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Letter to the Editor: Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services

Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services   Sir, Remembrance Sunday is an important and poignant landmark in our nation’s annual calendar, and a day to reflect, give thanks and pray for peace. We see church and civic life combine in silence and remembrance, as...

Evangelical Theological College of Asia

Evangelical Theological College of Asia Have you ever wondered if there was a sound reformed theological training institution in Asia?  The Evangelical Theological College of Asia is just such a school.  It is located in Singapore and its faculty are mostly from...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary: Should Women Be Afraid of Men?

Prudence Dailey's Commentary Should Women be Afraid of Men? Recently, someone I used to work with shared on her Facebook page a link to an article from The Times magazine by the feminist writer Caitlin Moran. The substance of Ms Moran’s piece—rhetorically addressed to...

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement”

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement” The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches recently updated its “Values Statement.”  It is well-worth your time to read.  There are FIEC affiliated congregations in England, Scotland, and Wales.   1. God-honouring and...

Death of LENORA HAMMOND

Lenora Hammond 1960-2021 Mrs Lenora Hammond, wife of Frontline Fellowship founder Dr Peter Hammond, died on 9 November.  She was six days short of her sixty-first birthday.  Frontline Fellowship is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Mrs Hammond was born into a...

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire “The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have paid tribute to the service of Caroline Boddington, who has announced she will be leaving the National Church Institutions (NCIs) at the end of 2021 after 17 years as the...

Book Review: The Lullingstone Secret

The Lullingstone Secret Jill Masters Wakeman Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913133115, 97pp, £5.95) Lullingstone Villa in Kent is a fascinating site to visit whatever one’s awareness of ancient history and is lavishly curated by English Heritage. Since its excavation in the...

Book Review: The Welsh Methodist Society

The Welsh Methodist Society The Early Societies in South-West Wales 1737-1750 Eryn M. White University of Wales Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781786835796, 350pp, £24.99) In many respects, the church in Britain continues to live off the puttering afterglow of the eighteenth...

Eastern Rite Catholics: What Are They?

Eastern Rite Catholics What Are They? Former Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s recent defection to Rome has highlighted earlier efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to bring other ecclesiastical jurisdictions into its orbit.  There are a total of twenty-three which have...

Vicar of Christ Church, New Malden Returns to Parish After Suspension Lifted

Vicar of Christ Church, New Malden Returns to Parish After Suspension Lifted

IN EC8084,16 July, we carried the report about a vicar in Southwark Diocese, the Revd Stephen Kuhrt, who had been suspended by his bishop, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun.  A hue and cry resulted as the news spread through this paper and other media outlets and social media.  On the 29th of July, Chessun lifted the suspension and David Loffman and Jon Cook, wardens at Christ Church, New Malden issued the following statement on 3 August.

“On 29th July, Stephen Kuhrt was informed by the Bishop of Southwark that his suspension was lifted and that he was free to return to ministry with immediate effect. The first charge he had faced, relating to his handling of historic safeguarding issues, was dismissed entirely. The second concerned his sharing of a safeguarding report, long ignored by the diocese, with a small group of advisors – an error Stephen had acknowledged from the start. This was resolved by a rebuke from the Bishop which Stephen has accepted, which consists of requirements that he attends safeguarding and confidentiality training as well as regular meetings with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor.

“However, a demand that we re-start a review of safeguarding in our parish on terms that increase our concerns about both its nature and its purpose was received within minutes of the lifting of the suspension. We continue to believe that the Diocese has weaponised safeguarding to punish Stephen for whistleblowing and that in doing so, as our previous statement asserts, its response has been wholly disproportionate.

“It was wonderful to welcome Stephen back into the life of our church at each of the three very different services on 1st August. Equally welcome is the opportunity his return gives us to fulfil our aim of reconciliation with Southwark Diocese. Since the review was launched in May of last year, we have been frustrated in our attempts to establish the necessary clarity and transparency that we believe the process has required. We will continue to strive for the resolution that is in everyone’s interest, but believe it will only be within reach if the Diocese is prepared to reciprocate our commitment to thorough, open and honest engagement and our determination to speak the truth”.

 

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