Category : Anglican Provinces

(Church Times) Lord Carey steps back from ministry after ‘harrowing’ report on Peter Ball case

Both the Archbishop of Canterbury’s predecessors have issued personal apologies, and the Archbishop has asked Lord Carey to consider his position as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford, after the publication of an independent report on the Peter Ball case and the Church’s part in it.

Lord Carey has been strongly criticised in the report of the review group, chaired by Dame Moira Gibb, which was published on Thursday, almost two years after the review was announced by Archbishop Welby (News, 7 October 2015).

The 81-page report, Abuse of Faith, sets out in detail the events and circumstances leading up to, surrounding, and following the arrest and imprisonment of Ball, who received a three-year sentence in October 2015, having admitted to a series of indecent assaults and the abuse of 18 young men aged 17-25. One of his victims took his own life. Ball, who is 85, was released in February after serving 16 months of his sentence.

The report criticises the conduct of several senior Church of England figures — in particular, Lord Carey, who, it says, failed to respond to repeated expressions of concern and allegations against Bishop Ball — most notably those of the late Neil Todd, who was repeatedly abused by the bishop during the 1980s and ’90s.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Violence

Bp of Kensington Graham Tomlin–Thoughts on Hope in Grenfell

In our community over the past few days we have been through a range of emotions that we rarely experience so close together. Even now as we meet and pray, there are people here in this church, in the surrounding streets wondering how to make sense of this.

How do you put into words what people here have experienced, the story of the past few days?

First there was Shock. As we woke up on Wednesday morning, there was that numb feeling, incredulity that something like this could happen in our modern, C21st sophisticated city. Looking up at the Tower and imagining what the people in there was going through was almost unbearable and so hard to even imagine how awful that must be.

Then there was Compassion. Alongside the tragedy, one of the remarkable things has been to see the amazing outpouring of compassion in this community over the past couple of days.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Archbishop of York John Sentamu–Politics needs to find a place for religion

When Christians engage with politics their consciences are going to be bruised. They will be imbued with a vision of the Kingdom of God and at the same time will have to compromise, daily. It was Bismarck who first said “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best.” To achieve anything worthwhile will often require settling for less than one’s ideals.

Cynics, and I include some media interrogators among them, choose to ignore this painful compromise; they posit only the stark, unrealistic and inhuman alternatives of perfection or hypocrisy. In fact, the word “hypocrite” entered the English language via the New Testament, where it was used by Jesus to excoriate those who laid down the law for others, while pretending personally to be virtuous. They were “play-acting”. That’s what the word means in Greek. It has nothing to do with failure: applied Christianity is for people who recognise their moral inadequacy and daily look for divine help to deal with it.

The pre-election hounding of Tim Farron was not acceptable. In interview after interview we were given the impression that his private views on gay sex were in the forefront of the Lib-Dem campaign. His tormentors should be ashamed of themselves. It is much to be regretted that he has now concluded that a leading role in politics is incompatible with his Christian faith.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Anglican church to be shared by both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parishes

Two different Christian denominations will be sharing the same place of worship during the next year in an example of neighbourliness and friendship.

When it was learned that St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan would be closed for a year for essential renovations, their church neighbours, St Maeldoid’s Church of Ireland parish at Muckno, Castleblayney, in Clogher Diocese, offered the use of their beautiful gothic–style building.

This generous gesture by the Select Vestry of St Maeldoid’s along with their rector, the Revd Neal Phair, and approved by the Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell, was accepted by the Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Father Pat McHugh and his parishioners and from next Monday, 19th June, St Maeldoid’s Church will be used for both Church of Ireland services and Masses.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

(ACNS) Church of England parish at heart of relief efforts following London inferno

In the hours since a massive blaze ripped through a tower block in west London early on Wednesday, nearby St Clement’s Church has been rapidly turned into an emergency relief centre. It sheltered more than 100 residents as the blaze raged and has subsequently been overwhelmed with donations. People have given clothes, bedding and toiletries for the residents of the tower, many of whom fled the block in their nightwear and have lost everything. Volunteers from churches throughout the area are running the relief operation.

[The] Revd Alan Everett described how events unfolded in the hours after the devastating blaze: “I opened the church at half three in the morning and within minutes the local community started bringing in supplies – the tables are now completely overflowing. The response has been overwhelming” he said. St Clement’s has now reached saturation point and has simply run out of room to store any more supplies.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Church Times) Conflicting views aired on who should follow ‘significant presence’ as Bishop of London

Should the next Bishop of London continue the London Plan or begin to ordain women priests, affirm gay clergy, do more to attract children and teenagers into church, or value pastoral diligence as much as high-profile mission? These were among the issues raised at a public consultation held on Tuesday evening.

Twenty-one people spoke during the meeting at St Alban’s, Holborn. It was chaired by the chairman of the vacancy-in-see committee, the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison. The Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary, Edward Chaplin, and the Archbishops’ Appointment Secretary, Caroline Boddington, were present to hear the debate.

