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Letter: Evangelical BINOs?

Letter Evangelical BINOs? Dear Editor, Your editorial on the Rise of the BINO (Bishop in Name Only) highlighted what church members have observed many years, how bishops have kept their titles, robes and status while emptying their role of defending and upholding...

Who’s Who at St Hugh’s? Secret Conversations on Sexuality Come to Light

Who’s Who at St Hugh?Secret Conversations on Sexuality Come to Light Recent correspondence and blog posts have revealed the existence of a hitherto-secret meeting between conservative/evangelical groupings and liberal/progressive bishops, seeking to reach structural...

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,...

Bishop of Maidstone’s Pastoral Response to the Fletcher Report

Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt Revd Rod Thomas has released his pastoral response to the Thirtyone:8 Report regarding Jonathan Fletcher. The response was sent privately to the parishes under the bishop’s care and has since been made available for public dissemination. It has passed by, largely unnoticed by the public.

After an opening reflection, his response included 3 assurances, then asked a question of those under his episcopal oversight.

He wrote:

“First, I want to assure you that I personally will be taking the findings and recommendations of the report very seriously. I am particularly troubled by what the report has to say about a climate of fear among conservative evangelicals, and the existence of closed circles which have inhibited people from drawing attention to misbehaviour, the inappropriate exercise of power, and abuse. The fact that I have never personally experienced this fear may well be an indication of my own lack of awareness – and I want to do something about that. There may well be things that I have not seen that I really should have seen, and I want to take this matter very seriously. I know that the ReNew network has committed itself to a process of listening, reflecting and repenting; I want to do likewise and to start by listening to what anyone has to say about experiences they have been through which have marked or damaged them.”

He then offered his personal contact information for anyone wishing to have a conversation about the circumstances and for anyone wishing to speak with someone else, contact details for his Chaplain and Pastoral Advisers.

His second assurance:

“Secondly, I want to assure you that I believe it is right to hold myself to account and will also be following up those recommendations in the report that relate to the wider church. Specifically, I am a suffragan of the Archbishop of Canterbury and am accountable to him. Accordingly I have written to him with a full account of how I first came to hear of Jonathan Fletcher’s abusive behaviour in September 2018 and what I did in the months that followed. In my letter, I made clear that if he believed I had acted inappropriately, I would resign.”

The Archbishop’s response to Bishop Thomas’ offer of resignation will be in a separate article.

His third assurance:

“Thirdly, I want to assure you that I will do everything I can to help local churches – whether they are parish churches or congregations in non-parochial settings – to assess their own policies, practices and behaviour and together build a more healthy culture. In a few weeks I hope to release the results of a survey of female ministers (both voluntary and paid) and produce guidance materials on how we can better promote the flourishing of all who minister in our churches, both men and women. I shall also be working to establish a lay-led ‘Implementation Group’ to assess the help that is available to parishes as they seek to build and maintain healthy cultures and to commission extra assistance if necessary.”

Then came his question:

“Will you join with me in seeking to build a healthy culture so that, together, we can expose what is wrong (Ephesians 5:11); care for one another; act in obedience to the apostolic command to ‘keep your conduct honourable’ (1 Peter 2:12); and enable presbyters to be ‘well thought of by outsiders, so that (they) may not fall into disgrace, into the snare of the devil’ (1 Timothy 3:7)?”

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