Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 6 October 2021

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The Leicester Challenge to the Parish System?

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News General Synod: the Abomination of Desolation

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The inability to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy Christianity

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Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
12 days ago

Jayne’s overview of her Christian journey is very honest, and resonates so much for me. Like her, I got drawn into what was – more or less – fundamentalism. My native Christian faith had been something light and beautiful and spontaneously, but increasingly I was taught that Christianity was about a tiny ‘remnant’ and that the rest of the population and the world were in the hands of darkness and evil. This had the effect of ‘othering’ people, and distancing from ordinary lives, in a kind of entrenched, wagons in a circle, last stand of the pious, pure and holy.… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
12 days ago

And yet, don’t you think that God might possibly have an incy-wincy, teeny problem with those people who made you and Jayne feel how you did? That’s the gap in what you and Jayne have both written. Shouldn’t we be actively calling on those who hurt people – as you and Jayne have both described – to repent? Shouldn’t that be the teaching of the church itself if the church is to be true?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Kate
12 days ago

There is a very insightful article in this week’s “The Tablet” magazine by Tomas Halik. He describes how certain Christian groups self-define as the church of the martyrs, cleansed by persecution. It is possible for a church group to build it’s faith using this powerful self-image. Halik talks specifically about the Eastern European churches, but I think the issue goes wider than that. Whilst the definition of who is the oppressor may change from context to context I think a huge number of Christian groupings need an “us” and a “them”, with the “us” group telling themselves that they are… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Simon Dawson
Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
12 days ago

I don’t think it’s about repentance. I just think it’s different views and understanding of Christianity. I don’t think there’s much one can do about another person’s sincerely-held convictions, except try to explain why you hold a different view. The main thing for must of us to do ‘actively’ is to try to open up our own lives to God, which is a challenge in itself. The truth is that God seems to call people, and give people grace, across a range of theologies. So I prefer the ‘mixed economy’ approach of a really broad church, with the onus on… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

Even the civil courts have an understanding of joint enterprise. If we know that people are seriously harming others (through their homophobia) then if we stand by and let them carry on then we are as guilty as them of that harm through acquiescence. So I don’t see how, in this case, unity in diversity is moral, Christian or acceptable.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
11 days ago

I admit there may well be implicit, underlying homophobia involved, but as far as I view it, the Bible DOES regard man-man sex as sin, and as unacceptable. In my opinion, many socially conservative Christians are themselves uncomfortable about this, but it’s an issue of conscience because they believe the Bible is true. And yet they love God, they are Christians, they are faithful. They simply have different views from people who think the opposite. As brothers and sisters in Christ I most definitely don’t want to push their consciences so hard that they feel pushed into schism. Rather, I… Read more »

Father David
12 days ago

“Minster Communities” – isn’t this similar to what the Church in Wales did a few years ago following the recommendation in Richard Harries’ report? I understand that this development has not been greeted in the Principality with universal acclaim and not a little resentment. What the diocese of Leicester is proposing seems to me be the side-lining of the parish system by stealth.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Father David
12 days ago

How will parishes with alternative episcopal oversight fit into the Minster model? A one size fits all doesn’t recognise the reality of CofE parishes; subtle differences with the neighbouring parish are often fiercely guarded. I can see trouble when someone rocks up from the fancy pants church now calling itself a Minster, giving instructions from a remote clergy team. I expect the motion will be passed by the Leicester synod but I hope that they spoke to Welsh Anglicans about their experience beforehand.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
11 days ago

This is a tough one for Leicester Diocesan Synod. No doubt the proposal will be presented as the only viable solution, after all the DBF needs to present a balanced budget. But how about treating this is as a temporary measure (fixed time limit) whilst further work is done on strengthening the parochial model? How about petitioning the Church Commissioners for money for parochial appointments? How about building in growth in clergy appointments as the number of ordinands is rising? And after all the powerpoints have been shown are we not still left with the deanery and parochial systems still… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
8 days ago

Any news from Leicester?

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
8 days ago

The diocesan synod voted in favour of the Minster Communities Framework. https://www.leicester.anglican.org/news/diocesan-synod-votes-in-favour-of-a-minster-communities-framework.php

Voting was
House of laity: In Favour 28 Against 12 Abstentions 0
House of Clergy: In Favour 36 Against 13 Abstentions 1
House of Bishops: In Favour 1 Against 0 Abstentions 0

Total: In Favour 65 Against 25 Abstentions 1

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