On bishops, politics and Rwanda

The bishops of the Church of England have hit the headlines by writing to The Times in protest at the Government’s plan to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda for treatment. Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation. Rwanda is a brave country … Continue Reading

Was Paul a universalist?

It seems that universalism—the idea that God is somehow present in all people, or that all will experience ‘salvation’ without differentiation—is the widespread and mostly unreflected assumption of many in the C of E. I offered a critique of this a couple of years ago, in response to a comment made by the Archbishop of … Continue Reading

On the appointment of senior leaders in the Church

On 6th January, it was announced that Stephen Knott, who has been working as part of the Lambeth Palace team, was appointed to be Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments in succession to Caroline Boddington. The role has attracted attention in the past, since Caroline developed the role so that it had significant control over the process … Continue Reading

Does ‘Bleeding for Jesus’ help resolve abuse issues?

Many people have told me that Bleeding for Jesus by Andrew Graystone is ‘essential reading’, and I take this recommendation seriously for three reasons. First, I have known Andrew for some years, and engaged him to teach media and communications skills at the theological college where I taught. Secondly, as an evangelical of many years, … Continue Reading

Statement on the criminalisation of LGBTQI+ people

It has been reported that leaders of the Anglican Church in Ghana are supporting a parliamentary bill that would strengthen harsh criminal sentences for same-sex sexual activity, criminalise people who advocate for LGBT rights, and even punish people just for identifying as LGBT. You can read a memorandum on the legislation here. We are aware that there … Continue Reading

Should church buildings close during lockdowns?

When the first lockdown was announced on 23rd March this year, it was followed fairly swiftly by the announcement from Church of England bishops that, going beyond what was legally required or requested, that church buildings should be shut definitively. Not only were there to be no physical gatherings of congregations, clergy were not to … Continue Reading

Responding to Dominic Cummings

It is not often that a single story dominates everyone’s online conversation—yet that is what happened over the weekend, when I found that just about all my Facebook friends were commenting on the same issue. And it is not often that the bishops of the Church of England appear to speak with one voice on … Continue Reading

Learning from the case of Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier was a French-Canadian Roman Catholic lay philosopher and theologian, until recently best known for his establishment of the network of L’Arche communities that aimed to integrate the lives of the able-bodied with the disabled, so that each learned from and supported the other. He was originally an academic, completing a PhD on Aristotle … Continue Reading