Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 December 2020

Rachel Treweek ViaMedia.News The Sound of Silence

Jonathan Jones The Guardian Myrrh mystery: how did Balthasar, one of the three kings, become black?

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Bishops, Safeguarding and Jonathan Fletcher

The Anglican Communion News Service has links to Christmas messages from Anglican Primates.

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Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
26 days ago

The piece by Rachel Treweek is valid at one level It is important for people at all levels of an institution to reflect on when it is appropriate to speak, and when to keep silence. In my own various careers (as an officer in the armed forces, as a sports coach, and then as a nurse) an important part of my own skillset was being able to judge when it was appropriate to keep silent and hold back, thus allowing those I was responsible for to develop their own skills, autonomy and self confidence. But also to judge when it… Read more »

Tony Wesley
Tony Wesley
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

Simon.
Beautifully put. A similar line of thought was forming in my mind as I read her letter. To me, her words dripped heavily of excuses for self preserving cowardice.

Revd Mark Bennet
Revd Mark Bennet
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

This comment has led me thinking about different kinds of silence – Christmas is too busy for thinking – but I first thought of the difference between pastoral silence and political silence, and found myself wondering whether silence can be analysed in relation to the “offices” of prophet, priest, and kind. For sure there are different kinds of silence and different reasons for it: for sure there are aspects of silence from the Bishops collectively which are a cause for great concern: for sure some of this is justified by a confusion about how silence works – both the problematic… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
24 days ago

Mark. I fully agree with you. Whatever one’s vocation then, to misquote Ecclesiastes, there is a time to speak out and a time to stay silent. Silence is important for many reasons. I have tried to describe my own valuing of practising silence and restraint in my own work. But it is to easy to stay at a theoretical level and not apply one’s reflections to actual practice. My specific complaint is related to LLF. The House of bishops have set up a process in which silence is not presented as a choice for us lower mortals. Those of us… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by Simon Dawson
Stanley Monkhouse
24 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

Simon and Mark write movingly and profoundly. Simon writes “if silence is so important, every one of us who is LGBTQ+ should stay silent, and refuse to engage”. There came the time when such silence was the Dominical option. Costly. Game changing.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
23 days ago

I’m sorry Stanley. I understand the allusion. but we LGBTQ people have been sacrificed on the altar of Christian doctrine for too long. I don’t want to play that game any more. I’m fed up with being asked to sacrifice myself by straight people who have no intention of offering the same level of sacrificial giving themselves.

Last edited 23 days ago by Simon Dawson
Andrew
Andrew
23 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

Surely sacrificing oneself is the very essence of Christ’s teaching and example?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
23 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Andrew, I agree that such sacrifice is a major part of the Christian tradition. Take up thy cross and follow me. Many LGBT people have been taught that a life of self denial and celibacy is exactly such a sacrifice if they wish to follow Christ. But I would argue that what makes the story of the Cross possible is that the story continues. The pain and death of Good Friday is always followed by the joy and life of Easter Sunday, Christ has died but Christ has risen again. The two stages in the story are inextricably linked. But… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
22 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Sacrificing oneself may be part of the Christian tradition, but sacrificing other people is not. Let us ‘bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ’.

Stanley Monkhouse
23 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

Simon, I was responding to what I took to be your “suggestion” of silence. I did not suggest it myself, but having read your words, it made me realise that were LGBTQ people to refuse to cooperate with LLF by remaining silent, it would destroy the expensive exercise. I can’t help but think it’s doomed anyway – nothing will change the minds of the conevos, or of those like me who think theology subservient to biology and that we are all on a continuum of (bi)sexuality with changes quite possible in the human ape as in several other species.

Tim Chesterton
25 days ago

Merry Christmas to everyone, peace and joy to you all.

Kate
Kate
24 days ago
Reply to  Tim Chesterton

Merry Christmas Tim

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
23 days ago

I remember many years ago during my Anglican days, when I was in my mid 20’s I spent a year at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, the Monastery of the Community of the Servants of the Will of God CSWG at Crawley Down in West Sussex, as a member of the the Lay Community attached to that monastery (the Lay Community was known as the Seekers Group), members of this Lay Community lived under the Rule and discipline of the Monks there, and we had instruction every week from the Father Superior, at that time Father Gregory every week.… Read more »

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