Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 31 October 2020

Timothy Goode ViaMedia.News Covid, LLF and the Power of “Lived Experience”

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The John Smyth affair: further reflections

Modern Church has an insert in yesterday’s Church Times. It includes these two articles from their blog.
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes Communion, Tangible and Virtual
Augustine Tanner-Ihm How Long O Lord?

Peter Crumpler Church Times The pandemic has changed how churches use media
“From YouTube services to the traditional magazine, parishes have been innovating”

Martyn Snow Church Times Dare to think differently about lay ministry
“It is about much more than filling the gaps left by stipendiary clergy, argues Martyn Snow. A whole new vision is needed”


Suffragan Bishop of Repton

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Repton: Reverend Canon William Malcolm Macnaughton
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon William Malcolm Macnaughton to the Suffragan See of Repton.

Published 30 October 2020
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon William Malcolm Macnaughton MA MTh, Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York in the diocese of York to the Suffragan See of Repton, in the diocese of Derby, in succession to the Right Reverend Janet Elizabeth McFarlane who resigned on 31st March 2020.

Malcolm was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He served his title at St Andrew, Haughton Le Skerne, in the diocese of Durham and was ordained Priest in 1982.

In 1985, Malcolm was appointed Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Newton Hall, in the diocese of Durham. In 1990, he moved to the diocese of London to be Team Vicar (and subsequently Vicar) of St John the Baptist, Hoxton. He also served as Area Dean of Hackney from 1994 to 1999. Malcolm was appointed Rector of Hambleden Valley in the diocese of Oxford in 2002 and became Area Dean of Wycombe in 2005.

In 2007, Malcolm took up his current role as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York.

There are more details on the Derby diocesan website.


Opinion – 28 October 2020

Charlie Bell ViaMedia.News Collusion, Hypocrisy & the Greasy Pole to Success

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Living in Love and Faith in a Systemically Abusive Church

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The work of a Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor. Insights from the Whitsey Report


Living in Love and Faith – publication update

The Church of England has announced that its Living in Love and Faith teaching and learning resources will be published on the afternoon of November 9; the press release is copied below.

Church House Publishing is advertising the main volume for £19.99, and a 5-session course for groups for £4.99 (or £24.99 for a pack of six).

Press release

Living in Love and Faith – publication update

The Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith teaching and learning resources, exploring questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, will be published on the afternoon of November 9.

The resources, commissioned by the House of Bishops, will include a book, a series of films and podcasts and a course which have been developed over the last three years by a group of more than 40 people from across the Church.

They are intended to initiate a process of whole Church learning and engagement, within a clear timeframe, that will contribute to the Bishops’ discernment of a way forward in relation to questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

Exact timings will be confirmed closer to the date.


WATCH and the Five Guiding Principles

Women and the Church has published an introduction and guide to the Five Guiding Principles. The Guide and two supporting documents can be found here:

There is also an earlier document from the Diocese of Chelmsford which is recommended in the code of behaviour

There is a press release which explains the intention of these documents: WATCH Publish an introduction and guide to the Five Guiding Principles. This is copied below the fold. (more…)


Bishop of Albany announces his resignation

We reported recently on the disciplinary hearing: Bishop of Albany found guilty of violating ordination vows. The further hearing planned to decide on the consequences of this was scheduled for next Monday.

Today, at the annual convention of the Diocese of Albany, Bishop Love announced his retirement.

Episcopal News Service: Presiding Bishop and Albany Bishop Reach Accord in Disciplinary Matter

Living Church: Bishop Love Ends Lonely Fight on Same-Sex Marriage

Here is an extract from his address to the diocesan convention:

…A second meeting of the Hearing Panel under the leadership of Bishop Knisely, was scheduled for this coming Monday, October 26 , to determine what disciplinary action should be taken against me. After much thought and prayer, recognizing that whatever disciplinary action would be offered would not be anything I could in good conscience agree to, I have made the very difficult, but necessary decision to resign as Bishop of Albany, effective February 1, 2021 – the 14th Anniversary of my becoming the Bishop Diocesan. Given all that has happened, and that which was still to come, I believe that to stay any longer would be more of a detriment to the Diocese than a help.

