Ways forward on same sex marriage — Church Society

Church Society’s Director Lee Gatiss looks at the various possibilities open to the Church of England as it debates same-sex marriage.

A clear look at the options, and a restatement of what needs to be done.

The Church of England’s astonishing appointment

“The words ‘La La Land’ came to mind when I heard of the appointment of the new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments. This role manages the process for the appointment of bishops, deans and other senior posts in the Church of England, and it is to be filled by Stephen Knott, currently Justin Welby’s deputy chief of staff. …”

– At Christian Today, David Baker is disturbed by a recent appointment in the Church of England.

Sadly, it seems to be business as usual for the Church of England.


Stephen Knott to be new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments – Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.

Christmas message from the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Christmas message to the Anglican Communion is a somewhat sombre affair, with a focus on COVID, Climate Change, and the coming Lambeth Conference.


Canadian commentator and author Mark Steyn on GBNews spoke overnight on the Church of England’s missed opportunities during COVID lockdowns.

New Vicar to lead Holy Trinity Brompton

An announcement from Holy Trinity Brompton

The following news release was issued by the Diocese of London and the Patrons of HTB at midday on Sunday, December 5th:

Holy Trinity Brompton (known as HTB), the largest church in the Church of England, is to have a new Vicar lead its 4,000-strong congregation.

The former curate who pioneered its first ‘plant’ outside of London – the Revd Canon Archie Coates, 51, currently Vicar of St Peter’s Brighton, has been chosen as HTB’s Vicar Designate. It is expected that Canon Coates will become Vicar in September 2022, taking over from the Revd Nicky Gumbel, 66, who has announced his intention to resign his post from July 2022. …”

– Via David Jenkins at Anglican Samizdat, who also notes that Canon Coates was reported in this 2016 Christian Today article as being “very supportive” of the UK’s largest gay pride march, in Brighton.

The Latest Evangelical Convert to Rome. What Does Rome Have to Offer?

“I am not English, nor Anglican, but the story of the conversion of the former Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali to Catholicism struck me.

He is not the first evangelical Anglican to become Roman Catholic, and he probably will not be the last. He stands on a tradition that has important antecedents like the conversion to Rome of John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and many more.

However, Nazir-Ali was a well-known evangelical Anglican who belonged to the ‘evangelical’ family and was a respected voice in that world.…”

– At The Vatican Files, Leonardo De Chirico, who understands the Roman Catholic Church better than most, has some reflections on the recent announcement by Michael Nazir-Ali.

What will the new Church of England General Synod look like?

In a guest post at Psephizo, Peter Ould, Church of England priest, consultant statistician and amateur psephologist, shares his insights into the makeup of the new Church of England General Synod –

“… orthodox laity actually form a larger group than revisionist laity, and given that the electorate knew quite explicitly what they were voting for, this puts to bed finally the misconception constantly spun by those wanting a change in the church’s teaching that the average person in the pews supports their position. In reality, the representatives of those in the pews were more likely to back someone who took a traditional stance than someone who wanted to revise the church’s teaching.”

– Very interesting. Read it all here.

Image: Church of England.

Michael Nazir-Ali converts to Roman Catholicism

“Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester and one of the best-known Anglican clerics, could be ordained as a Catholic priest as early as next month.

The conversion of such a high-profile intellectual would be an enormous boost for the Catholic Ordinariate, set up by Pope Benedict XVI to receive Anglicans into the Roman church. …”

via Damian Thompson at The Spectator.


“Bishop Nazir Ali was received into the Catholic faith on September 29, the feast of St Michael and All Angels by Monsignor Keith Newton, the former Anglican who now leads the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham…”

The Catholic Herald.

Michael Nazir Ali received into the full communion of the Catholic Church – Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Do the Archbishops know that Leicester Diocese is About to Close 234 Parishes?

“This Saturday, 9 October, Leicester Diocesan Synod is expected to vote on a scheme to replace Leicester’s 234 parishes with 20-25 ‘Minsters’, each with at least four leaders. This would reduce Leicester Diocese’s stipendiary clergy posts from 100 to 80 by 2026.

The scheme’s proposal document suggests that paid positions would mostly go to stipendiary clergy, ‘but our aspiration is for increased lay ministry’. Each Minster would have a new Operations Director, introducing another layer to Leicester’s diocesan bureaucracy (recently estimated at 179). …”

– Emma Thompson writes at English Churchman about plans to change the structure of one Church of England diocese. Other are looking at similar changes.

(Link via Anglican Mainstream.)

Archbishop Welby explains why he wears Pope Paul VI’s pastoral ring

“Wrapping up an interview with Vatican News, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, showed those present the pastoral ring he is wearing. It’s not just any ring, but a very important ‘fragment’ of the history of ecumenism. Indeed, it was given by Pope Paul VI to the then Anglican Primate, Michael Ramsey, on March 23, 1966, during his historic visit to Rome. …

On that day the Italian Pontiff, now a Saint, took off his pastoral ring and put it on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s finger.”

