Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 22 June 2022

Jonathan Chaplin Fulcrum ‘Staying in the room where it happens’? A response to Lucy Winkett’s defence of establishment
This is in response to this article from a few weeks ago.
Lucy Winkett Church Times Platinum Jubilee: The privilege of establishment must be seized

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church How three Revolutionary Events changed the CofE for ever

Capel Lofft The Critic The closing of the Episcopal mind
“The Church of England’s leaders don’t reflect its political diversity”

Alex Frost ViaMedia.News Clearing the Slate: The Realities of a Declining Church

Helen King sharedconversations Clouds without rain: trying to explore fear

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Froghole
Froghole
11 days ago

I am grateful to Dr Chaplin for his cogent rebuttals of Canon Winkett. The nadir of her article, for me, was her suggestion that Establishment facilities, or underpins, the provision of chaplaincy service in prisons, hospitals and the forces. A cursory glance at France, for example, demonstrates the ability of a disestablished church to provide military chaplains, and chaplaincy services in prisons and hospitals, along with the chaplains of other faiths. Mr Lofft’s article actually illustrates the baleful consequences of the substantive establishment which existed prior to the reforms of the 1830s to 1890s. The three poor law inquiry commissioners… Read more »

Susannah Clark
11 days ago

Helen: “Those who remain anti on this question” [of women priests] “can remain in the Church of England… you can ask your parish to pass a resolution that no women will be sent your way… Yet somehow it still isn’t seen as theoretically possible to stay in a Church which welcomes same-sex couples who want to mark their committed relationship in the place where they regularly worship God, even if that Church accepts that not all priests will want to be involved in such a ceremony.” Absolutely. If the Church can accommodate ‘two integrities’ over the gender of priesthood, then… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

The two situations are wildly different. If a woman minister enters a parish church which has opted out her ordination isn’t an issue because ordination has no impact on parish life. On the other hand if a same sex married couple move to a parish which has opted out they are still married so if the church runs events for married couples the couple can reasonably expect to attend them. That’s the Lambeth Conference issue translated to the parish level. They will go up to Communion together. They will hold hands and kiss at social events. They may be parents… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Kate
Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Kate
11 days ago

Thanks Kate, but I’m not aware that *parishes* opting out is being mooted for equal marriage in the C if E, only *priests* who in conscience decide they couldn’t preside. A same sex couple in a civil, legally recognised marriage could surely already take part in all the things you mention, although some congregations would be more welcoming than others, sadly. And yes, I take the point about normalising a flawed arrangement. I am not happy about the fudge we reached on women’s ministry, but it’s what we have. We need more transparency from parishes about their position, and more… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Helen King
10 days ago

Thanks Helen. We would need to be careful that it is only ministers, not parishes who could opt out. There is a world of difference between the two. But what does a minister opting out mean? It can’t be the case that a same sex couple marries in a church one week then return a week later for Communion and have to sit through a service in which they are told homosexuality is a sin. And we both know it would happen. The same applies to blessings – although blessings at least avoid problems with a minister who has opted… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

the fundamental requirement is that a same sex couple can attend any CofE church without being told that their relationship is sinful. Nothing less suffices.

Which is tantamount to excluding anyone who holds the opposite view from any CofE church. Are you quite sure that’s Christian?

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

I don’t understand your logic here.
Do you mean that any person “who holds the opposite view” *must* therefore exclude themselves from attendance?

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
10 days ago

I am saying that anyone who holds the opposite view may find themselves unwelcome, and for two reasons. Firstly, we have already seen suggestions that their mere presence is somehow harmful to others, and they may find themselves excluded on those grounds. Secondly, there’s a clear power imbalance between the people who are and who are not allowed to comment on the sinfulness of others. We already know this can become abusive.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

Why would people want to get married in a church in which they are not welcome as themselves? On divorce, the geographical model of the parish system sits poorly with the conscience clause: perhaps it is worth thinking about not forcing people or church councils kicking and screaming into unwilling compliance [which would give rise to the opposite of hospitality and welcome], but rather offering couples a good church option locally without forcing them through extra hoops because they don’t live in the parish.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

I’m afraid I don’t agree with the two of you. I believe your proposal simply will not pass through Synod with its current members. In other words for over four more years, it won’t pass. And after that? And after that? There is also the principle of respect for conscience. I believe that Christians *can* believe gay sexuality is wrong with theological integrity… and still be admirable Christians. Communities of Christians at various churches can predominantly believe that, not just individual priests. I believe if we want an end to the 50-year logjam, and also want to avoid schism, there… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
10 days ago

“We think it’s wrong in the present status quo that OUR consciences have lifelong celibacy etc imposed on us. But Christians who believe with integrity of faith that gay sex is wrong also have THEIR consciences, and we should not just trample over them.” The difference is that those opposed to same-sex marriage are not having any action imposed on them (as opposed to the celibacy imposed on same-sex couples). No one is telling them they must DO or NOT DO anything. You don’t believe in having sex with someone of the same gender? Fine–don’t do it, no one is… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Pat ONeill
10 days ago

I agree, Pat. It’s a false equivalence.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
10 days ago

I have told you before. I don’t care what will or will not pass Synod. A Christian’s job is to fight for what is right. Jesus was crucified because he refused to bend to political expediency. That’s our model. Ultimately too, even LGBT Christians aren’t the priority. The priority is our duty to the Lord. That’s not to arrange it so people can get married in church, nor get their union blessed. That’s something nice for the couples and obviously desirable but the priority for the Lord, I believe, is so that every Christian can approach all of His altars,… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Kate
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

