That’s one small, timid step for the Church of England.

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. ...

Be careful what you venerate

Editorial - Kingdom Season November 2022. The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson (Editor) writes: The arrival in Lichfield Cathedral, England, of a fragment of a bone of St Chad (died 672) will be marked by the recreation of a shrine in his name and the opportunity for pilgrims to donate a much-needed £10.00 by texting. After centuries following the original shrine’s destruction, more protestant precursors may be turning in their respective graves but this exercise is a sign of a human tendency to venerate and cherish worthies of bygone ages who may easily be recreated in the image of the pilgrims of the present. ...

Dear Heart-broken, Dear Confused: Agony Aunts and Problem Pages as Implicit Religion

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. ...

Did we die without noticing it?

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.

Government, faith or anything else by slogan?

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.

Post – Covid … Where to tie the knot?

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 ...

Could the Church of England change its mind on same-sex marriage?

Editorial - The Rev'd Dr. Nicholas Henderson - November 2020.
“The Church of England could reverse its opposition to same-sex marriage by as early as 2022.” So runs the content of one of a number of reports from different sources ...

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