Category : CoE Bishops

(BBC) Service held to ‘cleanse’ Salisbury after nerve agent attack

A special service has been held in Salisbury to “symbolically reclaim the city for the common good” following the nerve agent attack on 4 March.

The Bishop of Salisbury hosted the service of “cleansing and celebration” at St Thomas’ Church, near where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found.

The service, which was open to all faiths and none, involved prayers to cleanse the site and the city.

It was followed by a procession to the bench where the Skripals were found.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Russia, Terrorism

(Christian Today) Bishop and senior clergyman join calls for Church of England to lose equalities exemptions

The Church of England should lose its protections under the Equalities Act that allow it to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexuality, a bishop and senior clergyman have said today.

Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, and David Ison, the dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, both backed Jeremy Pemberton, a…priest who was blocked from being a hospital chaplain after marrying his [same-sex] partner.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(COEiP) Church of England Bishops highlight consequences of the two-child limit in letter to The Times and blog post

Sir, Today the “two-child limit” policy, which restricts tax credit and universal credit to the first two children in a family, has been in place for a year. The policy is making it harder for parents to achieve a stable and resilient family life. By 2021, 640,000 families will have been affected. Most are low-earning working families, most have three children and some will have made decisions about family size when they were able to support children through earnings alone, but later claimed tax credits or universal credit after bereavement, redundancy, separation, disability, illness or simply low pay.

The policy is expected to tip an estimated extra 200,000 children into poverty. It also conveys the regrettable message that some children matter less than others, depending on their place in the sibling birth order.

It is a grave concern that there are likely to be mothers who will face an invidious choice between poverty and terminating an unplanned pregnancy

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Theology

The Bishop of Sheffield’s Easter 2018 Sermon

We’ve just heard how, when the women arrive at the empty tomb, early on the first day of the week, hoping to anoint the dead body of Jesus, they’re shocked to find the tomb open and a young man sitting inside, dressed in white.  This angel speaks to them: ’Do not be alarmed.  You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has been raised.  He is not here: look there is the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples – and Peter – that he is going ahead of you to Galilee: there you will see him, just as he told you’.

Go and tell his disciples, and Peter.  It’s those two words ‘and Peter’ that catch my attention.  Why are they added?  You won’t find them on the lips of the angel in the version of this story told by Matthew, Luke or John.  Why do they matter to Mark?  Well, I think there are two reasons, both of which might encourage us this morning as we celebrate afresh our Lord’s resurrection from the dead: the first reason has to do with what the Risen Lord wants for Peter; the second, with what he wants from Peter.

Let me say something about what the Lord might want for Peter to start with.  This is the first reference to Peter in the Gospel of Mark since the moment about 48 hours before, when the cock had crowed a second time and he had broken down and wept.  Our last glimpse of Peter is of his sobbing remorse at the realisation that he had indeed denied Jesus, as his Master had prophesied that he would.  This is a more catastrophic fall from grace than that of any Australian cricketer: as the curtain falls on his active participation in the Gospel story, Peter has failed.

So those two words ‘and Peter’ on the lips of the angel are full of hope.  They suggest that the Risen Jesus, far from having given up on Peter, far from having written him off, is intent on // re-establishing // a relationship with him.

Read it all.

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

(Church Times) [Bishop of Chichester] Martin Warner–Safeguarding: what we got wrong, and the steps we are taking to put it right

The diocese of Chichester was used as a case study for inquiring into child sexual abuse in the Church of England. Some have wished to claim immunity from our failings, regarding us an aberration and unlike more “normal” dioceses.

More careful consideration, however, suggests that what happened here was characterised by attitudes that were not unknown elsewhere.

If, for example, we look at the case of one highly manipulative offender, Roy Cotton, factors emerge at an early stage that might account for why no effective disciplinary action was taken against him.

First, academic snobbery: Cotton was an Oxbridge graduate. Second, social snobbery: he worked in an independent preparatory school before ordination.

Third, manipulating episcopal patronage: he was exempted from selection scrutiny and spent only one term in training. After being ordained in his home diocese and serving a curacy there, he moved to Chichester with a glowing reference from his bishop, and subsequently moved from one parish to another with apparent ease.

Fourth, at the end of his ministry in Chichester, he was dealt with leniently in old age because of illness and infirmity….

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

A Group of C of E Bishops’ Easter letter warns of slavery in our midst

Slavery is on the rise in Britain in a way we have not seen since the days of William Wilberforce. Last year 5,145 victims were found in the UK. It is a big increase on 2016’s figure, but it still does not come close to the tens of thousands that the National Crime Agency believes are hidden.

It might seem that we should leave this problem to the police. But this Easter we are asking everyone to open their eyes to the signs of potential exploitation around them. The Clewer Initiative, our national anti-slavery project, educates people on what to look out for. New life for those entombed in darkness.

As Wilberforce said more than 200 years ago, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say you did not know.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence, Women

New Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon Burton-Jones, Announced

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Simon Burton-Jones to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Tonbridge in the Diocese of Rochester, 10 Downing Street has announced. He currently serves as Archdeacon of Rochester and Canon Residentiary at Rochester Cathedral.

As Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon will focus on evangelism and growth. This aspiration and intention to grow is rooted in “Called Together”, the Diocese of Rochester’s vision. He will also have oversight and leadership of the educationyouth and children, and community engagement work of churches across the Diocese of Rochester. In relation to education, he will chair the Diocesan Board of Education, supporting the work of the 89 Church of England schools within the Diocese.

Please see a video message from the New Bishop of Tonbridge here

The Bishop of Rochester Rt Rev James Langstaff said “I am delighted that Simon Burton-Jones has been appointed as the next Bishop of Tonbridge. He is a thoughtful theologian and gifted communicator. As Archdeacon of Rochester he has supported the mission of the Church in some of Kent and Medway’s most deprived communities, and steered the development of valuable new work in Chatham and Ebbsfleet.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Premier) Bishop of Salisbury hopes for unity during Holy Week in aftermath of spy poisoning

“This is one of those occasions when the Christian faith speaks deeply into our present context. The terrible things that happened don’t get the last word.

In the end love, life and resurrection are where the story takes us,” Bishop Nicholas said.

He added that there are similarities between Jesus’ betrayal and Skripal’s attack.

“Salisbury has been through a difficult time, it’s got some of the same ingredients in terms of betrayal, a murderous attack and people who have been deeply injured by this,” Bishop Nicholas said.

Read it all.

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

The Pastoral letter from the Archbishops’ of Canterbury and York on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)

We take very seriously all that has been heard by the Inquiry. Archbishop Justin said when he gave evidence last week that he had learned again through listening and reading the evidence given to the Inquiry, that we must not simply say sorry, but that we must also take action that demonstrates clearly that we have learnt the lessons.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

Bishop Mark Rylands of Shrewsbury to leave Shropshire for parish ministry

The Right Reverend Mark Rylands has served as the Anglican Area Bishop of Shrewsbury for nine years.

He says that while it has been a huge privilege to serve the people of Shrewsbury and Telford the time is right to move with his wife, Mandy, to the south-west where they have previously lived, served and have family.

After a special farewell service in July, Bishop Rylands will take up his new role as priest-in-charge of the Ashburton and Moorland Team in Exeter Diocese, where he will also be an Assistant Bishop.

“Working in the Diocese of Lichfield has been an enriching experience. Many in this country are not sure where Lichfield, Telford or Shropshire is, we are slightly off the beaten track, slightly unknown. I have been blessed to work here,” he said.

“It will be sad to leave. And for some it may seem a surprise move. I have sensed God’s beckoning to serve as a parish priest again.

Read it all.

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

Bishop of St Albans: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals proposal ‘simply does not go far enough’ to protect most vulnerable

The Bishop of St Albans, a leading campaigner for measures to limit the harm done by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), has responded to recommendations from the Gambling Commission.

The Rt Revd Alan Smith supports reducing the maximum stake on the machines to £2, from the current level of £100. The Commission has recommended limiting the stake to at least £30, but has left it up to the Government to decide the final figure.

Read it all.

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

(CEN) Abuse survivor calls for senior Anglican bishops to resign over failures

[Matthew] Ineson points out that in the statement by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team ‘it is claimed that the Archbishop did not fail to act on any disclosure made, because the responsibility to respond and act lay with the diocesan bishop, namely Steven Croft’.

“The National Safeguarding Team are clearly stating here that Steven Croft should have acted,”he adds.

He points out that his alleged perpetrator, Trevor Devamanikkan,was charged in May 2017 with six serious charges of sexual abuse against Ineson. However, he committed suicide before the case could come to court.

“Steven Croft has admitted on several occasions that I disclosed my abuse to him in the media over the past 16 months. I have pursued the complaint against Steven Croft’s failures several times with the Church, who have blocked any attempt at investigation into his failures.

“The National Safeguarding Team now acknowledge those failures and I call on Steven Croft to resign with immediate effect,” said Ineson.

He also calls on Archbishop Sentamu to resign with immediate effect ‘for failing to act on my disclosure to him’.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Child abuse inquiry: Diocese of Chichester had a ‘major issue’

The diocese of Chichester had a “major issue” with priests carrying out abuse, an inquiry has heard.

Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Martin Warner, made the claim when giving evidence to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Dr Warner said there had been a “breakdown of trust” between the Church of England and the local council.

He also said he was warned by a senior Church of England official that the area was considered “a basket case”.

The bishop claimed Caroline Boddington, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointments secretary, made the remark when he was appointed in 2012.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

The next Anglican Bishop of Lancaster set to take on her new role this summer

The Bishop of Lancaster-designate was introduced by Bishop Julian at Marsh Community Centre, Lancaster, this morning, alongside the Suffragan Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North. Joining the Bishops were other members of the bishop’s leadership team.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be appointed the eighth Bishop of Lancaster,” said Mrs Duff. “This is a vibrant and exciting part of the Church of England with its Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities. Being born and brought up in Lancashire, the region has been on my heart in prayer for many years.

“Time and again I have seen how, with prayer and perseverance, churches can grow and it will be good to be part of a courageous diocese that is looking to the future with real hope.

The Bishop-designate is married to Rev. Prof. Jeremy Duff, who is Principal of the St Padarn’s Institute in the Church in Wales, and they have two sons, Robbie, aged 13 and Harry, aged 10.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Jillian Duff appointed as the next Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster

Dr Jillian Duff (aged 45) was born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire. She was educated at Christ College, Cambridge and Worcester College, Oxford. After working in the oil industry, she trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall Oxford. Dr Duff served her title at St Philip’s, Litherland, in the Diocese of Liverpool from 2003 to 2005. From 2005 Dr Duff took up the role of Pioneer Minister, church planting in Liverpool City Centre till 2011. I

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops