Anglican responses to the Ukrainian crisis include the following.
The archbishops of the Church of England issued a Pastoral letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with A Prayer for Ukraine, and urged that Churches prepare for National Day of Prayer for Ukraine. Ely Cathedral provided a translation into Ukrainian.
The Archbishop of York also spoke about Ukraine in a debate in the House of Lords.
The Scottish Episcopal Church issued Primus on Ukraine crisis: “Let us pray today for peace”.
The Church in Wales issued Ukraine – A statement from the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John
The Church of Ireland has published Prayers in a time of war in Ukraine.
All are invited to join together for
Prayers Across Europe for Peace in Ukraine
Tuesday 1st March
1800gmt / 1900cet / 2000eet (Kyiv) / 2100gmt+3 (Moscow)
Led by: Bishop Robert Innes
Rev’d Canon Malcolm Rogers, Chaplain of St Andrew’s, Moscow and Area Dean of Russia and Ukraine and Representatives of Christ Church, Kyiv
Also there is Bishop Robert Prays for Ukraine (for Chaplaincy Service use) which includes a video link.
Earlier, the CofE published ‘Please pray for peace for Ukraine’: the Church of England congregation which meets in Kyiv.
There is much discussion about the religious aspects of the dispute. Commenters include:
Church Times reports:28 Comments
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Ghana “Anti-Gay” Bill hearings continue with a presentation from IDNOWA
Hugh Williamson Church Times Priests on the payroll
“Hugh Williamson meets ministers whose places of secular work are their mission fields”
Josephine Stein Surviving Church Safeguarding: Value for Money?
Valerie Plumb ViaMedia.News Profile: Burn Out, Exclusion and the Church of England26 Comments
David Brown Surviving Church Church Culture and the Roots of Bullying
Martyn Percy Modern Church Embrace the “Tutufication” of the Church of England Part 4
Tony Baldry ViaMedia.News Will They Ever Come Back…?
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love LGBTQIA+ Representation on NSG and House of Bishops
David Goodhew The Living Church Is Anglicanism growing or dying? new data18 Comments
Three articles by Martyn Percy for Modern Church
Embrace the “Tutufication” of the Church of England Part 3
Some Critical Comment on “Bishops and Ministry Fit for a New Context”
Rebecca Chapman Church Times Synod is falling victim to process
“Rebecca Chapman expresses her unease at procedural moves and general discontent”
Phil Groves ViaMedia.News MI5, Exclusion & The Church of England
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The Independent Learning Lessons Case Review – Graham Gregory. Some comments34 Comments
Bishop of Kensington to lead new Centre for Cultural Witness
The Bishop of Kensington, Dr Graham Tomlin, will step down in August 2022 to lead the new Centre for Cultural Witness, a project to underpin the Church’s work of being a Christian presence in every community, by exploring how the Church can communicate and share with others its profound and transforming story in its public witness.39 Comments
There were a number of questions raised at General Synod concerning two recent senior Church of England appointments. Earlier there had been two letters in the Church Times, first one about the appointment of the new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments, see here, and then a further letter (scroll down, from Mr John Brydon) concerning this, and also about the appointment of the new Third Church Estates Commissioner.
At Synod, four Questions were raised.
The Church Times reported in detail on all this: Archbishop quizzed about selection of Appointments Secretary. This article includes details of a supplementary question from Rebecca Chapman (see first letter above):
…She asked the Archbishop to confirm that “prior to appointing Mr Knott to this role, you were aware of the contents of the lawyer’s report sent to your office in April 2017, which explicitly lays out seven identified breaches of employment law perpetrated by Mr Stephen Knott when dealing with my return to work at Lambeth Palace following maternity leave, and whether or not you shared that information with the panel who approved Mr Knott for this role.”
After hearing Mrs Chapman’s question, the session’s chair, Debbie Buggs (London), said that it contained “imputation” and “shouldn’t be asked”. The Archbishop need not reply. This was later challenged by Jayne Ozanne (Oxford), to a “Hear, hear” and applause from the floor…
…The lawyer’s report, a private legal opinion prepared by a solicitor, Jane Stuart-Smith, has been seen by Church Times. It says: “Two days before Rebecca Chapman’s return to work she had no job, no office and there appeared to be no serious attempt to address the situation by her line managers. Rebecca Chapman made all the running and found a creative solution to a situation that was totally unacceptable.
“Lambeth Palace narrowly avoided a tribunal claim for sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of the Part Time Workers regulations and breach of the Maternity and Paternity Leave Regulations. Fortunately, the situation was resolved because she took the initiative.”
It does not name Mr Knott and the Church Times understands that while his duties included the administration of HR duties, he was not responsible for decisions taken. On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Lambeth Palace said: “Rebecca Chapman was a valued employee who remained in post and later went on to leave her role at Lambeth Palace on good terms…
…Ms Stuart-Smith’s report was paid for by Mrs Chapman’s husband, who in a letter, also seen by the Church Times, informed the Archbishop that he would be providing a pot of £20,000 to enable access for staff at Lambeth Palace to legal employment advice and guidance if needed. Mrs Chapman confirmed on Tuesday that it had been used by staff.
The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, has announced that he will cease to be Dean at midnight on 16 May 2022, the eve of his 75th birthday…
The Church Times covers this story here.49 Comments
Robert Springett ‘Save the Parish’: A response from Bishop Robert
Paul Bayes Thinking in Liverpool Farewell sermon, February 2022
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love NSG declines to define radical new Christian inclusion
Jeremy Marks ViaMedia.News Banning Prayer?
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church How Evil is to be found in our Institutions, including the Churches3 Comments
Graham Gregory: Lessons Learnt Review
The independent lessons learnt review into the Church of England’s handling of allegations against the late Revd Graham Gregory across five dioceses, has been published today. Gregory was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2014, on two counts of non-recent indecent assault on a girl under 13 years and was further convicted in 2018 of three non-recent indecent assaults against three separate victims, all children and was sentenced to four years four months in prison. He died in jail in 2019.
The review was commissioned by the National Safeguarding Team and carried out by Ray Galloway, who previously led the Jimmy Savile Inquiry at Leeds General Infirmary and was part of the Church of England’s Kendal House review team. The reviewer’s work was informed by the five diocesan reviews in; Chichester, Sodor & Man, Southwark, Southwell & Nottingham and York (to where he retired).
Its purpose is to allow the Church to take steps to enhance and improve its response to allegations of abuse and, thereby, to ensure a safer environment for all. It also considers both good practice and failings in safeguarding practices in respect of Graham Gregory, and the appropriateness of responses by Church bodies to allegations and concerns raised across each diocese in which he held any post…
…press release continued
Statement from Ray Galloway:
The events recorded in this report demonstrate the scale of Graham Gregory’s betrayal of the trust placed in him, the impact of which has been profound and enduring. Accordingly I should like to pay tribute to his victims for their courage in sharing their experiences with the Review Team so allowing us to build our knowledge and understanding of Gregory’s history of abusive behaviour.
Robust and reliable evidence, gathered over more than 25 years, shows that Gregory was a determined and persistent abuser of children who actively sought out and created opportunities to harm his victims.
The children he abused included his own vicar’s daughter, the daughter of a family relative and daughters of his congregants. The latter included one child whose parents were visually impaired and had trusted Gregory with the safety of their daughter when in his company.
Arguably the gravest and most regrettable conclusion of the Review is that of missed opportunity and the harm done that may have been avoided. This was possible because, despite child victims and victims’ parents repeatedly seeking support and protection from members of the clergy, including senior members, they were not listened to nor was action taken. This lack of action continued for almost 50 years. Indeed on at least one occasion an allegation was actively suppressed by a senior member of the clergy and Gregory merely moved to another diocese. That allegation contributed to Gregory’s conviction when it was reasserted some 25 years later.
