Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

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)?”