Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 30 December 2023

Nic Tall ViaMedia.News Plotting the Division of the Church of England

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church After Wilkinson. Towards a Trauma-Informed Church

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Froghole
Froghole
5 months ago

The tactics described by Mr Tall are, if true, painfully (and perhaps ironically) reminiscent of those recommended by Trotsky in his ‘French turn’. The objective was to push vulnerable social democratic parties in a Leninist direction. This strategy had some success with the SFIO in 1936-38, with the US Socialist party in the 1940s and in the British Labour party in the 1970s and early 1980s. In each case, however, ‘entryism’ resulted in the expulsion of the Trotskyite infiltrators, but it was also a contributory factor in the fall of the Blum/Chautemps Popular Front government in 1938 and in the… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

Another interesting comment. As I read your second to last paragraph about financial resources, what came to mind are conversations I have had with those who have served on Canada’s deployments with United Nations peace keeping forces in places like Cyprus or the Golan. Part of the requisite training includes apparently being aware of the distinction between cultural variants and the substantive constants in the conflict. The ( perhaps overly) simple breakdown is that in conflict between hostile groups items such as culture, language, ethnicity and so forth are variables, like icing on a cake. The substance of the conflict,… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Very many thanks, as always! As I see it, the failure to effect the consolidation of assets in a single authority (and to pool risks as a consequence of that consolidation) has led to zero sum game dynamics, and it may have increased the temptation for certain party interests to indulge in ‘land grabs’. In this way partisanship increases the costs of running a declining institution (arguably itself accelerating decline) and acts as a heavy de facto tax on mission and witness: if each party is for itself, then the reductions in overheads that would be gained from risk pooling… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

To your second point first, the link to the Rwanda atrocities is of interest. As I’m sure you know this was a huge fail for the international community, and the U.N. peace keeping mission although Canadian General Romeo Dallaire took initiative to provide leadership in the field–a kind of leadership that is hard to find these days including within the church (See below). With regard to your opening observation: ” …partisanship increases the costs of running a declining institution (arguably itself accelerating decline) and acts as a heavy de facto tax on mission and witness:” It is difficult to imagine… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Many thanks to you, Anglican Priest and Fr Dean for your remarks. You write “is there any possibility of some sort of negotiated settlement with regard to the partisan issues in the C of E i.e. not in terms of policy but in terms of life with radical policy disagreement?” My take on this (which is mere conjecture, and should be treated as such), is that any ‘settlement’ would either be on the basis of divorce (per TEC) or a rinse and repeat of 1993 (which prevails de facto to a large extent already). The one thing keeping the institution… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

Thanks. As noted, my comprehension of C of E intricacies is sketchy, and this kind of detail is helpful in terms of grasping the dynamics. Although not knowing much about the ‘players’ themselves, it is a bit like reading Hamlet without having seen a performance of the same. Lol. As the old year passed, I had good thoughts for Stanley Monkhouse and Fr. Ron Smith. I miss their spirited engagement. Best regards to your good self and all at TA going into 2024. But to conclude with a line borrowed with adaptation from Northrop Frye, it is not so much… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

One wonders whether ‘follow the money’, or in this case, ‘follow the convoluted system for collection and distribution of funds in the CofE’ is the real smoking gun. The relationship between individual, parish, giving, care of property, benefit is swallowed up in this bizarre and largely unaccountable cashiers stand.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

Many thanks, as ever, Anglican Priest. Given the conspiratorial tone of the article, it is perhaps apt to apply a Nixonian metaphor. In a sense, the centralisation of assets in Ireland, Scotland and Wales has discouraged partisanship to some extent, albeit that it is often an asymmetric and problematic centralisation (the assets being centralised but not the risks of maintenance and repair which continue to be devolved upon parishes which can often ill-afford to bear such risks). However, it should be noted, as you will know as well as anyone, that it has not necessarily slowed decline in those countries.… Read more »

Pilgrim
Pilgrim
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

Froghole, thank you for the links, very much appreciated, particularly as my mind on Hogmanay is on matters north of the border !. ( a Scot, resident for many years down south and now part of the Anglican community in Hampshire). The thoughtful analysis in the FT article was splendid.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

It would be untoward and chauvinistic to claim the superiority of other systems for giving and direct accountability. I don’t want to be read that way. When I was the chaplain at Fontainebleau I was struck by the general feeling that church was something ‘being laid on.’ The Sunday plate giving was, in a word, risible. Also the pledging income. But that was because the folkways and mores of the CofE differ from what I am used to. (The same thing pertained in Scotland, though, as if on cue, even more impecunious). Without a clear financial stake in the game,… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

Froghole can I add that to your three tier system the local deanery is often added as an additional component to the leveraging scheme. Many DBFs encourage the deanery to engage in a form of cannibalism in order to push through cutbacks and to motivate the slackers. Bishops and archdeacons can then say “they sorted it out amongst themselves”.

Jane Charman
Jane Charman
5 months ago

 I feel I have yet to understand what the goal of structural differentiation represents to those who are seeking it. I can think of three possibilities. Firstly that it makes clear the in-principle opposition of certain churches and individuals to a change of doctrine/ practice on this issue. Secondly that it protects these churches and individuals from being obliged to do anything that goes against their consciences. Thirdly that it absolves these churches and individuals from a share in what they see as sinfulness, and this gives them assurance that God will not blame or punish them for it.… Read more »

Neil Patterson
Neil Patterson
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

Jane, the CEEC’s theological consultant is Martin Davie

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Neil Patterson
5 months ago

Formerly the theological advisor to the House of Bishops and a lecturer at Oak Hill , the cons evo theo coll in North London.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

I am also intrigued what the ordained women involved think they will get out of it.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

The paid Theological Consultant is Martin Davie, https://www.gileadbookspublishing.com/martin-davie.html#/

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

“Thirdly that it absolves these churches and individuals from a share in what they see as sinfulness, and this gives them assurance that God will not blame or punish them for it.” In my opinion, this comment of yours plays prominently in the role of Christian conservatives who are trying to make abortion as difficult and humiliating as possible in numerous states across the USA, putting doctors at legal and financial risk even if they carry out a seemingly legal abortion to save a woman’s life, leaving women to either be at death’s door from a pregnancy gone wrong before… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
5 months ago

It is worth remembering that many Christians who are personally ‘conservative’ on this issue do not want a split, though they may not get much publicity compared to those who so.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
5 months ago

I hope I have a seat in the stalls to watch the conservatives expressing their disappointment with the Almighty. Faced with unconditional love they’ll be full of ‘buts’. I can imagine them quoting Scripture back to her/him/they.

ITarbell
ITarbell
5 months ago
Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  ITarbell
5 months ago

Would that this was such small beer!

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
5 months ago

I didn’t used to include the HTB network when I knew it (I was one of the first Regional Alpha Advisors in the late 1990s) as part of the ConEvo tribe. That label I reserved for the likes of All Souls Langham Place, St Helen’s Bishopsgate et al. So it is disappointing to see them battening their colours to that mast especially, as Nick Tall has so helpfully summarised, when they have been in pole position with their snouts in the Strategic Development Funding trough at the Church Commissioners. I am sure we can all get angry about it, but… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

Is the Makin Review imminent? Has there been any official indication which I may have missed?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

No. Maxwellisation hasn’t begun and I understand that sections are still being written or re-written, including the conclusions and recommendations. It won’t be publish until summer at the earliest.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

Surmise on my part, but it was stated as having been written three or more months ago. Maxwellisation can’t go on for ever. Many will of course want delay.

Andrew Graystone
Andrew Graystone
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

My expectation is that the Makin Review is still many months from publication, Anthony. The Maxwellisation process has not begun, and when it does, I expect it to be lengthy.

Unlike all secular reviews, there is no oversight of the Makin process. No one ‘owns’ it. No one in the CofE hierarchy has any motivation for seeing it published, and many have reasons for wanting it delayed. I am not expecting it to be out before Archbishop Welby announces his retirement. I think it is feasible that it will never be completed.

