Thinking Anglicans

Pre-Synod comment and news


Comment and news looking ahead to this weekend’s meeting of the Church of England General Synod

Philip Jones Ecclesiastical Law The Burden of Legislative Reform

David Pocklington Law & Religion UK General Synod: Burial of suicides, vesture

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Battle looms in Church of England over ‘blessings’ for gay marriage

John Bingham The Telegraph Church of England bans mankinis in the pulpit


Harry Farley Christian Today Shared Conversations: Can the Church of England prevent a split over gay marriage?

David Walker ViaMedia.News Bishop’s Packing Essentials for General Synod

Harry Farley Christian Today Apart from a big fight over homosexuality, what else is happening at General Synod?

Archbishop Cranmer Synod ‘No Confidence’ motion looms in secret trial of Bishop George Bell (RIP)

Stephen Lynas The weekend starts here


  • Helen King says:

    At the end of Ruth Gledhill’s piece:
    ‘One leading evangelical, with an open mind on this issue, said: “I’m worried that there is a terrific battle ahead. If they try and force it through, it will be a bloodbath.”‘

    Why do people feel the need to use this emotive, rabble-rousing language??

  • Jeremy Pemberton says:

    Extraordinary that the “leading evangelical” speaks in those terms about what is coming. I am not aware of one single evangelical who holds anti-gay views who has lost anything material because of the views they hold.

    I am very aware of the cost to LGBT people around the Communion of those views. Some have paid with lost employment, some with vocations being denied, some with disciplinary actions, some with losing homes and families, and some with their lives. That is where blood has been shed.

    If change comes to the Church of England it is long overdue. If it results in some leaving that is to be regretted. But if it results in affirming the humanity and giftedness of many. and opens our eyes to the iniquity of discrimination then that may be a cost worth paying.

  • FrDavidH says:

    I am sick of middle-class, Anglican political correctness. Just because we have women clergy, the prudes are now hoping to ban mankinis. If evangelicals can wear T-shirts and jeans while strumming their guitars, why can’t we liberals dress as we please in bikinis and mankinis?

  • dr.primrose says:

    It’s comforting to realize that — as the British political system and the pound collapse, not to mention the real possibility of the dissolution of the United Kingdom itself — the Church of England thinks its worthwhile spending its time battling the even more dire problem of clergy wearing “t-shirts with atheist slogans” in the pulpit.

  • Disgraceful says:

    The Bingham piece is very funny but please let’s have no more. If I see another example of such good fun poking from that publication I might have to re-examine my prejudice against it, and I don’t want that prejudice disturbed.

  • Kate says:

    One suspects that the restriction against unseemly dress is aimed, in part, at preventing priests from starting to transition between genders by gradually changing their form of dress. Instead, any gender transition will have to be formalised.

    In short, it appears to be a regressive measure aimed at LGBT people.

    It should have included the phrase “Dress which is considered seemly if worn by a man will also be considered seemly if worn by a woman and vice versa.”

  • Geoff says:

    I had to click on the last link before I realized it was about the Church of England. I suppose it’s perversely comforting that other General Synods are gearing up for the same fight, at the same time.

  • JCF says:

    Thank you, HelenK and JeremyP.

    It seems whenever you hear an anti-LGBT equality Christian speak, they always talk about something being “rammed down their throats” or a “blood bath”.

    Between LGBTs and those who {hate} “oppose” them, force is being used by one side. It’s not used by LGBTs.

  • Mother Hubbard says:

    Comments that see everything as specifically aimed against or an attack on LGTB people are so tedious. They are damaging to the legitimate arguments and undermine support for the cause. You would probably find fault with hymn books that have the “wrong” colour of cover. Indeed, I am surprised no-one argues against the term “dress” itself – after all, dresses are still gender-specific.

    The amendment to Canon regarding clerical attire is aimed at those – usually – evangelicals, who are already in breach by appearing as a matter of principle in jeans or informal attire for Sunday worship, and those who only wear full clericals when it serves their personal agenda (e.g. formal civic occasions etc.) The situation is reminiscent of the era when clergy were in breach of Canon and went to prison for burning incense or lighting candles. Let’s grow up. I don’t remember anyone being in the slammer for wearing anything other than traditional garb in our time. The whole business is a waste of members’ time that would be better spend on important issues in Synod.

  • Excellent articles by ruth Gledhill and Bishop David Walker.

    I reckon that if everyone attending this important session of the General Synod applies the same guidelines as Bishop David Walker – about what they ought not to bring into the discussions – then they will proceed with a minimum of rancour and the ethos necessary in order for the Church to face up to, and deal with, the situation before it. My prayers are for this General Synod and for those marginalised by the present culture of sexism and homophobia.

    Those who are still scared by the prospect of might happen with the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions need to really listen to the intimate conversation being brought into the arena – in an atmosphere of respect for those whose lives are under discussion.

    One small step for General Synod could be the overcoming of a lifetime of prejudice or of fear – depending on which side of the arguments one is contending. Perfect love casts out fear!

  • Kate says:

    Mother Hubbard, for Parliament the Joint Committee on Human Rights reviews all legislation for its impact on human rights and often takes an interest in broader equality.

    The Church of England canons etc are laws of a type. There ought to be a committee in the church which investigates all proposed measures etc and ensures that none of them directly or, as here, indirectly discriminate or affect human rights. It is to the Church’s great discredit that it doesn’t do that because then such issues could be avoided and then there would be no need to comment on them.

    And even if it isn’t possible to make changes on same sex marriage one positive thing the House of Bishops could do is ensure that wording doesn’t discriminate against LGBT+ people but they don’t care even that much.

    You might not see it as important that a new change indirectly discriminates against a group. I most certainly do. The fact that the change wasn’t scrutinised for its possible impact on LGBT+ people before submission to Synod also speaks volumes about the disdain with which LGBT people are treated by Church authorities.

  • Kate says:

    “Those who are still scared by the prospect of might happen with the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions”

    A blessing or pastoral accommodation is not going to make the issue go away though.

  • Kate says:

    I can see where “Archbishop Cranmer” is coming from and in secular terms it makes sense. In Christian terms though it seems to me a complete muddle. The whole point is that it should make zero difference to a Christian whether someone is an unreserved Saint or whether they are a murderer or paedophile beyond issues of personal and third party safety which are clearly irrelevant after death. Bishop Bell’s posthumous reputation should be utterly irrelevant to the church.

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