January
liberal Christians: is this their moment? Guardian editorial

liberal Christians: is this their moment? Guardian editorial

The election of practising Catholic Joe Biden is just one reason for religious progressives to be hopeful

A liberal Catholic

The election to the White House of Joe Biden, a Democrat who is also a practising Catholic, is the best news liberal Christians have had for a long time. In a book published last month, the conservative Australian cardinal George Pell said Mr Trump was “a bit of a barbarian, but in some important ways he’s ‘our’ (Christian) barbarian”. The end of that cynically transactional relationship between Mr Trump’s White House and the religious right signals new possibilities. In his victory speech, Mr Biden quoted from Ecclesiastes, saying that for a divided America, “it was a time to heal”. When he has discussed his faith, the president-elect has tended to talk about altruism, decency and personal integrity, steering clear of provocative dividing lines.

Kent bishops call on Government to intervene in Dover

Kent bishops call on Government to intervene in Dover

"this is a national issue and the government needs to intervene decisively"

THE Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops in Kent have called on the Government to “intervene decisively” to resolve the situation in Dover, where more than 2800 lorries are queuing to enter the port and the Channel Tunnel.

Lorries have been stranded in Dover since Sunday, when France closed its border with the UK to try to prevent the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus to mainland Europe.

News & events from the Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

News & events from the Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

The church, the body of Christ, is always birthed and re-birthed at the margin

Dear friends, on behalf of the Open Table Network trustees and patrons, I wish you peace and rest, comfort and joy this Christmas.

'The church, the body of Christ, is always birthed and re-birthed at the margins. Open Table is one of those new births, where the spirit of God breathes a new community into life and watches it as it starts to grow.'

These are the words of the Rector of the parish where the first Open Table began in Liverpool in 2008.

'Horror’ that abusive priest allowed back into schools ; by Catherine Pepinster

'Horror’ that abusive priest allowed back into schools ; by Catherine Pepinster

Devastated head teachers, teachers and other education experts have spoken of their anger

Devastated head teachers, teachers and other education experts have spoken of their anger regarding the Catholic Church’s handling of the case of Fr Joseph Quigley, an authority and adviser to bishops on Catholic education, who has been convicted of child sex abuse.

Quigley, 56, was found guilty on December 3 at Warwick Crown Court of physical and sexual abuse – but 12 years after Birmingham archdiocese, when it was led by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, first learned of his abuse and did not immediately report Quigley to the police.

Church leaders ‘gravely concerned’ about household debt

Church leaders ‘gravely concerned’ about household debt

ALMOST 500 church leaders in Britain have written a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

ALMOST 500 church leaders in Britain have written a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to say they are “gravely concerned” about the growing crisis of household debt that millions of families are facing this Christmas, writes Ellen Teague.

“We have heard countless stories from people who have faced awful choices, such as between affording food or falling behind on rent,” says the letter of 3 December. “Many of our churches have been on the front line of providing food and essentials, and hundreds of churches provide debt advice for those at risk.”

Replacing the Clergy Discipline Measure

Replacing the Clergy Discipline Measure

a risk of sub-optimal proposals going to General Synod in February

Lambeth working group - urgent consultations

The Lambeth Working Group led by Bishop Tim Thornton published its proposals on Friday for replacing the CDM. The Zoom consultation meetings start this Wednesday and the deadline for responses is 20th December. This is clearly not ideal timing for clergy.

If you cannot reasonably digest and comment on the material in this timescale and/or take part in the Zoom consultations we recommend that you indicate the need for more time by

1. Posting in this thread on the Hub and/or

2. emailing Adam Hobson direct at adam.hobson@lambethpalace.org.uk

Hunger Free Future - Trussell Trust

Hunger Free Future - Trussell Trust

working towards ending the causes of destitution

All of the work that we did together on #5WeeksTooLong led to some really important changes. However, there are still many things that we can do to improve not only UC but other benefits and legislations that are pushing people into destitution.

We are working towards ending the causes of destitution so that we can end the need the for food banks. It is a man-made problem, so it can be fixed.

Manchester Diocese : Ecclesial Northern Powerhouse?

Manchester Diocese : Ecclesial Northern Powerhouse?

Diocese creates vacancies for seven area deans - Manchester vision

Is God calling you to be part of the re-imagination and transformation of the church in Manchester?

The Bishop of Manchester is looking for seven (yes seven!) new full time Area Deans. They will be collaborative and creative priests with a genuine passion for mission. Come and join us to play a significant part in our exciting transformation in the Diocese of Manchester, following the decision to create seven new deaneries out of the 20 current deaneries.

A Time of Waiting

A Time of Waiting

This season of Advent offers the chance in whatever small ways are possible, to be still, learn, reflect, take stock

For every person and every family the coronavirus pandemic has brought different challenges, heartaches, sorrows, frustrations and worries. So many people have lost loved ones or suffered long term health problems. Millions will soon be unemployed and the gross inequalities in our society have been more exposed than ever.

How long must this go on for? When will it all end? We wait anxiously for the vaccines to be rolled out. We will wait for some signs of economic recovery in the years ahead. We wait for better times. We look back to life as it was back in February, when we shopped, went out with friends, enjoyed a holiday, felt secure in our job. ‘By the waters of Babylon, we wept when we remembered Zion’, cried the people of Israel in exile.

White Christians' voting patterns are an indictment of churches - John Gehring

White Christians' voting patterns are an indictment of churches - John Gehring

the more frequently you attend church, the more likely you were to support a president who energizes white supremacists and hate groups

The fact that the more frequently you attend church, the more likely you were to support a president who energizes white supremacists and hate groups.

The dividing line of race is old as our democracy, and as enduring as evidence from the presidential election. After four years of watching President Donald Trump demonize Muslims, enact cruel policies that target migrants, refuse to clearly condemn white supremacists, and disparage the Black Lives Matter movement, white Christians stuck with Trump in large numbers.

Race and ethnicity continue to eclipse religion as a driver of voting patterns. According to preliminary data from AP Votecast, more than half of white Catholics (57%) voted for Trump, compared to 67% of Latino Catholics who supported Biden.

There is some positive emerging news. Trump's national support among white Catholics declined from the 60% who supported him in 2016. Biden's ability to cut into Trump's appeal with white Catholics in key states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin played an important role in flipping those battlegrounds back to blue after Hillary Clinton lost all three states in 2016.

And there is data that points to white Catholics grappling with systemic racism more than in the past. While seven in 10 white evangelicals say that the police killing of African American men are isolated incidents rather than part of a pattern, the proportion of white Catholics who agree with that dropped 13 percentage points — from 71% in 2015 to 56% in 2020, according to Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI.

Conservative Evangelicals threaten split  and suggest to turn to ‘alternative solutions’ if changes to doctrine on sexuality are made reports  ED THORNTON20 - Church Times -NOVEMBER 2020

Conservative Evangelicals threaten split and suggest to turn to ‘alternative solutions’ if changes to doctrine on sexuality are made reports ED THORNTON20 - Church Times -NOVEMBER 2020

Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson, who is the CEEC’s President, says: “I’m not sure there are many of us in the Church of England who want to leave

SOME Evangelicals in the Church of England are contemplating “alternative solutions”, including new provincial arrangements, if the outcome of the Living in Love and Faith process (News, 13 November) leads to changes in doctrine or practice on sexuality.

In a video, The Beautiful Story, produced by the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and posted on Sunday, the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson, who is the CEEC’s President, says: “I’m not sure there are many of us in the Church of England who want to leave the Church of England. Staying in is, I’m sure, the hope and the aspiration of most of us. But, as and when the Church gets to the point where it changes its teaching and its liturgy and its practice in these areas, is going to be a moment for people to have to reconsider their allegiance to the Church.

“At the moment, I want to be in the Church of England, I want to fight for the traditional teaching of the Church on these matters. But the time may come when it’s going to be essential for those who hold to scriptural teaching on marriage and same-sex relationships to say ‘We cannot operate under this particular system and support this kind of doctrine and practice within the life of our Church.’ And that may then lead to having to look for alternative solutions.”

An open letter to the Catholic Church, from victims and survivors of clerical abuse

An open letter to the Catholic Church, from victims and survivors of clerical abuse

following the publication of IICSA’s report into the Catholic Church on 10 November 2020

We want to thank IICSA for its report on the Catholic Church. We welcome its findings, highlighting the Church’s gross failings to protect children and others from abuse.

We are grateful that the Inquiry has exposed the Church’s treatment of victims and survivors when it comes to reparation and care, showing how the Church perpetuates an adversarial culture in their dealings with us.

Church of England – Please Mind the Gap! by Anne Foreman, Member of General Synod

Church of England – Please Mind the Gap! by Anne Foreman, Member of General Synod

it’s a bit of an uphill task to enthuse people about stuff that does not appear relevant to the day to day concerns of their own parish life

“If elected I will serve with the interested of parishes always in mind….” So said my election address for the Church of England’s General Synod in 1999. Now, as I approach my final few months on General Synod, having served on it for two very different Dioceses I have come to the conclusion that the gap between Synodical Structures and Pastoral Parishes is wider still. The central structures have come up with a plethora of initiatives, such as Renewal and Reform, Simplification, Mission Shaped Church, Strategic funding for Resourcing and Planting new church communities, Estates Ministry, Everyday Faith. However, questions need to be asked about how these fine sounding initiatives actually connect with existing neighbourhood schemes of care, advocacy and support? What is more, it often seems to be forgotten that parishes run on shoestring budgets, unlike the eye watering budgets behind these national projects! The relevance of such initiatives to parishes is questionable and so the gap remains. A gap brought sharply into focus by the response of the Institutional Church to Covid-19.

Resignations, Dysfunctionality and the House of Bishops by Jayne Ozanne

Resignations, Dysfunctionality and the House of Bishops by Jayne Ozanne

it’s time the House of Bishops had an OFSTED inspection

I resigned from my Bishop’s Council this week.

The decision has been a long time coming – I’ve felt I’ve been hitting my head against a brick wall over our failure to prioritise the poor and disadvantaged, especially given we are such a rich diocese, for years. In fact, I’ve been banging the drum since I got onto Council five years ago. Interestingly, even though we constantly rated serving the poor in our diocese as a “the top priority” during our discussions, it rarely seemed to make the cut into any paperwork . In virtually every meeting I can remember I have had to remind those in authority of the commitments we had agreed as a Council.

Archbishop of Canterbury: Fund schools properly, now

Archbishop of Canterbury: Fund schools properly, now

Teachers are doing their best for the disadvantaged – but they need funding, say the Archbishop and the Bishop of Durham

For many of us, this time of year brings that back-to-school feeling, no matter how old we are.

While this year has been difficult for children, teachers and parents, we have seen many heroes come together to look after our young people: from Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign to Norwich Diocese’s “Filling the Gap” project, which provided 128 families with a staggering 26,082 meals over six weeks.

Stop this trade deal with the US - Nick Dearden writing in The Church Times 11 SEPTEMBER 2020

Stop this trade deal with the US - Nick Dearden writing in The Church Times 11 SEPTEMBER 2020

It would slash standards and reshape Britain in damaging ways, argues Nick Dearden

A part of Britain’s Establishment has always looked to the United States for leadership. They view the US as a model economy in which the market rules, big business can behave as it sees fit, and rich individuals are free from irritating “burdens” such as redistributive taxes. We have more than a few such figures in our Government, including the Trade Secretary, Liz Truss. That is appropriate because an important vehicle for pulling our economy closer to the US is the controversial trade deal currently being negotiated. This deal is not so much about importing more American products as it is about importing the American economic model. Trade deals today go well beyond tariffs. They interfere with how we regulate food- production, provide public services, and constrain big business. For once, President Trump was right when he said, “Look, I think everything with a trade deal is on the table. When you’re dealing in trade everything is on the table. So NHS or anything else, a lot more than that.”

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