NEW

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

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.

Previous

Next