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Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

Letter to the Editor Leicester Diocese Illogical   Sir, Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters' is both spiritually and financially illogical.  The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to...

Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

Three of Two Hundred Thirteen

Three of Two Hundred Thirteen

In Lewis Carroll’s 1871 novel, Through the Looking Glass, his character, Humpty Dumpty is having a conversation with Alice from Carroll’s earlier novel, Alice in Wonderland.

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said. 

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’

“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less”.

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things”.

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all”.

In 2014, the Church of England made a decision to consecrate women to the office of bishop.  For many, it was a cause for rejoicing.  For others, it was a clear departure from the faith once delivered.  In doing so, it developed what are known as the Five Guiding Principles to which all those being ordained must assent and where points 4 and 5 (see next column) say: “the Church of England remains committed to enabling them (those that differ) to flourish within its life and structures; and pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made”…

All that said, one could be forgiven for believing that the Five Guiding Principles are not fully embraced within the hierarchy of the Church.  Why? Because in some things, seeing is believing and there isn’t much proof the Principles have been internalised.  Since 2014, there have been a total of 213 senior positions filled.  Only three were from those that opposed the alteration—3 out of 213—a mere 1.4%!  Is this the hierarchy’s definition of “flourishing”? The reality bites—that for all the insistence on mutual flourishing and forthcoming good disagreement, there’s only bare tokenism to show for it.  That is disappointing and troubling but it should not cause fear.  Jesus is not unaware.

Mutual flourishing, if demonstrated by deed, would mean that there would have been senior appointments that reflect that part of the Church which has not doctrinally changed.  As is, one would have to be forgiven for surmising that what is taking place is a real world, real-time re-enactment of Alice’s conversation with Humpty Dumpty about the meaning of words.  In what world does 1.4% represent flourishing?  

There is every reason for the reformed Protestant camp and others to be disturbed by the lack of follow through on promises made.  However, they would do well to remember that changes to biblically faithful, received doctrines have been attempted at earlier junctures in the life of the Church.  They ultimately failed.

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