Thinking Anglicans

New Bishop of Truro announced

The appointment has been announced of Canon Philip Mounstephen as the 16th Bishop of Truro.

Downing Street reports:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Philip Ian Mounstephen, MA, Executive Leader of the Church Mission Society, for election as Bishop of Truro in succession to the Right Reverend Timothy Martin Thornton, MA, following his resignation on 31 August 2017.

There is more information on the Truro diocesan website:

Philip is currently the executive leader of Church Mission Society, a role he has occupied since 2012. Prior to that, Philip was chaplain of St Michael’s Church, Paris. He has also previously worked for the Church Pastoral Aid Society in a number of roles, serving as deputy general director from 2004 to 2007.

Philip, 59, was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in 1988 and priested the following year, serving his curacy in Gerrards Cross and Fulmer in the Diocese of Oxford. From 1992 to 1998 he was the Vicar of St James’ Church, West Streatham, in the Diocese of Southwark.

Philip has significant family roots in Cornwall with several generations of his ancestors living in Tregony from the mid-18th century, before moving to Truro.

It also quotes the bishop-designate:

Philip said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been called to lead the Diocese of Truro in mission and ministry. With my family roots in Cornwall I am very well aware of what a rich Christian heritage we have. I rejoice in Cornwall’s strong sense of identity and I look forward under God into leading us in what I hope and pray will be a fruitful and exciting future.”

 

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Archbishop of Sydney proposes ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ for ACANZP

sydneyanglicans.net reports: Archbishop presents proposal for NZ Anglican future.

Archbishop [of Sydney] Glenn Davies has addressed some of the leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP), proposing ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ as a solution to the issues facing the Church after their Synod’s decision to allow the blessings of same gender relationships….

…The essence of the Archbishop’s proposal was what he called ‘Distinctive Co-existence’, modelled on the jurisdiction of Anglican Churches in continental Europe.

“It is interesting that within Europe there are two overlapping Anglican Churches: the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe under the jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church (TEC).  Each has differing constitutions and canons, yet they share the same Anglican heritage. Could not the model of continental Europe provide a new way forward for Aotearoa and Polynesia?”

The full text of the archbishop’s proposal is available here.

26 Comments

Opinion – 25 August 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Defending the Church from Scandal -Catholic and Anglican Approaches

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of depression, anxiety, lies and liturgy

Ruth Hunt gave this year’s Inclusive Church lecture last month. A transcript is now available: LGBT and Faith: Building Bridges in a Polarised World. There is also a video.

2 Comments

Opinion – 22 August 2018

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity New Wine United (2): LGBT Issues – “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted …”

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer CofE clergyman tells suicidal sex-abuse victim to “crawl back under a stone”, and that he “probably enjoyed” it

Marcus Green The Possibility of Difference flagging up issues of pride

24 Comments

Victims launch claim against John Smyth camp leaders

News release

Tuesday 21st August 2018      1430

VICTIMS LAUNCH CLAIM AGAINST JOHN SMYTH CAMP LEADERS

A group of men who say they were groomed and beaten by the English barrister John Smyth have launched a legal claim against the Titus Trust, which runs the notorious Iwerne holidays network.

One victim, who did not wish to be identified, said “The abuse we suffered as a consequence of attending Iwerne camps has had a devastating effect on all of our lives.  We have been compelled to take this course of action because of the unwillingness of the Titus Trust to accept any responsibility for what happened.”

Since John Smyth’s abuse came to public attention in February 2017, Titus Trust has consistently refused to speak to the men, to help identify other victims or to provide for the counselling they all need.   Victims’ advocate Andrew Graystone said “I have personally written to every individual Titus Trustee more than once, pleading for them to do their duty as trustees and as Christians, and help the victims.  Not one has responded.  The refusal of the trustees to offer any help to Smyth’s victims has massively compounded their suffering.”

The victims have instructed Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon Solicitors to pursue their claim against Titus Trust.  Scorer has frequently represented victims of abuse In a church context. He said “No reasonable person could believe that the Titus Trust is anything other than the legal successor to the Iwerne Trust. If the current trustees of the Titus Trust persist in claiming that they bear no responsibility, we will be forced to launch additional claims against the individual surviving trustees of Iwerne, namely David Fletcher and Giles Rawlinson.”

Titus Trust is the legal successor to the Iwerne Trust, which continues to run camps under the Iwerne brand. Iwerne provides a programme of intensive Christian discipleship based around activity holidays. The programme has run continuously since 1930. The most recent Iwerne holidays were held this month.

John Smyth QC was the chair of the Iwerne Trust from 1975 to 1982.  He resigned when the trust became aware that he was using the network to recruit young men for abuse.  Smyth died at his home in South Africa on 11th August, just eight days after Hampshire Police had summoned him for formal questioning in connection with the offences.

For further information contact Andrew Graystone

andrew.graystone1@btinternet.com

07772 710090

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Peter Ball – legislation, then and now

David Pocklington of Law & Religion UK has written a three-part post concerning the public hearing of the Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into the Peter Ball case study which took place 23 – 27 July 2018. I’ve listed the topics covered in each below. It’s all well worth reading.

Peter Ball – legislation, then and now (I) Legislative and other changes, to 2018 and beyond

Appointment of diocesan bishop
Permission to Officiate (PTO)
Timeline of events

Peter Ball – legislation, then and now (II)

Implications of a police caution
Sanctions applicable to bishops
Misconduct in public office
Mandatory reporting of safeguarding
Seal of the confessional

Peter Ball – legislation, then and now (III) What next after the IICSA Peter Ball Inquiry?

IICSA Final Report
Closing Statements of Peter Ball Inquiry
On-going work

1 Comment

Ministry Statistics 2017

Updated Tuesday to add Church Times report

The Church of England has today issued its Ministry Statistics 2017 and a report on vocations. There is an accompanying press release, Growing numbers of young people train as priests, which starts:

Growing numbers of young people are seeking ordination to the priesthood, as the Church of England makes progress towards achieving a key target of recruiting more candidates for ordained ministry, according to new figures published today.

The number of people aged under 32 years old recommended for training for ordination this year rose by nearly a third, or 32%, to 169, compared to 128 in 2016, a report on vocations from the Church of England shows. This means nearly one in three, or 29%, of those entering training for the priesthood this year are expected to be under 32 years old.

The overall number of people recommended for ordination training is up 7% on last year, from 541 to 580. This follows a 14% increase the year before, putting the Church on course to achieving a key target of recruiting 50% more candidates for ordination by 2020.

The figures have been published alongside Ministry Statistics for 2017 showing just over 20,000 active clergy in the Church of England, with women making up nearly a third, or 30% of the total. But the number of clergy in paid positions in 2017 fell by 50 from 7,790 to 7,740 compared to 2016.

Nearly a quarter, or 23% of paid clergy in senior posts, such as Bishops, Cathedral Deans or Archdeacons were women in 2017, compared to 12% in 2012.

Meanwhile the vocations report shows that women are set to be the majority entering ordination training for the second year running, with 54% of this year’s recommended candidates being female.

Press reports

Harriet Sherwood The Observer Young people hear the call to rejuvenate ageing priesthood

Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Rising numbers of women opt for priesthood as a second career

Madeleine Davies Church Times Ministry vocations rise again, though overall figures remain sobering

19 Comments

Opinion – 18 August 2018

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Leadership? What sort of leadership? What sort of Church?

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Secrets, Transparency and the Age of the Internet

Church Times ‘Once we connect on to something, that’s it’
Pat Ashworth discovers the gifts that those with autism are bringing to the Church

Phil Johnson and David Greenwood Premier Christianity Why we need a new law to prevent churches from covering up abuse

2 Comments

Opinion – 15 August 2018

David Wheeler-Reed The Conversation What the early church thought about God’s gender

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity New Wine United 2018 (1): The Lord is with you

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer John Smyth dies – just as the CPS gives police go-ahead for his extradition and prosecution

Carlo Uchello The Episcopal Café The Most Important (and Ignored) Day of the Year

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church John Smyth’s death -the aftermath

16 Comments

Statement from victims of the late John Smyth QC and the Titus Trust

The statement below has been issued by four victims of the late John Smyth and the Titus Trust, and refers to a statement on the website of the Titus Trust, which is copied below the fold.

We are amongst the scores of victims viciously beaten by the late John Smyth QC whilst he was Chair of The Iwerne Trust.

We are appalled by the statement issued on Monday 13th August by the Titus Trust, which now runs the Iwerne network.

The statement says that the Titus Trust has “done all that [it] can to ensure the matter is properly investigated by the relevant authorities.” This is untrue.

The statement further says that the board of the Titus Trust was only informed of the allegations against John Smyth in 2014. This is also untrue.

The Revd The Hon David Fletcher was employed as the senior officer of the Iwerne Trust from 1967 until 1986, when he became a trustee. He served in that capacity continuously until August 2016, only resigning his post when the Iwerne Trust was closed in a bid to distance it from its successor. Revd Fletcher was also a trustee of the Titus Trust from its foundation in 1997 until the same date.

It is a matter of record that Revd Fletcher and numerous leaders of his movement have been fully aware of Smyth’s abuse for 36 years. Revd Fletcher commissioned a comprehensive report of Smyth’s abuses in the UK in March 1982. From 1993 he was in possession of a further report of Smyth’s abuse in Zimbabwe. These reports, which were stored in the loft of the Chair of the Titus Trust Giles Rawlinson, were not made available to any secular authorities until 2017, when they were requisitioned by Hampshire Police under warrant.

