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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...

Has the Church of England Lost the Will to Live? by Prudence Dailey

There is no doubt that, in an increasingly secular society, uncomprehending—and sometimes contemptuous—of religion, the Church of England faces a struggle to survive.  As the Established Church to which most people in England once paid allegiance (at least in name), its numerical decline was perhaps inevitable.  At the same time, it has been argued that Christianity thrives under pressure and even persecution, and in this difficult time there are opportunities for the Church to further its mission.

Looking at its present priorities and preoccupations, however, it is hard to escape the question:  Has the C of E given up the will to live?

Previously in this column I have lamented the leeching of resources away from struggling parishes to fund superfluous diocesan posts and central initiatives; and more recently, I have questioned the Church’s self-flagellation over its supposed “institutional racism”. If the Church succeeds in convincing everyone it’s racist, why should they respect it or take it seriously?

As if those responsible for our places of worship did not have enough to worry about, it is now being suggested that they might consider ripping out statues and memorials because (surprise, surprise) those in whose memory they were erected did not conform to present-day mores.  At the same time, the prospect of a “zero-carbon” Church looms large—a plan which, if centrally imposed, will close many churches (because they will not be able to afford to replace their heating systems, and people will stop going to them if they are freezing cold).  Is it not obvious to those at the centre that already struggling churches cannot cope with such additional burdens?” 

Nor are these isolated problems.  Last year, at the start of the Covid-19 panic, the C of E seemed even keener that the government to ensure that its doors would remain bolted for months, even seeking to ban its clergy from praying—alone—in their own church buildings. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter Communion celebration from the kitchen at Lambeth Palace was presented as a gesture of solidarity with others whose lives had been disrupted, but was widely perceived as silly.  During the most recent lockdown, when churches were permitted to open for public worship, only a minority chose to do so, remaining closed for a number of weeks during which services could legally have taken place.

Lest anyone doubt the Church’s loss of confidence in itself, it has now advised its church schools not to sing hymns that are too expressly Christian in assembly.  This has been greeted with derision by secular commentators, such as Simon Heffer.  And it is not only the C of E’s state schools that embarrassed by “Christianity”.  Earlier this month, Trent College, a private boarding school which is an Anglican foundation, not only fired its chaplain, the Revd Dr Bernard Randall, but also reported him to anti-terrorist watchdog Prevent, on suspicion of stirring up extremism.  His only crime was to suggest to pupils, in careful and moderate terms, that they did not have to agree with the school’s LGBT teaching, but could think for themselves.  Dr Randall’s words were in line with the doctrine of the Church; but no bishop or other senior figure has said a word in defence.

If the C of E continues with such acts of self-sabotage, it is hard to see how it can survive.  It is time for the Church to spend more time and energy on Christian apologetics and less on apologising for itself.

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