Updated Tuesday afternoon
…Some Evangelicals in the diocese are setting up an alternative parish-share scheme, which will be a registered charity (News, 20 April). It is understood that a presentation about the plans will be made to members of the Southwark Diocesan Evangelical Union in the next couple of months, and that briefing papers will be available for PCCs to discuss.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Kuhrt, Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church, New Malden, in Southwark diocese, criticised the plans for an alternative fund. He said that he did not want “further schism and separation” in the diocese. “Creating separate structures is tempting, but is virtually always unhelpful because it creates confusion. We don’t need Evangelical ghettos being created, and we mustn’t use money as a means of blackmail… Anyone who’s really concerned about the mission of the diocese will not be wanting to go down this track.”
One source of information used in this report was this statement at evangelicals.org, which is run by Church Society:
Ministry Trust to be established in Southwark Diocese
Due to widespread concerns in the Diocese of Southwark, a Trust is being established to support the ministry cost of parish clergy.
There will be a presentation for members of the Diocese of Southwark Evangelical Union and other interested bodies within the next couple of months, which will include a question and answer session, and briefing papers to take away for Parochial Church Councils to discuss, should they want them.
There has already been an expression of interest from clergy in the Diocese of Salisbury, because of their own local concerns.
However, a letter in this week’s Church Times from the chairman of the Southwark Diocesan Evangelical Union says:
…it is understood that a presentation about an alternative parish-share system in Southwark is to be presented to members of the DEU next month. The Executive Committee of the DEU has no plans to organise such a meeting.
Details were then published of the Southwark Good Stewards Trust in this article: Southwark Ministry Trust releases FAQs
The Southwark Good Stewards Company Limited report that because there has been, in the last few days, much misrepresentation of the Southwark Good Stewards Trust, the Directors have issued the below Frequently Asked Questions, ahead of the official Trust launch and reception. The Directors hope that the FAQ’s may be of interest to members of churches of other Dioceses where there is also widespread concern about revisionism…
Fulcrum has published an article by Stephen Kuhrt titled Why the ‘Southwark Ministry Trust’ is not the solution.
…Within Southwark Diocese, most of us describing ourselves as evangelicals are agreed that we are facing a major problem. A diocese of considerable diversity that has for several years maintained a balance between its different traditions has very suddenly appeared to lurch in one direction. This has come about through seven successive senior posts within the diocese all being given to liberal-Catholics. Hopefully for evangelicals in Southwark, this imbalance is temporary rather than indicating something more permanent. But it is definitely serious and has created a good deal of damage to the perception of how evangelicals are viewed and valued. At an extremely delicate time, these appointments have also created a very specific anxiety about so many of the leadership positions within the diocese now being held by those committed to a revisionist position on homosexuality. It is for these reasons that I have been among those who have criticised the imbalance within the Southwark appointments and strongly communicated this upset and dissatisfaction to our Bishop, Christopher Chessun.
At the basis of this response has been a commitment to what I see as the ‘principled comprehensiveness’ of being part of the Church of England. Part of what the ‘principled’ aspect of this involves is being prepared to make strong protest when decisions are taken that are seen as wrong or misguided and being committed to patient and ongoing pressure to reverse them. Part of what the ‘comprehensiveness’ side of this involves, however, is an equal commitment to remaining fully embedded within a diverse church partly because of the conviction that evangelicals equally need those of other traditions to tell us (just as strongly) when we go wrong as well…