Thinking Anglicans

Reform plans a Religious Society

Press Release from Reform
from here
October 21, 2010
REFORM PLANS RELIGIOUS SOCIETY AS ‘MODEL TO WIDER CHURCH

Reform members have voted to back the creation of a religious society within the Church of England for conservative evangelicals who want to promote the church’s mission but are opposed to the consecration of women as bishops.

Speaking at the network’s annual conference yesterday, attended by over 170 members, Revd Rod Thomas, the Reform chairman, said: “This is a very positive move not just for us, but for the wider church. The creation of a society can both provide a model of how the church can change to become more focused on mission, not maintenance, and a way forward through the dilemma it faces over women bishops.

“Reform members are involved in innovative ways of reaching into local communities with the good news of Jesus Christ. Many are in churches with a good number of younger men and women being trained for future gospel work. We have a mission-focus which brings health and life that is good for the wider church, and a religious society would enable us to continue that focus.

“In light of the recent results of elections to General Synod, our proposal takes on even greater weight,” he added.

Revd Thomas revealed to the conference that analysis of the election results showed that over one third of the house of laity and just one member short of a third of the house of clergy would now vote against women bishops unless changes were made to the draft legislation. These figures are critical, as the legislation requires a two-thirds majority across all three voting houses (bishops, clergy, laity). If such a majority is not achieved in just one of the three houses, then the whole legislation would fail and have to be re-visited.

Revd Thomas said: “The recent elections provided the first real opportunity for grass-roots members of the Church of England to have their say on women bishops. There are many who remain firmly opposed to the idea, because the Bible says that there should be different roles for men and women both in the family and the church. For them the current proposals provide no firm guarantees, and therefore are completely inadequate. So there is now a real incentive to find a way of making appropriate provision, otherwise the whole legislation could fail. A religious society with a clear statutory role has not been fully considered, and could provide a way through.”

Although some senior figures within the church are known to be broadly supportive of the creation of a religious society, Revd Thomas said that there is “a lot of detail to be worked out” as to the exact way such a society would operate, but reckoned that within 6-12 months the framework could be clear.

– Ends –

Editors note:

Evangelical and Catholic groups on General Synod have swapped lists of candidates and analysed the results. The analysis shows that in the House of Clergy, 66 Clergy would block the current legislation being sent down to the diocese, (i.e.32.10%) and 77 laity would block the current legislation being sent down to the diocese (35.46%). Only 34% is needed to block the legislation when it returns from the dioceses. So in the house of laity a blocking minority already exists and in the house of clergy only a further 1.81% is needed, just one person.

Reform has over 1,700 members, of whom more than 350 are ordained clergy.

For further information contact:
Revd Paul Dawson, 07791 495824
media@reform.org.uk
www.reform.org.uk

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Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

I do hope they choose a Protestant name and not a Catholic Saint.

Roger Stokes
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Roger Stokes

I wonder how this proposed society links with the Society of Sr Wilfrid and St Hilda http://www.sswsh.com already announced by the Bishop of Plymouth and others. It is also suggested that the draft Measure cannot now be amended. However we do have the precedent of the Churchwardens Measure which had to be amended twice *after* it received Final Approval before it was acceptable to Parliament. I am not an expert in General Synod Standing Orders but it seems to me that the draft Measure should be capable of amendment before it faces the Final Approval vote, and some amendment might… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

I thought Reform WAS a society? Their trouble is that they don’t have enough clout in our church at large, or haven’t wielded it effectively enough. They certainly have not persuaded others of the rightness of their cause. So now they are looking to make maximal trouble – how very unattractive.

Ed Tomlinson
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Why do I feel that today’s C of E societies (in this and SWOOSH) will become tomorrow’s breakaway groups…..the English schism gathers pace

junius
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junius

It’s amusing that Richardson quotes Crockford on the proper use of titles in order to rebuke the framers of the press release yet ignores them himself by calling himself a vicar. The usual inconsistency from a self-appointed monitor of orthodoxy.

Fr Mark
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Ed “Why do I feel that today’s C of E societies (in this and SWOOSH) will become tomorrow’s breakaway groups?”

Because they are being set up by schismatically minded extremists who just love perpetually painting themselves into corners, perhaps?

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

‘Reform has over 1,700 members, of whom more than 350 are ordained clergy’.

Am I alone in not being overly impressed by these numbers?

JPM
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JPM

Reform already has a religious society here in the U.S.

It’s called the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

The group calling itself “Reform” might want to begin by examining their own sin and by making attempts to at least open their minds and hearts in dealing with the women’s ordination issues and the glbt issues facing all Christians. This extremism EXCLUDES both women and glbt persons from an equal role in the Church. It is actually better that these elements LEAVE the CofE, as their bigotry and hatred should no longer be tolerated. I believe “sacramental assurance” is nothing more than a red herring. It’s time for the religious right wingers in the CofE to leave and form… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

‘Reform has over 1,700 members, of whom more than 350 are ordained clergy’.’

Wow ! I’m quaking !

Rev Sidney Jensen
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It appears that John Richardson is impatient with the delay in setting up the Society of St Augustine. He has signed up to the Facebook page of the Hinge and Bracket Society. What an amazing conversion to Anglo-Catholicism.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

If these groups become truly schismatic they will just have added two ( and probably more since these sort of groups tend to split further)tiny denominations to the English Church scene.The “free market in religion” operates rather differently in England compared with the US and I would have thought financial viability for such bodies would be a major issue here..in the US people are used to coughing up. I rather suspect the 350 clergy in Reform, assuming they all departed ,are unlikely to lead more than a few thousand into schism.Conservative Evangelical churches tend to attract a lot of youngsters… Read more »

cryptogram
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cryptogram

350 clergy? I have a strong suspicion that many of them will be of the ranks of the retired (of which number I am also a part). A perusal of the much trumpeted GAFCON petition revealed a lot of retireds and quite a number of camp followers who were not listed in Crockford. Is Reform any different? I doubt it. As for Reform’s subterranean bishops, I can’t see this proposal getting anywhere except out of the CofE and into the Free Church of England because the ordination of bishops is hedged around with all sorts of legalities. Reform is an… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Southern Baptists tend to be Arminian, but Reform are resolutely and proudly Calvinist..once saved , always saved.

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

What facebook page has he signed up to , where?

I can’t see such a page on fb.

Jim Pratt
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Jim Pratt

Reform may be traditionalists, but they seem to be using new math. Their claim that one more clergy “no” would put them up a further 1.81% defies any math that I know.

How many members are there in each house of synod?

Doug
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Doug

I say find a way for them to stay. Their numbers are probably small and their half-life will be ten years at most. The Anglican Communion is a big table. If Jesus could eat with tax collectors…

JPM
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JPM

Actually, Robert, Southern Baptists generally believe in what they call eternal security.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Hardly ‘Semper Reformanda’.
More like ‘Look Back in Anger’.

Rev Sidney Jensen
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John Richardson has signed up to Hinge & Bracket here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=128162450568975&v=info

chenier1
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chenier1

‘the Bible says that there should be different roles for men and women both in the family and the church’ I must admit that an unregenerate part of my soul would dearly love to be sitting in the Strangers’ Gallery when the Members of Her Majesty’s loyal Government, and the Members of Her Majesty’s equally loyal Opposition, sitting in Her Majesty’s loyal Parliament, discover that Reform thinks that not only the Church of England itself, but also families of all faiths, and none, should be governed in conformity with the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. That’s Danvers, Massachusetts.… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

I don’t think Reform likes people thinking for themselves…
Posted by: chenier1 on Wednesday, 27 October

Reform care only for what ‘is hammered on their (own) anvil.’

chenier1
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chenier1

Laurence Roberts

‘Reform care only for what ‘is hammered on their (own) anvil.’

Indeed so, and that will be their downfall.

Their overwheening ambition, their obsession with their own personal desires, and their predilection for listening only to people who agree with them on each and every possible point, has dumbed them down to such an extent that they have lost the ability to do joined-up thinking.

Presupposing, of course, that they had the ability in the first place, which many people outside Reform would probably wish to chsllenge.

Pride goeth before the fall…