Thinking Anglicans

After LLF, what next?

Three separate items of interest have recently appeared:

“…This film explores the case for differentiation in the event that the trajectory set by the February 2023 General Synod is followed through on in July (the next General Synod) or thereafter.”

The aim of this short document is to clarify how ANiE can serve churches and clergy in the Church of England, and to be clear about what we are unable to offer in this context.

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Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I think Kieran (on a previous thread) may be correct to point to a balkanisation of bishops as being sought by some evangelicals. And lo! today CEEC – in the release of their latest film – seem to point towards exactly that. CEEC narrator: “What CEEC is proposing will take time and be costly, but it will take less time and be less costly than the alternatives. We have researched different ways of achieving all this, but are bot committed to any particular model of differentiation. We want to sit down with those who have influence in the Church to… Read more »

Ablindbadger
Ablindbadger
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Hi Susannah, I’m a young lay evangelical in a moderately rural parish, and can speak to your first point from my circle of acquaintances from similar churches, even if only to confirm what you already know. I haven’t yet spoken to anyone who is unhappy with the CEEC or their position here. There is real gratitude to have the CEEC as a voice to speak for us and negotiate and many would be delighted for something like they are proposing. Many have been considering what you referred to as “radical action”. For example, I have been surprised at how many… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Ablindbadger
1 year ago

Thank you. Although I believe in gay and lesbian marriage, I absolutely believe that the Church of England should respect the consciences of both (so called) conservatives and liberals. My question is serious: how many churches would support a kind of structural re-arrangement along the lines suggested in this film and by CEEC? For the past five years I have been advocating a ‘unity in diversity’ approach, proposing the protection of two different consciences in the Church, as the only way of squaring the circle of a 50-year impasse without one side dominating the conscience of the other side and… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Susannah Clark
Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Ablindbadger
1 year ago

There are other young Anglicans who are repelled by the glacially slow progress of the Church towards social justice.
Some of them…and older Christians as well…. despair at the cruel bigotry of the current situation.One size does not fit all.
They too find it difficult to remain in the CofE…..but the alternatives seem even worse.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

To pick up on Stanley’s point in an earlier thread, I believe the outcome of the LLF process, i.e. the Bishops’ proposal, is mainly virtue signalling. It failed to meet the demands of the progressive groups. Until the canons and liturgy change how the CofE describes marriage the need for structural separation seems premature, although I realise a line has been crossed for some with the possibility of a blessing (of people or their relationship?) for same sex couples. Amendment ‘g’ means that the proposals and materials presented at the July GS will have to conform to the existing doctrine… Read more »

Peter
Peter
1 year ago

CEEC are authorised public leaders of the conservative evangelical constituency. They say with clarity and authority what I have been stumbling around and attempting to say.

I can do no better than to encourage you to listen to them and respond to their invitation.

I wish you every blessing

Peter

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

authorised by whom? Surely essentially self-selecting despite the veneer of elections…

John Darch
John Darch
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Is this a Freudian slip, Peter? My understanding is that they are supposed to represent the whole evangelical constituency in the C of E.. The fact that you have used the adjective ‘conservative’ speaks volumes as to how they are now perceived and who they really represent!

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  John Darch
1 year ago

This is true. They have steadily shut out evangelicals who are not conservative.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John Darch
1 year ago

It’s not a Freudian slip.

It is perfectly obvious that the two groups that are in deadlock are widely known as progressives and conservatives.

What is the purpose of wrangling over labels.

John T
John T
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

The CEEC is not representative of the evangelical constituency, however. I have a real problem with their Third Province plan for visible differentiation. Most parishes contain people of very different views on sexuality, including evangelical parishes. To force parishes to choose between being in this province or that province according to a shared view on sexuality will just tear local churches apart. Where the vicar has one view but the PCC is divided, which province do they choose? Apart from a few large churches in big cities where there are enough churches to sort into very finessed silos of church… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I think that they would lower me into clinical depression

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 year ago

On a previous thread, Prof Stanley Monkhouse suggests the Church of England now caters for “a dwindling number of wrinklies and nerds”. Thank you for pointing to a film of such people whose opinions confirm the CofE has no future whatsoever.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 year ago

Yes indeed Fr. It’s a good laugh. Please don’t assume I’m with the conevos—or the liberals for that matter. FWIW I think the church has no business opining about cloacal derivatives. I think scripture is unclear and anyway I’d disregard it if suited me as having been concocted by a group of repressed, even perverted, men who probably thought sperms were homunculi (though that was not universally held). I’ve never preached about sex, nor shall I, just as I’d never preach about underfloor central heating or which end to crack a boiled egg. As we become colder with rising fuel prices, I… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Stanley Monkhouse
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 year ago

I prefer to listen to Roman Catholic clergy opining about physical intimacy since, in theory, they have no sex whatsoever.

Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I’m really not happy about Jonathan Chaplin’s spoof. I took it at face value as potentially an unreleased document written by a bishop, even though I wondered to myself whether it was authentic. I spent 40 minutes studying it and writing down notes.

Then at the very end, when I got there, it says “Author’s note: for the avoidance of all doubt, the ‘Draft Explanatory Note’ is entirely fictional.”

That should have been disclosed at the top.

A waste of time.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I think it is excellent.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Fair enough, Kate. There were some sharp perceptions in it. I am probably just cross with myself for being so gullible. And Simon… witty last sentence!

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
1 year ago

I genuinely don’t understand this. If you don’t believe women can be priests or should be priests, then I understand the reason for separate Episcopal oversight. But if you are a conservative evangelical I presume you have an equally strong objection to High Mass as you do to equal marriage. The Church of England has been a big tent for all of its history. The Oxford Movement led to riots and painful court cases but most catholics and evangelicals remained. Evangelicals seem to want to continue to remain part of the same communion as the Scottish Episcopal Church. I can… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  David Hawkins
1 year ago

There’s certainly some homophobia hiding in the objection, but as I explained above I think there are also valid reasons. The most obvious is that freedom of conscience for ministers doesn’t just mean letting them decide for themselves (or having the parish in some way take the decision) as that leaves them isolated and exposed. True freedom of conscience means putting in place a support system and structures to back up the choice made. In some ways, Philip North is a good example. His freedom of conscience has been attacked on a regular basis. Now, he is a bishop and… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Hard line conservative evangelicals “isolated and exposed” ?? Evangelicals have effective support structures and are highly organised and assertive. Do you seriously imagine same sex couples are going to approach a conservative parish to get married and even if they do it is easy for the priest to say no. And why would they do that ? They would surely want to get married in their own liberal parish. It would be very easy for the Church of England to maintain an index of parishes that are willing to conduct same sex weddings. I think you are right, this is… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  David Hawkins
1 year ago

There was the rancid reaction to the appointment of Bishop Ann to Aberdeen and Orkney (leaving aside later questions about her behaviour) which suggested conservative elements in the church were feeling a bit beleaguered, but then the conservative faction in the SEC is much smaller so that feeling of isolation is perhaps more easily engendered.

Nuno Torre
Nuno Torre
1 year ago

CofE as we now know it was finished last week at the GS same sex blessings vote. Like it or not, that won’t change the truth of this sad debacle. What the cons evos are proposing is nothing more than a 2 tiered CofE, perhaps with a neutral to conservative (male!) ABC, if not 2 established Churches in England!… Let us to see what will come out of this… I hope for orderly settlement at least. Here in the RCC, the most recent trend on solving those situations have been Personal Prelatures and Ordinariates. They are like non territorial special… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Nuno Torre
1 year ago

That’s a very negative view and, I think, wrong. For me a parallel might be the Society of Jesus (aka the Jesuits) within the Catholic Church. Over the years, the Jesuits have been more doctrinally hard-line that the rest of Catholicism and have their own structure and identity, but nobody sees the Catholic Church as being fractured because of them. Why can’t the Church of England add its own ‘Society of Jesus’ (and the name might appeal to evangelicals) with an orthodox constitution? The mainstream Church of England can have a fairly permissive/progressive doctrine but the ‘Society of Jesus’ could… Read more »

Nuno Torre
Nuno Torre
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Many thanks to the kind words, dear Kate! Perhaps, my comment was very influenced by the fact that here in the Catholic world we see unity as being something more strict than exactly in Anglicanism it is. TBHH: I studied the UK reformation some 25 years ago in University, but I concentrated my studies in the early UK reformation times, and current formal Church structures, actually forgetting what “via media” is really about in Anglicanism. “Via media” between all views will likely to help you solve those issues, like it helped so many more, even though the Church will be… Read more »

José Ribeiro
José Ribeiro
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Kate:
Jesuits are, since the Middle of XX Century, and on all subjects, the (RCC) eclesial Left. About homosexuality, please read McNeill, “The Church and the Homosexual”, 1976.

Nuno Torre
Nuno Torre
Reply to  José Ribeiro
1 year ago

That’s true, dear José. Same for the Dominicans, at even a larger scene and with more or less similar organizational structures.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  José Ribeiro
1 year ago

The point is that for many years they have maintained a very distinct identity and yet are still seen as Catholic.

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

The Jesuits have been the Guardian-reading progressives of the RC Church for a long time now! Hence the current Pope’s views on many subjects…

Kate
Kate
1 year ago

I watched the CEEC video with trepidation. Past videos have been triggering to the point of being IMO a safeguarding risk. This one certainly has some obvious weaknesses, but overall I see it as a positive contribution. I agree with the fundamental argument that saying individual ministers have freedom of conscience is incoherent and also leaves them exposed. Respecting conscience isn’t just about choice, it is about backing people up with support and structures consistent with that choice. I don’t, however, support any rearrangement which adds yet more bishops: there are already too many. The question has been raised in… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

That is the issue for me Kate. In the settlement over women priests and bishops, those of us who are on the more women affirming side are required to affirm that a position denying female priesthood is acceptable and valid. In any settlement going forward for LLF, are the liberals in the churchgoing to be asked to accept that the conservative, restrictive view on homosexuality is totally acceptable? But what happens if we believe (backed up with evidence from the likes of Jayne Ozanne) that the conservative restrictive view is a safeguarding and mental health nightmare for young Christians. Are… Read more »

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

What are they exposed to? I don’t think anything more than holding a socially unpopular view. The Prayers of Love and Faith are entirely discretionary, as is providing liturgies for same-sex couples, so they run no risk there. Of course if they want to avoid a charge of homophobia, and the social ostracisation that might follow…. In any event, I think the CEEC video is ridiculous. This is not a matter of credal difference, over which people might separate. I am also confused as to why they need ‘support’ – doesn’t CEEC and other Evo networks offer that? What does… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

If women priests feel vulnerable and potentially unsupported with a bishop like Philip North as their bishop, I think priests with sexually traditional beliefs might feel vulnerable and potentially unsupported with a bishop who believes in gay marriage. I know they are not exact parallels, but there is a common principle at work of freedom of conscience, and the protection of those consciences. I’m not saying this to ‘take sides’. I’m not even IN this organisation to ‘take sides’, though I’d very much like this finally sorted so I can feel confident to take my wife to church again. If… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Susannah Clark
Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

I would find this a more convincing parallel if conservative evangelicals had spent more of the last 60 years working with and supporting their bishops. Engagement with diocesan structures is often conditional on their being satisfied with the ‘soundness’ of the bishop – and even where that has been acknowledged, con evos rely heavily on tribal structures, Diocean Evangelical Fellowships, conferences like Keswick the ones sponsored by St Helen’s Bsihopsgate, CEEC and so on. Before the 60s they postively rejoiced in being the ones who kept the true faith and being a despised minority in the Church of England –… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton
1 year ago

Thank you Jeremy. Your line of arguing (if I read it right) is that – should a ‘plural’ route of differing consciences be developed, allowing either ‘side’ to follow their consciences locally – then demanding their own episcopal oversight is (in your view) unnecessary, unreasonable and should be resisted? In short, an outcome a bit closer to the Scottish approach, where it is just said to the two differing groups, “you do your thing, and you others do your thing”, and if you’re unwilling to live and let live on that basis, then look somewhere else? Would that approach work… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

One could as easily look to USA as Scotland. The truth is each country is different.

The Church of England has too many dioceses. Several need to be amalgamated. Many regular TA commentators have wanted that. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas so the chance of the idea of a thorough reorganisation originating in HoB is remote, so I suggest we should seize on the CEEC proposal as a generational opportunity to overhaul the episcopate.

