Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 17 February 2024

Ben Phillips The Critic How can we pay for our cathedrals?
“Critics of silent discos in Canterbury Cathedral are silent on how to fund our churches”

Bosco Peters Liturgy God is Immoral

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The danger of endowing Jesus and his followers with divine powers at the expense of humanity – theirs and ours

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Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

With respect to the Phillips article, we have been here before – with ‘raves in the nave’ at Winchester (1993). Why should cathedrals be treated any differently from parish churches? A cathedral without its parish churches is a mere dismembered head. Cathedrals lost most of their assets from 1840, which became part of the seed capital of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (as they then were). Parish churches lost most of their assets between 1868 and 1976, and the corollary of this was that, from 1995-98, they also became entirely, or almost entirely, self-funding. Either way, the Church Commissioners have profited, and… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
1 month ago

Although there are big issues maintaining Cathedrals and parish churches, my understanding is they overall are in a better state than they ever have been. You only have to read a few 18th century archdeacons’ notes such as “no roof in chancel” to realise this. I suspect that if push came to shove The Commissioners would prevent the ancient cathedrals from falling down. It wouldn’t look good for them as they pay the stipends of most of the residentiary canons. However their investment would not extend to hundreds of lowly parish churches.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

Bosco Peters’ column, his mention of the rape of Tamar, and the sanitized lectionary of the Anglican Church in New Zealand reminds me of a book called The Harlot by the Side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch, which is devoted to several Bible stories, mostly from the Book of Genesis, that the average lectionary in Christianity (and possibly Judaism) skip over. One of the stories included in the book is the rape of Dinah, a daughter of Abraham. She is seen by a son of the chieftain Abraham is renting land from. In three short sentences, the son spots… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
1 month ago

Thanks, Peter. I also remembered that book in relation to Bosco’s article. It isn’t just in New Zealand that the lectionary is sanitised – something similar happens here in GB. Certain psalms, sometimes called the ‘cursing psalms’ are not considered appropriate for use in public worship due to the strength of angry emotion and lust for revenge which they contain. In them, forgiveness isn’t even on the list of priorities. M R James wrote his story, “The Uncommon Prayerbook” around one of them, which in the story is used to mark the date of either Cromwell’s birth or death. (My… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  John Davies
1 month ago

“Apparently 1948 was the fulfilling of certain essential end-time scenario prophesies, and therefore sacrosanct and unarguable.” Yep. I’ve done a lot of reading on this. For some conservative Christians, the creation of the State of Israel, and its astounding success in the 1967 war, is not attributed to brave Israelis or disorganized Arabs or (in the case of the 1967 war) an Israeli surprise attack on Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian air forces that left those countries without air support, but is attributed to the Hand of God. Israel is seen as a harbinger of the End Times, some versions of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
John Davies
John Davies
1 month ago

Thanks, Colin, for your helpful insight into human grief and the resurrection stories. Your comment reminds us that the disciples were very ordinary people, just like us, faced with something totally beyond their experience, which came on top of appalling disaster. No wonder they were confused; wouldn’t we be? To me the differing reactions you highlight suggest their authenticity; were they all alike you could rightly suspect collusion or some rewriting for effect. We know they frequently failed to understand Jesus, and clearly carried on doing so. It could also suggest why ‘some doubted’ on ascension day too. After all,… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
1 month ago

I think “how do we pay for our cathedrals” is the wrong question. The only answers it invites are the church in some form or other. The alternative question “how does the country pay for the upkeep of grade 1* listed buildings?” recognises that it is a question across both religious and secular buildings and invites answers such as Government grants.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Kate Keates
1 month ago

There is little prospect of any politician agreeing to do this. The tax burden is at all time high and there is no public support for tax increases to maintain ancient buildings used by a handful of people. Froghole’s suggestion is a sensible one but I doubt dioceses will be willing to give up their assets in this way.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

What was it on that note that Labour left in Osborne’s desk? “There’s no money left”.

Didn’t know how prescient they were eh?

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