Victims are frightened to challenge such settlements as they could be withdrawn leaving them owing both sides’ legal fees.

He asks the Archbishop to commit to the Church funding equitable settlements and revisiting old ones and helping victims financially with the costs of rehabilitation, preferably through an arms’ length organisation.

Justin Welby has already apologised publicly to Gilo for failing to reply to 17 letters. Gilo hopes that if that apology meant anything he will respond to this one.

Christian Today has reported this letter here: Archbishop of Canterbury urged to abandon Church insurers over ‘derisory’ settlements to abuse victims.



Dean of Peterborough

Press release from Number 10

Dean of Peterborough: Christopher Charles Dalliston

From:Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published:1 November 2017

The Very Reverend Christopher Charles Dalliston has been appointed as Dean of Peterborough.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Very Reverend Christopher Charles Dalliston, MA, Dean of Newcastle in the Diocese of Newcastle, to be appointed to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, Peterborough, on the resignation of the Very Reverend Charles William Taylor, MA, on 6 October 2016.

Further information

The Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston, (aged 61) studied modern History at Peterhouse Cambridge and Theology at Oxford where he trained for the ministry at St Stephen’s House.

He served his title at Halstead in Chelmsford Diocese from 1984 to 1987, before becoming the Bishop of Chelmsford’s Domestic Chaplain from 1987 to 1991. From 1991 to 1995 he was Vicar of St Edmund Forest Gate in Chelmsford Diocese.

From 1995 to 1997 he moved to be Priest-in-Charge of Boston in Lincoln Diocese and then Vicar from 1997 to 2003 and was also Rural Dean of Holland East during that time. Since 2003 he has been Dean of Newcastle.

Christopher is married to Michelle who is also ordained. He has four adult children: Alex, Tom, Georgie and Bella. His interests include poetry, music and all things Italian. He is a life-long supporter of Norwich City Football Club.


Opinion – 1 November 2017

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 ‘What is the shape of the community of women and men that you long for?’

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau Hereford, conservative Christians and the abolition of history

Sam Hailes Premier Christianity How evangelicals took over the Church of England
Archdruid Eileen has this alternative take on the Church of England’s three major groups; The Church of England’s Tribes Redefined

David Walker ViaMedia.News Painting by Numbers…

Robert McCrum has been writing weekly for The Observer about his selection of The 100 best nonfiction books, “key texts in English that have shaped our literary culture and made us who we are”. This week he reaches No 91 – The Book of Common Prayer (1662). For those concerned that McCrum might think that there are 90 better books, the list is in chronological order.

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley 95 Theses for the Church Today