Thinking Anglicans

Restarting Public Worship in England

Updated again Thursday

On 29 June, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of places of worship from 4 July

On 30 June, the Church of England House of Bishops Recovery Group published COVID-19 Advice on the Conduct of Public Worship.

The legal annex to the preceding document, which deals with what parishes are supposed to do if they do not plan to re-start public worship  on 4 July is also available separately.

Update: other documents have now been revised:

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Fr Andrew
Fr Andrew
1 month ago

Finally and… four days notice. Reams and reams of guidance (though none yet for the eucharist) and… if you’re one of those many churches who won’t be able to be ready in time… you have to convene a PCC in the next four days to pass a resolution suspending the relevant canons. Earth calling Church House…   Wouldn’t it make a bit more sense to, say, continue to centrally suspend the canons till the end of July, giving those who are able to open straight away permission to do so, but freeing those for whom it is more of a… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Fr Andrew
Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Fr Andrew

Fr Andrew,   Practically , I quite understand your points, and a scramble for emergency PCC resolutions is the last thing incumbents need right now. But your suggestion “to centrally suspend the canons till the end of July” is not one that would be legally possible other than by emergency Government legislation, as far as I can see. I get the impression that they feel they have bigger fish to fry at the moment.   I certainly don’t want to move to a model where Church House can suspend or change the Canons by diktat. The legal guidance seems to… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Fr Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

I’m not a canon lawyer (that much is obvious) but could not this be done by each bishop for her Diocese under Canon B14A 4?

David Keen
David Keen
1 month ago
Reply to  Fr Andrew

The government guidance itself didn’t come out until June 29th, so to criticise the CofE for not producing guidance until the evening of the following day is pretty unfair. I don’t imagine there are many parishes which will have taken a mere 36 hours to receive the CofE guidance and interpret it for context.   However I agree completely with the canon law point, there are a lot of PCCs who will have to meet at short notice to pass resolutions. I can’t see any scenario at present where we go back to holding a weekly communion in the parish.… Read more »

NJW
NJW
1 month ago
Reply to  Fr Andrew

We prepared for this weekend using the draft guidance that has been available on the CofE website for some time, and just had to do a ‘tick-through’ when the government was issued on Monday, with a second ‘tick-through’ today. Given the situation, I think that a reasonable fist has been done at getting reasonably prescient draft guidance out in advance by the Recovery Group. When we went through what had been prepared in line with the draft guidance, we found little to amend in our practice. Our only problem is trying to guess whether we will be overrun by people… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
1 month ago
Reply to  Fr Andrew

The argument is that as holding services will no longer be impeded by statute law, thereore the canon law is re-applied. But isn’t it the case that public worship remains forbidden under statute law except if it is covid-safe?   The Church is suggesting PCCs resolve to cancel services because there is not a way of doing them safely. But wouldn’t it be illegal to hold a service in such circumstances anyway? What if the PCC refuse to pass such a resolution but the incumbent and/or churchwardens consider the church to be unsafe? Or, accepting it could be make safe,… Read more »

NJW
NJW
1 month ago
Reply to  T Pott

I think (but am open to correction) that the assumption is that the statutory instrument that brings into effect the ban on worship is likely to cease having effect at some point before 4th July, therefore allowing worship to legally take place again (all other uses of churches have been by exception to this). This means that statutory law will fail to override ecclesiastical law from that point onwards. The COVID-safe guidelines are just that – guidelines – though with a range of enforcement actions possible under health and safety, public health and environmental health legislation. Thus the technical legal… Read more »

Philip Hobday
Philip Hobday
1 month ago
Reply to  T Pott

I think T. Pott makes a key point. If the canons conflict with statute law, the statute over-rides them. And PCCs as trustees in law have all sorts of responsibilities such as health and safety (not to mention a duty of care to staff). If there were a serious risk to health (e.g. because cleaning could not be reasonably guaranteed) I would think that meant the duty not to reopen until it could be done safely over-rode the requirements of the canons.   And while I don’t think the canons should be lightly set aside by mere diktat, Bishops have… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
1 month ago

I love that we have a “Church of England House of Bishops Recovery Group”. I hope they begin each speech with “I’m (Andrew)….(insert name) ..and I’m a Bishop….”. Wouldn’t you just *love* to be a fly on the wall in those meetings!

