The General Synod of the Church of England meets from today (13th November 2023) until Wednesday 15th. The November session doesn't happen every year (often General Synod only meets in February and July), and has partly been scheduled this year to give space to debate the next stages of Living in Love and Faith, and Prayers in Love and Faith.
Church of England
This post is prompted by a discussion on a friend's Facebook post. That friend was horrified to see a post on the Facebook Page of Truro Cathedral, and said as much on their own Facebook wall, and I shared a comment in response.
The Church of England issued a press release last night, following on from the House of Bishops meeting to discuss how the project of "Living in Love and Faith" would be taken forwards at the November meeting of General Synod.
Let me be clear. This is the worst possible outcome.
In his presidential address to the July 2023 General Synod, Stephen Cottrell appealed to members of the Synod to debate and disagree not as enemies, but as siblings. On the face of it, this seems such an obvious and charitable standard to hold out, that it's hard to disagree with him. But we need to look more closely at what he's actually asking the Synod to do. This is not quite as smooth-running as it sounds.
Where the North Sea meets the Atlantic lies a small country, the United Isles of Great Britannia (GB for short)
It is often reported that New Zealand has more sheep than people. GB has more cats than people – they are a nation of cat-lovers. As a result, a thriving industry in veterinary medicine has developed.
Yesterday, the Church of England published a press release summarising the proposals being brought by the college of Bishops at the end of the 6-year consultation process on same-sex marriage. This included a series of national conversations (tautologically, "shared conversations"), which took place at the General Synod and locally, and a course and set of resources branded "Living in Love and Faith".
A few days ago, I posted the transcript and a link to the video of my presentation, explaining my reasons for leaving the Church of England, and for moving to join Trinity Church Scarborough as their Associate Minister.
That presentation was given on a Wednesday evening to our church family, having told them the Sunday before that I would be leaving. In that briefer leaving announcement, I said (pithily) that Jesus was my boss, and loyalty to him meant I had to move.
This coming Sunday, 11th July 2021, will be my last serving the people of Kemsing and Woodlands as their "vicar". When I announced in January that I would be leaving, I gave a presentation to explain my reasons for leaving the Church of England, and where I was going instead. This is that presentation.
In 1960, C S Lewis published a book entitled The Four Loves. It has become a classic. He explains that there are four different Greek words for our English word "love", and they have different meanings. There is the bond of love within a family, the love of friendship, erotic love, and charity. This latter, translating the Greek word agape (
I wish to commend to you a new website, Anglican Reality Check. In the past 22 years, a lot has changed in the Anglican landscape at home and around the world. The changes have happened gradually, so that it can be hard to keep track of the key developments that make up the still-unfolding story.