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CDM Insurance from Ecclesiastical

CDM Insurance Clergy in the Church of England and Church in Wales can now purchase insurance to insulate them from the expenses associated with charges stemming from a Clergy Disciplinary Measure (CDM).  For £25 per year, Ecclesiastical Insurance now offers an...

Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church OK Saint Andrew Declaration

Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church Ok Saint Andrew Declaration The Declaration gives formal recognition of the way that both churches have ministered to the whole of Scotland for many years, and how they will continue to work together. It was also backed...

Jewel the Obscure: Advice to New Anglican Converts

Advice From Jewel the Obscure to New Anglican Converts I am often asked by those new to Anglicanism how to come to know what authentic Anglicanism is, in light of the confused mess that we see in North America, the UK and other places. I hope this helps. Unlike many...

Bishop of Burnley Trekking for Fundraising

Bishop of Burnley Trekking for Fundraising The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Revd Philip North, will be pulling on his walking boots this Friday and trekking east to west across the County of Lancashire … raising money towards the reopening of a redundant church hall as a...

Murcott: 12 Infallible Proofs

Murcott Twelve Infallible Proofs Ever since Christ’s Resurrection, the most unlikely tales and feeblest of fables have been propagated in an attempt to fracture the Christian faith. Yet, Acts 1:3 says that Christ showed Himself alive “by many infallible proofs”, being...

JC Ryle on Sickness

Bishop JC Ryle on Sickness Lord, he whom You love is sick!" John 11:3 The chapter from which this text is taken, is well known to all Bible readers. In life-like description, in touching interest, in sublime simplicity — there is no writing in existence that will bear...

Editorial: Church Matters Worthy of Further Notation

Church Matters Worthy of Further Notation Try as we might, we inevitably find ourselves not able to print all the stories that really are worthy of publication.  Such a matter is merely the by-product of limitation of space.  The ink is willing but the paper is weak. ...

John Calvin & The Church of England

John Calvin and the Church of England By Chuck Collins His writings and ideas so significantly influenced the Church of England that Anglicanism can be fairly described as not only generally Protestant, but “reformed.” John Calvin died on May 27, 1564, in Geneve,...

Anglicanism Explored: On Predestination

Anglicanism Explored: On Predestination By The Revd Dr Mark Pickles Popular evangelicalism is awash with “Arminianism”.  (Arminianism denies the doctrine of predestination claiming that although human beings are sinful they do have the ability to respond to the...

Chinese Communist Government Cracks Down on Christian Social Media

Communist Chinese Government Cracks Down on Christian Social Media China has continued its crackdown on Christian social media content, with the accounts of churches and Christian ministries removed from social media platform WeChat on 7 June. These include registered...

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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