Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 February 2022

David Brown Surviving Church Church Culture and the Roots of Bullying

Martyn Percy Modern Church Embrace the “Tutufication” of the Church of England Part 4

Tony Baldry ViaMedia.News Will They Ever Come Back…?

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love LGBTQIA+ Representation on NSG and House of Bishops

David Goodhew The Living Church Is Anglicanism growing or dying? new data

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Fr Dean
Fr Dean
2 months ago

Sir Tony Baldry’s view on the state of entropy in the CofE makes for interesting reading, not least for what he leaves out of his short article. The CofE has been in a long cycle of declining attendances, financial difficulties and the amalgamation of parishes for many years. Covid has been a sudden abruption not least because the bishops handled it so badly. Locking the clergy out of their churches sent a message that they weren’t the sanctuary, the sacred space that even non-churchgoers believed them to be. No entry signs on doors (both literally and metaphorically); red crosses on… Read more »

Michael H
Michael H
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

Fr Dean I agree totally with you. Another point ignored by Tony Baldry – is the continued enthusiasm of some bishops for establishing lay led missions. As lay people are showing a rapid disinclination to attend church, why would they be enthused by d-i-y non sacramental non liturgical worship? As for Baldry’s question – I haven’t returned, will never return. As Baldry started this conversation, perhaps he has some more specific suggestions for how regular worshippers, who had the misfortune to live in parishes which went to sleep for more than a year (apart from Facebook/Zoom communion on Sunday for… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
2 months ago

Tony Baldry’s account highlights the difference between Zoom and Facebook Live. Zoom requires people to identify themselves in order to be invited, but anyone can attend a Facebook Live service, and they can stay anonymous if they wish. I have been told many times by people that they attended our services when I had no idea they were there. Later, they might have gotten up the courage to leave a comment in the comment section to identify themselves. This is one of the reasons we are still livestreaming our services on Facebook Live – not just for those who asre… Read more »

Chad Wohlers
Chad Wohlers
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
2 months ago

It’s not necessary on Zoom for people to be identified or even be invited. You can set it up so it is, but you don’t have to. We don’t, so anyone who sees the link on the parish website can join and view the service. And, you can turn off your video so nobody can see you, and identify yourself as “my iPhone”, or whatever, rather than your name – something we regularly see. Or you can join by landline phone, in which case only your phone number identifies you. One can be quite anonymous on Zoom, assuming it’s set… Read more »

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
2 months ago

Goodhew’s maligning of the TEC’s Diocese of Northern Michigan and its bishop is quite unfair. The diocese is, and always has been, an anomaly, even by TEC’s standards, because of its unusual demographic circumstances. The diocese comprises the entire Upper Peninsula of the state of Michigan and is separated from the rest of the state of MIchigan (the Lower Peninsula) by the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. A bridge crossing the strait was not opened until the 1950s; before then one could go from the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula only by boat or… Read more »

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
2 months ago

Sorry to beat on and on about Goodhew. But he obviously has no clue about Anglican dioceses in the remote areas of North America. . For example, the Anglican Church of Canada has 10 dioceses (in the latest figures I could find) that have an average Sunday attendance of less than 1000. The Diocese of the Yukon’s average Sunday attendance is 191, less than half of that of the Diocese of Northern Michigan. . Does that mean that either or both dioceses are failing? I have no idea. But proclaiming the gospel in vast, non-populated areas of the world is… Read more »

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  dr.primrose
2 months ago

The Diocese of North West Australia is, in terms of land area, the largest Anglican diocese in the world. It has an area comparable to the combined area of the eight Mountain States of the US (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY), about 2 million square kilometres in each case. The Diocese of North West Australia has just 18 parishes, plus a cathedral at Geraldton and a specialist ministry to Seafarers. I’d say that Howell Witt, Bishop of North West Australia from 1965 to 1981 (and Mirfield trained), raised the profile of the diocese. I am thinking in… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Clifford Jones
2 months ago

Nice to hear of Howell Witt whose sister Margaret was a devout parishioner at St Stephen’s Gloucester Rd when I was curate 1983-7.She often spoke of her brother.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Perry Butler
2 months ago

Thank you. In August 1984 I had a trip back to England, and went to Mirfield for half a day. I was told that Howell Witt, then at Bathurst, had been there the previous week. I expect that Howell met up with his sister on the same visit.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Clifford Jones
2 months ago

I once attended Sunday worship in the Diocese of North West Australia. North End. I would never have guessed that it had ever had a bishop who was Mirfield-trained.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
2 months ago

The first Bishop of North West Australia was Gerald Trower, who held the post from 1910 to 1927. He was in the High Church tradition, having for five years been Rector of the Anglo-Catholic Christ Church St Laurence in Sydney (CCSL). On the other hand, the Diocese of North West Australia has received major support from the Bush Church Aid Society, which has its origins in the Sydney evangelical tradition. CCSL itself has a fine record of supporting the church in isolated and less prosperous locations. When in 1989 the Rector of CCSL, Austin Day, celebrated 25 years in the… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
2 months ago

Alas, NW Australia has entirely fallen. North End in mufti in the Cathedral on those occasions when the Lord’s Supper is offered. The Bishop (since 2012) was previously on staff at Moore College. Part of the Sydney spread. Howell Witt would be sad to see this transformation … in his later days, with failing faculties, he did become unpredictable and was wont to sermonise at extreme length. And so he did, for 45 minutes, when visiting my parish (one of his past cures) one unforgettable day. That said, held the congregation spellbound, in spite of it being a 40 degree… Read more »

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Peter
2 months ago

I think all of the Bishops of North West Australia since Howell Witt have had an association with Moore College.

The fifth Bishop of North West Australia (Witt was the third) was consecrated at St George’s Cathedral, Perth in 1992. On the very same day in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney a Sydney priest and Moore College alumnus was consecrated assistant bishop of Bukavu in what was then Zaire.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Clifford Jones
2 months ago

There is another example of such a coincidence in the Australian episcopate. On Tuesday 1st May 1934 William Wand was consecrated Archbishop of Brisbane in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Also on 1st May 1934 Ernest Henry Burgmann was consecrated Bishop of Goulburn in Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle NSW. (The diocese of Goulburn was renamed Canberra and Goulburn in 1950.) I do not know the times of day the respective consecrations, but even if the London one was in the morning the local time in NSW would have been well into the evening. If the London one began in the early… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  dr.primrose
2 months ago

England is perhaps a far less apt comparison than the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, which are comparable in land area and population to the Diocese of Northern Michigan, though in Scotland they’re divided between the Diocese of Argyll & The Isles and the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness.

Andrew McKinnon
Andrew McKinnon
2 months ago

David Goodhew bills his blog post as a review of ‘new data’, by which he means newly published figures from The World Christian Encyclopaedia. While that project is an impressive undertaking, there are a number of things that make a social scientist uneasy with many of the figures it presents. How the WCE/WCD arrive at their figures is often neither transparent nor replicable, and they rely quite heavily on churches’ reported figures. In the case of Goodhew’s success stories from sub-Saharan Africa, the picture is by no means ‘crystal clear’. The best available evidence (drawn from nationally representative surveys by… Read more »

David Goodhew
David Goodhew
Reply to  Andrew McKinnon
2 months ago

Thank you for your comments Andrew. You are uneasy about the World Christian Database – I would disagree (and note that your own data echoes the WCD on a number of occasions!). WCD recognises that there are a range of source materials – and often all have problems. So all figures are a judgement call and there is room for doubt. But WCD is widely recognised as ‘industry standard’. Regarding your own remarks, I question your views on Nigeria. I have serious problems with what I would see as excessive scepticism towards what African Anglicans report – with the implication… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
2 months ago

Re David Goodhew. I’m not sure that identifying a shift in the centre of gravity in the Anglican Communion (AC) helps us find a way forward. No one should hold power in the AC. The numbers only mean something with 100 years of culture and context around them. What I see in the numbers is the AC fragmenting into its constituent parts. I dislike this because I prefer cohesive projects that last for ever. But the Anglican brand now applies to various networks and I, for one, am beginning to see that there was life in that moment of re-grouping,… Read more »

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