Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 24 February 2018

From The Guardian The Guardian view on religious education: teach humanism too
Letters in response Is religion really a toxic brand?

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of giving and withholding blessing

Church Times Retention, not just recruitment
Churches and charities ignore at their peril the views of volunteers, warns Stephanie Denning

James Woodward ViaMedia.News Is the Church of England Guilty of Ageism?

Alison Kings Fulcrum Anger: Not Such a Bad Thing

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Anger: Not Such a Bad Thing, by Alison Kings, the article is expertly insightful. One can think about anger in strictly interpersonal terms. One is situationally angry or depressed. The remedy is to extract one’s self from the situation. One suffers from chronic anger because of some underlying psychological or behavioral malady. The appropriate recourse is the therapy. Kings is very helpful in this regard. However Kings also touches on anger and despair arising from social injustice either toward one’s group or towards those one wants to be in solidarity with. This type of anger invites reflection not just… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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In the final paragraph of Andrew Lightbown'[s excellent article, he points to the inevitability of the Church of England’s movement towards the concept of ”unity in diversity’ – living with, and not fighting over, differences on the praxis concerning S.S.B.

This is why the panic-stricken flight of ‘Reform’ and others into the arms of the ‘Church Society’ – on the basis of their objections to the ABC’s eirenic proposal to ‘live with difference’ does nothing to relieve the suspicion of civil society that the C.of E. is still sexist and homophobic.

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

Thank you, indeed, to Alison Kings for her article. But I am not sure I agree with her and Alan Hargrave about his outburst to the platitudinous ordinand. It was only wrong if it was untrue, which it wasn’t. It might have been shocking, but too often nice church people are allowed to get away with all kinds of nonsense in the name of niceness. A few moments of discomfort in the face of Alan’s anguish might have led rather faster to some helpful reflection and rather more subtle theological thinking. Anger has work to do with the recipients of… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Regarding the article by Canon James Woodward, his macro analysis for society in general is right on. However, with regard to the church it may be wise to contextualise his analysis with regard to the demographic realities of the church. (I’m thinking here of my own context i.e. churches are an aging demographic, and as a person in his sixties I’m considered a senior citizen). Woodward points to variables: “Some 80-year-olds have levels of physical and mental capacity that compare favourably with 20-year-olds. Others of the same age may require extensive care and support.” The problem is that the aging… Read more »

Liz moorsom
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Liz moorsom

Rod Gillis seems to walk into exactly that trap of ageist assumptions that James Woodward challenges. For example why is an older demographic in the church a challenge with regard to technological connection with society? Bill Gates and Tim Berners-Lee are obvious but not especially rare examples of people in their 60s who are OK with technology. Economic reality the same – do you really think being older means you can’t understand economic reality both for yourself and for those of a different age with different responsibilities.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Liz Moorsom, I don’t think Woodward’s challenge is all that successful or even relevant for that matter. His focus is on the wrong end of the spectrum. If the church is ageist it is ageist with regard to young people, which I thought I was clear about. Bill Gates? Seriously? You think Gates is typical of his cohort or older with regard to technology? With regard to economic realities, I can expand on my comment by pointing out the very different economic realities faced by young adults over the past generation compared with those faced by my cohort (… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

To follow on if I may, Canon Woodward begins by referencing W.H.O. One discovers how dependent his piece is for background on W.H.O. information. See link: W.H.O. fact sheet number 404 titled, Health Inequities. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs404/en/ The problem is that any conclusions one draws from W.H.O. about ageism must be subordinate to health and aging. Example: Woodward states: “…we rightly celebrate the fact that there is no typical older person. Older age is characterised by great diversity. Some 80-year-olds have levels of physical and mental capacity that compare favourably with 20-year-olds.” This is taken verbatim from the W.H.O. section, Diversity in… Read more »