Gilo
Gilo
Reply to  Andrew Graystone
5 months ago

Beginning to wonder whether Mars will be in early stages of colonisation before the Makin Review sees the light of day. A delay of several months in a review process might be feasible and accountable … but a delay of three and half years (and counting) is not acceptable. It constitutes further pressure on survivors. Makin will need to give very candid explanation for such a delay – and if it’s the case that any part of the hierarchy has obstructed the task and added considerably to the length of time through obfuscation or resistance to transparency – he will… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Gilo
5 months ago

Yes. I’m on record a while back with my view that publication (which has always been promised) of the Review will be seismic. The latest comment that I can find which appeared in advance of the November 2023 Group of Sessions of General Synod stated (**emphasis added**): Statement for General Synod, from Keith Makin, Lead Reviewer in Smyth case The report for the Learning Lessons Review regarding John Smyth QC has been drafted. Victims and survivors have had the opportunity to read this, for them to comment on factual accuracy and to ensure that appropriate steps have been taken to preserve their anonymity.… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Anthony Archer
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

I would add that it was announced in January 2021 that the report had been written and would be published in the spring of that year. I’m afraid that announcements on the progress of the Makin Report can’t be trusted. This is terribly hard on Smyth survivors, and constitutes yet another re-abuse.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

“The war is still in its early stages, but what is being fought over?” I have wondered if the very lack of growth and hopefulness about mission make the fight–as important as it may be on substance–a sort of default. And when the fight takes stern form and then the dust settles (as in TEC), what is left? A kind of lassitude and sober recognition that demographics and decline are now the only true topics. Survival, in a word. I think that is the situation in TEC. The fight blew itself out finally, and with massive fallout. What’s left? The… Read more »

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
5 months ago

How does the Rev’d Sarah Jackson reconcile her vocation with being the CEO of an organisation that largely refuses to believe she is ordained? Same-sex relationships make stranger bedfellows of those who would oppose them.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Lorenzo
5 months ago

Sarah Jackson was ordained on 19 June 2021 with 9 other people, apparently both men and women, but all from HTB, in a separate ordination service with Bishop Ric. Others listed as from HTB were ordained with those from other churches and by Bishop Sarah. So probably women priests are ok, women bishops, or at least women diocesans, not? Scroll down the full list here. https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/prayers-for-those-being-ordained-3/

Last edited 5 months ago by Helen King
Lorenzo
Lorenzo
Reply to  Helen King
5 months ago

And yet she’s a poster girl for SheCan: ‘making gender equality a reality,’
https://www.shecan.world/sarah-jackson-revd/

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
Reply to  Helen King
5 months ago

The theological contortions are incredible. They will go to any length to accommodate dissent from their own kind yet blessing gay peeps is a matter of salvation or damnation. They’re happy to leave the consensus of all apostolical churches on gender and ordination but when it comes to sexual orientation, no siree, that’s not ‘orthodox,’ conveniently forgetting that they are heretical in the eyes of the majority of Christendom. Pass the Prozac indeed.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lorenzo
5 months ago

What do you consider an ‘apostolical church’? And do you think the biblical record gives us confidence that the majority always, or usually, have the mind of God?

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

I meant to write apostolic.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lorenzo
5 months ago

What do you consider an ‘apostolic’ church?

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

Usually, the term is meant to signify the ancient Churches which were founded or at least governed by an Apostle, and which, on that account, enjoyed a special dignity and acquired a great apologetic importance by the Fathers. Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman etc. see us as unorthodox and these disputes of ours as arguments between unorthodox Christians; evangelicals cloaking themselves in orthodoxy come across as slightly odd to me.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
5 months ago

Hi Lorenzo. That’s interesting. Among other denominations, the term ‘apostolic’ usually means ‘following the teaching of the apostles’. The apostles’ teaching is perhaps most concisely summed up in the Apostles’ Creed, the earliest and briefest of the creeds.

I have to say that this usage seems to me more in keeping with the general tenor of Jesus’ attitude, that what is in the heart is more important than tradition or who we are descended from. But then I would think that, wouldn’t I? 😉

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

By that interpretation, all churches are apostolic, or claim to be. It’s not a very useful adjective.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
5 months ago

It could be useful in evaluating churches by the teaching of the Apostles’ Creed. Not all organisations calling themselves a ‘church’ hold to all the creed’s tenets – e.g. Mormons, Unitarians, and Spiritualists.

How useful is it to distinguish those churches which claim to have been founded by an apostle (by which I assume you mean one of the 12 alive at Pentecost?), 2000 years ago?

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

12? There’s the 11 recorded in Acts 1.13, plus Matthias added in 1.26. Then there’s Paul, Barnabas (Acts 14.14), Andronicus and Julia (Romans 16.7), James, the brother of Jesus (1 Cor 15.7, Gal 1.19), and Epaphroditus (Phil 2.25). Any others?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

I wondered whether Lorenzo might exclude the later apostles, which is why I referred to those who were apostles at Pentecost (the 11 plus Matthias). Are there any churches which claim to have been founded or led by e.g. Junia or Epaphroditus which he would recognise as ‘apostolic’?

I’ll leave Lorenzo to answer that question.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

Maybe not. But I think it likely he would accept Pauline foundations as apostolic.

Lorenzo
Lorenzo
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

I would, of course. I’d even be willing to include those churches that were founded by other apostolic sees and have maintained apostolic succession, but I can guarantee that none of these churches see evangelicals as ‘orthodox’.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Lorenzo
5 months ago

See how these Christians love one another! Any Church which holds to the Apostles’ Creed is orthodox.

John H
John H
Reply to  Lorenzo
5 months ago

Lorenzo, what evidence do you have that HTB’s view is that blessing of same sex relationships is a matter of salvation or damnation? Where are these alleged “theological contortions”?

John H
John H
Reply to  Helen King
5 months ago

Lorenzo/Helen, I think you may be drawing potentially false conclusions here. Ordination services in 2021 were small owing to COVID restrictions so it probably made sense to put all the nine HTB ordinands together in one service. Bishop Ric Thorpe stood in for Bishop Graham Tomlin on ALL Kensington Area ordinations, not just these, and later became interim Bishop of Kensington. To the best of my knowledge, HTB has no issue with either area or diocesan female bishops. Until recent events, HTB existed happily under the authority of two women bishops, Bishop Emma Ineson and the Bishop of London. Sarah… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Lorenzo
5 months ago

No wonder the Church of England has lost credibility with the people of England.
Again ‘the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls’, not in the current religious handbag fighting.
Manifestations of the Kingdom of God are perhaps more evident in the socially conscious caring non-religious than in the genitally-obsessed fundamentalism that obsesses the religious right, both Roman and evangelical.
Sometimes I think that the uber-pious ‘might protest too much’.
Pass the Prozac.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
5 months ago

The ‘people of England’ I minister to are generally unaware of these agonised debates- and they’re regular attenders at services. Arguments for (or against, for that matter) ethical change as a missional principle simply don’t fly.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
5 months ago

‘The people of England’ in significant number have parted company with the Church of England. Even the decreasing number weddings and funerals in which the officiant is a priest demonstrates this somewhat powerfully. The people who attend your church must be amazingly protected from the reality of what is happening in the wider church…or perhaps not care about the prejudice and lack of social justice that is causing so many thinking and caring people to walk by on the other side. I would hope that that is not the case. I would find it hard to believe that St Bartholomew… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
5 months ago

I have a Mac and haven’t been able to read ViaMedia material for two years or so. I always get the message ‘Safari can’t open this page’. Do any other Mac owners have this problem? My software is set to update automatically.

Jane Charman
Jane Charman
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

Hi Janet. I get this too. It’s not a Mac problem or anything to do with your software, it’s a website design issue. Via Media uses ancient http which is unsecured instead of https which has built in security. This means that some systems and networks will reject it as unsafe and it’s not always possible to override the safety settings. I get around it by using a VPN but it would be much appreciated (and would save me the cost of a VPN subscription) if the custodians of Via Media could very kindly update the site.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

Jane, sorry, I have no power to do this. Others with Macs (that includes me) don’t have the problem and I’m afraid I don’t understand it – even if it were my site to start with!

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

Thanks Jane. I know of other Mac or iPhone users who have this problem, so it’s good to know the reason – though it seems there’s nothing I can do about it!

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

Just been talking to a friend who understands this more than I do (not difficult). He says that it is an end-user issue not a problem with the VM website and it could be that your browser is autofilling the http version of the address. But on the browsers we’ve just used, entering as http, they automatically go to https… and 20,000 people managed to open this story in the last 48 hours.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Helen King
5 months ago

There seems to be some glitch with Apple software, and it’s annoying.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

I’m even less sure than I was that I understand the problem. The site address starts https not http…

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Helen King
5 months ago

Another possibility is that your ISP may be intercepting the request and that would be something to ask the ISP.

