Anglo Catholicks and the Church of England

I have been an Anglo Catholic since the early 1970′s and before that I was mildly Catholic but still learning about Christianity in a village church which was more or less High Church with a slight leaning towards the Catholic approach to worship and ecclesiology.

Since then I have learn a lot about the way that the church of England came into being and it is not a pretty story.  I had grave misgivings about the nature of the Anglican Communion and sought clarification from a wise Priest.  He helped me to consider the Church of England as being part of the continuing Catholic Church which was not Roman but still Catholic.

Now I am quite confused, and in a way that is a good thing.  If I were certain of my understanding then I think I would be in serious doubt of my thinking.

For me the Church of England cannot be a separate body, for if it is then heaven will be a very restricted experience.  Many of it’s doctrines are clearly erroneous within the great scheme of things, not least the matter of divorce and the role of the Monarch.  Divorce and the Monarch are where the Church of England begins, and the late medieval machinations of powerful clerics and temporal lords played about with these ‘doctrines’ whilst the common people were governed by another standard.

How I feel today about the label ‘Catholic’ is very different from the 70′s.  I feel that it is certainly not applicable to non-conformist denominations and does imply some adherence to long held practice and belief, but what that really is, I do not know.


Touching the hem of Christ’s Vestments.

English: Logo of the Church of England

English: Logo of the Church of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tomorrow there will be a discussion concerning the safeguarding procedures in relation to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults as it applies to the Church of England.  It seems however to be concerned, not only with prevention but also with punishment.

Whilst I fully accept the rightness of ensuring that people who are considered to be a risk to children and vulnerable adults are not allowed to have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults in church, I cannot see anywhere acknowledgement that such people may wish to repent and may wish to continue to have a sacramental relationship with God via the church.

The document fails to provide any guidance on how such people might be integrated into the Church.

The preoccupation about wearing vestments or clerical dress in this document is perhaps warranted, but the lack of pastoral guidance for the wicked is lamentable.  The demonising of such people is a sad reflection on the church and the dehumanisation of perpetrators is unhelpful.  They are reduced to the scathing reference; ‘these people’.

“The sexual and physical abuse that has been inflicted by these people on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame for years to come.” (my emphasis)

Be assured, I am not condoning any form of abuse, simply asking for a less vehement response in dealing with those who are responsible for ‘individual wickedness’.  We have a responsibility to ‘deal’ with them in their entirety, as sinners and as penitents.

It is good to hear the Archbishops citing Christ in their letter…

“All contemporary safeguarding policies and procedures in the Church should be a response to what we learn and see in Jesus himself… In witness to this faith and to our sense of obligation to children who are brought to Jesus through the care of the Christian community, the Church should set for itself the highest standards of care available to our society today”

Yet we also know that ‘what we learn and see in Jesus himself’ includes the grace of forgiveness and a responsibility to care for all who are outcast.

I also feel that the Archbishops should acknowledge that some abusers are themselves victims of abuse and may need special care by the church and church authorities for that very reason.  To cast them out may be to compound the very real harm they also live with.  I say this without any intention whatsoever of diminishing the guilt of the sinner nor seeking any action that would jeopardise a child or vulnerable adult.. or anyone else for that matter.  The daily rape by my Uncle and the chilling threats over many weeks when I was aged 7 haunt me every day.  I feel utterly desolate without the fellowship of my church and some acknowledgement of my repentance and desire to make some reperation.  My voice is the voice of a sinner, yes and i will always have that before me, but there is also the voice of the child within me, a voice that today I recognise more clearly thanks to my friends, both in Synod and online.  I could not cry out then, but i can today.

I would like the Archbishops to listen to me also when they say…

“It is right, therefore, that the General Synod should receive an account of the actions that the House and the Council have put in hand, have an opportunity to comment on the next steps, and be able to identify with the apology that we wish to offer unreservedly for the failure of the Church of England’s systems to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by its clergy and others and for the failure to listen properly to those so abused.” (my emphasis)

I shall not be at Synod this year but I hope that the brave may find something here to speak about.

In His service  MrC

Hope for Unity from Rome to Lambeth

Português: Cerimônia de canonização do frade b...

Português: Cerimônia de canonização do frade brasileiro Frei Galvão celebrada pelo papa Bento XVI no Campo de Marte em São Paulo, Brasil. (fragment) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been reported in the Tablet this week that new proposals are being put forward By the Roman Church to the Anglican Communion generally and the Church of England specifically which are a radical departure from earlier attempts to bring the two Christian communities into a positive and lasting dialogue.

On the matter of Women Priests, the Roman Church are willing to review the Socio-theological basis for removing a male only priesthood.  On the matter of the marriage of clergy, Rome is making fairly explicit statements  via various informal, but authoritative spokespersons that it has no objection to this, in fact it believes that the Anglican position might act as a useful stalking horse to allow Roman Clergy to marry if they so desire.

The proposals are , as yet, unofficial

but insiders are saying that the leaking of the proposals are being deliberately engineered from the highest authorities in order to prepare the way for radical change.  “Many of our differences have been worked through by the ARCIC process” Msgr Coverner has been quoted as saying.

However it is early days, and the most difficult sticking point between the two Communities has yet to be resolved.  This may make real progress very difficult in the last analysis.  Msg Coverner  made things quite clear.  Speaking on behalf of the new Pope, he said, “We are prepared to move on issues regarding marriage and possibly gender, even on the thorny matter of Gay clergy, however, we will not be moved on the Malvinas”  It is reported that Lambeth are likely to be equally intransigent.  It is yet to be seen if these proposals see any real progress in uniting the two communities.




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Moving on……

Moving Day (film)

Moving Day (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faithful followers of this blog know that MrC has poked fun at a lot of people and occasionally pointed out some really bad behaviour by others.  I am not without sin either and it is not a perfect blog by any means.

Still, defending those who are oppressed by others, exposing bullying by senior clerics, these are things we are all required to do, sinners or not, and each and everyone of us will, if we submit to to following Christ and walking the way of the Cross, offering ourselves for the betterment of others, we will all be redeemed, even Bishops and Archbishops.

We are all equal, we are all created by God and we will all be judged by Him.  How far we come to know Him here on earth and live according to His will, as best we can; indeed how far we are able to forgive, may be the deciding factor in how far we are able to live with Him in heaven.



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Decimation of church Budget: Your church under Mr Sentamu

Under Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and William Fittall, Secretary General of the General Synod, of the Church of England the reneged promised support for children and youth of the nation earlier this year by slashing staffing at church house has been a severe retreat from mission and support for the church of tomorrow.  This type of policy will result in more cuts for you to look forward to.

Under Mr Sentamu’s predicted ascendency to the Archbishopric of Canterbury the picture here warns of further cuts, as a result of the inevitable conservative reactionary stance alienating the denomination from the people.  The inevitable continued collapse of the church’s relevance to the people they purport to serve  will result in the support of the fabric of churches throughout England failing further.  Maybe then the people will sit up and take notice.


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John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu sports new look Bishops Vestments

When Mr Sentamu becomes Archbishop of Canterbury he intends to impose new Vestments for all Church of England Bishops.  This is to emphasise and enhance the male testosterone levels required for the post of Bishop for all new candidates.  Advertising Sponsorship will be decided by each diocese.  He is also illustrating the look of aggression that he believes is essential for the post.

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Archbishop to Retire. MrC offers a prayer for the CNC that you can use today.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10:  The Archbishop...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

So the cross hating Mr Williams has announced his retirement from kowtowing to the more lunatic  Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals of the Church of England.  We all knew he was bankrupt as an archbishop and we already knew he was going to retire in the next twelve months.  The next nail in the Church of England coffin will be delivered by the CNC.  That body of arrogant individuals who will chose the next poor victim of Canterbury.

For the sycophants who will find the above distasteful and disloyal I apologise, but the truth, as I witness it, is that Rowan has demonstrated his very bad temper, reduced the weak to tears, allowed others to manipulate the democratic process and has resorted to legal subterfuge to deprive people of their rights and God of His will.

The man came to us carrying hope for a better future and he has indeed had to weather some of the stormiest times in recent generations, but he has failed abysmally to lead us in the path of Christ.  He may have the beard of a kindly wizard, the voice of a kindly therapist and the demeanour of a saint but he is none of those things, (except the wizard thing, he is a spiritual descendant of Merlin since he officially became a Welsh Druid).  He held the hopes of many and dashed them against the wall of establishment.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the man in many ways and my heart does go out to him, I willed him to be better and I have appropriate respect for him, but he has not been good for us.

The real worry we have now is the process of selecting the next Archbishop.  Sentimoo is not going to go for it as he is not well and is too much of a bullying buffoon to fool the CNC a third time.  It is the CNC itself that we have to pray for.

Here is a prayer you might like to use in your own devotions.

Dear Father,

Help the CNC members to put away their own agendas and let them know that they, and their tribes have had their time.

Help them to listen to people outside of London and not to just give lip service to the northern folk.

Father, we just ask that you show them how to get their secretarial work right and pass on information.

Father, put your protecting power around their photocopier so that documents can be read.

Father, help them to remember more and more that Oxford and Cambridge are not the only universities in England.

Father, help them to show compassion and love, cast out any spot of arrogance and high handedness, and protect them from snobbery and pomposity.

Father, let your Holy spirit come down and work amongst them.  Let them know that you know the secrets of all our hearts and know even the secrets of the CNC.


Bye Bye for now.  MrC

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How do we do Church?

A fresh batch of homemade buttermilk scones.

Image via Wikipedia

My time machine of praxis tells me that a thousand years ago the church was not making scones   and cups of tea; that the church was not affirming the latest candidate for the Mother’s Union or arguing about the rota for readings.

It may be that the life of your Church bears no relationship to these things, that in your church other things top the agenda, I don’t know, but what I am sure of is that many Church of England churches are quite fixed in their pattern of life and that variation, modernisation or indeed innovation is hard to find.

Are we too comfortable with the way we do things?  Do we want to keep close to the familiar, stay safe and try to remain the more conservative sort at prayer?

I don’t know how it is at your church, maybe you believe that you do embrace change and a challenge.  Perhaps at your church you are innovative and varied, maybe even ‘modern’.

Nonetheless I am of the opinion that much of what we do as church is geared to an existing clientele.

How far the outsider can feel relevant to the life of your church is something that is worth considering.  Do newcomers fit into the way things are or do we respond to their specific needs?  So often the litany of ‘we’ve tried that before’ is sung, amongst many other ditties.

How can we make our life, as worshipping people, speak of God in the lives of others?  Are we an historic edifice that will always be quaint and harmless, or are we prepared to take risks and follow the Holy Spirit into the places and into the lifestyles of the people of England?

How about a service to celebrate other stuff?  How about a service that can add to the harvest and Christingle?   In a country that is experiencing change, how far can we meet that change by putting the richness of Christian worship into the lives of ordinary people.  Not a one off, but a new set of ‘traditions’ to mark the things in our lives.

I don’t know what that might be, maybe a service of thanksgiving for the passing of a driving test or a weekend of fishing with hours of prayer and blessing, thanksgiving and so on.


Do you live here too?


Wagon with poster "We're a GAY and HAPPY ...

Image via Wikipedia

I do wonder about clergy and the gay issue.  I was discussing the sexual orientation of a cool cat with a priest the other day and said that I have no problem one way or the other.  Setting aside the glaringly obvious curiosity about why I was having such a conversation in the first place, I am puzzled by the priest’s reaction.

If I’m truthful, I was hoping that the priest would join in with me and say that he did not have a problem either.  He said nothing.  He was quite silent and quite still.  He too is a cool cat, but I didn’t hear one hint of a purr.  The subject changed and the morning carried on.

It is odd and maybe relevant to me in a particular way because of my age and the culture I grew up in, but I do feel the need to say that I’m okay with people being gay.  It is perhaps more of a comment on me really.  I mean why do we have to make any kind of issue of it in the first place, surely it is quite silly, and maybe rude, to make something of it.  After all I don’t go around saying, I’m okay with heterosexuality.

Then I remember Jeffrey John, the gay priest: who Rowan and Mr Sentimoo are so eager to prevent being a Bishop because he is gay and that would divide the Anglican Communion, and this has happened elsewhere so they are trying to impose a set of rules to prevent it happening elsewhere without relational consequences: and I come to my senses.

I know it has all been said before, but every now and then I get a kick up the backside and remember how truly reactionary some parts of the Church are, and how interpretation of scripture, and tradition whilst were at it, can exclude and twist the human soul.  But on this occasion, the priest and I got on, as I said, with the day.

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