Thinking Anglicans

Archbishops respond to “rascally voices”

Following on from our earlier article, Financial threats to Church of England plans, there has been a response from the two archbishops, which you can read either here in the Spectator itself, A defence of the Churchof England  (includes a cartoon) or here: Archbishops: the Church in changing times (without the cartoon).

We linked earlier to one item by Emma Thompson in the Spectator which might be what has provoked the archbishops. There was another one from Marcus Walker The misguided priorities of church authorities.

Andrew Brown has commented on all this in several items:

And Angela Tilby has also written in this week’s Church TimesThe Church is not a business.

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
4 months ago

“There are rascally voices around who want to undermine the church” [Archbishops Welby & Cottrell]  Many “rascally voices around” are survivors and victims of abuse and false accusations of abuse – and their advocates – most of whom have no wish to “undermine the church”. But what they do want is to undermine the abusive systems of power and control – and their advocates – which perpetuate injustice and suffering within the church. Why? Because it is those abusive systems of power and control – and their advocates – which are undermining the very foundations upon which the church is… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Richard W. Symonds
Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
4 months ago

Perhaps this piece by the archbishops is more interesting for what it did not say. We have been burying the dead, comforting the bereaved, feeding the hungry and praying for our nation.  There seems to be a couple of things missing here. One is “ministering the sacraments”: we fully understand — and indeed share — the anger and frustration felt by some that the government ordered public worship to be suspended during the first lockdown I wonder whether their graces are aware of the anger and frustration felt by some when the ABC banned not only congregations but ministers from… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Richard Pinch
Michael
Michael
Reply to  Richard Pinch
4 months ago

Comforting the bereaved? Absolutely not. As Richard Pinch observes, the bishop of Chelmsford forbade chaplains from ministering to the sick and dying, even when PPE was provided. The bereaved have endured five minute phone call to arrange a funeral, been told they were forbidden from attending, even spouses being excluded, denied a funeral in church, denied any opportunity to sit in church, request for the comfort of communion also met with a flat ‘no’. Of course they were all following – and going beyond – government orders. There is no excuse after a year, to continue to treat with contempt,… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
4 months ago

I get it that some in the media want to have a dig at the C of E and will get some things wrong. And it’s ok for the archbishops to reply. But their response is also a message to me and the people I serve. And we are past the point of believing our senior leaders are getting it right. If there are no central plans why is the House of Bishops so busy taking note of reports they cannot share with us? Why is there a new vision announced by ++York? Why are strategic proposals sent to diocesan… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
4 months ago

“And we are past the point of believing our senior leaders are getting it right.” That, I would suggest, is the bigger problem here. Trust is rapidly eroding, and when it’s gone you don’t quickly get it back.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
4 months ago

“The sex abuse that was perpetrated upon me by Peter Ball pales into insignificance when compared to the entirely cruel and sadistic treatment that has been meted out to me by officials, both lay and ordained. I know from the testimony of other people who have got in touch with me over the last five or 10 years that what I have experienced is not dissimilar to the experience of so many others and I use these words cruel and sadistic because I think that is how they behave. It is an ecclesiastical protection racket and [the attitude is that]… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
4 months ago

How can we be expected to trust a politburo that sanctions such different responses to abuse: Bell, Carey, Lowson, Cottrell – but not it seems Welby – https://virtueonline.org/hypocrisy-justin-welby-archbishop-canterbury (but Private Eye got there first). How can we be expected to trust a politburo that is evasive and secretive? If they are not open, we draw our own conclusions. How can we be expected to trust a politburo that ignores elephants in rooms? It’s not easy being in charge – I know that – but bosses must be straight with the troops (lay and ordained in this case) as any decent… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
4 months ago

“we so believe in that vision of serving every inch of the country, and every person in it”
Oh, please. The hypocrisy is too obvious.
Archbishops, when you decide that the Church of England should extend the sacrament of marriage to every person in the country, including same-sex couples, please do let every person know.
Until then, I will regard you as instruments of discrimination.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Jeremy
4 months ago

The choice of verb, to serve, is interesting too. The Gospels talk a lot about servant and master. There is no indication that the House of Bishops serves the people of England – the bishops clearly see themselves as masters (mistresses) in the relationship. That’s not necessarily wrong but it is dishonest to describe it as service.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
4 months ago

It’s difficult to know how to respond to the Archbishops’ article without seeming defensive. However, the Statistics for Mission provides the objective evidence of the CofE’s decline, even the Comms people couldn’t find anything cheery about the last set of statistics other than Zoom services were going well. Just to be clear, those statistics were for 2019 and the five years before the pandemic. They demonstrate year on year decline in all of the indicators of growth. We have more bishops and other dignitaries than at any point in the Church’s history and the smallest number of parish clergy. Multi… Read more »

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