– Story and photo from Vatican News. (Justin Welby is in Rome for a series of meetings with Pope Francis and other religious leaders.)


Evangelical Religion – by Bishop J.C. Ryle

What is the gospel? – by Dr Mark Thompson

Long Ago and Far Away: Thomas Cranmer, author of the Prayer Book – by Allan Blanch

The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion.

Debating the Church and same-sex marriage

“On Friday 3rd September, at 2.10 pm, I had a phone call from a number I did not recognise. When I answered, it turned out to be from a BBC researcher asking if I would appear on BBC1 on Sunday morning for a debate about the Church of England and same-sex marriage, in the light of the coming vote taking place in the Church in Wales.

I have been preaching in different churches, covering for vacancies, but it just happened that this Sunday I did not have a commitment.

As I have said elsewhere, when someone makes a media request like this, the first thing to say is ‘Yes’…”

Dr Ian Paul shares his experience (and video) of being interviewed on BBC TV last week. Do pray for those who stand for the authority of God’s Word.

The interview can be seen here – and this exchange calls to mind Luke 11:17.

Australian and English evangelicals show different approaches to Anglican institutional revisionism

“On the same day (19th July) that Gafcon Australia publicly unveiled their plans to establish an alternative Anglican jurisdiction in response to the trajectory of revisionism in the Church of Australia, the Church of England Evangelical Council issued a statement about the Bishop of Liverpool’s address to the MOSAIC campaign group, in which he called for same sex marriage in the Church of England. The difference in the two statements is symptomatic of more general differences between the way that orthodox Anglicans are engaging with the national church in both countries.

The CEEC statement begins with an appreciation of Bishop Bayes’ subsequent apology for his attack on those who believe the historic teaching of the church on sex and marriage …”

– At Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes makes some very interesting comparisons. He has a strong challenge to his UK readership.

Andrew’s sentiments would probably have been shared by the late John Richardson. Twenty-eight years ago, the ACL’s newsletter published his article “UK Evangelicalism: Optimistic?”. It was later posted on our (old) website. (for ease of reading, here is a PDF version). John consistently argued that evangelicals in the Church of England need to fight for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, rather than act like gentlemen playing cricket.

And, for good measure, here’s a brief clip of John speaking about the significance of his 1993 year at Moore College.

Image of Andrew Symes: Christian Concern.

Living in Love and Faith — a Quick Guide

At Church Society’s website George Crowder gives a brief introduction to the Living in Love and Faith process. He encourages everyone to be involved – but will the Bible’s message be heeded by those evaluating the responses?


The Church of England’s guide to hearing God’s voice through the Bible, according to LLF – Andrew Symes at Anglican Mainstream.

Handling the Bible in Love and Faith – Kirsten Birkett, Church Society.

St Helen’s Bishopsgate announces “Broken Partnership” with House of Bishops – ACL.

Should the church ‘let the world set the agenda’ on ethics and doctrine?

“Paul Bayes, currently the Church of England’s bishop in Liverpool, has made his clearest call yet for the Church to change its understanding of marriage and sexuality, in his address to the MoSAIC group

He does not disguise the reasons for his views, where he thinks the Church should go, and what that would mean. Along the way, he makes some extraordinary comments for any Christian, let alone for someone appointed as a bishop…”

Ian Paul at Psephizo takes a look at an address by Bishop Paul Bayes given to the National MOSAIC (Movement of Supporting Anglicans for an Inclusive Church) Conference on the weekend.

See also:

Albert Mohler speaks with Carl Trueman on ‘The Triumph of the Modern Self’

A conversation with Dr. Carl Trueman on the modern self and the sexual revolution.

Archbishop of Canterbury issues ‘personal apology’ over charity abuse

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a ‘full personal apology’ to the survivors of abuse by former barrister John Smyth QC in the 1970s and 80s.

Smyth, who died aged 77 in 2018, violently beat boys who attended Christian summer camps.

Justin Welby said: ‘I am sorry this was done in the name of Jesus Christ by a perverted version of spirituality and evangelicalism.’…”

– Report from BBC News.

Here is the full text of Archbishop Welby’s Statement.

Does the Church of England deserve to survive?

“Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, a business enterprise decided to sponsor an educational establishment.

The business made widgets, and at the time everyone thought that widgets were just the bees knees. People bought the widgets; they learned about how widgets were made; they visited widget shops and even widget museums, dedicated to understanding all about the history of widgets. …”

– British theologian Ian Paul is bemused by the silence of Church of England bishops when a Church of England clergyman is attacked for teaching Church of England doctrine.

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