Category : England / UK

(C of E) Independent Reviewer’s report on See of Sheffield published

A report of the review of nomination to the See of Sheffield by the independent reviewer Sir Philip Mawer has been…[recently] published….

The report and appendices set out the findings of a review requested by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in March this year following the announcement that the Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, was to withdraw from nomination to the Diocese of Sheffield….

Summary of findings and conclusions:

Sir Philip finds that Bishop Philip North’s nomination to the See of Sheffield was entirely consistent with the terms of the 2014 Settlement which enabled the consecration of women as bishops in the Church of England.  However:

  • The nomination of Bishop North – a bishop who would not ordain women as priests – came as a surprise to many, indicating a failure to inform and educate people that such a nomination was possible under the terms of the Settlement.
  • There is scope for improvement in the processes leading to the nomination of candidates to the Crown for appointment as diocesan bishops.
  • Events surrounding the nomination also raise some fundamental theological and pastoral issues relating to the 2014 Settlement and its operation.
  • They also point to a failure to anticipate the likely reaction to Bishop North’s nomination and to plan for handling it.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ninian of Galloway

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in --Scotland, Church History

(PA) Britons skipping birthdays over lack of money, Christian charity finds

The Church of England’s social action charity has revealed that one in nine British adults missed out on celebrating a birthday or other special occasion last year because of a lack of money.

The Church Urban Fund said more must be done to help hard-pressed Britons as figures from its food survey suggest almost a million adults used a food bank last year.

The charity’s executive director Paul Hackwood said the results paint a “deeply troubling picture of food insecurity throughout Britain”.

He described the effects of such poverty as wide-reaching, adding: “Those affected don’t just go hungry or poorly nourished – they suffer isolation, are excluded from participating in social activities and experience considerable anxiety.”

Read it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, England / UK, Personal Finance, Sociology

(Church Times) New Church of England poll confirms image of inactive Christians

The survey of 8150 British adults was conducted by ComRes in March and published this week. Just over half (51 per cent) of those responding to the survey defined themselves as Christian. This compares with the latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, published last week, which found that 41 per cent of 2129 respondents identified themselves as Christian (News, 8 September).

Of the Christian respondents in the ComRes survey, 32 per cent were over 65 and just six per cent were under 24. Fifty-six per cent classified themselves as Anglican, once again, a higher percentage than the BSA finding. Almost two-thirds of the Christians said that they had become a Christian aged 0-4. Just 14 per cent agreed when asked whether they were an “active Christian”; 28 per cent agreed with the definition: “follower of Jesus”.

Asked about how often they read or listened to the Bible, 55 per cent of Christians answered “never”; 14 per cent said at least once a month. Twenty-nine per cent said that they never prayed; 40 per cent at least once a month; 18 per cent daily.

Read it all.

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

(Christian Today) Should the Church panic at the latest statistics on religious affiliation? Why Bishop Stephen Cotrell says ‘no’

The survey conducted by the National Centre for Social Research showed that 53 per cent of adults have no religious belief. It also revealed there was a decline in the number of people who identified as Anglican. Out of the 2,942 adults asked, 15 per cent said they were Anglican.

Responding to the figure that 71 per cent of 18-25 year olds have no religious affiliation, Bishop Cottrell said young people are more comfortable describing themselves as spiritual rather than religious, but this often means an openness to the possibility of God ‘and often a deep attraction to the person of Christ’.

He admitted it is impossible for any Christian or any Christian leader to look at the figures ‘without a certain amount of despondency’.

But it was not something to panic about and Britain had not suddenly become ‘a nation of atheists’.

He said: ‘It awakens us yet again to the great missionary challenge we face.’

Read it all.

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

(Guardian) Giles Fraser–The disestablishment of the church is now necessary and inevitable

I always used to think that no political party would be prepared to give disestablishment the time and effort that it would require. But Prime Minister Corbyn might just be the man to do it. And far from being a fusty move for constitutional committees, disestablishment could be framed as an attempt to rationally redesign a Britain fit for a global role beyond the EU. After all, who needs Christian morality in the age of human rights?

Don’t get me wrong. I do not warm to the state of affairs that I have just described. Indeed, I feel profoundly alienated from such a country. It is just that I think something like this is unavoidable and that the established church has to get ahead of the situation by transforming itself, rather than play a continuous rearguard action against the inevitable.

But there is opportunity here for the church, as well as loss. What we give up is our traditional role as courtiers. Good, I say. The banners of the New Model Army would proudly proclaim that there is no king but Jesus. And to say that Jesus is the supreme authority is to say that no one else can be – not the Romans, not the pope, not the House of Stuart or the House of Windsor. The Church of England was specifically designed to soften that thought, to make it less dangerous. Christians were to be housetrained. We were to give up all our revolutionary talk of bringing God’s kingdom to earth and settle instead for a warm vicarage and being nice to our parishioners. That settlement is about to be ripped up.

I do not believe that disestablishment will revive the numerical fortunes of the church. Looking at our disestablished cousins, I think it may well mean we will decline at an even faster rate – at least in the short to medium term (and that means centuries in church terms). But please, my fellow Anglicans, we need to go before we are no longer welcome. And go in the knowledge that, as people of the resurrection, we do not fear death – either personally or institutionally.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Premier) Star from hit Television show ‘Gladiators’ joins Archbishop Sentamu’s evangelism drive

A former star of the hit television show Gladiators-turned evangelist is joining a major evangelism event being led by the Archbishop of York in Merseyside.

Warren Furman, known as ‘Ace’ on the 1990s programme Gladiator, is sharing with primary and secondary school pupils his journey to faith as part of the Believe in Birkenhead initiative.

Speaking with Premier, Bishop of Birkenhead Rt Rev Keith Sinclair said his prayer for the four-day campaign was that “people who might have thought God wouldn’t give them a second thought realise God’s love for them and God’s work in their lives, and they start to begin a journey to come back and engage with that reality.”

Mr Furman’s being joined during the question and answer session on Thursday by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and several local Anglican bishops.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Movies & Television

(CEN) New Research Suggests the Church of England faces an exodus of young people

New figures show a collapse in the number of Anglicans in England.

Just 3 per cent of those aged 18-24 described themselves as Anglican, compared to 40 per cent of those aged 75 and over, according to the research.

Figures from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey on popular religious affiliations has revealed that just 15 per cent of people in Britain consider themselves Anglican, half the amount in 2000.

According to the figures 40 per cent of those surveyed as far back as 1983 identified themselves as either Anglican or Church of England. By 1993 the figure stood at 32 per cent and while the figure fluctuated between 32-26 per cent between 1995 and 2005.

The figure dropped to 22 per cent in 2006 and remained steady until 2013 when it decreased to 16 per cent.

Meanwhile the proportion of people identifying themselves as Roman Catholic in the same period has remained relatively stable between 9-12 per cent.

Read it all (requires subscrirption).

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

(Guardian) UK’s economic model is broken, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Britain’s economic model is broken and produces widespread inequality, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned in a report backed by business leaders.

Justin Welby said the UK needed to make fundamental choices about the direction of its economy, in a study that found the gains from growth are being diverted into profits rather than wages.

“Our economic model is broken,” said Welby. “Britain stands at a watershed moment where we need to make fundamental choices about the sort of economy we need. We are failing those who will grow up into a world where the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the country is significant and destabilising.”

The report by the IPPR thinktank’s commission on economic justice, which features senior business and public figures alongside Welby, stressed that all political parties needed to reject the current patterns of economic growth that delivered most of the gains to corporations and the richest in society.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Christian Today) Massive collapse in number of Anglicans in Britain, new survey shows

The number of Anglicans in Britain has collapsed by 50 per cent in under two decades, according to figures released today.

The latest British Social Attitudes survey’s data on religion show that the number of people in Britain who describe themselves as having no religion at all is also at its highest ever level.

More than half, 53 per cent, of the British public now describe themselves as having ‘no religion’.

This is up from 48 per cent in 2015.

Figures released earlier from the same survey showed that that religious people are becoming more socially liberal on issues like same sex relationships and abortion.

Read it all.

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

Archbp Justin Welby’s Statement on the Death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Cormac was a good friend to Anglicans at home and internationally. As the Catholic co-chair of the second phase of the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC II) he lent both his customary good humour and his theological acumen to the production of some of the most influential of ecumenical agreed texts of the twentieth century. At a time when others bemoaned the lack of instant progress in ecumenical relations, Cormac saw the work of ARCIC as an investment and a building block for future closer relations. At home he was notable for his support for interchurch families and, whilst he was Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome, for the support and encouragement of a scheme that is still going giving Church of England ordinands the opportunity to study in Rome. He cared for Anglican leaders he knew, encouraged and supported them, drawing them into the fellowship of Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Announcing the Death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Church Times) Greenbelt festivalgoers enjoy unaccustomed sunshine as they unpack ‘The Common Good’

The churchiness was largely post-Evangelical; the politics firmly left-of-centre. The Mail col­umnist Peter Oborne had a respect­ful audience for his knowledgeable talk on the Middle East; less so later on, when he attempted to defend the Mail in the company of the act­ivist Jack Monroe, who was libelled by one of its columnists, Katie Hop­kins. Monroe had been greeted with cheers when, earlier in the day, she had been asked how to end poverty. “Stop voting Tory, for Chrissakes.”

She was talked about in the food queues (the best measure of success at the festival); and so was Charles Handy, the 90-year-old economist; the Revd John Bell, who spoke about his sexuality for the first time; the rich Muslim pro­gramme of music and worship in its dedicated tent; the Revd Kate Bottley’s illus­trated talk on body image, again in a ded­icated tent, this time for women; per­formances by the singer Kate Rusby and the singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner — and also a quartet from St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Others mentioned were Baroness Warsi, Harry Baker and Chris Read, Cole Moreton, Lee Bains III, Natalie Bennett, and Sarah Corbett.

The chief topic of conversation, though, was the main Sunday eu­­char­­ist, where the festival’s inclus­ivity was brought into the heart of the service. As well as signers from the charity Livabil­ity, and prayers from the L’Arche commun­ity, there was a reading via live audio link by Tanya Marlow, an ME sufferer, lying in her bed in Plymouth.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Judge rules child must leave Muslim foster home

A girl at the centre of a care dispute was removed from her Muslim foster parents yesterday and reunited with her family as a judge urged councils to seek “culturally matched placements” for vulnerable children.

The five-year-old, a native English speaker from a Christian family, was taken to her grandmother’s home after a court ruled that she should not remain in the placement organised by the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Judge Khatun Sapnara, a practising Muslim, said it was in the girl’s best interests to live with a family member who could keep her safe, promote her welfare and meet her needs “in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion”. The judge ordered the council to conduct an urgent investigation into issues reported by The Times, saying that the newspaper had acted responsibly in raising “very concerning” matters of “legitimate public interest”.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

A BBC Sunday radio Four programme on Religion and Artificial Intelligence

The Bishop of Oxford Stephen Croft, Rabbi Moshi Freedman, anthropologist Beth Singler from the Faraday Institute and Kriti Sharma, VP of AI at Sage debate and discuss the application of AI and why its development needs to be considered within a moral and ethical framework….

Listen to it all (Bishop Stephen Croft section starts at abt 9:23).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Judaism, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology