Thinking Anglicans

LLF: proposals made for same-sex prayers and marriage

Francis Martin at the Church Times has a report on what happeed last weekend in the LLF group discussions:
Same-sex prayers and marriage: latest Love and Faith proposals considered by the Bishops.

See previous article for the official report on what happened at the House of Bishops meeting on Thursday.

The Church of England Evangelical Council has published two items:

John Dunnett says:

There’s a lot of water going under the Living in Love and Faith Bridge right now, including today, the 16th of May, a discussion at the House of Bishops. Whilst we do not know what they will conclude and what therefore will be brought to General Synod in July, it is clear that two things are going to happen. One, that the so-called ‘standalone services’ for blessings of same-sex relationships will be made possible.

And secondly, that, probably by the removal of ‘so-called’ discipline, that clergy in some dioceses are going to be able to marry their same-sex partners. Maybe as soon as this autumn. These are big changes, and I think it’s fairly clear that they are indeed indicative of a change of doctrine…

1 Comment

House of Bishops meets in York

Press release from the Church of England

House of Bishops meets in York
17/05/2024

The House of Bishops met in York from 15th-17th May for their annual May meeting.

The meeting began with a discussion of figures presented by Vision and Strategy that indicate a growth in weekly church attendance in 2023 for both adults and young people year on year, and the further work being undertaken to build on this progress. A number of Bishops shared experiences of growth in their own dioceses.

The House discussed recent work on Living in Love and Faith (LLF) and how the Church might move forward together towards a unifying position around the further use of the Prayers of Love and Faith (PLF), accompanied by Pastoral Guidance, and proportionate Pastoral Reassurance measures, while recognising the challenges.

Bishop Martyn Snow expressed his thanks for the constructive, gracious, and generous atmosphere of the recent residential weekend undertaken by the LLF working groups who came together in Leicester. The Bishops encouraged the Programme Team and LLF working groups to continue their work before outlining a more detailed proposal to the College and House of Bishops in June.

The House heard an update on the work of the Racial Justice Unit and of the Church Commissioners on Project Spire and the Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice. The Bishops recognised the importance of the work being undertaken and a number reflected with sadness and disappointment on the harmful tone of some of the expressions of opposition to the work. The Bishops indicated their continued support for both the Unit and Project.

The House had a first discussion of the material produced by the working group on the Seal of the Confessional. They noted the importance of further reflection before this work comes back to the House of Bishops later in July.

The Bishops received an update from the co-chairs of the Wilkinson/Jay Response Group ahead of General Synod which will discuss independence and safeguarding in July.

The House agreed the proposals from the Governance Review Group to be presented to General Synod in July.

During the three days Bishops attended St Edward’s Church in Dringhouses together for services of morning prayer and Holy Communion.

0 Comments

Opinion – 18 May 2024

Helen King sharedconversations Hidden in plain sight: Soul Survivor again

Philip North ViaMedia.News On Conscience

Paul Bickley and George Lapshynov Church Times Does religion influence votes?
“Yes, but not in a straightforward way”

11 Comments

Bishop of Sodor and Man

Press release from 10 Downing Street. Further information on the Sodor and Man diocesan website.

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Patricia Hillas for election as Bishop of Sodor and Man.

Appointment of Bishop of Sodor and Man: 16 May 2024

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 16 May 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Patricia Hillas, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Archdeacon of Westminster, for election as Bishop of Sodor and Man, in succession to The Right Reverend Peter Eagles following his retirement.

Background

Patricia was educated at University of East London and Birkbeck College, University of London. She trained for ministry by completing the North Thames Ministerial Training Course validated by Middlesex University in 2002. She served her title at St Mark’s Kensal Rise, in the Diocese of London, and was ordained Priest in 2003.Patricia served as Vicar of St Barnabas, Northolt Park, from 2005 and was appointed Canon Pastor at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2014.In 2020 Patricia took up her current role as Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons whilst also serving as Priest in Charge of St Mary at Hill, City of London. Since 2021, after leaving St Mary at Hill, she has served jointly as Speaker’s Chaplain in Parliament and at Westminster Abbey as Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster.

19 Comments

Update – John Smyth review

Press release from the Church of England

Update – John Smyth review
14/05/2024

Update from independent reviewer Keith Makin

I am aware of the ongoing impact that the delays in the publication of my report is having on all those affected by this review, particularly the victims and survivors. I would like to underline my apology and outline next steps which I hope will provide some reassurance. The review has now reached the stage where those individuals and organisations named and criticised in the report are to be sent the relevant extracts to permit them an opportunity to respond to the criticism.

This stage is starting later than planned and later than we outlined in our statement at the start of the year. This was because there was a substantial change to a contribution to the review, at the final stages of completion. The consequence of this was the need to review and edit those parts of the review which drew upon this contribution.

Once this next stage is complete the final report will be handed to the Archbishops’ Council for publication. This will be done as soon as practically possible, but we cannot give definitive dates until this stage of the process is completed.

Support

Both the reviewers and the Church recognise that giving information to this review has the potential to be re-traumatising for victims and survivors. While support has previously been offered the NST has now secured the service of a specialist advocacy service. FearFree Support provides specialist support to victims and survivors of abuse, offering trauma informed and victim led bespoke support. Its director of services has identified an experienced independent advocate for victims and survivors – Nina Tanner – to deliver this service and this information has been relayed to the survivors and victims.
Contact: Nina.Tanner@fearfree.org.uk/ 07825 741751

There is an additional offer of therapeutic support for victims and survivors @ Homepage – Yellow Door

Yellow Door is an organisation that can offer evidence-based therapy to support victims and survivors of abuse and those that have experienced trauma.

Contact Yellow Door confidentially at reviewsupport@yellowdoor.org.uk.

27 Comments

Appointment of Dean of Chichester

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

Appointment of Dean of Chichester: 14 May 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Edward Dowler, Archdeacon of Hastings and Priest-in-Charge of St John the Evangelist, Crowborough, both in the Diocese of Chichester, to be appointed as Dean of Chichester.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 14 May 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Edward Dowler, Archdeacon of Hastings and Priest-in-Charge of St John the Evangelist, Crowborough, both in the Diocese of Chichester, to be appointed as Dean of Chichester, in succession to The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, following his resignation.

Edward was educated at Christ Church Oxford and trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge, subsequently completing a doctorate at Durham University. He was ordained deacon in 1994, and served his title at Christ Church, Southgate, in the Diocese of London.

From 1997, he served as Assistant Curate of St Mary’s, Somers Town, London and in 2001 he was appointed Tutor and Director of Pastoral Theology, at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, where he served as Vice Principal from 2003 to 2009.

In 2010, he was appointed Vicar of St John and St Luke, Clay Hill, London, and from 2013, he additionally served as the Continuing Ministerial Education Officer for the Edmonton Episcopal Area and Chair of Governors at Bishop Stopford’s School, Enfield.

In 2016, he took up his current role as Archdeacon of Hastings in the Diocese of Chichester and, since 2020, has also been serving as Priest-in-Charge of St John the Evangelist, Crowborough. He is currently Chaplain to the High Sheriff of East Sussex.

Edward is married to Anna, a journalist for The Guardian, and they have two children at university.

29 Comments

General Synod outline of business for July 2024

The outline of business for the July 2024 meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod was issued today. It is copied below.

GENERAL SYNOD: JULY 2024 OUTLINE OF BUSINESS

Full details of each item will be on the agenda

Friday 5 July
House of Laity to meet 12.15 pm -1.30 pm
2.30 pm – 7.00 pm
Opening worship
Introductions
Presidential Address
Address from Archbishop of Finland and presentation by Finnish confirmands
Business Committee Report
Report from the Wisdom of Trust Working Group
*5.45 pm Questions

Saturday 6 July
8.45 am – 12.45 pm
Opening worship
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business Church Funds Investment – Revision Stage
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business Chancel Repair Liability – Revision Stage
Standing Orders Committee report
Archbishops’ Council Budget 2025 and Apportionment
Questions
2.00 pm – 7.00 pm

Special Agenda I: Legislative Business Clergy Conduct Measure – Revision Stage
Sports and Wellbeing Ministry
Living in Love and Faith: presentation with questions

Sunday 7 July
2.30 pm – 6.00 pm
Special Agenda IV: Diocesan Synod Motions Human Dignity of Disabled Children: Liverpool
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business National Church Governance Measure – First consideration
Special Agenda III: Private Members’ Motions Inquiry into allegations of abuse within the Soul Survivor Network
8.15 pm – 9.45 pm
Archbishops’ Council and Church Commissioners’ Annual Report

Monday 8 July
8.45 am – 12.45 pm
Opening Worship
Update on Safeguarding Independence
Special Agenda IV: Diocesan Synod Motions Foodbanks and Inadequacies in Social Security: Sheffield
2.00 pm – 7.00 pm
Living in Love and Faith
8.30 pm – 10.00 pm
Reserved for deemed items and contingency business

Tuesday 9 July
8.45 am – 1.45 pm
Opening Worship
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business Abuse (Redress) Measure – Revision Stage
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business Chancel Repair Liability Final Approval
Special Agenda I: Legislative Business Church Funds Investment Final Approval
Special Agenda IV: Diocesan Synod Motions Day of Prayer and Action for the Persecuted Church: London
*12.35pm Hearing and Responding to the Voices of Young People
*1.35pm Farewells
*1.45pm Prorogation

Deemed business
Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2024
Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2024
Learning & Development Framework (Safeguarding)
AC Audit Annual Report

* not later than

Contingency Business
Rest Periods for Office Holders (Winchester)

Please note that all timings are indicative unless marked with an asterisk

Deadline for receipt of questions: 1200 hrs Tuesday 25 June 2024

21 Comments

The Jay Files

Updated 17 May- episode 2 added

Regular readers will recall the publication last February of The Wilkinson Files.

Martin Sewell and Clive Billenness have now produced a further video series: The Jay Files which explain very clearly what is in Alexis Jay’s report on The Future of Church Safeguarding.

The first of three videos was published this morning, and two further episodes will be published on successive Fridays. I will link all three of them in this article as they become available. These are strongly recommended viewing, particularly for General Synod members.

The Jay Files episode 1 The Background

The Jay Files episode 2 Fully or Semi-Detached

A press release says

…The Jay Files are a series of 3 short documentary-style films which highlight the key findings of Professor Jay’s Report and are a sequel to The Wilkinson Files which examined the report by barrister Dr Sarah Wilkinson into the investigation of the closure of the Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board. Each film will be no longer than 15 minutes in duration. The Wilkinson Files have been viewed thousands of times by people both inside and outside of the Church.

These films are presented by Martin Sewell and Clive Billenness, both Members of the House of Laity of the General Synod and both very active in matters relating to Safeguarding. Martin is a retired solicitor specialising in Child Protection. Clive is a Certified Auditor who is still in practice and is also an elected member of the Audit Committee of the Archbishops’ Council.

Clive said “Like the Wilkinson Report, Professor Jay’s Report is packed with detail, including the results of a substantial survey that included abuse survivors as well as members of Safeguarding Schemes. She spoke with over 180 people in multiple dioceses, and it is clear that her recommendations were based on the evidence from her work and were not confined to any one parcular group of interviewees.”

“Members of the General Synod are given very little time to discuss in depth the details of these complex reports which lie at the heart of creating a Church which is safe for all before being asked to make critical decisions on how we will move forward. We are all in agreement that there must be proper measures to prevent a repetition of the abuse scandals of the past, as well as the means to care for existing survivors of past abuse. Martin and I hope that these films will help Members to better understand the issues before making decisions.”

6 Comments

Membership of LLF groups announced

The Church of England issued the press release below yesterday. The Church Times has a report with further information: New LLF-group members to gather in hotel for talks.

Membership of LLF groups announced
08/05/2024

Three working groups will include bishops and members of General Synod

Following an update last month on the membership of the Living in Love and Faith Project Board, membership of the three working groups has now been confirmed.

The three working groups are looking at specific questions connected to implementation of the Prayers of Love and Faith, and the pastoral guidance and pastoral reassurance accompanying this.

The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, the Lead Bishop for the LLF process, said: “I am hugely grateful on to all the members of the working groups for offering their time, energy and broad experience to supporting this process.

“I know that this comes at some cost for many people but I am confident that these groups will be fruitful both in terms of good relationships, and that they will enable us to make real progress in the LLF work.”

The groups will feed into the Programme Board, helping to shape recommendations to be presented for consideration at the House and College of Bishops ahead of bringing an outline proposal to the July meeting of the General Synod.

The group membership, which includes bishops and members of the General Synod, is as follows: (more…)

57 Comments

Opinion – 8 May 2024

Helen King sharedconversations Opening the jar, carrying the load

Hatty Calbus Surviving Church

42 Comments

Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich to retire

The Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Revd Martin Seeley, will retire on 28 February 2025. He will be 70 on 29 May 2024, but has given an extension by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The CNC meetings to choose a successor will be held on 4 March 2025 and 28-29 April 2025.

So far as I am aware this has not been publshed anywhere online, although I understand that diocesan clergy were advised of the date in an ad clerum some time ago.

7 Comments

Opinion – 4 May 2024

Hatty Calbus Surviving Church HTB: Extraordinary Influence

Charlie Bell ViaMedia.News Time to be Civil about Marriage

Stephen Andrews The Living Church Thoughts on Church Scandal

Yin-An Chen ViaMedia.News The Majority or the Minority? A Rhetorical Question

106 Comments

Bishop of Worcester announces his retirement

The Rt Revd John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester since 2008, has announced that he will retire on 9 October 2024. Details are on the diocesan website.

11 Comments