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How much are clergy worth?

Just before Christmas, Alan Bartlett’s moving comments about clergy stress were published in the Daily Telegraph. As a vicar, I know better than anyone why so many clergy are close to the edge…In my last three months in the parish, for example, I conducted the funerals of three young women: one died of a drugs […]

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A plea for inclusion

In response to my observation’s about the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Ozanne Foundation and its supporters, David Bennett, a gay celibate Christian, makes this appeal. David is originally from Australia and, having studied at Oxford, he is now undertaking research at St Andrew’s, Scotland. His book A War of Loves is due out later this […]

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Why did Jesus come?

Thousands of sermons and talks up and down the land will have attempted to answer this question in the last week. Why did Jesus come, and what are we celebrating at Christmas? Justin Welby’s sermon in Canterbury on Christmas Day focussed on the theme of freedom or liberation: In the manger is something completely different […]

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What does Christmas mean?

Despite not preaching at Christmas services this year, for some reason I have found myself thinking about the meaning of Christmas more this year than most. To stimulate your thinking this Christmas Day, I simply offer two things—one ancient, the other modern, neither mine. The ancient focuses on the meaning of Christmas—or rather the incarnation—for […]

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‘Is the new Bishop of London any good?’

If nothing else, the announcement that Sarah Mullally was to be the new Bishop of London was entertaining in the way that it flummoxed all the pundits and predictors. As the inimitable Richard Coles put it: ‘In your faces, haruspices‘. But then followed the slightly predictable rush to judgement, with a number of comments made […]

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Should Christmas carols be biblical?

I am aware that all the readers of this blog are fastidious in their strict observance of liturgical seasons. So I am confident that, during this season of Advent, you will have only allowed yourself to sing Advent carols, and will not yet have either sung or planned to sing anything about Christmas until that […]

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Should we preach at Carol services?

A couple of years ago, David Walker, the bishop of Manchester, conducted some research on the distinctive needs of occasional attenders who might come to Christmas services, but don’t attend the rest of the year. This appears to be an important group; I have noticed each year how many people are reporting increased attendances at […]

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(May 27, 2011)  Bishop Robert Hermann elevates the Blessed Sacraments of the Eucharist and Precious Blood.  (Photo by Lisa Johnston)

Can Anglo-Catholic churches grow?

Richard Peers writes: Not so many years ago it was generally accepted that the Church of England was a finely balanced three-legged stool of Anglo-Catholics, evangelicals and the liberal establishment. The debate about the ordination of women has diminished Anglo-Catholicism both in numbers and in the diversion of energy – particularly of our best leaders and organisers. […]

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Is David Bosch’s ‘missio Dei’ an error?

Michael Lakey writes: If the literature is any guide, the work of David Jacobus Bosch constitutes for many missiologists one of the major recent theological loci of critical reflection upon the nature and ends of Christian mission.[1] A Dutch-heritage, Protestant scholar, whose adult life coincided with the apartheid era in the Republic of South Africa (RSA), […]

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