A further exchange of letters between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Gilo, an abuse survivor, has been published today.
We reported earlier on the open letter to the archbishop that Gilo had sent.
The response from the archbishop to the open letter from Gilo is now available.
Gilo’s further response to the archbishop is also available here.
And there is a press release, copied below the fold.
This material is also published on the Ekklesia website.
Media coverage:13 Comments
Jamie Fletcher Christian Today WWJD about ‘Transgender’? A trans Christian responds
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of size
George Pitcher New Statesman Don’t let the cosy stable fool you – the Virgin Mary’s story is brutal
Madeleine Davies Church Times Can the tide turn in Blackpool?
Anne-Marie Naylor Church Times Rich parish, poor parish — time to choose
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes Advent is a feminist issue (and so are posh Advent calendars)14 Comments
Ian Paul Psephizo What is going wrong with theological education?
Kelvin Holdsworth Inclusive Language and Politeness29 Comments
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.”21 Comments
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.
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.25 Comments
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 2018.8 Comments
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
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’23 Comments
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 England21 Comments
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.”
…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.
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.
There is now also a press release from the TEC-affiliated diocese and a statement from Bishop Skip Adams over here.43 Comments
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’
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 altar37 Comments
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.
The full results from February 2016 are here.5 Comments
The Church of England website at www.churchofengland.org has been relaunched today with a new design and structure.
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:
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.21 Comments
From the Church of England website on Wed 15 Nov 2017
Membership of the Episcopal Teaching Document and Pastoral Advisory Group
Episcopal teaching document
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP OF THE CO-ORDINATING GROUP
The Bishop of Coventry, The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth
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
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP OF THE DIFFERENT THEMATIC WORKING GROUPS
Social and Biological Sciences
The Bishop of Crediton, The Rt Revd Sarah Mullally
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
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
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
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
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP OF THE 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
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.
Times Educational Supplement Pupils should be allowed to explore their sexuality, says Church of England20 Comments
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.23 Comments
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’
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, has announced that he will retire from 31 August 2018.5 Comments
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  two years ago.
Mrs Ashworth’s speech at General Synod in July can be read here (page9)
 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.”
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.
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.