Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Simon helps Jesus carry the cross

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Simon
“I was there to see the Passover. It was big thing in those days, and I’d brought my two boys, Alexander and Rufus. We’d got caught up in this crowd, and I could see that they were taking some prisoners out to be executed. The soldiers saw me and the officer came over, and with his sword he forced me behind one of the prisoners and to take half the weight of the cross. I couldn’t believe how heavy it was: it seemed like I was carrying half the world. At the time, I had no idea who he was.”

Prayer
Lord Jesus, you were worn down by fatigue:
be with those from whom life drains all energy.
You needed the help of a passing stranger:
give us the humility to receive aid from others.
To you, Jesus, weighed down with exhaustion and in need of help,
be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

illustration: from a wood-engraving by Eric Gill, 1917

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 at 8:00am BST
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Categorised as: just thinking

Monday, 30 March 2015

Anglican Mission in England

This organisation has a new website. Some extracts will give readers the flavour:

What is AMiE?

The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is a mission society that seeks to promote gospel growth in areas covered by the Church of England (principally in England, but also in other parts of Europe) by supporting Anglican churches and individuals both within and outside present Church of England structures.

AMiE came into being as a result of GAFCON and is one of a number of agencies that relates to GAFCON through the FCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) UK and Ireland. You can read more about the history of AMiE by clicking here.

A variety of Anglican churches are part of AMiE. Some churches are outside the structures of the Church of England. Others remain within the denomination but are experiencing tensions, whilst others have joined to support them.

AMiE is a registered charity (number 1158679) and has an Executive Committee. Andy Lines is the General Secretary of AMiE and Justin Mote is Chair of the Executive Committee. AMiE, alongside Reform and Church Society, co-sponsor the annual ReNew conference. The AMiE Executive Committee shares the ReNew vision of pioneering, establishing and securing a nation of healthy local Anglican churches.

Continue reading "Anglican Mission in England"
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 30 March 2015 at 11:02pm BST
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Jesus meets his mother

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Mary
“O my son, my dear son. It was agony to see you suffering like this. How many mothers have seen their children suffer? I knew what it was like. We, my friends and I, had waited ouside the governor’s palace, waiting for you to be freed. And then the soldiers forced you out, carrying a cross. Before they could stop us we ran past them and hugged you. Why was this happening to you? Why? Surely you could have said something, done something, and it would have stopped? Even now? But as he looked at me, I knew this would not happen — I felt as if a sword had pierced my heart.”

Prayer
Lord Jesus, your mother Mary wept at your torment:
give heart to all parents who watch their children suffer.
Your mother felt your pain in her heart:
guide us to bring the fulness of life to children and parents.
To you, Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary,
be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

illustration: from a wood-engraving by Eric Gill, 1917

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Monday, 30 March 2015 at 3:00pm BST
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Jesus falls the first time

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a woman
“I was standing outside the governor’s palace. It was just before Pass­over and a crowd had gathered to see if the governor would release any prisoners. We’d cheered the news that Barabbas was to be freed. But then the soldiers came out with some other men, taking them to be executed. They were each carrying their crosses, but this one was already weak. The weight of what he was carrying seemed crushing. He lurched towards us, and he stumbled right in front of me. The soldiers were straight in with their spears; they picked up the cross, dragged him to his feet, and carried on.”

Prayer
Lord Jesus, you suffered like us under the burdens of this world:
be with those whose strength is taken away by ill-treatment or illness.
You are present in our suffering and share our loads:
help us to let you carry our burdens.
To you, Jesus, falling under the weight of the cross,
be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

illustration: from a wood-engraving by Eric Gill, 1917

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Monday, 30 March 2015 at 8:00am BST
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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Joe Cassidy

It is with much sadness that we have learned that the Revd Canon Joe Cassidy died yesterday, 28 March, after a short illness. He was 60.

