For the last fortnight or so, we have have been inundated with people informing us that they are putting their names forward to be elected to represent their respective dioceses in the upcoming General Synod of the CofE to be held in November 2021. It has been really strange because there have been many emails and telephone calls on this matter! The Mhinisteir has of course had people persuading him to vote for them!
I was a little unsure as to why the sudden interest until I realised that last Friday was the closing date for the votes and more importantly there are two very important subjects that will be discussed: Save the Parish and LLF(Living in love and faith). LLF is actually the big elephant in the room; I don’t wish to comment on it because it is an extremely sensitive matter. It is best left to the experts to thrash it out. As for myself, I believe that God is much much bigger than the elephant in the room; I am going to put my trust in Him.
I think I am right in saying that for the past fortnight both our print and broadcast media have been saturated with news on Afghanistan. I have started turning off the radio when the news comes on and skip certain pages of the newspaper! There is only so much one can take.
I think I have heard enough but one thing I have not heard about is the plight of the Christians in Afghanistan. What has happened to them? Everyone including the CofE is going on about women and girls right to education etc but no one is talking about the Christians there. They will probably be the most persecuted people even compared to the girls and women!
Surely the CofE must know this and furthermore not all countries will accept Christians as refugees.
The Church of England was rebuked at a recent inquest held into the death of a former priest. It mishandled inquiry into false child abuse allegations. The priest took his own life as he could not cope with the investigation. How is one supposed to cope when they are not even told of the nature of the investigation! How cruel! He is not the first priest to have died because of the CofE’s negligence and sadly he won’t be the last!
I think I have said enough on this matter in my previous posts so I won’t say anymore.
However, I would urge all CofE clergy to join the Church of England Clergy Advocates (CECA) who are members of the Faith Workers Branch of Unite the Union. There is a monthly membership fee but I am reliably informed that it will be money worth spent.
The Mhinisteir is a member. If you are a clergy or know of a clergy, please encourage them to join. They will provide clergy with all the necessary support including legal support should (God forbid!) the clergy require it.
By joining, you will also in a small way (through the membership fee) be able to support falsely accused clergy like the Chancellor of Lincoln.
Now that summer is upon us, almost every other Sunday we hear at least one Banns of Marriage being read out in church.
In the Church of England, it is a legal requirement for Banns of Marriage to be read out in Church. Banns of Marriage are announcements that are made in the church that the wedding couple are due to be married in. They are read so that it will give anyone the opportunity to give a reason why the couple cannot be lawfully married.
The Banns of Marriage of a couple are read for three Sundays, three months before the actual wedding. After the Banns have been read, the congregation prays for the couple.
When I moved to England and started worshipping in the Church of England, I very quickly realised that these couples whose Banns of Marriage were announced were rarely present in Church. I mentioned earlier that the main aim of the announcement is to give anyone the opportunity to give a reason why the couple cannot be lawfully married. If you don’t even know who is getting married, how can you in good conscience say that you don’t know of any impediment?????????
After all these years, I still find the rules of the Church a bit strange but then it is not the rules is it?? The Church and her Vicars need to be more diligent in imposing them. The couple must be present when their Banns of Marriage is being read. If it is too much of an imposition, they should seriously consider why they wanted to get married in a Church in the first place!. Contrary to what senior clerics promote, the Church is NOT a wedding venue! You can’t pick and choose which bits of the church you like and which bits you don’t.
The General Synod under the aegis of the ABY is trying to increase the number of lay lead parishes and have services in homes. To put simply they are trying to “kill” the traditional parish churches.
Unless they have all been living under a rock, my observation especially since the first lockdown is that most people still value traditional parish churches and church services which is why there was such an outcry over the closing down of churches during the first lockdown. I also happen to know that not everyone is happy or comfortable with online services.
How about the Eucharist? Who is going to administer that? A traditional parish church is a neutral place that is welcome to anyone and everyone. That cannot be said of these so called home churches because the home belongs to an individual and he/she reserves the right to deny entry.
Another day and yet another safeguarding scandal in the Church of England! This time, the victim is the Canon Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral. You can read about his ordeal here.
The good news is that it has been concluded that there was “no case to answer” but the bad news is that in the name of safeguarding, the Canon and his wife have been treated so badly that I am not sure that they can ever recover from this ordeal!
On the same day, I heard that ABC has apologised for something that is not even his business( The Bishop of St Davids had tweeted an ill judged comment about the current ruling party in the UK). If only, he could use his time more diligently and support and defend his own clergy in the CoE!
A few days ago, I read about the latest vendetta against the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford in the Private Eye. Oh by the way, he has been proven innocent once again! One of my bible readings for that day was from 1 Corinthians Chaper 6 which is entitled in the New International Version as Lawsuits against Believers!
I am so shocked by the determination of these persecutors. It appears that they would do anything and everything to try and pin this poor man down. What is very disappointing is that some among the persecutors are folk from the Church of England.
As I had mentioned in my previous blogpost, I don’t know this man personally and I am not even sure that I will agree with him on many things but to persecute him like this is very unchristian so says the heathen and they are right!!
I learnt from the Mhinisteir that all clergy are required to enter their information into the online database. Among the questions asked is one to define their religion with a dropbox offering options including Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Christian (Anglican), Christian etc. Is it foolish of me to assume that all Church of England clergy are Anglicans????
If you would like more juicy details, please read page 21 of the latest Private Eye!!!!
The Church of England has set up a new National Register of Clergy giving the public access to verify the authenticity of anyone who claims to be a Church of England clergy.
I have been reliably informed that there have been a few teething problems which is to be expected in anything new. However, I was horrified when informed that my name has been added to the list!!! Surely it has reached beyond teething problems!!!