(Independent) Peter Sanford–10 more Commandments: How to save the Anglican church

The first ordination of female vicars in the Church of England, 20 years ago this month by the Bishop of Bristol, was arguably the most-hyped of these recent New Jerusalems. It came after a long, and bitter via dolorosa that caused a small but high-profile group of dissenters (Ann Widdecombe, John Gummer, Charles Moore) to decamp to Roman Catholicism. But the first pioneers of women’s ordination were in no doubt that their Church was finally marching on the high road. “We are a people reformed, remade and renewed,” proclaimed Katharine Rumens, ordained a priest in April 1994. “I look to the future with great excitement.”

But yet again, this great reform hasn’t quite lived up to its billing. Many of the problems of disunity remain, notably over what is essentially the same issue: women bishops. So how to save the Church of England from a slow drift into oblivion?

Having had a ringside seat at the events of the past two decades, and more broadly as a fellow traveller (albeit at one pew removed as a Catholic), who sees so much that is good and needed about our national church as its goes about its daily, non-headline-making parish life, here are a few suggestions ”“ more 10 conversation-starters than 10 commandments ”“ assembled with the help of Anglican friends.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

4 comments on “(Independent) Peter Sanford–10 more Commandments: How to save the Anglican church

  1. tjmcmahon says:

    Hmmmm….appears to actually be about how to save the socially relevant parts of the liberal side of the Church of England, while jettisoning such old fashioned things as Anglo Catholicism and the Anglican Communion.

  2. dwstroudmd+ says:

    A liberal Roman Catholic advising the cOE is really quite amusing. Didn’t Rowan the Ineffective at Everything except Advancing just this Agenda already do this? And isn’t Justin the equally effective as Rowan the Ineffective at Everything except Advancing just this Agenda continuing the same Inadaba-doodoo process? Has this chappie not been paying attention or is he providing continuing cover for Affirming-catholicism in the Press?

  3. Charles52 says:

    The first two suggestions are profoundly dishonest. Who, precisely, is obsessed with sex and sexuality is clear, and it isn’t Christians. And for heaven’s sake, if you can’t read, don’t write. Pope Francis’ central message isn’t religious social work, but presenting theology and moral doctrine in the context of God’s mercy and grace. Everything, including an abiding identification with the poor, flow from that. Three, four, and five are Anglican matters that are none of his business (or mine). Six and seven I can see, for us RC folk. In fact, as populations shift, old Catholic churches are being closed and btw ones built. You Anglicans can speak for yourselvesx since our old churches are not 800 years old. The final three PR matters are a little silly, but then I’ve always thought that a poor public relations apparatus is a good thing for a church. We are in the business of serving God and neighbors, not looking good on TV. I do think it might be good form to wait until Abp. Tutu is dead before gathering the crowds to shout “sante subito”. It looks like we are vultures waiting for a meal.

  4. driver8 says:

    Stop obsessing about sex and gender

    This seems deeply in error. I was baptized and confirmed in the mid 80s, at theological college some time after, ordained and served in various parish around England for about about 15 years. In every parish I worked as part of a team of clergy and lay readers, so I regularly (indeed most Sundays) heard others preach.

    Not only was the CofE not obsessed by sex, I can’t recall a single sermon, let alone a single class about sex. So far from being obsessed by sex, there was an almost obsessive avoidance of speaking about sex.

    Silence about sex was the rule of the day at theological college – don’t ask, don’t tell – a community in which a good few single men, both straight and gay, both staff and students, were non-celibate.

    The church stumbled into this mess not by obsessing over what General Synod occasionally said was its formal teaching about marriage and sex but on the contrary by a sort of grim embarrassment at, and almost pathological avoidance of, the entire subject.