Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 20 July 2022

Helen King sharedconversations A Synod Divided: York Minster on Sunday
and From a tree to a window to an installation: the visual messages of Living in Love and Faith

Martyn Percy Surviving Church Rampant Sacred Irrationality
and Respair, Not Despair

Emma Percy Women and the Church The CNC elections and fair appointments?

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The cosmos, planet earth, consciousness, and energy – life’s spiritual adventure

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Susannah Clark
21 days ago

In response to Colin: I believe that shared consciousness is a significant aspect of our calling into life with God. Shared consciousness and shared awareness. My spiritual pathway is Christian. Along that pathway, I have learnt that for my own God-given temperament, I need to be receptive, in order to make more space for God. My practice is contemplative. When encounters with perfection occur – which are by no means frequent – in short, when God chooses to come… the soul gets transported or filled with God’s own awareness and consciousness. It’s like a sea, or vast plain, of consciousness.… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
21 days ago

It doesn’t surprise me there are members of Synod who don’t belong to the CofE, as Helen King avers. Allegiance to Anglicanism has been less important than being a “happy-clappy” which bestrides any denomination where being a grinning fundamentalist trumps any rational theology.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  FrDavid H
21 days ago

“Being a grinning fundamentalist trumps any rational theology”.

I would suggest such scorn is a poor substitute for analysis and persuasion

Nigel Aston
Nigel Aston
21 days ago

In the 2015-21 sessions of the GS at York a fair proportion of the Catholic Group invariably kept clear of the Minster on the Sunday and headed for Mass at All Saints, North Street. I doubt the practice has changed.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Nigel Aston
20 days ago

Its been going on for years! I was an undergrad in York 30 years ago and back then Synod members picked and chose which church they wanted to go to – nothing new there – and nothing wrong with it either. York has the diversity of traditions to offer the diversity of Synod (I use the word diversity here purely in terms of worshipping traditions!!)

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
19 days ago

I would go further than ‘nothing wrong’ to say that it is actively beneficial for members of Synod to attend a variety of churches while in York. I don’t understand why Helen King is making a fuss about it.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Kate
19 days ago

So the Eucharist is no longer ‘the sacrament of unity’ Kate?

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Allan Sheath
19 days ago

So unity can only be expressed if everyone gathers together under one roof? And not across multiple parishes?

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Kate
18 days ago

A consumerist age no doubt finds this very congenial, and it also has a certain honesty about the current divisions in the Body of Christ. But that is hardly enough to make the practice commendable. One bread, one body may have to await the final consummation, but it remains the horizon under which we live.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Allan Sheath
18 days ago

Surely the ‘one body’ is the Church militant and triumphant, and the ‘one bread’ is Jesus Christ, the bread of life? That’s how I’ve always understood it. Otherwise we could claim unity only with those Christians who worship in the same building with us, at the same time. I have always found the acoustic of York Minster echoey and problematic for my tinnitus, so were I on General Synod I would choose to worship at a smaller church – if I went to any service at all. When I was on Synod I spent the Sunday morning in quiet contemplation,… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Janet Fife
18 days ago

I can sympathise with your need for quiet contemplation, Janet. When in need of a break from parish life I’ve often taken a Sunday off and gone to an 8 o’clock where anonymity is promised. My posts were made with a clergy conference in mind (not having been on GS) where instead of participants gathering around one table, some stay away and others go elsewhere. If a college of presbyters feels no need to gather with its bishop, then who am I to criticise GS members? But as a principle I see the practice as (pace, Kate) less ‘actively beneficial’… Read more »

Peter
Peter
21 days ago

Helen King is characteristically measured and thoughtful in her observations. However, surely only the Bishops are now unable to see that LLF has driven us all to the point of exhaustion

The Bishops need to tell us what they believe. We can then all decide if they are to be trusted any longer

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
20 days ago

Emma Percy’s piece is a helpful diagnosis of the make up of General Synod. I can’t see how people who don’t support women bishops can be excluded from standing for election to the CNC and once on the CNC can’t be expected to disregard their view. Like many things in the CofE the pendulum swings between broad parameters. And I can see why WATCH are concerned about the direction of travel at present.

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
20 days ago

While I agree that those of any particular view should not be prevented from standing for General Synod and CNC and other bodies, I believe it is most important that there is absolute transparency about those views. Speaking hypothetically, if someone who did not agree with the appointment of women to the episcopate stood for election to CNC, but did not disclose that view in advance of the elections, then I believe that would be a matter of concern. Likewise, for reasons of transparency, anyone standing who would not countenance the appointment of those in a civil partnership should declare… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
20 days ago

Transparency is surely to be encouraged, but the list of views on what makes an acceptable bishop could go on: incumbency experience, view of the atonement, support for Save the Parish. I think what Emma Percy has put her finger on is not only the nature of the current membership of General Synod, but also the widening divide and shift of power in the CofE between the progressive agenda and the conservative reaction to it.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
20 days ago

I joined the General Synod in 1993. The secretive 1990 Group routinely worshipped at a church where there would be ‘pure teaching’, usually St Michael-le-Belfry, and the TradCaths went off for incense somewhere. Unity only works if there is a will for it.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Anthony Archer
20 days ago

And would you say there is less and less will for unity Anthony.? If so a pretty depressing future.

Robin Ward
Robin Ward
Reply to  Perry Butler
19 days ago

The Church of England is like Austria-Hungary in 1913 – held together only by a very old, very revered, very dutiful monarch, a treasury and a civil service.

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Anthony Archer
19 days ago

Did not know the 1990 Group went there! Surely too charismatic for them?

(The 1990 Group is a secretive group of very conservative evangelicals. When I joined GS in 1997 one of them approached me to join, telling me it was for the ‘real evangelicals’ unlike EGGS which was ‘too soft’ (!) I declined in rather forceful terms as I had just been to my first EGGS meeting and found most of them bonkers!)

Peter
Peter
19 days ago

The settlement in relation to the consecration of women as Bishops, and the previous settlement in relation to the ordination of women were both a pretty unsatisfactory compromise. If you now approach the issue from the perspective of your own firm principles (either for or against the ordination/consecration of women) you will obviously find much to reject as unprincipled in the implementation of the measures. That is the nature of living with a unsatisfactory compromise. Everybody is unhappy with it. I imagine Philip North could bear witness to that from the opposite perspective to Emma Percy. I am afraid their… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
19 days ago

Thanks for the piece from Colin Coward. A good and timely read given the current symptoms of the environmental crisis. Coincidentally, I’ve been re-reading Jacques Ellul’s material from the CBC radio programme “Ideas”, his distinctions regarding the three human milieu of nature, society, technology, each one taken up into the next. Touchstones with Coward there for sure.

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