Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Entitlement. Power and its shadow in the Church
Mark Vernon Christian Today The idea of a male God is deep-rooted – but wrong
Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News Spinning the Stats – Are We Too Defensive to Really Listen?
Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity Listening with love: sex, gender and mutual flourishing with Evangelicals36 Comments
Queen appoints Dean of York
The Queen has appointed Right Reverend Jonathan Hugh Frost as the Dean of York.
Published 26 November 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Jonathan Hugh Frost, BD, MTh, DUniv, FRSA, Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, in Winchester Diocese, to be appointed to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, York, on the elevation of the Very Reverend Vivienne Frances Faull, MA, as Bishop of Bristol, on 25 June 2018.
There are more details on the York diocesan website.18 Comments
Peter Ormerod The Guardian God isn’t gender-fluid exactly, but Justin Welby does have a point
Natalie Collins Church Times A haven for the victims — not the perpetrators
“Churches must do more to understand and respond to acts of violence against women”
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Equal Marriage – present reality in the Church of England
Sam Gibson St Mary Magdalen School of Theology Should clergy learn New Testament Greek?37 Comments
Andrew Forshew-Cain ViaMedia.News There Can Be No Half-Way House on Marriage Equality
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of mission, poverty, isolation and mental health
Laudable Practice Why we need Choral Mattins
James Alexander Cameron Stained Glass Attitudes A practical guide to the Cathedrals of England28 Comments
The Church of England yesterday published its 2018 gender pay data for the National Church Institutions (NCIs). The accompanying press release (copied below) does not include links to the report (or to the restated 2017 report) but I have found them here:
The entry on the government gender pay portal is here.
Church of England National Church Institutions (NCIs) publish gender pay data for 2018
The National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England published today its gender pay gap report for 2018. Based on a snapshot date of 5 April 2018, today’s report covers one common pay policy for 491 staff across the seven legal entities, and a separate performance-related policy for 31 staff in the Investments department of the Church Commissioners. The data released today does not include clergy or employees within individual dioceses.
The NCIs also restated and published today the Gender Pay data from the previous year (2017).
In 2017 original published figures had calculated the gender pay gap as the percentage of a female’s average salary whereas regulations define the measurement against male’s average salary.
This had previously resulted in the 2017 gender pay difference being overstated. The reported mean gap in 2017 was 21% (previously stated it was 27%) and the median gap was 28% (previously stated it was 41%). The restated figures are published today.
The restated figures are now available on our website and will be shortly available on the government gender pay portal.
The 2018 data shows progress is being made by the NCIs in addressing the gender pay gap and have seen signs of improvement:
Gender Pay Gap
Commenting on the findings, Carole Harden, Interim Director of People and Change for the National Church Institutions said:
“This year’s results are encouraging as we continue to review pay structures, addressing any imbalances and barriers to females and opportunities for advancement within the NCIs. We are committed to improving this further as we focus on reducing the difference in pay between men and women in more highly paid roles, and improving the ratio of men to women in the most senior and most junior roles.”
Notes to Editors
The NCIs are separate legal entities, but they are a common employer under a statutory partnership. The present arrangements were established under the National Institutions Measure 1998.
The seven NCIs are:
The majority of NCI staff are based at Church House in Westminster, Lambeth Palace, the Church of England Record Centre in Bermondsey, and Bishopthorpe Palace near York.
* This covers support functions including HR, Finance & Resources, IT, Legal, Communications, and the Record Centre.3 Comments
Modern Church has published an interview in which Professor Linda Woodhead interviews Professor Gillian Evans:
A PDF of the full text of the interview is also available via a link at the end of the above article.
Prof G.R. Evans is Emeritus Professor of Medieval Theology and Intellectual History in the University of Cambridge. She is author of The University of Oxford: a new history and writes regularly on higher education policy issues. She co-authored Managing the church?: Order and organization in a secular age with Martyn Percy in 2000. She lives in Oxford.
Linda Woodhead MBE is Professor of the Sociology or Religion at Lancaster University. She has been President of Modern Church since 2014. She is author with Andrew Brown of That Was the Church That Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People. She is currently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, USA.
The Bishop of Portsmouth has announced that the next Dean of Portsmouth will be Canon Dr Anthony Cane, currently Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral.
The diocesan website carries more information: Bishop announces new Dean of Portsmouth.
The cathedral website has Chichester Cathedral Cleric Is New Dean Of Portsmouth.
Chichester has this: Cathedral Chancellor is new Dean of Portsmouth and Chichester Cathedral Chancellor to be new Dean of Portsmouth.4 Comments
Updated Monday afternoon
The Bishop of Oxford has issued this statement: Diocesan Synod statement concerning the Dean of Oxford.
Saturday 17 November 2018: The Bishop of Oxford gave a statement to the meeting of the Oxford Diocesan Synod. The full text of the statement can be read below. Following media enquiries over the weekend the College confirmed that Martyn Percy has been suspended from his duties pending the tribunal’s outcome. Bishop Steven said; “As always in such circumstances, suspension is a neutral act and does not imply that the complaint will be upheld.”
The Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy
You may be aware that a formal complaint has been made against the Dean of Christ Church, Martyn Percy.
Christ Church is a complex institution and, uniquely in the Church of England, the Dean is also Head of an Oxford College. The Governing Body and Chapter have now requested that the complaint against Martyn, which relates to a governance matter, be properly reviewed by an independently chaired internal tribunal.
Martyn is a close colleague, widely respected across the Church and his absence is keenly felt. The tribunal must now conduct an impartial, thorough and fair review of the complaint that has been made.
I remain in close contact with Martyn and Emma and with the Subdean and Chapter and the wider college through this difficult period. I am monitoring the situation closely. I also want to see that any allegations of bullying are properly investigated. Meanwhile the Cathedral’s core work of prayer and the worship of God continues, albeit in very testing circumstances.
We wish Martyn a speedy recovery to full health following a period of sickness in recent weeks and commend all those involved in this difficult situation to the prayers of the diocese.
The most recent media reports are these:
Mail on Sunday: Corrections and clarifications which relates to this article, two weeks ago: Modernising Oxford University dean is taken ill after alleged ‘hellish bullying campaign by dons to oust him’
Earlier reports include: Church Times: Dean of Oxford, Martyn Percy, faces removal from office and this week the Church Times opinion columnist Angela Tilby wrote: A reforming dean may be unpopular.
Local Oxford coverage has included:
Oxford Mail: Dean of Christ Church in Oxford faces tribunal
Oxford Student: Christ Church Dean In Tribunal Over Pay
Cherwell Online: Christ Church dean faces coup
A fundraising site has been established here, which contains a summary of some of the points at issue in this case:
It appears therefore that Martyn’s position is a uniquely powerless one. It takes just seven complainants under the statutes of the college to request a tribunal to remove the Dean of Christ Church. Three strange steps appear to have led to this position.
First, the Dean was offered no proper investigation, at which evidence from both sides could be heard, read and weighed.
Second, there was no disciplinary hearing in which he could defend any allegations made against him.
Third, to avoid unnecessary conflict, processes of genuine mediation should always happen. Such mediation is entered into in good faith by both parties – rather than being used as a means to coerce and expedite a virtually immediate resignation, which is increasingly common in workplaces today.
In any normal place of work, a Tribunal would be the very final stage: and only if the investigation, disciplinary procedures and mediation had all failed. In Martyn’s case, the first three stages did not fail: it seems they were not really attempted.
Under the college statutes, the Dean has no grievance procedure available to him either, so he can’t complain about the treatment give[n] him. Consequently, he can do nothing about the bullying and harassment he has received. Under natural justice any person should have rights. But [the] Martyn doesn’t.
Finally, the Dean seems to have no right to free speech. To defend himself, he has to find his own legal costs. His speech is not free. If you think this is unjust, then please help the support fund.
Surviving Church: Oxford Bullying and the Church of England22 Comments
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Democracy and Theocracy. In praise of Choice and Christian Freedom
Keith Giles Patheos Why John 3:16 Isn’t About The Crucifixion
Cristian Ispir British Library Medieval manuscripts blog Medieval hipsters
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Philip North Church Times Confession: An opportunity, not a risk
Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Is Agreement Over-Rated?25 Comments
Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have replied, on behalf of the ACANZP General Synod Standing Committee, to the proposal made by the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, in August.
Like it or not, to be Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand means facing into 200 years of a unique, shared and difficult history between Maori and Pakeha – and acknowledging the pillars of that shared history.
These pou include Anglicans bringing the gospel to these shores in 1814; the foundational and church-brokered Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 – and, after 150 years of struggle by Maori Anglicans, the adoption of Te Pouhere, the Three Tikanga Constitution of The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
So, a proposal advanced by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, that there should be two Anglican Churches in New Zealand, both linked by heritage – but the new one not recognising “the laws, promises, and solemn commitments” that bind The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and which grew out of that painful shared history, does not work.
That is the view of the General Synod Standing Committee – and that view has been expressed in an open letter signed by its co-chairs, Archbishops Don Tamihere and Philip Richardson, and sent to Archbishop Davies today.
The letter concludes: “We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history.”
Anglican Communion News Service reports: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal for overlapping Anglican jurisdiction.
Archbishop Davies’ proposal was contained in this document. The proposal was described in Sydney as: Archbishop presents proposal for NZ Anglican future. We reported it in August as Archbishop of Sydney proposes ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ for ACANZP.
The New Zealand reply to it is contained in this document. It’s worth reading this in full.
The Anglican Church League in Sydney reports it as Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal.
Bill Carroll The Episcopal Café Our piece of the puzzle
Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim Rediscovering the Sacrament of Reconciliation
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Andrew Brown Helmintholog The trouble with religion22 Comments
Updated Thursday to add press reports
The Church of England has published its Statistics for Mission 2017 today. The report can be downloaded here.
Also published today is a report on the Church of England’s digital reach: A year in numbers: 2018 digital report.
In addition there is a press release which is copied below.
Madeleine Davies Church Times Could the Christmas effect boost attendance through the year, Bishop asks
Christian Today Mixed picture for CofE in latest attendance figures
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Attendance at Church of England’s Sunday services falls again
Church of England press release
Christmas attendance at highest level for more than a decade
Attendance at Christmas services in the Church of England is at its highest level for more than a decade, according to new figures published today.
The latest annual Statistics for Mission report shows that while traditional Sunday attendance edged lower in 2017, in line with long-term trends, the numbers attending Christmas services increased by 3.4 per cent to 2.68 million.
It was the fourth successive rise in Christmas congregations since 2013 and the highest figure since 2006. Combined with figures for special services in churches during Advent, including carol services, there were nearly eight million attendances over the festive season.
The Statistics for Mission 2017 were published as #FollowTheStar, the Church of England’s campaign to encourage people to attend Advent and Christmas services this year, was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Meanwhile separate figures also published today show that the Church of England more than doubled its monthly reach on social media – from 1.2 million in 2017 to 2.44 million this year.15 Comments
You are invited to the launch of a book that addresses the role of the church (past, present and future) in the criminalization of consensual same-gender intimacy across the Commonwealth. This event is scheduled for Dec. 4.
This was the first-ever global event that discussed the role of the church (past, present and future) in the criminalization of private consensual same-gender intimacy. The event was live-streamed and there were presentations by international agencies and Christian leaders from all over the Commonwealth, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Archbishop of the West Indies and the Bishop of Buckingham.
An edited volume of some of the presentations is now ready and will be launched in London on 4 December. Attendance is free but booking is required.
Details here: Intimate Conviction Book Launch.
School of Advanced Study
Room 349 Senate House-South Block
London WC1E 7HU
Date: Dec. 4
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be provided.
The Ozanne Foundation is holding a one day conference on Saturday 8 December, involving some of the UK’s most senior academics from the fields of science, health and ethical issues surrounding sexuality and gender, whilst also rooted in real lived experience of well-known LGBTI Christians. Hosted by the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, this confernece will offer Christians the opportunity to engage with the professionals who are at the forefront of science, sexuality and faith.
Tickets and more details of the programme can be obtained from this link.
David Ison has written about the background to this event here: Brexit, Science & Sex: Can We Challenge Fake News?
And Robert Song has written this: The science of sexuality.2 Comments
Updated again Tuesday morning
We reported previously on the Diocese of Albany in September: Diocese of Albany considers same-sex marriages.
Further context for this is contained in another earlier article: Communion Partner bishops issue FAQ on same-sex marriage.
Episcopal Café now reports: Albany bishop draws red line, challenges authority of GC
…Bishop Love has decided to draw a line based on his personal beliefs and understanding of his role on behalf of the entirety of the diocese of Albany; “B012 ignores God’s Word regarding marriage and thus ignores the authority of Holy Scripture.” He lays the blame for General Convention’s actions squarely on Satan and the “Gay Rights Agenda.”
“While I don’t question the sincerity or the well intentions of many in the Episcopal Church who believe the best way to love and minister to our Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters in Christ is to embrace them in their sexuality and make provisions for their same-sex attractions through same-sex marriage rites, I do believe they have been deceived into believing a lie that has been planted in the Church by the “great deceiver” – Satan. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul states: “…stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-13).
The Episcopal Church and Western Society have been hijacked by the “Gay Rights Agenda” which is very well organized, very strategic, very well financed, and very powerful. Satan is having a heyday bringing division into the Church over these issues and is trying to use the Church to hurt and destroy the very ones we love and care about by deceiving the leadership of the Church into creating ways for our gay and lesbians brothers and sister to embrace their sexual desires rather than to repent and seek God’s love and healing grace. B012 plays right into this.”
Read the full text of his Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive here.
The Albany Times-Union reports this news: Albany Episcopal Bishop outlaws same-sex marriage in his churches.
News & World Report has this: Episcopal Bishop, William Love, Bans Gay Unions on His Turf.
Episcopal News Service Albany bishop rejects General Convention compromise on gay marriage, refuses to allow rites
And the bishop of the adjacent diocese ( Central New York) has also issued a statement available here.93 Comments
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Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Secrecy, Cover-up and the Cause of Truth
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Jeremy Pemberton From the Choir Stalls Fake Participation: what is wrong with Living in Love and Faith?
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Iwerne: what did David Conner (now Dean of Windsor) and others know about John Smyth’s regime of abuse?
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Safeguarding and the Church’s future
David Mitchell The Guardian Trust the Church of England to miss the point of Halloween
Ben Ryan LSE Religion and Global Society blog Christianism: A crude political ideology and the triumph of empty symbolism
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Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News We Will Remember Them…..All!30 Comments
The Church of England collected figures on the extent of social action by its churches were collected as part of the annual Statistics for Mission 2017 survey, and these have been published today.
Full extent of Church of England work to support local communities revealed
More than 33,000 social action projects – from food banks to debt counselling – are run or supported by churches, according to figures setting out for the first time the full scale of the Church of England’s service to communities.
The findings – which amount to the largest survey to date of the extent of the Church of England’s work with some of the most vulnerable in society – show that 80 per cent of congregations are involved in one or more forms of social action…
The full Statistics for Mission 2017 report will be available soon.
Press report3 Comments
Updated Tuesday morning (scroll down)
…The Oxford bishops are committed to building a Christ-like church and have identified three values as animators of this aspiration: compassion, contemplation and courage. By pledging to listen to the experiences of LGBTIQ+ Christians and allowing such experiences to help shape the future direction of the church, alongside the acknowledgment that ‘as a Church we have continually failed our sisters and brothers in Christ’ the bishops have shown real compassion. Listening, deep listening, is of course also the very heart beat of contemplative practice. In writing this letter, in the sure and certain knowledge that there will be some very real kick-back, and through their insistence, that silence does not serve the Church well, alongside a commitment to express their own views with integrity the Oxford bishops have been courageous, for courage is worked out in the most difficult, most contentious and most potentially divisive issues.
One of the most moving responses I have seen so far to the Oxford bishops’ letter on inclusion came from someone who said that she was surprised and delighted by the way in which the bishops made her feel part of the church by their words. Usually, this kind of official pronouncement makes gay people feel slightly ‘other’, a separate order of humanity within the church, but here the respondent was grateful to feel like she was genuinely listened to and part of the same church…
Marcus goes on to discuss at some length the article by Giles Goddard on Via Media to which we linked yesterday.
…The bishops also announce in the letter that they will be setting up a chaplaincy for LGBTI+ people and their families across the diocese. We very much look forward to seeing how this latest exciting development unfolds, and hope and trust that LGBTI+ people will continue to be integral to the development, delivery and dissemination of this important and innovative work.
…We would encourage other dioceses to consider following the Oxford lead, to meet with LGBTI representatives from within each diocese to listen to their concerns, and to say explicitly that LGBTI people are welcome in their diocese, and should be welcome in each and every parish.
The LGBTI community and their allies are looking for tangible proof that the words”radical new Christian inclusion” are being taken seriously by each diocese. It is in concrete proposals, such as the provision of LGBTI chaplaincies and the creation of LGBTI reference groups, that they will begin to be reassured that a truly inclusive welcome is sincerely being offered for all…
For a roundup of comment from a conservative viewpoint, see Anglican Mainstream’s post: Oxford Diocese promotes inclusion.
Jen Williams A brave faith What Open Table means to me
Janet Fife Surviving Church Shibboleths and the Love of God
Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News C of E Risks Failure on Human Sexuality Because of Privileged Power
Church Times No action songs, please: there are adults present
“Services that infantilise are counter-productive, says Ines Hands”