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The discourse of the sexuality debate

I am reluctant to comment too frequently on sexuality, not least because there are other pressing issues, and some which might not be urgent but are rather important and deserve our attention. But there is a lot going on just now, and the intensity of debate will continue for the next few months at least until […]

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Is Church decline the fault of poor leadership?

In the summer, and after a year’s delay, Bloomsbury published That Was the Church That Was by Andrew Brown and Linda Woodhead. Woodhead is professor of sociology of religion at the University of Lancaster, and Brown has been a religious correspondent for a national newspaper for many years. So you might expect them both to know what they are […]

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Letter to the College of Bishops

I am publishing here, with permission, a letter that has been sent to all members of the College of Bishops prior to their next meeting to decide what proposals to bring to General Synod in February. I am not offering here a full exposition of the text, but there are a few things worth noting […]

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Is Pastoral Accommodation the way forward?

Andrew Goddard writes: As we move from shared conversation to shared deliberation, initially among the bishops, there are a number of important elements which must be at the heart of the discussion. We do not start from a blank sheet. The Church of England has set out its official teaching and discipline in relation to sexuality […]

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What should ecumenical unity look like?

Last the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, meets Pope Francis in Rome, their third meeting since taking office. There was a time when such meeting at all, let alone with this frequency, would have been considered unthinkable, and this meeting will celebrate the first meeting of an Archbishop of Canterbury with the Pope since the Reformation—that […]

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Do we need common prayer?

Over at Living Church, the US Episcopal Church website, they have been hosting a discussion about liturgy and unity prompted by the prospect of revision of the 1979 Prayer Book. Andrew Pearson, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama, questions whether doctrinal unity (such as it is) should be maintained through notional commitment […]

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Do we need more vicars?

The Church of England has just released two related reports on numbers in ordained ministry. These are not related to annual ministry figures; the last figures (from 2015) were released in June, and caught the headlines for a number of reasons. These reports are related more to the aims of the Renewal and Reform process, […]

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What does ‘full inclusion’ mean?

Andrew Goddard writes: At the heart of much discussion about sexuality is the subject of inclusion. A number of developments in the last few weeks have helpfully highlighted the problems and limits of this language. Full inclusion as full participation in lay and ordained ministry in the Church Last weekend the recently appointed Bishop of Grantham […]

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The Bishop of Grantham and ‘crossing a line’

This week I was planning to reflect on the relationship between compassion and power in John 11, and on what helps disciples to grow. But quite a lot happened over the weekend, and it deserves some comment. The one that has grabbed the headlines was the announcement by the Guardian, late on Friday night, that […]

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