Category : Church of England (CoE)

More Saturday Food for Thought–John Wenham on Liberal Theology

It needs to be re-emphasized that liberalism is the arch-enemy of the Gospel. Biblical theism stands for the clearest distinction between Creator and creature, for the absolute distinction between right and wrong, for the reward of well-doing and the punishment of wrong, for the unity and perspicuity of revelation. Liberalism is pantheizing, blurring the distinctions between God and man, between right and wrong, embracing contradictions and ambiguities within its system of truth.

When liberalism takes on the cloak of ecumenism, it is the enemy of clear doctrinal statement. It has no idea of the unity and perspicuity of revelation, so it never expects to reach doctrinal agreement. It finds contradictory beliefs within the Church, but is not worried by them and does not think that they are capable of resolution. It deliberately seeks unity by ambiguity. It sets no store by the value of a clear, united declaration of the one and only Gospel of God. It is this characteristic of the Theological Considerations of the Anglican Methodist Conversations which is so deeply distasteful to all who are looking for a clear statement of biblical principles. The whole statement is about as clear as mud, in marked contrast to the clarity of the dissentient statement.

–John Wenham, A Conservative Evangelical looks at the Ecumenical Movement, Churchman 79,3 (1965), p.192 [found there.]

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Evangelicals, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Saturday Food For Thought–JC Ryle on the Doctrine of Hell

I call on all who profess to believe the Bible, to be on their guard. I know that some do not believe there is any hell at all. They think it impossible there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with the mercy of God. They say it is too awful an idea to be really true. The devil of course, rejoices in the views of such people. They help his kingdom mightily. They are preaching up his old favorite doctrine, “Ye shall not surely die.” I know furthermore, that some do not believe that hell is eternal. They tell us it is incredible that a compassionate God will punish men for ever. He will surely open the prison doors at last.

This also is a mighty help to the devil’s cause….

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eschatology

The Bishop of Salisbury welcomes the Government’s commitment to “net zero” emissions by 2050

The Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment has welcomed the news that the government has set a stricter target on climate change. The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury said: “This announcement is very welcome, and the UK is setting an example by making this commitment to address the global climate emergency.”

“But commitment alone is meaningless unless it is backed up by relentless action, which must remain our priority in the coming decades.

“If we are to achieve Net Zero the government’s response to the recent recommendations from the Climate Change Committee will be crucial.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(CEN) Most C of E Parishes have less than five young people

Two-thirds of churches have five or fewer young people in their worshipping community, according to a survey by the Allchurches Trust. Over 40 per cent admit their provision for young people is ‘inadequate’.

A poll of more than 800 churches has shown that more than two-thirds have five or fewer young people in their worshipping community; but that 96 per cent would love to provide more support and activities for them if they had the right skills and resources in place.

The survey carried of churches from a range of Christian denominations throughout the UK and Ireland to gain insight into the work that churches are engaged in with children (age 0-10) and young people (age 11 to 18), found that 67 per cent of churches surveyed have five or fewer young people in their worshipping community, while 26 per cent have none, and 45 per cent have five or fewer children (15 per cent have none).

The Allchurches Trust has launched a grants programme in response. Growing Lives makes grants of up to £25,000 available to help churches and Christian organisations to connect with children and young people and forge lasting links with families in their area.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Teens / Youth

[Oxford] Bishop Stephen Croft–The Time is Now: The past, present and future of climate change

A [recent] report…by the European Academies Science Advisory Council concludes that almost 30,000 early deaths a year in the UK could be prevented by ending the burning of fossil fuels.

The substance of every single chapter of Wells’ book was worse than I expected it to be. The science is irrefutable. We are on a path to three or four or more degrees of global warming. Radical change is needed now to limit that warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees. We are currently failing. Even if we are “successful”, we are still talking about damage limitation.

Half of all British Co2 emissions come from 4 sources; inefficient construction, food waste, electronics and clothing. In the US, the same 4 categories account for 66 per cent of wasted energy.

Eliminating Co2 increase now is much easier than (theoretically) trying to remove it later. Wallace Wells makes this point forcefully and highlights the gap between theoretical, technological promise and current reality.

