1. Until further notice, all parish organisations and activities should cease.
2. Until further notice, all Sunday and midweek services (gatherings for worship) should be suspended.
3. Until further notice, steps should be taken to ensure that numbers attending funeral services and weddings are kept as low as possible.
on Tuesday, 17 March 2020 at 2.55 pm by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
Updated 4.50 pm Tuesday
Revised FAQs have been published, but there are major gaps in the information available on subjects such as baptisms, confirmations, wedding banns, and funerals, all of which are urgently required by parish clergy across the land.
at 1.30 pm Tuesday, the Church of England published the following notice:
Last updated Tuesday 17 March 2020 at 13:30
In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
Churches should be open where possible but with no public worship services taking place. Prayers can be said by clergy and ministers on behalf of everyone and churches should consider ways of sharing this with the wider community. See more below on digital resources that are under development and currently available.
A complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Dean of Lincoln, Christine Wilson, made by the national director of safeguarding has now been determined by the Bishop of Sheffield. The complaint related to the way in which the Dean dealt with a safeguarding disclosure made to her.
The Bishop took into account that the Dean had admitted misconduct and had expressed genuine regret in not immediately following the correct process when handling and reporting the disclosure that was made to her. He also took into account that she had agreed to undergo further safeguarding training.
On that basis, and with the Dean’s consent, the Bishop directed that the matter was to be recorded conditionally and remain on the record for four years (“conditional deferment”). The result is that if another complaint is made against the Dean, the conditionally deferred complaint may also be proceeded with together with the new complaint.
During consideration of the complaint, the Dean had voluntarily stepped back from exercising ministry.
Melissa Caslake, national director of safeguarding, said: “The Church takes all safeguarding issues very seriously and it is vital lessons are learnt, and in this case further training undertaken, when our policies and procedures are not followed, to ensure the Church is a safer place for all.”
The following is a joint statement from the Acting Bishop of Lincoln and the Dean of Lincoln
A complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, made by the national director of safeguarding, regarding how a safeguarding allegation was reported, has been determined by the Bishop of Sheffield.
The majority of the complaint has been upheld and it was determined to be out of character and unlikely to be repeated. The dean has completed further safeguarding training and is now returning to ministry in the Cathedral and the Diocese.
Dean Christine Wilson says she has learnt important lessons in responding well to survivors and understands the importance of making apologies when the church gets things wrong. She is looking forward to resuming ministry in the Cathedral, serving the city and the county.
The Acting Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Dr David Court is aware of a range of issues that have been raised with him that are connected to the life of the Cathedral. Therefore, he is planning to initiate a Bishop’s Visitation and will issue a fuller statement on this within the next week.
SENIOR members of Christ Church, Oxford, have been accused of “weaponising” the suffering of abuse victims in a further attempt to oust the Dean, the Very Revd Dr Martyn Percy.
On Wednesday of last week, a message accusing the Dean of safeguarding lapses was posted on the college website (News, 6 March). Dr Percy issued an instant rebuttal. (Elements of his rebuttal were then challenged by lawyers working for the college.)
The Diocesan Canon Precentor, the Revd Dr Grant Bayliss, has written to all members of the Governing Body to object to the message, which was circulated to the press by the PR firm Luther Pendragon. Canon Bayliss, who is not a member of the Governing Body, has filed a complaint against the small “press group” at the college responsible for the rushed and “staggeringly inadequate” consultation process on Wednesday of last week, when the safeguarding statement was posted on the college website.
He goes on: “I find the fact that no comment or mitigating defence from the Dean was included in the House statement bewildering. . . Moreover, how is it that our website has still not been updated with the Dean’s response, and that its existence is only evident in the Guardian and Church Times?”
He concludes by considering the view that the safeguarding statement was an “intentional attack” on the Dean. “Like some colleagues, I have spent many hours supporting and counselling victims of abuse and violent crime, and to ‘weaponize’ such suffering in any way is beneath contempt…”
Queen approves nomination to the Suffragan See of Sherwood.
Published 11 March 2020
Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Doctor Andrew Neil Emerton BSc, BTh, DPhil, Dean of St Mellitus College, in the Diocese of London to the Suffragan See of Sherwood, in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, in succession to the Right Reverend Anthony Porter BA MA who is due to retire on 22nd March 2020.
Andy was educated at York University, and Queens College, Oxford and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He served his title at Holy Trinity Brompton in the Diocese of London and was ordained Priest in 2006.
In 2008, Andy was appointed as Assistant Dean, St Mellitus College and in 2015 Andy took up his current roles as Dean, St Mellitus College and Principal, St Paul’s Theological Centre
There is more detail on the diocesan website, including the consecration date which is Ascension Day 21 May 2020.
The bishops heard from the Reverend Professor Gina Radford and the Reverend Dr Brendan McCarthy on the developing situation with regard to the spread of the Coronavirus. They also heard about the Archbishops’ decision to update the latest guidance.
The bishops also discussed the Living in Love and Faith project in advance of this summer’s publication of the teaching and learning resources.
…It is our view, in light of the continued increase of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom, that it is now necessary to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the peace, blessing or “laying on of hands”.
We therefore advise that all priests should:-
Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine;
suspend handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace;
suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’…
The full Church of England advice can be found over here.
…In response [to the latest Christ Church statement], Dr Percy issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon denying the accusation and citing a police statement. He writes: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Dean dealt correctly with three historic cases of reported sexual assault in the academic year 2016-17, and the information on these were shared with the appropriate college officers at the time. One of these individuals had already made a report to the police, which was already known to the college officers concerned.
“A fourth historic disclosure was made by an individual who had never reported the matter to the police, and only agreed to talk about the alleged assault on the condition that there was no further disclosure. Their position of this individual has not changed.
“No person making a disclosure was still a minor — all were over 21. Three of the cases took place before 2014, prior to the Dean taking up office. None of alleged perpetrators posed a safeguarding risk.”
The Dean goes on to state that, in 2017, he raised concerns that college officers were ignorant of their safeguarding duties, and were untrained, something borne out by an email from Professor Johnson at the time, quoted in The Times.
LGBT+ campaigners will hold a church service led by two high-profile married lesbian priests on the eve of the Lambeth conference, a once-a-decade assembly of Anglican bishops from around the world that is expected to be dominated by conflicts over sexuality and marriage.
The move is likely to rile conservative bishops who maintain that homosexuality is a sin.
An “inclusive” eucharist at a church in Canterbury will be presided over by the Rt Rev Mary Glasspool, an assistant bishop in New York. The preacher will be the Rev Canon Mpho Tutu van Furth, a daughter of Desmond Tutu, the veteran South African anti-apartheid campaigner.
The service is intended to send a strong message to up to 1,000 bishops from 165 countries who are due to gather at the University of Kent at the end of July for almost two weeks of prayer and discussion about issues facing the worldwide Anglican church…