Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 25 November 2017

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave this lecture in Moscow this week: Christian hope

Philip Jones Ecclesiastical Law The Crockford Preface 1987: Thirty Years On

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Twitter Moments – The General and The Particular

Rachel Mann In Praise of ‘Church’: the Parish as a Place of Glory & Grace

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of despots and of kings

Simon Cook Church Times Like it or not, the digital world is the real world
“People should not seek to escape technology … Instead, they need to be taught to use it wisely”

Jonathan Bartley Church Times What should upset Christians
“There are far more important issues than sausage rolls in cribs”

Andrew Hammond, chaplain of King’s College, Cambridge, is interviewed by Anna Menin for Varsity: King’s Chaplain: ‘It’s the quality of the love that matters, not the gender of the lovers’

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Susannah Clark
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I thought Justin’s talk was coherent, though mostly about principles, laid down as a platform for later, more detailed dialogue about ethics. I thought this passage was interesting: “Our communion with other Christians is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of gift. We are connected to one another as brothers and sisters not because we choose to be but because we are all children of God. In the same way the children of human parents cannot choose who their brothers and sisters are. It is a given.” Our Christian Unity is not something we simply choose: it… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

The interview with Andrew Hammond is lovely. I appreciate the way he’s championed inclusion, and offered an alternative voice for Christianity at Cambridge University. The problematic theological conservativism of the Cambridge Christian Unions is reflected in Christian Unions in many universities across the country. On the one hand, as he is keen to affirm, most members of CU’s are kind and well-meaning people. On the other hand, they project to the wider student body a version of Christianity that puts off so many people – notably on issues of human sexuality. In this sense, I have observed, and worry, that… Read more »

Zac
Guest
Zac

Hi Susannah, I was one of the two CU members mentioned in this article to disagree with Andrew. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d be keen to offer a defence. Firstly, I would say at the off that what Andrew said about CU members is exactly the same for him. He is ‘nice as pie’. At first, he assumed that I would go straight to Leviticus for an anti-lgbt argument. I don’t think it’s appropriate to use the law and assume it applies today since we’re not under it. Instead I used 1 Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, Romans 1, and… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Susannah Clark: In 1969 as a naïve and initially lonely lad from rural Cumberland I went to CU meetings at Queens’ Cambridge (men only of course at that time) in the hope of finding friends, familiarity, and maybe even intellectual fun, though I couldn’t have put it like that then. Instead I was—and this is not too strong a word—repelled. Thank God I had enough something or other to be appalled rather than sucked into what seemed like a manipulative cult. I am grateful to the Queens’ CU members for showing me what I didn‘t wish to become. I wasn’t… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Susannah: The same problem exists on the Western side of the Atlantic, unfortunately.

Kate
Guest
Kate

CICCU hasn’t changed I see 🙁

There always is, however, a good college chapel somewhere in Cambridge. In my day it was Selwyn and I had sufficient confidence to attend chapel in a college other than mine. Hopefully students across Cambridge will read Hammond’s piece and be drawn to the services in Kings.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Your Eminence”
“His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew”
By “The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby”

Then we have Rachel Mann talking of negative attitudes to the institutional church. Given the arrogance of Welby and other senior figures with their pompous, agrandising titles, is this surprising?

Anon
Guest
Anon

I am sorry I feel I need to be anonymous in this post, but I hope you will understand why. I am responding to Andrew Hammond and delighted he is doing what he is doing in Cambridge. But I want to tell you how grateful I am to CICCU. Yes, it comes from a particular evangelical stable, but in my experience in the early 1960’s it was friendly, loving and accepting. I first ‘joined’ CICCU when I was 17. I was desperate for friends and terrified of any ‘sexual’ overtures. 6 years earlier when I was 11 I was raped… Read more »

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

I remember in 1969 attending a service at King’s College London for the new term for the Faculty of Theology. A Christian Union member invited us all to join his CU group to enable us to “become Christians”. Since we were training for the CofE ministry, a reasonable person might have assumed we already were.

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

I am so glad that Anon had that experience, and just when needed.

Life can turnout so surprisingly good, in so many unexpected ways !

Some people, groups, individuals, & organisations seem so unpromising / unprepossessing — but come up trumps for us !

Thank goodness.

I guess some of the gospel parables, and other utterances & doings of Jesus seem to be pointing this way too, and also some of the surprising tales of the unexpected, and the unlikely contained in the Lotus Sutra.*

* the Reeves translation is beautiful.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“In the same way the children of human parents cannot choose who their brothers and sisters are. It is a given.”

Well, that’s all that complicated stuff about adoption, estrangement, IVF, AID, step-parenting all solved. It’s a given. Easy!

Of course, one might gently suggest that the current strained relationships between various churches is precisely like the complex, messy and all too human nature of relationships in real families, as opposed to the idealised ones being proposed by Justin Welby.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Thanks for the link to Jonathan Bartley, What Should upset Christians. What a timely reflection for the feast of The Reign of Christ (The King).

His article inspired me to pull William Temple’s Christianity and the Social Order off the shelf for a refresher. ( The Shepheard-Walwyn/SPCK edition with the Introduction by Ronald Preston, 1976).

Temple’s chapter iii, Has the Church Claimed to Intervene Before, is timely and consistent with Bartley’s view point.

David Runcorn
Guest

Like Laurie I am grateful Anon found support in that CU community. Without experiencing his harrowed story it was a CU that was there for me in a difficult time. They befriended me and listened, taught me to pray, to read my bible – and they walked the talk – and this gave me a foundation for life I have built on ever since (without feeling bound by their theological assumptions). The chapel at the time simply could not have done that for me. But I have known good and bad in CU and chapel worlds – on both sides.… Read more »

William
Guest
William

Thank you anon for your witness to the reality of true love and friendship you received from members of the Christian Union. May God continue to bless you in your healing and recovery.

Susannah Clark
Guest

I’m glad people have spoken up about the good things CU’s can do, because that helps provide balance to my own negative experiences. And when I first experienced personal relationship with God in my life, similarly, it was a group of evangelical, charismatic Christians who provided me with a gracious and strong platform for my developing faith. I don’t want to come across as ‘narrow’ as David puts it. In addition, in my own experience of a CU at university, to play fair, they were mostly 20-year-olds and I was in my 50’s, and I assure you I was aware… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Interesting to recall the Crockford preface Anglo-Catholic concerned about anglican catholic uniformity and continuity across the global Communion. The LGBTI cause has altered that 30-year ago landscape. Now the term ‘catholic’ can even be used by some to mean diversity and independence in a federation of national entities.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Indeed so, IO. Christians are made, not born. Baptism is precisely a form of adoption into a non-genetic family. The real challenge for the various Christian bodies lies in accepting that baptism as the fundamental marker of the family, rather than the various layers of institution and authority that have emerged over the centuries. If all of the varied Christian churches could accept that basic principle of adoption through “one Baptism” we might then be able to work more profitably on the other dividing lines.

Lavinia Nelder
Guest
Lavinia Nelder

The CU at Surrey when I was there was not a place where a liberal Anglican would be at home, so most joined CathSoc or MethSoc depending on where you where on the candle. A warm welcome to be found in either. Interestingly the LGBT group and the Islamic Soc met on the same evening on adjacent rooms on campus we often steered each others slightly bemused new members to the correct group understanding that we existed to provide support and a community to our members – this included sharing a samosa/mince pies and orange juice at each others respective… Read more »

Garry Lovatt
Guest
Garry Lovatt

Re: CRS on alleged Anglocatholic uniformity
Strange. Sounds as if you’re unfamiliar with “Gin and Old Lace,” amongst many other things.

Father David
Guest
Father David

The Church of England’s list of scandals has now moved on, thirty years later, from Gareth Bennett and the notorious Crockford’s Preface to Bishop George Bell and the Carlile report whose publication we still keenly await! I’m not sure, as Philip Jones suggests, that John Habgood’s over-reaction to the Crockford’s Preface and the following “tragic denouement” was the actual reason why he wasn’t elevated to the see of Canterbury. The reason surely was THATCHER and her dislike of liberally-minded churchmen. She failed successively to recommend Habgood, the man Clifford Longley described as “the outstanding churchman of his generation”, to the… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest

Susannah and others, I know this to be a tradition to be capable of frightening certainties and vulnerable wrestling, of dogmatic judgments and hospitable compassion, of fierce stubbornness and reflective adaptability. And living with these contradictory qualities means it is a tradition always in difficult dialogue with itself (a fact easily missed by those outside it). But these are all authentic qualities of faith expressed through whatever tradition. The weaving of them together in love and truth for any age and context is always the challenge – and we are hearing here that this has been a complex and often… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Father David writes: “You can take the girl out of Methodism, but you can’t take Methodism out of the girl!” I am glad of a Methodist, Wesleyan, childhood. I was taught Bible stories. I was exposed to a huge variety of hymnody (the Methodists themselves seem to have ditched that). I learnt to treasure the Eucharist as special. And perhaps more than anything else I treasure the down to earth goodness and straigtforwardness of Cumbrian village Methodists. The C of E was for people with pretensions, and certainly a local accent was much rarer in church than in chapel. Are… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

Stanley, the formative years are so important and influential, as you yourself espouse, and have a great effect upon later life. No, Methodism wasn’t at the root of Mrs. Thatcher’s antipathy towards Archbishop Habgood but her ingrained conservatism was greatly at odds with his liberalism; although the title of one of his books was “Confessions of a Conservative Liberal”