Archbishop of Canterbury intervenes to stop Sunday schools being affected by anti-terrorism laws

Archbishop Justin Welby“The Archbishop of Canterbury has reportedly persuaded the government to drop some aspects of a counter-terror law after arguing it would unfairly affect church Sunday schools…”

– Story from The Independent.

A leading Anglican theologian exposes the ‘Third Way’ myth

Charles RavenMyths are not necessarily old. A new myth is being invented by Anglican church leaders who claim to be orthodox and even evangelical.

They tell us that differences between Christians about the acceptability of same-sex relationships are secondary issues and the Church should therefore follow a ‘Third Way’…”

– Canon Charles Raven (pictured), Membership Development Secretary for GAFCON, highlights this commentary by Dr Martin Davie.

Where do we find Anglican Communion?

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream“This idea that the church’s role is somehow to uncritically affirm the culture and hold out the love of God without any call to repentance is at the very least a defective view of New Testament Christianity and certainly cannot be called evangelical.

But for me to say such a thing is itself the problem, according to another Bishop, Colin Fletcher who has been acting Bishop of Oxford for the past 18 months…”

– At Anglican MainstreamAndrew Symes reviews the notion being pushed ahead of the Church of England’s General Synod of “unity in [doctrinal] diversity”.

Bishops are not powerless against the present spiritual disorder

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby“With scandals over Zen Buddhist meditations promoted by promoted by the Canon Chancellor of York Minster, the Church of Nigeria severing links with Liverpool Diocese over the appointment of an uber-liberal American bishop, and an Oxford cleric appearing to bless the same-sex ‘marriage’ of Desmond Tutu’s daughter in South Africa, this has been a lousy summer so far for the Church of England.

But dare one respectfully suggest that Bishops disturbed by these developments should not despair? They are not powerless in the face of such gross spiritual disorder…”

– Julian Mann, Vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension at Oughtibridge inSouth Yorkshire, reminds bishops of their consecration vows and their responsibilities – and the authority they have to use them.

(Photo: Archbishop Justin Welby.)

Does the C of E have enough vicars?

Church of England“Today the Ministry Statistics for 2015 are released (soon to be posted on the C of E stats web page) and they tell us the stark reality of decline in clergy numbers.

On Radio 4 this morning, Rose Hudson-Wilkins suggested that this wasn’t too worrying, since we can dispense with the model of the ‘white, male, clericalised’ pattern of ministry. What she failed to highlight is that there are no sustainable models of church growth which don’t involve stipendiary (set aside, financially provided for) leadership, and the NT itself sees leadership as a gift to the church which enables the ‘building up’ of the people of God.…”

– At Psephizo, Ian Paul looks at some of the implications of the latest ministry statistics from the Church of England.

Church of England uses ‘trendy’ Post-it notes in new service celebrating the role of godparents

Church of England“The Church of England has been accused of ‘dumbing down’ after drawing up a new service in which worshippers use Post-it notes, clap like football fans and move their fingers like ‘twinkling stars’.

The new liturgy will be used in hundreds of churches for the first time today to celebrate the role of godparents.

But in an outspoken attack, the former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, said it reflected the Church’s ‘now familiar desire for being trendy’…”

– Story from Mail Online.

Here’s The Church of England’s Godparents’ Sunday site, with the liturgy mentioned in the article (PDF file).

Archbishop Justin Welby on DNA revelations

justin-welby-dna2The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recounts how he learned the identity of his biological father, and the impact it has had on his family.

From the Anglican Communion News Service.

Bishop of Salisbury ‘leads backlash against fixed date for Easter’

bp-of-salisbury-nicholas-holtam“A prominent Church of England bishop has spoken out against plans by the world’s main Christian denominations to fix the date of Easter to the same Sunday every year. … the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, warned that the move would detach Christianity from its Jewish roots by breaking the link between the timing of Easter and Passover.”

– Story from The Telegraph. (Photo: Diocese of Salisbury.)

Archbishops’ response to LGBTI activist is a ‘missed opportunity’

canterbury-york-climate“The Church of England has published a reply, dated 12 February, to a letter from Jayne Ozanne, Director of LGBTI campaign group Accepting Evangelicals, and co-signatories.

The letter, which was written by the Archbishop of York on behalf of himself and the Archbishop of Canterbury, responds to Ms Ozanne’s claim that the Church of England has failed its ‘duty of care’ to LGBTI members of the Anglican Church.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and a member of the General Synod, has issued the following response …

‘This letter was another opportunity for the Archbishops to demonstrate appropriate leadership by reaffirming and promoting God’s clear vision for marriage. Instead the letter suggests that the fundamental issue is an ‘ongoing conversation’ as yet unresolved, implicitly suggesting that God has been unclear.

The role of the Archbishops is not to facilitate conversation but to teach the truth, refute error and discipline those who depart from God’s pattern in either teaching or lifestyle.’…”

– Read the full statement here. Read the Letter from the Archbishop of York here (450kb OCR PDF, originally from the Archbishop of York’s website).

Related: (Canadian) Primate listens to concerns of LGBTQ Anglicans

“‘All of us belong to God,’ said Canon Douglas Graydon to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, at a gathering held to discuss same-sex marriage in the Canadian church. ‘The question is whether we belong to the church.’

It was a question many LGBTQ Anglicans brought forward in a question and answer session that took place after a talk Hiltz gave following the ‘queer Eucharist’ service hosted monthly at the Anglican Church of St. John’s West Toronto”

Archbishop of Canterbury gives his take on the Primates’ meeting

Archbishop Justin Welby, General SynodFrom the Anglican Communion News Service:

“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.

Roman Catholic Vespers at Henry VIII’s Chapel Royal

cardinal-vincent“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.

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