Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 28 December 2019

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Who wants to be an English Bishop?

Simon Jenkins The Guardian To survive, Britain’s churches need to learn from our cathedrals

Diarmaid MacCulloch The Guardian Why Christianity has been struggling with sex ever since the Nativity

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Church Representation Rules

The 2020 edition of the Church Representation Rules is now available online. As we noted earlier this 2020 edition presents an entirely new text of the Church Representation Rules, replacing the previous Rules established in 1969 and amended numerous times over the following fifty years. They come into effect on 1 January 2020 so, for example, they will apply to the 2020 annual parochial church meeting and to the revision of the electoral roll which must precede that annual meeting.

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Opinion – 24 December 2019

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley God Enters the God-Made World

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The Archbishop-designate and Christian Concern – some thoughts.

The Archbishop of Canterbury‘s 2019 Ecumenical Christmas Letter

Philip Baldwin Gay Times LGBTQ Christians desperately want and need full inclusion

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Update on Safe Spaces following media report

The Church of England issued the press release below today. It appears to be in response to an article in Private Eye which was tweeted here yesterday.

Update on Safe Spaces following media report
21/12/2019

A spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team said: “Safe Spaces is planned as a vital support service for survivors of church-related abuse across the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

“The delay in progressing the support service, first officially discussed in 2014, is a matter of regret which the Church of England acknowledges and apologises for. But since the appointment of a project manager and the creation of the Safe Spaces Management Board last year eight survivor representatives from across both Churches are involved in ensuring we find the right organisation to deliver the project.

“Their knowledge, skill and personal experience in shaping the model for Safe Spaces alongside their commitment and support for the procurement process is integral to finding the right organisation to deliver the project.

“All grant money from both churches and ATL has been ring fenced for the project and no money from the £592,000 grant has been spent to date, and no new company has been set up. Pre set-up costs, procurement, project management and development are separate to this and the cost is being shared across both Churches.

“Following an initial procurement process, the Board has agreed that it would not be recommending the appointment of a preferred supplier to deliver the project; this decision was taken in partnership with the survivor representatives.

“Over the coming weeks the Board in partnership with survivors will agree the next steps and the best way forward. Survivor voices remain central to any future success of this new service and their welfare and support is an absolute priority for the Church in its continuing safeguarding work.

“Both churches are committed to supporting survivors of church-related abuse and providing an independent national service for survivors of any form of church-related abuse.”

35 Comments

Opinion – 21 December 2019

Some more Christmas Messages posted by the Anglican Communion News Service

Archbishops Richard Clarke and Eamon Martin, The Anglican Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland
Archbishop Paul Kwong, The Anglican Church of Hong Kong
Archbishop Linda Nicholls, The Anglican Church of Canada
Archbishop John Davies, The Church in Wales

Andrew Brown Church Times How smartphones have changed the news

Peter Leonard ViaMedia.News An Everyday Christmas….?

1 Comment

Opinion – 18 December 2019

Some Christmas Messages posted by the Anglican Communion News Service

Archbishop Philip Freier, Primate of Australia
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry [also available here]
Archbishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing, Archbishop of the Province of South East Asia

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Christians pulled in two directions – reconciling opposites.

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Needing a Wee on the First Day of the Week

Jayne Ozanne Viamedia.News A Tale of Two Kitties

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Next Archbishop of York

10 Downing Street has announced that the next Archbishop of York will be Stephen Cottrell, currently Bishop of Chelmsford.

Archbishop of York: Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell

The Queen has nominated the Right Reverend Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell, MA, the Lord Bishop of Chelmsford, to the See and Archbishopric of York, in succession to the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu, MA, Lord Archbishop of York, who retires on 7th June 2020.

Stephen was educated at the Polytechnic of Central London and trained for ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served his title at Christ Church and St Paul’s, Forest Hill in the Diocese of Southwark and was ordained Priest in 1985. He studied for an MA with St Mellitus College which was awarded through Middlesex University.

In 1988, Stephen was appointed Priest-in-charge, St Wilfrid’s in the Diocese of Chichester with the additional role of Assistant Director of Pastoral Studies and Tutor in Apologetics at Chichester Theological College. In 1993, Stephen was appointed Diocesan Missioner and Bishop’s Chaplain for Evangelism in the Diocese of Wakefield and in 1998 he took up the role of Springboard Missioner and Consultant in Evangelism. In 2001, Stephen was appointed Vice Dean and Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral. Stephen was appointed Bishop of Reading in 2004 and took up his current role as Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010.

Stephen is married to Rebecca who is a potter. They have three sons.

Further coverage includes:

81 Comments

Opinion – 14 December 2019

Caroline Starkey & Grace Davie LSE Religion and Global Society Silence and Words: Unexpected Responses to a Gay Bishop

The Fence Diary of an Urban Parson
“True and affecting vignettes from the life and times of the Reverend J J Cowan, from which the reader may discern much of the happy state of the Church of England in our nation’s fair capital”
[first of a series]

Lucy Winkett New Statesman It’s always a risk walking around this time of year with a dog collar on. People might ask you things

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News Wellbeing, Leadership and ‘The Other’

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General Synod Agenda for February

The Business Committee of General Synod has today published the outline agenda for the February Group of Sessions in London.

The published information can be read here and is copied (with slight editing) below the fold.

(more…)

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Meeting of the House of Bishops

The Church of England’s House of Bishops met this week and issued the following brief press release.

Meeting of the House of Bishops
11/12/2019

The House of Bishops met from Monday 9th December to Wednesday 11th December at Lambeth Palace.

The House considered progress to date in the Living in Love and Faith project through discussion, prayer and reflection. The House discussed safeguarding with a presentation from the National Director of Safeguarding.

On the eve of the general election, the House reviewed the national situation politically and prayed for the good of the country.

Other items on the agenda included Renewal and Reform and the Implementation and Dialogue Group Report.

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Opinion – 11 December 2019

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Elite Schools and leadership in Church and State

Peterson Feital ViaMedia.News Does the Church have a Problem with Institutional Racism?

Jeremy Morris Church Times The cry for self-government: 100 years of the Enabling Act
“Jeremy Morris marks the centenary of the Enabling Act, which created the General Synod’s precursor, in response to a campaign for the C of E’s “‘liberty'”

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Opinion – 7 December 2019

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of Renewal and Reform; money, numbers, and growth

Laudable Practice The Advent of High Church populism

Kate Surviving Church Conservative Evangelical Bullying: A case study.

David Walker Via.Media.News Pondering “the Bump” of Posada

Peter Sherlock theproseclerk The New Anglican Century: One Hundred Female Bishops

43 Comments

Clergy Flourishing

The Church of England has published the latest report from its Living Ministry project: Ministerial Effectiveness and Wellbeing: Exploring the flourishing of clergy and ordinands.

There is an accompanying press release, copied below.

New research findings published on clergy flourishing
05/12/2019

A new set of findings from a 10-year study into the well-being and flourishing of ordained ministers in the Church of England has been published today.

The Living Ministry programme tracks the progress of groups of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 and women and men who entered training for ordination in 2016, seeking to understand what helps clergy to flourish in ministry.

The latest research from the project includes responses from 579 ordained clergy and 113 people training for ordained ministry in the Church of England.

The quantitative study includes research into physical and mental, relational, financial and material and spiritual and vocational well-being as well as responses to questions about ministerial effectiveness.

The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Director of the Ministry Division of the Church of England said: “This 10-year programme is providing valuable long-term insights into the experiences of our ordained clergy from initial training and curacy and throughout ministry.

“The findings will help inform the dioceses and theological education colleges and courses in their vital work in the selection, formation and long-term support of ordained clergy.”

Dr Liz Graveling, who is overseeing the research programme for the Ministry Division, said: “I’m pleased to release this next stage of the Living Ministry research, which has allowed us to look in more depth at specific areas of clergy flourishing and start to build up a picture over time. As we follow our participants into the next chapter of their ministry, we are continuing to explore some of these themes in the ongoing qualitative work, which is due to report next year.”

Further information:

Living Ministry was set up in 2016 by the Church of England with the aim of helping support the dioceses, theological education institutions and national church in the selection, training and long-term support of clergy.

Living Ministry is a mixed-methods, longitudinal study. This report presents the findings of Wave 2 of the panel survey, which took place in early 2019. The survey built on the exploration of clergy wellbeing in Wave 1 (2017) by both monitoring this and including questions on ministerial effectiveness.

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Opinion – 4 December 2019

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Foster’s Iwerne analysis. Some reflections on the place of women in the Church.

Helen King ViaMedia.News Who Tells Our Story – and How?

The Scotsman Richard Holloway writes a letter to the author of the book of Genesis
[free registration required]

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Advent Candles Explained

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Sophie Jelley to be next Bishop of Doncaster

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Doncaster: 2 December 2019

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Sophie Rebecca Jelley, Mphil, BA to the Suffragan See of Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield.

