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Director of Church Society Calls on Christians to Take Courage

Director of Church Society Calls on Christians to Take Courage The Revd Dr Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society, has called on all Christians to take courage in the fight for Christian orthodoxy within the Church of England.   In his essay in the Winter 2022 edition...

Barnabas Fund Report: Help Save Lives of Persecuted Christians in Myanmar

Barnabas Fund Reports Save lives of persecuted Christians in Myanmar 7 January 2022 “I don’t know if this poor family would still be alive without help,” said one of our project partners this week. She was talking about 33-year-old “Pah” and her children, one of many...

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism: Towards a Strategy by Mark Pickles

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Towards a Strategy By Mark Pickles “The word ‘earnestly’ is significant, the situation is so urgent, the need so great, so we need to pray, but to pray with focussed persistence and intent so that more labourers might be raised up. “All...

Christian Nurse Fired for Wearing a Cross Necklace Wins Employment Case

Christian Nurse Fired for Wearing a Cross Necklace Wins Employment Case   Mary Onuoha, a former NHS nurse, won her claim of constructive dismissal after being fired for refusing to stop wearing a small gold cross she’d been given at her baptism.  Ms Onuoha is a...

Westminster Conference Report by George Curry

Westminster Conference Report By George Curry The Westminster Conference met in the Regent Hall, Oxford Street, London, on 6 and 7 December 2021. On day 1, Andrew Roycroft spoke in person on Charnock and Regeneration. The next two sessions were via zoom due to the...

Oak Hill to Host Seminar for Those Considering Ministry in the Church of England

Oak Hill to Host Seminar for Those Considering Ministry in the Church of England Oak Hill College will host a seminar for those considering ministry in the Church of England on Saturday, 29 January.  The seminar is “specifically designed to explore, engage with, and...

Pilgrim’s Process by Peter Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Process By Peter Sanlon One of the best known Bible verses tells us 'God is love.' (1 Jn. 4:8) Being loving is vital because of what the first half of that verse teaches - 'Whoever does not love does not know God.’ So on our pilgrimage we must be people who...

The Truth Will Set You Free, Book Review

The Truth Will Set You Free George Carey Isaac Publishing, Virginia, 2021 (ISBN: 9781952450136, 233pp, £24.95)   Randall Davidson pioneered the phenomenon of archiepiscopal retirement when he stepped down from Canterbury in 1928. The practice took hold and most...

What About All Those Contradictions: Chuck Collins

“All Those Contradictions” By Chuck Collins What about Anglicans and the Bible? Some say that it’s only helpful for his teaching on morality — when, in fact, Jesus’s harshest words were reserved for moralists of his day. Others say, “the Bible doesn’t condemn...

The Visible Churches Warned: JC Ryle

The Visible Churches Warned By JC Ryle 2. I ask my readers to observe that in every epistle the Lord Jesus says, 'I know your works'. That repeated expression is very striking. It is not for nothing that we read these words seven times over. To one church the Lord...

Editorial: Breathing Space for Parishes

Editorial

Breathing Space for Parishes?

In the order of business of General Synod, Question 83 was not reached and received a written answer only. It might not therefore have come to the full attention of members. The Question is worth noting by all who value local parish-based ministry across our land. It concerns the significant asset growth of the Church Commissioners in 2020, a financially-challenging year for many parishioners and churches.  According to the written answer, from the funds realised in 2020, £586m was retained as growth in assets, after management fees, pension monies and other commitments had been accounted for. This represents a growth in the Commissioners’ assets of 7.0%. 

The Revd Dr Ian Paul, who asked the Question, has pondered this answer more fully on his blog psephizo.com: “I struggle to understand how, in a period of historically low interest rates, and comparatively low inflation, growing the asset base by 7.0% whilst refusing to subsidise the dioceses any further through the effects of Covid and lockdown can constitute a ‘balance’ between the needs of current and future beneficiaries. To make this a little more concrete: had the Commissioners decided to protect the future value of their assets by holding onto a growth of 5% instead of 7%—which is still pretty conservative—this would have released a further £167m, enough to contribute a further £4m to every single diocese in this one year, which would go a long way to buying more time by eliminating deficits and discouraging the cutting of stipendiary posts.”

Dr Paul’s suggestion is worthy of consideration. At a time when Government budgets have been overstretched to provide funding to business through the Covid-19 pandemic, might not central church be able to provide from its surplus to the front line as a one-off payment this year, in recognition of these unprecedented times? It would give parishes and clergy breathing space to regroup, refocus and consider the future. This proposal deserves a wider hearing.

 

Justin’s First and Second Apology

November has been a month of apologies for the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. His first apology came at the COP-26  Conference at Glasgow, after he pronounced a curse upon leaders who did not heed environmental warnings, likening them to those who were deaf to warnings about Hitler in the 1930s. This remark can be understood as something said rashly in the heat of the moment with a BBC microphone thrust under one’s nose. The subsequent apology came almost immediately.

The second apology, issued during the week of General Synod, addressed a longer-term grievance and is more considered, not being merely of the moment. Archbishop Welby finally withdrew his unfortunate remarks about the late Bishop of Chichester George Bell: “I do not consider there to be a ‘significant cloud’ over Bishop George Bell’s name. Previously I refused to retract that statement and I was wrong to do so.”

While both apologies are appropriate, this later one is especially welcome as it seeks to heal a wound that had been left open for too long. The Archbishop is to be commended for the clarity and charity in his words, and for righting a grievous wrong.

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