Category : CoE Bishops

(Telegraph) Pandemic response is too centralised, say Archbishop Welby and Bishop Mullally

When the coronavirus pandemic began and lockdown took force across the country – shuttering shops and pubs, closing schools and barring places of worship – much of what we saw, heard and experienced was dictated and driven by “the centre”. Ministers and officials commanded our attention and determined the daily details of our lives. Few of us have experienced the sheer power of government like that in our lifetimes.

It makes sense to instinctively look for central direction in such an acute crisis, and we’re indebted to the roles many played in doing so, especially those who organised the NHS to cope with the increased demand. Within the Church there are lessons to be learnt about the role and importance of central guidance, and its crucial interplay with government rules that exist for the benefit of all.

But with a vaccine still far from certain, infection rates rising and winter on the horizon, the new normal of living with Covid-19 will only be sustainable – or even endurable – if we challenge our addiction to centralisation and go back to an age-old principle: only do centrally what must be done centrally.

As a country, this principle is in our DNA. In the Church of England, we have been committed to localism for centuries.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(York Press) The Making of two new bishops to be livestreamed from York Minster

Two new Bishops will be consecrated in separate services taking place at York Minster on Monday 21 September.

The Revd Canon Sophie Jelley, former Director of Mission, Discipleship and Ministry in the Diocese of Durham and Canon Missioner at Durham Cathedral, will be consecrated as Bishop of Doncaster in the Diocese of Sheffield. Sophie will be consecrated in the morning by The Archbishop of York, The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, assisted by the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler and the Bishop of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox.

In the afternoon, the Revd Dr Andrew Emerton, former Dean of St Mellitus College, will be consecrated as Bishop of Sherwood in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. Andrew will be consecrated by the Bishop of Durham, the Revd Paul Butler, assisted by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally and the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Paul Williams. The Archbishop of York will preside at both services.

The consecration services will take place in the context of the Eucharist and will include readings, prayers, music and a sermon.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

New Theological College announced for North West England

The Bishops have established a multi-disciplinary implementation team led by the Rt Rev Philip North, together with the Rt Rev Beverley Mason and the Rt Rev Emma Ineson.

Bishop Philip said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to develop a new outstanding theological college in the North West to serve the Church in the region and beyond.”

The new independent college will offer part-time and full-time formational, vocational training for lay and ordained leaders of the Church and become the sole regional theological educational partner for the North West dioceses.

Bishop Emma noted: “The team recognise that change can be unsettling but we are committed to building on the strengths of three current providers, and the six dioceses they serve, so that the new college can be both an outstanding centre of excellence in theological education, and be better able to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the Church across the region.”

As part of responding to the needs of the region, the new college will seek to provide pathways for groups that have previously found it difficult to access training. The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, explained “there are many people who are called by God, but who currently find it hard to access the training they need. My episcopal colleagues and I are determined that this new college will enable people from diverse backgrounds to pursue ministry in the Church of England.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Seminary / Theological Education

Bishop Stephen Cottrell: safeguarding statements

Statement from Bishop Stephen

“Ten years ago I was approached about a safeguarding allegation regarding a priest. I was able to see the survivor and begin to hear what was a difficult and harrowing story. However, I was moving between roles at the time and although I did speak with colleagues about the actions that needed to be taken, I failed to ensure that these were properly documented and followed through in the way I would expect. Now that I have discovered that this incident was not followed up as it should have been, I am deeply distressed and extremely sorry. Because this has recently come to light, I am both thankful that it is being addressed properly now, but also mindful that in my new position as Archbishop of York it is absolutely essential that I am open and transparent about the need for the whole of our church to be scrupulously honest with each other about any failings in safeguarding.

“In the past, the Church of England has been too quick to protect its own reputation and slow to admit its failings. This must change. Those in public office should be subject to scrutiny. Good safeguarding is an absolute priority for the Church of England and for me personally.

“In the diocese of Chelmsford where I have served for the past 10 years, I have been helped by survivors I have worked with as well as a first rate safeguarding team to have a much greater understanding of why safeguarding itself is so important and how we must be prepared to confront our failings and learn from them. Therefore, although I am embarrassed that I did not follow this up as scrupulously as I should have done 10 years ago, I want to go on the record about what has happened in order to demonstrate a new spirit of openness and transparency over how we ensure that the church is as safe as it can be, that survivors are listened to and dealt with honestly, and perpetrators brought to justice.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

Anglican Bishops warn of ‘Environmental Racism’

The Archbishop of Canterbury together with the Bishops of Salisbury, Oxford, Truro, Dover, Woolwich, Sherborne, Loughborough, Kingston, Reading and Ramsbury, and former Archbishop Rowan Williams have joined a list of eight archbishops and 38 bishops worldwide in signing an open letter stating that black lives are predominantly affected by the effects of climate change, as well as police brutality and the spread of COVID-19.

Published by the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network, the letter reads (extract):

The world is slow to respond to climate change, hanging on to an increasingly precarious and unjust economic system. It is predominantly Black lives that are being impacted by drought, flooding, storms and sea level rise. The delayed global response to climate injustice gives the impression that #blacklivesdontmatter. Without urgent action Black lives will continue to be the most impacted, being dispossessed from their lands and becoming climate refugees.

We stand at a Kairos moment – in order to fight environmental injustice , we must also fight racial injustice.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Joseph Butler

O God, who dost raise up scholars for thy church in every generation; we praise thee for the wisdom and insight granted to thy bishop and theologian Joseph Butler, and pray that thy church may never be destitute of such gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

(Express+Star) Bishops looking forward to reopening churches for socially-distanced private prayer

Places of worship will be allowed to reopen for individual prayer from Monday, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced last week.

The ruling around individual prayer means a single person or household can enter a place of worship to pray on their own, but not as part of a group, led prayer or communal act.

They also must ensure they are socially distanced from other individuals and households.

The announcement excludes services, evensong, informal prayer meetings, mass, Jummah and Kirtan, as well as baptisms and weddings.

Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester and Rev. Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Lichfield, have both welcomed the decision by the government, but also voiced a note of caution going forward.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(CEN) Bishops take the knee

Bishops across the country led Anglicans in ‘taking the knee’ to mark the death of American George Floyd and to highlight injustice in British society.

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Martyn Snow, led others in kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time that a US police officer knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck.

Bishop Snow said: “I am deeply shocked by the appalling brutality we have seen against black people in America and I stand alongside those who are suffering and peacefully calling for urgent change, as well as committing to make changes in our own lives and the institutions we are part of.

“Structural and systemic racial prejudice exists across societies and institutions and we must act to change that, as well as addressing our own unconscious biases that lead us to discriminate against others.” Earlier this year he led the General Synod in a vote to apologise for racism in the Church.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

C of E Bishops revise and produce further guidance for parish life in the midst of the Covid19 Pandemic

It has been issued in light of the easing of restrictions on individual private prayer in places of worship, the reduction in death rates linked to Covid-19 and the pastoral needs of those who have been bereaved. It is in line with guidance from Public Health England.

In keeping with the Church of England’s wider approach to a phased reopening of places of worship, it will be up to each diocesan bishop and senior team how they use the guidance to support churches and cathedrals depending on their local context.

The House noted that this guidance is permissive and not prescriptive. If a building could not open because staff were ill or shielding or could not be easily cleaned, for example, it would be a local decision by those with authority over the building as to whether the permission was used or not.

The funeral may take place at a local crematorium or cemetery if the decision is taken not to open the church as is the case now.

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

(BBC) Bishop of Lincoln faces safeguarding disciplinary proceedings

The Bishop of Lincoln will face disciplinary proceedings in relation to a safeguarding children inquiry.

Bishop Christopher Lowson, who was suspended last year, faces allegations he “failed to respond appropriately to safeguarding disclosures”.

The Church of England said there was no allegation the bishop “committed abuse of a child or vulnerable adult”.

Officials also confirmed the bishop’s suspension would continue

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

The Former Bishop of Chelmsford, Stepehn Cottrell, reflects on his near decade of serving east London

The right reverend left his role as Bishop of Chelmsford over Easter and is due to become Archbishop of York in July – the second highest role in the Church of England.

