Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 29 August 2020

James Hadley All Things Lawful And Honest Irregular & Unlearned
“In the light of attempts to hold irregular ordinations without the Eucharist, the Rev’d Dr James Hadley suggests it may be a sign of the lack of depth in current theological thinking and formation in the Church of England”

Gilo Surviving Church The bigger the mitre the larger the parachute!
“Fear of reputational damage is causing reputational damage”

Mary Harrington UnHerd England will miss our Church when it’s gone
“Without the steadying influence of Anglicanism, our politics could descend again into extremism”

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Father David
22 days ago

Mery Harrington is correct in her analysis – for as long as I can remember the word most associated with the Church of England has been “decline” but now in the grip of the current pandemic I fear the word “disintegration” must be employed. Our restricted and limited worship sans music and singing is now but a shadow of its former self.

Paul
Paul
20 days ago
Reply to  Father David

This comes back to an earlier thread. The British Social Attitudes survey covering the year 2018 indicates that 12% of the population identify themselves as C of E or Anglican, and this reduces to 1% of 18 to 24 year olds. We shall soon have the figures for 2019, and there is little doubt that the decline will continue. Presumably 2020 will be even worse.
In 2018, it was 12% for Anglicans against 8% for Catholics, and if recent trends continue, Catholics will become the larger denomination around about 2024. They are already the larger denomination amongst people under 45.

Kate
Kate
20 days ago
Reply to  Father David

An era of worship style is coming to an end. I will mourn its passing, as you do. We probably feel how Catholics felt in the early days of the Reformationv- I think we are seeing the start of a similar tidal shift.

ACI
ACI
22 days ago

Helpful review from Harrington. Some interesting insights.

Swithun
Swithun
22 days ago
Reply to  ACI

She describes the C of E’s ability to hold a reasonable centre and thus neutralise the dangerous extremes. Setting aside skepticism as to the C of E’s actual influence over our national life for a moment, what she describes is the positive role of institutions in society in general. But we now know that institutions are a Bad Thing, because they tend inexorably to preserve their own interests over those of individuals, crush dissent and sow fear. They are abusive; add in religion and you have a hearty toxic stew; people who care for human flourishing today instinctively position themselves… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Swithun
Andrew
Andrew
16 days ago
Reply to  ACI

The subtitle could just as easily have read: ‘Without the steadying influence of Parliament, our politics could descend again into extremism’. Our established Church, constitutional monarchy, unwritten constitution, parliamentary democracy, and incremental extension of the franchise, have each played their part in averting extremist politics since the 17th Century. In addition, our two-party system – emerging after the Civil War, alternating between the Tories and the Whigs, Liberals, or Labour – in some ways mirrors the Catholic and Reformed traditions of the Church.    Over the last century, Parliament has delegated law-making powers over many aspects of national life… Read more »

ACI
ACI
16 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Why is this a reply to me?

Your first paragraph basically summarizes the essay itself.

“…the inherent nature of Anglicanism” — that is, in its expression in England through to today.

Andrew
Andrew
15 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Thanks. It wasn’t a reply to anyone in particular, just a convenient place to park a comment on a relevant thread! I agree with you that the article is thought-provoking, merely noting that the events described between 1533 and 1701 didn’t go on to include any specific reference to the political institutions since that turbulent period in our national life, apart from noting the birth of the constitutional monarchy. The additional points I’d make are these. The increasing dominance of the House of Commons resulted in the eventual extension of the franchise to the working classes and to women via… Read more »

Kate
Kate
22 days ago

While a Eucharist is clearly very highly desirable as part of an ordination service, I am struggling to see how it would be necessary for a sacramentally effective ordination as Hadley seems to suggest. Indeed, I think he might be imputing things into the sacrament of the Eucharist which aren’t there.

Richard
Richard
22 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate: Would you explain what “things” Hadley is imputing into the sacrament of the Eucharist?

Kate
Kate
21 days ago
Reply to  Richard

“The impact remains, however, even with the about-face; such an arrangement completely ignored the ancient ecclesiological and sacramental premise that the Church is made in the Eucharist, and that the relationship of bishop, presbyter, and deacon is first brought about and defined in the context of Eucharistic fellowship and ministry. ”

The Eucharist has zero to do with the relationship of bishop, presbyter and deacon. Thwe Eucharist is about emphasising that we are all equal before Christ and never about emphasising any difference in status.

NJW
NJW
17 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Although the eucharist might be seen to have nothing to do with bishop, presbyter and deacon, it cannot be denied that bishop and deacon (and by derivation of the role of presbyter from that of bishop) have everything to do with the eucharist. This is alluded to in the fleeting references in the NT, but clear and explicit in the apostolic fathers (i.e. that generation who were taught directly by the apostles and then had to communicate that to a further generation). Just taking Polycarp and Ignatius, it is clear that the eucharist makes the Church and the bishop and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
22 days ago
Reply to  Kate

With all due respect, Kate, I think you may be missing the point. On the one occasion when a priest receives his/her authority (and power) to preside at The Eucharist, when that Celebration itself is absent, one may well wonder: “What is the point?”

Kate
Kate
21 days ago

Ordination doesn’t give some magical “power” to preside at the Eucharist. We are made in the image of God and that power is intrinsic in everyone. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Nothing, not ordination, can give more power than faith. To suggest that something (e.g. ordination) grants a power not unlocked by faith alone is profoundly un-Scriptural. As to authority, again the authority is granted to everyone as set out… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
21 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate: I won’t argue with your personal belief, but merely point out that these are matters of Church of England doctrine and historical practice. In a separate post I have set out the constituent parts and requirements of the Order of Service for Ordination, whether of Priest or Deacon, quoting from Common Worship. These, I believe, represent the legal requirement, hence James Hadley’s description of a service purporting to ordain without the inclusion of the Eucharist as “irregular” (shorthand for ‘unlawful’). Present circumstances, i.e., Covid-19 seem the flimsiest of reasons, in fact they are no reason at all, for omitting… Read more »

Kate
Kate
20 days ago

It has been sensible, while the Church of England could afford it, to restrict the celebration of the Eucharist to ordained ministers but that is on the basis of good order not any God-given power or authority. It is important to recognise that because the Church of England probably won’t be able to afford that model going forwards and will need to differentiate between traditionn and order on the one hand, and theology on the other.

Richard
Richard
20 days ago
Reply to  Kate

So bishop, priest and deacon will be CEO, middle manager and supervisor!

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
20 days ago
Reply to  Kate

It may be that one day the CofE takes the decision to permit lay presidency at the eucharist. Were that to be so, it would cease to be ‘catholic’ in any meaningful sense as even the markedly Protestant denominations require ordinations valid after their own pattern for such. Speaking only for myself, though I reckon I am not alone, such a step would precipitate my resignation.

Kate
Kate
20 days ago

At some point in the near future the number of ordained ministers is going to shrink so low that either a) parishioners don’t have access to regular Communion b) CofE authorises some sort of virtual Eucharist or c) CofE accepts lay presidency.

a) would further hasten the collapse of the Church of England

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that there is no real appetite for virtual Communion other than in emergencies.

By process of elimination, I believe c) is inevitable within the next couple of decades.

Froghole
Froghole
19 days ago
Reply to  Kate

In a sense ‘lay presidency’ of a kind occurs where there is communion ‘by extension’ administered by churchwardens, readers or pastoral assistants (as I have experienced on a number of occasions), although the truncated liturgy in such circumstances has an element of ‘here’s-one-the-priest-did-earlier’ about it. Although the vital words are missing from that truncated liturgy, I suspect that, from the subjective perspective of most of the laity, there is probably a cigarette papers’ worth of difference between consecration and administration of the elements by a priest and administration of the same by such laypersons. However, I also have considerable sympathy… Read more »

ACI
ACI
19 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Priesthood in anglicanism derives from a belief in apostolic succession being maintained. If that no longer makes sense, or is judged to be true, then one can adopt a different protestant model. Obviously (Roman) Catholics questioned this claim to apostolic succession and hence the validity of orders. If Anglicans do not hold to this, then the ground rationale is now vacant.

Froghole
Froghole
19 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Many thanks, ACI! Then, absent the practicalities of lay presidency, it comes down to who had a better understanding of the history of Anglican orders, and their validity, in 1896: Gasquet or Maclagan. Having read David Knowles’ withering assessment ‘Cardinal Gasquet as an Historian’ (1957), I should rather plump for Maclagan. Indeed, I should endorse practically any historian but Gasquet. Unfortunately, I would need to do much more research before coming to a view about what the great mass of churchmen and women thought of the status of ‘Anglican’ orders prior to the advent of the Oxford Movement. I suspect… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
18 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Interesting that Cardinal Gasquet should crop up in this discussion. He is buried in Downside Abbey which is about to be vacated by the Abbot and Community. They have been there since 1814. Paradoxically, I was writing about this elsewhere only yesterday.

Froghole
Froghole
18 days ago

Many thanks! I did not know that, and am sorry to read it, but I suspect that IICSA was the coup de grace. I did know that that community was down to little more than ten or so monks. Douai and Buckfast lost their schools (the last a prep school in the wake of an abuse scandal), but the abbeys did not close – though how long they or communities like Farnborough will continue to survive is moot, as their numbers are pretty low. Although the glory days of the Downside Review are past, I hope that it will keep… Read more »

ACI
ACI
18 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

I feel like I have a fairly good sense of English church history but you mention something I have never considered. Certainly in TEC ordained presbyters operate on the understanding that their orders come through the laying on of hands (following what has become a fairly complicated set of discernment processes and education). The claim of the Church of England to have continued the catholic faith in a protestant form was of course contested by the Church of Rome. But it inhered with the Church of England and its understanding of apostolic succession at the time (compare the Church of… Read more »

Kate
Kate
19 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Absolution is very different in specie than the Eucharist. Absolution is a truly awesome and fearsome responsibility because the person pronouncing absolution either: a) knows s/he has full delegated authority from God to decide which sins are forgiven and which aren’t and binds Him to the forgiveness; b) is capable of talking to God and asking whether a particular sin (or sins) is forgiven AND receiving an unambiguous response, or c) exceeds their authority and purports to act for the Lord when they don’t It is possible that a lay person has been delegated authority to cover specific circumstances but… Read more »

David Keen
David Keen
18 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

There are plenty of churches other than the CofE who have no problem defining a trained and authorised leadership role which doesn’t depend on celebrating communion or declaring the absolution. There are probably quite a few Anglican clergy for whom these things aren’t the central concern. If God calls you,and that call is discerned and verified by the wider church, then that’s quite enough to be going on with.

Froghole
Froghole
18 days ago
Reply to  David Keen

Many thanks. I guess you are quite right. ‘Leadership’ has a number of characteristics, but it is just that I had understood the primary purpose of those Anglican clergy ordained *as priests* to be the celebration of communion and the performance of absolution, whilst pretty much anything else could be undertaken by deacons or by individuals who are ‘leaders’ but who are not in orders. Query therefore whether an evolving, and very different, Church which places a decreasing premium on the sacraments could end up having office holders/incumbents who are not necessarily in priests’ orders but who are nonetheless the… Read more »

NJW
NJW
17 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

From the murk of my memory I seem to remember there is some evidence of Elizabethan ‘lectors’ (i.e. those in minor orders) holding office in places of shortage in the first years following the split from Rome – and have not deacons sometimes been incumbents in more recent times (I seem to remember something about those women deacons who held beneficed posts in the period before they could be ordained priests, but am not sure of the accurate details)?

Froghole
Froghole
16 days ago
Reply to  NJW

Many thanks for that. I am struggling with this precedent, and for useful information about lay officiants. In terms of lectors, I note that Elizabeth I felt that there should be one preacher per diocese! I know of instances of deacons holding offices reserved for priests, though not in a parochial context: one exception, however, was the ill-fated and indebted former diplomat Sir Henry Wotton was appointed provost of Eton College in 1624, and therefore ex officio rector of Eton, and took deacons’ orders in 1627 (his two immediate predecessors, the great patristic scholar and mathematician Sir Henry Savile and… Read more »

ACI
ACI
19 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Just out of curiosity, with the precipitous decline in “parishioners” tout court, and the likely closing of vast numbers of churches, what makes you think there will be a commensurate shortage of ordained clergy. If anything there may be a glut. Do the math(s).

Kate
Kate
19 days ago
Reply to  ACI

Because the ability to pay stipendiary clergy is likely to be vastly reduced. The gap, could, in theory be filled by non-stipendiary clergy but I doubt it. One aspect of the ordination of women which gets little mention is that in a declining church, at a stroke, it doubled the pool from which ordinands can be drawn. At some point soon the number of active members of the Church of England is likely to decline so far that not enough non-stipendiaries put themselves forward as potential ordinands even now we ordain both sexes. Ideally the Eucharist should be available daily… Read more »

ACI
ACI
19 days ago
Reply to  Kate

You’d need to provide the metrics. I doubt your sense of things. Decline is decline across the board. There will be plenty of clergy (and that may disappoint you). That isn’t the problem.

With 1% of English people attending services the looming problem isn’t how to introduce lay presidency (leaving aside its discontinuity with CofE’s logic historically). The looming problem is 1% attendance.

Froghole
Froghole
18 days ago
Reply to  ACI

This is so very true. It is overwhelmingly the most important subject for the Church of England, and it still sometimes seems as though it is a marginal topic of conversation (the ‘elephant in the room’). I have a great deal of respect for Peter Brierley’s statistical work. Please see table 16.3.1 here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54228e0ce4b059910e19e44e/t/5a159219419202136966a526/1511363107571/CS3+Page+16.3+The+Ageing+Church.pdf. Note that the 2020 estimate of attendance by those aged 15-19 for *all* denominations in England is 80,400 out of 3,660,000 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/281174/uk-population-by-age/), or 2.2% of that age bracket. I strongly suspect that a large proportion of that cohort of attendees will belong to the Seventh Day… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
18 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Sorry, the 3,660,000 is the number of people aged 15-19 in the UK in 2018, but actually it is probably larger now because of the baby boom which occurred in the mid-2000s; the ONS appears to provide some information about the size of that cohort in England, but it is not readily accessible.

In any event, Anglicans account for only a very small proportion of that demographic, whether in 2018 or in 2020.

Stanley Monkhouse
18 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

“How many times have I heard the remark that “the young will age, and so will start to come to church”?” Yes indeed Froghole, and this often said by people I thought were intelligent. They don’t see that while the middle aged who up to now have come “back” to church were brought up with some inkling of what church is about, and possibly might once have known the Our Father, the middle aged of the present and future weren’t and don’t. I just couldn’t get my congregations in their churchy bubbles to understand that, by and large, schools don’t… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
19 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate – many thanks for instigating this interesting thread. One of the things that has struck me is that the reported numbers of stipendiary and SSM clergy *appear* to have subsided somewhat more gently than the numbers of regular attendees (https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/Ministry%20Statistics%20in%20focus%20-%20Stipendiary%20Clergy%20Projections%202015-2035.pdf). This also shows that the numbers of SSMs have remained broadly constant. This tends to support Mr Exham’s remarks above. However, I have struggled to find statistics which go much further back in time (it would be particularly useful to have stats which detail the ratios of clergy to the wider population, and of electoral roll memberships to the… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
17 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Arnaud’s tract was indeed inspired by his Jansenism but despite its title it was in fact a disuasive from frequent communion.

Froghole
Froghole
16 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Many thanks; that was clumsy of me. I have never been compelled to read it (!), but noted his ‘conditions’ (i.e., worthy reception), and the condemnation of these in 1690, with Fenelon and other anti-Jansenists promoting a greater degree of reception in response.

Andrew
Andrew
18 days ago
Reply to  Kate

It’s hard to say whether any restructuring as a consequence of the pandemic will be sudden, incremental, or kicked into the long grass. Smaller electoral rolls and reduced parish income may result in fewer stipendiary posts, but not necessarily fewer priests. In preference to lay presidency (not very CofE in my view), perhaps it would be better to take a closer look at what the compilers of the Book of Common Prayer had in mind. The orders for Morning and Evening prayer are placed well before Holy Communion (which comes after the Collects, Epistles and Gospels), seeming to prioritise these… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Andrew, I’m not convinced that this prioritises Morning and Evening Prayer. I believe what the compilers of the Book of Common Prayer had in mind was a full suite of Morning Prayer, Litany and Eucharist. But what was intended as both/and soon became either/or and a source of contention almost to the present day.

Andrew
Andrew
17 days ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Fair point. Holy Communion is placed among a suite that includes Baptism, Catechism, Confirmation, Matrimony and Burial of the Dead. The rubric recalls an earlier practice:

The Table at the Communion time having a fair white linen cloth upon it, shall stand in the body of the Church, or in the Chancel, where Morning and Evening Prayer are appointed to be said. And the Priest standing at the north side of the Table shall say the Lord’s Prayer with the Collect following, the people kneeling.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
19 days ago
Reply to  Kate

No faith in an effusion of the Holy Spirit and a rival of faith in this land, then?

David Exham
David Exham
19 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate, I would challenge your assertion about the number of C of E ordained ministers, which has remained fairly stable over the last few years. So your conclusion doesn’t follow.

Stanley Monkhouse
19 days ago

Evan, a genuine question. I don’t disagree with you about lay presidency, but I don’t see why that development would mean an end to catholicity when the ordination of women did not? Of course it depends on how “catholic” is defined. As I get older and learn more, I come to the view that the C of E post Cromwell has never been catholic in the sense that enthusiasts for that term use it. It was a 19th/20th conceit of a small group of people who wanted it to be so.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
19 days ago

The ordination of women preserved the Office whilst widening the potential pool of Office-holders. Implementation of lay presidency would, in effect, be abolishing the Office of presbyter in its entirety. That is the difference. I completely agree with your observation re: post-Cromwell though I’d actually ante-date the shift to 1559 if not ‘52. To my mind ‘catholic’ is always to be understood with a small ‘c’: what has been done by [most of] the Church at [most] times and in [most] places. One can never appeal to pure universality but one can come mighty close!

Last edited 19 days ago by Evan McWilliams
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
19 days ago

+Stephen Sykes said the ordination of women was “an act of eschatological obedience to the future Church catholic”. Can the same be said about lay presidency?

David Keen
David Keen
18 days ago

Evan, have you resigned from your family at any stage in your life? I struggle to understand when people who are members of the body of Christ then divorce themselves from that body over a single change in doctrine or practice (women priests/bishops being the obvious example). The unity demonstrated by sharing bread and wine must be pretty thin stuff if it is so easily broken.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
18 days ago
Reply to  David Keen

Funny you should ask that…I live across an ocean from my family.

But that’s not relevant to the discussion at hand. I would say that while the unity of faith always remains, there are actions that tend towards disintegration of the bonds of institutional unity. For me, lay presidency would be one of them.I wouldn’t leave the CofE but I would resign my Orders and refuse to receive from a lay ‘celebrant’.

Richard
Richard
17 days ago
Reply to  Kate

TEC has “local priests”, also called Canon 9 Clergy: “Priests and deacons ordained to serve in a particular location which is “small, isolated, remote, or distinct in respect of ethnic composition, language, or culture.” These locations cannot otherwise be provided sufficiently with the sacraments and pastoral ministrations of the Episcopal Church through ordained ministry. The term refers to the canon by which such “local priests and deacons” are ordained. The canonical requirements concerning standards of learning and other canonical requirements for ordination are relaxed or modified for those ordained under this canon. Canon 9 clergy are to be recognized as… Read more »

R White
R White
18 days ago
Reply to  Kate

There is no need for lay presidency, unless that means everybody. There just need to be far more priests ordained, and they do not all need to be able to preach or manage.

That, at least, was past practice. A priest, by definition, is a person appointed to celebrate the Eucharist.

I don’t say preaching and pastoral ministry are unimportant, nor necessarily less important, they are just not fundamentally definitive of priesthood.

Kate
Kate
18 days ago
Reply to  R White

The idea of a different category of ordained ministry is a good one.

Personally I would like the church to teach that there is no Scriptural impediment to lay presidency but that it chooses to only license ordained ministers to maintain maximum communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Jim Pratt
Jim Pratt
21 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Given the exigencies of the time, I am not that concerned about ordinations without Eucharist, especially for the diaconate (there is a strong symbolism in the newly ordained priest(s) concelebrating the Eucharist with the Bishop). Hadley does point to a more important underlying issue, namely, the role of the prebyterate. The sense that clergy should be managers is not the focus of training for ministry on this side of the Atlantic (though some advocate for more training in general business and management skills). And when the Church changes practice, solely for the sake of efficiency or expediency, without being able… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

‘there is a strong symbolism in the newly ordained priest(s) concelebrating the Eucharist with the Bishop.’ I’ve never attended an ordination where this happened. Usually the new priests remain in their places for the celebration, but may assist in the distribution. I don’t remember even doing that at my own priesting.

Charles Read
Charles Read
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

Clergy as managers is not the focus of ministry training in the UK either!

