How to create your own personal Jesus

I first wrote this three years ago—but it seems as important as ever in the light of current debates. A while ago, someone posted this graphic on my timeline, and my impression is that, far from being something merely humorous, this list is taken by many as a serious description of Jesus’ ministry and a … Continue Reading

How to simply grow the church

Yesterday I had a delightful, brief conversation with a friend about what is happening in different dioceses. Friend: Our bishop has turned our diocese around. Me: How has he done that? Friend: By not cutting clergy posts, and not appointing an archdeacon. Instead we have focussed on the question of stewardship. Me: Surely it isn’t … Continue Reading

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

How to choose your own personal Jesus

Over the new year, I had an interesting, though at times bizarre, interaction with a well-known church leader in Australia (such are the wonders of the internet). This person had posted a graphic/meme similar to the one here as a light-hearted New Year’s resolution, and I added the comment: —Tell people they are sinners who … Continue Reading

Is it time to scrap the ‘curacy’?

For many years (how many?) the Church of England has had a standard pattern for ordination training, that starts with two or three years residential (or now, three years part-time course-based or two or three years contextual training), followed by a three- or four-year curacy. This is so standard that initial training is always considered … 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 can training for ministry be truly effective?

One of the perennial questions facing the church today is the effective training of its ministers. That challenge is usual thought to relate to those called to ordained ministry—but (as the recent report of Archbishops’ Council to General Synod on lay leadership highlighted) it actually applies to the whole people of God, since all are … Continue Reading