What does the Oxford Ad Clerum mean?

Last week, the four bishops in the Diocese of Oxford circulated an Ad Clerum (‘to the clergy’) to all licensed ministers in the diocese; the text can be found on Steven Croft’s diocesan blog. There is no doubt that the letter includes comments with which everyone in the Church could and should agree. As Will Pearson-Gee, … Continue Reading

Should church order prevent church union?

Responses to the report Ministry and Mission in Covenant, proposing closer union between the Church of England and the Methodist Church (and discussed in my previous post), have reignited the responses that were made to the earlier scheme in 1969, which was agreed by the Methodists but rejected by the Church of England’s Church Assembly (the … Continue Reading

The Church of England and closer union with Methodists

This week, the Church of England’s General Synod will debate something controversial other than sexuality (hurrah!): whether we should take a formal step towards closer union with the Methodist Church by means of mutual recognition of our respective presbyteral (local church leader) ministries. The proposals are set out in the report Ministry and Mission in … Continue Reading

Coherence and variety in ordained ministry

One of the many fascinating debates at Synod this week was on the proposals for Resourcing Ministerial Education (RME) on which I have written a couple of times before. I had put down one of four amendments to the motion from Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, and I was asking for work to be done to check that RME was not undermining ‘our shared, catholic understanding of ordination as expressed in the Ordinal’ prior to implementation in September 2017.

What is the future of ministerial training?

One of the important issues coming up in this session of Synod is the reconfiguration of ministerial training as part of the Renewal and Reform programme, under the title ‘Resourcing Ministerial Education.’ I commented on it last year, and had an exchange with Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, who is leading on this. In view … Continue Reading

Resourcing Ministerial Education: a tasty curate’s egg

The Church of England does not have a good track record of thinking strategically about theological and ministerial education. In 1977 the imaginatively named ACCM Paper 22 swept away the General Ordination Exam, and instead asked each training institution to articulate its understanding of ministry and its approach to training. In the post-1960s liberal haze, … Continue Reading