Helen King sharedconversations Waiting for publication: the week before Living in Love and Faith
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Marcus Walker The Spectator If anything is essential, it’s worship4 Comments
Archbishops join interfaith call to PM to allow public worship
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with the Bishop of London, have joined national faith leaders in calling on the Government to permit public worship during the forthcoming lockdown in England.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the faith leaders set out how public worship can play a vital role in supporting social cohesion and mental health and offer “an essential sign of hope”.
They conclude: “We call on government to recognise and support this, and enable us to continue to worship safely, as part of the essential fabric of the nation.”
Read the full letter.18 Comments
This letter from both archbishops and the Bishop of London first appeared on social media this morning. It is now available on the Church of England website in PDF format.
A plain text copy appears below.
To the clergy of the Church of England
1 November 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Greetings to you on this All Saints Day and as we are reminded again that we are indeed part of a universal company of saints.
We are writing to you to set out some of our thinking in the light of the most recent announcement by the Prime Minister. We are very aware that details are still not clear and there is much discussion still to be had about what the impact of the new lockdown will mean. We are also writing to assure you of our prayers for you and our thanks for all you do. We are clear that we do now need to call all Christian people to pray and to do so continually over this next month. In this letter as well as reflection we also set out an invitation to you to join in this call to prayer and to keep both praying and serving our communities.
This is a difficult and challenging time for all of us. We are sure that some of you reading this letter will wish we had made other decisions during the period of the first lockdown, or even challenged the government harder on the decisions it has made. You may be right. However, it is our view that the best way we can serve our nation now is by pouring our energy into doing the things that we can do, which is to pray and to serve. We also dare to hope that we will be kind to each other and that God will give us the courage and humility we need to be faithful witnesses to the gospel of peace.
A second lockdown will be upon us on Thursday. It is going to be different from the first one. The days are getting shorter and colder. We are anxious for ourselves, for those we love, especially those who are vulnerable and elderly, and for our families. We know that this pandemic is having a devastating effect on our economy and on people’s mental health. Thousands of people are dying. The National Health Service is being stretched to the limit. We also know and must continue to bear witness to the fact that the poorest communities in our nation are suffering the most. We are in for a long haul. It is going to be a hard winter.
But this second lockdown will also be different in other ways. There is much that we have learned from the first lockdown and there is much to celebrate and be proud of. Of course we are full of gratitude and respect for the amazing courage and commitment of all key workers especially those working in the NHS. Their contribution is rightly and widely recognised. We also applaud the many creative ways that churches up and down the land have been serving their local communities and working with others to make sure that the hungry are fed and the vulnerable cared for. We have managed to maintain and, in many cases, extend our outreach by streaming worship online and by developing other ways of building community online.
We are grateful for people’s energy, hard work and creativity in making this happen and we hope and pray this will continue. We are grateful that the new guidelines being introduced on Thursday not only allow churches to remain open for private prayer but also enable online worship to be broadcast from the church building. We were cautious about these issues during the first lockdown – perhaps overly so – but in this second lockdown we want to encourage church buildings to remain open for private prayer wherever possible, making sure that their buildings are Covid secure in the ways that we have learned in recent months, and to broadcast services from their church buildings. However, if you do not have the resources or wherewithal to do this, please do not feel that you have failed in any way. The good thing about provision of worship online, is that people can join in from anywhere and therefore we can support each other more easily in this endeavour. Our national digital team will continue to offer training and support and provide national services each week.
However, worship online still means that the people of God do not have access to the sacraments which are so central to our life in Christ. This is a huge loss and since we were not consulted about the lockdown provisions, we fully intend to speak with government about why certain exemptions are made and not others, emphasising the critical role that churches play in every community. The sacramental life of the church cannot be seen as an optional extra. Nor can we separate out our worship from our service, it is always both and not either or.
Nevertheless, we will of course abide by the law and ask you to do the same. We must do all that we can to keep our communities safe and to enable the NHS to manage this crisis. The Recovery Group chaired by the Bishop of London will be issuing specific guidance in the next day or two.
Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.
Above all we recall people to some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines that shape our Christian life. How we do this is up to each congregation and clergy person. We will publish resources to support you before the first day of lockdown. During the first lockdown we cheered for the NHS every Thursday. During this second lockdown we invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer.
