Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 2 May 2020

Peter Selby The Tablet Is Anglicanism going private?
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Giles Fraser UnHerd The C of E has retreated to the kitchen

Jeremy Pemberton From the Choir Stalls Funerals in a time of plague

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of ministry: Woes, worries & possible blessings in COVID times

Martyn Percy Viamedia.News We Can’t Go Back…A Re-Minder To Us All

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England What We Can Do For The Dead

Naomi Lawson Jacobs Church Times Disabled people say welcome to our world
“Maybe now churches will listen to people with disabilities about inclusive ministry”

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Titus Trustees and Simon Austen’s resignation

Andrew Graystone Church of England Newspaper Why the Titus Trust must close

Matthew Duckett Writing on the Walls of Nineveh The Treachery of Images – The Church in the Online Age

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Stanley Monkhouse
3 months ago

Reposted in more appropriate thread: Peter Selby in The Tablet is well worth reading, not least because he’s a C of E bishop (retired) of some prophetic distinction. It underlines how the C of E has in large measure abandoned the wider community in favour of tending only the members of its shrinking club. As he hints, the RC church is becoming the go-to source of spiritual sustenance – I suppose that flourished with Basil Hume and it hasn’t yet quite evaporated. His observation that the NHS is becoming the new national religion reflects a truth that has been evident… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
3 months ago

It was said of Basil Hume that he could talk about God to the English without them wishing they would rather be somewhere else. A grace rather than a skill. As Keats noted, we tend to be suspicious of anything that has a palpable design on us.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
3 months ago

I have recently been re-reading the transcripts of the IICSA hearings into the Peter Ball affair. Everyone in Lambeth Palace behaved appallingly, and whether their problem was a naivety about evil, a crush on Peter Ball, a complete indifference to abuse, a misplaced loyalty to “George” or the church, or just rank stupidity, the effect was to grant permission (literally) for a grooming abuser to continue grooming and, quite likely, abusing. The exchange where Peter Ball asks for the names of the complainants, George Carey says yes, Frank Sargeant and he agree that they don’t need to mention this to… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
3 months ago

When I wondered why the Archbishop had said Easter mass in the kitchen, an erstwhile colleague pointed out that you deal with tradespeople and the lower orders in the kitchen not the drawing room. I think Bishop Selby has summed the situation up accurately. I loved his reference to Lorraine.

peterpi -- Peter Gross
peterpi -- Peter Gross
3 months ago

I find some governments’ definition of “essential” to be capricious and arbitrary, but at a minimum a priest who can physically walk to his or her worship space can fulfill the requirements of keeping proper social distance, keeping the number of other people in the worship space to fewer than ten (him/herself, possibly an organist, possibly a separate camera person), etc. And the notion of a priest “serving as an example” of the government’s policies? I admit that, unless he makes a brief cameo on the USA’s CNN network, I haven’t seen any of PM Johnson’s recent public appearances, but… Read more »

Kate
Kate
3 months ago

I reached first for the article on disabled inclusion by Naomi Lawson Jacobs and was very glad I did. It offers a very good counterpoint to a lot of ableist articles which see virtual services as impaired when for many disabled people they are a significant step forwards. And, if you polled disabled Christians whether they were concerned about the mechanics of the consecration of the bread and wine in virtual Eucharists, I bet many would tell you they don’t care – it is far better than not being able to attend the service at all. Naomi also mentions that… Read more »

John Wallace
John Wallace
3 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Sorry, Kate. I find on-line worship unsatisfying and shallow. I just don’t feel engaged. I’m watching a ‘performance’ however genuinely my vicar celebrates and I am extremely grateful that she does. I am not a visual person and can’t understand diagrams; if it were written instructions, no problem. So I long for the day to be in a place where I can physically share in the Eucharist. (and I always walk to church in one of the largest parishes in the Diocese!)

Froghole
Froghole
3 months ago

The Selby and Fraser critiques have led me back to the very cogent Beasley/Radford/McCarthy report of about a month ago. It describes the virus and guesstimates its likely evolution, but makes no specific policy recommendations with respect to the total ban on the use of churches. My suspicion is that if that team were asked to suggest a policy to the authorities it was on the basis of a total ban. It is possible that Professor Radford (who took orders in 2016) may have been informed by her experience of Churston Ferrers (Devon) in early March. What happened is that… Read more »

Kate
Kate
3 months ago

I have precisely the opposite view of the Duckett piece. It is argument by gestalt: the verses he cites don’t individually or collectively add up to his assertion that only bishops and priests can lead the Eucharist.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
3 months ago

Two sharply perceptive comments in an outstanding blog by Kate Massey – ‘Closed Churches and Kitchen Tables – a contribution to the conversation’. “‘In the recent controversy about the closure of our church buildings … the vast majority of “noise” which I have experienced has come from men. And predominantly white, able-bodied, (relatively) powerful men. With every generalisation there will be the exceptions, but I wonder to what extent that the experience of feeling marginal is much more difficult to those who have not been marginalised before? Women, people of colour and those ministering with disabilities are much more used… Read more »

Susannah Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  David Runcorn

The latter point is exactly on target, I feel. Personally, I found Justin speaking from his kitchen both endearing and in line with a whole aspect of God that works for me – as domestic, ungrandiose, neighbourly. As I’ve mentioned before, while I also love the numinous and withdrawn aspects of God, one whole part of how God connects with me is like a female friend and neighbour, and I’m working in the kitchen, and she comes in through the back door, and we sit, and chat, and share together. So I’ve felt a bit bemused by the almost mocking… Read more »

William
William
3 months ago
Reply to  Susannah Clark

The problem about retreating to the domestic realm is that it highlights inequality. How many people around the world have the sort of lavish, state of the art kitchens exhibited by Lambeth Palace? The traditional ecclesiastical setting works in the opposite way. Here is a space that belongs to us all, not just the privileged few.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
3 months ago
Reply to  David Runcorn

David I think you’re a little out of date if you think that the kitchen is a female space. The celebrity chefs we see nowadays are almost all male. Fanny Craddock and Delia Smith are very passé. Fanny died sometime ago of course.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
3 months ago

Fr Dean. Neither I, nor the writer I was quoting was suggesting anything of the sort any more than I assume you think kitchens are for the ‘lower orders’. It was a short extract and that seems to have mislead you. I have posted the link below for Janet and I strongly recommend it.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
3 months ago
Reply to  David Runcorn

David, where can I find the Kate Massey blog? A google search hasn’t turned it up.

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
3 months ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

Here it is Janet. I think it is a new blog site. https://insearchofaroundtable.home.blog

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
3 months ago
Reply to  David Runcorn

Thank you David. It’s excellent. A pity she hasn’t put her name to it, if you hadn’t given it I wouldn’t have known who the author is.

ACI
ACI
3 months ago

Duckett offers a primer in eucharistic theology, and more, a warning about ‘realities’ coming in the form of ‘virtual.’p

Kate
Kate
3 months ago
Reply to  ACI

The thing which struck me is that he used 1 Timothy 5 to justify priestly authority. This is a supremely misogynistic Chapter. Not only would we now disagree with his contention that widows under 60 should remarry because women can’t resist sexual temptation, his ‘counsel’ is counter to Jesus’s teaching in the Gospels that it is better to stay single and follow Jesus. I can understand why men don’t pick it up but, as a woman, this is a chapter about male headship, very much a theme in the Epistles. And, if the Epistles are wrong about male authority, isn’t… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
3 months ago

Concerning the points Froghole raises here and on other boards, several things strike me about the comparison he makes between the C of E and the church in France. In France, bishops are paid the same as priests. Their pay is less than half that of a C of E incumbent, let alone a bishop. French priests in general have more churches to look after than do C of E priests, it being not unusual for a rural French priest to have more than 20 churches. French bishops and dioceses tend to be open about the economic sink hole that… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
3 months ago

Marcus Green’s most recent piece is worth reading and taking to heart. Basically, his view is that it’s time we all stopped attacking each other. At the moment, we’ve got bigger fish to fry.

https://possibilityofdifference.blogspot.com/2020/05/a-little-help.html?fbclid=IwAR1xY8tJdqJ1kSQCme4wFIDyRqT2q33S3Gu56VrJ6k7t0rY-EgELdDN2z9Y

Stanley Monkhouse
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim Chesterton

Absolutely right Tim, but unfortunately such sentiments are used to quash critical thinking and loyal dissent. The story of the CoE over the last century and more is one of mainly spineless leadership and cronyism in which loyal dissenters have been ignored or sidelined: it’s well known that some of the more recent changes in church governance resulted from a determination never again to allow a David Jenkins to the bench. Look at the mess that that’s got us into: a monochrome, secretive leadership. We need robust, not necessarily “good”, disagreement that stimulates exploration and brushes nothing under the carpet.… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
3 months ago

I’m the last person to want to quash critical thinking and loyal dissent. I just think that when English Anglicans think the most urgent issue that they need to exercise critical thinking and loyal dissent about is whether or not clergy can broadcast from their churches – an issue on which Jesus and the authors of the New Testament have absolutely no opinion – then something has gone badly wrong. Did you actually read Marcus’ article? It’s about the stress we’re all under right now. I don’t get why we feel we have to add to this stress by fighting… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim Chesterton

Anyone who has read my posts over the last month will know that I am highly critical of those who perseverate about churchy stuff while appearing to neglect the Dominical requirement to feed the hungry, visit the oppressed, clothe the naked, and so on. It seems to me that pretty much everything else is a minor issue. And yes, I read Marcus’s article.

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