At the present rate of change, a MIT 2018 study shows that we will take 400 to years to get to fully clean energy. And while the cost of solar energy has fallen 80% since 2009, current technology proof-of-concept plants show we would need a billion Carbon Capture and Storage plants to reduce the carbon count by just 20ppm.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stock Market

Ethical Corporation profiles Edward Mason–‘Climate change is the biggest ethical issue the Church of England faces‘

[dward] Mason, who is nearly five years into his current job, is unabashed about how theological injunctions, such as promoting the intrinsic dignity and equality of every human being and the Christian concept of loving one’s neighbour, have played a central role in his employers’ investment policy.

From the get-go, the institution instructed those managing its investments to ensure that tobacco, pornography, armaments and other so-called “sin stocks” be excluded from its portfolios.

While this position remains as strong as ever, Mason has championed a more progressive, more positive approach to how the Church of England’s investment muscle might be flexed.

One important development under his tenure is the precedence now given to climate change, which he describes as “the biggest ethical issue that the Church of England faces as an investor”. Immediately on taking up his post, he helped spearhead a new climate change policy for the Church Commissioners, which was launched in 2015.

Climate change “really matters to Christians” for two reasons, Mason states: “One is that we are stewards of creation. And clearly climate change is damaging creation – it’s damaging our ecosystems, our biodiversity, all kinds of critical aspects of the natural world.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market

([London] Times) Frances Whitehead RIP

[Frances] Whitehead was fast and focused: her typing speed perhaps 80-90 words a minute on a manual typewriter. Phone calls were always brief, some would say terse. Yet those who knew her well encountered warmth and laughter. She brought a genuine care for people expressed through a huge correspondence, some 30 personal letters a day, over her own name or John Stott’s. A seminary library in San Salvador was named after her in 2006 to mark 50 years of service.

[John] Stott and Whitehead ran global endeavours on a shoestring, with help only from a study assistant. Using Charles Simeon’s phrase, Stott named the three “the happy triumvirate”.

In 2001, Archbishop George Carey conferred on Whitehead a Lambeth MA, for which she donned the Oxford gown and red silk. When news of this honour was announced in All Souls, it was greeted with a standing ovation.

Frances Whitehead was born in 1925 in Bovey Tracey, in Devon, the second child of Captain Claude Whitehead, and his wife, Evelyn Eastley. Her older sister, Pamela, died of leukaemia, aged eight. She would go on to Malvern Girls’ College, where she was head girl of Summerside House.

During the war she worked as a mathematician at the Radar Research and Development Establishment (RRDE) in Malvern and then, from 1951, she worked at the BBC, under the producer Mary Treadgold. She was a good horsewoman, and enjoyed the BBC riding club, hiring horses in Victoria, and riding up to the barracks of the Household Cavalry in Knightsbridge.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry

([London] Times) Church of England blesses medicinal use of marijuana

The Church of England has given its backing to the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and said it is happy to invest in the sector.

The Church Commissioners for England, who handle £8.2 billion of church assets, ban investment in companies that profit from recreational drugs but said for the first time that they would consider investing in companies that work with medicinal marijuana now that it is legal in the UK.

Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners, told the Financial Times: “We make a distinction between recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis. We are content with it being used for proper medicinal purposes.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Stock Market, Theology

ThyKingdomCome – The first Pentecost

Watch it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Pentecost, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

(Church Times) Priest resigns in transgender-pupil row

The rector, the Revd John Parker, accused both the Church of England school and the diocese of silencing his concerns over transgender issues and how the school’s leadership was handling the topic.

The clergyman and the other governors and staff were informed earlier this year that the eight-year-old wished to return to school as a girl, not a boy.

Concerned by the school’s approach, Mr Parker secretly recorded a training session at the school led by the transgender education charity Mermaids.

In the recording, Mr Parker can be heard trying to ask questions and challenge some scientific and legal issues that are raised, but is told by the head teacher and others that he should not speak out and instead send his concerns in an email.

“Throughout the training session, there was an implicit threat to us that if we did not implement Mermaids’ ideology and affirm LGBTQI+ children, it would result in children committing suicide, self-harming, and police and OFSTED would enforce the policy,” Mr Parker said later.

“After the head told us about the plan to allow the pupil to transition, the school suddenly turned into a place where you did not even have the freedom to question or express a view. I felt it was no longer a Christian place of truth but a place of fear and intimidation.”

Read it all and there is a lot more about this story on the Archbishop Cranmer blog there.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Premier) Church of England provides update on oversight to Channel Islands

The Church of England says a report will be submitted to the Archbishop of Canterbury later this year on how oversight is provided to parishes in the Channel Islands.

Historically, churches in Jersey and Guernsey have been part of the Diocese of Winchester.

However in 2014, a disagreement over the handling of abuse allegations led to the Bishop of Dover being given temporary oversight.

Rt Rev Trevor Willmott retired earlier this year and the Church now has to decide what to do next.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), History

(CEN) Peter Mullen–Music to end by

We’ve known for a long time that some funny things go on at funerals, and some of the funniest are the musical choices. When I was ordained – just after the Norman Conquest – the favourites were such as O God our help in ages past and Abide with me. But in a survey published a couple of weeks ago, these stalwarts were shown to have been supplanted by a pop version of Bohemian Rhapsody and Freddie Mercury’s These are the days of our lives. Other popular choices were Robbie Williams’ Angels and the anthem of the Liverpool Kop You’ll never walk alone.

Though I can’t imagine why any Christian should request John Lennon’s nihilistic doggerel which goes:

Imagine there’s no heaven

It’s easy if you try,

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people living for today

That recent survey revealed that many – “mourners” doesn’t seem the right word somehow – want “something to make us giggle” when we are saying good bye – or hopefully au revoir – to our loved ones. An old lady in the parish of St Mary, Oldham, where I was once curate, asked for George Formby’s When I’m cleaning windows and a colleague told me of someone else who had If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake. So that’s what the messianic banquet is all about, is it?

I recall one particularly hilarious apocalypse at the crematorium – I’d better not say which crematorium in order to protect the innocent. I was warned that when you pushed the button at the end of the service there would be a nasty surprise. The mechanism was old and crabby. I pushed the button for the coffin to start its mechanical journey through the curtains and into the beyond. There was a great CHUNG! And everyone looked up, startled. But that little disturbance was only for starters…

The coffin was supposed to pass through the curtains and on to a trolley placed in the anteroom by the two cheerful necrophiles who acted as vergers. Supposed to. Only this time they had forgotten.

So off goes Uncle Fred through the crack of doom. And suddenly there’s an almighty CRASH! Followed by the loud utterance of two words from what I suppose we must call the other side – the second word was hell! The first word is altogether unmentionable! The congregation were paralysed, no doubt thinking that those two words were Uncle Fred’s first disapproving comments on the life of the world to come. I went behind. What a scene: imagine the dead Scrooge in his nightshirt, the vergers’ copy of The Sun having fallen across his face.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Bradford Cathedral launches a visual history to celebrate its centenary

The exhibition, which launches on Tuesday (June 4) and runs until Sunday July 14, showcases a collection of images throughout the history of the cathedral, since the parish church of St Peter became a cathedral, to the present day.

Phil Lickley, the cathedral’s communications, marketing and events officer, explains the exhibition, taking place in the cathedral’s Art Space, will be split into three elements including a display of photographs taken of the cathedral, including the renovation work carried out in the Fifties and Sixties; of events and activities throughout the year; the clergy who have been involved with the cathedral over the years and special events such as the recent visit in May by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in May.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of England

Mighty God,
by whose grace Elizabeth rejoiced with Mary
and greeted her as the mother of the Lord:
look with favour on your lowly servants
that, with Mary, we may magnify your holy name
and rejoice to acclaim her Son our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

–From yesterday’s Daily Prayer

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

(Church Times) ‘Church has forgotten how to tell the Christian story’

The Church has forgotten how to tell the Christian story to the 93 per cent of people who have little or no contact with it, a new report from the Central Council of Readers suggests.

“We desperately need skilled teachers who will live the story, tell the story, and accompany people as they explore the full implications of becoming part of the story,” says Resourcing Sunday to Saturday Faith, a booklet sent to every Anglican Bishop and every Reader in England and Wales this month. “Our argument in this booklet is that Readers are ideally placed to meet this urgent need.”

Setting out the Council’s “renewed vision” for lay ministry, it begins with a diagnosis of the current landscape for evangelism: “a time of great ferment in the Church”, given internal disputes over sexuality, safeguarding failures, and a society where “many are bewildered by the sheer scale of change”. A “fresh perspective” is needed, it suggests.

“The problem is that we have forgotten how to tell our story — or, to put it another way, we have only been telling part of the story,” it argues.

“In part, this is because we simply don’t know the story. The Church has been described as ‘a mile wide and an inch deep’. Many people in our churches simply haven’t reflected on how the story impacts that many different parts of their lives.”

Read it all.

Posted in Adult Education, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education

The Kingdom Come Day 1 #Jesus – Tom Wright talks about who Jesus really is

Please watch it all and you may find much more information about Thy Kingdom Come there.

Posted in Christology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Theology: Scripture

(CEN) Victims of John Smyth ‘exceed 100′

Court papers have revealed that the number of victims of the late John Smyth QC have exceeded 100.

Smyth, who groomed his victims when he was chair of the Iwerne camps from 1975-82, was previously known to have beaten at least 26 young men in the UK.

When his crimes came to light in 1982 the leadership of the Iwerne network arranged for him to move to Zimbabwe to work with a missionary organisation.

Once there, Smyth started his own network of camps, in which boys were routinely beaten for his sexual pleasure. A court case was launched but aborted in 1997, and court papers from that case reveal that as many as 90 boys made formal complaints against him.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, South Africa, Teens / Youth, Violence

(CT) Churches Outnumber Pubs in the UK

The three biggest UK denominations—Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Presbyterians—are all declining quite quickly. Overall, their numbers have gone down 16 percent in just the last five years, Presbyterians the fastest (down 19%). Two other major groups are also declining, Baptists and Methodists, but they are much smaller in size.

The three major denominations form 60 percent of church members, and the smaller two another 16 percent. The remaining members often belong to the types of churches that are seeing the most growth right now—many of which have a Pentecostal bent, ranging from immigrant-founded denominations to Hillsong campuses.

Their increase, although significant, is unfortunately not enough to compensate for the drop among the bigger churches, but has moderated the overall decline. I’ll share below which kinds of churches are growing the fastest amid demographic shifts in the UK.

London is the epicenter for growing churches. Between 2005 and 2012, overall church attendance (not membership) in London went from 620,000 people to 720,000, a 16 percent increase. The number of churches increased by two a week, from 4,100 to 4,800. During this time, the city welcomed immigrants both from Europe and the rest of the world, its population growing from 7 million to 8 million in 10 years.

Many of those newcomers were Christians and sought a church that spoke their language.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pentecostal, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Say a little prayer for me: Alexa app helps users to connect with God

In centuries past people went to priests and prophets with questions about the Almighty. Now Christians and the curious are “connecting with God” through Amazon’s Alexa.

Tens of thousands have interacted with the Church of England through the digital assistant since the launch of its own voice-controlled app, or Alexa “skill”, a year ago.

Some 9.5 million Britons use smartspeakers such as Amazon’s Echo to answer questions and control devices and the church said that more than 75,000 engaged with its new service.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(CWR) A story of one Anglican community finding a home in the Roman Catholic Church

When Father Christopher Pearson and some of his flock at St. Agnes Church in Kennington, South London, made the decision to come into full communion with the Catholic Church, they had to leave quite a lot behind. A church they loved, with its own particular story—destroyed by bombing in World War II and then rebuilt—and a comfortable role in the local community. The congregation and its networks of friends had a strong sense of belonging. No Remembrance Sunday was complete without Father Christopher in cope and cassock arriving the take the traditional service at the local War Memorial. The church’s annual round of celebrations and processions was well known and appreciated locally.

Leaving all of this was not easy—but the call of Peter was not one that they felt, in conscience, could be resisted. When Benedict XVI issued the invitation, in Anglicanorum Coetibus, to “groups of Anglicans” to join the Catholic Church, Father Christopher invited members of his flock to join him on Sunday following the main service, to pray and ponder.

The result was a decision to follow Peter—which meant, in effect, leaving everything that had become comfortable and venturing ahead in faith. Father Christopher became a Catholic layman—entering the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham carried no guarantee of ordination, but only meant that he could submit an application and apply for training and ordination. The “South London Ordinariate group”—as he and his flock became known—met each Sunday at a local Catholic church for Mass, and during the week for instruction. Good humour and a sense of sharing this whole venture together meant that they simply took things stage by stage.

Read it all.

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

More NT Wright for Easter 2019–His Easter Sermon at St. Paul’s Hammersmith

The Rev’d Professor N.T Wright is an English New Testament scholar, Pauline theologian, and retired Anglican bishop. He writes about theology, Christian life, and the relationship of these two things and has written over seventy books. He is a guest speaker throughout Easter 2019.

Listen to it all (about 24 1/3 minutes).

Posted in Christology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter, Eschatology, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) Bishop of Bristol speaks of being ‘silenced’ by ‘tribalism’ in Gloucester Diocese in the 1990s

THE Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, has said that she was “silenced and marginalised” while she was a deacon in Gloucester diocese in the 1990s by the same “tribalism and clericalism” identified by the official abuse inquiry in its latest report.

Bishop Faull was one of a handful of bishops to respond individually to the scathing conclusions published in the latest Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) report, Anglican Church Case Studies: The diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball (News, 17 May).

In both the diocese of Chichester and the wider Church, it states: “The responses to child sexual abuse were marked by secrecy, prevarication, avoidance of reporting alleged crimes to the authorities and a failure to take professional advice.”

This included the Church’s “unwavering support of Peter Ball” — the disgraced former bishop and convicted abuser — during the Gloucestershire Police investigation (allegations about Ball came to light when he was translated from Lewes to Gloucester), and its failure to “recognise or acknowledge the seriousness” of Ball’s misconduct.

Read it all.

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

(Christian Today) The Organisers of an open letter on transgender guidance describe recent meeting with C of E leaders

The organisers of an open letter signed by 3,150 lay and ordained members of the Church of England, about the House of Bishops’ recent guidance on transgender liturgy, have met with leading bishops and officials in London.

The delegation comprised Dr Ian Paul, theologian and member of Archbishops’ Council, Archdeacon of Hastings Dr Edward Dowler, Church of England Evangelical Council and Fulcrum member the Rev Rachel Marszalek, and the Rev David Baker.

This is their response to the meeting in full:

This was a meeting in a positive atmosphere which combined goodwill from both sides, a cordial spirit, and yet at the same time provided space for a robust, direct and frank sharing of views. It was good that the meeting began and ended with a time of prayer. We are very grateful for the Bishops’ time and felt we left with a good spirit and understanding between us all.

The group was encouraged that the bishops agreed that the press release that accompanied the guidance had been unhelpful, and that they have undertaken to remove it from the Church of England website.

Questions were raised about the procedures that had been followed in the production of the guidance, and it was illuminating to hear of some of the complexities involved, as well as to gain a clear understanding that things could have been done differently. Nevertheless, there remain questions about proper procedure that we would like to be pursued.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sexuality, Theology

(C of E) Independent lessons learnt review into Bishop Whitsey case

His Hon David Pearl has been appointed by the National Safeguarding Team as chair of the independent lessons learnt review into the Whitsey case. The Church supported a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults by the late Bishop Hubert Victor Whitsey. The allegations dated from 1974 onwards when he was Bishop of Chester and from 1981 while he was retired and living in Blackburn diocese. Bishop Whitsey died in 1987.

The review is expected to be carried out in two phases and will include the case of Gordon Dickenson, once other Church processes have concluded. Dickenson, a former chaplain to Bishop Whitsey, was jailed in March after admitting sexually assaulting a boy in the 1970s.

Read it all.

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

(CEN) C of E Bishops discuss Brexit and IICSA’s new report

Brexit was on the agenda as the bishops discussed recent political developments and prayed for the nation at their recent House of Bishops meeting at Bishopthorpe Palace.

The bishops discussed mission and ministry in covenant with the Methodist Church, financial priorities in Church funding over the next three years, and the ministry of confession.

The bishops also spent time reviewing progress that has been made by the Living in Love and Faith working group. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s (IICSA) recently published report into the Church of England also received attention from the bishops who have additionally made a statement.

Following the publication last week of the IICSA report into the Peter Ball and Chichester Diocese case studies, the bishops said they ‘recognise that the publication of this report causes most hurt and concern to survivors themselves. It reopens wounds’.

“At this week’s meeting of the House of Bishops, Archbishop Justin asked every one of us to read and study the full report in detail and we are absolutely committed to this,” they said.

