Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 28 November 2020

James Martin America magazine Whatever brings a person to God is holy–whether you like it or not

Jonathan Clatworthy The point of it all Love or faith? Can we live with both?

Jo Sadgrove ViaMedia.News LLF: Power, “Mother Church” and the Anglican Communion

Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News LLF: Can Perfect Love Cast Out Fear?

Giles Fraser UnHerd We don’t need more spreadsheet vicars

Stephen Conway All Things Lawful And Honest Only Connect

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Inclusive pro-LGBTIQ+ group writes to thirty four pro-gay bishops

Jonathan Clark The Commonwealth of HeaveLiving in love and faith – and peace, with justice

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Reflections on Churchmanship Labels in the Church of England

Archdruid Eileen Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Take a Break, Justin

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Froghole
Froghole
10 months ago

I agree with Giles Fraser – in his delicious critique of Taylorism – that the emerging ‘mixed economy’ of ‘doing church’ will be used by many in authority as a ramp, or as convenient camouflage, for extensive rationalisation. This includes rationalising many of those same clergy who are currently celebrating ‘virtual church’ as a satisfactory, or superior, substitute for the real thing. Of course, it is customary for ‘revolutions’ to devour their own ‘children’. Many of the clergy who have welcomed this mixed economy do not appear to understand the essential incompatibility between the concept of a territorial ministry –… Read more »

Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
Reply to  Froghole
10 months ago

The phrase the Archbishop of York used in the Synod presentation on strategy and vision was ” mixed ecology.” Still not sure what that means. But I do agree that if this comes to fruition then the local will suffer.

Graeme Buttery

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Froghole
10 months ago

Very well put, Froghole. I appreciate your use of the term ‘useful idiots’. I remain baffled at clergy in my neighbourhood who have embraced facebook and zoom with such enthusiasm. How don’t they understand that locked churches (38 Sundays and counting) means no collections, virtually no income, and ultimately for them no job, home or incomes. I am beyond irritated that nobody has the power to compel a vicar to unlock his church, not even for private prayer. At my local church, the vicar continues with private celebration of communion behind locked doors and I just have to lump it.… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

Michael: Many thanks! Unfortunately, the expression ‘useful idiot’ has often been attributed to Lenin(!). However, it was directed at those on the Left who sought to form ‘popular front’ alliances with communist parties, not realising that in so doing they would be eviscerated by the communists. If clergy believe that they have a future in paid employment by forsaking physical church or in viewing ‘virtual church’ as the main focus of mission, then I have a bridge to sell them. The bishops went from being excessively authoritarian in March to being excessively liberal in July. They have therefore committed a… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

Perhaps you could volunteer to do the cleaning so the church can be opened up? And do please bear in mind that the wealth of streamed services has been wonderful for those of us who are usually too ill to attend physically – and for those who’ve been wanting to try church but were too shy or scared to turn up in person. I hope you are soon able to attend in person, if that’s what you feel you need, but don’t begrudge the rest of us having our needs met too. FWIW, churches will still be receiving income from… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

I think it shows that expenditure has been wrongly directed.

Paying for professional cleaning is critical to keeping churches open. Instead make bishops unpaid volunteers.

Last edited 10 months ago by Kate
ACI
ACI
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

“…those who’ve been wanting to try church but were too shy or scared to turn up in person.” With respect, I find this idea dream-mongering.

A good hard statistic to try to track is the giving of those–shy scared or otherwise–one might imagine would come from those who click in (and out).

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

There are reports from all over the country of people attending online who haven’t previously been churchgoers. The one I’m attending is regularly getting a dozen to weekday Morning Prayer streamed live on Facebook. It’s an Open Table church – St. Luke’s in the City, Liverpool – and some LGBT+ people attending had given up on church altogether after being rejected by their local church. As for whether they give – the Church’s mission is ‘to go out into the highways and byways’ and gather people for the banquet. Jesus didn’t tell us to only bring people who would make… Read more »

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

Many non churchgoers only attend baptisms, weddings or funerals. But not this year and the opportunity to minister to them completely lost. What message do you think has been received this year when funeral visits have been conducted on the telephone, close relatives including spouses of the deceased told by clergy that they are not allowed to attend. My mother died in March just before lockdown. I did not attend the funeral and my request to receive the comfort of communion on Mothering Sunday was met with the answer ‘no’, while the vicar celebrated communion twice at home on that… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

I am so sorry you had been bereaved. This has indeed been a bad year.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

As I understand it, Froghole’s point, and Michael’s – or one of them – is how will this be funded in future? Some churches’ income is holding up, some has been decimated, or worse. Dioceses are getting rid of stipendiary clergy hand over fist. Not all churches have lay people who would wish to lead services, and certainly not all have IT savvy people to do the necessaries. So come the great awakening, the rending of the tomb, when ordure and rotating blades meet, when stipendiary clergy are a thing of the past and nobody else is competent or willing,… Read more »

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
10 months ago

In a oner.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
10 months ago

They will come from a select few churches with the necessary people and moolah’

With respect, Stanley, all you need is an iPad and a stack of books to prop it up against. If you can afford a mic stand and a bracket and a plug in mic, that can improve things a bit, but they aren’t essential.

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

There may be people like Stanley and myself who just do not think this is worship. Clearly we have different understandings of what worship is. Propping up a silicon valley device for ‘church’–one used to access online shopping, check stock market, weather, etc–just seems hard to swallow.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

Let me get this right, Christopher. My church family is currently prohibited from gathering physically in the same building for worship. Even during the summer, when things were a little better, most of them didn’t feel safe in the building. So, because the Wifi service is crappy at the church, my wife and I set up our iPad in our living room, where we lead a service of Morning Prayer on Facebook Live. We are joined by between 30 and 50 people. We sing, and they sing along with us. We pray the prayers of the church, read the scriptures,… Read more »

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

At issue, as I understood this, was whether this is a legitimate way to worship God, or a stop-gap that is a stop-gap and not anything like something to be desired.

Stop-gap, necessitated, unfortunate. Yes.

A bona fide and encouraging add-on post vaccine? Count me out.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

Christopher, I’m quite okay with you counting yourself out. I’m not okay with you pouring derision on people for whom this has been a lifeline, and telling them that they’re not actually worshipping. I’m reminded of the discussion about whether or not a person should worship God in Jerusalem or Samaria. As I recall, the answer was that the question was irrelevant; what mattered was that the worshippers worshipped in spirit and in truth. And within a few years, of course, the followers of Jesus were worshipping in small groups in one another’s houses, which I’m sure didn’t meet with… Read more »

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

You seem to confuse the matter. There has been a clear belief registered that this cyber thing is a matter for great hope down the line. Mixed economies, et al. My remarks are directed at that. Sophistication is a straw man. So too Samaritans. Both irrelevant and great ways to dodge the serious matter of decline and survival. If people prefer to ignore this reality and longingly hope for cyber replacements, they will get their wish. And yes, count me out. Hurrah for the French Catholics who insisted that actual parish life must be robustly defended and kept going.

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

PS Telling an elderly clergyman to prop up a IPhone and use all the newest technology, satellites etc it relies on, is a pretty good use of the word ‘sophistication.’

Daniel Lamont
Daniel Lamont
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

These are false binaries. It is not a case of either/ but both/and. Worship in person is the ideal and that is what we must restore as far as possible. However, as Janet Fife and Tim Chesterton point out, for many people who cannot get out or have problems travelling to a distant church building on-line worship is a life-saver. Why not a mixed economy whereby those who can worship in person but who also during the week might like to join in daily prayers on-line. On-line worship needs to be done well and it may best be done by… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Daniel Lamont
ACI
ACI
Reply to  Daniel Lamont
10 months ago

I am sorry you are disappointed. My remarks have to do with the enthusiasm for cyber as a way to ameliorate a declining church reality. I believe that is a false hope. Problem avoidance.

David Exham
David Exham
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

Don’t be ageist! Or for that matter exaggerate the technical difficulties. You don’t need to know about satellites etc to cope with Zoom. I’m 76 and I can manage it.

ACI
ACI
Reply to  David Exham
10 months ago

Tell it to Stanley Monkhouse.

I was responding to the ‘false binary’ of sophistication v Iphone simplicity.

I have no trouble with Zoom. I am living on it. But I do not see it as a hopeful future for the church.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
10 months ago

I understood their point. But I disagree that it’s a sufficient reason – as they seemed to be implying – to stop streaming services for those who want and need them. Jesus didn’t say, ‘Go out into all the world, and preach the gospel only to those who can pay for it.’ It’s been obvious for 40 years or more (as witness the Tiller Report of c. 1983) that we’re spreading ourselves too thin and a lot of small churches will need to close. That’s going to be painful but it needn’t mean the end of the Church in England,… Read more »

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

Janet, nobody has said stop streaming services. Watching online works for you and nobody has said that should be taken away from you. You do not feel the necessity to be with other people or to receive physical communion in a church building. Others are bereft at being locked out of church, me included. I am resentful that local churches remain locked and the only activity is behind locked doors private communion. I do not want to watch a solitary priest online willfully refusing to share communion week after week, month after month. It merely reinforces the deep sense of… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

That did seem to be the implication in some of the comments about clergy keen to stream services being unaware their physical churches would close.I see no problem in a mixed economy, with both streamed and local services being provided.. As for ‘You do not feel the necessity to be with other people or to receive physical communion in a church building’ I did say in my first comment on the topic that for several years I have been too ill to attend church in a building. I have been fortunate to have holy communion brought to me once a… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

Many thanks for these points. I am not certain that real church impedes access to those who cannot afford to fund it, although the cost of having access to a computer may act as an impediment to some of those who might otherwise wish to access worship virtually faute de mieux or because they are physically incapacitated. It is excellent, for instance, that you and others who find physical attendance impracticable or impossible now have provision. I am, frankly, very sorry that you have been inhibited from engaging in worship until recently by the lack of virtual provision. My argument… Read more »

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

There are so many things to say. I do not regard offering people the ability to click into something, ‘going out into highways and byways.’ Indeed, it might be a perfect example of doing the opposite. The danger of turning Christian discipleship and outreach into consumerist internet voluntarism is now heightened, and with a coronatide ‘justification.’ Much of this thread has to do with the severe decline in parish attendance and the dangers that attend that. If people believe cyber options will show a hopeful way forward I am not convinced. Even the idea of online ‘attendance’ is actually a… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

My observation has been that it usually takes several years for a new churchgoer to become at least a responsible giver, let alone a proportional giver. It’s only been eight months since our first Covid shutdown here in Canada. It’s early days yet. The thing that interests me is that even though since March 8th we haven’t had a single onsite service that has attracted more than 15 people (although online has been extremely well attended), our income from offerings is currently slightly above budget. Also about 70% of our regular giving comes via pre-authorized giving (PAG). Having said that,… Read more »

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

Everyone will have a different baseline from which to draw conclusions. I can say that “all is not well” in a great many places. Parishes that have gotten used to being fairly modest, and parishes that have been strong, one hears are the least affected.

But this looks like a reply to an earlier note.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  ACI
10 months ago

I started watching services online after five years of not going to church at all (apart from services at my mother’s care home) for five years. From there I started attending in person. Live-streamed services can be a way into actual attendance .

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

Janet: Indeed. In our church in Canada, 2/3 of our income is now coming in by pre-authorized giving. Others are using our ‘Canada Helps’ donation page, or e-transfer, or are mailing in their cheques, and some are even dropping them off at the church each week (our admin assistant goes there for half an hour to check the mailbox). People long to worship together again in the building, but don’t want to do it while it’s unsafe. Meanwhile they are very happy with what they’re getting online and have shown it by their support.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

Same here at my parish in Pennsylvania, Tim. Monetary contributions have not fallen off and contributions of time and effort are at an all-time high, as people volunteer for our food pantry, our homeless outreach, to assist in our daily streaming services.

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

I don’t begrudge you your solitary at home worship as it clearly works for you. Yesterday was Advent Sunday. At my local church the vicar was behind locked doors, celebrating communion and preaching a sermon. Disappointment however for the two or three regular viewers because the connection to facebook failed again. There would normally be about 40 in church so they missed out either way.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

It isn’t solitary, that’s the point. I’m joining with a number of others as we comment on the Bible reading and pray together. It’s community, and it feels like an extended family.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
10 months ago

Exactly what my people are telling me, Janet. My treasurer was trying to pray daily morning prayer but finding it tough going. Now he’s very happy to join eight or ten other people each morning in an online community.

And before someone says, “But before Covid he could have gone down to the church and joined in”, let me remind them that this is the city of Edmonton. Many of my parishioners live many miles away from our church.

Andrew
Andrew
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

Michael, even if a church has been locked up for several months, with little evidence of parish life, its offertory plate gathering dust, the diocese goes on collecting parish share payments. Buildings remain unopened, but parochial coffers are still dipped into, in the form of monetized income streams. In other words, they are fixed assets, just like any other investments or rental properties, to be milked as lucrative cash cows. Lists of parishes on diocesan spreadsheets (a page per deanery) are arranged to show monthly contributions for the entire year, along with accumulated totals and deficits, and comparisons with previous… Read more »

ACI
ACI
Reply to  Andrew
10 months ago

Some hard thinking is very much needed. I fear this coronatide recourse to cyber ‘worship’ is just throwing up smoke in the air and masking very necessary evaluation and hard work. It could not come at a worse time, given the stats on aging and shrinking congregations.

