Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 13 April 2024

Helen King sharedconversations

Lee Coley Church Times State support is needed to keep churches open
“The Government is unlikely to release funds unless parishes show how vital buildings are to communities”


Independent reviewer and the appointment process for Bishop of Blackburn

A report by the Independent Reviewer, Canon Maggie Swinson, on the process leading to the nomination of the Bishop of Blackburn, Philip North, was published yesterday. The report is here.

For two rather different views of the report read


LLF Programme Board members announced

The Church of England has published this: LLF Programme Board update.

Details of LLF Programme Board membership confirmed

Following an update last month on the new Programme Board to steer the next steps of Living in Love and Faith (LLF), progress has been made in forming this Board, together with the three working groups.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, has agreed to Chair the Programme Board, supporting the Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, in his ongoing work as the lead bishop of LLF.

Additionally, the Bishop of Stockport, Sam Corley, the Acting Bishop of Coventry, Ruth Worlsey and the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich will also serve on the Programme Board, with a further member to be appointed.

Ex Officio members will be Jamie Harrison, Chair of the House of Laity, Alison Coulter, Vice-chair of the House of Laity, Luke Miller, Prolocutor of the House of Clergy and Kate Wharton, Prolocutor of the House of Clergy. They will be supported by staff from the National Church Institutions (NCIs).

Full details of the membership of the three working groups – Pastoral Guidance, Pastoral Provision and Prayers of Love and Faith (PLF) – will be shared once all members have been appointed.

Together for the Church of England has published this Public Statement on LLF from Together (April 2024)   (This organisation is an amalgamation of GSGSG (General Synod Gender and Sexuality Group and MOSAIC (The Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church).


Bishop of Aston

The Bishop of Aston, the Rt Revd Anne Hollinghurst, is to become the new Principal of the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham. Aston is a suffragan see in the Diocese of Birmingham.

Details are on the websites of the Diocese of Birmingham and the Queen’s Foundation.


New Dean of Llandaff appointed

On Easter Day, the Dean of Llandaff announced his retirement:

On Easter 2, one week later, the Bishop of Llandaff announced his replacement:


Bishop of Wakefield to retire

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, has announced that he will retire on 31 August 2024. He is one of five Area Bishops in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds.


Opinion – 3 April 2024

Laudable Practice The Critic This vision glorious
“Let us allow the glory of Easter to touch our daily lives”

Anglican Communion News Service Primates from across the Anglican Communion share their Easter Messages for 2024

Ruth Harley ViaMedia.News Posing a Problem: Not Equal Yet

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Easter Day 2024 – Freud and Christianity


Opinion – 30 March 2024

Tim Wyatt The Fence In the Shadow of St Paul’s
“Deceit, fraud and suicide in the Church of England”

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Good Friday 2024 – the erosion of spiritual energy in the CofE


Opinion – 27 March 2024

Simon Cross Modern Church Looking for what is Becoming

Fergus Butler-Gallie Church Times Give us a quiche, and other church offerings
“Hospitality should be central to churches’ theology — even the dreaded bring-and-share lunch”

Andrew Graystone Prospect The Marshall Plan
“Hedge fund manager Paul Marshall is on a God-driven mission to transform the religious fabric of the nation-and he has the money to do it”


Oxford disciplinary tribunal decision

Updated 7 April and again 9 April

Law & Religion UK reports: Dean Richard Peers CDM decision

On 21 March 2024, the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Oxford handed down its Decision The Revd Canon Richard Peers – March 2024 and reasons in relation to facts and conduct.


Comments on this article remain closed.


Opinion – 23 March 2024

Bosco Peters Liturgy Who Distributes Communion?

Anon ViaMedia.News Mini-MBA Talent Pipeline Group, Module Seven: Managing Synods


Survey for initial response to Jay report

Press release from the Church of England

Survey for initial response to Jay report

A survey has been published today for anyone who wishes to make an initial response to the recommendations made by Professor Jay in her report on the Future of Church Safeguarding. The report from Professor Alexis Jay, former chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA, makes recommendations for a new independent safeguarding and scrutiny body for the Church of England. Professor Jay was commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to carry out this work in July 2023 and her report was published in February 2024.

Survey findings will be presented to the Wilkinson/Jay Response Group (see revised Terms of Reference) and will be available on the Church of England website. All survey responses are anonymous and no names or identifying details will be requested or produced. The survey closes on April 18.

Further information on safeguarding in the Church and independence


Suffragan Bishop of Burnley

Press release from the Prime Minister’s office

For further information see the Blackburn diocesan website.

Appointment of Suffragan Bishop of Burnley: 22 March 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Reverend Dr Joseph Kennedy for appointment as Bishop of Burnley.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 22 March 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Reverend Dr Joseph Kennedy, Vicar of Oxton St Saviour in the Diocese of Chester, for appointment to the Suffragan See of Burnley in the Diocese of Blackburn in succession to the Right Reverend Philip North, following his translation to the See of Blackburn.


Joe was educated at Edinburgh University and at St Hugh’s College and Keble College, Oxford, and trained for ministry at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He served as a Curate in the Diocese of Oxford, at Stratfield Mortimer (St Mary) and Mortimer West End with Padworth, and at Abingdon, and was ordained Priest in 2003.

In 2005, Joe was appointed Dean of Chapel, Chaplain and Fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and additionally served as Chaplain and Senior Member at Newnham College. In 2008, Joe took up the role of Principal, College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.

In 2011, Joe was appointed to his current role as Vicar of Oxton St Saviour, in the Diocese of Chester, additionally serving as a Lecturer and Tutor at St Mellitus College from 2015 until 2020, and as Rural Dean of Birkenhead since 2021.


Opinion – 20 March 2024

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Zone of Interest – ways of thinking about God

Jonathan Chaplin ViaMedia.News The Bishops must be Bolder and Braver on Gaza


Opinion – 16 March 2024

Andrew Brown Church Times Press: Telegraph sketches Jekyll-and-Hyde C of E

Madeleine Davies Church Times No churchwardens and vacant PCC posts: an investigation into the church volunteering crisis

[Church Times has lifted its paywall for the whole of March.]

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Living in Love and Faith and Together for the Church of England

Neil Elliot NumbersMatters Dioceses of the ACC – by numbers


Parish Finance Statistics 2022

The Church of England has recently published its Parish Finance Statistics 2022. These provide the latest financial information, including:

  • Income
  • Expenditure
  • Giving

Tables showing parish finances aggregated to diocese level are available as an excel file. Finance statistics for previous years, and other publications of the Research and Statistics Unit can be found on the resources, publications, and data page.


Opinion – 13 March 2024

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Life in all its fullness

Zac Koons The Living Church A Bronze Serpent Processional Cross


Safeguarding: Advert for Wilkinson/Jay Response Group Co-Chair


This advertisement has appeared on Guardian Jobs, originated by Charisma Recruitment.

The full text is copied below the fold.


Church of England
Unremunerated with reasonable expenses paid*
Closing date
8 Apr 2024*
The asterisked items above show the advert as originally published.
The Salary line has been changed, and now reads: Supplier fee paid.
The closing date has also been changed to read 17 March.



Reparatory Justice: Oversight Group recommendations

Updated Tuesday

The Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice describes itself this way:

A seed for growth and change

In 2023, the Church Commissioners for England published a report into its historic links to African chattel enslavement. In penitence and hope, the Church Commissioners proposed a fund to address a legacy of racialised inequality that scars the lives of billions to this day.

The Church Commissioners appointed an independent Oversight Group to make their recommendations on how the fund should be used. This group is acutely aware that the crimes against humanity rooted in enslavement have caused damage so vast it will require patient effort spanning generations to address. They believe this fund represents a start to breaking the chains of discrimination.

The Oversight Group has a bold vision for the £100m Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice which they would like to see grow to £1bn and act as a catalyst for real change.

Other recent documents about this:

Church Times: Church Commissioners look for partners to boost reparatory-justice fund to £1 billion


Guardian Harriet Sherwood ‘It’s not a lot when you consider the harm’: Why bishop is calling for £1bn in C of E reparations for slavery (Interview with the Bishop of Croydon)

Archbishop of York We need a conversation about justice (Article in the Sunday Times)


LLF: re-formation of working groups

press release

New programme board to help steer LLF next steps

Lead Bishop gives update to Synod members

Following discussion at the February meeting of General Synod, further details of plans for a new Programme Board to oversee the ongoing work of Living in Love and Faith (LLF) have been shared with General Synod members.

The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, the lead bishop for LLF, has written to Synod members to outline plans for a new oversight board and the re-formation of three working groups: the Pastoral Guidance Working Group, the Pastoral Reassurance Working Group and the Prayers of Love and Faith (PLF) Working Group.

Synod members have been invited to express their interest in joining the groups which will be formed of bishops, other clergy and laity.

In addition to these working groups, meetings with stakeholders will be organised to help enable progress ahead of a meeting of The House of Bishops’ meeting May.

Two formal groups will also be formed, as agreed following the commendation of the PLF:

  • A Pastoral Consultative Group – to aid bishops, diocesan staff and others with answers to the broad questions that arise from the implementation of PLF and other LLF work. This group will comprise a small number of bishops, supported by consultants.
  • An Independent Review Panel – to consider concerns about the implementation of the PLF and application of the Pastoral Guidance, and make recommendations for addressing justifiable concerns.

A timeline is being finalised to allow these groups to make progress ahead of the House of Bishops’ meeting later in May, which will feed into the General Synod sessions in July.

Read the full letter to Synod members from the Bishop of Leicester.

Church Times report on this: Synod members invited to apply to join LLF working groups