Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 12 February 2020

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love LGBTI+ and Church of England Teaching Documents – a history

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church General Synod, Survivors and Institutional Power

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Salt and Light

Savitri Hensman ViaMedia.News Church & Sexuality: Like a Mighty Tortoise…

Jon Kuhrt Psephizo Why do churches manage people badly?

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer Safeguarding: the Church of England’s house is slowly being rebuilt

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Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
4 months ago

Our rector built her whole sermon around salt this past Sunday. One of the things she noted was that salt is essential to human life…our very ability to think, move and feel depends on it. (Salt is necessary in the process of sending messages along the nerves in our bodies.) So when we spread our compassion, our empathy, our belief…we are spreading our salt.

Stanley Monkhouse
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

All sorts of images about salt. Mind you, it’s not so much salt per se that makes nerves tick, as sodium ions. And potassium ions IIRC. Pat’s rector and the Archdruid are much cleverer than me. I thought the message of the text was simply “don’t be boring”. Inject a bit of flavour – have a laugh, provoke people out of the ruts they (we) so easily call home. It’s a sin to be boring. More than a few church people are boring. I don’t believe all the nonsense about salt being bad for you. It’s a conspiracy of boring… Read more »

Mary Hancock
Mary Hancock
4 months ago

Don’t know how relevant this is, Stanley, but salt also makes bitter things sweeter. Try a few crystals on a slice of lemon. And adding a very small amount to tonic water removes the reason for adding it to gin. I used this property in my sermon – even a very small thing that we might do (a smile or a word or two) can sweeten the day for someone. (But don’t add it to your G&T.)

Stanley Monkhouse
4 months ago
Reply to  Mary Hancock

I will try all that. I’m a great fan of lemon juice – I add it to almost everything. It’s good to have some ‘silliness’ amongst the well meaning but oh-so-heavy stuff about synod and whatnot. Yet again I wonder if synod enthusiasts realise how irrelevant they are to many in the churches. I think about those from which I’re retired and wonder how they, almost entirely 60+ and mostly web un-enabled (one church entirely so), will cope with yet another directive from Pyongyang, say about carbon neutrality or some other woke enthusiasm. It’s like the Labour Party I guess:… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

As an aside, the place name Ipswich, mentioned by Archdruid Eileen, suggests it was a place that produced salt, the suffix “wich” thought to indicate a place with a salt pit.

Shamus
Shamus
4 months ago

I am not sure that John Kuhrt appreciates the divergent understandings of what a priest’s work is amongst parishes in the CofE? Yes, we have the ordinal, but try comparing answers in a liberal catholic, Anglo-Catholic, and a more evangelical parish. There are many views, even in quite small parishes, and some of these views can be mutually exclusive. This adds to the complications in agreeing role definitions etc. Managerialism as a solution to these complexities is an illusion.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
4 months ago
Reply to  Shamus

I enquired about a part time post when I was considering how to care for my elderly parents. I asked the archdeacon what pattern of working was expected in return for half of a stipend. Her reply made it clear that the only thing that had been halved was the stipend; she expected me to be available six days a week. She hadn’t thought I’d need to arrange a parental care package for my working days; I didn’t pursue it with her, but I don’t suppose she’d thought about the needs of someone who wanted to find paid employment for… Read more »

Kate
Kate
4 months ago

Susannah has been proposing for some time that the time has come to fight. I just don’t agree with her specific proposal because it places people at risk. The Surviving Church piece, and especially the contribution to Froghole points the way though. The answer is to set up a charity which only funds inclusive parishes. All our giving could be made to the charity instead of to a local collection plate. I am sure a priest could be found to bless it – a retired one if necessary as most of us believe that sacerdotal powers cannot be removed. The… Read more »

Susannah Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate, I believe that the time has come to prepare contingencies, but I also believe we should see what LLF actually says (it’s not going to involve doctrinal change, but will it point to that). Also, I prefer to say ‘act on conscience’ rather than fight, because people SHOULD act on conscience. Otherwise they are knowingly doing harm, and perpetuating harm. There are already courageous priests who, along with their PCCs, insist that gay and lesbians partnerships should be openly, publicly, blessed. And the local churches that are prepared to do that are decent, true to conscience, and refusing to… Read more »

Susannah Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  Susannah Clark

typo: “January 1st 2020” -> read “January 1st 2021”

