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What causes disunity?

It is fairly common in discussion about church relations to cite Jesus’ so-called ‘high priestly’ prayer (John 17) and his concern ‘that they should be one’—not least because Jesus himself connects the unity of his followers with the oneness of God himself, and in both Christian and Jewish contexts this is a fundamental truth about […]

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Sex and morality in Church and society

Following the debate in General Synod on the House of Bishop’s report on the Shared Conversations, various bishops have been making statements to their dioceses outlining their reflections on the debate and where we have got to as a Church. Perhaps the most striking was that made by Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, in […]

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Letter to the College of Bishops

I am publishing here, with permission, a letter that has been sent to all members of the College of Bishops prior to their next meeting to decide what proposals to bring to General Synod in February. I am not offering here a full exposition of the text, but there are a few things worth noting […]

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What should ecumenical unity look like?

Last the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, meets Pope Francis in Rome, their third meeting since taking office. There was a time when such meeting at all, let alone with this frequency, would have been considered unthinkable, and this meeting will celebrate the first meeting of an Archbishop of Canterbury with the Pope since the Reformation—that […]

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Is John 17 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 […]

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What is the Primates’ Meeting all about?

In case you missed it, I repost here my article from last September about the Anglican Communion and the Primates’ Meeting. What has happened? The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has made a significant announcement about the future of the Anglican Communion. He has issued an invitation to 37 Primates of the Anglican Communion (archbishops […]

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(How) can we live with disagreement?

Earlier this year, I took part in a consultation on the current conflicts in the Church of England, particularly on sexuality, and whether it is possible to disagree well. Out of that discussion has come the book Good Disagreement? edited by Andrews Atherstone and Goddard and published very promptly by Lion Hudson. The back cover blurb runs […]

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A Bluffer’s Guide to the Anglican Communion

This is the full text of my article published on the Christianity magazine blog on Friday: What has happened? The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has made a significant announcement about the future of the Anglican Communion. He has issued an invitation to 37 Primates of the Anglican Communion (archbishops who lead the different provinces) […]

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What is going on in the Anglican Communion?

There has been a small torrent of comment in the religious press following Justin Welby’s announcement about a meeting to consider the future of the Anglican Communion. As usual, there is a full listing of the different points of view on the Thinking Anglicans website, and some pointed discussion of what is ‘really’ going on […]

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The state of the (Westminster) debate

The Westminster Faith Debates are organised by Charles Clarke and Linda Woodhead, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Lancaster University. (A good number of them, oddly enough, take place in Oxford at the University Church.) You might expect them, then, to offer a balanced […]

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