Church of England

A female Bishop of London “to make a statement”?

The Rt Rev’d Dr Richard Chartres retires as Bishop of London in February (he will be greatly missed – ‘Peer Now!’), and according to the Times (..hold loosely..):

Bishop Chartres abstained from appointing women priests despite appearing to support the idea, and his resignation has been viewed as an opportunity to make a statement.

Among the favourites are thought to be the Right Rev Rachel Treweek, the Bishop of Gloucester; the Right Rev Christine Hardman, the Bishop of Newcastle; the Right Rev Jo Wells, the Bishop of Dorking; and Reverend Vivienne Faull, Dean of York Minster. Another contender long tipped to become a bishop is Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the priest-in-charge at St Mary-at-Hill in central London and chaplain to the Queen.

There is one name on there which..

O, never mind.

This paragraph is perched beneath the headline: ‘Women prepare for a power grab in church, police and BBC’, which carries the opening line: ‘Theresa May is poised to oversee the introduction of women into three key positions of power this year..’

Which may well be the case with the police and the BBC, since the Home Secretary is responsible for appointing the new head of Scotland Yard; and the Culture Secretary has enormous influence over the appointment of the head of the BBC’s new Unitary Board. But the responsibility for choosing the next Bishop of London (and, indeed, all bishops) rests with the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) and them alone.

Since Gordon Brown amended the Constitution, thereby altering (indeed, weakening) the constitutional relationship between the Church of England and the Executive, the Prime Minister and other ministers are no longer advisers, and consequently conduit, to the Crown. Frank Field MP long argued for the Prime Minister’s continued involvement in the process, on the grounds that any attempt to diminish the involvement of the Crown in Church of England appointments would lead to disestablishment by default. However, his argument did not prevail: it is now the task of the CNC to submit the name of a preferred candidate (and a second appointable candidate) to the Prime Minster, who is constitutionally responsible for tendering that advice directly to the Queen. This is no longer the Prime Minister’s advice, but that of the CNC: the Prime Minister’s role has been reduced to that of a postbox. Basically, the Crown Nominations Commissions is advising the Crown; ie, the Crown is advising the Crown. The Prime Minister no longer possesses the unfettered right to advise on ecclesiastical appointments, and so a crucial constitutional ‘check’ or democratic ‘balance’ has been lost.

Jim Callaghan observed as far back as 1976:

There are… cogent reasons why the State cannot divest itself from a concern with these appointments of the Established Church. The Sovereign must be able to look for advice on a matter of this kind and that must mean, for a constitutional Sovereign, advice from Ministers. The Archbishops and some of the bishops sit by right in the House of Lords, and their nomination must therefore remain a matter for the Prime Minister’s concern.

And Professor Vernon Bogdanor wrote in 1995:

In the case of the appointment of archbishops and bishops, there is an even more powerful reason why the prime minister must be the person to proffer advice. It is that the archbishops and the senior bishops sit as of right in the House of Lords. Therefore, for as long as the Church of England remains established and remains an Episcopal church whose archbishops and senior bishops sit in parliament, the State cannot divest itself from its concern with senior appointments…

For as long as there are Bishops in the House of Lords, there are many who believe that their appointment ought to be subject to a degree of political and democratic accountability. But we are where we are, and it is not where the Times suggest we are: Theresa May is in no position to facilitate a “power grab” by any female candidate for Bishop of London; nor will the Prime Minister “oversee” the process in any way which gives her authority to intervene, or even to advise.

Perhaps it is time to consider reforming the ghastly opaque and bureaucratic mechanism by which our bishops are chosen, for God forbid that the next Bishop of London might be chosen “to make a statement” about gender power. The Crown Nominations Commission is composed of learned and experienced individuals, each of whom will have their own proclivities, biases and theological preferences. And each of them will be abundantly aware of the challenges and opportunities that should be taken into account in considering the appointment. If they are not, they shouldn’t be there.

Might it not be a good idea to appoint a Bishop of London who preaches that salvation is to be found in Christ alone; or one who will ‘hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle‘ (2Thess 2:15)? How about one who adheres to the XXXIX Articles? Wouldn’t these be better statements for the new Bishop of London to make than “Hey, look, I’m a woman!”?

Should the CNC choose a woman, she is unlikely to be a female Richard Chartres: the Commission as constituted is a self-perpetuating oligarchy of the theologically liberal and politically left-leaning, and their choice of Bishop will naturally reflect this (Chartres didn’t, after all, make it to Canterbury). Perhaps Gordon Brown knew this in 2007 when he surrendered the Royal Prerogative. Basically, the CNC’s preferred candidate will already be the choice of the Prime Minister and Archbishops’ Secretaries for Appointments, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it – it’s less democratic than a papal conclave.

Of course, Her Majesty the Queen, being the Church’s Supreme Governor, could veto the chosen candidate and instruct the Commission to elect another. But that is not remotely likely.

Nor is it likely that Theresa May will attempt to use the Vacancy in See “to make a statement”.

Frankly, the Scottish Presbyterian Gordon Brown bequeathed the Church of England something of a dog’s breakfast. It is time to reform the reform.

  • Anton

    The episkopos should be… a man of one woman (1 Tim 3:2).

    There are further requirements, but unless the bishop is a man then the church is in flagrant apostasy.

    • Jill

      Yes.

    • Albert

      Probably not the best passage to choose to make the point (unless one is prepared to exclude unmarried or widowed men). However, the biblical point is of course, entirely clear.

      • Anton

        By all means offer a stronger verse on the point!

        • Albert

          How about this:

          As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached? If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord.

          A passage which clarifies the point, makes it clear that the teaching comes from the Lord himself, and also witnesses to the fact that the Church and its authority is more than just the local Church. 🙂

          • Anton

            That’ll do, too.

          • 1642again

            Who needs ISIS eh?

          • Albert

            ??

        • Martin

          I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
          (I Timothy 2:12-14 [ESV])

          • Saint Paul was obviously a prisoner of a patriarchal, misogynistic sexist culture and, quite possibly, a self-loathing repressed homosexual.

            Well, at least, that’s what the modernists claim but ever so much more politely.

            Of course, this quote suggests Adam’s sin was far greater than Eve’s. She, being a woman, was deceived by Satan, whist Adam was fully aware of what he was doing and freely.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The ‘modernist’ is simply not a Christian, failing to accept, as he does, that the Bible is the word of God and inerrant.

            Adam, clearly, chose to side with his wife against God. Eve had taken the opportunity to lead, much as women in the ministry do.

          • Eve led, Adam allowed her abdicating God given responsibility, and so we have history as we know it.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But Eve’s sin was to seek to overrule her husband, as is the sin of those who aspire to be women ministers.

          • Really? Where does scripture say this?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Genesis 3.

          • Before the Fall there was no acrimony between male and female. You laying your own interpretation over what followed.

          • Martin

            HJ

            I’m laying my interpretation on what God says to Eve.

            To the woman he said,
            I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
            in pain you shall bring forth children.
            Your desire shall be for your husband,
            and he shall rule over you.
            (Genesis 3:16 [ESV])

      • Old Nick

        Not so sure about the widowers. Surely a man whose ‘one wife’ is now promoted to a higher sphere is still “the husband of one wife” ?

        • Albert

          I think there’s a bigger problem here than it appears:

          Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife

          What is this opposing? It surely cannot be opposing bishops who are polygamous, for such is obvious. Thus it would appear to be opposing men who have married again after being widowed. But literally, it seems to mean he must have a wife.

          • Old Nick

            The Greek is “mias gynaikos andra”, so surely the emphasis is on having one wife, rather than on just having a wife – the obviously you could not have the former without the latter ! Polygamy not being a starting in the Roman world, I had always taken this as eliminating divorcees (fairly common in the Roman world) – and, I suppose, possibly widowers who remarry (on the Patriarch Nicholas Mysticus principle). I wonder what your four cardinals might have to say about this.

          • Albert

            I had always taken this as eliminating divorcees

            In view of the fact that remarriage after divorce is adultery in the Bible, this does not seems a likely meaning. Paul can’t just be disqualifying someone who is obviously disqualified anyway.

            I don’t think the four Cardinals would have anything to say on this matter, since, with few exceptions, married men cannot be ordained, and even those that can, cannot be remarried after divorce, since they cannot receive the sacraments anyway (at least, that’s what the four Cardinal say!).

          • Old Nick

            “Paul can’t just be disqualifying someone who is obviously disqualified anyway”: but he might just be stating the obvious ?
            I thought the four cardinals were too canny to say anything, they just asked embarassing questions…..

          • Albert

            he might just be stating the obvious ?

            Not likely. It would be like saying “People outside the communion of the Church cannot be bishops.” It would be hard to accept that as the meaning.

          • Yet some may be remarried divorcees before conversion. Certain unalterable reconversion acts have lifelong consequences in the area of church leadership.

          • Albert

            That’s a very complicated area. I would say that if the early Church regarded the first marriage as a genuine marriage, then it would follow that they were in a state of adultery in which case my point stands. If they regarded the first marriage as not a marriage, then the passage would not apply. So I think your position does not work.

          • I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that Paul is reminding those in irregular marriages that these debar them from public office.

          • Albert

            I think it is, because they previously debar them from communion.

          • Are you saying that someone divorced and remarried then converted cannot have communion in God’s church?

          • Albert

            Yes, of course – if it was a genuine marriage and there is no reason to think the Pauline or Petrine Privileges apply. This is what Jesus says:

            Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

            So the new marriage is adulterous. But adulterers cannot receive Holy Communion in God’s Church. Ergo.

          • Is that the RC position? It is the position of some Protestant churches. I must say, although I see only very narrow bases for divorce, I find it impossible to contemplate that Jesus is teaching that the remarriage must be dissolved if one is to be saved.

          • Albert

            The position I have given is the Catholic position, to the best of my knowledge.

            I find it impossible to contemplate that Jesus is teaching that the remarriage must be dissolved if one is to be saved.

            That’s not quite what’s being said. After all, the second marriage isn’t a marriage and so cannot be dissolved. Thus the partners of this second marriage are no different from those living together outside of wedlock (except of course that there is the additional element of unfaithfulness to the first marriage). Now in the same way as scripture says fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, so here with adulterers.

            It’s no good saying you can’t contemplate Jesus saying this. It’s what he says. We should not assume Jesus is a projection of ourselves. But as with all sin, the issue is about repentance. Jesus saves us from sin, not for sin. Those in irregular or invalid marriages remain within his providence and he has different ways of saving them from their situations – as is the case with all of the rest of us.

            A further issue here concerns the element of conscience and this, as I understand it, is the issue with the present Pope. Lack of culpability in any situation necessarily diminishes guilt, so although one commits the act of a moral sin, one isn’t necessarily in a state of mortal sin.

          • I understand that biblical teaching is the final authority. I am not sure, however, that Jesus is saying the new marriage while adulterous must be dissolved for while it ought not to have happened it has happened and is a real marriage. Real obligations and commitments have been made. To renege on these does not correct the sin it compounds it. Let’s assume the new marriage has existed for 15 years and has resulted in four children. Is Jesus saying this union should be dissolved? And if we consider this teaching in the context originally given, what about the freshly divorced wife. Jesus is saying divorcing a wife effectively forces her into a remarriage presumably as she seeks security in the C1 world.

            I am clear that Jesus is teaching this marriage is based on a wrong foundation. I am not at all clear that he is teaching all such marriages must be dissolved.

          • Albert

            I understand that biblical teaching is the final authority. I am not sure, however, that Jesus is saying the new marriage while adulterous must be dissolved for while it ought not to have happened it has happened and is a real marriage.

            It’s not a real marriage, for it is called adultery by the Lord, and adultery and marriage are mutually exclusive. This is what he says:

            Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

            He’s not saying “This isn’t allowed” he’s saying the previous marriage still exists, so the new marriage is adultery and therefore not a new marriage.

            Real obligations and commitments have been made.

            This is more complicated than it looks. A commitment made by someone who is not able to make the commitment is no commitment at all.

            Let’s assume the new marriage has existed for 15 years and has resulted in four children. Is Jesus saying this union should be dissolved?

            He is not saying it should be dissolved, he is saying it is not a marriage. The obvious thing for the couple to do would be (assuming reconciliation with the real spouse is impossible) to abstain from marital relations. Then at least they would not be committing adultery, even if they are perhaps still doing the harm that may remain of not being with their spouse.

            Let me give you another example. Suppose a man has been having an affair with another woman for the last 15 years. By his wife and this woman he has four children each. Clearly the man has moral obligations to all his children. Are you going, on the strength of your argument to permit polygamy and say both marriages are valid? Surely not! But that curiously is what you are defending. You cannot defend adultery. You cannot call it a marriage. It’s a really tough one.

            And if we consider this teaching in the context originally given, what about the freshly divorced wife. Jesus is saying divorcing a wife effectively forces her into a remarriage

            A remarriage that he explicitly says is adultery, and although she is the deserted spouse, he says she commits adultery, while her (first) husband has caused her to do so.

            I am clear that Jesus is teaching this marriage is based on a wrong foundation.

            It’s not the wrong foundation, it’s adultery, and as such is no marriage, the only reason it cannot be dissolved is because it is not a marriage.

            Of course this is all really difficult – I get that. But Jesus did too. Show me from his words that I am wrong and that is another matter, but if you can’t oughtn’t his authority simply be accepted as for the best, for everyone?

          • ‘It’s not the wrong foundation, it’s adultery, and as such is no marriage’

            It is the logic here that I am not convinced by. I am not at all sure it is not a real marriage. In OT irregular marriages were still regarded as real marriages. That is not to say I cannot see the force of your logic. I believe Jesus is stressing the sin of divorce and remarriage, I am not at all sure he is teaching the solution is to break up the new relationship entered into with freshly taken contractual obligations however unfounded.

            Can you imagine the social chaos if all who became Christians ‘dissolved’ their illegitimate marriages. I would need to be very convinced this was the way God intended the problem of illegitimate marriages to be resolved to teach and seek to enforce this. To my mind, ,’the husband of one wife’ hints at how the NT dealt with this problem; those with irregular marriages were debarred from leadership roles.

          • Albert

            In OT irregular marriages were still regarded as real marriages.

            But we are not in the same situation as the OT – we are to exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.

            It is interesting that Jesus does not say the marriage is not a real marriage. He says ‘ whoever marries’ .

            I think it is difficult to avoid that in normal language. The Catholic Church might say X is an invalid marriage – they do not mean to say (because they use the word “marriage”) that the marriage is valid.

            I believe Jesus is stressing the sin of divorce and remarriage

            If that’s what he meant only, he would have said so only. But as it is, he goes further and stresses that the remarriage is adultery. I think you are putting the cart before the horse. You are assuming that Jesus can’t have meant X and therefore that can’t be what he means. But it is what he says. And what he says cannot mean what you take it to mean.

            I am not at all sure he is teaching the solution is to break up the new relationship entered into with freshly taken contractual obligations however unfounded.

            Clearly, if the previous marriage is viable (i.e. the first spouse remains unmarried and has the children, say) then the duty is to return to the wife without giving up the obligations to the children of the second relationship). If this isn’t the case, then the Pauline and Petrine Privileges may be relevant, or annulment. But if none of these things is possible then sex would clearly be adultery.

            Can you imagine the social chaos if all who became Christians ‘dissolved’ their illegitimate marriages.

            As I say the practical application may not be what you think. However, I think society is in chaos because of the departure from our Lord’s teaching. It is that departure that is the problem in the first place. Can you imagine how much better things would be if all Christians followed Christ’s teaching?

            To my mind, ,’the husband of one wife’ hints at how the NT dealt with this problem; those with irregular marriages were debarred from leadership roles.

            No. Those who engage in adulterous sexual acts cannot receive communion anyway, so that teaching is redundant. Hence, it must refer to something else.

          • Pubcrawler

            And ‘gynaikos’ not ‘andros’.

        • Anton

          If he were then he would not be free to marry again, yet he is free so to do. Romans 7:2 could not be more explicit.

          • Old Nick

            But he would be in Roman law (as you would find from Susan Treggiari’s big book on Roman marriage). I have always taken it that that is what the author is closing off.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Dog’s breakfast sums up not only Gordon Brown’s ‘bequest’ to the Church of England as his Grace describes, but the entire platform of constitutional ‘reform’ unleashed by New Labour under the direction of their pirouetting gremlin-in-chief, Mr. Blair. What the Left cannot totally destroy they damage…but what do they actually build?

    • chefofsinners

      Well, Tony Blair is now ‘building’ the Catholic Church. Good luck, Jack et al.

      • Anton

        It chose to let him in, his apostate beliefs and all. At which point Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi stated that “The choice of joining the Catholic church made by such an authoritative personality can only arouse joy and respect.”

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7157409.stm

      • Cressida de Nova

        Tony Blair would not have shown his true colours at his conversion. He would have said all the’ right things’ Who would know whether he meant them or not at that time and then changed his mind. He has proven to be very flaky. He promised to grant his grandmother her dying wish that he would never marry a Catholic.

    • David

      Question : “What do they build?”
      Answer : Division.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    1 Timothy 3:1-2: “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach.”

    • Dominic Stockford

      “he”

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Mr Stockford

        I wish to increase my knowledge on this matter.

        Please provide an explanation.

        • chefofsinners

          I believe Dominic is simply emphasising that the bible does not envisage women in the role of bishop.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Thank you.

    • David

      Quite !

  • Dominic Stockford

    Ironically, however, if the reform is reformed away we may on this occasion probably end up with exactly the same result – an appointment made to make a feminist point. The chance of a man who would put preaching the Word of God as it is clearly written as his priority is most unlikely, even though that is who ought to be in the post – however, God does sometimes engineer mistakes in the liberal process (Brexit, Trump…)

  • Sigfridiii

    Remove the bishops from the House of Lords and put them to work in their own dioceses, and there is a double blessing.

  • MadMadWorld

    As far as I can tell the CofE is currently in the grip of a positive discrimination identity politics diversity frenzy. On every level they seem to be actively seeking to appoint people other than white men in order to be more ‘representative’ of the wider population – as though that is the proper way to make appointments to ecclesiastical offices or recommendations for ordination. At my own church the diocese, without any reference to the parish, added a note to our advert for a new vicar saying that we were particularly looking for ethnic minority applicants (they are now doing it to every advert I believe). We are an ethnically diverse church, and none of us were happy about that – we wanted the person God is calling based on aptitude for the role and nothing more. Sure enough, we received very few applications, and the only shortlisted applicant who applied off their own bat was minority ethnic – the advert was successful only at deterring white applicants, which is hardly desirable. I was also at a seminar last year where the head of HR for the National Church Institutions (Church Commissioners, Archbishops’ Council etc.) explained that, in line with their new vision of ‘people values’ they were seeking to reduce the proportion of Christians working for the NCIs (too many apparently) and increase those of other faiths, along with other ‘under-represented’ groups. They also shared about the problem they had had with a junior administrator who prayed (imagine!) with someone on the phone, and how they had dealt with that and stamped it out. They told us if people want prayer they should ask a priest. The Church really needs to sort itself out and remember who it serves and what it stands for and why it’s here. Clue: the answer is not the advancement of secular liberalism, cultural Marxism or the self-hating war against the white man.

    • 1642again

      You shouldn’t be able to make it up, but it’s all too convincing. At least you’re getting a vicar. Our benefice of five rural parishes is being threatened with losing ours shortly. Our recent roll call since 2000.

      2000-02 Interregnum
      2002-05 Vicar who was a drunk and showed no pastoral or spiritual qualities, and who halved the congregations within 3 years before resigning.
      2005-07 Interregnum
      2007-10 Part time vicar for 2.5 days a week who resigned because couldn’t cope with five churches and two schools.
      2010-12 Interregnum
      2012-17 Vicar for 4 days per week who retires shortly and has been ill for most of the time.

      So in 16 years while we have been paying the precepts we’ve had over 6 years of no vicar and only three years of a totally unsuitable vicar with enough time to perform their duties.

      Aren’t Bishops and Diocese wonderful?

      • MadMadWorld

        It’s all too true I can assure you, not a word of a lie. Very depressing.

        Yes, the Church is far too keen on spending money at national and diocesan level where it is frittered away on pointless short-term posts and glossy brochures. My persistent mantra is: get the money to the parishes.

        • 1642again

          Mine too Mr MMW. The whole thing is an inversion of how it should be.

          When turning around companies I’ve not that the previous management have reacted to challenge by centralising all decision making and not trusting the front line with more resources and freedom as well as accountability They then invariably demotivate the good people in the front line. The success I’ve had is by dismantling most of the centre, passing the resources and more autonomy down to the front line, and then ruthlessly rooting those out who can’t do the job the way they need to.

          • Pubcrawler

            “reacted to challenge by centralising all decision making and not trusting the front line”

            Somewhat like the European Commission.

          • 1642again

            Exactly. Another failing institution.

          • Pubcrawler

            In need of the same remedy.

          • 1642again

            Defection to GAFCON? My Parish is preparing already.

          • David

            GAFCON. Why not indeed ! You’ve been treated abominably. There’s the Anglican Mission to England, an offshoot of GAFCON to welcome you. I enjoy receiving GAFCON’s heartening messages.

        • David

          I’ve seen this as well. All successful organisation focus resources at the coal face, continuously driving down central costs. The centre only exists so as to direct the front lines intelligently, responsively and effectively.

          • Old Nick

            Try telling that to university administrators !

          • 1642again

            I would love just three years overseeing a major state institution. It would be bloody and spectacular, but worth it.

      • Old Nick

        This tale surprises me not at all. I could take you to a ‘group’ of nine rural parishes where 10% of the population goes to church regularly, where there are few dissenting chapels and no RC church, and a vast reservoir of goodwill among those who attend irregularly. There is a resident NSM who preaches Calvinism of the more exclusive kind, including at funerals where most of the (frequently large) congregation will simply be put off by it. And the parade of paid clergy has been composed largely of duds, including one who refused to baptize children with the Prayer Book office even in the context of Evensong (as stated in the BCP rubric) because it was “against the policy of the group”, one whose dog chased sheep belonging to the husband of the chairman of the Parish Council and another who used his column in the local paper and the editorial in the parish magazine to tell people not to bother to come to church at Christmas unless they loved the Lord the way he did. He also declined to attend the village fêtes which form a significant source of church funds and where he could have meant rather a high proportion of his flock all at one go.

        • 1642again

          It’s appalling. Sorry it’s not just us who’ve been unlucky.

        • David

          That’s a shocker !
          But why don’t you knock rather forcefully on the Bishop’s door and demand better treatment ? Being passive and too “nice” is an Anglican flaw.

          • 1642again

            We were threatened last time with no more vicars if we said anything. Exeter and Crediton Diocese is a shocker.

          • Old Nick

            That is the usual threat, yes.

          • chefofsinners

            Is that a threat or a promise?

          • 1642again

            Depends on who you get.

          • Anton

            Possibly a bluff which you will have to call. Nothing now to lose in doing what David suggests, and if threatened say that you will pass the threat on to the local newspapers and internet forums unless it is withdrawn.

          • 1642again

            Not our PCC. I attend the neighbouring church most often which is where we will move if the COE goes ghey.

          • Old Nick

            The current response has been to send a woman – which is one more reason why I and my ‘other integrity’ take a 40-mile drive every Sunday.

          • David

            Makes my gripes with liberal types a relatively light burden to shoulder.

        • Cressida de Nova

          This sounds like an episode from the Vicar of Dibley.

      • Anton

        When I was on an Anglican PCC and we faced an interregnum I proposed various plans for active Christian ministry involving members of the congregation organised by the PCC, so that when the next vicar came we might offer him a lively parish that he could oversee instead of having to do all the work himself. My suggestion was overwhelmingly negatively received by the rest of the PCC. At the same time too many bishops were questioning the very roots of the faith. I shook the dust off my feet and headed for the nonconformists.

        • 1642again

          Sorry to lose you Anton but I understand.

      • David

        My word, you have been in the wars. Even by the standards prevalent now you have been very badly treated. The misuse of that £1 million for mission is appalling.

        • 1642again

          It’s not a surprise that a once healthy congregation has reduced is it?

          BTW, the one full time vicar closed down the Sunday School, youth club, drove out the Mother’s Union, banned the Alpha Course and the retired vicar who had served us brilliantly in the previous interregnum, and used to use Parish Funds for ‘team building’ i.e. dinners and drinks down the local pub with a few cronies.

          Diocese didn’t give a damn as long as the Precept was paid.

          • David

            A very rotten apple that one !

      • Uncle Toby

        It could be incompetence at diocesan level, as you suggest (or worse). But it could stem from the widespread problem of trying to get clergy to move to areas outside London and the SE. Or move at all, when their children are settled in school and their wife (?husband) has a good job, which she (he) might not get again if they relocate to Devon or Northumberland. I suspect that if your parish were inside the M25, or in say, the diocese of Guildford, there would be fewer recruitment problems.

        • 1642again

          May be, but they still want our precept (up again next year) and give us less for it each year.

    • chefofsinners

      It’s as though you live in a MadMadWorld.

  • I get the feeling that London Diocese has “too many” conservative churches for a liberal or a female diocesan bishop. Can you imagine how big an issue would be caused if a female bishop were to be appointed and then all the conservative churches (heck, even a quarter of them) were to seek alternative diocesan oversight? And there are probably too many liberals for an overtly conservative evangelical, So the “obvious” choice is the closest they can get to a Chartes clone. Who that person is is another question, but I do not see how they can hope for London Diocese to continue to function as it has for so long by changing the dynamic that has held it together.

    • David

      Excellent points !

  • John

    As a pastoral church for a Christian nation, political involvement in the appointment of bishops has some logic. But this is not a Christian nation, and it needs a prophetic, missional church, not a pastoral one.

    An established church in a pluralist and overwhelmingly agnostic country like the UK in the 21st Century is a complete nonsense and feels more incongruous every year. An amicable divorce seems inevitable.

    As for London, providing the candidate fits the criteria laid down in the New Testament, I don’t mind who is appointed.

  • Jon Sorensen

    Just like early Christians tried to make Apostle Junia disappear, modern Christians are upset when women become bishops. Maybe female leaders will be good for CoE. The male leadership has not worked so well lately…

    • carl jacobs

      Beware the physician who desires the death of his patient.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Yeah… going back to original form of Christianity does not seem attractive to Christians.

        • carl jacobs

          As if you are a credible source on the subject of “original Christianity”.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You are confused. I’m not the source. Go read the historical documents. Modern bibles tend to have this and many other verses modified.

          • carl jacobs

            Awww. Isn’t that cute. Someone is trying to educate me about textual variants.

          • Pubcrawler

            And the Junia(s) question isn’t even about textual variance (the MSS are all of one voice), it’s about inflectional morphology.

          • Jon Sorensen

            No. You are still confused. I’m not the source.

    • Albert

      Just like early Christians tried to make Apostle Junia disappear

      Oh dear. Junia appears as a female in texts a diverse as St John Chrysostom (4th Century), right the way through to the KJV. The female form never ceased to be used, although in the 19th and first half of the 20th C the male translation was preferred. “Junias” (male) is a possible reading, although perhaps not the best. The key thing is that little follows from the sex of the individual – as the persistent translation in the feminine by scholars who did not believe in women’s ordination/headship demonstrates.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Let’s do some fact checking:

        “Junia appears as a female in texts a diverse as St John Chrysostom ”
        What did John write:
        “Also notable is the case of Junias or Junio, placed in the rank of the apostles, with regard to whom one or another [exegete] raises the question of whether it is a man.”
        This makes my point that Christian leaders are trying to make her disappear.

        “The female form never ceased to be used”
        LOL. King James 2000 Bible, ESV, ASV and many others still have “Junias”.

        “The key thing is that little follows from the sex of the individual”
        LOL. Christian leaders and people like you make a big lead about the sex of the church leaders.

        “as the persistent translation in the feminine by scholars who did not believe in women’s ordination/headship demonstrates”
        Just do your homework first…

        • Albert

          Let’s do some fact checking:

          Yes, let’s.

          What did John write:
          “Also notable is the case of Junias or Junio, placed in the rank of the apostles, with regard to whom one or another [exegete] raises the question of whether it is a man.”

          No he didn’t. This is just you having no idea what you are talking about and therefore misreading even the most basic information. Here’s the webpage you have got this from, I assume:

          http://www.womenpriests.org/classic/brooten.asp

          “Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7): To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles—just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.

          John Chrysostom (344/54-407)(2)

          Also notable is the case of Junias or Junio, placed in the rank of the apostles (Rom. 16, 7), with regard to whom one or another [exegete] raises the question of whether it is a man.

          Pontifical Biblical Commission (1976)(3)

          As anyone who has done even a cursory amount of study of this question knows, it is the first quotation that is from the 4th Century saint John Chrysostom (and it was this quotation I had in mind in my previous post), while the second, as the webpage says, is from the 1976 Biblical Commission – but you attribute this quotation to John Chrysostom. Doh!

          This makes my point that Christian leaders are trying to make her disappear.

          That wasn’t your claim. Your claim was:

          Just like early Christians tried to make Apostle Junia disappear

          But as the proper reference to John Chrysostom shows, the evidence of the early Church is against this claim.

          “The female form never ceased to be used”
          LOL. King James 2000 Bible, ESV, ASV and many others still have “Junias”.

          You don’t understand what words mean. I said it never ceased to be used, not it was always used. There’s an obvious logical difference isn’t there? That is to say, in the period in question, some translations used the female form, while others used the masculine form. So that’s two elementary errors you’ve made here – funny how you use the expression “LOL” isn’t it?

          “The key thing is that little follows from the sex of the individual”
          LOL. Christian leaders and people like you make a big lead about the sex of the church leaders.

          Again, you have strong opinions even though you have no understanding. The issue is what follows from Junia being female. Nothing follows and you haven’t shown that it does.

          Just do your homework first…

          As you would say, LOL.

          • Jon Sorensen

            This all makes my point as I said. Christians have always been writing off female leader and you are still arguing about it.

            “I said it never ceased to be used, not it was always used.”
            Another pointless comment. So what it never ceased? Christian leader have not accepted female leaders how ever you try to spin it with semantics.

            “you have strong opinions even though you have no understanding.”
            LOL. You can’t even accept that Junia was a female leader. And you don’t accept that women have been can can be Christian leaders…

          • Albert

            This all makes my point as I said.

            So to be clear, you make some real howlers in terms of the understanding of evidence (confusing a 20th C text with a 4th Century text, when the source distinguishes between the two is really quite incompetent, don’t you think?), but then you say it all supports you!

            Christians have always been writing off female leader and you are still arguing about it.

            This is very confused. Female Christian leadership has always existed in the Catholic Church. Look at St Hilda of Whitby, or St Catherine of Siena just to give two enormous examples. We have no problem with female leadership. What we have a problem with is women’s ordination, and whether or not “Junia” is female (there are good arguments either way), the passage does not plausibly mean a woman was in apostolic orders. I’ve asked now twice for your evidence that it does, but I get nothing back.

            Another pointless comment. So what it never ceased?

            I was answering your falsified claim that:

            early Christians tried to make Apostle Junia disappear

            Well evidently this is false, since I was able to cite Chrysostom on the matter and showed his translation was followed until the 19th Century. Therefore the early Church did not do what you said. When people started to think the figure was male, the idea never became universal, that’s my point. It is utterly implausible that Junia was an apostle in the sense that Peter and Paul were apostles. This much is pretty obvious both by the passage itself and from the wider context.

            You can’t even accept that Junia was a female leader. And you don’t accept that women have been and can be Christian leaders…

            You are so ignorant it astonishes me. The strength of your opinions is in inverse proportion to your understanding and evidence. I do not oppose female leadership. I oppose female ordination. Now if you want to show me that Junia contradicts that go ahead, but given the embarrassing level of your scholarship thus far (you can’t even read a secondary source properly), I don’t think you’re going to do very well on that.

          • CliveM

            Frankly I found it better to block him.

          • Albert

            You may well be right, Clive. He is very bad – I don’t just mean I disagree with him, but that he’s incompetent.

          • CliveM

            For me it wasn’t simply the incompetence, but the smug manner in which he presented it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “What we have a problem with is women’s ordination”
            This is the standard male problem you have. You are still writing off half of humanity

            “whether or not “Junia” is female”
            And you still don’t accept the truth, but you do get comfort from you own domination’s narrative….

            “Well evidently this is false”
            Even you are still doing it…

            ” It is utterly implausible that Junia was an apostle in the sense that Peter and Paul were apostles.”
            Well if you don’t believe what the Bible says. I guess you need your own biblical narrative.

            “The strength of your opinions is in inverse proportion to your understanding and evidence.”
            Maybe because you don’t accept the evidence of men writing off Junia…

          • Albert

            Well if you don’t believe what the Bible says.

            It isn’t what the Bible says. Simply at the level translation we can see the problems with your view. I set out the alternatives below:

            Greet Andronicus and Junias/Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are of note among the /well known to the apostles/messengers and they were in Christ before me.

            So you can see there are three points where the translation is not clear – you need each to go your way. I need only one to go against your way. The odds are against you from a purely translational point of view. Now when we consider the other evidence that neither is clearly a noteworthy apostle (we haven’t heard of either except here), to say nothing of the other evidence, it is clear that Junia is not an apostle in the sense of Peter and Paul.

            Maybe because you don’t accept the evidence of men writing off Junia…

            No, no. I accept that has happened. What I reject is your claim that the early Church did this – that is factually false, as I have shown. I also reject the claim that, because men may have written off Junia for the wrong reasons in the 19th century, that therefore Junia was an apostle in the sense of Peter and Paul. That would be very poor logic.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I assume you think…”
            Please don’t

            “Greet Andronicus and Junias/Junia”
            There was no “Junias” there. Start with that.

            “Junia is not an apostle in the sense of Peter and Paul.”
            According to Bible they all were same kind of apostles.

            “I reject is your claim that the early Church did this”
            So why don’t you accept her as an apostle in leadership authority as according to you early Chruch did?

          • Pubcrawler

            “There was no “Junias” there. Start with that.”

            OK. The Greek text (of all MSS) has Ἰουνίαν. This is 1st declension accusative (syntactically correct). The nominative could be either Ἰουνία or Ἰουνίας.

            Tell me where I’m wrong, or withdraw from the field.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The Greek text (of all MSS) has Ἰουνίαν”
            Can you tell me what P46 reads?

          • Pubcrawler

            You’re hooking everything on one papyrus? Have you done any textual criticism ever?

            Now, answer my question. Is my Greek in error?

          • Jon Sorensen

            You said that “The Greek text (of all MSS) has Ἰουνίαν”

            Now you are running away to tell me what P46 reads. Are you now going withdraw from the field as you can’t even back up your simple claim?

          • Albert

            “I assume you think…”
            Please don’t

            I was of course being ironic.

            There was no “Junias” there. Start with that.

            As usual, you have opinions in excess of evidence. The Greek is ambiguous – as everyone admits. It comes down to where the accent is placed. But there were no accents in the original Greek, therefore we don’t know. This is as it appears in the online Greek Ἰουνιᾶν. That’s actually masculine as I understand the matter. To make it female you have to move the accent thus: Ἰουνίαν. So what are your reasons for making it feminine?

            According to Bible they all were same kind of apostles.

            Really? Where does it say that? The Greek can be translated in different ways. How do you answer the evidence against? Do you know it?

            And where is your argument that ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις “prominent among the apostles” rather than “well known to the apostles”? Surely, you have one. You are a man of reason and evidence after all. You wouldn’t be taking something just on faith or emotion. So you must have an argument. And how do you answer the fact that although she was “prominent among the apostles” we haven’t heard of her?

            So why don’t you accept her as an apostle in leadership authority as according to you early Chruch did?

            Because they obviously didn’t accept her as an apostle, albeit that she appears to have been accepted as some kind leader. I keep pointing out the difficulties with reading the text to mean she was an apostle (and there are many more points I could raise). It ought to be obvious that the matter doesn’t rest on the (unsettled) question of the sex of Ἰουνιᾶν/Ἰουνίαν.

            This discussion began with you “fact-checking” and asking me to do my homework. How’s yours’ going?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “So what are your reasons for making it feminine?”
            Try this:
            http://podacre.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/nt-pod-12-junia-first-woman-apostle.html
            and check textual variants.

            “Really? Where does it say that?”
            Where do see it treated differently when other people don’t see it.

            “she was “prominent among the apostles” we haven’t heard of her?”
            Well we actually have. She made it to the Bible as God’s eternal word.

            “Because they obviously didn’t accept her as an apostle”
            Well God did accept her. If it is ok with God why do you have a problem with it?

          • Albert

            Try this:
            http://podacre.blogspot.com.au
            and check textual variants.

            I’ve already conceded that Junia is the most likely reading. However, it is false to exclude the male form. Just because we have no other examples of “Junias” doesn’t mean that this passage cannot be the only example. As everyone concedes (including your podcast) Junias would be a nick-name. So the matter is uncertain, even if I think Junia is most likely.

            Next as to the meaning of ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις. The simple fact is that it can mean “well-known to the apostles.” I’ve actually read the book (Epp) that your postcast refers to and it isn’t conclusive. Indeed Bauckham (which I have also read), to which Epp refers as being “more detailed” than his own study, gets no stronger than to say the sense in Rom 16.7 is more likely to be inclusive (i.e. “prominent among”). The element that tips Bauckham in favour of an inclusive reading is in fact the reading of John Chrysostom as an authority. But Chrysostom does not regard “apostle” to be “apostle” in the sense of Peter and Paul. I note with interest that your podcast does not address the issue of ἀποστόλοις that I keep asking for evidence of. This is what Chrysostom says:

            The divine law excluded women from the ministry, but they forcibly push themselves in …They are women, the very ones who are not even allowed to teach. Do I say ‘teach’? St Paul did not allow them even to speak in church.

