Thinking Anglicans

The Times surveys Church of England clergy opinions

Updated Thursday and Saturday

The Times today has a front page story, headlined Britain is no longer a Christian country, say frontline clergy. It begins like this:

Times survey shows priests’ desire for dramatic shifts in doctrine
on issues such as sex, sexuality, marriage and the role of women

Key moments

Britain can no longer be described as a Christian country, three quarters of Church of England priests believe, according to a landmark survey conducted by The Times.

The most wide-ranging poll carried out among frontline Anglican clergy, and the first survey of Church of England clerics conducted in almost a decade, has found a strong desire among rank-and-file priests for significant changes in church doctrine on issues such as sex, sexuality, marriage and the role of women to bring it into greater line with public opinion…

The full story is behind a paywall, but…

The Church Times now also has a report on this, Times clergy poll finds almost 50-per-cent support for same-sex weddings.

ALMOST half (49.2 per cent) of the C of E clergy respondents to a new poll would officiate at same-sex weddings if they were permitted to do so, and 59 per cent would bless gay relationships. Almost two-thirds said that the Church should no longer teach that sex belonged only in marriage…

Update Thursday

A second tranche of results has been published: Most Church of England priests support gay conversion therapy ban

Key points
  • Greater support for assisted dying, but majority still in opposition
  • Anglican bishops should share their Lords seats with other faith leaders
  • A lack of faith in reaching net zero

More than two thirds of Church of England priests back the government’s plan to introduce a ban on conversion or so-called “gay-cure” therapy, with less than a fifth against it, a Times survey has found…

Meanwhile, there is a critique of the survey here: What do Anglican clergy think about ‘Christian’ Britain, sexuality, and clergy morale?

Update Saturday

A third tranche of results: Only 13% of Church of England priests back the Tories

Also questions about support for the Archbishop of Canterbury

And there is a note on methodology

How we polled the priests

The Times worked closely with academics and polling experts to devise the survey, which was sent to a random sample of 5,000 priests with English addresses from Crockford’s Clerical Directory of Anglican clergy. It received 1,486 responses and results were analysed from the 1,185 in active ministry.

The Times followed the same methodology used by YouGov and the University of Lancaster for the last survey of Church of England priests in 2014 and received a similar number of responses. The age and sex of our respondents tallied extremely closely with the overall breakdown for the church’s entire body of active priests.

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Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
9 months ago

But the bishops will hold their ground, I suppose.

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Pat ONeill
9 months ago

Hard to hold your ground when you are on shifting sands. These opinion polls (despite only being opinion polls) should inter alia affirm the general direction of travel on LLF. But be warned, the pace of change is now becoming the issue.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
9 months ago

Honestly a little surprised that a quarter of clergy do think this is a Christian country. We have a state church, so on that strictly legal and on-paper metric I guess we’re a Christian country, but like, very few people go to that church on a Sunday.

John T
John T
9 months ago

This is probably the most conclusive sign yet that the mind of the church (at least the clergy) has shifted to supporting equal marriage and the Prayers of Love and Faith. There may have been claims that the Ozanne Foundation surveys weren’t quite representative, or the YouGov poll this February wasn’t quite measuring the right thing, or that Listening with Love and Faith did not show its numerical data for its conclusions, or even that the General Synod vote in February wasn’t indicative of the church as a whole. But given that all of them, and this latest robust survey,… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
9 months ago

Speaking on Times Radio Ian Paul believes the Church should not conform to the norms of the prevailing culture, but get society to conform to a Conservative Evangelical Jesus. Sadly for Mr Paul, the English have rejected this narrow-minded form of bigotry in favour of the fresh air of secular freedom. Mr Paul wants to tell LGBTQ people about the love of Jesus, and the Reformed Protestant Religion. Thankfully, the English have seen sense and reject this evangelical gibberish. It’s time for the CofE to conform to the surrounding liberal culture where people are free to be who they are,… Read more »

Trevor
Trevor
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

Just 100 years ago, an American Presbyterian minister, J Gresham Machen, wrote a relevant book called “Christianity and Liberalism” pointing out that these two concepts are in permanent conflict. I agree that if you want the one, you can’t have the other. The real question is what does the Lord God want? The only way I know of approaching this matter is in the Scriptures.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Trevor
9 months ago

Bible-believing Christians can’t agree even among themselves what the Scriptures say about same-sex marriage, or much else. Looking for what God wants usually means searching the Scriptures to find what I’ve already decided I want.

