What does it mean to be the ‘church’?

I write a column for Preach magazine, in which I explore a significant word or phrase in the Bible and the ideas that it expresses. I have written for them on the phrase ‘Word of God’, on the theme of ‘Mission’, on the meaning of ‘Apocalypse‘, on the ministry of ‘Healing’, on the question of ‘Welcome’ and on … Continue Reading

Jesus’ followers are kept, sanctified and sent into the world in John 17

The Sunday lectionary gospel reading for Easter 7 in Year B is John 17.6–19, the central section of Jesus’ so-called ‘High Priestly Prayer’. The reading omits the introduction and opening sentences of the prayer, and stops short before the often-quoted ‘that they might be one’; I have previously commented on the use of this phrase, … Continue Reading

What does John 17 say about unity?

If I was given sixpence every time I heard someone quoted John 17.21 ‘…that they might be one…’ then I’d have a lot of change that I wouldn’t know what to do with. It is commonly suggested that, in this, Jesus’ ‘high priestly prayer’, we see his last desire expressed to his heavenly Father, and … Continue Reading

Ethics and policy for invitations to Lambeth 2020

Andrew Goddard writes: Last month Archbishop Justin made his first public statements about his invitation policy for the Lambeth Conference in 2020.  He is reported as having told The Times: Well over 90 per cent of the Anglican Communion are conservative on issues of sexuality. I’ve invited all the bishops, including those in same-sex marriages. And … Continue Reading

Lambeth 2020: what is the future of the Anglican Communion?

Andrew Goddard writes: With preparations for Lambeth 2020 well underway, the questions already raised about who will attend (Section A) have become even more serious following two events at the end of 2018: Archbishop Justin invited all bishops in Communion provinces to attend and one of those invited then married his same-sex partner in his … Continue Reading

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

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