“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has used his presidential address to the Church of England’s General Synod to update members on last month’s Primates Meeting and Gathering in Canterbury. He also gave his impression about the current state of the Anglican Communion.”
– This is Archbishop Welby’s fullest account of his understanding of what took place in Canterbury last month. Worth reading in full. Photo: ACNS.
“The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, last night led a service of Solemn Vespers in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace in what was the first Roman Catholic act of worship for 450 years in Henry VIII’s chapel, which was the backdrop to much of the English Reformation.
The service, sung mainly in Latin, was a unique event held to mark the 500th anniversary of Hampton Court and was in recognition of the growing relationship between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic church…”
– This report from The Anglican Communion News Service.
Photo: Cardinal Vincent, Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster.
“Here is the main argument put forward by revisionists for the Church of England to change the historic doctrine of sexuality and marriage: ‘the majority of people believe this, so the church leadership should follow’. Leaving aside the interpretation of statistics, and the question of whether this societal change has happened by chance or as a result of sustained cultural re-education by a secular elite, we need to ask: should the Church accommodate itself to the culture as the revisionists demand, or should it be providing a lead in developing a counter-culture which influences and transforms the values of society?
Or perhaps the church should ignore the surrounding culture and be concerned only with the beliefs and actions of its own members and the small fringe of contacts which it hopes to draw in? This approach may have the strength of an authentically biblical foundation, but is it Anglican?…”
– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes looks at the way forward for the Church of England.
There’s been widespread reporting of a UK poll, with stories beginning like this one –
“Anglican churchgoers in the UK who support gay marriage outnumber those opposed to it for the first time, according to a new poll…” (Sky News Australia).
So what’s the real story?
“Last night the internet was abuzz with a YouGov poll, commissioned by the revisionist campaigner Jayne Ozanne, that was purported to show that a majority of Anglicans now supported same-sex marriage. It did no such thing…
The headlines become even more suspect when you look at the poll questions in detail.”
– Ian Paul and Peter Ould have some analysis.
REFORM Media Statement – 16th January 2016
– More pressure on Archbishop Welby ahead of the Primates’ Meeting. And even more reason to pray for all at that gathering. Report from BBC News. (Image: BBC.)
And you can also read the Christmas 2015 sermon from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, preached at Canterbury Cathedral. In part, he says, –
“Today, across the Middle East, close to the area in which the angels announced God’s apocalypse, ISIS and others claim that this is the time of an apocalypse, an unveiling created of their own terrible ideas, one which is igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred and determined oppression. Confident that these are the last days, using force and indescribable cruelty, they seem to welcome all opposition, certain that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end times. They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began. This apocalypse is defined by themselves and heralded only by the angel of death.”
“Is the Reformation over? Was it a mistake? These are questions we may ask ourselves a number of times over the next two years, as the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses approaches in October 2017.
I found myself wondering about them after the recent fiasco surrounding the Lord’s Prayer ‘advert’, and after General Synod…”
– At Church Society’s blog, Director Lee Gatiss quite rightly wonders what on earth is going on (to paraphrase him a little) in the Church of England.
At Church Society’s blog, Kirsty Birkett (who now teaches Pastoral Counselling and Youth and Children’s Ministry at Oak Hill College) reminds readers of a 1994 Churchman article by the much-missed John Richardson.
In his article, John draws some important conclusions for evangelicals in the Church of England, reflecting on his year of study at Moore College.
(Readers can also rightly give thanks to Almighty God for the growth of Oak Hill College in London in the years since John wrote that article.)
One reason relates to the website advertised by the ad:
“For there, on a protestant site, are prayers to pray including the Hail Mary and a prayer addressed to St Christopher for travelling mercies.”
“Catholics of Anglican heritage are getting an early Christmas present from Pope Francis: The Holy Father has appointed the first Catholic bishop ever to lead one of three non-territorial dioceses (known as ordinariates) established to preserve the Anglican patrimony in the Catholic Church…”
– from The National Catholic Register.
(Note: The Ordinariates weer established by the Roman Catholic Church for High Church Anglicans unhappy with the liberal drift in sections of the Anglican Communion.)