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Has Preaching Had its Day?

Whilst in New Zealand, mostly on holiday and visiting our son on his gap year, I was invited to give a public lecture on the subject of ‘Has preaching had its day?’ This is the introduction and the outline of what I said, which includes exploring the main objections to preaching in contemporary life and […]

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Searching for Super(wo)man…?

Three years ago, Trinity College Bristol were looking for a new Principal, and for some reason several people drew this to my attention. So I looked at the ad, and this is what I found they were looking for: a person of integrity, humility and wisdom; a leader of leaders, who thrives on the sharing and multiplying of leadership; […]

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Why our leaders need good training

On today’s General Synod agenda, we were scheduled to discuss a report on ‘Nurturing and discerning senior leaders’. In the event, we ended up adding a debate on the EU Referendum and the consequences for our thinking about division in society, and the debate on leadership has been postponed (I am not entirely sure until […]

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Inclusivity and discipleship

During Easter Week I enjoyed saying the Easter Anthems in Morning Prayer. This is a set of eight versicles drawn from three passages in Paul; they used to be a weekly option in ASB, but in Common Worship they have been relegated to p 634 and used only seasonally, which is a loss (but that is […]

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Is the future of leadership lay or ordained?

It is arguable that the greatest challenge currently facing the C of E is not to do with sexuality, not related to changes in culture and moral values, and unconnected with Church-State relations. It actually arises from a decision made around the time I started ordination training in 1989, that candidates needed ‘more experience of […]

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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.

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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 […]

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What’s being debated at General Synod?

In my last time on General Synod (from 2000 to 2005) it seemed to take some time to gather momentum and get its teeth into the substantial issues for debate. That is usually the case, since there is always a turnover of membership, and new members take time to get up to speed with both […]

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A vision for ministry and training

Dr Jon Coutts is a Canadian who recently joined the faculty at Trinity College, Bristol; he blogs at http://thissideofsunday.blogspot.ca. I conducted a virtual interview with him exploring issues around ministry and ministry training, and I think his answers are truly fascinating. We have things to offer other contexts—but we also have important things to learn […]

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Are we being honest about ordination training?

There are some compelling arguments for the (relatively new) pattern of ‘contextual training’ for ordination. Steven Sherman, in his snappily titled Revitalizing theological epistemology (2008), argues that the historic separation of the seminary from the local church has created major problems for our whole concept of how we grow in the knowledge of God. His primary target […]

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