Tag Archives: church of england

Can the Lib Dems learn from the Church?

One of the obligatory truths of being a university student is that you become nocturnal. Staying awake until the small hours of the morning and rising just in time to get to your next lecture, even if that lecture is in the afternoon. It was on one of these nocturnal sessions that led me to watch ‘The Battle for Christianity’, written and presented by Professor Robert Beckford currently Professor in theology at Canterbury Christ Church University. This documentary took a look at where the heartbeat of Christianity is today, debunking the myth that church is still uniformly done to the keys of an organ.

As a practicing Christian, I have often perched myself on an uncomfortable pew, listened to the preacher, sat back and thought to myself, ‘the church and the Lib Dems are incredibly similar.’ This thought has occurred to me far too many times for me not to share it. Using ‘The Battle for Christianity’ and my own experience within the Liberal Democrats, I will seek to explain how to church has changed over my (relatively short) lifetime and what the Lib Dems can learn from this.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 22 Comments

Time is ripe for Church of England disestablishment


Now that the Anglican Communion has ruled that the US Episcopalian Church will not be able to take part in its decision making for three years’ following their support for same sex marriage and their appointment of a gay bishop in 2003, it is time for us to put Church of England disestablishment back on the agenda.

Like many in the party, I had misgivings about Tim Farron’s Christian faith when he was elected leader. As a liberal Christian who campaigns for same sex marriage within church, I perceived Tim to be a conservative Christian that would be opposed to this. However, the controversy about Tim’s interview with Cathy Newman last year has rather changed my mind on this, especially when I read his May 2015 interview in Pink News. Tim called for the disestablishment of the CofE in this interview, and I think that we should make this official policy to finally dispel the view that his Christianity is a problem for his leadership. Having had a closer look at Tim Farron’s reasons for his voting record on same sex marriage, I think the problem is not that he’s a fundamentalist Christian, but that he’s a fundamentalist Liberal.

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Banning the Lord’s prayer – how outrageous (if it were true)

The tabloids do love a good moan about how Christians are persecuted in this country.  It’s lost on them that representatives of the faith enjoy a privileged position in our Parliament and national life. So today’s stooshie about the Church of England’s ad, or, even more sensationally, “the Lord’s Prayer”  being “banned” is an early Christmas Present for the tabloid editor.

Except nobody has banned anything as the subsequent prevalence of this short advert proves.. In fact, if the agency who runs the advertising for the three biggest cinema chains had accepted the ad, they would have been breaking their own policy, which is not to accept religious or political adverts. They were a bit burned last year when they received negative feedback after running independence referendum ads in Scottish cinemas and were understandably reluctant to repeat the exercise.

You have to hand it to the Church of England for playing this brilliantly. Without handing over a penny, everyone in the country now knows how to access their advert. It’s embedded into many news articles about the row, it’s on their website, it’s on You Tube, it is everywhere.  They have managed to simultaneously complain about it being banned while ensuring that many more people have seen it than would have done over Mockingjay and popcorn.

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Opinion: We will not stand aside while persecution takes place

Whilst party activists gathered in Glasgow and quite literally were debating policy F33 Age Ready Britain there was another gathering taking place of a quieter, but perhaps more significant nature.

In the Admiral Rodney Pub, in Southwell, Nottinghamshire a small group of LGBT activists and supporters prepared to demonstrate for equality. Archbishop John Sentamu was in Southwell for the opening of the refurbished Bishop’s Palace and he was accompanied by acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Richard Inwood.

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The Chancel Repairs Bill 2014 (more interesting than you might imagine)

Creeting St Peter churchI am delighted that Lord Eric Avebury has moved the first reading in the House of Lords of the Chancel Repairs Bill. Eric ( the former MP, Eric Lubbock – the famous Orpington Man) must be our longest serving Parliamentarian. Having been elected as MP for Orpington in 1962, with a massive swing from the Conservatives, he succeeded to the Peerage as Baron Avebury in 1971, and has held his seat as one of the 93 elected hereditary peers.

Over the years he has continued as a keen and active supporter of the Liberal Democrats in Orpington, and one of our most hard working peers.

He has also published an Explanatory Note with the Bill.

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Women bishops – at last

women bishopsAll liberals, of whatever political persuasion, will welcome the news that the barriers to appointing women bishops in the Church of England have now been removed.  There has been a lot of misinformation flying around, with the glib portrayal of the bishops as a crowd of geriatric misogynists, so a few facts might help to improve the debate.

The General Synod, which is the governing body of the Church of England, first approved the appointment of female bishops in principle in 2008. Since then it has been trying to agree on the provisions to be made for those local churches which will not accept them, just as it did when women were first ordained as priests.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

++BREAKING: Antidisestablishmentarian Times and Telegraph reveal new danger posed by 150 year-old Liberal pledge for separation of Church and State

times tele disestablishmentIs there no actual news happening today? Sounds a stupid question. I mean, the US has accused Russia of deliberately destabilising Ukraine, affordability tests for new mortgages are going to be toughened, and the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has vetoed big bonuses for staff. All important, interesting stories.

Then I looked at today’s Times and Telegraph, both of which lead on whether the Church of England should remain the established state church.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a diverting issue. A little over five years ago, …

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  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 22nd Oct - 6:45pm
    Tim Farron said "we’ve given the Tories one hell of a fight". Should that be "we’ve given the Tories one hell of a fright"? Either...
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    @Michael BG: "I think that the Wallonia rejection of the trade deal with Canada proves the Leavers wrong, that nation states and even regions in...