Category : Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell

The Archbishop of York writes about his Friend, Sir David Amess, RIP

He and I did not see eye to eye on some political issues. But this didn’t matter. Or rather, the fact that it doesn’t matter matters hugely for the flourishing of our democracy. Disagreement wasn’t a cause of enmity or division. Disagreement didn’t mean separation. Yet it is precisely this that we see around us in so much of the trench warfare of current public and political discourse, the vitriolic and ever amplifying echo-chambers of social media now invading other areas of life.

How do we counter this?

David Amess was a kind man.

The word kind is related to the word kin. When we are kind to someone, it doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with them, or even like them, but that we recognise a kinship, a common humanity and treat them accordingly; or as we sometimes say, ‘treat them in kind.’

David’s robust kindness came from his Christian faith. He was a devout Christian, a Roman Catholic. But the idea that we human beings belong to one another and have a responsibility to each other is not self evident. Observation of our behaviour and attitudes shows us the opposite. Our worst desires can be seen everywhere, leading us to separation, fuelled by selfishness, and bearing fruit in hatefulness and the possession of each other.

The picture of humanity that God gives us in Jesus Christ offers something else. In this regard, perhaps the most radical words Jesus ever spoke are the ones most of us know and many of us say every day: ‘Our Father’. In saying these words we don’t just acknowledge we belong to God, we acknowledge our belonging to each other as kith and kin.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

(Yorkshire Post) Archbp Stephen Cottrell–Why the voices of the poor need heeding in Challenge Poverty Week

Tackling poverty must be one of our key national focuses. Even before the pandemic, the wealth gap had widened and regional inequality was stark. Household wealth in the South-East is more than twice as high as in the North East, and poverty is holding back millions of families and children.

We must resolve to find ways to redesign our economic systems, to loosen poverty’s grip, so everyone can live a full and dignified life. We cannot and must not have a recovery where the wealthy can speed off down the fast lane, while others are left broken down on the hard shoulder.

The Bible teaches us to love our neighbours, and to treat them as we would like to be treated. In the book of James, we are cautioned against showing hospitality or favouritism to wealthy guests while neglecting poor ones. Too often though, isn’t that what some of our ingrained systems do? People with first-hand experience and insight of poverty are left out of key discussions.

There are alternatives. The Poverty Truth Network is driven by the mantra that “nothing about us without us is for us”. Its approach, putting people together in the same room to pool their wisdom and find solutions to poverty, should not be seen as radical. It should be the norm.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Poverty, Religion & Culture

Archbishops’ Racial Justice Commission Members Announced

Commenting on the appointment of the Commissioners, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York said:

“We are delighted that these twelve Commission members have agreed to join the Racial Justice Commission.

“They represent complex interests and expertise, within and beyond the church, bringing a rich experience that will inform and meet the needs of the task that lies ahead. We pray for a transformation in our Church that will bring hope to the world. We look forward to their reports and pray for their work.”

Lord Boateng said: “These exceptional individuals bring wisdom and a passion for justice rooted in God’s love to the work of the Commission.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

Archbp Stephen Cottrell’s Vision and Strategy Address to the General Synod of July 2021

After a wide ranging series of conversations involving many Synod members, representatives of just about every constituency that makes up the complex and varied ecology of the Church of England, and many voices that do not always find themselves invited to the decision-making table, we were led to a simple answer: to be a more Christ centred church.

I don’t think we would have arrived at such a simple statement were it not for the experience of Covid. The restrictions and isolations we have lived with have been hard. Our world is suffering. But stripped of the familiar comforts of worship and common life we have discovered a new and clear vision of Christ, the one who stands at the centre of our faith, the one in whom we have access to God. This is ludicrously obvious. It is hardly a surprise to say that our life is centred in Christ. It is unceasingly profound. The new life we have in Christ is received in one ‘gigantic gulp of grace’, as St. Cyprian put it. It is also a never ending story. St John’s Gospel ends with the declaration that if everything about Jesus was written down then “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21. 25)

St John also tells us that we are called to beloved discipleship, ‘dwelling close to the Father’s heart’; and courageous discipleship: ‘As the Father sent me, so now I send you’. As we recover and emerge from Covid, we believe that God is asking us to become a church of missionary disciples; a younger and more diverse church that looks like the communities it serves; a safe church and a church that is a place of welcome for everyone; a mixed ecology church where we reach and serve our nation in many different ways.

At the centre of this, and as the means whereby we will serve and reach our nation, is a parish system revitalised for mission. And I’m dismayed that anyone would think this work – work, by the way, that is still a work in progress – is aiming at anything else.

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

The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell’s Presidential address to General Synod

And on that subject, and mindful of a date most of us will have in our diaries for Sunday evening, I have turned to scripture for help, where I find, encouragingly, at Ezekiel 40.28 these words: “He brought me to the inner court – that is to the prize and victory we long for – by the south gate.” This, surely, is the inspiration we are looking for as a nation.

We have also been the Synod who have lived through the first waves of the Covid pandemic. We have learned how to zoom. This has been hugely testing and I want to acknowledge the disappointment and frustration of some members who are challenging us to go further to make sure that no one is disadvantaged by the way we use or don’t use technology.

But there have also been many wonderful stories of Christian resourcefulness, creativity and tenacity as in our parishes, chaplaincies, church schools and just about every other expression of church life we have found ways of sustaining the life of worship, built new on line communities of faith, and served our local communities.

As we emerge into the next phase of our learning how to live with Covid, we don’t know how many people will return to worship; we don’t know quite what will happen with the new communities we have nurtured online; we don’t know the full extent of the financial challenge. I know how difficult this has been in parishes and dioceses where at every level of church life we have had to make difficult decisions. But I want to encourage you. I think what the Church of England has done in the past 18 months, especially in the local church, is magnificent.

Just this week the Bishop of London spoke powerfully about how inspired she was by the way churches have risen to the challenge, finding new ways of gathering to worship God, reach out and serve their neighbours in these difficult times. I too want to thank clergy and lay leaders for their faithfulness and perseverance. I am deeply sorry if anything that has been said from the centre ever caused anyone to doubt this.

Apparently, in some quarters it has been suggested that clergy are a limiting factor on church growth. I agree. A shortage of clergy would really limit us. We need more vocations. Read it all.

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

The Archbishop of York’s Presidential Address to General Synod

Both the Task Force and the Commission are now mandated to help us implement ‘significant cultural and structural change.’ It has our support. As Arun Arora has said: ‘Apologies and lament must now be accompanied by swift actions leading to real change. And as Graham Tomlin pointed out yesterday in a blog Grace and Race, ‘It is the gospel, not a secular agenda that drives the Church’s vison for racial justice so that the Church genuinely reflects and demonstrates the varied and multi-faceted wisdom and grace of God in Christ.’

I say this to you as a white man who has been on a long journey of learning, and still has, I’m sure, some way to go. But let me finish with a little story that radicalised me. Before I went to ordination training I worked at Saint Christopher’s Hospice in South London for a year. I was a ward orderly. I was the only white man on a team of amazing black women. We became good friends. They taught me a great deal. It was the time of the Brixton riots – only a couple of miles down the road. One of the women I worked with, Grace, was my partner on the Monday after the weekend riots. One by one, throughout the day, a succession of white men stopped her in the corridor and made the same demeaning joke, asking her whether she had been throwing bricks or smashing up bus shelters. Each time, she would patiently smile at their inappropriate joke. But in the afternoon, when a senior consultant made the joke for the umpteenth time, she snapped. She told this so-called senior man what she thought of his derisive humour. She stomped off. He turned to me and said – and I quote – “What is it with these people. Can’t they take a joke?”

I took a deep breath. The deep breath that I can make as a privileged white man even though I was in a very low position compared to him, and I said that I’d been working with Grace all day and had been given the tiniest glimpse of the horrifying, persistent, degrading drip, drip of demeaning racism and how I was surprised she hadn’t snapped earlier and that he owed her an apology.

The Church of England owes some of our sisters and brothers in Christ a much greater apology than this; and for much greater wrongs. But most of all we owe it to the nation we serve and to the God we love, that in this watershed moment – the week when George Floyd’s killer was brought to justice – we will now commit ourselves to change.

Read it all.

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

(Archbishop of York) Stephen Cottrell: Covid-19 has brought us to our knees – now I pray we rise up

Even though our poorest communities have suffered disproportionally, there can be no ‘me and you’ or ‘them and us’ with Covid. It must be we. Covid will not be dealt with anywhere until it is dealt with everywhere.

The most obvious sign of this is the vaccine programme itself. It is wonderful that our country is taking the lead. But we won’t get beyond Covid until the whole world is vaccinated.

This rediscovery of a most basic human truth, that my well-being is tied up with my neighbour’s well-being, should now be the guiding principle for all public policy as we move forward.

Secondly, and flowing from the realisation that we belong to each other, we have learned to appreciate the real dignity and value of people’s labour: especially those whose jobs we may have considered menial and unimportant a year ago.

Who would have thought that alongside the heroes of the National Health Service’s inspiring example of selfless care, we would have also come to value those who stock the supermarket shelves or drive the delivery vans or volunteer in food banks?

We used to measure each other’s worth by the size of their salary. Now it must be the size of their heart.

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Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture

Archbishops launch new Commission on Families and Households

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have today announced a new commission to explore what support families and households need to flourish in today’s society.

This new Commission follows the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Community, whose final report ‘Coming Home’ was published in February 2021. This new Commission will aim to build on that work, formally beginning its work in May and look to report in winter 2022.

The origin of the Commission lies in Archbishop Justin’s 2018 book ‘Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope’. Building on a key chapter, ‘Family – Caring for the Core’, the Commission aims to articulate and address the pressures and challenges facing families and households, whilst also highlighting the good and the positive in terms of what works well and how that can be built on, drawing on Christian tradition.

It will aim to offer practical and deliverable ideas on what enables families and households to thrive and prosper as the cornerstone of every community in our society.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A National Day of Reflection for the first anniversary of lockdown

The Church of England, Marie Curie, Hope UK, Care for the Family, Ataloss and many charities and organisations across the UK, will join forces on Tuesday 23rd March for a National Day of Reflection to commemorate the first anniversary of the nationwide Coronavirus lockdown.

York Minster will open from 11.30am to welcome people for prayer, quiet reflection and to light candles for family, friends and loved ones. The Minster will fall still at 12 noon for a national one minute silence. A Chaplain will be present throughout the day.

The Revd Michael Smith, Canon Pastor at York Minster said: “This unprecedented event has touched communities all over the world. There has been heart-breaking loss of life, disruption to every sphere of life, enforced isolation that has been extremely difficult to endure and severe economic strain. Even the most basic human interactions such as comforting the sick and dying, or attending a funeral have been impossible for many.

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Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, History, Religion & Culture, Uncategorized

(Yorkshire Post) Archbishop of York: Future of our local churches after pandemic

But how will Archbishop Cottrell ultimately judge the success of his own mission from a pastoral and personal perspective? “I’m not sure is the honest answer,” he concedes. “Let me tell you what I long for. I do long for our churches to grow. I do long for that. I think our world will be a better place, I think people would lead happier more fulfilled lives in communion with God. Even if that doesn’t happen, I won’t think I have failed because I don’t think I am personally responsible for that – I have my part to play.

“I also long for us to live in a fairer, better world where families and households and communities are properly supported, and I think the Church has a part to play in that, and I certainly want to do all that I can to develop and strengthen the life of the local church.

“We might even increase and develop that presence into new communities, that we will have worked out what it means to be an online church as well as a physical church. They are the things that I hope for. If that bears fruit with more people being part of the Church, then I will rejoice.” He means it.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(The Observer) Britain must reset its compass, from housing to wages, says archbishop of York

Britain needs to reset its compass in a political climate in which “we’ve learned to accommodate things that we know are wrong”, the archbishop of York has said.

Stephen Cottrell, who was enthroned in October, told the Observer: “Our compass has slipped; we’ve allowed ourselves to believe that things can’t change, that this is just the way the world is. Politics has, I think, shrunk. There’s a loss of vision about what the world could be like.”

As the number two in the Church of England, he said that he wanted the church to have a louder political voice. “I simply don’t accept a separation between the church and politics, faith and politics or, for that matter, anything and politics. It’s about how we inhabit the world – and everybody and every organisation and every community has a voice and a stake.”

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Books, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Churchwarden Patrick Kidd Expresses Some Concerns about recent C of E leadership amidst the Pandemic

Take the time to read it carefully.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Spectator) The Archbishops of Canterbury and York–the Church in changing times

You can imagine our shock, then, when we read in the media about what is supposedly happening to our beloved church. That the parish system, with its beautiful vision of serving every inch of the country and every person in it, is being systematically dismantled. That clergy are being made redundant. That there are plans to somehow centralise everything and for services, even beyond Covid, to be online rather than in person.

So let us try to set the record straight. There are no plans to dismantle the parish network. We are committed to our calling to be a Christian presence in every community.

Throughout our history, some churches have closed and others have opened. We weep at the former and rejoice at the latter. But it is not new. The untold story is that in recent years the Church of England has planted or renewed at least 100 new congregations and churches.

Far from withdrawing from the poorest areas, there is a huge effort towards growing congregations and supporting ministry in those areas — including rural areas, where we invest £10 per head of population compared with £6 per head in urban areas.

Meanwhile, the suggestion that all we do is cut back clergy numbers is not only untrue and unhelpful, it creates unnecessary anxiety. We need more clergy and they are coming forward in record numbers. And where dioceses are saving posts, it is usually through retirements.

Read it all.

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

(Church Times) Clergy won’t be pushed out in cost cuts, says Archbishop of York

Clergy are still needed to serve the Church of England, and “are not being pushed out” of their posts to make up for the continued decline in income, the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, says.

