Thinking Anglicans

Ireland: House of Bishops statement on Sexuality

from a press release:

House of Bishops Issue Statement to General Synod on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief

The Church of Ireland marriage service remains unchanged and marriage may be solemnised only between a man and a woman, the House of Bishops said today in a statement to General Synod in Armagh.

Their statement on human sexuality in the context of Christian belief was read by the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, the Most Revd Pat Storey, on behalf of the House of Bishops. It noted that the issue had been passed to the House of Bishops following the conclusion of the work of the Select Committee on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief at General Synod last year.

The archbishops and bishops said that it had been noted that following the production of the Guide to Human Sexuality, there was little appetite to discuss further these issues in parishes.

“It would seem that there is no consensus in General Synod, the House of Bishops, or in the church island–wide to change the Canons of the Church of Ireland on the matter of marriage. Thus the Church of Ireland marriage service remains unchanged and marriage may be solemnised only between a man and a woman. No liturgy or authorised service is provided therefore for any other situation. As the archbishops and bishops have already made clear to the clergy of the Church of Ireland, it is not possible to proscribe the saying of prayers in personal and pastoral situations, but if clergy are invited to offer prayer after a same sex marriage, any such prayer must remain consonant with the spirit and teaching of the Church of Ireland,” the statement reads.

The statement concludes: “It is widely recognised that there is no simple solution for these and other issues of human sexuality; but with compassion, humility and concern, we offer our continued commitment to attentive listening and to respectful discussion. We ask that all members of Synod who continue to hold strong opinions do so with integrity and compassion, and to also hold in prayer before God the challenging diversity that exists within the Church of Ireland”.

The full text of the statement is available here as a PDF.


Nigerian primate calls for Nigeria to leave the Commonwealth

A report in the Nigerian newspaper, The Guardian, is headlined Britain urges Nigeria, others to legalise same-sex marriage.

British reports of the speech by Theresa May contain no mention of same-sex marriage, but refer only to laws criminalising same-sex relationships across the Commonwealth.

See for example these reports:

BBC Theresa May ‘deeply regrets’ UK’s colonial anti-gay laws

Guardian [UK newspaper] Theresa May says she deeply regrets Britain’s legacy of anti-gay laws

Nevertheless, the Nigerian report continues:

…In swift reactions, some leading Nigerian religious leaders rejected the call for same-sex marriage.

The Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, who was bitter with May’s call, said Nigeria should pull out of the Commonwealth.

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, who spoke to The Guardian on phone from Rome, said: “In my church, we condemn same-sex marriage. The National Assembly has clearly taken a position that is very much in line with that. It is also against our culture, which considers it as an abomination.

“Theresa May can say whatever she likes, but I hope that our own leaders know what is good for our people. I think she should also think of releasing the looted funds in their banks if she really wants to help us. The era of imperialism is over. I don’t know whether the Commonwealth has now become a legislative assembly. It is not a place where you legislate for everybody. We should let her know that we do not want it.”

“This is Nigeria, we have our values. I am sure our president understands that. Our relationship with the Commonwealth does not cause us to sell out our values.”

And there are further quotes from other Christian and Muslim leaders.

Another report: Disregard Teresa May’s counsel on same-sex marriage, CAN tells Buhari

Hat tip to George Conger, who recently reported on this: Okoh urges Nigeria quit the Commonwealth. He also noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury had described the Commonwealth as a “blessing to the world”. And also here.

The Anglican Communion News Service reports today that the Archbishop of Canterbury urges African Anglican leaders to shape the world

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told African Anglican leaders that the strength of the Church on the continent is a gift to the world and that is has the ability to shape the globe – but it must move forward. Speaking at a regional primates meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in Kenya, Archbishop Justin Welby said the Church in the region was full of life and energy. It had grown and had enormous power even though Africa had often struggled economically.

In a wide ranging address, Archbishop Justin urged CAPA leaders to learn from the mistakes of the Global North – to be wary of individualism and not to be complacent about the numbers of young people currently in churches across the continent…

It seems he did not mention decriminalisation.


New Zealand approves same-sex blessings

Updated Saturday

Anglican Taonga reports: Yes to blessings

…The Anglican Church this morning has paved the way for the blessing of same gender relationships.

At 11:20 this morning, by majority vote, General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui passed Motion No 7 – which is the motion which accepts the report and recommendations of the Motion 29 small working group.

That acceptance is subject to the appointment of a select committee which will consider and report back to General Synod – before it finishes today – on a range of detail which the Synod must be sorted before the passage of the constitutional and canonical changes necessary to give the decision effect.

The decision, nonetheless, is clear – after almost 50 years of debate about human sexuality, the Anglican Church has created a pathway for the blessing of same-gender couples…

The report that was adopted is a lengthy document which can be found here.

The Polynesian component of the church, Tikanga Pasifika, will not be changing its practice, but has not exercised its right to veto the proposal. See explanation here.

See also Slow start. Big finish.


FCANZ response to General Synod Decision to Bless Same Sex Relationships, downloadable copy here.

Gafcon UK offers support to FCA New Zealand after same sex blessings vote


Emma Ineson to be next Bishop of Penrith

Press release from Number 10

Queen approves appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Penrith
Reverend Dr Emma Gwynneth Ineson, BA, MPhil, PhD, is nominated to the Suffragan See of Penrith.

Published 9 May 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Dr Emma Gwynneth Ineson, BA, MPhil, PhD, Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, to the Suffragan See of Penrith, in the Diocese of Carlisle in succession to the Right Reverend Robert John Freeman, BSc, MA, who resigned on the 5 April 2018.

Carlisle diocesan announcement: The Rev’d Dr Emma Ineson named as new Bishop of Penrith
This states that Dr Ineson will be consecrated on 27 February 2019.


Opinion – 9 May 2018

Ian Gomersall St Chrysostom’s Church News and Views Visiting the Archbishop of Canterbury

Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News Nye Letter & The Silencing of Debate

Mark Harris Preludium GAFCON alternative universe expands

Martyn Percy Modern Church The Church of England: Mission and Ministry after the Decade of Evangelism
There is a summary here. The full text of the article can only be found by following the link at the end of the summary.


Tim Stratford to be next Dean of Chester

Press release from Number 10

Dean of Chester
The Venerable Timothy Richard Stratford, BSc, PhD, Archdeacon of Leicester is nominated to be appointed Dean of the Cathedral Church of Chester.

Published 9 May 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Timothy Richard Stratford, BSc, PhD, Archdeacon of Leicester in the Diocese of Leicester, to be appointed Dean of the Cathedral Church of Chester, following the resignation of the Very Reverend Gordon Ferguson McPhate, MB, CHB, MA, MD, MSc, MTh, on 30 September 2017.

Notes for editors

The Venerable Dr Timothy Stratford is aged 57. He studied at York University for his BSc and also at Sheffield University for his PhD. He trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford in 1983. He served his title as a Curate at Mossley Hill in Liverpool diocese from 1986 to 1989 and then as Curate from 1989 to 1991 at St Helen, St Helens. From 1991 to 1994 he was the Bishop of Liverpool’s Domestic Chaplain. He was Vicar at West Derby from 1994 to 2003. From 2003 to 2012 he was Team Rector at Kirkby in Liverpool diocese. Since 2012 he has been Archdeacon of Leicester. He has served the national church as a member of General Synod for fifteen years and the Liturgical Commission for ten years. He has written and edited a number of books and booklets focusing mainly on contextually dependent worship and mission. His PHD was awarded in 2009 for a study of the mid-Victorian Slum Priest Ritualists.

Timothy is married to Jen and they have 3 children and one grandson. His interests include photography, cycling and music.

Chester Diocesan announcement: New Dean of Chester Cathedral Announced

The new dean blogs: A new place to call home


Opinion – 5 May 2018

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Why is the General Synod of the Church of England so poor at holding Bishops to account?

Andy Salmon Are the Evangelicals taking over the Church of England? Only if the rest of the Church give up!

James Alexander Cameron Stained Glass Attitudes Why are some churches locked?

Robert Beaken Church Times It is time to rethink the purpose of godparents
“Canon law is out of step with parish reality”

Sam Wells Church Times What does it mean to be a godparent? Singing God’s song when your godchild forgets how it goes
“In his introduction to a collection of letters written to his son by Stanley Hauerwas, his son’s godfather, Sam Wells, reflects on what it means to be a godparent”


Bishop of Jarrow to retire

Mark Bryant, the suffragan Bishop of Jarrow in the Diocese of Durham, has announced that he will retire in October 2018.

Bishop of Jarrow to retire at next birthday

1 Comment

Opinion – 2 May 2018

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley The Real Takeover of the Church of England

Jenny Humphreys Women And The Church Changing the Culture of the Church of England

Anna Norman-Walker ViaMedia.News Windrush & Rudd: When “They” Are “Us”!

Victoria Stock My Family