Thinking Anglicans

Reflections on the Shared Conversations

A number of people have commented on the Shared Conversations that formed part of the July General Synod at York.

Madeleine Davies Church Times Synod members thanked for staying on to talk about differences

Mark Woods Christian Today Shared Conversations: Why the Church of England still has a long way to go on sexuality

Lucy Gorman Shared thoughts from the Shared Conversations.

Andrew Dotchin Thoughts on A Shared Conversation:

Ian Paul Synod’s Shared Conversations

Andrea Williams Christian Concern responds to C of E ‘shared conversation’

Stephen Lynas She said “You don’t understand what I said” *


Hannah Cleugh Sharing in Conversations

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Susannah Clark
7 years ago

Gary Waddington: “Surely, the sisters liberated from the yoke of patriarchal oppression will rally to the cry of liberation of all similarly oppressed? There of course is the rub. It turns out that some of those who have scaled the dizzy highs of preferment aren’t so keen to publicly cry for freedom for others.”


Susannah Clark
7 years ago

Although I don’t agree with him, Ian Paul’s is probably the most challenging critique, and deserves careful reading. He is basically challenging the adoption of a kind of ‘relativism’, where there are many truths (or interpretations) that may be adopted, and tolerated, so that the Church can co-exist. This is a complaint I have heard on these boards here at ‘Thinking Anglicans’: that if we are seeking God’s Will, there cannot be multiple truths, there can only be one. And Ian Paul’s complaint is that the process of the Shared Conversations implicitly sided with the ‘many truths’ relativistic principle. He… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
7 years ago

Has Andrea Williams breached the St Michael’s protocols? The people she mentions can easily be identified from the details she gives.

7 years ago

What is clear is that the present Synod will neither vote to conduct same sex marriage rites nor to bless civil same sex marriages. A significant number would vote against either proposal on principle. Many more would vote against either change because they wish to walk together and would not vote for something likely to precipitate a split.

At the same time, unless those writing about Shared Conversations are not representative, there is a majority wish to do something, but no idea (let alone consensus) what that might be.

7 years ago

Ian Paul lost me when he stated that social science isn’t showing that being gay is a biological thing. Totally wrong. And then when he dismissed what the US theologian had to say on the mistaken grounds of the vast amount of lawsuits going on in TEC. Those lawsuits only happened in a few dioceses, where the schismatics were terribly mislead. They have lost almost every court case. When inclusive marriage came to a vote, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor. If CoE has schismatics, you’re going to let them steal the property? In some places the conservatives changed the… Read more »

Susannah Clark
7 years ago

Freedom of conscience.

That is surely the only way to go, allowing individual priests, PCCs, churches, and members of the congregation to exercise sincerely-held conscience.

We must stop dominating.

We respect one another’s diversity of conscience, and we pray for grace to love one another, and for the flourishing of each person, even if they hold different opinions to our own.

7 years ago

What CofE does is CofE’s problem, but TEC should stop these allowances. It is dishonest and unwholesome. To make a church within a church and say it is one church is a lie, simply stated. It is, at best, a dead limb on a living body, at worst a sort of abscess. To say that we “cast out” and “deny our brothers” by insisting and giving them help to move into other denominations, in which their sticking-points will not hinder either them or cause a stumbling block to others is to deny the belief that the Church, in fact, extends… Read more »

Tobias Haller
7 years ago

Rather than seeing this as a case of relativism and multiple truths, it is possible to exercise some humility and accept that this is something about which we do not possess a final truth. Since the “truth” about marriage as lifelong and exclusive was for a time in abeyance at God’s ordinance through Moses’ allowance of divorce this need not be seen as an airtight either/or, and a period of ambiguity and reception is appropriate.

Of course, those who are convinced they know the only truth will not find this acceptable.

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