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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014 No: 6253
Bishop’s views on shared conversations attacked by Anglican Mainstream ANGLICAN MAINSTREAM General Secretary, Andrew Symes, has heavily criticised an ‘Ad Clerum’ on the process of shared reflections on sexuality issued by the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, after discussion with the diocesan staff, before he retired. According to Symes, the document is not neutral but biased in a revisionist direction and provides evidence about why those who want to maintain the historic Christian teaching on sex and marriage are cautious about the conversations, ‘the results of which appear to have been predetermined’. He describes the document as having ‘an often poorly thought-out theological basis’. Bishop Pritchard writes that: “If we are engaging honestly with scripture its truth is never just handed down, it’s freshly minted.” The Anglican Mainstream document responds that the ‘freshly minted’ sound bite is misleading because it suggests a new coinage. Symes accuses the Oxford document of simply asserting the concept of ‘fluid sexualities’ without any ‘biblical, scientific or psychological background’. The distinction between attraction and behaviour is ignored. He also alleges that the document uses ‘justice’ as a slogan to throw at those who hold a different point of view and foreclose debate. Symes highlights an apparent contradiction in the document which on the one hand says that society regards the church as being just in its teaching about sexuality but on the other hand complains about confusion in
society about sex and relationships. He highlights a suggestion in the document that the church ‘is simply a subset of society, not different from it, and that all it has to offer is a discussion about the problem, not the Gospel’. Using a concept that has been discussed by Durham theologian Robert Song in a recent book the Oxford document speaks of ‘covenanted relationships’. Symes agrees that historic Christianity agrees with the goodness of ‘covenanted relationships’ but calls them ‘marriage’. Symes detects the influence of Jeffrey John in this part of the document. Questioning the concept of ‘good disagreement’ Symes asks why “if one is against slavery or apartheid why does the church not seek for ‘good disagreement’ on those issues also or any others?” The Anglican Mainstream document does not make a watertight case for historic Christian teaching of sex and marriage but it does succeed in highlighting the theological shallowness of the document issued by the Diocese of Oxford. The shared conversations need to be conducted at higher theological level.
Bishop John Pritchard, and left Andrew Symes
Poll questions religious liberty freedoms A CHRISTIAN Institute Poll of the 40 most marginalised Conservative and Labour constituencies has found that only one in 10 of people agree that religious liberty has improved under the Coalition Government. A further four in 10 disagreed while half were undecided. The ComRes survey found that four in 10 people supported legal protections for those with religious views. Asked whether the “tide of equality legislation has gone too far in elevating equality over religious freedom”, just one in five (21 per cent) disagreed, while nearly eight in 10 (78 per cent) agreed or were unsure. Colin Hart, Director of the Christian Institute, commented: “This poll should act as a wake-up call to the leaders of the political parties. It clearly shows that in these marginal seats, the key battleground seats where the General Election will be won and lost, voters are very concerned about threats to religious liberty and free speech. Among those likely to vote in the 40 constituencies, one in six said they would be more likely to support a Party that opened its doors to Iraq’s persecuted Christian minority, while nearly a third (23 per cent) said they were less likely and more than two in five (35 per cent) said there should be no change to current policy. Mr Hart continued: “Given the high levels of concern around the issue of immigration in the UK, it was pleasing to see that so many people either supported helping Christians facing persecution in Iraq, or were open to the idea.”
CHURCHIN ENGLAND Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham The new Archdeacon of Nottingham, Sarah Clark, was installed during a service at Southwell Minster on Sunday night. Sarah became the first woman Archdeacon in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. Sarah said: “It was one of the most affirming experiences of my life.
Friday November 7, 2014
Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham
Southwell Orchestral Society will be performing a concert celebrating the restoration of the Archbishop’s Palace of Southwell on Wednesday 12 November 2014 at 7.30pm, in the refurbished State Chamber. The Concert -‘A tribute to a Palace’ - is to raise funds for the Palace project, and the programme will include John Foulds’ ‘Henry VIII’; Frederic Curzon’s ‘Robin Hood’; Guy Turner’s Variations on ‘Southwell’ and music by Gluck, Lord Byron, John Marsh and Eric Coates.
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Sarah, who was formerly Dean of Women’s Ministry, becomes Archdeacon of Nottingham following the departure of Peter Hill who left the diocese to become the Bishop of Barking. Right: Sarah is pictured with, from left: The Rt Rev Tony Porter, Bishop of Sherwood; the Ven David Picken, Archdeacon of Newark: the Rt Rev Richard Inwood, Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.
Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Artist, Joan Ainley returns to Southwell Minster with her new exhibition, Camouflage and Coquelicots - a collection of mixed-media pieces in the Chapter House cabinets. The exhibition runs from 8-28 November.
Diocese of Oxford “It’s been a ball.” With these words, Bishop John Pritchard of Oxford turned from the presentations made to him in his packed Cathedral and walked to lay his pastoral staff on the ‘altar’ on Thursday 30 October after seven years at Oxford. He had unveiled a portrait painted by his son-in-law Ben Davies-Jenkins, received a book of PR photographs, and with his wife Wendy been given a large clock, and something for their new garden in Richmond, Yorkshire. Music in the communion service was all his choices and included “And can it be” and “The Servant King”. In his sermon he said that he had depended on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. These he offered to the congregation: “May they be with you through all you do for all your days”. There was nothing small minded about a God who makes a universe with 300 billion stars in one among 170 million galaxies who was also the God of free hugs. We are called to be transformers to knock down this divine voltage to manageable proportions in food banks, street pastors, and youth work for whom the church provided most youthworkers in the Thames Valley. He relished a recent quote: “There is nothing wrong with the Church of England that the second coming cannot sort out”. The Bishop of Dorchester, who becomes the senior bishop of the diocese, searched for biblical farewells to speak from – Elijah would not do as we do not know who Elisha will be and Elijah left no forwarding address. He settled on Paul to Timothy – “I have fought the good fight (robust discussions), I have finished the race (not quite), I have kept the faith.” A reception was held after the service in Oxford Town Hall, and on his last official day as bishop Bishop John said he would be in London visiting his 36-hour-old granddaughter.
RAF High Wycombe Giles Legood has become the first RAF Chaplain to receive an operational honour since World War II. Padre Legood, 46, served four months in Afghanistan in 2013, supporting the staff of the UK Medical Group at Camp Bastion Hospital. He was awarded the MBE for ‘giving his all to support the Nation’s wounded’ and for his ‘unwavering belief in the face of adversity’. Padre Legood said: “I would say a prayer if there was a death on the operating table and then accompany the staff as they took care of that individual and prepared them for their final journey home. “It was a privilege to serve alongside the team at Bastion Hospital, who were regularly exposed to horrific scenes of suffering but worked tirelessly to save lives, whether they were British, Coalition Forces or Afghan.”
Diocese of Derby In a series of concerts, Chamber Choir, The Sixteen, will visit Derby Cathedral in November. The choir will be performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 on Saturday 8 November at 7:30pm. On Saturday 15 November, also at 7:30pm, Derby Bach Choir presents a ‘Concert for Peace’ prompted by the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. On Saturday 22 November, again at 7:30pm, Derby Choral Union is joined by Die Marienkantorei, a choir from St Mary’s Church, Osnabrück, for a performance of Brahms’s A German Requiem.
Artist Joan Ainley returns to Southwell Minster with her new exhibition, Camouflage and Coquelicots, daily 9am-5pm until 28 November. 7.30pm Psalms Project concert with Steven Faux, St Michaels Without in Bath. Tickets cost £10, £6 concession and will be available to buy from the Bath Festival Box office.
7.30pm Living without enemies: Christian responses to war and violence. Mike Wooldridge and foreign correspondents, a view from the front line, St Martin-in-theFields, London WC2, free.
12 November 7.30pm (and nightly until 15 November). Cuckfield Dramatic Society presents the multi-award winning play Racing Demon by Sir David Hare in Holy Trinity church.
13 November 10am
Os Guinness on “Gospel People: Confident living in dark times”, at The Guildhall in York, £10. 1.00pm Ladies’ Lunch - High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells, with Jo Hardy, seen recently on BBC TV’s Young Vets. Tickets £25 includes two course lunch and glass of wine. Burrswood Hospital, Tunbridge Wells.
14 November 10am
Diocese of Durham A team of joiners discovered a newspaper dating back to 1880 in Durham Cathedral. The newspaper, hidden in a bookcase in the Monks’ Dormitory, was pencilled with the name of a mystery person named John Milbanke. The team of joiners was dismantling the bookcase in the Monks’ Dormitory, ahead of work to transform it into an exhibition route as part of the Cathedral’s £10m Open Treasure project. Norman Emery, Durham Cathedral’s Archaeologist said: “There are no articles in the papers about the Cathedral itself but it’s very interesting to read about the various murders, marriages and miracle cures!”
