Category : Anglican Provinces

(C of E) Bishops of Maidstone, Ebbsfleet and Oswestry

A series of changes have been announced to the names of bishops who offer extended episcopal care to parishes that cannot accept the priestly or episcopal ministry of women.
Under these changes, now approved by the Dioceses Commission, the Bishop of Maidstone Rod Thomas’s successor will now be known as the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Meanwhile the role of the previous Bishop of Ebbsfleet – whose ministry was to traditional catholic parishes – will move to become that of the Bishop of Oswestry in the Diocese of Lichfield.

Bishop Rod, who will retire in October, has had a special national ministry since 2015 providing a voice in the College of Bishops and advocacy for those who cannot, on the grounds of complementarian evangelical theology, accept the priestly or episcopal ministry of women.

The future Bishop of Ebbsfleet, who will take on this responsibility when Bishop Rod retires, will live either in London or the M4 corridor for ease of travel and will minister nationally to complementarian evangelical parishes.

The combined effect of these changes means that the See of Maidstone will become vacant and could potentially revert to local use within the Diocese of Canterbury in the future.

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

Church Commissioners appoint planning specialist Jennifer Longstaff to aid affordable housing delivery

Longstaff will help drive forward the Church Commissioners’ ambitions for affordable housing delivery, particularly in rural areas, across the Church Commissioners’ land portfolio.

The Commissioners’ real asset portfolio includes significant landholdings, which have a critical role to play in supporting rural communities and maintaining their vibrancy across the country, including through the delivery of new housing.

A chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Longstaff has nearly 15 years’ experience working for Savills undertaking project development and securing planning permissions to support new developments, including rural housing.

At Savills, she managed several smaller development sites, as well as successful larger housing and mixed-use projects across the North of England. She also worked closely with the Church Commissioners’ teams as a development consultant on their rural housing projects across England, with great success.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Housing/Real Estate Market, Religion & Culture

Church run ‘baby bank’ helps growing number of young families

The North Shields Baby Bank, based at St John’s Church Percy Main, in North Tyneside, has helped more than 400 families since its launch in March last year with items including nappies, wipes, clothing and baby formula.

The church is now appealing for help to replace its heating system, in order to keep the baby bank operating over the winter months.

Revd Lee Cleminson, Vicar of St John’s, said: “People are really, really struggling with energy prices, food prices and the cost of petrol and all sorts of other expenses. They are referred through different agencies and community projects to the baby bank but also there are people who knock on the vicarage door, because I live next door to the church.

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

The Rt Revd Dr Eleanor Sanderson named the Next Suffragan Bishop of Hull

10 Downing Street has announced today that Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of the Right Reverend Doctor Eleanor Sanderson as Suffragan Bishop of Hull in the Diocese of York, following the retirement of the Right Reverend Alison White.

Dr Eleanor Sanderson has been Assistant Bishop of Wellington in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia since 2017.

The Bishop of Hull is one of three Suffragan Bishops supporting and extending the ministry of the Archbishop of York in the Diocese of York, and has a particular responsibility for the Archdeaconry of the East Riding, encompassing the City of Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, and part of the North Yorkshire coast including Scarborough and as far north as Ravenscar.

Ellie’s ministry to date has been within the Diocese of Wellington; she was ordained in 2005 and was Vicar of the Parish of St Alban’s, Eastbourne, Chaplain to Wellesley College, and the Diocesan Canon Theologian prior to her appointment as Assistant Bishop. She additionally served in a wide range of roles in academic and not-for-profit development organisations. In the Diocese of Wellington, she has led intentional discipleship programmes which resource Christians to go deeper in their relationship with God and equip them to build up mission and discipleship with others.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Archbishops’ Commission on Racial Justice releases First Biannual Report

Mandated to drive ‘significant cultural and structural change on issues of racial justice within the Church of England’, the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice (“ACRJ”), headed by The Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng, is charged with monitoring, holding to account and supporting the implementation of the forty-seven recommendations of the Racial Justice Taskforce which were laid out in the Taskforce’s comprehensive 2020 report From Lament to Action.

In his foreword letter to the First Report, Lord Boateng writes, “This is a painful process, and necessarily so, in that the response to an examination of racism and the exposure of injustice is often one of denial and defensiveness or obscuration and delay. This must not go unchallenged.”

