Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 14 June 2023

Erin K Wilson Religion and Global Society The changing nature of religion in today’s world

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Team Ministries and Minster Communities in the Church of England.

Charlie Bell ViaMedia.News Playing the Victim


Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Thetford

Press release from the Prime Minister’s office. There is more information on the Norwich and Chester diocesan websites. The new bishop will be conscrated on 29 September 2023.

Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Thetford: 14 June 2023

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Ian Bishop for appointment to the Suffragan Bishop of Thetford.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 14 June 2023

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Ian Bishop, Archdeacon of Macclesfield, for appointment to the Suffragan See of Thetford, in the Diocese of Norwich, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Alan Winton, following his retirement.

Ian was educated at Portsmouth Polytechnic and trained for ministry at Oak Hill Theological College. He served his title at Christ Church, Purley, in the Diocese of Southwark, and was ordained Priest in 1992. In 1995, Ian was appointed Rector of the Tas Valley Team Ministry, in the Diocese of Norwich.

In 2001, Ian was appointed Rector of St Michael and All Angels, Middlewich, and St John the Evangelist, Byley, in the Diocese of Chester, and additionally served as Rural Dean for Middlewich from 2004. Since 2011, Ian has served as Archdeacon of Macclesfield.


House of Survivors challenges William Nye

The website House of Survivors has today published this open letter:

Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Re: Notice of Complaint re Mr. William Nye LVO


CofE archbishops rebuke Ugandan Anglicans

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued this: Statement on the Church of Uganda’s support for Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The Archbishop of York has followed suit: Statement on the stance of the Ugandan Church on the criminalisation of LGBTQ+ people in Uganda

The full texts of both statements are copied below the fold.



Soul Survivor suspends two more staff

Updated Friday 9 June

We reported previously on 13 May: Soul Survivor safeguarding complainants demand independent investigation

Today there is a further Soul Survivor Watford announcement:

8th June 2023

Please click here [see below] to read a statement from the National Safeguarding Team and Diocese of St Albans which explains why the Bishop of St Albans has requested that Andy Croft voluntarily withdraw from any ministry until the investigation is concluded. Please see below for a statement from the Soul Survivor Watford Trustees.

A statement from the Soul Survivor Watford Trustees

After receiving new information from the National Safeguarding Team (NST) investigation into Mike Pilavachi, the non-staff Trustees of Soul Survivor Watford have decided to suspend two members of staff under HR processes: Senior Pastor, Andy Croft and Assistant Pastor, Ali Martin.  The information submitted to the investigation relates to concerns over the handling of allegations that were raised before the NST investigation began.

While the investigation continues, the Trustees have asked Rev. Jon Stevens (Executive Pastor) to take on the interim leadership of Soul Survivor Watford, with senior support from Rev. Canon Tim Lomax (Bishop’s Visitor).

We are thankful to all those who have proactively shared their concerns with the NST and recognise that each of them has shown great courage in sharing their experiences.

 If you would like to speak to anyone regarding this investigation, please be assured that any concerns raised will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and appropriate support can be given. Please contact Jeremy Hirst at the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at or Judith Renton, Ian Bowles or Anthony Clarke at the National Safeguarding Team at who will listen to what you have to say.

For other concerns, please contact thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111, or the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056.

The NST statement mentioned above reads as follows:

Update on Mike Pilavchi investigation


Statement from National Safeguarding Team and Diocese of St Albans

Soul Survivor Watford Trustees have announced today the suspension under HR processes of two serving members of staff following information submitted to the investigation into Mike Pilavachi which is being run jointly by the diocese of St Albans and the National Safeguarding Team, NST, according to House of Bishops guidance.  This information relates to the handling of allegations and concerns raised in the Mike Pilavachi case and we cannot say anymore while this new strand of investigation runs its course. The Bishop of St Albans has requested that the senior pastor voluntarily withdraw from any ministry until the investigation is concluded.  Support is being offered to all those involved.

Earlier, the suspension of Mike Pilavachi had been announced on 20th of May (scroll down on that page) and the original announcement of an investigation was made on 2nd April.

The Church Times has this report: Soul Survivor suspends two pastors over handling of Pilavachi allegations.


College of Bishops June 2023

Press release from the Church of England

College of Bishops June 2023

The Church of England’s College of Bishops met in London over the past two days to pray and discuss progress on implementing the recent decision of General Synod on sexuality and marriage.

Bishops heard detailed updates on the work of the three implementation groups set up following the Synod debate which considered proposals to offer prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and for God’s blessing for same-sex couples.