None the less, the Church will have to make “tough” and “challenging” changes to spread both its wealth and stipendiary clergy fairly across the 42 dioceses, he warns. This is likely to result in some cuts to stipendiary posts in all dioceses, many of which — especially in the north — are being left vacant after clerics retire.

Archbishop Cottrell, writing in the Church Times this week, is responding to the alarm caused by a discussion paper circulated to bishops and diocesan secretaries last month, part of which was leaked to The Sunday Times (see our full news report here).

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(C of E) Archbishops join interfaith call to PM to allow public worship

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with the Bishop of London, have joined national faith leaders in calling on the Government to permit public worship during the forthcoming lockdown in England.

Read it all and the full letter at the link.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Faiths

A letter to clergy from Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell and the Bishop of London on the recently proposed Lockdown

We are grateful for people’s energy, hard work and creativity in making this happen and we hope and pray this will continue. We are grateful that the new guidelines being introduced on Thursday not only allow churches to remain open for private prayer but also enable online worship to be broadcast from the church building. We were cautious about these issues during the first lockdown – perhaps overly so – but in this second lockdown we want to encourage church buildings to remain open for private prayer wherever possible, making sure that their buildings are Covid secure in the ways that we have learned in recent months, and to broadcast services from their church buildings. However, if you do not have the resources or wherewithal to do this, please do not feel that you have failed in any way. The good thing about provision of worship online, is that people can join in from anywhere and therefore we can support each other more easily in this endeavour. Our national digital team will continue to offer training and support and provide national services each week.

However, worship online still means that the people of God do not have access to the sacraments which are so central to our life in Christ. This is a huge loss and since we were not consulted about the lockdown provisions, we fully intend to speak with government about why certain exemptions are made and not others, emphasising the critical role that churches play in every community. The sacramental life of the church cannot be seen as an optional extra. Nor can we separate out our worship from our service, it is always both and not either or.

Nevertheless, we will of course abide by the law and ask you to do the same. We must do all that we can to keep our communities safe and to enable the NHS to manage this crisis. The Recovery Group chaired by the Bishop of London will be issuing specific guidance in the next day or two.

Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Archbishop of York enthroned in socially distanced service

The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell becomes the 98th archbishop, taking over from Dr John Sentamu as the second most senior Church of England cleric.

A limited number of people were allowed to attend the socially distanced service, which was streamed online.

Archbishop Cottrell said he was “delighted and humbled” to take up the role.

“I have begun my ministry at a time of huge hardship and challenge and at the moment Covid19 is having a particularly devastating impact in the north,” he said.

“We don’t know how long the current restrictions will be in place. However, the worship and work of the church goes on bringing much needed hope, relief and practical help to the communities we serve.”

Read it all.

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

The Archbishop of York appoints a new Archdeacon of Cleveland

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has today announced the appointment of The Revd Dr Amanda Bloor as the new Archdeacon of Cleveland.

Amanda is currently Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Ordained in 2004, she has previously served as Chaplain and Diocesan Advisor in Women’s Ministry to the Bishop of Oxford, and as Area Director of Ordinands for Berkshire. She undertook Doctoral research in Clergy Wellbeing and has a keen interest in the flourishing of those engaged in ministry. She is also a Chaplain to the Army Cadet Force. Amanda is married to Mark and has two grown-up daughters.

Archbishop Sentamu said: “I very much look forward to welcoming Amanda to the Diocese of York and especially to her new ministry in the Archdeaconry of Cleveland. As well as her experience in a bishop’s team, her research on clergy wellbeing stands her in good stead to support everyone whose work and calling is to serve others in Jesus’ name.”

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(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)

(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.

Read it all.

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

A York Press Profile on Bishop Stephen Cottrell, the man named as next Archbishop of York

…it had been widely anticipated that, once Dr Sentamu retired next June, England’s first black Archbishop might be replaced by England’s first woman Archbishop.

Not so. Stephen Cottrell, the person unveiled yesterday to step into Dr Sentamu’s shoes as the new Archbishop of York, is white, male (obviously) and middle aged (he’s 61).

A missed opportunity? A case of the Church of England bottling it once more on the issue of women in the highest offices?

Not necessarily. Because Bishop Cottrell is very far from being the kind of wealthy, public school-educated Establishment figure that filled the higher ranks of the church for so long.

In fact, he’s a Spurs-loving Essex boy who went to a secondary modern school and studied not at Oxford but at poly – the Polytechnic of Central London, in fact.

And while he undoubtedly comes from the ‘high church’ wing of the CofE (he is ‘Bishop Protector for the Society of St Francis’, an order of Anglican Franciscans very much at the ‘Catholic’ end of the CofE spectrum) he is also unashamedly liberal – and outspoken – on everything from homophobia to the church’s attitude to race.

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Bishop Stephen Cottrell to be the next Archbishop of York

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