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and I, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany voluntarily entered into an Accord which became effective October 21, 2020, with the unanimous approval of the Disciplinary Board of the House of Bishops. The Accord resolves the matter of my case, thus discharging any further action from the Hearing Panel.

The Accord stipulates the following: I will resign as Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Albany, effective February 1, 2021; I will begin a one month terminal sabbatical beginning January 1, 2021; I agree to continue to abide by the January 11, 2019 Restrictions placed upon my ministry by the Presiding Bishop until the effective date of my resignation as Bishop; I will work with the Presiding Bishop through the Office of Pastoral Development to help foster a healthy transition from my leadership as Bishop Diocesan, as the Diocese begins a new chapter in its history; and lastly, I acknowledge that upon February 1, 2021, the effective date of my resignation as Bishop Diocesan, my November 10, 2018, Pastoral Directive regarding B012 will lose force. Until then, however, it remains in effect.

In signing the Accord, the Presiding Bishop has agreed to allow me to notify the clergy and people of the Diocese of Albany of my pending resignation, before he sends out an announcement to the wider community. I am very appreciative of his willingness to agree to that pastoral request..


Church of England Safeguarding: weekly roundup 24 October

See separate articles for the recently published reports on Victor Whitsey and on Stowe and Maids Moreton.

See also several relevant items in our twice-weekly comment roundups, first here, and then here.

Media coverage of the Whitsey report has been extensive:

Media coverage of the Maids Moreton case:

Other Church Times reports:

And see House of Bishops Meeting – Monday 19 October 2020.

1 Comment

Opinion – 24 October 2020

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Responding to wounded abuse survivors. Can the post-IICSA Church get this right?

Anne Foreman ViaMedia.News Church of England – Please Mind the Gap!

Jeremy Pemberton From the Choir Stalls Deadly Pressure

Stephen Cottrell, Nick Baines and David Walker Yorkshire Post We must face up to the human heartache in a Britain divided by lockdowns – Archbishop of York


Events in the parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton

The Diocese of Oxford has published a summary briefing and recommendations, along with the full report, from the independent review into events in the parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton.

Press release (also copied below)

Summary briefing: this page includes all the recommendstions and diocesan responses (scroll down) and also links to a Seven Minute Briefing.

Full report

Press release:

In 2017 Peter Farquhar was murdered. His need for an emotionally close relationship had been exploited, and an intelligent, talented man was made vulnerable. Peter was a member of his local church; his strong personal faith featured in the abusive relationship, and his murderer, Ben Field, also had roles within the church.

This was an extraordinary and unusual case. Everyone who came into contact with the murderer, Ben Field, was manipulated by him. He made a pretence of being a committed Christian and gained the confidence of the people of Stowe Parish Church.

The Church and wider society need to be ever more vigilant of those who can be made vulnerable by the likes of Ben Field, simply because they are elderly or lonely. For this reason, the Diocese of Oxford commissioned an independent review to establish lessons learnt from the events in the parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton.

The review, commissioned by the Diocese of Oxford Safeguarding Panel, was carried out by Dr Adi Cooper, OBE, an independent consultant in adult safeguarding and adult social care. Dr Cooper makes 13 recommendations for improving safeguarding awareness and prevention as well as supporting a shift to a more open culture within the Church of England around safeguarding in all its complexity for parishes.

“Although the events in the Parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton were unusual, there is learning from them that can inform improvement in safeguarding policy and practice,” writes Dr Cooper. “The lessons from the harm done by Ben Field presents a challenge for the Church regarding specific themes: the abuse of trust in a religious paradigm, attitudes towards sex and sexuality, and safe recruitment both of clergy and volunteers.”

Responding to the report, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, said: “I welcome the report and the recommendations it contains. The events to which it relates have caused immense distress to many. Following the trial and conviction of Ben Field, the Diocese was determined to learn what further action was required to ensure that potentially vulnerable adults attending church are adequately protected from harm. This review helps to challenge the commonly-held view that safeguarding is solely about preventing child abuse, and it is a clarion call for further improvements to our work on LGBTI+ inclusivity, our selection processes for clergy and volunteers, and the training and support the Church provides.”

23 October 2020

Notes for editors:

  • The independent report and recommendations were published in full on 23 October. The Diocese will report progress against each of the recommendations during 2021.
  • We believe this to be the first independent review concerning the Ben Field case. A Domestic Homicide Review is due to report in 2021
  • The report and recommendations are published at
  • For media enquiries, call Steven Buckley 07824 906839 or Liz Hudson on 07702 563211

Bishop Victor Whitsey: safeguarding review published

From the Chester diocesan website:

A Betrayal of Trust, the independent report into the Church’s handling of the allegations concerning the late Hubert Victor Whitsey, former Bishop of Chester, has been published today. The learning lessons review was carried out by His Hon David Pearl and independent safeguarding consultant Kate Wood.

The Church supported the police in an investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults by Whitsey dating from 1974 onwards when he was Bishop of Chester and from 1981 while he was retired and living in Blackburn diocese. A public apology was issued in October 2017 following this investigation which included a commitment to a learning lessons review…


Opinion – 21 October 2020

Andrew Graystone Surviving Church What do we mean by Redress?

Alan Wilson ViaMedia.News World Without End…?

Richard Scorer National Secular Society The Church of England’s culture of entitlement has to end


New format and new dates for Lambeth Conference

From the Lambeth Conference website: Dates for the Lambeth Conference announced.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced revised dates for the 15th Lambeth Conference. Hosted in Canterbury, Kent, the face-to-face conference will be planned for the 27th July – 8th August 2022 (with the official conference ending on the 7 August and departures on the 8th August).

The conference has been rescheduled from the original 2020 dates due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference organisers will continue to monitor the implications of COVID-19 and follow official health guidance in the months ahead.

With the theme of ‘God’s Church for God’s World – Walking, listening and witnessing together’ the conference will focus on what it means for the Anglican Communion – shaped by the five marks of mission – to be responsive to the needs and challenges of a fast changing world in the 21st Century.

This will be the first Lambeth Conference to meet both face-to-face and virtually. As well as the meeting in Canterbury in 2022, the Lambeth Conference will now be planned as a conference journey, that runs in phases before, during and beyond the face-to-face gathering.

Starting in 2021 the focus of phase one will be on introducing some of the major themes and strategic pillars of the conference programme. The conference community of bishops and spouses – and wider Anglican audiences – will be invited to take part in the Lambeth Conversation in different ways. This will be facilitated through a combination of online, regional and intraregional meetings and supporting resources.

With bishops and spouses invited from 165 countries of the Anglican Communion, the conference community represents a diversity of cultures and Christian tradition. The virtual phase of the conference will give more time to meet one another, start to discuss conference topics and have greater opportunity to share insights and experiences from their provinces and church communities.

It will also ensure that the use of conference resources and planning for future outcomes in the life of the Anglican Communion can be as effective as possible.

A working group is being appointed to shape the conference journey, comprised by representatives from around the communion. These are the Bishop of Penrith, Emma Ineson (who also serves as a member of the conference Design Group); the Right Revd Bishop Anthony Poggo, (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs); the Revd Prof Joseph D Galgalo (Vice Chancellor and associate professor of Theology at St. Pauls University in Kenya) and the Bishop of Amritsar, The Right Revd Pradeep Samantaroy (The Church of North India – United). The group will work with the Archbishop of Canterbury and wider conference teams to construct an engaging programme relevant to key issues in the world and the life of the Communion.

Phil George, the CEO of the Lambeth Conference Company, said:

With the message of ‘God’s Church for God’s World’, it’s vital that planning for our meeting of bishops and spouses responds to the new world we find ourselves in since COVID-19. Despite the challenges and disruption that the pandemic has caused, we’ve also seen huge creativity and adaptability as churches have started to meet virtually. The opportunities that technology provides for online meeting and engagement, have opened up new ways for us to connect, pray and be community for one another. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the Working Group to help develop and deliver the Lambeth Conference conversation.

The timetable and further details for the pre-conference programme will be released in 2021.


Suffragan Bishop of Berwick

Press release from Number 10

Suffragan Bishop of Berwick: Mark Wroe
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Mark Wroe BA MA, Archdeacon of Northumberland to the Suffragan See of Berwick.

