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Statute of Limitations Proposed for Legacy of Troubles

Statute of Limitations Proposed for Legacy of the Troubles During the Prime Minister’s Question time on 15 July, PM Johnson announced that the government would be bringing forth a statute of limitations in regard to occurencess committed before the Good Friday...

Church of England Considering Legislation Regarding Parishes Seeking Input on Proposals

Church of England Considering Legislation Regarding Parishes Seeking Input on Proposals   Input has been requested on the proposals to change the current legislation regarding parishes within the Church of England.  The review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure...

GAFCON Australia to Support Diocese for Those Forced from Anglican Church of Australia

GAFCON Australia to Support Diocese for Those Forced from Anglican Church of Australia Gafcon Australia has outlined its plan to support Anglicans who leave the Anglican Church of Australia over doctrinal revision which overturns the plain teaching of Scripture. At an...

Church of England Evangelical Council Reacts to Unorthodox Remarks by Bp of Liverpool

Church of England Evangelical Council Reacts to Unorthodox Remarks by Bishop of Liverpool The Church of England Evangelical Council has responded to a widely criticised public address and subsequent apology made last month by the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of...

Questions Out of LFF, Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir, I read the first article from Anglican Futures, regarding the document, Living In Love and Faith, [LLF] EC 8083. I found the article helpful, well presented and gives a clear overview of the document.  However, I found myself seriously disquieted and I raise...

Kenyan Bishop Appeals for Orphan Aid: Parental Deaths Due to HIV

Kenyan Bishop Appeals for Orphan Aid Parental Deaths Due to HIV  The Rt Revd John Orina Omangi, Bishop of the Kisii Missionary District in Eastern Kenya is appealing for assistance in caring for 100 children orphaned by the widespread HIV problem in the area.  Kisii...

Christianity & Craft Freemasonry, A Pastoral Guide for Christian Ministers

Christianity and Craft Freemasonry A Pastoral Guide for Christian Ministers Gerard Moate Latimer Trust, 2021 (ISBN: 9781906327705, 70pp) By 1964 a national commission of enquiry estimated the existence of 50,000 books and pamphlets on freemasonry. This literature has,...

Forgotten Reformer: Myles Coverdale

Forgotten Reformer: Miles Coverdale Geoffrey Main Self-published, 2021 (ISBN: 9781916873704, 228pp) Episcopal biographies are always an enjoyable read, not least those of bishops who are better known for their non-episcopal work. Coverdale is of course best known for...

And Just When You Thought You’d Heard Everything, Bats Communications Officer

Whilst considering reducing the number of clergy nationwide, the Church of England is advertising for someone to be employed as its, “Bats in Churches Communications Officer”.  The post, which is located in London, pays between £31,857 and £34,255 (pro rata).  The...

Pilgrim’s Proces: Baptism Depths of Meaning by Peter Sanlon

In my last column we looked at the Lord’s Supper.  Today, we take a look at the other sign our Lord Jesus instituted among us.  These signs, or sacraments, which God gives his people are both simple and profound. In their simplicity, God's grace is powerfully...

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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