On bishops, creation and the environment

Last week, the Diocese of Oxford posted a video, the first in a planned series of four, in which Olivia Graham, the recently-appointed bishop of Reading, gave a short theological introduction to the reasons why Christians should be concerned about the environment. In it, I think she said some unusual and (it turned out controversial) … Continue Reading

Stephen Cottrell’s Ministry Manifesto

In the week that Stephen Cottrell is confirmed as Archbishop of York, Andrew Atherstone reviews the archbishop’s latest book, On Priesthood (Hodder & Stoughton, 2020). There is no shortage of paperbacks about Anglican ministry, and about Christian leadership more broadly, flowing from the printing presses at a rapid rate. Several of our bishops have such … Continue Reading

Do we really need the clergy?

The Church of England is currently engaged in discussion and action which is pulling in rather different directions in relation to the importance of its clergy, and these debates were exemplified in the latest meeting of the General Synod in York over the weekend. One of last debates, held on Tuesday morning, concerned the follow-up … Continue Reading

What are the issues in ministerial training?

In the modern era there have been three major reviews of ordination training in the Church of England. All three have tried to address some important structural issues; all three have been controversial and have been (to some extent) ideologically driven; all three have had unfortunate unintended consequences. The first was the imaginatively named ACCM … Continue Reading

Are we treating clergy couples well?

Richard Moy writes: In 2007 the local BBC TV station did a feature on Nicola and me as the youngest clergy couple in the Church of England. Fortunately the footage has since been lost! But what was still quite rare in 2007 is now the new norm – at least for women in training. Apparently 60% of … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading