Blogroll Category: Christian Resources

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Statement by the Society bishops on abortion

Anglican Ink - Wed, 27/11/2019 - 21:36
[27 Nov 2019] Conscious that the issue of abortion is under renewed discussion, we reaffirm our adherence to the Church of England’s longstanding commitments on this issue. 

We pledge ourselves to oppose any legislation involving further liberalization of the law in respect of abortion that may be introduced by any future UK government.

We invite all Christians preparing to cast their vote in the forthcoming General Election to reflect on all issues which touch on the dignity and well-being of the human person. Furthermore we advise that parishes and individual Christians take the initiative of asking any of their parliamentary candidates what their view is on this issue and how they would vote if legislation came before the Commons.

+ TONY WAKEFIELD               The Rt Rev Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, Chairman

+ GLYN BEVERLEY                 The Rt Rev Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley

+ PHILIP BURNLEY                 The Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley

+ MARTIN CICESTR:               The Rt Rev Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester

+ JONATHAN EBBSFLEET     The Rt Rev Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

+ JONATHAN FULHAM            The Rt Rev Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham

+ NORMAN RICHBOROUGH   The Rt Rev Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough

The post Statement by the Society bishops on abortion appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

NZ to launch Bible 2020

Anglican Ink - Wed, 27/11/2019 - 21:27

A Bible 2020 campaign to encourage people to read the Bible out loud has gone global and is now set to kick off at sunrise on 1 January 2020 on a Gisborne beach on the east coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Bible 2020 campaign aims to encourage everyone, everywhere to engage with the Bible in their own context and their own language through a new Bible 2020 app that will to enable people to share video of themselves reading out different Bible passages, in different languages, on each day of 2020.

Bible 2020 is the brainchild of the Scottish Bible Society that created it as a way to help Christians in Scotland regain a sense of confidence in the Bible by reading it out loud. They aimed to make the campaign as accessible as possible by using digital technology to transmit the spoken texts. But the Bible 2020 team didn’t anticipate the huge response from Christians in 70 countries around the world who have now signed on to take part.

“The Bible traditionally was passed down orally, but this tradition has been lost in the church.” said Director of National Ministries for the Scottish Bible Society Fiona McDonald. “

[Bible 2020 will be] like a wave of Bible reading spreading across the whole world…it starts with New Zealand at sunrise and goes right round the world and comes back again.” she said.

The Bible 2020 launch team are excited that their campaign will have a strong start in one of the first cities in the world to see the sun.

This Bible Society network will promote the Bible 2020 campaign across the globe from Argentina to India to Southern Africa, and through partners such as YouVersion that will draw in millions more people.

“Already many New Zealanders have joined and are ready to start the global wave of Bible reading,” said CEO of Bible Society New Zealand Neels Janse van Rensburg.

Participants will be able to film themselves reading the daily passage and upload it to a video wall, alongside others from round the world reading the same passage in their own languages.

“The app will have access to over 1,000 languages thanks to the United Bible Societies’ Digital Bible Library. That means Māori speakers will be able to read in te Reo,” Neels says.

The Bible 2020 app will be available from late November in app stores.

Go to to find out how to join the global movement.

The post NZ to launch Bible 2020 appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

Anchored in Christ: An English church plant of the Anglican Network in Canada

Anglican Ink - Wed, 27/11/2019 - 21:16

In the same way that many North Americans found a temporary ecclesial home in places like Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, faithful congregations from the United Kingdom and Europe are now finding a canonical home in the Anglican Church in North America.

Fowey, England: population just over 2,300. The pronunciation is “foy,” rhyming with “soy.” It’s old. King Arthur old. Robert Bridges, the avant-garde poet laureate during the Cubism days, called Fowey “the most poetic-looking town in England.” Georgian and Medieval buildings congregate the hillside at the river mouth, bunched close like a small fortune of sheep. Shoulder to shoulder they stand as if each might be (understandably) elbowing their way atop for a sliver view of the harbor, envious of the little boats with their excess real estate to bob and sway freely atop the water below.

Fowey has served for centuries as a workaday seaport for the larger Cornish county. Being on the westernmost part of the southwest peninsula, she’s bustling in the summer months, much favored today by English holiday-makers and sailors alike. But come the New Year, boats abandon the river like keepers do their shops. Google it. No, go book an Airbnb any Saturday in January and see how incredibly successful you are. The internet presumes Fowey is nothing more than a “getaway.”

So, to be honest, before I traveled there, the town sounded more like superlative sabbatical material, not the next battlefield in the unfolding Anglican reformation.

Era depending, we all learned in school it has been places such as Babylon, Athens, and Rome, along with Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo that are the world’s leading culture transmitters. Vibrant cultural economies accessible to the global network, along with robust capital accumulation mechanize urban centers to dominate societal thought – from the geopolitical climate on out into the rural hinterlands. Yet in recent months it is the modest little Fowey that has taken the lead in England. Perhaps it should come as no surprise to us; if one spends any time in the Bible, it seems the Lord has a historical knack for using the small and unassuming.

Unlike some in the Global Anglican Future (Gafcon) movement, the issues surrounding marriage are not what brought Fowey to the table. It was baptism. The Church of England’s House of Bishops decided to release transgender guidelines in December 2018 offering the church celebratory material for use after one’s presumed transition between sexes. The choice of celebratory material was shocking. They chose the Baptismal liturgy.


Baptism, in its intended form, is a sign of death to sin and a new identity of a life unified and raised with Christ by His blood alone. The vicar of Fowey, the Rev. Philip de-Grey Warter quickly recognized the danger. “The guidance has the effect of denying the gospel,” he explained in August when I sat down with him and his wife, Naomi, at the vicarage in Fowey. “Now, whatever you think about the transgender [topic], folk in that situation nonetheless need a huge amount of compassion and understanding. The issue for me was that the House of Bishops were willing to allow Baptism to be used for something other than what it’s intended. We are a liturgical church, we express our doctrine and belief liturgically. So that’s an official thing. It says that truth is completely personal.”

So, after 17 faithful years, Philip stepped out of the Church of England on September 30. He is the first Church of England minister to leave with a substantial part of his parish to come under Bishop Andy Lines, Gafcon’s missionary bishop to Europe. In the same way that many North Americans found a temporary ecclesial home in places like Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, faithful congregations from the United Kingdom and Europe are now finding a canonical home in the Anglican Church in North America where Bishop Lines is resident.

Philip and Naomi’s ministry will continue in Fowey with the planting of Anchor Anglican Church Fowey (AACF). “It’s business as usual,” he said, “seeking to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ as faithfully and engagingly as I can in partnership with others.” Services will be held at The Mission to Seafarers, a longstanding institution of the port of Fowey. Guy Stickney, one of the four AACF trustees, described it as “a basic portacabin set up for sailors, hidden away on the edge of the town overlooking a public car park. I don’t think it’s been decorated for at least 30 years, but we are grateful.”

Equally appreciative of the space to meet, Philip says, “We won’t be constrained by ranks of pews all facing in one direction. Instead, we hope to create a more informal and relaxed extended-family atmosphere. It won’t matter at all if children want to wander. There will be toys available and an opportunity for them to enjoy a Bible activity of their own.”

The inaugural service on the first Sunday in October included a visit from Bishop Lines and recorded messages of welcome and blessing from various Gafcon congregations, bishops, and archbishops from around the world. “Our desire is to ensure that the good news in Jesus Christ is available in an orthodox and relevant way to future generations of Fowey residents,” said Dan Leafe, another of the four trustees.

And as for those evangelicals in the Church of England who are not sharing in Philip’s move, he revealed both reasonable frustration and humble appreciation. “There are folks who are determining to be biblical and faithful in their context [by remaining]. And if they are contending for the faith, then I absolutely respect them in that.”

A year prior to Philip’s departure, Archbishop Foley Beach visited the congregation to offer support. Regardless of one’s choice to leave or stay within the Church of England, Archbishop Beach called it a matter of conscience to be taken to prayer. “Gafcon offers hope to all faithful Anglicans,” he said reflecting on his time there. “Philip and his people have had the courage to refuse to compromise with a false gospel. I am excited for them as they seek to follow the Lord’s guidance and move forward in mission.”

Gospel grunt work and Kingdom advancement are coming out of a small holiday-makers town in the southwest corner of Cornwall. Faithful people in Fowey are living out their obedience to God, lured upward, wooed by God Himself to a Kingdom unseen, to bear up their crosses and think upon eternal years. This is a gain that far outweighs the cost.

The post Anchored in Christ: An English church plant of the Anglican Network in Canada appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

Judge hears Motions to Clarify on litigation between SC diocese and Episcopal Church

Anglican Ink - Wed, 27/11/2019 - 17:39

Orangeburg, S.C. (November 26, 2019) –Earlier today, South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edgar Dickson held a hearing regarding motions related to the ongoing litigation between The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and The Episcopal Church (TEC). Although the hearing covered all outstanding motions in the case, Judge Dickson focused on our motion to clarify what the set of 2017 Supreme Court opinions said. 

Diocesan attorneys focused on our motion to clarify, and argued in detail that no parish expressly agreed to the Dennis Canon, which TEC has asserted creates a trust interest in parish property. Our lawyers also argued persuasively that the Diocese successfully withdrew from TEC with its property interest intact in compliance with South Carolina state law. TEC attorneys addressed the motion to clarify and also their pending motion for enforcement.

After a two-and half-hour hearing, Judge Dickson ordered attorneys from both sides to submit proposed orders resolving the motion to clarify. 

The post Judge hears Motions to Clarify on litigation between SC diocese and Episcopal Church appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

A 5 minute theology of veganism

The Good Book Company - Tue, 26/11/2019 - 09:28

What is veganism? 

According to The Vegan Society, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” In practice, vegans follow a plant-based diet that abstains from all meat, dairy, eggs and honey. 

In 2018, 1.16% of the UK population were vegans (up from 0.25% in 2014). In the US, 6% of the population identified as vegan in 2017, up from 1% three years previously. 