Kate, you say there is a world of difference between ‘ministers’ and parishes opting out. And so there is. But there shouldn’t be. A parish priest officiating at a marriage represents the liturgical integrity of her parish. So a priest refusing to officiate in a parish that embraces same sex marriage would, at the very least, be a poor fit. Conversely, a priest officiating against the wishes of her parish would be demonstrating an individualistic view on what priestly ordination is for.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Helen King
10 days ago

(Part 2) The present ban on same sex weddings and blessings isn’t stopping couples from marrying. It isn’t stopping them from living together. Ceremonies in church would be nice to have, but aren’t the main issue. The problem is that same sex couples don’t feel welcome to worship. They don’t feel welcome because of hostility they may encounter in some churches, because of what they read that is written by some Church of England ministers in social media. They don’t feel welcome because the national church doesn’t recognise their relationships as wholesome, as marriage. The second aspect is that same… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

I disagree and hold an almost opposite view. I believe that gay-affirming churches should be allowed to hold wedding services for gay/lesbian couples, and that Parliament should remove the lock on that. If delay is involved in achieving that right to marry gay/lesbian couples in church, then at the very least Church leaders should suspend discipline where local churches hold services to bless couples who are getting legally married. Church communities should be allowed to decide (via PCC) to affirm opposition to gay sexuality on conscience grounds, and their minister/priest and others should be allowed to teach that theological view… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Susannah Clark
10 days ago

Mistaken word, sort of typo: “There is no way socially conservative fellowships will accept that fellowship“…

I think I meant to say something to the effect of “no way socially conservative fellowships will accept a ban on preaching what they believe”.

Sorry!

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

What we need instead is a complete ban on anyone in ministry saying that marriage is between one man and one woman or teaching that homosexuality is a sin.

… even if they firmly believe it to be true, and therefore by saying so would be acting in the best interests of the people who are, they believe, pursuing a course of conduct that alienates them from the love of God?

Last edited 10 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

I’m with you on this, I think, U.N. It’s kind of 1984 to say ‘you are not allowed to preach what you believe’, and that censorship would be impossible to impose. The church communities involved just wouldn’t tolerate it. In addition, I don’t believe this kind of approach of banning the preaching is even on the church leaders’ radar. It’s not going to happen, and if it did, then the Church would split. What you’re left with then, since it’s politically unattainable is: on the one hand, idealism… on the other hand, a continuation of the present status quo. And… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Jesus addressed that argument directly in Matthew 7:5.

“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Kate
10 days ago

And again in Luke 17:3

“If your brother sins, rebuke him”

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

You are misquoting the verse in a way which radically changed its meaning. In KJ “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” Or a modern version in NIV of the second sentence “If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. They are talking about something different than Matthew 7:5. That covers the general case of not judging others. Obviously that cannot be all of it: there is a difference between a thief generally and our response if someone has stolen from… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

‘Conduct that alienates them from the love of God.’ What kind of theology is that? Even that old Evangelical motif, ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’, stops short there.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Allan Sheath
10 days ago

It’s the kind of theology you find in Colossians 1:21. God’s love for us is unconditional, but we can still alienate ourselves from it.

Last edited 10 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

We’re in complete agreement. Thanks for the clarification.

Susannah Clark
11 days ago

One thing that I feel could improve discourse in the Church of England – reflecting on Stephen and Capel’s articles – is greater transparency from the Bishops. There is always a temptation in any organisation for people with a lot of control to be ‘opaque’ about their discussions in meetings. It ‘keeps things under control’ which people at the very top may prefer, for fear of discourse unravelling, and narratives being challenged. And that then brings the subject of ‘collegiality’. As we all know, in Government a Cabinet is meant to all sing from the same songsheet. Disagreements are meant… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

My strong inclination is also to say that meetings of the bishops should be videoed but what would happen is that matters would be discussed and agreed outside of the formal meetings so I don’t think the situation would be much improved.

Susannah Clark
11 days ago

I agree with Lucy Winkett, that ‘establishment’ should not be surrendered. She majors in her article on the political dimensions. The ‘place at the table’ to engage with people in power and sometimes to challenge. Beyond that presence in the structures of government of the nation, I believe in establishment for reasons of spiritual availability and openness – being there in countless parishes across England – for the nation. I believe that over the centuries God has ordained that this Church of England has been allowed to exist as a National Church… has been there with open door for countless… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

Many thanks. I agree with you strongly about the importance of the national mission of the Church, and about it being for everyone in every community. Your final paragraph is especially apt, as well as beautifully composed. This is one of the reasons why it is so depressing reading Mr Frost’s experiences of UPA/estate churches, and it has been my experience that a number of the churches constructed on housing estates, especially during the 1950s (when, to its credit, the Church invested very seriously in estates) have failed or are struggling. In some instances the Church has retreated along with… Read more »

Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
Reply to  Froghole
11 days ago

I agree with quite a bit of what you write, but…. as someone with 30 years ministry in UPA parishes, and still in harness, I think it depends on what success or even survival is defined as well as how it is resourced. i have been time after time, the only “professional” left in my parish come 5pm. They might not have been there every Sunday, but occasional offices are hugely important for the good folks of the estates as well as seeing in a visible priest and open church, that at least the church hasn’t yet deserted them when… Read more »

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Susannah Clark
9 days ago

Regarding Establishment- the valedictory speech yesterday from the outgoing prelate the Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn and duty bishop in the Lords for this week may be of interest; similarly the follow-up thanks from Lord Cormack (who I believe is on the Ecclesiastical Committee?)- all in a debate launched by Lord Lisvane (the former Clerk to the Commons) regarding the state of the Union. No other bishop present on the bench.

Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
11 days ago

I assume that in Capel’s heaven, the poor, women, gay people, refugees, (sorry, Illegal immigrants!), homeless, low-paid workers, and anyone to the left of Boris, will either be absent or serving the cocktails to the leisured classes who know that the Sermon on the Mount is slightly exaggerated, and could not possibly apply to them!!

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
11 days ago

An interesting assumption, which appears to have rather little to do which what the article in question actually says.

Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

My understanding is that Capel’s article expects the Bishops to mirror the prevailing political thinking of the country, and the deep-seated prejudices exposed in that thinking, instead of the teaching of Jesus, and the Prophets, and the Old Testament, that the poor and excluded are the beloved of God. A look at history would show what kind of society the churches acquiesced to in Nazi Germany, occupied France, and present-day Russia. When the state does not properly look after the vulnerable, and counter the excesses of the rich, then the church must speak up. The Kingdom is not about some… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
10 days ago

My understanding is that the article suggests that they have often in the past been observed to do that, and that as a matter of observation they are doing so at present. You may disagree with the evidence, or the conclusions drawn from the evidence, of course. But that doesn’t explain why you feel able to sneer at what you imagine the author’s view of the afterlife to be. I suspect it’s something to do with mistaking God’s justice and love for a taxation-funded welfare state.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
10 days ago

Thomas G. Reilly, an assumption in keeping with the parable of Lazarus and the rich man ‘Dives’ in Luke’s gospel, no? Contemporary life imitates the artistry of Luke which in turn imitates life in general. The parable itself is of course a kind of proleptic eschatology, concerned as much (if not more) with present arrangements as with some heavenly future.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Rod Gillis
9 days ago

Nonetheless, the way in which contemporary re-interpretation takes it as ‘proof’ that things can only improve, such as the parade of auto-mythic images and representations and parables and thinking-on-the-whole, suggests a classic form of ‘over-interpretation’, i.e. an excess of information and expression which captures some of the essence of what it is ‘really’ saying. This then can precipitate a powerful downward feedback loop, a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy of negative re-interpretations, and an alternative view of life becomes something barely worth bearing the trouble of talking about. In this view, life has become a process of becoming divorced from the… Read more »

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
11 days ago

I tried in vain to follow Capel Lofft’s reasoning. Nineteenth bishops are criticized for aligning themselves too readily with the socially repressive, heartless and cruel establishment of their day. Twenty first century bishops are reproached for making common cause with the more liberal and progressive establishment that, according to Lofft, has gained the upper hand now. His thesis, if I’ve understood him correctly, is that bishops ought to reflect the political diversity of the church’s membership at any one time, by holding among them a spectrum of prevailing ideas both good and bad, so that no church member feels marginalised… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Filigree Jones
11 days ago

I am glad I am not the only one struggling with it.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Kate
11 days ago

The problem is with the phrase a spectrum of prevailing ideas both good and bad. The corrosive assumption that political difference can only come from moral failure is what gets in the way of the discussion.

I have to admit that I abhor the morals of some political philosophies: Marxism-Leninism and Nazism, for example. But I believe that it is possible for supporters of, say, the Labour, Conservative and LibDem parties to agree to disagree. Do you?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Given the enormous harm done by successive Conservative governments over the last 40 years I find it extremely hard to attribute continuing support for them to anything less than a sort of moral blindness

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Jo B
10 days ago

I know that there are people who think that. I also know that there are people who think exactly the same thing about Labour governments. So where does that get us? Personally I find it helpful to try to understand the basic principles of those who disagree with me, and to understand why they choose to strike a balance in a different place. It’s only after trying to do that, that I would feel justified in saying that they were morally blind, let alone abhorrent.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Labour governments have, at times, done awful things, but none of them were things that were opposed by Conservatives (though feel free to mention any you can think of).

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Jo B
8 days ago

In both 1979 and 2010, when the country faced economic calamity, the incoming Conservative administration had to clear up Labour’s mess. We may not have liked what the Tories did, but it was for a good reason. As a result of her measures, Margaret Thatcher defeated the dual curses of inflation and industrial strife that had been dominant features of the 1970s. She broke the post-War consensus that unemployment must be avoided at all costs. This, in turn was because of bitter memories of the 1930s and the rise of the twin evils of Communism and Fascism. During the New… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
8 days ago

“During the New Labour years, Brown declared the end of boom and bust. But then we had the financial crisis in 2008 and massive bank bailouts. After the 2010 election, the departing chief secretary to the Treasury wrote a note saying “There’s no money left!”. It was left to the Coalition to put the nations finances back on track.” Brown was merely echoing the neoliberal ‘goldilocks’ consensus of the time: Tory principles, applied by New Labour (a largely neoliberal party). The GFC, as it arose in the UK, was a function of Labour having succumbed to the fantasy that the… Read more »

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Froghole
7 days ago

Thatcher also launched her property-owning democracy, allowing council house tenants to buy their homes, and to purchase shares on the sale of the “family silver” – the publicly-owned firms. Blair ditched Clause IV and didn’t reverse her liberal revolution.   You seem to pin the blame for the 2016 referendum on Osborne, but that was only a year after Cameron secured an overall majority. I would put the decision to leave the EU much further back to Blair’s decision not to impose limits on free movement when the Eastern bloc countries acceded. His reasoning was that when the Iberian countries… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
4 days ago

