Monday, 24 December 2012

How Much to Go After Philip Giddings?

He may be away from his desk, but I've not yet had a reply from my email to Nicholas Hills, the Secretary to the House of Laity of the General Synod, that I sent almost two weeks ago.

In it, I asked him for a "ball-park figure for the likely cost of the House of Laity meeting in January to consider the vote of 'no confidence' in the Chair, Philip Giddings".

Like I said in the email, it was obviously a busy time (even busier now, I guess), but then it can't be an easy time for Philip either.

A true estimate of the cost must be hard to gauge, given that it will include travel and subsistence, and perhaps even time off work, for all the members. However, there must be some obvious daily costs that one can work out from the usual gatherings of the Synod (a sort of 'total minus the clergy and bishops' would do it, I guess).

Nevertheless, in these days of austerity and the need to reduce unnecessary expenditure, we who are paying for it through our quotas etc surely have a right to ask and to know.

We also have the right to know why this meeting is being called. Below is the email sent to all members of the House of Laity setting out the reasons for which Canon Stephen Barney is calling for this special meeting. Judge for yourself whether you think this is a justifiable reason for taking this course of action.


Dear fellow member of the House of Laity,

I am writing to you to ask you to consider whether we should call a special meeting of the House of Laity as soon as possible, to debate whether we can still have confidence in the Chair of the House of Laity following the events of Tuesday.

If you feel that a debate on this issue would be useful please could you e mail Nicholas Hills, Secretary to the House of Laity, with a copy to me stating your General Synod number, expressing your view on this. To call a special meeting 10% of the members have to vote for it.

My reason for asking you to think about this is that I do not have confidence in our Chair for since:

a.. His speech against the measure followed directly after Justine Welby's and therefore directly undermined what the Archbishop elect had said

b.. Since it was against it did not support the views of the House of Bishop's as a whole

c.. Speaking as the Chair of our house his speech was instrumental in convincing some of the undecided members of the house to vote against

d.. The speech was therefore a significant contributor to the reputational damage the Church of England is already suffering at the hands of the press, which is also manifest in the comments of the Prime Minister, the emerging reports of withdrawal of financial support, the angry reaction of church members and the disbelief and ridicule expressed by many of our secular friends, all of which will damage the mission of our church

e.. The failure of the measure is already giving momentum to the idea that the only likely solution now is a single clause measure, which would result in a worse outcome for the minority groups than was on offer on Tuesday.

I have always been one of the first to say that individuals must vote according to their consciences, however leaders have other responsibilities and accountabilities. I feel that if I am to support the leader of a group of which I am a member then that leader must show wise and good judgement and that this has not happened.

Yours faithfully

Canon Stephen Barney
General Synod member 325
Chair Diocesan Board of Finance
Former Public Company Director and Divisional Managing Director

Please give a full name and location when posting. Comments without this information may be deleted. Recommend:


  1. Canon Barney's request for a special meeting of the House of Laity, no doubt at considerable expense, is utterly pathetic. The Chair of the House of Laity clearly has much more about him than the majority of one issue bishops who are busily destroying the Church of England without a safety net for those who put faith before politics.

  2. The motion is utterly bonkers, totally misconceived and without any proper foundation - and I say that even though, to me, Dr G's speech at Synod (particularly the opening paragraph) seemed slimey and disingenuous.

  3. Did Stephen Barney's letter really contain a misplaced apostrophe and refer to the archbishop-elect as Justine Welby? Or is this just a scribal error?!

    1. I think it did, though I hadn't noticed myself!! It was sent to me as a 'forwarded' message, so I'm pretty sure this is the original. Yet another reason for a massive 'pinch of salt' when it comes to taking it seriously.

  4. In order to attend it will mean for "workers" a day off - not easy fro many people. This of course means that the meeting could be dominated by the white middle class - highly representative! It's just another liberal attempt to steer the CoE. Just who does this canon think he is!

  5. This letter makes me want to cry, with frustration and with sorrow for what Philip must be going through. I myself have been the subject of such appallingly daft criticism, turned into institutional attack by abusing process.

    How on earth can calling this meeting and attacking Philip's conscientious and Bible-based position be justified on the grounds of, "he shouldn't be a leader if he doesn't agree with me". This is, literally, persecution. I shall say it - it is an evil action, of which this man should repent and from which he should withdraw.

