Saturday, 4 August 2007

Faith leaders could learn from managers in the secular world

[...] Elements of what works in the secular working world can be consistent with the ethos of religion. Strategic management does not conflict with theology or doctrine. I and other writers, managers and pastors across the denominations have been suggesting ways of integrating good management practice with faith.

Those who argue that the two are irreconcilable could consider these words of the management author Charles Handy, written for a secular audience in language that could be as at home in the presbytery as the boardroom: "The leader's first job is to be missionary, to remind people what is special about them and their institutions; second it is to set up the infrastructure" to make things happen.

If faith leaders took to heart the lessons of other sectors, they would be better able to set strategies for what their communities would look like in the future. They would inspire people to bring about a shared vision, rather than responding defensively to crises. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Is Catholic ban an anachronism?

[...] The Rev David Phillips, general secretary of the Church Society: "Britain is not, as some imagine, a secular state. In the political arena, in law and education there is still a strong Christian influence and active role. Over two thirds of people count themselves as Christian and the majority identify with the Church of England. It is perfectly reasonable therefore that the monarch should be asked to identify personally with the Christian faith. With the 1701 Act of Settlement a deliberate decision was taken that England, and separately Scotland, should be Protestant. This position has served Britain well for over 300 years." Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Old rectories for new buyers

[...] The Church of England, with all the financial acumen for which it is famous, has long followed a policy of downsizing. The result has been a boon for affluent new buyers.

According to a recent survey by, The Old Rectory is the most popular name for property above £800,000. And estate agents believe they are worth every penny. "It's rather like owning the manor house," says Nicholas Ash, of Property Vision. "It declares that you've probably got the nicest house in the village." He puts the premium at between 5 and 10 per cent. Peter Wright, of Humberts, goes for 10 per cent, for which the real reason is that "the name gets people in to view. It has very, very powerful connotations of an Edwardian tea party existence".

Robert Godfrey, of Bidwells in Northampton, who has been instructed to sell five old rectories this year, demurs. "They may attract a slight premium because they're the original article." But James Lawrie, of Strutt & Parker, fires off both barrels with 25 per cent. "The reality is that old rectories always keep their value. The old rectory is a more manageable version of the Englishman's dream country house," he says. "There's a finite number of them, too." Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Ban on Catholic marriage 'lesser of two evils'

If Peter Phillips, the Queen's grandson, marries his Roman Catholic girlfriend, Autumn Kelly, he will have to give up his place in the line of succession to the throne; either that, or Miss Kelly will have to renounce her membership of the Catholic Church. That is not a very happy situation. The prohibition on the heir to the throne marrying a Catholic, when he or she is perfectly free to marry a member of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo or a militant jihadist, is hard to defend. None the less, this newspaper does defend it - reluctantly - as the lesser of two evils.

The greater evil is this: drastic constitutional change at a time when our historic national institutions, such as the monarchy and the Church of England, need to be left alone. The repeal of the Act of Settlement of 1701 that forbids monarchs and their heirs from becoming or marrying Catholics would bring us to the brink of the disestablishment of the Church of England. It would (at the very least) necessitate a long, agonising and eye-wateringly complex discussion about our constitutional settlement. Moreover, should Labour remain in power, all this would be taking place under a government whose enthusiasm for reform far outstrips its ability to implement it. Every constitutional change since 1997 - the abolition of hereditary peers, devolution, the emasculation of the office of Lord Chancellor - has been botched to some degree. The idea that this Government, with its uncertain feel for our heritage, could unpick the threads that bind the monarch to the Church and the Church to the English people and weave them into something better is simply ridiculous. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

LGCM: ABp of Sydney is manipulating Nigerian breakaway

Ed: I have blogged on Richard Kirker linking Peter Jensen to Peter Akinola here.

Kirker declared: “It has been clear for some time that under the guidance of Peter Jensen (the Archbishop of Sydney) the Nigerian Church has been distancing itself from the Church of England and particularly the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury. “

He continued: “Peter Akinola has made outspoken attacks on the Church of England’s policy towards Civil Partnership [officially recognized same-sex unions], he has removed any mention of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury from his Church constitution and he has recently announced his bishops will not be attending the Lambeth Conference next year.”