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Andrew
10 months ago

Thanks Andrew. I looked at diocesan website. The most recent financial update that I could find was from June. There was a reminder that parish share must be paid in full by 31 January 2021, that reserves are there for a rainy day, and the rainy day has now arrived. All well and good to pay parish share out of reserves but what happens when the reserves run out? I would not be surprised if the government imposes another lockdown in January, with public worship cancelled once more. They will say, you’ve had your Christmas, the virus surged, now we… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

Thanks, Michael. It seems unlikely that normal parish life will resume until Eastertide at the earliest. In the meantime, many PCCs will be faced with an extended income drought. If reserves are supposed to be held only to cushion deficits at times of local crisis, now they are ransacked to prop up the institution as a whole. Parishes have been required to adopt the reserves policies of fundraising charities, keeping only a minimum amount of cash to cover a few months’ operating costs. But since the pandemic started, their savings accounts are being treated as an inexhaustible source of liquidity. There… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Andrew
10 months ago

No one has mentioned rental income. Many churches derive a substantial amount from this, hall income, play groups ,car parking spaces. In London especially( where I was for 30 yrs ) this is often the main source of income especially in central London where space is at a premium. I suspect it is this that has enabled London to keep so many one church/one vicar parishes. This has largely dried up and will take a while to recover.

Charles Clapham
Reply to  Michael
10 months ago

I’ve said so before on this website, but I’m staggered to hear of churches which still remain closed (and for 38 weeks!) – and to read a defence of it this week in the Church Times letter section. It might be understandable where the incumbent and every single key lay leader in the congregation are vulnerable, and therefore are unable themselves personally to open up and be present. Given the age profile of some congregations, I can see this might be the case, especially in some rural areas – though even then, you might expect some ability to make alternative… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Clapham
David
David
Reply to  Charles Clapham
10 months ago

Likewise, I have been staggered. As I have at those churches which have dramatically reduced their services and therefore had to introduce booking. I minister in a rural benefice where we went back to a full service pattern and included online worship in some form. The rational was that the services averaging 5-10 helped us in reducing pressure on those where we may have had to introduce booking or limits. I know that some clergy prefer the easy life where services and congregational contact are limited. I do wonder if some also do not give a fig for the life… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Froghole
10 months ago

I note some of the comments made in support of virtual church. That’s fine. I am not against it, and perhaps the Church should offer a variety of online services on a national basis as a matter of course for those who are unable or unwilling to attend (though these may often be a minority of the former churchgoing population). Indeed, this may make sense since the BBC has greatly downgraded its provision of religious broadcasting. It is also true that *some* parishes have subsisted relatively successfully by means of standing orders, though I have also heard stories in my… Read more »

Michael
Michael
Reply to  Froghole
10 months ago

I am not surprised that hardly anyone watched the bishop of Lichfield on youtube. Advent Sunday is the latest ongoing casualty of the closure of churches since March. The laity have been locked out at every major festival this year, Easter, Ascension, Whitsun and now Advent, and denied communion for nearly a whole year. In the online version of the Church Times, there is a report on radio and tv Christmas schedule. Two things stand out – the bizarre decision of the Church Times to use a photograph of Dawn French in her role as vicar of Dibley and, second,… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
10 months ago

Jonathan Clatworthy is surely correct in affirming the Bishop of Blackburn’s view that no agreement can ever be reached in the CofE over same-sex marriage etc. It is unlikely that a bible-based evangelical is going to change the whole basis upon which their faith rests – i. e. God’s Word Written contains the solution to every human question and problem from now til eternity. As long as members of the CofE are encouraged to believe this ridiculous view of interpreting human life, no amount of discussion, conversation or so-called “mutual flourishing” will change the minds of those who already have… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  FrDavid H
10 months ago

“This is why reconciliation is impossible. There is no agreed framework for debating the issue. Either biblical texts do take absolute priority over our common sense, our experience of life, our research into the effects of homophobia, our information from other sources, and everything else, or they don’t. One or the other. There is no halfway. On this point, Henderson is right.”   But Clatworthy (and Henderson) is wrong. Even if we accept the evangelicals’ assertion that the Bible can be read in only one way, still according to Gospel teaching their position is untenable   “He looked around at… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Kate
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Kate
10 months ago

I’m sure those in Christian Concern would regard liberals like you and me, Kate, has having “stubborn hearts” for having “revisionist” views which contradict their certain interpretation of God’s Word Written. Arguing for equality by spouting texts is ultimately useless. We are not likely to convert bigots by citing bible verses at them. It is their prerogative only for them to do that at us.

ACI
ACI
Reply to  FrDavid H
10 months ago

This surely advances the discussion.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  FrDavid H
10 months ago

I think we have be careful here. Jonathan Clatworthy comes close to saying that the Bishop of Blackburn’s view is Bible based, and we liberals use reason.(and not the Bible). But surely we both use the Bible as the basis for our Christian understanding of the issue, it is just that we differ in our interpretation (and on the use of reason in our interpretation of the Bible). Surely the crux dividing issue is different. The issue is whether we are prepared to worship in the same church with somebody with fundamentally different views Can we agree to differ, or… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Simon Dawson
10 months ago

No Simon, it’s not possible. According to many evangelicals in the CofE, there is only ONE interpretation of the bible. And it’s not yours.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
10 months ago

Dispensationalist evangelicals. Charismatic evangelicals. Calvinist (or Reformed) evangelicals, Arminian evangelicals. Fundamentalist evangelicals. ‘Open’ evangelicals. Liberal evangelicals. Conservative evangelicals. Evangelicals who practice infant baptism. Evangelicals who practise adult baptism. Prayer Book evangelicals.

I’m trying hard to restrict myself to evangelicals who may be part of the C of E (which is a bit audacious of me, given that I’m not a member of the C of E). but the point is, Evangelicals who say there is only one interpretation of the Bible are remarkably ignorant of our own tradition.

David Runc
David Runc
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

Ah Tim –  we evangelicals are watched on TA with a varied mixture of bewilderment, curiosity, incomprehension, amusement, horror – and, by some, loathing. Neither you nor I would support the present behaviour of the Conservative wing of our rich and varied tradition. But we might observe here that when it comes to groups in the CofE digging in with non-negotiable demands, forming their own distinct Societies while claiming to be the theologically pure mainstream and the true church, receiving their own special Episcopal care, threatening to divide or actually leaving the CofE if the majority do not go with their… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 months ago

In the C of E the Prayer Book evangelicals, or liturgical low church evangelicals I call them, have largely if not entirely disappeared Such a pity. I have great respect for them and their tradition. Add a chasuble for a bit of colour and I’m one of them. Their loss has impoverished me and us. As to the conevos, the no-women catholics, and any others who huddle in a corner of the playground saying “I’m not playing with you”, let them at it. With luck, they’ll die of inanition.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
10 months ago

Like you Stanley I lament the demise of the Prayer Book evangelicals. How it happened would make an interesting study. As a sort of Prayer Book Catholic I read their Prayer Book Commentary series with great profit ) and pinched a few sermons from them). Traditional Catholics are surely in decline as so few ordinands are coming forward and being ordained by the flying bishops. But not the conservative evangelicals I think. Converted at CU’;s they are funnelled into strong cons evo parishes and despite little anglicanisation get ordained especially if they are young and bright.With more women bishops I… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Perry Butler
10 months ago

Yes, Perry, I shouldn’t have predicted the death by inanition of the conevos, for exactly the reasons you give, and more. We’ve touched upon this before. However, Maidstone himself acknowledges that a handful of former conevo petitioning parishes rescinded the resolution after the incumbent retired, and it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. I see Gloucester now has a petitioning parish (Moreton) for the first time and Derby has a new one (so 7). Newcastle has none yet, but that always tended to a more liberal catholic atmosphere even rurally, unlike its neighbour Carlisle which is as low… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Simon Dawson
10 months ago

“The issue is whether we are prepared to worship in the same church with somebody with fundamentally different views Can we agree to differ, or not?”   That’s the issue for conservatives. But the questions for LGBTI Christians is am I willing to accept Communion from a minister or server who thinks I am a man in drag? Are we as married couples willing to walk down the aisle to the altar rail if the minister teaches that our marriage isn’t a marriage? Are we willing to worship in a church where the minister teaches that cishet people go to… Read more »

William
William
Reply to  FrDavid H
10 months ago

Dialogue isn’t about ‘changing minds’. It is about learning to see the humanity in those who think differently. Ultimately we can only change ourselves and this tends to be a lifetime’s work for most of us.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  William
10 months ago

