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Westminster Presbyterian Seminary’s 2022 Conference

Christ’s Mission for the Church  Westminster Presbyterian Seminary’s 2022 Conference Westminster Presbyterian Seminary’s 2022 conference has been scheduled for 20 — 22 October.  Located in Newcastle, the conference will feature presentations by Alistair Begg, Simon...

Chuck Collins: John Day & Foxe’s Book

John Day & Foxe’s Book By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins John Day was the foremost printer/publisher of the English Reformation. He is best known for collaborating with John Foxe in compiling and printing Actes and Monuments of These Latter and Perillous Dayes...

Pilgrim’s Process by the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon

Pilgrim’s Process Broken Hearts We all like to feel good about ourselves. Indeed there is a popular school of thought which suggests that the thing which most holds us back in life is ‘low self-esteem.’ When this outlook is accepted, the Christian message is adapted...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary: What is the Church For?

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary What is the Church For? Amidst the political intrigue of the 2022 Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, addressed the assembled bishops on the topic of evangelism. Whilst unsurprisingly less controversial than the...

Banner of Truth Borders Conference 2022 “Not Ashamed of the Gospel”

Held at the Church of Scotland Chapel in Carlisle, it is a gathering intended particularly to serve those in northern England and southern Scotland with fellowship and faithful biblical teaching. The conference is open to all, whether in full-time ministry in the...

Anglican Futures: Plural Truth, Playing the Cards Right

Anglican Futures Plural Truth: Playing The Cards Right This is the first in a series of three blog posts, examining the concept of 'Plural Truth,' in the light of what has been observed at the Lambeth Conference.  This one looks at how 'Plural Truth' has impacted the...

Orthodox Bishops at the Lambeth Conference Reaffirm Lambeth 1.10 as Anglican Teaching on Marriage & Sexuality

ORTHODOX BISHOPS AT THE LAMBETH CONFERENCE REAFFIRM LAMBETH 1.10 AS ANGLICAN TEACHING ON MARRIAGE & SEXUALITY “Resetting the Anglican Communion Back to Its Biblical Roots” ORTHODOX BISHOPS attending the Lambeth Conference have reaffirmed Lambeth 1.10 as the...

Statement from Anglican Bishops And Primates Who Are Keen to Affirm and Celebrate LGBT+ People

STATEMENT FROM ANGLICAN BISHOPS AND PRIMATES WHO ARE KEEN TO AFFIRM AND CELEBRATE LGBT+ PEOPLE August 2nd 2022 In the interest of full context we reproduce the letter signed by 170 bishops (26%), including five archbishops from across the Anglican Communion in support...

170 Bishops Affirm “Holiness” of Same-Sex Love

170 Bishops Affirm “Holiness” of Same-Sex Love 170 bishops from within the Anglican Communion signed a document supporting same-sex marriage and other issues promulgated by the LGBT community.  This means 480 of those bishops in attendance did not sign.  Over three...

Letter: The Abolition of Female Bishops?

Letter to the Editor The Abolition of Female Bishops? Dear Sir, Following the revelation at General Synod that there is no official definition of a woman, surely a Synod member could ask a further question, namely, ‘How many women bishops have served in the Church of...

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism: Towards a Strategy, Pioneering

Towards a Strategy

Revitalisation by Pioneering

Pioneer 

Revitalisation begins here. The immediate task is firstly ensuring that there are enough gospel- hearted ministers, who have been thoroughly equipped and well-trained, with convictional courage and gracious humility, willing and able to apply for incumbencies in non-evangelical parishes. Thus the need for vastly more numbers of ordinands. 

Secondly, they need not only to apply but also of course they need to be appointed. In the present climate in the Church of England, there are some parishes that appear to be closed to clear, evangelical ministry at the moment, however that is certainly not the case universally and there are a range of possible options and strategies that can be implemented. 

i) Co-operating and engaging where possible with the wider Church. 

Sometimes conservative evangelicals have a reputation for being angular, or even arrogant. Sometimes, we tell ourselves it is because we are uncompromising in our commitment to the gospel and the hostility we receive is because of the offence of the gospel, whereas the truth may in fact be that sometimes we might be arrogant or exude a critical, belligerent and judgmental attitude towards others with whom we disagree. We must never compromise but we do need to exhibit Christ-like graciousness and kindness in our interaction and debate with others. If we work hard at establishing as good a relationship as possible with fellow clergy, the diocese and the wider church, then that can open some doors for gospel ministry. Some vacant parishes that are not evangelical will happily appoint an evangelical who is personable, gracious and relationally warm. Some diocesan officials may have reservations, even objections to conservative evangelicalism but will be favourably disposed towards individual evangelicals who have worked hard at establishing and maintaining good personal relationships, thus again opening doors for gospel ministry. 

ii) Being willing to go anywhere for the sake of the Lord Jesus 

One of the reasons why I firmly believe that the door has not yet shut upon gospel ministry within the Church of England is that there are a good number of non-evangelical parishes that could relatively easily be won for the gospel. The problem is not a shut door to keep evangelicals out but unwillingness on our part to consider some parishes that are available. I had a conversation recently with a bishop who told me of a parish that had been vacant in his diocese for two years. The parish had not had a history of evangelical ministry but were crying out for anybody to come and lead them. 

The reason it was vacant was simply because there had been no applicants. I fear that is not an isolated story but it is a shaming one. Before we jump ship claiming that there is no place for evangelical ministry in the Church of England, we may need to take a closer look at the log in our own eye. It is a sad fact and one that we need to repent of, that conservative evangelicalism as a whole prospers and sees most growth in middle class parishes, often in towns or cities with a strong student population. This is not because such an environment is most fruitful soil for the gospel but rather that that is so often where we tend to invest most of our energies and our most gifted people and resources. By and large conservative evangelicalism is a middle class movement. That is not because working class areas are harder to reach for the gospel but rather that too many of us are not willing to follow the apostle Paul and become all things for all people for the sake of the gospel. If the Lord Jesus was willing to empty himself of his glory and humble himself to become a man and then was willing to be obedient all the way to the cross, we who claim to be his followers must also demonstrate such whole-hearted obedience and willingness to deny ourselves, pick up the cross and follow him, wherever he may lead us, for the sake of the gospel. 

Excerpted from Gospel-Driven Anglicanism by the Revd Dr Mark Pickles, pages 111-113, 2017.

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