Category : Archbishop of Canterbury

News about, sermons, letters, commentary by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

(Guardian) First same-sex wedding deepens Anglican divide

Mark and Rick’s marriage is the first in the Scottish Episcopal church, which is part of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal church announced in June that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend canon law on marriage. It agreed that the doctrine stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed.

The vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists, with the conservative Anglican group Gafcon announcing that it was appointing a missionary bishop, committed to keeping marriage heterosexual, to work in Scotland.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has struggled to keep the worldwide Anglican Communion together over the issue of same-sex relationships, with many African bishops voicing opposition to gay weddings and to clergy being involved in gay relationships themselves.

Welby visited Africa to highlight the plight of refugees but his trip highlighted divisions over same-sex marriage. During the trip, he spent time with the archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, a leading conservative evangelical, who walked out of a gathering of archbishops in Canterbury last year, angered by the west’s liberal attitudes to homosexuality. Ntagali said that he would not return until “godly order” was restored.

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Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, --Scotland, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality, Theology

Archbishop Welby preaches at the inauguration of a new Province of Sudan

The birth of a new province is a rare event, one that many Archbishops of Canterbury will never have attended, and like all rare and precious events, like even normal but precious events like the birth of a child, it is a new beginning which raises questions and hopes together. As we move to this new beginning we must especially thank His Grace Archbishop the Most Reverend Doctor Daniel Deng. He is the midwife of this Province, who has encouraged and strengthened it to the point we have now reached. Your Grace, we appreciate your work and your love for what is now a Province, your wisdom in its birth.

To be invited to preach here this morning is a privilege of which I could never have dreamed, your Grace Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo Kumar Kuku. I thank you and the province of the Sudan as it begins its life for the honour of being here at your birth. Like all new births it comes with responsibility within Sudan for Christians to make it work, and from outside to support, to pray, to love this new Province.

But what will happen? How will this new arrival survive and grow and develop? It is a birth in which the Church is already adult even at its beginning as a province, with a history and a background, a context of joy and of sorrow like all churches. We would be unusual people if we did not find that our hopes were accompanied by fears, our expectations by worries. If we look 10 years, 20 years, even 100 years from now, what then will this province be? Think how it has changed since the first Cathedral was built here over 100 years ago.

There is much to develop, many opportunities and many challenges.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Preaching / Homiletics, Sudan

An Interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury this morning from the Sudan

Listen to it all (it begins 1 hour and 49 minutes in). It covers a wide range of topics including same-sex marriage and the Primates Meeting as well as the growth of the Global South church, Charlie Gard+Brexit.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sudan

(AM) Response to the Archbishops’ statement on the Decriminalisation of Homosexual Acts

We welcome the Archbishops’ reminder that the Church of England supported ending the criminalisation of homosexual behaviour among consenting adults, which is no more appropriate than criminalising adultery. We are also glad that they speak of homosexual people who want to follow Christ and are drawn by his love.

However, in calling people to him, Jesus speaks of his yoke and burden not ours. He refers to the yoke or challenge of living the kind of spiritual and moral life he expects. He promises that if we follow him he shares the burden and challenge to enable us to overcome those aspects of our lives that still need to conform to his pattern and teaching. He does not comfort and console us by accepting what is unacceptable to him.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology: Scripture

Joint Statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York

A statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Act of Parliament passed in 1967 which decriminalised homosexual acts in our Country

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Act of Parliament passed in 1967 which decriminalised homosexual acts in our Country. The Church of England, led by Archbishop Ramsey, was supportive of the Sexual Offences Act.

In January 2016 the majority of the leading Archbishops of the whole global Anglican Communion – almost 80 million people in 165 countries – confirmed the longstanding view of the Communion that diminishing and criminalising homosexual people is wrong.

The Church, not just the Church of England, but all those who follow Jesus Christ and whose lives are committed to his worship and service, has very often been defined by what it is against. It has condemned many things, and continues to do so, very often correctly, for example when they involve the abuse of the poor, or the weak, or the marginalised.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), History, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology

(Artware) A biographical sketch of Charles Manners Sutton, Bp of Norwich (1792-1805)+Archbp of Canterbury (1805-1828)

Manners-Sutton worked closely with the Hackney Phalanx to revive the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and he was active in the campaign that secured the establishment of a bishop for India, being closely involved in recruiting Thomas Middleton, archdeacon of Huntingdon, and an associate of the phalanx, as first bishop of Calcutta. Manners-Sutton was also concerned with the extension of higher education. He contributed £1000 towards the endowment of King’s College, London, and was instrumental in persuading George IV to give his name to the college; he also contributed towards the establishment of both St David’s College, Lampeter, by Bishop Burgess of St David’s and of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1814 he was appointed to preside over the German Relief Fund to administer a parliamentary grant of £100,000 for the relief of Germany during the winter of the final Napoleonic campaign, which—because of opposition to the grant in the light of needs for charity relief at home—needed to be a model of accurate accounting. Joshua Watson acted as administrator of the funds. In 1816 Manners-Sutton and Bishop Howley of London unsuccessfully attempted to revive the Association for the Relief of the Manufacturing and Labouring Poor, established in 1812, and in 1817 he briefly flirted with Robert Owen’s plan to put the poor into ‘Villages of Co-operation’ where, after an initial capital grant from taxes, they would pay their own way while becoming useful, industrious, self-disciplined, and temperate.

Manners-Sutton may have been the initiator of a meritocratic revolution that reinvigorated the Church of England in the early nineteenth century. Although his own preferment was due to aristocratic patronage and royal favour, he, along with Bishop Howley of London, worked with Joshua Watson and his associates in the Hackney Phalanx to test the potential of able young graduates from middle-class backgrounds, making discriminate use of the extensive patronage available to archbishops of Canterbury and promoting the most promising candidates.

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Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(CEN) Archbishop Welby outlines plans for exhaustive review of sexuality

Hannah Grivell (Derby) asked whether the House of Bishops had considered advising Diocese Directors of Ordinands to stop using Issues in Human Sexuality in the discernment process of new ordinands until a new teaching document is available, ‘given that it was never intended for use in this way and is 26 years old’.

To which Bishop Hardman explained that this is one of the questions that will be put forward to the pastoral advisory group ‘with some urgency’.

Jane Charman (Salisbury) asked if the House of Bishops intends to learn from the Scottish Episcopal Church and their deliberations on the matter.

The Archbishop of Canterbury responded explaining saying “we will certainly be seeking to learn from all the provincesof the Anglican Communion’, which could include Canada, New Zealand and Australia as well as other provinces who have taken a different view to those mentioned.

“They will be learned from, there’s a lot to learn from the experience around the Communion,” he added.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Sermon by the Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams, read at the Solemn Requiem for Bishop Geoffrey Rowell

Geoffrey worked with myself and our dear friend Kenneth Stevenson on a book entitled Love’s Redeeming Work, an anthology of spiritual writing in the Anglican tradition. I don’t think that
Kenneth would mind if I said that the heavy lifting, in terms of the volume as far as the later period was concerned, was done by Geoffrey in his heroic labours on the vast mountain of
material from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century. His share of that book reflects those Tractarian roots already mentioned, but it also reflects the generous engagement which made him so open to, and so enthusiastic about, resources well beyond his own tradition, including resources beyond the United Kingdom. His voice was always advocating in the editorial
discussions we shared for a better and more accurate representation in the book of Anglicanism outside Europe and North America.

In the introduction to his section of that volume, the last page touches briefly on a number of perhaps predictable theological heroes – Lightfoot and Westcott, of course; Archbishop
Michael Ramsey; and then, more surprisingly, Charles Kingsley and Charles Raven. There they are, rubbing shoulders in one paragraph – probably as uncomfortable there in each other’s
company as they no doubt are in the Kingdom of Heaven. In that paragraph Geoffrey speaks of two things which this unlikely calendar of saints might have in common as representatives
of Anglican identity. He speaks of those great Anglican teachers, above all Archbishop Ramsey, for whom ‘contemplative prayer was not just for enclosed religious’, and he speaks
of what he calls the ‘characteristically Anglican sympathy with new knowledge’: a depth of hinterland in prayer and devotion, a sympathy with new knowledge – never uncritical, but
never hostile.

Then, in the last paragraph, he goes on to quote another name familiar to Geoffrey’s friends – John Henry Newman, on the Church that ‘changes always in order to remain the same’. To
believe that at a time of rapid, disorientating change, is particularly hard. But Geoffrey held to that and lived by it; and that is why he turns, at the very end of that introductory essay, to Lancelot Andrewes – and to T. S. Eliot: the tongues of flame in-folded, the fire and the rose one. If Jesus is indeed the resurrection and the life, and if because of that we cannot fall into nothingness, it is because the fiery trial of discipleship and ministry in Christ’s Church is not to be separated from the flowering of God’s generous purposes and the fulfilment of our humanity in ways we cannot imagine. We do not fall away, for God is God, and Christ is God. Knowing this is the key to knowing ourselves and knowing what song is sung by the whole of reality. Remember Geoffrey’s pitch in hearing and singing that song. And so we endure – as the Apostle says, ‘abounding in the work of the Lord’, as did Geoffrey
so abundantly. And we look with him at the cloud of witnesses, alive with the living Lord whom he adored and adores.

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Posted in --Rowan Williams, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

A Look Back to the Telegraph in 2003–“[Archbishop Rowan] Williams denounces same-sex marriages”

The Archbishop of Canterbury and his fellow Anglican leaders denounced gay marriages yesterday in an effort to avert schism in the worldwide Church.
In a unanimous statement, the primates, who are the heads of the Church’s 38 provinces, distanced themselves from maverick bishops who are poised to introduce same-sex blessings.
The move will dismay the Church’s liberal wing, which had hoped that Dr Rowan Williams and other reforming primates would champion their cause.
But it will be welcomed by traditionalists and should postpone a fundamental split in the Church over homosexuality, the most divisive issue it has faced since women priests.
In a pastoral letter released after a critical summit meeting in Brazil last week, the primates said that “the question of public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions is still a cause of potentially divisive controversy”.
They added: “There is no theological consensus. . .therefore we, as a body, cannot support the authorisation of such rites.”

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Posted in --Rowan Williams, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(Guardian) Being parish priest was my most stressful job, says Justin Welby

Justin Welby, the leader of the Church of England, has said the most stressful job he has done was as a parish priest, and that clergy need to be better supported.

Speaking at the C of E’s ruling body, the synod, in a debate on clergy wellbeing, the archbishop of Canterbury spoke of the “stresses and challenges” of being a priest.

“The hardest work I’ve ever done, and the most stressful, was as a parish priest – mainly because it was isolated, insatiably demanding and I was on the whole working without close colleagues – and that wears people down,” he said.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Daily Mail) Some Anglican Primates plan not to come to Justin Welby led Primates Meeting due to actions+theology contradicting the apostles

Traditionalist archbishops are planning to boycott a summit of Anglican leaders chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury because he is seen as too liberal over homosexuality.

It is understood at least two African archbishops will not attend the October gathering as Archbishop Justin Welby has also invited their liberal counterparts from the US and Scotland, who already conduct gay marriages in church.

Insiders said four or five other conservative archbishops from Africa and Asia could also boycott the Canterbury summit of the leaders of the 70 million-strong Anglican Communion, of which the Archbishop of Canterbury is nominal leader. The snub would be a fresh blow to Archbishop Welby’s efforts to prevent a permanent split in global Anglicanism.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology

(Church Times) Archbishops criticised for inviting proposer of Scottish same-sex marriage motion to General Synod this Weekend

A group of the General Synod’s laity and clergy have been placed in an “invidious” position, they say, by the “entirely wrong” invitation to the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Revd John Armes, to the Synod’s York meeting this weekend. They argue that it looks like an endorsement of the Scottish Episcopal Church’s change to its canons to allow same-sex marriage in church.

Bishop Armes, who was invited by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, was the proposer of the motion to amend the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Canon 31, on the solemnisation of holy matrimony, which was carried by the Scottish Synod last month (News, 8 June).

In a letter in this Friday’s Church Times, Susie Leafe (Truro) and 14 other members of the Houses of Laity and Clergy write that they are having to consider whether to “follow our consciences and withdraw”.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology

A Look Back to May 2016– Task group appointed to ‘maintain conversation’ among Anglican primates

A task group has been appointed to “maintain conversation” among the Primates of the Anglican Communion as requested during the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting in Canterbury Cathedral in January. The Primates asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish the group as part of their commitment to “walk together” despite “deep differences”….

The members of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s task group are:

Archbishop Richard Clarke from the Church of Ireland; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry from the US-based Episcopal Church; Bishop Govada Dyvasirvadam, Moderator of Church of South India;Archbishop Ian Ernest, from the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean; Archbishop Philip Freier, from the Anglican Church of Australia; Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, from the Province of South East Asia; Canon Rosemary Mbogo, the Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Kenya; the Rt Revd Linda Nicholls, co-adjutor bishop of the diocese of Huron in the Anglican Church of Canada; the former vice chair of the ACC, Canon Elizabeth Paver, from the Church of England; and Bishop Paul Sarker, the Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury

Lord Carey : Statement from the Rt. Rev Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford

“I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.

He said in his statement on Thursday: “I accept the criticisms made of me. I apologise to the victims of Peter Ball. I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind those allegations. I regret that after Peter Ball was cautioned I did not place his name on the Lambeth list.”

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Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology

The Guardian view on abuse in the Church of England: a reputation deservedly damaged

After news of Bishop Ball’s arrest broke, Lambeth Palace received seven independent accusations about his earlier behaviour. Two were seen by Archbishop Carey, who replied to them personally. Only one of the seven, though, was passed to the police, and that the least damning. Lord Carey’s message to the diocese after Bishop Ball was arrested urged prayers for the bishop and said nothing about victims. After Bishop Ball had retired on spurious grounds of ill health and accepted a caution – though remaining in denial about his crimes – Lord Carey worked to have him rehabilitated. True, he did so with less ingenuity than Peter Ball’s identical twin Michael, himself a bishop, who has admitted allowing his twin to deputise for him at “one or two events”, even after his disgrace.

Lord Carey nevertheless gave Peter Ball £12,000 from church funds, leading to loud complaints from the brothers, who had wanted £20,000. He deliberately kept Peter Ball’s name off the Lambeth blacklist of unemployable clergy; he had the disgraced bishop to stay at Lambeth Palace twice; he attempted to find him work in South Africa (writing to Desmond Tutu for this scheme) and in prisons; he wrote to an American parish that “Peter was possibly the victim of a plot but that, of course, cannot be proved”. Lord Carey’s only objection to a full rehabilitation of Bishop Ball as a retired bishop was that it might provoke unfavourable publicity.
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This was disgraceful, and the result has been a deserved disgrace. But it was part of a culture of privilege, power and make-believe that corrupted more than one bishop. Lord Carey’s successor, Rowan Williams did nothing to help Bishop Ball but very little and very slowly to hinder him either.

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