Whilst for much of Gregory’s ministry safeguarding matters did not benefit from the profile and awareness that they do today, there was still a fundamental moral and professional duty to protect children. It is clear that this duty to the vulnerable was not met where and when most needed. This resulted in Gregory continuing, unchallenged, and further abuse being perpetrated.
Clear and multiple opportunities were missed by the Church to listen to victims, scrutinise Gregory’s behaviour and to take action to protect those children and families involved. This would have stopped Gregory’s abuse, brought him to justice sooner and shown a demonstrable commitment to the welfare of the vulnerable. It is vital that the Church acknowledges and accepts the findings of this Report and makes meaningful and transparent arrangements to address these findings.7 Comments
WATCH A Report on the Developments in Women’s Ministry in 2021
Readers may find the tables in the downloadable pdf file easier to read.
Martyn Percy Modern Church Embrace the “Tutufication” of the Church of England Part 2
Giles Fraser UnHerd The Church’s war on the clergy
Ian Paul Psephizo Once again: should clergy be paid more?
Surviving Church A Maze with no Exit. Justice Denied in the Church of England
Eeva John Church Times A more excellent way to handle conflict
“The Church would deal with disagreement better if it were free from fear and full of love, says Eeva John, in a sermon preached in Great St Mary’s, the University Church, Cambridge, on 30 January”
Sorrel Shamel-Wood ViaMedia.News Another Injustice in the Church of England? Surely not!123 Comments
David Mitchell The Guardian Having a laugh in church? God forbid
“A cathedral’s plan to host standup comedy has been criticised, but if it keeps places of worship relevant I’m a believer”
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Unfinished Business at Christ Church Oxford
Archbishop Cranmer Christ Church’s magic £millions make the Dean’s safeguarding risk disappear
Andrew Lightbown ViaMedia.News Why I’m ‘Crossing the Severn’…8 Comments
The Bishop of Kingston, The Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham, announced today that he will be concluding his term of office on 17 October 2022, the 20th anniversary of his consecration. He is one of the longest-serving stipendiary bishops in the Church of England…36 Comments
This post will be updated as the meeting proceeds.
All sessions are streamed live on YouTube and remain available to view afterwards.
OP1 – Tuesday 8 February PM
OP2 – Wednesday 9 February AM
OP3 – Wednesday 9 February PM
Erratum to Order Paper 3
This erratum also contains an error – the word “update” should be deleted from the first line of paragraph (b).
OP4 – Thursday 10 February AM
OP5 – Thursday 10 February PM
Official press releases
Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address to General Synod
Lack of action on racial justice is ‘chilling’, Lord Boateng tells Synod
Archbishop Justin’s remarks in racial justice debate
Racial Justice: update to Synod on racial justice work
Synod approves legislation to help churches meet carbon-reduction target
Unanimous backing from Synod for call to protect child survivors of trafficking
Synod invites engagement on ideas to simplify Church of England’s governance
Synod invites engagement on ideas to simplify National Church Institutions governance structures
Synod unanimously condemns persecution of Christians around the world
Farewell to the Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes
The strong thrive, the weak suffer: Welby challenges the pandemic narrative
Lord Boateng holds Synod’s feet to the fire over Church’s racism record
C of E safeguarding yet to come good, says new Independent Safeguarding Board
Full steam ahead for cleaner church boilers, General Synod agrees
Archbishop quizzed about selection of Appointments Secretary
New border proposals undermine current anti-slavery legislation, Synod hears
Bishop Seeley tells Synod of short- and long-term financial pressures
The Living Church
C of E Synod: Financial Woes, Safeguarding & Boilers
General Synod (February 2022)
On Monday, Kaya Burgess published an exclusive report in The Times, provocatively headlined Behold the Bishop of Brexit as church models itself on politics, and there was also a leader article The Church should eschew the temptations of political intervention. There was then a follow-up report on Tuesday (today): Church of England: Brexit bishop idea fails to inspire clergy. All this refers to an as yet unpublished document presented to the College of Bishops last September.
The above items are of course behind a paywall. Fortunately, the Church Times (some free access permitted) has now published a detailed analysis of the same original document. This gives a clearer account of the document, and makes it sound more sensible than earlier reports had suggested. I recommend reading the CT article carefully:
Update 12 February
The Church Times has: Leader comment: Bishops in the driving seat.
The text of the consultation document (PDF) is now available here.
Further update: The full text of the consultation has also been published by the Church Times here.37 Comments
The Church of England’s General Synod meets from Tuesday to Thursday of this week. There are links to the papers here and to the Questions here. Safeguarding is on the agenda for Wednesday and there are several questions on this topic – see our article here.
Other news and comment includes:
David Pocklington Law & Religion UK “Net zero” and the faculty jurisdiction
Helen King sharedconversations February 2022 General Synod – before it starts
Gavin Drake General Synod Update February 2022
Church Times General Synod to focus on race, trafficking, and persecution
The latest Letters to the Editor include three on the proposed changes to the membership of the Crown Nominations Commission.
Martyn Percy Modern Church Twenty-Tutu (2022) is the Year for Leaving Oz Behind – Embrace the “Tutufication” of the Church of England
The first of a series of reflections in the lead up to Lent
Alan Wilson and Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Who is Joe Rogan, Anyway?
Church Times In my end is my beginning
Fergus Butler-Gallie conducted a funeral with unexpected resonances
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Emotional Atrophy – a problem for the Church?
This has been overtaken by events, but may still be of some interest.
Angela Tilby The Tablet Christ Church, Oxford – scandal at the cathedral
Updated Friday evening
Christ Church confirms successful conclusion of mediation with the Dean
Statement by Christ Church:
A process of mediation has been taking place to try to resolve a number of outstanding issues between the Dean of Christ Church and the Governing Body.
This includes an allegation of sexual harassment made against the Dean.
Christ Church has always regarded the safety and well-being of its students and staff as its highest priority. Any such allegation will always be thoroughly investigated and addressed, whilst respecting the right to a fair hearing for the accused.
We made clear throughout the various dispute processes with the Dean that no resolution could be reached unless the concerns of the individual making the allegation of sexual harassment against him were fully addressed.
Christ Church can now confirm that the mediation process has been concluded and that a resolution has been reached that is acceptable to all parties.
The Dean has agreed to step down, voluntarily, from his role as Dean of Christ Church, and the individual who made the allegation of sexual harassment against the Dean has agreed to settle her claim on terms which on her request are confidential.
At the request of the individual concerned, Christ Church will within twelve months commission a comprehensive review of its policies and procedures in relation to sexual harassment to be led by an independent expert. This review will ensure that any future cases are dealt with fairly and expediently.
We are grateful to the individual involved that they have agreed to work with us to ensure that these procedures fully reflect the experience they endured. The review will seek to strengthen further those measures which Christ Church already has in place to protect the students and staff, and to ensure that a safe environment for teaching and learning is maintained.
Christ Church is deeply sorry for the hurt that this individual has suffered and we regret the time that it has taken to bring these matters concerning the Dean to a conclusion.
Statement by ‘X’
In October 2020 I brought a claim of sexual harassment against the Dean of Christ Church.
The Dean has always denied this claim. He has also denied that he victimised me including after I brought Employment Tribunal proceedings against him.
I have to accept, incredibly reluctantly, that it is my word against his that the incident took place. I am acutely aware that this is a situation faced by many women who bring complaints of a sexual nature. Sadly, the various processes that have followed have not altered this situation. However, I want to acknowledge that Christ Church, to their credit, has always supported my right to make this complaint.
I know what I experienced on that day and I want to ensure that no other student or member of staff has to go through the ordeal that I have.
I am pleased that the Dean has agreed to step down from his role at Christ Church and, in return, I have agreed to settle my outstanding claims against him.
I am reassured that Christ Church has begun the important work of ensuring that its practices and policies provide the best possible support and protection for all members of its community. I will be working with Christ Church to ensure that whatever changes they adopt take into account my experiences.
I sincerely hope that in some way this will help to ensure that other students and staff avoid the distress that I have experienced.
I would like to thank Christ Church for bringing about a resolution to my complaint against the Dean.
Of course, I wish that a resolution could have been achieved more quickly and without the pain and stress I have endured, so that the sense of injustice I have long felt could have been, if not entirely eradicated, made more bearable.
The resolution that has now been reached brings the matter to a formal close, and I hope that we can all move forward in a positive manner.
The Very Revd Martyn Percy
4 February 2022 The Governing Body of Christ Church has announced that mediation processes have concluded with the Dean and a resolution reached that is satisfactory to all parties.
The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, has issued the following statement:
Christ Church have announced this afternoon that the Dean has agreed to step down from his duties as Dean following a long and protracted series of disputes with the governing body and a process of mediation.
A complaint of sexual harassment brought against the Dean by a member of staff has also been settled in a parallel process of mediation. The allegation was unrelated to previous disputes.
A settlement has been agreed with the Dean and, separately, with the complainant.
The complainant has felt discredited and disbelieved. The Dean has felt hurt and isolated. The complaint and previous disputes have also been painful for Cathedral Chapter, the congregation of the Cathedral and many others. The settlement brings to an end a damaging period in the life of the Cathedral and the College.
There is a moment and opportunity now for grace and, over time, for a process of reconciliation and healing of relationships.
My own encouragement to all is to seek the peace to which Christ calls us. This will understandably take time and I commend all concerned to the continued prayers of the diocese. I have written to Martyn to repeat my offer of conversation and dialogue about his next steps.
The college will seek to appoint an independent chair for a governance review proposed by the Charity Commission. The Diocese of Oxford and the Church of England will contribute to that review in due course.
Both the Dean and the complainant have requested an independent lessons learned review of the processes followed by the Diocese and the Church of England nationally. The Bishop’s Council have agreed to this and we are seeking the support of the Archbishops’ Council for this to be jointly commissioned.
Martyn continues to be held in respect and affection by many across the Diocese of Oxford, the wider Church and internationally for his gifts as a priest and writer. Many will be grieved by the disputes that have led to his departure.
Together we hope and pray, by the grace of God, for a hopeful and fruitful future for all concerned.
Statement from Martyn Percy NB not referenced or linked in either of the above statements
STATEMENT Re DEAN of CHRIST CHURCH
The Governing Body of Christ Church Oxford has agreed to drop all charges and processes against the College’s Dean, the Very Rev Prof Martyn Percy. A settlement – including a substantial sum in compensation and the payment of the Dean’s outstanding legal fees – was endorsed by the GB at a meeting today (FRIDAY). The College has also agreed to an independently-led review of its governance.
As part of this settlement, Dr Percy will relinquish his position as Dean at the end of April.
Dr Percy said:
“Despite the trials and troubles over the last four years, we will miss Christ Church enormously. It is a special place, and our family have been blessed with great support and friendship from students, staff, congregation and colleagues over this time. Those friendships and our gratitude will endure and remain. Our own faith in the constancy of God has been sustaining, and evidenced by the goodness, kindness and care we have been shown by many, despite all else. We sincerely wish Christ Church well for the future, and will hope and pray that the governance reforms will be both effective and welcome when they are implemented.”
One colleague of Prof. Percy said: “We are relieved and pleased that Christ Church has finally agreed a reasonable settlement to a dispute which has riven the college, cost millions of pounds and caused untold distress, unhappiness and harm to those caught up in it. Christ Church appointed him as Dean in 2014 and it was soon clear that a proud and august institution needed crucial reforms to some of the ways in which it operated, including in respect of the welfare and safety of its students.
A small group of fellows – both past and present – disagreed and orchestrated a sustained and concerted campaign to oust him. That campaign took many forms and is reported to have cost many millions. Several expensive law firms and PR companies were deployed to denigrate, harrass and humiliate him. But every time an independent tribunal or individual examined the evidence they found against the College.
The easy thing for the Dean would have been to walk away. That would have been better for his mental health and for the wellbeing of his family. But others at the College implored him to stay until there was a guarantee of a thorough and independent review of the governance of the institution.
Today the College has finally agreed both a settlement to the dispute with him and to an independent review, the results of which will be reported to the Charity Commission, the ultimate regulator of Oxford and Cambridge colleges. This brings to an end all litigation and complaints, though various regulatory bodies will doubtless continue to look at what went wrong with the college governance, together with the actions of their advisers.
The Dean added:
“I can now step aside, and look forward to resuming a normal life with my wife Emma, who has been such a rock of strength during this painful struggle.
While the past four years have often been harrowing, I have drawn great comfort from the unwavering support of colleagues, alumni and friends. I would like also to thank my legal advisers, both official and unofficial and Unite the Union, in particular the Unite Faith Workers Branch. A free, unfettered press has also succeeded in surfacing important truths in the face of legal threats and obstructions.
Christ Church has been around for nearly 500 years and I sincerely hope it flourishes for many centuries to come. I hope the independent review overseen by the Charity Commission will succeed. I sincerely hope that he same standards in public life we have come to expect of our most cherished national institutions – including integrity, transparency and accountability – will flourish and bear fruit here.”
The Questions (and Answers) for next week’s meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod were published today. The Question sessions (on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons) will be devoted to supplementary questions.0 Comments
Updated Sunday evening
General Synod will be considering this subject on the morning of Wednesday 9 February. No doubt there will also be numerous Questions on the topic at the sessions on either Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday afternoon. The Questions and Answers can now be found here. Items 53, 59, 67-74, 83 are relevant (I may have missed a few). Subject lines are listed at the end of this article.
The main document under consideration on Wednesday morning will be GS 2244, which will be the subject of a presentation, at which the Standing Committee has decided will include an opportunity for questions.
A follow-on motion has been filed, which challenges the practice of not allowing debate on this report, and you can read the motion here. Asked to explain it, Gavin Drake said:
“The ongoing failure to ensure effective safeguarding by parts of the Church is one of the most significant issues facing the Church of England today. Much concern has been expressed about the work, focus and effectiveness of the National Safeguarding Team and other national safeguarding functions of the Church and these have not been addressed. It is wrong that the NST should be given an opportunity to present an unchallenged “defence” of their work which ignores the very many real concerns that exist. The follow-on motion will allow proper challenge to the report and enable Synod members to express their view on the actions of the NST.”
There are a number of other recently pubished items that relate to Safeguarding:
If you are unclear what the problem is in relation to the Trevor Devamanikkam case, this earlier TA article may help: Matt Ineson challenges the National Safeguarding Team. The update says:
As stated at General Synod (November 2021), the independent lessons learnt review into the case of Trevor Devamanikkam, commissioned by the National Safeguarding Team, was referred to the Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB, for advice on how to proceed, due to delays in the process.
The Chair, Maggie Atkinson, has now responded and recommended that the review progress to publication as a very necessary part of the Church’s learning on safeguarding. She noted that this will take some time to complete given the reviewer will need to refresh her work so far and pick up what now needs to be done.
There is an ongoing invitation to the survivor to contribute and this will remain open throughout the closing phases of the reviewer’s work.
The ISB intends to contribute an initial chapter to the review outlining why it has taken as long, the stages and personnel changes it has gone through, and why the report is now being published, noting that the reviewer Jane Humphreys, is an independent expert with no C of E connections.
Rosalind Hughes The Episcopal Café A Song of Anna
Alice Goodman Prospect Magazine Clerical life: Curing clergy burnout
“After Christmas, the things I’d been holding together in the parish had all come loose”
Church of England press release Statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for LGBT+ History Month
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Departure of Tim Dakin from Winchester. Some thoughts
Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Collateral Damage – Do Church Leaders Care?
Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Lament for the Filling-in of Statistics for Mission19 Comments