Joe was a frequent commenter on this Thinking Anglicans blog, and also a valued contributor to our ‘just thinking’ series, writing challenging and pastoral pieces from a sound scholarly position. In the wider world he was the Principal of St Chad’s College, Durham, a place where many of our clergy have trained and where he will be much missed. Before joining the Church of England he had been ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and was a member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, in his native Canada.

The Dean of Durham, Michael Sadgrove, was his neighbour in the city, and has written this personal reminiscence.

To his wife Gillian and to his children and family we send our condolences.

May he rest in peace!

Simon, Simon and Peter

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 7:14pm GMT
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Categorised as: About Thinking Anglicans | Church of England | News

More criticism for Resourcing Ministerial Education

The Church Times reports: Changes in training prompt resignation and protest letter.

…The Revd Dr Sarah Coakley, professor of divinity at the University of Cambridge, sent a resignation letter to the group four days before the report - Resourcing Ministerial Education - was published (News, 16 January). In it, she lists several reservations about the report, warning that it is “anodyne and misleading”. She describes the devolution to the dioceses as “the most disturbing part . . . I must be blunt: I simply do not believe there is sufficient qualitative theological understanding in most of the dioceses to protect the sort of aspirations that this report promotes.”

Resourcing Ministerial Education, presented to the General Synod in February (News, 20 February), proposes that “decisions about training pathways for individuals should be made in the diocese, in consultation with the candidate.” A “standard level of grant for tuition” will be given to each recommended candidate from a central fund, to which all dioceses contribute. This grant “may be used in a range of ways as the diocese sees fit, providing the training is from an approved provider”…

The letter to the editor, signed by 17 academics and quoted in the news report, can be found in full here.

…We the undersigned wish to express our great concern that, should core funding from central funds disappear and be replaced altogether with diocesan funding, a casualty will be the strong links built up over many years with university theology and religious studies departments, and that the public, intellectual engagement of the Church of England with pressing contemporary issues will suffer accordingly.

None of us disputes the importance of alternative modes of educational delivery to the full-time residential one. Mixed-mode and context-based training schemes, alongside part-time study, have already contributed enormously to the development of new ways into ordained as well as lay ministry, and there is no doubt that they have much more to offer the Church in the future. The Church of England needs a diversity of forms of theological education if it truly desires a diversity of ordination candidates.

We are alert, too, to the differential costs of all these various ways of pursuing study. Nor are we blind to the potential that exists - though arguably it is severely underdeveloped - for constructive relationships between university departments and the newer forms of training.

But there is a particular advantage to the pursuit of theological study in a full-time setting that can serve well the deepest engagement possible with the challenges of contemporary theology, and especially the development of an active research culture. All of our universities have contributed significantly to that in the past, and would hope to do so in the future. A key element is the involvement of universities in the education of clergy and laity, both through the contribution that academic staff make to teaching and to debate in the wider Church, and through the participation of students in graduate as well as undergraduate courses….

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 5:10pm GMT
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Jesus takes up his cross

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a soldier
“I was a soldier in Pilate’s guard on duty that day. Once Pilate had passed the sentence of death it was our job to carry it out. So we marched him out from Pilate round to our courtyard. That’s where we used to have our bit of fun: we dressed him up and mocked him and spat at him, and some of my mates roughed him up a bit. Then we got out a cross for him. He knew that he had to carry it, but he didn’t seem strong enough to carry that weight. But with our spears and swords, he had no choice.”

Prayer
Lord Jesus, you carried the cross through the rough streets of Jerusalem:
be with those who are loaded with burdens beyond their strength.
You bore the weight of our sins when you carried the cross:
help us to realize the extent and the cost of your love for us.
To you, Jesus, bearing a cross not your own,
be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

illustration: from a wood-engraving by Eric Gill, 1917

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 2:00pm GMT
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Pilate condemns Jesus to death

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a young slave
“I was a slave in Pilate’s household in Jerusalem. There were lots of people there, jostling and pushing, and over to one side were the Jewish priests, keeping themselves separate. Pilate wanted some water and I was sent for it. I brought in a bowl and a towel and he dipped his hands in the bowl and dried them on the towel. That’s what I remember. Then Pilate said, ‘Take him away and crucify him!’ Only then did I see him — standing, shackled in front of Pilate. I wondered what he had done.”

Prayer
Lord Jesus, you were condemned to death for political expediency:
be with those who are imprisoned for the convenience of the powerful.
You were the victim of unbridled injustice:
change the minds and motivations of oppressors and exploiters
to your way of peace.
To you, Jesus, innocent though condemned,
be honour and glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

illustration: from a wood-engraving by Eric Gill, 1917

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 11:00am GMT
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Saturday, 28 March 2015

opinion

Laurence Cawley BBC News The Jedi and the Bishop: two men from Essex, two religious outlooks

John Pavlovitz 6 Reasons Stone-Throwing Christians May Need To Retire “Go And Sin No More”

Andrew Lightbown Secular utilitarianism 1 – Agape 0; the problems with Baber’s scheme

Christopher Howse The Telegraph Mozarabic chant in deepest Suffolk

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 28 March 2015 at 11:00am GMT
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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lords Spiritual (Women) Act receives Royal Assent

The Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015 received the Royal Assent today.

The Church of England issued a press release welcoming the Royal Assent which includes this:

Under the terms of the Act, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney, who is announced today as the next Bishop of Gloucester will become the first female diocesan bishop to join the Bishops’ Benches in the House of Lords.

Archdeacon Rachel will take the place vacated by the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, who retires on July 11. She will be introduced into the House of Lords after the summer recess.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 9:20pm GMT
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Bishop of Gloucester

Updated

10 Downing Street has announced that the next Bishop of Gloucester is to be the Venerable Rachel Treweek, currently Archdeacon of Hackney.

Diocese of Gloucester: Venerable Rachel Treweek

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Rachel Treweek, BA, BTh, Archdeacon of Hackney, for election as Bishop of Gloucester in succession to the Right Reverend Michael Francis Perham, MA, whose resignation took effect on the 21 November 2014.

Notes for editors

The Venerable Rachel Treweek (nee Montgomery) aged 52, studied at Reading University and trained for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She served her first curacy at Saint George and All Saints, Tufnell Park in the Diocese of London from 1994 to 1997 and was Associate Vicar from 1997 to 1999.

From 1999 to 2006 she was Vicar at Saint James the Less, Bethnal Green and Continuing Ministerial Education Officer for the Stepney Episcopal Area. From 2006 to 2011 she was Archdeacon of Northolt in the Diocese of London. Since 2011 she has been Archdeacon of Hackney. In 2013 she was elected as Participant Observer in the House of Bishops for the South East Region.

Rachel is married to Guy, Priest-in-Charge of two parishes in the City of London.

Her interests include conflict transformation, walking and canoeing.

Gloucester diocese has a page welcoming the new bishop-designate including the following quote

Following the announcement, Rachel said:

“It is an immense joy and privilege to be appointed as the Bishop of Gloucester. I am surprised and, I have to admit, even a little daunted by the prospect, but my overwhelming feeling is one of excitement to be coming to join with others in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of this diocese.

“I am looking forward to encouraging Christians to speak out with confidence about their faith and the good news that the Gospel brings. It will be my privilege to work with churches as we connect with people, wherever they are and whatever their concerns.

“My calling to the role of bishop has been shaped by human encounter. I believe profoundly that relationship is at the heart of who God is. I have been with people through the joys and pains of their lives and it is these experiences that I will reflect upon as I take up this new role.”

The diocese of London also covers the appointment of one of its archdeacons. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, is quoted:

As Richard of Gloucester is reinterred, Rachel of Gloucester is revealed. Rachel has served her entire ministry in the Diocese of London, excelling wherever she has been. She has twice acted as Archdeacon, in Northolt and then Hackney — two highly demanding and contrasting areas where she has shone in equal measure.

