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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fit for purpose?


Archbishop of Wales, Rt Rev Barry Morgan, at the National Eisteddfod                      Credit: Daily Post


In a 2011 BBC video clip (here) the Archbishop of Wales claimed that we needed to look to see if the Church in Wales (CinW) is "fit for purpose" and if we are using our resources in the best possible kind of way because investment income is falling, the pension bill is rising and therefore more money is needed by the church. Dr Morgan said the organisation needs outside help to cope with the decline in clergy, waning investments and falling congregations. He warned that the Church needed to be ready for significant change and take whatever proposals the Review may come up with seriously to make it fit for a future in Wales.

Unsurprisingly in 2012 the Review duly reported that the Church is “burdened and hampered” by too many aspects of organisation, and the parish system, as originally set up with a single priest serving a small community, was no longer sustainable.

No time has been lost in dismantling the parish system while cutting parish clergy but the top-heavy management structure remains in tact and peripheral appointments abound. For an example see the Llandaff structure here. No wonder the CinW has no future.

According to research reported in the 'Church Growth Modelling' Blog, the CinW will be extinct within a generation. The date of "around 2040" may prove to be optimistic. If a rumour circulating proves to be correct, CinW regular Sunday attendance figures are down by a massive 10% on the 2013 figure of 31,000 to only 28,000.

There are a number of factors. There is a limit to the willingness of members to support an organisation which has become so divorced from their Credal beliefs that it ceases to be credible. Many orthodox Anglicans have remained in the CinW because it has been their spiritual home since their baptism. They have found no suitable alternative but there comes a point when habit becomes unsustainable.

Also, the sense of 'belonging' to ministry areas, which will depend for their existence on lay worker assistants, does not have the same spiritual dimension as being able to call on one's parish priest if needed. *

It is obvious to many that the decline of Anglicanism in Great Britain has accelerated as the Church has become 'more relevant' to society. If this trend is continued and the Archbishop successfully convinces the Governing Body that same-sex marriage is the best thing since sliced bread, steeper decline seems inevitable.

So fit for purpose? No. Money may make "the world go round" but it does nothing for the "prosperity of the soul", a point seemingly lost on the Bench of Bishops.

* Postscript [11.08.2015]
   See 'Lots of Lay Leaders Licensed' here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

WITCH way




House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests
Chrism Masses: Report of the Independent Reviewer

"Part of the package enabling the consecration of women to the episcopate in the Church
of England was the introduction of a process for the resolution of disputes relating to the
operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests
(GS Misc 1076). The Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of
Disputes Procedure) Regulations 2014 provide for the appointment of an Independent
Reviewer to consider individual grievances from a parish as well as more general
expressions of concern arising from the operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, with the concurrence of the Chairs of the
Houses of Clergy and Laity of the General Synod, confirmed my appointment to this new
role which took effect from 17 November 2014.

2. On 13 April 2015, Hilary Cotton, Chair of Women and the Church (‘WATCH’) wrote to
me expressing WATCH’s concern about the fact that a number of chrism masses were to
be held in 2015, as in former years, at which bishops of the Society of St Wilfrid and St
Hilda (‘the Society’) – an ecclesial community dedicated to maintaining catholic teaching
and practice within the Church of England – would preside. Ms Cotton asked in what
possible way continuing these occasions honoured the five principles embodied in the
House of Bishops’ Declaration, in particular the first two of those principles and the call
in the Declaration to promote mutual flourishing...."

“Mutual flourishing is, we believe, not meant to be about each group flourishing
independently, ‘tolerating’ the other’s presence, but flourishing together even
though that causes tension – which is why all clergy renewing their vows
together would seem to be a case in point.” - Chair of WATCH

Now that women bishops are part of the structure of the Church of England, that mean-spirited, feminist group,WATCH seek to unpick the agreement which gave them what they wanted so that

"those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological
conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or
priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of
the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to
enabling them to flourish within its life and structures",

'flourishing' can be only on WITCH terms. True to form!

The complaint was not upheld. Report here.

With crisis reports appearing such as "Demise of Christianity: 1,000 churches could shut across Britain as congregations shrink" and "'Gay marriage' all about attacking Christianity, says author" one would have thought there were more pressing issues but the feminist cause must be served regardless. Their campaign has always been motivated by politics rather than spirituality no matter what the cost, especially to others who do not share their distorted view of the Apostolic Church.

See also "WATCH your backs - they really are hunting you" on the Let nothing you dismay Blog.