Meeting both in small groups and in joint session, the bishops reviewed progress made on refining a set of texts, known as Prayers of Love and Faith, which could be offered in Churches voluntarily.

They also engaged with questions to be considered by the implementation group developing new pastoral guidance. And they discussed what pastoral reassurance could be required to ensure freedom of conscience for clergy and laity when the Prayers of Love and Faith come into use.

The meeting of the College, which includes all the serving bishops of the Church of England, did not take any formal decisions but provided feedback to inform the ongoing work of the implementation groups.

The House of Bishops, which is made up of diocesan bishops and some others, met at the end of the meeting of the College and formally agreed to bring an update on the progress made to Synod which next meets in July in York.


  • At its meeting in February, Synod approved a motion to “lament and repent” of the failure of the Church to welcome LGBTQI+ people and for the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced – and continue to experience – in churches.
  • That motion also detailed proposals which would, for the first time, enable same-sex couples to come to church following a civil marriage or civil partnership for prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and for God’s blessing on the two people.
  • The proposals would not change the Church’s doctrine of Holy Matrimony.
  • The use of Prayers of Love and Faith would be voluntary, with protections both for those who, on grounds of conscience, will not be able to offer them and for those who will.

CofE Response to ISB case study review

The Church of England issued the press release below yesterday.

We reported on the review a week ago here. This included a link to the report, which was then only available on the House of Survivors website. It has now been published on the Independent Safeguarding Board‘s website. There is also a statement from the Board, which for convenience I have copied below the fold. It is well worth reading.

The Church Times has published this news item this morning: Church’s National Safeguarding Team failed to offer survivor emergency support, says ISB.

Church of England press release

Response to ISB case study review

Following the publication of the Independent Safeguarding Board’s case study review and statement the Church of England’s Director of Safeguarding, Alexander Kubeyinje, said:

“We must not forget that at the heart of this report and its recommendations is a survivor and his welfare and well-being remain at the forefront of all we do.

“The National Safeguarding Team had already started working on some of the recommendations before the report was commissioned and published.

“On the Interim Support Scheme – this was set up as a pilot in 2020 as part of the Church’s recognition of the harm that has been caused not only by abuse itself, but by the Church’s responses to survivors. We have kept it under constant review with a view to improving the service that we provide. There are already plans to increase staffing, in order to shorten waiting times, improve accessibility and stream line the process of applying. On recommendation 7, we have been making every effort to set up a case management group meeting.

“I have been working with colleagues across the Church, including ongoing communication with Mr X and his advocate, to try to resolve this and will continue with these efforts.”


Opinion – 7 June 2023

Christopher Marshall Walking together with differences

Gilo Surviving Church Missing in Action?

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel Consultation on National Standards

Mike Higton kai euthus Power in the Church of England

Craig D’Alton Humane Catholic Church for Introverts?

Paul Avis The Living Church The Role of Bishops in the Governance of the Church


Trans People and LLF

Christina Beardsley has written a paper with this title, which was published in Modern Believing in December 2022. Normally this publication is not available electronically without a subscription. The Liverpool University Press has kindly allowed it to be on Free Access for the calendar month of June 2023.

Trans People and LLF is available in two formats, as a web page, and as a PDF file. Here is the abstract:

Since the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project began, gender-critical discourse has become increasingly prominent and trans people’s lives routinely debated in the British media. Gender diversity is respectfully handled in LLF‘s resources, but LLF‘s Next Steps Group (NSG) has proposed a working party on ‘gender identity and transition’ to consider current ‘societal debates’. This problematising of trans people conflicts with LLF‘s premise that ‘no person is a problem, or an issue’. The NSG’s proposed bibliography, setting gender-critical texts and gender-affirming texts side-by-side, could also undermine the Church of England’s trans-affirming policies and pastoral practice. As an alternative I offer a theological critique of three gender-critical texts contrasting them with a generous, tradition-sourced Christian anthropology.

In relation to this, readers may find it useful to see a letter, also written by Christina, to the Bishop of London in July 2021, which was originally published at Unadulterated Love. This letter sets out in detail the Church of England’s then current policy and practice in relation to trans people, and begins this way:

I understand, from the recent minutes of the May meeting of the House of Bishops that the House ‘agreed in principle to the formation of a working group on gender identity and transition under the auspices of the LLF Next Steps Group, details of which will be announced in due course.’

As I explained in my letter of May 21st 2021 my own view is that to convene such a working party suggests that trans people are a problem for the Church of England or that there is some uncertainty about their status as members of the Body of Christ.

Given the Church of England’s policy and practice in relation to trans people, I see no such problem or uncertainty. Here is my understanding of the current position of the Church of England regarding trans people…