Category : Church of England (CoE)

Archbishop Justin Welby on the launch of Thy Kingdom Come

On the first day of resurrection, Easter Sunday, we are told that Jesus’ disciples were in a locked up room. They were in utter trauma due to all they had been through. They were broken and lost. But then the risen Jesus came among them and spoke to them. His first words were, ‘Peace be with you’. He then breathed the Holy Spirit onto them.

In these days of great pain and anguish, where there are many questions and few answers, let us pray that Jesus would enter all the rooms that are locked by fear.

Let us pray that he would breathe his Spirit into those of us who long for the coming of His Kingdom and His living presence would bring us peace beyond our understanding.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

(Church Times) We will repair damage done to our city and its people, Bishop tells Manchester

The killing of 22 people in a suicide bombing in Manchester on Monday had provoked “proper anger and rage” that must be directed into a “force for good”, the Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, said this week.

In the worst terrorist attack in the UK since the London bombings of July 2005, a lone attacker, Salman Ramadan Abedi, detonated an im­­provised explosive device at Man­chester Arena at the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert. Among those killed were children, and parents waiting to collect their children. In addition to the deaths, 59 people were injured. Many are being treated for life-threatening conditions.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that the threat level in the UK had been raised to “critical”, indicating that a further attack might be “imminent”. For the first time since 2003, troops were being de­­ployed to join the police’s armed patrols. “It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” Theresa May said. On Wednesday afternoon, the Manchester police chief, Ian Hopkins, said: “I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating.” Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(CEN) Andrew Carey on the Consecration in Jesmond Parish–A wrong move on the part of evangelicals

The main problem with the Jesmond action is that it is ultimately so isolated and represents a fragmented and factional way of moving forward. It is an action that arises from a sense of frustration rather than a careful strategy. It is not borne of unity among critics of the Church of England. In fact it adopts the tactics of liberals in that it attempts to place facts on the ground rather than proceeding on the basis of unity, wide agreement and good order.

I say this as someone who thoroughly approves of protest and various forms of disengagement directed against the hierarchy. But Jesmond has leaped towards the nuclear option and evangelical Anglicans should not be in the business of ‘first strike’. The nuclear option should only be used as a weapon of the last resort.

The Church of England has not changed its teaching on doctrinal, creedal and canonical matters and until it does so the Church of England’s conservatives should organise, prepare and arm themselves but they should not deploy.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, South Africa

(Tel.) Diocese of Salisbury bucks trend of declining confirmations with rock climbing and bread baking

Confirmations are often seen as an rite of passage out of the Church of England for unwilling teenagers soon to become more interested in socialising and sport.

But one diocese is experiencing an uptick in interest after it introduced rock-climbing, film sessions and baking bread into its classes.

The Rt Revd Dr Edward Condry, Bishop of Ramsbury, has been spearheading a project to increase the number of confirmation ceremonies, and believes it could be key to a revival.

Read it all and please also see this article on the diocesan website.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

(FT) Church of England fund becomes top world performer w yoy return on assets of 17.1%

The Church of England’s £7.9bn investment fund, which has in the past struggled to reconcile questions of morality and mammon, achieved its strongest returns in more than three decades last year, lifting it into the top ranks of the world’s best-performing endowment funds.

The Church Commissioners annual report discloses total return on assets of 17.1 per cent in 2016, with strong performances from global equities, private equity and timber.

Over 10 and 20 years, the fund returned 8.3 per cent and 9.5 per cent per annum respectively, compared with its target return of 5 per cent per annum above inflation. By contrast, returns from the Yale University endowment, top of the eight-member Ivy League, rose 3.4 per cent in the year to last June, with 10 and 20-year returns at 8.1 per cent and 12.6 per cent per annum respectively.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market

(ACNS) Worldwide preparations ahead of Thy Kingdom Come global prayer campaign

Hundreds of thousands of Christians of all denominations are preparing to take part in the international prayer initiative “Thy Kingdom Come” which starts next week. What began as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England last year has quickly grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer.

Between 25th May and 4th June, communities and churches around the world are gathering together to pray that their friends, families and neighbours come to know Jesus Christ. Prayer events of all shapes and sizes will take place across the 10 days, including 24-7 prayer rooms, prayer days, prayer walks and half nights of prayer. Cathedrals, churches and other venues will host Beacon Events, gathering people across towns and cities to worship and to pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit for effective witness. The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a global challenge to Christian people to take the #Pledge2Pray for #ThyKingdomCome, an online prayer initiative.

Archbishop Justin said: “Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that we, those who follow him, might ‘be one that the world might believe.’ We are invited to make a lasting difference in our nations and in our world, by responding to his call to find a deep unity of purpose in prayer. It’s not a Church of England thing, it’s not an Anglican thing, it’s a Christian thing.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Spirituality/Prayer

Lee Gatiss’s call to the Church Society Annual Meeting to remain in the Church of England

Reference has been made in newspapers and on social media this week to ‘Credible Bishops’, a discussion document produced for the 2016 ReNew conference. ReNew’s goal is to pioneer, establish, and secure healthy local Anglican churches across the length and breadth of England and this document was designed to stimulate debate at last September’s conference.

It was a useful discussion paper by two individuals (to whom we gave some feedback), on an important subject which must be discussed. There was no vote on it at the conference. It can hardly be said to be the official or widely accepted plan or plot, as some make out.

Recent events, and discussions at General Synod, have served to reduce confidence in the structures of the Church of England. We have often warned of the growing credibility gap. There should be little surprise, however, that Anglican Evangelicals in England are desirous of orthodox episcopal oversight. We have stated this often and clearly. We are eager to remain in the strongest possible fellowship with those in the Church of England, and in the vast majority of global Anglicanism, who are faithful in theology and practice to our historic formularies. Such oversight may emerge in different ways for the benefit of the many churches and the distinct and separate organisations behind the specific goals of the ReNew conference.

Anglican evangelicals do not all agree on tactics or that the victory of the liberal agenda in the Church is inevitable and imminent as some say. We must try however to maintain gospel unity with one another, just as we do with our Baptist and Presbyterian friends in Affinity and the Gospel Partnerships for example. That’s why I spoke at this year’s Affinity conference, often preach in nonconformist churches, and have lectured in various non-denominational training courses and colleges over the last few years.

Read it all (and follow the links contained therein).

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE)

(Church Times) C of E urged to pull out of fossil fuels

CHRISTIAN AID has challenged the Church of England to disinvest from fossil fuels, after it emerged that the Archbishop of Canterbury was involved in persuading a major investment fund to pull its own money out fossil fuels.

BMO Global Asset Management’s range of “responsible” funds will no longer invest in any company which has reserves of fossil fuels, it an­­nounced on Monday. Archbishop Welby is the president of the firm’s ethical advisory council, and report­edly played a key part in pushing through the change in policy, which will be implemented by 2020.

Christian Aid is now ques­tioning why the Archbishop cannot play the same part closer to home and pull the C of E’s own investments out of fossil-fuel reserves.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market

The Bishop of Derby, Dr Alastair Redfern on modern slavery (Human Trafficking)

The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Alastair Redfern, has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness of modern day slavery. We joined him at a conference hosted by the Clewer Initiative – a three year project that aims to assist dioceses with detecting human trafficking – and spoke to him about the unique pastoral work dioceses are carrying out to support victims of modern slavery.

Listen to it all (about 6 1/2 minutes).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Sexuality, Violence, Women

(FB) Bp Paul Williams–Gospel unity in uncertain times

Recent events here in England have, once again, illustrated the scale of that challenge. In one parish a clergyman (holding a licence from the Bishop of Newcastle) has, we are told, been consecrated as a bishop outside of the structures and pattern of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. The rights and wrongs of that decision will no doubt occupy much debate online and elsewhere and it is important to acknowledge that the Church of England, like churches across the world, is facing challenges – and this is certainly not the first time in our history that we have faced a move such as this.

But it is time now to draw a line in the sand and ask whether unilateral actions such as this will help the cause of the gospel in our nation. I have no doubt that this is the motive behind the recent irregular ordination of a bishop, however, I believe we live at a time of extraordinary opportunity for the Church of England and therefore this is no time to be distracted by further fragmentation. In the past five years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of new church plants, many reaching younger people in our cities, as well as long established churches who are recovering a sense of confidence in their mission locally, and experiencing growth among all ages. We have also seen a very encouraging rise in the number of younger people being called to ordained ministry, many who will be outstanding leaders of the Church of England in the near future. There is also a new impetus seeing an increase in the potential impact of lay disciples as leaders in every sphere of society.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Peter Eagles: New bishop of Sodor and Man to be consecrated in York

The new bishop of Sodor and Man will be consecrated at a special ceremony in York Minster, it has been announced.

The Venerable Peter Eagles, 57, will succeed the Right Reverend Robert Paterson, who retired in November having held the position since 2008.

Bishop Eagles, a married father-of-one, is currently Archdeacon for the Army as well as Deputy Chaplain-General of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Living Church) John Martin on the background to the consecration in Jesmond Parish

The Rev. David Holloway, the senior minister of Jesmond Parish, believes the Church of England’s Clergy Discipline Measure will not apply in this case. Ecclesiastical lawyers are studying the case, and it is not yet clear what their response will be.

The Rt. Rev. Rod Thomas, appointed as Bishop of Maidstone to work with conservative evangelicals, is reserving his opinion.

The action in Jesmond caught GAFCON by surprise. Except for a conversation with GAFCON’s general secretary, the Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Jesmond’s statement makes plain there was no consultation with GAFCON’s primates. A week earlier, GAFCON’s primates stated their intention to send a missionary bishop to the United Kingdom amid conservative concerns about the state of the Church of England.

Archbishop Jensen confirmed it was entirely independent of GAFCON. “But it does show, I think, that the situation in England is becoming very difficult for those who hold the traditional and biblical view.”

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Posted in Anglican Continuum, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, South Africa

(Telegraph) A recent survey shows that the decline of Anglicanism in England may be slowing

Academic Stephen Bullivant said that the growth in non-religious people has slowed and Anglicanism has seen a small uptick since 2013.

The professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St Mary’s University in Twickenham said that the church was recovering after losing a lot of believers after the publication of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion in 2006.

He also said that a rise in patriotism might be linked to greater pride in Christianity among some groups.

“People see Christianity as an expression of Englishness. There has been more rhetoric around Britain being a Christian nation….”

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

(BBC) Hull Minster: Holy Trinity Church re-dedicated

Hull’s Holy Trinity Church has been re-dedicated as a minster by the Archbishop of York.

A flotilla of about 20 boats travelled down the Humber into Hull Marina ahead of the outdoor service, with Dr John Sentamu carrying a lantern lit at All Saints Church in Hessle.

The flame was then used to light the Hull Minster candle.

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

Andrew Goddard–“Order! Order!”: Reflections on The Jesmond Consecration

This consecration has many unfortunate echoes of those at the start of the long unravelling process of The Episcopal Church (USA). It is often forgotten that this began before Gene Robinson’s election and consecration and the departures of parishes, clergy and eventually dioceses, to overseas bishops and the consecration of American priests as bishops by overseas provinces.

In early 2000, two conservative American parish priests, without the wider support even of formal conservative networks in the US, were secretly consecrated as bishops (though by two Primates of Communion provinces unlike here) to serve in the US (including in dioceses with conservative bishops). This famously led the Canadian Primate to comment that “bishops are not intercontinental ballistic missiles, manufactured on one continent and fired into another as an act of aggression” and censure from Archbishop George Carey. It also soon became clear that the Primate of South East Asia had acted without following due process in relation to his own province’s canons.

This was the birth of AMiA and the seeds sown there, while producing much good fruit on the ground in local churches, mission and church planting, have led to ongoing serious problems in relation to order and difficult often broken personal relationships. Throughout its history there have been recurring conflicts, confusion and further fractures with conservatives within ECUSA (notably in South Carolina), within AMiA itself, particularly between one of those originally consecrated bishops and the province of Rwanda in which he formally served, and with the wider orthodox movement in the US now embodied in the much more orderly ACNA. This is not a happy precedent to be following.

In terms of order, there could still be at least one positive consequence of all this mess and confusion and the warning signs it gives of repeating the North American conflicts not just within the CofE but among orthodox evangelical Anglicans in England who are eager to support one another even when following different paths of visible differentiation from parts of the wider church. Could GAFCON now pause and take time to learn some lessons and consult more widely about its own plans for a missionary bishop and how they relate to catholic and evangelical faith and order? Can we find a way of understanding episcopal ministry in the context of impaired communion among Anglicans, both nationally and globally, perhaps learning from wider ecumenical relationships?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, South Africa