Book Reviews: Baptism & Confirmation & Patterns for Baptism

Book Reviews Baptism and Confirmation Church House Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 9780715123522, 468pp, £40) Patterns for Baptism Church House Publishing, 2022 (ISBN: 9780715123492, 392pp, £25) These handsome volumes are the latest additions to Common Worship, the Church of...

The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus Christ: Gospel-Driven Anglicanism

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus Christ  The American Theologian and Pastor, Jonathan Edwards (1703 -1758), once preached a sermon entitled “The Admirable Conjunction of Diverse Excellencies in Jesus Christ”. The...

The Cancelling of the Creator

The Cancelling of the Creator The headline from a national newspaper popped up on my phone: “Daniel Radcliffe is surely the world’s most ungrateful man”. It’s not a title many would be scrambling to win for themselves, but the opinion-piece made the case. Daniel...

Melville-Knox Christian School Opens in Aberdeen

Melville-Knox Christian School Opens in Aberdeen Melville-Knox Christian School Aberdeen officially opened on Monday 7th November after years of prayer, planning and organisation. We give thanks to the Lord that we have been able to reach this significant milestone;...

Barnabas Report: At Least 21 Christians Killed in Mozambique

Barnabas Report At Least 21 Christians Killed in Mozambique During October At least 21 Christians have been killed by Islamist extremists in violent attacks throughout October in northern Mozambique. Jihadists set fire to a church building and several houses in the...

Sanctuary Foundation Offers Free Advent Resource

Sanctuary Foundation Offers Free Advent Resource  Sanctuary Foundation has been aiding those trying to offer assistance for those fleeing the war in Ukraine through its, “Homes for Ukraine” scheme.  The charity has been serving as a liaison by resourcing hosts and...

Annual Clive West Memorial Lecture Set for Belfast

Annual Clive West Trust Lecture Set for Belfast The 2022 Clive West Trust Lecture will take place on Thursday, 22 November at St Nicholas’ Church on the Lisburn Road in Belfast at 19:30. This year’s featured speaker is the Revd Dr Tim Ward.  Ward earned his PhD from...

Church of England Council Rejects Croft’s Position

Church of England Evangelical Council Rejects Croft’s Position In a press statement following the pronouncements of Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, the Church of England Evangelical Council repudiated the departure of biblical teaching advocated by Croft. It said,...

On Transubstantiation: Reformation Anglicanism

Reformation Anglicanism On Transubstantiation By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Transubstantiation became the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church at the Fourth Lateran Council that began, November 11, 1215. The Council of Trent in 1551 went on to confirm the...

Oxford Good Stewards Trust Announced in Response to Bishop of Oxford’s Revisionism

St Paul’s Banbury, Oxford Answers Bishop and Announces  The Oxford Good Stewards Trust The Revd Dan McGowan, Vicar of St Paul’s, Banbury in Oxford Diocese has answered Bishop Croft’s revisionist declarations about same-sex matters and announced the formation of The...

Review: God’s Church for God’s World

God’s Church for God’s World

Faithful perspectives on mission and ministry

Tom Woolford and Adam Young (eds.)

IVP, 2022 (ISBN: 9781789742244, 218pp, £19.99)

Part Three

Issues 8114 and 8115 reviewed Parts one and two of this multi-authored book, who main focus is the status of evangelicalism in the Church of England. The third and final section moves beyond, with contributions from Wales, Scotland, and ‘continuing’ Anglicanism, all of which serve to throw light back on the CofE ‘s own situation. The mood in several of the preceding essays was low, but these final three are all the more so, ending the book on dark note, however moderated it may be by the occasional rays of light which the authors draw out.

Both the Church in Wales (CiW) and Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) are small entities, having significantly fewer than 50,000 members – smaller than many individual dioceses in England. Moreover, both occupy a different type of settlement to England. The CiW is national but was disestablished and disendowed in 1920, reflecting a demographic reality which since the previous century had seen nonconformity become the de facto ‘establishment’ in the Principality. The Rector of Bedwas gives a useful analysis of evangelical involvement with the church, while lamenting the damage caused by divisions over women’s ordination and gifts of the spirit. The SEC meanwhile is even further from CofE norms, as the national and established church north of the border is the Church of Scotland (CoS). Had the CofE not developed a preoccupation with sectarian “Anglicanism”, its principal partner across the Tweed, in the grand fellowship of national Protestant churches, would be the CoS, not the small, breakaway SEC. David McCarthy, now of St Thomas’s Edinburgh, is a long-serving minister and is able knowledgeably to begin his narrative of events in Scotland from the time of the Windsor Report. 

The paths taken by any two churches will never be identical, but the processes, manoeuvres, and developments in Wales and Scotland do bear close consideration for how they may be seen, and indeed have already been seen, in England. Both Roberts and McCarthy identify the episcopal leadership in their respective contexts as problematic and significantly out of step with the wider consensus at the grassroots of the two churches. This led to extensive unorthodox appointments and the non-consensual introduction of new liturgies, before, ultimately formal changes occurred in both provinces. In both countries a range of evangelical views and differing personal situations have meant the response has been divided, with some departing from parishes and ministries, while others remain, facing a very uncertain medium-term future.

The final chapter, from Peter Sanlon, takes an unexpected twist when, having extolled the Free Church of England (FCE), the author abruptly relates how having left the CofE in 2019, he and his congregation have now also left the FCE and are now somewhat in denominational limbo. Sanlon gives the salutary warning; ‘do not make the mistake of thinking that there are no problems or risks in alternative Anglican structures’. Given that all such structures are, at present, small and fragile, it is no surprise that a few bad apples, where they manifest, can cause major disruption. The poignant reflection on this is that it may ‘be left to a future generation of leaders’ to take the next steps forward. 

This book does not seek to present novel approaches to governance or debate but is nonetheless very significant for the manner in which it provides a cross-section of evangelical testimony and reflection. Buy a copy for yourself, for your bishops, and for anyone who might read it for Christmas!

Edward Keene, Little Shelford