But the coronavirus restrictions have left him unable to say a proper goodbye to the people of east London, something that disappoints him.

“For me, it’s been a kind of double lockdown – the lockdown we are all experiencing but a lot of the things I had been doing have been taken away altogether. So it’s a kind of double limbo for me at the moment.

“Rites of passage are important and it’s hard to say goodbye without the chance to say goodbye but there’s so much I’ll miss.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

The C of E House of Bishops meeting on Thursday the 21st of May

Amongst the issues discussed by the House:

  • An update on the Church’s activity on COVID-19 with reflections and insights given by three Diocesan bishops as well as insights from Brendan McCarthy, Medical Ethics Health and Social Care Policy adviser, and continuing preparations for the gradual reopening of churches for prayer and worship, led by Bishop Sarah Mullally.
  • Updates from groups of bishops looking at coronavirus and its implications for the future of the Church of England were given, with a series of breakout groups further looking at issues including political and economic change, shifts in technology as well as the impact of demographic change.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

The Confirmation of the Election of Bishop Stephen Cottrell as the 98th Archbishop of York

Bishop Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell will be confirmed as the 98th Archbishop of York at 11am on Thursday 9 July 2020, in a service broadcast entirely via video conference due to the Coronavirus restrictions. As Presiding Judge, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, has granted permission for the virtual service to take place.

The service, which had been due to take place in York Minster, will be in two parts: a legal ceremony with readings, prayers and music; and a film marking the start of Bishop Stephen’s ministry as Archbishop of York.

The service will include music from York Minster Choir and Manor Church of England Academy School (York). Young people from across the North of England, will read a letter written by the medieval religious scholar Alcuin of York. Bishop Stephen will offer his first address as Archbishop of York. Prayers will be offered for the Archbishop, the Diocese of York and the Northern Province of the Church of England as well as for the wider world in these difficult times.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Mark Tanner named as the 41st Bishop of Chester

The Rt Revd Mark Tanner has been named by Downing Street as the next Bishop of Chester, succeeding the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster who retired in September 2019.

Bishop Mark is currently the Bishop of Berwick in the Diocese of Newcastle, a post he has occupied since 2016.

“It will be hard to say goodbye to the North East,” he says, “however, Lindsay and I are really excited to return to Chester where I was ordained, and both of our children were born.”

Mark says: “It is an honour and a joy to be appointed to the Diocese of Chester at such a key time in the life of our communities, nation, and Church. In Christ, God offers a gift of hope beyond our imagining; there is no greater joy or privilege than enabling others to step into this freedom and life, whether in deeply practical service or beautiful wonder and worship. God is here for all.”

Bishop Mark and his wife, Lindsay, will be introduced to the diocese online via a series of live-streamed events. Members of the public can watch and participate via Facebook and Zoom.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Hope, nursing and Florence Nightingale: A Sermon by the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally

The Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, speaks of her nursing career, hope and Florence Nightingale, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the nursing pioneer’s birthday.

Watch and listen to it all.

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

Bp Stephen Cottrell–The Church will emerge from the coronavirus crisis even stronger

On the first Easter day, Jesus wasn’t recognised. Mary Magdalene famously mistook him for the Gardener. Cleopas and his companion didn’t know the identity of the stranger who walked at their side. Not being able to recognise things as they are, nor see where God is at work, is a common theme at Easter. As we approach Pentecost, it is still happening today.

During the coronavirus crisis, the Church of England has been accused of vacating the public square or of being absent. It was even implied that the decision to close churches for public worship was made by the Church, not the Government. Of course it wasn’t. The church is following Government guidance. Since we are in the middle of the biggest public health crisis in a century it is incumbent on all of us to do the same. With regard to the main charge – the church’s absence – I simply do not recognise it. The Church of England has been astonishingly present, albeit in many new and remarkable ways.

To test my hypothesis, I contacted a handful of clergy in the Chelmsford diocese where, until recently, I was the bishop. I asked them what they had been doing during the lockdown. Within moments I heard stories of a church in Ilford that has set up a daily food distribution point in the pub car park. This church is also working with refugees and asylum seekers. In Coggeshall, in rural North Essex, a telephone visiting service has been set up as well as telephone sermon and prayer lines. They have put baskets of home-made butterflies – a symbol of the resurrection – in the churchyard so that those taking their daily walk could attach them to a large wooden cross erected outside the porch. In Chelmsford, a brand new church that doesn’t even have a building yet, has started a Zoom Bible study group. The local foodbank wouldn’t exist without them. In Colchester, the parish priest has produced YouTube assemblies. The choir rehearses on Zoom and they run children and youth events online. Many frazzled parents and stir-crazy kids are benefiting from this ministry. I’ve even joined in myself.

These stories are being replicated up and down the country. Most astonishing of all, plenty of churches report very large numbers of people joining their streamed services.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

The Bishop of London’s Statement on the latest Government guidance on the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

C of E House of Bishops backs phased approach to revising access to church buildings

While church buildings remain closed for public worship, in line with Government advice, the Bishops agreed in principle to a phased approach to lifting restrictions, in time and in parallel with the Government’s approach, with three broad stages as infection levels improve:

  1. An initial immediate phase allowing very limited access to church buildings for activities such as streaming of services or private prayer by clergy in their own parishes, so long as the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are taken
  2. Subsequently access for some rites and ceremonies when allowed by law, observing appropriate physical distancing and hygiene precautions
  3. Worship services with limited congregations meeting, when Government restrictions are eased to allow this

The Bishops agreed that the decision on the timing of when to implement the revised advice on ministers or worship leaders praying and streaming from their church buildings should be made by individual Diocesan Bishops, depending on their local situation.

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

(Unherd) Giles Fraser–Let priests pray in their churches

…[Today] the bishops of the Church of England will meet to consider the growing opposition to their policy of banning clergy from saying prayers in their churches.

To recap: on 24 March the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to the clergy of the Church of England with the following instruction: “Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.”

The guidance of the government makes it specifically clear that clergy are allowed into their churches on their own to pray and to broadcast prayer. And the Roman Catholics and other churches continue to do so. But the C of E has banned its clergy from doing this, in some Dioceses with the threat of disciplinary action hanging over those who do.

The deep unhappiness about this continues to grow. Today a letter was sent to The Times signed by hundreds of clergy and lay people complaining about the current restrictions. And as the resistance grows so too does the counter-resistance — with arguments from those defending the official line appearing all over social media.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

The 20202 Easter Sunday sermon from the Rt Revd Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter, Preaching / Homiletics

Bishop Lee of Bristol’s 2020 Easter message

The Christian faith declares that in and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God does all it would take to ensure fear, violence, poverty, death and disease will not have the last word. Bearing the load of others and sharing in suffering was integral to this but the keynote, ringing out that first Easter Day, is hope and new beginnings from the darkest of times.

We know the Covid-19 crisis will bring massive challenges to world economies including our own. It is a grave threat but it holds out an opportunity, and that is to build on what we have learned personally and collectively about being at our best for one another, especially in relation to the most vulnerable in our society.

Rather than sinking us, our challenge could lead us to consider and embrace pathways which would have seemed impossible before the crisis; perhaps a wholesale rethinking of what a healthy society needs at its heart in a new reality where less could turn out to be more. I wonder whether appreciation of each other’s contributions might become a new normal rather than criticism.The Easter narratives in the Bible may be pretty harrowing but they peak with breaking the hold of death and giving confidence in the goodness of God no matter what. So for you and those you love and care for this Easter, may tears be wiped away, fears relieved and the eternal song of hope and gratitude revive your soul.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter

(Prospect Magazine) Bp Graham Tomlin–How coronavirus is giving us a crash course in a different moral universe

Over the past few weeks, we have seen something quite extraordinary. Without too much legal threat, we have voluntarily submitted to severe abstinence, denying ourselves the rights to mix freely, to go to pubs and restaurants, to watch live sport, to shake hands, to travel to work. As we go through this period of collective self-abnegation, the suppression of our personal ambitions and desires, we are learning how to redirect our personal longings for a greater good, to sacrifice what we would normally like to do for the good of the whole.

We are learning that for a society to work, and to stave off the threats that confront it, the prioritisation of individual choice on its own is not enough. A society cannot survive if each one of us pursues our own self-chosen goals independent of everyone else. We have to exercise restraint, the Queen’s “self-discipline and resolve,” to learn the capacity to sacrifice our own desires for the sake of the wider community.

To address the potentially even more serious challenges of climate change, or the elimination of global poverty, for example, will require an even greater and longer exercise in self-restraint. The question is, when this is all over, whether we will go back to what we have been used to in the recent past, or whether we will restore something of an equilibrium between the demands of individual ambition and the common good.

Saint Paul once wrote that the Christian idea of grace, the notion that we are recipients of goodness that we didn’t create, “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” It may sound quaint and Victorian. But unless we can learn to live self-controlled, disciplined lives, a little more like the ones we’re having to lead right now, there will be little future for our planet or the people who live on it. Maybe coronavirus is giving us a crash course in a different moral universe—one that might just be the saving of us.

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Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Philosophy, Theology

Bishop Keith Sinclair of Chester’s Easter Sermon

Mary is distressed, very distressed:

Not only has she seen the most terrible death inflicted on the man of all men who did her the greatest kindness, Luke tells us she is the woman who was delivered of 7 evil spirits by Jesus,She is now distressed that even in his death, and she has seen him die, the simplest and most basic expressions of love and respect cannot be given by her to him, anointing his body with oil.

The angels ask her why she is weeping, and she says “they” have taken away my Lord and she doesn’t know where.

When you are feeling at your most powerless and forsaken it is as if you have been kicked in the teeth again.

Then the mysterious figure appears who she thinks is the gardener; in an extraordinary touch, she gently accuses him of taking the body, and pleads with him to allow her to know where, so that she can simply come to do what she can for him even in the aloneness of his death and burial.

And then the man speaks her name.

Mary

It is as if the whole gospel comes to a standstill at that moment.

Mary

A realisation of a new reality in the universe dawns on this woman from Magdala in Galilee.

Mary

By simply calling her name Jesus expresses the full meaning of his love for her, even delight in astonishing her, and he enables her to know, that all she imagines as the worst, is over.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter

(Diocese of London) Graham Tomlin, the Bishop of Kensington, offers a reflection: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Wednesday: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? from London Diocese on Vimeo.

Posted in Christology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Holy Week

National virtual service for Palm Sunday to be led by the Bishop of Manchester

Christians are to be encouraged to make their own paper or card ‘palm’ crosses and display these in their windows in a national virtual church service for Palm Sunday to be broadcast by the Church of England.

The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will put a paper ‘palm’ cross in the window of his Salford home in a national service he will lead for Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week and Easter.

The Holy Communion service will be broadcast at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook page and Church of England website, with readings from the Archdeacon of Manchester, Karen Lund and prayers by Lucy Hargraves from St Peter’s Church in Bolton. All three record contributions from their own homes in keeping with the rules on physical distancing.

In his sermon, Bishop David will speak of the strength and mutual support from the crowd that he addressed in Manchester city centre following the Manchester Arena attack in 2017

At a time when gatherings are no longer permitted in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, he said support and comfort was being drawn from events such as virtual church services and campaigns such as #ClapForCarers to thank NHS staff and key workers.

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Posted in Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Health & Medicine, Holy Week, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

A paper from the London College of Bishops:The Eucharist in a time of Physical Distancing

Consistent with this position, we offer several options for parishes as long as the current physical distancing restrictions apply:

  1. Some parish churches may wish temporarily to suspend the celebration of Holy Communion until they are able to meet together in person again. We are already having to cease the practice of public Baptism for the duration due to the restrictions placed upon us, and so a church may choose to do the same with the other dominical sacrament. As one incumbent put it recently: “We will take this opportunity to fast from the Sacrament while we feast on the Word.”
  1. To ensure congregational involvement, where a parish church wishes to continue to celebrate the eucharist within the current advice issued by the London College of Bishops, and only the priest can be present, it should, whenever possible, be livestreamed, so that others can at least (as Cranmer put it) “see with our eyes” even if they cannot “smell with our noses, touch with our hands and taste with our mouths.” This enables the kind of spiritual reception that is at the heart of the sacrament, even if physical partaking is not possible.
  1. If that is not feasible, at the very least, it should be clearly advertised in the parish and among the congregation when the Holy Communion is to be celebrated in the home of the priest, with or without the presence of another member of that household. Such public advertising is insisted on in the ‘Exhortations’ in the BCP that are inserted between the Prayer for the Church Militant and the Confession. This way, others can be invited to pray and perhaps read the Scriptures at that time, so that the service takes place within some kind of extended communal act of worship in that parish, even if dispersed, and does not become merely a private act of devotion. Some prayers that would enable people to take part in such a celebration might be prepared.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology

Dean of pioneering training college to be new Bishop of Sherwood

Downing Street today announced that the Revd Dr Andrew Emerton, Dean of St Mellitus College, has been appointed as the next Bishop of Sherwood in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

St Mellitus College is one of the largest of the Church of England’s theological training institutions with a growing reputation for pioneering approaches to training. Andy has been involved with St Mellitus since its earliest days, joining the staff team as Assistant Dean in 2008 and becoming Dean in 2015.

As Suffragan Bishop, Andy will work closely with the Diocesan Bishop, the Right Revd Paul Williams, in overseeing the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

“It is a huge privilege to be called to serve as a bishop in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham,” said Andy. “It will be a delight to work with Bishop Paul and the clergy and lay leaders of the diocese to contribute to the vision for Growing Disciples and to help build confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ across a diverse range of churches and local communities. I am excited and hopeful about this next stage of ministry.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Leicestershire Live) Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani to spend night sleeping on streets

The bishop of Loughborough is to spend a night sleeping rough on the streets of Leicester.

Church of England bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani will take to the streets with other volunteers from the charity The Bridge, equipped with only cardboard, a sleeping bag, flasks and the clothes on their back for warmth.

The event, called The Big Sleep, will take place on Thursday March 26 on the De Montfort University and University of Leicester campuses.

The sleep out is just one of 30 projects Bishop Guli is undertaking over the next month-and-a-half as part of a Lent Pilgrimage, called The Salt of the Earth pilgrimage.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Express) Anger Bubbles over in Debate in House of Lords on war widows’ pensions

The Treasury has been at the centre of the resistance to demands for change highlighted by our War Widows’ Pensions Crusade.

In 2015 the Government ruled war widows could keep the £7,500-a-year “killed in active service” pension if they remarried.

But around 300 widows missed out as they’d remarried before then and the law was not backdated.

The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, said the “particular scandal of this situation is that it only applies to those where the incident causing the death occurred between April 1973 and April 2005”.

Those widowed before or after didn’t lose their benefit if they remarried, he said. “This is complete nonsense and is shameful. It must be put right.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Pensions, Politics in General

(Church Times) Climate battle must start right now, says Bishop Holtam

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nick Holtam, the Church of England’s lead bishop on environmental issues, is writing to all bishops and diocesan secretaries this week, in response to the target set at the General Synod last week to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2030.

The most immediate problem facing the C of E is that it has no idea what its carbon footprint is at present. Bishop Holtam will ask parishes to use a new Energy Footprint Tool to measure the energy they use. The online tool also generates a dashboard to show churches how they compare. For details, see cofe.io/footprint.

Responding to the new target, 15 years before the official recommendation, the Bishop said: “We aren’t under any illusion that this will be easy. Synod’s target sets a serious challenge for the whole Church to examine urgently the steps necessary to achieve the kind of year-on-year carbon reductions we need. This is a national goal which will need more than 16,000 local plans supported by the right policies and resource.

“But the science tells us there’s no time to lose if we are to limit the warming of the planet humans are causing. The tone at Synod was overwhelmingly that Christians should respond urgently to our calling to safeguard God’s creation, and go as fast as we can.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, CoE Bishops, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stewardship