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Set God’s People Free

Charlotte Gauthier highlights the crucial role that parish churches play in forming communities that transcend the usual social boundaries of age, class, education, and nationality, and argues that a focus on organic, parish-based growth will create flourishing communities. Scene: the pub just opposite the churchyard, Sunday afternoon. Twelve people aged between 23 and 88 sitContinue reading “Set God’s People Free”

Power Grab or Pastoral Measure?

Fr Christopher Johnson asks important questions about proposed changes to the Mission and Pastoral Measure. He questions why so much power is being placed in the hands of diocesan machineries, and whether it is right that ‘dioceses’ themselves are driving this change. We have had over a year now of the Church of England makingContinue reading “Power Grab or Pastoral Measure?”

Limiting Factors? Or Limited Ecclesiology?

Philip Murray considers the context and reception of the “limiting factors” debacle, and asks what this reveals about the current state of Anglican ecclesiology and dialogue. Only those who’ve made the wise decision to avoid Twitter and Facebook will have missed the latest argument about the Church of England that blew up over the weekend.Continue reading “Limiting Factors? Or Limited Ecclesiology?”

Episcopal Soft Power

The Rev’d Dr James Hadley finds the bishops’ protestations that there is no central plan to do away with the parish system disingenuous. Soft power, stealth, patronage and spin, allied with episcopal groupthink and the control of cash is just as powerful as a synodically agreed central policy. In March, when the Government suspended publicContinue reading “Episcopal Soft Power”

A Nuptial Mess

The Rev’d Paul Thomas asks important questions about our legal and theological understanding of Christian marriage raised by recent reports of a private ‘back garden marriage’ three days before a couple were due to be married in church. A couple gave an interview this week in which they revealed that ‘three days before our wedding we got married’. This marriageContinue reading “A Nuptial Mess”

The Primacy of the Parish

The Bishop of Burnley responds to recent claims that the Parish system is up for wide scale review, and strengthens the case for its place at the heart of the identity and mission of the Church of England. He suggests we need to trust the local to make good decisions, resolutely address failure where itContinue reading “The Primacy of the Parish”

Super Bishops & Simpler Structures

Ben Phillips reflects on the increasingly top-heavy structures of the Church of England and commends a radical rethinking of diocesan boundaries which would enable bishops to be both real pastors on the ground and effective symbolic leaders of the wider Church. Many in the Anglican Twitter-sphere were found to be getting their ecclesiastical hosiery inContinue reading “Super Bishops & Simpler Structures”