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The church changed its mind on slavery. Why not on sex?

Will Jones writes: It rarely takes long in any discussion about a controversial ethical issue amongst Christians for someone to bring up slavery. Slavery is the great exemple of how Christian thinking has changed on a key ethical issue. Christians in the past permitted slavery, practised slavery, defended slavery. Scripture clearly permits slavery in certain circumstances, […]

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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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Truth and falsehood in Synod debates

Simon Butler has today made a response to my claim that he made false claims about me to Synod and, though I don’t think that public exchanges of statements are the best way to resolve things, his statement requires that I clarify further than I have already done. (My first explanation and his statement can be found […]

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On Synod, sexuality, and not ‘Taking note’

Yesterday the General Synod of the Church of England debated the report offered by the House of Bishops outlining where we had got to in the debate about sexuality. The form of the debate was unusual; rather than proposing anything, the motion was simply to ‘Take note’ of the report, which essentially means acknowledging that […]

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Jeremy Pemberton loses employment appeal

It was announced yesterday that Jeremy Pemberton has lost all appeals at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that he brought in relation to his Employment Tribunal (ET) case brought against Richard Inwood, Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham. At one level there is not much to say on this, since the EAT has confirmed in […]

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The pragmatics of the sexuality debate

I offer here the second of three planned reflections on the sexuality debate—before returning to the bigger questions such as question of biblical interpretation, the importance of apocalyptic. Adrian Hilton recently published an exchange of six letters (three each) with Martyn Percy, Dean of Christchurch, Oxford, and in the last one Percy claims that:  I am […]

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What does ‘full inclusion’ mean?

Andrew Goddard writes: At the heart of much discussion about sexuality is the subject of inclusion. A number of developments in the last few weeks have helpfully highlighted the problems and limits of this language. Full inclusion as full participation in lay and ordained ministry in the Church Last weekend the recently appointed Bishop of Grantham […]

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The Bishop of Grantham and ‘crossing a line’

This week I was planning to reflect on the relationship between compassion and power in John 11, and on what helps disciples to grow. But quite a lot happened over the weekend, and it deserves some comment. The one that has grabbed the headlines was the announcement by the Guardian, late on Friday night, that […]

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Journeying in grace and truth?

This weekend, General Synod are having their own ‘Share Conversations’ on sexuality as the closing event of this process in the Church. I was a bit fed up to learn that members were going to be circulated with not one but two books advocating (in some way or other) for a change in the Church’s […]

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