Trevor
Trevor
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

I still begin with the Scriptures. If you start with human reason, the only other option, and if you follow your own basic naive experience, you end up with Christian truth. I haven’t room to argue it here, but I wrote a little book called “God’s Fingerprints” which outlines the argument. And I try to follow Scripture because I don’t know any other source of truth and ethics.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Trevor
9 months ago

Begin with the scriptures – but which of the texts, where they differ? Which translation? What about where the oldest of the MSS don’t agree, or are difficult to interpret? And when devout and faithful Christians don’t agree on what the scriptures mean, or how to apply them to our lives in a very different world?

There is no way of approaching the scriptures without using human reason and scholarship.

Mark
Reply to  Trevor
9 months ago

“Jacob arose and took his two wives, his two concubines….” (Gen 32). The Scriptures don’t exactly give a Con Evo view of marriage, though, do they? I’m not quite sure why one verse of Leviticus is meant to define attitudes to sex for ever, but not other OT verses such as the one above. It’s the inconsistency that is wrong in Con Evo claims to “just be upholding Scripture” when it suits them to.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Trevor
9 months ago

Anyone who thinks Jesus wouldn’t be a liberal in the modern world clearly hasn’t read the Sermon on the Mount.

Trevor
Trevor
Reply to  Pat ONeill
9 months ago

Sorry, Pat, but I don’t follow your argument.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Trevor
9 months ago

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” If those aren’t inherently “liberal”… Read more »

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

The problem for Mr. Paul may actually be that his “Conservative Evangelical Jesus” is not the Jesus most of the Church of England finds in the Scriptures.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

They have rejected this, as you say, and they have rejected that, and everything in between. Attendance is virtually statistically close to zero, leaving out those above 65, measured against the entire population an established church represents in some way. And no need, again, to note that the only exceptions to this–a drop in the overall statistical bucket–are those FrDavid spends all his time despising as narrow-minded bigots. (By the way, after a while that must be very boring).

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Anglican Priest
9 months ago

It’s not boring. It’s a life’s mission.

Mark B
Mark B
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

Not sure Ian Paul can be dismissed quite so easily. I agree with him that the Church of God does not instantly conform to the prevailing culture. I think the OT prophets might agree with him too. The issue is whether there are things in the culture that may say something of what God is saying to his Church. That may lead us to ask whether in the past we have got everything right. The key issue surely is that The Church is called to listen out for what God is saying not just go with whatever the latest opinion… Read more »

Nigel
Nigel
Reply to  Mark B
9 months ago

Wise words, Mark B.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Mark B
9 months ago

But one of the things that the OT prophets railed against was the tyranny and injustice of the kings in Jerusalem and the Temple cult. They were quite strong on fairness for all, preferential treatment of the poor and under-privileged, and equality in the sight of God. The question now is whether and to what extent society as a whole and social mores are actually closer to that prophetic call in at least some ways. And it is the Church which is in opposition to that. Not in everything, by any means, and there are plenty of grey areas too.… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
9 months ago

I think this is an excellent analysis and response, Simon. My one question would be about your first paragraph. Surely not just the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures but Jesus himself railing against the tyranny of the powers in Jerusalem and the Temple cult.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Simon Dawson
9 months ago

Indeed. Saying that about the OT prophets doesn’t exclude Jesus also including this in his preaching. Presumably that is why he — and John the Baptist too — were regarded by some as prophets. We can consider all of them to be preaching the word of God. “Thus saith the LORD.”

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
9 months ago

Agreed. I have been doing a bit of research on the lifestyles of those wandering preachers and teachers mentioned in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. And I would argue that Jesus and the Baptist were exactly in that OT celibate, mendicant, prophetic tradition and vocation. The only difference is that Jesus was a “Town Dweller” (to use Hindu terminology) and exchanged temporary food and lodgings for healing and teaching, whereas John was a “Country Dweller” and subsisted on foraged food. Both were well known and traditional vocations in contemporary reports from a bit further east than Palestine.… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

I don’t think the CofE should conform to culture, but it should listen to wider culture and examine it both for example and warning. It is an error to merely conform to the “spirit of this age” just as much as it is to conform to the spirit of a previous age, as Ian Paul seeks to do. We should seek to conform ourselves to Christ, and ask ourselves what Christ would do in these circumstances. Faced with the self-evident love and faithfulness of two men or two women, I cannot believe other than that he would rejoice with them,… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Jo B
9 months ago

Sometimes ‘the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls’.

David James
David James
Reply to  Jo B
9 months ago

I’m afraid that your last sentence is over optimistic. It’s hard for generous minded, open hearted people to come to terms with the hard edge of this kind of theology (if theology it is). But the fact of the matter is that it is judgemental, uncompromising, with a complete disregard for how the rest of the world is. The LLF issues are only the tip of the iceberg just a glimpse of the real agenda.

John T
John T
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

This survey is of Anglican clergy, so is not about the views of the prevailing culture but the mind of those who comprise the church. All of the respondents have gone through theological training, it’s not a shallow knee jerk reaction but a considered, prayerful response. Ian Paul just finds it hard to understand that people can hold an opinion other than his own.

david rowett
Reply to  John T
9 months ago

I wonder, too, whether this survey might be seen as the response of those who are most likely to have to explain to the faithful same-sex couple in their congregation that whereas the straight pair with three kids who never come to Church can have all the bells and whistles (nuptial whistles available from Hayes and Finch to order) they want, they can’t currently even have a blessing on a wet February Thursday. The disjunct gets under the skin after a while for folk like me; it reminds me of that time when we quarry-face clergy were expected both to… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  david rowett
9 months ago

Agreed. Pastoral conversations have often forced me back to scripture and prayer, and ultimately led me to change my view on a topic.

And I still remember, back in the day, having to explain to a bewildered member of the congregation that the C of E considered parish deacons able to bless a wedding couple, but not the congregation! The Church does make itself ridiculous, but people get hurt in the process.

Pete Hobson
Pete Hobson
Reply to  John T
9 months ago

I’m not sure if you’ve actually read Ian Paul’s critique of the Times survey and article John T, but if you have I find it difficult to understand your summary dismissal of it and him. Disagree by all means – but he presents a reasoned critique of the methodology of the survey itself, and I see no evidence at all that he “finds it hard to understand that people can hold an opinion other than his own”. Indeed much pf his writing is occasioned precisely by that understanding. Do point me at contrary evidence, some by all means.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Pete Hobson
9 months ago

I’m afraid Ian Paul does little more than come up with hypothetical scenarios in which the survey results could be wrong. His “critique” is no different from those seen on twitter after every set of polling that someone doesn’t like. Yep, a few of the questions might be poorly worded, but ultimately Ian Paul just can’t handle the fact that most good, faithful priests don’t share his restrictive understanding of love.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Pete Hobson
9 months ago

I did read Ian’s original argument, from which I deduce he was either a statistitian or an analyst of some sort before ordination, as he is clearly very skilled in mathematical sciences – an area where I am unashamedly not. So I won’t even attempt to critique his blog. I also tried to read the ensuing comments, and in all honesty, gave up about half way through, appalled by the tone of so many of them. When it got to someone saying that the ordinary laity needed to be reeducated, to make them think like him and see the LGBT/ssm… Read more »

Peter Owen
Admin
Reply to  John Davies
9 months ago

From the About page on Ian’s website:

“Since my first two degrees were in pure and applied maths, and I worked in industrial business before ordination training, I am also interested in these areas.”

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
9 months ago

Recently during May I was watching online the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and His Majesty’s Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Lord Hodge was giving his address to the General Assembly and in the context of his address he said words to the effect that “We are not a Secular State, we are still a Christian Country” and he made reference to the recent Coronation of King Charles the 3rd as a reminder of the Christian basis of our 4 nations. Republicans might argue that that is the… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
9 months ago

Jonathan, I don’t think becoming a republic would make one jot of difference to the Church’s fortunes in the UK. The late Queen was by all accounts a devout woman who took her constitutional role with the CofE very seriously; but it can’t be said that her great example made much impact either way on the decline in church attendance over the course of her reign.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
9 months ago

This latest survey also highlights that the conevo constituency has been allowed to become disproportionately influential with the college of bishops. Liberal Anglicans must start to call out the vocal conevos as a small minority group in the CofE. When we indulge their hardline views we put the lives of black LGBTQIA+ people in Uganda and elsewhere at risk.

Wandering minstrel
Wandering minstrel
Reply to  Fr Dean
9 months ago

Liberal Anglicans have believed for almost three generations that they were and are the ‘default’ middlist position within the Church of England. The difficulty is that Liberal clergy haven’t organised very well and have been played so far out of position that all of the power structures are no longer as accessible and as controllable by them as they were in the 1980s and 1990s. The language of the institutional church is, I would say not really liberal; the strongest churches and church organisations are not liberal; they hold limited actual power and heft in the Synod and even less… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
9 months ago

I’ve never actually believed that a Christian country is possible, so I won’t be shedding any tears over the demise of the illusion.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
9 months ago

Frankly, it’s always seemed to me like an imperialist scam. I won’t miss it either.

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
9 months ago

I’ve long believed that countries cannot be Christian, or that it is a pointless phrase. Only people can be. And even when a large portion of the population are Christians it doesn’t baptize the country.

Mark
Reply to  Tobias Haller
9 months ago

I’m interested in whether countries with other majority religions are allowed to describe themselves as “a X country,” in, your view. Is Saudi Arabia, for example, a Muslim country? It sounds as if you would say no to that, whereas I don’t suppose many Saudis would agree with you.

Anglican Priest
Anglican Priest
9 months ago

I should think the major question is whether the present situation–with its myriad challenges, especially for an established church that the people it purports to serve are simply not attending anymore–can be turned around. One can take a poll and see what people want, are thinking, might like, but that only tells the state of play and says nothing about whether the situation on the ground can now be turned around. If less than 1% under 40 even go to church; and the steady attenders are in their senior years, it doesn’t take math skills to see an intractable problem.… Read more »

John Knight
John Knight
9 months ago

I’m just an ordinary parishioner in a rural area where one Rector tries to look after eight parishes soon to increase to far more. He comes to our church ten times a year. Our Parish Share is £5,000 a year so it’s costing £500 per service. Luckily the gap is partially filled by a retired Minister but for how long? Our congregation is growing thanks to dedicated volunteers but, unless the bishops start taking the Rural Church seriously, I can see a collapse coming in the not too distant future. It’s not helped by the fact that, as soon as… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  John Knight
9 months ago

What rules bar you from having Matins on those Sundays a priest is unavailable?

PatrickT
PatrickT
Reply to  Jo B
9 months ago

I am also very interested to hear the answer to this question.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Jo B
9 months ago

I support the idea of a lay led, non eucharistic, service in the other weeks to fill the gaps. But is Matins the best choice to attract the widest possible potential congregation?

Other options are available.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Simon Dawson
9 months ago

I mention Matins because it’s right there in the book, no-one need prepare anything beyond that, and it can be fancied up as necessary or desired. No doubt the same can be done with Common Worship, but it requires a bit more input to pick and choose from the many options available.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Jo B
9 months ago

I suppose Matins has fewer side effects than Mogadon.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Jo B
9 months ago

Indeed. In some dioceses lay people are being trained to be worship leaders for a simple Service of the Word which could take many forms. And holy communion by extension?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Perry Butler
9 months ago

There was a letter relevant to this in the Tablet Magazine on 12th August this year. “FR BOB RAINBOW (Letters, 29 July) is right; the Holy Spirit is not “asleep on the job”; it’s we who are asleep. We are just not listening. We are a typical small rural community of faith, as referred to in his letter. Nearly six years ago a new parish priest was appointed and arbitrarily decided he would not travel from the town to our village Mass centre to celebrate Mass with us on Sunday evenings. After 86 years, Masses ceased. We are a strong… Read more »

PatrickT
PatrickT
Reply to  Perry Butler
9 months ago

I am still interested in hearing about the rules which referred to by John Knight (posted above) which might prevent any of this happening?