Released today, the Commission states: “In this, the first of the six reports the ACRJ will produce, we have outlined the beginning of this work, reporting on the formulation of the seven workstreams in the last three months, and the progress of work on the five priority areas and the forty-seven recommendations identified in From Lament to Action.

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

(V O) Church leader makes history as the first black female Bishop of Croydon

Dr. Rosemarie Mallett, a leading figure in the Church of England made history this morning to become the first black female Bishop of Croydon.

The widely admired Dr Mallett was consecrated as the new Bishop of the south London diocese in a special ceremony at Southwark Cathedral this morning.

She becomes the second Bishop of Croydon of Barbadian heritage – the first being the Rt Revd Wilfred Wood who served as Bishop from 1985 to 2003 and only the second black female Bishop in the Church of England following the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin’s appointment as Bishop of Dover in 2019.

In May this year the Queen approved Dr Mallett’s appointment as Bishop. Dr Mallet, who was ordained a priest in 2005, previously served as Archdeacon of Croydon. The new Bishop succeeds the Rt Revd Jonathan Clark who left the Diocese in March.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Guardian) Christians in Oxford asked to commit to protecting environment

The addition to the liturgy comes as the Oxford diocese announces plans to spend £10m improving the energy efficiency of its vicarages in an effort to hit net zero emissions by 2035. It is one of 10 dioceses to have divested from fossil fuel companies, making commitments not to invest in coal, oil and gas in the future.

At a national level, the Church of England has been criticised for not acting quickly enough to cut its links with fossil fuel companies. It began to cut ties to coal and other heavily polluting industries in 2015, then pledged in 2018 to divest by 2023 from high-carbon companies that were “not aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement”. But as the deadline approaches, the organisation has said it is still “engaging” with key oil and gas interests, rather than cancelling all of its holdings.

Chris Manktelow, of the Young Christian Climate Network, told the Guardian earlier this year that that was not good enough. “The church should be moving quickly and showing moral leadership, and is just not going fast enough. We are not happy with this response [to the calls to divest].”

On Wednesday, Greenpeace welcomed the Oxford decision.

“The diocese of Oxford is moving away from fossil fuels, which is essential, but this liturgical change goes deeper,” said a spokesperson. “Today’s lesson is that, in a climate and nature emergency, you need to make environmental considerations central to your project right from the very beginning and keep them in mind the whole way through. That sounds very much like wisdom worth listening to.”

Read it all and you can see the additional wording in the liturgy there.

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

(BBC) Salisbury bishop marks appointment with cash giveaway

A new bishop says parishioners cheered after they were surprised with a gift of £10 each at his inauguration.

Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Stephen Lake, said it was the first time he had seen a congregation “burst out in applause”.

He said the money, given by two anonymous donators, was to show people can make the most of what they have been given.

Bishop Lake said: “It was a great start to a new ministry.”

He added: “They [the congregation] were given the £10 because we were living out the gospel, read out in the service. Taken from Luke, The Parable of the Talents, also known as The Parable of the Pound.

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

(Naija News) Anglican Archbishop Chukwuma Tells Pres. Buhari he must take Action Over Insecurity Problem in Nigeria

[Emmanuel] Chukwuma said that his ministry is very much concerned about the state of the nation. He, however, admonished citizens to prepare for a revolution if the government is not ready to do the needful.

“This is because of the security situation in Nigeria; kidnappings and killings have become the order of the day. Nigerians, for the past 23 years, have endured enough insult, abject poverty and suffering. They have so much been taken for granted.

“The Government of Buhari has not done enough to protect the people. I say this because the number of people killed under the Buhari Government is more than in any other country,” the Archbishop said.

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Posted in Church of Nigeria

(BBC) Channel Islands will be equal players, says Bishop of Salisbury

He said Jersey and Guernsey will be treated as equals players.

Bishop Stephen [Lake] said: “The two deans will be sat around the table with my senior team as equal players, and in that sense I am absolutely only going to be looking forward in this relationship.

“I look forward to coming over, and not just to the important but sometimes slightly grand occasions, but also being able to just be with the parish at an important time.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Archbishop Welby presents The Queen with Canterbury Cross for ‘unstinting service’ to Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury has presented HM The Queen with a special ‘Canterbury Cross’ for Her Majesty’s ‘unstinting’ service to the Church of England over seventy years.

The Archbishop made the presentation during an audience with Her Majesty at Windsor Castle today.

The Canterbury Cross was given to The Queen in recognition and gratitude for Her Majesty’s “unstinting support of the Church throughout her reign” and to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Archbishop Justin Welby gave the Cross as “a heartfelt symbol of the love, loyalty and affection in which the Church of England holds Her Majesty”.

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

(Church Times) Church Commissioners acknowledge that the slave trade boosted early funds

The Church Commissioners acknowledged on Thursday that their £10.1-billion fund has early links with the transatlantic slave trade. Both the Commissioners and the Archbishop of Canterbury have apologised.

The revelations come after research into Queen Anne’s Bounty, which was established in 1704 to tackle poverty among the clergy through the buying of land (from which the clergy received the income) or through an annuity stream. The Commissioners came into being in 1948 after a merger of the Bounty and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The research was initiated by the Commissioners in 2019 — shortly before the death of George Floyd sparked the Black Lives Matter movement (News, 5 June 2020), and amid an international debate about monuments to people with links to the slave trade (News, 14 May 2021).

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Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Prospect) Alice Goodman–Clerical life: Ordination season

In the US, where I studied for my Masters in Divinity (the professional degree for clergy across most of the churches in North America) it takes at least three years to prepare for ordination. I studied the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the history of Christianity, the philosophy of religion, moral theology, systematics, homiletics and pastoral care and counselling. I have my old ring-bound notebooks stacked in the wardrobe, and it comforts me to know they’re there if I ever forget what was said in that seminar on “Revelation, Faith, and the Nature of Tradition.”

You learn the history of liturgy, and how and why the church’s ceremonies have taken the shapes they have. There’s Field Education, the North American name for the attachments and placements we have here. Finally, before your General Ordination Examination, you go off to a hospital for an intensive programme of chaplaincy training combined with group therapy: the dreaded Clinical Pastoral Education. You learn how to listen to what’s not being said as much as to what is. You learn what your own baggage is, and how to check it. Some people concentrate on one part or another of the curriculum, but everyone has the basics and for everyone—whether they’re 20 or 60—it takes three years.

Over here it’s quite different. Alarmingly so. In the Church of England, the training you get depends, first of all, on your age. Ordinands over 40 tend to be funnelled into a shorter programme. The three-year course is primarily for younger ordinands, and those who have been talent-spotted for preferment. A full-time residential programme is for the lucky few. In a new development, one theological college and at least one diocese are trialling a scheme for ordinands to move in a single year from the selection interviews to the bishop’s laying-on of hands and anointing that makes them priests. This is aimed at what are referred to as “mature Christians.” Apparently, they are people who have been active in their church for a long time, and have retired with a really good final salary pension scheme, or are independently wealthy. The Church of England has decided that the learned clergy that the Elizabethans pushed for are a limiting factor to the survival of the institution.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

(ITV) Grenfell victims remembered at Westminster Abbey service on fifth anniversary

Attendees included former prime minister Theresa May, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Housing Secretary Michael Gove, building safety and fire minister Stephen Greenhalgh, and shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy.

Opening the service, the very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, said the loss and anguish “are still vivid and sharp” as the congregation gathered “in sorrow and in pain”.

He said: “Here we renew our commitment to remember those we have lost.

“We gather as those who look for justice and a renewed commitment to securing safety in our homes, safety in times of fire.

“Grateful for the support of the communities and individuals that have sustained the bereaved and the survivors over the last five years, we meet in faith and hope looking to a better, safer, surer future.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire

(ACNS) Former child refugee named as next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion

A South Sudanese bishop who was forced with his family into exile before he was one year old, the Right Revd Anthony Poggo, has been named as the next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. Bishop Anthony Poggo, the former Bishop of Kajo-Keji in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, is currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs.

Bishop Anthony was selected for his new role by a sub-committee of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee following a competitive recruitment process led by external consultants.

He will take up his new role in September, succeeding the Most Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who steps down after next month’s Lambeth [partial gathering] of Anglican bishops, which is being held in Canterbury, Kent, from 26 July to 8 August.

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Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Sudan

(Church Times) Bishops unite to condemn ‘shameful’ Rwanda plan for asylum-seekers

The Government’s “offshoring” policy, under which the first people are due to be deported to Rwanda as early as Tuesday, “should shame us as a nation”, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and 23 other bishops, have said.

The policy was included in the Nationality and Borders Act, which came into law in April despite objections and attempted amendments from bishops and other peers (News, 29 April). It was explicitly criticised by Archbishop Welby in his Easter sermon (News, 27 April), and reportedly by the Prince of Wales last week, who is said to have called it “appalling” in a private conversation.

Last week, campaigners failed to win an injunction against the policy in the High Court, which ruled that it was in the “public interest” for the Government to carry it out. An appeal on Monday was rejected for the same reason. A full hearing on whether the policy is lawful is due to take place next month.

In a letter due to be published in The Times on Tuesday, the full complement of bishops who sit in the House of Lords have written: “Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation.” The letter continues: “The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Rwanda

(C of E) Sowing seeds: how a patch of wasteland became heart of community

In just a few years, a patch of once unused land in the middle of the Quarrendon estate in Aylesbury, Bucks, has been transformed into the beating heart of the community by the local church.

The once neglected scrap of land surrounding St Peter’s Church, has been turned into a multipurpose green space – simultaneously a community garden, an exercise site, a place to grow food, an outdoor classroom, and a tranquil spot in the centre of the estate.

In partnership with local organisations, St Peter’s regularly takes referrals from the local GP surgery, known as ‘social prescribing.’

It also welcomes schools, the local Adult Education Centre, and the Youth Offenders Probation Service – where young adults learn new skills in landscaping and horticulture to help get them back into employment.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Tablet) Why Queen Elizabeth II is a ‘missionary’ for Christianity

The Queen’s faith has been a “consistent” feature of her reign and since 2000 she has increasingly spoken about it, making her something of “a missionary” for Christianity, the former editor of The Tablet, Catherine Pepinster has said.

Speaking at a special Tablet webinar on the eve of the celebration of her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee about her new book, Defenders of the Faith: The British Monarchy, Religion and the Next Coronation, Pepinster said that it was when she was researching a previous book, The Keys and the Kingdom: The British and the Papacy from John Paul II to Francis, she realised what a significant figure Elizabeth II was in terms of religion in Britain.

Her new book looks at the Queen’s personal faith and also her public role as the supreme governor of the Church of England, with a special focus on the coronation and the future of the monarchy.

The author and commentator stressed that while the Queen is Defender of the Faith, she was also a defender of other faiths in a religiously diverse Britain.

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Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Cambridge Independent) Jesus College will not pay legal costs for Rustat Memorial Group’s defence

The legal costs of the 65 alumni who successfully petitioned to keep the memorial to slave trade investor Tobias Rustat on the west wall of Jesus College chapel will not be paid by the college following a ruling by David Hodge QC of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Ely.

Jesus College Chapel. Picture: Keith HeppellJesus College Chapel. Picture: Keith Heppell
A three-day hearing took place in February to determine whether the diocese would approve Jesus College’s request to remove the memorial to an exhibition space elsewhere on college grounds.

The hearing was overseen by David Hodge, who had been appointed as deputy chancellor to consider the college’s petition. In late March, the verdict was issued in a 108-page statement: the memorial will stay where it is. The unsuccessful case cost Jesus College £120,000.

David Hodge QC accepted, in his ruling date June 5, 2022 and made public on June 7, that it is convention for unsuccessful parties to pay the legal fees for the winning party in conventional hearings, but “that general rule does not apply in contested faculty proceedings in the consistory court,” he wrote.

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Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations, Stewardship

(Guardian) Archbp Justin Welby–‘Is a world without violent conflict really possible?’

The effort we are rightly making to support Ukraine in defending itself against aggression needs to be matched by efforts towards negotiation, dialogue, reconciliation and peace. You cannot have one without the other. Our challenge is to put in place the infrastructures of reconciliation and the architecture of peacebuilding that enable disagreement to happen robustly, but not violently.

In a culture that often expects instant results and gratification, this work does not happen overnight. There is no “kiss and make up” moment. More often, there is the gradual transformation – sometimes over generations – of enmity and hostility to respect and trust. I clearly remember a leader in Northern Ireland being interviewed on the radio in the early summer of 1998, a few weeks after the signing of the Good Friday agreement. He was asked whether reconciliation had been “achieved”, and responded that the idea that something called reconciliation could be achieved in weeks, after 30 years of the Troubles and several centuries of bitterness, was absurd.

Deep wounds take a long time to become scars. Each of us carries our own pain, which makes it difficult to apologise and to forgive where we have wronged and been wronged. When we look towards reconciliation, we must also recognise – and have compassion for – our own conflicted and hurting hearts. Reconciliation is often risky and always costly – but it is less costly than the alternative.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Violence

A Prayer for Pentecost from the Church of England

God, who as at this time
taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit
to have a right judgement in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

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

(ABC Aus.) Mark Thompson–I contend that twelve bishops did defy the will of the Australian General Synod on marriage and sexual ethics

In a recent opinion piece, Matthew Anstey provided an account of the recent debate in the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia over the meaning of marriage. While this piece largely elaborated the Archbishop of Brisbane’s recent letter to his clergy, it contained such egregious errors of fact and attribution of motive that it calls for a response.

At the General Synod last month, two statements were presented formally at the request of the Diocese of Sydney, though both those statements had been extensively workshopped with members of the synod outside of Sydney — laypeople, clergy, and bishops, women and men, same-sex attracted people and other-sex attracted people. Their final form was greatly improved by this extensive interaction. Both of these statements were reaffirmations of a determination to live according to the teaching of Christ as it is given to us in the Bible.

When each statement was put to the vote, the vote was taken in houses (laity, clergy, bishops). This is an entirely legitimate procedure. There are obvious disadvantages of such a procedure, since it means that the measure must pass in each of the three houses in order to pass overall. There are also very obvious advantages, particularly since the order of voting ensures that laity or clergy are free to vote prior to, and therefore without direction from, the bishops.

In the case of the first statement, specifically affirming the biblical teaching about marriage, the house of laity approved the statement (63/47) as did the house of clergy (70/39), but the house of bishops (which only contains the presiding bishop in each diocese, not every bishop of a diocese) narrowly voted to reject the statement (12/10 with 2 abstentions). This created consternation among many since the synod as a whole had voted so very clearly in support of it (without the bishops 133/86). The twelve bishops who voted against the statement had declined to listen to a very clear majority of the synod.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Martyrs of Uganda

O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before thee the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Church of Uganda, Death / Burial / Funerals, Spirituality/Prayer

(Church Times) Two church musicians awarded for long service

The Queen is not the only one to be celebrating a Platinum Jubilee — two musicians received lifetime service awards from their church communities last month, with a combined contribution of 135 years.

Heather Braddock has been singing in the choir of Christ Church, Woodford, in the diocese of Chester, since the coronation in 1952, when she was 11 years old. On Easter Day, she was presented with a long-service medal and certificate from the Royal College of Musicians, in recognition of 70 years’ continuous service. The congregation also gave her a new sound system.

Ms Braddock, a former secretary in the NHS, has been running the choir for the past 20 years, and served as the PCC secretary for more than 28 years. She is married to Malcolm; their son, Canon Andrew Braddock, is the Interim Dean of Gloucester Cathedral.

She said: “It has been, and remains, a privilege and a joy to sing in, and serve, the choir here. Thank you to all the church family for their kindness and support. And here’s to our ongoing musical tradition here at Woodford.”

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

The Revd Canon Arun Arora Appointed As The New Bishop Of Kirkstall In The Anglican Diocese Of Leeds

{the] Revd Canon Arun Arora will take up the role of Bishop for the Leeds Episcopal Area after five years as Vicar of St Nicholas Church in the heart of Durham City. The appointment is a return to Yorkshire, where he served his curacy at St Mark’s Church in Harrogate.

“It is a joy and a privilege to be called to be Bishop of Kirkstall and to join the work that God is doing in Leeds. It is a particular delight to be returning to the Diocese where I was ordained and served my curacy, where my wife and I first lived and where our daughter was born,” said Canon Arora.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Arun added: “I am a city boy at heart and am excited at the thought of serving an increasingly confident and growing church in this vibrant city. I’m looking forward to working with the churches of Leeds and civic, commercial, educational and cultural partners in a common cause to bless the city and its people.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Church Times) Cathedral safeguarding processes were too slow to stop sex offender

Three cathedrals have been criticised for safeguarding failings in the case of William Scott Farrell, a sex offender.

Mr Farrell, a former director of music at Rochester Cathedral. was sentenced to five years imprisonment in August 2019 for sexual offences involving children (News, 16 August 2019).

The “lessons-learnt” review, which was published on Thursday, found that there were “a number of opportunities” to challenge his behaviour that were missed by the cathedrals that employed him. The review makes 11 recommendations to the Church of England to “improve culture, support and develop existing good practice, remove barriers, and improve safeguarding outcomes”.

