Category : Church of England (CoE)

(Church Times) Bishops shamed by BBC documentary

The two-part programme, Exposed: The Church’s dark secret, was shown on BBC2 on Monday and Tuesday nights after the watershed. The documentary, which has been well-received by reviewers, included testimonies from victims, police, lawyers, and church officers, as well as dramatic reconstructions.

On Wednesday, the independent chair of the National Safeguarding Panel, Meg Munn, praised survivors of Ball and their families. “The BBC documentary showed the devastating and lifelong impact of abuse,” she said. “Those who spoke out, showed incredible bravery.

“The failure to stop Peter Ball and other abusers, and the failure to bring them promptly to justice, compound the hurt and damage to victims and survivors. Failure to co-operate with police by high-ranking clergy, including a former Archbishop, is truly shocking. Those who failed victims should consider their position.”

Speaking about the changes in the Church’s hierarchy and culture that she has witnessed, she said: “These are necessary, but not sufficient.

“Within the church structure, each diocese is effectively a fiefdom, and significant power rests with diocesan bishops. Last year, one diocese refused to share safeguarding information with another diocese. It took a number of months to resolve the issue, possibly exposing people to risk.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Violence

(AI) Southwark vicar cleared of immigration fraud by criminal court, sacked by CoE for theft

In his first four years at St Jude’s, Mr. Ntege conducted 29 weddings. The pace quickened beginning in 2007 with nine weddings a day taking place on some Saturdays. In 2011 the UK Border Agency arrested him, charging him with facilitating immigration fraud. In Oct 2014 a judge at Inner London Crown Court threw out the trial after he determined UK Border Agency officers concealed evidence and lied under oath. Judge Nic Madge ruled “bad faith and serious misconduct” had fatally undermined the case against the vicar and six other defendants.

After the trial Mr. Ntege was permitted to resume his post at St Jude’s, but in 2017 the Archdeacon of Croydon initiated church disciplinary proceedings over the shortfall in fees collected at the suspect weddings but not remitted to the diocese. At the November 2019 hearing the panel found the vicar ‘had knowingly engaged in systematic wrongdoing over a period of several years” and “wrongfully retained substantial sums of money which he knew should have been remitted to the DBF and had done so over a sustained period of time.”

Mr. Ntege, who had been able to delay his hearing for over a year due to claims of ill health claimed he had not been properly trained by the Church of England upon his arrival from Uganda and was unfamiliar with his statutory responsibilities. The panel was not persuaded by this argument and further noted he had “not demonstrated any remorse in relation to his conduct.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(C of E) Bishop Alan Smith welcomes the credit card gambling ban

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has welcomed an announcement from the Gambling Commission that consumers will no longer be able to use credit cards to gamble from April 2020.

“This marks a significant step in progressive policy-making, reducing the risks to gamblers,” he said, following the announcement.

“For too long people have been vulnerable through gambling with money they don’t have, using credit cards, additionally incurring the costs of borrowing alongside any losses.

“I have been calling for this change as consultation turned into consultation, while gamblers were facing the consequences of delay.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Personal Finance & Investing, Religion & Culture

(C of E) Bishop Rachel Treweek responds to the Peter Ball documentary

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(C Of E) Response to BBC 2 documentary on Peter Ball

“The powerful BBC documentary Exposed: the Church’s Darkest Secret is a stark and important reminder of the serious sexual wrongdoing of Peter Ball against many young men, including Neil Todd who took his own life, and the complete failure of the Church to respond appropriately over a period of many years.

“Both the Gibb Report, An Abuse of Faith, commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the 2018 IICSA hearing into the case, highlighted our failings and the bravery of those who were prepared to speak out. The documentary brings home in a graphic way the courage of the survivors who shared their story.

“It is a matter of great shame and regret that the Church did not act to address the behaviour of Peter Ball at the time and that survivors were left to fight tirelessly for justice.