Adrian
Adrian
Reply to  Jane Charman
5 months ago

I have a Windows 98 first edition computer next to me. Since I can’t access the site on any modern desktop or laptop, mobile phone or tablet, I suppose I could try to read it on Internet Explorer 4 on Windows 98. Is that obsolete enough for the site to work? I can always install Netscape Navigator if that would help.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

I haven’t had that problem on my Mac or iPad

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

I’ve never had the problem with my Mac, but then I use Firefox, not Safari, so maybe that’s an issue?

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
5 months ago

So they want The King, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, to appoint certain people as bishops in the established Church of England because they teach that same sex sex is a sin, and are committed to ensuring the growth of such teaching. It needs putting in those terms lest there be any doubt that the proposal goes way beyond acceptance of individual conscience to the formal promotion by the state’s Government and King of anti-LGBT teaching. Moreover, that means this stops being just an English issue – all four nations are impacted. Indeed, if the King starts… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

Kate, I’m subject to correction, but I don’t think the King has any say at all in the appointment of bishops in Canada or Australia. Tim Chesterton has explained what happens in Canada. We shouldn’t give ourselves inflated ideas of residual importance of the ‘Mother Country’. Equally, I don’t see that the appointment of C of E bishops impacts the other nations of the UK. Their Anglican churches are all independent of the C of E, and my understanding is that the Crown has no part in their clergy appointments.

Daniel Lamont
Daniel Lamont
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

Rowland is right to point out that it is easy to overstate the respect for the ‘mother country’ in Canada, a country I know well. The politics of the last five or six years has made the UK a laughing stock in the circles I move in. But either Rod Gillis or Tim Chesterton are better qualified to comment. Writing as a resident of Scotland, my issue is that the appointment of a diocesan bishop in the CofE will eventually lead to a seat in the House of Lords which has jurisdiction over the whole of the UK, not just… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Daniel Lamont
5 months ago

We have gone over this ground many times. Arguably it is beneficial to everyone that there is an active Christian voice in the House of Lords (and, yes, other denominations and faiths are also represented there). I’m not convinced that the Lords Spiritual represent any ‘threat’ to the interests of the other nations (occasionally they can be represented, e.g., in the case of Wales by Archbishop Rowan Williams) and your suggestion that the Lords Spiritual should be removed would reduce the stature and moral authority of the HL.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

You are right in terms of the functioning of things (I think) but I submit are still overlooking the impact. If the Head of State appoints people because of their anti-LGBT views that normalises those views everywhere he is Head of State. The same can be said of the Prime Minister across the UK.

Trump told everyone that he won the 2020 election. He normalised that thinking. And look what happened.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

I think what Kate means is that the King nominally appoints bishops because of their conservative teaching on LGBT+ issues, may create a problem for more liberal Anglicans wherever the King is the head of state.

I’m not so sure – the late Queen nominally appointed a number of bishops for their opposition to women’s ordination, without creating a problem for those nations, as far as I’m aware.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

I thought she appointed bishops who happened to be opposed to women’s ordination not because they were. There’s a very big difference between the two.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

Flying bishops (PEVs) were appointed because of their opposition to women’s ordination. That was the whole point of them. And some of us said at the time PEVs were created that it created an unhelpful precedent, and that people would start demanding bishops who agreed with their views on subjects other than women’s ordination.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

Hello Janet.
We have occasionally disagreed rather strongly but I think we are on a similar page this time?
It seems very odd when ‘catholics’ want to behave like congregationalists and choose their own leader to suit their own disposition..
Perhaps its make your mind up time.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Janet Fife
5 months ago

I thought that they were already bishops, just given additional responsibilities?

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

Not so. The sees of Richborough, Ebbsfleet, Beverley, and more recently Maidstone and Oswestry were filled by priests who were consecrated as bishops for this express purpose. The see of Fulham has also been used in recent times for the same purpose.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

Anglican bishops in Canada are elected by their dioceses. The King is not the governor of the Anglican Church of Canada, and has no constitutional part in our church structures.

‘The Crown’ as a legal entity is a huge factor in Canadian law. The monarch as an individual is not.

Mitch McLean
Mitch McLean
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

The King should be making sure that ALL bishops he appoints uphold the doctrine of the Church of England, including its traditional position on sexuality that is still legally in force. I fail to see how this is any different.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Mitch McLean
5 months ago

The King’s role on this, as on other matters, is to act constitutionally. That means taking the advice of his ministers. And those ministers have delegated this task to the Church.

Charles Razzall
Charles Razzall
5 months ago

Very interesting that our friend and frequent contributor to TA, Bishop Pete Broadbent is listed as one of the Bishops providing oversight and discerning overseers for a possible new dispensation. In all other ways he has been reckoned to be what TA would call “ radical “

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Charles Razzall
5 months ago

There is a very broad consensus amongst Evangelicals that a Rubicon has been crossed.

Anthony Archer is wrong to dismiss this as just “the ConEvo tribe”. It includes ordained women like Sarah Jackson, Episcopal women like Jill Duff and Open Evangelicals like Pete Broadbent.

John T
John T
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

As “very broad consensus” implies a general agreement across the majority of evangelicals, I am afraid you are wrong. There are many evangelicals who would describe themselves as inclusive. In my own evangelical church while the vicar has a conservative/traditional/orthodox view on same sex relationships, a good deal of the congregation are strongly affirming. We all get along, any sense of needing to carve up the C of E into different groupings to maintain purity makes no sense to us. The rise of the inclusive evangelical group on Facebook has revealed many who want to affirm their evangelical Christianity while… Read more »

Paul
Paul
Reply to  John T
5 months ago

On the definition of Conservative Evangelical: Graham Kings published an influential article in Anvil in 2003 laying out what he saw as three sectors of UK Anglican Evangelicals. It received broad recognition as a good description: Conservative, Open, and Charismatic Evangelicals. He said Conservative Evangelicals looked to JI Packer and Dick Lucas. Open Evangelicals looked to George Carey, David Sheppard, James Jones, Anthony Thiselton, Michael Nazir Ali, Vivienne Faull. Charismatic Evangelicals looked to David Watson, John Collins, Graham Cray, Nicky Gumbel, Graham Dow. The current Rebel Alliance is drawn from all three sectors and beyond. It reflects a very broad… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

The Kings article was very useful for its time and I remember it well. But today for most, if not all, ‘inclusive evangelicals’ the ConEvo label describes evangelicals who are neither affirming nor accepting of covenant faithful partnerships of those in same-sex relationships. ‘Open’ evangelicals can no longer describe themselves as such, in my opinion, if they take the conservative line. That label used to be applied to those were in favour of women’s ministry in all three orders. As to the conservative charismatic evangelicals, perhaps they should spend more time on the issue reflecting on what the Spirit is… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Anthony Archer
Paul
Paul
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

You might want Open Evangelicals to be more open, and Charismatics to be less committed to God’s unchanging Word – but you are establishing yourself as the gatekeeper and kicking them out of well established groups; giving them a name they would not recognise as their own. I know you don’t like being called a “revisionist” or a “liberal”. I avoid calling you those things as I have no desire to be rude or caricature your position. Why do you think it’s OK to call Jill Duff, Amy Orr Ewing, Sarah Jackson or Pete Broadbent “ConEvo”? It’s interesting to look… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

I’m actually very happy to be called ‘revisionist’ but the lines have been redrawn within the broad evangelical constituency based on a single issue. It has obviously happened before over women’s ministry and is now starker. What the Church needs to know, and especially those whom the church should be reachIng (but isn’t), is where folk stand on same-sex marriage. Either you’re conservative or you’re not. I can’t worry that some folk find the ConEvo label pejorative. It’s merely become descriptive. As to your list, I’ve met every single one, except William Taylor and David Holloway. And not all of… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

Happy New Year to all. Have been off TA for Christmas. Can respond more fully in due course. But just two markers. (1) Those who, like me, are “compelled to resist” would see the picture differently. It is not we who are Brexiteers. We sit where, theologically and ethically, the CofE has always sat. It’s the revisionists who seek to leave the historic faith. (2) My friend Anthony Archer likes to propound the Revisionist (perhaps Whig) version of evangelical history. Actually what the revisionists have succeeded in doing is uniting Conservatives/complementarians, Mainstream/egalitarians, and Charismatics in opposition to these liturgical (and… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

Stated with economy and clarity: “We sit where, theologically and ethically, the CofE has always sat. It’s the revisionists who seek to leave the historic faith.” This was tried by the conservative/preserving element in TEC, but the vast wave of revisionist instinct was simply too huge. Another place where TEC and the CofE cannot be compared.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

Where on earth is anyone proposing to “leave the historic faith”? By giving a blessing to two men or two women? The comments on here become funnier by the minute!

John H
John H
Reply to  Anthony Archer
5 months ago

I have no issue with “revision” but you have redrawn the lines based on one issue. Theologically, there is a gulf between conservative evangelicals and charismatic evangelicals on many topics. Charismatic evangelicals potentially have as much in common with Anglo-Catholics as conservative evangelicals.

David James
David James
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

Streaming individuals in that way is too simplistic. Part of the complexity of ‘Evangelicalism’ is the way that various personalities (some of whom are worshipped and adored) represent different strands of theology and church practice some of which go back centuries. Part of the problem with HTB is that it’s very hard to place within those strands. A further ingredient is the way in which prominent lay people receive the same kind of deference as their clerical colleagues. John Smythe was a prime example, of course, but there are others without his notoriety. To anyone outside the ‘camp’ this is… Read more »

John H
John H
Reply to  David James
5 months ago

Is it “part of the problem” with HTB, or is it part of its strength? That a single benefice can happily exist with charismatic evangelical contemporary services, anglo-catholic services, contemplative services and services on a housing estate? When robed, the clergy wear black clerical shirts and stoles. When the Bishop visits, she wears a mitre. Ordination is considered a serious business. Social transformation is heavily invested in and emphasised. And Roman Catholicism is held in high regard and respected.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  John T
5 months ago

On the broadness of support: Apart from those who draw their power by virtue of church appointments, where are the recognised evangelical leaders who support same-sex marriage? David Watson, Michael Green and David Holloway wrote their book “The church and homosexuality” in 1980; making it clear that evangelicals who support women’s ordination would not be able to be in union with those who oppose the historic Christian teaching on sexual ethics. J I Packer, John Stott, Nicky Gumbel -they’ve all written on it. This is not a niche new idea. The mainstream of all three streams is irreconcilably opposed to… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

“The mainstream of all three streams is irreconcilably opposed to same sex marriage – because of the clarity of scripture and the weightiness of eternity” Their actions go beyond simple opposition to the idea, though. They are refusing to consort with people they see as sinners. Yet each and every one of them is a sinner. So if they want structural separation from sinners, why shouldn’t God want structural separation from them ie those who, in His eyes, are sinners? Or is their sin, in each and every case, somehow less problematic than blessing people who are in a same… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

“…the clarity of scripture and the weightiness of eternity”

Scripture is at least equally clear and weighty on the subject of divorce….yet most evangelicals have no compunctions about divorce and remarriage.

Or is it all a question of whose ox is being gored?

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Kate Keates
5 months ago

From my reading of the information provided by those opposed to SSM, they do not wish to be separate from sinners as you state, but from false teachers. I believe you are mis-representing their argument.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Bob
5 months ago

Exactly.

All these churches would welcome Elton John socially and would love him to do Alpha/Christianity Explored.

The Archbishops demand these churches’ cash and obedience whilst promoting ideas that put Sir Elton in eternal danger.

John Waldsax
John Waldsax
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

I have worshipped several times in the impeccably evangelical church where Elton John was married to his wife Rachel.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

“recognised” is, I suspect, doing a bit of heavy lifting here. Steve Chalke is clearly an evangelical leader (albeit outwith the CofE, but then denominational boundaries have never been an issue for evangelicals before), but of course the CEEC would no doubt deny that he’s evangelical. I suspect that any LGBT-affirming evangelical one could identify would be redefined either as not evangelical or not a leader (say, Vicky Beeching).

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Jo B
5 months ago

Yes. It bothers me not one bit that these ‘recognized’ leaders would not ‘recognize’ me as a true evangelical. It’s my own conscience I have to live with, not their opinion of me.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Charles Razzall
5 months ago

I thought he had retired, surely a greenhouse and possibly grandchildren should be sufficient unto the day without busy bodying in the murkier reaches of church politics!

William
William
Reply to  Fr Dean
5 months ago

Do retired people have no voice?

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
Reply to  Fr Dean
5 months ago

Christians never retire.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

Indeed, sir. There is no discharge in this army, as William Booth rightly stated.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

Thankfully, bishops do.

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Order of ministry, not office…

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

..Let’s not be piously prissy or pedantic. Whether bishop or mere priest ‘retirement’ relieves us of certain obligations of office. What is more, my retired bishop friends enjoy being used as bishops (complete with salutations in the market place) and do not have the stresses and strains of sitting on the clerical dung heap watching licensed clergy doing things and preaching things without having the rigorous training that we may have groaned at 50+ years ago but long since have come to be grateful for. Being a ‘retired ‘priest may have an aspect of liberation from admin and multiple carol… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
5 months ago

I can assure brother Pete that I am a Christian, that I retired from full-time ordained ministry after church last Sunday, and I plan to enjoy it.

Last edited 5 months ago by Tim Chesterton
Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

Happy retirement!

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Bravery
5 months ago

Thanks!

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

Hey Tim, congrats on your retirement from full time parish ministry. Enjoy!

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Thanks Rod!

Pilgrim
Pilgrim
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

Tim, enjoy your retirement. ( when my husband retired, clinical pathology, NHS, he was invited to attend a course on retirement. The opening words of the course, ( recited to me later) was “ on no account get under your wife’s feet!! ). Harmony in this household. Best wishes.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Pilgrim
5 months ago

My advice — just three months in, myself — is to retire before your wife (or other domestic partner). If they are still out at work you can’t get under their feet! Best wishes to you Tim.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
5 months ago

The majority of engaged heterosexual couples don’t choose the irrelevant CofE for their nuptials. It’s a bit rich for evangelicals to hold the church to ransom over the miniscule number of LGBTQ people who might theoretically request a simple blessing. Con Evos have succeeded in making the CofE look insufferably smug that it repulses most normal people of whatever sexuality.

Last edited 5 months ago by FrDavid H
Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Amen

John Davies
John Davies
5 months ago

So, sadly, it has finally come to this. I must admit that there have been times when I’ve wished that the people refusing to change would do something about it, but, now that they have, I’m sorry its had to be this way. I’m speaking as an ordinary, middle of the road, moderately liberal and inclusive evangelical layman – and there are a lot of people like me, wondering what happens next in this shambles. It sounds as if Mr Gumbel and friends have achieved a kind of ecclesiastical Brexit, – having got what they wanted, they have yet to… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  John Davies
5 months ago

Mr.Gumbel was made a CBE in the New Year’s honours for “services to The Church of England”. Mmm. I might have phrased it rather differently. Long “curacy” at HTB followed by Vicar. Never served in a different parish I believe. Just doesn’t seem healthy to me. But what do I know?

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Shamus
5 months ago

CBE is senior stuff for those impressed by Ruritanian nonsense. I presume that he will get his “K” once ConEvo secession is achieved.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Shamus
5 months ago

Mr Welby – or Sir Justin as we should now call him – says “what we have, which gives me hope in this country…. is the capacity to disagree deeply and not destructively. We’ve demonstrated that for decades – centuries in some cases” This New Year message to the nation is breath taking when the CofE is collapsing around him because of his fellow evangelicals’ destructive disagreement. Perhaps it’s time Sir Justin had a stern word with Mr Gumbel CBE and his ilk.

Last edited 5 months ago by FrDavid H
Simon Kershaw
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

We shouldn’t call him either “Mr Welby” or “Sir Justin”. “Archbishop Welby” or “Archbishop Justin” will do. Or the “Archbishop of Canterbury” if you prefer. (You wouldn’t refer to, say, the Duke of Norfolk as “Mr Fitzalan-Howard” nor as “Sir Edward”.) And as has been mentioned lots of times here (since several of us are pedants on this point!), clergy are not dubbed with the sword, and so are not entitled to be styled “Sir”.

Lottie E Allen
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

Thank you. For some of us there is only one Crown, and it sits on Jesu” head. A Lesson both Mr Windsor and Welby need to remember.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
5 months ago

Oh, bravo, Lotte. Well said.
Titles and trappings are just that. Remember Vanity Fair, in Pilgrim’s Progress? Where they were bought and sold?

I read that when Emporer Franz Joseph 1st’funeral cortege reached the cathedral door, the presiding official wouldn’t let him into the building, despite the reciting of numerous royal titles and honours until the tipstaff said ‘A sinner, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.’ Then the doors opened.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
5 months ago

It’s a fact that this country is a monarchy and its monarch wears a literal crown on occasion. That’s true whether you agree with it or not. And Paul, writing about the civil authority, urged his readers to give respect and honour to those to whom it is due.

Lottie E Allen
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

In the Kingdom of Heaven there is only one Crown. I doff my cap and tug my forelock to no one but Jesus our Lord and Saviour. If Mr Windsor were to turn up at my back door he would be offered a cup of tea in the same mugs as every guest in our home.

If you are referencing “render unto Caesar” in your defense then I expect a better exposition of the text than that. In heaven there is only Jesu” head on the coins.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Lottie E Allen
5 months ago

I refer you to Romans 13.1-7, in particular verse 7: “Pay to all [i.e. the governing authorities] what is due to them — taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honour to whom honour is due.” https://almanac.oremus.org/?ql=571207226

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

The BBC news site from which this quote is taken refers to “Mr” Welby, as do most other secular media sources . Presumably it’s because he hasn’t a doctorate. Is it wrong to say “Mr” and correct to say “Dr” when addressing bishops who have such an academic qualification?

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Interesting that the maladroit but old Etonian archbishop is rewarded with a knighthood and yet working class heroes Rob Burrows and Kevin Sinfield are only worth a CBE. Surely the Archbishop has already had his reward? A palatial home, a considerably enhanced stipend and consequently a very generous pension. When MND finally claims Rob a knighthood would have meant his widow could style herself Lady Burrows. Yet one man’s lacklustre performance is exalted and another’s superb achievements considered less worthy.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Fr Dean
5 months ago

But note that the GCVO to the archbishop is in the personal gift of the king, without ministerial advice, and made for personal services to the king. The awards to the others were made as part of the general New Year’s honours list, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

Indeed, and the GCVO is in thanks for the coronation. Davidson, Lang and Fisher received similar treatment (though Frederick Temple did not). However, Davidson’s GCVO was in 1904 (for general services rendered to the sovereign) and he received the Royal Victorian Chain in thanks for the 1911 coronation. The GCVOs of Lang and Fisher were explicitly for the 1937 and 1953 coronations. The GCVOs bestowed upon Cyril Garbett, Lord Chartres and David Connor are wholly exceptional. On the subject of coronation honours, there has been a tendency to give the deans of Westminster a KCVO for services rendered at the… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

And I believe for the last 100 years or so, the Lord High Almoner (currently the Bishop of Worcester) upon retirement, usually receives the KCVO.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
5 months ago

Of the three earlier GCVOs whom you name, arguably David Conner’s 25 years as Dean of Windsor (and pretty momentous ones on account of the number of Royal weddings and funerals) place him in a special category in terms of personal service to the Sovereign. It has been authoritatively said that our late Queen asked him to stay in office for Prince Philip’s and her own funerals. That could hardly be more personal.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
5 months ago

Our honours system baffles people however carefully and often the niceties are explained. The Daily Express even asked its readers to vote whether the Archbishop should be honoured. Similar things happen every time a knighthood to the Royal Victorian Order or the Order of the Garter is announced from 10 Downing Street. People simply assume that there is government involvement.

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Shamus
5 months ago

We still haven’t reached the end of the 12 days of Christmas- is it always like this at this time of year on TA- a brief lull in hostilities, only for them to restart with extra vigour before New Year….? The Calvinists banned Christmas celebrations in Scotland- I don’t think it became a Bank Holiday there till the 1960s…. But Scottish churches survive. I do not want to see the C of E further divided, but I am also horrified that all 60+ comments in this thread concentrate upon Nic Tall’s article ( however good it may be), without a… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Susanna ( no ‘h’)
5 months ago

No

David James
David James
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Definitely

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  David James
5 months ago

You mean definitely not.

David James
David James
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

No !! The question was ‘Would you join the Church of England now?’. The answer is ‘Definitely, I would’.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Susanna ( no ‘h’)
5 months ago

Re: ‘Trauma informed’ and ‘ resumption of hostilities’ I considered Stephen Parsons’ article when it appeared here. I know little about the abuse cases before the C of E, so did not comment; but the phrase ‘trauma informed’ got my attention. One of the reasons it did is because we had a horrific mass shooting here in Nova Scotia in April 2020. A public inquiry was eventually set up ( after much initial resistance from both levels of government). One of the terms of reference for The Commission was that it be ‘trauma informed’. The expectation was that this meant… Read more »

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Rod, Thank- you for your comments on your experience of ‘trauma informed’ – after seeing what the current C of E Safeguarding system has managed to do to core groups – which in my experience usually work well under different management- I have to say I shuddered.
The Wilkinson report appears to have managed to be amazingly clear despite its restrictive TOR.
I am not underplaying Nic Tall’s piece, but just remain concerned that the injustices still being done to survivors don’t become so yesterday that they are accepted as how things are.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Susanna ( no ‘h’)
5 months ago

You’ve got a very good point, Susanna. I can only comment on things I’m able to talk about from experience – or sometimes not, as may be – which, in the Tall article, are going to affect me in the near future (Like, what do I do if my church decides to go with the breakaway group?) I’m not in a position to comment with any authority on clerical abuse, having only experienced it in a small way. Hopefully, people who are better qualified to do so will shortly. (and, they, sadly are likely to be qualified through bitter experience.)… Read more »

John H
John H
Reply to  Shamus
5 months ago

I know church attendance numbers do not matter to some, but under Gumbel’s tenure, HTB became the largest church in the Church of England with regular attendance on a Sunday of 5,000+ and an electoral roll of just under 5,000. Seems very “healthy to me”!

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

But perhaps the theology of HTB is of questionable healthiness?

John H
John H
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
5 months ago

If we put aside the topic of the blessing of same sex relationships as that is what this whole discussion is about, and disagreement is acknowledged, what other dimensions of HTB’s theology are of questionable health to the extent that 5,000 in attendance on a Sunday is not to be celebrated?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

It preaches trite and simplistic fundamentalist nonsense. Having large congregations doesn’t validate what is being said. Witness the large rallies of Donald Trump.

John H
John H
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

I think it could be criticised for having simple teaching but I have never witnessed anything particularly fundamentalist in nature – it is extremely “safe” in what it teaches. As you have asserted something very strongly FrDavidH, I would love to see your evidence. A lot of HTB’s teaching is after all online. Or is it just perception/prejudice?

Last edited 5 months ago by John H
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

I have seen the online “teaching” . Yes it’s simplistic and trite. But I find hard not to yawn and stay awake.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Amen ….but perhaps nonsense is a bit strong, Father!

Last edited 5 months ago by Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

I put a question mark in order to ask and not make a statement.
If you push me,I believe that the HBT style of stance on same sex marriage is morally very unhealthy.
But I initially asked a question and did not make a statement.
The Glastonbury Festival draws a good crowd but I am not sure that that makes it a fount of good theology.

Last edited 5 months ago by Struggling Anglican
Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

There’s healthy of body and healthy of soul or mind.

John H
John H
Reply to  Pat ONeill
5 months ago

In my experience, people are not sustainably attracted to oppressive or unhealthy environments. HTB has been one of the largest churches in the country for over 30 years, and over three generations of Vicars. In the last decade, it has become very socio-economically and ethnically diverse. It has stood the test of time, so I would really welcome knowing any ways in which you think it is unhealthy in body, soul or mind? (Let’s put aside the blessing of same sex marriages, as this is what the whole of this discussion is about, and the differences here are clear)

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

I wonder how many of the 5000+ live in the parish?

John H
John H
Reply to  Shamus
5 months ago

Quite probably more than the average Church of England parish church attracts on a Sunday.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

But we’re not supposed to judge by quantity alone, are we? Numbers aren’t everything, as Gideon learned.

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  John Davies
5 months ago

This is a well worn argument on TA. However, whilst numbers are not everything – they are something. There is rejoicing in heaven and on earth when people find a home in Christ and in their local church – that has to be a good thing.

John H
John H
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
5 months ago

Fully agree. Numbers are not everything, but are something. Numbers are a potential sign of health. And sustained numbers, week by week, over 30 or 40 years, over three generations of Vicars, even more so.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

My sociology researcher’s antennae have been twitching as I’ve read this thread of comments… In my view, the missiological dichotomy of numbers vs spiritual health is a false one. There can be health of either kind found in a church community, and some have both. The more interesting questions sociologically (and I suppose also missiologically in some ways) are of what kinds of sustained attendance are found in large (and very large) congregations. Is it the overall number of people attending that matters (as seems to be implied by some comments here) – the HTB has maintained an attendance of… Read more »

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Realist
5 months ago

Actually, one of the reasons why HTB church plants have been so successful (and this is a key part of the fresh expressions/church planting ecclesiology) is that larger churches in this country dont grow that much! Sociologically, new Christians want to belong to somewhere and to something. They get lost in large sprawling congregations whereas in a smaller grouping (the optimum seems to be between 80 and 150), people can feel that they belong and find a place. George Lings and Bob Hopkins have each written extensively and interestingly about this.

John H
John H
Reply to  Realist
5 months ago

As with many city centre churches, there is a core and a transient population. During/immediately post pandemic, there was migration out of London. Some of those congregants have come back and the church has attracted some new members. It is not any larger than at the start of 2020 at present. It will be interesting to see whether there is growth under the new Vicar. Plus it depends whether the online congregation are included.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

Personally I am glad that any minister’s work is recognised.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Shamus
5 months ago

I did notice that small fact. Now I have to be honest here, some of my theology is a little akin to that of the Levellers – and I particularly like the story about King George the Sixth who, inviting his valet to join him in prayers, pointed skywards and said ‘Remember, we’re all equals before THAT throne.”

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

My view of Nic Tall’s revelations is “Quelle suprise”. We all know that the con evos including HTB have been plotting to create their own church in plain sight for years. At least it appears someone has some receipts which may make dismissing concerns about the parasitic nature of church plants and poor use of SDF monies slightly more difficult to dismiss, but dismissed they will still be. My view is that the Church of England is doomed. What we will end up with is either a genuine splinter of multiple groups claiming to be the CofE or (more likely)… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

“… conevo US style church wearing the dead skin of the CofE.” There is nothing like that in the US, and unlikely to be anything like it in the CofE.
 

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

You took the words out of my mouth. AP. I don’t know why people think that TEC is full of conservative evangelicals. My understanding (from north of the 49th) is that most of them left a long time ago, if they were ever part of it in the first place.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

Everyone returns the favor on this: TEC people who do not realize the size and influence of evangelical Anglicanism in the CofE; and the CofE people like ANSOP who does not understand the paucity or non-existence of anything like an evangelical presence in TEC. TEC is a niche church on a vast denominational landscape, and has been resolutely ‘progressive’ for decades now. ‘If ever they were part of it’ is the more accurate statement. There is no Wycliffe Hall, Ridley, Cranmer House, Oak Hill, et al in TEC. The low-church evangelicalism of Virginia Seminary (no crucifixes or eucharistic vestments, plain… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

I suspect ANSOP was not making an analogy to whatever there is of a conservative wing of TEC, but rather to the very prominent evangelical non-denominational churches of the USA, headed by the likes of the Falwells (junior and senior), Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts and others.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Pat ONeill
5 months ago

So HTB is an Oral Roberts like gathering? Falwell? Pat Robertson? Have you been to HTB, btw? I fear your effort to salvage the comment only makes things look more out of touch and cliche-ridden.I encourage you to worship at HTB and make your own comparisons.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

YouTube provides sufficient cliché-ridden evidence of the type of happy-clappy worship at HTB enabling viewers to choose to stay away.

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Indeed, there are huge similarities in worship style between HTB and the charismatic con evo churches in the US. The constant protest from British evangelicals that they are “not like them” rings very hollow.

As for assuming I was talking about our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church in the US as an attempt to pooh pooh what I was saying comes across as incredibly arrogant.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

I assure you, there was no attempt to ‘pooh-pooh’ what you were saying. When people on TA use the (rather derogatory) term ‘con evos’, they are normally using it to describe Anglican churches of the conservative evangelical variety. Thus it was natural to assume that when you talked about ‘conevo US-style churches’, you were talking about Episcopal churches.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  FrDavid H
5 months ago

Pat Robertson as happy clappy? Oral Roberts? The idea would be risible to them. Just a cliche. Broad brush. At some point only having a hammer makes everything a nail. I have worshipped at HTB. I believe the aforementioned gentlemen would wonder where they were at such a service. ‘Very english. Must be an anglican thing. Why wasn’t the sermon 1 hour in length? I missed the familiar hymns of our people. Didn’t seem to be much contrition, etc.’

Last edited 5 months ago by Anglican Priest
A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

I was actually thinking about one of the many con evo groups/large churches in the US such as Gateway or Vineyard, etc. which I know some already have branches in the UK. I’ve attended worship in one of these churches and an HTB plant and there are more than a few similarities.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

I’m not sure that the term ‘con evo’ is au courant in the NA context, hence the confusion being sown by your initial (caricature) comment. Kindly stick with what you know.

John H
John H
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

“Con evo” is not a term that means much in the US, unfortunately. I can see that it is possible to view HTB as a kind-of Anglican version of the Vineyard, there are similarities. Although I am not sure why that is particularly relevant or what it tells us. Are you saying that such a worship style shouldn’t exist in the Church of England? From an ecclesiological perspective, we could ask what is the CofE / Anglicanism? I think we would probably conclude that it is broad, and evolving. With the size of constituency of the combined HTB Network /… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by John H
Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

“What is the Church of England / Anglicanism? ‘ Indeed. Given the current “breadth” of the C of E and especially its worship styles one wonders and ponders what is holding it together and where it is going.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Perry Butler
5 months ago

I meant to add ,does evolving mean potential further fragmentation?

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  John H
5 months ago

Conservative Evangelicalism has its roots in the US. They may not use the short hand but then again I’m not writing for a North American audience. I absolutely see HTB and its ilk as an import from across the pond – englishfied to an extent to get the square peg on the round CofE hole but with unarguable similarity to many evangelical churches in the US in form and function. My (likely unpopular with the evangelical wing) view is that we should have worship styles that are distinctly Anglican. That have a place for the parish, regular Eucharist, the BCP,… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

It is certainly true that evangelical churches are very different from what they were in my youth when they were Prayer Book evangelical churches using the same hymnody, lectionary and had the same parochial strategy e.g. Over the Occasional Offices as the rest of the C of E, scarf and hood, North end etc. Reverent and you know what you were getting if from a different churchmanship. It was recognizable C of E ..low church. Now in many places it sits light to liturgy and the Eucharist and in places is extremely rigorist vis a vis the occasional offices. When… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Perry Butler
5 months ago

Perry, I trust that you’re just as hard on Anglo-Catholic churches that use RC liturgies? The problem with defining Anglicanism is that it’s very much a moving target. Two hundred years ago, what we take as mainstream Anglicanism today would have been seen as shockingly ‘papist’ by most members of the C of E. Coloured stoles, eucharistic vestments, altar candles (even the word ‘altar’), the weekly eucharist, sacramental confession (even seven sacraments), the title ‘Father’ – none of that was mainstream Anglicanism in 1824. And if Anglo-Catholics got to redefine Anglicanism in their own image, how can they reasonably object… Read more »

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

I know you are not addressing me but I will respond to this in three parts: 1) this is really whataboutery and historical whataboutery at that. We have all grown up in a church that is almost 200 years on from the rise of the Oxford Movement. I am not an Anglo-Catholic and I do not see why it is at all justified to say that I should not have or express concerns about the current state and trajectory of the CofE or seek to resist the changes that I see occuring now because of previous changes that occured all… Read more »

Mark Andiam
Mark Andiam
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

Thank you for your very clear and considered comments on this matter. I support your basic position, which I do not see as factionalism but rather a defence of the fundamental character of (CofE) Anglicanism which is designed to contain factionalism. HTB’s stated mission is ‘the evangelisation of the nation’ but what this really means is the evangelicalisation of the national church. Given the distance between their position re gender and sexuality and that of the nation, as enshrined in law, they are unlikely to inherit the national church, but rather a remnant. I think they know this, indeed it… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

‘Just as with my concerns about the current evangelical movement (for example in drawing from the Toronto Blessing)’

The Toronto Blessing was charismatic, not conservative evangelical. The fact that some prominent churches are part of both movements doesn’t make them the same.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

I think the use of the Roman rite is wrong Tim, and I agree that there have been enormous changes in the last 200 years. But my point was in the C of E ( the Canadian Church seems to me less tribal and more committed to a prayer book) the traditions have moved further apart and instead of being emphases on a common tradition have become discrete traditions ( that’s yours , this is mine) . If Anglicanism is a moving target then it seems to me it’s component parts seem to be moving further apart, a ” polo… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

Sacramental Confession is found in the Book of Common Prayer under the Visitation of the Sick.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
5 months ago

It is, but in the BCP it is not called a sacrament. But that futile argument is not the point. The point is that two hundred years ago, calling it a sacrament would have been seen as a ‘papist’ innovation.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

But call it what you wish….it is there….and not some innovation in the Church of England.
We can argue about what is a sacrament and what is just sacramental forever.
You can also debate how many angels can sit on a pinhead.
It does not prosper the Gospel.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

“Conservative Evangelicalism has its roots in the US.” No it doesn’t, in a word. You need a course in your own indigenous religious history. The particular footprint that HTB occupies–to the extent it is uniform–has its roots in English evangelicalism, methodism and holiness movements, certain aspects of puritanism, and modern anglicanism from within the CofE. The names dominating the present evangelical wing, in its diversity, have been indicated above (and they have their own influence inside the US). There are american movements with their own indigenous influences, and those borrowed from the UK and more broadly, the churches of the… Read more »

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

Your privately named ‘conservative evangelical’ Americans have created HTB, not Stott, or english holiness movements, or England’s embrace of Calvin via Hooker and the reformers. Most TEC folk I know who attend ‘evangelical’ CofE parishes find it oddly non-BCP, no vestments, no fixed order of servce, a bit too informal — they do not recognize it as an American denomination.

But as someone above stated, what is your point? To blame forces outside the CofE and not inside it? That is dubious, if convenient. Trust me, we find HTB ‘very english’ — culturally, liturgically, sociologically.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

‘Conservative Evangelicalism has its roots in the US.’

Er, no. Recent English conservative evangelicalism has its roots in John R.W. Stott, whose conversion as a teenager was through E.J.H. Nash, and who traced his own theological pedigree to the eighteenth century evangelical revival, especially Charles Simeon.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

I think the older evangelicalism can be found in the report The Fullness of Christ in the 50s and the Prayer Book Commentaries ( I forget the publisher) . In the last 50 years modern C of E evangelicalism bears the imprint of the charismatic movement on the one hand and the revival of Calvinist/ Reformed Anglicanism, as we see outside England in the diocese of Sydney. And there have clearly been tensions between these two tendencies. Obviously there are “moderates ” in both camps. It would seem out present discontents are bringing them together. It will be interesting to… Read more »

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
5 months ago

I was not talking about TEC. I was talking about one of the many conservative evangelical churches in the US.

Francis James
Francis James
5 months ago

As to value of CBE given to Gumbel, it is worth noting that Rev P. Vennells of Post Office CEO infamy was given CBE back in 2019, despite the sub-postmaster prosecution scandal being well-known (thanks to Private Eye). Some on social media have wondered whether her aggressive institutional response to the unfolding debacle owes something to her CofE ministerial training! Worth noting that fact that although she eventually stood back from ministry, this was her choice, and the press revealed that her bishop found that he could do nothing.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Francis James
5 months ago

I’m glad somebody has mentioned Mrs Vennells. I watched the excellent ITV series and was not surprised in the least by the focus on her C of E ministry in tracing the alleged immorality of her conduct. I’m being cautious in what I write here as a Public Inquiry is underway currently into the events of this particular scandal. For me, this case highlights the considerable issues with the CDM and some of the grounds for the pressing need for replacement with something far better not simply different. I fear we are not going to get such a thing. In… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Realist
5 months ago

I won’t comment on any specific case, but under Section 19 of the proposed Clergy Conduct Measure (to replace the CDM) which had its ‘first reading’ at GS in July 2023, the limitation period for gross misconduct is abolished regardless of when the alleged misconduct occurred. Limitation remains one year for other misconduct or a grievance complaint, but the President of Tribunals is given discretion to vary that period (in respect of misconduct only) if exceptional circumstances justify it.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

I think it might be helpful to add that the forthcoming CCM (expected to replace the CDM this year) dispenses with ‘unbecoming conduct’ and replaces it with a new definition “conduct which fails to meet the standards required of a Clerk in Holy Orders”.

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Realist
5 months ago

To be fair the church is no different to wider society here. The small crime of swearing by an normal incumbent is punished whereas the large alleged crimes of a rich and powerful former executive in holy orders is swept under the rug. Our justice system at large is far more swift and brutal to the poor and vulnerable than to the rich and influential. Luckily for all concerned that whomever Ms Vennells was listening to at the time convinced her to stand down from her posts in the church although I believe she remains in holy orders. I understand… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Realist
5 months ago

She will be called to account by the State, albeit that it has taken too long. Taxpayers’ money (£150 million – (originally as much as) £750 million) is at stake. The Public Inquiry needs to be completed, but my surmise is that criminal prosecutions will follow. As far as the Church of England is concerned, she ceases to hold the Bishop’s licence, so there has been an end to hypocrisy from the pulpit. She remains a priest in Holy Orders, but few are concerned about that. And that situation could change.

PatrickT
PatrickT
Reply to  Francis James
5 months ago

Please could you point me to a statement by the Bishop of St Albans himself that he found that he could do nothing in the case of Paula Vennells.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  PatrickT
5 months ago
RobT
RobT
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
5 months ago

More information on the complaint and the response is available from the complainant in this Twitter thread (https://twitter.com/ElCShaikh/status/1741642186712551684)

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  PatrickT
5 months ago

It was reported (as linked below and elsewhere) that the bishop took advice on what action might be his to take. It was not stated that ‘he found he could do nothing’. Where any police investigation is going on that always takes priority over any intention for a church disciplinary process.

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  David Runcorn
5 months ago

What police investigation of her was or is ongoing? I find it interesting that over on X (twitter) we have folk claiming to be ordained priests in the CofE opining that it is a shame she is not longer a licenced priest as she apparently “would have learned a lot from this incident and may have made a fantastic parish priest” – this despite the well known fact that Ms Vennells was already in Holy Orders well before taking in the role of CEO at the Post Office. St Augustine she is not and the boundless capacity to forgive and… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  David Runcorn
5 months ago

I see the Bishop has now commented. I may be an old cynic, but the timing – waiting for ages then commenting whilst there’s an internal storm in full flight over CPAS – does raise a wry smile with me.

He’s right, of course, about waiting to see about personal wrongdoing, but I can’t help but think ‘good old C of E finding its way to support the wrong side yet again!’ Here’s a link to the Telegraph story:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/08/paula-vennells-church-compares-post-office-drama-the-crown/

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Realist
5 months ago

I am assuming that the quotes on the LBC website from the Bishop’s spokesperson are the same as in the telegraph article (which is behind a paywall). I feel that the Bishop appearing to leap to the defence of Ms Vennells in this manner is deeply unwise and gives the clear impression that the CofE backs Ms Vennells. Giving the impression that the concerns raised about Paula Vennells’ personal conduct have no real merit because of an ITV drama and suggesting that the fault lies solely with the post office as a corporate entity rather than the individuals concerned pre-empts… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

I understand the concern. She has, of course, returned her CBE. What does it say about the efficacy of the honours scrutiny process that she received that award in 2019 only weeks before the scandal became pubic knowledge (it had been private knowledge for some time before)? However, she has still not yet resigned her orders, and there remains the issue of her large PO pension, her substantial bonuses (which were only shaved a little by the scandal) and the fact she has not been barred from acting as a company director. Incredibly, she was not removed from the Church’s… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
5 months ago

It gets worse. I see it reported on the BBC news website that not only was Vennells shortlisted for the post of Bishop of London but that “the Archbishop of Canterbury pushed her application and was seen as a supporter of her”. This was at a time when the concerns about Horizon were being widely raised. This must raise questions about the so-called ‘talent pool’ and the judgement of its instigator.

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
5 months ago

The BBC reported that she was one of three on the shortlist. Which means that two of the three had achieved high standing posts in the public sector – was this an attractive qualification for being Bishop of London? The performance of Sarah Mullally might now at least partly be measured against her previous ‘top job management’ experience. Then Paula Vennells had only ever been an NSM, while most of Sarah Mullally’s 12 years’ parochial experience was stipendiary. The intriguing question is not so much the actual identity of the third candidate, but what their own ‘qualifications’ were for the… Read more »

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  peter kettle
5 months ago

I’d be amazed if it were an individual with a long background in parish ministry/cathedral ministry/theological scholarship given the background of the other two candidates. They clearly wanted a corporate manager for the role of Bishop of London (let’s be clear the position of Chief Nurse in the NHS is an executive management position). Of course I’m not saying that Sarah Mullally is currently doing and will not do a fantastic job, but I strongly suspect that had she remained on the church payroll or devoted her time to theology she would not have made such a shortlist. Of course… Read more »

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
5 months ago

Truly a shocking revelation! Although I hazard a guess that, on the basis of what was generally known at the time, the praeter-Ambrosian elevation of Vennells would have raised eyebrows only slightly higher than did the actual appointment. At least the appointee was already a suffragan! But, as you say Fr. Dexter, the alleged composition of the shortlist calls into question the judgement of all those involved, especially the ‘dear leader’, who I see was 68 only a few days ago. Are we really going to have to endure his woeful leadership for another two years? And, as others have… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
5 months ago

I think the Archbishop is on record that he intends to retire at age 70, but there is a special provision (applying equally to York, I believe) that the King may extend the normal retirement date by up to one year if he deems this to be desirable (section 2 of Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limit) Measure, 1975).

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
5 months ago

Thank you, Rowland, for this information which is also as I understand it. What was so shocking about the revelation two days ago, if it is an accurate leak from the supposedly confidential CNC, is that the ABC apparently thought that a part-time unpaid curate with no experience of running a parish, still less a diocese, was a suitable candidate to be bishop of one of the largest and most important dioceses in the land. He obviously thinks that secular management experience is all that a bishop needs. This shows a fatal lack of judgement and understanding but of course… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
5 months ago

My apologies for this introducing a total change of tack for this thread, but I feel it sufficiently important to help it receive a wider audience. It actually relates to a conversation which I had before Christmas on this site, with someone on the matter of Christian, particularly organised church social action. Maybe, Mr Editor, you can use it to start a new thread? A friend put this link on our church whotsup site : https://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/what-is-the-future-direction-for-christian-social-action/ Its worth reading, and actually developes something that I’ve been thinking about recently, being involved with various social outreach works of the sort he… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  John Davies
5 months ago

John, thanks so much for sharing this linked article. Critical thinking, very poignant and informative! I’ve attached a link to an article from Local Economy. It offers reflection on the work of two people who tackled social economic injustice from a systemic rather than a charitable perspective. One of those is Greg MacLeod a former teacher of mine who became a friend and mentor and who helped me identify my vocation as a priest. I was living in industrial Cape Breton during the catastrophic economic down turn that backgrounded MacLeod’s work. ” Wanting to develop the expertise that would give… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Thanks, Rod, I’m glad that you, in particular, picked this up and have taken the time to respond. I know we work at different intellectual levels and come at the issue from slightly different directions, but fundamentally are thinking along similar lines. I’ll pass your reply on to the friend who started it off – another friend I showed it to has subsequently subscribed to the original blog. Our ‘Warm Welcome’ yesterday had a homeless man come by, and our church secretary helped find him accomodation; he was fortunate that he came to a church which is committed to and… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  John Davies
5 months ago

John, thanks. I think people can come at issues from differing traditions and backgrounds and still meet on the issues. The trick is not to think one’s religious tradition is synonymous with ‘the truth’. The article is a good one. I visited the blog site of the author as well. Good stuff. One of the most erudite people I had the privilege to meet and teach me was an Irish Dominican–doctorate from the Angelicum. He used to tell students that everything that is crucial to Christian faith “we learned at our mother’s knee”. Good insight. My grandad was an overman… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Rod Gillis
5 months ago

Oh, wonderful. Rod, you get better and better. As an aside, I think you’re right, and ‘blue collar’ (dungaree overalls?) is the US equivalent of ‘working class’. Three generations of my family worked on the railways; my late cousin ran a coach company, and the most positive years of my civil service career were spent in motor taxing and licensing. Between us we racked up nearly three hundred years of service to public transport, something of which I am personally very proud. (At least one forbear was a canal lengthman, which probably takes that mark over the third ‘ton’.) Oh,… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  John Davies
5 months ago

Hey John, “The New Testament is full of examples of groups disagreeing, falling out, and subsequently managing to work together ..” That’s it! It is one of the things I I love about reading it. I was not familiar with Cannock Chase so I researched it. What I found is in the link below. I’ve added a link to the Glace Bay Miners Museum for comparison. A great number of the mining families here trace their lineage to Scotland, Wales, and the continent, for example, Poland. I have also attached a link to the Canadian group Bachman-Turner Overdrive and their tune,… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
5 months ago

“We sit where, theologically and ethically, the CofE has always sat. It’s the revisionists who seek to leave the historic faith.” Pete (Broadbent) happy new year to you and hope you are well. I want to take issue with this in a couple of ways. Firstly the theology of the CofE on a number of key issues has changed over the years and you have, yourself, been a key mover and shaker in its evolution. Those changes have often been supported by slim margins in GS. I don’t ever recall you supporting what is basically a separate Province by way… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
5 months ago

I’m not aware of any previous changes made by General Synod that, on the basis of lex orandi, lex credendi, have sought to change doctrine and contradict the canons. PLF does just that. I have no desire to see a separate province. What I and many other evangelicals of all sorts are arguing for is a clear distinction between the revisionists and those who would call themselves orthodox (I know many of you hate that terminology and hate us for objecting to these doctrinal and liturgical innovations). The Tall article seems surprised that we have been taking counsel together for… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Pete Broadbent
Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

Thanks Pete. A ‘clear distinction’ is basically a separate Province with separate bishops of which you would be one.
And as you know, I’m perfectly well aware that you treated the LGBTI clergy in Willesden with proper care. You were prepared to live and let live. And that’s rather my point. The ‘clear distinction’ would change that approach and deeply personalise it.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
5 months ago

If I may, a Bishop being charitable to a LGBTI contingent whose positions he judges at odds with the stated teaching of the CofE, is just that.

“And that’s rather my point” cannot not simply move from this charitable state of affairs to a church accepting such practices, against the stated teaching the Bishop wishes to live by, as heretofore.

So, it isn’t “rather your point” at all. We are speaking of two different things. Surely you see that?  

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Anglican Priest
5 months ago

Christopher I worked with Pete for a number of years and know full well that he doesn’t see anything quite as monochrome as you seem to. What’s rather my point, and I think Pete knows this very well, is that ethically the CofE holds a variety of views on sexuality despite what its various documents might claim. The Diocese of London where I worked for 13 years in the Willesden Area has accepted the partnership of same sex clergy as a significant part of the ministerial landscape,

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
4 months ago

I’ll let him speak for himself. Thank you.

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

The Tall Story isn’t entirely accurate. There is a version which is, I think, truer to what has actually been going on here: https://www.psephizo.com/sexuality-2/have-evangelicals-made-secret-plans-to-split-the-church/

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

This article is linked in today’s Opinion roundup. Please can we discuss it over there.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
5 months ago

There is an article on the evangelical website Anglican Futures which lists a number of evangelical myths about what sort of differentiation is open to evangelical parishes given the legal, canonical and financial structures of the C of E within which they have to operate. It shows clearly the difficulties involved. It makes interesting reading since to me it seems to show bishop and diocese ” hold all the cards”

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Pete Broadbent
5 months ago

Mr Broadbent, I posted extensively on this site, over years, from an orthodox perspective and it was not a pleasant experience. Those Church of England bishops who are now stepping forward to assert their orthodoxy have been cowards for years. They have no grounds to now assert their authority or claim leadership over anything at all. If you are orthodox I would meet you as a fellow believer. However, you should resign in shame from the House of Bishops and not presume to have any role at all in the future of the Church of God. You speak for nobody… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
Reply to  Peter
5 months ago

Just to say that I am retired and was not in the HoB when they voted for the PLF. Had I been, I would have voted against them. I think you misunderstand my position!

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Peter
5 months ago

A somewhat harsh ad hominem comment for the season of Epiphany. +Pete was actually one of the more on-message members of the House of Bishops in the General Synod when he was a member for many years, latterly by virtue of being elected as a Southern Suffragan. Of course he and I disagree over same-sex marriage, and particularly the notion that ‘it’s the revisionists who seek to leave the historic faith.’ I am not aware of going anywhere. What we are witnessing, and +Pete clearly wouldn’t have voted for it, is the current House of Bishops leading change. That’s what… Read more »

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