Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 17 November 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Democracy and Theocracy. In praise of Choice and Christian Freedom

Keith Giles Patheos Why John 3:16 Isn’t About The Crucifixion

Cristian Ispir British Library Medieval manuscripts blog Medieval hipsters

Robin Ward Church Times How should priests be taught to approach the rite of confession and absolution?
Philip North Church Times Confession: An opportunity, not a risk

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Is Agreement Over-Rated?

4 Comments

Opinion – 14 November 2018

Bill Carroll The Episcopal Café Our piece of the puzzle

Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim Rediscovering the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Remembering, Reliving & Dealing with the Church’s Abuse

Andrew Brown Helmintholog The trouble with religion

22 Comments

Statistics for Mission 2017

Updated Thursday to add press reports

The Church of England has published its Statistics for Mission 2017 today. The report can be downloaded here.

Also published today is a report on the Church of England’s digital reach: A year in numbers: 2018 digital report.

In addition there is a press release which is copied below.

Press reports

Madeleine Davies Church Times Could the Christmas effect boost attendance through the year, Bishop asks

Christian Today Mixed picture for CofE in latest attendance figures

Mike Wright The Telegraph Church of England sees regular attendance rise but churchgoers struggle to make traditional Sunday services

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Attendance at Church of England’s Sunday services falls again

Church of England press release

Christmas attendance at highest level for more than a decade

14/11/2018

Attendance at Christmas services in the Church of England is at its highest level for more than a decade, according to new figures published today.

The latest annual Statistics for Mission report shows that while traditional Sunday attendance edged lower in 2017, in line with long-term trends, the numbers attending Christmas services increased by 3.4 per cent to 2.68 million.

It was the fourth successive rise in Christmas congregations since 2013 and the highest figure since 2006. Combined with figures for special services in churches during Advent, including carol services, there were nearly eight million attendances over the festive season.

The Statistics for Mission 2017 were published as #FollowTheStar, the Church of England’s campaign to encourage people to attend Advent and Christmas services this year, was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Meanwhile separate figures also published today show that the Church of England more than doubled its monthly reach on social media – from 1.2 million in 2017 to 2.44 million this year.

(more…)

11 Comments

Opinion – 10 November 2018

Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim My Journey into Catholicism

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of sex, sin and church unity

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Secrecy, Cover-up and the Cause of Truth

Colin Blakely ViaMedia.News Is an Armistice Needed for Divided Nations & Churches?

2 Comments

Opinion – 7 November 2018

Jeremy Pemberton From the Choir Stalls Fake Participation: what is wrong with Living in Love and Faith?

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Iwerne: what did David Conner (now Dean of Windsor) and others know about John Smyth’s regime of abuse?

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Safeguarding and the Church’s future

David Mitchell The Guardian Trust the Church of England to miss the point of Halloween

Ben Ryan LSE Religion and Global Society blog Christianism: A crude political ideology and the triumph of empty symbolism

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England The Centenary of the Great War: Thoughts on Good Remembrance

Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News We Will Remember Them…..All!

30 Comments

CofE Statistics for Mission 2017 – Social Action

The Church of England collected figures on the extent of social action by its churches were collected as part of the annual Statistics for Mission 2017 survey, and these have been published today.

The findings can be downloaded here, and there’s a press release which starts:

Full extent of Church of England work to support local communities revealed

More than 33,000 social action projects – from food banks to debt counselling – are run or supported by churches, according to figures setting out for the first time the full scale of the Church of England’s service to communities.

The findings – which amount to the largest survey to date of the extent of the Church of England’s work with some of the most vulnerable in society – show that 80 per cent of congregations are involved in one or more forms of social action…

The full Statistics for Mission 2017 report will be available soon.

Press report

Christian Today Survey shows massive engagement in social outreach by CofE churches

3 Comments

Opinion – 3 November 2018

Jen Williams A brave faith What Open Table means to me

Janet Fife Surviving Church Shibboleths and the Love of God

Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News C of E Risks Failure on Human Sexuality Because of Privileged Power

Church Times No action songs, please: there are adults present
“Services that infantilise are counter-productive, says Ines Hands”

27 Comments

Opinion – 31 October 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Challenges for Lambeth 2020. The end of the Anglican Communion?

Erika Baker ViaMedia.News Gender Recognition Act – Whose Lives Are Actually At Risk?

David Ison ViaMedia.News Brexit, Sex & Science: How Do We Tackle “Fake News”?

Winnie Varghese Patheos Oh, preacher, give us a good word

Andrew Brown The Guardian The Church of England should learn from Harry Potter this Halloween

55 Comments

Opinion – 27 October 2018

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Reflecting on ecumenism, liturgy and mental health.

Harriet Sherwood has interviewed Michael Curry for The GuardianBishop Michael Curry: ‘moderate religious voices’ are not being heard.

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Reflections on human power. The Christian stand against bullying

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of cathedrals, mission and evangelism.
Archbishop Cranmer Why, when church attendance is falling, is cathedral attendance soaring?

Fergus Butler-Gallie Church Times ‘Stay weird, Church of England’
“Fergus Butler-Gallie celebrates the evangelistic potential of the weird, and mourns their demise”

Madeleine Davies Financial Times Why I’m still an evangelical in the age of Trump [£]
“Madeleine Davies explains why she isn’t giving up on the movement despite its support for the president”

47 Comments

Opinion – 24 October 2018

Jonathan Merritt The New York Times It’s Getting Harder to Talk About God
“The decline in our spiritual vocabulary has many real-world consequences.”

Steve Morris Christian Today Why do I have such a problem with Christian books?

