Motion putting pressure on Church of England passed by MPs

“Yesterday, Ben Bradshaw MP’s ‘ten minute rule motion’ aimed at forcing the Church of England to conduct same-sex marriages was passed by the House of Commons without a vote.

The motion does not change the law. But it sends a message that some politicians are becoming increasingly willing to compel acceptance of same-sex marriage on those who disagree. …”

Report from Coalition for Marriage in the UK.

Why we are compelled to resist — CEEC

The Church of England Evangelical Council has released a declaration and invites members of the Church of England to signify their assent:

“The Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process and resources have enabled us, as the Church of England, to explore our different understandings of sex, marriage and relationships and, assisted by the Pastoral Principles, become better at the “good disagreement” that many have called for.  …

While we recognise and respect the desire of the bishops to find a way forward, which will hold the Church together, we believe that their proposed draft Prayers of Love and Faith cannot do this. This is because they – and further changes some are calling for in the bishops’ revised pastoral guidance to replace Issues in Human Sexuality – do not keep faith with our biblical inheritance and the doctrine of the Church of England on marriage shared with the wider Anglican Communion as expressed in Lambeth 1.10. …”

Read it all here.

Bill to allow same-sex marriage in Church of England to be tabled

“An MP will seek to introduce a bill next week to permit same-sex marriages to be performed by willing Church of England clergy.

UK law currently prevents its clergy from carrying out same-sex marriages even if they wish to. …”

– More pressure on the Church of England. Story from The National Secular Society.

Key English churches take action as C of E ‘walks away’

“Some of the largest churches in London and Oxford have announced estrangement from the Church of England, including a pause on paying financial contributions.

St Helen’s, Bishopsgate, a large evangelical church with an outreach in London’s financial quarter, was the first to react to the decision by the General Synod to approve a report by the House of Bishops that introduces prayers of blessing for same-sex couples. …”

– At, Russell Powell summarises the response of key evangelical churches in the Church of England – including the news that St Ebbe’s Church in Oxford is also pausing financial contributions to their diocese.

See also:

A response from Vaughan Roberts – Anglican Ink.

Has the listening process of LLF now broken down?

In a letter to Church Times, The Rev James Paice (pictured) asks, “One wonders: has the listening process of LLF now broken down?”

He writes in response to a Church Times report (‘London conservatives look for support from breakaway Anglicans’), published on 1st March 2023, regarding the Bishop of London’s response to a large gathering with clergy –

“The Church Times understands that the London bishops held a two-hour meeting on Thursday evening of last week in St James Garlickhythe, which was attended by between 150 and 200 members of the clergy, many of whom were concerned about the Bishops’ proposals on same-sex blessings. …”

The report references a statement from the Diocese of London, effectively claiming that nothing has really changed.

Anglican Mainstream has published the letter by James Paice – read it here.


How euthanasia has revived the death penalty

“Belgium is not the only nation to euthanise prisoners. In Canada, where assisted suicide is also offered as a medical treatment, three prisoners have been euthanised to date. The story of one of them, known only as ‘patient one’, illustrates the key problem with this practice. …”

Spiked Online. (Link via Anglican Mainstream)

Image from a St. Helen’s Bishopsgate video.

Would John Stott have continued on as an Anglican?

“One of the largest evangelical Anglican churches in the UK, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, recently announced that it will no longer accept episcopal oversight from the Church of England’s House of Bishops.

This comes as a result of the General Synod’s decision to bless couples who are in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership. …

The current context raises the question of whether the late John Stott, the famous Anglican evangelical stalwart, would have himself continued to remained.

In 1966 Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones had a confrontation which many regarded as a dispute over whether it was time for evangelicals to withdraw from the Anglican communion. For Lloyd-Jones the time was now, but for the Stott the response was not yet. …”

Presbyterian Mark Powell asks the question. We suspect the answer to the hypothetical question in the title would be, “Yes. And aligned with GAFCON.”

Rev. Calvin Robinson: a crisis of faith for the Anglican Church?

“What follows is one of the most articulate and powerful speeches you are likely to view this year. It is by Rev. Calvin Robinson, who recently argued at the Oxford Union as to why Christianity should not allow gay marriage, or even the blessing of same-sex unions.

Robinson’s twelve-minute talk is a model of graciousness, fidelity to historic Christian doctrine, and personal courage. …”

– You may already have seen the speech by Calvin Robinson. If not, take a look – and also see Mark Powell’s summary in Spectator Australia.

Image: Oxford Union.

Chaplain who was sacked for identity politics sermon to appeal ruling

“An ordained Church of England (CofE) chaplain, who was sacked and secretly reported to the government’s terrorist watchdog for a moderate sermon in a school chapel on identity politics, will appeal an employment tribunal ruling handed down this week.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Rev. Dr Bernard Randall had taken his employer, Trent College in Nottingham, to court for discrimination, harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal.

