Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 April 2022

Sophie Grace Chappell ViaMedia.News Trans Figured: Experience Trumps Theory

Martin Sewell Surviving Church Bullying in the Church

Giles Fraser UnHerd Why Bishops should be political

James Crockford Church Times C of E prefers marble to people
“The Rustat judgment exposed flaws in the faculty process”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
39 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

With respect to Mr Crockford’s piece, Judge Hodge’s decision boiled down to his aesthetic opinion about the alternative siting of the monument (at para. 135): “In my evaluation, having viewed East House, and notwithstanding the views of Historic England, if it were to be relocated there, the memorial would look unduly cramped and restricted, sandwiched uneasily between the floor and the ceiling of the proposed exhibition space: I would echo Mr Vonberg’s comments, when he was addressing the possibility of relocating the memorial to the east wall of the south transept of the Chapel, that even if the memorial might… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

“It is not clear why Prof. Hill did not call Prof. MacCulloch to refute Prof. Goodman”, re whether Archbishop Cranmer was a ‘murderous misogynist’.

Not knowing anything about dispute procedures in Oxford or Cambridge, I find the idea of one learned professor calling another learned professor to refute the opinion of a third learned professor on the question of whether or not Cranmer was a murderous misogynist to be somewhat whimsical in a case concerning a faculty application.

Whatever the reason, I doubt it was to save costs.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
1 month ago

The Dean of Jesus College Chapel writes clearly that failure to remove the memorial means that “building a better fairer world will just have to wait” and that there are groups of worshippers excluded from the chapel by its presence. I had been wondering whether the article would end with the announcement of the Dean’s resignation, but apparently not. It would be interesting to know why he feels able to continue to minister in that chapel given the opinions he expresses. Perhaps his views are more complex than those he could express in the space available to him.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
1 month ago

As a former chair of the Faithworkers branch of the trade union Unite I can confirm that bullying is endemic in the CofE. This is not manifested with paid gym built heavies of course, it’s done in middle class ways: NDAs (despite the Archbishop clutching his pearls at the very thought) are widely used; archdeacons and bishops whose first reference is to the legal position in any difficult situation; the ‘not fit for purpose’ CDM; withholding repairs to the parsonage house; gaslighting clergy using the rural deanery structures to do so; but perhaps most importantly by micromanaging parish clergy. As… Read more »

Michael H
Michael H
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 month ago

That last point about the unsubtle power grab by conservative evangelicals is dispiritingly true. In my experience, their attitude to church buildings and the sacraments is not good. I spent some idle time trawling some local Facebook pages of conservative evangelical churches and noticed celebrants wearing mismatched jacket and chinos, no vestments, no ablutions, loaf of bread not wafers, handed to children to eat after the service. That was one church! Others fairly similar in their approach. The doctrine on the websites is also hardline about relationships, hierarchy etc. But then they are well attended unlike a ‘middle of the… Read more »

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Michael H
1 month ago

Oh no, mismatched jacket and chinos, no flowing robes! Actual bread, not those nice wafers which stick to the roof of your mouth! Whatever next. Churches full of families and young people.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

I would be interested to know how many parents of the young people continue attending once the “children” have flown the nest. To what extent are the parents using the churches as a means of inculcating values in the offspring, the parents perhaps lacking time and confidence to do so themselves? I suppose statistics, should there be any, would be of little worth since they depend on honest answers. This is a genuine question – I wish to make no party political point, merely to know more.

Michael H
Michael H
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

Bob the Church of England has something called Canon Law which contains rules about these matters. For those who disregard them, as if they were optional, other Denominations are available. Ablutions after communion, for example, must be done but my Facebook evidence suggests they are not.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Michael H
1 month ago

The Canon Law of the Church of England also contains rules about doctrine ( canon A5). Perhaps those who disagree should leave the Church of England.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Michael H
1 month ago

Canon law is indeed frequently flouted. Ablutions, surplus wine back in bottle, elements “consecrated” by a reader (I’ve seen it done), “consecrated” breadcrumbs into the waste bin, no semblance of approved CofE liturgy. And let us not forget the numerous churches that use the Roman rite – perhaps the majority of churches that look to a catholic flying bishop. I can’t resist telling of the time I attended a farewell-to-the-Vicar mass at St Anne’s Derby. where Bishop Burnham (Ebbsfleet then) turned up in full crimson Roman canonicals with skull cap – not a hint of anything vaguely Anglican – blessing… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago

I saw similar things at St. Luke’s Derby a few times. You knew you’d been to church when one of the PEVs had been. I’m grateful for those experiences. What I’d like to see in the evangelical constituency is a greater recognition of and use of the particular type of evangelicalism which arises naturally out of Anglicanism: parochial, liturgical, historically rooted, and comfortable with sacramental theology of the BCP. I’m not sure any of the theological colleges or courses could say they really offer teaching and formation from within that kind of evangelical Anglican framework. What we seem to have… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
1 month ago

Spot on, Stephen. Thank you.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
1 month ago

-Mention of St Lukes Derby took me back to seventies when I worshipped there as a student. The saintly Father Peterken was vicar and it was as extreme as you like.. Anglo Catholic at its besr, and yet fully C of E. I remember Pontifical High Mass where the very low church Bishop of Derby was greeted at the west door with incense and holy water and as he processed up the aisle the congregation genuflected row by row. What the said Bishop thought of it i can not imagine. Yet it seemed clearly part of the C of E… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Ian
29 days ago

Happy days and lovely people and yes no question that they were/are C of E people. But it must be hard for them to see so many priests and bishops become Roman Catholic.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Ian
27 days ago

I hope that the bishop thought ‘well at least they made the effort’. I dreaded wheeling candidates along to confirmation services where there was no sense of the drama of the liturgy. Often it was an undignified shambles, with assorted clergy tumbling out of the vestry wearing random bits of creased ecclesiastical garb. It was so depressing to realise that the families got the impression that this was an institution that had long since given up.

SimonW
SimonW
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
1 month ago

Are there any conservative evangelical BCP parishes left these days? I remember a story I wrote when covering religious affairs in the 1990s. The staunchly con evo rector of St James Church near the Quay in Poole old town, Stanley Holbrooke-Jones, wrote one of his periodic open letters denouncing those behind modern language liturgies arguing that they were the main cause of the decline of the church. BCP was the only truly evangelistic resource and the liturgical commission, led by his new bishop David Stancliffe, should publicly repent. +DS was loathe to comment when I contacted him. I don’t think… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  SimonW
29 days ago

I imagine there will be some Prayer Book Society churches with conservative evangelical ministers and congregations. For me it’s the moderating spirit of the BCP, rather than it’s regular use, that is of most use to the conservative evangelical constituency. 1662 is a hard won liturgy borne out of theological and political anguish. It created some reasonable boundaries to live in and ways of co existing with others (those ejected might feel otherwise). I think that may be partly behind the strong reactions against the modern language services. They have been borne out of a desire for greater diversity and… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
29 days ago

Thanks for the phrase stretching “the C of E beyond its natural capacity”. Stephen. An excellent phrase. I can’t see any likelihood of change. But few seem to link this bewildering diversity to the fact of decline.

Sarumite
Sarumite
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago

Whilst I have no time whatsoever for imitation Romanism in the Church of England, at least Bishops Burnham and Goodall are amongst those who have seen the illogicality of their position and taken themselves across the Tiber. But I have seen little evidence of extreme evangelicals heading off in the direction of Geneva!

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Sarumite
1 month ago

Yes indeed! I’m struck by how many young evangelicals (all men in my experience) say they found Jesus in, say, the Baptist tradition but then felt called to the CofE. Better pay and pension had nothing to do with it of course. And as for the likes of Burnham and Goodall, they timed their popings well in regard to their CoE pension provision. You have to laugh. Well I do.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Sarumite
29 days ago

Geneva, at least Calvin, taught the regulative principle: worship based on the Bible. The psalms do not feature prominently in modern evangelical worship, and there is little other Biblical material.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
28 days ago

I don’t find the bishop blessing the congregation as he (or she) passes by. You mention “entertaining”. I do find praise bands and worship teams to be nothing more than entertainment. I think that’s the reason parents take their children, teens especially, to the ConEvo churches; the music appeals to them. I have a hard time believing that such music elevates the spirit to heavenly heights. I could be wrong: I’m over 70 with a background in liturgical music.

Neil Patterson
Neil Patterson
Reply to  Michael H
1 month ago

There is nothing at all in Canon or the rubrics that requires the Ablutions. I always have and will do them myself, but am baffled by the obsession they seem to present to many.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Neil Patterson
1 month ago

There is a rubric about the reverent consumption of the consecrated elements. It is there in order that Anglicans with different understandings of the relation of Christ’s presence can live together in the same church, unlike continental Protestantism post the Lutheran / Reformed split.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Michael H
1 month ago

There is a place for a highly reverential Eucharist; there is an equal place for a very relaxed Lord’s Supper.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

There is no “equal place” in the irreverent evangelical Church of England. That was abolished after their grinning take-over.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Michael H
1 month ago

What is wrong with a loaf of bread? Canon B17 “2. The bread, whether leavened or unleavened, shall be of the best and purest wheat flour that conveniently may be gotten, and the wine the fermented juice of the grape, good and wholesome.”

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Mark Bennet
1 month ago

Nothing. Though the Canon says the wine is to be the fermented juice of the grape.

Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

I liked that Giles Fraser piece. And I don’t often say that.

David Foster
David Foster
1 month ago

This whole discussion about evangelical churches not being ‘fit & proper’ makes me very sad. I much prefer an authorised liturgy and Priests wearing robes but I can only rejoice at seeing those churches that don’t crammed with families and young folk.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  David Foster
1 month ago

As long as the young folks don’t grow up to be gay within that evangelical church, in which case they are often at risk of mental illness and suicide, which is not a thing to rejoice at.

David Foster
David Foster
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 month ago

I find it difficult to paint all evangelical churches with the same generic brush

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  David Foster
29 days ago

So do I David, hence the word often, rather than always.

I agree that that some churches have changed markedly, but not nearly enough, and not, to my knowledge, in my neck of the woods.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 month ago

So long as they don’t go to a liberal Catholic Church such as St Mark’s in Sheffield and be taught that Jesus was prejudiced and had to repent. Extract from sermon preached by Rev Michael Bayley in December 2017: “Jesus was a man of his time and he was influenced by the beliefs and prejudices of his time. He was a Jew and he was affected by the beliefs and prejudices of the Jews of his time. This is nowhere more evident than in the story of his encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman which we heard in the gospel reading.… Read more »

Hugh James
Hugh James
Reply to  Bob
29 days ago

Bob, I’d be interested to hear how you would explain that same story from Matthew.

I have preached about it as a significant turning point in Jesus’ understanding of his calling, as he grows out of the prejudiced viewpoints that would have been part of his upbringing. I see it as a point of growth, not as a point of repentance. Whatever our understanding of Jesus’ nature, the saying, “It is not fair to take the children bread and throw it to the dogs.” is one that is difficult to explain.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Hugh James
29 days ago

Matthew 3. “16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” How can God, the Father, be well pleased with His Son if he is prejudiced? Matthew 5. 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”… Read more »

Hugh James
Hugh James
Reply to  Bob
26 days ago

Bob, thank you for replying. I think, though, that you missed the point of my question which was how do you explain Jesus’ saying, “It is not fair to take the children bread and throw it to the dogs,” apparently calling the Canaanite woman and her child “dogs”.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
Reply to  Hugh James
25 days ago

If I may be permitted to jump into this conversation. . The passages about the Syrophoenician-Canaanite woman (Mk. 7:24-30, Matt. 15:21-28) raise all kinds of difficult issues. . I think there are serious problems with the fairly common interpretation that this was the significant turning point in Jesus’ ministry when he realized that his ministry was directed to the Gentiles and not only the Jews. . Earlier in both Mark and Matthew, Jesus had already in fact healed Gentiles without any expressed concern that his ministry was limited only to Jews. He had already traveled to the Gentile territory to the… Read more »

Hugh James
Hugh James
Reply to  dr.primrose
25 days ago

Dr Primrose, thankyou for joining the conversation and sharing those insights. I will re-read the passages bearing your thoughts in mind. Incidentally, I don’t think we can assume that the centurion’s servant is necessarily a gentile.

39
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x