Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 4 September 2019

Gilo Surviving Church Safeguarding the Secrets Pt 2 (NST)

David and Yvonne Shemmings Community Care Learning from survivors of church sexual abuse

Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim Collective Sin and Mrs Cook

Stephen Kneale Building Jerusalem If you really want to be a resource church, send your trainees to those best placed to train them

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Janet FifeSusannah ClarkCynthia KatsarelisStanley MonkhouseJohn Wallace Recent comment authors
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Trevor Thurston-Smith sounds very much like the Pharisee in Luke 18. He is nothing like those dreadful people from other churches and no doubt thanks God every day for making him so good.

Rowland Wateridge
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Rowland Wateridge

I don’t read him that way at all. How do you reconcile your judgement with his words: “We can all be tempted to be like Mrs Cook, looking disdainfully at other people whether it’s our politicians or those who voted differently from us in the Brexit referendum, but we should instead be looking objectively at ourselves as individuals, as churches, as communities and as nations, and acknowledging how our words, actions, attitudes or voting behaviours have impacted negatively upon our modern world. “All of us are a mixture of good and bad, but at the moment we are most certainly… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

That’s one interpretation, albeit a negative one. I read it instead as suggesting that many of us we measure our conduct against a baseline of the people around us but that might be below the conduct to which we should really aspire. Thurston-Smith should perhaps have been clearer but I see it as quite an helpful piece.

Tim Chesterton
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Brilliant piece by Stephen Kneale. Thanks for linking to it.

Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

In reference to Gilo’s piece, I can’t find on line the current membership of the National safeguarding Steering Group. Can anyone help?

Gilo
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Gilo

This is the current NSSG list as given to the SCIE survivor reference group. I think it’s up to date.

There are staff as well, Synod Secretariat (William Nye, Jacqui Philips) and NST members. I’m not sure whether the staff are part of the NSSG.

Archdeacon Gavin Kirk
Archdeacon Mark Steadman
Bishop David Walker
Bishop Donald Allister
Bishop Jonathan Gibbs
Bishop Martyn Snow
Bishop Peter Hancock
Bishop Sarah Mullally
Jamie Harrison
Malcolm Macnaughten
Mary Chapman
Meg Munn
Morag Ellis QC
Bishop Mark Sowerby
Ruth Marlow
Dean Stephen Lake
Bishop Tim Thornton

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

It seems to me there are far too many bishops on this panel. No wonder the structures in place priorities the Church’s reputation and sideline pastoral care for survivors. There should be more women on it, too.

Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

Thank you, Gilo. I now understand your comment in your piece: ‘It is not appropriate that two bishops who have walked away from disclosures in denial or “no recollection” and who have failed to address this in any meaningful way other than continued denial – sit on any national panel which makes decisions about the response to survivors.’

Kate
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Kate

If that is the case, then the rest of the group are also tainted through their willingness to sit on a group with them.

Stanley Monkhouse
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I’m sorry to say that I’ve come to what is, I think, Matt Ineson’s view that all diocesans are complicit. Some are more than just complicit and should go.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

The evidence certainly points that way. We need a new house of bishops.

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

On Gilo’s piece – I am sure the unjust judge of the parable found his petitioner persistent and vexatious. But Jesus encourages us to petition for justice, which is a big Bible theme, and many of the prophets found themselves facing leaders who I am sure felt vexed. Indeed we might say that a former Archbishop of Canterbury was martyred because a monarch felt vexed. These words have to be carefully handled, and the cautions are there in scripture and history – and the reason we need to take care is that more important issues of truth and justice are… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Trevor Thurston Smith’s piece, I believe, has something to say to all of us – especially in this statement: “I believe the parlous state of politics, both in Britain and the USA, is a direct result of our politicians playing to populist views. Motivated by self-interest, they cling to power by playing to the prejudices and insecurities stemming from the self-interest of the masses. There is a role for the Church in all of this (although of course, the church itself is by no means immune to the same problem.)” Certainly, when we look at the political state of the… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

That’s a very interesting and thought-provoking post, Father Ron. I won’t add further comment to it, but it certainly sets me thinking and reflecting on the link between certain types of theology and populist certainties.

John Wallace
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John Wallace

But there is hope…Although a liberal Catholic, I have spent this week with a number of great US evangelicals who reject everything that Trump stands for. Sadly in US, evangelical is becoming a label to which white supremacists are attaching themselves. Last week’s CT covered this and there is a growing volume of literature. Thomas Kidd from Yale is about to publish a book (November) ‘Who is an Evangelical? – The History of a Movement in Crisis’, This is what the pre-pub blurb says: ‘A leading historian of evangelicalism offers a concise history of evangelicals and how they became who… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
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A look at Sojourner’s magazine shows that not all evangelicals are on the Trump train. However, I can’t begin to fathom why any Christians would be on that train. A large swath of evangelicals sold their souls for political power. The basic sin is creating a god in their image, rather than seeing the image of God in all people. It is the sin of sins, and it’s heartbreaking.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

It’s been a gradual process over decades, and opposition to abortion has been a major factor. Any politician opposing abortion is seen as on God’s side; pro-choice politicians as anti-Christian. It’s a cautionary tale about single-issue faith and politics.

Cynthia Katsarelis
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Evangelicals in the US weren’t anti-abortion or “pro-life” back in the 1960’s and 70’s. A movement was started when certain Republicans saw an opportunity to put it front and center for the purposes of obtaining power. The people who cooked it up and funded it have absolutely no qualms about abortions for their daughters, wives, and mistresses. It’s all about power and manipulating the masses…

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

There was a strong strain of anti-abortion among evangelicals when I lived in the States in the 60s and 70s. According to Frank Schaeffer in ‘Crazy for God’, he and his father helped to develop this anti-abortion stance into something like a crusade and political cause, when they moved from Switzerland to the US in the mid-70s.

Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

That said, as I’m sure you would agree, we have to be careful with the term ‘evangelical’. My home church was definitely ‘evangelical Anglican’ but over a 20-year period I don’t think I recall abortion being raised in talks or sermons once. But I do recall the wonderful love I saw in practice there, and the pastoral care shown to my children. Although I would probably be labelled ‘liberal’ by critics, I still identify as evangelical as part of my Christian DNA and make up. Perhaps things are less nuanced in the US, but I suspect there is the same… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

When I was growing up in the US, my father worked for an evangelical organisation and part of his role included spending the summer travelling round conferences and camps, all evangelical. We all went with him, so were pretty immersed in evangelical culture across the States. It was widely assumed that Christians would oppose abortion, which had become a hot topic in the 60s. ‘Evangelical’ meant (and to some degree still means) more than ‘evangelistic’ or ‘mission-oriented’. Evangelicals believed in the authority of the Bible and took a conservative view of dates, sources, etc, and often inclined to literal interpretations.… Read more »