John S
John S
1 month ago

Do we think the ban on singing and on wind instruments is soundly based on scientific evidence? There has been controversy on this issue and I’m not sure where the consensus has landed.

Alison Baker
Alison Baker
1 month ago
Reply to  John S

The ban on singing and instruments is not based on any definitive scientific consensus. Here in Paris (as in much of the rest of France) there is congregational singing, led by a solo cantor, with the congregation socially distanced and masked – and some, frankly, stunning organ music.   I was at the ordinations in Cologne Cathedral a fortnight ago. Not only were there five congregational hymns, a cantor-led congregational mass setting, but a brass octet and a choral sextet. The congregation was not uniformly masked. This is significant because it was the German churches that first introduced the ban… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Alison Baker

But the Catholics will be OK, because they are notoriously reluctant to sing.

Harriet Stone
Harriet Stone
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

That caricature, Paul, is only applicable in the Anglo-American world. Catholics sing enthusiastically in many European, Asian and African cultures. Come out of the Anglophone bubble for a while.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Harriet Stone

I thoroughly enjoyed Catholic folk Masses for many years. I’ve really appreciated the music and liturgies of Dan Schutte and the St Louis Jesuits recently. Boy! How those Catholics sing!!

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Heaven defend us from folk Masses and from Jesuits. The good news is that plainsong and polyphony are regaining popularity.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
29 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Folk masses, St. Louis Jesuits, plainsong, polyphony, they are all lovely, no need to choose. As an aside, the Jesuits produce exceptional thinkers — much more helpful than the biblicism of both Anglican fundamentalists and liberals alike. ; )

Last edited 29 days ago by Rod Gillis
Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Harriet Stone

It was only a joke, Harriet.

NJW
NJW
1 month ago
Reply to  John S

As an enthusiastic singer, I am keen for singing to be allowed. However, there are sufficient questions (and a lack of relevant scientific research) that I am happy to wait until the studies that are under way into dispersion of droplets and spray by singers are complete, and a better informed decision can be taken. My own opinion is that it is probably non-musical activities by choir members that have led to the recorded incidences of spread of COVID-19 within singing settings – and this seems to be born out by initial studies in lab settings in Munich. However, Porton… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

In my area clergy will continue to celebrate and receive communion, everyone else excluded, as since mid March. From next Sunday 5th July, a select few who receive an invitation (I will not be invited) can sit in the local church and watch the vicar and his wife receive communion. No-one else allowed to receive. I do not expect to receive communion until April next year at the earliest. This is wrong, wrong, wrong and yet totally legal. The rest of the time the church remains locked because the vicar refuses to allow anyone in.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

“You might wish to suggest that if the wedding goes ahead with restricted numbers, there could be a blessing in the year ahead with all guests present.” My understanding is that there’s nothing to stop you reading the marriage rite over a couple as many times as you (and they!) like. I did this for my son who had earlier married a non UK/EU national in a civil ceremony and because a blessing (“An Order for Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage”) seemed a somewhat pinched alternative, reflecting its genesis in the bishops’ determination to present it as something… Read more »

Kate
Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Does that equally mean that the marriage rite can be read for same sex couples who have already had a civil ceremony because they will already married so it is just an additional reading as you are suggesting for mixed sex couples ?

Last edited 1 month ago by Kate
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate, I would have no difficulty in reading the marriage rite over a same sex couple (it might mean the end of my Permission to Officiate). But it would be the marriage rite with its glorious liturgical poetry and not the turgidly titled, moralistic and miserable “Prayer and Dedication after Civil Marriage”, which was an attempt back in the day to hide the House of Bishops’ blushes over a piece of theological sophistry.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Clap

Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

Throughout the French lockdown churches remained open to the public during limited periods for private prayer; priests celebrated mass within churches and in many instances they did not celebrate alone (I attended scores of livestreamed services during that period where the celebrant would frequently concelebrate, often with a cantor and other assistants). This remained the case even when the trajectories of infection and mortality in the UK and France were similar, though the French lockdown was more comprehensive and strict than its British counterpart.   The right-wing RC association Civitas took the Philippe government to court to get the ban… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Froghole

I think you know the answer.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Froghole

The spinelessness of CoE bishops is remarkable. But not only the bishops. I’m struck by how many parsons and wardens are like children waiting for mammy or daddy to tell them what to do. We have the government edicts, so why can we not use our own initiative and implement them as most appropriate for the local situation? Why do we need the rich man in his castle to tell us what to do? I’m reminded of Joyce Grenfell’s monologue Going home time: “Jenny, when we have paid a visit to the littlest room, what do we do? We pull… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Stanley Monkhouse – I absolutely agree. I know it is not Christian, but I am boiling with anger and resentment at local clergy who continue to refuse to reopen ‘their’ churches. They have become very comfortable at home celebrating communion on Facebook. I live in the south midlands. The nearest church that has opened for private prayer is six miles away and that is only for two hours, Mon, Weds and Fri. From Sunday 5th July in that church, morning prayer will be all the plebs will get, by invitation only, communion for clergy only. Three days ago I emailed… Read more »

Fr. Howard Stoker
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Daily public celebration of the Eucharist will commence again in Holt from 4th July, with four celebrations to choose from on Sunday. Long over due and not difficult to put in place what is necessary for people to attend church safely. why would we not to welcome people home and receive the grace of the sacrament?

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Fr Howard I agree with you. However I have checked fourteen churches within a six mile radius of where I live. All remain locked. On Sunday there will be no public worship in twelve of them as clergy continue on Facebook. In the other two – both large urban churches each with a full time priest – there will be morning prayer only and separately communion celebrated at home privately for the vicar’s own benefit. I do not expect this arrangement to change for more months. So there are two options in my area – morning prayer in a church… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

What, may I ask, are these clergy doing with their time apart from celebrating only a minimal number of services, mostly online?   After a lengthy period of enforced idleness, with no requirement to conduct services or keep churches open, and pastoral practice forbidden in parishioners’ homes, a collective push to unlock churches is now required.   Of course, there is the wretched businesss of regulations exegesis, a sense of being strangled by endless red tape, valid health and safety concerns, and voluntary staff who may be shielding. These may, to some degree, explain the continued closures. But the apparent… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

I agree with all that. The elephant in the room is the almost complete cessation of income. Parish share will still have to be paid regardless of whether churches are open or not. The financial accounts next year will make for painful reading. I am wondering if then reality will hit home. The bringing forward of swingeing cuts to stipendiary posts in Chelmsford diocese is only the beginning.

Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael,

I feel for you greatly. Here in the barbarian wilds, we looked at the advice and rules, put a plan in place, told everyone about it and open from Sunday. I can’t wait to welcome folk back. I feel communion is a hollow word without others.

Graeme Buttery

John Wallace
John Wallace
1 month ago

How right you are, Stanley. Maybe it’s because they’ve all become fundamentalists, not just in scripture. NJW earlier has the right approach. There were guidelines for other sectors and mutatis mutandis,most of us were able to work out what the Church Guidelines would be and should have been all prepared. We also need to realise that guidelines are not tablets of stone from Lambeth or Church House. A friend of mine says that when a bishop-elect visits Lambeth, there is a special place for removing the spine. Does it therefore follow that the laying on of hands at ordination removes… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago
Reply to  John Wallace

In late April and early May some French bishops were warning government ministers and prefects that not only would they be unable to keep their clergy under control (i.e., to prevent them from recommencing public worship), but that they would be relatively unwilling to discipline them. This was when the daily death rate in France attributable to the virus were still running in the hundreds.   It seems evident to me that those bishops were colluding with Civitas, at least tacitly.   Of course, unlike England, French clergy have to work in partnership with local government (the communes owning the… Read more »

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  Froghole

If I may. In my limited experience, laity are much more instrumental to catholic life in France than many realise. They do the music, catechism, handle budgets and are encouraged to help with end of life. I went to a Good Friday service at our small parish next door and it was run by laity. When I asked our friends, where is Pere X, they were proudly happy to respond: it is our church and we do this stations of the cross ourselves. I believe this also accounts for the stolid presence in parishes, alongside the resolve of the clergy.… Read more »

