Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 2 October 2019

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The 40th anniversary of a feral priest’s priesting

Janet Fife Surviving Church The Gospel, Victims and Common Worship

Sarah Mullaly, the Bishop of London, preached this sermon at the annual Judges Service in Westminster Abbey yesterday.
“Justice in the Bible has less to do with the conviction of the guilty and more to do with the care of the innocent.”

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Robert EllisFather Ron SmithTim ChestertonColin CowardKate Recent comment authors
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Nigel LLoyd
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Nigel LLoyd

Very moved by Colin Coward’s piece and the challenge that presents to the Church. It reminds me of something that Matthew Fox once wrote (Confessions – HarperCollins 1995 p.245) in a chapter entitled A Postdenominational Priest: Standing Outside the Rusty Gate. Fox dreams of what it means to have been cast outside the garden of the Church, but, looking, he sees it now as a cemetery, a place of death. Yet that brings him both to a place of vulnerability and to a place of recreation. I leads him to find hope, as he seeks to live out his vocation… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Yes, Nigel. To be intentionally ‘en Christo,’ engaging with the world we live in, is all.

Kate
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Kate

“We will celebrate around their dining table with a stiff gin and tonic followed by good food, wine and conversation.” The Disciples weren’t priests in any sense. Nor even was St Paul. I think Colin is getting back now far closer to Jesus’s intentions than when he was leading services in church. I understand why the loss of license hurts but I think it has liberated him to minister as Christ intended. There is value in someone having responsibility for a parish. There is value in training. There is value in a service of ordination to mark the dedication of… Read more »

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

There is no reason why Fr Colin can’t say mass for his friends and to celebrate his anniversary with a meal as well. The efficacy of the Eucharist isn’t affected by the absence of PTO.

Kate
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Kate

Absolutely agree

Robert Ellis
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Robert Ellis

Firstly congratulations Colin….though I never feel really comfortable congratulating someone on the anniversary of their ordination but I don’t know why. Secondly the response to your marriage is diabolical and heads need to hang in shame. You are still a priest, brother, and if I remember correctly we were ordained as priests into the Church of God not the Church of England and “…to celebrate the sacraments of the new covenant.” Go for it…..and then pour the gin!

Kate
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Kate

I am not generally a fan of Bishop Sarah but that was a decent sermon which made some very good points. It is pity, however, that she pulled her punches and failed to criticise a criminal “justice” system which has punishment as one of its purposes. My impression is that she is too much part of the establishment to follow her points to the obvious conclusion.

Alan Davies
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Alan Davies

Sarah Mullaly’s sermon makes the same mistake as many bishops who try to look tough at these Judges’ services. She goes so far and no further. She speaks about judgement and mercy (and to be fair she takes it slightly further by speaking about the need to defend the vulnerable and exploited); but she completely fails to follow it through. Why is she not asking why poverty-trapped single mothers in abusive and chaotic relationships, possibly with some form of dependency, who have dependent children at home, are being jailed for low-level shoplifting? Why is she not asking why young people… Read more »

Colin Coward
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I value the comments from Nigel, Fr Ron, Kate, Fr David and Robert. Reflecting on what each of you has written, I’m not sure where I am located now in the various dimensions of church and authority described. I’ve never felt circumscribed by church rules since those applying to LGBTI people were so obviously wrong when I realised I was gay aged 11. Therefore I’ve sat loose to every other rule that didn’t make sense or was at variance with the kingdom and Jesus’ teaching. Despite that, I have felt that church rules about who should preside at communion to… Read more »

Robert Ellis
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Robert Ellis

The late, great Bishop Kenneth Skelton, when asked about breaking rules which were quite obviously silly would answer….”If you ask me you know what the answer will have to be”. I take the view that rules are there to protect us not to hinder us.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Good and thought-provoking piece from Janet Fife. Thanks for a good reminder, Janet.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Happy Saint Francis Day to all our Friends at ADU – from Christchurch, New Zealand