We thank you for your service and ministry and pray that God will sustain you and encourage you. After consulting the House of Bishops we will be writing a more general letter to the whole nation we serve, a letter expressing the hope we have and calling for courage, calm and compassion.
In one of the climactic passages of the New Testament, Paul says to those who follow Christ that their “love must be genuine, that they hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good.” He asks them to “serve the lord”, exhorting them to “rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (See Romans 12.9-12.) None of this is easy. Especially not at the moment. But it is our calling.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Revd & Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell
Archbishop of York
The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally
Bishop of London87 Comments
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“From YouTube services to the traditional magazine, parishes have been innovating”
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“It is about much more than filling the gaps left by stipendiary clergy, argues Martyn Snow. A whole new vision is needed”
Suffragan Bishop of Repton: Reverend Canon William Malcolm Macnaughton
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon William Malcolm Macnaughton to the Suffragan See of Repton.
Published 30 October 2020
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon William Malcolm Macnaughton MA MTh, Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York in the diocese of York to the Suffragan See of Repton, in the diocese of Derby, in succession to the Right Reverend Janet Elizabeth McFarlane who resigned on 31st March 2020.
Malcolm was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He served his title at St Andrew, Haughton Le Skerne, in the diocese of Durham and was ordained Priest in 1982.
In 1985, Malcolm was appointed Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Newton Hall, in the diocese of Durham. In 1990, he moved to the diocese of London to be Team Vicar (and subsequently Vicar) of St John the Baptist, Hoxton. He also served as Area Dean of Hackney from 1994 to 1999. Malcolm was appointed Rector of Hambleden Valley in the diocese of Oxford in 2002 and became Area Dean of Wycombe in 2005.
In 2007, Malcolm took up his current role as Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York.
There are more details on the Derby diocesan website.26 Comments
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Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The work of a Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor. Insights from the Whitsey Report7 Comments
The Church of England has announced that its Living in Love and Faith teaching and learning resources will be published on the afternoon of November 9; the press release is copied below.
Living in Love and Faith – publication update
The Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith teaching and learning resources, exploring questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage, will be published on the afternoon of November 9.
The resources, commissioned by the House of Bishops, will include a book, a series of films and podcasts and a course which have been developed over the last three years by a group of more than 40 people from across the Church.
They are intended to initiate a process of whole Church learning and engagement, within a clear timeframe, that will contribute to the Bishops’ discernment of a way forward in relation to questions of human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Exact timings will be confirmed closer to the date.59 Comments
Women and the Church has published an introduction and guide to the Five Guiding Principles. The Guide and two supporting documents can be found here:
There is also an earlier document from the Diocese of Chelmsford which is recommended in the code of behaviour
There is a press release which explains the intention of these documents: WATCH Publish an introduction and guide to the Five Guiding Principles. This is copied below the fold. (more…)34 Comments
We reported recently on the disciplinary hearing: Bishop of Albany found guilty of violating ordination vows. The further hearing planned to decide on the consequences of this was scheduled for next Monday.
Today, at the annual convention of the Diocese of Albany, Bishop Love announced his retirement.
Episcopal News Service: Presiding Bishop and Albany Bishop Reach Accord in Disciplinary Matter
Living Church: Bishop Love Ends Lonely Fight on Same-Sex Marriage
Here is an extract from his address to the diocesan convention:
…A second meeting of the Hearing Panel under the leadership of Bishop Knisely, was scheduled for this coming Monday, October 26 , to determine what disciplinary action should be taken against me. After much thought and prayer, recognizing that whatever disciplinary action would be offered would not be anything I could in good conscience agree to, I have made the very difficult, but necessary decision to resign as Bishop of Albany, effective February 1, 2021 – the 14th Anniversary of my becoming the Bishop Diocesan. Given all that has happened, and that which was still to come, I believe that to stay any longer would be more of a detriment to the Diocese than a help.
The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and I, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany voluntarily entered into an Accord which became effective October 21, 2020, with the unanimous approval of the Disciplinary Board of the House of Bishops. The Accord resolves the matter of my case, thus discharging any further action from the Hearing Panel.