Published 2 December 2019

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Sophie Rebecca Jelley, Mphil, BA, Residentiary Canon at Durham Cathedral, in the Diocese of Durham, to the Suffragan See of Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield, in succession to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows following his resignation on 30th September 2019.

Sophie was educated at the University of Leeds and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She served her title at St Peter’s Shipley in the Diocese of Bradford and was ordained priest in 1998. Sophie took up the role of Mission Partner with the Church Mission Society in Uganda in 2000 and returned to the UK in 2003 to take up the role of Resident Minister of St John the Evangelist, Church in the Diocese of Guildford. In 2010 Sophie was appointed Vicar, St Andrew’s Burgess Hill in the Diocese of Chichester and in 2013 she took up the additional role of Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands.

In 2015, Sophie was appointed to her current role as Canon Missioner and Diocesan Director of Mission, Discipleship and Ministry in the Diocese of Durham.

Sophie is married to Chris, a technology consultant, and they have three teenage children. Sophie is a keen runner and musician.

There are more details on the Sheffield diocesan website.

19 Comments

Opinion – 30 November 2019

Emma Ineson Church Times Good leaders know the art of successful failure
“Christians can find freedom from performance anxiety by embracing vulnerability and weakness”

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of faith in troubling times

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church What is a Safeguarding Review?

LGBTQ Faith UK Faithfully wrong – The problem of evil in the church.

David Ison ViaMedia.News Nationalism, Patriotism and Glory…

Sara Gillingham Modern Church ‘On the margins, still looking in’
“It is now over six months since I made the decision to leave the Church of England, and I feel far better for doing so.”

48 Comments

CofE publishes Charter for Relationships, Sex & Health Education

From a Church of England press release:

The Church of England has published a Charter and resources to support schools in delivering Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).

The Charter features eight commitments which all schools, Church of England and others, can sign-up to prior to the new guidelines becoming law in autumn 2020.

The Church of England’s lead Bishop for Education, Stephen Conway said in April that RSHE would require a shared duty of care between parents and schools, with the contents of the curriculum discussed and clearly communicated in advance.

To enable this, a skeleton agenda for parents’ meetings has also been published, together with a framework for school staff discussion, a policy template and activities and prayers.

The eight commitments include delivering the curriculum as a professional and identifiable part of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), building resilience of pupils, promoting healthy relationships, using honest and medically accurate information, meeting individual requirements including special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and seeking pupils’ views to make teaching relevant to their lives….

From the CofE website:

Relationships, Sex and Health Education
Faith sensitive and inclusive Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (RSHE)

From September 2020, all primary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education. They will also be required to teach Health Education. Secondary schools will be required to teach Relationships Education and Sex Education.

The legislation makes it clear that all schools should approach RSHE in a faith sensitive and inclusive way, seeking to explain fairly the tenets and varying interpretations of religious communities on matters of sex and relationships and teach these viewpoints with respect. The Church of England Education Office supports the approach taken by the government, including recommending an age-appropriate provision of sex education at primary level, and is issuing a Charter which we hope schools of all foundations, faiths or otherwise will sign up to as they affirm the broad principles about how RSHE is taught.

The Charter is accompanied by guidance, given to help dioceses and schools as they develop policy in this area. Based in the principles established by the Church of England’s Pastoral Advisory Group which has set out some principles for living well together with difference and diversity and in Valuing All God’s Children, we have developed the following documents:

It is our intention to add to these resources during the year.

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Opinion – 27 November 2019

Charles Foster Surviving Church Smyth, Fletcher, Iwerne, and the theology of the divided self

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News A Call to “Take Sides”!

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Cathedral Statistics 2018

The Church of England has published its Cathedral Statistics 2018 today along with the following press release.

Record numbers of visitors and worshippers flock to England’s cathedrals
26/11/2019

England’s cathedrals have witnessed their highest Easter congregation numbers in recent years, while visitor numbers increased by a million on the previous year, statistics published today show.

In the report, published today, Cathedrals reported nearly ten million visitors in 2018, an increase of over 10 per cent on the previous year. There were additionally over a million visitors to Westminster Abbey.

The major Christian festivals remain at the heart of congregational growth, with 58,000 people attending a cathedral at Easter and 95,000 during Holy Week – the highest numbers recorded for a decade, with Easter attendance up nearly 10,000 since 2008.

(more…)

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Church Representation Rules 2020

Completely revised Church Representation Rules will come into effect on 1 January 2020. Hard copies are available from Church House Publishing and elsewhere.

The new rules form schedule 1 of the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019. They are not as yet available on the Church of England website, which at the time of writing only has the current 2017 rules.

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