Category : England / UK

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint George

Almighty God, who didst commission thy holy martyr George to bear before the rulers of this world the banner of the cross: Strengthen us in our battles against the great serpent of sin and evil, that we too may attain the crown of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Church History, England / UK, Spirituality/Prayer

(Spectator) Melanie McDonagh–If you want to save the CofE, then get stuck in (and go to worship in your parish)

If you want the grisly figures, Linda Woodhead, the sociologist of religion, has them; or the website Counting Religion in Britain. The most obvious cause for concern about the CofE is not numbers but demographics. A recent study, The Last Active Anglican Generation, (OUP, 2017, £50 – so one to get from a library), is a study of Anglican laywomen from what the author calls Generation A (born in the twenties and thirties) in the UK and North America. Among its observations is something called pew power, viz, the notion of power over the institution wielded by ordinary congregations and parish workers – as opposed to leading from the front, the institutional stuff. But the point of it is in the title.

The unfortunate thing about Generation A is that it’s diminishing by the year, as its members go to their eternal reward, for a lifetime of church fetes, flower arranging, keeping the keys for empty churches and turning up, Sunday after Sunday. So, I have a simple proposal for the cultural Christians who agonise about the rise of Islam and the vanishing Christian character of Britain: go to church. Take the place of Generation A. Turn up for Easter Sunday as well as Christmas; keep Pentecost Sunday, because hardly anyone now knows what Whit Sunday stands for, and Ascension Thursday. There are lots of churches out there, you know: Anglicans in cities are spoiled for choice, and you can’t throw a brick in places like Norfolk without landing on something fabulous from the fifteenth century. Anglicans have, moreover, for those that seek it out, the loveliest liturgy, and you don’t deserve it. There are rubbish clergy, of course, but, you know, it’s possible to separate your feelings about the thing that’s being celebrated from the celebrant (Catholics are quite good at this). So, get out there. The numbers attending Anglican services fell below a million at the beginning of last year; they’re still falling.

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

Queen Elizabeth distributes Royal Maundy money at Leicester Cathedral

Queen Elizabeth II has distributed ceremonial pouches of coins to 182 men and women in a Maundy Thursday ceremony that dates back to the 13th Century. The queen, wearing a turquoise green coat and matching hat, handed out the money during a service at Leicester Cathedral in the English Midlands. In doing so she has now taken part in the traditional annual Maundy Thursday service in every one of England’s Anglican cathedrals.

The recipients were selected for their service to the church and community. Each of them – 91 each of male and female as the Queen is 91 years of age – received two pouches. A red one contained a commemorative £5 coin, commemorating the Centenary of the House of Windsor and a 50p coin commemorating Sir Isaac Newton; while a white pouch contained 91 pence – again, equal to her age – in specially minted Maundy coins.

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Posted in England / UK, Holy Week, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Is Radical Islam ‘taking hold’ in prisons?

A terrorist incident in a jail is more likely now than at any time since a break-out by the Provisional IRA from a top-security prison in 1994, according to a former governor who has conducted a review into Islamic extremism.

Ian Acheson warns that radical Islam is “taking hold” in prisons and that officers lack the skills to deal with the threat.

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Posted in England / UK, Islam, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Cathedral closures possible amid cash crisis, Church of England says

Some cathedrals are facing possible closure because of problems with finance and management, according to the Church of England.
A report said their financial independence posed “serious risks to the reputation of the entire Church”.
Despite increasing numbers of visitors, some cathedrals have been hit by serious financial problems.
A new working group will consider whether or not cathedrals should continue to raise their own funds.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(The Observer) Anglicans launch rescue bid as England’s finest cathedrals battle a financial crisis

The Church of England has launched an investigation into the running of cathedrals, as financial crises threaten the future of some of the country’s most cherished buildings.

As Christians prepare to mark Holy Week and celebrate Easter Sunday, Anglican leaders have become increasingly concerned about reports of staff sacked, heavy debts accumulated and assets sold off.

On Monday the church will announce the 12 members of a working party ordered by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, to look into the way cathedrals are governed, their accountability and how financial decisions are made. The working party will include financial specialists and other experts and will be chaired by the bishop of Stepney, Adrian Newman, with the dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, as deputy chair.

The inquiry has been prompted by a recent report into the financial problems at Peterborough cathedral, where difficulties had led to the departure of the dean and the risk that the church might be unable to pay staff their salaries. A loan from the Church Commissioners helped deal with the immediate shortfall for the 12th-century former Benedictine abbey, housing Catherine of Aragon’s tomb, but 12 staff were made redundant.

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Posted in Architecture, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

In honour of the Trip to the UK, a Lasting Memory–The Bells of Liverpool Cathedral

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography, Travel

With my Son Nathaniel this past Wednesday at Anfield

Posted in England / UK, Sports, Travel

(Christian Today) Sinners R Us? We do it God’s way? Help this clergyman find a new slogan for the Church of England

Does the Church of England need a corporate slogan?

Rev Richard Coles, the witty Church of England clergyman who is a former member of the Communards pop group and a BBC broadcaster, has shared on Facebook that he’s been asked to think up a corporate slogan for the Church.

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Posted in --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

Easter egg row: Church of England accuses National Trust of ‘airbrushing’ religion out of children’s egg hunt

It was also met with anger by the Archbishop of York, who said the decision to remove the word Easter from the egg hunt logo was tantamount to “spitting on the grave” of John Cadbury, the chocolate firm’s original founder.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “The Cadburys were Great Quaker industrialists. If people visited Birmingham today in the Cadbury World they will discover how Cadbury’s Christian faith influenced his industrial output.

“He built houses for all his workers, he built a Church, he made provision for schools. It is obvious that for him Jesus and justice were two sides of the one coin. To drop Easter from Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt in my book is tantamount to spitting on the grave of Cadbury.”

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Easter, England / UK, Religion & Culture

At Edinburgh Castle Monday Morning

Posted in --Scotland, Photos/Photography, Travel

(FT) England’s churches warn over loss of lottery repair ticket

They are among the country’s most treasured and historic buildings, but England’s listed churches are about to lose the dedicated state funding they have relied on for four decades.

Next week, the Heritage Lottery Fund will announce that it is scrapping its £25m Grants for Places of Worship fund as of 2018. Money for the maintenance of church buildings will instead come out of its overall heritage programme, which supports everything from industrial buildings to neolithic standing stones.

The HLF, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said church organisations would still be able to apply for funding for repairs and it would “target” a similar amount of spending for churches and other religious buildings.

But Becky Clark, secretary of the Church of England’s church buildings council, said previous funding levels were no longer guaranteed.

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Posted in Architecture, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

([London] Sunday Times) Church of England bashes BBC over canning of religion team

The Church of England has attacked the BBC after the broadcaster decided to shut down its in-house religious affairs television production department.

Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, who speaks for the church on media matters, said: “It is a failure of the BBC as a public service broadcaster.”

He was commenting on a leaked email from a senior BBC executive which warned that the recent loss of the contract to make Songs of Praise in house had forced it to rethink its business model.

Lisa Opie, director of factual, BBC Studios, told staff that this “means we will no longer have a permanent religion and ethics department in Salford”.

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

Liverpool Cathedral just awe inspiring!

Posted in Architecture, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Travel

Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu to attend Spring Harvest

The Archbishops of both Canterbury and York, the Most Revds Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu, will be joining those attending this year’s Spring Harvest.

Archbishop Justin will be at the Butlins resort in Minehead on Palm Sunday 9 April and Archbishop Sentamu will be in Skegness on Tuesday 11 April. The title of Spring Harvest this year is ‘One for All’ and the theme of the event is ‘Unity’. Both Archbishops are known for their concern on this issue, with Justin Welby in particular popularising the concept of ‘good disagreement’ – how to disagree without being disagreeable; being gracious without compromising and the Archbishop of York on ‘how to disagree Christianly’.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture