Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 22 July 2020

Peter Anthony All Things Lawful And Honest Sound Bite Theology

Archbishop Cranmer Archbishops go on consecration strike – they will make no more bishops

Jason Loch A Venerable Puzzle The Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary And Episcopal Appointments

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Michael
Michael
13 days ago

According to the statement from the two archbishops, Ruth Bushyager will be consecrated by the Bishop of London assisted by the Bishop of Guildford and the Bishop of Dover. And yet in the Daily Telegraph yesterday (21st July) there was a letter from Mrs Bushyager’s father. He said that he had watched the consecration on youtube and seen his daughter consecrated by the two archbishops and the bishop of London. Maybe the ABY has very long arms like Mr Tickle. (There was a rebuttal in today’s DT by Adrian Hilton).

Rev Ian Houghton
Rev Ian Houghton
13 days ago

Archbishop Cranmer: “something of slight to women in the Church of England who have fought long and hard to be recognised as priests (1992), and then as bishops (2014).” This is a whole-church issue, not a “gender problem” – lots of men have been part of the struggle too and also continue to be exasperated at the inability of the Church of England to get to grips with this in an appropriate way. So what hope for all the other the other “issues” in the inbox?

Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
13 days ago

Jason Lock’s article is surely evidence that the disestablishment of the Church of England is long overdue.

Father David
12 days ago

If Cantuar and Ebor have indeed gone on “consecration strike” who is going to consecrate the next Bishop of Doncaster?

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
11 days ago
Reply to  Father David

Perm any 3 bishops from either province, with the ABY standing by to receive the Oaths of Allegiance and Obedience, if last week’s events are anything to go by. And still not a word of theological or other explanation as to why this is necessary or justified.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
11 days ago
Reply to  Father David

Good Morning Father David! I remember when I was a Monk at Roslin many years ago in the Community of the Transfiguration, the founder the late Father Roland Walls, telling a story, when he had to go and Visit Archbishop Michael Ramsey as he was at Lambeth Palace, en route to Taize and Michael Ramsey asked Father Roland ” am I to be another Pope or just the Bishop of Canterbury?” So Father Roland asked “Why do you ask Father?” Michael Ramsey pointed to a table “You see that table Roland? on that table are appeals to Canterbury from other… Read more »

ACI
ACI
12 days ago

“The most curious thing about the photo is the mysterious black book being held by the man to the left of Welby. Nobody is quite sure where this tome came from or what it represents.
In the other hand he holds the disembowelling rod of Saint Greta, with which he goeth forth to smite all the unwoke and verily their smoke riseth for all eternity but we hath planted trees to offset the carbon.” (Comment at AB Cranmer).
 
The CofE struggles are certainly good for a laugh every now and then.

Father Ron Smith
12 days ago

Quoting Fr. Peter Anthony:   “The bishops’ “people not buildings” sound bite is probably one of the most myopic theological statements in the history of second rate thinking. It reveals a level of reflection and theological learning that is very worrying indeed. If I were marking their responses to it as an examination question, I fear I’d need to write at the end of the script something along the lines of, “Room for significant improvement.”   I’m sure many Anglicans in the pews (and a few of us in the sanctuary) would take issue with Fr. P.A.’s challenge here –… Read more »

Michael
Michael
12 days ago

Of course the Mass, in wartime, can be celebrated with equal reverence in the trenches or even on the bonnet of a car. But the priest would be celebrating with others present unlike the current situation. One of my elderly relatives was a padre in the armed forces and did indeed often celebrate communion with a makeshift altar in a battle environment. This year, for the first time in nearly 80 years, he did not receive communion on Easter Day. He could have done a private celebration at home but decided against it, as 99% of Christians were denied communion… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
11 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, you ask us retireds “what is your view on celebrating communion in your own home for yourself.” And therein lies the problem! The Eucharist can never be for “yourself” but for the salvation of the world. If I still had a parish I would offer Eucharist on my own and in church, preferably but not necessarily live-streamed. But at home for myself, I think not.

Father Ron Smith
12 days ago

“Theology of Taint”? – Theology it aint!

Jo B
Jo B
12 days ago

Works better if you’re from Yorkshire: “Taint theology ‘t’aint theology”.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
12 days ago

Who would want to be a bishop when the presbyterate are seemingly so eager to pounce on every little misstep? Good grief.

Kate
Kate
11 days ago

A presbyterate which is awake and interested is surely a good thing. An apathetic presbyterate would be a problem.

Andrew
Andrew
12 days ago

A triptych on Anglicanism in England.   It’s a fallacy to suppose that since God is everywhere buildings are unimportant. Congregations have been excluded from the familiar surroundings of a church or cathedral, so many now worship at the temple of Zoom. Ad hoc methods of keeping in touch have been necessary during a pandemic, but is this brave new world a sustainable model, let alone a financially viable one?  The Church is embedded within a geographical network of parishes and dioceses, each one centred on a building, where the Body of Christ gathers.  Once this notion is downgraded, Anglican… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
11 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Andrew,   Many thanks for all your comments on this site.   We know what the clergy cost: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/GS%20Misc%201243%20Central%20Stipends%20Authority%20Report.pdf. We are therefore talking about an aggregate bill approaching £0.5bn p/a (assuming the annual stipends bill alone is in the region of £216.7m). With that in mind the Commissioners’ endowments of £8.7bn will not amount to that much if the implicit subsidy from the dioceses (i.e., parish share) dries up. OK, it would cover the stipendiaries for a few years, and then?   You mention interest rates. With Bank Rate at 0.1%, CPI at 0.8% and RPI at 1.1% most banks… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Thank you for drawing my attention to this report.   It’s only by reference to the history of legislation, in conjunction with a comprehensive survey of the parishes, and information gleaned from a variety of reports, that an overall picture of the financial health of the Church can be glimpsed.  Given that it’s nigh on impossible to obtain a true and fair view of the Church’s wealth, income and expenditure in its entirety, I’m grateful for your mini tutorials, having missed your earlier posts.   Budding researchers could be tasked with going through Crockfords and ringing round to find out… Read more »

David Rowett
David Rowett
11 days ago

Re; Andrew & Froghole on reopening, I think all the benefices of this deanery are now firing on some cylinders and rates of return are probably better than we dared hope.   In this regard I reckon our structures are better suited to the task than those of some other denominations: a 2/3 majority of the church council has to be in favour of reopening within Methodism, I believe, and none of the chapels in this neck of the woods can reach that. The chapels have all been shut now since March and there’s no hint of a reopening date.… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
11 days ago
Reply to  David Rowett

Many thanks for that. That is heartening news about your deanery.   On each of the last three weekends, I have undertaken as comprehensive an analysis of two different dioceses as possible, in order to ascertain what provision is available (B&W and Salisbury on 4 July; Lincoln and S&N on 11 July; Leicester and Worcester on 18 July). This is for my own selfish purposes – to resume the extensive pilgrimage I had been undertaking prior to lockdown.   Absent several contiguous benefices in south Wiltshire, I struggled to find meaningful provision elsewhere. I expected significant improvement when I undertook… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Admin
11 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Froghole, is it not at least as equally likely that the problem is a delay in updating parish websites?

David Exham
David Exham
11 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Dear Froghole I find myself increasingly irritated by your implicit criticism—I hope that is not unfair—of all the churches who have not opened for public worship. I suspect that you have failed to understand the challenges that parish churches are facing. Many of the parish clergy have been working incredibly hard during the lockdown to keep their parishes afloat. So much so, that many bishops are expressing considerable concern about their mental wellbeing. Many of the volunteers, whose work keeps the parish afloat, are 70 or over, and are still being advised to stay at home as much as possible.… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
11 days ago
Reply to  David Exham

Mr Exham and Mr Sarmiento,   Thank you for your respective remarks. Yes, I suspect that there are many parishes that have not updated their websites. However, I have lately been to a number of churches where there was no evident information on notice boards either, so it is rather difficult to find out what is or isn’t going on.   I appreciate that I am being very annoying and/or presumptuous (and perhaps arrogant), and I certainly apologise for that. I am not indifferent to the difficulties that many parishes face, especially those where some of the youngest people will… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
11 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

