The Very Rev'd Professor Martyn Percy writes: Such is the extent of secularization in modern Britain, it will now come as a surprise to quite a number of folk that modern hospitals have religious foundations – St. Thomas or St. Bartholomew come to mind. Also, Halloween seems to have morphed into a secular celebration of light-hearted horror-genres, replete with pumpkins. For most, the remembrance of all souls has become quite detached. The religious origins of Oxbridge Colleges and other educational establishments are perhaps easier to grasp. Though I do recall interviewing a student for entry into Cambridge some decades ago, who had declined Jesus, Christ’s, Trinity and other colleges because of their religious names but had chosen Emmanuel. I truly wish this were an urban myth, but it isn’t. ...
Canon Rosie Harper writes: When I was a teenager growing up in Norwich, prayer meetings were a very significant part of life. Looking back, I wish I’d spent more time with boys and less time in my non-conformist church. It’s a bit late now! Even at the time I realised that those meetings revealed far more about what folk really believed than the fine Sunday words. People prayed about what mattered to them. They were a lovely bunch, mostly, and talked to God about the people they loved, about missionaries in far flung countries, about homeless people. The prayers were also sometimes unknowingly racist and sexist. A very common theme was revival. By this they meant not so much that the power of the spirit would sweep across the country, rather that there would be revival in the Church of England. It was impossible for them to conceive of an authentic church that ran on different software from theirs. Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour was the bottom line and with it came the whole substitutionary atonement script.
The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson (Editor: Anglicanism.org) writes: Amongst the many crises currently gripping the world a good number are linked directly or indirectly to the unprovoked disastrous invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. It is important to attribute the onslaught on Ukraine to one man as, despite the existence of ultra-nationalists of a fascist disposition in Russia, broadly speaking the invasion does not seem to have universal enthusiastic support on the part of the people. Moreover, in a country starved of non-state impartial media many seem simply to have accepted (but little more) the official line. Of course, it is difficult to ascertain exactly what is going on and the famous dictum of Churchill in 1939 that Russian is “a riddle, wrapped inside a mystery, inside an enigma” still stands.
The long view – How retired clergy can harvest their experience and become encouragers to those who minister in a very different ‘now’.
The Rev'd Mark Rudall writes: The Grace of God is a central concept in Christian theology, but at every level of society there will always be failure if some level of its human outworking is missing ... retired clergy, who have seen the best and the worst of human dynamics in daily life and ministry over many years, are well placed to enter retirement equipped to be of real use in any groups, Christian or otherwise, that they might join.
Is equality of opportunity ever achievable without tighter regulations on targeted marketing? – Is there more we can do to protect the vulnerable?
Nicola Hughes writes: For every student studying business since 1980 Kotler and Armstrong’s Principles of Marketing has been a necessary purchase – Marketing as an industry is constantly changing and in an unsurprisingly business savvy way K&A regularly updated the ‘’Marketing Bible” so students couldn’t borrow outdated copies from the library. I didn’t have the same problem while studying Theology!
Jane Kelly, has serious reservations about the Pope's pronouncement on 'selfish couples' who 'substitute dogs for children' ... The lack of the initial strong maternal bond may be a key to why so many people now grow up unable to form close relations with other humans and lack the emotional resilience the Pope recognises is needed to tackle complex adult relationships such as being parents. We are all sad, lonely children now, needing our teddy bears and our puppy for comfort!
Chris Jefferies writes: I was asked this question some time ago. At first I felt that it somehow missed the point because I tend to feel that I never was an Anglican, although it’s true that in my mid to late teens I would have called myself Anglican – perhaps?
Some Anglican Social Responses Countering the Thatcherite Socio-economic Dogmatism: A reading by an outsider with an inside-insight
Dr. Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi - In this article Dr. Hettiarachchi revisits ‘the recent British past’, particularly the late 1990s when he lived in the British Isles. This may seem like 30-year-old history, but the impact seems perennial.
The Rev'd Professor June Boyce-Tillman
Guest Editorial - The Rev'd Duncan Dormor - Lent 2021