He has described the ruling against him as a ‘blow for free speech and Christian freedoms.‘…”

Christian Concern in the UK has this report on the sacking of the Rev. Dr Bernard Randall.

This story is quite an eye-opener to what is happening in the UK and in the Church of England.

You can hear his redelivery of the offending sermon below – do take the time to watch and listen.

Also read the transcript, courtesy of Christian Concern.

This case is also a reminder of why Australia needs robust freedom of religion legislation.

See also:

School chaplain loses unfair dismissal case over LGBT sermon – BBC News.

“Employment judge Victoria Butler, who heard evidence from Rev Randall and senior school staff during a three-week hearing, dismissed the clergyman’s claim he was ‘sacked’ by the school after he twice delivered a sermon called Competing Ideologies in chapel services. …”

William Taylor: The Bishops have chosen to walk apart – but others stand with us

William Taylor, Rector of St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, has made an important announcement – and he speaks with the support of Anglican bishops worldwide including

Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney;
Foley Beach, Primate of North America and GAFCON Primates Council Chairman;
Jay Behan, Bishop of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand;
Glenn Lyons, Presiding Bishop of REACH South Africa.

See William Taylor’s announcement and the messages of support from these Anglican leaders.

Where to now for the Australian Christian Lobby? updated

You may have heard the news yesterday that Martin Isles, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, is moving on.

His e-mail to supporters began:

“I write with significant news that will provoke mixed reactions.

After five incredible years as managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, my employment has been terminated by the Board.

I hasten to add that there is no question of misconduct. Rather, the Board has reviewed ACL’s strategic direction and decided I am not the right person to lead the revised strategy, which focuses more primarily on political tactics, less on the gospel. Having heard this articulated, I absolutely agree with them that I am not the right person for that vision. I have always been a preacher first, a politician second (or third……).

Please pray for the Board as ACL passes through this process, that their decisions would advance God’s will.

Although I think the strategy isn’t the right one, I leave without bitterness. God’s providence works through all things, including our own disappointments. …”

– At Culture Watch, Bill Muehlenberg shares his reaction:

“I too have long been involved in political lobbying and the like, and I know of its importance. But the more I have done this, the more I have come to believe that unless there is a strong gospel feature, unless there is a strong Christian connection, it will be all rather limited in its effectiveness and long-term success. …”

Read it all here.

(We should add, as sometimes there can be confusion: The Anglican Church League and the Australian Christian Lobby are not the same – we just share the same initials.)

Update, 27 February 2023 from Jim Wallace, Chairman of the BoardRead more

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet — 2023 State Election Faith Groups Town Hall

The NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, was a guest at the 2023 State Election Faith Groups Town Hall in Parramatta on Wednesday night (22nd February 2023).

You can watch the meeting as the Premier responded to questions in the run up to the State election.

In response to a question on ‘conversion therapy’, he said,

“There is no place for harmful practices in our state. Since this issue was raised, people have raised with me examples of food deprivation, electroshock therapy. Well, those practices are wrong, and we will move to outlaw them…

At the same time, we will not ban prayer, we will not ban preaching. That is fundamental to freedom of religion in this state and in this country. We can do both. We can ban harmful practices and we can protect freedom of religion in our state…

It’s not one or the other, it’s respecting everyone’s perspectives in relation to this and having a balanced approach.”

A similar event with the State Opposition Leader, Chris Minns, is planned for next week. We’ll aim to post a link to that event as well.

Watch here. Thanks to Freedom for Faith for the video link and for the quote from the Premier.

‘Catastrophic” — Dr Lee Gatiss on the Global South’s rebuke of the Church of England

Church Society Director Lee Gatiss is interviewed by Dave Piper for Trans World Radio about the Global South’s rejection of the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“Lee argues this has left the majority of Anglicans worldwide aghast.

He says vicars will essentially be left to decide doctrine themselves – and could get it in the neck if they go against society’s views on marriage and sexual relationships. And he warns some parishes and dioceses could break away and seek oversight from outside of the UK.”

Watch here. 8 minutes.

Whose conscience deserves protection in Australia?

Yesterday, Associate Professor Neil Foster presented a short paper at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney – as part of a panel on “The Importance of Conscience”.

He’s made it available for download at Law and Religions Australia.

(Photo from a Sydney Diocese training day.)

Even Vladimir Putin noticed the C of E’s General Synod

Even Vladimir Putin has commented on the Church of England’s General Synod. (Not that we’re endorsing other comments in his speech.)

Link via Anglican Ink.

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