What if those who “think differently” are, in evangelical terms, behaving in ways contrary to God’s Word Written? Are you willing to remain in a Church which condones “sin”? Thinking differently might mean accepting same-sex marriage. How, exactly, is that a “lifetime’s work”? It’s either right or wrong. No one is arguing against your theory, William. But it’s just a pious platitude which helps no one.

cryptogram
cryptogram
Reply to  FrDavid H
10 months ago

Long ago I had the good fortune to hear sermons on two or three occasions by Dr George MacLeod, Lord MacLeod of Fuinary, a compelling preacher who could easily hold a congregation spellbound for 45 minutes and more. On one occasion he referred to the kind of preacher in whose sermons “the Word made Flesh is made word again”. It’s a striking phrase, (not a considered theological analysis), which stayed with me and constantly warned me as a preacher. I just wonder whether what the good bishop and his cohorts are doing is precisely that, a attempted reversal, if you… Read more »

Simon Cowling
Simon Cowling
Reply to  cryptogram
10 months ago

George MacLeod was quoting the Orcadian Edwin Muir’s poem ‘The Incarnate One’ – a reflection on his Calvinist heritage.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  William
10 months ago

Thank you, William, that is helpful.

Kate
Kate
10 months ago

By way of pourparler, I am a woman whose true sex was recognised later in life. (I don’t use trans terminology about myself.) I watched the CEEC video through. Odious and I believe it is a safeguarding risk to vulnerable LGBTI people, but it is still milk mild compared to the horror of the Christian Concern video which I simply cannot bear to watch past the first few minutes. I am therefore very disappointed by the Bishop of Croydon. He can’t even bring himself to deny the Christian Concern video and affirm that I, and people like me, am a… Read more »

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
Reply to  Kate
10 months ago

I agree absolutely. I don’t think the Bishop of Croydon, or possibly others, actually get what is really going on here. It is about safeguarding failures, tolerating abuse within the church and about hate crimes dressed as religion. I’m sure anyone who does not fit the binary, white and terribly shiny model is unsafe and LLF, as currently set up, is discredited and not fit for purpose. Just so people are clear – this is about hate, power and control. It’s not up to me, or anyone else, to sit with abusers while they feed their rage. Hate filled people… Read more »

Philip Groves
Philip Groves
10 months ago

I want to say thank you to Jo Sadgrove. The Anglican Communion can never be genuine until the Church of England puts to one side the notion of superiority. The issue of power is always present in any genuine encounter. The design of LLF seemed to assume the C of E has a special place in the Communion which is only true as long as it refused to set that aside. If you wonder if this is possible just read Philippians 2:1-11. And then read the whole of Philippians and see how Paul sets aside any notion of superiority by… Read more »

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
10 months ago

There’s much talk on here – and other websites and blogs of a similar disposition – about the behaviour of CEEC, and the stand being taken by the Bishop of Blackburn. There is also no shortage of comments about the impossibility of reconciling biblical fundamentalism with a more nuanced approach to reading the Bible. And there is a lot of anger directed principally at the House of Bishops for the way in which the issue has been hijacked by CEEC to no real discipline or resistance from the leaders of the C of E. All in all, to most of… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
10 months ago

For me, because the Church of England is the established church and I believe that ANYBODY should be able to walk into ANY branch (church) of the established church and be fully and unconditionally welcome. That’s something I owe to others.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  Kate
10 months ago

Of course, I agree with the point you are making, Kate…. but in the medium to long term, if everyone who is not anti gay/women has left, I don’t think the Julian Henderson church will long be regarded as the ‘real’ one. A couple of difficult decades might be a price worth paying for ‘peace’. Because what I am quite clear about in my mind is that during those couple of decades, the HoB and GS will not come to any clear decision that those of us in the liberal part of the church will welcome. That’s why I make… Read more »

Fr John Harris-White
Fr John Harris-White
10 months ago

Fr. Giles Goddard, Thank you for your positive contribution. I for one value the ongoing contribution you have made to the conversations, and publication of the book, through a lengthy period of time. It is. people like yourself who have moved the discussions forward to where they are today. Thank you, and God continue to Bless your ministry.

Fr John Emlyn

Father David
10 months ago

As the Church of England continues its sad and sorry decline with its places of worship shut for half of this year – isn’t it time for the old girl to be disestablished and allow the NHS to become the official Established Church of this land as indeed it is already in the minds of so many people?

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