The Accord stipulates the following: I will resign as Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Albany, effective February 1, 2021; I will begin a one month terminal sabbatical beginning January 1, 2021; I agree to continue to abide by the January 11, 2019 Restrictions placed upon my ministry by the Presiding Bishop until the effective date of my resignation as Bishop; I will work with the Presiding Bishop through the Office of Pastoral Development to help foster a healthy transition from my leadership as Bishop Diocesan, as the Diocese begins a new chapter in its history; and lastly, I acknowledge that upon February 1, 2021, the effective date of my resignation as Bishop Diocesan, my November 10, 2018, Pastoral Directive regarding B012 will lose force. Until then, however, it remains in effect.
In signing the Accord, the Presiding Bishop has agreed to allow me to notify the clergy and people of the Diocese of Albany of my pending resignation, before he sends out an announcement to the wider community. I am very appreciative of his willingness to agree to that pastoral request..
Media coverage of the Whitsey report has been extensive:
Media coverage of the Maids Moreton case:
Other Church Times reports:
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Responding to wounded abuse survivors. Can the post-IICSA Church get this right?
Anne Foreman ViaMedia.News Church of England – Please Mind the Gap!
Jeremy Pemberton From the Choir Stalls Deadly Pressure
Stephen Cottrell, Nick Baines and David Walker Yorkshire Post We must face up to the human heartache in a Britain divided by lockdowns – Archbishop of York10 Comments
The Diocese of Oxford has published a summary briefing and recommendations, along with the full report, from the independent review into events in the parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton.
Press release (also copied below)
In 2017 Peter Farquhar was murdered. His need for an emotionally close relationship had been exploited, and an intelligent, talented man was made vulnerable. Peter was a member of his local church; his strong personal faith featured in the abusive relationship, and his murderer, Ben Field, also had roles within the church.
This was an extraordinary and unusual case. Everyone who came into contact with the murderer, Ben Field, was manipulated by him. He made a pretence of being a committed Christian and gained the confidence of the people of Stowe Parish Church.
The Church and wider society need to be ever more vigilant of those who can be made vulnerable by the likes of Ben Field, simply because they are elderly or lonely. For this reason, the Diocese of Oxford commissioned an independent review to establish lessons learnt from the events in the parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton.
The review, commissioned by the Diocese of Oxford Safeguarding Panel, was carried out by Dr Adi Cooper, OBE, an independent consultant in adult safeguarding and adult social care. Dr Cooper makes 13 recommendations for improving safeguarding awareness and prevention as well as supporting a shift to a more open culture within the Church of England around safeguarding in all its complexity for parishes.
“Although the events in the Parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton were unusual, there is learning from them that can inform improvement in safeguarding policy and practice,” writes Dr Cooper. “The lessons from the harm done by Ben Field presents a challenge for the Church regarding specific themes: the abuse of trust in a religious paradigm, attitudes towards sex and sexuality, and safe recruitment both of clergy and volunteers.”
Responding to the report, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, said: “I welcome the report and the recommendations it contains. The events to which it relates have caused immense distress to many. Following the trial and conviction of Ben Field, the Diocese was determined to learn what further action was required to ensure that potentially vulnerable adults attending church are adequately protected from harm. This review helps to challenge the commonly-held view that safeguarding is solely about preventing child abuse, and it is a clarion call for further improvements to our work on LGBTI+ inclusivity, our selection processes for clergy and volunteers, and the training and support the Church provides.”
23 October 2020
Notes for editors:
- The independent report and recommendations were published in full on 23 October. The Diocese will report progress against each of the recommendations during 2021.
- We believe this to be the first independent review concerning the Ben Field case. A Domestic Homicide Review is due to report in 2021
- The report and recommendations are published at oxford.anglican.org/events-in-stowe-maids-moreton/
- For media enquiries, call Steven Buckley 07824 906839 or Liz Hudson on 07702 563211
From the Chester diocesan website:
Publication of review into Bishop Whitsey
A Betrayal of Trust report in full
A statement from the Review authors
A statement from Bishop Mark
A statement from the Dean of Chester
A statement from the Diocesan Secretary
A statement from the lead bishop for safeguarding
A statement from the Archbishop of York
A Betrayal of Trust, the independent report into the Church’s handling of the allegations concerning the late Hubert Victor Whitsey, former Bishop of Chester, has been published today. The learning lessons review was carried out by His Hon David Pearl and independent safeguarding consultant Kate Wood.
