Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 6 October 2018

Colin Blakely ViaMedia.News Preaching to the Converted?

Tim Matthews Church Times Let’s dispel some myths about church-plants
“There is much more to them than smoothie bars and smoke machines”

Roy McCloughry Church Times A theology of pain
“Roy McCloughry considers the presence of God in the experience of pain”

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T PottDavid RowettRev Peter MilliganPeterTim Chesterton Recent comment authors
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FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

Tim Matthews does nothing to dispel the ‘myth’ that church planting is about the evangelicalising of the Church of England. He admits that an attempt to revive an anglo-catholic church comprises a non-catholic, non-eucharistic worship service with breakfast to attract newcomers. That’s like ASDA trying to promote its produce inside TESCO Church planting is introducing into the Church of England a different religion We are a broad Church, not a narrow, happy-clappy sect

Peter
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Peter

We’re a broad church….and anyone who doesn’t like it can get stuffed?

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

No. We were a broad church. Those days are numbered.

John Wallace
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John Wallace

Fortunately, Fr David, there is church planting and church growth in the Anglo-Catholic part of the C of E, both liberal and traditionalist – I am researching it for a doctorate at Durham University. Get hold of Tim Thorlby’s report ‘A Time to Sow’ (The Centre for Theology and Community: October 2017). That will give a very positive picture.

Fr John Emlyn Harris-White
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Fr John Emlyn Harris-White

John W, From another John W. Thank you for your note about Anglo Catholic growth in the C of E.. I have made a note of Tim Thorlby’s paper, and will read with interest. I do believe we Anglo Catholics have to be positive, and share our rich history and practice with our people today. Walsingham shows us the way. Last week on a cruise, I visited Florence, and at the church of the Assumption met the Community Church of Jerusalem who witness by prayer and work in a very busy city. The church is a place of holiness and… Read more »

John Wallace
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John Wallace

Thank you, Fr John. The other really encouraging sign was the Catholic Mission Conference organised jointly by Anglo-Catholic Futures and Forward in Faith a couple of weeks ago. There were around 150 delegates (clergy and ordinands + layperson me!) who over 3 days shared in listening to inspiring speakers and glorious worship. I’m not sure about ‘Matt, Nick and Pete’ but there was a good number of young clergy and ordinands; this gives me hope that the desire to share in spreading the Gospel has a greater imperative than some of the shibboleths of the last 20+ years. The Spirit… Read more »

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

There’s no way groups of young people with names like Matt, Nick and Pete are going to plant churches which encourage Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary. Or encourage an inclusive gay-friendly congregation to honour Our Lady. I hope your doctorate proves me wrong but I’m not holding my breath.

Tim Chesterton
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OK, I’ll bite – what’s particularly evangelical and non-gay-friendly about the names Matt, Nick and Pete (I have an interest in this since my two sons are named Matt and Nick).

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

I’m sure Matt & Nick Chesterton are fine young men. It’s surely very funny when clergy try to get down with the kids by trying to pretend they’re just like them. Shortened Christian names among evangelicals are a sign of biblical soundness and cool trendiness. It just doesn’t work in Catholic circles as Popes Benny and Frankie would testify. It’s time evangelical clergy grew up.

Kate
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Kate

I know a distinctly Anglo Catholic Father Chris so I don’t think you are right.

Even the Queen is known to her friends as Lilibet rather than Elizabeth. To suggest that using a contracted name is a sign of evangelicalism seems a nonsense to me.

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

Shortened christian names aren’t exclusive to evangelical clergy. But they do seem to be a prerequisite for evangelical ministers. And they have nothing to do with social class Mr Milligan,

Tim Chesterton
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I was raised in working class Leicester. My dad’s name was Robert but he was universally known as Bob. My brother is Michael but he was always known as Mike. I’m Timothy but have always been known as Tim. This is nothing to do with evangelicalism; it’s to do with cultural informality. Even in the environment where I live and work today, to insist on formality is to be seen as a snob. It’s as simple as that. There are perfectly valid theological issues between evangelicalism and anglo-catholicism and, as Peter Milligan points out, a site called ‘Thinking Anglicans’ would… Read more »

David Rowett
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David Rowett

Ah, but what a subtle culture we have here. Jim (Thompson, late of Bath and Wells), Bob (Runcie), Pete (Broadbent): not a problem. Some apocopations are positively respectable, especially within the ex-public school network. Whether we’ll ever quite get away with Dave Cantuar, Mick Ebor, Angie Dunelm or Shaz Truron….. :-)))

Me, I’ll answer to anything, up to and including ‘Oi, you’ and that’s probably just as well…..

Peter
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Peter

I’m an evangelical minister. I call myself ‘Peter’.

Rev Peter Milligan
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Rev Peter Milligan

Pull the other one. It’s got bells on it!
You are only the more profoundly imprisoned by your class when you deny its influence. Prejudice is fuelled by ignorance.

T Pott
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T Pott

The dairyman in Hardy’s Tess of the Durbevilles was “Dairyman Dick, all the week – On Sundays Mr Richard Quick”. The Queen may prefer Lilibet but she doesn’t expect all her subjects to call her by it. Mr Chesterton’s father, I presume, was addressed as Robert in his wedding. This use of a person’s “Sunday name” on formal occasions, like wearing Sunday best, is tied in with a view of Church and worship as more formal than daily life. This might explain a correlation between Low Church, rather than Evangelical per se, not using their Sunday names.

Rev Peter Milligan
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Rev Peter Milligan

I thought this site was called ‘Thinking Anglicans’ but it seems to be the opposite! ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ Why seek the worst interpretation of a person’s name an excuse to sneer at them. I’m from the working class: how do you want to sneer at me?

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Like Saul of Tarsus getting ‘down’ with the culture by using his Roman name, you mean?

Susannah Clark
Guest

🙂

David W
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David W

Evangelicalism has a longer history in the Church of England than does Anglo-Catholicism. People like Wiberforce and Simeon pre-date the Tractarians. It was Anglo-Catholicism which was the unwelcome novelty towards the end of the nineteenth century. Surely, members of a Broad Church should welcome the creation of new worshipping communities of many types. Plants do seem from the statistics to be drawing in people who otherwise would not be attending any style of church at all. Is not drawing people to Christ a good thing, to be celebrated by all Christians? (If evangelical church plants ‘steal’ members from anglo-catholic churches,… Read more »

Fr Andrew
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Fr Andrew

“Evangelicalism has a longer history in the Church of England than does Anglo-Catholicism”

I suppose any good Anglo-Catholic would date the start of Anglo-Catholicism to 597 when Pope Gregory’s envoy kicked off the evangelisation of England, which is a little earlier than Wilberforce & his crew. However.

Should one accept the notion that evangelicalism is more ancient than catholicism, so what? FrDavidH may have the polemic turned up to 11, but there is something worth listening to in what he is saying rather than simply dismissing it out of hand.

FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

I would much prefer young people remain as healthy, sceptical secularists than to be sold a simplistic view of life based on a false premise. There’s nothing more guaranteed to put the English off religion than evangelicals quoting scripture at them. It’s just not normal.

L Nelder
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L Nelder

Thankfully many young people are skeptical. The ones I talk to do not buy into simple dualistic thinking and jam tomorrow theology. What they are interested in, is what they regard as authentic and rational description of spiritual experience. We need to encourage our worshiping communities to be able to articulate their experience of God as Holy Spirit; not something many Anglicans will readily admit to having had.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Quite agree. I’m an Air Cadets padre. I’m a member of a weightlifting gym. I see more warmth, companionship, mutual support, and mutual regard in them than in any church I’ve had anything to do with in 68 years, bar one. I see less aggression, less bitchiness, less moaning. And there is, unlike church, no finger wagging threatening afterlife doom. It seems to come down to the afterlife for religious nutters, so if you don’t believe in one, you’re on a winner. Eternal life, a quality of life, here and now is what matters to them, and me, and I… Read more »

Athelstan Riley
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Athelstan Riley

Quite right, David W, the Evangelical movement has a long and honourable pedigree in the Church of England, with its dual commitment to holiness and social justice. Alongside Simeon and Wilberforce, don’t forget the Wesleys, the Venn brothers and Shaftesbury. So can you – or someone else – tell me why the present Evangelical momentum in the CofE is so unaware and (in some cases) so dismissive of this heritage? Simeon was a passionate advocate of the sacraments. Wilberforce and Shaftesbury were politically engaged to a degree that would frighten the horses at HTB, with their insistence that morality is… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

I am the rector of a church plant in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), planted in 1980 by the Rev. Kim Murray and a team of volunteers from St. John the Evangelist Church in Edmonton. At the time neither St. John’s nor St. Margaret’s (the church I serve) were especially evangelical, and I can report that St. Margaret’s is actually quite ‘broad church’ in its ethos. We have the Eucharist every Sunday and our worship follows the traditions and rubrics of the Anglican Church of Canada. There are other churches in our area but they are mainly Baptist and evangelical, so we… Read more »