Thinking Anglicans

Pre-Synod comment and news

Updated Saturday to add the article by William Nye
Also updated Saturday to give a working link to Martyn Percy’s essay

The General Synod of the Church of England meets next week. Here are some recent relevant articles.

Kelvin Holdsworth The Columba Declaration

Modern Church has published this essay by Martyn Percy: On Not Rearranging the Deckchairs on the Titanic: A Commentary on Reform and Renewal in the Church of England. Kieran Bohan has written this preview: Reform and Renewal or unintentional vandalism? A health and safety warning for General Synod, and there is a link at the end to download the full essay.
Bishop Steven Croft responds: RME – Response to Principals’ Concerns.
Mike Eastwood, Liverpool Diocesan Secretary and Director of Renewal and Reform, Renewal and Reform – a view from Liverpool
William Nye Renewal and Reform – some thoughts from a new boy

Church Times RME plans may be disastrous, say colleges

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK Vesture: the House of Bishops Consultation

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Susan Cooper
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Susan Cooper

It is a pity that +Sheffield or whoever put the heading on the blog doesn’t know where to put the apostrophe as the letter I read in the Church Times was from a number of principals.

Father David
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Father David

“a meal consisting of processed pre-packed secular-business fodder” – OUCH!

Mark Hart
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It’s worth adding William Nye’s blog on Renewal & Reform to this list: http://cofecomms.tumblr.com/post/139116787437/renewal-and-reform-some-thoughts-from-a-new-boy

S Cooper
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S Cooper

Welby wants more young adults in the cofE so that it is still around in 50 years time – he’s going to listen to htb about how to reach British young adults. As with the TeC issue, numbers decide things in the Anglican world; Welby is clearly a numbers man. Time for liberals to form a new church which doesn’t reject TeC because of its theology and follows what Percy wants in training etc – it could be called TeC(UK)

Nicholas Henderson
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Nicholas Henderson

The real issue with the ‘Columba’ agreement is not theological, although that could have been discussed if things had been done properly. The real issue is one of unashamed and to many of us incomprehensible ‘border crossing’ by the Church on England on the Scottish Episcopal Church’s territory. I have been perplexed as to how things could have come to this stage over what has been quite a long process. Sadly I’ve now come to the conclusion that it is paternalistic hubris on the part of a few who have driven the process forward to a stage when there could… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Fr.Kelvin Holdsworth’s article is well worth the read. In the wake of distress within the Anglican Communion at the prospect of border-crossing by some of the GAFCON Primates, into the territory of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada; what has happened in this action of the hierarchy of the Church of England – in the home territory of its mission partner, the Scottish Episcopal Church – is nothing less that the very same ‘Border-Crossing’. Here again; there was no consultation with the local Anglican Church about what was contemplated. Surely the Church of England needs a stern wake-up call… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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“..a church whose members are salt and light, living and working distinctively but fully within their communities and workplaces; a church at the heart of each community which offers something to every age group and every locality; a church which nobody can conceive being without.”
– Mike Eastwood, Liverpool

Is not that what we all want? A Church without prejudice or bigorty, dealing with the world as it really is – not necessarily what we would like it to be! Service of a loving God to God’s children!

Father David
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Father David

Just when you think that you’ve seen it all something else comes along to shew that surprises can still happen! Currently the Diocese of Durham is advertising for what it describes as a “Priest/Entrepreneur”! No wonder the Dean of Christ Church rails against the Business Model taking over the Church run by Managers in purple shirts. One of the many titles of His Holiness the Pope is “Christ’s Vicar on Earth”. It would seem from the way things are going that in future we must refer to His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury as “God’s management consultant” – the M.D… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

Can we please clarify whether Archbishop Welby’s initiative should be referred to as “Reform and Renewal” or “Renewal and Reform”?
Let’s stick to either one or the other as we all come to terms with the New Reformation currently gripping an increasingly panic stricken Church of England.

cseitz
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cseitz

What one senses keenly is a desire by a member of the SEC to clarify that the CofS and the CofE don’t hold the same understanding of the Eucharist. But surely that is what such an effort between these two parties is about, and so the CofS can speak for itself. Equally, there is a rather tortuous effort to clarify what the CofS is and isn’t– national or established–with Kirk members weighing in against the SEC’s Holdsworth. On my ear it sounds like an effort by a member of the SEC to say what the SEC is, and this in… Read more »

Froghole
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Froghole

I am very concerned by the proposals to increase the number of ordinands as projected by William Nye, especially if the increase is to be in stipendiary clergy. Yes, it is about numbers – not so much RME as the resources available to finance these new stipendiaries and their partners to the end of their lives: (i) The dioceses are already sweating under the requirement to fund clergy pensions accruing after 1998: they entered into that undertaking when returns were frothy and interest rates were normal; this ceased to be the case about 18 months later. (ii) Interest rates have… Read more »

Jane Charman
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Jane Charman

Father David, I have asked a question at General Synod.
‘Is the Reform and Renewal programme now definitely called the Renewal and Reform programme and if so what was the thinking behind this change?’
Question time is Monday evening and I’ll tweet the answer!

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Dear Froghole Welcome to the real world. Stipendiary clergy are essential for the future, they represent the ‘professional ministers’, but they are not the sole answer. The church must nurture more vocations. It is a task for the whole church. Most dioceses, given the demographics, are facing 40% retirements within the decade, hence the need for a 50% increase in ordinations (based on the current level) by 2020. Some dioceses may bleat about the cost, but the reality is that Vote 1 (their current share of the cost of ordination training – the fees element) is only 3% or so… Read more »

Mother Hubbard
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Mother Hubbard

Stipendiary clergy are not essential for the future. Have a look around the world and find out how many clergy, including many, many bishops, do not receive any stipend but have ordinary jobs. For example they till the fields in the village and exercise their apostolic calling for the love of the Gospel

What is essential for the future is good training, good theology, appropriate support in ministry, love of God, and love of people.

Tristan
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Tristan

Froghole,

Thank you for raising the spectre of the stipend. It’s very odd – I always thought that as clergy (more or less) get paid the same thing, there wouldn’t be a taboo about discussing it. But whenever I point out the quite painful realities of living under it, clergy faces turn pale as if I’ve commented on someone breaking wind. It’s bizarre.

Froghole
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Froghole

Mr Archer, Thank you for your comments. You suggest that ‘stipendiary clergy are essential for the future’. This assertion strikes me as contestable. Having attended services at some 2,500 or so churches over the last seven years (including Little Gaddesden), I have been struck by: (i) how many services are led by SSMs, readers or retirees; and (ii) the severity of the demographic problem amongst attendees, which (as I am sure you are well aware) is often well beyond recovery. I have encountered too many instances of SSMs doing as much or more than stipendiaries (and often to an equivalent… Read more »