Category : CoE Bishops

(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.

Read it all.

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

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.

Read it all.

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.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Church Times) C of E Bishops stand ready to advise electorate prior to the General Election

The House of Bishops is planning to issue guidance to voters in the run-up to the General Election.

In 2015, the House published a long pastoral letter to the people and parishes of England, giving advice on how to decide whom to vote for, with reflections on particular issues in politics….

The 126-paragraph letter did not endorse any party, but instead sketched out what values politicians should aspire to, and offered a lens through which Anglican voters could view each party’s policies.

It is understood that discussions in Church House on releasing another letter before next month’s snap General Election are well advanced, although it is not yet clear when the document might be published.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

New Bishop of Sodor and Man Announced

The next Bishop of Sodor and Man will be The Venerable Peter Andrew Eagles, Downing Street has announced today. Aged 57 he is currently Archdeacon for the Army and also Deputy Chaplain-General of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.

Commenting on his appointment he has said, ‘I am both thrilled and deeply honoured to be coming to The Diocese of Sodor & Man. My hope is that I may support the people of the Isle of Man in their spiritual and historic identity and in looking confidently to the future. Among many other tasks, the bishop is to be chief pastor, a focus of unity, and a leader of mission. I therefore hope to encourage all Christians on the island, to support everyone who lives here, and to lead the Church in its work of caring for people in every community.’

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: ‘I am delighted that the Venerable Peter Eagles has been nominated to serve Bishop of Sodor and Man. Peter brings a wealth of experience in parish ministry and in army chaplaincy, and has many spiritual gifts to help him lead the church forward in the mission of God in the diocese to which he has been called. The Diocese of Sodor and Man can look forward to working with a bishop who will lead in the way of Christ with insight and oversight with a readiness to lead and be led. My prayers are with Peter and his family as they prepare to move to the Isle of Man. May they know the grace and power of the Holy Spirit strengthening them for all that lies ahead.’

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Y Post) Bishop James Bell: Signs of hope for Yorkshire’s rural churches

The last three years since the creation of the Diocese of Leeds have been an invigorating experience as I have played a part in building something big, important and new. It has been simply wonderful. The challenges are great, but the rural Church has a great story to tell of faithfulness and service and is already demonstrating the potential for exciting renewal and significant growth. There are plenty of examples across the Diocese of Leeds of fresh expressions of church, enabling people to engage with the Christian faith and values in lively, relaxed and contextually responsive ways – like Forest Church in Swaledale, messy churches in a number of places, thriving café churches, a pub church in Clapham, and a pop-up church in Markington. Along with significant mid-week services and collective worship in schools, “Church” is showing up far more than on the traditional Sunday morning.

Read it all.

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

The Bishop of Chichester’s 2017 Easter Sermon

I am not, and probably never will be, a gardener. This does not mean that I don’t like gardens: I do, but mainly when they are somebody else’s responsibility. But one of the things I like about gardens is that they are great for playing hide and seek, which is what today’s gospel is all about.

In fact, the whole of St John’s gospel is a brilliantly constructed unfolding of the unseen God who is hidden revealingly in Jesus Christ: it’s an eternally significant game of hide and seek. And John’s literary method is also brilliantly captured, in art, by Graham Sutherland’s depiction of the hide and seek moment that is central to this Easter celebration.

Sutherland’s 2-dimensional garden is a jewel-like work that is filled with memories of the garden of Eden where we enjoyed but seriously damaged, our friendship with God, according to the book of Genesis. The prize it holds out to us is finding a way back into that garden of friendship for real, and not simply as a theoretical proposition.

If you have time after the Eucharist, go and find this icon of the resurrection. It’s at the far end of the south aisle. Go and pray; light a candle and rejoice in the opportunity to seek and find the image of the risen Christ. And here are five details that are hidden in the picture…

Read it all.

Posted in Art, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Easter, Preaching / Homiletics

Thanksgiving Service to be held in May for Former Bishop of Lichfield

Tributes from across the world have been sent following Bishop’s Keith death from people including the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who became friends with Bishop Keith when he was chaplain and tutor at Bishop Tucker College in Uganda between 1968 and 1973. Bishop Keith secured a visa for Dr Sentamu to flee Uganda, under the reign if President Idi Amin, to study theology at Cambridge University.

Dr Sentamu said: “Bishop Keith loved people and was passionate about communicating the Gospel in a language they would understand. He was a pastor, a theological educator, a friend, an encourager, with a big heart for the poor and marginalised.

“He was sent to South Africa by Archbishop Robert Runcie when Archbishop Desmond Tutu had been put under House Arrest. In defiance of the Apartheid Regime, Bishop Keith said to a vast crowd outside St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town: ‘Anyone who touches you, touches us. And believe you me, the arm of the Rule of Law knows no bounds, colour, gender, ethnicity. Jesus Christ is the only Lord and all in him are one.’

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Do not take yourself too seriously Dept.–Top novelist @fictionfox’s husband’s career change prompts Twitter gold

So, last week the new Bishop of Sheffield was announced. What this actually precipitated was the most creative burst of episcopally related shenanigans on Twitter that we’ve ever seen from @fictionfox (who happens to be married to the bishop-designate of Sheffield).

Here are some of her best tweets…

Read it all.

Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Humor / Trivia, Marriage & Family

The Very Revd Pete Wilcox’s Announcement Speech

I want to share with you, to start with, the time when, as a 13 year old, I was first conscious of the call of Jesus. I grew up in a Christian home, but the defining experience of my life came when I was a young teenager and sensed that God was inviting me to commit to the adventure of following Jesus. I chose to respond with my whole self and it was the best decision I have ever made. I share that with you because I am here this morning not primarily as your Bishop-designate, but as a disciple of Jesus, seeking to live out, day by day, a life worthy of my baptism.

But I also refer to that experience because such a high proportion of those who make a lasting commitments to Jesus do so as I did – as teenagers. Of course, the Church of God is called to proclaim the good news to all people at all times and in all places, but I am encouraged to see in the current priorities of the Diocese of Sheffield a commitment to reach out to that age group in particular and you can be sure I will do everything I can to make that outreach fruitful. And that is just one part of the Diocesan Strategy which excites me: so much of it expresses what I firmly believe. So the direction of travel for the Diocese will remain unchanged; there will be no sudden lurch to new priorities.

The second thing I want to mention is the publication of the Faith in the City report in 1985. Some of you will remember it: it rang out like an alarm bell at the height of Thatcherism, calling church and nation back to what, for shorthand, became known as God’s bias to the poor. It came out while I was training for the ordained ministry and it’s a document which has profoundly shaped me. It is no coincidence that I come to you from a northern, urban cathedral; a cathedral with a food bank and an employability programme; a cathedral which seeks to give a voice to the disadvantaged. And it’s no coincidence that we are meeting here, in a place where the church has engaged to such good effect with the local community, proclaiming the kingdom of God by directly addressing the challenges and celebrating the opportunities of this place, liberating its neglected assets and blessing its unfulfilled potential. The Gospel of Jesus Christ confronts social and economic inequalities, and we see here a great example of how transformative a local church can be; and I’m looking forward to visiting other examples of confident Christian witness in Rotherham and Doncaster later today.

Read it all. For those interested, there is a video of the announcement in the diocese there.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained

(Church Times) Dean of Liverpool Pete Wilcox is named as the next Bishop of Sheffield

THE man who has the task of healing the wounds opened up in Sheffield by the Philip North row is to be the Dean of Liverpool, the Very Revd Dr Pete Wilcox.

Downing Street announced on Friday morning that Dr Wilcox has been nominated as the next Bishop of Sheffield, one month after the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, withdrew his acceptance of the post after protests against his views on women’s ordination (News, 9 March).

At the time, it was reported that the Archbishop of York, who chaired the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) that selected Bishop North, would propose an alternative candidate. (For each diocesan appointment, the CNC sends two names to the Prime Minister for rubber stamping.) The speed of Friday’s announcement suggests that Dr Wilcox’s was the name beneath Bishop North’s. Having first nominated a Catholic traditionalist, the CNC has opted for an Evangelical.

Dr Wilcox said in a statement on Friday: “Although the journey has been unconventional, to say the least, I feel called by God to this role, and am therefore thrilled to be coming to the diocese of Sheffield.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Law & Religion UK) David Pockington–The Independent Reviewer and the Sheffield See

From the Archbishops’ letter it is clear that they are committed to the principles within the Declaration, subject to “a number of specific concerns in the Church about its operation…[some of which]..”relate to whether the nomination itself, and the procedure leading up to it, were in accordance with the Declaration”, i.e. points (a) to (e) in the letter.

Having agreed in Synod a procedure for dispute resolution, the Archbishops would have been subject to criticism from other quarters had this not been initiated. This provides a means of taking the issue “off-line” for an initial review by an independent party who has been fully versed in the associated issues since his appointment in 2014. Nevertheless, at its conclusion the review must be followed up by decisive action in relation to the general issues surrounding the Bishops ‘Declaration, and to the appointment to the See of Sheffield without cannot proceed without such clarification.

It seems likely that Sir Philip’s findings will be known in advance of the York General Synod, 7-11 July, and a debate seems inevitable. However, should any changes to the Regulations be proposed, it is unlikely that these would be debated until a later Synod; this would reopen aspects of the debate which took place in the lead up to the Bishops’ Declaration in 2014. As noted above, any revision to the Regulation would require two-thirds support in each of the Houses of General Synod.

Read it all.

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

(HuffPo) Bp Paul Bayes of Liverpool: For Carol’s Sake, For Christ’s Sake, We Must Look After The Poor

A comment piece in today’s (23/3/2017) Guardian shows again the human cost of what I am sure to the bureaucrats in the Treasury seems like a sensible pen stroke on an accountancy line. It tells the story of “Carol”, a disabled woman, struggling to keep her head about water as she copes with the loss of £40 a week. “Welfare reform” – cuts – have made it harder and harder for her to survive. Our local Council has supported her through its hardship fund but even that is squeezed meaning tough decisions and greater hardship. And when I think of Carol, and of the other real people I have met, I am angry.

I am angry because we as a nation are allowing a cumulative, creeping deprivation to happen to our sisters and brothers, to our children, to our neighbours. I am angry that our hard-working local politicians are forced into heartbreaking, difficult decisions over where best to spend their limited resources. I am angry that the Westminster government fails to recognise the cumulative impact of their cheese-paring, the impact in injustice and impracticality of their funding regime.

I do not want to see a society where our children starve, where our fellow citizens are punished for being disabled, sick and in need. In today’s world, in today’s Britain we should surely be investing in our support for people not continuing to punish, attack and demonise the very people who need our help. We should be investing in dignity and love, and we should if necessary be paying the price of dignity and love, the price of human flourishing, the price of a caring and more equal society.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Poverty

C of E creates new bishop to reach out to ethnic minorities because the church is seen as too ‘quintessentially English’

The Church of England will appoint a new bishop to reach out to ethnic minorities because it is seen as too “quintessentially English”.

The new Bishop of Loughborough, based in the Diocese of Leicester, will have a specific focus on creating new churches which reflect the “cultural changes” in the area, according to the Bishop of Leicester Martyn Snow.

It will be the first brand-new post created since 1987, when the See of Brixworth was established.

Read it carefully and read it all from the Telegraph.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops