Thinking Anglicans

We have moved — welcome to our new home

Thinking Anglicans has now moved to its new home.

We hope that you’ll find all functionality and content here. If there are any transitional glitches, we’ll try and sort them out as quickly as we can. Issues can be reported by adding a comment to this article. If commenting itself is the problem then you can email editors@thinkinganglicans.org.uk.

You can take advantage of one immediate improvement, and we encourage you to do so. The site is now available over secure, encrypted, https, as well as over the old unencrypted http. Just access the site at https://thinkinganglicans.org.uk and update your bookmarks. Note the ‘s’ after ‘http’; and you should see the https padlock appear in the URL bar.

We hope to introduce other improvements in the coming weeks and months.

We continue to be hosted by our friends and colleagues at Justus.

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We’re moving

Later this week this Thinking Anglicans site will be moving to a new home. We hope to make the move as transparent and as painless as possible, but as it involves a little bit of internet magic (updating the DNS of thinkinganglicans.org.uk) there may be a short period when you can’t reach the new site. We hope this period will be no more than a few minutes, and most readers may not notice it at all.

All posts and comments will be moved across to the new system and no data will be lost. We’ll post a further note here before moving out, and after that point no further comments on the old site will be approved, only on the new site.

This represents the biggest change we have made in the 15 years we have been publishing Thinking Anglicans. From the start we have been hosted by our friends and colleagues at Justus. The new site continues at Justus, and we are grateful for their support.

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Opinion roundups

One regular feature of Thinking Anglicans has been the regular roundups of links to opinion articles elsewhere on the web. For some time now these have been published weekly on Saturday mornings. Weekly publication sometimes means that articles have to wait quite some time between their original publication and our linking to them here. To reduce these delays we will from now on normally publish a roundup twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday.

We will continue to publish roundups of opinion on major stories, as for example we are doing at present for Sheffield, as articles in their own right.

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Joe Cassidy's funeral

We reported Joe Cassidy’s untimely death here. His funeral took place last week. St Chad’s College website has this brief report.

Dr Cassidy RIP

The funeral of our much loved Principal, Joe Cassidy, took place on Friday 17th April in Durham Cathedral. It was a wonderful tribute to the man and this college, which he has done so much to shape. The order of service, Bishop David Stancliffe’s sermon and the beautiful eulogy by his daughter, Emmeline, may be seen HERE.

I’ve copied those links below.
The Order of Service
+David Stancliffe’s Sermon
Emmeline Skinner Cassidy’s Tribute

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Joe Cassidy

It is with much sadness that we have learned that the Revd Canon Joe Cassidy died yesterday, 28 March, after a short illness. He was 60.

Joe was a frequent commenter on this Thinking Anglicans blog, and also a valued contributor to our ‘just thinking’ series, writing challenging and pastoral pieces from a sound scholarly position. In the wider world he was the Principal of St Chad’s College, Durham, a place where many of our clergy have trained and where he will be much missed. Before joining the Church of England he had been ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and was a member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, in his native Canada.

The Dean of Durham, Michael Sadgrove, was his neighbour in the city, and has written this personal reminiscence.

To his wife Gillian and to his children and family we send our condolences.

May he rest in peace!

Simon, Simon and Peter

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Planned interruption of service

The fibre optic cables that provide internet access to our server are going to be replaced tomorrow (Saturday 13 December 2014). The work will start at 15:00 GMT (7am California time, 10am New York time) and will continue until it is done. This is estimated to take 5 hours, but it could be longer.

This site will not be available whilst this work is carried out.

Please do not be worried…

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Thinking Liturgy

Today we are launching a new blog in the Thinking Anglicans family. Called Thinking Liturgy, it will focus on the link between the way that we worship and the social justice that we proclaim. Here on the main TA blog we have focussed largely, though not exclusively, on issues of social justice, and that will continue.

Thinking Liturgy will cover a range of liturgical topics and news, not confined to any particular theological or doctrinal stance or ‘churchmanship’, though it will be largely Anglican and English. It will promote good liturgical practice and understanding — not for its own sake, but looking at the impact liturgy makes on working for the kingdom.

We hope that many of you will read this new blog, and contribute to a lively liturgical discussion. Read more at Thinking Liturgy.

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"awash with misconceptions"

The Anglican Mainstream website carries this editorial (reprinted from New Directions): Special meeting of the House of Laity. It starts:

We are appalled by the news that there is to be a special meeting of the House of Laity of the General Synod to have a vote of no confidence in the Chairman of the House of Laity, Dr Philip Giddings. Dr Giddings spoke up for proper and fair provision for those who in conscience cannot accept the ordination of women to the episcopate. He has been accused of impartiality, a charge not levied against those leaders in other Houses who spoke out firmly in favour of the legislation and indeed in one case against any provision whatsoever for us.

and later continues:

In response to Bishop Jonathan Baker’s fine reflection on the vote in synod the website ‘Thinking Anglicans’ has been awash with misconceptions and in some cases simple untruths. Many commentators have become fixated with the idea that there is a See of Ebbsfleet. Given that Ebbsfleet is a suffragan see of the Archbishop of Canterbury and on the official advert declaring a vacancy in the see it was called the See of Ebbsfleet, one wonders why people are getting so irate. It is of course because they dislike what the See of Ebbsfleet and indeed the other Catholic sees stand for. They dislike the sense of coherence around a bishop that has grown up in our constituency. They cannot understand the world in which we operate, supporting one another and meeting together, because we share a common faith and a common vision. [emphasis added]

Unlike the Anglican Mainstream website, we are open for comments.

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Revision of Clause 5(1)(c)

On Monday the General Synod voted to adjourn the debate on Final Aproval of the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure to enable the House of Bishops to reconsider the new clause 5(1)(c) that the House had inserted.

We propose to conduct a discussion here on Thinking Anglicans with the aim of making one or more suggestions to the House on the form that reconsideration might take. In order to make this as constructive, helpful and eirenic as possible, we will conduct this in a more formal way than we normally do.

  • Discussion will begin with a post from one or more guest contributors
  • Commenting will as now be subject to moderation, but we will more strictly enforce the rules on relevance, ad hominem comment (none allowed) and so on. ‘Relevance’ means keeping to this particular topic: constructively discussing possible texts that would satisfy the reference back to the HoB from the Synod, i.e., we are solely concerned with revision, removal, expansion, replacement etc of clause 5(1)(c).
  • We hope that various viewpoints will be offered, and we expect all to be respected. However, the purpose of the discussion is to make the draft Measure more likely to gain Final Approval at the General Synod, and more likely to gain parliamentary approval.

We firmly believe and hope that a site named ‘Thinking Anglicans’ can and should be a place for this sort of debate: one of high quality, and high regard for other participants, as well as for those who are not participating, whether an individual agrees with them or not.

We will introduce this debate shortly.

Simon, Simon and Peter

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Planned interruption of service

On Wednesday morning between the hours of 9 am and 1 pm (London time) there will be a planned interruption of service from this website. This is due to essential maintenance being performed by the Internet Service Provider to which our server is connected.

Please do not be worried….

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Normal service resumed

We have now resolved the problems with the TA server (installing new hardware and late nights getting the software running properly on it!).

Commenting has now been re-enabled.

Simon K
(TA techie)

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Reduced service

We are experiencing a few technical difficulties with the Thinking Anglicans server. Unfortunately this means that it is not currently possible to add comments to the site. We are working to restore normal service and will do so as soon as possible.

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About Comments

The editors of Thinking Anglicans (Simon S, Peter and Simon K) have recently discussed the question of comments on TA, and we are agreed that we should encourage ‘good commenting’. WIth that in mind, I am republishing a post I made in June 2007

We have noticed an increasing tendency by some commenters to make ad hominem or derogatory comments about other people — sometimes about other commenters and perhaps more often about people in the news.

We want discussions here to be conducted in a spirit of Christian charity and we are going to take a strong line on this. We will not approve comments that include ad hominem remarks. Comments on someone else should concentrate on their words or deeds. People should be accorded their proper names and/or titles, not a pretend or derogatory name or sarcastic title preferred by the commenter. Please note that this applies to people on all sides of discussions.

Secondly, we reiterate a plea we made a year ago: ‘please consider seriously using your own name, rather than a pseudonym. While we do not, at this time, intend to make this a requirement, we do wish to strongly encourage the use of real names.’

We hope that if commenters were to respond in this spirit then discussions would be better, the level of debate would be higher, and we would be doing a little more to bring about the kingdom of God.

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Our RSS feeds

At Thinking Anglicans readers sometimes ask us how they can know when there are new articles or new comments. One way, of course, is to visit the site and have a look. But that is not very convenient, particularly if you are looking for new comments on an article published sometime ago (such as the one on the Church Representation Rules 2006 which is still attracting comments).

A more convenient way is to use our RSS* feeds. These feed new content from our site to, for example, a website which you can then check from time to time for updates. We have two.

for this site
for comments on this site

If you click on these links you will be taken to a list of links to recent articles or comments with some or all of the actual text. What’s most convenient though is to subscribe to our feeds with an RSS reader such as Bloglines. There’s also Live Bookmarks in the Firefox browser and the News & Blogs feature in the Thunderbird email program.

How to subscribe to our feeds
We’ve made it easy for you to subscribe to our feeds. Follow the link to one of our feeds and click on the “Subscribe Now” button at the top. By default you will be subscribed using Bloglines. Then do the same for the other feed. Then whenever you visit the Bloglines website you will be able to see our latest articles and comments.

If you want to try other readers there is a short drop-down list above our “Subscribe Now” button or a longer list here.

*You don’t need to know what RSS stands for to use the feeds, but it is “Really Simple Syndication”.

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about comments (again)

We have noticed an increasing tendency by some commenters to make ad hominem or derogatory comments about other people — sometimes about other commenters and perhaps more often about people in the news.

We want discussions here to be conducted in a spirit of Christian charity and we are going to take a strong line on this. We will not approve comments that include ad hominem remarks. Comments on someone else should concentrate on their words or deeds. People should be accorded their proper names and/or titles, not a pretend or derogatory name or sarcastic title preferred by the commenter. Please note that this applies to people on all sides of discussions.

Secondly, we reiterate a plea we made a year ago: ‘please consider seriously using your own name, rather than a pseudonym. While we do not, at this time, intend to make this a requirement, we do wish to strongly encourage the use of real names.’

Finally, a reminder about comment-length: ‘a few people have sometimes written very long comments that really are essays in their own right, rather than being comments on the original article, or direct responses to previous comments. We have therefore decided to introduce a length limit of 400 words per comment, with immediate effect. Longer comments than that will in future quite probably not be published. If you still want to write such essays, we suggest that you set up your own blog, and you will be very welcome to then link to them in the comments here.’

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about comments

We have two announcements to make to those who comment here:

First, if you are not already doing so, please consider seriously using your own name, rather than a pseudonym. While we do not, at this time, intend to make this a requirement, we do wish to strongly encourage the use of real names.

Second, a few people have sometimes written very long comments that really are essays in their own right, rather than being comments on the original article, or direct responses to previous comments. We have therefore decided to introduce a length limit of 400 words per comment, with immediate effect. Longer comments than that will in future quite probably not be published. If you still want to write such essays, we suggest that you set up your own blog, and you will be very welcome to then link to them in the comments here.

We hope that this will all lead to more and better comments.

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service announcement

We apologise to our users, and particularly those who comment, for the recent service disruption here. The articles posted since last Saturday have had to be restored manually. We regret however that it will not be possible to restore the comments made from last Saturday until this morning, including any made during that period to older articles.

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Partaking or plotting?

Two weeks ago, the Church Times paper edition’s web page contained an article by Sarah Meyrick, about various new web-based British church organizations, which mentioned Thinking Anglicans. This is now on the CT website.
To read the whole article, follow this link and scroll down to Partaking or plotting?
The portion about Thinking Anglicans is reproduced below.
As Sarah concludes:

All these websites give people at the grassroots a chance to track events as they unfold, and to explore tricky issues with an audience far wider than could have been dreamt of in pre-web days. For the movers and shakers, they are a means of taking the temperature of the Anglican Church at a time of turmoil.
At its best, the internet provides a way of fostering community and broadening the horizons of its users; at its worst, it allows people to become narrower in outlook and to plot damage. I suspect the outcome in this case lies in how much – if at all – the different networks communicate with each other.

So here are links to the other sites she mentions:
www.inclusivechurch.net
www.anglican-mainstream.net
www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk
www.biblicalliberal.com

(more…)

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About News reporting

I shall now revert to posting my near-daily News updates on my personal blog rather than here on TA.

The “really major events” of the primates meeting and the New Hampshire consecration have now passed, and the level of press activity is reducing rapidly.

Simon Sarmiento

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About News reporting

Generally, I post near-daily News updates to my personal blog rather than on here. But really major events (NEAC was a recent example) are reported here on TA.
Clearly the upcoming Primates Meeting is also a really major event. So during this week, I will post about that on here, but any other routine news stories will still be on my personal blog.
Simon Sarmiento

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