Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 30 November 2022

Jeremy Haselock Catholic Herald Own goal: the Church of England and the World Cup Final

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Will we ever find a Safe Church?

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News Dear Bishop Christopher… An Open Response to my Diocesan Bishop after his Address to Southwark Diocesan Synod
– written in response to this Presidential Address to Diocesan Synod, 19 November 2022


House of Bishops – 29 November 2022

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops – 29 November 2022

The House of Bishops met by Zoom for its 29 November meeting.

The Chair began the meeting by inviting the Bishop of London, Chair of the Next Steps Group, to offer reflections on Living in Love and Faith (LLF) and the recent meeting of the College of Bishops. A range of views and reflections were discussed by the House regarding both the content and the LLF process, with the Bishop of London acknowledging the complexity and depth of feeling around the issue. The Bishop of London concluded by urging the House to continue listening to God and thanked the House for its participation and contribution to LLF to date.

The House then turned outs attention to the Mission and Pastoral Measure Review and was addressed by the Third Estates Commissioner and by the Head of Mission, Pastoral and Church Property. The House was invited to comment on the general scope of the main recommendations including the approach to church buildings, patronage changes, and other changes which would support episcopal ministry in the long term. The House gave its views on a range of policy issues which will be incorporated in the recommendations of the Review as they are finalised.

The Bishop of Rochester then introduced the House to the recently appointed national Director for Safeguarding who provided a summary of his role to date, before turning the House’s attention to how it will respond to the final report of IICSA and its key recommendations.

The Bishop of Sheffield and the Executive Chair, Diocesan Secretaries and Chief Executives both introduced a paper highlighting a range of issues related to the recruitment, induction support and accountability of Diocesan Secretaries. Several proposals were discussed by the House with a view to reducing unnecessary staff turnover and ensuring that Diocesan Secretaries operate as effectively as possible. The House endorsed the development of the proposals as well as a best practice framework for Dioceses and requested an update on progress be made to the House in May 2023.

A paper relating to the process of assessing the return to ministry of respondents who have been subject to a limited prohibition under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure 2003 was then discussed by the House and presented by legal officers of the National Church Institutions. The House endorsed the refinement of current guidelines and gave comment and observation on the Draft Code of Practice on Return to Ministry.

The Bishop of Guildford updated the House on recommendations made by the National Church Governance Project Board in relation to the role of bishops in the governance arrangements of the National Church. The House discussed the recommendations and gave advisory guidance on the recommendations contained in the paper.

The Secretary General then updated the House on the distribution so far of national Church grants totalling £15 million to dioceses, to help them meet the challenge of increased energy costs.

The meeting ended in prayer.


Opinion – 26 November 2022

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Survivor/Victim -Looking at the meanings of words in the Safeguarding World

Jessica Martin ViaMedia.News Real Presence in Sex and Sacrament

Talique Taylor Earth & Altar What is Communion?

Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head Turning Up and Being Counted


Retired bishop sanctioned for sexual misconduct

Updated 25 November

Clergy Discipline Measure – Penalty 

The following is a record of a penalty imposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury with the consent of the respondent bishop under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003:
Name: The Right Reverend Peter Hullah
Penalty: Prohibition for life
Date Imposed: 1st August 2022
Brief Summary: Sexual misconduct involving two different women on two separate occasions.

This story has been reported in the Mail,  and Times, and Telegraph so far. And now also the Church Times (scroll down).

The two offences occurred (according to the Mail)  in 1985 and 1999. Peter Hullah was Bishop of Ramsbury (suffragan in Salisbury) from 1999 to 2005. From 1992, he was headmaster of Chetham’s School in Manchester, where there were multiple complaints of sexual misbehaviour by staff, but not by Hullah.

The new complaint, regarding these offences, was dealt with in the Province of Canterbury, during the summer of this year, but was not made public at that time.

The Telegraph reports

A spokesman for Mr Hullah said he had agreed to the sanction in August instead of contesting the allegations before a Church tribunal.


A Church of England spokesman said: “We can confirm that Peter Hullah has now been prohibited from ministry for life following a complaint under the clergy discipline measure brought by the national safeguarding team.

“We would like to acknowledge the courage and offer an unreserved apology on behalf of the Church to those who came forward to share their experience; support has been offered to all involved.

“The Church expects the highest standards from those in leadership and there can be no excuses when this does not happen.

“We will continue to listen to all those who come forward and to work together to make the Church a safer place for all.”

It. is very disappointing that this decision was not published at the time, as the relevant procedures were amended only this July at the General Synod, to  ensure this would happen. However, even before this change, the procedure said

Where a penalty by consent has been agreed with a bishop brief particulars of the misconduct should be made public by a notice placed on the diocese’s website.”

GS 2281X (dated May) contains the following:

Publishing Penalties
9. All penalties imposed under the CDM are made public. Penalties imposed by a tribunal are published on the Church of England tribunal webpage, administered by the NCIs.

10.The current guidance provides that where the respondent admits misconduct and the bishop imposes a penalty by consent brief details of the case should be placed on the diocesan website. Further, it states that penalties imposed other than by a tribunal – i.e. under sections 30 and 31 CDM 2003 – should be made public.

11.To ensure a consistent approach to the publishing of penalties the proposed amendments to paragraph 312 provide that publishing penalties by consent and penalties imposed under sections 30 and 31 will no longer be the responsibility of the diocese or province. Upon a penalty being agreed the diocesan or provincial registrar will send the relevant details to the President of the Tribunals, who will cause them to be published on the Church of England website. The name of the respondent, the date penalty was agreed or imposed and the statutory ground of misconduct (e.g. “doing an act in contravention of the laws ecclesiastical”, “neglect or inefficiency in the performance of the duties of his office”, “conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders”) -but not any details of the particular misconduct – will be published.

12.Paragraph 311 is deleted as being no longer being necessary consequential upon the amendments to paragraph 312.

Further update

The Church Times reports this explanation of the delay (emphasis added):

On Thursday, a notice of the sanction was posted on the website of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In July, the General Synod voted to amend the CDM Code of Practice to require that “brief particulars” of a penalty against a bishop that is agreed by consent are posted “on the Church of England website” (News, 15 July).

Before this, only penalties by consent against a lower-ranked cleric were required to be published, not sanctions agreed between a bishop and an archbishop.

Because the case against Bishop Hullah was settled after the Synod had voted to amend the Code of Practice but before the Clergy Discipline Commission rubber-stamped the changes, it was unclear whether, when, and where, the notice had to be posted.


Bishop of Hertford

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office. There is more on the St Albans diocesan website.

Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Hertford: 24 November 2022

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Jane Mainwaring, Archdeacon of St Albans, in the Diocese of St Albans, to the Suffragan See of Hertford, in the Diocese of St Albans.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 24 November 2022

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Jane Mainwaring, Archdeacon of St Albans, in the Diocese of St Albans, to the Suffragan See of Hertford, in the Diocese of St Albans, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Michael Beasley following his appointment as Bishop of Bath and Wells.


Jane was educated at Leeds University and Trinity College, University of Wales, and trained for ministry on the East Anglian Ministerial Training Course. She served her title at St Gregory’s Sudbury, in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and in 2001 she was ordained Priest

In 2003, Jane was appointed Team Vicar of St Mark’s Hitchin, in the Diocese of St Albans, and from 2015 she also served as Rural Dean.

Jane took up her current role as Archdeacon of St Albans in 2020.


Opinion – 23 November 2022

Benjamin Wyatt Earth & Altar What is Fornication?

Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head 12 Things I’ve Learned About Preaching

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Being realistic about God

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News ‘Hermetically Sealed Hermeneutics’ & an Inability to Own Up to Harm

Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York Opening the Scriptures
The 25th, and final, Archbishop Blanch Memorial Lecture


Dean of Lincoln

The Very Reverend Christine Wilson, the Dean of Lincoln, recently anounced that she will retire on 31 March 2023. Her leaving service will be on 2 February. The announcement is in a chapter letter; you will have to scroll down to find it.


Bishop of Thetford

The Rt Revd Dr Alan Winton, the suffragan Bishop of Thetford in the diocese of Norwich, has announced that he will retire in April 2023.

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Dean of Chelmsford

The Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, has announced that he is moving to be Parish Priest of St Thomas the Apostle, New Groombridge in the Diocese of Chichester. The Dean has written this letter about his move.

I failed to notice it at the time, but the Dean of Newcastle, the Very Revd Geoff Miller, announced his retirement some time ago, and his farewell service was last Sunday.


Opinion – 19 November 2022

Jody Stowell ViaMedia.News EvangelicAlly

Samuel Cripps The Living Church How to Internet

Rebecca Chapman Church Times There is an alternative to Vision and Strategy
“Chelmsford’s bishop is choosing not to impose plans on dioceses — will others follow this approach, asks Rebecca Chapman”

Rob Hudson Church Times Six ways to retain young people
“Teenagers often drift away, but that need not be the case, argues Rob Hudson”

Neil Patterson ViaMedia.News Ways and Means of Differentiation…

Helen King sharedconversations The wisdom of Solomon (or, that was the week, that was)


More about Christ Church Oxford

Last Saturday the Diocese of Oxford diocesan synod discussed (in a Zoom meeting)  its response to the Christ Church Independent Governance Review.

Updated Monday 21 November

We reported on the terms of reference for this review last April and on Dominic Grieve’s appointment last June.

There are two papers:

These papers had been prepared well before last week’s announcement from the Charity Commission.

At the time of writing, there has still been no mention of the Charity Commission’s Official Warning on the Christ Church website.

Surviving Church has published this critique of the college by Martin Sewell: The Christ Church Malcontents gambled “The House”, they should bear the loss.


And now also this critique, by the same author, of the Church of England: The Church of England has a case to answer for its role in the institutional bullying at Christ Church


Opinion – 12 November 2022

Martyn Percy Dear Heart-broken, Dear Confused – Agony Aunts and Problem Pages as Implicit Religion

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Thinking about God and the challenge of evolution

Martine Oborne ViaMedia.News Thirty Years On
The Guardian Where is discrimination against women still allowed in the UK? The church

Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head It was 30 years ago today…


Charity Commission issues Official Warning to Christ Church, Oxford

Updated again 15 November

Press release from Charity Commission:

Charity regulator issues Official Warning to Christ Church, Oxford

The Charity Commission has issued an Official Warning to Christ Church, Oxford, after finding that the trustees failed to manage the charity’s resources responsibly

Christ Church has been involved in long and costly disputes involving its former Dean, who left his role earlier this year following a mediation process. In 2020 the Commission had told the parties to the dispute to enter into formal mediation.

The Commission has found that trustees failed to act on its previous advice, given between 2019-2020, to continue to have “close oversight of costs” in the dispute. In December 2021, the Commission asked the trustees to provide information about the costs of the actions connected to the former Dean and how these costs were being managed. The trustees were unable to provide the information in a timely manner. The Commission was later informed that the trustees had not set a fixed budget for the costs associated with the dispute, and instead that the full trustee body agreed expenditure retrospectively. Between August 2018 and late January 2022 the college had spent over £6.6m on legal and public relations fees in various actions related to the former Dean, of which over £5.3m appears to have been approved retrospectively.

The regulator is also critical of the trustees’ failure to ensure the college was accountable for its expenditure on legal and public relations fees during the dispute. The Commission has found that the charity’s published accounts (for years ending 2018-21) categorised costs associated with the charity’s actions involving the former Dean as “other direct costs – teaching, research and residential”. The Commission says that this has the potential to mislead the readers of the accounts. The trustees had been advised by the charity’s auditors to consider reporting on actions related to the dispute specifically, and to seek advice on its reporting.

The regulator has determined that these failures and omissions amount to misconduct and/or mismanagement in the charity’s administration.

The Official Warning sets out the actions that the Commission considers should be taken by the charity to rectify the misconduct and/or mismanagement and to address its concerns, including:

  • Completing a full independent Governance Review and taking all reasonable steps to implement its recommendations. This work is already underway.
  • Keeping the Commission informed of the progress and implementation of the Governance Review at key milestones.
  • Ensuring that the charity’s accounts and Trustee Annual Report for the year ending 31 July 2022 comply with the legal requirement to ensure the charity is accountable.

Failure to take steps to remedy the misconduct and/or mismanagement may lead to further regulatory action being taken against the charity’s trustees.

Helen Earner, Director of Regulatory Services at the Charity Commission, said:

These long and protracted disputes risked undermining the reputation of Christ Church and harming wider trust in charities.

It is not for us as regulator to take sides in disputes. Our role is to ensure that charities are governed effectively and that charitable funds are properly accounted for. All trustees must demonstrate sound financial stewardship, regardless of the level of resources available to them.

We consider that the actions of the trustees at Christ Church amount to mismanagement and/or misconduct, after they failed to manage the charity’s resources responsibly or ensure that the charity is accountable in the context of a costly dispute.

The Commission welcomes the fact that an independent governance review is now underway at the charity, led by the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve KC, and we expect the trustees to keep us updated on its progress.

Good governance should be a priority for all trustees, especially those involved in important national institutions such as Christ Church, Oxford”



Opinion – 9 November 2022

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel Consultation on Learning Lessons Case Reviews

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Freedom from power, control and abuse in congregational life

Johanna Stiebert ViaMedia.News Toxic Theology, the Bible and LLF (Living in Love and Faith)

Mark Bennet Surviving Church What is the purpose of it all? Some reflections on Safeguarding

Tim Wyatt Religion Media Centre Made in Hull: bishops appointed for breakaway Anglican church against same sex marriage


Same sex marriage: responses to the Bishop of Oxford

Updated again 15 and 17 November

See earlier post concerning his statement on same sex marriage.

Church of England Evangelical Council: Bishop of Oxford: A CEEC response to ‘Together in Love and Faith

Oxford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship: Statement on the Bishop of Oxford’s “Together in Love and Faith”

Latimer Trust – Vaughan Roberts Together in Love and Faith?

PsephizoIan Paul What is the Bishop of Oxford thinking?

Bishops of Worcester and Dudley Living in Love and Faith – A letter from our bishops

Church Times news reports:

Updates 7, 8, 10, 15, 17 November

Martin Davie Why the bishops have an option

Archbishop Cranmer Same-sex marriage: should the Church of England affirm culture, or confront it?

LGBTQ Faith UK Living in Love and Faith and Fear

Andrew Lightbown Speaking of Together in Love and Faith; a short reflection.

Guardian The Guardian view on LGBT+ Anglicans: finally grounds for hope?

Fulcrum  Joshua Penduck A Letter in response to the Bishop of Oxford

Anglican Network in Europe A Safe Harbour for Faithful Anglicans

Premier Christianity Ian Paul The Bishop of Oxford’s surprising case for same-sex marriage is flawed

I will add further items to this list as I discover them.


Opinion – 5 November 2022

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church When a Church becomes Cultic

Keith Elliott Church Times A revolutionary present
“Keith Elliott pleads for the Church to be bolder in talking about death, and life beyond”

Fergus Butler-Gallie Church Times Guy Fawkes reimagined: it was all about tolerance
“Fergus Butler-Gallie goes underground to recreate the Gunpowder Plot”

John Barton Church Times There are two ways to translate the Bible, and both are right
“Accuracy and literalness in biblical translation are not the same, says John Barton”


Bishop of Oxford supports same-sex marriage

Updated Saturday evening – Kindle version available, see below.

