In November 2017, we published an article headed Update on Episcopal Teaching Document and Pastoral Advisory Group. This listed the then current membership of the various groups. Since that time there have been some changes, and the current rosters are listed here. For convenience those lists (as of July 2018) are copied below the fold. Some corrections are noted. (more…)5 Comments
Daniel Hill Law & Religion UK The State and Marriage III: Objections to the Cutting of the Connection
Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley The Immigration Policy of Heaven
Andy Griffiths Church Times Clergy must refuse to be indispensable
“Building teams to carry out ministry is better for the health of the incumbent and the parish”
Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Incarnational Truth – The Power of Testimony
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Peter Ball and the Dynamics of Church Power1 Comment
The Church of England’s House of Bishops Delegation Committee has approved a new Policy on Granting Permission to Officiate.
The Church Times reports: Clerics under investigation for abuse may be barred from ministering under new safeguarding rules.
PERMISSION to officiate (PTO) will be refused or withdrawn from clerics who are under police investigation over allegations of past child or vulnerable adult abuse, new guidance from the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England states.
It also states that PTO may be withdrawn or refused by the bishop, even if the investigation of the cleric has concluded, and no conviction made.
“Where a cleric has been the subject of a criminal investigation for offences relating to children and vulnerable adults that did not result in a conviction, again the bishop must consult the diocesan safeguarding advisor and the diocesan registrar before deciding whether to grant PTO.”
Appropriate reasons for withdrawing PTO listed in the document include “following an allegation of abuse in a cleric’s past ministry pending the police investigation”.
In addition, PTO must be refused when a cleric has accepted a police caution; an allegation of abuse has been proved in court; or the cleric has been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults…
There is of course a lot more to the document, which is 47 pages long (main part 25 pages, followed by 8 annexes).15 Comments
Charles Clarke and Linda Woodhead have published a revised version of their 2015 report: A New Settlement Revised: Religion and Belief in Schools.
Our report on the original version of this can be found here.
The Church of England has issued a response.
The Church Times has reported on it: Don’t use faith to decide who gets a school place, says new report.
The National Secular Society had this to say: Former education secretary renews call for reform of religion in schools.
IICSA has published this timetable for next week’s public hearings, 23 to 27 July (from 10 am daily).
Former archbishop, Lord Carey, is due to appear on Tuesday.
As during the previous hearings, TA will try to provide daily links to the transcripts and to some of the key documents.
The Guardian has this news story: Prince Charles to give evidence on bishop to child abuse inquiry.
The BBC has this: Prince Charles to give evidence at Peter Ball abuse inquiry.12 Comments
A Place to Belong: Disability and the Church
“Watch stories of people with disabilities in the Church of England – and their perspectives on how churches can make sure everyone can participate in church life.”
Three short films were commissioned for a disability conference at Lambeth Palace hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Tim Wyatt Church Times ‘Dance as if no one’s watching. Tweet as if it will be brought up in court’
“Fraught with danger, or an opportunity to thrash out the truth? Tim Wyatt asks some of the C of E’s most prolific users of Twitter and Facebook what they think about social media”
Richard Beck Experimental Theology Respecting the Infant of Prague
Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Conventional Thinking At Its Best…
Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 8: admit the contradictions
Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News Tapping Into Love – Democratising Evangelism
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Christian LGBTI+ Equality – a strategy for change
A group of abuse survivors and their supporters are seeking £3000 to publish a dynamic collaborative book speaking to the Church of England. Contributors include survivors, academics, theologians, commentators, lawyers, leading church figures.
Funding breakdown: £1000 publishing costs, £1300 publicity, £700 Kindle & fees = £3000 Total
Any profits will go to MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors). No contributor is being paid. We are offering the work in the hope of seeing meaningful and critical change in the Church of England’s pastoral, structural, and psychological response to victims and survivors of abuse.
The book will include a wide variety of themes, with some stories and interviews. It will also feature some real letters sent to Lambeth Palace, House of Bishops, and Synod during the past few years…29 Comments
The third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) published its first agreed statement, Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal, earlier this month. The statement is online: Walking Together on the Way. Also available are two commentaries: one Anglican and one Roman Catholic.
News and comment on the statement include the following.
Anglican Communion News Office Groundbreaking document released on how Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn from each other
Simon Caldwell and a staff reporter Church Times ARCIC III: Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn much from each other, says new agreed statement
Church Times editorial Bold undertaking
Paul Lakeland The Tablet Give and take: what the Catholic and Anglican Churches can learn from each other
Durham University Centre for Catholic Studies First Agreed Statement from ARCIC III (The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, Phase 3)
Christopher Lamb The Tablet New Arcic text charts a way forward
Simon Caldwell The Boston Pilot ARCIC document hailed as ‘groundbreaking’ by Catholics and Anglicans
Nicholas Jesson International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission Agreed statement on ecclesiology: Walking Together on the Way
Joshua J. McElwee National Catholic Reporter Catholic-Anglican dialogue document suggests both churches can learn from other13 Comments
Rachael Phillips Diocese of Durham Rachael Investigates: Anglo-Catholic Evangelism Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Bishops and LGBTI Anglicans – GS 2055 and GS Misc 1158 – time for action
Meg Warner ViaMedia.News Episcopally Led and Synodically Managed
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of stewardship (and investment)
Rachel Mann In Praise of Synod…
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Anglican Bishops and the Post-Singleton Church
Linda Ryan The Episcopal Café Spem in Alium
Christina Rees The Guardian Back to the future: that’s where the Church of England must dare to go5 Comments
The detailed Church Times reports on the recent Church of England General Synod are now online here. Unless you subscribe there is a limit on how many of these reports you will be able to read.0 Comments
Updated Saturday evening
See our earlier report here.
Yesterday, the Church Times reported that Episcopal Church in the US widens access to trial same-sex marriage rites.
The General Convention of The Episcopal Church has now approved legislation making same-sex marriage rites available to all Episcopalians without making changes to the 1979 TEC Book of Common Prayer.
The Living Church reports: Compromise Reached on Same-sex Marriage.
Episcopal News Service has reported it this way: Convention lets its ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ agreeing to give church full access to trial-use marriage rites.
Religion News Service via the National Catholic Reporter: Episcopal convention approves a ‘pastoral solution’ on same-sex marriage.
The approved version of the resolution can be read in full here.
Update The Communion Partners have issued the Austin Statement (July 13, 2018).
The Bishop of Dallas, George Sumner, has issued a letter to his clergy. A portion of this is copied below the fold. (more…)46 Comments
Updated Saturday afternoon
Harriet Sherwood reports in the Guardian that the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft has permitted former archbishop George Carey to resume public ministry. Her report is headlined George Carey allowed church role despite part in abuse cover-up.
George Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury who was heavily criticised in an independent report for his part in the cover-up of sexual abuse carried out by a bishop, has been allowed to resume an official role in the Church of England.
Lord Carey stepped down last year as an honorary assistant bishop at the unprecedented request of Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, after a damning report which found the church had colluded over the abuse.
But it emerged this week that Carey has been granted “permission to officiate” (PTO) by Steven Croft, the bishop of Oxford, allowing him to preach and preside at churches in the diocese. Croft is reportedly under police investigation for allegedly failing to respond properly to a separate report of clerical sexual abuse.
The decision to grant the PTO was made in February despite expectations of further revelations this month about Carey’s role in the case of Peter Ball, a former bishop of Gloucester, at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA)…
Statement from the Diocese of Oxford on the granting of “permission to officiate” (PTO) of the Most Rev. George Carey by the Rt. Rev. Steven Croft:
In the wake of Dame Moira Gibb’s review, Lord Carey stood down from the role of Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford in June 2017, and withdrew from public ministry for a season. Lord Carey accepted the criticisms made of him at the time and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.
In February 2018 Lord Carey contacted the Diocese of Oxford to request PTO (permission to officiate). This was granted by the Bishop of Oxford later the same month.
The granting of PTO enabled Lord Carey to preach and preside in the church where he worships, a church where his ministry is much valued. The granting of a PTO does not indicate a planned return to the role of Assistant Bishop.
Concerning the police investigation mentioned above, the Guardian report continues:
…Croft is one of several senior church figures, including John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, who are reportedly being investigated by South Yorkshire police over alleged failures to act on disclosures of an alleged rape of a teenage boy by a clergyman in the 1980s. The force declined to confirm or deny an investigation was under way.
Matthew Ineson claims he was raped by the Rev Trevor Devamanikkam, and in 2012 and 2013 reported the crime to senior figures in the church, including Croft. He alleges they failed to follow proper procedures and did not advise him to tell police.
Devamanikkam was later charged with indecent assault and buggery without consent, but killed himself in 2017 before coming to trial.
A spokesperson for the diocese of Oxford said: “Written records and notes taken at the time give a different picture to the one Mr Ineson is presenting about how his case has been handled.”
An independent review had been commissioned by the C of E’s national safeguarding team, the spokesperson said…
There is now also a report in the Telegraph: Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey given permission to preach by the Church of England.
The BBC has reported (5.5 minutes in…) that Lambeth Palace was consulted by the diocese before this action was taken.
Premier Radio has this: Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey allowed to preach his church again.43 Comments
Queen approves nomination to Suffragan See of Crediton
The Queen has approved the nomination of Venerable Jacqueline Ann Searle, BEd, MA, Archdeacon of Gloucester, to the Suffragan See of Crediton.
Published 11 July 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Jacqueline Ann Searle, BEd, MA, Archdeacon of Gloucester, to the Suffragan See of Crediton, in the Diocese of Exeter. This is in succession to the Right Reverend Sarah Elisabeth Mullally, DBE, MSc, DSc, RGN, who was translated to the See of London on the 8 March 2018.
From the Exeter diocesan website: Next Bishop of Crediton announced today
The new bishop will be consecrated on 27 September at Southwark Cathedral.
Scroll down for press reports
Press release from the Church of England
Church of England funds ambitious growth programme
More than a hundred new churches are to be created in a £27 million drive by the Church of England to revive the Christian faith in coastal areas, market towns and outer urban housing estates, it was announced today.
New Christian communities in areas including the Kent coast, housing estates in Plymouth and market towns in Cambridgeshire are to be set up by the Church of England as part of its Renewal and Reform programme.
The plans have been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as a ‘wonderful example’ of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God and to serve their communities.
He said: “The Church of England exists to share the good news of Jesus through our words and our actions. Across the country, churches are bursting with life – which in part is shown through how they love and serve their communities. I’m especially pleased about these grants because they demonstrate our commitment to following Jesus to the places of greatest need in our society.
“These projects are wonderful examples of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God – and faithful to their communities in love and mission. Through their innovation, they signal a growing determination in the Church to share the good news of Jesus Christ in ways that make sense for those in our most deprived communities.”
John Spence, chair of the Church of England’s Strategic Investment Board, which approved funding for the work by the dioceses, said: “These grants are funding bold ambitious initiatives. Their scale and breadth show that the Church is feeling confident about its future.”
In Canterbury Diocese, a pioneering café-style church called ‘Ignite’ in Margate, Kent, is to be used as a blueprint for nine new worshipping communities in the coastal towns of Herne Bay, Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey and St Peter Port in Guernsey as well as Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Ashford.
The Ignite project was founded at St Paul’s Church in Margate 10 years ago, aiming to reach marginalised and deprived communities in the town.
The scheme has been announced alongside a £1.69 million grant to create three new churches for people living in outer urban estates in Plymouth. It is hoped that the new churches will provide support and inspiration for up to nine new churches in and around the city.
In Ely Diocese, the Church of England is to fund a project promoting church growth, focussing on the market towns of Wisbech, March, Chatteris, Littleport, Ramsey, Huntingdon and Downham Market.
In Swindon, a former railway works building is to be transformed into a church, aimed primarily at people aged under 40 years old who have no current connection with a church. Bristol Diocese anticipates the new church will act as a catalyst for training clergy and supporting mission in both new and established churches across the area.
A grant has also been made to Worcester Diocese to fund staff and a refit of St Thomas and St Luke’s Church in Dudley, and to boost work already under way at All Saints Church in Worcester. In Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, existing churches will be given further support in Nottingham, Retford and Mansfield in Nottinghamshire which in turn will help to support 75 new worshipping communities.
In Leicester Diocese a £5.3 million grant has been awarded to support six existing larger churches or teams, in developing up to 50 new churches, or worshipping communities, in the area. In Newcastle, a new church will be created in the city centre that will provide support to churches throughout the area.
A grant of £2.14 million has been awarded to Manchester Diocese to create 16 new small churches over six years, and to work with children in Bolton, especially at the points of transition from pre-school to primary school and from primary to secondary school. In Peterborough Diocese a £1.1 million grant will be used to invest in ministry with children and young people.
The grants from the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund have been awarded to the dioceses as part of the Renewal and Reform programme aimed at creating a growing church in all places for all people.
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Churches meet in coffee shops to reinvigorate congregations
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E to create 100 new churches as number of Anglicans hits new low
Christian Today Church of England goes for growth with more than 100 new churches planned
Madeleine Davies and James MacIntyre Church Times Communities on the edges gain funding
A list of the 10 dioceses to receive funding is below the fold. (more…)23 Comments
That this Synod:
(a) welcome the recommendations in the Report of the Cathedrals Working Group (GS 2101A);
(b) request the Archbishops’ Council to bring forward a draft Measure for First Consideration at the July 2019 group of sessions to give effect to the recommendations that involve legislative change; and
(c) call on all concerned, including bishops, cathedrals and the National Church Institutions, to give effect to the recommendations that do not involve legislative change as soon as practically possible.
The date in paragraph (b) had been amended by Synod from February 2019 to allow more time to decide what should be in the draft measure. There was criticism particularly of the proposal in the report for there to be a vice-chair of the chapter to be appointed by the bishop.
Official press release: Church of England approves ideas to support and streamline England’s cathedrals
Stephen Lynas reports on the final day’s business: The Can(n)on’s thunder can’t prevail.
Updated Tuesday morning
Stephen Lynas writes on Monday’s events: I fought the law…
In the morning Synod agreed the expenditure of the Archbishops’ Council for 2019.
It then spent the rest of the morning, and much of the afternoon, considering the legislation listed in the morning order paper. For the record the items for final approval were given this. Of the amendments to Draft Church Representation and Ministers Measure and the associated Amending Canon, only 518, 524 and 525 were passed. Finally the second miscellaneous provisions measure was sent to a revision committee.
This only left time for the debate on the National Health Service. This was on a Diocesan Synod Motion from Carlisle.
After amendment (to add paragraphs (b), (d) and (e)) the motion read:
That this Synod:
(a) welcome and commend the report The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care published in April 2017 by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS;
(b) express its heartfelt gratitude for the dedication of NHS and social care staff, and call on local churches to support those working in the NHS and social care, and to pray for them regularly publicly and privately;
(c) call upon Her Majesty’s Government to implement the recommendations made by the Select Committee, giving particular consideration to:
(i) the problems arising from the use of urban models of strategic care in the rural context;
(ii) whether social care is being adequately funded in the context of an ageing population; and
(iii) whether sufficient resources are being given to the recruitment, outside larger urban centres, of experienced and highly qualified health professionals;
(d) call upon Her Majesty’s Government to establish a Royal Commission to consider how the United Kingdom’s health 2and social care needs might best be delivered and financed in the period to 2040, taking into account expected changes in life expectancy, demography and medical technology; and
(e) call upon local churches to lead by example in showing Christian compassion and care to the elderly and vulnerable in our local communities, as we have done historically and is now especially needed, given the shortfall in the funding of social care.
The motion was carried by 267 votes to none, with no recorded abstentions.
Official press release: Synod backs Royal Commission on future of health and social care
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England sees fall in planned donations for first time in 50 years as millennials fail to engage
Updated Monday morning, Tuesday morning
Stephen Lynas reports on Sunday’s events: No-one to save, with the world in a grave.
He does not restrict himself to the debates in the Synod chamber.
Synod members joined the regular congregation at York Minster for the morning Eucharist.
The afternoon session was devoted to three debates on the Church and the World.
Climate Change and Investment
Synod passed this motion by 347 votes to four, with three recorded abstentions.
That this Synod:
(a) welcome the worldwide agreement in Paris in December 2015 to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to pursue “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”;
(b) affirm, as it did in 2015, its support for the climate change policy recommended by the EIAG and adopted by the National Investing Bodies (‘the NIBs’) in 2015;
(c) welcome the NIBs’ disinvestment from companies focused on thermal coal mining and the production of oil from oil sands;
(d) welcome the NIBs’ establishment of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) to track whether major companies associated with high carbon emissions are aligning their business plans with the Paris Agreement;
(e) urge the NIBs to engage urgently and robustly with companies rated poorly by TPI and, beginning in 2020, to start to disinvest from the ones that are not taking seriously their responsibilities to assist with the transition to a low carbon economy;
(f) urge the NIBs to ensure that by 2023 they have disinvested from fossil fuel companies that they have assessed, drawing on TPI data, as not prepared to align with the goal of the Paris Agreement to restrict the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C;
(g) urge the NIBs proactively to seek and scale up investment in renewable energy and low carbon technology; and
(h) request the NIBs to report to Synod within three years on progress, with a timetable for rapid continuing action.
Official press release: National Investing Bodies’ approach to climate change affirmed by General Synod
After two successful amendments this motion read.
That this Synod:
(a) recognise the escalating threat to God’s creation from global warming and climate change, and the suffering caused, particularly to the poor;
(b) recall the previous resolution of the Synod, including ‘to develop Shrinking the Footprint (StF) to enable the whole Church to address the issue of climate change;
(c) call on every diocese to have an environment programme with a designated member of the bishop’s staff team to lead and advocate for the programme;
(d) call on the Environmental Working Group, supported by the national teams for the Church of England Environmental Programme (CoEEP) and Mission & Public Affairs;
(i) to prepare and submit a framework plan to the Archbishops’ Council for the promotion, co- ordination and rapid acceleration of the CoEEP, with particular attention to reducing the Church of England’s energy use and CO2 emissions;
(ii) to continue developing, and making available, tools for the annual collation of the energy consumption of cathedrals, churches and church halls and calculation of their total CO2 emissions to enable monitoring of progress towards the Church’s target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050;
(iii) to promote communication and peer-review between individual dioceses as a means of encouraging best practice in the area of environmental policy, with special reference to investments, property and land use; and activities supporting the CoEEP and Eco Church Initiatives;
(iv) to compile and submit a progress report to the Synod at least every three years; and
(e) call on the Archbishops’ Council urgently to assess what human and financial resources would be required to enable the work in (d) above, and to report this back at the February 2019 group of sessions.
Synod then passed a motion to adjourn debate on this item until February 2019.
The Ethics of Nuclear Weapons
The final business of the day was this motion:
That this Synod, mindful that a faithful commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 Armistice must commit the Church afresh to peace building; and conscious that nuclear weapons, through their indiscriminate and destructive potential, present a distinct category of weaponry that requires Christians to work tirelessly for their elimination across the world:
(a) welcome the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the clear signal it sends by a majority of UN Member States that nuclear weapons are both dangerous and unnecessary;
(b) call on Her Majesty’s Government to respond positively to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by reiterating publicly its obligations under Article VI of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty and its strategy for meeting them; and
(c) commit the Church of England to work with its Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners in addressing the regional and international security concerns which drive nations to possess and seek nuclear weapons and to work towards achieving a genuine peace through their elimination.
The motion was carried by 260 votes to 26, with 21 recorded abstentions.
Official press release: General Synod calls for renewed efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament
Adam Becket, Hattie Williams and Madeleine Davies Church Times The General Synod sets church investors target on fossil-fuel recalcitrants
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Church of England to withdraw funds from polluting firms that fail to tackle climate change
Attracta Mooney Financial Times Anglican £12bn investment funds in threat to fossil fuel companies
Ekklesia Christian Aid responds to General Synod vote on Church’s fossil fuel investments
BBC News Church of England threatens oil firm crackdown
Josh Gabbatiss Independent Church of England votes to withdraw funds from companies that contribute to climate change
Steve Doughty Mail Online Church of England launches fresh campaign for Britain to give up its nuclear weapons
Hattie Williams Church Times The General Synod calls for ‘elimination’ of nuclear weapons
Ekklesia General Synod calls for renewed efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament
Trevor Thurston-Smith The Pensive Pilgrim Priesthood – An Unpredictable Journey
Daniel Hill Law & Religion UK The State and Marriage II: How would things look after the Cutting of the Connection?
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of blessing
Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News Are We Truly a Church “Of the People”?
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes St Bride’s Liverpool Encouragement for churches: Four points on welcoming children by our Rector Miranda3 Comments
The day began with a Presidential Address by the Archbishop of York.
The remainder of the morning was devoted to Safeguarding. After a presentation there was a debate on a motion which, after amendment (to add paragraphs (b) and (d)), read:
That this Synod, recognising that safeguarding is at the heart of Christian mission and the urgent need for the Church of England to continue to become a safer place for all and a refuge for those who suffer abuse in any context:
(a) endorse the priorities for action outlined in the report (GS 2092);
(b) endorse as an additional priority the support of safeguarding at parish level to create a safer church for all;
(c) call on the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council to ensure that the plan of action is implemented as a matter of priority; and
(d) call on the House of Bishops to introduce, as a matter of urgency, ways to improve relations between the Church and those survivors currently in dispute with the National Church Institutions including, where appropriate, by the use of mediation processes.
The motion was carried by 368 votes to none, with two recorded abstentions.
Official press release: Synod backs action on IICSA themes
Stephen Lynas writes about Saturday’s business: There’s a shadow hanging over me…
Hattie Williams Church Times Synod hears from abuse survivors and pledges reform
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England ombudsman to oversee sexual abuse cases
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Hostility and anger towards church on social media is stopping abuse survivors coming forward, vicar warns
In the afternoon Synod members attended a series of private seminars.
Watch the live stream of General Synod here.0 Comments