What does it take to reimagine Britain?

Justin Welby had already left a significant legacy from the first half of his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury. The swift resolution to the inherited crisis of finding a workable settlement in relation to women bishops; the instigation of the Renewal and Reform programme; reorienting the Church’s administration and finances towards mission; the re-estalishment of evangelism as a priority; the prayer initiative around Thy Kingdom Come; and even the personal success of (just about) ‘putting Wonga out of business’—all these have been significant achievements. There have been frustrations and set-backs to. The discussions about sexuality drag on interminably without any sign of resolution or even a fragile peace breaking out in the war of words; and despite Welby’s intensive efforts at building relationships, trust across the Anglican Communion appears to be at an all-time low. 

Welby’s latest book, Reimagining Britain, is an ambitious attempt to picture what Britain might look like, in the light of its present situation, its recent past, and the influence of Christian thinking, in a hopeful future. It is full of detailed analysis across an impressive range of areas, and offers much detailed comment in suggestions of issues that need addressing. But I must confess it left me with more questions than answers. 

Why we should listen to Vicky Beeching

Vicky Beeching, Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole and Living Free from Shame (William Collins, 2018)  Jayne Ozanne, Just Love: A Journey of Self-Acceptance (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2018) Andrew Atherstone writes: In a remarkable symbiosis, two new autobiographies have hit the shelves from two of the Church of England’s most prominent LGBT campaigners, published within a … Continue Reading

Reading Scripture with our past, with others and with God

My latest Grove booklet is on How to Interpret the Bible. After exploring the four questions of genre (kind of writing), (historical) context, content and canon, I offer the following conclusion. You might by now be wondering ‘What happened to simple, believing reading of the Bible that I was taught to do when I first came … Continue Reading

How to interpret the Bible

Many ordinary readers of the Bible feel very nervous when interpretation is mentioned. For some, ‘interpretation’ means ‘making the Bible mean what it doesn’t say.’ For others, it becomes the realm of experts who are schooled in complex issues of language and philosophy and threatens to remove the possibility of reading for themselves. They are … Continue Reading