Susannah Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

“I just don’t agree with her specific proposal because it places people at risk.” But the status quo being forced upon people, imposing what you know in conscience is so damaging, places far more people at risk. The young gay and lesbian kids I know, the couples being refused public blessing week by week, those who are maybe put off church for life, those who are psychologically harmed, those who have their sexuality vilified, those who love God but are told that their sexuality is sin, those who in the end just can’t carry on… We cannot let the status… Read more »

Kate
Kate
4 months ago
Reply to  Susannah Clark

Read again the piece in Christian Today by the Bishop of Coventry posted here a few days ago https://christiantoday.com/article/living-in-love-and-faith-process-is-a-call-to-action-for-church-of-england-bishop/134216.htm “It’s a call to learning together, using the resources to engage more deeply with the Bible and with the Church’s theological tradition, with the context we find ourselves in, in relation to what it means to be human, to be sexual, to be loved by God, and to be made in the image of God. … “It is a call to confession and repentance as we discover and come to terms with our prejudices, blindspots, fears, hypocrisies, and to allow the… Read more »

Susannah Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

I agree that appears to be the direction of travel. We must be nice to each other, indeed love each other, but church doctrine on human sexuality is remaining the same. I’ve just posted a more detailed response to this, beneath your own comment on the Tuesday in Synod thread. ‘Process’ led from the top continues to result in perpetuating the conservative status quo. That does not reflect the reality of what the church as a whole believes. Therefore process may need to be disrupted by the exercise of conscience from the grassroots up, to present de facto reality, rather… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

It does not necessarily mean no change but I fear it might. Bishop Christopher also points to a need to engage with context and remember that in this context, of theological discussion, tradition changes and evolves- it is certainly not static.

David Exham
David Exham
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate, you appear to have written off the LF process before seeing what is going to be produced! It is surely necessary to engage more deeply with all the things that +Coventry lists. This does not mean that ‘the Church’s theological tradition’ will have to be slavishly adhered to, but it does recognise that tradition will certainly be asserted by some in the conversation and that must be addressed if any agreement is to be reached.

As for the call to confession and repentance, surely we are all, on all sides, in need of this?

Kate
Kate
4 months ago
Reply to  David Exham

David, after the bishops voted not to withdraw the (in) pastoral statement, do you really believe they expect Living in Love in Faith to say anything different than the statement? Doubtless there will be window-dressing to improve the presentation but clearly they don’t expect substance which contradicts the position they took.

David Exham
David Exham
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate: First, it was not intended that the pastoral statement be published, at least according to some of the bishops. Second, it merely repeated—in a badly timed and insensitively expressed way—what was and is the current teaching of the Church of England. To have withdrawn it would surely indicate that this was no longer the teaching of the C of E and I don’t think they were in a position to do that. Third, it is clear that there are a number of Bishops who are clearly very unhappy with the status quo, and will be looking for some significant… Read more »

Susannah Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  David Exham

“We can only continue to pray that when it does a place can be found where all views can be held in respectful tension without excessive fracture.” Thank you, David. That is my deep prayer as well. The word ‘excessive’ is well-chosen, because sadly there may be some peripheral fracture at either extreme, but my hope and prayer is that most people will look at the so precious life and work of the Church in so many communities across this land, and realise that our central faith and service is a shared one, and that we should journey together, and… Read more »

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
4 months ago
Reply to  Kate

I read the link with interest. It seems the upshot is maintaining the status quo while learning to recognise difference and then do what with it except maintain the status quo? Those of us living on the sharp end of this do not need further learning and reflection on who we are and the consequences of not fitting the binary model. Those who regard any change as immoral and ‘not following Jesus’ have learned they hold power and can wield it effectively to stop any change. Who then is doing the learning and why? No deal is a denial of… Read more »

Kate
Kate
4 months ago

This depressing piece ought to be mentioned
https://www.christiantoday.com/article/church-must-step-up-to-stop-spread-of-transgender-ideology-says-ex-trans-man/134225.htm

Not content with blocking progress on same sex marriage, traditionalists are trying to roll back the position re gender reassignment.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
4 months ago

“And as for electric cars – what a nonsense. Where do people think the electricity’s gonna come from? Let’s have more nucular (as Homer Simpson would say) power stations.” I’ve had concerns about this as well. But I was at a meeting about a year ago chaired by the head of the California Air Resources Board, a woman who is a very active Episcopalian, one of the most knowledge people in the U.S. about climate change, and one of the major leaders against the current American federal administration’s attempts to role back standards concerning clear air, clean water, and climate… Read more »

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