Tag Archives: church of england

Lib Dem Mathew Hulbert says Church of England giving in to its conservatives on same sex marriage

Lib Dem Councillor Mathew Hulbert has been taking to the airwaves to criticise the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury for giving into the Conservative side of the Anglican Communion. Yesterday, the Church announced that, while it would not allow same sex marriages in Church, they would allow blessings. However, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that he personally would not conduct them. He said:

But because of my pastoral care and responsibility of being a focus of unity for the whole communion I will – while being extremely joyfully celebratory of these new resources – I will not personally use them in order to compromise that pastoral care

The Church is also apologising for not being inclusive to LGBT+ people in the past.

Yesterday, Mathew tweeted:

This led to a few requests for interviews.

Here’s a brief clip from his Talk TV appearance.

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Church of England creates community fund as compensation for investment in the slave trade

The Church of England has committed £100 million to a fund to “address past wrongs” over its investments in the slave trade in the 18th century. Of course, people will say it is too little, too late and will not reach those most affected, and I have some sympathy for that reaction. But it is nevertheless both a substantial commitment and a symbolic act which will hopefully encourage other public bodies to follow suit.

As an active member of the Church of England I applaud the stance of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Faced with demands for compensation he commissioned the “Church Commissioners Research into historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery“. (The Church Commissioners are the trustees responsible for the charitable funds of the Church of England.)

He has now set up an oversight group to manage the new fund “with significant membership from communities impacted by historic slavery”. However he does not use the term “reparations”, as the fund will not pay individuals; instead it will finance community projects in areas most affected by the slave trade.

Nothing can ever compensate for the greatest crime in western history, but that does not mean that nothing should be done.

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Antidisestablishmentarianism

Yesterday’s report from the ONS showed that less than 50% of the population of England and Wales identified as Christian in the 2021 Census. This had led to calls for the disestablishment of the Church of England. It also gives me the opportunity to use the longest word in the English language. The fact that the word dates back to the 19th century shows that there is a long history to the call to reduce the formal role of the Church of England in public life – and opposition to it.

Note that disestablishment only relates to the Church of England. It does not refer to the worldwide Anglican communion, which includes the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Ireland. To confuse things further, we all noticed that at his Accession King Charles sign a declaration of protection of the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian and not Anglican.

A personal disclosure – I am an active member of the Church of England. However, as you will see, that does not mean I support its current political role.

I imagine we all know the 500 year history of the origins of the Church of England. Henry VIII enacted the Brexit of his day, and separated the English branch of the church from its Roman “masters”. Of course, the English Church had existed for over a thousand years before that, in its former Catholic form, and had had a huge impact on the culture, from its amazing buildings, its ancient learnings, its art and music, to its moral direction. However, Henry politicised the church in a way that hadn’t happened before.

Whilst the history is fascinating it has led us to a situation which in some ways is not in tune with today’s values.  The established church in England is central to many aspects of our cultural life including major public ceremonies from Remembrance Sunday to Coronations, and there is a question mark over all of these. In August the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on The relationship between church and state in the United Kingdom. It covers all the attempts at reform over the past century.

However the current arguments for disestablishment tend to focus on two areas – membership of the House of Lords and compulsory worship in schools.

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The strong Christian grounds for disestablishing the Church of England (as well as the democratic/fairness grounds)

Embed from Getty Images

The Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats held a very interesting fringe meeting at the Spring Conference, entitled “Is it time to disestablish the Church of England?”

I was very pleased to hear from Simon Barrow from the website Ekklesia, which has always struck me as a very progressive-thinking website, with its “roots in Christians social thought” but “vital” partnerships with people of other convictions (both non-religious and religious).

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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.

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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.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

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.

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++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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Opinion: Church of England, call off your modern day inquisition

Archbishop Justin Welby Some rights reserved by Messiah Lutheran (Mechanicsville, VA)For those of you in York, and indeed last September at Glasgow, one of the loudest cheers in the closing day of the Leaders Speech always comes when the pre-film, or Nick as leader mentions the Same Sex Marriage Act.

Indeed Lynne Featherstone will go down in Liberal Democrat history, indeed in wider history, as the MP who made such a massive impact and a positive one upon society.

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Women bishops in the CofE: what Lib Dem members think

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

84% think the CofE should allow women to be come bishops

women bishops
In November the Church of England’s Synod failed to pass a vote that would have allowed women to become bishops. Do you think the Church of England should or should not allow women to become bishops?

    84% – Should allow

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LDV readers say: yes to Church of England disestablishment

The last poll of 2008 here on LDV was a bit of a throwback for us liberals, with the question of church disestablishment rearing its head amid reports that Labour is considering reforming the 1701 Act of Settlement barring Catholics from ascending to the throne. LDV asked: Do you think the time has now come for the Church of England to be disestablished?

Here’s what you told us:


>> 47% (147) – Yes, the link between state and church should be immediately ended

>> 35% (107) – Yes, in principle, but it is a minor issue
>> 17% (52) – No, it

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NEW POLL: time to disestablish the Church of England?

140 years after Gladstone helped reunite the Liberal Party around the issue of disestablishing the Anglican Church of Ireland, the issue of the link between Church and State has once again reared its head. The Telegraph yesterday reported that the Government is considering

a report being drawn up in Downing Street on ways to reform a key element of the established Church, the 1701 Act of Settlement, which bars a Catholic from ascending to the throne. David Cairns, a former Roman Catholic priest who resigned as a minister at the Scotland Office two months ago in protest at Gordon

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