Monday, 8 November 2010

Bishops Leaving

This link provides the statement this morning by the Archbishop of Canterbury concerning the resignation of Bps Burnham and Newton. 

Today is, by virtue of this, a sad day. It is not a sad day because I agree with them or their position because I do not. It is not a sad day because I think that they have done the right thing because I don't think that they have. The Church of England is a family. Like any family, it has disagreements and fractures, it has good times and it has bad. However, for my part, I am sad that anyone would leave that family because of one such fracture. As a father and a member of a family of my own, not a single thing will ever stop me being part of it, or as parent to my children, and I have prayed that these gentlemen may have felt the same in time about their church-family.

There will be much mirth, I suspect. There will be much parodying, finger-pointing and silliness I imagine. For my part, I want simply to reflect that this is a sad and dark day for the Church of England, whatever our views, whenever people feel that we are not a family worth staying in.


  1. I agree. It is a dark and sad day; that coupled with the news of +Gene Robinson's early retirement really echoes well the weather outside.

    But, they are still to be part of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. That is what is important. And all the schisms and rifts will be washed away when we get to that eternal shore.

    This may seem like wishful thinking, but there seems to be a reason why AoCs are asked to pray for the continuing work of LSM. If all the world were LSM, I could not ask for more, I thought last night while sitting at Evensong and Benediction.

    I'd be hard-pushed to find an Anglican church in Corsica when I emigrate, but converting will seem so wrong to me when I believe one holy catholic and apostolic church *anyway*.

  2. I've much liked and respected +Andrew as a colleague, and know he sees this as a positive step which he is not taking lightly. If he feels he's called to join another denomination, I feel I have a basic duty to respect my friend's decision, personal integrity and courage, and support him, with the NT guidance to rejoice with those who rejoice including, presumably our RC friends. I say this as someone who can't really get my head round the whole idea of exclusive denominations anyway. Not sure anything in the bible suggests they are a good idea in the first place...

  3. Jonathan Sambrook8 November 2010 at 13:53

    Nope, no idea. What is LSM? Neither Google nor Wikipaedia are much help in this case - though as you can see from those links they do provide some interesting suggestions ;)

  4. Jonathan - Little St. Mary's Cambridge

    +Alan - I haven't looked at it in those terms, I confess. I don't think for a minute that the decision made by these men of God was easy in the slightest. Whilst I am sad, I know that they step that they have taken was courageous even if it is not the step I would have taken. My prayers go with them; I have only had dealing with +Andrew in liturgical circles, and he is a lovely man - to them all I pray that they find what they seek.

    The idea of blurring denominational lines appeals, especially as one who labels himself Anglo-catholic! It would make the whole 'why do you call yourself that' thing easier! Thanks for reading, and for commenting.

  5. Like the Curate, I too sit at the upper part of the candle and, whilst sympathising entirely with +Alan, I think that what makes the step from here to Rome bigger than it might otherwise be is a certain Papal Bull referring to Anglican Orders as null and void. It hasn't been revoked which will make the 'Ordinariate' a strange place for our ex-clergy to inhabit.

    It is sad to see them go. We are such a broad church we would still have room for them.

  6. I find it really quite sad that one faction feels it needs to leave over a single issue-big and nucleus as this issue is to them.

  7. David, I share your sadness, and for the same reasons. I respect those who worship in parishes that wish to avail themselves of 'flying' bishops, even though I would not be comfortable there myself.

    I feel sorry for those who have valued their ministry and will now feel they have been left 'high and dry'.

    I am relieved, however, to read that these bishops WILL be replaced, because otherwise what chance would their parishes have of continuing? Without replacements, this might have 'forced' MORE people and parishes to follow them to Rome. That excuse would've been even sadder.



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