Kate
Kate
20 days ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

“there is a strong symbolism in the newly ordained priest(s) concelebrating the Eucharist with the Bishop”

In a Church of England where some newly ordained “priests” aren’t willing to concelebrate the Eucharist with their diocesan bishop, what symbolism is that? The symbolism of sects maybe?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
22 days ago

‘Gilo’ concludes his Surviving Church article: “At what point will someone cry out on the floor of the House of Bishops: Enough of all our broken pretence. We must apologise collectively, publicly and authentically for our failure to treat so many survivors honestly; for our insistence on distancing from their stories, our disclosure denials and “no recollections”, our reliance on dysfunctional processes; and in too many instances for our beh”aviour worse than denial – gaslighting and really cowardly and mean behaviour. Enough. We must do real penance, seek truth and reconciliation, and must reform our episcopal culture and reform our… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
21 days ago

It’s a cliche; but you really couldn’t make it up: York and Canterbury simultaneously sitting in judgement on each other’s alleged safeguarding failures.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
21 days ago

I discussed this scenario a while back with a learned regular TA contributor. Whoever drafted the CDM overlooked that it would be open to either or both archbishops to resile themselves, and there appeared to be no other machinery to step in if that happened.

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
21 days ago

That, of course, is why Welby would not hold Sentamu to account in the Devamanikkam case. That and their positions and reputation being far more important than a child raped by a vicar in a vicarage. It still is in their eyes or they would apologise for the abuse and their behaviour which they won’t.

Judith Maltby
Judith Maltby
21 days ago

As ever, Gilo gives an incisive, articulate and courageous analysis of the state of safeguarding in the Church of England. As for the claims in the most recent Private Eye, namely that an investigation had already taken place in 2017 into the Smyth disclosure in 2013, we need to know the evidence on which that claim is based before rushing to judgement. It is important to note that last summer at IICSA (July 2019), there was, as far as I can find, no mention of an earlier investigation into Smyth in 2017 by either Graham Tilby (then National Safeguarding Advisor) or… Read more »

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
21 days ago
Reply to  Judith Maltby

That wasnt true either Judith. The ‘review ‘ into Devamanikkam wasnt going to be launched in 2019…it had already been commissioned in late 2017…but the NST/Lambeth delayed and delayed and delayed. Probably working out how to have an ‘independent review ‘ without being publicly criticised themselves in it. So now we have a sham of a ‘review’ which is in no way independent, isnt speaking to many involved cos they wont speak to the reviewer, the NST/lambeth (the ones being investigated) are controlling the flow of information to the ‘reviewer’, have asserted that they will redact whatever they want before… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
20 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Ineson

No apology from any Archbishop or Bishop will be forthcoming because the “‘strategariat’ – their comms, advisers and reputation managers” [‘Gilo’] will not allow them to do so. This “strategariat” are in total control and the ‘purple circle’ allow themselves to be totally controlled. It’s called totalitarianism. That regime must be broken up and dismantled so that the Church is allowed to fulfil its higher calling. It’s called freedom. ‘Gilo’ says “maybe something far deeper and very different from reputation management [is] needed to rescue the situation” One way is to just start again anew. How? By all bishops and… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
19 days ago

Richard, in that case the ‘strategariat’ are manifestly not very good at their jobs. Even by the the usual CofE standards the last 12 months have seen an astonishing level of blunders. A modestly competent strategist could have forecast problems restating the ‘no nookie outside of heterosexual marriage’ policy just before the scheduled release of the LLF material. A half decent communications officer could have pointed out the unfortunate optics of the Archbishop’s Easter Day kitchen table Mass. The Bishop of Rochester we’re told threatened his clergy with the CDM if they entered their churches to pray but not if… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
17 days ago

“Richard, in that case the ‘strategariat’ are manifestly not very good at their jobs”

Nobody is very good at their jobs because they do not have to be. They have become smug and complacent because they can get away with almost anything with immunity and impunity – especially through the implementation of royal prerogatives.

As Revd Graham Sawyer says: “It is an ecclesiastical protection racket and [the attitude is that] anyone who seeks to in any way threaten the reputation of the church as an institution has to be destroyed.”

Last edited 17 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
16 days ago

I must confess I don’t see how the royal prerogative is in any way involved. I imagine that the Queen and her ministers don’t give the CofE much thought. The Queen we’re told is especially devout but as a constitutional monarch doesn’t embroil herself in the day to day drama, at 94 she probably thinks she has enough drama with some of the more difficult members of her family. The last Prime Minister who seemed to be more than a nominal Anglican was Mrs. May, even she expressed frustration with the CofE’s equality and diversity blunders, albeit in guarded and… Read more »

Fr John Harris-White
Fr John Harris-White
21 days ago

I understand those who fear the loss of singing at the Mass. But on the plus side, it has broughtt us back to earth with the simplicity of the said Mass. A chance to concentrate on the words, and their meaning to us. Taking us back to the Upper room.

Fr John Emlyn

american piskie
american piskie
21 days ago

But they did sing a hymn, Father.

Father David
21 days ago

Yes, but in the Upper Room didn’t Jesus and the Disciples sing a Passover Hymn before going to dark Gethsemane?

Richard
Richard
18 days ago

The said mass grew out of the solemn mass only of necessity. Once private masses (for the departed, etc.) became the norm, the said mass developed. In the Orthodox church today, there is no equivalent to the said mass. Singing was the norm long before the low mass was invented.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
21 days ago

I see no reason at all why present Covid-19 restrictions should be advanced as a reason (should that read excuse?) for omitting the celebration of the Eucharist as integral to the Sacrament of Ordination. The forms of service prescribed in ‘Common Worship’ for the Ordination of Deacons and the Ordination of Priests both have the same following constituent parts, and there is nothing in the rubric to indicate that any part may be omitted: The Gathering and Presentation; The Liturgy of the Word; The Liturgy of Ordination; The Liturgy of the Eucharist: That the Eucharist is integral is further demonstrated… Read more »

Father David
21 days ago

Were, God forbid, the coronation of Prince Charles to take place during the current Covid pandemic and a celebration of Holy Communion (the very context in which coronations take place) be omitted would it be a valid coronation or would the anointing alone suffice?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
20 days ago
Reply to  Father David

There is the precedent of a coronation being postponed when the prevailing circumstances warrant it: in the case of King Edward VII due to his illness. Your question requires an answer by a canon lawyer, but I share your hope that it is an academic one anyway.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
19 days ago

There may be some pressure to shorten the whole event. The last one was three hours and four minutes. If Camilla is anointed and crowned as well the Communion might be omitted to stop the service lasting all afternoon.

Charles Read
Charles Read
20 days ago

Norwich diocese has already held ordinations this year. We held several services, ordaining candidates in pairs. The Eucharist was celebrated each time and each candidate could bring 10 guests plus close family. There was a cantor to provide some singing. Why can other dioceses not do the same? It was not the big celebration we would normally hold and candidates could not be ordained with all those they trained with etc. But we did the best we could in the circumstances.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
20 days ago
Reply to  Charles Read

That is very heartening, whilst coming as no surprise in the case of Norwich where the liturgy is always performed to the highest standard. One hopes that other dioceses will follow their lead.

David Rowett
David Rowett
19 days ago

My deacon is being priested in similar circumstances in Lincoln at Michaelmas.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
19 days ago
Reply to  David Rowett

I echo what I said to Charles Read. I know Norwich and Lincoln well. Magnificent liturgy and superb music and musicians at both.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
21 days ago

Reading the bigger the Mitre, I say again what I have already said in a previous blog, that it is evident without a doubt that there is a real crisis of authority within the Church of England and people may conclude that it is time for fresh leadership at the top from someone other than Archbishop Justin Welby. I think many now may question the wisdom of putting someone into that position after only 18 months as a Diocesan Bishop or in Bishop Lord Carey’s case after only three years at Bath and Wells. Given the sheer impossibility of the… Read more »

Tony Harris
Tony Harris
19 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

An accurate assessment of a very flawed leader.

Kate
Kate
20 days ago

«“As with many Christian churches, we failed to convince the next generation that following Jesus was the best way. We lost the next generation.”» Am I the only one who knows people who recognise Jesus as our saviour and try to follow him in their lives but struggle with the term Christian, let alone church? “Nevertheless, lockdown seems to have given faith a boost, at least in its ersatz digital form: a quarter of Britons attended some form of online religious service during lockdown.” I am reminded of the joke which ends with God saying, “I sent you a rowboat… Read more »

Last edited 20 days ago by Kate
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