Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 7 October 2020

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Rebuilding Trust after the IICSA Report

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer The Church of England – a safer space for abusers than for the abused

Peter Ormerod The Guardian Think unconscious bias training is a fad? It’s been going for at least 2,000 years
“MPs balking at ‘PC gone mad’ forget that Jesus instructed people to examine their consciences for unacknowledged sin”

Christina Baron ViaMedia.News Living in Love and Faith – Is There Really Hope for Change?

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John Wallace
John Wallace
14 days ago

Thank you Christina for this breath of Christian charity and common sense. I’m sure you are right in saying that for many (most?) parishes, this is now a non-issue.

Nigel LLoyd
Nigel LLoyd
14 days ago
Reply to  John Wallace

Some of us will remember Justin Welby reporting back to General Synod that he and his fellow bishops had opposed the introduction of equal marriage in the debate in the House of Lords. However, he went on, it was apparent to them that this simply was no longer an issue for almost all the members of the Lords. The bishops were out on a limb. The ABC said that a revolution of attitudes had already taken place, with which the CofE must come to terms. It seemed to me that the ABC was saying both that a line had been… Read more »

Kate
Kate
14 days ago
Reply to  John Wallace

We are criticising the bishops for saying one thing in safeguarding but not living the values and in the same breath telling LGBT people that it is OK to ignore the fact that the Church teaches same sex relationships are sinful unless celibate.

The Church of England can only move on if it lives what it says and abandons institutional fudges. That means that the Five Guiding Principles have to go too.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
14 days ago

Re: Martin Sewell – “”The Church of England – a safer space for abusers than for the abused”

As ‘Just Sayin’ says, in footballing terms, Justin Welby has ‘lost the dressing room‘.

In ecclesiastical terms, this means – for example – the Archbishop has lost the confidence and trust of the General Synod.

The time for the Archbishop to go will not be of his own choosing.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
13 days ago

I don’t think there’s a mechanism for removing an Archbishop of Canterbury. Certainly not for Synod’s doing so.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
13 days ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

There is, but as you correctly say, GS has no part in it. I don’t think we need to take this particular point further.

Colin Coward
14 days ago

Christina Baron says at the end of her ViaMedia blog: “For the sake of the mission of the Church to all people, we must take the opportunity offered by ‘Living in Love and Faith’ to deal with this question once and for good.” “The critical question is – can we find a way to live with that difference and demonstrate that the Church of England truly is “here for all the people of England?” Many people, myself included, have been asking these questions for decades. What strategy do those who know that a transformed (not just changed) attitude to LGBTI people plan to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
14 days ago
Reply to  Colin Coward

I think perhaps the biggest problem for the Church, Colin, is its fixation on the biological reality of sexual relationships. Most of the bishops seem to find it difficult to imagine the fact that two people can relate to one another sexually without necessarily having the intent to produce a child (unless, of course, they are both heterosexual).

Last edited 14 days ago by Father Ron Smith
Kate
Kate
13 days ago
Reply to  Colin Coward

“The moonwalk is a dance move in which the dancer glides backwards but his/her body actions suggest forward motion.” – Wikipedia

.

That’s all Living in Love and Faith is. It gives – is probably intended to give – the impression of forward motion while making no headway whatsoever. I think the jury is out on whether the same strategy is being adopted for safeguarding too.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
13 days ago

The Futility of “Living in Love and Faith” is shown in Christina Baron’s article where she writes: “Before the 2017 debate, I put a note in the pewsheet of my parish church, asking for comments. This was in a small town (all right, we have a cathedral and a royal charter – so officially it’s a city, but a very small one) with a local, not a gathered, congregation. At coffee time there was a queue to speak to me and my heart sank. I should have had more faith, however. There was a procession of “we had a wonderful… Read more »

father Ron Smith
13 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

Thank you, Simon for this realistic observation of how many congregations are often ahead of their clergy – never mind the bishops – on this issue. It seems all too obvious that the bishops are too concerned with a narrow understanding of human nature, while people in the pew just get on with the business of applauding the existence of loving, lasting, and committed S/S relationships.

Kate
Kate
12 days ago

Part of the problem is that the most prominent voices in the national church tend to be people who are 50+. That puts the church a generation behind as a starting point.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
12 days ago
Reply to  Kate

Unfortunately that’s true. But it’s not so much to do with age as the milieu in which clerics and church bureaucrats, especially those in the higher ranks of the church, operate. Public schools, certain universities and theological colleges, climbing the greasy ecclesiastical ladder and not blotting your copybook: these are what make people conform, cautious, timid, unwilling to initiate or recognise the imperative of change or to confront the obstructive. It just so happens that that these people reach their peak influence towards the latter end of their careers. What is also notable is the number who, once they have… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Ashby

“What is also notable is the number who, once they have retired and no longer have a career or position to maintain, are no longer constrained by group think and can say publicly what they may well have believed privately throughout” ~ Richard Ashby

There is a lot of truth to that, and thus a good reason to hope.

Serving clergy, especially bishops, also need to ‘step up to the plate’ now.

I was much encouraged when a Bishop signed the recent ‘Resignation’ letter, even though the Suffragan Bishop of Richmond in British Columbia!

Last edited 11 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Ashby

Anglican bishops should understand they pledge their allegiance first to God. then to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England Her Majesty The Queen, then to an Archbishop – in that order

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
11 days ago
Reply to  Kate

I think there are risks in attributing attitude to age, risks of straying into ageism. At a local level the vast majority of the retired, aged, congregations in my area are totally supportive of my marriage to David. The opposition comes from serving Evangelical priests in their thirties and forties.

Last edited 11 days ago by Simon Dawson
Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
11 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

And I think that follows from my comment about the failure of the middle aged in positions of influence and authority in the church to confront such attitudes in their clergy, whether found in the parish, in the societies to which such people belong and in the theological education which perpetuates them. I’m not sure that the congregations in conservative and evangelical parishes necessarily share the attitudes of their ministers which are often concealed from them. I think that there is a lot to be said for the idea that minister and parishes ought to explicitly state on their websites… Read more »

Kate
Kate
11 days ago
Reply to  Simon Dawson

The situation in relation to gender identity is very different. Trans rights are going backwards in the UK and America led by middle-aged politicians but Generation Z is the most positive cohort yet about gender fluidity.

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