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Can bishops save the Church?

Earlier this week, Adrian Hilton (who writes the Archbishop Cranmer blog) reprised his hosting of Martyn Percy’s views with the offering of a new set of 95 Theses, in the year of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s original. (Contrary to suggestions in online discussion, Luther’s are not dull and rambling, and are worth a […]

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Personal disclosure within preaching

How much should I share of my personal experience in the context of preaching? This is a perennial question facing anyone in ministry in the local church—and relevant to speaking on other occasions too. My first encounter with the issue arose when I was a teenager. I remember one of the lay preachers in the […]

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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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Searching for Super(wo)man…?

Three years ago, Trinity College Bristol were looking for a new Principal, and for some reason several people drew this to my attention. So I looked at the ad, and this is what I found they were looking for: a person of integrity, humility and wisdom; a leader of leaders, who thrives on the sharing and multiplying of leadership; […]

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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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The Wounds of a Leader

I have been at New Wine B this week, and at the early morning meetings Simon Ponsonby (from St Aldate’s, Oxford) has been reflected on verses from 2 Corinthians. This morning we reflected on perhaps some of the most challenging: I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and […]

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Why our leaders need good training

On today’s General Synod agenda, we were scheduled to discuss a report on ‘Nurturing and discerning senior leaders’. In the event, we ended up adding a debate on the EU Referendum and the consequences for our thinking about division in society, and the debate on leadership has been postponed (I am not entirely sure until […]

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What does Communion do for us?

I have been contributing to the Church’s Renewal and Reform stream on developing lay leadership, and one of the questions that has come up is: ‘What does the Church of England actually believe about the laity and lay leadership?’ I am not referring here to what some have called ‘ecclesial lay leadership’, that is, the […]

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Are clergy and laity fundamentally different?

One of the key challenges facing the Church of England is the decline in numbers of clergy, and the language expressing the urgency of addressing this has sometimes suggested that the Church cannot exist without clergy. This has in turn raised the question of the status and importance of lay ministry. I have therefore written […]

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Challenging Bullying in Churches

Following my post last week about Rosemary Power’s new Grove booklet Challenging Bullying in Churches, I was sent this review from a fellow clergy person, drawing on that person’s own experience. I know who the author is, but the review is (understandably) offered anonymously. Nobody likes to be called a bully—and while it’s good to believe […]

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