Read it all (subscription) and please also see the official pr there.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(CEN) Richard Bewes RIP– A man with a Bible in his pocket and Jesus in his heart

Christian leaders from across the world responded with warm tributes to the news of Prebendary Richard Bewes’ peaceful release from months of suffering from cancer at 6.25pm on Friday 9 May at his home in Virginia Water, surrounded by Timothy, Wendy, Stephen and his wife Pam.

A child of the East African Revival in the 1930s, he treasured his African roots and was the UK chairman of African Enterprise for 32 years. The son of missionary parents, Canon Cecil and Mrs Sylvia Bewes, he was born in 1934 in Nairobi and spent his first five years in what became (over 40 years later) the library of St Andrew College of Theology and Development in Kabare, founded by Archbishop David Gitari in 1977.

The family moved then to Weithaga where — along with his two brothers and sister — he had ‘the most tranquil upbringing a child could have’ on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya.

He told the story of how he first experienced revival as a child to the sound of thousands of African voices singing, in his most recent and final book Under the Thorn Tree – when Revival comes.

Coming to England at the age of 13, he was educated at Marlborough College, (and Iwerne Minster Camps), Emmanuel College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was ordained by Bishop Chavasse of Rochester in 1959 and served a six-year curacy under Herbert Cragg at Christ Church, Beckenham. Then successively he was vicar of St Peter’s, Harold Wood, Emmanuel, Northwood and finally successor to Michael Baughen as vicar of All Souls, Langham Place.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Lincolnshire Live) ANOTHER key figure at Lincoln Cathedral is suspended

Another important figure at Lincoln Cathedral has been suspended pending an investigation.

William Harrison, the Chapter Clerk and Administrator at the cathedral, has become the fourth person at the diocese to step aside.

The cathedral has stated that the clerk has been suspended over “procedural matters” and that an investigation is under way.

It comes after the Bishop of Lincoln was suspended by the Archbishop of Canterbury over safeguarding concerns.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(FT) Financial groups in the front of fight against climate change–‘Policymakers essentially leverage the sector to help push for action’

The international Financial Stability Board was established by the G20 after its London summit in 2009. In 2015 it tasked Mark Carney and Michael Bloomberg, the Bank of England governor and former New York mayor respectively, to lead the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

The cross-sector TCFD has since developed a standard for voluntary disclosures to help businesses align their climate change statements relating to governance, strategy (including scenario analysis), risk management and metrics. As the move towards a lower carbon economy gains pace, policymakers and investors are using the TCFD as the basis for making changes to disclosure requirements

We can see more climate-related litigation globally, particularly in the US. Shareholder activism is also growing: institutional investors led by the Church of England are encouraging energy and energy-intensive companies to increase their ambition over tackling climate change. In Australia, lawyers are debating the ambit of fiduciary duty after the publication of a lawyer’s opinion which argues that climate has to be considered in relevant business decisions, a debate likely to spread to other countries.

Regulatory changes in the EU and UK, which come into force in the next 18 months, will nudge large corporates, asset owners, institutional investors and asset managers to explain publicly how the financial risk of climate change is treated in their business strategy.

Read it all (subscription).

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

(Ely Standard) Science festival at Ely Cathedral – a ‘seamless mix of reverence and awe’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing

Launch night for the Ely Cathedral science festival began with choral evensong that included the first performance of the anthem ‘The Ordinances of Heaven’, a piece commissioned especially for the festival.

It has been written by Tim Watts, artist-in-residence at the Institute of Astronomy and a fellow at St John’s College, Cambridge, set to the words from the Book of Job.

Once over the choristers were among those cheerfully and gleefully enjoying the delights of the science festival.

Not only is there plenty to see and to do but exhibitors actively encourage audience participation – such as discovering, for scientific purposes, who can refrain from blinking the longest.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(Premier) Durham church criticised for offering to cover crosses and host Muslim prayers

A Darlington church is coming under fire after offering to cover up crosses and allow Muslims to say prayers in its building.

St Matthew and St Luke’s had initially invited members of the Muslim community for an event next month to mark Ramadan.

It also offered different rooms to allow segregated worship for men and women.

Upon hearing about the event the Diocese of Durham intervened and told the church it must not hold Islamic prayers in the church building.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Muslim-Christian relations, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer