The General Synod Human Sexuality Group have published the text of a letter sent from them to all the Primates of the Anglican Communion ahead of their meeting next week.
In the letter the Group (which represents 240 synod members and wants the Church of England to be fully inclusive of LGBTI people) reminds the Primates that “the direction of travel” for the church is now “clearer than ever”.
In a press release, Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of the Group said:
Synod has shown both in its non-acceptance of the House of Bishops’ Report on Same-Sex Relationships and in its desire to condemn conversion therapy and welcome transgender Christians, that it wants to be a fully inclusive church. The status quo is no longer an option — people are deeply concerned about the impact on our mission to the nation of the Church’s current stance towards LGBTI people.
Group member Jayne Ozanne said:
The medical profession, including the World Health Organisation, is clear that conversion therapy causes stigma and prejudice towards the LGBTI community. It is critically important that the Church recognises this and takes a lead to condemn it.
The full text of the letter is copied below the fold.14 Comments
The Church Urban Fund has issued a report, introduced by its Executive Director, Canon Paul Hackwood …
… that sheds light on the extent of food poverty in the UK. It shows that 1 in 50 British adults used a food bank in 2016. It also shows that 5% of British adults missed meals last year because they could not afford to eat.
These figures offer a deeply troubling reflection of food poverty in Britain. At Church Urban Fund we are calling for a response to this from all sections of society. Government, businesses, and individuals all have a responsibility to make a difference. The responsibility for tackling this issue cannot be left with churches and charities, important though this work is.
I encourage you to take a look at the report and our recommendations for action. We are working hard to bring an end to hunger in the UK and so any contributions you can make to this work will be greatly appreciated.
The (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland has issued this press release: Assembly agrees apology to gay people and accepts same sex marriage report.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has approved an apology to gay people for the history of discrimination they have faced in the Church.
Commissioners also approved a report which could pave the way to allow some ministers to conduct same sex marriages in the future.
The text of this press release is copied in full below the fold.
Some press coverage of this:
Guardian Harriet Sherwood Church of Scotland in step towards conducting same-sex marriages
The Herald Kirk backs same sex marriage in church, and formal apology to LGBT people and a leader column: Kirk takes step in the right direction13 Comments
The original Church Times report has been updated: Vicar of Jesmond warns against trying to discipline curate ordained bishop by breakaway Church.
It now reports that the Diocese of Newcastle has made a public statement. Here’s what it says:
The Bishop of Newcastle is aware that a minister holding her licence to a parish within the Diocese has taken part in a service of consecration as a bishop under the auspices of an overseas church.
It is the clearly established law of the land that no one can exercise ministry in the Church of England without either holding office or having the permission of the diocesan bishop.
It is also the case that no overseas bishop may exercise episcopal functions within the Church of England without the express permission of the Archbishop of the province and a commission from the Bishop of the diocese in which they wish to minister.
In this case neither has been sought.
The Archbishop of York is being kept informed.
The Church Times goes on to report:
The Vicar of Jesmond Parish Church, the Revd David Holloway, responded to the diocesan statement on Tuesday afternoon with the comment that it was “quite wrong”, owing to the diocese’s failure, in his view, to study the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 properly.
He also stated that the Clergy Discipline Measure did not apply, since “matters involving doctrine, ritual or ceremonial” were not covered by it, and the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963 had been declared by a C of E working party not to command “the necessary confidence of the Church”.
If it were to be used, he said, it would “be utter folly and invite a range of reciprocal heresy trials”.
Earlier, Law & Religion UK published this note: Church of England: confusion over episcopal consecration in Newcastle. This contains a number of useful links to background documents.
