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 … Continue Reading

Receiving Communion in individual cups: round two

Andrew Atherstone writes: As the Church of England undertakes its “Covid Recovery” planning, the question of individual cups at Holy Communion continues to gather pace. As is widely known, the House of Bishops have taken refuge behind a 2011 paper from the Legal Advisory Commission (LAC) which summarily pronounced individual cups to be “contrary to … Continue Reading

(How) can we celebrate Holy Communion as ‘online’ church?

Last weekend there was some anxiety, a few woes, but much elation at the first experience of being ‘online church’. There was most anxiety about technical challenges, but many reported a positive experience—and higher numbers attracted to online participation than usually attended in person. The situation this weekend offers new challenges: with the ‘lockdown’ measures … Continue Reading

The democratic deficit in the EU

One of the central claims of those supporting leaving the EU is that the current arrangements represent an unacceptable democratic deficit. This is writ large over Boris Johnson’s Telegraph article announcing his support of the Leave vote. Above all, we will be told that whatever the democratic deficiencies, we would be better off remaining in because of … Continue Reading

Does the C of E ordain ‘priests’?

Over the summer I enjoyed reading Graham Tomlin’s recent book The Widening Circle: priesthood as God’s way of blessing the world. Graham has just moved from being Principal of St Mellitus College in London, which has been seen as the pioneer of the new pattern of ‘contextual’ ordination training, to become Bishop of Kensington. I had … Continue Reading

The Ethical Case for Voting Reform

One of the many reactions to the result of the General Election earlier this year was a renewed call for electoral reform. The reason for this can be shown by a simple analysis of the number of votes needed for each seat in Parliament for the different parties: Votes Seats Votes per seat Con 11,162,553 … Continue Reading

Is baptism enough?

Anglicans often get into difficulties with baptism. On the one hand, there continues to be a difference of view between those who are happy with the Church’s policy of baptising people of any age (i.e. including infants) and a minority who would take a more Anabaptist position and associate baptism with articulated profession of faith by the … Continue Reading