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

I thought it was well presented and clear. Logical and thought out.
It is sad that the equal marriage people don’t produce such things, without care they come across as demanding without being positive about their cause.

Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

In my experience, when “the equal marriage” people start making well-produced videos and generally getting their act together, they get accused of ‘meddling in secular politics,’ ‘entryism,’ and ‘lobbying.’

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Dave
1 year ago

You really think it would help if we produced videos telling evangelicals that they are reading the Bible wrong?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

That’s not what the CEEC video does. It says conservatives want a settlement based around our own bishops.

If progressives produced a video saying what they want from a settlement it would be welcomed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Isn’t it pretty obvious?

1. Equal marriage including the recognition of same sex marriages and, I guess, sex changes

2. As a safeguarding measure, ensuring that minors and vulnerable adults aren’t pressured or guilted into suppressing their sexual orientation or gender identity

I think 1 can be segregated but 2 would need to work across any new orthodox structure too

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

The settlement would surely involve conservatives stepping away from the government of a progressive province. If progressives move forward to equal marriage that would be for them to decide.

Nobody wants to pressure or guilt anybody and safeguarding standards would have to meet national standards in law.

To be clear conservatives do not accept that the historic doctrines are a safeguarding risk. They would obviously have to be taught in a scrupulously responsible way

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

It says conservatives want a settlement based around our own bishops.”
See, this is what the women-bishops “settlement” has led to–factions within the Church of England expecting their doctrinal differences to take structural expression.
I really do not think it will happen to any greater extent than it already has–and the women-bishops accommodations (to conservatives) seem likely to expire soon.

Revalastair
Revalastair
1 year ago

Re CEEC, what’s wrong with Rod Thomas btw? Except that he wouldn’t recognise all of the orders of those in that video… Does that mean there will need to be a (female free) church within this (gay free) church within the church?? Makes my head spin.

Ablindbadger
Ablindbadger
Reply to  Revalastair
1 year ago

Just a point of clarification that Rod has retired and +Maidstone’s role is being taken forward under +Ebbsfleet (Rob Munro).

As to the point you are making, as I understand it many conservative evangelicals believe this issue is a different order to that of ordained women’s ministry, so it would require a different order of provision than a single flying bishop.

Geoff M.
Geoff M.
Reply to  Ablindbadger
1 year ago

I wouldn’t have thought anyone disagrees it’s a different order of issue. If a same-sex couple is not really married, they themselves are mistaken about having received one particular sacramental Rite. If women are not really ordained, then not only is every Eucharist or absolution received from a woman false, but also most sacraments administered by anyone ordained by a woman. What’s puzzling here is that some (not all) evangelicals seem less troubled by the “higher”-order issue. Of course, a truly consistent evangelical view would see neither marriage nor holy orders as a sacrament per se, but as matters of… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
1 year ago

Some brief responses to the CEEC video. 1. This is a clear, well produced statement of an exclusively conservative viewpoint on this issue. They are right that this is going to take a lot of working out in a divided church.  2. They are (suddenly) pre-occupied with bishops. They speak as if they have not, until now, ministered under bishops who have differing theological convictions but who have been supportive and nurture. But in practice this tradition has largely carried on with its own stuff whatever. Why is this situation suddenly so different? Why is trust now so threatened? 3.… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

Hi David, some comments in direct response to your observations above. 1 Your tone is calmer and more measured than the some of the comments in response from Thinking Anglicans, which is appreciated. 2 The position is different because the conservative view is that the Bishops and Synod have taken a step into the dark since the start of this year, which is without precedent. (I know that is disputed, but lets acknowledge that it is a point of dispute – and not suggest that no reasonable person could claim something new has happened since early January). 3 There are… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

“3 There are no mainstream Anglican conservative evangelical leaders in this country who claim we should break fellowship over the issue of the role of women. It is not the same order of issue.”

Can you explain, precisely, why it is a different order of issue? Because it involves sexual activity that is, by conservative thought, definitively banned by Scripture? Isn’t preaching and teaching by women also definitively banned?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pat ONeill
1 year ago

I was responding to a comment made by David Runcorn. It’s just a technical fact that conservatives see the role of women and same sex marriages as different categories.

