Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 14 October 2020

Charlie Bell Anglicanism.org Risk and Prophesy – has the Church got its COVID-19 response right?
“In this paper Charlie Bell challenges assumptions about how we should approach the COVID- 19 crisis not least in church. He argues that church authorities have misunderstood the science and imposed a culture of fear thereby exacerbating the crisis. It is time for a radical reassessment.”

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News Safeguarding, ‘Reabuse’ and LGBT People

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church We are sorry, but please be patient: An Apology after IICSA
Narcissism – A Recipe for Unhappiness in the Church

Ian Black Church Times Comment: how the Church can end its abuse culture
“Policies and procedures are not enough to stop abuse, says Ian Black. Much deeper changes are needed”

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Leonel
Leonel
7 days ago

“there is no pure scientific way of determining what ‘safe’ is given the novelty of the threat we currently face and the resulting lack of clear universal measures that can be taken to avoid infection.” there is a pure scientific way for determining what is NOT covid safe. there are PLENTY of “universal measures” that can be taken to avoid a covid infection. Preventing clergy from entering churches might have more to do with preventing anyone else in the congregation (parish patrons, their families and friends) and beyond from following suit. It’s ‘the national church’ after all and it might… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
7 days ago

Re: Stephen Parsons ‘Surviving Church’ two articles “We are sorry, but please be patient…” + “Narcissism…”. Janet Fife comments [“We are sorry…]: “I can now report that I had a Zoom meeting with Stephen Cottrell, the new Archbishop of York, a couple of days ago and it was refreshingly different from most of my contacts with bishops. He asked for suggestions, made a note of what I said, and has already begun action on two of them. He also made a promise which he has kept. I hope that this, plus developments elsewhere which I am noting, shows that some… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
7 days ago

Archbishop Welby’s “Safe Places” declared ‘Unsafe’ for victims of abuse and those victims falsely accused of abuse:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/12/church-englands-safe-spaces-helpline-labelled-unsafe-abuse-survivors/

Kate
Kate
7 days ago

I had assumed that Bell’s article which starts with academic braggery would be intellectually sound. I gave up when I realised it isn’t. He posits that we shouldn’t have given up singing because we did not know the precise experimental risk, using as an analogy the unknown risk of wearing a purple sweater. This is utter tosh. We might not know the precise quantitative level of risk but we qualitatively know that spreading droplets is likely to be a significant transmission vector. Without putting a number on it, we can still reasonably rate the risk as high if a singer… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
7 days ago

Yes indeed, Mr Black. Policies have been in place, yet still abuse continues. There is nothing new about this. There is nothing – dare I say this? – peculiar about the church. Every institution and profession behave similarly. Take Shipman. Death rates were high but questions were not asked. The police didn’t take first suspicions seriously. People just wouldn’t believe that a doctor could do that. Take the Bristol heart surgery scandal, or baby Joshua Titcombe’s death and the Furness Hospital denials, or breast surgeon Paterson now in prison. And many more. Try making a complaint about a doctor or… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by Stanley Monkhouse
David Rowett
David Rowett
7 days ago

Thank you for that, Stanley. Watching the Shipman documentary the other week I was struck by the recognisability of the tramlines on which that sad business ran, and I would guess that there are plenty of other examples of similar institutional failure across society.

It’s always intrigued me that the most powerful sins are virtue corrupted – loyalty, for example, within professions. As Anselm observed, ‘You have not considered the seriousness of sin’. Funny that the Church possesses the necessary philosophical and theological tools to analyse what’s going on but often seems happier using corporate language and strategies instead.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
6 days ago

Re: Stephen Parsons Surviving Church

‘Mary’ comments: “Narcissism…

“So what would we expect to happen when further investigations prove the Bishop to be wrong? An apology perhaps? No, unlike the rest of humanity a Bishop cannot be wrong, and cannot admit even to making a simple mistake, if mistake it was. The awful thing is that he is perpetuating his wrong by maintaining this stance. I simply must be wrong and treated as such. Church decisions which prove me right are simply unacceptable. Truly the Bishop is king in his diocese”

Last edited 6 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
5 days ago

Even worse is the refusal to ‘discredit the process’ in cases where someone has clearly been wronged.

Clare Amos
6 days ago

Perhaps it is nit-picking but the title of Charlie Bell’s paper profoundly irritates me – partly probably because he is an academic at Girton – my own old college. Prophesy is only correctly written if it is a verb. If it is a noun it should be Prophecy. Reading his paper I cannot see that it is intended to be a verb. I am not usually so ‘picky’ over such things, but the tone of Charlie’s paper (which seems somehow to convey that those who disagree with him are not very intelligent) makes me want to insist that he gets… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
6 days ago
Reply to  Clare Amos

Yes, how many times have we heard the reader of 1 Cor 13 (usually at weddings) muddle up the pronunciation of “prophecy” and “prophesy”? Always a painful moment!

Simon Kershaw
Admin
5 days ago
Reply to  Shamus

These ‘c’ and ‘s’ noun and verb distinctions in English are one of the hardest things to get right! A colleague once pointed out to me that c and s (in alphabetical order) are noun and verb (also alphabetical order) respectively, and this works across the whole range of such words. Many of them are pronounced identically which makes the distinction harder to get right (as a bell ringer I try to get practice and practise right), but this pair is definitely supposed to be pronounced differently.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
5 days ago
Reply to  Shamus

And let’s not forget the story of the dry bones from Ezekiel 37, which, if I count correctly, uses “prophesy” or “prophesied” seven times. I have heard readers pronounce those words “prophesee” and “propheseed” so many times that it makes me shudder.

I used to teach lectoring in our diocese. This was one of the issues that I emphasized. As I told people, if you make this mistake, the entire congregation will focus solely on your pronunciation errors and the entire spiritual meaning of this wonderful lesson will be utterly lost.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
5 days ago

I don’t think my opinions would be worth more were I to write as Interested Observer, PhD, SFHEA, etc, etc and attach my publication history. I might, however, be thought a bit of a narcissistic braggart. For those that don’t know what it is, SFHEA is an (effectively) compulsory piece of CPD in universities which involves a few afternoons in a room with similarly new-hire colleagues chatting about academia and eating those nice oat biscuits in packets of two with cheap coffee in single servings, and then writing a softly marked 3000 word essay on the topic of your choosing… Read more »

David Lamming
David Lamming
5 days ago

But your opinions might be better regarded were you not to hide behind the anonymous moniker “Interested Observer”.

Stanley Monkhouse
5 days ago

Oooh, what fun! Academic willy-waving. I’m a medic (Cambridge MA, MB etc) with a cell biology PhD (Nottingham), a theology MA (Nottingham) and a professional music diploma (FRCO). I’ve always had a great future behind me. The medical course, theology degree and the PhD were conveyor belts: memory and perseverance needed but precious little sparkle. That came with (1) History of Art in the third undergraduate year at Cambridge between science and clinical, and (2) the organ diploma. The first required me to think as opposed merely to remember, and the second required creativity and discipline. I’ve learnt that postnominal… Read more »

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