And Christian Today has Church of England issues warning against conservative minister consecrated as rebel bishop.14 Comments
Jesmond Parish Church has issued this press release:
On St Athanasius’ Day, 2 May 2017, Jonathan Pryke, the senior minister, under its vicar, of Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, was consecrated a “bishop in the Church of God”. This was by the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA (the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa), formerly known as CESA (the Church of England in South Africa) and whose orders of bishop, priest/presbyter and deacon are recognized by the Church of England. But like the new ACNA (the Anglican Church in North America) whose orders are also recognized, it is not in communion with the Church of England. Officially the Church of England is in Communion with the heterodox ACSA (the Anglican Church of South Africa), and with the heterodox TEC (The Episcopal Church [of America]). But, in practice, many orthodox English and Global Anglicans are in communion with both REACH SA and ACNA.
The service took place neither in a Church of England “place of worship” nor an unconsecrated place of worship designated under s.43 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011. It did not take place in Jesmond Parish Church. The ceremony was according to the REACH SA consecration Holy Communion service with only REACH SA bishops taking part. The declaration, however, was to the Church of England’s Canon A5 which says:
“The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the 39 Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal.”
The oath was of “all due reverence and obedience” not to the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA but to “bishops and other chief ministers” under whom Jonathan is set. So he has a dispersed responsibility and duty: in things temporal to the Bishop of Newcastle, with whom, sadly, in things spiritual, Jesmond Parish Church along with other churches in the diocese are in impaired communion; in terms of Jesmond Parish Church, to the vicar of Jesmond and where there is united agreement, to the Jesmond PCC; and, pastorally, to one of the participating REACH SA bishops. This bishop particularly understands the English situation and does not want to see bishops “parachuted in” to form a new “orthodox church” or “province”. He sees the role of REACH SA simply as helping English people have the courage to take responsibility for reforming the Church of England to be in line with Canon A5, to evangelize and to see growth. This consecration took place after considerable discussion and encouragement from leaders in the Church of England, and with the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA convinced it right to proceed after discussion with the Secretary of GAFCON.
There is a very lengthy section entitled Information for Editors which can be read by following the link above and scrolliing down.
Another copy formatted as a PDF is now available here. I recommend reading it carefully in full.23 Comments
Updated again Tuesday lunchtime
George Conger has reported at Anglican Ink that a Church of England clergyman has been consecrated a bishop by persons as yet unamed, acting on behalf of the “Church of England in South Africa”, a body whose website says that the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) is now the “official operating name” of CESA.
George’s report: Missionary bishop for Britain consecrated at Jesmond and is copied in full below the fold.
The clergyman is Jonathan Pryke of Jesmond Parish Church. His Crockford entry reads:
Curate, Jesmond (Clayton Memorial Church)
Ordained Deacon: 1985
Ordained Priest: 1986
Trinity College Cambridge BA 1980
Trinity College Cambridge MA 1985
Trinity College Bristol BD 1985
Curate, CORBY (St Columba and the Northern Saints) Peterborough 1985-1988
Curate, JESMOND (Clayton Memorial Church) Newcastle from 1988
The Church Times has this report by Tim Wyatt: Jesmond curate’s breakaway consecration surprises both diocese and conservative Evangelicals
THE authorities in Newcastle diocese still seem to be in the dark after an assistant curate of a conservative Evangelical parish church in the diocese was reportedly consecrated bishop through the action of a breakaway Church in South Africa.
The curate, the Revd Jonathan Pryke, has served at Jesmond Parish Church since 1988. He was consecrated by bishops from the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) at a service in Newcastle earlier this month, several sources told the Church Times.
But a spokesman for the diocese simply said today: “The Bishop of Newcastle is aware of reports concerning this matter and is seeking clarification.”
The Church Times has repeatedly attempted to contact both Bishop Pryke and his Vicar, the Revd David Holloway, but neither has responded…
This AMiE Statement in response to the consecration of Jonathan Pryke has also been published:
The AMiE Executive Committee recently requested that the GAFCON Primates support the consecration of a Missionary Bishop. We were overjoyed when they agreed to do this for the sake of gospel growth.
We can confirm that the consecration of the Revd Jonathan Pryke was a gospel decision taken independently of AMiE. His consecration was never discussed at our Executive meetings.
Jonathan is a valued member of the AMiE Exec and we are thankful to God for his abundant gifts and wisdom. We will be praying for him in this new season of his ministry.