Published 20 October 2020
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Mark Wroe BA MA, Archdeacon of Northumberland, in the diocese of Newcastle to the Suffragan See of Berwick, in the diocese of Newcastle, in succession to the Right Reverend Mark Tanner following his translation to the See of Chester. Mark was educated at St Mary’s University, London and Anglia Polytechnic University and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He served his title at All Saints Chilvers Coton with St Mary the Virgin, in the diocese of Coventry and was ordained Priest in 1997.

In 2000, Mark was appointed Priest-in-Charge, and latterly Vicar of St Alban Windy Nook, Gateshead in the diocese of Durham. Mark took up the roles of Priest-in- Charge of St Barnabas and St Jude, and Vicar of Holy Trinity Jesmond in the diocese of Newcastle in 2007. In 2017, Mark was additionally appointed Area Dean of Newcastle Central Deanery. He took up his current role as Archdeacon of Northumberland in 2019, having been Acting Archdeacon since 2018.

There is more on the Newcastle diocesan website.


House of Bishops Meeting – Monday 19 October 2020

Update The Church Times has written about the bishops’ meeting and a subsequent interview with the lead safeguarding bishop, Dr Jonathan Gibbs: Gibbs: independent body will supervise Church’s safeguarding.

Church of England press release

House of Bishops Meeting – Monday 19 October 2020

A meeting of the House of Bishops took place today, Monday 19 October via Zoom.

From October, the House is now meeting once a month, a schedule which is likely to continue until Easter 2021.

The focus of the meeting was an opportunity for reflection and learning on the overarching IICSA report for the Anglican Church in England and Wales which was published on 6 October and had six recommendations for the Church of England.

The House discussed the two most significant themes from the report; proper redress for victims and survivors and greater independence in safeguarding decision making. The House was addressed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the lead safeguarding bishop and the National Director of Safeguarding. All spoke in favour of the motions put before the House (see below) and strongly urged the House to vote in their favour.

During the course of two plenary sessions and breakout groups the House reviewed the recommendations of the report, affirming that any response by the Church needs to be sensitive to, and mindful of, the views of victims and survivors.

The House unanimously endorsed a motion fully accepting the IICSA report, unreservedly apologising to victims and survivors for the harm done by the Church and committing itself to urgently implementing the recommendations.

The House also unanimously agreed with the proposal that the Church should move towards establishing an independent safeguarding structure, with a new trustee body responsible for safeguarding to take over responsibility for the Archbishops’ Council. The House also agreed that an interim arrangement be put in place for additional independent oversight of safeguarding, prior to the establishment of the new trustee body.

The House then underlined the importance of a full response to the IICSA report being released in the coming weeks.

The House also received updates from the various works streams operating under the auspices of the Emerging Church Groups. An overview by the Chair of the Co-ordinating Group, the Bishop of Manchester was given, followed by a brief report from the Chair of the Recovery Group, the Bishop of London regarding ongoing changes and updates to the guidance for worship, following the introduction of the tier system across the nation.

The Archbishop of York updated the House on the work of the Vision and Strategy Group and received the House’s endorsement for his work on developing a shared vision for the Church. Further updates were also given by the Governance Group and the Transforming Effectiveness Group.


Primates unite to sign letter opposing UK internal market bill

This letter to the editor of the Financial Times has been signed by:

The Archbishop of Armagh
The Archbishop of Canterbury
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Archbishop of Wales
The Archbishop of York

As the Anglican primates of the four nations of the United Kingdom and Ireland, we wish to highlight the grave responsibility of peers in the House of Lords today as they debate the UK internal market bill (Report, October 15).

We are taking the rare step of writing together because the decisions implemented in this bill will profoundly affect the future of our countries and the relationships between them.

The bill represents a profound shift in how trading relationships within the UK will be regulated and governed. This will not be a return to a trade regime that existed before UK joined the EU; it will be an entirely novel system, replacing one that evolved slowly and by careful negotiation over decades.

The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd have made clear that the bill’s weakening of both the principles and the effect of devolved policymaking is of constitutional significance. Moreover, if the bill is made law without consent from devolved legislatures (as will happen if it is not amended to address their concerns), this will further undermine trust and goodwill among those who govern the different parts of the UK.

The bill is, of course, not just concerned with domestic law. It currently asks the country’s highest lawmaking body to equip a government minister to break international law. This has enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences.

We believe this would create a disastrous precedent. It is particularly disturbing for all of us who feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement — that international treaty on which peace and stability within and between the UK and Ireland depends.

The UK negotiated the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU to “protect the 1998 Agreement in all its dimensions”.

One year on, in this bill, the UK government is not only preparing to break the protocol, but also to breach a fundamental tenet of the agreement: namely by limiting the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Northern Ireland law.

If carefully negotiated terms are not honoured and laws can be “legally” broken, on what foundations does our democracy stand?

We urge lawmakers to consider this bill in the light of values and principles we would wish to characterise relationships across these islands long after the transition period.

The Most Reverend John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Reverend Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales
The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York


No peerage for Sentamu?

Updated Tuesday

There has been a lot of coverage in the press over the weekend and this morning about why the recently retired Archbishop of York has not (yet?) been given a peerage. His three predecessors (Hope, Hapgood, Blanch) were. The three before that (Coggan, Ramsey, Lang) were all translated to Canterbury and in due course received the customary peerage for retiring Archbishops of Canterbury.

The Times Peerage snub for top black bishop John Sentamu

The Guardian John Sentamu peerage snub criticised as ‘institutional prejudice’

Independent John Sentamu: Former archbishop peerage ‘imminent’ after government accused of ‘blatant institutional prejudice’

Telegraph Downing Street insists life peerage for John Sentamu ‘imminent’ amid backlash over delay

Daily Mail ‘Snubbed’ archbishop WILL get his peerage: Downing St delayed honour for John Sentamu to make sure he wasn’t criticised by inquiry into child abuse

Yorkshire Post Accusations mount over peerage snub for former Archbishop of York John Sentamu

York Press Peerage snub for former Archbishop of York
John Sentamu peerage expected ‘imminently’ after criticism of Government

ITV Former Archbishop of York John Sentamu peerage expected ‘imminently’ after criticism of government


Church Times Sentamu will get his peerage, government sources say

Yorkshire Post John Sentamu will have place in House of Lords after backlash over apparent snub


Opinion – 17 October 2020

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel First reflections on IICSA’s second report

Helen King ViaMedia.News Why the Church of England Must ‘Connect the Dots’ – IICSA and LLF

Shirley O’Shea The Living Church What Mentally Ill Persons Wish Their Clergy Understood

Anne Atkins Church Times When people won’t believe you
“Victims are often doubted, Anne Atkins finds”

Andrew Graystone Surviving Church Towards a Theology of Redress


Church of England Safeguarding: weekly roundup 16 October

A collection of material published in the past week related to Church of England safeguarding. See also additional items in our Opinion articles last Wednesday and  tomorrow.

BBC Radio 4 had this  Sunday programme interview including survivors and the Archbishop of York. The item starts 13 minutes into the programme.

The same radio station had a programme in its Moral Maze series, titled The Moral Authority of Organised Religion.

The Telegraph had a surprising item: Church of England’s ‘Safe Spaces’ helpline labelled ‘unsafe’ by abuse survivors

Today the Church Times has many relevant items, including:

The Church of England announced the terms of reference for the PCR2 Reference Group for National Church Institutions and Archbishops. Here is a direct link to the actual Terms of reference.

Parliamentary Questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner included some on this topic.


Bishop of Birkenhead to retire

The Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair, has announced today that he is to retire on 08 March 2021, 14 years to the day after he was consecrated. Birkenhead is a suffragan see in the diocese of Chester.


Opinion – 14 October 2020

Charlie Bell Risk and Prophesy – has the Church got its COVID-19 response right?
“In this paper Charlie Bell challenges assumptions about how we should approach the COVID- 19 crisis not least in church. He argues that church authorities have misunderstood the science and imposed a culture of fear thereby exacerbating the crisis. It is time for a radical reassessment.”

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News Safeguarding, ‘Reabuse’ and LGBT People

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church We are sorry, but please be patient: An Apology after IICSA
Narcissism – A Recipe for Unhappiness in the Church

Ian Black Church Times Comment: how the Church can end its abuse culture
“Policies and procedures are not enough to stop abuse, says Ian Black. Much deeper changes are needed”