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Monday, 7 July 2008

On the 'One' Church of England - (e) 7July2008

t-shirt from Aquinas and More  *

One, holy, catholic, and apostolic... is what the Nicene Creed† says of the church, and - just as an one passing example - preached on here by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The CofE declared in 1975 that there were 'no theological objection to women being ordained priest', and then voted in 1992 for the to be ordained, and in 1994 the first women were ordained priest. Within this quinquennium of Synod there has been agreement that the CofE should move towards having women bishops, and in the Manchester Report, the diverse group who produced it unanimously agreed that the church should proceed towards consecrating women bishops - as long as there are 'safeguards' for those opposed.

The church has often been described since 1994 as 'One church, with two integrities' - that is to say it is perfectly possible for either position in regard to the ordination of women to be held with integrity.

I suspect that some thought that perhaps interest in keeping a church where women were not able to minister would wane. As time has gone on, that is clearly not the case, and indeed some churches from both the conservative catholic as well as the conservative evangelical wings of the church claim to be growing, with young people coming forward as leaders in just such a continuing church.

In the Anglican Communion as a whole, there are a variety of individual Provinces - some would say churches. The do not all share the same orders, or policies, but are still linked together under the umbrella of the Anglican Communion.

Some are wondering if what we have already in the CofE is not one, but actually two churches. Personally, I do not believe that - I think it is closer to 3 or 4... Let's stay with discussing two churches though. Some are horrified that the CofE might be split into more than one church - even though womens ministry has clearly vastly altered the way church is, from where it was, and it looks o most people as though that is what we currently have.

Some senior figures are talking about 'light touch' alternative dioceses. I think that is because it is perhaps being acknowledged that this is what the situation really is.

Will alternative dioceses be one of the ways in which the church could remain closer to being still 'One'?
* 'This t-shirt features a quote from 1 Timothy 3:15 "the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth." and the words "One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic" on the front. The back features the quote from St. Francis "Preach the Gospel at all times... When necessary, use words."
T-shirt comes in Cardinal Red'
† The original post mistakenly mentioned Apostles' rather than Nicene Creed, though the roots of even the 'holy catholic church' are there too.

Alastair Cutting, GS101


gengulphus said...

One, holy, catholic, and apostolic... is what the Apostles' Creed says of the church…

I was unaware that the text had been enriched in this way.

Alastair said...

Apologies for thinking one, and typing another in terms of creeds. Amended.