In 2019, Mr Farrell pleaded guilty to three counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16 (relating to three different victims), which occurred while he was assistant organist of Ely Cathedral from 1999 to 2002, and to two counts of voyeurism and one count of taking indecent images of a child, committed in Rochester (News, 31 May 2019).

Mr Farrell was also employed by Newcastle Cathedral between 2002 and 2008. He was not charged with any offences the occurred during this time; however, the review found that there were “a number of concerns raised and missed opportunities to deal with inappropriate behaviour” during his time in Newcastle.

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

Canon Rob Saner-Haigh will be the new Bishop of Penrith

Prior to joining our Diocese in 2020, Rob ministered in Cumbria for 15 years, so this is a return to a county he knows extremely well and where he had served all his ordained ministry before moving to the North East.

Speaking about his move, Rob said: “It has come as something of a surprise to be appointed to this post back in Cumbria where I have spent most of my ordained ministry. I have loved being part of Newcastle Diocese and it has been such a blessing to get to know different people and parishes over the past couple of years. It all started on Zoom, of course, but more recently it has been a great joy to get out and about across the Diocese and to be part of the community at the cathedral.

“I’m grateful for the kindness, warmth, humour and deep faith of those I’ve worked with, and for such great colleagues. Over the past couple of years, we have re-shaped the Mission and Ministry Team and I am excited to see the many different ways in which they are already serving local parishes and supporting different ministries.

“As I return to Cumbria, I want to say a huge thank you. It has been a privilege to be part of this diocese, and you will all remain very much in my prayers as you seek to serve your communities and share the love and hope of God with them.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(FT) Walsingham–The Norfolk Lourdes: England’s lost Holy Land

Somewhere in an English village — amid the cul-de-sacs and pubs, vegetable patches and garden gnomes, the GP’s surgery and the miniature steam railway — lies the spot where the Virgin Mary came down from heaven.

Walsingham, Norfolk, is a sleepy place (though not as sleepy as the neighbouring village of Great Snoring). Nonetheless, it was here in 1061 that the Virgin supposedly appeared to Richeldis de Faverches, a Saxon noblewoman. Mary instructed her to build a replica of the house at Nazareth where archangel Gabriel had brought the news that she was to bear the Son of God.

You might wonder if there were more urgent prophecies to relate to a Saxon in the England of 1061 — but, in any case, the noblewoman set about following her instructions. It is said that one night, while she prayed, the building materials she had provided miraculously assembled themselves into the “Holy House” of Walsingham.

For half a millennium, Walsingham thrived as a centre of pilgrimage, alongside Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago. English kings came to pray here. The Milky Way became known as “The Walsingham Way” because its celestial sweep recalled the movement of pilgrims towards the bright star of its shrine. Walsingham, so the saying went, was “England’s Nazareth”.

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

Cathedrals have a mission to show the ‘heart of Jesus’ to a suffering world, Archbishop tells conference

Speaking on the closing day of the National Cathedrals Conference, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell praised the ‘precious and important’ contribution of the cathedrals, emphasising their role of service and teaching to their communities.

He said cathedrals had a mission to show the ‘heart of Jesus’ in world of “so much hurt and so much confusion and so much uncertainty.” The heart of Christian teaching and mission is to open the heart of Jesus to everyone, he told the conference.

“Our primary vocation is to be the place that serves and teaches… to be the Church which is aligned with that which is basic and obvious to our Christian faith, which is to show the heart of Jesus to others both from our teaching and preaching and evangelising and through the service that we offer,” he said.

In his speech, the Archbishop urged cathedrals to see themselves as a ‘work in progress’ and to continue asking the ‘hard missional questions’ about how to transmit the Christian faith in a changing world.

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

(Telegraph) Marriages in places of worship hit record low

A couple’s wedding day is traditionally considered one of the most important in life, but churches have become increasingly spared from hosting nuptials.

Marriages in places of worship have hit a record low, new figures revealed on Thursday, accounting for less than a fifth of all ceremonies for the first time.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data on marriages in England and Wales in 2019, analysed by age, sex, previous marital status and civil or religious ceremony.

It found that in 2019, religious ceremonies accounted for less than one in five (18.7 per cent) of opposite-sex marriages, a decrease from 21.1 per cent in 2018 and the lowest percentage on record; for same-sex marriages, 0.7 per cent of marriages were religious ceremonies.

Researchers said that the reason for the decline was down to “couples choosing to live together rather than marry, either as a precursor to marriage or as an alternative”.

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