This statement has been issued by GAFCON UK: Statement on the consecration at Jesmond Parish Church
8th May 2017
Gafcon UK are aware that Jesmond Parish Church have for some years been in a form of impaired communion with the Bishop of Newcastle, and have developed a special relationship with REACH-SA (formerly CESA).
Over the past few years, several clergy have been ordained by REACH Bishops to serve in the Jesmond church network and in one other part of England.
The leadership of Jesmond church have for some time been speaking publicly about the need for new missionary Bishops in Western nations who can oversee new Anglican ministries in the Celtic model. The reasoning can be found in the statement from the 2017 Jesmond Conference, here.
Gafcon UK have been informed of the latest developments but cannot comment further at this stage.
The following press release from the Church of Scotland has been issued today:
The latest report from the Theological Forum on human sexuality to come before the General Assembly has been published.
The comprehensive document will be considered by Commissioners in Edinburgh next month.
The document has found its way into the public domain ahead of schedule, before all the General Assembly reports are published in the Blue Book on Thursday.
In light of the report appearing in the national press, the Principal Clerk has authorised its immediate publication to allow Commissioners, members of the church and members of the public to understand fully the content and context.
The General Assembly is being asked to consider two key issues.
- Authorise the Legal Questions Committee to undertake a further study on the legal implications of conducting same-sex marriages and report back to the General Assembly in 2018. *
- Invite the Church to take stock of its history of discrimination at different levels and in different ways against gay people and to apologise individually and corporately and seek to do better.
In releasing the report the Convener of the Theological Forum, the Very Rev Professor Iain Torrance, said: “The Report addresses what has been a long running argument in all the churches.
“In years past there has been an idea that in time one side in this argument would emerge as the sole victor.
“We don’t think like that now.
“That is why we are arguing for what, last year, the Forum called ‘constrained difference’.
“This is saying that within limits we can make space for more than one approach.
“It is closely similar to what the Archbishop of Canterbury calls ‘mutual flourishing’.
“This is a centrist report, aimed at encouraging mutual flourishing.”
The Principal Clerk, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, said: “It is unfortunate that this report has found its way into the public domain before this year’s volume of Assembly Reports has been published.
“However, it is important that people are now able to access the full report.
“It will now be for the Assembly to decide whether it wants to ask the Legal Questions Committee to pursue further research on the matters which would require to be addressed in any new legislation permitting Ministers and Deacons to officiate at same-sex marriage ceremonies.
“If the General Assembly does move in this direction a further report will be heard in 2018.”
The full text of the report is available here.
The previous report published in 2013 is still available here. As we reported at the time the best analysis of that report was by Law & Religion UK: Men and Women in Marriage, and the Church of Scotland.7 Comments
The think tank Theos has marked its tenth anniversary with a new report called Doing Good: a future for Christianity in the 21st century, a title that echoes its first report in 2006, Doing God.
A press release from Theos can be read here. In the foreword, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the RC Archbishop of Westminster write:
Nick Spencer charts a view of the future for Christianity in the UK, drawing on the wealth of data and evidence that Theos has accumulated in its years of research.
That view is one in which service is central, but it is service-as-witness, service that is firmly rooted in, shaped by and unashamed of its faith in Jesus Christ.
The report’s idea of “Christian social liturgy” expresses how Christians can combine their fidelity to the two greatest commandments — loving God and loving neighbour — in a way that is simultaneously distinctive and inclusive.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury issued this personal statement this evening.
In the last month I have discovered that my biological father is not Gavin Welby but, in fact, the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne.
This comes as a complete surprise…
Do read it in full.
The statement is also carried by The Telegraph: Justin Welby on his secret father: ‘What has changed? Nothing’.
The Telegraph carries several articles related to this story.
Charles Moore Winston Churchill’s right-hand man and an affair to shake the Establishment
Charles Moore A No10 hot house of drinking, affairs and Winston Churchill’s bedside meetings
Charles Moore and Gordon Rayner Justin Welby: DNA test reveals my secret father was Sir Winston Churchill’s private secretary
Leader article Justin Welby’s personal story of courage is better than a thousand sermons
Charles Moore and Gordon Rayner How 1950s law change averted crisis in Anglican Communion
Today’s [Brighton] Argus carries this lengthy interview by Joel Adams: Bishop George Bell’s victim: “He said it was our little secret, because God loved me.”
TODAY, for the first time, the victim of George Bell has spoken about the sexual abuse she suffered as a five-year-old child at the hands of the wartime Bishop of Chichester.
Speaking exclusively to The Argus, she described how he repeatedly molested her over a period of four years while telling her that God loved her.
Her testimony brings new clarity to a story which has changed the world’s perception of one of the most revered Anglicans of the 20th century since news of a church payout was announced last October…
Harriet Sherwood also covers the story for The Guardian: Victim describes how she was abused by bishop George Bell.
The original Church statements on this case are here.
The Bishop of Chichester has issued the following statement following the publication of the Brighton Argus article.
Dr Warner said:
“It is testimony to her courage and integrity that the survivor who brought the allegations against George Bell has been prompted to speak out. My hope is that the telling of her story will contribute to her sense of being heard by those within and beyond the Church who are willing to listen with an open mind and respond with compassion and clarity.
“The presence of strident voices in the public arena which have sought to undermine the survivor’s claims has added in this case to the suffering of the survivor and her family. To that extent it is not surprising that she felt it necessary to take the courageous decision to speak out in public and reveal the personal details which the Church could not.
“Words of apology written in a letter can never be enough to express the Church’s shame or our recognition of damage done. However, the apology that I made on behalf of the Diocese of Chichester is genuine and a sincere expression that lessons are being learnt about how we respond to accusations of abuse.
“In some responses to the George Bell case, and to the original statements from the Church nationally and locally in the diocese of Chichester, we have witnessed shocking ignorance of the suffering felt at many different levels by victims of abuse.”
At yesterday’s press conference following the meeting of Anglican primates the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the primates had voted to join discussions with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches to set a common, fixed date for Easter.
John Bingham The Telegraph Easter date to be fixed ‘within next five to 10 years’
Ben Quinn The Guardian Christian leaders attempt to fix global date for Easter
Andrew Griffin Independent Easter to be fixed to one date all the time, Archbishop Justin Welby says
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Anglican Primates agree to set fixed, common date for Easter
Wikipedia has a number of articles on the date of Easter.
At the end of a very long consultation about the precise wording of the Gift Aid declaration HMRC published a new series of template declaration forms to be used by charities from April 2016. The intention of the new wording is to emphasise to donors that, in order for the charity to claim Gift Aid on their donations, they must have paid tax at least equal to the amount claimed. It was assumed that the new wording would be obligatory from that date; however, in response to requests from charities – mainly, but not exclusively, the Churches – that they be allowed to continue to use their present stocks of pre-printed Gift Aid envelopes with the out-of-date wording, HMRC has made an extremely helpful concession, as follows:
“Following approaches made to HMRC by various charities and churches that hold stocks of pre-printed Gift Aid donation envelopes that were ordered and printed just before the new Gift Aid declarations were published on our website, it has been agreed that charities, churches, cathedrals, parishes etc. can use up their current stock of pre-printed Gift Aid collection envelopes beyond April 2016.
Our guidance will continue to recommend that charities introduce the new wording by April 2016, because we want to reduce the numbers of non-taxpayers that currently complete Gift Aid declarations.
The Gift Aid legislation has not changed and consequently previous versions of the Gift Aid declaration and Gift Aid envelopes used by donors after 6 April 2016 will still be valid and can be accepted by charities and churches” [our emphasis].
The e-mail concludes by asking the original recipient to forward the message to his network of contacts within the Church of England. But its interest is much wider than that, so we thought we should publicise it on the blog.
The concession extends to all charities but it is likely to be of particular importance to Churches because, unlike the vast majority of secular charities, they have weekly collections during services. Nevertheless, we would agree with HMRC that charities and Churches should, if at all possible, introduce the new wording by April 2016, if only in the interests of good housekeeping.
[This was originally posted on 10 November 2015 on the Law & Religion UK blog but is copied here with permission as it needs the widest publicity possible before church treasurers start binning their out-of-date Gift Aid envelopes.]8 Comments
The Church of England issued the following statement today.
Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883 -1958)
22 October 2015
The Bishop of Chichester has issued a formal apology following the settlement of a legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against the Right Reverend George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death on 3rd October 1958.
The allegations against Bell date from the late 1940s and early 1950s and concern allegations of sexual offences against an individual who was at the time a young child.
Following settlement of the claim the serving Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend Dr. Martin Warner, wrote to the survivor formally apologising and expressing his “deep sorrow” acknowledging that “the abuse of children is a criminal act and a devastating betrayal of trust that should never occur in any situation, particularly the church.”
Bishop Warner paid tribute to the survivor’s courage in coming forward to report the abuse and notes that “along with my colleagues throughout the church, I am committed to ensuring that the past is handled with honesty and transparency.”
Tracey Emmott, the solicitor for the survivor, today issued the following statement on behalf of her client:
“The new culture of openness in the Church of England is genuinely refreshing and seems to represent a proper recognition of the dark secrets of its past, many of which may still not have come to light. While my client is glad this case is over, they remain bitter that their 1995 complaint was not properly listened to or dealt with until my client made contact with Archbishop Justin Welby’s office in 2013. That failure to respond properly was very damaging, and combined with the abuse that was suffered has had a profound effect on my client’s life. For my client, the compensation finally received does not change anything. How could any amount of money possibly compensate for childhood abuse? However, my client recognises that it represents a token of apology. What mattered to my client most and has brought more closure than anything was the personal letter my client has recently received from the Bishop of Chichester.”
The survivor first reported the abuse to the then Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, in August 1995. Bishop Kemp responded to the correspondence offering pastoral support but did not refer the matter to the police or, so far as is known, investigate the matter further. It was not until contact with Lambeth Palace in 2013 that the survivor was put in touch with the safeguarding team at the Diocese of Chichester who referred the matter to the police and offered personal support and counselling to the survivor.
In his letter to the survivor Bishop Warner acknowledges that the response from the Diocese of Chichester in 1995, when the survivor first came forward, “fell a long way short, not just of what is expected now, but of what we now appreciate you should have had a right to expect then.”
In accordance with the recommendations of the Church Commissaries’ report into the Diocese of Chichester in 2012 the settlement does not impose any form of “confidentiality agreement” restriction regarding public disclosure upon the individual. In this case the survivor has expressed the desire to remain anonymous.
Following a meeting between the survivor and Sussex police in 2013, it was confirmed by the police that the information obtained from their enquiries would have justified, had he still been alive, Bishop Bell’s arrest and interview, on suspicion of serious sexual offences, followed by release on bail, further enquiries and the subsequent submission of a police report to the CPS.
A formal claim for compensation was submitted in April 2014 and was settled in late September of this year. The settlement followed a thorough pre-litigation process during which further investigations into the claim took place including the commissioning of expert independent reports. None of those reports found any reason to doubt the veracity of the claim.
The Church of England takes any allegations of abuse very seriously and is committed to being a safe place for all. Any survivors or those with information about church-related abuse must always feel free to come forward knowing that they will be listened to in confidence.
Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news the Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline no. 0800 389 5344.
The copy of the statement on the Diocese of Chichester’s website is preceded by this statement by the Bishop of Chichester.
The statement to follow communicates news that has brought us a bewildering mix of deep and disturbing emotions. In touching the legacy and reputation of George Bell, it yields a bitter fruit of great sadness and a sense that we are all diminished by what we are being told.
Our starting point is response to the survivor. We remain committed to listening to all allegations of abuse with an open mind. In this case, the scrutiny of the allegation has been thorough, objective, and undertaken by people who command the respect of all parties. We face with shame a story of abuse of a child; we also know that the burden of not being heard has made the experience so much worse. We apologise for the failures of the past.
The revelation of abuse demands bravery on the part of a survivor, and we respect the courage needed to tell the truth. We also recognise that telling the truth provides a legitimate opportunity for others to come forward, sometimes to identify the same source of abuse.
We also believe that in the Church of England as a whole, and certainly in the diocese of Chichester, we have done all we can to ensure that our safeguarding policies reflect best practice, and are fully and evenly implemented. The statement below speaks of an earlier report of this case, in the 1990’s. There will no doubt be some who allege a cover-up by the Church. We acknowledge that the response then would not be adequate by today’s standards, although that falls far short of a cover-up. In the present context, the diocese of Chichester has worked with Police and other agencies to ensure that we have sought the fullest understanding possible of what happened.
Please hold in your prayers all victims of abuse, especially those who have never been able to seek or receive help and a proper response. Please pray for all who are affected by this news, especially those who are our ecumenical partners, those unable to comprehend its implications, and those whose faith is damaged by it. Please pray for the diocese of Chichester, for each other, lay and ordained, as we seek to remain faithful to our apostolic mission in spite of much that could discourage and deter us.
Our previous article on Peter Ball is here, with links to earlier articles.
Peter Ball was sentenced to 32 months in prison this morning.
[Update: the sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Wilkie can be read here.]
The Church of England issued this statement.
Statement on the sentencing of Peter Ball
07 October 2015
“It is a matter of deep shame and regret that a Bishop in the Church of England has today been sentenced for a series of offences over 15 years against 18 young men known to him. There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systematic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.
We apologise unreservedly to those survivors of Peter Ball’s abuse and pay tribute to their bravery in coming forward and also the long wait for justice that they have endured. We note that there are those whose cases remain on file for whom today will be a difficult day, not least in the light of the courage and persistence that they have demonstrated in pressing for the truth to be revealed. We also remember Neil Todd, whose bravery in 1992 enabled others to come forward but who took his own life before Peter Ball’s conviction or sentencing.
As the Police have noted Peter Ball systematically abused the trust of the victims, many of whom who were aspiring priests, whilst others were simply seeking to explore their spirituality. He also abused the trust placed in him by the Church and others, maintaining a campaign of innocence for decades until his final guilty plea only weeks ago. Since that plea was made processes in the Church have begun to initiate formal internal disciplinary procedures against Peter Ball.
Operation Dunhill began as a direct result of the safeguarding officer at Lambeth Palace raising concerns about Peter Ball following a church initiated review of files. The approach to the police was a proactive step on the part of the national Church leading to a self-initiated referral via CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre) to Sussex Police in 2012. This led to active co-working between Lambeth Palace, the Diocese of Chichester and Sussex Police on a complex enquiry with full information sharing. We pay tribute to those detectives whose work on this case over the past three years has led to this conviction and sentencing.
Since Peter Ball’s guilty plea on 8th of September this year questions have been raised about the Church’s handling of this case. As a result the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has commissioned an independent review of the way the Church responded.
The independent review will examine the Church of England’s cooperation with the police and other statutory agencies and the extent to which it shared information in a timely manner. It will also assess the extent to which the Church both properly assessed the possible risk that Bishop Ball might pose to others and responded adequately to concerns and representations submitted by survivors.
Further information about the arrangements for the review will be available in due course. The Archbishop has confirmed that the report of the review will include a detailed account of how the case was handled within the church and will be published.
The Church of England always takes any allegations of abuse very seriously and is committed to being a safe place for all. To this end we have robust procedures and policies in place. But we can never be complacent. Any survivors or those with information about church-related abuse must always feel free to come forward with confidence that safeguarding procedures will be followed.
Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news the Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline no. 0800 389 5344.”
Paul Butler, lead Bishop on safeguarding for the Church of England
You can listen to Bishop Paul Butler responding to the Peter Ball case by following this link.
Nicola Harley The Telegraph Peter Ball: Ex-bishop jailed for 32 months for exploiting young priests for sex
Sandra Laville The Guardian Bishop escaped abuse charges after MPs and a royal intervened, court told
Press Association in The Guardian Sexual abuse victims of Peter Ball sue Church of England
Tim Wyatt Church Times Prison for Bishop Peter Ball, but victims still seek justice
Comments are closed for this article.0 Comments
An online petition was launched on 7 September calling on the Bishop of Sodor and Man to resign: Bishop Stop the Bullying!. The petition is now closed with 194 signatures.
The Manx media picked up the story earlier this week.
John Turner Isle of Man Today Online petition calls for Isle of Man’s Bishop and Archdeacon to resign
Manx Radio Petition calls for bishop’s resignation
It is also reported that the bishop had a heart attack on Monday, although he appears to be well on the way to recovery.
Adrian Darbyshire Isle of Man Today Bishop recovering from heart attack
Isle of Man Today Bishop speaks to iomtoday about heart attack ordeal10 Comments
The Church of England issued this press release today.
Statement on conviction of Bishop Peter Ball
08 September 2015
Statement from the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, lead bishop on safeguarding
“Following a hearing at the Central Criminal Court today Bishop Peter Ball has pleaded guilty to two charges of indecent assault and one charge of misconduct in public office.
We offer an unreserved apology to all the survivors and those affected by this news. We commend the bravery of those who brought these allegations forward, acknowledging how difficult and distressing this would have been.
We are aware that two individuals will not have the opportunity to have their case heard in criminal court following the plea agreement.
Peter Ball was charged with the offences following his arrest in November 2012 and as a Church we have provided full co-operation with the police throughout their investigation.
The Church of England always takes any allegations of abuse very seriously and is committed to being a safe place for all. To this end we have robust procedures and policies in place. But we can never be complacent. Any survivors or those with information about church-related abuse must always feel free to come forward knowing that they will be listened to in confidence.
Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news the Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline no. 0800 389 5344.”
Sussex Police statement
Comments are closed for this article.0 Comments
I wrote here about the Lambeth Declaration on Climate Change, and the Pope’s encyclical letter Laudato Si’.
David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK has now written an analysis of the approaches to climate change taken by the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church: Climate change, the Archbishop and the Pope.
General Synod will be holding two debates on some of these issues on the last day of next month’s group of sessions (Monday 13 July). The two motions are copied below the fold. The day will start with private group work on the environment. These are the papers issued to members:
Group Work Bible Study Material on Environment
GS 2003 – Combatting Climate Change: The Paris Summit and the Mission of the Church [item 25]
GS 2004 – Climate Change and Investment Policy [item 26]
GS Misc 1113 – Birmingham Diocesan Synod Motion on Fossil Fuel Disinvestment
GS Misc 1114 – Oxford Diocesan Synod Motion on Fossil Fuel Disinvestment
[These last diocesan synod motions are not being debated, but the papers are provided as background information.]
Faith leaders in the UK, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a declaration on climate change late on Tuesday.
Archbishop of Canterbury join faith leaders in call for urgent action to tackle climate change
16 June 2015
Faith leaders in Britain have pledged to fast and pray for the success of key international negotiations over climate change in a new declaration warning of the “huge challenge” facing the world over global warming.
Representatives of the major faiths including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said climate change has already hit the poorest of the world hardest and urgent action is needed now to protect future generations.
In the newly-launched Lambeth Declaration, signatories call on faith communities to recognise the pressing need to make the transition to a low carbon economy…
The text of the declaration is copied below the fold.
The declaration was launched at a service in St Margaret’s, Westminster, yesterday. Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, preached this sermon.
There was also a mass climate change lobby outside parliament.
Emma Howard The Guardian Thousands join mass climate change lobby outside UK parliament
Adam Vaughan The Guardian Thousands gather in London to lobby their MPs over climate change – as it happened
Jo Siedlecka Independent Catholic News Thousands lobby Parliament for action on climate change
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.
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 Peter8 Comments