Thinking Anglicans

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…


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


Bishop of Penrith to retire

The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald reports today that the Bishop of Penrith, the Right Revd Robert Freeman, is to retire next Easter. Penrith is a suffragan see in the diocese of Carlisle. As yet, there is nothing about this on the diocesan website.


Opinion – 28 October 2017

Bosco Peters Liturgy Sex Obsessed

Ian Paul Psephizo What did large churches ever do for us?

Tony Clavier The Living Church Protestant or Catholic?

ViaMedia.News It Can Happen to Guys Too!


General Synod by-election – Universities and TEIs

There is to be an election to fill two casual vacancies in the Universities and Theological Education Institutions Electoral Area of the Church of England General Synod. Full details are in this paper.

Most importantly a new register of those entitled to vote and stand for election in the constituency is being compiled. Those who were on the 2015 register will not have their names carried forward and if still eligible they will have to apply now for inclusion on the new register.

Time is short as applications to join the register must be received at Church House Westminster no later than Wednesday 8 November 2017. There is an application form here.


Opinion – 25 October 2017

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer “I need a friendly bishop,” said the child abuse survivor, as the prelate passed by on the other side

Josh Parry Liverpool Echo Why I won’t be donating a Christmas charity shoebox this year – and you shouldn’t either

ViaMedia.News A Zero Tolerance Approach to the Weinsteins in the Church?

Adrian Alker PCN Britain She’s a woman – get over it!

Mark Harris Preludium AAC, ACNA and GAFCON, wandering astray in the fields of the Lord

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England Crumbling Cathedrals?

Mike Higton kaì euthùs Making our minds up


CofE Director of Communications appointed

Church of England press release

Director of Communications appointed
23 October 2017

The Church of England is pleased to announce the appointment of Tashi Lassalle as Director of Communications.

Bringing extensive experience of leading communications and marketing teams in the financial and professional services sectors, both in the UK and overseas, Tashi will oversee the work of the Church of England’s communications department, working across traditional media, digital platforms and publishing.

Based at Church House, Westminster, the department serves the Archbishops’ Council, the Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board as well as working closely with Lambeth and Bishopthorpe Palaces, bishops’ offices, dioceses and cathedrals.

Tashi, 39, has held a series of senior posts in the brand and marketing fields, most recently as Head of Communications and Marketing for Lloyd’s of London and previously as Head of Communications at Actis, the private equity firm. She has lived and worked in the US and Denmark as well as London.

She came to faith as a student at Cambridge. She worships at St Mary’s, Long Ditton in Surrey.

She said: “The Church of England makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, cultural and social fabric of this country.

“It has a bright and vibrant future.

“It’s a great privilege to take up this position.

“I look forward to serving and enabling the life changing vocation of the Church’s diverse ministry and mission.”

William Nye, Secretary General to the General Synod, said: “We are very glad to welcome Tashi Lassalle to the post of Communications Director for the Church of England’s national institutions.

“She combines a personal commitment to the mission of the Church with wide professional experience in a range of sectors.

“She will help us build on the existing strengths of our communications effort across multiple channels, recently recognised in awards for our digital evangelism campaigns.”

The Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tashi to her new appointment.

“Her experience and imagination will be a huge asset to the Church of England in its task of proclaiming the gospel in an age of social media.

“She knows the scale of the challenge and I wish her well in all that lies ahead.”

Notes to Editors

Tashi will take up the post in early November 2017.
A photograph is available here.


Opinion – 21 October 2017

Ian Paul Psephizo The shame of Britain’s prison system

Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts Obsessed about sex?

David Keen Opinionated Vicar Church of England Attendance Change by Diocese, 2011-16


Latest Church of England statistics

The Church of England released its Statistics for Mission 2016 and this report on its digital reach this week. There is also a press release which is copied below the fold.

Also released this week is Finance Statistics 2015.

Church Times reporters write about these reports:
Madeleine Davies Too few children in too many pews, latest C of E mission statistics warn
Tim Wyatt Church of England reaching more people online than ever before
Tim Wyatt Good news and bad news on parish finances, statistics show

Olivia Rudgard writes for The Telegraph: Church of England reaches more on social media than in services.

Links to statistics for earlier years can be found here.



Hereford Diocesan Synod calls for liturgies after same sex marriages

Updated twice Saturday

The Hereford Diocesan Synod tonight passed the following resolution:

‘That this Synod request the House of Bishops to commend an Order of Prayer and Dedication after the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage for use by ministers in exercise of their discretion under Canon B4, being a form of service neither contrary to, nor indicative of any departure from, the doctrine of the Church of England in any essential matter, together with guidance that no parish should be obliged to host, nor minister conduct, such a service.’

The voting was

In favour 41
Against 18
Abstentions 4

A copy of the briefing paper approved by the Bishop’s Council can be found here.


The BBC Radio 4 Today programme interviewed the Bishop of Hereford, Richard Frith. Listen here: Bishop Richard interview on BBC R4 Today about Diocesan Synod motion asking for same sex prayers (preceded by interview with Susie Leafe of Reform).

Law & Religion UK CofE service after same sex marriage?

BBC Church of England to discuss same-sex blessing

Guardian Church of England to debate blessings for same-sex couples

Telegraph Church of England to debate services for same-sex couples after bishop backs diocese call

Christian Today Bishops under pressure to act as Hereford Diocese calls for official services for gay couples

Hereford Times Church of England to debate blessings for same-sex couples after diocese motion

The Church of England has issued this press release: Hereford Diocesan Synod Motion. The full text is copied below the fold.

There is further comment at Law and Religion UK Hereford Diocesan Synod Motion – CofE Statement.



Opinion – 18 October 2017

Sir Mark Hedley Ecclesiastical Law Society Practical Aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure
Sir Mark is Deputy Chair and Deputy President of Tribunals.

The Babylon Bee The Bee Explains: Main Differences Between Popular Bible Translations


Church apologises to a sexual abuse survivor

Updated again Monday afternoon

The Church of England has today released two documents:

This has been reported in the media:

Separately, the New York Times has this report on a different case: Doubts Grow Over Archbishop’s Account of When He Knew of Abuse.


EIG has issued a response to the above documents: Statement from Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc .

The full text of EIG’s letter of reply to the Bishops is here.

Church Times Bishops challenge Ecclesiastical over ‘horse trading’ of survivor settlements