Letters: Readers React to the End of the English Churchman

Readers React to the End of the English Churchman

 

Dear Sir,

In a statement in the penultimate issue of the English Churchman, the Trustees of the English Churchman Trust said, “The Trustees will consider how best to use the resources entrusted to them as they seek to fulfil the Trust’s first object – ‘to promote the Protestant principles and Evangelical doctrines of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles and Homilies thereof’.”

This is a partial quotation of the Trust’s object as listed on the Charity Commission website: “to promote the Protestant and Evangelical doctrines of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Homilies thereof, in particular by the publication of the English Churchman and St. James’s Chronicle newspaper.” (Emphasis mine). The monies are held and the trust is exercised to one end, the continual publication of this newspaper.

The Trustees also claimed, “For many years the continuance of the paper has been precarious in terms of finance…” For many years??? The most recent accounts of the Trust, submitted in September 2022, stated: “In the Trustees’ view, the reserves should provide the Charity with adequate financial stability and the means for it to meet its charitable objectives for the foreseeable future.” These ‘many years’ do not seem to stretch back very far. How accurate was the declaration they made to the Charity Commission?

The Trustees also say in their June 16th statement, “Recently increasing costs have made serious inroads into the Trust’s reserves”. The Trustees do not explain how reserves of over £700,000 have been depleted in such a short time to cause the publication of the English Churchman to cease. It is not clear whether they sought to make whole production more cost-effective by tendering for better services and suppliers. Did they consider using finer grade newsprint for the paper to reduce printing and distribution costs? What steps did the trustees take to increase advertising income from each issue?

As the Trust requires the Trustees to “promote the Protestant and Evangelical doctrines of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Homilies thereof”, it might reasonably be expected that all Trustees are themselves convinced of these truths, and express that conviction by being members of churches that set forth the teaching of the Thirty-nine Articles and the Homilies.

The Editor is to be congratulated for the changes he brought to this newspaper during his tenure, informative news stories not always found elsewhere were matched with analysis and, at times, welcome humour. We need such if we are to keep our sanity in these trying times.

The Anglican world at this time needs the biblical and reformed clarity of the English Churchman. I deeply regret the lack of vision from the Trustees. A poor and drastic decision, abruptly announced, has impoverished us all. Have the Trustees been weighed in the scales and found wanting? Time will tell.

Yours finally,

Michael Andrews
Shropshire

 

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Closure of the English Churchman a Lamentable Symbol

Dear Sir, 

The closure of this paper is a lamentable symbol of many declines – the decline of print journalism, the decline of reformed evangelicalism in the Church of England, and the decline of ‘church’ sympathy and interest among reformed evangelicals. Among the three newspapers officially recognised by the C of E Yearbook, this organ despite being the smallest has in recent decades typically been the most robust. 

Only the Church of England Newspaper (incorporating the Record) will now be left to contend with the revisionist churchmanship espoused by the Church Times. 

Edward Keene

Stevenage

 

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Dear Editor,

I am very sad to read that the English Churchman will cease to publish after its long history of witnessing to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is happening at the very time in our history when Anglicans are so desperately in need of an authentic identity grounded in Holy Scripture that is enshrined and protected in our historic formularies.  This is the very thing the English Churchman has consistently delivered in an extraordinarily attractive way.

Furthermore, I am disappointed the Trustees’ statement does not acknowledge the work and ministry of Chris Pierce. While I am not privileged to the “precarious” situation the paper is in, I do know that Chris has been responsible for the paper’s reporting of accurate news from across the communion, as well as meaty theological content and historical analysis.

It is hard to imagine how the Trust will better fulfil its mandate “to promote the Protestant principles and Evangelical doctrines of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles and Homilies,” but I hope they will have the mind and will to do whatever is necessary, including raising whatever funds are needed, to continue this calling – for the praise and glory of his grace!

Sincerely,

The Rev. Canon Chuck Collins

Houston, Texas

 

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Dear Sirs,

I was so sorry to read that the English Churchman is to cease publication. I cannot relay to you how sad this news is after over 100 years of work and witness. I assume it may be too late for you to consider other options such as increase in price and publish monthly but I hope you will issue something similar to carry on this vital work for the Kingdom.

Thank you for all you have done over the years and wish you God’s blessing for the future.

Sincerely,

Chris Richard

Birmingham

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Dear Editor 

 

Perhaps not quite ready for 2 Tim 4 v 7 yet, however both verses contain challenging words the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle to write.

 

Your faithfulness to scripture and clear factual content within the English Churchman during your time as editor is most commendable.

 

Tom Atkinson

 

 

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