Saturday, 19 January 2008

The Church of England's gay crisis makes clear that that liberal Anglicanism is finished

[...] According to the liberal lobby, the church must return to its natural liberalism, derailed by the rise of homophobic theology in the 1990s. But this is naive. What actually happened in the 1990s is that the church's official teaching (no sex outside marriage) was tightened. So what the liberals actually want is a break with the entire tradition of the church in respect of its teaching on sexual morality. This amounts to a revolution, for churches have always issued moral rules about sex. To say the church should withdraw from sexual moralism is to jeopardise its entire claim to authority. However, the liberal Anglicans cannot admit that this is what is going on.

The liberal Anglican priest (let's call him Father Giles) is bitterly critical of the church's collusion in homophobia. But he fully believes in the authority of the church, and his own authority. He affirms the right of the church to define orthodoxy: the doctrine of the Trinity, for example, is decided by the corporate mind of the church. Likewise a true sacrament is something authorised by the institution. He claims to have authority by virtue of having been ordained into the church. Christianity is not a subjective free-for-all, he insists: it is a communal, traditional thing, with rules.

Yet when the church claims authority to rule on sexual morality his tune changes. This aspect of its teaching is mistaken, he says, and amounts to a betrayal of the Gospel. The problem is that this tradition of sexual moralism is part of the traditional authority of the church, which Father Giles claims to affirm. In other words, he accepts the authority of the church when it suits him and rejects it when it does not.

In my opinion, the gay crisis shakes the foundations of ecclesiology. Organised religion has always been authoritarian, in calling certain moral rules God's will, in saying that moral and doctrinal orthodoxy must be upheld. As I see it, Christianity rejects this; it dispenses with the moral "law". It claims, scandalously, that God wills a new freedom - from "holy morality", from the bossy legalism inherent in religious institutionalism. Liberal Christians should be truly liberal, and see that the concept of an authoritative church has had its day - that God calls us to something new. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Starting a church from scratch in Canada

An altar from a nearby decommissioned church, the pulpit borrowed from a Baptist congregation in Owen Sound, a lectern and kneelers made by a parishioner, the minister's own piano and a box of prayer books salvaged from curbside in Brantford and destined for the landfill.

With these gathered things, conservative Anglicans in this southwestern Ontario town are striking out on their own.

"We left everything behind when we left our former churches," says Jim Blumer, a parishioner and spokesperson for St. Barnabas Anglican Church, part of the conservative breakaway group Anglican Coalition in Canada.

Blumer's wife, Louise, made the cloth hangings that adorn the walls of the hall at the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where St. Barnabas rents space to worship.

The congregation and about two-dozen others are part of a growing movement in church circles known as church planting, or opening new churches to reach potential new members. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

The new Paisley - Rev Ron Johnston elected as Free Presbyterian Moderator

History was made in Dungannon last night when the Rev Dr Ian Paisley stepped down as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church after well over half a century. He was succeeded by Rev Ron Johnston, Minister of Armagh, has been deputy Moderator for the past 18 months.

Rev Johnston, a married man in his fifties originally from east Belfast, paid tribute to his long-standing predecessor Dr Paisley, and vowed to uphold the traditions of Free Presbyterianism.

He also reiterated the church's opposition to ecumenism, the Roman Catholic Church and to the Charismatic Movement. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Botswana Bishop asks for 'perspective' in debate on gays

He's not asking people to change their positions, necessarily, but an Anglican bishop says there can be middle ground in the lingering and angry debate over the ordination of an openly gay man as a bishop by U.S. Episcopalians.

"When I hear all these harsh tones being exchanged," said the Right Rev. Musonda Trevor Mwamba of Botswana, "... I ask if anybody is praying."

Mwamba, speaking Friday to the 192nd annual meeting of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina in Greensboro, has been working for mutual tolerance by speaking out about the things that he says should be drawing people of his denomination together: bringing people into the kingdom of God.

There has been much talk in recent years about a possible split in the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which Episcopalians in the United States are members, over the ordination of Eugene V. Robinson of New Hampshire, who lives with his partner.

Actually, Mwamba said, most of those who have been labeled as incensed over the ordination of a gay bishop really aren't wrapped up in whether God particularly cares about people's sexual orientation. The loudest voices do not constitute a majority of the thought in the Anglican community, as has been claimed, he said.

"The truth of the matter is ... we must understand the majority of African Anglicans, about 37 million, are not bothered by the debate about sexuality," Mwamba said.

"The majority of African Anglicans," he said, "they have their minds focused on life and death issues, like AIDS, poverty ... and not what the church thinks about sex or the color of your pajama pants. Villagers who live on less than $1 a day aren't aware this is going on. The majority of Africans who can afford TVs and radios, they don't want to see the communion incinerate." Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

'Acceptance' and Communion for unbaptized splits another US Episcopal congregation

Starting Sunday, members of St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Somerset will have two options for church services.

The Rev. Mark Zimmerman announced he is leaving the church to start the Somerset Anglican Fellowship, which will still be governed under the Anglican Communion.
St. Francis released a statement Friday stating: “As in most religious communities, there are current issues in the Episcopal Church that are being faced, discussed, and acted upon on an international, national, state, diocesan and local level. Time and space constraints limit a full explanation/discussion of the actual issues in this forum. Suffice it to say there have been two primary groups at St. Francis who now desire to follow separate paths along a fork in the road.”

Zimmerman said the two groups both needed some space to grow.

“We felt we needed some space and they needed some space so they can discuss and plan their future and we could plan and discuss our future,” he said.

Zimmerman said the issues that are dividing the Episcopal community lie in biblical authority.

“There are those who still use traditional language and images, but the meanings have strongly shifted,” he said. “I think the biggest difference is some see God as a God who accepts us and transforms us. The (national) church is exclusively a church of acceptance.”

One example of the national church’s openness is administering communion to people who are not baptized, Zimmerman said.

“They want to have an open communion where anybody can receive communion regardless if they have been baptized,” he said.

Zimmerman stressed that his problems are not with the St. Francis church, but the national church.

“I wish them the best of luck in their journey,” he said. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Friday, 18 January 2008

Why hold a conservative Anglican conference?

Archbishops and bishops from both the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of the Church, who lead 30 million of the world’s 55 million active Anglicans, will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in June 2008 for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON: News, 4 January). They are travelling to the places of Christ’s ministry, where the gift of the Holy Spirit was first poured out, in order to strengthen them for what they believe will be difficult days ahead.

The vision, according to the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Revd Benjamin Nzimbi, is to inform and inspire the invited leaders “to seek transformation in our own lives and help impact communities and societies through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

The convening Primates have said that their pastoral responsibility requires that they provide an opportunity for their bishops, who would normally have looked to the Lambeth Conference, to meet for prayer, fellowship, and counsel, on matters vital to their Church’s mission and ministry.

The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, the Most Revd Gregory Venables, said: “Shared mission clearly must rise from common shared faith. Our pastoral responsibility to the people that we lead is now to provide the opportunity to come together around the central and unchanging tenets of the central and unchanging historic Anglican faith. Rather than being subject to the continued chaos and compromise that have dramatically impeded Anglican mission, GAFCON will seek to clarify God’s call at this time, and build a network of co-operation for global mission.”

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, has written: “The conference is to discuss the future of mission and relationships within the Churches of the Anglican Communion. Those who wish to retain biblical standards, especially in the area of sexual ethics, want to move on together with the gospel of Christ’s lordship, a gospel which challenges us and changes lives.”

There are challenges to the world of religion, the world of secularism, and the role of the family in world peace, and impediments to the means of economic empowerment for families and communities. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

"... and anybody else who knows me": new TEC bishop blessed in multi-faith consecration

In yet another body blow to orthodox Anglicanism, the new tenth Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, the Rt. Rev. Dan Thomas Edwards, 57, was blessed by a Roman Catholic Bishop, a Hindu chaplain, a Muslim Imam, a Jewish Rabbi, a Bahai leader, a Baptist minister, a Native American, "smudgers" and drummers, choirs and churchgoers from throughout Nevada as well as Mrs. Katharine Jefferts Schori, The Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop.

During the interfaith blessing of his new Episcopal ministry, (the Litany was written by Edwards) the bishop sat on a chair below the podium to receive the blessings in a ceremony held at the Henderson Convention Center.

Starting with Most Rev. Randolph Calvo, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Reno, other leaders who blessed the Episcopal Bishop included Buddhist Priest Rev. William Bartlett, Jewish Rabbi Elizabeth Beyer, Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed, Imam of Northern Nevada Muslim Community, Abdul Barghouthi, Bahai leader Trip Barthel, Reverend Onie Cooper of Second Baptist Church, and Native American faith leader Reynalda James. [...]

While Rajan Zed read blessing Sanskrit shlokas from the oldest existing scripture Rig-Veda, composed around 1,500 BCE, Reynalda James brought special water from Pyramid Lake to bless Bishop Edwards. Some of these leaders of various faiths embraced the new Bishop, while others shook hands with him welcoming him to Nevada and wishing him best in his mission. His wife Linda, a law professor at Mercer, watched. Read more

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

Children are not born criminals or killers

Ed: It's their brains make them do it.

[...]It's not by accident that children who perpetrate these violent crimes are from depleted home environments. Research shows that children who are systematically subjected to abuse and deprived of loving care develop neuro-chemical vulnerabilities. This results in hyper-agitation, impulsive behaviour, an inability to assess situations appropriately, and a self-centred preoccupation with survival.

The act of being violated gives these vulnerable young people a street-ready repertoire of violence; they know how to kick because they have been kicked, they know how to stab because they have been stabbed ... Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

World not running out of oil, say experts

Ed: Just to cheer you up.

Doom-laden forecasts that world oil supplies are poised to fall off the edge of a cliff are wide of the mark, according to leading oil industry experts who gave warning that human factors, not geology, will drive the oil market.

A landmark study of more than 800 oilfields by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera) has concluded that rates of decline are only 4.5 per cent a year, almost half the rate previously believed, leading the consultancy to conclude that oil output will continue to rise over the next decade.

Peter Jackson, the report's author, said: “We will be able to grow supply to well over 100million barrels per day by 2017.” Current world oil output is in the region of 85million barrels a day.

The optimistic view of the world's oil resource was also given support by BP's chief economist, Peter Davies, who dismissed theories of “Peak Oil” as fallacious. Instead, he gave warning that world oil production would peak as demand weakened, because of political constraints, including taxation and government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Analyst reports drop in RC numbers

A STEADY decline in the number of Roman Catholics born and baptised into the faith in England and Wales is linked to a Church that is facing declining or static income and increased expenditure, in the first statistical analysis of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales to use financial data publicly available through the Charity Commission.

The Digest of Statistics of the Catholic Community of England and Wales, 1958 to 2005, published by the independent Pastoral Research Centre Trust, contrasts with recent reports that seemed to show Roman Catholic numbers surging ahead, largely because of immigration from Roman Catholic areas of Europe.

Roman Catholic bishops were reported as saying that the RC population had risen by 20 per cent in the 47 years up to 2005.

But Anthony Spencer, the editor of the Digest, has used a variety of sources — including the national Catholic Directory the Annuario Pontificio, the statistical yearbook of the Church; and the accounts of the RC Church’s 22 diocesan trusts on the Charity Commission website — to check and correlate the record. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

The wife who changed history - by asking for the first divorce

Divorce can be a lucrative "career" nowadays.

The former model Susan Sangster has already been awarded around £18million from three divorces, and is looking for another payout when a judge in the High Court next month rules on her fourth divorce.

Whatever would Caroline Norton have made of her?

Caroline was a moving force behind one of the most emancipating pieces of legislation in our history, the Marriage and Divorce Act, which became law 150 years ago this month. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Deputies support new law against gay-hatred

A government amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill currently going through Parliament will ban attempts to whip up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, similar to measures against religious hatred which came into effect last October.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board, said: “Our community has a long history of suffering on account of prejudice and hatred on the grounds of being Jewish. For this reason we abhor hatred and violence directed against other groups, however their lifestyles may be regarded by parts of our community.”

The Board will also not oppose proposals to repeal the law against blasphemy — which applies only to Christian beliefs. Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris, who is Jewish, last week withdrew his amendment to abolish blasphemy following government indications that it would take up the issue itself. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Ed: Another manouevre towards the checkmate of Christianity in the public arena?

TRADITIONAL religious charities will not have to modernise their beliefs to prove that their work is of benefit to the public, the Charity Commission said this week.

On Wednesday, the Commission, the independent regulator for charitable activity in England and Wales, published guidance spelling out what steps charities, including religious charities and schools, must take to show how the public benefits.

Until the Charities Act 2006, religious charities were assumed to be of public benefit. Now they will have to be able to demonstrate that explicitly.
Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Key bishops withheld consent to inhibition of Pittsburgh Bishop

Ed: But she went ahead anyway, which suggests whose agenda this is.

THE BISHOP of Pittsburgh, the Rt Revd Robert Duncan, who is moderator of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP), has been deemed by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States to have abandoned its communion. The CCP seeks to set up a parallel jurisdiction in America.

The Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, informed Bishop Duncan in a letter made public on Wednesday, that the Title IV Review Committee had made the judgement. Significantly, however, it did not have the necessary consent of the three senior bishops with jurisdiction, Bishop Frade of Southeast Florida, Bishop Lee of Virginia, and Bishop Wimberley of Texas. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Test-tube babies need fathers

Doesn't a child need a father? Since in vitro fertilisation was first regulated in 1990 doctors have been required to consider the welfare of the baby, including “the need of that child for a father”. This is one of the few ethical principles in IVF law and has served as a reminder that the welfare of the child is more important than the wishes of the would-be parents.

But no longer, it seems. The Government is seeking, in a new Bill in the House of Lords, to delete that obligation. Instead, IVF providers will have to consider “the need for supportive parenting”, a change that is both unacceptable and inappropriate. The phrase “supportive parenting” will mean little to the public. Because it is speculative it will be difficult for practitioners to interpret, and it adds nothing of substance to the existing requirement to have regard to the welfare of the child. There is no reason to change the current approach, which works well. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

What would CS Lewis have made of human-animal embryo hybrids?

I think we know:

‘many a mild-eyed scientist in pince-nez, many a popular dramatist, many an amateur philosopher in our midst, means in the long run just the same as the Nazi rulers of Germany. Traditional values are to be ‘debunked’ and mankind to be cut out into some fresh shape [...].’ (The Abolition of Man)

Quite literally, it would seem ...

And then there is the Nuremberg Code, produced in the light of Nazi experiments on human beings. Was that designed just to protect the subject of the experiment, or was it designed to protect the experimenter as well?


1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonable to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment. The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.
2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.
3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.
4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.
5. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.
6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.
8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.
9. During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.
10. During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

Marana tha

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

War of words over Women's World Day of Prayer snub to Unitarians

Ed: The public comments are interesting - how would you handle them?

A WAR of words has broken out after three leading Christian churches snubbed an event to bring women together in prayer.

The Church of England, Baptist and Methodist churches in Padiham rejected the invitation of the town's Unitarians for the Women's World Day of Prayer service.

Clergy said they had taken the decision because Unitarians did not believe in the Holy Trinity, that is the father, the son and the holy spirit.

But the Unitarian Church said that the decision was "pathetic" and an "insult". Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Bishop issues call for new clergy and lay leaders

The Bishop of Lichfield has issued a call for more churchgoers to offer themselves as clergy or lay leaders. The Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill’s comments came in a recorded message played in churches across the Diocese of Lichfield on Sunday.

Since the Decade of Evangelism in the 1980s it has been the tradition in the diocese for a taped message from the bishop to be played in all his 585 churches on the second Sunday in January.

In his latest message, the Bishop talked abut the “exciting turnaround” in the five years since 2002, when the diocese was heading towards bankruptcy, and talks of a “wonderful confirmation of God’s love”.

In his message, Bishop Gledhill highlighted a number of growth signs in the diocese, including the licensing in 2007 of the largest number of lay leaders in memory and the several thousand returnees on Back to Church Sunday. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Bishop of Pittsburgh inhibited by Jefferts-Schori

Ed: She probably holds the record already for the most bishops inhibited by one person at one time, and she's after more.

The Episcopal Church's Title IV Review Committee has certified that Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan has abandoned the communion of the church.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori informed Duncan on January 15 of the certification and sent him a copy.

Her letter told Duncan that she sought the canonically required permission from the House's three senior bishops with jurisdiction to inhibit him, based on the certification, from the performance of any episcopal, ministerial or canonical acts.

"On 11 January 2008 they informed me that such consents would not be given at this time by all three bishops," Jefferts Schori wrote.

"Pursuant to the time limits stated in Canon IV.9, the matter will not come before the House of Bishops at its next scheduled meeting in March 2008, but will come before the House at the next meeting thereafter," the Presiding Bishop wrote in her letter.

"I would, however, welcome a statement by you within the next two months providing evidence that you once more consider yourself fully subject to the doctrine, discipline and worship of this Church," Jefferts Schori wrote in her letter to Duncan. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Where’s the Science? A Conversation with the Presiding Bishop

The contention of the author is that although advocates of same-sex relationships often talk about the 'findings of science', over against traditionalists, specific references to research are often lacking or limited. See also here.

[...] To Set Our Hope on Christ based its understanding of homosexuality on the idea of orientation, which is an unbiblical concept from science. After seeing my article, "Why Theology Should Precede Change," an author of To Set Our Hope on Christ insisted that there was "other science" that she was considering. I sent her an email asking to see this science. I know that she got the email, because I called her to verify that she had it. That happened last spring, and she never answered me. Nine days ago I received an email from a senior bishop in the church. I had been carrying on a long discussion with him about the problems with the understanding of homosexuality as a fixed and genetic stereotype. In the email he said, "I hope in the future that you will, with your scientific background, pay close attention to the many people who study these matters who are learning that homosexuality is, at least in many instances, a given and not a choice." Of course, I had looked for science that shows a biological basis for homosexuality, and there had always been major problems with the science. I also had consulted with some very good psychiatrists who have followed the science and worked with homosexuals, and they too could not find any science showing a biological basis for homosexuality in anyone. I asked the bishop for his science, but he simply said that the fixed nature of homosexuality was the opinion of some psychiatrists. Yet he did not give any basis for that opinion. Are we talking about testimonials or research? Since even research done by homosexuals shows that so many people change attractions, please explain the scientific basis of the church's opinion that homosexuality is fixed. In one study the homosexual researcher found no characteristics to distinguish the 58% of lesbians who had changed after eight years from the 42% who did not. So how do psychiatrists determine that homosexuality is fixed for some people? Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Monday, 14 January 2008

Bishop Benn bamboozled by bouncer

wallace-benn.jpgThe Bishop of Lewes was cautioned by a bouncer that he would be ejected from the Uckfield Civic Centre if he spoke at a public NHS meeting before Christmas.

Bishop Wallace Benn was one of 50 people in the audience at a meeting called by the NHS to discuss closing maternity services at the Eastbourne District General Hospital

Bishop Benn, who opposes closing the maternity ward, stood to speak at the meeting, but was ignored by the East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust chairman Charles Everett.

