Once more: whither the Church of England?

On Monday there was a (comparatively) early release of the 2023 Statistics for Mission, the results of the annual October collection of attendance numbers in Church of England churches. The headline was all about the good news! Weekly Church attendance up five per cent in third year of consecutive growth Average weekly attendance at Church … Continue Reading

Why is the Ascension of Jesus the most important event in the New Testament?

What would you identify as the climax and completion of Jesus’ life and ministry? Surprisingly, this is not a trivial question. One of the key differences between John and the synoptic gospels is that, where the synoptics portray the crucifixion as a necessary but incomplete act on the way to the resurrection, John portrays it … Continue Reading

The followers of Jesus are kept, sanctified and sent in John 17

The Sunday lectionary gospel reading for Easter 7 in Year B is John 17.6–19, the central section of Jesus’ so-called ‘High Priestly Prayer’. The reading omits the introduction and opening sentences of the prayer, and stops short before the often-quoted ‘that they might be one’; I have previously commented on the use of this phrase, … Continue Reading

The followers of Jesus are kept, sanctified and sent in John 17 video discussion

The Sunday lectionary gospel reading for Easter 7 in Year B is John 17.6–19, the central section of Jesus’ so-called ‘High Priestly Prayer’. It continues to weave in a range of interconnected ideas from earlier in the gospel, drawing them together into a picture of Jesus’ followers sanctified in the world and sent to proclaim … Continue Reading