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Can we Dethrone Mammon?

Ven. Dr Gordon Kuhrt reviews Justin Welby’s Lent book Dethroning Mammon: Mammon is money or possessions when they are enthroned. The author says there is nothing wrong with money in itself, but when it exercises supreme power (is enthroned) it becomes mammon: evil, destructive and dangerous. A Foreword commending the book is from Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche movement which now has nearly 150 […]

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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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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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Is Church decline the fault of poor leadership?

In the summer, and after a year’s delay, Bloomsbury published That Was the Church That Was by Andrew Brown and Linda Woodhead. Woodhead is professor of sociology of religion at the University of Lancaster, and Brown has been a religious correspondent for a national newspaper for many years. So you might expect them both to know what they are […]

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What should ecumenical unity look like?

Last the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, meets Pope Francis in Rome, their third meeting since taking office. There was a time when such meeting at all, let alone with this frequency, would have been considered unthinkable, and this meeting will celebrate the first meeting of an Archbishop of Canterbury with the Pope since the Reformation—that […]

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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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Justin Welby and the Fiery Cauldron of a Broken Family

Andrew Atherstone writes: One of the precious family letters treasured by Lady Jane Williams (the Archbishop of Canterbury’s mother) dates from December 1973, shortly before her son’s 18th birthday. It is written by Justin Welby’s housemaster at Eton College and is a frank tribute to the “tenacity” and “bravery” displayed by the young man during his […]

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Should we fix the date of Easter?

I don’t really know Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury (he was appointed after I left the diocese), but he appears to have a deep capacity for irony. Apparently he believes that fixing the date of Easter is going to be more complicated than agreeing on the status of same-sex unions: If the Primates of the […]

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Are we allowed to fear immigration?

When you wake up to hear that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the lead item on the morning news, then you feel something has either gone very right or something has gone very wrong. That’s what I felt last Friday, and the comments that prompted the headlines were in Justin Welby’s interview with Parliament’s The House magazine. […]

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Jesus and Paul on ministry and discipleship

During his address to the New Wine Leaders Conference in Harrogate this week, Justin Welby focussed on Paul’s defence of his ministry in 1 Cor 4.1–9 as part of his challenge to embrace the cost of ministry: we should be willing to suffer as Paul did. This was given particular poignancy by reference to the […]

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Can the C of E do evangelism?

One of Justin Welby’s personal commitments for his time in office is to prioritise evangelism. With the Archbishop of York he set up the Evangelism Task Group as part of Archbishops’ Council, and it reported to Synod earlier this month. Introducing it, Welby emphasised the centrality of evangelism to the life of the church: On […]

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