A Place to Belong: Disability and the Church
“Watch stories of people with disabilities in the Church of England – and their perspectives on how churches can make sure everyone can participate in church life.”
Three short films were commissioned for a disability conference at Lambeth Palace hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Tim Wyatt Church Times ‘Dance as if no one’s watching. Tweet as if it will be brought up in court’
“Fraught with danger, or an opportunity to thrash out the truth? Tim Wyatt asks some of the C of E’s most prolific users of Twitter and Facebook what they think about social media”
Richard Beck Experimental Theology Respecting the Infant of Prague
Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Conventional Thinking At Its Best…
Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 8: admit the contradictions
Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Tapping Into Love – Democratising Evangelism
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Christian LGBTI+ Equality – a strategy for change
The third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) published its first agreed statement, Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal, earlier this month. The statement is online: Walking Together on the Way. Also available are two commentaries: one Anglican and one Roman Catholic.
News and comment on the statement include the following.
Anglican Communion News Office Groundbreaking document released on how Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn from each other
Simon Caldwell and a staff reporter Church Times ARCIC III: Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn much from each other, says new agreed statement
Church Times editorial Bold undertaking
Paul Lakeland The Tablet Give and take: what the Catholic and Anglican Churches can learn from each other
Durham University Centre for Catholic Studies First Agreed Statement from ARCIC III (The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, Phase 3)
Christopher Lamb The Tablet New Arcic text charts a way forward
Simon Caldwell The Boston Pilot ARCIC document hailed as ‘groundbreaking’ by Catholics and Anglicans
Nicholas Jesson International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission Agreed statement on ecclesiology: Walking Together on the Way
Joshua J. McElwee National Catholic Reporter Catholic-Anglican dialogue document suggests both churches can learn from other13 Comments
Rachael Phillips Diocese of Durham Rachael Investigates: Anglo-Catholic Evangelism Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Bishops and LGBTI Anglicans – GS 2055 and GS Misc 1158 – time for action
Meg Warner ViaMedia.News Episcopally Led and Synodically Managed
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of stewardship (and investment)
Rachel Mann In Praise of Synod…
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Anglican Bishops and the Post-Singleton Church
Linda Ryan The Episcopal Café Spem in Alium
Christina Rees The Guardian Back to the future: that’s where the Church of England must dare to go4 Comments
The detailed Church Times reports on the recent Church of England General Synod are now online here. Unless you subscribe there is a limit on how many of these reports you will be able to read.0 Comments
Queen approves nomination to Suffragan See of Crediton
The Queen has approved the nomination of Venerable Jacqueline Ann Searle, BEd, MA, Archdeacon of Gloucester, to the Suffragan See of Crediton.
Published 11 July 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Jacqueline Ann Searle, BEd, MA, Archdeacon of Gloucester, to the Suffragan See of Crediton, in the Diocese of Exeter. This is in succession to the Right Reverend Sarah Elisabeth Mullally, DBE, MSc, DSc, RGN, who was translated to the See of London on the 8 March 2018.
From the Exeter diocesan website: Next Bishop of Crediton announced today
The new bishop will be consecrated on 27 September at Southwark Cathedral.
Scroll down for press reports
Press release from the Church of England
Church of England funds ambitious growth programme
More than a hundred new churches are to be created in a £27 million drive by the Church of England to revive the Christian faith in coastal areas, market towns and outer urban housing estates, it was announced today.
New Christian communities in areas including the Kent coast, housing estates in Plymouth and market towns in Cambridgeshire are to be set up by the Church of England as part of its Renewal and Reform programme.
The plans have been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as a ‘wonderful example’ of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God and to serve their communities.
He said: “The Church of England exists to share the good news of Jesus through our words and our actions. Across the country, churches are bursting with life – which in part is shown through how they love and serve their communities. I’m especially pleased about these grants because they demonstrate our commitment to following Jesus to the places of greatest need in our society.
“These projects are wonderful examples of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God – and faithful to their communities in love and mission. Through their innovation, they signal a growing determination in the Church to share the good news of Jesus Christ in ways that make sense for those in our most deprived communities.”
John Spence, chair of the Church of England’s Strategic Investment Board, which approved funding for the work by the dioceses, said: “These grants are funding bold ambitious initiatives. Their scale and breadth show that the Church is feeling confident about its future.”
In Canterbury Diocese, a pioneering café-style church called ‘Ignite’ in Margate, Kent, is to be used as a blueprint for nine new worshipping communities in the coastal towns of Herne Bay, Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey and St Peter Port in Guernsey as well as Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Ashford.
The Ignite project was founded at St Paul’s Church in Margate 10 years ago, aiming to reach marginalised and deprived communities in the town.