  6. How do we find out who our House of Laity representatives are? This sounds very unpleasant and I'd like to contact mine to express my concern?

    David Brock

  7. It is important for democracy that any body has the opportunity to elect its chair, to choose a person in whom the majority has confidence. The views of Mr Giddings on the most urgent matter of the moment, women bishops, clearly do not reflect those of the majority of the House of Laity, and he seems to have been using his position of influence to promote his minority position. That is in itself good reason for the House to reconsider his position. Perhaps the vote could have been taken more cheaply by mail, but if so I would expect that the House of Laity would first have to amend its rules. So it seems that there was no alternative to calling this meeting.

    1. So the role of the chairman is to reflect the view of the majority. I don't think so. The role of the chair is partly administrative (to secure fair debate within the group) and partly to lead, to influence. What do we think were the roles of Peter and Paul at the Council of Jerusalem? To reflect the views of the majority? Or to influence the debate?

      David Brock

  8. Aren't minorities irritating? Why not shoot them? You know it makes sense!
    Uncle Joe

  9. Whilst I suspect not many of the readers of this blog ever visit the Catholic League site this article is well worth reading and thinking on!

  10. Am I the only visitor to this conevo website to affirm the action of the Secretary to the House of Laity at the General Synod?

    I think that the unrepresentative actions of the Chair of the H.o.L. has been totally unmindful of the majority of the Laity of the Church of England in his egregious remarks about Women in the Ministry of the Church. His election - and that of Chris Sugden - must surely be as a direct result of legerdemain. Neither are part nor parcel of the eirenic ethos of the Church of England.

    1. "Neither are part nor parcel of the eirenic ethos of the Church of England."

      Absolute nonsense.

      And you evidently know little of the Church of England!

      Steven Pascoe

  11. "his egregious remarks about Women in the Ministry of the Church"

    ?? but PG is pro-WO/WB!

    "Neither are part nor parcel of the eirenic ethos of the Church of England."

    How does this follow?


  12. Synod should pass a vote of no confidence in the 2nd Estates Comissioner, member of the (all male) Masonic Lodge, and the (all male) Garrick Club, Tony Baldry, for his disgraceful, idiotic performance in parliament the day after synod. That did bring the church into disrepute.

    Stephen Walton

  13. To say PG is pro WB would be a bit of an exaggeration. His position, as I understand it, is that he would be prepared support the legislation if (and its a very big if) he was satisfied sufficient provision for those unwilling to accept that development was in place. His view of appropriate provision goes far beyond what many of those pro WB are comfortable with. His speech at Synod was disingenuous to say the least, nevertheless I am not at all comfortable with calls for his resignation on those grounds. People hold views, they are entitled to voice them in public debate at Synod. Nevertheless, for anyone who holds a position of significant authority and influence there are always questions regarding the point at which using that influence slips into abusing that influence.

    1. But, Licenced to Bless, he has a position of influence and should be able to use it to influence as he in conscience feels is right. He is not restricted by his position of leadership in the direction in which his conscience takes him. To speak in accordance with his conscience is no abuse of a position of leadership and authority.

      David Brock

  14. You know, the more this whole thing goes on the more I lean towards the idea that the CofE should not have women bishops. And that is not because I have a theological leaning against women's ministry at any level but because I have a theological leaning towards loving the Church.

    My basis for this thinking is 1 Corinthians 8:13, where Paul calls on the Church to think of the "brother" who will stumble if Paul were to do something that he knows to be fine (eating food offered to idols, because God created the food and man created the idols and thus God trumps man):

    "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall."

    Now, from the perspective of the non-conservative evangelicals, they are the "strong" and the CEs and the "weak" in the description. So what should they do? Well, what does Paul do? Does he cry foul and look for legal means to force his brother to eat the food offered to idols? Does he argue with his brother until he finally wins the argument? Does he make it clear that if people can't eat food offered to idols that they should leave the Church? Or maybe he tells those that can't eat food offered to idols that they will eventually grow out of it, as though their opinion is worthless and silly.
    No, he does none of these. Paul says as much as he would bend over backwards to love his brother. He would stop eating meat (not just food offered to idols, but all meat!) so as to live in loving support of his brother.

    So why, then, is the Church of England so determined not to act out of love but, seemingly, out of spite and hate?
    I have argued my case on my own blog (follow the links of my blogger account to see) and on various other blogs about why I believe that the Bible supports women priests and bishops. I am fully of the belief that God's design welcomes it. However to act like so many, who have a similar view to me, is to act against the second commandment Jesus spoke of, to love one another. As He said, "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:40).

    So the way that Canon Barney is acting is, to my mind, thoroughly ungodly and I pray that he fails to meet the 10% requirement for his meeting.

    1. The meeting is on for the 18th of January PB

  15. Youthpasta

    "So why, then, is the Church of England so determined not to act out of love but, seemingly, out of spite and hate?"

    Look at the faces, demeanor and the words they use when Christians don't agree with them.

    There lies your answer.

    Don't forget, Paul was talking to fellow Christians to be easy on the "weak".

    I am sure what you say has been pointed out to them many times. They just rate scripture at lot lower than their own wants.

    So I say again. Paul was talking to Christians


  16. Phil, from how you are phrasing this it seems that you are suggesting that those vehemently in favour of women bishops are not Christians. Have I read you right?

    Also, on a lighter note, just seen this on Cranmer's blog:

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Youthpasta

    Look at the fruit of this departure from scripture or conformity with the world-- you chose.

    As a Church we should be modelling God's plan for men and women.

    Where does it say that we should marginalise men so that they don't take the repsonsibility of being men they play videogames into their 30s and increasingly, they take no responsibility for the famil or their children.

    What do we see as a result. Women look for men to marry and find only boys. The result they do not get married. They either marry late or have children without a father.

    Women are in the majority in out best Universities, the top grades in school and the most employable in the workplace.

    Men are increasingly becoming life long teenagers. The men that do take responsibility for their families along biblical lines are loaded down with often poor career prospects and high taxation to support the welfare of one parent families. Currently one pound in three supports welfare. Note I have not even started on the stats for abortion.

    Society is sick and seems determined to get sicker. The new god is an old god it has been around for a long time and is called me, my wants first. Commitment, sacrifice, responsibility, honesty what we call virtue, yes as long as I get something out of it. Otherwise you must be joking.

    A few statistics, (I have lots more) children born outside of a stable two parent biological parents are on average 11 times more likely to suffer abuse, mental disorders or poverty.

    Women Bishops proponents quote equality and worldly reasons for the change. When confronted their demeanour is angry and confrontational. (Compare this to the Women who do want to follow what the Bible teaches and you see a huge difference. Which ones display Christain values?

    In short, no I don’t believe they are Christians, some are simply not yet saved, some are filled with evil. (Excessive? Watch them “debate” – especially with Christian women with a biblical view, they are subject to special scorn-- pray and then tell me I am wrong)


  19. Oh for pities sake! What a load of cobblers!
    Men will ALMOST ALWAYS have an element of child in them in some fashion or another. I, for example, happily play video games as a way of entertaining myself. But that doesn't mean that I don't take responsibility and act maturely when it is required/appropriate. You are clearly speaking out of an ill-informed misunderstanding of what people do for entertainment!
    I will also take issue (and a HUGE amount of personal offence) at your ridiculous and graceless view of those in favour of women bishops. It puts you on a par with Christina Rees and her ilk who besmirch anyone who disagree with them over the matter of women bishops! And, indeed, I would say it makes you 1 step worse as you claim to follow what the Bible says to the letter and yet you clearly ignore the call not to judge and to love your neighbour (that means their religious beliefs should have no effect on how you treat them). I'm just glad that there are far more against women bishops like John than you, because otherwise this could really turn ugly!

  20. Youthpasta

    Read the first part again. My point was nothing to do with video games as such.

    I will not judge my fellow Christian in the pew as I do not know where they are in their journey towards God and it is for me to help them not hinder them in that journey. The point is we are talking about the highest leaders of our Church not just another brother or sister in Christ. We demand or should demand a different standard of holiness from them. Both Jesus and Paul were critical of leaders who do not display holiness and we should be also.

    I would of course pray with them for them to start a new life in Christ and be filled wit the sprit. My guess is that many of these “leaders” they would not let me or anyone else anywhere near them, let alone pray with them.

    Finally let uis be clear here. If anyone thought that I was demon possessed and offered to pray with me I would drop everything and run to them.

    Wouldn't you?


  21. One more point

    If my post is just a "load of cobblers".

    Then it would not cause a HUGE amount of offense nor should it really turn the debate ugly.

    Unless of course what I say is closer to the truth than you care to admit.

    Then perhaps I would understand you calling my words offensive. Just because you find some things "offensive", does not mean that they should not be said?

    I say again, we are talking about Church leaders here. Assume for a moment that I am correct. Am I loving my neighbour and the Church by keeping quiet or by speaking out and so inviting ridicule or anger?


    PS What does ridicule and/or anger really signify about us as Christians?

  22. Phil, you wrote:
    "Women Bishops proponents quote equality and worldly reasons for the change. When confronted their demeanour is angry and confrontational. (Compare this to the Women who do want to follow what the Bible teaches and you see a huge difference. Which ones display Christain values?

    In short, no I don’t believe they are Christians, some are simply not yet saved, some are filled with evil."

    That last line shows judgement and personal offence in equal measure. I will say no more than this, as it will end up taking away from John's original thread.

  23. Youthpasta

    It is all very relevant to John's thread

    The last line shows judgement. Are we not to judge our Church leaders? Answer yes we are.

    Personal offence. Why? Because they are Church leaders they are immune to evil influences? I would say that they are a special target precisely because they are church leaders.

    Youthpasta, you have had your rant, specifically about my post that was not directed at you. You highlighted some issues (Which is fine by me) which I answered. Then I asked you some questions that you did not like and so you do not want to answer claiming that they show judgement.

    This is the nub of the problem with the Church, nobody says what needs saying. Listen to yourself in your threads above and see who also is judgemental.

    My view is that if we are going to have Women Bishops then we need to have total confidence in them.

    Anyway, if the Church of England is now allowing openly homosexual priests to be Bishops, it seems it has decided (well those who have a say have decided) to go for it. They seem to say lets go for the lot in one go. Women Bishops and Homosexual Bishops in the same year. We sort of knew that Women Bishops was just the staking horse for the whole liberal agenda

    Now we know. Are you with them for the whole TEC package Youthpasta? It is coming sooner than anyone expected.

    Feeling comfortable?



    1. Sorry I issed one bit out

      We are to model ourselves on Christ. So notice that he spoke one way to the Pharisees and another way to the woman caught in adultery. Both were "judged", but one more harshley than the other.


  24. Youthpasta

    You seem horrified by Phil comments but aren’t they merely the logical conclusion of Paul’s analysis in 1 Corinthians that you introduced?

    First, as an aside you say “Now, from the perspective of the non-conservative evangelicals, they are the "strong"…..”. However Paul does not refer to there being any “strong” here (possibly you are reading Romans 14 into this passage?) and on the contrary he is very much opposed to the position of those you think are the “strong”.

    For those who insist on eating in an idol’s temple ‘sin against Christ’ (1 Cor. 8:12). Then having demolished the whole ‘rights agenda’ in chapter 9, Paul warns in chapter 10 that idolatry reveals those who are false in their professed allegiance to Christ and that these things are warnings for us. There were some in the church at Corinth for whom the lure of the prevailing culture was so strong that they wanted to eat and drink with demons (v21). Paul points out how that is impossible for a genuine believer and says those who continue to do such things will not inherit the kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9)

    It is clear from Scripture that in the church whilst women should exercise their ministry in line with their gifts and calling, they are not called to have authority over men. That this is not culturally determined is evident from the fact that Paul gives reasons for this from creation and the fall.

    There are some in the Church of England even amongst the bishops who are deliberately leading people astray and are seeking to mould Christ to suit modern thought. There are others who are genuinely confused or neglectful of scripture. Yesterday’s House of Bishop’s decision should be a wake- up call for the latter. We ignore the Lord’s teaching at our peril.

    Steven Pascoe

  25. Steven, my use of the term "strong" was to place it in opposition to the term "weak", the term that Paul does use in the passage I mentioned. As such, it is not a definition by the word but a grouping of those who would be perceived as not "weak" from their own perspective by use of a word known as it's opposite. Hence the use of parentheses.

    Regarding women in leadership in general, I have posted about it on my own blog and posted links here, as well as stated that by following the links through my profile, so if you want to debate that issue then can I suggest doing so on my blog as it is not the specific issue of this blog post.

    As for my "horror" at Phil's comments, I am dismayed at his comments for the 2 reasons that I have stated, that they are judgemental and personally offensive. Judgemental because he judges those who are in favour of women bishops to not be Christians. Personally offensive because by doing so he suggests that my own faith is a sham.
    Both these things are things that have been used by those on the "extreme" end of the in favour wing of this argument, which is one of the reasons why (if you read my blogs on the issue) I have huge problems with the arguments for the implementation of women bishops. They are sickening to hear from any Christian, but even more so from someone who's position I have argued to defend in spite of being in disagreement with it. A I said to Phil before, it is just as well that there are far more people of a more gracious nature, like John, on his side of the argument, because otherwise I would be highly disinclined to be supportive.

  26. Youthpasta

    “my use of the term "strong" was to place it in opposition to the term "weak", the term that Paul does use in the passage I mentioned.”

    The point remains that Paul did not think they were “strong”. In fact the opposite, as I suggested in my previous post. If they were to persist in their course of action Paul would not consider them to be genuine Christians.

    “I am dismayed at his comments for the 2 reasons that I have stated, that they are judgemental and personally offensive. Judgemental because he judges those who are in favour of women bishops to not be Christians.”

    Was Paul being judgemental in 1 Corinthians about those you call “strong” and who you equate to those in favour of women bishops? You seem surprised that there should be apostates even within the leadership of the church. But surely the New Testament encourages us to expect this to be the case so we can be alert? Which involves recognising people for what they really are. (See Matthew 13:21 when difficulties arise “on account of the word” one falls away, Matthew 24:9-11 many will fall away and false prophets will arise, 2 Timothy 4:3-4 “people will not endure sound teaching” but will get teachers who teach what they want to hear. Also 2 Peter 2 and Jude).

    In addition to the false teachers and prophets there will be those who, though genuine Christians, are not alert and who have forgotten the scriptures and refuse to believe that the women bishops issue is just part of the whole strategy to bring the church in line with the idols of the modern age.

    Where Canon Stephen Barney fits in I don’t know but in his pursuit of this measure against Philip Giddings he brings great shame on the name of Christ.

    “Regarding women in leadership in general, I have posted about it on my own blog and posted links here, as well as stated that by following the links through my profile”

    Do you mean here?

    Hardly convincing.

    You make a case that women have been in leadership in the Bible. But Rahab (by the way the spies were not Joshua and Caleb – they had been spies previously), Naomi and Ruth as leaders? I don’t think so! Mary Magdalene was not the first evangelist in the sense of any church appointment or leadership position. Paul mentions that Phoebe is a servant of the church yet for you that automatically means she is in leadership. Andronicus and Junia (or Junias) are well known to the apostles (which better fits the context than “ among the apostles” unless by apostles we just mean those who are sent and therefore without any evidence of being in leadership).

    So despite what you say there is no evidence in the NT of women having authority over men in the church. But on these rather shaky foundations of examples of women in leadership you assert that for Paul not to be guilty of contradicting himself, what he wrote in 1 Timothy 2 has to be limited to 1st century Ephesus! Despite Paul basing his position on Adam and Eve! Also you’ve completely ignored the headship verses.

    Steven Pascoe

  27. In the light of the announcement by our Bishops that you can be in a civil partnership and be a bishop are these not dark and sad days for the Church of England? Before anyone reminds me I realise that they are being consistent. Once you have stated that presbyters can be in civil partnerships why not the senior presbyters/bishops? But where are the dissenting evangelical bishops? We are regularly told that we have more evangelicals becoming bishops but where is the public dissent and disagreement to this statement? To remind us of a regular line of thought from John have the diocesan bishops consulted their presbyters as to the wisdom and rightness of this decision? Are they so bound to collegiality that they cant say anything? I realise too that when an evangelical becomes a diocesan bishop they suddenly discover how difficult the problems are in their own diocese. Where do you start when doctrinal and moral orthodoxy have slipped so far even amongst the clergy? Better to settle for peace with pay! I ask again where are the dissenting evangelical bishops to this announcement? It is left once again to the presbyters in the local churches to shepherd the flock, to teach the truth and refute error. May God have mercy on the Church of England! Bob Marsden, Buxton.

  28. Youthpasta

    I thought you might have the decency to reply to me direct.

    Never mind you decided to reply to my comments via Stephen.

    Why is this because my words upset you they are not worthy of a reply to me direct?

    If you were secure in your faith if you were "born again" or "transformed", nothing that I would say could bother you.

    The personally offensive comment is the nub of the problem. If some things are off limits. Then we will not mention what we perceive to be happening, as it may be a contentious issue for some and at all costs we avoid possible offense. Net result, we will not be honest and we will never move forward as a Church.

    Do you know why Paul calls us brothers and sisters in Christ? Because we are family. To members of a family we can be much more direct than with people we hardly know. You will have a deeper relationship with them. No matter what they will always be your family and you take a great deal of interest in their well being. (In the west at least the individualistic culture and tiny families have made this concept not immediately obvious as it would be in Paul's time, but we can still just about appreciate what Paul is saying).

    I do care for them/you as brothers and sisters. I want the best for you. That is why I wrote it.

    The overwhelming majority of Christians (Including the majority of Anglicans) read their bibles and have concluded that women have a fantastic ministry to perform but not in authority over men.

    That is what the Bible says.

    There are lots of other things that the Bible says which I find rather inconvenient. However, because Jesus was willing to die for us we should honour his word.

    Otherwise, you are writing your own bible and with your own bible you will be worshiping your own god.

    If you have made your own bible and god?

    You work it out.


  29. Ahem ... I've been on holiday, though aware of the volume of comments here.

    Can I just remind folks of Tim Keller's rules of engagement, ripped off from Michael Jensen on Facebook:

    Tim Keller's 'rules for engagement:

    1.Never attribute an opinion to your opponents that they themselves do not hold.

    2.Take your opponents’ views in their entirety, not selectively.

    3.Represent your opponents’ position in its strongest form, not in a weak ‘straw man’ form.

    4.Seek to persuade, not antagonize–but watch your motives!

    5. Remember the gospel and stick to criticizing theology–because only God sees the heart.

    Play nicely. (That's my attempted rule here.)

  30. Good rules John. I'd add a couple which MJ hasn't always been known to play by, namely - no slippery tactics, no holding others to standards/demands you refuse you abide by yourself, and no ignoring responsive points made two or three times over!


  31. This is all a smokescreen. Please can you investigate as a matter of urgency the fact that the 'announcement' on gay bishops is preparation for Jeffrey John to be parachuted into Durham.
    (sorry I cannot give my name, as I work at church house and might get into trouble

  32. Anon, if that's where you are, you likely have more scope for investigation than John does! Also if what you say is the case, could it even be argued that the choice of Justin Welby was made so as to vacate his see for JJ? Or would that not have been the case had the vote been carried?

    Meanwhile I'd certainly think that this announcement is designed to place a fact on the ground (esp. if JJ's appointment follows shortly thereafter) so as to "jump" Synod all the more into voting "the right way" come July.

    What days we live in.


  33. Anonymous,

    If you could help me on this one (the preparation for Jeffrey John's parachuted arrival, that is), my email address is linked on the right, or alternatively just phone - I'm in the book!

    John Richardson

    1. Rowan seemingly verbally promised Jeffrey a senior mitre before leaving office in compensation for previous events.

  34. mmmmm....the CNC meets to discuss the Bishop of Blackburn in Jan, the Bishop of Manchester in April and the Bishop of Durham on 19/20th appointment to any of these dioceses that did not have the approval of the six diocesan reps is surely unlikely...I cant therefore see a "parachuted arrival" of a controversial candidate( especially to Durham having had a bishop who stayed 10 months and one that was frequently absent, and in the recent past a somewhat controversial scholar)is foregone. Perry Butler Canterbury.

  35. Monmouth becomes vacant in June and the Abp of Wales has looked forward to the opportunity of appointing a gay bishop for some time. He may not welcome someone who puts him in the shade but he currently favours importing senior staff which says a lot about his stewardship and the job satisfaction of clergy in Wales. Yes, sadly it is just a job for most these days with equality of opportunity in the workplace, for some. As one commentator on my blog wrote: "Experience and loyalty, both to diocese and province, seem to count for nothing as so many of the senior appointments go to imports. Just as well this didn't happen to our bishops during their rising in the ranks!"

  36. Worth reading

    "It cannot be right that they are able to enter into legally recognised relationships which institutionalise and condone behaviour that is completely contrary to the clear and historic teaching of Scripture, as reaffirmed for Anglicans by the 1998 Lambeth Conference in its Resolution 1.10."

    He added: "The weight of this moral teaching cannot be supported by a flimsy proviso."

    The new Archbishop, Eliud Wabukala of Kenya

    Since we seem to be mentioning decline, the number of Christians in Africa has gone up from 6% to 60% in 100 years. In Korea from 2% to 50% in 100 years (China next?)

    And the UK (Anglicans) despite/because of increasing liberalism.........? (80% to 4% ?)

    The liberals have called for "no more fence sitting" from Welby. For one I tend to agree with them on this.

    George Kovoor: Principal - Trinity College Bristol, has said.

    You only really need one Christian book it is called the Bible. Get it out and read it.

    You know what Theology is? A blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there.

    And "How do you spell faith?" R. I. S. K.

    I completely agree with George especially his remark that we need to wake up as Christians in the UK because as he says the "bloody foreigners are showing us how to do it".

    We have lost the faith to take risks. (Which means we have lost faith in God?)

    If the Anglican Church is to survive it will be because of Christians like Kovoor and Wabukala

    Not Williams, Shori, Robinson or Morgan.

    Some of us on this blog expect the church to grow under Women Bishops. (At least I think that is what they mean although they have not said it as such. Equality rather than Church growth seems the major motivator)

    I believe we need a Wabukala, who preaches the Gospel and who would enforce and discipline our clergy (A real act of love for our Church).

    Why then pick on Philip Giddings?

    Like all bullies they like an easy target.


  37. If someone wants to table a motion of no confidence and can demonstrate sufficient support ( I do not know what the rules are) it must be debated. However there is no point in discussing this before the next meeting as I am sure that Phillip Giddings will not do anything to offend in the interim. I suppose the idea is that the vote could be followed by an election. Well have a caretaker for 6 months if really necessary.

    West Yorkshire

  38. Personally, as a mundane man-in-a-pulpit, I find all this politicking distasteful. Whether or not someone is fit for a role is a closed discussion for the affected group, not one to splash all over blogs and websites.

    Something went wrong in the General Synod discussion on women bishops: clearly the great majority of Anglicans would like to see women bishops (as would I, having worked with some amazing women priests). Somehow, a small group of laity blocked that and in doing so brought the whole C of E to be a target for mockery.

    How that translates into slandering the Archbishop of Wales beats me!

    Folks, can we please follow the good advice of St Paul?

    1. Anonymous, I thought I had missed something but I can find only my reference to the Archbishop of Wales so I take it that you are referring to my 7 Jan comment.
      Your logic escapes me. Dr Morgan is on record as accepting gay bishops and has suggested that those of us who believe that marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman are homophobic. Complaining about the protection afforded to the church he said: "I am not sure we want that kind of protection which makes us out to be very unwelcoming and homophobic."

      People in favour of the liberal agenda frequently use terms such as homophobic, bigot and misogyny against their opponents to appeal to secularists who do not support or infrequently attend church for rites of passage.

      Similarly you state that 'something went wrong' in the General Synod because the Holy
      Spirit didn't deliver the answer you wanted to hear. If anything makes a mockery it is the failure of bad losers to abide by the rules.

      From your idea of slander, I dread to think how a 'mundane man-in-a-pulpit' might mislead his congregation.

  39. No, I made no reference to the Holy Spirit not delivering the answer I wanted. I referred to some members of the house of laity - who by all accounts had an agenda of their own. Perhaps you're referring to a different Anonymous (there are several of us: we're a bit like Legion).

    I still don't see what the Archbishop of Wales' opinion on homosexuality has got to do with the question of the chair of the house of laity or the vote on women bishops. Perhaps you have an agenda of your own?

    Oh, I'm sure I mislead my congregation. Continue to dread. But I don't conflate women bishops with the ABofW's opinion on homosexuality.

    1. No, I was responding to your comment anonymous parson. I am not sure whether you are being deliberately obtuse but I shall give you the benefit of the doubt.

      Your reference to "Something went wrong in the General Synod discussion on women bishops" alludes to the work of the Holy Spirit because Synod prays for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in its deliberation. On that basis alone you should accept the decision but I understand why you do not. Had proper provision been made for dissenters as promised you would not find yourself in this position.
      So far as the reference to the Archbishop of Wales is concerned, I was responding to the thread introduced about the possibility of Dean Jeffrey John being parachuted into Durham. In that sense the conflation you refer to was accidental but accurately reflects the Archbishop's position.

      If I had an agenda it would be justice for all, something that could be achieved in the 'Third Province' solution. Your constituency rejected that but that is what you should be working towards. Peace be with you.

    2. Anonymous says "Somehow, a small group of laity blocked that and in doing so brought the whole C of E to be a target for mockery." Part of the laity validy voted against the motion. (If they should have voted for it, why bother with the process in the first place.) But the CofE is a target for mockery because we have failed to explain why we have tow integrities and why we recognise both points of view. At least, some of us recognise both points of view. It would be good to explain the two views and that we accept both (though in all logic, they cannot both be right).

      And anonymous, it would be nice to know who you are.

      David Brock, Saffron Walden

  40. My constituency did no such thing. You have made a series of incorrect assumptions there.

    While the General Synod prays for the guidance of the Holy Spirit (as it should) I think it is a great leap to say that all members of General Synod then listen to and respond to the promptings of the Spirit. Which group is most likely to obey the guidance of the Spirit - the Bishops, the Clergy, the majority of the laity, or a group of laity from the Diocese of Winchester?

    I still don't see how the ABofW is responsible for the possibility that Mr John may or may not be parachuted into the See of Durham. As far as I know, the Vacancy in See Committee hasn't even met yet.

    No, deliberately obtuse I am not. I do not share your opinion, but that is a different matter.

  41. So Philip Giddings has been tried and found innocent, using a process which almost everyone has found very distasteful, apart from the 47 members of the House of Laity who voted for the motion. The 80 who voted against, and the 100 or so that didn't turn up, quite rightly constitute a huge majority against a sneaky piece of procedure. After all, the Chairman of the House of Bishops is entitled to an opinion, as is the Chairman of the House of Clergy.

    Perhaps Canon Barney ought to consider his position as a member of General Synod, and do the decent thing.

  42. I'm not sure we can presume to know the mind of the 100 or so who didn't turn up - or how they may have voted or extrapolate any particular motives for absence, especially given the snow blizzards and warnings against travel. Much as I disagree with PG's views, no member of synod should be unable to express their views, so I am relieved at the outcome - but it perhaps it was important that some of the concerns & principles regarding a chair's role in debates should be aired and discussed. Something that Philip Gidding seems to think needs working through as well.

  43. Had I been on General Synod, I would have been tempted not to turn up so as not to be part of this sordid little episode. I'm sure many of those 100 felt that way. But, given the terrible weather, we will never know. The fact is that 132 voted in favour of the original legislation, and only 47 of those supported the criticism of Dr Giddings.
    And just what is it about a Chairman's role that apparently requires him to keep silent when the other two Chairmen were prefectly free to express their views?

  44. As far as I am aware this wasn't a trial and I am fairly sure that all GS reps, regardless whether they are Chairs (please can we keep the term gender neutral - the chairs can be female too except in the House of Bishops) are entitled to express their personal views - as personal views. The other two Chairs did precisely that. One of the concerns, as I understand it, was that the Chair of Laity specifically stated that he was speaking in that capacity (as Chair) thus implying that his words should be given more weight due to his role, which some considered an unfair bias. (please note that I not saying I agree or disagree with that point, nor whether I think that was grounds enough to challenge his leadership - just that was the grounds for concern.) btw please can we take note that the Anglican Communion holds that both those who agree with and those who dissent from the ordination of women are both loyal Anglicans ( and one presumes therefore Christian) I was perturbed to read Phil Robert's comments implying I am not a Christian and in fact filled with evil, purely on the basis that I support it. It scarcely encourages on to hope that two integrities will foster mutual respect & the unity various groups insist they want.