            So Bauckham’s argument (which never goes beyond arguing for plausibility) rests on using Chrysostom as an authority “as a native Greek speaker” for ἐπίσημοι ἐν but not ἀποστόλοις, which is just bizarre. Chrysostom’s argument is important, since he is appealing to St Paul – the author of Rom.16.7. Thus, to accept Junia was an apostle, you have to accept that Paul taught women couldn’t be in the ministry, but also taught a a woman was rightly in the ministry. That makes no sense.

            Well we actually have. She made it to the Bible as God’s eternal word.

            What I mean is, if she’s so prominent, why does she only appear here? Why don’t we hear anything else of her or Andronicus?

            It is a little odd that you think these matters can be resolved by an 8 minute podcast. And the way this discussion is going, it appears you are doing your scholarship on the hoof as it were. Which rather suggests, again, that you have made your mind up and are desperately searching for evidence to support it. But then again, given how hard you find it read texts and the elementary error you made at the beginning of this, perhaps aural evidence in the form of podcasts is the safer option. Just to clarify, have you read Epp and Bauckham’s books on this?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “you have to accept that Paul taught women couldn’t be in the ministry, but also taught a a woman was rightly in the ministry. That makes no sense.”
            Maybe Paul did not write all Paul’s letter as many scholars now think.

            “It is a little odd that you think these matters can be resolved by an 8 minute podcast”
            8mins is not too long to ask someone to listen. I agree that it does not resolve all issues

            “you have made your mind up and are desperately searching for evidence to support it.”
            Your comment sounds desperate as my view agrees with pretty much all Christian scholars and pretty much nobody agrees with your view. But good luck with that and your “elementary error” claim.

          • Albert

            Maybe Paul did not write all Paul’s letter as many scholars now think.

            But the arguments seem driven by the demand to separate Paul from the passages against women’s ministry.

            Your comment sounds desperate as my view agrees with pretty much all Christian scholars

            You’re kidding me?! The idea of scholarly consensus on a point like this shows how little you know what you are talking about. There are a few scholars talking to each other about this, but to say that everyone agrees with them is bizarre. And there’s a whole load of other evidence we haven’t even talked about here. Anyway, I note with interest that you are now resorting to an argument from authority.

            But good luck with that and your “elementary error” claim.

            Your elementary error is established. You attributed a quotation to John Chrysostom that was clearly marked as from the Pontifical Biblical Commission. It was an error of attribution, it was an error of about 1500 years, and it was a basic error of reading a text. Now all of that makes it both an error and an elementary error.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “But the arguments seem driven by the demand to separate Paul from the passages against women’s ministry.”
            Nope. But we know Paul did not write all his letter how those are in the Bible.

            “I note with interest that you are now resorting to an argument from authority”
            Nope. My argument was because of the text, not because scholarly consensus.

          • Albert

            Nope. But we know Paul did not write all his letter how those are in the Bible.

            That may be true. But you need to show that he did not write all the relevant passages.

            Nope. My argument was because of the text, not because scholarly consensus.

            So we go back to the arguments about the problems with the text. What is your evidence for reading ἐπίσημοι ἐν as “prominent among” rather than “well known to”? Likewise, what are your arguments for assuming they are apostles rather than messengers? There are more questions to follow, but that will do for now.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “you need to show that he did not write all the relevant passages.”
            Nope. We know Romans is at least partly a forgery, so we can just approach these passages as “we don’t know” if Paul wrote these.

          • Albert

            We know Romans is at least partly a forgery, so we can just approach these passages as “we don’t know” if Paul wrote these.

            “Forgery” is the wrong word in this context, but let that pass. What is your evidence for this “knowledge”?

            Secondly, where is your answer to this from my previous post?:

            So we go back to the arguments about the problems with the text. What is your evidence for reading ἐπίσημοι ἐν as “prominent among” rather than “well known to”? Likewise, what are your arguments for assuming they are apostles rather than messengers? There are more questions to follow, but that will do for now.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “What is your evidence for this “knowledge”?”
            You can study the manuscript endings (last chapter) of Romans and it’s easy to see how many versions there were. And no Paul did not write those variations.

            I have no relevant view about reading ἐπίσημοι ἐ.

          • Albert

            You can study the manuscript endings (last chapter) of Romans and it’s easy to see how many versions there were. And no Paul did not write those variations.

            As usual, you provide a distinct paucity of information. I don’t think you would find many front rank scholars agreeing with you however (unless of course you are simply talking about minor textual errors which can easily be identified from the sheer mass of copies available) and it was to that sort of authority that you were appealing (falsely) earlier. But if you do hold to this, then it actually counts against your position, since it would throw into doubt the authenticity of Romans 16 which contains Junia!

            I have no relevant view about reading ἐπίσημοι ἐ. [sic]

            Of course you don’t. You can’t tell the difference between a 20th Century text and a Fourth Century text, even when the source makes the difference clear, so you are hardly likely to be able to defend a position with that level of Greek complexity. But if you don’t have a view on the reading of those words, you cannot know that Junia was an apostle, since you don’t know whether Paul meant “prominent among” or “well-known to”.

            Perhaps if you weren’t so cock sure and arrogant when you begin these discussions, you wouldn’t look so bad when you run into difficulties.

          • Jon Sorensen

            ” I don’t think you would find many front rank scholars agreeing with you however”
            Any evidence for his claim?

            “it was to that sort of authority that you were appealing (falsely) earlier”
            Again nonsense.
            I never said that the reason is because experts agree. You keep on repeating this lie. Shame.

            “if you don’t have a view on the reading of those words, you cannot know that Junia was an apostle”
            LOL. Keep repeating this and you’ll eventually believe it too.

            “Perhaps if you weren’t so cock sure and arrogant when you begin these discussions, you wouldn’t look so bad when you run into difficulties”
            Looks like you are projecting. Christian scholars agree with my position, but you seem to be angry because scholarly Christians don’t really buy any of your arguments. I wonder who actually looks bad…

          • Albert

            Any evidence for his claim?

            In the first instance the claim was yours. I would just point out that I have never, in decades of study come across a commentary that claims Romans is not authentic or that Paul did not write the last chapter. But it’s hard to prove a negative as you, as a man of reason will understand. Therefore, you will not think it amiss if I ask you to furnish evidence for your positive claim.

            I never said that the reason is because experts agree. You keep on repeating this lie. Shame.

            Well this is what you said:

            my view agrees with pretty much all Christian scholars and pretty much nobody agrees with your view.

            That is an appeal to authority, however you may choose to massage it afterwards. You’ve also admitted that you don’t have any view on the translation of key text – so, to maintain your position, you must appeal to authority. Finally, I must point out the sheer lack of any evidence or argumentation of your own (with the exception of that embarrassing misattributation error of 1500 years). The best you’ve done is appeal to a podcast – which is, of course, appealing to authority.

            LOL. Keep repeating this and you’ll eventually believe it too.

            The case for Junia being an apostle requires us to translate the line as “prominent among” as opposed “well-known to”. But you said you have no relevant view about reading ἐπίσημοι ἐ. [sic] Therefore, you cannot know that Junia was an apostle. Or are you discerning this from some tea-leaves?

            Christian scholars agree with my position

            Some Christian scholars agree with your position.

            scholarly Christians don’t really buy any of your arguments

            Really? Where have I got them from then?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I studied the Romans ending variants a while back. Quite interesting I must say.

            You still don’t understand the appeal to authority fallacy. Usual definition:
            “Using an authority as evidence in your argument when the authority is not really an authority on the facts relevant to the argument.”

            I never claimed that I believe because biblical scholars claim that, nor did I claim non-experts in that field said it. But you keep on repeating nonsense about it.

            “so, to maintain your position, you must appeal to authority”
            So what. Anyone can refer to the expert in the field. It’s not a fallacy even when you think it is.

            “The best you’ve done is appeal to a podcast – which is, of course, appealing to authority”
            You keep on being confused about “appealing to authority”. The podcast was to share the general consensus of expert in the field which agrees what I have studied about Junia.

            “”prominent among” as opposed “well-known to”.”
            For some reason you think this is raelly relevant. You just keep on denying that she was apostle…

          • Albert

            You still don’t understand the appeal to authority fallacy.

            You still don’t understand the point I am making. Obviously, I do not think appealing to an authority is a fallacy – faith is based on authority. But anyone who claims to be an evidentialist closes this avenue down to them.

            I never claimed that I believe because biblical scholars claim that

            You don’t need to. This is what you said:

            my view agrees with pretty much all Christian scholars and pretty much nobody agrees with your view.

            There are two ways one can use an authority. Either one uses it as a basis for one’s own belief, or one can use it rhetorically – to convince another. You have used it rhetorically. But in this post, you use it as a basis for your belief:

            “so, to maintain your position, you must appeal to authority”
            So what. Anyone can refer to the expert in the field.

            Why do you keep changing your mind all the time?

            The podcast was to share the general consensus of expert in the field which agrees what I have studied about Junia.

            There’s not a general consensus on this – it’s rare to get a scholarly consensus on anything like this. The ground breaking work on it was Bauckam’s book which came out in 2002. You don’t seriously believe that there’s been a scholarly consensus created since then, do you? And even if you did, why should it matter if the arguments are not good. Unlike you, I am very happy to put forwards arguments on this.

            “”prominent among” as opposed “well-known to”.”For some reason you think this is raelly relevant. You just keep on denying that she was apostle…

            Obviously it’s really important. If the passage says “well-known to” then you have no reason to think she was an apostle…doh!

            You just keep on denying that she was apostle…

            I keep giving reason for why she was not. You keep on just asserting it. But before anything happens you need to deal with the translational difficulties: Junia/Junias, prominent among/well-known to apostles/messengers.

            I have conceded that Junia is more likely though not certain. You have said you have no view on prominent among/well-known to and you have given no reason to prefer apostle over messenger. Thus your position is purely assertion.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Why do you keep changing your mind all the time?”
            Typical nonsense from you. I have not change my position.

            “well-known to” then you have no reason to think she was an apostle”
            Why not? Aren’t apostles well-known?

            “Thus your position is purely assertion”
            Sure. Like all scholars just purely assert this…

          • Albert

            Typical nonsense from you. I have not change my position.

            You said this:

            I never claimed that I believe because biblical scholars claim that

            and then you said this:

            “so, to maintain your position, you must appeal to authority”
            So what. Anyone can refer to the expert in the field.

            Earlier you said this:

            I have no relevant view about reading ἐπίσημοι ἐ. [sic]

            But you also find fault with me for:

            denying that she was apostle…

            Even though your view that she was an apostle requires a particular view of ἐπίσημοι ἐ. [sic], something which you deny you have, and therefore presumably have to rest on authority for, when you had just denied you rest on authority. You see, it just goes round and round in circles.

            Why not? Aren’t apostles well-known?

            Precisely, which is why it is odd that these two “prominent apostles” are unheard of. And given that apostles are by definition well-known, why say it? And you’re missing the point that the issue here is the translational one.

            Sure. Like all scholars just purely assert this…

            I didn’t say it was assertion in scholars. I say it is assertion in you, since you have no reason to prefer one translation to another.

    • Mike Stallard

      Femal priests:
      Alone in the cold, dark church. A man enters from the outside night…
      Female Priests:
      A man telephones and asks if the Vicar (woman) would come over and visit him in his home…
      Female Priests:
      Being available on the street on a winter’s evening as the shops close…
      Female Priests:
      Allowing men to speak in meetings as much as the women…
      Female Priests:
      Who gets the plum jobs in the parish? Men or women?

      • Jon Sorensen

        There must be a point somewhere there…

        • Mike Stallard

          And that point is: priesthood is no job for a normal woman.

          • Jon Sorensen

            True. It is for any woman.

  • carl jacobs

    So the reason that the Gov’t needs to involve itself in the appointment of Bishops is that bishops sit in the House of Lords. Hrmmm. I’m not sure but I might just have a solution to this problem.

    • Anton

      We’ll offer you a peerage to go quiet on the subject; how’s that?

      • carl jacobs

        Would I get to tell Jack what to do?

        • Only if you become Pope …. and, then, only if it is a legitimate instruction.

          • carl jacobs

            I’ll thank you to call me “Yer Lordship”. And don’t you owe me back taxes?

          • CliveM

            Why? The Lords have no say on taxes.

          • carl jacobs

            Don’t Lords get to tax their serfs?

          • CliveM

            Nope, but if you have land you could claim rent.

          • carl jacobs

            But … The serf owes his Lord a certain percentage of the serf’s output. So you are saying that is “rent” and not “tax”. Dragons are expensive, you know. Jack will have to work hard to keep my dragon happy.

          • So finally you will kneel before Her Majesty, apologise for the colonial rebellion and accept her as your lawful Monarch. If you want a sponsor for British citizenship, first learn the language and Jack will consider recommending one.

          • carl jacobs

            Nah. I don’t need to do all that. I guess I’ll need a castle and a moat, though. And a bad-tempered dragon.

          • We’ll let you have Linus ….

          • Anton

            Who decides if it is legitimate?

          • Church teaching.

  • preacher

    One wonders where the the Lord would search for leaders of His modern Church. Perhaps the fishing communities of the South Coast or Cornwall, maybe the Norfolk fishermen or those in Scotland ? Or does a modern Saul or Matthew exist in HMRC or a Physician akin to Luke in the NHS.
    As the Church He started has lasted 2000 + years, maybe we should be casting our nets on the other side of the boat for a Change.

    • Anton

      The problem is precisely that the church has recently begun, er, “casting its nets on the other side of the boat”.

      • preacher

        Hey Anton, perhaps the Church has been casting it’s nets into a swimming pool instead of the sea – looks welcoming feels warm & cosy, lots of friendly people, but limited in size & no fish ?
        Blessings. P.

        • 1642again

          Here’s a thought. Why don’t all you non-conformists return to the CoE and help us take it back from the liberals? Think of the shot in the arm for the Protestant faith in the UK. The things that divided us are really immaterial any way and we can turn in back into what it should be – a doctrinally sound evangelical church rooted in the Catholic tradition but refounded through the Protestant movement. A priest in every parish, a priesthood of all believers, Sunday Schools, the works.

          The liberals and Bishops could go off and join universities where they’re happier anyway, leaving the rest to get on with God’s Charge to Us.

          • preacher

            If only brother. But power & position are not surrendered willingly or easily. There is something in humanity that resists truth, reason & change, unless it can be defused made safe & utilised. Every generation only has the chance to reach it’s own generation & that leaves little time for inter religious Church squabbles & the disputes that result.
            We must seize the day & individually play our part in the spiritual battle for souls that currently surrounds our World. I’m sure that the Lord is not interested in the regiments of religion, but only in the love & obedience of His disciples who will follow His standard & give Him all the glory.
            Blessings. P.

          • 1642again

            Amen Brother, but it’s good to dream of a better future!

            Personally i hope that the parishes cut off the supply of funds to the centre until the hierarchy bend to the will of their flock and follow Christ and the doctrine of the 39 articles again.

          • preacher

            Agreed Brother, but actions are better than dreams. We can all be part of the change & build a better Church, granted it will probably be swallowed up in time by those that seek to lead, but at least we can appear before the Lord with clean hands.

          • dannybhoy

            In a very modest way I thought perhaps that was why the Lord directed the wife and I to our Parish Church. No secret was made of the fact that we both had broken marriages, that we were from non conformist backgrounds etc.
            We have been deeply involved in our congregation for five years now, we worked closely with our vicar.
            But…
            the sad fact is that you cannot change that which does not want to be changed. And it’s not just the CofE. Other denominations struggle with ‘the resistance of the recalcitrant’
            We stay where we think the Lord has placed us, we work with those we meet along the way, being inspired and perhaps inspiring.
            I seriously believe that the CofE could be the key to offering leadership and authority to the whole Body of Christ in the UK, working in partnership with all who love the Lord.
            Perhaps -I don’t know-, this is where the spiritual battle really lies. Is the CofE going to return to her Lord or is she going to cease to exist?

          • 1642again

            Wonderful sentiments and mine exactly. From a non-conformist background and moved to a Devon village in whose church Catholics, cradle Anglicans and non-conformists all came together to worship and work in the Parish Church. There was none of the denominational bickering you get on here which is why it so upsets me.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Some of it is playful…but sadly that concept is evidently beyond you.

          • 1642again

            You really do have a problem don’t you?

          • Mike Stallard

            We got a lot done by going to the local Category A prison, the local Comprehensive, the Food Bank, Churches together, Free English for Immigrants and welcoming a load of drunk Russians.

          • Anton

            Why don’t all you non-conformists return to the CoE and help us take it back from the liberals?

            Because closer study of the New Testament has since convinced me that Establishment, ordination and hierarchy are unscriptural. I wish you well, though.

          • Mike Stallard

            There are several reasons.
            The bishops are hardly Christian at all in any sense.
            The Bible is thrown into total chaos with the adoption of certain bits and not others seemingly at the will of a small minority of Liberals.
            There is a massive bureaucracy which costs a lot and which makes the local churches into a money raising business.
            The general public has long, long ago lost any historic faith in their national church.
            And then there is a very expensive, cold, smelly, dusty building to maintain. Or three. Or five.

    • chefofsinners

      There is a vast multitude of Christian leaders whom God has raised up and gifted in our land. Sadly, but for good reasons, most of them are not in the Church of England.

      • preacher

        Hi Chef. That is my point, theologically sound, officially approved, but spiritually dead. With a few exceptions all the revivals in the U.K have taken place outside of the Anglican Communion. But from non conformist churches with greater emphasis on individuals who will seek the Lord & His Holy Spirit & take the gospel to the World.

    • Mike Stallard

      “would”?

      • preacher

        Hi Mike, why do you have a problem about an obviously rhetorical question ? Surely the rest of the post puts the question in perspective. The question being who chooses the identity of the next Bishop of London & is gender important. Which when the general state of the contemporary Church is scrutinised it bears little semblance to the original one that the Lord established & the people He chose to build, finance, & oversee it.

  • Albert

    Women prepare for a power grab in church, police and BBC

    A headline which is eloquent of what has been wrong with the arguments for women’s ordination.

    ‘hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle‘ (2Thess 2:15)

    A quotation which is eloquent of why the next Bishop of London cannot be a woman.

    • 1642again

      I was always ambivalent towards it as the theological grounds outside tradition seemed to me to inconclusive either way. I only seeing saw arguments in favour which alarmed me because it was clear that it was being done for the wrong reasons, i.e. conforming the church to the world, rather than rectifying a theological wrong. It has certainly not delivered the promised benefits and merely seems to be a gate opening for liberals to impose more anti-scriptural monstrosities on the CoE.

      • Albert

        Fundamentally, I think it is a question of authority – God’s will as revealed in revelation. That seems very clear, and completely convincing when compared with the argument in favour which are, as you say, about conforming to the world. And once you do that, you have on authority for anything else and there’s no good reason not support (say) homosexual practice.

        • 1642again

          I do lean to your argument but there is no explicit statement in the NT against female clergy, just inference from other statements and practices. Time will tell if it is a Trojan Horse, but I am deeply sceptical.

          Don’t think it couldn’t happen within the RC communion in say North America. The secular forces pushing it are immensely strong and only the strongest church leaders are capable of sustained resistance, and your new Pope, shall we say, doesn’t convince on that front I’m afraid?

          • Pope Francis in November 2016:

            “Saint Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands.”

            And the feminist-liberal-progressives did knasheth and grindeth their teeth.

          • 1642again

            I hope you are right, but am less confident than you.

          • That’s because Jack is a Roman Catholic and you’re not … ;o)
            Ask Carl. He’ll explain.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But is your pope a Roman Catholic?

          • Who is Jack to judge?

          • Martin

            HJ

            It’s what you should be doing.

          • Jack leaves such judgement to God. He cannot see a man’s soul.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But you can see their fruit.

          • The Explorer

            Ask Mundabor.

          • Bad man.

          • Pubcrawler

            Which?

          • Martin

            TE

            Why?

          • The Explorer

            He’s very entertaining on the subject of Francis. Basically, on how to unpope him.

          • carl jacobs

            Not so much confidence as evasion.

            “It was that Pope you gave us. I just listened to what he said. You can’t blame me. Go talk to him. I was just following orders.”

          • God doesn’t give the Church Popes – apart from Peter. As Jack has said before, there have been good, not so good and outright bad Popes, including the occasional heretical Pope.

          • carl jacobs

            I see. God waits for the white smoke as well, huh? He must be on pins and needles.

          • Foreknowledge, Carl, foreknowledge. God exists outside of time.

          • carl jacobs

            In the first place, God foreknows people in Scripture. He doesn’t foreknow things or events. You are misusing the concept. In the second place, God’s omniscience is not passively acquired. He is not bound to observe the creature’s decision so that He may learn it. God decrees. He doesn’t learn.

          • Who said God passively observes and learns? And of course God foreknows things and events. Before we’re created God knows exactly what we’re all capable of and what we actually do. He decides where to place each of us in time and knows who will and will not respond positively to His grace. In your wish to rule out man’s free will, you’re actually denying God true sovereignty and turning Him into a puppet master who is the author of good and evil. He’s way, way more powerful.

          • chefofsinners

            It is better to dwell in a corner of a rooftop than in a house with a contentious woman. Proverbs 25:24

          • “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.”
            (Proverbs 11:22)

          • dannybhoy

            Cos is a woman?
            When did that happen?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Downtick for you Jack

          • Albert

            I do lean to your argument but there is no explicit statement in the NT against female clergy

            There are plenty of explicit statements against women exercising the functions and ministries of the clergy, and that amounts to the same thing.

            Don’t think it couldn’t happen within the RC communion in say North America. The secular forces pushing it are immensely strong and only the strongest church leaders are capable of sustained resistance

            If they do so, they immediately cease to be part of the Catholic Church, so no, it cannot happen within the Catholic Church.

            your new Pope, shall we say, doesn’t convince on that front I’m afraid?

            This is what he says:

            “On the ordination of women in the Catholic church, the last word is clear,” Francis responded, before mentioning John Paul’s 1994 apostolic letter banning the practice, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. “It was given by St. John Paul II and this remains.”

          • 1642again

            We shall see. If North America does it with their wealth who knows what follows?

          • Schism follows.

          • Albert

            We don’t give a damn about that.

          • Old Nick

            Bit hard on the faithful who happen to inhabit that land though ?

          • Albert

            I mean, the fact that Americans are rich does not mean they have any authority to change Church teaching, especially when it has been declared irreformable and (arguably) infallible.

          • Old Nick

            I agree wholly. The same goes for the fact that so many of them seem totally unable to understand that not everybody wants to be like them.

          • Albert

            Quite. It’s plainly obvious that everyone wants to be like us. 🙂

          • Martin

            Albert

            Unlike the Bible, your church can always say that they have been misunderstood and admitting women to the priesthood has never been forbidden.

          • Wrong.

            The following statement of Saint Pope John Paul, confirming Christ’s choice of men and 2000 years of Christian practice, are not open to revision or to individual reinterpretation.

            “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

            Whereas the bible, without an authoritative teaching office, is open to endless disputed understandings. Concerning women, what is Christian doctrine and what is Church discipline? Are women morally prohibited from braiding their hair, wearing jewellery, and wearing fine clothing? Are they are morally obliged to wear a veil when praying – or else shave their heads? One has to look outside Scripture and this requires the recognition of authorities such as Sacred Tradition and Magisterial teaching.

            For example: “[I]t has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.” (Acts 15:28-29) Is it immoral to consume blood (black pudding or rare steak) or to eat the meat of an animal that has been strangled?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Since he appears not to know that there is no office of priest in the Christian Church why should we take notice of what he says?

          • Albert

            Both of the claims here are plainly false.

          • carl jacobs

            Both claims are plainly true. That’s the magic of infallibility. It can’t be wrong.

          • Albert

            Come on. You’ve got to admit Martin’s claim re the Bible is false – I think HJ has amply demonstrated that below.

          • carl jacobs

            The Pope could issue such a statement today and you would be bound to submit to it. That’s why Jack makes such a big deal about the impossibility of incorrect infallible declarations.

          • No Pope could or would ever make such a statement. If he did, he would disqualify himself from office.

          • carl jacobs

            Who is going to stop him, Jack. The Cardinals he is appointing?

          • God.

          • Albert

            I was asking you to comment on the Bible. Obviously, I think Catholic infallible statements are infallible.

          • carl jacobs

            The important point being that you have no way to independently assess the truth of a purported infallible assertion. It is validated the identity of its source. So if the Pope states infallibly that “Dogma X is true, and dogma X does not change any Catholic teaching” you are bound to receive it – no matter what dogma X might be. This was Martin’s point, and it it manifestly true. I have had Catholics tell me that the Holy Spirit would strike a Pope dead before the Pope could make a false statement under the authority of infallibility. That’s how seriously they understand the threat this poses to the entire Catholic system.

          • Albert

            if the Pope states infallibly that “Dogma X is true, and dogma X does not change any Catholic teaching” you are bound to receive it – no matter what dogma X might be.

            You haven’t thought about this at all, nor have you investigated the literature on it. If X contradicts Y and Y is already established, then if a Pope says X he is automatically a heretic and his definition is of no consequence.

          • carl jacobs

            Btw … A point of clarification. I took Martin to be referring to the following when he said “two claims”:

            1. They have been misunderstood

            2. Admitting women to the priesthood has never been forbidden.

            If this is incorrect, please adjust grammar accordingly.

          • Albert

            Okay, we’re at crossed-purposes. Here’s Martin’s original post:

            Unlike the Bible, your church can always say that they have been misunderstood and admitting women to the priesthood has never been forbidden.

            1. The Bible cannot be misunderstood on this matter
            2. The Catholic Church could, in the future, say women’s ordination has never been forbidden.

            I think it is evident that both claims are false.

          • carl jacobs

            People can do worse things than misuderstatement the Scripture, but they can’t grow its content. There is a text that exists and is widely distributed. There aren’t any additions. The RCC has the ability to expand the body of infallible dogma through its infallible statements. That is a critical difference.

          • Albert

            Your assumption that you are able properly to interpret scripture is simply false. The idea that the content of scripture and the interpretation of scripture are one and the same thing is plainly false. It’s all the growing interpretations of scripture that are the problem.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Indeed, the claims of Rome are plainly false. It places the authority of mere men above that of the Bible.

          • Albert

            Another false claim from you.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Not at all.

          • Albert

            The Church places the authority of the Church above your interpretation of the Bible. That’s entirely different, even if you find it irksome.

          • Martin

            Albert

            The church of Rome places it’s interpretation of the Bible above everyone’s interpretation of the Bible. That means that Rome places it’s authority over the Bible.

          • Albert

            No it doesn’t. That didn’t follow logically at all. Everyone’s interpretation of the Bible is not logically the same as the Bible.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Rome’s certainly isn’t.

          • Albert

            Yours certainly isn’t.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Since you bow to Rome, you’re hardly an authority.

          • Albert

            Unlike you, I do not claim to be an authority. I know that scripture gives me (and you) no such authority.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Where did I claim to be an authority? Nor would I claim any mere man is an authority. The only authority is the Bible, God’s word, and the Holy Spirit who is present with every believer.

          • Albert

            Quite. But you will claim that authority for your own interpretation.

          • Martin

            Albert

            But it isn’t my interpretation, it is the interpretation of the people of God.

          • Albert

            No it isn’t.

          • Martin

            Albert

            But it is, even when at the stake they have faced death they have still held to it.

          • Albert

            That doesn’t tell you anything about the beliefs of the people of God, only of those individuals, who may or may not be part of the people of God.

          • Martin

            Albert

            The only authority is the Bible, it has authority over every Christian and hence over God’s Church.

          • Calm down that man.

          • Albert

            Do you disagree with my claim?

          • Jack cares about members of the Body of Christ in America. Jack agrees that if the American bishops were so foolish, they would no longer be members of the Church. If you mean the fact they are wealthy, Jack agrees. The German Church is wealthier. Many parts of the American Church are heading towards bankruptcy.

          • Albert

            I’m not saying I don’t care about the Church in the US – they are brothers and sisters in Christ, so I would care very deeply if they did this. I mean from the point of view of teaching authority, I would not care. It was this I was replying to:

            If North America does it with their wealth who knows what follows?

            If N America does this with all their wealth, nothing follows, except that they have left the Church.

          • Thank you for clarifying. And Jack agrees.

          • Albert

            Sorry I wasn’t clear. I was slightly surprised by some of the replies!

          • Anton

            The Catholic church in Germany is wealthy because of the kirchensteuer.

          • Agreed.

          • 1642again

            Come now Albert. I thought you the more reasonable RC on here!

          • Albert

            I just don’t think it makes any difference how wealthy a place is. The US Church does not have the authority to make these changes. End of.

          • Mike Stallard

            Women in the priesthood just is not on.
            The brotherhood of the Cathollic Clergy is – a brotherhood. Introducing sisters into it will upset most Catholic faithful very much.
            The priesthood is a job. A job for men, not women.
            PS The Catholics do have the blessed Virgin, with child, we also have lots of saints who are female too. In the really important stuff, women are right up there with the men.
            Anyone who knows anything about us on the ground knows that women are given important tasks, important administrative duties and so on. And we do have to ask what the whole thing is about anyway. Don’t we.

        • When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church:

          “She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.” ….

          In fact the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God’s eternal plan; Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, “through the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood, the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord’s way of acting in choosing the twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rv 21:14). These men did not in fact receive only a function which could thereafter be exercised by any member of the Church; rather they were specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7-8; 28:16-20; Mk 3:13-16; 16:14-15). The Apostles did the same when they chose fellow workers(7) who would succeed them in their ministry.(8) Also included in this choice were those who, throughout the time of the Church, would carry on the Apostles’ mission of representing Christ the Lord and Redeemer …

          Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

          Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

          https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1994/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_19940522_ordinatio-sacerdotalis.html

          • Albert

            Don’t you just love St JPII?

          • 1642again

            I had huge respect for him, and his successor. Not so much the current incumbent.

          • Albert

            I think it is fair to say that Francis tends to appeal to those outside the Church.

          • Old Nick

            Especially journalists

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            And lentilweavers

          • Old Nick

            Do you have many of those in Barsetshire, Mrs. P ? There certainly seem to be plenty in Borsetshire, but I guess that is further north towards Felpersham.

          • Anton

            Aren’t you confusing Barsetshire and Borsetshire?

          • carl jacobs

            Heh. He seems to appeal to many Cardinals as well.

          • Albert

            In fairness, he’s appointed quite a few!

          • dannybhoy

            Oh yes, there are true saints in the Catholic Church. There are plenty who love our Lord -as they have been taught to understand Him and His salvation..

          • Indeed. He had his flaws but this was surely an act of the Holy Spirit. And the then Cardinal Ratzinger who clarified this was an infallible and, therefore, irreversible teaching of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium.

          • Albert

            I’ve never been convinced by the arguments that it was infallible, but the fact that such an authority said it was gives it that practical effect, since, if anyone wanted to change it, it would be possible to disqualify them from changing it on the grounds that they are heretical and therefore have no authority.

          • The encyclical wasn’t an exercise of Papal infallibility but given it authoritatively restated the constant practice and teaching of the ordinary and universal magisterium it was indefectible and unchangeable. This amounts to the same thing.

          • Albert

            I’m not for a moment doubting the teaching, or even that it is indefectible and unchangeable, just the “amounts to” infallibility bit.

          • If it’s “indefectible” i.e. perfect, then it’s “infallible” i.e. incapable of being wrong.

            This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

            http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19951028_dubium-ordinatio-sac_en.html

            Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(1 Pt. 2:5) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(Rev. 21:16)

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html

          • Albert

            I sense that there is a distinction here – hence we have two words for it. When I was an Anglican, I knew people who believed the Church was indefectible but did not believe in infallibility. What they meant was that the Church was correct somewhere or other, but that is different from being able to say: here is office where the teaching is infallible.

          • The “office” is the universal and ordinary magisterium – the bishops teaching in unison with the pope; as well as the extraordinary magisterium – ecumenical councils and ex-cathedra declarations from the pope.

            It’s somewhat ironic that it was Vatican II which confirmed the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium.

          • Albert

            Yes, I quite see that. However, it takes more than just the bishops happening to agree on something to make it infallible.

          • Yes, constancy, scripture and Sacred Tradition. One of the great strengths of the Church is that modern bishops cannot contradict their forefathers in matters of faith and morals.

          • Albert

            But, as I understand it, they have to intend to teach infallibly.

          • Not as Jack understands it.

          • Old Nick

            Archbishop Wm Temple used to say that he believed in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and would much like someone to show him where to find it. Black cats in darkened rooms, anyone ?

          • Mike Stallard

            I am a Catholic and there are actually several really good reasons for an unmarried male Catholic priesthood beyond the clever stuff.
            Men priests move round and stay with each other. All are unmarried. There is no scandal. (Honi soit qui mal y pense, of course). Married priests and women priests introduce a completely different perspective to the whole thing. Also they upset the women who support “Father” in their own various ministries. (Washing up through to being a eucharistic minister).
            There is a story that the Pope, when asked about what prevented women’s ordination, said “Anthropology”.

          • Whether priests marry or not is a question of Church discipline. The Eastern Churches who remain in communion with Rome, permit this. The Church also accepts married priests who join from the Church of England, subject to a Catholic ordination. Women priests are not permitted under passed down from Christ and the Apostles.

      • Jack isn’t so sure. Having debated this with many women on online sites, it strikes him that some have very genuine arguments for proposing women be ordained as priests and bishops. Scripture, as you say, is not necessarily definitive. However, Sacred Tradition, from Christ Himself and through His Apostles and all their successors, is certainly definitive. That’s why the debate in the Catholic Church is currently centred on women deacons and whether they were ordained in the early Church.

        • 1642again

          Tradition is clearly against, but would be over-turned if Scripture were clearly in favour, which it isn’t – it is inconclusive as you/I agree, which is why I incline against.

          PS Deacons are how it started in the COE.

  • “There is one name on there which..”

    Wot?

    Btw, isn’t it about time there was a transgendered bishop? Diversity and inclusion demands it.

    • chefofsinners

      One name which rings a bell.
      Vivienne Faull.

      • Ah ….
        She who prevents men from ringing their bells in church.

        • CliveM

          I thought you agreed with her position on the bell ringers?

      • Anton

        • chefofsinners

    • Anton

      What do you understand by the word “bishopric”, Jack?

      • Without a ” k” it is a district under a bishop’s control.

  • Vivienne Faull, Dean of York Minster …. doesn’t like men ringing their bells in church.

    Rachel Treweek …. believes that God shouldn’t be referred to as Dad.

    Christine Hardman …. runs a lot.

    Jo Wells … has a big smile.

  • Don Benson

    If people want to ‘make a statement’ they can either speak it or write it down, and that is a fundamental right of free speech; of course it may have consequences.

    But may we be preserved from those who instead choose to do so by other means, all of which amount to deceit. Manipulating people or events in order to make your point is simply a dishonest and cowardly use of power, and the idea that such behaviour can ever be justified in the service of God is beyond contemplating.

    So please let us not speculate that anybody might be appointed as a bishop in the Church of England because of their sex; that would be to suggest that the hierarchy have lost all integrity, given up on spiritual discernment, and now see use of power to drive their agenda as the way to relate to their Christian brothers and sisters or, even worse, to impress the outside world. If this kind of thing is what is happening we are indeed witnessing the death of our church.

    • David

      I support your point, but sadly revisionist clergy ignore Biblical truth, and Church tradition, in order to advance a secular, political creed.

    • Erik Dahlberg

      “If people want to ‘make a statement’ they can either speak it or write it down,” any other action would merely “amount to deceit”.

      This is so… sane.

  • CliveM

    “”It’s time to reform the reform”.

    Agreed, but what too? Revert back to pre -Brown? Let’s be honest whatever the constitutional appeal of this it’s not going to happen. The politicians don’t want it, the Church doesn’t want it and in an increasingly secular age, who would want an avowed atheist (Corbyn? Sorry don’t laugh) to appoint the Bishop? The only way this could head is disestablishment, which would at least allow the Church to agree it’s own electoral process.

    But that would have significant constitutional implications with regards the position of the Queen and most politicians feel there are bigger problems to address (certainly during Brexit). So as an issue it would sit back of a long queue.

    Browns reform is going to be around for a while.

  • Arden Forester

    If a female becomes diocesan commissioner for London it will probably be because the powers-that-be want to be seen as modern. It will not enhance unity one iota. The BBC will be in rhapsody. The country will not be much bothered. The sad thing is that no amount of secular genuflection will advance the Faith in the minds of many.

  • David

    It seems that there is no end to the harm done to our constitution by New Labour.

    But that legal and constitutional mistake aside, I am one of those conservative Anglicans who are deeply sceptical about the assumption that because women may be suitable to lead in secular situations, it follows that they should lead churches. Obviously women are incredibly important in certain leadership positions within the overall structures of churches, but should they be in overall charge, that’s the question ? Does the Church follow the Bible or does it follow the world ? So what evidence can we bring to bear upon the arguments ?

    Being an Anglican I have looked at this from more than my own perspective. So I have studied the theology from both the Anglo-Catholic perspective, which I find well thought out, and from my own Biblical, Reformed perspective, and that approach too hangs together well theologically. Being always ready to read opposing arguments, I have also read literature arguing for women leading churches; however I was unimpressed as it all reads like political or sociological narratives, whist being theologically shallow to non-existent.

    Being an Englishman I also have a wide pragmatic streak, so I would be interested if there is evidence that female church leadership results in church growth. But no one yet has shown me such evidence. I am of course very aware of the many churches that are growing under male leadership.

    So that’s where I continue to stand, deeply sceptical of an overall female leadership.

    The new bishop of London should uphold the Thirty Nine Articles and preach a gospel of repentance, and salvation through faith in Christ, through the grace of God Almighty.

    • Old Nick

      Well put. I guess the female leadership of the Montanists had superior growth and even managed to convince Tertullian, but where are they now ?

      • David

        Quite !
        Western Church history reveals female deacons during the first millennium, but they were not ordained priest. I support female sub-leaders in roles such as teaching, pastoral care, outreach etc as long as the overall head of the church is male.
        I am not claiming to be prescient, but my prediction is that those churches that accept top leadership from females, or affirming homosexuals, will in time wither and die; many of those that are conservative theologically and male led will survive and a good proportion will prosper and grow. But it will be in God’s time not ours.

        • Old Nick

          More evidence for deaconesses in the East, I fancy – Marthana the friend of Egeria who ran a monastery at Silifke and Olympias, friend of John Chrysostom, for instance. In fact the sheer volume of evidence for deaconesses makes one feel that if there were any evidence for women priests or bishops you would be likely to find it. And Henry Chadwick (no less) knew of none.

          • David

            Interesting. There is a discernible pattern. But liberals do not feel guided by the patterns of either the Bible or traditions, such is their recklessness.

      • Allosexuel

        A gud woman alwoys leeds a mon to growth.

  • Martin

    Without a doubt, any woman who becomes a minister in the Church, or rather pretends to, is in rebellion against God. If she takes the unscriptural position of bishop, that is over other ministers, she has doubly done so. Thus any woman who becomes Bishop of London is unlikely to be a Christian.

    • David

      I wouldn’t presume to go so far as to say that female priests/ministers are “unlikely to be Christian”, as only God knows that. But all the female ministers I’ve encountered are liberals, theologically, and usually press for further movement away from the Biblical model for church leadership, that is taking an “accommodating” view towards homosexuals.

      • Albert

        Well said – that’s the right balance.

        • Mike Stallard

          What is the practical difference between normal men and normal women – OK I am being sweeping.
          Normal men want to go out and discover stuff, to be courageous, to take a couple of risks, to have an adventure, to be part of a good gang.
          Normal women want a nice home, a nice house with children who are happy and equally loved and loveable. They also want safety and to be protected and supported by a firm organisation.
          Different.
          This is really apparent in the parochial ministry where the huge gulf between normal women and normal men who are in the priesthood is manifest. If you do not believe me, just take a look!

          • Albert

            Now there’s a brave set of arguments!

          • Mike Stallard

            I learned them from a disgusted Anglican whose parish priest (woman) did not come and visit his dying mother.

          • Albert

            I fear that male clergy have failed in that regard sometimes, too.

          • Mike Stallard

            Nobody is saying that there are no extraordinary individuals.
            The problem comes when the abnormally different females are replaced by the ordinary ones.
            If you know anything about ministry, just look around and see for yourself.
            Have you had any Kiddies’ Services recently? Does your vicar wander round the parish being open to conversation? Is your local church open during the daytime?

          • dannybhoy

            There are differences. Women are often nurturing and empathetic. They make the social occasions and they don’t tend to brag about it. At least not in the way men might. We blokes take for granted all the hard work women do so that we might saunter around scoffing sausage rolls and take centre stage.
            Most women are not as confident (or vociferous about being confident), as men are. I like our female curate very much, I respect her, but I don’t get that sense of authority and confidence that I get from a decent male member of the clergy.
            I think a man can carry a sense of gravitas and authority in a way that a woman can’t.
            Margaret Thatcher for example whom I greatly admired, nevertheless sometimes came over as a hectoring schoolmarm..

          • Albert

            I’m a Catholic, so this is not an issue for me!

          • Anton

            Yes. A survey by (Rev Prof) Leslie Francis found that female Anglican ordinands typically have masculine personality traits, and male ones have female traits (in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 12, pp. 1133-40; 1991).

        • David

          Thank you.

      • Anton

        It is inevitable that they are liberals, because they are in violation of the scriptures already and only liberals claim that that is acceptable.

        • David

          Exactly !

      • Martin

        David

        There is no Christian office of priest, save one, who offered Himself. The Christian offices are elder/overseer and deacon. Neither are open to women although women may serve others they do not hold office. A woman seeking authority is in the same sin as Eve, seeking to rule.

        • Anton

          Say rather that all Christians are priests (meaning operationally servant ambassadors of God), and Jesus Christ is our High Priest. What you don’t find is ordination.

          • Martin

            Anton

            But while they are priests they don’t hold office as priest.

          • Anton

            Further discussion involves an exegesis of church offices. In extreme summary, I believe that the church structure described in the NT is a congregation in each town, each congregation run by a plurality of male elders who are at once the overseers (episkopoi) and elders (presbyteroi). Above them for a few years is the congregation’s founding apostolos, but once he has passed on the congregation is autonomous under God. All of its members are priests and there is no such thing as ordination.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I’d agree with that, and since there are no further apostles the congregation is autonomous.

          • Anton

            We agree about church structure, but I take the meaning of ‘apostolos’ simply to be the literal Greek, meaning someone who is sent (to found congregations). This still goes on today, notably in China. Of course there is the colloquial phrase “apostolic era” which is understood to refer to the apostles in the era described in the New Testament.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I would differentiate by who the sender is. as Paul does:

            For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
            (I Corinthians 15:3-9 [ESV])

      • Martin

        David

        Since they’re in rebellion against the Bible how can they be other than liberal and in rebellion against God? They cannot be Christians.

    • Sarky

      Wasn’t Mary Magdalene, a women,at both the crucifixion and the resurrection?

      Also..

      Main article: New Testament apocrypha
      In apocryphal texts, she is portrayed as a visionary and leader of the early movement whom Jesus loved more than he loved the other disciples.[54] Several Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary, written in the early 2nd century, see Mary as the special disciple of Jesus who has a deeper understanding of his teachings and is asked to impart this to the other disciples.

      • Albert

        Wasn’t Mary Magdalene, a women,at both the crucifixion and the resurrection?

        Yes, but what difference does that make?

        • Sarky

          Why would god have it be that way?
          If men are so important, why not a man?

          • Albert

            Men were at the crucifixion and the resurrection. I think you need to focus your question…

          • Mary Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles. Her mission was to inform them Christ had risen. She fulfilled this. Women tended to bodies after death, not men. The mission of the twelve was different.

      • Martin

        Sarky

        You really should give up writing about what you do not know.

        • Sarky

          So should you.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            How would you know when I wasn’t?

          • Sarky

            You comment.

      • Merchantman

        These texts were rejected early on. All accepted by Hollywood in the Da Vinci code of course, as a useful stick to beat with.

        • Sarky

          Good book, crap film

          • CliveM

            Crap book as well!

            Read Foucault’s Pendulum, it does it so much better.

          • Allosexuel

            Swingers r best.

      • The word “Gnostic” offers a clue, Sarky.

  • chefofsinners

    The London parishes are a fragile coalition, held together by the one man Richard Chartres, through his ability to be all things to all men. Here we see the folly of such an approach: when he leaves the edifice is unsustainable. Good leaders make themselves obsolete, or at least able to ascend to heaven leaving their spirit to guide others.
    Perhaps the day approaches when we need the true leader to return, rod of iron and all.

    • David

      Then the corollary of what you say is that, appointing someone unable to hold together such a fragile coalition could lead to secessions from the C of E ?
      Across many fields, it is in the nature of big cities to accommodate extremes, which is why someone capable of holding together big differences is essential. Finding candidates with such qualities will be extremely difficult.

      • chefofsinners

        The debate here and in the CoE generally is whether it is essential to hold together big differences, as they grow inexorably, or whether the time has come when the church will be more effective if given clear leadership on a narrower doctrinal basis. Something like, say, the 39 articles?
        It is coming. Conservative evangelicals will not put up with the limitless liberalisation on which the current leadership is hell bent.

        • David

          Spot on !

          Moreover, although the main purpose of Christian churches is to save souls through faith in the risen Christ, it is also true that it is those same Biblical churches that save the most souls, and are therefore full of committed Christians, that benefit most from the generous donations of their strongly believing flock. Those same churches then, disproportionately, support the “upper layers”, which are, ironically, usually steeped in liberalism !

          So if or when the doctrinally traditional churches secede, it will create a very big, black, ugly financial hole. This is exactly what has happened in the US.

          • chefofsinners

            Unfortunately mammon is the only language the liberals understand.

          • David

            A slight over statement there perhaps, but certainly they do not prioritise the right sources of authority and are greatly influenced by secular culture.

          • Anton

            But in the USA people can walk away from the buildings with less of an emotional wrench.

          • David

            That’s probably a big generalisation, but I take your point to a degree.
            Old buildings are important to many of us Brits. but they should not be our priority. Anyway, a dwindling liberal congregation will soon found itself unable to maintain such old structures, and some will inevitably, come onto the market for sale or lease, which creates its own opportunities !

          • Anton

            I fully agree with you. I was explaining why it is harder in practice to walk away in England (although it is really the church that has walked away from the faithful).

          • David

            Totally agree.
            The US still has a touch of that pioneer, “we’ll move on” ethos, which I quite admire in many ways. It comes out not just in how they organise their towns, but life generally as well. But hey, where’s our resident expert Carl to
            comment ?

        • Anton

          They could always try the Bible, I suppose.

          • chefofsinners

            You fundamentalist extremist fanatic reactionary blinkered intransigent zealot.

          • Anton

            Compliments, I can handle.

  • dannybhoy

    “Jim Callaghan observed as far back as 1976:

    There are… cogent reasons why the State cannot divest itself from a concern with these appointments of the Established Church. The Sovereign must be able to look for advice on a matter of this kind and that must mean, for a constitutional Sovereign, advice from Ministers. The Archbishops and some of the bishops sit by right in the House of Lords, and their nomination must therefore remain a matter for the Prime Minister’s concern..”

    Wiser and deeper minds than mine will no doubt (gently) correct me, but I fail to see the problem.
    The country has chosen to retain an essentially impotent monarchy and an increasingly impotent and irrelevant established Church. In a real sense they are totally dependent on the State for their existence and on each other for any meaningful national function. To be honest we retain that same affection for them as we would for an old pair of worn and comfy slippers..
    Our Queen has no real powers and is dependent on her elected government to run the country and the Prime Minister to ‘advise’ her on appointing Bishops etc.
    So why not amalgamate the two roles into one by making the Church a part of the State? The Ministry of Religion for example.
    Or (my choice), disestablish the Church and allow it to concern itself with proclaiming the Gospel, and acting as the independent conscience of the nation. Still protected/recognised as the faith of the nation, but losing direct influence at Westminster vis a vis the House of Lords…
    Still involved with the monarchy, but in a less formal relationship.

  • len

    The Church needs to go back to the 39 articles.
    The church cannot ride roughshod over the Word of God in an attempt to ‘modernise ‘itself and to come into line with ‘modern liberal thinking’.

    • Martin

      Len

      Includin #17.

  • Inspector General

    The Feministing of Mother Church, a matter of preponderant concern and one cannot comment!

    If he could, the Inspector would have said something like look what one Eve managed on her own. Lord knows what a whole gang of them working together in league with that deceiving snake which is feminism are going to do…

    {HOWL!}

    • Sarky

      It’s not the 31st yet!

    • Mike Stallard

      There seems to be some confusion here.
      A priest is a man with a specific job. He represents Christ and His Church in the sacraments. Priesthood is a skill too – being open and available to the most strange people always. Visiting people in their homes when they need it. Setting an example of the love of Christ. Leading prayers in the Church building.
      A Christian layman is completely different. It demands some of the same skills, but not all of them. The reward is knowing that we do the will of God. It means taking risks and telling the (painful) truth. Courage to obey the will of the Holy Spirit.
      I have been both a priest (Anglican) and a (Catholic) layman. Both are equally rewarding. But they are not the same. And to see not being a priest as some kind of insult is simply pig ignorance, actually.

      • Inspector General

        All one can get out of that whatever is the near certainty that you have replied to the wrong post.

        • Who are you? The real Inspector is a man of his word and will not return until the 31st January. Have you tied him up and left him in a cellar somewhere?

          • Inspector General

            One of your plenary indulgences allowed the Inspector to post tonight, Jack. It did not come cheap. He had to surrender his beloved splinter from the true cross, which he won at a card game some years ago. Missing you already, splinter…

          • Anton

            Jack will have the splinter radiocarbon dated, find it is decisively late-mediaeval, and believe it was part of the true cross anyway.

          • How long O Lord, how long?

          • Anton

            Probably about two inches. It wouldn’t be called a splinter if it were any bigger.

          • Speak for yourself.

          • Allosexuel

            ‘Ow imbarrising.

          • Hmm … your ignorance knows no bounds, Inspector.

            Indulgences only apply after one’s death. One also has to be a faithful Christian, duly disposed for this, which is given under prescribed conditions through the Church. They are intended to spur one to works of devotion, penance, and charity. One has to be in the state of grace too, which usually means receiving the sacrament of confession. Indulgences cannot be gained without a sincere conversion of outlook and unity with God.
            Now we’ve cleared that up, you being a man of your word, Jack looks forward to hearing from you on the 31st.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Why is your nose growing longer as you write?

          • Anton

            You could always block him till then…

      • Martin

        Mike

        Where do you get those distinctions in the Bible?

        • CliveM

          Probably the same place you got the 45 minute sermon.

          • *Kapow*

          • Cressida de Nova

            The Anglican priest converting to Catholicism must be difficult. I should imagine it is enormous hurdle to leap and much more demanding than the conversion of a lay person.

          • Martin

            Clive

            I get my minimum from Paul’s example:

            On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7 [ESV])

            But, of course, there is no office of priest in the New Testament, just elder/overseer and deacon and they are but laymen.

          • CliveM

            Martin

            It doesn’t really support a minimum does it. What it does say is that Paul had a lot to say before he left.

          • Martin

            Clive

            It’s min & max.

          • CliveM

            Martin

            No where does it give a min or max. That’s a most perverse reading of the verse’s. Paul was leaving town, he had a lot of things to say to ensure he left the Church in good order. The translation you chose doesn’t even say he was preaching. You can’t use these verses to justify your statement, they just don’t support it.

          • Martin

            Clive

            I fail to see what else he would be doing if not preaching.

          • CliveM

            Really? We both agree he was leaving. How about giving guidance, advice, reassurance, encouragement? He may even have been preaching. But no where does it stipulate a min or max length of sermon.

          • Martin

            Clive

            So why wasn’t he preaching whilst doing those things? And can a sermon be preached in less than 45 minutes?

          • CliveM

            I’ve no idea what he was doing, the passage doesn’t say.

            Regards your second question, yes of course.

            You are still unable to offer any biblical support for your position.

          • Martin

            Clive

            On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7 [ESV])

          • CliveM

            And?

          • Martin

            Clive

            Read

          • CliveM

            I have. It says nothing about a minimum time limit. No mention of 45 minutes. Simply stated that he finished at midnight. Didn’t say he was preaching. Didn’t make any statement about a max limit. In summary completely fails to support your points.

            The only way you can argue that it does is through a complete abuse as to the meaning of words. This is about your prejudices with regards preaching and says nothing about the bibles.

            Anyway this has gone on long enough. Unless you are able to present evidence, I don’t propose to continue this discussion.

          • Martin

            Clive

            I’m not sure how you can say it is other than a very long sermon.

          • Royinsouthwest

            In addition to elders and deacons there were, of course, apostles, not just the original 11 plus Matthias who was the replacement for Judas, but also Paul, Barnabas and others, some of whom Paul mentioned by name in one of his epistles.

          • Martin

            Roy

            Apostolos merely means one who is sent, So the originals & Paul were sent by Christ. Barnabas and others were sent by churches. I see no reason to consider the 12 to have successor.

  • Dr Richard Chartres is one of the few in the Church hierarchy whom I feel actually looks and behaves like a bishop. I can’t think of any other bishop (or archbishop) whom I have found so impressive.

    • Albert

      And even more than that, he sounds like a bishop. Wonderful speaking voice.

      • Very true. Straight to the point, no waffle.

      • chefofsinners

        Easily replaced then. Brian Blessed is your man.

        • Oh God NO! You jest I hope.

          • chefofsinners

            I follow the logic.

        • Albert

          Yes – I’ve always thought that!

        • Royinsouthwest

          Brian Blessed a bishop? I always thought he was the modern Friar Tuck! Auditions for the parts of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John etc. are being held up by a lack of merry men (apart from the Inspector when he has had a drink but not more than about two) and fair maidens.

    • Martin

      EP

      If his sermons ae less than 45 minutes he has no business being a bishop.

      • I went to a Sunday service recently and there was a visiting female priest. Afterwards she heard me make a comment about women priests normally rambling on for far too long in their sermon and commented “If you can’t say what needs to be said in five minutes, it’s not worth saying”. As I get older, I’m very much in favour of that idea.

        • CliveM

          Personally I think a sermon should take as long as the topic requires. I do agree that a well thought out sermon will tend to be shorter rather than longer.

          • Although I attend our local Parish Church, the sermons over the years never seem to be particularly inspiring, which is a disaster for the CofE as ours is a parish where Curates finish their training before moving on as a Vicar elsewhere. I’ve always thought the non-conformist ministers were generally the best speakers, certainly this seems to be true locally. Perhaps the CofE training should concentrate less on theology and more on public speaking.

          • CliveM

            At a church I use to go to, the Minister use to preach for up to an hour. I was itching to get an editing pen to his sermon. He was one of those Preachers who repeats everyone of his points in every variant imaginable.

            He wasn’t an inspiring speaker who tended to drone on. But he believed in the sermon.

            However even he noticed that the congregations eyes were getting glassy, so decided to split the sermon in two, to aid concentration. It didn’t work as he ended up doing two 45 minute sermons every service.

            He was one of the best Parish Ministers I have known, but I had to stop going.

        • Martin

          EP

          If a sermon is rambling it isn’t worth 5 minutes, but a good sermon should leave you wanting more.

          • Regrettably a good sermon is a rarity these days!

          • Martin

            EP

            Not if you know where to look.

  • 1642again

    https://youtu.be/oQOecUSU5Rg

    You crusty misogynists might enjoy this.

    • David

      You wicked man – fun though !

      • 1642again

        BBC too. Most unexpected!

  • not a machine

    Yes Dr Richard Chartres has many qualities that I think of in a Bishop ,however the CofE is now a progressive body ,hardly news to contemplate that at some point a woman bishop will become the first woman bishop of London .my view on the whole project is not good so far but that doesn’t mean to say I haven’t encountered one or two good things ,still after the storm troopers you get the nice ones etc etc new reality of the CofE ,centuries of liturgy , music and attempts to worship god as best we can , means little ,you have the old ,you have the resonance and power of the old ,which was all male ,not far off the sermons of the maligned root when framing church history , and all communicants will be confused wether our forbears were following god or not , as they you know thought male dominated world was right.It is possible that feminism could sacrifice the CofE into a political construct , for surely jesus being part a man is bound to be a future Lenten topic.
    but then I ponder god isn’t mean , he portions to all and its perhaps personally mean not to want gods light to shine in others is a great offence ,strictures can be like that ,who does for instance think that god only speaks through one church , that only in one church will you go to heaven ? Difficult isn’t it ,Paul was not in the beginning a church member on the road to Damascus when God converted him, although he may have been a regular at the synagogue .Theology is difficult , his graces recent tweet on the duties of church membership warm my heart greatly , but what do they mean to a 20yr old ?

    so as Ivan the ambassador for the gravy train resigns , and the new Tim takes his place , I contemplate the sad overlooking of the 3rd candidate , why none other than Sir Ken Dodd , he has a most exemplary experience of diddy men , the jam buttie mines and unique tattifliarious way of harsh diplomancy , one can only imagine his pauses (with shocked face whilst holding tickling stick ) at each interruption with demands of free movement of people ,oh yes how tickled I am , how tickled I am that you can wake up today and find no one in the Eu wants 2017 .

    as far as I understand it the word church , comes from a Hebrew word , meaning “gathering” hence the small things of where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name ,

  • James Paice

    All of the female names mentioned are liberal. They would wreck Bishop Richard’s legacy.

    • Anton

      Of course they are. You can’t be an evangelical and a female candidate for a bishop’s seat, because of verses such as 1 Tim 3:2.

  • magnolia

    I wonder why the women have almost completely deserted the comments section here. Or not.

    Of what relevance are the outward attributes? Jesus encouraged us to focus on the inner attributes, that we might not be like whitewashed tombs, and here we are arguing about externals. Forget the gender, skin-colour, even the personal appearance or whether they are well-dressed or not. A person in constant communication with God and able to communicate that outwards is the core.

    • chefofsinners

      Gender is an inner attribute.

      • magnolia

        There is no marriage in Heaven. Tough for our over-sexualised generation, isn’t it? Oh well, there you go! We all have time to prepare….

        • chefofsinners

          Gender is in every cell of your (earthly) body. The bible clearly distinguishes the roles of men and women in the church.
          What happens once we are in heaven has nothing to do with who is the next Bishop of London.

          • magnolia

            It has everything to do with “inner” and “outer” and “inner” and “outer” has nothing to do with the scientifically materialistic consideration of cells of the body. The body is fine and necessary but the “thoughts that wander through eternity” are neither peculiarly male nor female, nor is spirituality. And some really very weird things have been said here which indicate that some communicants may never have twigged that women think and have souls as much as they do, like suggesting that women are so dense that they will not understand sermons in church and need them explained afterwards by their cleverer husbands, cos the bible says so, doesn’t it?

            St Paul didn’t of course write anything so peculiar or downright dumb, or needlessly offensive to half the population, because he was an observant and thoughtful man, who is much maligned by some who misinterpret him, but then that was a problem from early on, according to Peter (2 Peter 3.16).

          • chefofsinners

            Yes -agree with all of that, unless you think women should be bishops. Will get my much cleverer wife to explain it to me.

      • Cressida de Nova

        Gasp ! Let’s hope the inner matches the outer.

        • Allosexuel

          ‘Ze doctoor can fix ‘dis.

      • Allosexuel

        Yoo ‘av lived ‘a shultoored life. Did yor mummy not tell yoo aboot us gurls?

      • Old Nick

        Gender is surely a grammatical category

    • You support the ordination of women, Magnolia? Surely not.
      Whilst Jack agrees with your sentiment, the sexes male and female are distinct and complimentary. For His own reasons, Christ chose only men to be Apostles and the Church has respected His will ever since. Priesthood isn’t about rank and status.

      • magnolia

        Hi, we have discussed this before, and I respect and understand your view, which is not against female ministry per se, nor patronising. I do however differ. I have some reservations about episcopacy, but how much this is to do with my age and cultural background I do not know. I agree wholeheartedly that it is not about rank nor status, and anyone seeking either ordination or episcopacy in that way creates a queasy feeling here. It is about passing on the faith, and whoever can should; not enough people do that and believers are even failing to pass it on to their own children, which statistics show; hence we are reaching crisis point and all hands are needed on deck.

        Your understanding of priesthood and mine of ministry probably differ quite a lot, as also our understandings of Eucharist, so in some senses we are speaking of different entities. In any case for me it is servant ministry, and pointless squabbling over who should serve, just, mostly, important the service is done, if possible well !!

        • If there were no separate sacerdotal Christian priesthood, then Jack would concur. And you are correct, this is what divides us and not the contribution women can and do make to teaching the faith.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I don’t understand why you are concerned at all. Why does it matter if the Anglicans have female priests and bishops ? You cannot make a religion half right.

          • Unfortunately these developments influence the liberal elements in the Catholic Church. Remember the Church of England approved contraception, abortion, divorce and women’s ordination. It is now making concessions to same sex relationships. Like a cancer, these errors spread.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I don’t see that it follows.No one is forced to stay a Catholic.Liberal Catholics should join the Anglican Church instead of trying to Anglicise the Catholic Church.Why would the Catholic Church be influence by what the Protestant Churches do.?

    • Cressida de Nova

      If the Anglican church elects to have women priests,I don’t understand,

      apart from the usual intrinsic misogyny of the hardliners,why the members here are creating a fuss over the possibility of having women bishops.?

      The issue just cannot be taken seriously. The majority of Anglicans must have wanted women priests, otherwise the vote to have them would not have succeeded..

      • dannybhoy

        If you accept the principle of the priest-laity divide, then it follows that the laity will (gratefully) assume that those of the priestly caste will know best and follow their lead.
        Those that don’t usually leave, or else ignore the issues and get on with reaching out into the community with the Gospel.

      • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

        I agree to the extent that the Temple was abolished and there are no priests in the NT – except for Jesus Christ himself and all of us a priesthood of all believers. Elisabeth Schuessler-Fiorenza’s book “In memory of her” shows that women were heads of churches and St Paul even includes women amongst the apostles. What Dr Schuessler-Fiorenza showed is that hardly any of the women are named…. Hence “In memory of her”.

    • dannybhoy

      Think about it Magnolia. Which sex is most represented here anyway! We men always have plenty to talk about. Whether that actually results in anything constructive is another matter entirely,,,, :0)

    • David

      Men seem more interested in many of these public blogs.
      But the few women who turn up usually say useful things.
      I’m even told that most of the commentators on “Conservative Woman”, an excellent site, are men. Go figure !

    • Dominic Stockford

      How can we forget the gender of a spiritual leader when the Bible is clear about which gender should be spiritual leaders, and which should not?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Is the Bible clear about which gender should be spiritual leaders? If it were really important then wouldn’t we, in Jeremiah’s words, have “precept upon precept, line upon line” emphasising that only men could be spiritual leaders instead of a comment by Paul giving his opinion, not a command from God, in one of his epistles?

        • Dominic Stockford

          Absolutely clear. Paul’s letter are part of the inspired word of God. If you don’t think so, then please tell me how exactly you know which bits of the Bible are God;s word and which bits aren’t? I’ll answer for you. You can’t. Either the entire bible is trustworthy, or none of it. Which means either there is a Christian faith, or there isn’t.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Do you also believe that it is a sin for women not to wear hats in church? The verse 1 Timothy 2 v 12 starts with the word “I” (i.e. Paul) not “God.”

            I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

            In verse 15 Paul goes on to say:

            15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

            Do you think that this mean that childless women will not be saved?

  • Samuel

    Well dudes , let’s take a philosophical approach : “The owl of Minerva spreads her wings only with the falling of the dusk….”

    • dannybhoy

      A rather sweeping observation if I may say so Samuel.. Happy New year to you and yours btw
      Be healthy, be strong, be wise…

      • Samuel

        Well dude

        Quoting Hagel impressed the lads down the pub, so why not here ?

        Happy New year!

    • David

      Let’s all be more owl like,
      to see through the current darkness,
      and to pounce forcefully, when least expected …..

  • Father David

    It will be interesting to see what influence Mrs. May (a practicing Anglican and a vicar’s daughter to boot) will have over episcopal appointments within the Church of England, by Law Established. Not since the days of Harold MacMillan have we had a Prime Minister who takes such a keen interest in the affairs of the national Church. MacMillan wisely chose Ramsey rather than Coggan to succeed Fisher. Mind the last female Prime Minister was not averse to a bit of meddling in Church affairs and appointments! Didn’t she choose Leonard for London rather than A. N. Other; also didn’t she disastrously elect for Carey rather than Habgood for Canterbury? No doubt whoever is appointed, male or female, will be yet another ecclesiastical manager sporting a purple shirt thus replacing Chartres – the last Prince Bishop and the greatest Archbishop of Canterbury that never was.

    • chefofsinners

      You can be sure that the CNC will be aware of Mrs May’s opinions, one way or another.

    • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

      The claim that Mrs May is a practicing Anglican and a vicar’s daughter to boot has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality that she is a politician who is head of a civil service and judiciary that are now secular and profoundly anti-christian.

  • IT’S NOT ABOUT RELIGION AND IT NEVER WAS.

    What was the pattern of Gods first century church before it was changed by men who desired position and power along with the worlds political systems? One ruled the body and the other to rule the mind/spirit.

    Gods pattern for His church is:

    (1)Jesus Christ and Born Again Believers having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit “our” True Teacher, Guide, and Comforter.

    (2) The Father is the Spiritual Leader of the Family who was endowed by God with the responsibility of teaching the message of Christ to his family (and extended family), Baptizing them, Presiding over communion in the home, Blessing them, Braying over the sick, etc. Later when the Fathers responsibility was usurped by men’s so called churches with there many demonstrations who each assumed to themselves divine authority and established their denomination priesthoods.

    (3) The “church” is the (Assembly) Body of Believers which meet in homes and open fields. There were no building programs, worship teams, book sales, athletic events, movies, various “programs”, etc. The Church was not a building or denomination and it was never intended to be.

    Brothers – the church today is infiltrated with false teachers, false doctrine, and wolves inhabit the pews. What is accepted today was blasphemy and unthinkable in the past.

    I started a letter to my family regarding these things which turned into a web site.
    If you visit there: There are no books or CD’s for sale, your money is not wanted and has no value, there is no advertising, and you are ask to join or follow anyone. The purpose is to encourage you to know for yourself what is the Power and Glory of God.

    Best to all and your families:

    Daniel http://www.knowingforyourself.com

    On the top right on the home page click on the (Church?) tab which directly relates to what is written above…especially post 3-4.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘father’ in point 2 must have a small ‘f’ – ‘call no man your Father save your Father in heaven.’

      And, as we read the New Testament (which is a book which I happily sell, and would not want anyone not to) I see that the church has almost always been filled with false teachers, false doctrine, and wolves disguised as shepherds. SO the sitution today is nothing new. Bar one thing. There ARE far more Christians, and faithful congregations, in the world today than in, say, AD100. And therefore we should give glory to God.

      • You are correct. It was my intention to emphasize the parents both father and mother. I understand the issue you have raised.

        For the sake of clarity I will not capitalize either father or mother in the future.

        Daniel http://www.knowingforyourself.com

    • Royinsouthwest

      If I were sick I would certainly complain if people started “braying” over me! Prayers would be welcome, however.

      • I understand your point of view but remember this was normal in the early church and is encouraged in Scriptures. It’s not a salvation issue.
        Ahhhh….now I get it….sorry about the spelling error…..
        Best to you and your loved ones.

        • Royinsouthwest

          I was joking since you wrote “braying” and not “praying!”

          • I understand…and thanks for pointing it out….it is important to be specific and make necessary changes when something is not correct. Best to you.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    As the State grows more like a hive or an ant-hill it needs an increasing number of workers who can be treated as neuters. This may be inevitable for our secular life. But in our Christian life we must return to reality. There we are not homogeneous units, but different and complementary organs of a mystical body. Lady Nunburnholme has claimed that the equality of men and women is a Christian principle. I do not remember the text in scripture nor the Fathers, nor Hooker, nor the Prayer Book which asserts it; but that is not here my point. The point is that unless “equal” means “interchangeable”, equality makes nothing for the priesthood of women. And the kind of equality which implies that the equals are interchangeable (like counters or identical machines) is, among humans, a legal fiction. It may be a useful legal fiction. But in church we turn our back on fictions. One of the ends for which sex was created was to symbolize to us the hidden things of God. One of the functions of human marriage is to express the nature of the union between Christ and the Church. We have no authority to take the living and semitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere geometrical figures.

    This is what common sense will call “mystical”. Exactly. The Church claims to be the bearer of a revelation. If that claim is false then we want not to make priestesses but to abolish priests. If it is true, then we should expect to find in the Church an element which unbelievers will call irrational and which believers will call supra-rational. There ought to be something in it opaque to our reason though not contrary to it – as the facts of sex and sense on the natural level are opaque. And that is the real issue. The Church of England can remain a church only if she retains this opaque element. If we abandon that, if we retain only what can be justified by standards of prudence and convenience at the bar of enlightened common sense, then we exchange revelation for that old wraith Natural Religion.

    Prof CS Lewis, Priestesses in the Church?

    • Old Nick

      I am astonished at the rapidity with which “Equality” has suddenly become a ‘British Value’ (or Vaahlew, as Mr. Gordon Brown used to call it). It seems to me more of a French Value – and we all know what to think about the morals of the French.

      • Anton

        One third of a trio together with liberty and fraternity, which the French revolution was so good at bringing…

        • Maalaistollo

          I sometimes wonder if the contribution of the French to the history of civilisation is limited to French toast, French doors, French leave, French letters, metrication and revolutionary terror. Quite like French toast, though.

          • Old Nick

            I believe that French Toast is named after a Mr. French and is nothing to do with les français. And anyway is it not really just the sop which Chaucer’s Franklin liked for breakfast (though his was a sop of wine).

          • French letters? Did no one write letters before the French?

          • Old Nick

            They were surely invented by a Monsieur Condom ?

          • Allosexuel

            I ‘av an uncul oo livs in Condom. Dey alwoys wrap up worm in de wintor.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Yes but they were called “epistles” then.

          • chefofsinners

            And if you wrote something insulting it was epistols at dawn.

          • Pubcrawler

            As technology advanced, it developed into drunken emails after closing time.

          • chefofsinners

            For, the email of the species is more deadlier than the male.

          • Allosexuel

            Silly boy. Nevor ‘eard of a Fronch kiss? We changed yor ‘istory whon Anne Boleyn lurmed orr ways.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Since the French are not very keen on fish and chips why do Americans call chips “French fries”?

          • Old Nick

            I think these were a Belgian invention (like the Swiss and the cuckoo clock).

          • carl jacobs

            “Fried” has a broad semantic range. “French fried potatoes” means “potatoes fried according to the French usage of ‘fried'”. Shortened to French fries.

          • chefofsinners

            The major contribution of the French is and has always been to help the English feel good about themselves.

          • Pubcrawler
        • Old Nick

          Exactement

        • IanCad

          Liberty; Equality. One or the other; not both.

  • 1642again

    I’d rather see this statement from a new Bishop of London, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Saviour of Mankind who rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven. The only salvation and way to eternal life is through faith in Him and following his teachings.”

    • chefofsinners

      Written on the side of a flying pig.

      • Dominic Stockford

        If you then flew the inflatable pig from the remaining towers of what used to be Battersea power station everyone who entered Waterloo would get to see it….

  • chefofsinners

    The new bishop of London will not be a woman, but the appointment will be a statement.
    The new bishop will be Nick Holtham, currently at Salisbury. He’s pro-same sex marriage and his appointment will be a decisive move in that direction.
    You heard it here first.

    • 1642again

      So someone’s who’s not a Christian? Why not an atheist then or a Mormon perhaps? Even more inclusive.

      Oh to be caught between Scylla and Charybdis.

      • chefofsinners

        Possibly Sadiq Khan.

        • 1642again

          Ssssh. They might here you and think what a good idea.

          There was a theologically founded college I read about in the US. It was either Methodist or Episcopalian I think (someone will put me right I’m sure) that decided to be more inclusive and appointed a Muslim lecturer to ‘broaden perspective’ of the students. They were then very pleased when Muslims started applying to study and appointed some more Muslim staff to accommodate them. A few years later and that college is now effectively an Islamic monopoly, with Christianity driven out.

          A model from which to learn for the ecclesiastical hierarchy. No accommodation with Islam is possible.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Sadly all the ecclesiastical hierarchies in the UK think that no accommodation with islam is IMpossible.

        • Sarky

          I might throw my hat in.

          • Anton

            At least you are honest about not believing the Bible!

          • 1642again

            Qualifies as a Bishop then.

          • chefofsinners

            How lovely to have you inside the tent pissing out.

    • Father David

      Don’t you think that Nicholas Holtham is too old to take on London, he will be 63 later this year (August 8th) two days after the Feast of the Transfiguration, a tad aged to be translated to one of the five Senior posts within the C of E. Having said that Bishop Frith was 65 when he took on Hereford but there is a world of difference between rural Herefordshire and urban London. It could well be the Bishop of Chelmsford for London (you heard it here first), although I think he would make a good Eborian successor.

      • chefofsinners

        62 but still ambitious. Lots of experience in London. His mitre will be in the ring.

      • Old Nick

        Bishop Frith had surely run York during the interregnum preceding the elevation of the present Archbishop. And had been Senior Prefect at school.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Age is no longer a barrier, given that set retirement ages are illegal!

        • Father David

          But no one has yet challenged the compulsory retirement age for clergy retiring on the eve of their 71st birthday – at the very latest. It would be interesting if someone were courageous enough so to do. Then, if successful, it might start a trend for clergy staying on after they became septuagenarians – maybe then bishops would stop harping on about 40% of the stipendiary clergy retiring in the next decade.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Someone should challenge it by simply not doing it. It would put the onus on the CofE to justify their disobedience of the law of man, and remind people that such as Charles Simeon did his best work in his dotage.

          • Anton

            Such a challenge would mean continuing with the workload while not getting paid for it. Unlikely.

    • David

      Are you starting a book on this ?

      • chefofsinners

        Nick Holtham 2/1
        Rachel Twerk 5/1
        Sam Allardyce 100/1
        Sadiq Khan 50/1
        Donald Trump 33/1
        Nicola Sturgeon 11/2
        Richard Dawkins 5/2
        Kanye West 10/1
        Victoria Beckham (Holy Spice) 36-22-34.

        • Old Nick

          At 5 to 4 the field

        • David

          I hope you turn a healthy profit !

        • Dominic Stockford

          I’ll have 100 upticks on Big Sam.

        • Allosexuel

          I ‘av a mooting nex wick wit a mombor of ze Croon Nominosons Cummisson. Wood yoo lik me to wispor in ‘is ear?