David Exham
David Exham
9 months ago

The initial sample was 5000, and about a quarter responded, so they are anything but a representative sample. The results are certainly interesting, but they need to be treated with considerable caution.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  David Exham
9 months ago

We don’t know whether they’re representative or not, but a 1/4 responding to a survey is pretty common and I’m not aware of any particular skew among those who do or don’t agree to talk to pollsters.

John T
John T
Reply to  David Exham
9 months ago

Classic example of “if you don’t like the message, shoot the messenger”. Just about every exercise looking at the views of people in the C of E, at least regarding equal marriage, finds the same result. Around 55-60% in favour, around 35-40% opposed. You can criticise each and every study, survey and vote, but when they are all delivering roughly the same response you have to admit it forms a consistent picture. I have yet to see anything showing a majority opposed to equal marriage, that data just isn’t there.

Kate
Kate
9 months ago
Geoff McL.
Geoff McL.
Reply to  Kate
9 months ago

I found the quote at the end by the Bishop of Leeds a bit of a headscratcher. While I certainly don’t think the church should just take its lead from the surrounding culture, it’s a bit counterintuitive to say that not doing so makes it *less* like a “club”.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  Geoff McL.
9 months ago

Nick Baines’ uses quite a few words without really saying anything. I was never sure why he was considered someone who had the gift of communication. I think, translated, what he is saying is this: “Hey, we are the CofE so we can think and say whatever we think and want, whatever anyone thinks about us. We don’t need to be popular or accountable. And I’ve been a bishop long enough to be permanently grumpy about it and lesser clergy don’t have the right to decide anyway. And if gay people have to wait a bit longer, then it’s just… Read more »

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Geoff McL.
9 months ago

Being exceptional and always right wasn’t an endearing feature of the Pharisees either really was it?

Father David
Father David
9 months ago

“Britain isn’t a Christian nation now, say clergy” was yesterday’s front page headline in The Times newspaper. One aspect of the survey which hasn’t received much attention or publicity to date is that 67% of priests surveyed think that the church’s efforts to stop and reverse the decline in attendance will fail. George Carey’s prophetic words proclaimed that the Church of England is just “one generation away from extinction”. As he stepped down from the throne of St. Augustine he wrote in his autobiography that he left the church in “good heart”. Sadly, the current front line priestly work force… Read more »

Ian Paul
Reply to  Father David
9 months ago

So how come other churches are growing? The decline in the 20% who attend the C of E on a Sunday is being made up by growth in other denominations. I wonder why we are so reluctant to ask what they might be doing right? What do you think? Why are they growing? Can we learn from them?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Ian Paul
9 months ago

Once you strip out demographic growth (immigration, high birth rates) how many are still growing? How many of those are new (or new to the UK) denominations that are simply on the up curve of their lifecycle? How much of this “growth” is simply evangelicals and charismatics shuttling to the next big thing?

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
9 months ago

With regard to the shift in views on same-sex love and marriage, I am delighted that the efforts of Christians (alongside other people of goodwill) over the past century, often driven by faith, to win support for greater inclusion even if counter-cultural, have been fruitful. I have been involved in these for a mere four decades or so but I am amused by the assumption that somehow culture just changed, without the Church – in the sense of a movement or community – having anything to do with this. However the work of theologians, frontline clergy and laypersons is often… Read more »

David Runcorn
Reply to  Savi Hensman
9 months ago

Very well put about culture and church Savi!

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Savi Hensman
9 months ago

Obviously the Church should not automatically conform to society’s norms. But when Christian concepts like freedom and liberty are more apparent outside the Church , it hardly seems attractive to invite LGBTQ to come inside to be discriminated against. In many cases, society has changed – despite the Church. One remembers episcopal opposition in the House of Lords to the introduction of civil partnerships, for instance . I can’t agree that the miniscule contribution made by a tiny number of Christians has made society more liberal. On the contrary. Those Bible- believing Christians, with the loudest voice, have helped convince… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 months ago

I don’t think it’s a case of the church inviting LGBTQ people to come inside, as if we are outsiders. We are, and have always been, inside the church. It is just that our visibility has varied.

And whilst Savi is right that over the years certain Christians have been in the vanguard of the fight for LGBTQ rights, many of those Christians have themselves been LGBTQ, and the main body they have fought against was the institutional Church.

It is a very nuanced story, and it is important to remember all the detail.

