Saturday, 5 May 2007

Ex-director of Ordinands attacks Oak Hill

Ed: I have now blogged on the situation at Wycliffe Hall.

Letter in Church Times

From Canon Patience Purchas

Sir, — Before I recently retired as a director of ordinands, I and many of my colleagues were increasingly concerned about the theological limitations of the training offered ordinands at Oak Hill College.

I read with interest the utterly condemnatory comments of the Bishop of Durham on the book Pierced for our Transgressions written by the Principal-elect of Oak Hill College and two of his students. (“deeply, profoundly and disturbingly unbiblical . . . systematically misleading in its outright refusal to have anything seriously to do with the Gospels”).

Assuming that Dr Wright’s judgement is fair, I wonder whether bishops are still sending ordinands for training for the ordained ministry at Oak Hill. If so, on what possible grounds can that be considered appropriate? And why should the sometimes sacrificial giving of church members finance such work?

14 Horn Hill, Whitwell
Hitchin SG4 8AS


Revd John P Richardson said...

This letter is outrageous, though I do wonder if Canon Purchas has not somewhat 'lost the plot' on her retirement. She clearly hasn't evaluated the Oak Hill book, just picked up Wright's comments (vide, "Assuming that Dr Wright’s judgement is fair").

My own response would be to question whether Canon Purchas and those who share her opinions are appropriate people to be DDOs in a mixed theological economy like the Church of England. However, I like her last suggestion. Given the nonsense that goes on at some theological colleges, I would be quite happy for the sacrificial giving of our own benefice to be withdrawn from funding them.

Daniel Roe said...

Are those who are "increasingly concerned about the theological limitations of the training offered ordinands at Oak Hill College" concerned that Oak Hill is omitting some basic fundamentals? If so, how do we know? Is there some agreed definition of training which sets out the minimum requirements of training - aye - and what it is for? Who decides and on what authority? Are they accountable to anyone? Who? And out of respect for those who give sacrificially, could the dioceses put it clearly and concisely - in simple English and not diocesan churchspeak?