          • chefofsinners

            Wosper Gavin Ashenden in ‘is ear.

        • 1642again

          I’ll put a monkey on Donald Trump. He can win anything these days.

          BTW surely Holy Spice’s odds are 12-2-6?

          • chefofsinners

            Yes, sorry. Are yours 16-4-2?

          • 1642again

            Very good!

          • carl jacobs

            It should be Dr Pepper at 10-2-4.

          • Dr Pepper.

          • Anton

            Sergeant Pepper.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Richard Dawkins would not condescend to be a mere bishop. He might fancy being Archbishop of Canterbury however, if the job comes up in the next few years.

    • Sarky

      You lot need to stop bashing your Bishops.!

      • 1642again

        We need to defrock a few!

      • chefofsinners

        Yes, sorry, that’s your job.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    They have made the Bishop of St Davids (in Wales) a woman precisely to make a statement

    • Old Nick

      Dux femina facti

      • Anton

        But is she a virgil?

        • Old Nick

          Da mihi alteram

  • len

    The C of E has become ‘the mad hatters tea party.’Anyone for cake? (probably ‘a gay cake’)

  • I agree with male leadership but ask: which would be worse a woman bishop who preaches the gospel or a male bishop who denies the gospel?

    Is there a female bishop who preaches the gospel?

    • Dominic Stockford

      By definition a female bishop is compromising the teaching of the ‘full-orbed’ Gospel by claiming to be a bishop. That should answer your question.

    • Anton

      There isn’t a female bishop who preachs 1 Tim 3:2.

    • David

      All the female Anglican priests or ministers I’ve met are liberal. They usually insist on being regarded as “priests” to, reflecting their liberal theology and insistence, in their minds, of claiming some sort of status. Many are fairly prickly justice warriors I’ve found. Nowadays I try to avoid them.

      • Anton

        I don’t believe in the ordination of men either!

        • carl jacobs

          How do you define ordination?

          • Anton

            “Through this ceremony you are hereby ordained a priest” or anything else in the church that concatenates “priest” and “ordain”.

          • carl jacobs

            Is this about the sacramental priesthood or the ceremony?

          • Anton

            I am objecting to any assertion that someone who has been through any ceremony is any more a priest than a committed Christian who hasn’t. And I object to any ceremony which “ordains the candidate a priest”, because it has the effect of denying that he was one beforehand. All Christians are priests of God and Jesus is our High Priest.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, OK. That makes sense.

          • Can you transform bread and wine into the Real Presence of Christ? Can you forgive sin as Christ’s vicar? Do you teach with the authority of Christ given to the Apostles?

          • Anton

            Can you transform bread and wine into the Real Presence of Christ?

            Nobody can.

            Can you forgive sin as Christ’s vicar?

            Ditto, and by all means explain your understanding of the verses in question.

            Do you teach with the authority of Christ given to the Apostles?

            When my teaching is in the Spirit (! Cor 12:28), Yes.

          • “When my teaching is in the Spirit (! Cor 12:28), Yes.”
            And therein is the reason you are a protestant, seeing no basis for an ordained priesthood. Your faith was formed in a tradition that shuns the authority of the Apostles and their successors. You read scripture through lens that are very different to Jack’s.

          • Anton

            Do you dispute that when somebody’s teaching is in the Spirit, he teaches with the authority of Christ?

            I see no basis for a priesthood ordained by ritual because all Christians are priests, ordained as such by their faith and by the word of God in Rev 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9.

          • But how do you know they are “teaching in the Spirit”? The Holy Spirit can only teach one Truth, yet He appears to say different things to different people.

          • Anton

            That’s the right question, Jack. It applies to entire denominations as much as to individuals.

          • Then we look to scripture and see that Christ gave the assurance of indefectibility to the Apostles and to His visible Church.

          • Anton

            Tell me where scripture says that?

          • There are two passages in Scripture that point to the indefectible character of the Church:

            “I say to thee, thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

            “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world.”

            The second verse clearly promises that the Church will endure for all time. The first guarantees her success in performing her mission; the forces of hell will not gain the upper hand and eliminate her.

            The Church exists is to make God’s teachings about Himself and His laws known. For the Church to carry out its mission, it must have a reliable way of determining the essential truths of faith and morals. For this reason the Church possesses the charism of infallibility.

            After announcing that He was going to establish an indefectible Church upon the rock of Peter, our Lord gave Peter a tool to be used in keeping the “gates of hell” from prevailing:

            “And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

            “I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, to be with you for ever. . . . he dwells with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans”

          • Anton

            The church exists for no other reason than to make Jesus Christ known. And it is the gates of hades, meaning death, that will not prevail against it; I agree that its mission is guaranteed success. As to where we differ over these things, till tomorrow and a good night, Jack.

          • Anton

            Petros means a loose rock cut from the strata (petra); Peter himself used the image to call Christians living stones being built into Jesus’ church, quoting the Old Testament to show Jesus is the cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-8). Peter was simply the first stone of many to be laid. Check the Greek.

            As for binding and loosing, take this together with John 20:22-3: “Receive the Holy Spirit; if you forgive anyone’s sins, his sins are having-been-forgiven”, according to the Greek verb. This makes it a declaration based on discernment in the Spirit, not a dispensation. They declared to some that their sins were forgiven, that they need no longer worry; they declared to other that their sins weren’t forgiven (eg Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5). Binding and loosing are similar declarations of what God has done, to give assurance or warning.

            Nothing in the verses you have quoted verifies that church teaching is incapable of error; we are guided into all truth but not without a few mistakes along the way in any denomination, as is obvious to all honest Christians. And nothing in those verses implies that Peter, the church’s first leader, could hand on that leadership to one man and so on down the ages.

          • That’s just your personal interpretation or, more accurately, the interpretation you’ve received from others. Jack will stick with the understanding of the Church Fathers which dates back 2000 years.

          • Anton

            That’s just your personal interpretation too. You can claim lats of Catholics agree but I can claim lots of protestants, no proof there. And the first claims of inerrancy do not remotely date back to the apostles.

          • Scripture is clear on the matter for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

          • Anton

            I agree…

        • David

          Well that depends upon what you read into the act of ordination of course. You have to define your terms.
          But I don’t buy the idea of the priesthood, but I use the word priest simply to communicate with those that do.

          • Anton

            The point is not to be rude to ordained persons, but to insist, with all courtesy but without compromise, that you are as much a priest of God as they are. For that, you have God’s own authority (Rev 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9), and there is none higher.

          • David

            I agree. I subscribe to Luther’s “priesthood of all believers” doctrine.

          • Anton

            Luther was right, but he got it from the verses I’ve quoted.

          • That’s a Catholic doctrine too but, like Luther, we also believe Christ instituted a sacerdotal priesthood and its continuance through Apostolic succession. One doesn’t preclude the other.

        • John Campbell

          Here here! The CofE has severely limited itself by refusing to recognise the priesthood of believers. In doing so it wilfully quenches the Spirit so that services are formulaic and predictable. Perhaps it has recognised this precious resource but in an Animal Farmish way – all are priests but some are more priestly than others.

    • carl jacobs

      A female bishop who preaches the Gospel would be better because the Gospel is still preached. But that doesn’t mean that a female bishop is acceptable. It’s still disobedience.

    • carl jacobs

      Btw. I was happy to see you this morning. I was in fact just thinking this morning that I hadn’t seen you comment in a while

      • Thanks Carl. Intrusion of other events, Christmas etc, mean I’ve not been keeping up to speed.

    • chefofsinners

      Would you rather be killed with a teaspoon or a cocktail stick?

      • Cressida de Nova

        A garlic press:)

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      How about a male bishop whose wife writes his sermons?

      • Anton

        Can’t think who you mean, Mrs Proudie!

  • Dominic Stockford

    Has anyone heard of, or seen a proper independent Christian critique, of a group called ‘humanutopia’ (humanutopia.co.uk) which goes into schools and, it seems to me, seeks to socially engineer pupils into certain ways of thinking. I would be very grateful if you have, as their own website says nothing of any value about the principles that lie behind their work.

    • Sarky

      Not that you can read this, as you blocked me, but this company goes into school to help kids improve confidence through different activities and also helps them deal with bullying.
      Sorry to burst your bubble, but they are not raging anti christian social engineers.
      You really need to get out more.

      • ZX10

        No they are not not ‘raging anti christian social engineers. ‘ they are raging social justice engineers who have successfully indoctrinated generations of children into broken weak crybabies and entitled ‘my rights are over all others ‘ millennial’s that’s soooo much better

      • Royinsouthwest

        That sounds OK but wouldn’t real activities be preferable to contrived ones? When I was a boy even state schools had plenty of sports events. School concerts and plays were another good thing. Then in our free time there were organisations like the Scouts, Girl Guides, Cubs (for the younger children), Boys Brigade etc.

        • Anton

          I went to a good local grammar school and I took the (unintentionally disruptive) view that school was there to teach me things I didn’t know which the teachers did, and that anything beyond that was none of the school’s business. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy cricket, but this stuff about values and educating the whole pupil is as insidious today, when schools seek to teach pupils secularism by osmosis, as it was in the Victorian era, when they sought to make Empire administrators.

          • chefofsinners

            Get in touch with your emotional intelligence, Anton. Soft skills are where it’s at.

          • Anton

            It is for those who know me personally to decide how much “emotional intelligence” I have, but I did not wish my ration to be moulded by the school environment.

          • But how will you know what they’re feeling or thinking?

          • Anton

            Because it was moulded at home. That’s what home is for. School is for learning facts.

      • Anton

        He regularly stands in elections.

        • Sarky

          Explains a lot.

          • Anton

            Do stop shifting the goalposts; you were grumbling that he should get out more.

    • Anton

      I think they are .com rather than .co.uk

      • Dominic Stockford

        thank you

    • David

      I guess much can be inferred from their name – human – utopia ?

      • Dominic Stockford

        I had an instant knee-jerk reaction against their name, and one of the other people on the HG list (Andrea Minichiello Williams) is already on the case. But knowing people here I hoped someone *might* have heard of them and have something nasty to say :-0

        • David

          Knowing that Andrea M-Williams is on the case is reassuring. She is a tireless defender of Biblical Anglicanism.

          • Sarky

            She’s a nut job.

          • Anton

            Do say why you disrespect her rather than just her views.

          • David

            Your substantiated insult to her is noted.

    • 1642again

      Human utopias invariably turn into genocidal totalitarian states. You’d think people would have learnt by now?

  • Shadrach Fire

    I always wondered how a non believing PM could select a Bishop or an Archbishop. I suppose that in decades past most politicians and PM’s were ‘Christian’. Much has been said about the qualities of a bishop and I would agree that their spiritual status is far more important than their gender or political leanings other wise we will have nothing but a club for idealised concepts.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    The male priesthood pre-dates the Apostles:

    The hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

    (Hebrews 6:13-20)

    • chefofsinners

      As does the female priesthood…
      Jezebel.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Yes.

        ‘I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols’.

        Revelation 2:20

        Yes: if sex is irrelevant to the priesthood; then why should homosexuality be relevant?

        • chefofsinners

          Nick Holtham? Is that you?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Who is Holtham?

          • chefofsinners

            Bishop of Salisbury

            “+Nicholas Sarum” as he signs his Christmas cards.

          • Pubcrawler

            Quite rite.

          • Old guy then?

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          An interesting point…

        • Er, because one’s biological sex is determined by God and He has a plan and design for men and women in His Church and in relationship with one another. Homosexuality is a distur

        • Anton

          Because ‘sex’ has two meanings…

      • dannybhoy

        But hey!
        If Adam hadn’t of been lonely and in need of a mate, none of this would have happened!
        Let’s not gang up on the girls.
        They mostly do what they were designed to do, and they look to men to lead and provide, and only carefully intervene when the man they love is about to make a right mess of things..
        Males and females are there so that the race might continue. But God sees us as individuals in prayer and dedication and obedience, and in the spiritual dimension our gender ceases to matter. We are the two halves of one whole.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          ‘and in the spiritual dimension our gender ceases to matter’.

          Not so fast, thou miserable sinner:

          ‘With the Church, we are farther in: for there we are dealing with male and female not merely as facts of nature but as the live and awful shadows of realities utterly beyond our control and largely beyond our direct knowledge. Or rather, we are dealing with them but (as we shall soon learn if we meddle) they are dealing with us.’

          CS Lewis, Priestesses in the Church?

          • carl jacobs

            There is no difference between sex and gender. This idea of a self-constructed gender (as in “I’m a woman in a man’s body) is an act of human rebellion. The creature does not say to the Creator “Why did you make me thus?”

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘There is no difference between sex and gender.’

            Then, note gentlemen, comes the contradiction:

            ‘This idea of a self-constructed gender (as in “I’m a woman in a man’s body)’.

            Students tell me: ‘sex is what happens with four feet in a bed. Gender is between your ears.’

          • Allosexuel

            Ooo la la. Dis gurl ‘as nevor ‘ad sex wit a four footor.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-liver’d boy.

            Macbeth, Act 5, Sc. 3

          • Allosexuel

            Engleish is noot moi’s furst longuage but dat sunds rood. I am noot a boy and do noot lik pricks neer my face.

          • carl jacobs

            All sorts of things happen between the ears. Corruption and confusion and perversion for example. None of it is dispositive.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            I do not wish to quarrel with you. You are one of us.

            See Happy Jack’s helpful note above.

          • Carl doesn’t “quarrel”. He looks for weaknesses in any argument against his set core beliefs and attacks. He’s American, so knows he’s right, and doesn’t necessarily agree with taking prisoners.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You may find the following helpful from gentlemind blogspot:

            A snappy place to start is to observe that in fact the human person does not have a gender. Nouns are gendered. We human persons are sexed, with sex being everywhere, not just ‘between your legs’. John (who is male) can be said to have male hands, not by virtue of there being a functional difference between male and female hands but by virtue of his hands being the hands of a male. And with ‘sex’ being the word through which we signify the nature of the body as a whole, it follows that John’s sex should be his core legal identity.

          • Carl pays no attention to Happy Jack’s words of wisdom. He has no choice in this. He was predestined to ignore him. God works in mysterious ways.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Good one !

          • Do you accept that there are different ideas about how the sexes of male and female should behave and relate to one another, and what constitutes “masculinity” and “femininity”?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Masculinity is not a group of men ganging up on a woman hurling insults. Real men do not behave like this.It is one step removed from the gang bang.

          • dannybhoy

            http://sacnoths.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/c-s-lewiss-worst-essay-priestesses-in.html
            A great appreciation of CS Lewis have I. Read most of his books.

            One of the reasons I try not to attack for example the Catholic Church, is because doctrinal truth depends on your starting point. If you accept our Lord’s words to Peter, a case could be made for what follows on.
            If you accept or have been deeply influenced by Replacement theology, you will accept the idea of a priesthood – laity model and the resultant reliance on the clergy for leadership and enlightenment.
            So much depends on your starting point, and the Scriptures can be interpreted in such a way to provide proof verses to back up your doctrinal position.
            So with the ladies I see them as being the gentler, nurturing side of our humanity.
            Does God call them into front line ministry as vicars etc?
            I don’t think He does, because God clearly made man head over the woman. But a godly and submissive woman can minister and teach, as long as she does so under the authority of a godly and submissive man.. as Paul’s epistles seem to show.
            That seems to me to be the order of things. A godly man needs to accept the fellowship and prayerful support and guidance of others. No man is wise enough, complete enough to stand alone, and I think that’s why we, both male and female Christians are referred to as ‘The Body of Christ’.

          • David

            That’s close to my position.

          • CliveM

            I got ‘Scripture and the authority of God’ by Tom Wright for Christmas. I am looking forward to reading it (probably sometime 2019 :0( ……) to see what he says on some of these issues. I note (on a quick scan through) that he says in one part of it, that despite mis-readings of the NT, it “does envisage women as apostles and deacons, and as leading in worship”. At least in the quick scan I gave, it doesn’t appear to say anything about them being formally part of the Priesthood.

            We shall see.

          • dannybhoy

            I have one of his books. Got it because it was recommended.
            “Scripture and the authority of God.”
            If you like the one you purchased let me know and I’ll give you this one post free..

          • Careful, Clive. Tom Wright is part of the New Perspective(s) on Paul movement. These perspectives are not really that “new” in that they are more in tune with the beliefs that prevailed in the Church before Luther and Calvin. It’s only taken them 500 years to begin to catch up.

            Here’s an interesting summary from Wiki. It also demonstrates the endless lack of agreement amongst Protestants about the five sola and what scripture really means. Just give Jack a reliably translated bible and the Catechism any day.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Perspective_on_Paul

          • CliveM

            HJ

            I’m not sure if you approve of what he is saying or not!

          • He’s certainly an improvement on the errors of Luther and Calvin.

          • CliveM

            Cautious approval then.

          • carl jacobs

            NPP (which Wright supports) severely mangles the doctrine of Justification in an attempt to cut the Gordian knot of the Reformation. In essence he wants it says that the Reformation is one big misunderstanding and that Catholics and Protestants believe the same thing. It’s no surprise Jack says what he does. Wright submarines the Protestant position.

          • It certainly “mangles” the arguments of Luther and Calvin. He doesn’t argue that Catholics and Protestants believe the same things. He argues that Luther and Calvin misread Paul and were wrong.

          • CliveM

            You’ll need to expand on this. Who are NPP and what do they say?

          • carl jacobs

            The New Perspective on Paul. What Jack mentioned.

            http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/nt-wright-and-new-perspective-paul/

          • Some of this “school” are arguing themselves away from protestantism and back to Rome.

          • CliveM

            I think that might be stretching it.

            BTW in the video I saw, on his talks about the resurrection of the dead, he was quite clear that what he was saying was not new but the historical position. He was clearly very anti rapture theology.

          • Why? There are bishops who don’t believe in the divinity of Christ, His sacrifice on the Cross and resurrection. Why would a more Catholic view on justification and sanctification preclude him?

          • CliveM

            Preclude him? I was simply saying I don’t see him crossing the Tiber.

            I have been wrong before!

          • chefofsinners

            He is an heretyk. Burn the book before it destroys you.

          • CliveM

            I’ve read stuff of his before and watched a DVD where he talked on topics of the NT. Apart from an ability to cram an amazing amount of information in very rapid time, he seemed relatively orthodox to me, but with some interesting ideas.

          • chefofsinners

            It isn’t hard to seem relatively orthodox in the CoE these days.

          • dannybhoy

            I fear I am synge-ed already..

          • carl jacobs

            Chef is right. Tom Wright is a liberal.

          • Why?

          • carl jacobs

            His view of Scripture. He rejects inerrancy.

          • Inerrancy or a failure to interpret it according to the understanding of the author in his time and setting and what he was intending to say?

          • ceige

            You forgot women were also prophetesses (such as Miriam)…. I am supposing when Christ became the Great High Priest, Priest forever – sacrificing once for all and continually intereceding; the role of what we now call Priest changed. There is the theology of the Priesthood of all believers, being ‘one with Christ’, just as in Malachi it is said the Lord will make for himself people who were like the original Levi (of the Levites/Priests) except purified by himself. As a Priesthood of all believers it is difficult to conclude women would be excluded, as it is difficult to conclude the role of Priest in the OT and NT is paralleled.

            As for the election of a women Bishop and the possibility of this being politically influenced. Well from reading it appears there has been political influence in England in thi process for countless years. Good or bad? Like most things no doubt a bit of both, however, taken purely from the perspective of the Church faith dictates Christians elect their leaders according to much discernment, or as Paul through a direct calling from God.

          • The real question is what authority and tradition you base your staring position on.

          • dannybhoy

            Didn’t I just say that- or have I been asleep again?
            As I see it the Scriptures could support a number of doctrinal positions reasonably well, and I am not sure that there is a totally watertight ‘correct’ theology.

            That is why I tend to enjoy the more ‘speculative’ approach based on the revealed nature of God. Not that the Scriptures aren’t God breathed or reliable, but that trying to build a complete doctrinal position from them, and then spending endless hours dissecting and defending your pet theory traps you (and in a sense, God), into a box…

          • You start where the first Christian’s started. By listening to the teachings of Christ as preached by Him and through His called priests and bishops.

          • dannybhoy

            I refuse to be drawn Jack. You are more learned than I, and would only succeed in drowning me in a sea of Catholic ecclesiastical writings and rulings…
            Apart from those touchstone verses you always quote, there is no other Scriptural evidence to confirm that St Peter was called as the first head of the true Church on earth.
            We stay with our Lord and His teachings. We accept that our Lord appeared to St Paul and anointed him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. We accept that St Peter and the rest of the believers accepted him in his role. That’s as far as it should go.

        • chefofsinners

          And what of the gender confused? Two halves of one hole?

          • dannybhoy

            So something is wrong.
            The miniscule minorities who believe themselves to be in the wrong body are messed up. How I don’t know, but I stick with what I understand: the Scriptures and the existential evidence that show “Male and female created He them..”

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘The miniscule minorities who believe themselves to be in the wrong body are messed up.’

            I was interviewing a Child Clinical Psychologist over Christmas.

            She reported the following:

            1. Huge increase in the last three years in boys wanting ‘gender reassignment’.
            2. Most are on the autistic spectrum.
            3. They love the attention from psychology and medical staff.
            4. Nearly all have felt rejected by peers during school years.
            5. They want (‘enforced’) acceptance by those they come into contact with (connected with ‘4.’ above).

            Other problems with their families:

            A. Father changes gender;
            B. Mother grieving for loss of husband;
            C. Children mourning loss of father and questioning their own gender identity;
            D. Psychologists afraid of permitting them to go through puberty rather than waiting for that stage to pass.

          • dannybhoy

            Pretty perceptive.

        • chefofsinners

          No-one’s ganging up on the girls. The criticism is of men who are denying scriptural truth of headship and their duty as husbands to ‘love their wives as Christ loved the church’.

  • Looking through HG’s list for inspiration, how about the Rt Rev’d Woyin Karowei Dorgu for the new Bishop of London? “Newly appointed Bishop of Woolwich – the first black bishop in the Church of England for 20 years (and the first ever from Nigeria), whose appointment has been greeted enthusiastically. Nominated for: “his Evangelical faith (which) shines out of him.. happy to celebrate diversity while upholding the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.”

  • Might it not be a good idea to appoint a Bishop of London who preaches that salvation is to be found in Christ alone; or one who will ‘hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle‘ (2Thess 2:15)? How about one who adheres to the XXXIX Articles? Wouldn’t these be better statements for the new Bishop of London to make than “Hey, look, I’m a woman!”?

    Amen! But somehow, your Grace, I don’t think that’s going to happen, do you?

  • Royinsouthwest

    Ah, so that’s the secret of your success!

  • chefofsinners

    What a shame they kicked you out.

    • Anton

      You’ve seen Lindsay Anderson’s If…. ?

      • chefofsinners

        There were nowhere near that many deaths…

  • Oisín mac Fionn

    What do you mean “female bishop of London to make a statement”?

    Chartres is a man, isn’t he? Or is this part of a teaser campaign similar to Caitlyn Jenner’s heavily mediatised transition?

    Is Chartres planning to ditch the Dick (short for Richard, in case you were wondering…) and wow us a more traditionally feminine moniker and gender presentation? What name will he choose? Lola? Scheherazade? Or something more traditionally biblical, perhaps? Mary Magdalene would be a bold choice. Or Sheba if the hormone treatment gets zem feeling a little more sultry than saintly.

    I wish zem well. And what a milestone for the Church of England! Is that clicking sound I hear somebody picking the quadruple lock…?

    • Anton

      The door with that lock on is being opened from the inside. Don’t worry, the faithful will be OK.

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        I can confidently assure you that I’m not the slightest bit worried about the faithful.

        When that door finally bursts open and gay couples start marching down the aisle, the reactionaries will march right back up it and out the door into the open arms of Gafcon, or the Catholics, or whatever nasty little Protestant churchiscule best matches their individual brand of bigotry and hatred.

        Fast forward a few years and all those beautiful Anglican churches will have been redeveloped as secular marriage emporiums and teashops. The trads will be slumming it with the Catholics, or huddling under strip lighting and polystyrene ceiling tiles in draughty prefab prayer houses, lamenting their fate and vowing revenge.

        All will be right with the world!

        • Anton

          Wrong. All will be right with the church. Which is not a building according to the Bible, by the way.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Now, now, now. What’s all this ‘bigotory and hatred’ about?

    • Allosexuel

      Mon héros! Comment allez-vous après le malheureux accident avec Yule Log? L’hôpital l’a-t-il retiré?

    • William Lewis

      Too much Oisin sauce in this comment. Not for the discerning palate.

    • chefofsinners

      No. It is your brain cell rattling around.

      • len

        The brain cell you mean?

  • Dominic Stockford

    Jut close the CofE down and move on. Autonomous local congregations following the teaching of Scripture, that’s the way forward (and the NT way).

    • ChaucerChronicle

      No bishop, then no Queen Elizabeth II.

      • Anton

        You don’t have to believe what King James said!

        • ChaucerChronicle

          I see no compulsion, do you?

        • not a machine

          I have regular spats with is the KJV any good ,I would say so ,but the new standard revised is good also .you don’t have to believe what Jesus said , but at least you consider where that gets us

          • Anton

            I did actually mean King James, not the King James Bible. “No bishop, no king” is the quote of his which Chaucer was adapting.

          • not a machine

            Ah well ….does seem to have deep resonance

          • And it’s true too.

          • Anton

            Scotland is just one counter-example.

    • not a machine

      If autonomous congregations can exist of good theology and scripture and worship ,but isn’t one of the problems not so much clergy ,but what they should believe ? I don’t think its inevitable ,my own feelings are that something is changing in peoples minds ,where they perhaps cannot believe there is an analogue creation through which communion takes place .people living in worlds created by man , may not be able to connect to gods , as before .
      if your saying better have the structure for the state and for ideas on belief to co exist within the broadest of churches , then bishops will no longer oversee ideaology ,or have to believe in Christ .
      It is the theological belief of a diverse church that is problematic , rather than standardized of a sound franchise.
      I see the difference of the two minds or era ,bothers me silly ,already seeing children abandoned to mobile media ,and resolution is radical and reversion .tell me when your a pensioner in need of care and your daily care is ,pair of 3D goggles and earphones,intravenous food and your just left to emotional triggers for stimuli ,rather than an actual person , will we have progressed ?? Is not being a parent ,something god instructs /informs .If we are free (and in the uk we stand a good chance of that ) we can keep the original values , my guess is that states that lose there values and Christian heritage ,will suffer constant turbulence and cost .
      I have thought about other options and still ponder those , for now we have to ensure that the economic models ,countries we may wish to trade with work.I am hoping God will show us more of if we are running to him or away from him as a society.
      Cant really say much more ,I think I made my point so will get on with work to hand ,am loyal and considerate even though I don’t think good of the future ,but no point in putting down tools because one doesn’t like the smell …will post if I figure it out ,will roll over laughing if st Tone returns as labour leader ,que A team music but titled b team , Bad accurals Brown , howlin mad harriet and claret the face ..and Nick the europhile..were putting back together the old team…… oh the questions I would like answered if that were to happen .
      take care

    • “Autonomous local congregations following the teaching of Scripture, that’s the way forward …”

      That’s pretty much the Church England, isn’t it? Actually, come to think about it, it’s pretty much protestantism. Anglicanism is a broad church and has vicars and pastors of all persuasions and beliefs. Why leave? Stay and fight your corner. Just find a minister who suits your particular brand of protestantism and see that it is represented at Synod; act and defend your beliefs and seek reform.

      {Jack would add that if you’re of an Anglo-Catholic persuasion, you probably should leave. The main fight seems to be between the liberal-progressives and the Bible Believing Christians, with the former in the ascendency. And one doesn’t have to swim the Tiber anymore. The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, with bases across the UK, offers a warm Catholic welcome and wonderful services based on your own traditions.}

      You should have typed:

      “Autonomous local congregations following the teaching of Scripture, as they interpret and understand them, that’s the way forward …”

      • not a machine

        I am grateful for his holiness ermeriatus pope Benedict for offering a home in the Ordinate of our Lady in Walsingham ,in such troubled times .A deanery fight out will perhaps be an embarrassment ,the liberals always look offended before they have made a point , as though being faced with crude tactics , which always assumes something .I am not ashamed of the faith which guided my forbears .However the ordinal does not offer the other component of my oath ,I have faith in HM also a committed Christian .should the ordinal somehow change into something like that ,or that we have not broken the other part of our oath ,then what will your traditions and ours consider? .We both love God/Christ I do not see that anything can in the end ,exist between our churches and others (aside which version builds faith compared to liberal ones),there are other things we should be offended by ,beguiling a generation .little point in having individual promotions of style , when a wall is being placed in actual belief .

        • What oath are you referring to?
          Jack is Catholic and is loyal to Her Majesty too. She too is a prisoner of the false gospel of the liberals.

          • not a machine

            sorry for the delay Happy Jack , I do not doubt your loyalty at all , and I apologies if an older phrase is what may have first sprung to mind, that was not in my thinking, we all seek Christ and God ,there is nothing to say what is right , but there is some consideration of our history.I understand your other comments ,although I would imagine HM knows quite a lot about the quality that she observes, I also understand your comment about direct doctrinal and committee processes.
            I am not criticizing you or anyone else who holds/practices the roman/latin rite ,we are in my view, one , and better off in that way.The book of common prayer and the KJV are wonderful things ,neither are they instruments against the Holy Roman Church, they work for God/Christ , however they fit into a larger history in the language .As sore as I may feel about my church at times ,these two great works belong to it .I think of Benedicts visit and the shared prayer ,it was wonderful.
            Now Jack I cannot convince or impose upon you these wonderful things ,even though they are wonderful things .we perhaps shouldn’t indulge in the things that have driven matters, rather done a better thing .It cannot be that as seekers of the salvation of Christ ,that we do good by division. As much as I appreciate what Pope benedict did ,in the ordinate of our lady in walsingham (and I pray we have more together in the future) , some things are good history or useful history ,in the English language ,just as William wilberforces speech or others have meaning in English .I have hear a psalm sung in Aramaic (at Roman Catholic church) and even though Aramaic means little to English or Latin , I could see that it had a meaning all of its own ,the plea , and knowing that it most likely was the language Jesus knew .Now I don’t know if when jesus returns he will comment , how disappointed he is about that no church recites Aramaic psalms everywhere .Through our nations successes and failures it has informed us ,in the congregations relationship to it. I perhaps realise I am mourning or grieving something akin to when Aramaic lost use ,something great is being lost in modernity.
            To me Jack, you , the pope and Roman Catholics are my brothers and sisters ,the great day will be , when we no longer see human error , or at least can see that it isn’t where we need to be .I am not sure if European Protestantism worked out like here in the UK ,to me they have gone liberal , but for some reason the Anglican faith did somthings very well .
            What I would have wished for Is for pope Benedict to have managed another visit , a holiday perhaps , where accompanied by the archbishop of Canterbury (and what may be termed a committee of understanding) , to visit all the sites and movements of churches in the UK , he could have seen the rich history and seen Christ was kept .
            I don’t know Happy jack how it will work ,there may be some recognition ,something unique to us both ,something where the old forms are kept ,something we would not condem as we share the value .The day the monarch does not govern the church , may be not good for the Roman Catholic church ,if you think about it for it will mean that our arguments and differences had lost ,and caused a secular head of state.We are when I last looked still a Christian Country and that is surely the highest value , eh happy jack 🙂

          • You have a good heart, “not a machine”, and Jack appreciates your comments. We are indeed brothers in Christ. He sees much truth and much of value in the BCP and also in having a Christian monarch who takes her lives by the commands of Christ. God Bless.

          • not a machine

            Thank you Happy Jack , God Bless also

      • len

        Why leave the Co of E for a far worse thing ….Catholicism?.

        • len

          Hi Jack you there?

          • Jack is omnipresent.

          • len

            Ever waiting in the shadows.

          • Hidden in plain sight, Len.

          • 1642again

            And stakes, faggots and matches too it appears…

        • Jack wasn’t addressing his comments to you, Len, but to the Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England.

  • dannybhoy

    (Danny having awoken from critical senior citizen nap…)
    What a dodo..

    • CliveM

      Did you like it?

      • dannybhoy

        (Incidentally I meant me when I wrote, “What a dodo..”)

        Did I like the book?
        Well, I didn’t finish it and consequently didn’t buy the second book by the same author that had been recommended to me ..
        Here’s the thing.
        I believe in the God of the Bible.
        I accept the Tanakh or Old Testament as being historically and spiritually true.
        I accept the New Testament or Brith haKhadasha as historically and spiritually true.
        But I am not sure anyone can build a unified and definitive doctrine from Scripture..
        I think we have to hold all those apparently contradictory issues in tension, and the important thing is not to try and prove our doctrine is right.. but to recognise that the God who gave us life, who wants to give us salvation, who wants to give us life abundant, is far bigger than any intellectually correct doctrinal position that we can come up with.
        So yes, basic theology is important, as in the creeds; but then it’s about enjoying that relationship with our risen Lord..

    • Ahem ….

    • Grouchy Jack

      Grrrr …
      Grrrrrrr ….
      GrrrrrrrrRRR …

      • dannybhoy

        What are you Grrrrrrring at Jack?

  • len

    Can the C of E be Reformed?. it is highly probable the the RCC cannot be reformed as it has had too many false doctrines made by highly fallible men set in stone .This practice has made the RCC ‘infallible’ in the eyes of its followers and also irredeemable. But there is still hope for the C of E.
    Jesus in His Letter to the churches (Revelation 2)tells the Church what it must do if it is to be saved.But Jesus also warns the Church what will happen if the church rejects his advice and goes its own way.
    As the church has the Word of God at hand it only has itself to blame if it fails in its duty.
    Perhaps Christian action groups can petition the C of E to change its way and follow a scriptural path?.

    • 1642again

      I was reflecting yesterday that perhaps we need to see things in perspective from a historical point of view. The CoE is 450 years old, the RCC 1950. During its time CoE has had problems but never slipped into heresy, although it’s teetering now.

      In its 1950 years the RC has spent several entire centuries in heresy, arguably at least five, been the plaything of corrupt Roman and Italian gangster families for several centuries, had numerous schisms and anti-popes for decade after decade, split with most of Christendom including the Orthodox East and Protestant West, betrayed the Orthodox Greeks to Islam in 1204, has dug up and tried previous popes (read the Formosus affair if you like macabre humour), invented clerical requirements such as a prohibition on clerical marriage when for the first thousand years there was no such thing, and had too many scandals to mention, not least recent wholesale cover ups of child abuse.

      Do these things mean that ‘there is no health’ in the RCC or that it was beyond salvation at any point? Of course not because ultimately it’s down to God’s plan. It’s an imperfect sinful vessel, but still of value.

      So back to the CoE. This may be the first time it slips into heresy, but the RCC examples shows us that it can be rescued. It has a very sound doctrinal base and a primary focus on Scripture, it has a structure, however imperfect, which tries to balance the need for discipline and good order (non conformists are prone to charismatic leaders who go nuts) with a Scriptural foundation and a freedom to follow the Spirit. This balance is invaluable.

      So all is far from lost and it can be rescued. Reading all the attacks from RCC and free church fanatics on here, plus some of the dreadful unChristian things said about the role of women in the church (which have pushed me more to being supportive of it), has made me revalue the essential merits of the CoE all the more and want to work to restore it. Maybe GAFCON for a while, but while the conservative Anglican base grows and the Liberal wing dies, in a decade or two, nothing in church times, the rescue can come.

      So thank you all you RCC and ‘free’ church would be fishers in the troubled waters of the CoE, you’ve helped clarify my thinking and helped restore my belief in the fundamental merits of the CoE and Cranmer’s vision for it.

      • chefofsinners

        Lord, we commend our brother 1642 into his calling as a missionary to the Church of England. Preserve him from being eaten by the natives. Amen.

        • 1642again

          I can hear the war chants already!

        • 1642again

          Your prayers are effective CoS. Please keep them coming!

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Chaps

    There is an excellent essay over on the Jubilee Centre’s website written by a solicitor on transgenderism. Help yourselves to the intellectual ammo.

  • JWM

    Whatever one’s conscientiously held theological view, in law there is no obstacle to any woman cleric being made Bishop of London. However, as with the Archbishoprics of Canterbury and York, the Bishopric of London is conventionally considered to be one for which significant experience of episcopal ministry and responsibility is required. Two years in post is not usually considered to be ‘significant experience’. But then this is the CofE.

  • David Trevett

    Pray for a BREXIT BISHOP…

  • Little Black Censored

    Gordon Brown’s “reform” was one of the thousand cuts by which New Labour was deliberately setting about the separation of Church and State. A similar programme was under way intended to detach the Sovereign from government – the partial abolition of the hereditary element in the House of Lords, the removal of the Royal Arms from various public places and so on. The intention was that Church and the Monarchy should almost imperceptibly drift off into isolation, until people did not even miss them. To those people, every royal jubilee or funeral, every coronation, is a regrettable slip back into the past, unwelcome because it reminds people of their national inheritance and slows down the republican tendency.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    The CNC needs abolition. Nobody needs a state church run by unaccountables like this, who see a diocese as a toy.

  • Albert

    Not exactly despairing, but somewhat regretful. I must admit once I pointed out that Jon had totally misquoted John Chrysostom, I thought he might realise he knew nothing about the topic…

    • CliveM

      Albert, Albert, Albert (shakes head sadly at the naivety) his next step will be to deny he introduced John Chrysostom in the first place.

      • Albert

        It’s funny you should say that…