John Davies
John Davies
9 months ago

To quote a well known phrase, “What do we mean exactly, by a Christian country?” With my nonconformist/evangelical hat on, I’d agree totally with Tim Chesterton – how can this nation remotely lay claim to such a title, given the general state of our political and social morals? Can we honestly say that Christ’s values, and those of both testaments, are truly reflected in the attitudes and behaviour of sufficient numbers of our people to make a difference in the practical, day to day life of our country? As I understand it, being a Christian is primarily a matter of… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  John Davies
9 months ago

“how can this nation remotely lay claim to such a title, given the general state of our political and social morals?” It’s amazing how it’s always those people who are the problem, eh? As a practical matter, the UK hasn’t been a Christian nation for a long time. Between decline church attendance, the increasing numbers of atheist, agnostic (those two are not the same), and the disaffected, or (as you say) belonging to a different faith, a sharp percentage of people aren’t Christian. I doubt that, in and of itself, that makes them any less moral or ethical. Or did… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
9 months ago

According to the census of 2021 46% of the population of England and Wales described itself as Christian, down from 59% in 2011 and 72% in 2001. This is largely owing to.the older generation, which is more likely to be Christian, dying. However, at least one analyst said that loss of faith among those who had previously ticked the Christian box was also a factor.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
9 months ago

Morning, Peter. Like you, I have lost any belief in this being a ‘Christian’ nation, whatever that means, any more. Arguably a lot of the established church’s behaviour over the years could well be considered less than Christian – I’m thinking here from a nonconformist viewpoint – the persecution of dissenters, the ‘Tithe Wars’ of the 1930s and other issues in which power has been badly abused. You could well say that the current issues regarding historic abuse come into that category; how often have we heard the phrase ‘you don’t wash the church’s dirty linen in public’? (Usually meaning… Read more »

Vasanthi Gnanadoss
Vasanthi Gnanadoss
9 months ago

There is an article in The Spectator by Theo Hobson ‘The time is ripe for a liberal revival of the Church of England
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-time-is-ripe-for-a-liberal-revival-of-the-church-of-england/

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Vasanthi Gnanadoss
9 months ago

“Now we just need some bold liberal leadership.” So say we all!

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
9 months ago

To the moderator,
I posted a comment, and then discovered I needed to edit it. I made my edit, and then clicked on “Save”. I received a warning that I was submitting comments too fast, which I assume is an anti-spam feature. I waited a minute, tried saving again, and got the same warning. I then inadvertently waited ten minutes, and then received a message that editing had timed out.
Is editing comments still permitted? Is there an optimum time to wait to save an edit after a comment has been posted and prending for review?

Rev Dr Anne Morris
9 months ago

I think that, in some significant ways, the Church of England is plainly conforming to contemporary culture; 5 year plans, adverts for ‘executive assistants’, Human Resources instead of pastoral care. The bizarre thing is that it seems to be the evangelical wing of the church that is so keen on all this, but so entrenched on matters of sexuality etc. Working for the Church of England is now like working for a secular instutution, but a shabby one: we have exempted ourselves from the law of the land on gender equality and are still subject to the old boys’ network… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Rev Dr Anne Morris
9 months ago

You should become an entrepreneur as the bishop-elect of Birmingham suggests all clergy should be.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Rev Dr Anne Morris
9 months ago

Being cheeky here, a few decades ago the evangelical/charismatics fervour was directed to the mantra of simple lifestyles – ‘living simply so others can simply live.’ No big cars, no expensive (resource consuming) electrical gadgets etc.

Then along came the computer revolution – and they were the first people to seize hold of all that wonderful, new, but hardly simple technology! Now everything has to match the secular world’s ‘professional’ standards of appearance, organisation, computer learning packages etc, etc…

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
9 months ago

I believe gay conversion therapy is a pernicious and totally useless form of quackery, BUT I cannot back banning it until the equally pernicious quackery of sex-conversion is also banned. Both attempt to change what cannot be changed and do untold damage to the victims. Why can so few see that they are two sides of the same mad coin?

Katy Adams
Katy Adams
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
9 months ago

Have you met a trans person?

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
9 months ago

I think both the Times and the Telegraph have a couple of conservative RC’s (converts) who rarely resist putting the boot into the C of E

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