The Editor: The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson writes - The Church of England has almost concluded a long and at times tedious ‘Living in Love and Faith’ process of discernment and consultation regarding gay relationships and essentially about whether to allow these to be consummated in Christian marriage. Now the House of Bishops have effectively short-circuited the final decision, meant to be decided by the General Synod in February 2023, by pronouncing that they will not change the Church’s fundamental teaching “that holy matrimony is between one man and one woman for life.”
Notwithstanding that part of that ‘fundamental teaching’ has long been bypassed in that remarriage in church after divorce is commonplace and permitted, the bishops apparently have felt unable to go further and allow same-sex couples to enjoy the same privilege. ...
The Rev'd Dr.Nicholas Henderson - Editor writes: ... but will it snow this Christmas?
This is … A perennial question, usually on the lips of children but also adults who long for the delight of a seasonal covering - as long as it keeps off the roads.
These days it is more often the lack of weather conducive to snowfall that troubles us most. Melting glaciers, droughts, excessive rainfall, storms, heatwaves and slowing ocean currents, all associated indisputably with human induced climate change are more the problem that afflicts us. True there are some still left for whom this can be explained away as anything but our massive despoliation of the planet with excessive emissions largely down to the burning of fossil fuel. There are also those who argue enthusiastically, with great conviction that the earth is flat and for numerous other conspiracy theories, but it still doesn’t snow as often or as much as it used to.
Beyond a wistful seasonal and festive Christmas card desire for snow, this winter will be extremely difficult for those suffering bombing and missile attacks in the European backyard of Ukraine. Pictures of families huddled in freezing makeshift shelters are stark evidence of an absence of the angels’ song ‘Peace on Earth, goodwill to all.’ ...
The Rev'd Canon Dr. Hayley Matthews writes:Having been in lay leadership for over two decades, I clearly recall the moment I reverenced the altar, glanced up at Jesus wrought in stunning stained glass and turned to walk towards my stool. Be-robed, cope and all, I turned to see two hundred+ laity in the congregation before me, Servers to left and right, vergers standing stall, all eyes on me as I took my first steps towards inhabiting my priesthood. The words ‘this is what I was born to do’ appeared in my mind like a ray of sunshine through a steel-grey sky. Just as quickly, I was unexpectedly flooded with a sense of God’s Spirit and I had an almost ominous sense that all are called towards ‘this point’ of commitment in our discipleship which shifted the focus from all eyes on me, to my eyes on all of them. Certain that we aren’t all called to ordination, but equally bemused by the experience, in those five long meters between altar and nave I had come to the fullness of entering my priesthood along with a blinding revelation that all laity should reach the point of knowing the fullness of their own vocations in Christ. Every baptised Christian should reach pivotal moments of discipleship that required as full a commitment, dedication and public affirmation as those surrendering to the priesthood, each equally celebrated by the Church.
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.
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?
Editorial - The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson - August 2021
... A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious, or other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose, with the goal of persuading members of the public or a more defined target group.
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.
Editorial - The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson - Petertide 2021:
The recent announcement from the British government that civil weddings and partnerships may now be celebrated outside in the open air raises once again the perennial question of marriage in church. Not on this occasion the question of (long overdue) same-sex marriage in church but the more general one of where any religious marriage ceremonies may take place ...
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