“Thatcher also launched her property-owning democracy, allowing council house tenants to buy their homes.” What are the waiting lists for social housing now, then? Is it a good thing if poorer people are thrown, instead, at the mercy of private landlords and higher rents? Why is it harder for young people to get on the housing ladder today than it was when Thatcher came to power. What even is ‘the property-owning democracy? What does it mean? Truth is, that property has been commodified for its investment potential, and the so-called ‘property owning democracy’ has become an object of policy prioritisation,… Read more »

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Susannah Clark
3 days ago

Her legacy also involved the expansion of the single market eastwards to the former Soviet bloc countries when they abandoned autocratic state socialism in favour of the principles of Western-stye liberty, democracy and liberal economics. British voters had been promised that it would remain a purely economic project when, along with Labour’s pro-European right-wing flank led by Roy Jenkins, she passionately advocated staying in the EEC in the 1975 referendum. But under Jacques Delors and the creation of the EU, it was to become a federal political project and a technocracy lacking democratic legitimacy. She wanted no part of it:… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Maud Colthwaite
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
3 days ago

To pick up one of your points: “British voters had been promised that it would remain a purely economic project“. I feel that remark requires some clarification. The propaganda issued by HMG in 1975 made it clear that it was a political as well as an economic project: http://www.harvard-digital.co.uk/euro/pamphlet.htm. You will note that the pamphlet makes no reference to the ‘dynamic effects’ of accession. That phrase was on the lips of every proponent of accession during the mid/late 1960s and before 1973; the assumption was that the British industry would get a piece of the high growth enjoyed by the… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
7 days ago

You appear to have absorbed the tory propaganda lines but failed to notice where they deviate from reality: the public finances were not restored either by Thatcher’s government or Cameron’s (Cameron’s government borrowed more money than all other governments in British history despite, or rather because, they were trying to cut spending). Thatcher’s record only looks marginally better because her dire handling of the economy was bailed out by Scottish oil revenues. productivity and growth are not brought about by tax cuts, they’re brought about by investment. inflation was soaring long before Russia restarted its invasion of Ukraine, and most… Read more »

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Jo B
6 days ago

We could debate economics all day. One of the features of the last forty years has been the remarkable level of consensus between Tory and Labour administrations in terms of macroeconomic policy. But when you talk about “the enormous harm done by successive Conservative governments over the last 40 years”, I don’t think you have made out your case.

Last edited 6 days ago by Maud Colthwaite
Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
6 days ago

Section 28. Anti-trade union legislation leading to stagnant wages for the lowest paid. Long term decrease in the value of unemployment benefits. Selling off public assets for less than their value then squandering the proceeds. Blocking the replacement of sold council housing. Bedroom tax. Universal credit. Work capability assessments. Running down the NHS. Cuts to education. Using academy chains to direct public money into inflated executive salaries.

I include the capture of the Labour Party by the right (and the damage done by neo-liberal economics) in the harm done by Conservative governments.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Filigree Jones
11 days ago

No one will question your beliefs, challenge your faith and works, or scrutinize your manner of life.

Er … are we talking about the same Church of England here?

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
11 days ago

What I was trying to say, Unreliable Narrator, is that there’s no filtering process for becoming a member of the Church of England. Members self identify, hence the great breadth and diversity of faith and practice.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Filigree Jones
10 days ago

We see elsewhere on this page a discussion about the precise nature of that very filtering process.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

… and indeed it did not take long for the evidence to arrive. According to today’s Guardian, you won’t be baptised or confirmed in the Diocese of Oxford unless you also agree to commit to protecting the environment.

RosalindR
RosalindR
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Not exactly. An additional question reflecting the fifth mark of mission, now included in the ( permissive, not compulsory) commission on living as a Christian.
https://mailchi.mp/oxford.anglican.org/ad-clerum-care-for-creation-1706011

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
9 days ago

“Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth?”

Is this not a part of a Christian’s duty to be a good steward of God’s creation?

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
9 days ago

It is not a requirement for baptism or for membership of the Church of England, which was the topic under discussion.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
9 days ago

It is not a requirement for baptism–whether explicitly stated or not–to be a good steward of creation? Oh, and the additional question was added to the baptismal covenant according to existing canons:

“The Bishops in the diocese have agreed to authorise (under Canon B5) a new final question in this commissioning, which we began to use in confirmations from the end of May:”

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
9 days ago

Being a good steward is certainly not a requirement, nor should it be. What is required is to turn to Christ. The promises that need to be made are to renounce the World, the Flesh and the Devil; to believe God’s holy word; and to obey His commandments.

Everything else is, and ought to be, in the words of Canon B5 “neither contrary to, nor indicative of any departure from, the doctrine of the Church of England in any essential matter”.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
9 days ago

In my view, one cannot truly “turn to Christ” and not be a good steward, anymore than one can truly “turn to Christ” and be a racist or a misogynist, yet there seem to thousands (if not millions) of people who claim to be true Christians who daily demonstrate their racism and misogyny.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
9 days ago

Then we are in radical disagreement. We turn to Christ not because we are good, or do the right things, but because we know we are not good, and find it impossible to do, or want to do, those good things we know we ought to do, and ought to want to do. We also know that baptism will not instantly make us perfectly good or perfectly capable of desiring and doing good. It is the start of a process which is capable of making us fit to receive His love, not to make us deserve it by our own… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
9 days ago

I’m not saying being baptized will automatically make you a good Christian, nor is the question (or any of the old familiar questions) in the baptismal covenant saying that. Note the wording:

Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth?
With the help of God I will”

It is a pledge to try to be a good Christian–which is all that any of us can pledge in any context.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
9 days ago

I cannot accept that this is a pledge to be, or to try to be, “a good Christian”. Safeguarding the integrity of creation may be part of being a good Christian, but it certainly isn’t the same thing. It’s a pledge to do something which the Bishop believes to be an important part of being a good Christian: so important that he is prepared to “filter” out people who do not share his priorities and are not prepared to assent to them. Which was where we came in.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
8 days ago

But it’s not the only commitment being made…the other five questions are still being asked and answered. This is simply an additional commitment for a Christian to make. And is there really anyone seeking baptism (or seeking it for a child) who would not make this commitment. I mean it’s actually pretty weak tea to ask someone to “sustain and renew life on earth”–there are no specifics as to how that is to be accomplished, no pledge to reduce a carbon footprint for instance.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
8 days ago

We turn to God because we love Him and He loves us. You are right that promising certain conduct isn’t a part of that. Whatever we do, whatever standards we live by, are out of ongoing love, not because of a vow or commitment.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
9 days ago

If anything else is asked, any agreement is effectively given under duress and meaningless.

I grew up in a temperance parish – there was no pub and the inn was a dry inn. We (CofE primary school) were made to sign a temperance pledge. It was of course meaningless and an entirely improper ask. I feel exactly the same about attaching any requirements to baptism or confirmation beyond turning to God. Just wrong.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Canon B 5.1 gives the ‘Minister’ a discretionary power to vary the form of service, but it is a limited one: ”1. The minister who is to conduct the service may in his discretion make and use variations which are not of substantial importance in any form of service authorized by Canon B 1 according to particular circumstances.” Baptism and confirmation are forms of service authorised by Canon B 1. One assumes that collectively the four bishops of the Oxford diocese have satisfied themselves that they are empowered to make the change under Canon B 5, and one can expect… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
9 days ago

Yes, it is hard to see how anything can be authorized under Canon B.5.1, since it simply allows a minister to exercise a little discretion, and makes no mention of anyone authorizing anything. It certainly does not give the bishop any authority to change services that have been authorized by two-thirds majorities in all three houses of the General Synod. And that discretion extends only to matters that “are not of substantial importance”. But if the bishop thinks this is so important that he is attempting to mandate its use, then I’d have thought that by definition it is not… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Simon Kershaw
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
9 days ago

I was reluctant to be too dogmatic – having absolutely no connection with the Oxford Diocese, and this being a matter for them – but my initial reaction was that this addition would require approval by General Synod under Canon B 2. As matters stand (if I am right), individual incumbents are at liberty to omit it if they so choose. The Bishop’s ad clerum states “We want to warmly commend this question for use in parishes where the Commission is used”. That might imply that the bishops accept it as optional. (Are there parishes where the Commission is not… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 days ago

I certainly think a significant part of Synod would have a view about a commitment to God’s creation rather than to God.

The theologically sounder way, I think, would be for the bishop to say that one of the ways we can serve and glorify God is by caring for nature, his creation. That’s (probably) not controversial.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

“I certainly think a significant part of Synod would have a view about a commitment to God’s creation rather than to God.”

I have great difficulty understanding how one can be committed to God and not to his creation.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Pat ONeill
8 days ago

There is no corresponding promise in the TEC Baptismal Covenant. I don’t know whether TEC bishops are empowered to change the words: that is the issue being discussed here.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Pat ONeill
8 days ago

Pat, you may know /be interested in knowing that the Baptismal Covenant in the Canadian liturgy is the same as that in TEC; but the additional question under discussion has now been added officially. The attached link also explains how the Baptismal Covenant grounds discipleship and the ministry of the whole people of God in the world. The covenant is also consonant with the five (originally four) marks of mission of The Communion. I have read the Diocese of Oxford ad clerum referenced. As far as I can tell the commission referred to within is based on similar thinking. “In… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rod Gillis
8 days ago

Fascinating! Now we await the C of E central response, but not relying on Canon B 5 to implement it!

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 days ago

RW, there are two issues in tandem on the thread. One is C of E Canon law and the status of the permission given. You would know much more about that than I do for sure. The other is the rationale for the development of this particular new liturgical text. As noted previously, here it is an official liturgical text by action of our General Synod. However, it was a grass roots movement in the Canadian church that contributed to its becoming so (link). The hierarchy claims it was just playing catch up. “This came from families and young people… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rod Gillis
8 days ago

I’m sure you are probably right! It just needs to be implemented lawfully and I was presumptuous enough to suggest above that Canon B 2 would be the correct route. Why didn’t the bishops do that? Of course, I could be entirely wrong!

It has been an interesting discussion, and at least at this end we have learned the TEC and ACC positions.

Best regards from the Parish of John Keble.

RW

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Rod Gillis
8 days ago

The original point made here was that adding the Bishop’s list of favourite promises to the service is divisive. I believe that the Anglican Church of Canada agrees with the Church of England that the essence of a valid baptism is the pouring on of water and the statement that the baptism is in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost: followed if possible by the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace or a blessing. Everything else is nice-to-have. We’v already seen people on this thread adopting the line that somehow you can’t be properly baptised, or can’t properly… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rod Gillis
7 days ago

I’m one of those who find the baptismal covenant in the Book of Alternative Services to be an excellent rule of life but something of an overreach when it comes to a baptismal commitment. ‘Jesus is Lord’ is the essential baptismal commitment. The other stuff is not wrong, but I can’t see a NT warrant for including it in a baptismal service.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 days ago

It all went downhill once we removed the rubric requiring candidates to spit on Satan.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 days ago

I don’t think an explicit NT warrant is the only consideration governing liturgical content. I would argue that the values that inform the six questions in the baptismal covenant are transcendent religious values that do in fact have scriptural support. (See Hatchett below.) I would draw a distinction between the questions that are put to the candidates for baptism ( or their sponsors) early in the liturgy, and the baptismal covenant which comes later (but just before actual baptism) and which is addressed to everyone: “Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own… Read more »

Just Thinking
Just Thinking
Reply to  Rod Gillis
6 days ago

The thread confuses me. A TEC contributor speaks of a baptismal covenant as if this is standard practice for all Anglicans; it isn’t. Then we hear of ‘renewing a baptismal covenant’ when most baptized people never made a covenant they can now ‘renew.’ Should such a liturgy not say, ‘let the baptized covenant’ if it is to make any sense? Baptism entails three things: a name, water, and an action done in the Triune name.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rod Gillis
6 days ago

I’m not saying that the values in the baptismal covenant don’t have scriptural support—I’m quite sure they do. But so do many other things in the teaching of Jesus that aren’t mentioned in this covenant – truth telling, for instance, or not storing up for yourselves treasures on earth, or seeking first the kingdom of God. Why are some things included and others left out? Once you start, where do you stop? (anyone care to take bets that in a few more years someone will have found a seventh commitment that needs to be added?). I’m just giving my opinion… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 days ago

Thanks Tim, I think we are in agreement on some things, including the rule of life aspect. For me the consideration of the ethical aspects of the climate crisis is prior to the updating of the public liturgical text. The bishop of Oxford’s blog (link), The Earth is the Lord’s, has a more detailed treatment of this item than does the ad clerum. Bravo Zulu, as the navy says, for the Diocese of Oxford. Note that the suggestion there is to put the additional material in a different location in the Baptismal liturgy. I could live with that. I think… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

It’s for the clergy of the Oxford Diocese to decide how they wish to respond to this. The effect of Canon B 5 must be that they retain the option to use the original form. I imagine that any other dioceses thinking along similar lines will give consideration to the legal position before adopting anything which hasn’t been specifically authorised by GS.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
8 days ago

My understanding is that in the authorized CofE liturgy for Baptism, the entire section “Commission” is not mandatory at all. And that it is not that widely used across the CofE, mostly finding favour in certain evangelical circles.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
8 days ago

The situation here is different. The Baptismal Covenant, with the latest question on stewardship of creation added by GS in 2013, is part of the authorized liturgy for Baptism in the Canadian Church and widely used across the spectrum. I should add that the same baptismal covenant is also an integral part of related authorized liturgies i.e. Confirmation and The Renewal of Baptismal Vows at The Easter Vigil. The Baptismal Covenant is frequently referenced here in educational programs. One of its functions is as a kind of rule of life. Canada does have a traditional BCP (1962) with traditional liturgies… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
7 days ago

I have to say (having been baptised and confirmed using the BCP 1662) I confess that I don’t know about, or really understand, this “commission” or its status. In the belief that this was an alteration to a C of E order of service I proposed that the only legitimate authorisation would be by General Synod under Canon B 2. Obviously I can’t claim that this is necessarily correct. I shall be interested in others’ views about this, or whether the bishop’s ad clerum suffices as the commission is not mandatory. Can changes like this be made at diocesan level,… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 days ago

Thanks for posing this question RW. I too would be interested in the views of others here from the C of E on the theological aspects. There are several regular commentators here who indicate they are clerics. Be interesting to have them chime in with their experiences on this matter.

One of the rites I used as a young priest here in Canada during an age of experimentation ( circa 1978-84) was the C of E English Series 3 rite for baptism. The process for authorization here ( then as now) is/was essentially at the discretion of the diocesan bishop.

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
6 days ago

According to Marcus Walker, it is permitted by virtue of Common Worship. But he argues that there’s no role for green politics in baptism or confirmation, or anything which suits the ideological bent of the bench of bishops. After all, we don’t pledge to strive for world peace or to alleviate poverty. Or prove to the bishop that we know the BCP Catechism (our official liturgy). If so, we’d force republicans to pledge to “honour and obey the Queen, and all that are put in authority under her”.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
6 days ago

Marcus Walker is correct that the Commission is permitted by Common Worship, where it appears in a form of service as explained below by Simon Kershaw. The unresolved issue is whether the addition of the further promise is lawful without having been approved by General Synod.

This question is by now probably becoming increasingly academic for many TA readers. The answer really needs to come from a canon lawyer.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
6 days ago

If there is a service for something in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer then any alternative service must be authorized by a full synodical process involving ultimately final approval by the three Houses of the General Synod by 2/3 majorities in each House. Canon B.4 allows the Convocations, or the archbishop, or the diocesan bishop to authorize additional material, when there is no provision in the BCP. This is often used for licensings and institutions etc of parish clergy, and less frequently for consecrations of churches, and for deliverance ministry. If there is no provision in the BCP, or… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
6 days ago

Thank you. That’s very informative and helpful.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
6 days ago

I hesitate to comment since my general philosophy is that if there is a rule I shall as a matter of principle sit light to it. But here goes … Surely all this is a wind egg. Anyone can baptise. All that is necessary are water and words: I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy whalever. No affirmations are necessary – all this nonsense is hand-wringing middle-classery. In parish ministry I exchanged much of prolix CW for the Roman form – more succinct and less flummery. I would have thought… Read more »

Just Thinking
Just Thinking
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
6 days ago

Exactly.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
6 days ago

Stanley, you make a great marksman for the ‘red team’. lol.
I couldn’t disagree with you more on all points on this one. ““Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?” Bike lanes and energy efficient buildings could be taken as implied. In any event local practical solutions while at the same time thinking globally are a good application of subsidiarity–a feature of catholic social teaching.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 days ago

Ha! Gillis, I challenge you to a best-of-three arm wrestling contest behind the bike sheds at noon. That’s the only way to resolve this.

