letters to the editor

On the edge

From Mr Anthony Saville

We have just come back from the Northern Festival at York Minster. What a wonderful place! It doesn’t matter how many times one has been before, it still takes one’s breath away. It was a wonderful Mass, and a fond farewell to Bishop Martyn, who has proved to be a mighty champion for our (sometimes beleaguered) constituency. I also came back from that glorious cathedral with an overwhelming sense of the courage of our Bishop-elect, Canon Glyn Webster. What an extraordinary move he will have to make in the next few months. From the very centre of the power and establishment of the Church of England to its most loathed and despised outer edge. As he joins Forward in Faith and SSC, and takes up the cause of those with whom he has not, till now, had to be counted, he will lose many, many friends. What do I know (mere country catholic)? But it seems to me that no bishop-elect in the past few decades has been asked to make so great a journey, from the warmth of the centre to the cold of outer darkness. I am heartened that those who know him speak so well of him. It is still a monumental change that is being asked of him. I admire his courage. And I know that we must pray for him earnestly. He will need every grace God gave him.

Anthony Saville
anthony.saville@hotmail.co.uk

 

A spiritual guide

From Fr Aidan CR

Father Arthur Middleton in the current New Directions bewails the lack of a contemporary book such as the Treasury of Devotion, but he is wrong! In 2004 Continuum published The Habit of Holiness compiled by Martin Warner which fulfils all his demands and more.

Aidan Mayoss CR
amayoss@mirfield.org.uk

 

A voice in the wilderness

From the Revd Patrick Davies

As a priest in the Church of England I sigh with utter despair as the House of Bishops have not merely watered down amendment 5(1)c which offered some hope to AngloCatholics and Conservative evangelicals, they have tossed it into the ocean. Time after time Anglo-Catholics have compromised from the position of saying NO to women bishops, to accommodation through:

  1. A Third Province
  2. Non geographical dioceses
  3. Transferred Episcopal Arrangement
  4. A Society model
  5. The amendments offered by our Archbishops
  6. And finally the clause 5(1)c

All of these compromises, and there have been others, have been utterly dismissed. Where has been the equal desire to compromise by WATCH and GRAS? WATCH and GRAS

know perfectly well that the ‘concessions’ they are offering are not what’s needed. There is no practical difference between a single clause measure and what will now be passed. The Code of Practice is mere window dressing, an attempt to manage our demise – a bit like hospice care. Where is the equal respect towards congregations who cannot accept the ministry of women bishops and priests? Let’s be clear, we are not rejecting the services of women out of malice or some misguided misogyny. We cannot accept women priests and bishops because of deeply held theological, scriptural and ecumenical reasons. How can young Anglo-Catholics or Evangelicals test their vocation to the priesthood in such a system, a system which is merely a funeral plan? How can I prepare candidates for confirmation in a system that is saying we are a hindrance, a nuisance that has to be managed out? I pray and ask that Members of Synod reject this utterly unfair and one-sided measure and ask representatives from Forward in Faith, WATCH and REFORM to prepare talks for a measure which will honour all sides of this debate. Let women be bishops but let loyal Anglicans who cannot in conscience accept this survive and flourish with equal dignity.

Fr Patrick Davies

fr.patrick@ntlworld.com ND

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