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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

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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