Dean Ison set out nine priorities set out in the Statement of Need, which will shortly be published, alongside a profile of the diocese. The first was evangelism: “to proclaim the historic and eternal Gospel in a changing world and society”. Another was: “to ensure we live in generous orthodoxy . . . enabling mutual flourishing of all the whole Christian church, recognising that there is a diversity of views on various matters across the diocese, but we want to live together as the people of Christ”….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Tel.) Fundenhall Church can keep comfortable chairs even though heritage groups say they are ‘cheap’ and ‘dumpy

A church has won a battle to keep its new comfortable chairs despite the objections of heritage groups who say they are “cheap” and “dumpy”.

St Nicholas Church in Fundenhall illegally spent £3,053 on 50 “crude” chairs which are made of brown faux leather with brushed gold-coloured frames, last September.

The church council had been allowed to remove the church’s pews as part of a much-needed refurbishment, but did not have permission to buy the chairs.

Now it has been allowed to keep them for ten years after a church court found that it would take too long to fundraise for new ones.

Read it all.

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

Sharp increase in numbers training to be priests in the Church of England

A 14% increase in numbers training for the priesthood has been welcomed by the Church of England. An anticipated total of 543 men and women will begin studies this Autumn at colleges across England.

Welcoming the increase the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said:

“I am delighted at both the number and the range of those whom God has been calling into ordained ministry over the course of the past year. Here are men and women who are choosing to put their faith on the line, so as to bring hope and spiritual nourishment to individuals and communities alike. In an increasingly uncertain world, nothing could be a greater privilege than walking alongside people in their joys and sorrows, from birth to grave.”

An increase of 17% in women coming forward for ordination was welcomed by Catherine Nancekievill, Head of Vocation for the Church of England….

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education

(Phil Ashey) The Gafcon missionary bishop for Scotland and Europe

On Friday June 30, 2017, the Rev. Canon Andy Lines will be consecrated in Wheaton Illinois (USA) at the Third Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach Presiding. The consecrating Bishops will be acting on behalf of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), and Canon Lines will become its first Missionary Bishop to Europe.

Canon Andy Lines’ consecration will not be irregular or invalid.  His Holy Orders in the Province of South America have been duly and lawfully transferred to, and likewise received by, the ACNA. He will be consecrated by acting primates, archbishops and bishops of the Anglican Communion. His consecration will fall within the historical tradition of faithful Bishops who have created order in the Church during times of crisis. These are times when faith and doctrine have been threatened by others’ failure to guard against false teaching—or worse, have actively promoted such false teaching. One can trace this all the way back to Athanasius and the crisis of Arianism in the early Church. Faithful bishops like Athanasius disregarded the boundaries and autonomy of Arian dioceses in order to consecrate Biblically faithful bishops for Biblically faithful Christians. The consecration of a missionary bishop by GAFCON for Europe is as much an emergency as the consecrations that Athanasius and other faithful bishops performed, and just as necessary to guard the faith and order of the Church and prevent spiritual harm to biblically faithful Christians.

We call these emergencies “exigent circumstances.” Although this is a legal term used in criminal courts for circumstances in which the potential death of a victim, flight of a felon or destruction of evidence justifies an emergency search or seizure that overrides the freedom, autonomy and constitutional rights of a suspect, “exigent circumstances” have also been the grounds for faithful Bishops, clergy and laity to take emergency action to guard the faith and order of the Church. I recently wrote about Exigent Circumstances in the Anglican Communion, citing the works of Paul Avis, Francis Oakley and Brian Tierney for the precedent of such “emergency action” which we see in the development of  the great reforming Councils of the Roman Catholic Church during the Great Schism (1378-1417).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Scotland, Church History, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(Diocese of Europe) Tributes to Bishop Geoffrey Rowell RIP

I experienced him as unfailingly kind, warm and hospitable. He stayed at our home in Belgium on a number of occasions. I recall with affection long conversations over a bottle of whisky late into the night. When I was appointed his successor, he was wonderfully encouraging and helpful. Geoffrey valued highly his friendship with his clergy, and those of us who served as his priests and deacons will miss him dearly.

For 12 years as Diocesan Bishop, Geoffrey embodied the Diocese in Europe in his own character and personality. He managed to remain a serious academic whilst also carrying out a demanding pastoral ministry. He was a great ambassador for a traditional, catholic, Anglicanism. He maintained an enviable quantity and quality of correspondence with ecumenical partners and friends. He travelled with remarkable energy and stamina. He inspired loyal devotion in those who worked most closely with him.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals

Gafcon Chairman Archbp Nicholas Okoh’s June 2017 letter

I am reminded of Athanasius because we are facing a similar struggle for the integrity of the gospel in our time. On Thursday 8th June, the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) changed its teaching to allow men to be married to men and women to women. It followed the path already taken by the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

This attempt to redefine marriage is not a secondary issue about which we can agree to disagree and continue to walk together. It means that Jesus was mistaken when he taught that marriage was between a man and a woman and that sex outside of such a marriage is a sin. It is a radical rejection of the authority of Scripture. The Church claims that it can consecrate behaviour that God’s Word clearly teaches to be sinful. According to the Bible, this behaviour, without repentance, separates those who practice it from his kingdom.

Athanasius consecrated orthodox bishops in dioceses led by Arians because he knew that the apostolic faith itself was at stake. This was the principle guiding the interventions which led to the formation of the Anglican Church in North America in 2009 and it was affirmed by over three hundred bishops in assembly at Gafcon 2013 in Nairobi. It was therefore very appropriate that on the same day that the Scottish Episcopal Church formally turned aside from the historic Christian faith, Gafcon announced that Canon Andy Lines, already an internationally recognised missionary statesman, will be consecrated later this month as a Gafcon missionary bishop for Europe.

This is not a step we have taken lightly, but from the beginning Gafcon has been committed to standing with the marginalised. Requests for help from Scottish orthodox leaders to the Archbishop of Canterbury were turned down. Indeed, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church told his General Synod last year that the Archbishop of Canterbury, had assured him that he would welcome the Scottish Church to the 2020 Lambeth Conference even if it chose to change its marriage canon to include same sex unions.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Bishop Paul Colton–Scottish Episcopal Church’s approach to same-sex Marriage may represent a Way Forward for Church of Ireland says

In this section of his Synod address, Bishop Colton said:

‘Change is signalled also by the decision two days ago, on Thursday, 8th June, of our sister Church in Scotland, the Scottish Episcopal Church, to alter its canon on marriage by removing the doctrinal clause which states that marriage is between a man and a woman. Clergy who wish to conduct same-sex marriages will have to opt in, and no priest is to be compelled to do so.’

‘As we saw at our own General Synod recently arising from a private members motion, there are many in the Church of Ireland who are anxious to debate such issues here too. Equally many are determined that this is not a matter which is up for debate at all. There is a debate, and, however tentatively, it has, in fact, started.’

‘That such things are open to debate in this Church has always been the case. If there had been no questioning or discourse, the Reformation itself would not have happened, nor would many other developments have unfolded over the centuries, in ministry, in liturgy and in belief, the most recent examples being our change in approach to suicide, to the marriage in church of divorcees, and also the ordination of women, and there are many others.’

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Bp Martin of Chichester Pays Tribute to Geoffrey Rowell

Geoffrey’s long association with the diocese of Chichester has been characterised by the generosity with which he shared his gifts of holiness, learning, and personal friendship. We shall miss his presence, his imaginative understanding of the past and of traditions that enrich our own, his humour, his hospitality, and his encouragement of younger scholars, lay and ordained, and the enthusiasm with which he helped them identify the value of their hopes and plans.

Geoffrey died as he had lived: in the rhythm of liturgical prayer, and fortified by the sacramental life that is the mark of a catholic Christian.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Uncategorized

An Important Reread–Oliver O’Donovan: The Wreck of Catholic Identity: Marriage Canon Revision in the Scottish Episcopal Church

Attracted as it may have been towards such a path, the Committee never entertained it as a possibility, and the reason for this was simply the rigid and incongruous way the arguments had been marshalled into two opposing camps. So the sum of the “reasoning” that it had to offer to the Scottish Synod is this:- It’s an all-or-nothing decision. You can take an initiative to care for the needs of gay couples, or you can keep faith with the doctrines of the universal church, but you cannot do both. But is the alternative really so exclusive? There is every reason to doubt it. It appears so to the Committee simply because they have suppressed the logic of other possibilities. They wanted a deductive logic, which would start from premises in Scripture and Tradition and yield conclusions that would meet the perceived pastoral need. In their attempt to get it, they maimed Scripture and Tradition to the point where they could supply no premises at all; having failed to get it, they effectively denied the possibility of any chain of reason that could bind practical innovation to Scripture and Tradition. But the logic of practical reason is always inductive, not deductive. And they never looked for a reasoning of that kind.

There will be questions, some of which will presumably be aired at the Synod, whether this or that initiative will attract the censure or support of the Anglican Communion, and how greatly that matters. But the question our review raises is a prior question, on which the minds of Scottish Anglicans, as of Anglicans worldwide, ought to be focussed before any thought is given to a concrete decision and its consequences: how to conceive and discuss new pastoral initiatives in faithfulness to the catholic Christian identity the church professes. If an Anglican church is convinced of the need to provide new support for same-sex couples, can it find a way of imagining that innovation that will not result in a shipwreck of its identity? If it cannot, it hardly matters what others will think of what it does or does not make up its mind to do, for it has given up the attempt to be true to itself.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Rowell RIP

The Bishop of Chichester today (Trinity Sunday) asked parishes in his Diocese to remember the soul of Bishop Geoffrey, who died earlier today.

Bishop Geoffrey was an assistant bishop in the Diocese and Bishop Martin had been able to spend some time with him in recent days.

+Geoffrey was previously Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe in the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe from 2001.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Seminary / Theological Education