An earlier statement from the Titus Trust website says that Smyth’s abuse took place between 1978 and 1981. They know this to be untrue. Smyth’s abuse in the UK started in 1975 and continued until 1982 and probably until 1984. Rev Fletcher and other Iwerne Trustees then facilitated Smyth’s move to Africa, where he abused at least 60 children between 1985 and 2017.

The Titus Trust, under the leadership of Fletcher and Rawlinson, took over the Iwerne network in its entirety in 1997. Titus has continued to run holidays under the Iwerne brand until as recently as last week. To suggest that the two are completely separate is simply deceitful.

Since Smyth’s horrific abuses were publicly exposed in February 2017, the Titus Trust has flatly refused to engage with his victims, or even to enquire after our well-being, let alone to offer any form of support or redress. Their protestation of sympathy is cynical and disingenuous.

Had the Titus Trust acted on the information that was available to it since its foundation, Smyth’s abuse could have been stopped long ago. Our hearts go out to the 60 or more children of Zimbabwe and South Africa who suffered at the hands of John Smyth as we did, but needlessly.

We have no interest in the “thoughts and prayers” of the Titus Trust. We do not believe they are fit to work with children.

/ENDS

(more…)

43 Comments

Opinion – 11 August 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Sexual Abusers and the Abused – the cost of forgiveness

Mark Vernon Church Times Century of the selfie

Sara Gillingham The Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale Being Intersex in the House of God

10 Comments

Opinion – 8 August 2018

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity A Parable of Radical Inclusion: the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer John Smyth tortured Christian boys at Iwerne – where’s the CofE inquiry?

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New Directions for the Church 10: offer hope

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Peter Ball, Vicky Beeching, and Lizzy Lowe: lessons about abusive Christianity

 

32 Comments

Opinion – 4 August 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The post IICSA Church of England – in Praise of Integrity

Paul Vallely Church Times Action matters more than words

30 Comments

Opinion – 1 August 2018

Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head Praying for Dr Pritchard

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity How should we respond in prayer to IICSA? – Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Evidence of shockingly prejudiced attitudes to LGBTI+ people in the Church of England

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of bishops, accountability, and governance

Jenn Strawbridge Young Clergy Women International  Tainted Love

Michelle Montrose Liverpool Parish Church Sermon preached on 29 July
[This is the sermon I heard at church on Sunday morning.]

4 Comments

Opinion – 28 July 2018

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 9: break down the barriers

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England Vicky’s Book

catholicity and covenant Time to reclaim the tippet from the neo-Puritans

Richard Nicholl Church Times More marketing is not the answer for the Church
“Social media has some surprising lessons for the C of E”

Mark Ashcroft St Chrysostom’s Church News and Views The agents of genuine renewal

1 Comment

Lord Carey PTO : statement from the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford

As we reported here, it emerged earlier this month that the Bishop of Oxford had given Lord Carey permission to officiate (PTO) back in February. The Bishop of Oxford issued the following statement today.

Lord Carey PTO : statement from the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford

“Along with many others, I am sorry and ashamed to hear again this week of the abuse perpetrated by Peter Ball, and the way in which the Church of England failed to respond to the survivors over such a long period of time and at the most senior level. The whole Church needs to respond to what has been revealed with repentance, improved practice and a continued change of culture.

“We recognise that there will be renewed questions concerning Lord Carey’s Permission to Officiate following the IICSA hearings this week and I am sorry that my response to Lord Carey’s request for PTO in February this year caused additional distress to some survivors of abuse.

“When Lord Carey stepped down from his role as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford following the publication of the Gibb report in 2017 it also meant that he was no longer able to preside over services at his local church. There were no legal grounds for me to deny Lord Carey’s request for PTO in February this year as he was not subject to a disciplinary process, and there has never been any suggestion that he is himself a risk to children, young people or vulnerable adults.

“Lord Carey’s PTO remains in place at this time, providing him with a safe space to exercise his ministry. However, as part of the Church of England’s ongoing response to IICSA, there will now be a process of review and support offered to Lord Carey by the Diocese of Oxford together with the National Safeguarding Team.”

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IICSA Peter Ball hearings Day 5

The transcript for the final day, Friday, is available here.

The documents number 89 and are listed here. Individual links here. More details later.

Media reports

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IICSA Peter Ball hearings Day 4

The transcript of Thursday’s hearing is now available.  Gregor McGill, Andrew Nunn, Ros Hunt and Bishop Frank Sergeant were interviewed.

There are 50 documents as listed here.  Individual links here. More details later.

Media reports

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IICSA Peter Ball hearings Day 3

The transcript for Wednesday’s hearing is now published. Witnesses questioned were Andrew Purkis, Wayne Murdock, and Carwyn Hughes. Statements from Lady Alice Renton and Ian Beer were also read out.

There is a list of 35 documents, and the links to all of them are here. More details later.

Media reports:

3 Comments

Opinion – 25 July 2018

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes St Margaret of Antioch

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News History & Doctrine – Written by Winners?

2 Comments