“The new General Synod is inaugurated today (Tuesday 24th), starting with a Communion service at Westminster Abbey, followed by an opening ceremony in Church House, at both of which her Majesty the Queen is present. The membership, recently elected and tasked with the governance of the Church over the next five years, features a high proportion of first timers. …
Anything to do with homosexual practice or same sex marriage has been kept off the agenda of this Synod. But the issue is there, hanging unseen over the proceedings. Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain, vicar of a parish only a few miles north of where the Synod meets in Westminster, married his same sex partner last year in defiance of the Bishops’ clear guidance and plea for restraint. He takes up his place as one of the new Synod members; he is due to take Communion in the presence of the Queen and become part of the governing body of the Church. Behind the scenes strong letters will have been written to the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury; some may decide not to receive Communion and make other acts of protest.”
– Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes sketches an overview of the current C of E General Synod.
I hate to think where Christianity would be if Welby’s predecessors had suffered from the same lack of conviction.”
– Opinion from The Conservative Woman.
“The case of a gay clergyman whose Permission to Officiate was revoked and who was refused a licence to minister after marrying his same-sex partner, has hit the headlines again. Peter Sanlon reflects on Jeremy Pemberton’s defensive use of Article 32.”
I found it noteworthy that Mrs Treweek … asserts her right to be addressed as she wants to be addressed, so that Her Majesty the Queen herself has to comply in her writs. … Should we not extend the same courtesy to God as Bishop Rachel insists upon for herself?”
– Church Society’s Dr Lee Gatiss responds to statements by Bishop Rachel Treweek, that Christians should use male and female pronouns when referring to God.
(Photo: Diocese of Gloucester.)
However some questions arise which are not answered in this book. For example, the issue of what is adiaphora and what is non-negotiable is discussed, but no answer is provided on what are the key doctrines, and who decides them. If those who come to a different conclusion and still claim the name ‘Anglican’ can’t be ‘chucked out’ (Archbishop Welby’s phrase), does that essentially mean there are no boundaries, there are many ‘truths’ or ‘integrities’, and is that ecclesiologically credible? As has been said, an outcome of respectful ‘walking apart’ is mentioned but not explored at all.”
– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes looks at a book produced to help everyone in the Church of England get on together.
“God should not necessarily be seen as a masculine figure, according to the UK’s first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords on Monday. ‘God is not to be seen as male. God is God,’ said Rachel Treweek, bishop of Gloucester, who is to be inaugurated in parliament.
While acknowledging that many Anglicans would profoundly disagree, Treweek said the Church of England should use both male and female pronouns when referring to God…”
See also: Is God a She?
“In February 2014 the Bishops’ post-Synod statement reiterated that the Church of England cannot bless same sex relationships nor change its doctrine of marriage.
Specifically an appeal was made to clergy in same sex relationships (which were supposed to be “celibate” anyway) not to take advantage of the forthcoming change in law (March 2014) to get married, because this would cause confusion about the Church’s teaching.
Two clergy who defied this ruling became focal points for media interest: Jeremy Pemberton and Andrew Cain. What are we to make of the fact that the latter has become part of the decision making and governing body of the organisation whose teaching and practice on a crucial matter he has rejected?”
– Read it here.
“On Wednesday [23rd September], in a service led by Justin Welby at Canterbury Cathedral, Rod Thomas was consecrated as the Bishop of Maidstone. … He has been appointed to enable conservative evangelicals to flourish in the Church of England…”
See also: Rod Thomas responds to questions for the ReNEW Conference last month (video).
Related: Andrew Symes of Anglican Mainstream warns Synod voters: some ‘evangelicals’ are not as they seem.
We are heartened that MPs have decided not to change the law on assisted suicide.
‘We believe that the proposals contained in the Assisted Dying Bill would have exposed already vulnerable people to increased risk. The vote in the House of Commons sends a strong signal that the right approach towards supporting the terminally ill is to offer compassion and support through better palliative care. We believe that all of us need to redouble our efforts on that front.”
– The Church of England responds to the rejection of the Assisted Dying Bill.
See also: MPs overwhelmingly reject flawed assisted suicide bill – Care. (h/t Anglican Mainstream.)