It is true that many in European countries the churches have been reopened for public worship with singing. What we don’t know, and won’t know for several months, is whether this was a safe and sensible move, or whether (in hindsight) church reopening will be found to be one of the factors that drove the coronavirus second wave of infection in those countries.

father Ron Smith
11 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

All of this sounds very sad to us in New Zealand, where our Government’s priority was to initiate the lockdown in the early stages of the pandemic. As a direct result of public obedience to the discipline involved, we are now back in our churches, with full worship ceremonial and singing of choir and people. There are – as a result of careful monitoring – very few new infections, mainly as a direct result of border security with a two-week isolation policy for incomers from overseas. This incurs considerable cost for our public purse – a matter that may soon… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by father Ron Smith
Michael
Michael
11 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

I totally agree with Froghole. Life is full of risk that we do not think about otherwise nobody would ever leave home. Is it now too risky to cross a busy main road to go to church or to worry about muggers lurking around the corner? I am being facetious. I have just read on the Church Times website that face coverings should be worn in church but nobody will be fined if they do not comply.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael. There’s an apocryphal story that In 1972, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai was asked about the impact of the French Revolution. “Too early to say,” he replied.   If people want to attend church and sing loudly that is their absolute right. I hope they enjoy it.   All I am trying to say, to those who are praising the European church openings, is that the coronavirus is new, and so much about how we manage it successfully is still to be learnt. The jury is still out. It is too early to say whether that European decision to open… Read more »

J Dickinson
J Dickinson
10 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

In Germany choir members are socially distanced. Initially there was no singing but that ban was lifted many weeks ago, even in länder where the rates of infection had been relatively high.   In Germany, Italy, Spain and France attendees sing, but mask-wearing is almost universal. Of course, Italy, Spain and France have had a brutal experience and have every interest in acting cautiously.   Curiously, in England mask wearing in church has been the exception rather than the rule, although singing has not yet been permitted.   There is little evidence that, despite worship having resumed eight or nine… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Froghole, please do not apologise for repeatedly banging out the same message. It’s the only way the message – which is a matter of survival – will be heard. Do not let up just because you tread on a few toes – that’s what toes are for. In this neck of the woods, churches might be open for an hour or so midweek for “private prayer” but the people that know are those on the church email list. What’s the point of that? Zoom services are still being held, but for the same select few. What’s the point of that?… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Stanley Monkhouse
Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
10 days ago

Amen Stanley. Here in the land that everyone forgot, we read the advice, did our risk assessment, came up with a plan and implemented it. Seeing the joy of the congregation at again gathering for Holy Communion and feeling the buzz, tells me it was all worth it. About two thirds of folk are back and more each week.

Be well

Graeme Buttery

Shamus
Shamus
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Sorry to hear of areas without worship in the buildings yet. Here (Cambridgeshire) we are having regular services in five churches, including Communion. We are not managing quite as many as before the virus struck, but that is just because a number of people who usually help lead worship are still shielding. We continue with Zoom too for their benefit. It is hard for parishes where all the available clergy are shielding. The reason for needing people’s basic details for the Zoom services is to prevent being Zoombombed, which can be very unpleasant.

Paul
Paul
10 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

If there are parishes where “the youngest people are in their 70s”, it would seem to me that it is imperative to reopen soon. Delay will only make things more difficult.

NJW
NJW
9 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

It is interesting to hear what is going on in different places, and to learn from what others are (and are not!) doing. There is a similar situation to David in my deanery. In a deanery of 36 churches (in sparsely populated area), and with all non-stipendiary ministers unavailable, we had plans in place for worship in the largest parish (containing 65% of the deanery’s population) from week 1. Week 2 saw a further three churches (in the next largest villages) resume worship – all on a weekly basis, and learning some of the practical lessons from week 1 ‘in… Read more »

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