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Is Synod competent?

The General Synod of the Church of England (of which I am a member) met last week in York, and there were many good things about it. We spend most of Saturday afternoon exploring some exciting developments from the ‘centre’ offering resources to dioceses and churches in the task of evangelism and the making of disciples. […]

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A Cardinal adjusts his mitria cap as he attendsthe celebration of the Easter Vigil service presided [by German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger] in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 26, 2005. [For the first time in his pontificate, now in its 27th year, the Pope has been forced to delegate senior cardinals to represent him at all Holy Week leading up to Easter on Sunday.] - RTXNCSN

Why bishops should throw away their mitres

Why do Church of England bishops wear mitres? In our age of visual media, there is a tendency to reach for visual symbolism; it seems sometimes that those on television they don’t think they are actually talking to a bishop unless the person is wearing a purple cassock. But there are many reasons for saying […]

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Should evangelicals be embarrassed by Newcastle?

There have been some strange goings on amongst evangelical Anglicans in Newcastle in recent days. Peter Carrell, who is Director at Theology House and Director of Education in the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch, New Zealand, offered this succinct summary, together with his reaction to the events, which I reproduce here with permission. In the last […]

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Sex and morality in Church and society

Following the debate in General Synod on the House of Bishop’s report on the Shared Conversations, various bishops have been making statements to their dioceses outlining their reflections on the debate and where we have got to as a Church. Perhaps the most striking was that made by Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, in […]

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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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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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Should bishops come from a ‘talent pool’?

The Church of England appears to have a double-minded approach to secular, business expertise. On the one hand, it often wilfully ignores it, to its detriment. At other times, it appears to embrace it uncritically, disconnecting it from theological insight. There is certainly no doubt that, in a number of places, the Church needs to […]

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What are (women) bishops for?

I am heading back (on Sunday) from what I can only describe as an inspirational service at Canterbury Cathedral where my friend Rob Innes was ordained as the new Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. (Yes, formal Anglican services can be inspirational!). The recent debate about women bishops (which might continue, for reasons below) raises the […]

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Mitre joints

Last night Louis Theroux was at his best, achieving the near-impossible of giving a balanced view on ultra-Zionists in Israel. It was particularly interesting, late on in the show, to hear Arabs in Hebron complain about Jews moving into the heart of the city, pushing the Arabs out, for the Jews to respond ‘This is […]

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