… While we are very sorry to see her go, Gloucester has appointed someone with real quality and distinction. We look forward to continuing to support her in the years to come.

There is also coverage in the press including

several of which note that she is expected to become the first woman bishop to sit in the House of Lords.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 10:01am GMT
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Alison White to be Bishop of Hull

The Archbishop of York has tweeted “Wonderful news that HM The Queen has appointed the Revd Canon Alison White as the Bishop Suffragan of the See of Hull”.

And here is the announcement from Number 10 (complete with misprint - Hull is in the diocese of York).

Suffragan Bishop of Hull: Reverend Canon Alison Mary White
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 25 March 2015
Part of: Arts and culture and Community and society

The Queen has approved the nomination of Reverend Canon Alison Mary White, for election as Bishop of Hull in the Diocese of Newcastle.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Alison Mary White, MA, Priest-in-Charge of St James’ Church, Riding Mill in the diocese of Newcastle and Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction in the Diocese of Newcastle, in succession to the Right Reverend Richard Michael Cokayne Frith, MA, on his translation to the See of Hereford on the 22 November 2014.

Notes for editors

The Reverend Canon Alison White aged 58, studied first at St Aidan’s College, Durham and then at Leeds University. She trained for the ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. She served her curacy as an NSM at Chester-le-Street in the Diocese of Durham from 1986 to 1989.

From 1989 to 1993 she was Diocesan Advisor in Local Mission and also Honorary Parish Deacon at Birtley. From 1993 to 1998 she was Director of Mission and Pastoral Studies at Cranmer Hall, Durham. From 1998 to 2000 she was Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Durham. From 2000 to 2004 she was a Springboard Missioner. From 2005 to 2010 she was an Adult Education Officer in Peterborough Diocese where from 2009 to 2010 she was also Honorary Canon at Peterborough Cathedral.

Since 2010 she has been Honorary Canon Theologian at Sheffield Cathedral. In 2011 she was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of St James’, Riding Mill in Newcastle Diocese and Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction.

Alison White is married to Frank, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle. They have family in England and South Africa. Alison has an interest in literature and the arts, enjoys the theatre and is an avid reader. She likes to travel and be in the company of good friends. She enjoys the outdoors, walks and gardening. She is a school governor.

The York diocesan website has this news item: New Bishop of Hull [also available on the Archbishop of York’s website].

The Newcastle diocesan website has this: Alison White appointed Bishop of Hull.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 at 10:04am GMT
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Suffragan sees of Ripon and Wakefield

The names of the suffragan sees of Knaresborough and Pontefract in the diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales were officially changed to Ripon and Wakefield respectively by Order in Council on 19 March 2015. The two area bishops, James Bell and Tony Robinson, can now officially be called the Bishop of Ripon and the Bishop of Wakefield respectively.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 11:15pm GMT
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Saturday, 21 March 2015

opinion

Helen De Cruz has interviewed H E [Harriet] Baber as part of a series on Philosophers and their religious practices: The SCP is my Church.

The Guardian Homes in old churches – in pictures

Madeleine Davies Why journalists can’t afford to ignore religion

Helen Pidd of The Guardian has been talking to the Bishop of Stockport: Libby Lane: ‘Whatever the Church’s failings, I really think this is where God has put me’.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 21 March 2015 at 11:00am GMT
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Muslim prayer in church building generates controversy

The original report was in the Telegraph: Muslim prayers in Church of England parish.

The Church Times later reported: Canon Goddard apologises for Muslim prayers in his church.

So also did Christianity Today No more Muslim prayer services in churches, says bishop.

The official statements:

Diocese of Southwark 1: A statement concerning recent events at St John’s Waterloo

St John’s Waterloo: Statement from Canon Giles Goddard

Diocese of Southwark 2: A statement from the Bishop of Southwark concerning St John’s, Waterloo

Kelvin Holdsworth has written about this: Welcoming Muslims into church.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 at 5:17pm GMT
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