Thinking Anglicans

City of London clergy set up new “deanery chapter”

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Peter
Peter
8 months ago

It is profoundly disappointing that no good faith progressives have stepped forward. CEEC could and would have engaged with such figures, on the basis of mutual respect, to find a mediated settlement.

Structural differentiation is now happening. Shouting at people that it should not happen is a display of pure folly.

The Bishop of London inevitably insinuates that lawyers will be needed.

All that is ahead is years and decades of court action and monumental expenditure on legal fees, unless progressives stop castigating and start talking.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

“Structural differentiation is now happening. Shouting at people that it should not happen is a display of pure folly.”

Another lobby group, no matter how publicised, is not structural differentiation.

Expecting “progressives” to come forward to negotiate with CEEC displays a severe lack of understanding however. Nobody should ever have to ‘negotiate’ for their identity, respect for it and acceptance of it. If CEEC are serious about negotiation then they need to start affirming the self identities of the people they expect to negotiate with. If they can’t do that it’s hard to see how negotiations would be possible.

Simon Butler
Simon Butler
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

This is nonsense Peter; some of us have been talking in good faith for the past couple of years. We’ve heard nothing from conservatives since the vote in Synod despite the fact that we remain in an unfinished process. I’m looking forward to those who seek differentiation telling us what they actually want rather than simply presenting facts on the ground with unilateral action. At the end of the day any differentiation needs Synodical approval and that equals progressives voting to give conservatives what they seek. But at the moment conservatives are just in their own echo chamber. I’m up… Read more »

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Simon Butler
8 months ago

I thought CEEC had made their position perfectly clear in their document “Visibly different”.

Rich
Rich
Reply to  Bob
7 months ago

Indeed. Simon Butler is incorrect: CEEC wrote a paper about ten years ago called ‘Guarding the Deposit’, with various diagrams in the back of different solutions. All of those proposals have been ignored by Justin Welby.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Rich
7 months ago

The expression ‘Guarding the Deposit’ is intriguingly ambiguous?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Simon Butler
8 months ago

Simon.

If you are involved in good faith and are committed to treating conservatives with respect then I obviously owe you an apology which I gladly give you.

I wish you well.

Peter

Rich
Rich
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

Thank you, Peter.
Yes, the bishops have claimed to have been listening.
But conservatives (both evangelicals and non liberal Catholics) have felt gaslighted.
The bishops were warned this would happen.
They have ignored the warnings.
Hopefully this will be a wake up call to them.
But will it be too late.
Will they allow PCC’s to disassociate/reaffiliate?

Rich
Rich
Reply to  Rich
7 months ago

I can say unless there is proper provision (I stress proper),
this is going to be a bloodbath.

Laity are setting up trusts left right and centre.

It doesn’t hit the headlines beacuse it all takes time.

Better good separation than bad.

Stephen Rochell
Stephen Rochell
8 months ago

Obviously not thinking anglicans.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Stephen Rochell
8 months ago

Why? Are “thinking anglicans” only those who you agree with? I would suggest that a great deal of prayer and thought has gone into this decision.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
8 months ago

Self-important people. It is of course tosh. Of no legal substance. Actually of no substance at all. I am compelled to resist.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

Yet likely to cause some confusion with the use of titles such as Deanery Chapter and Area Dean. Quite what the “commissioned” ministers will do will be interesting- celebrate communion?

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Simon Bravery
8 months ago

I still get confused by the name “Church of England Evangelical Council” as it feels from the name to be an official part of the Church of England. But it isn’t.

I think Synod ought to restrict the use of names which confuse.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
8 months ago

CEEC is a limited company and a registered charity. There is nothing confusing about its name.

The fact you disapprove of something does not mean there is actually a problem.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

No, the FACT is that I find the name confusing and I suspect if you asked many of the people in the pews who do no more than turn up every now and again that many of them will think it is a formal part of the Church of England.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
8 months ago

There is no such thing as the “formal” Church of England. It is not a legal entity.

It is a general descriptive term for what are actually many thousands of separate organisations.

There are no rules saying who can and cannot be considered as part of the Church of England.

You don’t like CEEC. That is all you are really saying.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

There is no such thing as the “formal” established church of the nation of England? The church which has the sovereign as its supreme governor? The church whose two archbishops are appointed by the sovereign? Really?

Ellie Rose
Ellie Rose
Reply to  Kate
8 months ago

I doubt many people “in the pews” have ever heard of the CEEC or care about it. The “Church of England” is not a registered trademark, to the best of my knowledge, so you will have to live with the ambiguity!

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Kate
8 months ago

Why? Synod was happy enough when John Scott set it up.

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

Indeed. From their annual accounts:

CEEC was first created by the Revd Dr John Stott CBE, sometime Rector of All Souls’ Langham Place, London, Chaplain to HM The Queen and leading evangelical theologian, to provide a “collective” evangelical voice within the Church of England. CEEC was registered as a UK charity in December 1969 and incorporated in September 2003.”

John T
John T
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

Synod didn’t exist when John Stott set it up.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  John T
8 months ago

Church Assembly before 1970.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Kate
8 months ago

Such as “Catholic Church”?

Julian Heaton
Julian Heaton
Reply to  T Pott
8 months ago

Catholic. Wait? What? I think you find that term in the Declaration of Assent, where all those ordained have already affirmed and declared their belief in ‘the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness’.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Julian Heaton
8 months ago

I quite agree Mr Heaton. But the my point is that the phrase “Catholic Church” is also used by the Church of Rome to refer to itself. That might be confusing, and perhaps according to Kate should be restricted by Synod. Of course, General Synod will not and cannot restrict the use of such names, and I don’t think Kate would really expect them to..

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Julian Heaton
8 months ago

Not just the ordained – all worshippers at Morning and Evening Prayer, and the Eucharist, affirm their belief via the Apostles and Nicene Creeds in ‘one holy catholic church’.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

“Of no substance at all”. Really ?

The ten congregations in question have in the region of two thousand active members. There will be at least that number again who have some form of meaningful association.

How many Oxfordshire churches would need to gather to produce such numbers. It would take at least fifty. Maybe up to a hundred.

