Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 19 August 2020

All Things Lawful And Honest We don’t need no education
Angela Tilby asks challenging questions about the capacity of the Church of England’s theological institutions to prepare adequately ministers who love, know and understand both the Scriptures they preach, and the Church they serve.”

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Time for Disclosure instead of Silence- Jonathan Fletcher

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel Further Discussions on Redress

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Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

Meg Munn: “The scheme will need appropriate oversight and evaluation, and a decision will need to be made on whether it should be run independently of the Church, although funded by it. The Panel recommended that the scheme should be independently administered but with clear input and ownership from the Church. Such oversight should ideally be achieved through current Church structures. It must be clear that the Church maintains responsibility for the prevention of and response to safeguarding issues.” Oh dear. The lack of a clean separation between the administration of the scheme and the input/ownership of the Church will… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

If the CofE were a Medical School training future doctors, there would be countless needless deaths as a result of ignorance and stupidity. Angela Tilby’s diagnosis of theological training is horrifying. All that is needed of today’s professional ministers is an ability to grin incessantly, to claim what a great bloke and mate Jesus is, and to talk literalist gibberish from a pulpit. Ironically, the fervent desire of evangelicals just to spread the “good news” has resulted in such a dumbing down of a credible faith, people are leaving in droves at the inane nonsense passing as “theology”. At one… Read more »

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

Not even good bible thumpers if Angela Tilby is right – and I think she is. Graduates of vicar school (wince) probably feed into the intellectual desert that is hastening the decline of the Church of England.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
1 month ago

“Powerful forces, movements and interests such as the HTB network, St Mellitus, Alpha courses, Fresh Expressions and so-called ‘Resource’ churches dominate. This alternative C of E now controls the money, many of the appointments and the minds and hearts of most of the Church of England’s leadership.“..”.it has also inaugurated a bid for power within the Church, throwing up patterns of leadership quite independent of tradition, custom and good practice.” Please do read all of Angela Tilby’s piece, which hits so many nails on the head. The changes she identifies have crept up. As a DDO in London 20 years… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

If we believe the Eucharist to be the determing and normative activity of the Church, then the situation is even more troubling. Over the last few years I’ve been mentoring curates, but in an allegedly Catholic diocese which Andrew knows well, nearly all those now coming forward are in other traditions. Many seeing liturgical worship as, at best, inimical to mission. Recently I was in St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral in Glasgow, when I asked the preacher – more Thames’ Estuary than Clydeside – “what brought you here?” he replied “because the Church of England has lost interest in the Eucharist”.… Read more »

Anne Foreman
Anne Foreman
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Godsall

‘And another of the nails Canon Tilby’s piece
hits is that this ‘alternative C of E’ is undermining the parish system………….
Anne Foreman

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

So more administration costs to manage a redress project. No doubt to keep Ecclesiastical happy.

Why not just pay a generous flat sum to everyone immediately with an appeal process for the few who think it inadequate? Cheaper and the survivors get help now. That’s what a survivor-centric approach would look like not one which works out the bare minimum which can be paid in each case.

At this rate, if the Church doesn’t get on with it, someone ought to start a GoFundMe so that churchgoers can divert money from the collection to a fund for survivors.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

I may disagree with Kate on many matters; I agree with her very much on this one.
‘The church’ needs to show generosity, and soon, in spirit and in money; it needs to be seen to be getting a grip. It has messed up, now it must cough up. No ifs, no buts; get compensation done.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

As a former Anglican, I say that this is an excellent article by Canon Angela Tilby, reflecting on it, I think there could be Anglicans Lay, ordained or even professed in the Religious or Monastic Life in the Church of England, that if the truth of what Canon Tilby has written comes home to them at a very deep level, it might make them realize that there is a very serious crisis of authority within the Church of England as well as the wider Anglican Communion, and it could have the effect of spiritually shaking them to their foundations and… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago

Fr David H, Jill Armstead and Andrew Godsall commenting on the Tilby piece are spot on. My only reservation is that unlike Mr Godsall, I wouldn’t say the present situation has “crept up” on us, but it seems rather to have been engineered. If it **has** crept up”, then all I can say is that the hierarchs are guilty of sustained dereliction of duty in not keeping eyes on balls. It has been plain for all to see if only people had looked. The R&R push for more young ordinands means more newly ordained brought up in other traditions who… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

Tilby targets by name one specific demographic in the CofE. But reading her indictment, it is clear the present situation is dire far more broadly. No basic biblical literacy, no common liturgy, a love of diversity for its own sake, and on it goes. One could add no sense of history in its range and complexity. No sense of ecumenical realities. A culture that confuses knowledge with knowing how to google something. Hard to turn that ship around.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

I am sceptical whether training colleges should exist at all. Curacies as apprenticeships seems to be a much better model.

There also ought to be diocesan Zoom Bible study groups led by the bishops for ministers – we have let bishops become managers but we should be pushing them back into their proper role as teachers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kate
God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

While sharing Kate’s scepticism, I disagree with her proposal on this. Threads elsewhere testify to the shortcomings of too many ‘Training Incumbents’- perhaps due in part to inadequacies in their own training! At least in a college or on a course a ‘student priest’ will be exposed to a range of views, ways of seeing, understanding, being and doing. I would however suggest that some colleges may be rather ‘narrow’ and students having chosen that place have their prejudices reinforced. I dislike the imposition of a ‘national curriculum’ as in ‘Durham Awards’ and favour diversity both within and between colleges.… Read more »

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

I agree that quality control of curacies is a problem, although it’s not clear that colleges have mastered quality control either

Charles Read
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

Colleges and course are regular inspected and also reviewed by Durham university to see if they are fit to deliver the Common Awards programme.

Kate
Kate
30 days ago
Reply to  Charles Read

Isn’t the whole point of Angela Tilby’s article that she doesn’t think colleges are providing the needed quality of education?

Charles Read
30 days ago
Reply to  Kate

I think she is looking at the bigger issues, not just the TEIs. I happen to think (actually I know!) that the picture she paints of what happens in a TEI is wildly inaccurate.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
30 days ago
Reply to  Charles Read

With respect to scripture, doctrine and even history, the TEIs are doubtless doing as much as can be expected in 2 years (residential) or 3 years (part-time). Post-ordination IME-4-7 is down to dioceses and the training incumbent. The lacuna is in the “failure to form ordinands in an understanding of liturgical prayer” – one course includes ‘wacky worship’ in its syllabus, leaving presidency to the title parish. The rationale being that this better honours the various traditions However this not only ignores the fact that the basics remain broadly the same, it also assumes some competency in training incubents who… Read more »

Charles Read
Charles Read
1 month ago

Common Awards is not a national curriculum. The module outlines are all very general so individual TEIs can shape specific content as they see fit. Those who think ministerial education has been dumbed down by a church which does not value academic theology might remember that when the Cameron government hiked university fees to £9K and so made links with local universities too expensive for TEIs (and the Church generally), the General Synod voted overwhelmingly to continue to train clergy (and Readers in many dioceses) in a university context using university degrees etc.. The only way to deliver this was… Read more »

Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
1 month ago

This all makes depressing reading for the Church of England, with not a single positive comment.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

Read Amir Khan in Wednesday’s Times – substituting ‘surgeon’ for ‘HTB network’ and ‘parish priest’ for ‘GP’ – and note the similarities: “The surgeons – like my cousin Arif who is a cardiothoracic surgeon – look down on us GPs because they think we treat colds and sniffles. But, unlike surgeons, being based in the community means we have an ongoing and deep connection with our patients. I wanted to write a love letter to the job and the people I love, despite the fact being a GP is getting tougher and tougher.”  But who will write a love letter… Read more »

Confused Sussex
Confused Sussex
1 month ago

Powerful forces, movements and interests such as the HTB network, St Mellitus, Alpha courses, Fresh Expressions and so-called ‘Resource’ churches dominate. This alternative C of E now controls the money, many of the appointments and the minds and hearts of most of the Church of England’s leadership.“..”.it has also inaugurated a bid for power within the Church, throwing up patterns of leadership quite independent of tradition, custom and good practice.”

I can only agree the HTB network churches make a big thing being so, far more than being CoE churches and much of the teaching is very inward looking

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
1 month ago

Angela Tilby was Vice-Principal of Westcott House. Is she saying the rot in theological formation set in after she left?

Colin Coward
1 month ago

The comments on this thread do indeed make make very depressing reading as Paul Waddington notes, with not a single positive comment. Angela Tilby grounds her article in the Prayer Book collect for the Second Sunday of Advent. Scripture, she says, “is to be attended to, absorbed, savoured and relished because it opens up God’s loving concern for all creation and all people.” I think there is an underlying problem that escapes people’s attention. I agree wholeheartedly with Angela’s comment that God’s loving concern is for all creation and all people,  butthe Church of England and the Christian Church in… Read more »

Unhappy Priest
Unhappy Priest
30 days ago
Reply to  Colin Coward

We recently had a new incumbent at our local church who has many of the characteristics mentioned above. We were a fairly successful middle of the road C of E but it was made quite clear that I was not part of the new team. I left but don’t think the hierarchy were that interested as to why a well liked priest would leave. I am sure I am not the only one in this situation.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
30 days ago
Reply to  Colin Coward

Surely the radical argument and resistance called for by Angela Tilby is inherent within a liberal secular democracy which has equality laws ensuring all those Fr Colin mentions are not discriminated against. Who wants to join an organisation like the CofE which doesn’t like them? We are not needed to tell society everyone counts equally. It already shows that better than we do.

Anne Eyre
Anne Eyre
29 days ago

Angela Tilby’s article gives me a drop of hope. Combined with the interview of Archbishop Rowan Williams I am enabled to continue ” to explore the landscape” as Archbishop Rowan descibed it. Sadly the article by Anna and Noah Satterisch reinforced my sense that the Church is a marketing business; the product is God, whose Son has been reduced to a feel -good tool (well-being tool?) , enabling followers to skirt quickly round the Agony in the garden, the deep ownership of our fallenness, to enable the real joy of resurrection and transformation.I could tell several stories of this journey,… Read more »

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
28 days ago

It’s interesting to note how many people have gone after Angela Tilby on the twittersphere because she has dared to question ‘The Brand’ and critique the direction of travel (we’re back to episcopal mantra of ‘we set the narrative’ now). But it is also because she has touched a sore and sensitive nerve by naming and shaming these so-called ‘Evangelicals’ for their cavalier attitude towards Scripture – and she is absolutely right to do so. If I had a tenner for every so-called ‘Evangelical’ bishop – and archbishop – I have heard preaching over the past decade, and who has… Read more »

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