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

Prayers of Love and Faith: The C of E’s Brexit moment?

Andrew Goddard writes: When serving on the Co-ordinating Group of Living in Love and Faith (LLF) from 2017 to 2020 there were inevitably parallels drawn at various points between our work and the contemporaneous national Brexit debate. How was the way we were handling in the Church of the England the complex, seemingly irresolvable, and divisive … Continue Reading

What does the gospel say to family life today?

In March 2021, the Archbishops commissioned a project to look at issues around family and households; this was the third of four Commissioners arising from Justin Welby’s 2018 book Reimagining Britain (which I reviewed here), the previous ones covering housing and care respectively, alongside the ongoing commission on racial justice. Before I read the report myself, I … Continue Reading

Archbishops, politics, and migration policy

I was invited yesterday to take part in a discussion this morning on ITV’s Good Morning Britain—but they wanted someone in the studio rather than on Zoom. The question to discuss was: does the Christian faith say something about politics, and should church leaders ‘interfere’ in politics. Introducing the item (at 7.20 am), the presenter … Continue Reading

Can we square the Living in Love and Faith circle?

Andrew Goddard writes: In his recent critical profile of Archbishop Justin Welby, Giles Fraser recalls interviewing him in 2012 when he wrote of the then Bishop of Durham whose name was becoming prominent as a likely successor to Rowan Williams, On the subject of women bishops he speaks of the need to square the circle, reconciling … Continue Reading

Grieving the Anglican Communion: English Primacy and the Anglican Consultative Council

Andrew Atherstone writes: After the high drama of the Church of England’s General Synod, we had one day to wash and repack before flying to Ghana for the eighteenth plenary meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-18), hosted by the Province of West Africa. It was like being evacuated from the battlefield to a temporary sanctuary, … Continue Reading