The scheme has been announced alongside a £1.69 million grant to create three new churches for people living in outer urban estates in Plymouth. It is hoped that the new churches will provide support and inspiration for up to nine new churches in and around the city.
In Ely Diocese, the Church of England is to fund a project promoting church growth, focussing on the market towns of Wisbech, March, Chatteris, Littleport, Ramsey, Huntingdon and Downham Market.
In Swindon, a former railway works building is to be transformed into a church, aimed primarily at people aged under 40 years old who have no current connection with a church. Bristol Diocese anticipates the new church will act as a catalyst for training clergy and supporting mission in both new and established churches across the area.
A grant has also been made to Worcester Diocese to fund staff and a refit of St Thomas and St Luke’s Church in Dudley, and to boost work already under way at All Saints Church in Worcester. In Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, existing churches will be given further support in Nottingham, Retford and Mansfield in Nottinghamshire which in turn will help to support 75 new worshipping communities.
In Leicester Diocese a £5.3 million grant has been awarded to support six existing larger churches or teams, in developing up to 50 new churches, or worshipping communities, in the area. In Newcastle, a new church will be created in the city centre that will provide support to churches throughout the area.
A grant of £2.14 million has been awarded to Manchester Diocese to create 16 new small churches over six years, and to work with children in Bolton, especially at the points of transition from pre-school to primary school and from primary to secondary school. In Peterborough Diocese a £1.1 million grant will be used to invest in ministry with children and young people.
The grants from the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund have been awarded to the dioceses as part of the Renewal and Reform programme aimed at creating a growing church in all places for all people.
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Churches meet in coffee shops to reinvigorate congregations
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E to create 100 new churches as number of Anglicans hits new low
Christian Today Church of England goes for growth with more than 100 new churches planned
Madeleine Davies and James MacIntyre Church Times Communities on the edges gain funding
A list of the 10 dioceses to receive funding is below the fold. (more…)21 Comments
That this Synod:
(a) welcome the recommendations in the Report of the Cathedrals Working Group (GS 2101A);
(b) request the Archbishops’ Council to bring forward a draft Measure for First Consideration at the July 2019 group of sessions to give effect to the recommendations that involve legislative change; and
(c) call on all concerned, including bishops, cathedrals and the National Church Institutions, to give effect to the recommendations that do not involve legislative change as soon as practically possible.
The date in paragraph (b) had been amended by Synod from February 2019 to allow more time to decide what should be in the draft measure. There was criticism particularly of the proposal in the report for there to be a vice-chair of the chapter to be appointed by the bishop.
Official press release: Church of England approves ideas to support and streamline England’s cathedrals
Stephen Lynas reports on the final day’s business: The Can(n)on’s thunder can’t prevail.
Updated Tuesday morning
Stephen Lynas writes on Monday’s events: I fought the law…
In the morning Synod agreed the expenditure of the Archbishops’ Council for 2019.
It then spent the rest of the morning, and much of the afternoon, considering the legislation listed in the morning order paper. For the record the items for final approval were given this. Of the amendments to Draft Church Representation and Ministers Measure and the associated Amending Canon, only 518, 524 and 525 were passed. Finally the second miscellaneous provisions measure was sent to a revision committee.
This only left time for the debate on the National Health Service. This was on a Diocesan Synod Motion from Carlisle.
After amendment (to add paragraphs (b), (d) and (e)) the motion read:
That this Synod:
(a) welcome and commend the report The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care published in April 2017 by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS;
(b) express its heartfelt gratitude for the dedication of NHS and social care staff, and call on local churches to support those working in the NHS and social care, and to pray for them regularly publicly and privately;
(c) call upon Her Majesty’s Government to implement the recommendations made by the Select Committee, giving particular consideration to:
(i) the problems arising from the use of urban models of strategic care in the rural context;
(ii) whether social care is being adequately funded in the context of an ageing population; and
(iii) whether sufficient resources are being given to the recruitment, outside larger urban centres, of experienced and highly qualified health professionals;
(d) call upon Her Majesty’s Government to establish a Royal Commission to consider how the United Kingdom’s health 2and social care needs might best be delivered and financed in the period to 2040, taking into account expected changes in life expectancy, demography and medical technology; and
(e) call upon local churches to lead by example in showing Christian compassion and care to the elderly and vulnerable in our local communities, as we have done historically and is now especially needed, given the shortfall in the funding of social care.
The motion was carried by 267 votes to none, with no recorded abstentions.
Official press release: Synod backs Royal Commission on future of health and social care
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England sees fall in planned donations for first time in 50 years as millennials fail to engage
Updated Monday morning, Tuesday morning
Stephen Lynas reports on Sunday’s events: No-one to save, with the world in a grave.
He does not restrict himself to the debates in the Synod chamber.
Synod members joined the regular congregation at York Minster for the morning Eucharist.
The afternoon session was devoted to three debates on the Church and the World.
Climate Change and Investment
Synod passed this motion by 347 votes to four, with three recorded abstentions.
That this Synod:
(a) welcome the worldwide agreement in Paris in December 2015 to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to pursue “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”;
(b) affirm, as it did in 2015, its support for the climate change policy recommended by the EIAG and adopted by the National Investing Bodies (‘the NIBs’) in 2015;
(c) welcome the NIBs’ disinvestment from companies focused on thermal coal mining and the production of oil from oil sands;
(d) welcome the NIBs’ establishment of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) to track whether major companies associated with high carbon emissions are aligning their business plans with the Paris Agreement;
(e) urge the NIBs to engage urgently and robustly with companies rated poorly by TPI and, beginning in 2020, to start to disinvest from the ones that are not taking seriously their responsibilities to assist with the transition to a low carbon economy;
(f) urge the NIBs to ensure that by 2023 they have disinvested from fossil fuel companies that they have assessed, drawing on TPI data, as not prepared to align with the goal of the Paris Agreement to restrict the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C;
(g) urge the NIBs proactively to seek and scale up investment in renewable energy and low carbon technology; and
(h) request the NIBs to report to Synod within three years on progress, with a timetable for rapid continuing action.
Official press release: National Investing Bodies’ approach to climate change affirmed by General Synod
After two successful amendments this motion read.
That this Synod:
(a) recognise the escalating threat to God’s creation from global warming and climate change, and the suffering caused, particularly to the poor;
(b) recall the previous resolution of the Synod, including ‘to develop Shrinking the Footprint (StF) to enable the whole Church to address the issue of climate change;
(c) call on every diocese to have an environment programme with a designated member of the bishop’s staff team to lead and advocate for the programme;
(d) call on the Environmental Working Group, supported by the national teams for the Church of England Environmental Programme (CoEEP) and Mission & Public Affairs;
(i) to prepare and submit a framework plan to the Archbishops’ Council for the promotion, co- ordination and rapid acceleration of the CoEEP, with particular attention to reducing the Church of England’s energy use and CO2 emissions;
(ii) to continue developing, and making available, tools for the annual collation of the energy consumption of cathedrals, churches and church halls and calculation of their total CO2 emissions to enable monitoring of progress towards the Church’s target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050;
(iii) to promote communication and peer-review between individual dioceses as a means of encouraging best practice in the area of environmental policy, with special reference to investments, property and land use; and activities supporting the CoEEP and Eco Church Initiatives;
(iv) to compile and submit a progress report to the Synod at least every three years; and
(e) call on the Archbishops’ Council urgently to assess what human and financial resources would be required to enable the work in (d) above, and to report this back at the February 2019 group of sessions.
Synod then passed a motion to adjourn debate on this item until February 2019.
The Ethics of Nuclear Weapons
The final business of the day was this motion:
That this Synod, mindful that a faithful commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 Armistice must commit the Church afresh to peace building; and conscious that nuclear weapons, through their indiscriminate and destructive potential, present a distinct category of weaponry that requires Christians to work tirelessly for their elimination across the world:
(a) welcome the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the clear signal it sends by a majority of UN Member States that nuclear weapons are both dangerous and unnecessary;
(b) call on Her Majesty’s Government to respond positively to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by reiterating publicly its obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty and its strategy for meeting them; and
(c) commit the Church of England to work with its Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners in addressing the regional and international security concerns which drive nations to possess and seek nuclear weapons and to work towards achieving a genuine peace through their elimination.
The motion was carried by 260 votes to 26, with 21 recorded abstentions.
Official press release: General Synod calls for renewed efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament
Adam Becket, Hattie Williams and Madeleine Davies Church Times The General Synod sets church investors target on fossil-fuel recalcitrants
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England to withdraw funds from polluting firms that fail to tackle climate change
Attracta Mooney Financial Times Anglican £12bn investment funds in threat to fossil fuel companies
Ekklesia Christian Aid responds to General Synod vote on Church’s fossil fuel investments
BBC News Church of England threatens oil firm crackdown
Josh Gabbatiss Independent Church of England votes to withdraw funds from companies that contribute to climate change
Steve Doughty Mail Online Church of England launches fresh campaign for Britain to give up its nuclear weapons
Hattie Williams Church Times The General Synod calls for ‘elimination’ of nuclear weapons
Ekklesia General Synod calls for renewed efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament
Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim Priesthood – An Unpredictable Journey
Daniel Hill Law & Religion UK The State and Marriage II: How would things look after the Cutting of the Connection?
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of blessing
Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News Are We Truly a Church “Of the People”?
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes St Bride’s Liverpool Encouragement for churches: Four points on welcoming children by our Rector Miranda3 Comments
The day began with a Presidential Address by the Archbishop of York.
The remainder of the morning was devoted to Safeguarding. After a presentation there was a debate on a motion which, after amendment (to add paragraphs (b) and (d)), read:
That this Synod, recognising that safeguarding is at the heart of Christian mission and the urgent need for the Church of England to continue to become a safer place for all and a refuge for those who suffer abuse in any context:
(a) endorse the priorities for action outlined in the report (GS 2092);
(b) endorse as an additional priority the support of safeguarding at parish level to create a safer church for all;
(c) call on the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council to ensure that the plan of action is implemented as a matter of priority; and
(d) call on the House of Bishops to introduce, as a matter of urgency, ways to improve relations between the Church and those survivors currently in dispute with the National Church Institutions including, where appropriate, by the use of mediation processes.
The motion was carried by 368 votes to none, with two recorded abstentions.
Official press release: Synod backs action on IICSA themes
Stephen Lynas writes about Saturday’s business: There’s a shadow hanging over me…
Hattie Williams Church Times Synod hears from abuse survivors and pledges reform
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England ombudsman to oversee sexual abuse cases
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Hostility and anger towards church on social media is stopping abuse survivors coming forward, vicar warns
In the afternoon Synod members attended a series of private seminars.
Watch the live stream of General Synod here.0 Comments
Stephen Lynas writes about Friday’s business: Football crazy, football mad0 Comments
Stephen Lynas (bathwellschap) previews the agenda: Off we went, to make a great big tent, on the weekend
David Walker ViaMedia.News Synod Goes Nuclear
Madeleine Davies Church Times Oxford amendment calls for National Investing Bodies to show sense of urgency on climate change
Anglican Communion News Service Britain’s Methodists debate Church of England full communion proposals0 Comments
The questions to be asked at General Synod tomorrow evening have been published.
The notice paper contains the answers as well as the questions. The questions and answers will not be read out, but Synod members have the opportunity to ask supplementary questions.7 Comments
Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 7: decentralise
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Vicky Beeching & Jayne Ozanne. Narratives of hope
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Church plants and the problems of ecclesiology and doctrine
Donna Birrell Coffee Time The Week That Shook The Church…..
Theo Hobson The Spectator Justin Welby needs to get off the fence
Kelvin Holdsworth Civil Partnerships – What now for the churches?
Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity Mindfulness: the answer to our Missional Problem?
Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim When Nice and a Cappuccino Won’t Do
Philip Jones Ecclesiastical Law The Married State10 Comments
Church Times ‘God was still my highest priority and my greatest love’
Vicky Beeching talks to Madeleine Davies about ‘unlearning a lifetime of shame’
Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News For the Love of God….
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Time to confront and end abusive, homophobic teaching, theology and practice
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of words within the word
Daniel Hill Law & Religion UK The State and Marriage: Cut the Connection
Mark Vernon Church Times Why people don’t come to a worldly church
“Seekers are looking for spiritual depth and inner transformation — not anxiety and manic overwork, argues Mark Vernon”
Angela Tilby Church Times We need to talk about cathedrals
Caroline Davies The Guardian Are Church of England’s dabbing deacons and jumping bishops a leap too far?
“Informal ordination photos may be a sign of holy joy for some, but traditionalists are less than elated”
The second batch of General Synod papers have been released today. I have updated my list published last week.0 Comments
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer CofE Safeguarding: General Synod is being managed, manipulated, duped and disrespected
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church How do we expect Church Abuse Survivors to feel?
Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New Directions for the Church 6: accept diversity of belief0 Comments
Anna Norman-Walker ViaMedia.News Who Speaks for Anglican Evangelicals?
Rachel Williams spends a day with the Community of St Anselm
Evening Standard These millennials have left behind their friends, families and jobs to live like monks for a year
Andrew Brown The Guardian Taking a lesson from Michael Curry could just save the Church of England
“It is so handicapped by self-importance that applying the flexibility of other churches could revive its plummeting numbers”
Andrew Brown Church Times How right-wing populists appropriate Christ
Philip Welsh Church Times Time to retreat from throwaway liturgy
“Under Common Worship, service sheets have started to get in the way of God, says Philip Welsh. He proposes a solution”
… and here’s one I missed last week:
Torin Douglas Church Times Maintaining faith in the mainstream media
“Religious broadcasting has had a rocky 40 years — but it is now being taken more seriously, says Torin Douglas”