Category : Anglican Provinces

(ES) Christopher Rogers–The Church of England faltered when our country needed spiritual guidance

While we can stream services, and are still able to help people through our food banks, most priests and churchgoers have been feeling impotent and frustrated over the last few months. Those feelings have bubbled over into anger about priests not being able to be in our church buildings, streaming from there rather than from our kitchen tables — as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, did on Easter Day.

This article is not about that debate, and indeed we are now back at our altars. Don’t get me wrong — it raised important questions, and I took part in it. It was however a brittle debate, with a lack of charity on both sides. And that is not the voice the country wanted or needed to hear in the midst of a national crisis. Rather than speaking to the nation, we spoke to ourselves. And that was a major failing as the established church. Job, early on in his proverbial sufferings, is told: “Your words have supported those who were stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees. But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed.” That is the Church of England right now.

The reason for our failure is a lack of confidence. We have so much to say at a time like this — about how to cope with death, how prayer can give structure to our days, about the nature of sacrifice for the good of one another, how love conquers death. We are saying these things in our parishes and putting it into action. But we shot ourselves in the foot when it came to the kind of spiritual guidance the country needed. Some were saying those things, including Justin Welby, but they weren’t heard because of the white noise we were also producing by our internal fractiousness.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

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.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Trinity from the Church of England

Holy God,
faithful and unchanging:
enlarge our minds with the knowledge of your truth,
and draw us more deeply into the mystery of your love,
that we may truly worship you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

O Lord, from whom all good things come:
grant to us your humble servants,
that by your holy inspiration
we may think those things that are good,
and by your merciful guiding may perform the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
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

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary for Peter Moore

Age 83, peacefully entered into eternal life May 30 in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Born in Scarsdale, NY, Peter was an innovative leader, mentor, preacher and author for more than 50 years. He currently served as the director of the Anglican Leadership Institute since 2016, training leaders in the world-wide Anglican Church in servant leadership, all the while serving as a scholar in residence at St. Michael’s Church, in Charleston, SC. Peter served as director of the Council for Religion in Independent Schools in New York City and at that time, started FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools) in 1962. FOCUS seeks to bring Christ to students attending independent Secondary Schools along America’s East Coast. He then served as the fourth dean/president of Trinity School for Ministry and as its first president of the board of trustees, before moving to Charleston, SC.

Decade after decade, Peter was an unswerving, tireless agent of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Church Times) Dean Cally Hammond reviews ‘Austin Farrer: Oxford warden, scholar, preacher’, edited by Markus Bockmuehl and Stephen Platten

{This book]…is the fruit of a conference that took place in early 2019, and was published to mark the 150th anniversary of that icon of High Church Anglicanism, Keble College, Oxford. The book is a proper tribute to Farrer in that anniversary year, providing a series of essays on him as Warden, theologian, philosopher, exegete, and preacher.

It is not often that a book compiled from many sources is of such a uniformly high quality; and this makes it seem unfair to highlight what are really no more than personal enthusiasms. But I especially enjoyed the chapter by Ian Archer on Farrer’s time as Warden of Keble, not least because it is written with benign historical detachment — a useful balance to the hagiographic tendency in many Christian biographies.

The other highlight of Part One for me was the chapter by John Barton on Farrer as a preacher. Again, this combined a personal warmth for the man with honest acuity about his excellence, and sometimes shortcomings, as a preacher. Praise from the praiseworthy is praise indeed.

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Posted in Books, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Theology

(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

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

O Lord, from whom all good things come:
grant to us your humble servants,
that by your holy inspiration
we may think those things that are good,
and by your merciful guiding may perform the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
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

A statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in response to events in the United States of America

From there:

“Recent events in the United States of America have once again drawn public attention to the ongoing evil of white supremacy. Systemic racism continues to cause incalculable harm across the world. Our hearts weep for the suffering caused – for those who have lost their lives, those who have experienced persecution, those who live in fear. God’s justice and love for all creation demands that this evil is properly confronted and tackled. Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance, and must be eradicated. We all bear the responsibility and must play our part to eliminate this scourge on humanity.

“As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

“We pray that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society.”

Posted in --Justin Welby, America/U.S.A., Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Hannington and the Martyrs of Uganda

Precious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy saints, whose faithful witness, by thy providence, hath its great reward: We give thee thanks for thy martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road unto Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; 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

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

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

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

A Prayer for Today from the Church of England

Risen, ascended Lord,
as we rejoice at your triumph,
fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,
that all who are estranged by sin
may find forgiveness and know your peace,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

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

(PA) On Pentecost, Pope to take part in online service with UK church leaders for first time

Pope Francis is to take part in an online service alongside senior UK church leaders, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, for the first time.

He is set to call on people to turn away from the “selfish pursuit of success without caring for those left behind” and to be united in facing the “pandemics of the virus and of hunger, war, contempt for life and indifference to others”.

His special message is to mark Pentecost Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.

The virtual service is the finale of this year’s global prayer movement, called Thy Kingdom Come, which is usually filled with mass gatherings and outdoor celebrations involving 65 different denominations and traditions.

It has had to be adapted due to the pandemic so people can take part in their homes.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pentecost, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

(C of E) 1,000 answered calls for help in Shropshire town

In a Shropshire town, a young church member’s idea to help people with shopping has seen more than 1,000 answered calls for practical support for the vulnerable and isolated.

Shifnal Help launched the week before lockdown as St Andrew’s Church, brought together a community partnership to launch an emergency phone line for local people who were self-isolating. Two months later, today it now operates a helpline six days a week offering support, medication collection and delivery, shopping and other key tasks – with the local pub becoming a food donations hub.

Shifnal Vicar, The Revd Preb Chris Thorpe reveals: “It all started with one young mum from church called Elizabeth, who posted an offer to help people with shopping!”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Religion & Culture

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.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Yorkshire Post) How Church can keep the faith in online era

…as Stephen Cottrell, the incoming Archbishop of York, becomes tasked with looking at the CoE’s vision and strategy for the decade ahead, his starting point should be on how the use of all buildings can be maximised as places of worship and the focal point of the varied communities that they strive to serve.

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

(C of E) Mental health: a hospital chaplain’s view

During Mental Health Awareness Week, Revd Jeremy Law, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Coordinator at the Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) NHS Foundation Trust, reflects on the impact that the coronavirus emergency has had on the mental health chaplaincy there.

He describes that “the impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health and wellbeing has been enormous” and expects its effects to “continue for a long time.”

“Staff at GMMH have been caring for people at the end of life with dedication and professionalism” he says and “the effect of loved ones not being allowed to visit service users and accompany the dying has had a profound effect, both on relatives and staff.”

To help hospital staff deal with their emotional and spiritual needs, the chaplaincy team is planning to hold memorial services that staff are welcome to attend, with ongoing support.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Psychology, Theology

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.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Northern Echo) The Revd Canon Libby Wilkinson is to be the next Archdeacon of Durham

A vicar has been appointed as the next Archdeacon of Durham.

The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham has said Revd Canon Libby Wilkinson will take on the role as well as becoming Director of Mission, Discipleship and Ministry for the Diocese.

She was ordained in Durham in 2005 after training for ordination at NEOC and served her curacy in Harlow Green and Lamsley in Gateshead before becoming Priest in Charge at St Barnabas, Burnmoor.

She then became Vicar of Bishopwearmouth St Gabriel’s, Sunderland in 2016 and was made a non-residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral in 2019.

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

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

(Diocese of York) Churches lead in ‘heart-warming’ launch of Carlton and Villages Network

Local churches of several denominations have worked together to take the lead in establishing an Emergency Community Network for the rural area centred on Carlton, (between Selby and Goole) in the south of the Diocese of York.

Invited by North Yorkshire County Council, Curate of Carlton and Drax the Revd Becky Allright has been heavily involved in co-ordinating a number of organisations and groups to offer a single route for people to request and access support during the Coronavirus lockdown which began in March 2020 and whose end date is still not known.

“In the parish there are no other ‘infrastructure’ organisations that cover the entire area, so there are five [civil] parish councils, two Methodist Circuits, one Roman Catholic church, and three different GP practices, so none that cover the whole geography,” explains Becky.

Set up in March by a group of friends and volunteers, the network has been running whilst everyone is in self isolation.

Read it all.

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

(Church Times) Cathedrals face sharp drop in income

As churches learned this week that their coronavirus shutdown could end in July, administrators of the nation’s cathedrals are beginning to consider what life in the “new normal” will be like.

With their doors closed, many have adapted new technology, live-streaming services and linking remotely through apps such as Zoom. But cathedrals have also taken a severe financial hit, with the loss of collections, no visitor spending, and the cancellation of events that often fund a significant proportion of their annual expenditure.

“On top of daily worship, events are the bread and butter of what cathedrals do, but they are going to be low down on the list of things relaxed,” the Church Commissioners’ Head of Bishoprics and Cathedrals, Michael Minta, said. The Commissioners fund each cathedral’s dean, two residentiary canons, and some lay staff.

Cathedrals had had great expectations for 2020: the Year of Cathedrals and the Year of Pilgrimage were expected to boost visitor numbers and involvement. “There was a real positive vibe last year that things were really going to be good for everyone,” Mr Minta said. “But, instead, many have had to stand staff down, buildings are closed, their cafés and shops are shut, and income has been lost.”

Larger cathedrals, such as Canterbury and St Paul’s, which rely on tourism from overseas, have been badly affected; Durham’s 750,000 visitors, one third from overseas, provide one fifth of its annual revenue of £7 million.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
who in the place of the traitor Judas
chose your faithful servant Matthias
to be of the number of the Twelve:
preserve your Church from false apostles
and, by the ministry of faithful pastors and teachers,
keep us steadfast in your truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
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), Spirituality/Prayer

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.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Almighty God,
who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:
grant that, as by your grace going before us
you put into our minds good desires,
so by your continual help
we may bring them to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,
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), Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

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

A Prayer for the Day from the Church of England

Risen Christ,
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

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

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.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

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

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for Easter from the Church of England

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:
raise us, who trust in him,
from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,
that we may seek those things which are above,
where he reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.

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