The LGCM leader added: “While Archbishop Akinola spreads his brand of religion to England our main concern remains that the Church of England does not respond to this schism by increasing its own institutional homophobia – competing with him for the prize of who can be nastiest to gays.” Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Virginia: 'Deposed clergy have already quit'

[...] "This announcement from the Diocese of Virginia is like an employer trying to fire someone who has already quit. Our clergy have remained steadfast in their faith, and have fully embarked on their journey with the worldwide Anglican Communion by joining ADV and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. We should remember the unanimous message that the Archbishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion made at their February meeting in Tanzania clearly expressing that it is the Episcopal Church that is out of step not only with us, but with the majority of Anglicans around the globe," Mr. Oakes said. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Aitken challenges Christians to get involved in prison ministry

Former politician turned Christian writer and speaker Jonathan Aitken has challenged his listeners to “Go back and ask your own church – does your church do anything in the way of prison ministry or after-care for prisoners? And if not, why not?”

Speaking at this year's Keswick Convention, Mr Aitken voiced concern over re-offending statistics which show that seven out of every 10 released prisoners are back in jail within two years, while nine in 10 prisoners from young offenders institutions are back behind bars within two years.

“That is a terrifying failure rate and one that society as a whole should be thinking about, not just those responsible for the prison service,” he said. “There is something wrong with the system here ... we are bad at one vital element in the prison system – rehabilitation.” Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

'Born again' Americans more active in community, more positive about politics


The aggregate born again population - that is, both evangelicals and the non-evangelical born again segment - were substantially different in self-image from Americans who are aligned with a non-Christian faith. The born again populace was twice as likely to view themselves as fulltime servants of God, nearly twice as likely to be dealing with an addiction, but only half as likely to be in serious debt. The born again group was also significantly more likely to say they are deeply spiritual, very concerned about America’s moral condition, and to be convinced they are right about things in life. They were also 21 points more likely to see themselves as making a positive difference in the world. Born again people were less stressed, less lonely, and less flexible in the midst of change than were people of other faiths.

The gap between born again adults and people of no faith (i.e., atheists and agnostics) was equally substantial. Not surprisingly, the born again contingent was much more likely to see themselves as servants of God, deeply spiritual, supportive of traditional family values, and concerned about American morality. However, the religious segment was also distinguished by a greater likelihood of being active in their community; believing that they are making a positive difference in the world; are less likely to be turned off by politics; have greater clarity about the meaning and purpose of their life; and are much less adaptable to cultural change. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Lebanon's top Shiite Muslim cleric issues fatwa against honour killings

Lebanon's most senior Shiite Muslim cleric issued Thursday a fatwa, or religious edict, banning honor killings, calling the custom of murdering a female relative for sexual misconduct "a repulsive act."

The fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was a rare condemnation by a prominent cleric of the practice. Fadlallah's office said he issued the statement in alarm over reports on an increase in honor killings.

"I view an honor crime as a repulsive act condemned and prohibited by religion," Fadlallah, the most revered religious authority for Lebanon's 1.2 million Shiites, said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Gaelic footballer quits over sectarian abuse

A Protestant Gaelic footballer has quit over sectarian abuse by rival players, he claimed today.

Darren Graham, 25, from Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, whose soldier father and two uncles were shot dead by the IRA, said he was hounded out because of his religion.

He vowed never to wear his club jersey again until he gets a full apology, after storming off a pitch in disgust at the years of alleged taunting. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

The Whiteness of Nerds

Ed: If you can understand the language, this is actually quite interesting.

[...] As a result of their status as cultural innovators and trendsetters, black students at Bay City High, as elsewhere around the country (Solomon 1988), were often viewed by their white counterparts as cool almost by definition. Yet for European American teenagers to adopt elements of African American youth culture before the deracializing process was well under way was to risk being marked by their peers as racially problematic; this was the situation for many white hip-hop fans at the school. Conversely, for white teenagers to refuse to participate in youth culture in any form was likewise problematic, not only culturally but racially. It may be said that appropriate whiteness requires the appropriation of blackness, but only via those black styles that are becoming deracialized and hence no longer inevitably confer racial markedness on those who take them up.

White nerds disrupted this ideological arrangement by refusing to strive for coolness. The linguistic and other social practices that they engaged in indexed an uncool stance that was both culturally and racially marked: to be uncool in the context of the white racial visibility at Bay City High was to be racialized as hyperwhite, “too white.” Consequently, the production of nerdiness via the rejection of coolness and the overt display of intelligence was often simultaneously (though not necessarily intentionally) the production of an extreme version of whiteness. Unlike the styles of cool European American students, in nerdiness African American culture and language did not play even a covert role. This is not to say that individuals who were not white never engaged in nerdy practices, but that when they did they could be culturally understood as aligned with whiteness. This phenomenon is illustrated by the fact that, in U.S. culture generally, Asian Americans are ideologically positioned as the “model minority”—that is, the racialized group that most closely approaches “honorary” whiteness—in part because they are ideologically positioned as the nerdy minority, skilled in scientific and technical fields but utterly uncool (see Chun, this issue, for research that challenges this ideology). In general, then, white nerds were identifying not against blackness but against trendy whiteness, yet any dissociation from white youth trends entailed a dissociation from the black cultural forms from which those trends largely derive. Read more (pdf file) Read as HTML here. (Credit to Andrew Brown for the story.)

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Diocese of Virginia 'inhibits' 21 priests

Yesterday, in an official act observed by two presbyters of The Diocese of Virginia and with the advice and consent of the diocesan Standing Committee, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee took the required canonical action to remove from the priesthood clergy inhibited by him on January 22, 2007. Those clergy were inhibited following a determination by the diocesan Standing Committee January 18 that they had abandoned the Communion of The Episcopal Church. The possibility of such a determination was explained by the Bishop in a December 1, 2006 letter to the clergy and leadership of the now-former Episcopal congregations. By this action, the former Episcopal clergy are “released from the obligations of Priest or Deacon and … deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority conferred in Ordination.” Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Letter: Theological liberalism of Archbishop of Armagh’s tirade is totalitarian

[...] It is not just his demonising of some with whom he obviously most vehemently disagrees but also the certainty of his own convictions about the Bible, the Spirit, and the nature of revelation and truth that ought to raise alarm bells. The kind of doctrinaire liberalism that belittles reverence for revelation and tradition and respect for orthodox and conservative scholarship is not only schismatic in character and effect; in the same way that the politics of New Labour is criticised for being increasingly totalitarian, so too the persecutory nature of much modern western theological liberalism increasingly constrains any genuine freedom either to think or to love one’s neighbour. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Nigeria 'to appoint English flying bishop'

Ed: Take this one with a pinch of salt, pro tem

NIGERIA is on the verge of appointing its own 'flying bishop' in England to represent disillusioned

Anglicans, The Church of England Newspaper has learnt.

A new bishop to be appointed by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, pictured, could be consecrated before next year's Lambeth Conference if plans succeed.

A source describing himself as a 'worker in the Nigerian diocese' said he was aware of such plans and that such a person would be employed as a 'mission co-ordinator'.

Rumours regarding the possibility of such a role have been circulating over the last few months but this is the first time it has been confirmed by a clergy member from Nigeria. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Virtue On Line news digest

Just in case you weren't depressed already. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Can Islam be 'modernised'?

[...] For many centuries, the record of Islam was probably no worse, and might even have been better, than the western one, at least in point of religious tolerance (the Jews of the Maghreb in the Sixteenth Century certainly thought so). Unfortunately, this is a pretty dismal standard to measure anything by. There was, in fact, plenty of room for the Islamic record to be as good as or better than the western one, and still be very bad. Between dhimmitude and death, who would not choose dhimmitude? But that is not to say it was an enviable or morally defensible fate.

By 1962, however, things were very clear: for Algerian Jews, France, its chequered record notwithstanding, offered hope for the future and equality under the law, while Algeria offered the prospect of future pogroms, the promises of its leadership notwithstanding. And there was a reason for this: while France had a theory of legal equality, Islam did not. And the Jews of Algeria thought that the hold of Islam over the pays réel would more outweigh the hold of secular nationalist ideology of the pays légal. The former, and not the latter, would determine their fate in Algeria. They did not believe the promises of the FLN, not because the individuals who made them were insincere, but because the forces against their being kept were simply too strong.

This suggests that there is a conflict between Islam and modernity, at least if one of the important components of modernity is equality under the law. Such equality means that Moslems would have to accept that, even in polities where they were in the immense majority, Islam would have no special claim to consideration, and that (for example) apostasy would have to become a normal and acceptable part of life. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

This is the way the Church will end (part deux)

Based at The Cresset, in Bretton, The Church of the Holy Spirit has been shared by Church of England and Roman Catholic congregations since 1977.

Each church currently pays an annual £9,000 service charge to The Cresset management.

However, the Catholic congregation has revealed it intends to move to St Oswald's Church, in Lincoln Road, from November 30.

It means the Church of England congregation will have to stump up the entire £18,000 bill for the year or find alternative accommodation.

The news has come as a bitter blow to the small, but tight-knit community who worship at The Church of the Holy Spirit.

To add insult to injury, church vicar The Rev Peter Hawkins, is to retire on September 2, and there is no assurance he will be replaced.

Nick Sandford, a member of Holy Spirit's parochial church council, vowed the church would carry on, but admitted it was likely to be in a different form. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Women lead new Church

When it comes to employing women, the Diocese of Oxford officially beats all comers.

The Furlong Table, published last month, records the number of women clergy in every diocese in the Church of England.

Oxford has moved up 15 places since 2000 to top the table, with about 220 female clergy, out of a total of just over 700.

Senior appointments include the Ven Karen Gorham - recently appointed Archdeacon of Buckingham, and her predecessor, the Ven Sheila Watson, who recently left the diocese to become Archdeacon of Canterbury. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Opinion: Why the Archbishop of York is wrong about TEC

[...] The Episcopal disdain for absolute and historic beliefs about who Jesus is and what he accomplished, together with views on Holy Scripture that contradict the Anglican formularies is carried over into other areas where liturgy and practice are built on these views. Most of the liberal/progressive Episcopal dioceses tolerate on a wide scale fully open communion to all present, regardless of being baptized or not, and regardless of whether they are Christian, Jewish, agnostic, animist, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist. There is a pervasive disbelief in sin and the need for atonement, disbelief in the unique and essential person and work of Jesus Christ, the wide spread unease in using the historic Trinitarian formulary or 'Lord' because it is seen as narrow, sexist, and exclusive. Formularies such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer substitute for Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The mantra of faith for TEC is openness, toleration, inclusiveness, and progression into new ideas and new ways of looking at God. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Archbishop of Armagh: 'Bibliolatry' danger to the church

[...] The physical and perceptual impediment to disclosure, the boulder, was removed for Mary Magdalene by God. The impediments, the boulders of our day, take different and conceivably more formidable forms.

There is, for example, the impediment or boulder of Bibliolatry: the business of mistaking the Word of God for a mere text.

The sublime evangelist St John makes clear from the very beginning of his testimony that the Word of God is incarnate and personified. “The Word” is “He”, not “It”.

The words of the scriptures describe and explore the experience of human witnesses in their attempts to set down what each has known and seen of the action of God in the world. Those written words include, pre-eminently, accounts of the experience and understanding of those who walked the roads of Palestine with Jesus himself. The Gospels are pre-eminent in informing our encounter with the living truth of Jesus Christ. Thus it is “He”, the incarnate Word of God, He alone who is worthy of worship, not the text, which tells of the experience of those who knew, loved and came to worship Him.

The Word of God is not only living, He is dynamic, that is endued with power, and his work continues. John, the Gospeller, concluded his gospel with these words:

There are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were to be written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

In other words, the activity and therefore the unfolding revelation of God go on beyond the written text. Such activity includes the actions of those who, in Paul’s words and theology constitute “the Body of Christ”, the Spirit filled entity, changing and deepening its experience of the love of God over 20 centuries.