Diocese of Oxford press release: Clergy should have the freedom to bless and marry same-sex couples, says +Oxford

Church of England clergy should have the freedom to bless and marry same-sex couples, says Bishop of Oxford.

The Bishop of Oxford has published a 52-page essay, Together in Love and Faith, to be released on Friday 4 November, setting out the ways his own views have changed on same-sex relationships over the last decade.

In the light of ten years of reflection and massive changes in the society we serve, many in the Church, including Bishop Steven, now believe it is time to enable local churches and clergy to offer public services of blessing for same-sex relationships and remove the legal barriers to the solemnisation of same-sex marriage in the Church of England. Clergy should also be given the freedom to order their own relationships according to their conscience and to marry a same-sex partner…

Bishop Steven writes:

“I need to acknowledge the acute pain and distress of LGBTQ+ people in the life of the Church. I am sorry that, corporately, we have been so slow as a Church to reach better decisions and practice on these matters. I am sorry that my own views were slow to change and that my actions, and lack of action, have caused genuine hurt, disagreement and pain.”

Bishop Steven also reflects that many Christians in the Church of England hold and will continue to hold a traditional view of marriage and this should be honoured and respected by those who are seeking freedom to change. This is the majority view across the worldwide Anglican Communion at this time, although some Anglican Provinces have already made the decision to allow the blessing of same-sex relationships. Clergy and parishes will need the freedom not to opt in to any new arrangements. Some clergy and parishes may need the oversight of bishops in the Church of England who hold to the traditional view…

Read the full press release for more detail.

Church Times: Bishop of Oxford calls for an end to ban on same-sex marriage in Church of England

THE Church of England should lift its ban on the marriage of same-sex couples, the Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, has said — even if this means setting up an alternative episcopal structure for conservative priests and parishes.

At stake, he says, is the Church of England’s claim to serve the whole of society. Its anti-LGBTQ+ stance “is leading to a radical dislocation between the Church of England and the culture and society we are attempting to serve”…

And  also this extract from the booklet: Extend goods of marriage to all

Update – electronic copies now available via Kindle

Follow this link for further details. You will need an Amazon account, but the document is free of charge.


College of Bishops debates action on LLF

CofE press releases:

Living in Love and Faith at the College of Bishops Full text copied below the fold.

Programme of the College of Bishops, 31 October – 2 November 2022

Church Times report: Bishops debate next steps on sexuality

THE College of Bishops has concluded three days of debate about how the Church might solve its differences over sexuality.

Although no decision has been made about what formal proposals will be presented to the General Synod in February 2023 — these will be finalised at the next College of Bishops meeting, 12-14 December — it is understood that the bishops acknowledge that simply to restate the existing ban on same-sex blessings or marriage in church is not an option.

During the bishops’ discussions at the High Leigh Conference Centre, in Hertfordshire, largely in small groups, it is said to have been clear that many bishops recognise that a change of policy is needed — whether a national shift or some form of pastoral accommodation is not yet clear. Even those who wish to see no change in the C of E’s policy, which also bans clergy from marrying same-sex partners, accept that the case would need to be freshly argued…

Do read the full article.



Opinion – 2 November 2022

Updated to add Graham article

Martin Sewell Surviving Church “The sky is black with chickens coming home to roost”

Martin Barnes The Observer Let there be light: England’s Anglican cathedrals at dawn
“The late Magnum photographer Peter Marlow was granted the rare opportunity to capture 42 places of worship in the early hours, the results of which are now collected in an exhibition and book”

Nathanael Hayler ViaMedia.News Faith and Generosity in the Church: The Via Media, or Transphobia?

Graham Surviving Church A ‘Reflective Exercise’ on Proposed Change to Reviews

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