Alan Davies
Alan Davies
1 month ago

Agreed, Stanley. An archdeacon-friend of mine is crawling up the wall with the amount of hand-holding that is becoming necessary and the torrent of emails on piffling minutiae from parish clergy who, frankly, lack the interpretative skills to apply the edicts (governmental and ecclesiastical). As this archdeacon put it, if they’re like this with protocols, how dire must their skill at interpreting scripture with imagination and intelligence be?   But then, very quickly, recognised that this is the harvest of the authoritarian culture that has developed over the past half decade or so, with archbishops chucking their weight around outside… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Davies

Maybe C of E clergy are just frustrated and demoralised, due to a lack of leadership at the top.

RPNewark
RPNewark
1 month ago

Stanley, your Joyce Grenfell quotation is brilliant! I hadn’t heard it before. I laughed so much that I nearly wet mine.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  RPNewark
Last edited 1 month ago by Stanley Monkhouse
RPNewark
RPNewark
30 days ago

Stanley, thank you for the link.

peter kettle
peter kettle
1 month ago

The link to Holy Communion appears to be broken or does not yet exist

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago

Is it me? Holy Communion seems to have disappeared.

Charles Clapham
Charles Clapham
1 month ago

As a parish priest myself, I think the guidance is both intelligible and reasonable. We will be opening on Sunday for public worship in accordance with the guidelines with a said celebration of communion, with music but not live singing. I would expect most churches round where we are to be doing the same. We are offering three services this Sunday, but if we find demand outstrips the safe capacity of the church, we will simply add more services. Unless clergy are themselves vulnerable or shielded, I’d have thought most churches could reasonably do the same. I’m not sure what… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

That is what many Catholic Churches are doing.

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
1 month ago

No need for fuss. Just use common sense, prayer, pastoral nous, and whatever appropriately fits local context for worship and mission. The need for resolutions on the Canonical requirements is an annoyance, but the Bishops (probably quite rightly!) are not allowed to give a blanket dispensation. It is a requirement that the laity have to be involved in the decision-making. However, think about it for a moment. Who is going to police the passing of resolutions? Am I going to be phoning all my clergy asking if their PCC has done the deed? I think not. But, for the avoidance… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Pete Broadbent – I am pleased that you acknowledge that the advice of diocesan bishops was disastrous but do they make the same acknowledgement? Some of the latest guidelines are ludicrous such as wedding couples having to wash hands before and after exchange of rings. Why? when they are most likely from the same household. Over 70s are also being told not to attend public worship so what happens when clergy go on leave. Many parish clergy rely on retired clergy for cover but I suppose if communion is not being reintroduced in church that is not a problem. Just… Read more »

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

In my local parish, if the over 70s do not attend, there will be nobody in church. So why bother to have a service at all!

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
30 days ago
Reply to  Michael

“wedding couples having to wash hands before and after exchange of rings” – I fancy they may be exchanging more than that later. But perhaps it was deemed too indelicate to trespass on such holy ground!

Shamus
Shamus
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Here in rural Cambridgeshire, we will be having services on Sunday in four out of six of our village churches. Also a Zoom service for people who can’t join us in church, plus a recording put on YouTube of one of the church services. I don’t imagine we are at all unusual in doing this.

T Pott
T Pott
30 days ago
Reply to  Pete Broadbent

“Think about it for a moment….”
“Who is going to police….”
How likely is is there will be a ticket insector on the train?
Has my neighbour counted his lettuces? – he won’t even know one is missing.
If I whack her from behind she won’t know it was me – but I’ll wear a mask anyway
 
Think about it for more than a moment – it is a slippery slope.
 
It is only an apple, Adam and Eve.
 
 

Michael
Michael
29 days ago

Were you able to attend public worship this morning? What was it like? No church open near me so watched Great St Barts at 11 am on youtube.

Froghole
Froghole
29 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Aimed to go to the South-West this morning. There was very little *apparently* available in Exeter diocese (either little/nothing advertised for today, or still online/Zoom [password protected], etc., worship); ditto B&W; ditto Truro.   Salisbury was better, though only in part – and I had pretty well finished my tour of that diocese. The Tisbury/Nadder, Upper Wylye, Lower Wylye & Till, Cley Hill, Wilton and Salisbury Plain benefices were offering something in terms of ‘real’ worship. Indeed, the scope of provision in Tisbury/Nadder was almost back to normal (though nothing is yet advertised for Chicklade, arguably the Cinderella of that… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
29 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Super Saturday in Soho was followed by Silent Sunday in Surbiton, it seems. If pubs and restaurants can reopen with little fuss, why not parish churches? Completely baffling! Then again, pubs and restaurants are wholly reliant on footfall, whereas churches can fall back on a variety of income streams. So there may not be quite the pressure to unlock the buildings just yet.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
29 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Ask around quietly. You may find that there, as here, in church land and among bishops, insurance vendors run the world. Pubs are more likely to factor in the calculated risk.

Michael
Michael
29 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Froghole – I commend your extensive report even though it is rather depressing. I heartily agree that there is a painful inconsistency of provision. My local vicar who has celebrated communion in his living room since mid March three or four times a week, unbelievably was back in church this morning celebrating communion ON HIS OWN! no-one else allowed to be present and then uploaded back to front onto Facebook eg absolution and blessing with left hand. I wonder how many other clergy did this today and for how much longer this cruel exclusion will continue. It seems like a… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
29 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, have you received a reply to your emails to the diocese yet? Three days ago you posted this comment:   ‘Three days ago I emailed the bishop, his suffragan and the local archdeacon to ask some questions about whether the dispensation for continued suspension of worship in my local church will be time limited and whether the vicar will be allowed to continue with private celebration of communion at home four times a week, which he has done since mid March. No response yet.’   The Church of England’s advice on the conduct of public worship, issued on 30th… Read more »

Michael
Michael
28 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Thanks for asking.
bishop – away, no response
suffragan bishop – no response
archdeacon on 3rd July – not yet in a position to answer, awaiting further guidance from the C of E in due course, not a priority..
She seems unaware of the 30th June guidance which you copied into your message.
I take her response to mean that at the moment churches can remain closed with no need to seek dispensation – even in my urban locality where clergy have responsibility for one church only – because it is not a priority for either the bishop or the archdeacon.

Andrew
Andrew
28 days ago
Reply to  Michael

Some are more equal than others under Canon law, it seems!  When it may benefit the laity, but inconvenience the clergy, it’s seen as a matter of ‘low priority’, or ‘local autonomy’ – an ‘annoyance’ not to be policed too zealously by the hierarchy.    Formal guidance on compliance with Canon law is provided in the annex to the Church’s guidance where it is stated that: ‘While this is law and must be respected as such, it is recognised that the procedures will take time for ministers and PCCs to implement and a reasonable delay will be expected’. If a… Read more »

Michael
Michael
27 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yes I agree with the final paragraph. I pressed the bishop about my local vicar celebrating communion on his own in church last Sunday as he refused anyone else to be present. He will be doing this for the foreseeable future: Is this public worship when the public are excluded? If this is public worship, for how long should this arrangement continue?   He delegated his archdeacon to answer and I got a lot of waffle and no answer. She finished her waffle by advising me that I (and of course anyone else who is excluded) should find another church… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
27 days ago
Reply to  Michael

“Why do senior clergy not get it?”   Perhaps because they are incompetent and/or they are deliberately wanting to wind down, and dispose of, the stock – presumably for balance sheet purposes (though the £18.2m ‘harvest’ from disposals in the last ten years is a comparative drop in the ocean).   Archdeacons are conflicted to some extent: they are clerical shop stewards, of a kind, but they are also the placemen and placewomen of the diocese (DBFs pay their stipends). However, they owe little or nothing to the laity.   In this instance the view has been taken that you… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
27 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Mr Hole of Frog, you write “my letters are usually very, very boring”. I doubt that is the reason. I suspect that senior staff are more likely to find your letters intimidating because you commit the heinous and unforgivable sin of presenting them with facts. The last thing they want is to have to confront reality. Instead they prefer to pretend that all is well and that recovery is just around the corner. They are snake-oil salesmen purveying false hope and fake remedies. This enables them to go back to their offices basking in the worshipful glow of increasingly aged… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
26 days ago

Experiment should have been experience (dratted autocorrect), but the error is not without its merits.

Andrew
Andrew
26 days ago

I agree with that.   A potentially fruitful ‘parish experiment’ would be to combine all diocesan clerical roles (outside the cathedrals) with parishes, including archdeacons, and all those with fancy ministerial job titles. Rural deans have to do this, so why shouldn’t they? It would represent a huge cost saving for parishes – that would otherwise struggle to pay full or two-thirds parish-share contributions – by sharing the cost of ministry with dioceses.   Something radical like this is going to have to be considered pretty quickly, given that thousands of parishes are already likely to be in severe deficit… Read more »

Just sayin'
Just sayin'
29 days ago

Started back yesterday, didn’t offer the 8am BCP as the regular (small) congregation all told me they won’t be coming yet, which I understand given their average age.   At 10.00am a total of 7, not including me or organist, one of whom said on the way out they won’t be back as we didn’t sing any hymns!   7 is less that 10% of our pre Covid congregation. I expected fewer of course, but 7?   Must admit I came home somewhat depressed, chastened and sad. If this is to be the new normal I doubt very much if… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
28 days ago
Reply to  Just sayin'

I’m sorry to hear this.   Friday’s Church Times reported that the Church Commissioners’ £8.7-billion fund has largely weathered the Covid storm, through prudent diversification of stocks. It remains to be seen how much of its £75 million short-term liquidity funding for dioceses and cathedrals, agreed jointly with the Archbishops’ Council, trickles down to parishes.   It’s more likely to be a trickle-up effect, however, rather than a trickle-down one. Dioceses were quick off the mark when lockdown began to remind parishes not to fail to pay parish-share quotas. Parish-share receipts were down by ten percent, on average, in March… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
28 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Note from the 2019-20 report that the Commissioners have invested heavily overseas and are very thick with private equity investors.   We should query the composition of the private equity investment. There are very few high yield assets at present. High yield assets are often concentrated in heavily geared companies (which therefore have every incentive to squeeze their workers) and in the debt of developing countries. You might have noticed that one of the consequences of the crisis has been another emerging markets debt crisis. The report says nothing (that I could see) about the composition of that PE investment,… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
26 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

Thanks for this.
 
There aren’t any questions at Saturday’s General Synod on ethical investments, save for one on Queen Anne’s Bounty and its possible links with the historic slave trade. Commissioners’ current focus is to release liquidity to dioceses to shore up stipends, leaving PCCs high and dry.(Q128-131)

Froghole
Froghole
25 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Yes, I saw that question. I think the question is chasing after non-existent hares.   The association of the SPG and Codrington College with slavery is not open to question, and has been common knowledge for decades. However, the questioner may have overlooked the fact that the Bounty (created in 1704) ante-dated the establishment of the South Sea Company (1711) and the transfer of the asiento from Spain to Britain in 1713.   Moreover, it also fails to take account of the nature of the Bounty, which was not so much a grant of a stock of capital, as the… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
24 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

I wholeheartedly agree.   Ferreting around in the particulars of Queen Anne’s Bounty bears the hallmark of a Trollopian plot in its attempt to interpret the charitable objects of centuries-old endowments and apply moral judgments to their current beneficiaries.   An assessment of private equity investments contingent on present-day wealth extraction as to their ethical conduct would be far more pertinent, as you recommend. I wonder whether notions of glebe and tithe are still inextricably bound up with the stocks, as to their likely impact on overseas workers tilling the soil, as it were. This is an area where the… Read more »

Michael
Michael
28 days ago
Reply to  Just sayin'

That is shocking and sad. Patrick Kidd in the Times today noted a similar drastic drop in attendance at All Saints Blackheath yesterday. It would be interesting if a snapshot survey could be carried out in say a month’s time, with three questions:
have you restored public worship
what has been the average attendance
how does this compare with normal
 

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