They also include direct actions of grace, the prevenient action of the living God, forging ahead, calling into new experiences of the Way, the Truth and the Life those who are the contemporary agents of incarnation, that is to say, the People of God, the Church.

Bibliolatry is a boulder threatening to obscure the dynamic and contemporary truth of the resurrection. It is also the mother of dogmatic fundamentalism. Love for the scriptures is tainted when scripture and not God becomes the object of worship.

A second boulder, which the grace and power of God alone can remove, is division and disunity within the Body. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

New York Times: Iraq - a war we might just win

Ed: I'm putting this up because it is not an opinion or a view you will read much about (yet) in the UK media and sometimes it is good to see things from a different perspective. Not having been to Iraq, I can only offer it at 'face value'.

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

New law seeks to redefine family

Ed: Notice this: "We have found persuasive evidence that a loving, supportive family network is more important than the gender of the second parent". What evidence, where?

[...] One statement from the report is especially suggestive: “The draft Bill seeks to take a new approach to parenthood, moving towards the concept of parenthood as a legal responsibility rather than a biological relationship.”

What’s that meant to mean? Potentially, it is the reworking of the whole idea of a family. Can one half of a lesbian couple be named on a baby’s birth certificate as the “father” of a child? That was one scenario raised by the Bill and it still hasn't been discounted – which would make a birth certificate less a statement of fact than a record of aspiration. Is the lesbian partner of a child’s biological mother its social parent? At present, a lesbian who approaches an IVF clinic to have a baby does so as an individual; the new law will enable two lesbians to do so as a couple – a mother and a quasi-father.

Does such a woman have to have account of her prospective baby’s “need for a father”? That used to be the case by law. Now the committee says that what she actually needs to take into account is its need of a second parent. Or, as the committee put it: “We have found persuasive evidence that a loving, supportive family network is more important than the gender of the second parent . . . in an area such as this, the law has symbolic value. Ultimately, the issue is one of what is in the best interests of the child.” Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

What Society needs to be happy

Ed: Had he not been an atheist (by his own admission), Simon Heffer might have spotted that "Be ye therefore perfect" is from the Bible.

[...] A society needs to encourage not just the wealth and physical well-being of its members, but needs also to have a care for their intellectual development, too. It is what Matthew Arnold, writing 140 years ago in Culture and Anarchy, called the need for "sweetness and light". It is the civilising process. We used to be good at it. We were especially good from about the time Arnold wrote - the Education Act, with compulsory schooling for children, was introduced three years later - up until the 1960s. Then something went wrong. Arnold superscribed his book with the Latin tag Estote ergo vos perfecti: "Be ye therefore perfect". Perfection, and the ambition that went with it, have slipped from the agenda. And they have gone because of a hatred and a fear of elitism. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

ABp Gomez warns against Conservative boycott of Lambeth

[...] The Archbishop asserted that 2007 and 2008 will mark "the turning point in Anglicanism," not least because of Lambeth '08, which, as noted, is already in question, not only because of conservative objections to the inclusion of pro-gay bishops, but to Dr. Williams' move to downgrade the Conference into what the Global South Steering Committee recently called an expensive episcopal jamboree packaged as a "prelatical training course." Gomez said the Global South's question is, "How can you have the designated leaders of the Communion meeting in one place and refusing to address the issue that is tearing the Communion apart, that is preventing Anglicanism from moving forward?"

If the bishops of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), which represents 12 African provinces, skip Lambeth, Gomez said, over half the bishops would be missing. A boycott by the Nigerian province alone would mean a shortage of over 120 bishops, enough to make a "big difference," he added. Such significant absences would mean that, unlike Lambeth Conferences of the past, "whatever decisions are made (in '08) will not necessarily be representative of the thinking of the Communion."

Saying his province believes that it is "better to be at the table," Gomez said: "My fear is that, if traditional people don't turn up (at Lambeth), the liberals in the Communion will change Anglicanism and will do so without blinking an eyelid." Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Anglican Network Charter Retains Clause Acceding to TEC Constitution

Delegates to the annual council meeting of the Anglican Communion Network declined removing the organization from under the authority of the constitution of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church during a plenary session July 31.

The proposal would have deleted language from the group’s organizational charter that the Network “shall operate in good faith within the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.”

Instead, the council adopted a bylaws resolution that says Network affiliates outside The Episcopal Church are not required to submit to the constitution of The Episcopal Church.

The decision followed a plea by the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, that the council not act prematurely. Bishop Stanton pointed out that the General Conventions of 1964 and 1967 defined The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.

“If somebody is going to be faithless to that vision, I want it to be them, not us,” Bishop Stanton said, referring to the majority of leadership in The Episcopal Church. “We are in danger of doing exactly on the right what they have done on the left. I pray we will not do that.” Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Ephraim Radner resigns from Anglican Communion Network

It is with sorrow and deep disappointment that I tender my resignation from the Anglican Communion Network. Since the time I assisted in its founding, its leaders, members, and mission have been dear to me, even when I have disagreed with some of its corporate actions. The recent statements by the Moderator of the Network, Robert Duncan, however, so contradict my sense of calling within this part of Christ’s Body, the Anglican Communion, that I have no choice but to disassociate myself from this group, whom I had once hoped might prove an instrument of renewal, not of destruction, of building up, not of tearing down. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Alzheimer's patient's TV death 'was fake'

A man who "passes away" in the final scene of an ITV documentary about suffering with Alzheimer's disease actually died two-and-a-half days later, the broadcaster has admitted. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Evangelicals make the worst Bible readers in UK churches

[...] Almost a quarter of evangelicals, 23 per cent, go to church twice a week which is something that only 15 per cent of non-evangelicals do. It might therefore be expected that evangelicals would be especially strong in Bible reading as they profess to follow the Scriptures so closely. But this is their greatest weakness (of the factors measured in the Census) – in only 24 per cent of mainstream evangelical churches do people read the Bible at least once a week outside church and 25 per cent in charismatic evangelical churches, against 27 per cent for churches generally and 42 per cent in Broad churches and 32 per cent in liberal churches! Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Christians to Unite in Support of 200 Million Persecuted Christians

Open Doors, the persecuted church charity, has announced final plans for a major event to unite Christians in support of the plight of the 200 million Christians around the world who experience persecution because of their faith.

The event, UNITE, will draw together Christians from across the church to stand together to support, among others, the thousands of Christians in Eritrea and North Korea serving prison sentences because of their faith.

They will also embrace Meskele Dhaba, a Christian who is bringing up seven children single-handedly after her evangelist husband Michael was murdered by Muslim extremists, and Noviana Malewa, the sole survivor of an attack where three schoolgirls where beheaded by Muslim extremists. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Christians too busy for God

Christians worldwide are simply too busy for God, a newly released five-year study has revealed.

In data collected from over 20,000 Christians aged15 to 88 across 139 countries, The Obstacles to Growth Survey found that on average, more than four in 10 Christians around the world say they "often" or "always" rush from task to task.

Busyness proved to be the greatest challenges in Japan, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Indonesia. Christians in Uganda, Nigeria, Malaysia and Kenya were least likely to rush from task to task. But even in the less-hurried cultures, around one in three Christians report that they rush from task to task. In Japan, 57 per cent agreed.

The busy life was found to be a distraction from God among Christians worldwide. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Christian guest houses 'should offer single beds to all'

Muslim or Christian guest house owners who refuse to accept homosexual couples must impose a "sleeping together ban" on all other guests, the Government says.

As the holiday season gets under way, Meg Munn, a junior minister, has emphasised that it is illegal to allow married couples to share a room at a guest house or hotel while not allowing homosexuals the same right.

If gays are turned away, the only way a Christian or Muslim guest house owner can lawfully stay in business is if he or she offers single bedrooms to all guests - straight or gay.

Miss Munn said a wedding photographer who refused a gay wedding booking should take up portrait photography instead, while a chauffeur who declined to work with homosexuals must specialise in corporate travel. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Conservative Anglicans Losing Hope in Episcopal Church

Conservative Anglicans in the United States are finding themselves living through an "extended Good Friday," mourning for The Episcopal Church.

The Anglican Communion Network, an orthodox group of Anglicans discontent with The Episcopal Church, began its fourth annual council meeting in Bedford, Texas, on Monday. Over 80 representatives opened the two-day meeting with disappointment in a church many had grown up in.

"Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next, we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross," said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, in his opening address.

A growing number of Episcopal parishes and leaders have left The Episcopal Church, citing the U.S. Anglican branch's departure from Christian orthodoxy and Anglican tradition, particularly the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Law is 'unjust' for unwed couples

Couples who are living together should have more legal rights, according to a report from the Law Commission.

It says the current law is "unjust" and the 2.2m co-habiting couples in England and Wales should have more protection if they split up.

The report says the majority of couples who live together wrongly believe they are protected by what is known as "common law" marriage.

But it has denied its proposals will undermine marriage. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Monday, 30 July 2007

Is sexuality a first-order issue? Invitation to discussion on Anglican Mainstream website

Please note, this refers to Anglican Mainstream, not this website.

1. Does the quarrel about sexual ethics engage with basic doctrines of the Church?
2. To the extent that it does, are the disagreements sufficiently serious as to bring substantive division into the Anglican Communion?
3. or does the imperative of unity in Christ override these disagreements?

Anglican Mainstream website intends to host a discussion of this issue. Contributors are invited to send their contributions ( of not more than 500 words) to It is not guaranteed to post every contribution, but to gather the pro’s and con’s as well expressed as they can be on all sides of this question.

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Bishop Bob Duncan addresses the Anglican Communion Network

[...] In whatever way God’s call on our lives is to be lived out in the months and years ahead, few in this hall anticipate that the Episcopal Church will turn around in the last days before September 30th, or that the Episcopal Church has any intention of leaving room for those of us whose commitments to “the Faith once delivered” created the Anglican Communion Network and have sustained its vision and its witness. Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next, we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross. Such is the increasing de-formation of the denomination whose priests and bishops, whose laity and deacons, we have so faithfully been, whose vision once upon a time was like the one we still hold, of a Church that is truly evangelical, truly catholic, and truly pentecostal. This is the context in which we meet for this fourth Annual Council of the Anglican Communion Network. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Nigerian Anglicans Will Not Succumb To Pressure From The West, Says Akinola

[...] Like a joke, they thought that as Africans, we don't know what we are doing; particularly, the Americans and you know they always have their ways politically and economically. So, we have been dragging it since 1998 and Africans and some of our other colleagues in America, England and South Asian, we have maintained our stand that we will not continue with any of our church that ignore what the bible says. We have had several conferences and several meetings, attended several commissions to see how we could reconcile the western people with the so-called conservatives, all to no avail. In fact when America tried to ordain a practising homosexual as bishop, many conservatives broke communion with them. So today, we are in a state of a broken communion in the Anglican Church wordwide. This is critical and fundamental because when we say we are in a state of a broken communion, it means that the other group has been ex-communicated as it were or orstracised and you are not in fellowship with them anymore until that communion is restored. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

Church of England's longest-serving priest dies

A Staffordshire clergyman, who celebrated 70-years of priestly ministry last September, has died at the age of 98.

The Revd Raymond Bristow is believed to have been the longest-serving priest in the Church of England.

Until last October he was still assisting with services at St James' Church in Norton Canes, near Cannock.

He regularly celebrated the midweek Mass and assisted at the principal Mass every Sunday. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the
policy .

Comments policy

As of now I am introducing a new policy on posting comments to this blog and to The Ugley Vicar. Comments will only be posted if accompanied by a real name and location, though in the interests of safety I will allow a broadness of location.

The following are acceptable:

J Smith (Anytown OR Anycounty)
Jane Smith (Anytown OR Anycounty)

The following are not acceptable:

Jane (Anycounty)
Jane Smith
Smithy (Anytown)