(In case a Catholic-schooled Canadian doesn’t know the significance of bike sheds, they’re where spotty adolescents sloped off to for a fag (smoke) and unfocussed genital fumbling. At least that was so in Penrith in the 60s. So I’m told.)

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
5 days ago

“a best-of-three arm wrestling contest..” Lol, lol! Indeed, wouldn’t that be a clash of the geriatric titans. It sounds a bit like TA dramatized.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
5 days ago

“Any one can baptize”. If necessary, yes.

“All that is necessary is water and words”. And intent, including intention on the part of the candidate or those who are responsible for making decisions on the candidate’s behalf. The intent is shown, perhaps, by the preliminary questions.

But this commission is certainly optional in the CW service, and like others here, I don’t think it is a frequent part of baptisms that I attend.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
7 days ago

In fact, I am so intrigued about the ” ‘Commission’ … mostly finding favour in certain evangelical circles” that I wondered about the views on environmental theology in general in the C of E. I’ve only had time to read the abstract from this 2012 research item (link). Notice what it says about ordinands, evangelicals and the environment. Perhaps the Diocese of Oxford proposed addition means things have moved along since 2012? https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233401277_Faith_environmental_values_and_understanding_a_case_study_involving_Church_of_England_ordinands I also came across this more general recent article from The Church Times (Eco-dioceses). So, in keeping with my previous comment about innovation eventually getting ‘baptized’ by… Read more »

Alastair Newman
Alastair Newman
Reply to  Filigree Jones
11 days ago

I’m afraid as soon as I saw ER Norman relied on by Capel Lofft I found it difficult to take the rest of the argument in the entirely serious spirit in which it was intended. That oft-quoted passage from Norman about influence from the intelligentsia is lazy, hackneyed and ironically just as applicable to himself as to the liberal clerics he attacks. He was described as ‘Margaret Thatcher’s favourite clergyman’, and belonged to the Conservative Philosophy Group, the haunt of such public intellectuals as Hayek, Friedman, Scruton and Powell. So tell me Norman didn’t come under the influence of the… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Alastair Newman
10 days ago

Those interested in Norman may find this piece about the Peterhouse Right interesting. It quotes a 1993 article from the Guardian and adds commentary.

https://powerbase.info/index.php/Peterhouse

For obvious reasons, it mostly focuses on Maurice Cowling but it gives a good explanation of the political environment in Peterhouse while Norman was Dean.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Alastair Newman
10 days ago

Indeed, and he had Maurice Cowling, David Watkin and Brian Wormald (who resigned his orders in 1955) as colleagues: truly, a nest of… He collaborated with Cowling in ‘Conservative Essays’ (1978). Of course, he was arguably ‘collateral damage’ in the war waged between Cowling and Trevor-Roper, and wound up forsaking the courts of Peterhouse for an ugly box in the teacher training college in Canterbury (the former Christ Church College), although this was not far from his family in Thanet. The GB at Christ Church, Oxford were anxious that he might get the deanery in 1979 (when he was 41)… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Alastair Newman
10 days ago

Are you suggesting that the Conservative Philosophy Group constituted the intellectual élite of its day?

But perhaps the important question is not so much who went to whose sherry parties, but whether Norman’s comments were, and are, true or not. Is it your position that it is wrong to say that the leadership of the church today has “readily adopted the progressive idealism common to liberal opinion within the intelligentsia”?

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Since that “progressive idealism” aligns more closely with the teachings of Jesus than does the (I presume) “conservative idealism” of their political opponents, why is this a problem?

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
10 days ago

That is your opinion. It is not an established fact. There’s neither the time nor the space to thrash that out, but I urge you to challenge your own thinking on the subject.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

If you have a different opinion it is surely up to you to make the challenge. Are conservative ideas really so weak that they can’t be advocated for on their merits but only on an “everyone has a right to an opinion” moral relativism basis?

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

How does the conservative philosophy that the poor have no right to assistance from the wealthy, that the incarcerated no right to decent treatment by the authorities, that immigrants (legal or not) and refugees no expectation of succor…how does any of that square with “whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for Me”?

Maud Colthwaite
Maud Colthwaite
Reply to  Pat ONeill
6 days ago

Your question is based on a false premise. In the UK at least, the Conservative Party has never sought to undo the welfare state at any point over the last seventy years when it has been in power, following Attlee’s reforms after the war. The National Health Service is a centrally-funded system, free at the point of delivery – unlike the American system. Despite the cynicism about politicians, most enter public life because they want to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. There may be differences about how that is achieved in terms of policy. But few Conservative-voting Christians… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Maud Colthwaite
4 days ago

NHS dentistry going well, Maud?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Norman was part of an intellectual milieu, or a series of interlocking circles, which had the upper hand in public policymaking in the mid/late 1970s, and which had considerable influence in the formation of Tory policy during that period. Keith Joseph was the chief interlocutor between these circles and the shadow cabinet. There was an All Souls circle (Robert Jackson, John Redwood, William Waldegrave and Joseph himself), a Peterhouse circle (led by Cowling, but which included Norman), an LSE circle (led by Lionel Robbins, Arnold Plant, Peter Bauer, etc.), an IEA circle (Arthur Seldon, Ralph Harris, Antony Fisher), a Bow… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
11 days ago

The argument by Canon Winkett that President Trump’s association with the Religious Right, or his waving a Bible at the Roman Catholic Pope(huh?) (or, if I may add, holding it upside down outside a temporarily closed church to prove how Christian he is), somehow supports the need for Establishment in the UK leaves me baffled. If anything, former President Trump’s actions show, in my opinion, how a Trumpian Prime Minister might further exploit the Established Church to his or her own advantage. In my opinion, presidents of the United States (and candidates for that office) exploit religion too much as… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
9 days ago

“Perhaps as an outsider I should not comment on English matters …” As someone who has experienced being a xenos, even in my own country, I say embrace it. Be prepared to laugh about it in terms of your Mark Twain who said, “an expert is a guy from out of town with a briefcase.” Given history and shared values, we can learn from each e.g. Prince Charles on Commonwealth countries, including the UK presumably, learning from Canada.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/prince-charles-commonwealth-can-learn-from-canada-s-reconciliation-efforts-1.5961321

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

There’s an interesting parallel to be drawn between disestablishment and Brexit. One Leave argument was that it was better for the UK not to be subject to rules made by another power; one Remain argument was that it would be better for the UK to be “in the room” when those rules were made. For UK read CofE and for commissioners read bishops, and the parallel is pretty strong.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

Whether it is good to be “in the room” or not depends on your core purpose and the extent to which that is enhanced by being in the room (and perhaps the extent to which it might be distorted or subverted by being in the room, or by being out of it). So though the circumstances may seem parallel, and the questions similar, they may have different answers in the two cases.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

There was a saying current within the Common Market during the 1960s (and also in the 1970s when the UK, specifically Silkin’s MAFF, started to protest the problematic impact of the CAP and CFP): “les absents ont toujours tort”. Therefore, the Remain argument was informed by the experiences of: (i) 1949-50, when Bevin refused to get involved in the Schuman Plan (and the Schuman Plan only became a French initiative because Bevin had refused Acheson’s invitation that the UK take the lead in response to Monnet; in Edmund Dell’s phrase this was Britain’s ‘abdication of leadership’); (ii) 1954-57, when Eden… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
10 days ago

The Capel Loft article is an example of journalistic political sardonicism. The author may have a point about the corporate style homogeneity of the current HoB in the C of E. However, the bishops are clearly just low hanging fruit, a proxy group, a kind of bait and switch for substantive ideas Loft opposes. The article is a virtual mine of cute debating tactics. Another is the use of prosaic generalities i.e. “His kingdom is not of this world, and we can only ever know God’s will very imperfectly, in the realm of politics most of all.” A contrary minded… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Rod Gillis
10 days ago

I was once told as a young student that there is no excuse for misspelling an author’s name. Alas, that was before the days of spell-check. Lofft, not Loft. My bad. I should turn the blasted thing off as there is at least one per comment of mine.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Rod Gillis
10 days ago

Spell check is fine. It’s autocorrect and its bastard cousin predictive text that are the villains of the piece.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Jo B
10 days ago

That is it!

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Jo B
10 days ago

🙂

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Jo B
10 days ago

Thanks. It appears it was indeed the autocorrect feature that resulted in Lofft becoming Loft. I switched it off….at least I think I have. lol.

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
9 days ago

Professor King’s article was one that set me thinking about disagreement and hypocrisy. Some people take ‘a traditional view’ (of which there are many, just choose your favourite historical time period). I am fine with that, whether they base it on the Bible or on church tradition is up to them. Where I have a problem is with the ‘pick and mix’ approach. For those who believe in the Book of Common Prayer era formulary ‘that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
9 days ago

Or perhaps one for the psychologists or counsellors.

People make these choices which seem to be irrational. Often such people are unaware themselves of the irrationality. They are happy to set aside huge section of canon law or the scriptures without a qualm, but then insist that one single sentence about a different topic is an unbreakable Christian requirement.

For myself, whenever I see such apparent irrationality I suspect that something deeper and more unconscious may be going on, which needs some other skillset to resolve than a lawyer.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
4 days ago

This is hot off The Tablet press this morning, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (ACC calendar). As I read it I thought of the part of this thread that focuses on the relationship of public liturgies for baptism to the climate crisis. I’m willing to bet there would be different approaches to connecting the dots, depending on whether one sees the climate crisis as an ethical challenge for Christians or as merely ‘green politics’.

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/15630/liturgy-must-not-be-exploited-in-service-of-ideology-says-pope-

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Rod Gillis
3 days ago

Or perhaps whether one considers Baptism in the light of passages like Romans 8:18ff eg 8:19 “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (NRSV) and later “in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay”

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Mark Bennet
2 days ago

Laudato Si’ suggests that catechesis is one of the contexts in which environmental education may take place. It also has something to say about the relationship between the environment and sacramental life. “The Sacraments are a privileged way in which nature is taken up by God to become a means of mediating supernatural life. Through our worship of God, we are invited to embrace the world on a different plane. Water, oil, fire and colours are taken up in all their symbolic power and incorporated in our act of praise. The hand that blesses is an instrument of God’s love… Read more »

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