Diocese of Worcester Phil Mitchell is this year’s recipient of the Wulfstan Cross, an award that pays tribute to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the life of the Church in the Diocese of Worcester. Phil serves on both Worcester and Dudley Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education and is an Inspector for Anglican Schools. Bishop John gave the award to Phil in a special service in Worcester.
A basic ‘Using PowerPoint in Worship’ for Local Worship Leaders will be held at the Archdeacon’s House, Bodmin.
22 November 1.30pm St Paul’s Cathedral Art in a Sacred Space. To buy tickets call 01892 865982.
Dioceses vie to be first to elect woman bishop DIOCESES ARE competing to see who will be the first to have a woman bishop. Gloucester, Newcastle and Oxford are all vacant but the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham looks set to be the first to have a meeting of the Crown Nominations Committee since women bishops were approved by Parliament. Women bishops will become law during the November session of General Synod and Southwell and Nottingham CNC meetings have been set for 3 November and 2-3 December. William Fittall, Secretary General of the General Synod, has said that he will be surprised if a woman is not appointed as a bishop in 2015. Canon Rosie Harper, chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham, has said that appointing a woman as bishop of Oxford is “an opportunity that ought not to be missed”. Canon Harper said that “obviously you look for the best person for the job but having made the decision to have
women bishops, the church needs to enact it and not leave it on the back burner”. The Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, is in charge of the Diocese of Oxford, one of England’s largest dioceses, until a new bishop is appointed. A public meeting is being held at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, to allow people to express their opinions. According to William Fittall there is no shortage of able women candidates. “When you have half the human race not eligible even for consideration, at the point at which they do become eligible there are manifestly people who might well have been considered in the past,” he said. “So there is a whole system and that does include women in relation to archdeacons and deans but up to now bishops haven’t been able to say ‘This particular female priest would be suitable as a bishop’. So I would be surprised if we didn’t have the first announcement in 2015.”
Archbishop visits Ghana as international tour comes to its conclusion ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY has been visiting the Province of West Africa on one of the last legs of his visits to Anglican Primates. He met with political, civic and church leaders in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, and praised the country’s record on religious cooperation and tolerance as ‘quite remarkable’. The visits to Primates conclude with a visit to the Primus of the Episcopal Church of Scotland next month. The aim of the visits has been to express solidarity and to gain an understanding of the work of Anglican provinces in their local contexts.
Friday November 7, 2014
Faith schools ‘will be ordered to be tolerant,’ Secretary of State says EDUCATION SECRETARY, Nicky Morgan, has told the Sunday Times that faith schools will be ordered to teach pupils to be tolerant of other religions and to respect lesbian, gay and transgender relationships. Schools that fail to observe the new guidelines could face closure. The decision follows a snap inspection of schools by Ofsted in the wake of the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair in Birmingham. New rules on British values are to be issued. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, argues that schools must teach a broad curriculum to prepare their pupils for life in modern Britain. Jewish, Roman Catholic and Church of England schools were downgraded during inspections in September. Mrs Morgan, who is a practising Christian, told the Sunday Times that it was ‘crucial’ that Christian and Jewish schools as well as Muslim schools follow
Nicky Morgan the new guidelines that require them to ‘actively promote’ fundamental British values such as tolerance of other faiths and lifestyles, democracy and the rule of law. Inspectors have now been given the power to downgrade schools where teachers are breaching the Equality Act, which encourages respect for lesbian, gay and transgendered people. Mrs Morgan, who voted against same-sex marriage but has now changed her
mind on the issue, said in an interview with the newspaper that “Schools should broaden horizons not close minds”. She added: “All schools of whatever type have a duty to protect young people and ensure that they leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.” As well as Secretary for Education, Mrs Morgan is also Equalities Minister. A number of Jewish and Christian schools have already been targeted by inspectors.
The Christian Institute has said inspectors are ‘behaving like a bull in a china shop’ and described one Jewish school where pupils were asked if they had a smart phone, knew about gay marriage or had a boy friend. Orthodox Jewish Schools have accused Ofsted of creating a ‘climate of hostility’ during inspection visits. The National Association of Orthodox Schools claims Jewish schools are being unfairly targeted. In one of the schools inspected inspectors found pupils had to sign a pledge not to use the internet and that they were suspended for sending emails. Ofsted has withdrawn a critical report of one Catholic school in Suffolk, questionings its teaching about the dangers of extremism and radicalisation. The Christian Institute is preparing a judicial review of the new regulations, claiming they are ‘invasive and unjustified’.
Church of England is ‘one of the glues of society’ SPEAKING TO THE Parliamentary Press Gallery lunch last week, Archbishop Justin Welby described the Church of England as ‘one of the glues of society’. He referred to a network of food banks set up since 2008 and the involvement of the Church in renewal of credit unions and debt counselling as examples of what this meant. He also revealed that in the past 18 months he has visited 36 provinces of the Anglican Communion and described a Bishop in Myanmar having to spend extra time getting to parishes because of the danger of land mines. “That’s a picture of the Anglican Communion today,” the Archbishop commented. “The Anglican Communion is mostly poor, mostly in the Global South, and much of it in war and persecution.” In answer to questions the Archbishop said it was important not to demonise immigrants and appealed to politicians to be moderate in their language. “Do I worry about language? Yes, I do. I really do,” he
told the audience of journalists. “We can’t overburden communities. We have to be realistic about that. But at the heart of the Christian teaching about the human being is that all human beings are absolutely equal in infinite value and the language we use must reflect the deep value of human beings and not treat immigration as a deep menace that is somehow going to overwhelm a country that has coped with many waves of immigration and usually done so with success.” He claimed that reports from parishes indicated a worrying upsurge in racist incidents. “We have 9,000 clergy working in 16,000 parishes. We have better reports from the grassroots than almost anyone. What we are seeing is an upsurge in minor racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic, anti-foreigner xenophobia – not major things – just comments being made, things being said which are for the people who grew up in these backgrounds seriously uncomfortable, really quite frightening.”
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Archbishop backs calls to bring back anti-gay laws By George Conger THE PRIMATE of the Church of Uganda, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, has endorsed popular calls for the country’s parliament to reinstate the Anti-Homosexuality Act — a law passed in February that toughened the nation’s sodomy laws. During a forum following church services in Masaka on 26 October, the MP for the district, Mathias Mpuuga, urged the Anglican leader to use his influence with President Yoweri Museveni to bring the bill back before the legislature. In August the country’s Supreme Court struck down the bill, finding that there had not been a quorum of MPs in the house when it was presented for vote. A member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party Medard Bitekyerezo told reporters after the court ruling President Museveni “said he wants the law back in the house but now says if two consenting adults go into their room and decide to be stupid, let them be.” The law has widespread domestic support, but has been attacked by overseas rights groups and governments. The archbishop said he supported bringing the bill back before parliament, and was quoted by the local media as saying: “When all religious leaders congratulated Parliament for passing the law and President Museveni for signing it, we were not wasting time; but we were rather serious and meaning what we were talking about.”
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challenges and figure out how to learn from them. Of course there’s not always time to do that so thoroughly now, but the fact that I’ve been taught how to carefully explore and learn from tough issues, and to talk things over with other people I trust and work collaboratively, is such a help to me. Being around lots of other young ordinands was great too and I made some wonderful friends - it was a real encouragement to be surrounded by others at a
God calls the wea k , h e c a l l s th e u n l i ke ly , an d that’s me!
similar stage of life and ministry. I’m so excited for the future of the church knowing some of the awesome people I trained alongside! Q: What advice would you give to other young people considering leadership in the CofE? A: Just because you’re young and have probably seen less of the world than someone older, don’t underestimate the impact of what you have experienced. God teaches us different things through different areas of life and you’re unique, so don’t compare yourself to others but instead focus on where God is calling you and just be obedient to that. If you’re under 30 and considering ministry in the Church of England then you might find www.callwaiting.org.uk a helpful website. You can also find out more about where James and Mary trained at www.trinity-bris.ac.uk
go deeper ...courses in theology, ministry and mission, children’s and youth ministry to equip the whole people of God... ...a variety of courses to suit your needs, from one year part-time to full BA degree... ...enrich your ministry through study weeks, short courses and summer schools [email protected]
0115 968 3203 www.stjohns-nottm.ac.uk
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