The Church supported the police in an investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults by Whitsey dating from 1974 onwards when he was Bishop of Chester and from 1981 while he was retired and living in Blackburn diocese. A public apology was issued in October 2017 following this investigation which included a commitment to a learning lessons review…
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From the Lambeth Conference website: Dates for the Lambeth Conference announced.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced revised dates for the 15th Lambeth Conference. Hosted in Canterbury, Kent, the face-to-face conference will be planned for the 27th July – 8th August 2022 (with the official conference ending on the 7 August and departures on the 8th August).
The conference has been rescheduled from the original 2020 dates due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference organisers will continue to monitor the implications of COVID-19 and follow official health guidance in the months ahead.
With the theme of ‘God’s Church for God’s World – Walking, listening and witnessing together’ the conference will focus on what it means for the Anglican Communion – shaped by the five marks of mission – to be responsive to the needs and challenges of a fast changing world in the 21st Century.
This will be the first Lambeth Conference to meet both face-to-face and virtually. As well as the meeting in Canterbury in 2022, the Lambeth Conference will now be planned as a conference journey, that runs in phases before, during and beyond the face-to-face gathering.
Starting in 2021 the focus of phase one will be on introducing some of the major themes and strategic pillars of the conference programme. The conference community of bishops and spouses – and wider Anglican audiences – will be invited to take part in the Lambeth Conversation in different ways. This will be facilitated through a combination of online, regional and intraregional meetings and supporting resources.
With bishops and spouses invited from 165 countries of the Anglican Communion, the conference community represents a diversity of cultures and Christian tradition. The virtual phase of the conference will give more time to meet one another, start to discuss conference topics and have greater opportunity to share insights and experiences from their provinces and church communities.
It will also ensure that the use of conference resources and planning for future outcomes in the life of the Anglican Communion can be as effective as possible.
A working group is being appointed to shape the conference journey, comprised by representatives from around the communion. These are the Bishop of Penrith, Emma Ineson (who also serves as a member of the conference Design Group); the Right Revd Bishop Anthony Poggo, (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs); the Revd Prof Joseph D Galgalo (Vice Chancellor and associate professor of Theology at St. Pauls University in Kenya) and the Bishop of Amritsar, The Right Revd Pradeep Samantaroy (The Church of North India – United). The group will work with the Archbishop of Canterbury and wider conference teams to construct an engaging programme relevant to key issues in the world and the life of the Communion.
Phil George, the CEO of the Lambeth Conference Company, said:
With the message of ‘God’s Church for God’s World’, it’s vital that planning for our meeting of bishops and spouses responds to the new world we find ourselves in since COVID-19. Despite the challenges and disruption that the pandemic has caused, we’ve also seen huge creativity and adaptability as churches have started to meet virtually. The opportunities that technology provides for online meeting and engagement, have opened up new ways for us to connect, pray and be community for one another. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the Working Group to help develop and deliver the Lambeth Conference conversation.
The timetable and further details for the pre-conference programme will be released in 2021.
Suffragan Bishop of Berwick: Mark Wroe
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Mark Wroe BA MA, Archdeacon of Northumberland to the Suffragan See of Berwick.
Published 20 October 2020
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Mark Wroe BA MA, Archdeacon of Northumberland, in the diocese of Newcastle to the Suffragan See of Berwick, in the diocese of Newcastle, in succession to the Right Reverend Mark Tanner following his translation to the See of Chester. Mark was educated at St Mary’s University, London and Anglia Polytechnic University and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He served his title at All Saints Chilvers Coton with St Mary the Virgin, in the diocese of Coventry and was ordained Priest in 1997.
In 2000, Mark was appointed Priest-in-Charge, and latterly Vicar of St Alban Windy Nook, Gateshead in the diocese of Durham. Mark took up the roles of Priest-in- Charge of St Barnabas and St Jude, and Vicar of Holy Trinity Jesmond in the diocese of Newcastle in 2007. In 2017, Mark was additionally appointed Area Dean of Newcastle Central Deanery. He took up his current role as Archdeacon of Northumberland in 2019, having been Acting Archdeacon since 2018.
There is more on the Newcastle diocesan website.19 Comments
Update The Church Times has written about the bishops’ meeting and a subsequent interview with the lead safeguarding bishop, Dr Jonathan Gibbs: Gibbs: independent body will supervise Church’s safeguarding.
Church of England press release
House of Bishops Meeting – Monday 19 October 2020
A meeting of the House of Bishops took place today, Monday 19 October via Zoom.
From October, the House is now meeting once a month, a schedule which is likely to continue until Easter 2021.
The focus of the meeting was an opportunity for reflection and learning on the overarching IICSA report for the Anglican Church in England and Wales which was published on 6 October and had six recommendations for the Church of England.
The House discussed the two most significant themes from the report; proper redress for victims and survivors and greater independence in safeguarding decision making. The House was addressed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the lead safeguarding bishop and the National Director of Safeguarding. All spoke in favour of the motions put before the House (see below) and strongly urged the House to vote in their favour.
During the course of two plenary sessions and breakout groups the House reviewed the recommendations of the report, affirming that any response by the Church needs to be sensitive to, and mindful of, the views of victims and survivors.
The House unanimously endorsed a motion fully accepting the IICSA report, unreservedly apologising to victims and survivors for the harm done by the Church and committing itself to urgently implementing the recommendations.
The House also unanimously agreed with the proposal that the Church should move towards establishing an independent safeguarding structure, with a new trustee body responsible for safeguarding to take over responsibility for the Archbishops’ Council. The House also agreed that an interim arrangement be put in place for additional independent oversight of safeguarding, prior to the establishment of the new trustee body.
The House then underlined the importance of a full response to the IICSA report being released in the coming weeks.
The House also received updates from the various works streams operating under the auspices of the Emerging Church Groups. An overview by the Chair of the Co-ordinating Group, the Bishop of Manchester was given, followed by a brief report from the Chair of the Recovery Group, the Bishop of London regarding ongoing changes and updates to the guidance for worship, following the introduction of the tier system across the nation.
The Archbishop of York updated the House on the work of the Vision and Strategy Group and received the House’s endorsement for his work on developing a shared vision for the Church. Further updates were also given by the Governance Group and the Transforming Effectiveness Group.24 Comments
This letter to the editor of the Financial Times has been signed by:
The Archbishop of Armagh
The Archbishop of Canterbury
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Archbishop of Wales
The Archbishop of York
As the Anglican primates of the four nations of the United Kingdom and Ireland, we wish to highlight the grave responsibility of peers in the House of Lords today as they debate the UK internal market bill (Report, October 15).
We are taking the rare step of writing together because the decisions implemented in this bill will profoundly affect the future of our countries and the relationships between them.
The bill represents a profound shift in how trading relationships within the UK will be regulated and governed. This will not be a return to a trade regime that existed before UK joined the EU; it will be an entirely novel system, replacing one that evolved slowly and by careful negotiation over decades.
The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd have made clear that the bill’s weakening of both the principles and the effect of devolved policymaking is of constitutional significance. Moreover, if the bill is made law without consent from devolved legislatures (as will happen if it is not amended to address their concerns), this will further undermine trust and goodwill among those who govern the different parts of the UK.
The bill is, of course, not just concerned with domestic law. It currently asks the country’s highest lawmaking body to equip a government minister to break international law. This has enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences.
We believe this would create a disastrous precedent. It is particularly disturbing for all of us who feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement — that international treaty on which peace and stability within and between the UK and Ireland depends.
The UK negotiated the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU to “protect the 1998 Agreement in all its dimensions”.
One year on, in this bill, the UK government is not only preparing to break the protocol, but also to breach a fundamental tenet of the agreement: namely by limiting the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Northern Ireland law.
If carefully negotiated terms are not honoured and laws can be “legally” broken, on what foundations does our democracy stand?
We urge lawmakers to consider this bill in the light of values and principles we would wish to characterise relationships across these islands long after the transition period.
The Most Reverend John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Reverend Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales
The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York
There has been a lot of coverage in the press over the weekend and this morning about why the recently retired Archbishop of York has not (yet?) been given a peerage. His three predecessors (Hope, Hapgood, Blanch) were. The three before that (Coggan, Ramsey, Lang) were all translated to Canterbury and in due course received the customary peerage for retiring Archbishops of Canterbury.
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