Thinking Anglicans

LLF bishops propose new commitments

Updated

The bishops of Newcastle and Leicester have written an article published today in the Church Times, in which they state that they intend to bring to General Synod in February some new proposals.

The full text of what they have written is here: Living in love, faith — and reconciliation.

The Church Times has a news report: LLF bishops respond to fears of schism over same-sex relationships.

Update

Unadulterated Love has this report: LLF “engagement opportunity” reveals Archbishops abandon radical new Christian inclusion

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David Hawkins
David Hawkins
4 months ago

Archbishop Welby’s managerial arrogance is not the only solution to apparently irreconcilable divisions. Christian love is a better alternative. This from the Bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann. “Recognising that this was not a Christian way to go on, a few us began to meet: four clergy who were opposed to the ordination of women and four newly ordained women priests. Our early meetings, as you might imagine, were profoundly uncomfortable, tense and difficult. But we committed to meeting three or four times a year to share lunch, to pray together and to discuss. Our purpose was not to try and… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by David Hawkins
Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
4 months ago

There is clearly no choice but to find this ‘broad’ path. I can’t say I’m hopeful – I haven’t seen any indication from anyone from the conservative evangelical constituency that they are prepared to walk this path. Their only script is that they can not remain in a church that wishes to bless same sex relationships and marriages. I don’t believe the CEEC is representative. But I do know that it is powerful and loud.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
4 months ago

I agree with that. Reading the account of the meeting held at Lambeth Palace on Colin’s blog has made me very angry. It feels like the conservative evangelical bullying tactics have won again – just as they did with Jeffrey John.

Penelope Cowell Doe
Penelope Cowell Doe
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
4 months ago

Blackmail means that the demands continue. Escalate even. This is a blatant attempt to seize power from Synod and the HoB and to ride roughshod over due process.
Some demanding a legal separation have already schismed, cf. St Helen’s Bishopsgate. ABs, CoB and GS need to call their bluff

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
4 months ago

The bishops of Newcastle and Leicester are naive if they think that their crie de coeur will make any difference. The bishops are too weak to carry out the decisions of GS and will endlessly prevaricate to the frustration of both sides in this argument. I admire the tenacity of people such as Colin Coward and Helen King but so many LGBTQ+ have shaken the dust off their heels and left the CofE – an element of the great exodus evidenced each year by the Statistics for Mission. As an out gay priest I openly laugh at the more absurd… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Fr Dean
4 months ago

“I long ago realised that I was too invested in the CofE and I diversified my emotional portfolio. I’m in the position now of having one foot in and one foot out. I find that to be the safest and happiest place for me but as I say it is not withholding from me anything I desire.” I am a straight white man Fr Dean but I also feel the same as you. A church that cannot welcome my LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers as equals is not a church I can feel comfortable in. I find it disgusting and very… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by David Hawkins
Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  David Hawkins
4 months ago

David I always found that the ordinary parishioners were on the whole delightful people – they are my church family. My struggles were with the institutional side of church life – the hypocrisy and corruption that the LLF debacle and the safeguarding scandals are currently highlighting. I’m very conscious of my contradictions though: I’m a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek; a clerk in Holy Orders; I have a not insignificant interest in the clergy pension scheme and I recently got the bishop’s PtO. As you know I’m a frequent contributor to TA but to be honest I can’t… Read more »

Mark
Reply to  Fr Dean
4 months ago

Wasn’t it Tony Benn who announced he was leaving Parliament “in order to spend more time on politics”? There are very many formerly committed Anglican Christians, clergy and lay people, who have come to the conclusion that they need to put a healthy distance between themselves and those running the institution “in order to spend more time being Christian.” It’s sad and wrong that this should be the case, because those people withdrawing commitment 1) have as much right to regard the Church as belonging to them as anyone else has, and 2) the Church needs everyone it can attract,… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

I’m one of that group too. I handed my LLM licence back to may Bishop last year. It wasn’t so much the LLF process that was the last straw, but how the LLF process clarified for me my growing discomfort with Church of England’s governance processes. I still worship in the local village C of E churches, but more to support my many friends there than for spiritual sustenance. My ministry is now focussed elsewhere, primarily in helping to lead a local LGBTQ+ Christian support group (which in itself is developing many of the characteristics of a church, as we… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Simon Dawson
Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

I’d forgotten that Tony Benn had said that so thank you. We sometimes choose to give people power over us – it’s fine to take that power back if it’s being misused.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Fr Dean
4 months ago

Tony Benn was a very wise man, and it is always worth being aware of the full set of Tony Benn’s questions on power. What power have you got?Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you use it? To whom are you accountable? How do we get rid of you? This is why I keep going back to the Didache, an early Christian text on church management. The text emphasised that Bishops and Deacons (more correctly translated overseers and catering assistants) were local appointments elected (and presumably sackable) by the local congregation. Whilst the community would be… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Simon Dawson
A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Fr Dean
4 months ago

I think this really sums up where I am with the CofE as well. I am a Christian, I like the forms of worship and culture within the CofE and so choose to be Anglican, but I have no real time or faith in the institution and those that run it. I am regularly encouraged to join the PCC in our church and respond similarly each time that I have no interest in being on the front line in dealing with an administrative and managerial structure that seems to be focussed on crushing my parish church by extracting all our… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
4 months ago

The CofE exists to be there for anyone living in England; so it’s fine to breeze in and out, sitting lightly to any membership expectation. Politely decline to be drawn in and just be charming when you do rock up. I make a point of talking to someone else there on their own and enjoy that little bit of ministry each time. Don’t worry, be happy.

Dr Stephen Foster
Dr Stephen Foster
4 months ago

From Steve O’Connor’s frightening commentary on the autonomous decisions seemingly taken by the Archbishops, am I too naive to think that ‘kicking the can down the road’ in terms of implementation, at least in principle should be a decision made by GS and not made by ++Canterbury and ++York.
This apart from what such a decision made by whoever will mean to those who have been longing for implemented change for so long…..

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
4 months ago

I really hope they don’t expect LGBT Christians to be respectful towards homophobia or transphobia.

Cantab
Cantab
4 months ago

Talk from the Bishops of “freedom of conscience” is ludicrous, when conservative groups within the CofE have shown themselves to have absolutely no interest in that whatsoever. Freedom of conscience may sound reasonable and appealing, but it’s pie in the sky…

John Davies
John Davies
4 months ago

If I understand this correctly from \Stephen Lewis’s article, the two lead archbishops have decided to postpone implementing the now ‘stand alone prayers’. But at least one diocese and parish have already actioned them – the two ladies on Advent Sunday. So how does this affect that decision? I’m lost.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
4 months ago

Thank you – that does make some sense.

Nic Tall
Nic Tall
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

The standalone service would be a service specifically for the purpose of celebrating the relationship. That has not yet been commended, and it appears that the Archbishops (probably just one of the Archbishops) are unwilling to commend that liturgy despite proposing to Synod that they would in Feb 2023 and Synod welcoming that proposal. In December the House of Bishops commended a suite of liturgical resources that could be used within an existing service, so like having a baptism in your Sunday Morning Service of the Word. The two ladies making use of this on Advent Sunday, at least the… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Nic Tall
4 months ago

Thanks, Nic. I find a lot of these technicalities very hard to understand.

Peter
Peter
4 months ago

I had entirely lost hope that the bishops of the Church of England might just act to safeguard the Gospel. Perhaps I was wrong.

One swallow does not make a Summer, but if the people now running LLF have genuinely recognised the chaos that is about to unfold that is to be welcomed.

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