Postscript [10/08/2015]

A report from the Independent Reviewer regarding All Saints, Cheltenham:
In multi-parish team benefices, licences issued to female assistant clergy (other than members of the Team) should specify the nature and extent of the ministry they are authorized to undertake in resolution parishes." H/T Forward in Faith

Postscript [14/08/2015]

From Ruth Gledhill " The CofE needs a fresh start to reconcile its differences" here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Crises! - What crises?


Installation of the Dean of Llandaff                                            Original photo: Church in Wales


"Repairs being carried out at historic Welsh cathedral after piece of stone fell from building during funeral." 

I am not without sympathy for the Dean of Llandaff, regarded by some members of the Cathedral congregation as a decent man who is trying to do a difficult job under difficult circumstances but by others as an inappropriate appointment by an unscrupulous Archbishop and completely out of his depth. He certainly seems to have been dropped in it, something Janet Henderson was wise to avoid. 

Despite the mathematical skills of his predecessor, Bonaparte, a number of miscalculations have come to light from doubts about the accounting procedures used for the organ appeal funds, to the appropriateness of the organ project itself, given the financial problems of Llandaff Cathedral and dwindling congregations.

Obsessed by the ordination of woman and now by the advancement of the gay agenda, Dr Morgan's main concern appears to be focused on the acceptance of same-sex marriage in Church. Manipulation towards this end has been in evidence for some time at parish, deanery and diocesan levels, all geared to deliver the Governing Body result programmed by the Archbishop whether consonant with the faith or not. 

Gay activists have learned a thing or two from the feminist infiltration of Anglicanism by using their strategy:
  •  Exploit the “victim” status;
  • Use the sympathetic media;
  • Confuse and neutralize the churches;
  • Slander and stereotype [traditionalist] Christians;
  • Bait and switch (hide their true nature); and
  • Intimidation.
So being gay has become the in-thing, picked up by politicians, bishops and career minded priests. Journalists were not slow in seeing which way the wind was blowing. Honestly held views are attacked under the guise of 'equality' while activists make accusations against anyone who begs to differ. For a flavour of this phenomenon read some of the comments made in response to an article by Peter Mullen for the Church of England Newspaper (here) for questioning "the £360,000 bill for 'facilitated conversations' which, it is hoped, will break the deadlock between liberals and traditionalists on the contentious issue of the Church’s attitude towards homosexuality".

With women bishops firmly in place in the Church of England the emphasis now is on manipulation, abandoning the concept of equality which was the basis of their complaint to ensure that they are considered for preferment above men regardless of ability. But the best laid plans....! Read "Drive to make CofE less 'male, pale and stale' backfires" here.

While the feminist agenda is being fine-tuned and the gay agenda advances, the poor disenfranchised pew sitters continue giving more money than many can afford to support a failing institution which treats them with contempt for keeping the faith rather than kneel before each new sacred cow. It cannot last.

Crises! What crises?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spitting in the wind


"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth  in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".   John 3:16


What links Barak Obama, Tony Blair and David Cameron?
Answer: Their claim that "Islam is a religion of peace" here. They should have checked the ideology (here and here).

The latest Islamic atrocity in Turkey bears witness to a corrupt ideology which puts Allah above everyone and everything while his holy warriors happily slaughter anyone to gain their supposed place in paradise with 72 virgins:

Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!

There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

“Islam grew with blood . . . . The great prophet of Islam in one hand carried the Koran and in the other a sword . . . . Islam is a religion of blood for the infidels but a religion of guidance for other people.”


"In summary, there is no other conclusion except to admit that the overwhelming evidence shouts that killing is the big difference between Islam and all other religions". From 'Is It a Religion of Peace? Original Islam'.

Muslims base their faith on the Koran while Christians base theirs on the Bible which forms the basis of Britain's Christian values. Unlike the Bible which describes how Jesus shed his blood for all, the Koran dictates how believers must shed the blood of disbelievers and apostates to appease their god and ensure for themselves a life in paradise on the blood of innocents. Despite this glaring difference, equal weight is given to a religious ideology which condemns Christians and other disbelievers, regarded in Islam as "the worst possible crime", while ignoring the clear biblical warning about false prophets.

It is against this background that yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech which outlined plans for a new Extremism Bill to prevent radicalisation. He was spitting in the wind. British values are anathema to Islam and British democracy is used as a tool for Islam's advancement. Our policy of equal opportunities for all encourages its growth while misplaced political correctness and false charges of Islamophobia allow Islamic influence to spread unabated, the worst excesses having been highlighted in Birmingham and in Birmingham's schools, in Rotherham where the most vile abuse of children has taken place and in Tower Hamlets where people were fearful of speaking the truth resulting in corrupt elections. Much of this was allowed to take place because the British people have been conditioned not to speak up for fear of being classed as racist, prejudiced and Islamophobic while Islamists 'run riot'.

Meanwhile Christianity is ridiculed in a manner that would not be tolerated if there were any hint of criticism of a Muslim's faith. Note how Liberal Leader Tim Farron was sneered at for his Christian faith on the BBC's Today programme and on Sky News driven to declare that his personal faith "will not affect his political decisions and that he supports equality".

Not content with having a Muslim heading the BBC's Religion and Ethics department, Mr Cameron's solution is to promote more Muslims to positions of power and influence in Great Britain, apparently ignorant of the fact that as Islam increases in strength, the danger to non-Muslims increases simply for being disbelievers. According to the Pew Research Center, Muslims are the world’s fastest-growing religious group so they hardly need any help from the British Prime Minister.

Muslims can only accept Christian values if they become Christians. Islam recognises Jesus as a prophet along with Abraham and Moses but against all the evidence Muslims deny that Jesus died on the Cross. This is not only false teaching, it is clear deception resulting in millions of Muslims being condemned by their own religion. There is no virtue in pretending Islam is a religion of peace when all the evidence is to the contrary. That the majority of Muslims do not take up arms does not mean that Islam is a religion of peace. This notion was nicely shot down by Alexander Boot in his blog entry 'Pardon me, boy, who is the Chattanooga shooter?'

Muslims are constantly trying to convert non-believers to Islam but there is a reluctance to refute erroneous Islamic teaching explaining that one of their own prophets, Jesus, showed the way to eternal life before Muhammad was born. That is what Muslims need to know, not how they should integrate their mistaken beliefs into Western culture. Until leaders grasp that, they will continue spitting in the wind.

Postscript [24.07.2015]

More "Easy Meat":
http://www.itv.com/news/2015-07-24/you-get-passed-around-victims-of-horrifying-aylesbury-child-sex-ring-speak-out/

"...the word “Asian” was used in
order to stop people from realising that the vast majority of the
criminals were Muslims, and that the vast majority of the victims
were non-Muslim girls..." Full report here.

Postscript [25.07.2015]

Read also ‘Ee bah gum–there’s Sharia up ‘ere! by The Rev Dr Peter Mullen in his Blog 'All Things Considered'.

Postscript [27.07.2015]

Islamist “Justice”: Slow Painful Death for Christian Mother in Pakistan by Raymond Ibrahim in Muslim Persecution of Christians. Petition for Asia Bibi's release here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Basics





"We have created the conditions for full scale revisionism not just of order in the Church but our very understanding of revelation."

"How we speak of Jesus reveals something of our faithfulness or not to what God has revealed."

"What it is that makes the Church I would say is the passing on and the receiving and the passing on again of the Apostolic Teaching and the Apostolic Tradition."

"The legitimacy of what the teachers teach in fidelity to Scripture and Tradition does not depend on reception by the faithful...This has always been the case in the past."


Hat tip to TitusONENine for this Anglican TV video of Bishop Michael Nazir Ali speaking on "The Necessity of Unity in Truth for the Church’s Mission", at the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans, Fort Worth; also to Anglican Mainstream.

Recommended viewing if not seen already. A refreshing change from the personal pulpit politics of many Anglican Bishops today.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Statistics of Omission


Note: The image of the Archbishop of Wales is disproportionate to average Sunday attendance to ensure his visibility.
In the 2011 Census, Christianity was the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent of the population) here


The video in my 24 June entry, + Richard outlines his survival strategy, gave some clues to the dismemberment of the Church in Wales as the bishops implement Abp Barry Morgan's strategy for their survival, ie, retain all the bishops with their expensive diocesan structures, get rid of paid parish clergy and fool the laity into running the ministry areas nobody wants apart from Barry and his bench sitters.

Despite all Dr Morgan's political posturing the secularised Church in Wales (CinW) is barely significant in Anglicanism representing less than 0.04% of the Communion. If he were to be represented in the above chart in proportion to the average number of people attending CinW services the Archbishop of Wales would be invisible. According to CinW published figures the average adult Sunday attendance in Wales is 31,048 (Table 1 here) out of a population of 3,063,456 (1%). With seven bishops supported that works out at a mere 4,435 attendees per bishop.

When it suits them the CinW hierarchy refer to other provinces such as in the Church of England as examples of good practice as they did in support of their women bishops legislation. Archdeacon Peggy Jackson referred to CofE proposals when she conned the CinW Governing Body into accepting the Jackson/Wigley amendment which gave Barry Morgan a free hand to do exactly as he planned. Having secured the vote to appoint women bishops, he made no alternative sacramental and pastoral provision in the CinW Code of Practice, contrary to proposals in the Church of England and his bench sitters went along with him.

Following the CinW example I have been looking at the Church of England's Statistics for Mission 2013. The population of Wales is about the same size as the population of the diocese of Chelmsford but with a greater average Sunday attendance. They manage with one diocesan and three assistant bishops. Alternatively, based on population density, Wales with 381 people per sq mile, is similar to the diocese of Lincoln. They manage with a diocesan bishop and one assistant.

In the Table below I have included the diocese of Oxford, occasionally referred to in this blog and said by some commentators to be Dr Morgan's favourite diocese. These three dioceses together have 11 bishops with an average 90,000 souls regularly attending Sunday services or 8,182 attendees per bishop, almost double the number the bishops in Wales have in their charge yet the number of dioceses and bishops appears to be the only area off limits in their 2020 Vision strategy. A strategy which is being implemented under the heading "Serving community, inspiring people, transforming church". Serving and inspiring, no; transforming the church, yes, but not in a manner recognised by the vast majority of the world's 80 million Anglicans of which Wales makes up a mere 0.039%. Yet Dr Morgan would have his Church members believe that it is he who holds the keys.

Diocese/ Population Pop Density Average Sunday Number Attendees
COUNTRY
per Sq Mile Attendance of bishops per bishop






Chelmsford 3,060,000 2,000 34,100 4 8,525
Lincoln 1,051,000 390 12,200 2 6,150
Oxford 2,313,000 1,040 43,700 5 8,740






WALES 3,063,456 381 31,048 7 4,435


Canterbury Ave. Sunday attendance  622,000
York             "           "           "            227,400

CinW            "           "           "              31,048

In Wales it has been not so much a case of Statistics For Mission but the consequences of omission. Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age".

Rather than "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you", the Church in Wales has become obsessed with a mission to reflect society, misusing the Bible in the process. Questions such as, What did Jesus say about women priests/homosexuality/gay marriage, etc, etc? are posed to provide the predictable answer, "Nothing", ignoring what has been commanded. A faith based on what wasn't said rather than what was said is doomed to fail. *

The same mistakes have been made in the Church of England, also in steep decline as they too follow the path set by the US Episcopal Church (TEC) but the rot has been more severe in the Church in Wales. Read the Rev Dr Peter Mullen's "The meaning of TEC" for his assessment: "those modernising more rapidly are also failing faster".

If Wales were a Church of England parish rather than a separate province the faithful would still have the benefit of alternative Episcopal oversight. But the bench of bishops seem determined only to feather their own nests at the expense of everyone else.

Clerics who have seen the light are already departing for the Church of England. Ideally the 2020 strategy would be for the province to return to the Church of England where honouring promises ameliorates the sins of omission. That would give all an equal chance of survival since equality is the name of the game.

* Postscript [12 July 2015]

A further example of what wasn't said from York Synod:

"Elliot Swattridge, who represents the Church of England Youth Council on the Synod, said: "When Jesus instituted the first celebration of the eucharist during the last supper his words were simple: 'Do this in remembrance of me’.
"In this characteristically simple statement he instructed the entire body of his disciples to participate in not only receipt but also the administration of communion.
"Note that Jesus did not state 'do this but never administer it unless you have been ordained'. Neither did he state 'do this but only of you are over 18 years of age'."

Therefore, children and worshippers who have not been confirmed should be allowed to administer the sacrament at Eucharist services! Story here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The journey's end but for whom?


It began here


became adapted here


and here


and now here:

Canon Jeremy Pemberton (right) and his husband, April 2014                               Photo BBC

Is this the crunch and if so for whom?

Canon Jeremy Pemberton was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain because his 'marriage' was against the Church of England's teachings so he brought a discrimination case against his bishop giving the distinct impression that for some clerics sexual preference is more important than their priestly ministry. This is not equality, it is stupidity. A line needs to be drawn to avoid further haemorrhaging of Church members, something the ordination of women clearly failed to do.

Traditional Anglicanism in England and Wales has given way to self interest. Career choices, often second choices for middle-aged women, are represented as 'a calling' with what appears to be virtually automatic acceptance for female candidates while a young male candidate with traditional views about the ordination of women is rejected. That is discrimination. 

After equality, 'love' has become the in-word but it is also used as a euphemism for lust. Advocates correctly claim that Christ commanded that we should love one another but that was not given as a license to pursue every conceivable twist of the word. If it had been, it would not have taken 2,000 years for people to understand the Bible. 

Reaching a new low the House of Bishops of the  US Episcopal Church (TEC) wants to change the definition of marriage in the canons so that any reference to marriage as between a man and a woman is removed. - Read Anglican Curmudgeon's 'Bishops bless blasphemy' here and the Archbishop of Canterbury's reaction here

What happens in TEC has been used as a green light by revisionists to push for changes in the Anglican Church in England and Wales while ignoring the views of the wider Church. See "Pride Festivals Draw Liberal Clergy on Parade" (here) and "John Sentamu calls for harmony as Church of England rows over sexuality escalate" (here).

Same sex marriage has become the sticking point for many. The vote in Ireland and more recently by the Supreme Court in the US has turned tolerance and understanding into an absurdity. The Tory Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan warns, "Children who hold homophobic views [are] more likely to become extremists". Ms Morgan who is also Minister for Women and Equalities must be unaware that opponents of same sex marriage are branded homophobic simply because they hold to the traditional view that marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Such views are not confined to the Conservative Party. Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat leadership contender has argued that children’s TV shows like Peppa Pig should feature gay characters. In line with fashionable thinking he said  "Our broadcasters must realise that sexuality is not, fundamentally, about who you want to have sex with – but who you are, and who you love", an open sesame if ever there was one. As Melanie McDonagh put it in The Spectator, "If love now rules supreme, should incest and polygamy also be legalised"?

Labour leader hopefuls also talk of equality confusing equality with sameness. Andy Burnham whose LGBT credentials had been questioned now says that "faith schools should be forced to teach about gay relationships", forgetting the transient nature of childhood feelings: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. A childhood crush is just that. Attempts to spread the gay agenda on TV and in our schools should be resisted, not supported.

These false views of equality should be seen for what they are, stupidity giving licence to lust masquerading as love. Again in the US, Diana Butler Bass, "an independent scholar and expert on U.S. religion" penned a piece for the Washington Post in which she reflected on Katharine Jefferts Schori’s tenure as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Regarded by many as a heretic there was nevertheless a glowing appreciation of the retiring Presiding Bishop which included a reference to innumerable indignities, "most noteworthy of which was a 2010 order by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams that she not wear a mitre (the hat worn by Christian bishops to symbolize their spiritual authority) when preaching in an English cathedral". 

Predictably the facts were twisted. The other side of this incident can be read here. Jefferts Schori's called, "their canons about the ministry of clergy from overseas" nonsense and said, "It is bizarre; it is beyond bizarre", much like her ministry.

Diana Butler Bass is a leading voice in Progressive Christianity in which Christ's new commandment to "love one another" has become an excuse for every excess, ignoring Christ's example "as I have loved you". That is, no women Apostles, no gay agenda, no same sex marriage.

One would have hoped, even expected, that when the Church is so obviously being used for political advantage to the detriment of the body of Christ, the successors to the Apostles would have something to say about it. To their shame, those who do are more often part of the problem supporting the latest fad rather than defending the faith.

Speaking at the discrimination case brought by Canon Pemberton against the Church, the Rt Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, described the Church of England's teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman as "a lousy definition". This created outrage drawing in the Archbishop of York. However, the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, "defended York Minster's support for a section of the community that frequently experiences discrimination and hostility" as she played the well worn victim card.

The 'victim card' has become an absurdity. The new victims are the very people who are accused of victimisation while the majority of bishops seek popularity by reflecting current trends in society rather than follow Christ's message: "Everyone will hate you because you are committed to me".

Meanwhile I see that the Venerable Ruth Worsley is to be the next Bishop of Taunton in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. On hearing the news she said: "I am surprised and amused to be chosen as the next Bishop of Taunton as I grew up in a non-conformist church where women held no roles of leadership". Par for the course in New Anglicanism!

Postscript [11 July 2015]

"Church of England hosts away-days and retreats in luxury stately homes in bid to break deadlock over homosexuality....the events would collectively cost £360,000". Story here.

 According to the Telegraph report, the Archbishop of Canterbury hopes that encouraging people to take part in frank, face-to-face discussions will help "break the deadlock over what has become one of the most toxic issues in the Church. A similar tactic led to breakthrough over the issue of women bishops which was finally agreed last year after decades of argument". 

What is there to talk about? Homosexuality is already recognised as a fact of life. Civil partnerships have been welcomed as a significant advance in human rights but the current movement to put homosexual relationships on a par with the institution of Holy Matrimony designed for the procreation of children is a step too far. That the Church of England, along with the Church in Wales, even discusses the issue illustrates the extent to which Anglicanism has lost its way in this country. And at such a cost when children are going hungry!

Postscript [19 August, 2015]

From the 'Not Another Episcopal Church Blog': When to Leave a Church.

For 'Episcopal church' one could read Church in Wales.

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