David Goodhew The Living Church Mission in Europe and the Future of Anglicanism

Simon Jenkins Ship of Fools Why Halloween ought to be part of the church year

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Bishops’ Letters and the Case for the Defence – “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord”

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Church of England is open and welcoming to LGBTI+ people – discuss

35 Comments

Cathedral Statistics 2017

Updated Thursday to add some press reports

The Church of England has released its Cathedral Statistics for 2017 today, along with a lengthy press release, copied below. The full report can be downloaded here.

Press reports

Adam Becket Church Times Cathedral attendance rose by three per cent last Christmas
Mike Wright The Telegraph Christmas Cathedral congregation numbers swell thanks to spiritually inquisitive, festival-going millennials
Christian Today England’s cathedrals continue to enjoy a strong turnout for Christmas services

Press release

Record numbers attend cathedrals at Christmas

Attendance at Christmas services in England’s cathedrals has broken records for the second year running, statistics published today show.

A total of 135,000 people came to Church of England cathedrals to worship on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2017 – an increase of three per cent on the previous year, and the highest total since records began.

Attendances at Sunday worship in cathedrals throughout the year also continued to hold steady over a five-year period, while average weekday attendances continued their pattern of increase, with just over 18,000 attending in 2017, compared with 7,000 in 2000 when this data was first recorded. Over 10 years, the total number attending all regular services in cathedrals has increased by 10 per cent.

(more…)

20 Comments

Andrew Rumsey to be next Bishop of Ramsbury

Press release from Number 10

Queen appoints Suffragan Bishop of Ramsbury

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Andrew Paul Rumsey to the Suffragan See of Ramsbury.

Published 22 October 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Andrew Paul Rumsey, MA, DThMin, Team Rector of Oxted in the Diocese of Southwark, to the Suffragan See of Ramsbury, in the Diocese of Salisbury, in succession to the Right Reverend Edward Francis Condry, MA, BLitt, DPhil, MBA, who resigned on the 12 May 2018.

There’s more on the diocesan website: New Bishop of Ramsbury Announced. Dr Rumsey will be consecrated on 25 January 2019.

19 Comments

Opinion – 20 October 2018

Madeleine Davies Church Times Clergy Discipline Measure: a harsh discipline?

Laudable Practice ‘And take this holy Sacrament to your comfort’: the heart of the 1662 rite

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Religious Trauma Syndrome. When Faith causes Harm

7 Comments

Living Ministry report published

The second set of findings from a 10-year research programme into how clergy can flourish in ministry has been published today by the Church of England. Research from the Living Ministry project into the wellbeing of 85 ordinands and clergy is featured in the study Negotiating Wellbeing: Experiences of Ordinands and Clergy in the Church of England. This qualitative study builds on quantitative findings based on responses from 761 clergy and ordinands published by the Living Ministry programme last year.

The accompanying press release is copied below the fold, and the report is available for download here.

Adam Becket has written about the report for Church TimesChange is worse than a rest, say stressed clergy.

Clergy struggle to cope with change, a new report on their well-being has said.

Published today, the report, Negotiating Wellbeing: Experiences of ordinands and clergy in the Church of England, says that periods of transition, for example coming to the end of a curacy, can cause physical and mental stress, and prompt clergy to question their vocation…

(more…)

10 Comments

Opinion – 13 October 2018

Neal Michell The Living Church Outreach in the Smaller Church: Four Lessons

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Bible translations and dogma

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of The Clash, Bonhoeffer, and the Church of England.

Bishop David Walker Viamedia.News My Struggles with Fear & Distrust

Ian Gomersall St Chrysostom’s Church News and Views Mother N and Father M

Jody Stowell Women and the Church God; She, He and everything in between

27 Comments

General Synod February 2019

Press release from the Church of England

General Synod February 2019
12/10/2018

The Business Committee of the Church of England General Synod has agreed the outline timings for the February 2019 group of sessions.

Synod will meet from 2.30pm on Wednesday February 20 to 4pm on Saturday February 23 at Church House Westminster.

Following the workshops and seminars in York in July, there will be a update on progress with Living in Love and Faith and the plans for completing the project through a presentation as part of the main Synod agenda as well as a collection of fringe meetings.

It is anticipated that the timetable will be published in December.

5 Comments

Bishop of Dover to retire in May 2019

The Diocese of Canterbury has announced that the Bishop of Dover will retire in May 2019.

Bishop of Dover announces retirement

The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover and Bishop in Canterbury, has announced his intention to retire in May 2019. He has served in this role since February 2010, taking on additional responsibilities for the Channel Islands in 2014. Bishop Trevor will conclude his public ministry on 12 May at Canterbury Cathedral…

The Bishop of Dover exercises most of the functions of his diocesan bishop, allowing the Archbishop of Canterbury to concentrate on other things.

2 Comments

Opinion – 10 October 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Institutional Narcissism and response to abuse survivors

Harriet Sherwood The Observer Church and state – an unhappy union?

Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Toxic Masculinity & Our Use of Pronouns
… and in response …
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The myth of the masculine God

12 Comments

Opinion – 6 October 2018

Colin Blakely ViaMedia.News Preaching to the Converted?

Tim Matthews Church Times Let’s dispel some myths about church-plants
“There is much more to them than smoothie bars and smoke machines”

Roy McCloughry Church Times A theology of pain
“Roy McCloughry considers the presence of God in the experience of pain”

26 Comments

Opinion – 3 October 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Toxic Masculinity -A problem for the Church?

Stephen Mattson Sojourners The Church Must Listen to Women

Diocese of London Why open up?

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity Celibacy: The Gift of Alone for the Whole Church

Erika Baker ViaMedia.News Lizzie’s Legacy – The Urgent Need for Signposting in Every Church

3 Comments