Your disdain is poorly judged.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Once again, the con-evos evaluate everything by the numbers, as if faith were only a matter of counting heads.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Pat ONeill
8 months ago

In this period of declining church attendance, of parishes being amalgamated and of ageing church membership increasing numbers of disciples attending a church generally results in increased giving, which resources increased ministry (esp amongst families and young people), which generally results in increased disciples attending, which generally results in increased giving, and so on. Such a pattern is described in Acts. These new disciples also need to be taught, nurtured, cared for so that they might become mature in Christ.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

And again, all about numbers–of people and pounds. What about WHAT you are teaching?

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Pat ONeill
8 months ago

Perhaps you can explain another way of employing a families and children’s worker, a youth worker, resource mother and babies groups, youth groups, after-school clubs, toddler groups, pensioner lunch clubs, a pastoral care worker etc etc. As to what is taught that surely is self evident in a church: the truths of the Christian faith as found in scripture so that all might become mature in Christ. As it says in 2 Timothy “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

“As to what is taught that surely is self evident in a church: the truths of the Christian faith as found in scripture so that all might become mature in Christ.”

As interpreted and defined by whom? That is the question. Do you interpret by reason and tradition as Anglicans have always done? Or by strict literalism, so that the meanings of these truths remain locked into the scientific and cultural understandings of two millennia ago? Or, if you prefer, of 600 years ago?

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Pat ONeill
8 months ago

Numbers do seem to have been significant for the early church, meeting together in the temple courts and believers’ homes where they “broke bread and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people”: Acts 2 vv 46-47 (NIV). Verse 47 then tells us: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” I’m reminded of part of a keynote address that Stephen Cottrell (now Archbishop of York) gave to the clergy of Chelmsford diocese in 1994 – at the time he was diocesan missioner in the (then)… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Of course it will more than suit the SHB and ASLP tribes fully to engage again with the synodical structures of the Diocese of London and Church of England when it comes to electing their sort as lay representatives to deanery synods for the purposes of future General Synod elections.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

I don’t think that is entirely fair, Anthony.

The conservative evangelical position is that we want differentiation. That obviously involves a withdrawal of the conservative evangelical voice from the part of the denomination that is separate.

We want to get to that position without delay and would at that point play no further part in the decisions of the separate province.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Are you then saying that the “separate province” would not be created for the con-evo position, but for everybody else?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Well I fear you are ahead of the tribe. Their current strategy is to resist change (any change) at all costs, and for that they need all the General Synod votes they can muster. As to a Third Province, that is a non-starter. It gained little traction over women priests, and this is no different. If my 22 years on the General Synod tell me anything, it is that the majority will simply not concede that, nor will they have the patience for the complex synodical reform needed to make it happen. No other province of the Anglican Communion has… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
8 months ago

Ah yes, I’m still in the +Maidstone days!!

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

I’m afraid I agree with you that some kind of grand bargain is very unlikely.

I would say that means that everybody loses, rather than it being essentially a problem for only the conservatives.

I understand the arc of history notion that eventually progressivism must prevail. Fair enough, but history goes in unexpected directions.

I think it is equally possible that deadlock in Synod leaves it exhausted and hollowed out.

We all lose.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

“We want to get to that position without delay” Peter you have previously acknowledged that getting to that point is a long process. There is going to be considerable ‘delay’ because such a proposal is not even remotely before General Synod at present. General Synod has voted for a number of things. But exploring what you keep calling ‘differentiation’ is not one of them. What you are proposing is separatism, and there will be significant numbers of people who are opposed to any further separatism because it doesn’t seem to have any place being hardwired into a Christian community. The… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
8 months ago

Andrew, You need to read what I said in context. I think differentiation will be enormously difficult. Only a fool would claim otherwise.

Anthony seemed to be suggesting that St Helen’s wants to be close when it suits and distant when it does not. That is just not true.

St Helens and Conservatives generally do not want to be close to progressives. That’s it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter
Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Peter I don’t think you have quite understood Anthony’s point. What he is saying – and I completely agree with him – is that those in this new pseudo Deanery Chapter will suddenly want to be part of the real Deaneries when the time comes to vote for members of the next General Synod. They certainly want to be close when it suits and distant when it doesn’t.
The kind of ’Differentiation’ you keep imagining is simply not going to happen, for the reasons Anthony gives above. The only things that can happen are the things General Synod vote for.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
8 months ago

I understand exactly what Anthony is saying. It is simply not correct to say they will want to be part of the deaneries when it suits them. What they want is differentiation. They will have to engage with the voting structures but that is hardly their fault. You are saying because you and Anthony believe differentiation will not happen therefore nobody should be taken seriously if they say they want it to happen. For the avoidance of doubt I agree differentiation on the basis of a general settlement is unlikely. It does not therefore follow that I am acting in… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Peter: they are not modelling differentiation, but rather separatism. I think that’s just wrong and offensive. If they wish to belong to a different Chapter, they should not have the option of opting back into the real Chapter in the future.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
8 months ago

You insist differentiation will not happen and then insist conservatives must work within the existing structures.

People are entitled to object to the bishops actions. Telling them to just get back in line is not an acceptable response.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

Peter I’m sorry but you still don’t seem to understand this. You seem quite determined to twist people’s words on this matter. Let me try one last time.
What I am saying should not happen is separatism. That is what is happening here.
And I am not insisting that conservatives should work within existing structures. I am saying they should choose: either work within the existing structures OR have the courage to leave and set up your own. You can’t have both, which is inevitably what they will wish to have when it comes to voting for General Synod members.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
7 months ago

The issue is not my lack of understanding. Nor is it that I am twisting anybody’s words.

I refuse to accept your framing of the issue. That is all.

You are not entitled to say there is a binary choice. Work within the existing structures or leave.

It’s not your Church of England. You cannot just lay down the law and say get in line or leave.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

“It’s not your Church of England. You cannot just lay down the law and say get in line or leave.”

which is not at all what I am saying, and is another example of you not understanding and twisting words.

But it isn’t your C of E either. It’s an ordered Church led by bishops and governed by Synod.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
7 months ago

But, Andrew, “work with the rules or leave” is the exact statement that you made !

Your second point is better made. I agree it’s not my church either. It is also ordered by bishops.

There is the rub. The bishops have lost the respect of conservatives.

John T
John T
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Peter, there is no evidence that there are ten congregations, only ten clergy. The two churches in the video are church plants from St Helen’s Bishopsgate, which is itself in the City Deanery. They have ten ordained clergy between them. Unless there is further clarification given this could just be a meeting of clergy linked to St Helen’s Bishopsgate, a church with a long record of falling out with the Bishop of London and distancing itself as far from the Church of England as possible while just about staying inside.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John T
8 months ago

It is quite wrong to say St Helens has a long record of falling out with the Bishop of London. They had a working relationship with the bishop of London up until Richard Chartres.

There was a breach at the appointment of Sarah Mullally but that cannot possibly be described as a long time ago.

There are certainly ten congregations associated with the clergy in question.

The idea it is just a few clergy who have just a few people with them is a bit silly.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter
Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Richard Chartres had problems with St Helen’s Bishopgate as the DDO’s of that period will tell you.
Given the patrons of that church are the Merchant Taylors’Company I have often wondered what they make of their stance.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Perry Butler
8 months ago

I said they had a working relationship. I didn’t say they were inseparable.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

I don’t think they did always have a working relationship. The breakaway group wanted to insist, for example, that their ordinands should not be ordained at St Paul’s Cathedral. Just in case they might be tainted by mixing with other clergy who didn’t think the same way as they did.

WYH
WYH
8 months ago

Goodness me, a sad and troubling state of affairs. This new Deanery Chapter would be well advised to study The Tron’s Church, Glasgow’s decision to formally secede from the Church of Scotland. Glasgow Presbytery moved fairly swiftly, ( including sending in bailiffs) , to seize control of the Church and recover all property and assets, including the Church and Manse buildings. I believe the Charity Regulator was also involved.

Peter Misiaszek
Peter Misiaszek
8 months ago

If the experience of the Anglican Church of Canada is any indication, then splinter or break away groups are in for bitter disappointment if they try to keep the building and any material possession for themselves. The Supreme Court noted that the buildings are maintained “in trust” for all generations and no group, however intentioned, can thwart that reality. The buildings, though stewarded and entrusted by current members, remain the property of their respective diocese. I suspect that a similar outcome would prevail in the C of E. If this group is bent on moving toward a membership in GAFCON,… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Peter Misiaszek
8 months ago

It is significant that this is taking place in the City, where there’s a fair bit of money. I understand St Helen’s pays some of its clergy directly .At present, they are not announcing any plans which would lead to the loss of their livings or of the use of their churches.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Peter Misiaszek
8 months ago

However, this is not a break away group, but merely a group within the Church of England seeking to be different.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

Different? Or partitioned?

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Richard
8 months ago

Different, holding to the Church of England’s orthodox teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

“Different, holding to the Church of England’s orthodox teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

But not, apparently, to its teaching that a woman can be a bishop and perform all the rites and ceremonies pertaining thereto, including ordination:

“…In this week’s video, Mr Fishlock and Mr Martin say that the new group will seek to support ordinands who, “because of conscience”, feel “unable to be ordained by the diocesan bishop or any bishop acting on her behalf.”

James Allport
James Allport
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

Bob, they’ve repudiated the authority of their bishop, and – strikingly – apparently of +Maidstone to whom she has been prepared to delegate episcopal oversight. They’re proposing to commission (whatever that means) curates whom they have selected and trained. In what possible sense are they still part of the C of E?

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

Bob, I have a lot of sympathy for your view but the way this has been presented as “deanery” and as “structural differentiation” makes it hard to see it as “merely a group within the Church of England”. If people who believe in a restricted view of marriage’wish to meet together, that’s obviously fine. But they have been at pains to present it as something different, effectively as a rebellion.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Bob
8 months ago

The clear intention is to set themselves apart. They already belonged to a deanery.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Peter Misiaszek
8 months ago

The question of who owns churches in the Church of England has exercised people for years. The answer is there is no definitive answer.

How secular courts will rule on the question remains to be seen.

You are engaging in wishful thinking if you imagine 12500 parishes are going to see the matter settled one way and in short order

NJW
NJW
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Both ecclesiastical and civil law in England is fairly clear that the parish church and churchyard are vested in the incumbent as custodian in trust on behalf of the parishioners (i.e. all those living within the ecclesiastical parish). Other property is vested in the Diocesan Board of Finance as custodian trustees, with the PCC having responsibility as managing trustees (Though there are, on occasion, properties that were acquired prior to present legislation, and remain under the direct control of PCCs) PCCs are only able to have an interest in land or property in a limited number of purposes, all of… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  NJW
8 months ago

I am aware of the legal position. If you think the position you describe creates a crystal clear legal framework then I disagree with you. You make an assumption which is far from convincing. You assume civil courts will be happy to adjudicate on issues of theology. It is very likely that will not be the case. You also ignore the question of who will claim to act for whom. It is a common conceit that Synod owns everything. It actually owns next to nothing. Bishops ? Are they to drag their own clergy before the courts. Perhaps some figure… Read more »

NJW
NJW
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Though not often involved in litigation (generally avoiding that by alternative action), I have found it good to know the likely legal implications of any course of action. This does mean that, when things have proceeded further than desirable, I have found the courts to be fair. I would not expect the courts to adjudicate on grounds of theology – but that they would become involved in matters of trust between parishioners and PCC/incumbent. In such cases, I think it is reasonable to think that the courts might look to the interests of the wider body of the parish over… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by NJW
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  NJW
8 months ago

Very interesting. Ultimately this would be a matter for a chancery judge. There is an inherent and unresolved tension between the famous Macnaghten classification of charitable trusts, including for ‘the advancement of religion’ (Inland Revenue v. Pemsel [1891]) and the old requirement of public benefit (repeated in Sections 2-3 Charities Act 2006), a tension perhaps amplified by the Human Rights Act 1998. The courts struck down trusts for ‘superstitious purposes’ and held, for example, that a trust for a closed order of nuns was void for want of public benefit (Gilmour v. Coats [1949]). It is hard to say what… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

We can be certain the charity commission will apply the principles of the contemporary notions of social justice. Thankfully as you point out the final word will rest with a judge. I think you narrow the scope of the matter to the issue of public benefit arising from the exercise of the functions of a charitable trust. The courts will have due regard to the doctrine of equity. In general terms, judges try to avoid a “winner takes all” mentality in reaching their conclusions. If four thousand Londoners reject the authority of the bishop of London, a court is likely… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Many thanks. As an aside, and not wishing to disappear down an interpretative rabbit hole, I should mention that ‘equity’ in English law is distinct from ‘equity’ meaning ‘justice’. There is, it seems to me, no coherent concept or ‘doctrine of equity’ in English law at present. However, there are maxims of equity which developed in the courts of equity prior to ‘fusion’ with the common law courts in 1873, equity supposedly mitigating the harshness of the common law. Those maxims were thought to have calcified under Lord Eldon (famously: “nothing would inflict on me greater pain, in quitting this… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

Judges generally take a dim view of parties in a civil conflict who are haughty in their rejection of mediation.

Progressives do not help their litigation prospects by their current disdain towards the sustained offer of a mediated settlement.

Equity expects clean hands from the parties.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Many thanks. You are quite right that, especially since Woolf (1998), judges take a dim view of litigants who reject or abuse ADR, and this is likely to inform any award of costs. However, their taking a dim view would be with respect to a refusal to accept or adhere to the rules of the particular ADR mechanism agreed between the parties in relation to a specific case relating to property or the operation of a charitable trust rather than any general attempts to resolve the political issues arising between parties within the Church (about which a court would be… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

I am having a job convincing you ! I was, as you say, applying equity with a degree of generosity to the issue. (Or lack of generosity if you are of progressive sentiments). My general point is I think fair. Judges are conscientious and in most cases resistant to moral outrage (in civil matters). They will not look at the conflict within the Church of England in terms of good (progressive) and bad (conservative). They will reach a considered set of conclusions which are intended to be fair to the parties. The assumption it will all land exactly where progressives… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Yes, I do agree with you. It is just that I felt it necessary to qualify your remarks, although I must apologise for succumbing to a degree of pedantry in doing so. From a legal perspective (and I am a lawyer, albeit a commercial lawyer) I do not think that any assumptions should be made about what the outcome of any formal dispute concerning any particular parish is likely to be. I am not certain that either ‘side’ can be wholly confident about its probability of success, although I appreciate that others – who might be better informed – may… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

It’s a real tonic to engage with your commitment to analysis.

I might have said this to you before, but I am confident you will have talked a good few clients out of litigation. It’s surely a dismal and disappointing business – and that is when you win !

I wish you well

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

A court would first have to be satisfied that 4000 Londoners have rejected the authority of the Bishop of London. 10 clergy calling themselves a Deanery Chapter and naming one of their number an Area Dean may not persuade a court of this.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Simon Bravery
8 months ago

Churches have electoral rolls. You over state your point.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

I think parishioners up and down the land would be astonished to discover that their presence on the electoral roll represented a proxy “vote” that their priest could cast on their behalf in regard to whatever hobby horse they choose. I’d be surprised if even half the “4000” people supported this ridiculous posturing.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

In my experience members of the same congregation hold a variety of different views on many subjects. I would certainly not assume they all agree with the Vicar. Of course, in some churches, there may be a greater uniformity of opinion.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  NJW
8 months ago

You rather contradict yourself.

You assert that the courts would not adjudicate on issues of theology and then assert that they would err against what you describe as a discriminatory approach.

That is of course an expression of implied theology.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

It’s also likely to be “fact sensitive” which means that the situation is likely to vary from parish to parish.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate
8 months ago

Good lawyers spend a significant amount of their time talking their clients out of litigation.

Out of every hundred parties to litigation less than a handful can expect to emerge pleased with the outcome.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

TA keeps going around this buoy, but the Archbishops’ Council (acting on the advice of the Legal Office) produced this paper (which has been linked on previous threads): https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/gs1593-review%20of%20clergy%20terms%20of%20service%3A%20the%20property%20issues%20revisited.pdf Note especially paragraphs 37 and 40-42. I will quote paragraph 37 again: “There is a sense in which the answer to the question ‘who owns a church?’ is: nobody. According to the Legal Advisory Commission the ‘fee simple’ (what most people understand by ‘ownership’) of church and churchyard is ‘in abeyance’. It is, however, possible to identify who would be the owner but for that fact; the interest thus identified is… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

I was making exactly the same point as the one made by the Legal Office to the Archbishops Council which you quote.

Nobody owns the churches, under current legal statute and common law precedent.

The wild fantasies of progressives that Bishops will soon be confiscating church keys and sending in the bailiffs are without legal foundation.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

I suggest that the way to find out who owns a church is to get injured on church property and see who responds to the suit for damages.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Pat ONeill
8 months ago

The answer to that is found in the table ‘Rights and Duties’ under paragraph 40 of the document which Froghole linked above – ‘Liability as occupier’: “the incumbent and the PCC separately”. Also, ‘insurance’: “the PCC”.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

Thank you for reminding us of this important source material. I confess that I don’t know any answers, but have been struggling with the possible application of the faculty jurisdiction (which certainly applies to sale or disposal of consecrated land and church contents) with a timely reminder that absent a valid faculty, the purchaser does not acquire good title. The other ‘angle’ which struck me as potentially relevant was the need for a pastoral measure plan to create a C of E deanery, with the ‘complication’ that it must be approved by the diocesan bishop. Whilst not adopting the words… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

Many thanks. I think that the reason for the persistent belief that title vests in the incumbent is because many of the older authorities say so, and they presuppose the stereotypical model being that of a freehold incumbent with a PCC, whereas freeholders are now extremely rare (I haven’t looked at more recent authorities like Doe or Hill lately, and do not have access to them whilst writing this). The process for making closure schemes under the Pastoral Measures 1968-2011 provides clues about the real state of affairs. When a church is closed the PCC is dissolved (or has already… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 months ago

It was the comment contained in the Diocese of London’s statement!

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
8 months ago

From the excellent website of Law and Religion UK:

“All the news that’s fit to print” (some of it daft)…

… and this week it’s been difficult to distinguish between real and spoof news, from both Church and State. However, of the various April Fool posts, a favourite is from the Comms Team at the Diocese of York which started: “The Church of England has distanced itself this morning from a newly-launched auction website offering redundant church furnishings – and a church – to online bidders…”

Sarah Mann
Sarah Mann
8 months ago

It’s disappointing to see this move towards ‘structural differentiation’ in the City. As a City resident I know how heavily the C of E depends on its gay clergy to ensure that its many churches are alive and well. The fruits of the gay relationships I know are so obviously positive that they cry out for the blessing of the church.

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
8 months ago

I note that in City Deanery the two churches in the statement are not parish churches but church plants from St Helen’s Bishopsgate, also within the City Deanery. The three churches between them have ten licenced clergy (according to the National Register of Clergy), which begs the question how many of the ten clergy attending the new Deanery Chapter are linked to St Helen’s. It could have been all of them, in which case this is just a publicity stunt by one church community which has already announced that it has broken with its bishop but is trying to make… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Nic Tall
8 months ago

So have they done any more than rename their extended team meeting?

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  David Runcorn
8 months ago

I gather they haven’t been meeting with other clergy in the City Chapter for years

Simon W
Simon W
Reply to  David Runcorn
8 months ago

My thought exactly and as it was reported in the Times this morning I presumed it was one of their April fool stories. Certainly hyped up.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Nic Tall
8 months ago

I think this is a major question here. Exactly how much support do these people have? Is it significant, or are they a vanishingly small group receiving an inappropriate amount of attention? I think it was Margaret Thatcher who coined the phrase the oxygen of publicity. Is that the problem here? A small group of ten priests from just a couple of churches in London put out a statement and a video, and it becomes national news, gets an article in Church Times, a statement from bishop Sarah, and a thread on Thinking Anglicans Meanwhile the thousands of churches across… Read more »

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Nic Tall
8 months ago

Exactly this. People seem to have taken this as a full act of war when in actual fact it’s the same old people who in essence already operate outside the diocese. Paying clergy direct is quite normal in these churches and ignoring the bishop and not welcoming them has been happening for at least 20 years across many churches. The only irony has been the claims of schism and donatism from people who are quite happy to ignore other things that suit them, let’s all accept we are different churches tied by some vague historical legacy of a church structure.

Peter Debenham
Peter Debenham
Reply to  Paul
8 months ago

at least 20 years

Well over 33 – based on being around the area in 1990.

I always liked Dick Lucas; though he found the combination of my attending St Helen’s in the evening and an extremely anglo-catholic parish in Bethnal Green for mass on Sunday mornings hard to understand.

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Nic Tall
8 months ago

I am a very recent follower of this site which was recommended to me as I was struggling to make sense of the decision making at the top of the Church of England and the seemingly endless exclusions of conscience against the anti discrimination laws which bind the rest of the country. Post synod, the only threads which seem to gain traction have been in respect of the polarisation and hurt over Living in Love and Faith. I would not even know about the ‘New Deanery Chapter’ if I hadn’t glanced at the site last night as it has not… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
8 months ago

For this group to commission Curates and act as an authority within themselves and without reference to any kind of Episcopal authority comes very close to Presbyterianism and is certainly not Anglican at all. Jonathan

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
8 months ago

I don’t think most Presbyterians would tolerate this degree of freelancing. It’s not really any historic model of church polity, it’s more like schismatic groups, e.g. Society of St Pius X, who decide that their private, self-appointed club is more truly the church than the body from which they are separating. They are accountable neither to bishops, ruling elders, nor to a congregational meeting.

John Sandeman
8 months ago

If the experience in the colonies is any guide some evangelicals will stay in the Church of England and others will leave. There’s been a repeating pattern in several provinces, so some degree of predicting what will happen is possible.Most if not all of those will leave will go without property although as in the US there could be some local negotiated solutions. The Tron. Church is a good example of what might happen, settling in premises a few streets away from their former location but planting other churches as well. In some places – NZ for example – there… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  John Sandeman
8 months ago

I hate to sound like a broken record, but ‘the colonies’??? Really??? In 2023?

John Sandeman
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
8 months ago

Tongue in cheek from Sydney

Father David
Father David
8 months ago

In the video why are the two clerical break away gentlemen dressed like lay men? If so, couldn’t they at least wear smart ties? I write this in my capacity as Vice President of SEONS
(The Society for the Elimination of the Open Neck Shirt). Father Alec Vidler offers clergy who reject the clerical collar the perfect solution – black shirt and white neck tie.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Father David
8 months ago

They are dressing the way City boys dress these days, and have done for nearly 20 years. It is their way of mixing more effectively with their ‘clients’. The big employers close to St Nicholas Cole Abbey (which Bishopsgate rescued from semi-dereliction), such as Fidelity, the FT and Old Mutual have been tieless for almost a generation. In my office (Holborn Circus) I am almost the last person left who wears a suit and tie. Also, I fear that the alternative which you recommend (which had a brief vogue between c. 1975-85) makes the wearer look like a mafioso from… Read more »

Nuno Torre
Nuno Torre
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

Both of you made my day, Fr. David and Froghole!… How funny!…

Meanwhile current HTB couple rectors usually appear on their webcasts exactly dressed like anyone on the west now dresses for all purposes!… Elegance and distinctiveness have long gone from whole society and it seems now to be hijacking Churches, and that won’t change anytime soon or it will change for the worst!… Even on my RCC, German, some of “Der Synodale Weg – The Sinodal Way” leaders went for their assembly dressing their “cultural best” to say the least!…

Have a nice day, weekend and Holy Week!…

Ellie Rose
Ellie Rose
Reply to  Nuno Torre
8 months ago

Nuno, if you dislike HTB’s approach so much, then why would you watch their webcast – just to find fault, and report it on here? That may say something about your character. I certainly don’t expect everyone to like or agree with HTB’s approach, the Church of England is a broad church, but mocking the largest church in the Church of England with 5,000 attendees each week seems perverse. Also, this is a discussion on a new deanery chapter being established as a result of synod’s vote on same sex partnerships. This is nothing to do with HTB, nor have… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Ellie Rose
Nuno Torre
Nuno Torre
Reply to  Ellie Rose
8 months ago

Perhaps I was somewhat lost in thinking translation, thanks to your comment, I was mostly reporting a facts and commenting general society trends, not going against everyone else’s approach! And for what matters, while I currently don’t go that much with the Pentecostals, I was one of them on the Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I was born, baptized and confirmed there!… I was part of the movement for my first 25 years of life! Then; when I got my Master on Philosophy, I started to see spirituality on such a different way… Something that requires a deeper inside relation from… Read more »

Charles Read
Reply to  Froghole
8 months ago

I sometimes wear dark shirt and white tie a la Alec Vidler (after I found out he did it). Not for taking services though. The mafioso resemblance simply gives me one more reason to do it. Can I make you an offer of attending an Alpha course which you can’t refuse?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Charles Read
8 months ago

Many thanks to you and Nuno Torre. You have reminded me of the useful doctrine advanced by A. Capone in one of his more pastoral asides: “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone”.

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
Reply to  Charles Read
7 months ago

It would of course be Christianity Explored, not Alpha. The tribes are not the same.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
7 months ago

Yes, the forgotten Person of the Trinity is clearly conveniently ignored by the purveyors of Christianity Explored, which is not the only example of their doctrinal peccadilloes.

Andrew Kleissner
Andrew Kleissner
8 months ago

The language used here immediately reminded me of the Rev Josh Maynard who resigned his Church in Wales living a couple of years ago in order to start “a new Anglican church” in Pembrokeshire, under Bishop Andy Lines of the Anglican Convocation of Europe – linked of course to GAFCON. https://aceanglicans.org/2021/11/05/help-needed-for-a-new-church-on-the-angle-peninsula/

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Andrew Kleissner
8 months ago

Andrew You may have heard or read that on the 18th of March an Assistant Bishop under Andrew Lines, Stuart Bell was Consecrated by Archbishop Foley Beach, Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, and Chairman of Gafcon at Aberystwyth if I have spelt this town correctly, to serve AMIE congregations in South Wales, and the Archbishop of Wales, Andy John was very quick to respond to this and said that he and his Episcopal Sisters and Brothers could not recognise the Episcopal Orders of Stuart Bell, and in a letter to Church in Wales Clergy very strongly advised… Read more »

Francis James
Francis James
8 months ago

The amount of fear & loathing in CofE on display at present is remarkable for an organisation that preaches peace & love, etc. Indeed it reminds me of a friend who went into publishing & told me that counter-intuitively crime writers were far more pleasant to deal with than romantic novelists. People who wrote the goriest of crime novels turned out to be polite, humorous, and easy to deal with, and crime writer conventions were fun. By contrast romantic novelists were aggressive, constantly complaining, obsessively worried about their ranking, regularly feuded with other authors, and as a result their conventions… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
8 months ago

A Deanery Chapter has of course no legal standing beyond being the House of Clergy of the Deanery Synod. So it’s hardly schism.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
8 months ago

I can’t recall the clergy members of the Deanery Synod commissioning ordinands who don’t wish to be ordained by their bishop or organising ways of by passing the DDO or Ministry Division. Perhaps they awaiting for the arrival of +Foley Beach ?.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
8 months ago

Pete it may not be schism but it is certainly separatist. One question is where the line is between one and the other. Another question is whether separatism should be tolerated. Those who believed people of colour should sit in different seats or go to different schools were separatists. I know that you would not have tolerated separatism of that kind in the Willesden Episcopal Area, no matter how sincerely such beliefs were framed. So why should this kind of separatism be allowed?

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
8 months ago

Ah yes, deanery chapter as a civil rights movement?

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
8 months ago

Evidently high drama in the City of London, but a world away from the majority of the CofE that the ConEvos eschew.

John Darch
John Darch
8 months ago

I trust that the ‘deacons who are unwilling to receive post-ordination training within the diocesan structure’ made that particular scruple clear to their DDO, BAP selectors and ordaining Bishop before they were ordained?

Bob
Bob
Reply to  John Darch
8 months ago

Since the decision of the deacons is based upon the outcome of General Synod in February , it would surely have been impossible to inform anyone of their decision before then.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John Darch
8 months ago

I trust they did no such thing. They were entitled to trust their bishops to honour their episcopal responsibilities.

The fact the bishops took leave of their senses two months ago is not the fault of today’s deacons.

John T
John T
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

By “took leave of their senses” I think you mean “made an informed decision after years of discussion that some did not agree with but was supported by the majority of the General Synod”. This move towards a more compassionate inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people is not some sudden moment of madness by the bishops, dragging a reluctant church behind them. It is the majority will of the Synod, and probably the C of E as a whole, and can be seen as one of those intermittent moves within the church where policy is changed over years of painstaking discussion (e.g.… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John T
8 months ago

I disapprove of the habit of implying bad faith when people have clearly not acted in bad faith – regardless of their theological stance.

John Darch made an entirely gratuitous inference that a group of deacons have been less than straightforward in keeping their opinions to themselves.

Not so, and those deacons should not have their reputations attacked in such a way.

Those deacons were perfectly entitled to expect the bishops to hold to orthodox doctrine.

These endless ad hominem attacks on people prove nothing at all.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

I don’t go for ad hominem attacks either, but those deacons knew change was being discussed and could well happen. The process has been lengthy, thorough, and very well publicised.

Accusing bishops, by implication, of not ‘holding to orthodox doctrine’ is also an ad hominem attack. A false one, too, since as far as I know all the bishops affirm the historic creeds.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Like the ones you made on the bishops in your reply?

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Peter. I do not know your involvement with professional ministry selection and training in the CofE but it has been my world for the last 20 years. I learned to ask precisely those questions of candidates and deacons. They help to discern a person’s commitment to their call and church. For the record, they are questions for all candidates from whatever tradition. Experience showed I could not always rely on the transparency you might expect – and that you assume. And sadly that was within the evangelical tradition you and I own. So far from being an insult John Darch’s… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
8 months ago

I’m sorry David but you cannot possibly have asked people to confirm that they would have no problem should the church change its doctrine of marriage.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

I’m sorry Peter but I never said I did. Questions about sexuality have been required for years of course. There are other issues too – such as full acceptance of the ministry of women in the church. This transparency issue has been around a while.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
8 months ago

We are going round in circles, David. The issue is the good or bad faith of the deacons and should they have declared their position earlier. You appeared to be saying your experience of selection and training interviews is that people are selective in what they say (that’s a paraphrase. I know that is not what you exactly said).

My point is the bishops moved the goal posts not the deacons.

John Darch
John Darch
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

A ‘gratuitous inference’? No. An expression of (a) amazement that personal disapproval of a proposed optional set of prayers could be in any way relevant to failing to fufill deacons’ training requirements and (b) concern that newly-ordained ministers might be being pressured by their TIs (who have a duty of care) to take such a step.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John Darch
8 months ago

Do you have any actual evidence that incumbents are leaning on people ?

Your first point is an obviously inaccurate description of what the deacons would say.

They will believe that the bishops have abandoned orthodoxy. You may disagree but that does not mean the deacons think what you think

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

Those deacons and their TI’s do not believe in the ordination of women either by the way. In their church world the abandoning of orthodoxy by the CofE started some time ago. There is history to the present reactions we are seeing. But Peter when the hard and faithful work by bishops of seeking a way forward with theological/biblical integrity on behalf of the church is simply dismissed by you as ‘taking leave of their senses’, ‘moving the goal posts’ and ‘abandoning orthodoxy’ is it really surprising that those of us here who have been on the same road of… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

The idea that nobody was expecting even the modest concession to Gospel values permitted at General Synod is so ridiculous as to not be worth considering.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
8 months ago

Peter – my daughter came out to me as a lesbian seventeen years ago. At the time I was conservative on the subject, and a lifelong evangelical. A process of thinking, praying, reading and questioning ensued that lasted for fifteen years. I read everything I could get my hands on, talked to people on all sides of the issue, including LGBTQI+ people, prayed for discernment, and took my time. It took fifteen years for me to get to the point where I could affirm same sex marriage. I have done so without denying the authority of scripture or any article… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
8 months ago

I did not address you and I am not insulting you.

I was addressing bishops who have abandoned their episcopal responsibilities.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

How exactly have they ‘taken leave of their senses’? And, if true, in what sense would that comment apply only to them and their episcopal duties, and not to parish clergy such as myself, who have pastoral responsibilities to our congregations?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
7 months ago

Well said. Many of us who started out evangelical and conservative have been through a similar lengthy process of prayer and study, and come to similar conclusions. Our integrity and faithfulness should not be impugned.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
7 months ago

Who exactly is impugning you ?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

When you speak of people ‘abandoning orthodoxy’, because after years of Bible study, prayer, and reflection we have come to a different understanding than you on LGBT issues, you are impugning our faithfulness and integrity.
I am old enough to remember when women’s ordination, remarriage after divorce, the Second Coming, and predestination were the tests of orthodoxy (one at a time, usually, and not in the order I’ve given). Why isn’t it OK to agree to disagree, without accusing others of being heretical or unfaithful?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Janet Fife
7 months ago

I did not say “people”. I said bishops. In context I was clearly referring to a specific group of bishops – the Church of England bishops.

Please pay attention to what I have actually said if you are going to criticise me.

I’m also old enough to remember all the things you mention.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

Peter, I repeat my earlier reply to you: How exactly have the bishops ‘taken leave of their senses’? And, if true, in what sense would that comment apply only to them and their episcopal duties, and not to parish clergy such as myself, who also have pastoral responsibilities to our congregations?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
7 months ago

They are bound under oath to defend the historic doctrine of the church. They have refused to honour that oath.

You must answer for your own ministry. I am not required to pass an opinion on your ministry.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

The “historic doctrine of the church” holds that “BISHOPS, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God’s Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.” And yet some categories of priests are prevented from marrying, by the bishops, at the behest of people who hold the same views as you. Without agreement on what constitutes “historic doctrine” (does belief in the real presence of Christ… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

But until a very few years ago the historic doctrine of the Church included a male-only priesthood. Did the bishops who voted for that also take leave of their senses? Are you saying that the Church can never change its understanding of historic doctrine?

And as for my other question, am I to assume, then, that you don’t think Janet and I have taken leave of our senses, but you do feel the English bishops have?

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Janet Fife
7 months ago

Janet, I find it helpful to think through the accusatory polemic about ‘abandoning orthodoxy’ from a different angle. It is this: there is no such thing as orthodoxy. It ended (if it ever existed ), ironically, with the split over the creed in 1054. What we have now by claimants of ‘orthodoxy’ is a kind of neo-orthodoxy at best, and if the truth be known, a fig leaf for sexual identity politics. I happily say the creed every Sunday; but I do so aware that they belong in particular historical, cultural, and most importantly, political, contexts. I don’t take what… Read more »

Peter
Peter
7 months ago

It has never been the case that Anglicanism is defined by submission to procedural rules.

It can be reasonably claimed that the only truly Anglican “procedural rules” are respect for the authority of bishops and due regard for the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (I know much else is important).

It is ridiculous to claim that acceptance of the entirety of procedure in relation to the conduct of business is essential and all else is bad faith or schism.

Last edited 7 months ago by Peter
Bob
Bob
7 months ago

It is clear from the since deleted tweet of Bishop Wells that the bishops are very concerned about division, schism, disintegration. Here are some of the topics that were the subject of discussion at the recent meeting of the House of Bishops. • Schism and confusion. • Not just the fracture of the CofE but its complete disintegration. • Strained and broken relationships in families, churches, dioceses and the global Church. • Is Sheffield splitting the diocese. • Division within (if we proceed), ridicule without (if we step back). • Unintended consequences of decisions. • That ‘cancel culture’ will prove… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Bob
7 months ago

A rather over stretched piece of reporting that simply copies verbatim some post-it notes out of context. Twitter has a lot to answer for. Let’s not have the CofE run by Twitter the way that a former President ran the US. The whole of the mess we are in stems from the unintended consequence of forcing Jeffrey John to withdraw from the suffragan see of Reading several years back. That was the work of the Conservative Evangelical constituency. If that appointment had proceeded, none of LLF would ever have been necessary. As the Dean of Southwark said at the time… Read more »

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
7 months ago

I don’t think the Church of England is being run by Twitter. A member of the House of Bishops tweeted a picture from a recent meeting which revealed the post-it notes. The topics so identified it is claimed were discussed by the House of Bishops. No link to US presidents. I will wait to see what happens at a planned meeting with our diocesan bishops, and what happens at General Synod.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Bob
7 months ago

It was one of three separate collections of responses to very different questions being discussed. It was in the background of a photo actually taken of a presentation and prayer for an individual heavily involved in the llf process. So very unfortunate and highly misleading.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Bob
7 months ago

“The topics so identified it is claimed were discussed by the House of Bishops” It is claimed by who? A conservative evangelical is the answer. How do you know the bishops discussed these topics? Nothing in the deleted tweet, which I have seen, indicates that these topics were discussed. They are simply post it notes – most likely the result of a brainstorming exercise – that indicate the exact same things that people are saying on here, on other websites, in the press, in the chamber of synod etc. Nothing new here. Just an American Conservative Evanglical website stirring things… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
7 months ago

This is a very wise observation. It was utterly shocking. ++Rowan had supported +Harries in the nomination in the letter to Downing Street. The process which led to Jeffrey being on the shortlist was opaque, in the days of Tony Sadler as Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary, but nevertheless forward looking. Philip Giddings and the wicked ConEvo tribe from the Diocese of Oxford (not just the Reading Area) launched into action. ++Rowan’s advisers (I won’t name them) persuaded him that the consequences of proceeding with the nomination (which the Queen had approved) would be seismic. It was extremely partisan and poor advice.… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Anthony Archer
7 months ago

I should add what all this has transpired into 20 years later. My own Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship (DEF) in St Albans, and of which I think I may still be a member (although they have long ago ceased seeking subscriptions from me – I wonder why?!) is seeking a meeting with the bishops of the diocese. No guessing what the agenda is. In order to attend this meeting, I am reliably informed by a member, you need to make a solemn declaration that you adhere to the CEEC Statement of Faith (in essence for the purposes of this meeting – Lambeth 1.10). So, only… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
7 months ago

All this stuff makes Buddhism look very attractive.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
7 months ago

Peter. In Romans chapter 14 Paul gives very challenging pastoral counsel to a church sharply divided over belief. Here is a summary of his approach. I note ‘differentiation’ does not appear as an option. Nor any discussion or ‘right’ or ‘wrong belief’. ‘If other Christians hold views we disagree with, and may even consider totally inappropriate for genuine believers to hold, as long they as they have arrived at their position in conscious submission to the rule and teaching of Christ, and hold it with clear conscience, in thankfulness to God, and aware of coming Day when must give account… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

Romans 16 verse 17 gives us precisely the opposite direction to yours above.

It instructs believers to separate from false religion and its followers.

If I may anticipate your complaint that nobody is entitled to decide what is and is not true Christianity that cannot be Paul’s position.

If I say there is no God but I am a Christian would you still insist I be welcomed as a believer ? It does not make sense.

We have to discern the difference between truth and falsehood

Last edited 7 months ago by Peter
David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

Peter Paul wrote both Roms 14 and Roms 16 – so you need to question him not me, In appealing for respectful unity in 14 but separating from false teaching in 16 he either has two different things in mind or he is contradicting himself. I am inclined to the former explanation. But I suspect the believers at Rome raised similar questions too. As to your point 3. If you say there is no God you are clearly not living by Paul’s criteria in Roms 14. You are not living ‘in conscious submission to the rule and teaching of Christ,… Read more »

Rich
Rich
Reply to  Peter
7 months ago

Agreed. And scripture is clear about sexual ethics

Paul Andrew
Paul Andrew
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

This ‘summary’ of Paul’s approach (from Chris Marshall) contains some excellent content, and should give us all cause to pause and reflect upon OUR OWN attitude to others. Whatever we may feel about the rightness or not of this ‘Con-Evos’ group to create a separate community within the Church of England, few of us seriously doubt that they have taken this bold (brave?) step “in conscious submission to the rule and teaching of Christ”. Therefore we who disagree with them “have a bounden duty to welcome them in the same way Christ has welcomed us – graciously, warmly and unreservedly!”… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Paul Andrew
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Paul Andrew
7 months ago

Your general sentiment is to be welcomed but your use of Galatians is very wide of the mark.

Paul is referring to immoral behaviour within the congregation in his reference to wrong doing.

There is not the remotest possibility Paul intended his words to be applied to Christian leaders distancing themselves from what they regarded as false teaching.

Last edited 7 months ago by Peter
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

As a detached, but not disinterested, outsider in this discussion, I can only say that many of the comments addressed to Peter have been decidedly lacking in “loving, but principled, tolerance”. Pax vobiscum, everyone. This is Holy Week and today is Good Friday.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

Romans 14 begins with “Accept the one whose faith is weak”. Is that the context of the listening stage of LLF? Romans 14 goes on with “without quarrelling over disputable matters”, and then talks about foods and how sacred a day is. Such matters might be important to some but are very much secondary/tertiary issues. The LLF process is about matters that evangelicals consider to be of primary importance. I agree that there shouldn’t be judgement of fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Calling them ‘wicked’, or ‘homophobic’ should have no place in our discussions.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Bob
7 months ago

Thanks Bob. I was quoting from a longer (unpublished) bible study by Prof Chris Marshall. He responds to your question. “In Rom 14-15, Paul deals with the age-old problem of tensions in church between conservatives and liberals, traditionalists and progressives, fundamentalists and modernists – especially when it comes to interpretation of biblical prescriptions … we must stress that the particular issue that divided the Roman church was not their minor ‘squabble’. It was not a case of small-minded niggles over obviously inessential details (adiaphora). For most first century Jews, biblical purity laws, dietary practices, and Sabbath keeping were considered essential… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

David thank you so much for these extracts from Chris Marshall and also the Jimmy Dunn quote. Is the Chris Marshall material to be published do you know? I suspect the vain thing that charms us most is a declaration that ‘others’ are wrong, false teachers, not of Christ etc. And another vain thing is to say that it isn’t us saying it, but God saying it in the bible. On this Holy Saturday, when we might think about the harrowing of hell, I am reminded of the fascinating life and work of Stanley Spencer. Someone, I think possibly Richard… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
7 months ago

Thank you for the Spencer quote on love. Marshall not published as far as I know. Do email me …

Bob
Bob
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

Romans 14 deals with matters of opinion, not matters of faith. It does not deal with sin. We are called to be united in matters of faith, not in matters of opinion. The NT teaches that we should not judge others on matters of opinion, but also teaches that we should not tolerate departures from the faith passed down from the apostles in their teaching. These are the matters of primary importance.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Bob
7 months ago

This needs a long coffee somewhere Bob! I do not think the distinction between opinion and faith is quite so simple or sustainable. Were they not conflicted in their opinion about what was central to the faith? I doubt Paul would understand the distinction you are are trying to make. Indeed as Rom 14 is part of the whole theological argument of a long epistle that includes profound reflection on sin and grace it is not obvious how you can claim sin is not part of the context. But thank you for engaging. Easter greetings.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  David Runcorn
7 months ago

Thank you too. Easter greetings

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