News from beyond Sheffield

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Here, we round-up the Church Times (17 March), plus WATCH, Forward in Faith and Arun Arora. A further listing of opinion items will follow in a separate news blog post.

An assessment of what might happen next was published yesterday by the Law and Religion site.

WATCH and Forward in Faith have both released statements.

Arun Arora, the current CofE Director of Communications has released a very different commentary on what the situation reveals to PR Week.

The Church Times carries three items (possibly all behind a pay-wall), a Leader comment, a long sequence of letters and a news report on the situation since the withdrawal of the Queen’s nominee to be next Bishop of Sheffield.

In the Letters section of the Church Times, the Dean of York, Ven. Vivienne Faull, Dr Paula Gooder and Margaret Swinson (Lay Canon) say of the 2014 package that allowed females to be bishops and the 5 Guiding Principles it included:

were a genuine attempt, underpinned by theological reflection on the often paradoxical ecclesiology of the Church of England, to find a way for people of very different views to live well together with love, compassion, and respect.

They go on to observe, however, that the problem:

is that they are, as their name suggests, “principles”. All principles need work to be applied in practice, and the more important a principle, the more vital it is that time and energy are put into thinking through its practical outworking.

Contrary to abandoning the principles, they hope that those in the C of E can now:

commit ourselves to ongoing and careful theological reflection on what they mean in practice, not least in the appointment of a diocesan bishop