Friday, 15 June 2007

Ruth Gledhill: Who is the 'nasty party'?

At about the time the Wycliffe Hall story was broken in the Guardian, 'Inclusive Church' Putney vicar Giles Fraser wrote: 'Anglicanism is fast becoming the nasty party at prayer, with traditionally inclusive theology being submerged by a bargain-basement prejudice that damns to hell all those who disagree.' One of the aspects I've been enjoying about this story is the holy, inclusive unity it apparently confirms there to be between Giles, scourge of the conservative evangelicals, and 'open evangelical' Fulcrum vicar Graham Kings, of St Mary's Islington. (Does Kings know that in one article on Giles' Inclusive Church website, he is described as 'odious', along with Bishops Wright and Scott-Joynt?) Kings has behind the scenes been defending his chairman, the popular Elaine Storkey, broadcaster and Wycliffe staff member apparently threatened with disciplinary action. But Richard Turnbull, evangelical principal of Wycliffe who has been bearing the brunt of the attacks, the latest being a letter calling for him to resign sent by three past principals, could be forgiven for wondering who really is the 'nasty party' in all of this. Now a fightback is beginning, with a strong open letter of support for Turnbull posted this lunchtime on the AM website. Read more

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