“I twice asked politely if I could speak to the chairman, who did not look up at me,” Bishop Benn told the Worthing Herald. As he rose to speak, the meeting’s steward stepped in front of Bishop Benn, and ordered him to be seated.

“Never in 35 years of being in ordained ministry have I ever had a bouncer stand in front of me preventing me from speaking,” he said. Read more

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

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Lichfield Diocese moves from bankruptcy to growth

(Ed: And its not rocket science! Also this from the Bishop, whose leadership been the key: " I believe our aim should be to produce enough paid and voluntary clergy to staff as many parishes as possible. We should aim for high quality clergy, capable of forging ahead and giving leadership for different kinds of parish. Of course, we have to raise the money to pay for them. But a good stipendiary priest will soon pay for him/herself in all but the poorest parishes. Given the chance of a new vicar, most parishes will rise to the challenge of paying for him or her." That's the way to do it!)

In 2002 we found that we were heading for bankruptcy. Particularly our larger churches had seen decline and children’s work was in free-fall. We had to take drastic action to cut clergy posts and reduce the budget by £800,000. Alongside that we focussed on a Strategy for Growth: praying that God would halt the decline and restore our church. Well, five years later, we can thank God for a wonderful confirmation of his love.

  • Last autumn we licensed the largest number of Lay Ministers that we can remember.
  • Back to Church Sunday produced several thousand returnees in church.
  • Parishes have appointed almost as many children’s workers as the number of clergy posts we have cut.
  • All those churches which have attended the Larger Churches course have stopped declining and started growing again.
  • Growth is happening in a large proportion of our parishes, including some of the poorest in the land.
  • We have been able to balance the budget, and strengthen our reserves.
  • We’ve decided to:
  1. increase the number of stipendiary curates from 9 to 11 and
  2. not to cut the last remaining three clergy posts of the 50 cuts agreed five years ago. We aim to stabilize the number of clergy and then pray for a gradual increase again.
  3. We will reduce the annual increase in the Share Formula for the first time for many years.
  • We’ve even been able to offer stipendiary clergy health check-ups and we’ve begun a big programme so that every vicarage can have cavity wall insulation.

It is not all good news of course. Some parishes are struggling. But for every apparently insoluble problem we face there are encouragements and exciting opportunities. So I hope you will join with me at the beginning of a new year in giving thanks. Thank you to God for all the signs of his amazing grace, and thank you to all the faithful parishes where people have upped their giving and their commitment. Read more

(Also read this about a church-planting case study in London.)

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

Lord Carey: "Anglican Communion is in crisis"

The former archbishop of Canterbury wants the Episcopal Church to support an international agreement calling for a moratorium in the Anglican Church on the consecration of gay bishops and church blessing of same-sex unions.

"The Anglican Communion as such is in crisis," said the Most Rev. George Carey, who was in Houston this week to install the Rev. Russell J. Levenson Jr. as rector of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, one of the largest Episcopal churches in the United States.

The 77 million member communion, including 2.15 Episcopalians, has been in turmoil since the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

"It has created enormous tidal waves, shock waves around the world," Carey said of the consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson. "It has hindered missions in Muslim countries. It has distressed conservative congregations everywhere. There is no place in the Anglican Communion that has been impervious to the shock waves." Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

San Joaquin denies Jefferts-Schori has authority in their regard

As a point of clarification, there is no confusion on the part of the Bishop of San Joaquin or the clergy, people, leadership, and convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin of their status. The claims of the Episcopal Church to have oversight or jurisdiction are not correct. The fact is that neither the Diocese nor Bishop John-David Schofield are part of The Episcopal Church. The Bishop is a member of the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone as of December 8th, 2007. The Diocese is a part of the Southern Cone. Neither the Presiding Bishop or the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church have any further jurisdiction. Bishop Schofield is no longer a member of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church. Read more

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