Read it all and follow all the links.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

A Telegraph article on the first of a two-part documentary on BBC Two of the Peter Ball case

The disgraced paedophile bishop Peter Ball repeatedly mentioned his friendship with Prince Charles so he would seem “impregnable”, one of his victims has said.

In 2015 Ball, the former bishop of both Lewes and Gloucester was convicted of sexual offences against 17 teenagers and young men – one of whom took his own life. He was released from prison in February 2017 after serving half of his 32-month sentence. He died aged 87 in June 2019.

Speaking in a new documentary, part two of which airs tonight on BBC Two, one of Ball’s victims, Cliff James, who has waived his right to anonymity, spoke of how Ball would boast about his relationship with the heir to the throne.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

(FT) Half of UK universities commit to divesting from fossil fuels

Half the UK’s universities have pledged to sell their shares in fossil fuel companies after a years-long campaign involving protests, hunger strikes and petitions by students worried about climate change.

Some 78 of the UK’s 154 public universities have committed to at least partially divest from fossil fuels, including University College London, York, Liverpool and Exeter, which all said they would ditch oil and gas stocks last year.

According to People & Planet, the group that co-ordinated the students, £12.4bn of endowments across the higher education sector have dumped at least some fossil fuel stocks.

The divestment by universities is the latest sign of the growing influence of young climate activists. Last year, youth-led climate strikes took place across the world, inspired by teenager Greta Thunberg.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stewardship, Stock Market

The Archbishop of York awarded honorary Doctorate of Divinity by Durham University

Durham University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge said: “We are delighted to award an honorary degree to the Archbishop of York, who so clearly shares our passion for empowering young people and preparing students to transition successfully to the next stage of their lives.

“We take our responsibilities as a centre for learning seriously and, like the Archbishop, we strive to create the opportunities, support and freedom for students to become the best they can, so they can go on to do inspiring and innovative things around the world.

Awarding the honorary degree strengthens the existing relationship between Durham University and the Church of England. A recently renewed partnership sees the University continue in its role as the single validating partner for the Church of England’s ordination training. The scheme, known as the Common Awards, is overseen by a dedicated team from the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

The Bishop of Ludlow Announces His Retirement

The Bishop of Ludlow, the Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, has today announced he will retire at the end of April. He has been both a Suffragan Bishop and Archdeacon in the Diocese of Hereford since 2009. Bishop Alistair’s last official service will be on Easter day 2020 with a farewell in the Cathedral later that month. “Bishop Alistair has exercised a significant role in shaping the Diocese of Hereford over the last 11 years,” said the Bishop of Hereford Designate, Rt Revd Richard Jackson.

Bishop Alistair expressed his gratitude for the many partnerships between Church and local community across the diocese of which he has been a part. He said: “It is a privilege, joy and humbling experience to have worked with so many wonderful people and organisations across the whole diocese over the last 11 years. As bishop it has also been my privilege to ordain, baptise and confirm many people over the years, and a great joy to be involved in the appointment of nearly all of the clergy who currently serve the churches of the Ludlow Archdeaconry which covers parts of North Herefordshire and South Shropshire.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Christmas Sermon for 2019

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Preaching / Homiletics

(Christian Today) Matt Kennedy–The Church of England is in trouble

In England, his name is Stephen Cottrell presently Bishop of Chelmsford soon to be Archbishop of York. In an article on his upcoming elevation, the Church Times reports,

“Bishop Cottrell has also warned that the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships means that it is ‘seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set’ and has suggested that prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships — ‘perhaps a eucharist’ — should be offered. In a diocesan-synod address in 2017, he warned of the ‘missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society, and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church…And, though I am proud to confirm that all of us, whatever our views on this matter, are united in our condemnation of homophobia, we must also acknowledge that it is of little comfort to young gay or lesbian members of our Church to know that while prejudice against them is abhorred, any committed faithful sexual expression of their love for another is forbidden. . . Our ambivalence and opposition to faithful and permanent same-sex relationships can legitimise homophobia in others.”

The Christian Institute expands on the partial quote above as follows, “I am not sure the church has ever before had to face the challenge of being seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set.”

These are astounding words. That one so educated, soon to be so elevated, so highly respected could evince such ignorance so publicly without embarrassment is, well, I am not sure what to call it. On the one hand, he is, of course, worthy of censure. But on the other, that his words are published so widely and he is still embraced so warmly without any apparent sense that something is amiss, what does it mean? Is the indictment more damning to him or to the ecclesial prelates or to the Church of England as a whole?

Has the Bishop taken even a semester’s study in church history? Does he know that Christians have been called haters of mankind, cannibals, atheists even because from the first the Christian Church has refused to bow to the idols of the age? What would Bishop Cottrell say to the Ugandan martyrs who refused to let themselves be sexually corrupted by a homosexual ruler for the sake of Christ? Were these children missiologically obtuse? Ought they to have embraced the “normative and desirable morality” of the king and his court?

Men and women and children have been devoured by wild beasts, burned alive, beheaded, and crucified precisely because they refused to adopt the morality of the age and yet it is by the blood of these martyrs, not by the supine compromise of English clerics, that Christ builds his Church.

And we need not even look to the history of the Church. Has Bishop Cottrell read even a single Gospel? Does he know that Jesus was crucified? Was Jesus crucified because he was “seen as moral by the culture in which he was set”? Was he arrested and tried because he embraced what was “morally normative and desirable”? Not at all. Jesus scrutinized the traditions and laws of the day by the law of God and found them wanting. He refused to submit himself or his disciples to the sabbath regulations, the washings, the dietary restrictions imposed by men and not God. And his “community” hated him for it. He has a demon, they said. His miracles are empowered by Satan, they said. Jesus was not crucified because the people loved him and he affirmed all of their ways.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE)

(Church Times) Greater diversity in leadership, and the beauty of holiness: Bishop Cottrell sets out his hopes as Archbishop of York

A member of the Committee for Minority-Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC), Bishop Cottrell has previously warned that the Church was “going backwards” on ethnic diversity in its leadership (News, 17 July 2015). “There is still racism in our Church,” he told General Synod. “It is high time we woke out of our sleep and realised we are guilty of complacency and neglect.”

On Tuesday, he said: “Our record is not good: there is no point in pretending otherwise.” He dared to hope that, “when I do hang up my mitre . . . the Church will look different.” The Bishops enjoyed a “significant power” in making appointments, he observed. “We need to use it much more generously and wisely, to bring more people round the table. . . We will be a much better stronger Church for being more diverse in leadership.”

Bishop Cottrell has also warned that the Church’s stance on same-sex relationships means that it is “seen as immoral by the culture in which it is set” and has suggested that prayers of thanksgiving for these relationships — “perhaps a eucharist” — should be offered (News, 17 March 2017).

In a diocesan-synod address in 2017, he warned of the “missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society, and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church. . .

Read it all (registration).

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE)

([London] Times) Joyful and triumphant, cathedral choirgirls finally overtake the boys

After more than a millennium of male dominance choirgirls now outnumber choirboys in England’s cathedrals for the first time.

The tradition of boys singing in cathedral choirs dates back at least 1,110 years with the first boy choristers singing at Wells Cathedral in the year 909.

There are now 740 boy and 740 girl choristers in English cathedrals, according to church statistics, but The Times has learnt that both of these figures have been slightly rounded up. There are, to be more precise, now 739 girls and 737 boys, marking the first time that choirgirls have outnumbered choirboys.

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Women

(NC Register) Former Chaplain to the Queen of England Gavin Ashenden Converting to Roman Catholicism

Gavin Ashenden, a former Honorary Chaplain to the Queen in the Church of England who was consecrated a bishop in a Continuing Anglican ecclesial community, will be received into the Catholic Church on Sunday.

He will receive confirmation Dec. 22 during a Mass at Shrewsbury Cathedral from Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury.

His wife, Helen, became a Catholic about two years ago in the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

“Having come to believe that the claims and expression of the Catholic faith are the most profound and potent expression of apostolic and patristic belief, and to accept the primacy of the Petrine tradition, I am grateful to the Bishop of Shrewsbury and the Catholic community in his diocese for the opportunity to mend 500 years of fractured history and be reconciled to the Church that gave birth to my earlier tradition,” Ashenden has said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Church of England (CoE), Roman Catholic

(C of E) Statement on the Archbishop of York designate, the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell

From there:

“With reference to the recent statement from a pressure group, the accusations made against the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell are entirely without foundation. It is untrue that Bishop Stephen suggested to a governor of a Church of England School that his views on sexuality were not welcome and he could leave. Bishop Stephen made that clear at the time and subsequently in an Ad Clerum. It is also untrue that Bishop Stephen suggested to any other clergy that they should leave the Church of England. As he is said at his announcement, the Church of England is a Church for all people, welcoming everyone.

“He upholds the teaching of the Church of England that recognises marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Bishop Stephen has not endorsed gender transitioning in and of itself for children but has pastoral concern for any child affected by gender dysphoria.

“He holds biblical truth as sacred and is in all matters guided by the gospel. Speaking at the press conference for his announcement he said ‘What binds us together is not our views on this issue or that issue, what binds us together is our faith in Jesus Christ. We say water is thicker than blood. It is our baptism and our belonging to each other that really matters’.”

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Theology

(Christian Today) C of E groups express opposition to the theology of the newly appointed Archbishop of York

[The] Rev John Parker resigned as both a governor of the school and as a vicar in the Church of England over the disagreement.

He said at the time: “I was basically told by my bishop that if I wished to faithfully follow the teachings of the Bible then I was no longer welcome in the Church. It felt very much like I was being silenced by the Church and the school.”

Kieran Bush, vicar of St John’s, Walthamstow, later backed Rev Parker’s claim, alleging that Bishop Cottrell had “on more than one occasion, told clergy, including John Parker, that if we disagree with the approach the Diocese is taking on matters of human sexuality we should follow our consciences and leave”.

“There were more than thirty clergy at one of the meetings,” he said in a statement in June released through GAFCON, the orthodox fellowship within the Anglican Communion.

Rev Parker was supported during the dispute by Christian Concern, which has criticised the appointment of Bishop Cottrell as Archbishop of York.

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Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Big Issue) Justin Welby: “We’re not in a crisis, but the direction is not what I want”

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks of the rise in rough sleeping, foodbank use and increasing personal debt over the last decade of austerity.

He said: “It has got worse over the last nine years. Rough sleeping has gone up. That is a matter of fact. People will argue about the causes but it is a fact it has gone up.

“Foodbank use has risen. There has been a huge rise in the client base of Christians Against Poverty, the debt-counselling charity. Also, people’s tolerance for minorities has gone down. Minority groups have had a much harder time, asylum seekers, immigrants. The use of vitriolic language has gone up significantly. We have had an MP murdered. I am not saying we are in a crisis, I am just saying the direction of travel is not what we want.”

Asked whether he thought politicians realised the damage austerity has done he said: “Yes. Not all of them, obviously. But the vast majority do and they are really concerned about it….”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

Bishop Stephen Cottrell to be the next Archbishop of York

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE)

(CEN) Wells Cathedral helps in rollout of 5G broadband

A Cathedral is to help the Government roll out 5G. Wells Cathedral has offered its land to Voneus, the superfast broadband specialist, to help roll out rural broadband.

The company recently announced that it has been granted powers by Ofcom that will help it accelerate the rollout of superfast broadband services to hard-to-reach UK rural communities by making it easier for Voneus to construct its highspeed infrastructure on public land.

Recently Ofcom made a decision to make more airwaves available in four ‘frequency bands’ including the 3.8-4.2 GHz band, which supports the latest 5G mobile technology and the 26 GHz band, which has also been identified as one of the main bands for the publicly contested 5G in the future.

“With Voneus’ help, we’re turning Wells into a truly digital cathedral with stronger connections to our local community as well as to people living much further afield,” said the Very Rev Dr John Davies, Dean of Wells.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Kendall Harmon’s Teaching on Hell at the 2019 Renew Conference

Listen to it all (and note the handout link if desired).

Posted in * By Kendall, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Evangelicals, Sermons & Teachings, Theology

(Church Times) Be a force for unity despite election landslide, bishops tell PM

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said on Friday morning: “I was pleased to hear Boris Johnson say that he was determined to use his majority to ‘change this country for the better’. I am sure we will all work and pray for this, watching closely what is offered.

“In particular, I will continue to raise the pressing issues of homelessness and rough sleeping, which are causing misery in many parts of our country. In-work poverty is also likely to be high on the agenda of many people in the poorer parts of our country.”

Dr Innes said: “The new Government faces big issues around economic and social justice, and national cohesion, that Brexit has revealed over the past three-and-a-half years.

“I pray that the new UK Government and Parliament will address these formidable challenges in ways that will unify, not divide, and which will seek to find common ground for the common good.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Gibraltar Chronicle) New Anglican Dean named for Gibraltar

The Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe has announced that Canon Ian Tarrant has accepted his offer to become next Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Diocese of Europe.

Canon Tarrant, 62, is married to Sally and has three grown-up children, all now living outside the UK, and two grandchildren.

Ian and Sally met as teenagers while on a course in the Diocese of Chelmsford. Ian studied physics at Cambridge University, and later trained for ordination at St John’s College, Nottingham.

It was in Nottingham, where Sally had been studying ‘maths, maths, and more maths’, that they met again and got engaged.

They spent ten challenging years working for the Church Missionary Society in the Congo, returning to Nottingham where he became the University Chaplain and where their children went to secondary school.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Europe, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(New Statesman) The Rev Lucy Winkett: It’s always a risk walking around this time of year with a dog collar on. People might ask you things

It’s always a risk walking around with a dog collar on. People might ask you things. A bishop I know carries a list of the 12 disciples in his briefcase just in case someone puts him on the spot (the biblical list isn’t entirely clear). It’s like politicians being asked how much a second-class stamp is. Clergy dread being asked something they probably should know but forgot long ago.

I was once in court as an expert witness, testifying on behalf of a member of our congregation seeking asylum on the basis of conversion to Christianity. The Home Office lawyer was scathing when he couldn’t name six disciples and used this fact to challenge the genuineness of his conversion. In fact, he’d named five, which I thought was pretty good. I asked our congregation the following Sunday. They got as far as Simon Peter, Andrew and John – most remembered Judas – but after that it was a stretch.

“Can you be illiterate and be a Christian’’? demanded the lawyer. I was totally bemused by the question. Of the two billion Christians in the world today, a large proportion are technically illiterate. And for the first four centuries of Christianity, not a whole lot was written down in any case.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Religion & Culture

C of E publishes new research findings on clergy flourishing

The Living Ministry programme tracks the progress of groups of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 and women and men who entered training for ordination in 2016, seeking to understand what helps clergy to flourish in ministry.

The latest research from the project includes responses from 579 ordained clergy and 113 people training for ordained ministry in the Church of England.

The quantitative study includes research into physical and mental, relational, financial and material and spiritual and vocational well-being as well as responses to questions about ministerial effectiveness.

Read it all and take the time to look through the whole report (64 pages).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology

(Church Times) Jeremy Morris–The cry for self-government: 100 years of the Enabling Act

Just before Christmas 1919, George V signed the Enabling Act into law. This conferred on a National Assembly of the Church of England the power to adopt “Measures” through a Legislative Committee, which would pass to an Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament for scrutiny and rapid progress into law.

This single piece of legislation still forms the bedrock of the Church of England’s modern representative system. It came with a great fanfare of acclaim, led by a pressure group headed by the charismatic future archbishop William Temple. In consequence, it is often seen as a decisive and unexpected leap forward in the Church’s self-understanding.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Enabling Act was a vital piece of legislation for the Church of England, and has good claim to be the most important piece of legislation passed by Parliament for the Church in the 20th century. But it was the result of a long evolution in church polity and ecclesiastical authority, and of the careful development of practical solutions to problems of governance by the Church’s leadership. In its essential conception, it owed little to Temple.

Read it all (registration).

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General

A C of E PR on the recent Meeting of the House of Bishops

From there:

The House of Bishops met from Monday 9th December to Wednesday 11th December at Lambeth Palace.
The House considered progress to date in the Living in Love and Faith project through discussion, prayer and reflection. The House discussed safeguarding with a presentation from the National Director of Safeguarding.

On the eve of the general election, the House reviewed the national situation politically and prayed for the good of the country.

Other items on the agenda included Renewal and Reform and the Implementation and Dialogue Group Report.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

The Church of England appoints a National Environment Officer

Jo Chamberlain has been appointed as the National Environment Officer for the Church of England, taking forward the strategy developed by the Environment Working Group. This is a new post reflecting the Archbishops’ Council’s focus on the environment as a theological and mission priority.

Jo joins the Mission and Public Affairs team from Christian Aid and the Diocese of Sheffield where she volunteers as their Environment Adviser. She will work closely with the Environment Consultant, David Shreeve, and link with the Cathedrals and Church Buildings team where Open and Sustainable Churches Officer, Catherine Ross, forms the third part of a new environment staff ‘hub’.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture

(Guardian) Archbp John Sentamu–It’s time to act against the oil companies causing death and destruction

The legal system in Nigeria is cumbersome, costly and inefficient. Victims are rarely able to afford the means to justice and redress. While governments must accept a share of responsibility for this catastrophe, the onus lies largely with the multinational oil companies that dominate the scene. They drill and export the oil and gas. They own the inadequate and poorly maintained and poorly guarded infrastructure that have allowed oil spills and other forms of pollution to become systemic for people in Bayelsa.

All too often they do not respect their fundamental human rights and are getting away with a pollution footprint with global consequences, including climate change. Yet those who bear the immediate cost are the people of Bayelsa, where human life appears to be disposable in the pursuit of wealth.

Repentance, reparation and remedy for damage done for decades is long overdue. Too many people treat distant parts of the world like giant rubbish dumps. If you or I behaved like that in our locality, albeit on an infinitely smaller scale, we would be rightly prosecuted for fly-tipping.

We are all temporary tenants on this planet and will be held accountable for its management. Future generations will look at the state of their inheritance and will want to know who in the past benefited from its irresponsible exploitation and who paid the price for it. If there is still an opportunity for the present generation to make amends, we had better get on with it with the utmost urgency.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) A Profile of a Married vicar whose (theology? or) good looks has won him 116,500 Instagram followers

With 116,500 Instagram followers, many more than the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev Chris Lee has built a cult following with his “60-second sermons”, short selfie videos in which he chats about the Bible and his faith.

He insists fans are drawn more to the power of the gospels than to his good looks, but Mr Lee, 36, who is married and has two young daughters, has been sent messages saying “I love you” by adoring fans. He said: “It’s never a horrible thing to be told you’re good-looking, but I think most people follow me because of my content, because I speak to them on a deeper level.”

Read it all (requires subscription). You may find out more about the parish in which he serves there.

Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Cathedrals across Britain are selling historic fixtures and fittings to cover maintenance costs

Cathedrals across Britain are selling their historic fixtures and fittings to cover maintenance costs, it has emerged.

Newcastle’s St Nicholas Cathedral, which dates back to the 1400s, is to sell 35 of its Victorian-era oak pews to raise money ahead of a £6m renovation.

Project chiefs say the decoratively carved benches, made in the 1880s, could become garden furniture or be used in hotels and restaurants.

They will be sold on a first come, first served basis for upwards of £450 and it is hoped the sales will raise up to £20,000.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Stewardship