But the trend is even broader than that. While more people are adopting a strictly vegan diet (and owning the label that goes with it), many more of us—up to a third of the population—are seeking to cut down on meat and dairy, usually on the grounds of it being good for the environment, and for our health. From “meat free Mondays”, to Veganuary and flexitarianism—there are lots of ways to eat less meat. 

So what does the Bible say about veganism? In one sense, very little—the word itself was coined by the founder of The Vegan Society in 1944. But in another sense, it has lots to say about food in general, meat in particular, and the God who gives them both. 

1. Food is a gift 

Food is a sign of God’s abundant generosity to his creatures. He tells the first humans: 

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. … I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” (Genesis 1 v 29)

When Noah and his family get off the ark, and God’s blessing on humanity is repeated and renewed, the “ruling over” the animals bit is extended to explicitly include the invitation to eat them:

“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” (Genesis 9 v 1-3) 

Animals are “given” by God, into human hands. Meat is a gift. And gifts are to be received with thanksgiving: “everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4 v 4). 

2. We are stewards 

Humans have been given the unique role of stewards of God’s creation. We rule over it as God’s image-bearing representatives. There’s a chain of command that goes God -> Humans -> Animals.

That means two things. First, human life is of a different value to animal life—the two are not in the same league. Arguments for veganism that elevate animal life to the same level as human life falter in this respect. 

Second, humans are to “rule over” creation in a way which mirrors the way that God “rules over” his creation. And it’s clear that God does not abuse the creatures under his control for his own pleasure or satisfaction. 

It’s therefore appropriate for Christians to be concerned for the environment and for animal welfare: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals” (Proverbs 12 v 10). Some Christians feel that the call to steward creation conflicts with today’s intensive farming methods and the global food economy. (Of course, the environmental and economic factors on this are complicated—eating bacon sandwiches from locally reared and slaughtered pigs is almost always going to be better for the environment than avocado-on-toast flown halfway around the world).  

“Meat is a gift”—but doesn’t preclude regarding it as a treat, rather than a daily staple. 

3. Unity in Christ beats Division over Food

The rise in veganism confirms a phenomenon we see in Scripture: food unites (when we eat it together), and food divides (when it creates an “us and them” mentality). 

God used food laws in the Old Testament—including regulation of slaughtering practices and the prohibition of some meats—to highlight the distinction between his chosen covenant people and the nations around them. 

But fastforward to the New Testament, and food had begun to cause divisions within the body of God’s people—and that’s a big problem. In Romans 14 Paul addresses a situation in Rome where some Christians were “quarrelling” over a “disputable matter”—whether to eat “everything” or “only vegetables” (v 1-2). The passage leaves us with some big principles as we interact with vegan/vegetarian/meat-eating friends and family-in-Christ:

  • Christ is Lord, so eat (or don’t eat) “to the Lord” (v 6). In other words, make honouring him the priority in all your decisions, including how to eat. 

  • Don’t judge, look down on or despise someone else’s choices on this (v 10)—they’ll give an account of themselves to God, so they don’t owe us an account.

  • Don’t become an evangelist for the moral rightness or wrongness of your food choices (v 22). 

  • Follow your conscience—if you’re not sure whether something is sinful, err on the side of caution (v 23). And don’t do anything that might lead someone else to go against their conscience (even if you think their conscience is misguided, v 21). 

  • Finally, in all things, act in love towards others (v 15). Ask: “Is it loving to eat this/say this now?” 

Read other articles in the 5 Minute Theology series:

A 5 Minute Theology of Hair

A 5 Minute Theology of Breakfast

Categories: Christian Resources

Clergy opening: All Saints’ Wickham Terrace, Brisbane

Anglican Ink - Mon, 25/11/2019 - 23:38

All Saints’ Wickham Terrace in Brisbane is seeking nominations for its next rector. An orthodox Anglo-Catholic Anglican parish in Queensland, Australia, expressions of interest are welcome from overseas applicants.

Services are BCP based using the English Missal predominantly with Low and Solemn High Masses being the main Sunday fare. The Parish adheres to Forward in Faith Principles and its priests in recent years have all been members of the SSC following its Rule of Life.

Expressions of interest should be forwarded to the Regional Bishop Jeremy Greaves at Further information from the Nominators or Wardens at or by contacting Anglican Ink.

The parish profile can be found here:

The post Clergy opening: All Saints’ Wickham Terrace, Brisbane appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

Anglican Unscripted 553 – Eat More Lesbian Transgendered Chicken

Anglican Ink - Mon, 25/11/2019 - 19:10

The Monarchy may fall and the Chicken may fail — this and much more on this week’s Anglican Unscripted.

The post Anglican Unscripted 553 – Eat More Lesbian Transgendered Chicken appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

Australian primate to stand down

Anglican Ink - Mon, 25/11/2019 - 16:39

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, has announced that he will not seek reelection as Primate. He will stand down on 31 March 2020 in order to allow sufficient time for an election and for his successor to prepare for the pivotal General Synod in June.

In a letter to his fellow bishops, the Primate wrote,

Thank you to those who have asked me about my intentions in respect of the primate election process and specifically whether I am willing to accept a further term of three years as Primate. Your questions and, in some cases, warm affirmation of my contribution have helped me as I have approached this question as a matter of spiritual discernment.

I want to let you know that I will not be accepting a further term and, working back from some important dates next year, advise that I will be concluding as Primate of Australia on
31 March 2020. This will enable my successor to chair the Standing Committee meeting on 17 and 18 April 2020 and have sufficient time for preparing to chair the General Synod from 31 May to 5 June 2020.

The new Primate will be elected by a body made out of all the diocesan bishops along with a “board of electors” who are elected by General Synod. The current board of electors are conservative in leaning, especially the house of clergy which is overwhelmingly evangelical.

Speculation will immediately turn to who the next Primate will be and have already been asked by numerous interested parties to comment.

The Primate has traditionally been one of the 5 Metropolitan Archbishops (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth). Davies in Sydney will be about to retire and so is not electable. Aspinall in Brisbane has already served a number of terms as Primate and has indicated to his fellow bishops that he has no desire to return to the role (although things can always change – Aspinall is thoroughly liberal in theology but well respected for the manner in which he chairs).

That leaves Kay Goldsworthy in Perth and Geoffrey Smith in Adelaide. While Kay Goldsworthy would be a popular choice amongst liberals she would not be electable given the make-up of the board of electors.

It might be that a “regular” diocesan bishop is proposed as an alternative although this would be an extraordinary event. But then the Anglican Church of Australia is in extraordinary times.

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Gay Barbadian priest elected bishop of Missouri

Anglican Ink - Sat, 23/11/2019 - 23:36

The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri elected the Rev. Deon K. Johnson as its 11th diocesan bishop today at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis. He was elected on the first ballot during an election that involved 164 voting delegates. He received 71 votes from lay delegates and 42 votes from clergy.

A veteran Episcopal priest with deep experience in social justice issues and ministry to gay and lesbian communities, Johnson, who lives in Michigan with his husband and two children, has been rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton, MI, since 2006.

Johnson was elected to lead a community of more than 10,000 worshipers in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Church delegates and clergy members chose their 11th bishop on Saturday during the 180th diocesan convention.

“I am overwhelmed with joy, humility, and gratitude,” said Bishop-Elect Johnson from his home in Michigan to the people of the Diocese of Missouri. “The Holy Spirit has brought us to this day, for such a time as this. I am looking forward to walking with you as we share the liberating love of Jesus. My husband and our family are looking forward to being with you in the new year.”

Johnson will assume the post upon the retirement of the 10th bishop of Missouri, the Right Rev. George Wayne Smith, who has shepherded the diocese since 2002. Smith announced his retirement, effective with the ordination of the new bishop, in April 2018. Johnson was elected by a majority of both lay and ordained delegates to the annual diocesan convention, according to the rules of the convention.

The Rev. Dawn-Victoria Mitchell, president of the standing committee, expressed her joy at the election results. “It’s a very, very exciting day for the diocese. We’ve only had 10 bishops in our 178-year history. And to have this done on the first ballot was really exceptional.”

A veteran Episcopal priest with deep experience in social justice issues and ministry to gay and lesbian communities, Johnson is a native of Barbados who immigrated to the United States at age 14 and found his call to ministry nurtured by parishioners at a church near Case Western University in Cleveland, where he earned his undergraduate degree.

Others on the ballot for today’s election were the Rev. Stacey Fussell, rector at Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Bradford, PA; and the Rev. George D. Smith, rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Today’s historic election will be submitted to bishops and diocesan standing committees for their ratification. Once those consents are received, the service of ordination, by which Johnson becomes a bishop and assumes responsibility for the pastoral and administrative work of the diocese, will take place on Saturday, April 25, at St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic Church in St. Louis. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be the chief consecrator at the service. A reception will follow at the Polish Heritage Center on St. Stanislaus’ grounds. Media are welcome.

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Great Lakes bishop placed on administrative leave

Anglican Ink - Sat, 23/11/2019 - 22:00

A Joint Statement from the Anglican Church in North America and the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes

Information has been brought to the attention of the Archbishop’s Office regarding the Rt. Rev. Ronald Jackson of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes that calls for an investigation to be conducted. To ensure the integrity of the investigation and allow for due process, Bishop Jackson is on administrative leave while a thorough inquiry into these matters is conducted.

During this leave, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes is the ecclesial authority and, in cooperation with the Archbishop’s Office, is ensuring the ongoing mission and ministry of the diocese. Archbishop Beach has appointed the Rt. Rev. John Miller to assist the Standing Committee in its work and to provide temporary pastoral care and ongoing episcopal support to the diocese.

More information will be shared as it becomes available, and we encourage you to refrain from speculation. This statement is a call to prayer, and we ask you and your congregation to join us in lifting up everyone in the diocese:

Prayers for a Diocese

O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese to be a good and godly fellowship of faith. Bless our bishops and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers for the Mission of the Church

O God, our heavenly Father, you manifested your love by sending your only-begotten Son into the world, that all might live through him: Pour out your Spirit on your Church, that we may fulfill his command to preach the Gospel to all people. Send forth laborers into your harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations; and hasten the time when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and faithful Israel shall be saved; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer 2019, pgs. 647, 651)

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Evangelical Anglicans on the Fault Line in New Zealand

Anglican Ink - Sat, 23/11/2019 - 21:53

I have been privileged to visit New Zealand twice this year. On my first visit in May I had time to explore a little of this beautiful land from alpine mountains to the lush forests bordering restless volcanic lakes, but I am still haunted by the sight of the ruined Christchurch Cathedral, its west end still open to the elements after the spire collapsed in the 2011 earthquake.

My second visit in mid-October was for the consecration of the Revd Jay Behan as the first bishop of the new Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand (CCAANZ), an extra provincial diocese under the oversight of the Gafcon Primates Council. While Christchurch Cathedral remains a ruin, courageous Anglicans in New Zealand are taking the first steps to restore the grievously damaged spiritual fabric of Anglican life and witness.

By its decision to allow the blessing of same sex marriages, the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia’s (ACANZP) has forsaken ‘the foundation of the apostles and prophets’ (Eph.2:20) and hope for the future must now lie with this new diocese. It is small, consisting at the moment of just twelve parishes, but no one should underestimate the significance of this historic step. 

The chief consecrator was Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church of North America, and those assisting him included Archbishop Laurent Mbanda of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney. Some 650 people attended the service and greetings came from Anglican Primates around the globe.

New Zealand is now on a spiritual and well as geographic fault line of which attitudes to same sex marriage and relationships are just one indicator. The deeper issue is about the identity of Anglicanism itself. Are we primarily a confessional church, in the sense of being defined by a core doctrinal identity, or are we primarily an institutional church which has developed norms for managing conversations which never reach conclusions?

Whatever their views on the blessing of same sex marriage happen to be, it is quite clear on which side of the fault line the leadership of the ACANZP stand. Archbishops Donald Tamihere and Philip Richardson issued a statement following the Christchurch consecration in which they bemoaned ‘boundary crossing’, especially by bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia and went on to say, ‘the disrespect for the normal protocols of the Anglican Communion and the lack of courtesy shown to our church by these boundary crossing bishops is disturbing and we will be making an appropriate protest about their actions.’

Here we see the spiritual ruin of the old Anglican structures in New Zealand revealed just as starkly as the physical ruin of Christchurch Cathedral. Crossing the boundaries of apostolic faith and teaching is unremarkable and perfectly tolerable. What really offends these Archbishops is not false teaching, but the setting aside of ecclesiastical protocols, notwithstanding that the action is principled and aimed at restoring the very order those protocols were originally intended to preserve.

The greater tragedy of course is that this fault line is now being extended through the whole Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury who has signalled with absolute clarity on which side of the fault line he stands by his decision to invite same sex partnered bishops to the 2020 Lambeth Conference, with faithful Anglicans in North and South America who are recognised by the majority of the Communion nonetheless relegated to the status of ‘ecumenical observers’.

There will be many more tremors and worse to come, but we can take heart that an ever growing number of global Anglicans are looking to that ‘kingdom which cannot be shaken’ (Hebrews 12:28).

First published in Evangelicals Now newspaper.

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GAFCON-Ireland pushes back against claims it is un-Anglican

Anglican Ink - Sat, 23/11/2019 - 14:50

A letter printed in the Irish Times in response to the open letter from liberal Irish clergy urging the Irish bishops to reject the election of David McClay as Bishop of Down and Dromore due to his support of GAFCON.

Sir, – It saddens me that once again The Irish Times has allowed its pages to be used to spread vicious and untrue rumours about Gafcon (Analysis, November 18th, Rite and Reason, November 19th). Far from being schismatic, Gafcon has allowed the vast majority of the Anglican Communion to remain united despite attempts from some to tear the very fabric of our common life.

The pleas of brothers and sisters across the globe have been ignored and the plain teaching of Scripture has been abandoned. Instead there has been a persistent and prolonged attempt to drive the Church of Ireland away from its true Anglican heritage shared by millions across the world. It was my privilege to be at Gafcon in Jerusalem last year, the biggest international gathering of Anglicans in over 50 years. Men and women from more than 50 countries gathered in that great city to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations.

Every Church of Ireland minister is committed to this. At their ordination, they promise to expound the Scriptures and teach the doctrine of the Church of Ireland to all irrespective of gender, race or sexuality.

Anyone reading the Jerusalem Declaration, which sets out the beliefs of the Gafcon movement, will notice that it merely upholds the classical authorities of Anglicanism, the Bible as the word of God written, the Creeds and Councils of the early church, the Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. This is something that every bishop in the Church of Ireland is called to do and what the average church-goer in Ireland expects from their bishop. These are the things that unite us. – Yours, etc,

Rev Timothy Anderson, Chair, Gafcon Ireland

Read here

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Jamaican born woman consecrated Bishop of Dover

Anglican Ink - Fri, 22/11/2019 - 23:42

The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin has been consecrated as the Bishop of Dover at a special service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Rose was consecrated alongside the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, who was made Bishop of Reading.

Rose said: “Beginning this new ministry, there is a sense of awe in it all. But also something refreshing about being open to the new things that God has in store – not just for me as a person taking on this new leadership role, but for our diocese as a whole. I’m excited – I’ve got lots of new people to meet, to get to know, and that fills me with joy.”

The Bishop of Dover is the suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury and holds additional delegated responsibilities for oversight of the diocese. Rose succeeds the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott who retired as Bishop of Dover in May this year. She will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 November.

Welcoming Rose’s appointment into his diocese, the Most Revd and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “When in October Rose stepped down as Chaplain to the Speaker, the tributes from all sides showed her pastoral, prophetic and faith sharing gifts. Even in times of division she was a point of unity and hope, to those of any or no faith. Through much struggle and suffering in her life she has become one of the most exceptional of Christian leaders showing, in word and deed, confidence in Jesus Christ as life, liberty and love. We welcome her, warmly confident that God who has led her this far will walk with her and speak through her.”

Delivering the sermon at the consecration, the Most Revd and Right Honourable John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, said to Rose and Olivia: “Be missionary Bishops who delight in God – and who are exposed daily to the vision of heaven and the tragedies of humankind. And loitering with intent at the intersection where the love of God in Jesus Christ and human need meet. When heaven touches earth, God-incidents happen.”

Read the full text of the sermon here.

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Melanesian diocese elects new bishop

Anglican Ink - Fri, 22/11/2019 - 23:34

The Diocese of Temotu Electoral Board has elected the Reverend Willie Tungale as the sixth bishop for the Diocese of Temotu. Reverend Willie Tungale, 54, succeeds the Most Reverend Leonard Dawea who was enthroned and installed as the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia and Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia in September this year.

Reverend Tungale is currently serving as Chaplain and New Testament Teacher at Mona Community High School in Santa Cruz, Temotu Province; a post he has held since 2012. He was also the Principal and deputy Principal at the said school in 2010 and 2011. He holds a Bachelor of Theology Degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand from 2002 – 2004 and Diploma in Theology from Bishop Patteson Theological College from 1995 – 1998. He also holds a Diploma in Education and Leadership from the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Honiara through DFL mood of study. Revd Tungale comes from Napir Village, Graciousa Bay, Santa Cruz, Temotu Province. He is married to Ruth Tungale and they have five children.

The Consecration and installation service for Revd Willie Tungale into the office of the Bishop will take place on 16th February next year in Lata.

The Archbishop calls on all members of the Anglican Church of Melanesia to uphold Revd Tungale and his family in prayer as they prepare to take on this important responsibility in the church.

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A Prince and an Abuser

Anglican Ink - Fri, 22/11/2019 - 23:23

I made a decision that I would not allow my equilibrium to be disturbed by watching what many have now called the ‘car-crash’ interview of Prince Andrew last Saturday.  And yet even without watching the Newsnight programme, I have drawn out, from the extensive commentary, some telling parallels with the safeguarding scandals of the Church and elsewhere.   The question of whether Andrew ever met the woman he is accused of having sex with is not the central issue at one level.  As with the many cases of sexual abuse in the Church of England, it is just one event in the miasma of numerous half-truths, denials and examples of cruel behaviour.  How many times have we heard in various contexts the denial which comes in the form of ‘I have no recollection’ when abusers or colluders are faced with claims of abuse?  Such forgetfulness does not impress an observer or here, a television viewer.  It does have the advantage of being an answer that allows no follow-up question.  A protestation of ‘I don’t remember’ will always close down that part of the interview.  Perhaps that is why such a response was fed into the interview by Andrew’s publicity machine.

The most important part of the interview seems to have been what was not discussed.  Andrew mentioned sleepless nights of self-recrimination for not being more careful in his friendship with Epstein.  Having had nine years to think about this friendship after the full horror of Epstein’s behaviour had come out into the open, you might wonder why Andrew has never given any thought to the victims.  The focus in his mind was on the damage to himself, his family and the institution that he represented.  In other words, the victims/survivors of Epstein’s behaviour never entered into the royal awareness.  He certainly had nothing in the way of regret or sympathy for their situation.

There are a number of words that seem to be appropriate in describing Andrew’s attitude.  The words might include elitism, arrogance, failure of empathy and a deficit of imagination.  If we are really to believe that Andrew saw nothing odd about the clusters of very young girls in the various mansions where Epstein entertained his guests, this suggests a chronic naivety and blindness.   In short, Andrew felt himself to be too important to notice such details.  Other people were apparently there to amuse him, buy him drinks and generally provide for his needs.  From a psychological point of view, we are observing chronic narcissistic behaviour.  The individual sees himself at the centre; other people are there to be used and tolerated while they can provide gratification.  Being royal allowed Andrew to offer one thing in return, his momentary royal attention.  For some people, mesmerised by the institution of royalty, two or three words from such an Important Person can boost a flagging ego for a long time.

Why do I link the Church’s safeguarding crisis with Andrew’s poor interview performance?  It is because I see many sad parallels.  In Andrew’s interview there was the effective air-brushing away of the suffering of many hundreds of innocent victims.  His claim was that he was not a perpetrator at any point could possibly be true, but, by failing ever to speak up for the girls, we saw how to him such individuals had no value and were beneath his princely attention.   No doubt he wished, as Epstein would have done, the complaints of the victims to be shut down and silenced.  The way the Church has often failed to acknowledge victims and allow them an honourable place in its corporate consciousness seems to be a similar phenomenon.  Every time a Bishop ‘forgets’ a disclosure of abuse or a church leader helps to cover up decades of abuse, it is eerily close to Andrew omitting to mention anything about the victims of his friend Epstein.

One issue that my blog has given a possibly disproportionate amount of time to is the Smyth/Fletcher affair.  Events from so long ago might in other settings lose some of their potency after 30 plus years.  But to repeat, the safeguarding crises in the Churches have never been only or even mainly about the abusive events of the past.  It is about the cover-ups that have followed.  People who watched the Andrew interview on Saturday are rightly alarmed at the accusations levelled against the prince.  But they are probably just as alarmed by the twists and turns of his publicity machine as it has tried to help extricate him from his appalling choices.   What is especially damaging about the Andrew affair is his persistent refusal to own up properly to what happened in the past.  However ghastly and unroyal, a clean breast of the behaviour of a younger man might just have earned public forgiveness.   The denials and unconvincing story lines invented by public relations experts have done the opposite.  It is hard to see how Andrew will ever live down what passed in the interview on Saturday night.

The effective demise of Prince Andrew as a public figure may have begun last Saturday.  A similar process may be in operation in the Church of England as well.  Here the ‘car-crash’ has not yet happened but there are many signs that people in and outside the Church are becoming weary of the spin and cover-up that seems endemic in parts of the Church.  The church body as a whole may seem healthy with the founding of new congregations and signs of growth in various parts of the institution.  But readers of this blog will know what I am talking about when I say that there are areas of serious disease within the body.  Since the safeguarding crisis has become public knowledge, it has become more and more apparent that many, if not the majority, of our church leaders have been complicit in suppressing information about the past.   What information is publicly available has in every case come from survivors and the work of investigative journalism.   Channel 4 broke the Smyth episode and the Daily Telegraph came up with the outlines of a story about the activities of Jonathan Fletcher.  That process will not stop.

The hierarchy of the Church of England are clearly aware of the full dimensions of all the hidden scandals and many of them are fearful of more press disclosures.  One particular group that has more to fear than most are the network of conservative leaders that form part of the Renew Constituency.   Numerically this group is not large, but over the years they have presided over many of the institutions with the darkest secrets.  It is possible to speak of Iwerne/Renew/Church Society/AMiE together with a cluster of massively wealthy parishes, such as St Helen’s Bishopsgate, as a single entity.  Following the closure of REFORM and the re-organisation of the other groups into the Renew network, the Vicar of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, William Taylor, has become the most powerful figure in this group.  He and Hugh Palmer, the Rector of All Souls Langham Place have together been working within the conservative networks for many decades.  It is not unreasonable to conclude that their current silence and irregular approach to safeguarding (the curious messages sent out to churches after the Fletcher scandal broke) are consonant with an extensive knowledge of the shameful things that have gone on in the past.  If these leaders were truly innocent of any information about the Smyth/Fletcher outrages, you would expect their churches to be at the forefront in offering massive help to those in their constituency who have been affected.  Instead appeals for pastoral support there seem to meet with a patrician silence.  As with Prince Andrew, survivors are apparently too unimportant to care about.  

Prince Andrew has shown to the world that his first concern, in his blinkered view of the world, is to himself and the institution of the Royal Family that he so poorly represents.   The Church in its lamentable history of care for its own victims has also shown a blindness to anything but its own reputation and the survival of the institution.  The failure to come clean about the past is enormously damaging.  The eventual realisation by ordinary people of what has been hidden from them by people they had always looked up to in respect will cause a shocking sense of betrayal and disillusionment which will reverberate for decades to come.

The post A Prince and an Abuser appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

Review of Trevor Devamanikkam abuse case announced by CoE

Anglican Ink - Fri, 22/11/2019 - 23:06

Safeguarding consultant Jane Humphreys has been appointed as the independent reviewer into the Church of England’s handling of the allegations relating to the late Revd Trevor Devamanikkam.

Jane brings more than 30 years of experience from the statutory sector having previously been a director of children’s and adult services (see biography below).

The aim of the review is to identify both good practice and failings in the handling of these allegations, in order that the Church of England can take steps to enhance and improve its response to allegations of abuse and thereby ensure a safer environment for all.

The reviewer will look at written and verbal evidence from the survivor who brought the original allegation of abuse.

The reviewer will also make contact with the relevant archbishop and bishops as well as those safeguarding professionals in the Church who dealt with the allegations and external agencies.

The review will be published in full except for jigsaw identification details.

Melissa Caslake, the Church of England’s national director of safeguarding, said: “We are very pleased that Jane has agreed to take on this vital piece of work to enable the Church to learn lessons. We have listened to concerns about the importance of independence in this work and we believe Jane’s wealth of professional experience fits this criterion. We hope the review will be completed and published during 2020.”

Jane Humphreys said: “As an independent reviewer I am committed to working in a transparent way and will ensure that anyone who wishes to provide evidence to the Review will be heard. I will also ensure that all relevant documents relating to the Church’s handling of this case are looked at so lessons can be learnt to enable the Church to be a safer place for all.

Jane is a highly experienced Senior Social Care Consultant, and previous Director of Children’s and Adult’s Services with a career spanning more than 30 years. Having trained as a social worker she worked in a number of local authorities  becoming a director of children’s and adult services in 2008. She currently specialises in change management and has a proven track record of directing service reviews and ensuring preparation for Ofsted and CQC inspections. Jane is also undertaking some work for the Local Government Association as a children’s improvement adviser. She is committed to supporting families and service users, and driving improvements in service delivery in a range of organisations. She also has broad based expertise in chairing Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards. 

The post Review of Trevor Devamanikkam abuse case announced by CoE appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.

Archbishop Beach writes to ACNA members in preparation for Christ the King Sunday

Anglican Ink - Fri, 22/11/2019 - 22:44

A letter from Archbishop Foley Beach

As followers of Jesus in the modern world, we can often get side-tracked by all the noise of technology, social media, politics, and busy schedules and forget what our lives are to be about in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul reminded his disciple, Timothy, what Jesus has commanded for us all: “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).” True love flows from a heart that is pure, a conscience that is clear, and faith that is real.

Paul was reinforcing the teaching of Jesus: “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34,35).” The commandment to love was not new for the people of God; this is what the Law taught. What was new in the commandment was to love as Jesus loved. His love was different, so much so that He tells His followers to abide (remain) in His love and His joy would not only be in them, but their joy would be full (John 15:9-12). If we are to abide in His love and to love others as He has loved us, we must ask the question: how has He loved us? Let me share four ways.

1. HE SHARED HIMSELF. This is what the Church calls the Incarnation, God entering the human race. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).” He set aside His divinity, His glory, and His majesty, and entered into our world as one of us. He became a human being. “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9).”

How do we love like Jesus loved? We share ourselves with others; we enter into their worlds. Whether this is a spouse, friend, neighbor, co-worker, child, or unbeliever, we leave the comfortableness of our world and go into theirs. We leave our glory, go humble ourselves, and enter into their world. Too many attempts to share Jesus with others are rooted in an expectation that “the other” come to us. But like Jesus, love is expressed when we leave our world, our culture, our network of friends, and enter to the others’ world and share in their lives.

2. HE SERVED OTHERS. Jesus expressed His love with action and deeds in serving. He taught, He performed miracles to help and heal people, He traveled great distances, and He even washed his disciples’ feet, the cultural role of a servant. Jesus explained his actions of love in this way: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).”

This may sound strange to you, but real love is about the other person. It is not about you or me. When you love someone, it is not about the romantic feelings you might have. It is about the other. Jesus modeled His love by serving others. As followers of Jesus (disciples), we express love by serving others. Those of us in leadership roles must ask: Am I a serving leader or a self-serving leader? Jesus loved by serving.

3. HE SACRIFICED. Jesus expressed his love by His sacrifice, His death on the cross. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 13:15).” He sacrificed Himself so that we have forgiveness of our sins. He sacrificed Himself so that we might have a relationship with God. He sacrificed Himself when he didn’t have to. The Apostle John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).” The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).”

How do we love one another as Jesus loved us? We sacrifice for others. We pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus. That is, we die to self and live for God. We sacrifice our selfishness and self-centeredness. We live as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

This does not mean that we compromise what is right and what is true. We do not set aside the commandments of God in the name of love. Love is sacrificing self to follow the commandments of God. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me, and the life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

4. HE REMAINED STEADFAST. Jesus was committed to His mission. He was resolute, dedicated, and unwavering. This is love. The writer to the Hebrews says it this way: “Let us fi x our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down on the right hand on the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:2,3).”

Too many of us have bought into the “love is a feeling” philosophy of our culture. If I feel love, I love. If I don’t feel love, I don’t love. If I fall in love, I get married. If I fall out of love, I get divorced. The Apostle Paul contradicts this definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 saying that love is not about how I feel: “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious. Love is not arrogant. Love is not rude. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is not irritable. Love is not resentful. Love does not rejoice in sinful behavior. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:7,8).” Jesus modeled this kind of love.

Brothers and sisters, the aim of our charge is love. As the Anglican Church in North America, we are attempting to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Let’s ask God to help us to do this. During the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, let us reach out to others with the love of Jesus Christ.


The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate

The post Archbishop Beach writes to ACNA members in preparation for Christ the King Sunday appeared first on Anglican Ink © 2019.


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