If you’re suggesting I now explain the difference, your previous posts indicate you are not asking me because you think I have something to teach you. You want to contradict any explanation I give.

That’s your prerogative, but
I do not think the moderators intended this thread to be a place to over ground that has been covered elsewhere.

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

“Let the women keep silent in the churches” would seem to make it a clear first order issue to anyone with a literalist reading of Scripture… which is, after all, why for almost 2000 years of Christians held that view exclusively.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Mark
1 year ago

This thread is about LLF and next steps, not the re-litigation of the conflict over the role of women.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

It matters, however, because it gets to the heart of the theological integrity of the conservative evangelical position. If we are asked to accept that the con-evo view is held in good faith then it behoves us to explore it and at least determine whether it is logically consistent. I’m afraid, based on the attitudes to divorce and the ministry of women outwith a tiny minority within the con evo community, that there appears to be a good deal of straining at a gnat having swallowed a camel as far as “Biblical” theology goes.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

Jo. You and I have conflicting views about theology. That is a statement of fact. I can question your good faith – which incidentally I do not – but what does that actually achieve ? There are going to be a lot of problems ahead regarding same sex marriage. Conservatives are saying let’s just settle rather continue to argue. It’s not about testing each others convictions. We are all weary of conflict and conservatives are offering peace talks. You either take it at face value and engage with us. Or you reject the offer. My question to you if you… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Andrew Dawswell
Andrew Dawswell
Reply to  Mark
1 year ago

The differences, for an evangelical like myself who takes a traditional view on SSM etc, are: i) In respect of female leaders, even the most conservative will admit that a text such as Rom 16, which makes several allusions to women leaders, can form the basis of a strong biblical case in favour. Rightly or wrongly, we don’T SEE that strength of case being able to be made in regard to SSM etc (although will acknoledge that others such as David Runcorn sincerely believe that it can) ii) Those of us who support the church’s traditional teaching on Same sex… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

David is always courteous, Peter. But on point 5 I agree with you. At present the bishops are imposing a conservative doctrine of marriage on everyone, which goes across people’s consciences and dominates them. That is not ‘respect for conscience’. In contrast, CEEC (and there are others proposing similar things, as diverse as Jayne Ozanne and Vaughan Roberts) are saying, actually, let us make space in the Church for people with both views, by creating a framework or understanding, that does not dominate but shows respect for diverse consciences, and allows people to follow their consciences. Scotland allows ‘plural consciences’.… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Susannah I think you are missing the point I was making here. Nor are the bishops imposing anything. Whatever was agreed was by synod.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David, that’s a bit of a slippery statement as the bishops control what comes to Synod in the first place.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

They do not actually, Kate..

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

I wonder how much value there is in pinning it all on the bishops.

They emerge with no credit in my view, but it was a collective failure of all three Houses.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David, I agree the motion passed in Synod. But the agenda was the bishops’ own agenda, the Proposed motion was the bishops’, and that Motion proposed clearly called for a conservative doctrine on marriage to keep being imposed on half the church against its core conscience on that doctrine. Furthermore, the Bishop of London was clearly briefed to ‘resist’ any amendments to the motion, apart from one token wave through for an amendment which made the package more conservative. Everything was framed by the bishops and promoted by the bishops, and voted for overwhelmingly by the bishops. In contrast, LLF… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Susannah Briefly. It is clear that although there was a strong mood for change among the bishops to find a way forward there was not a 2/3 majority supporting a change in the doctrine of marriage. They could not bring a proposal to Synod what that would not pass in their own house. It was also clear that it would not pass in the other two houses either. I do not recognise the role you continue to cast the bishops in in this process. This is diverse leadership being exercised in a very conflicted decision making. What we have is… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

What you are saying, David, is that the bishops are too conservative to agree to a change of doctrine. I can observe that members of the House of Bishops hold a variety of views (and some have expressed them to me) but if collectively they won’t agree to a change of doctrine, then isn’t it glaringly obvious that Jayne is right, and we should all be talking about how to build a plural approach somewhat along Scottish lines. Instead, they opted for the brutalism of dominating conscience. Why do you think they couldn’t have delayed any decision until July to… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Susannah — On the timing, I think it obvious that some sort of move in an affirming direction had to be made before the Coronation in early May. Otherwise that very public, national, governmental role for the Church of England, which continues to discriminate, would have stuck in many craws.
Of course, it still might….
Monarchs have been crowned by bishops other than Canterbury before.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter Thank you. It is not a step in the dark of course. It is a step of costly faith after an extended consultation process involving the whole church. And my point 5 still stands. How can you be a good neighbour to someone you will not name and whose integrity in the same faith is simply not acknowledged? This presentation is completely exclusive and excluding.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David, thank you. I say this as an observation and not a complaint. The emerging progressive response appears to be – at least in part – a wish to say the conservative evangelical position is not united. It’s also not theologically convincing. It’s also not sufficiently developed in detail. It’s also fronted by the wrong people. Therefore, what happens next; Wait for a more progressive Synod ? Make the best use of the current Synod and its plans set out last week ? Maybe that is actually what happens next. Of course progressives cannot be pulled into negotiations. They would… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I think, bluntly, the question being weighed up is whether it is better to make a fraction of the church safe and welcoming for our LGBT brothers and sisters while leaving the remainder perpetually unsafe and harder to bring light to because it’s walled off, or to make the whole church as safe as possible by increments, even if the Spirit doesn’t move through the church as fast as we might hope.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

I reject completely the inference that the historic convictions of the Church of England leave anybody “perpetually unsafe”.

That is using contemporary notions and vocabulary to say that which is good is actually evil.

You and I must part company if that is how you choose to describe my convictions.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I am describing a reality where anti-gay views drive young LGBT Christians to mental illness, self-harm and suicide. If you prefer it in Biblical terms, you “tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others”. It was evil when the Pharisees did it and it is evil when modern day conservatives do it too, and it causes real and demonstrable harm.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jo B
1 year ago

Hi Jo, I think you are right that the incremental argument is regarded as one approach. However… In terms of doctrinal change, the incremental approach over the past 50 years has achieved zero, and is set to achieve zero in the next 5 years (at least). The ban on gay marriage in church hasn’t changed one little bit. We don’t even know if our sexual intimacy is regarded as ‘sin’ or not, because they dare not say, but we’re not allowed ‘holy’ matrimony. If I was a socially ‘conservative’ Christian in the Church of England I would regard the concept… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Charles Clapham
1 year ago

As a supporter of equal marriage, I’m not adverse to the argument for greater visible differentiation – if it allows the rest of us to move more quickly to celebrate same-sex marriages in church and avoid another further 10/15 years of endless dispute. Arguably the bishops could usefully have spent at least some time exploring these issues over the last five years, rather than assuming the priority of unity at all costs. . But I’d like to hear more from CEEC (or from Peter, whose comments on this forum have been helpful and constructive) on exactly what that would look… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Charles Clapham
1 year ago

Hi Charles, thank you for your suggestion I might comment. Simon found and listed an important statement from ANiE when he set up this thread. That statement makes it clear – from a conservative perspective – that we want to deal with the reality of the situation. Diocesan Bishops govern their Diocese by law. There is no possibility of lashing together informal ideas around bishops to act as an alternative. Conservatives want conservative bishops and that needs a new settlement unlike anything previously seen. It would still be untidy and anybody will be able to find inconsistencies such as those… Read more »

Kieran
Kieran
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

By definition people who walk apart are estranged and therefore not neighbours, good, bad, or indifferent. This is disingenuous. CEEC asking for ‘visible differentiation’ is a very long stretch, given how many of the leaders already have a foot in the door of GAFCON-affiliated entities. Matthew 6:24 comes to mind. The ecclesiology of bishops for the patchwork of idealogical tendencies is fundamentally unsound. Bishops who share some of these idealogical tendencies are already in place. No-one from CEEC is explaining precisely why this is not able to continue to be acceptable. The move to balkanise the episcopate is founded on… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kieran
1 year ago

Conservative evangelicals such as myself are perfectly entitled to call out and ask for some conservative evangelical bishops.

Your characterisation of my request is a grotesque travesty of the truth.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Kieran
Kieran
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter, the problem with that assertion is that there are already conservative (including evangelical) bishops in place. Your characterisation of the CEEC position as asking to have bishops ‘back’ (on another thread) is pretty breathtaking in conveying a sense of entitlement. It also ignores the already existing reality, which has proven highly protective of the conservative evangelical position. The nub of the issue is ecclesiology and pensions. The Church of England refused to go down the road of creating a third province in 1992. That is the precedent for the 2020s. There is a strong argument for reversing rather than… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kieran
1 year ago

Kieran, I am afraid I simply do not accept the way you are seeking to frame the issue.

Obviously some of the points you make are genuinely huge problems – but the world can probably manage without hearing my view on clergy pensions.

A separation is happening. That is simply a reality. The prospect of a decade or more of litigation at a national level should horrify us all.

Your average solicitor – and the New Testament – would be clear in their advice.

Settle before you get to court.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Kieran
1 year ago

There is a phrase in the video about arguing over ownership of buildings. I have been assuming that they wish to remain in the Church of England as a new province (or the re- allocation of an existing province). Ownership shouldn’t then change. I support that. If, however, they really are seeing ownership of buildings so that they can leave and join GAFCON then I would be opposed to that.

I think the smart response is, “We hear you. Something might be possible but what, exactly, are you asking for?”

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

I think it depends which buildings. Given that the CofE is overburdened with grade II listed Victorian piles that are expensive to maintain and hard to sell there might be room for an off-loading or perhaps FRI leases at peppercorn rent of certain properties.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

There is no such thing as “the Church of England” as a single owner of church estate and assets.

The title is already distributed across many thousands of parties.

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter – am I correct in thinking that you see this as a point of legal leverage for conservative clergy and PCCs? As a possible source of litigation?
Because that leverage could very quickly be foreclosed by legislation.
Parliamentarians, take note!

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Jeremy
1 year ago

I mean neither more nor less than I say. I have never said anything in relation to “leverage”

You cannot prevent litigation by legislation. Only judges rule on specific circumstances and they do so on the basis of hearing the facts and the pleadings.

We do not live in a totalitarian state. Everybody is entitled to seek remedy through due process.

Neither Synod nor Parliament can deny due process to individuals or groups.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
Nuno Torre
Nuno Torre
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

So; what you are purposing in your Church seems not that new in Christianity. In my own RCC, it’s called “The Personal Prelature of the Holly Cross and Opus Dei”, a name that wouldn’t be so bad in cons evos context, to say the least. Or even older than that, we had have the “Society of Jesus” which, as well as the Prelature, is commonly seen as a “Church within the Church” for various purposes, and whose name would even to be more appealing in your cons evos context. Currently, the Opus Dei is seen as the far right wing… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I don’t know why you use the phrase “walk apart”. It’s negative and not conducive to achieving a settlement. Words matter. “Walk alongside” is presentationally much stronger.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Kate, We are at the beginning of a separation.

It’s really, really awful but we do not help ourselves by being in a form of denial.

Peter

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

I’m halfway between the two of you on that. I believe both groups need ‘protective space’ framed for them, so they can fully live out and practise their consciences, and God bless them, may they flourish. So in that sense there may need to be some degrees of apartness. However, if both groups are to remain part of the church of England, retaining Church of England properties, and meeting collectively to address so many other pastoral needs, nothing to do with sexuality… then I think we need to believe on a future where people with differing views on sex nevertheless… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Susannah,

Conservatives and progressives are not one church.

What is being requested is a practical settlement to mitigate harm. We can be good neighbours, but we are not one church.

I say it with grief, but if we go on talking about and believing something that is not true, we are building a house in sand.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter – ‘conservative’ and ‘progressive’ are found in the same churches. The mix is everywhere and the CEEC is not being realistic when it speaks as if everyone in their churches holds these conservative line and their churches are one or the other.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David, I am not attempting to put words in your mouth but I sense your general view is some version of everybody needs to “keep calm and carry on”.

I genuinely respect your irenic sentiment. However I am certain separation is not just ahead of us but is happening now.

All I am really saying is that an orderly separation is in the interests of people on both sides of the divide.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter. Earlier on this long thread I wrote ‘this is going to take a lot of working out in a divided church’. I hope you agree that makes me sound more intelligently aware than your words in my mouth imply. You do not respond to the point I actually made. I can immediately think of two clergy, holding conservative views, who would not want to separate – and whose congregations contain a clear variety of views on this issue. I think some separation will happen. But I still wonder why this is being pressed so soon since we have yet… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David,

I apologise if I was flippant in tone, which is unseemly given the gravity of the matter.

You are right. There is no single conservative position.

I’m not sure I accept your view that conservatives are being premature. At lot has happened and most of it is bad or very bad from a conservative perspective.

If we agree – which I think we do – that some separation is happening then surely it is better for it to be orderly ?

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter
David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter. A commentator on another website summarises a letter signed by 50 conservative evangelical clergy. It says that proposals before Synod were unbiblical, caving in to culture, going against the history and tradition of the church, would force their churches to leave the C of E. They also talk about how much money they pay into the C of E, how they have lots of young people in their churches, and how proposals before Synod were a threat to their ministry.’ The letter was written thirteen years ago about proposals for women bishops. None of those signatories left the CofE. The… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

David,

We will have to agree to differ as to the relevance (or lack of it) of the conflict over the role of women to the current turmoil.

I wish you every blessing

Peter

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

Quite. There also will be a challenge of conflict in many churches which are not “conservative”. The leaders of churches who were against the ordination of women as priests/consecration of women as bishops did not take all their people with them (and some were surprised by that). On the other hand there are perhaps a few more more clergy looking for a lead from CEEC than might be obvious at first sight. I would also note that there is a classic Dave Walker cartoon “I and all the people behind that curtain …”.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Runcorn
1 year ago

This is true in my experience (and such diversity is part of the what helps congregations learn to love each other, even with their differences – they learn to put the practice of love and the presence of grace before tight legal uniformity). Nevertheless, I do believe church communities tend to have centres of gravity on doctrinal issues and worship styles, and each church community has to work at ascertaining where that centre of gravity lies. To Peter, we are all one Church in Jesus Christ. I am happy to be in communion with liberals, conservatives, Roman Catholics, Orthodox –… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Peter
1 year ago

Peter, your “untidy” solution will work in large cities where the geographical boundaries of parishes are almost irrelevant and people already attend parish churches that meet their worship style and theology. But what about rural parishes? The Church of England prides itself in providing a priest for every rural parish. What happens to isolated rural parishes or groups of parishes? Whichever Province the rural parish joins is going to alienate some parishioners and their simply aren’t the resources to pay for a liberal and conservative priest and what if a parish finds itself in the wrong Province and wants to… Read more »

Sarah Douglas
Reply to  David Hawkins
1 year ago

The large conservative evangelical churches tend to be in towns or cities, drawing people in from the surrounding villages. I suspect therefore that the rural churches are more likely to be liberal in outlook, though I don’t know. Most rural churches I know are focused on trying to stay viable and welcome anyone who walks through the door. I also doubt that many conservative evangelical priests are likely to choose rural ministry.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Hawkins
1 year ago

I agree with your analysis. I have no idea how that issue will be resolved

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Charles Clapham
1 year ago

I think if something was agreed the House of Bishops could act as guarantors of the agreement to ensure that no ‘vote by houses’ in Synod could change it. I don’t therefore see ongoing membership of Synod as a problem.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
1 year ago

It’s telling that most of the filming in this video is done using drones because I felt as a gay man I was being looked down upon by this group of people. So certain that they’re right; so confident that they’re walking in lockstep with Jesus (implying that everyone else isn’t). The lady who said she thought that progressives would see them as homophobes and bigots was the only chink of self awareness in this slick presentation. Otherwise their certainty made them come across as priggish. Their cheery talk about mission when 98% of English people will think they’re dotty… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 year ago

being looked down upon by this group of people […] So certain that they’re right […] their certainty made them come across as priggish

Are you completely certain that these words do not apply on both sides of the debate?

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
1 year ago

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?!

Susanna (with no h!)
Susanna (with no h!)
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
1 year ago

Not many, unless they are fully clothed and are of equal numbers of each gender …

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
1 year ago

One, but only if it is the gavotte. (with apologies to NG and the late pterry)

Father Ron Smith
1 year ago

How many of the CEEC have taken to heart the implication of the Scriptures: “It is better to marry than burn?” (But not for S/S committed S/S/ couples?)

Last edited 1 year ago by Father Ron Smith
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