Category : Archbishop of Canterbury

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

(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

(AM) Essex churches pass motions of no confidence in “unbiblical leadership” of Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Two churches in Chelmsford Diocese have taken the unprecedented step of issuing public statements of no confidence in the Church of England leadership, following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for ‘radical inclusion’ at General Synod in February, and Bishop Stephen Cottrell’s call for thanksgiving prayers to be offered for same sex relationships in his Presidential Address to the Chelmsford Diocesan Synod.

The decision to publish the no confidence motions has been motivated by the Diocese provocatively hosting their June Synod at a church publicly supporting same sex marriage, and Archbishop Welby’s recent letter to Primates which does not mention the Scottish Episcopal Church’s departure from Christian orthodoxy but criticises Gafcon’s decision to appoint a faithful missionary Bishop.

Although two churches have gone public with their protest, Anglican Mainstream understands that several dozen clergy and a number of lay people in the Diocese have written to Bishop Stephen since February expressing deep concern about the direction of the C of E as evidenced by his statements.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Jonathan Petre’s Article in the Daily Mail about Archbp Welby’s Letter to the Anglican Primates

Canon [Andy] Lines’s presence in the UK without Welby’s approval could be seen as provocative. But Lines’s backers complain that the Archbishop failed to rebuke the Scottish Episcopalians for permitting gay marriage, even though it is out of step with Church of England official policy.

The former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali, a prominent traditionalist who is attending the meeting in Chicago where Canon Lines is to be consecrated, said: ‘The Scottish Episcopal Church has done something that will cause many people to exercise their right of conscience and not remain in it. Who is going to look after them?
‘The question is not just about territory. It is also about faith.’

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(AI) Archbp Justin Welby Writes the Primates of the Anglican Communion

We continue to exhort the need to work together without exclusion, in faithfulness to the deposit of the faith we have inherited, to the scriptures and the creeds, and paying attention to the Great Commission, our call to evangelism and sharing in the mission of God.

I believe that the example of how we addressed the separate issue of ordination of women to the episcopacy illustrates this; the Right Reverend Rod Thomas’ consecration as Bishop of Maidstone served to provide episcopal oversight for those who disagreed with the ordination of women to the episcopate. This clearly demonstrates how those with differing views still have their place in the Church of England, and are important in enabling the flourishing of the Church. Because of this commitment to each other I do not consider the appointment of a “missionary bishop” to be necessary. The idea of a “missionary bishop” who was not a Church of England appointment, would be a cross-border intervention and, in the absence of a Royal Mandate, would carry no weight in the Church of England. Historically, there has been resistance to cross-border interventions and ordinations from the earliest years of the universal Church’s existence. Such weighty authority as canons 15 and 16 of the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 are uncompromising in this regard and make reference to the “great disturbance and discords that occur” when bishops and their clergy seek to minister in this way.

I would also like to remind you of the 1988 Lambeth Conference resolution number 72 on episcopal responsibilities and diocesan boundaries. This resolution reaffirms the historical position of respect for diocesan boundaries and the authority of bishops within these boundaries. It also affirms that it deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop or priest of this Communion to exercise episcopal or pastoral ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the ecclesial authority thereof. The conclusion of this resolution was that in order to maintain our unity, “it seems fair that we should speak of our mutual respect for one another, and the positions we hold, that serves as a sign of our unity.”

The issue of cross-border interventions has continued to come up in recent conversations within the Anglican Communion, and may well be something that is included in the agenda for the next Primates’ meeting, which takes place from 2 to 7 October 2017, in Canterbury.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

More on the Scottish Episcopal Church Vote (III)–Some Color on the ACNA action by David Ould

From there:

Sources in the ACNA were certainly keen to present this new international consecration as another watershed moment in the history of the Communion.

They have also suggested to me that it places the Archbishop of Canterbury in a little bit of a conundrum: Welby has stated that ACNA is not part of the Anglican Communion (although the GAFCON Primates disagree) so technically this cannot be seen by him as “border-crossing”. On the other hand it is an action that has the full endorsement of leaders representing the vast majority of the Anglican Communion, an endorsement that will be emphasised by their presence at the consecration itself on 30 June in Wheaton, Illinois. Lines’ consecration will be viewed as valid and in order; he will truly be an Anglican bishop.

It’s a clear strategy from the GAFCON Primates. They have placed a clear footprint in Scotland that more than spills over in the Church of England. They have once again raised the profile and position of the Anglican Church in North America; not only in terms of its own legitimacy but, perhaps more importantly, as a model for the new form of the Anglican Communion.

What will Welby do?

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Scottish Episcopal Church, Uncategorized

Archbp Justin Welby’s Interview with BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme on the London Terrorist Attack

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has said there is “a lack of religious literacy” among some people who are tackling the terrorist threat.

“They often don’t understand the very basic doctrines of the faith they’re dealing with,” he says – and cannot put themselves “in the shoes of religious believers”.

Speaking about his own religion, Christianity, he says there has been “enormous heroism and beauty” but there has also been “a dark side” in the past.

Listen to it all (3 minutes).

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

(Church Times) Thy Kingdom Come’s ‘wave of prayer’ goes global

Prayer has the power to carry all who are suffering alone towards “healing and renewal” in Christ, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Thursday.

Archbishop Welby was speaking to Christian journalists about the “extraordinary” growth of the Pentecost prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come, at Lambeth Palace.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians of many denominations in 85 countries around the world are taking part in the second annual “great wave of prayer” during the ten days between Ascension Day, on Thursday of last week, and Pentecost on Sunday.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England, Globalization

Archbishop Justin Welby’s Thought for the Day from BBC Radio 4 this morning

We all want our life to count. A sense of it having been worthwhile. Not in terms of recognition but in terms of a contribution that makes a difference.
Yet in ourselves, in our communities, in our country and world we too often sense the forces of disruption and chaos that defeat the good we long to see.
For me as a Christian rather than this being hopeless it engages me with the God who makes all the difference.
What gives me inescapable hope is the trust, energy and vision that we believe God calls us to engage with for the sake of others.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Politics in General, Theology

(New Statesman) Rowan Williams on Rod Drehers’ new book-The Benedict Option:a new monasticism for the 21st c.

The lack of specific discussion of groups such as the Catholic Worker movement and the Bruderhof is such that it is hard to envisage just what Dreher’s Benedict-inspired communities might look like – though he strongly commends home-schooling and likes the idea of orthodox believers living in close proximity to one another and to their church. What is left most worryingly vague is how such groups might maintain a level of self-criticism, and how they would handle issues around authority and management of conflict. Benedict has a fair bit to say about this, and Dreher shows he is aware of it and of the problem of alienating a younger generation by excessive exclusivism. However, more information on how actual communities have discovered and handled (or failed to handle) such matters would help.

The Benedict Option is unsettling. It confronts the prevailing consensus about how far the majority is willing to make room for principled dissent and public argument – yet at the same time shows a rather dispiriting lack of confidence in public argument. It puts a solid and appealing case for religious communities to be more serious about the disciplines that sustain prayer, compassion and integrity; but it is also a jeremiad against the decline of a certain sort of American public piety, and the sinister plans of relativists and revisionists.

The book is worth reading because it poses some helpfully tough questions to a socially liberal majority, as well as to believers of a more traditional colour. Yet it also fails to note the irony of advocating what it does in a climate where liberal triumphalism has already been shaken by a very un-Benedictine set of influences, through the resurgence of populist conservatism and protectionism. And neither restating liberal nostrums nor Dreher’s “strategy of hibernation” – to borrow a phrase from Adorno – seems an adequate answer to this.

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Posted in --Rowan Williams, Church History, Religion & Culture, Theology

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.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Augustine of Canterbury

O Lord our God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst call thine apostles and send them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless thy holy name for thy servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating thy Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom thou dost call and send may do thy will, and bide thy time, and see thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

Rowan Williams–A Sermon for Ascension Day in 2011

Jesus hasn’t just gone away. He has gone deeper into the heart of reality–our reality and God’s. He has become far more than a visible friend and companion; he has shown himself to be the very centre of our life, the source of our loving energy in the world and the source of our prayerful, trustful waiting on God. He has made us able to be a new kind of human being, silently and patiently trusting God as a loving parent, actively and hopefully at work to make a difference in the world, to make the kind of difference love makes.

So if the world looks and feels like a world without God, the Christian doesn’t try to say, ‘It’s not as bad as all that’, or seek to point to clear signs of God’s presence that make everything all right. The Christian will acknowledge that the situation is harsh, even apparently unhopeful–but will dare to say that they are willing to bring hope by what they offer in terms of compassion and service. And their own willingness and capacity for this is nourished by the prayer that the Spirit of Jesus has made possible for them.

The friends of Jesus are called, in other words, to offer themselves as signs of God in the world–to live in such a way that the underlying all-pervading energy of God begins to come through them and make a difference.

Read it all.

Posted in --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ascension, Preaching / Homiletics

(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.”

Read it all.

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

The Archbishop of Canterbury concludes a visit to the Holy Land

The Archbishop of Canterbury has completed a 10-day official visit to the Holy Land.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Mrs Caroline Welby travelled to the Holy Land at the invitation of the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Archbishop Suheil Dawani.

The Archbishop made the long visit, from 2–11 May, to spend time with Anglicans in Jordan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel – to encourage them, to pray with them, and to learn from them.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Israel, Jordan, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Syria, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Violence

Alan Storkey: A Critique of the recent Anglican Archbishops’ Election Letter

The event which prompted this comment may have been Tim Farron’s failure to answer the question, obviously set to trap him, of whether homosexuality is a sin. Tim responded with Sunday School level answers in a failure, matched within the Church of England, to address gender and sexuality properly. Our failure should not be protected, and given the Gospels are full of Jesus responding to questions asked to trap him, Tim Farron needs to wise up a bit.

The letter then continues with general religious reflection and worry about “further secularisation in the public realm”. The problem is that talking about religions in general makes this contribution vague. There is a nod at “religiously motivated violence” and addressing it, and the refugee “conversation” is addressed by looking at the costs than some incur, and equally sharing them. But this highlights the mealy-mouthed responses. We are having a “conversation” about refugees while perhaps ten or twenty thousand come, while the German Christian Democrats, led by Angela Merkel, welcome a million, because they are suffering, homeless and obviously need help, and Christianity requires us not to pass by on the other side when people need help. That signals the depth of our actual British Christian failure.

National Values.
Then occurs a sentence which sums up the failure of this letter. “These deep virtues and practices – love, trust, and hope, cohesion, courage and stability – are not the preserve of any one political party or worldview, but go to the heart of who we are as a country in all its diversity.” It does not matter what your views are, in party terms, or in terms of worldview, we as a country in all its diversity practising these virtues can hang together. There are some problems with this. First, parties and people disagree about these and other virtues. Second, the rosy picture of national unity conveyed by the Conservative Party at this election, ignores the disunities within the UK, over Brexit and among many different groups who for good reasons do not have trust or hope. More deeply, this sentence conveys that national virtues are the basis of British society. This is not true for much of British politics. The UK pursued an illegal war on the basis of a lie in Iraq which has contributed to millions of lives being destabilised. The poor are being impoverished while the rich get richer. Health and care services are threatened. We are arming and selling arms on a large scale, and corruption is appearing in our banking and other sectors. This vague hope in national virtue will not do. More than this Britain’s Brexit exit raises the problem of British Nationalism, or more accurately English nationalism, the idea that we really do have to be separate from our European neighbours. The Archbishops’ letter mentions no other countries and seems to participate in this British fixation.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture