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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...

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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