Was Jesus black?

One of the (several) highly contentious issues in the Church of England at the moment is the question of racism, its extent in the Church, and appropriate and effective responses to it. It has long been a question of interest to me, since soon after coming to faith I felt that God might be calling … Continue Reading

Jesus the bread of life in John 6

We continue through our careful reading of John 6 as an intermission from Mark’s gospel, and on Trinity 9 in Year B the gospel reading is John 6.24–35. Having romped through 21 verses last week, which include the Fourth Gospel’s lengthier version of the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on water (though in a … Continue Reading

Can the C of E plant new churches and retain the parish system?

There has been a rather heated debate in the last few weeks about new church-planting initiatives in the Church of England, particularly with recent reporting of an initiative called Myriad, and its partnership with the Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication. The Gregory Centre describes itself in these terms: The Gregory Centre for Church Multiplication supports … Continue Reading

Should we withhold the giving of wine in Holy Communion?

Thomas Renz writes: Decisions that had to be made in response to the current pandemic previously prompted me to write briefly on the history of withholding the cup, on arguments against it, on the Communion of the sick, on the doctrines of transubstantiation and concomitance, and on God’s real presence, pondering the implications for celebrating … Continue Reading

The feeding of the 5000 in John 6

The lectionary takes us from famine to feast—metaphorically and literally!—as we move from the sparse verses about Jesus’ ministry in Mark 6 to the lavish feast of both the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on the water in John 6. Whilst we might have struggled to find a sermon on last week’s readings, there … Continue Reading

How to simply grow the church

Yesterday I had a delightful, brief conversation with a friend about what is happening in different dioceses. Friend: Our bishop has turned our diocese around. Me: How has he done that? Friend: By not cutting clergy posts, and not appointing an archdeacon. Instead we have focussed on the question of stewardship. Me: Surely it isn’t … Continue Reading

What are Paul Bayes’ goals for the church on sexuality?

Andrew Goddard writes: In an earlier article I looked at three changes which Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool, recently said he wanted to see regarding inclusion and sexuality and wondered whether there might be the possibility of agreement but also highlighted the need for clarifications. Looking ahead to outcomes of the LLF process, Bishop Paul … Continue Reading