Andrew Atherstone: Archbishop Welby and the E-Word

Archbishop Welby agrees there are many strengths of the Anglican parish system, but ‘we fish badly’: ‘The church is good at contact and presence but too often poor at bringing people to faith in Jesus. … We are excellent at building bridges into the community and into society and rather less good at getting the gospel across the bridge, and bringing people back. Or to put it another way our net holds many but we land few.’ His evangelistic passion is best encapsulated by a recent address to an Alpha Vision Day in Sheffield, attended by over 700 church leaders from across the north of Britain: ‘We are facing in this country the greatest opportunity that God has given us since the Second World War. … It is a moment of unique opportunity and the challenge that the Spirit is saying to the Church today is, “Will you take this moment and reverse the decline that we have seen for the last 70 or 80 years?”‘ With buoyant confidence in the grace and power of God, the new Archbishop believes that great things are possible in our generation. The task of the church, he insists, is ‘to go out and … to reconvert our land, to transform its society and all that goes with it.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

3 comments on “Andrew Atherstone: Archbishop Welby and the E-Word

  1. MichaelA says:

    I am not terribly concerned with whether ++Welby likes to use the term “evangelical” or not. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, does not call himself evangelical so far as I am aware, yet he is one of the few (perhaps the only) senior bishop in the CofE that orthodox evangelicals can trust.

    Nor am I particularly interested in what ++Welby has done before this, his ‘evangelical credentials’ as it were, which the article seeks to highlight. I am however very interested in what he does from this point forward.
    [blockquote] “On the most controversial issues of the moment, Welby holds the classic Evangelical position on human sexuality.” [/blockquote]
    He has espoused it in the past, no doubt about that. Whether he continues to do so is what we are going to find out.
    [blockquote] “He is an enthusiastic supporter of the consecration of women bishops, but also ‘personally deeply committed’, as he recently told General Synod, to ensuring a ‘proper place’ for conscientious objectors.” [/blockquote]
    Really? Then why did he vote for a women bishops measure 4 months ago, which every non-WO group (evangelical or anglo-catholic) opposed because it did not give them sufficient protection?

    Anyone can TALK about protecting dissenters; What is required from +Welby is actions to match his rhetoric, and thus far he has failed that test.
    [blockquote] “Although the ‘Evangelicalism’ label will not often be heard at Lambeth Palace, …” [/blockquote]
    Well that is a relief. The bishops of the Church of England who make the most noise about being ‘evangelical’ seem to do very little in terms of protecting or caring for evangelicals who don’t agree with those bishops’ position on WO. Better a bishop who *does* evangelical, than a bishop who merely *talks* evangelical.
    [blockquote] ‘We are looking for Cuthberts, not Billy Graham.’ [/blockquote]
    Saint Cuthbert proclaimed and lived by the Truth. He is said to have promised victory to a king but only if he was “faithful to God”. He was a disciple of Saint Aedan, who did not hesitate to rebuke the very highest in society. If ++Welby wants to wrap himself in the mantle of the saints of Northern England, then let him imitate them. The world is watching.

  2. Luke says:

    Well stated.
    I am pessimistic.

  3. Cennydd13 says:

    Doubly so here!