NEW

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia: Northern Churchman

We Wish You a Merry Saturnalia? The Northern Churchman There is a familiar feel to this time of year. The Christmas advertising on television, the darker evenings, the Carol Services – and the inevitable scoffers who call the Christmas story a myth. Not ‘Once in Royal...

Mark Pickles: The Story of Two Trampolines

Gospel-Driven Anglicanism By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles The Story of the Two Trampolines:  A passage that is frequently referred to during times of great revival is Isaiah 64:1-3:  “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your...

Ten Thousand Bibles for London’s Children

TBS Auxiliary Meets Ten Thousand Bibles For London’s Children The Greater London Auxiliary of the Trinitarian Bible Society was delighted to report at its Annual Meeting held on 15 November that over 10,000 Bibles have been distributed to London schools since the...

Good News for Egypt’s Christians

Barnabas Fund Reports Good News for Egypt’s Christians The government of Egypt licensed 125 churches and church-affiliated buildings on 14 November. It is the 24th batch of approvals made since the government committee overseeing the licensing process started work in...

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw

Church Society’s Response to MP Ben Bradshaw In the aftermath of Desmond Tutu’s daughter being refused permission to preside at a funeral in a Church of England parish, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told The Guardian that the “C of E must move swiftly to welcome lesbian...

Collins: Who’s Your Righteousness?

Who’s Your Righteousness? By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins Who’s your righteousness? "The Lord our Righteousness" was the sermon preached March 20, 1757 at St. Mary's Church in Oxford. It offended nearly everyone that day and William Romaine was invited to never preach...

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act of 1963 Persons Against Whom Proceedings May be Instituted. Proceedings under this Measure may be instituted against an archbishop, any diocesan bishop or any suffragan bishop commissioned by a diocesan bishop or any other bishop or a...

Editorial: Joy to the World Cup

Editorial Joy to the World Cup The result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is already in. And it appears the Church of England has lost. The latest advice from the Church of England’s Support Hub is for parishes to consider the timing of Christmas Carol Services to avoid...

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership

Symes to Step Down from Anglican Mainstream Leadership By Chris Sugden Andrew Symes is to stand down as Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream on January 1, 2023, after nearly ten years in post. Rev Symes, 56, who had earlier served with Crosslinks in South...

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension

Retired Bishop Given Life Suspension By George Conger The former Bishop of Ramsbury has been suspended for life from the ordained ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused two women. The Daily Mail reported the Rt Rev. Peter Hullah had been the subject of...

Archbishop of Canterbury Refuses Offer of Resignation

In the wake of the Thirtyone:8 report on Jonathan Fletcher, the Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt Revd Rod Thomas, offered the Archbishop of Canterbury his resignation. Fletcher’s old parish, Emmanuel Wimbledon, is a Trustee parish that holds to a complementarian position regarding women in ministry and is thus under a designated episcopal visitor arrangement with the diocese that is held by the Bishop of Maidstone.

Archbishop Justin Welby responded to Bishop Thomas’ offer to resign and gave permission for public consideration.

He wrote:

‘I am very grateful to you for writing so fully and openly to me about your knowledge of the events around Jonathan Fletcher.  It is a shocking and tragic matter and as you rightly identify it is very important for us to listen carefully to all who have been abused and all who feel their trust has been ruined and are concerned about how they move forward.  I am very glad to learn of the steps you have taken and are continuing to take.  It is a gospel imperative that we care for all and value all and so ensuring we are a safe church for all is a key part of our calling. I am very pleased that you are writing to the clergy and do pass on my own concerns about these matters.  I want also to thank you Rod for the leadership you are showing in this regard and pray for you in all that you are undertaking.’

Bishop Thomas also shed some light as to why that he was unable to episcopally assert himself after the story came to light. Safeguarding and GDPR rules limited the bishop’s abilities.

He said:

“Separately, I intend to pursue those recommendations in the report that relate to the sharing of information when a clergyperson’s permission to officiate (PTO) is withdrawn. This has been the cause of much misunderstanding. The GDPR requirements of confidentiality that apply in these cases mean that third parties seldom hear of the reasons for such a withdrawal – if they hear at all. This situation does not encourage proper adherence to PTO requirements. In my own case, I had pastoral responsibilities at Emmanuel but no safeguarding oversight; this meant that to a substantial extent, I was treated as a ‘third party’.”

Thomas will also be meeting with the Interim Director of the National Safeguarding Team and staff of Thirtyone:8 to further discuss how to better handle such problems.

Previous

Next