Repenting of privilege, signalling virtue, following the crowd

Jun 16, 2020 by

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: We are in very challenging times, when ‘the madness of crowds’ threatens to sweep us all along in its wake. We’re hoping for leadership from the spiritual elders of our institutional church, who can guide us through our cultural crisis with wise guidance from the word of God. Instead we continue to get capitulation to the secular zeitgeist. Just yesterday: on the prominent Thought for the Day slot on the Radio 4 Today programme, a Church of England...

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What should good Anglicans do: stay at home, or join a crowd?

Jun 8, 2020 by

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: I confess I don’t understand what is going on here. Perhaps that marks me out straight away as too cerebral, too linear in my thinking, too wedded to an outdated ‘modernist’ mentality. To me it seems like a contradiction that doesn’t make sense, but no doubt I can be educated as to my straitjacket thinking. Up until now, the Church of England leadership has been extremely cautious about permitting any action which might potentially contribute to the spread...

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“Turn the other cheek” – how should churches respond to domination?

May 19, 2020 by

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: Jesus’ command to his disciples to “turn the other cheek” is traditionally interpreted as backing down from conflict for the sake of peace. The NIV translation of Matthew 5:39 begins: “Do not resist an evil person”. This is usually applied to individuals in community, although some have applied it to nations as a basis for pacifism. The injunction is not often applied to churches. Whether Christian communities should resist attack, perhaps from armed...

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Challenges for the Church of England

May 5, 2020 by

by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: Should churches reopen, and what are they for?  The day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ‘lockdown’ on March 23rd, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England ordered that all churches should immediately close and not be used even for private prayer by clergy. The main reason given was to set an example in taking seriously the danger of the virus and slowing down its spread: just as sports venues, theatres, restaurants and garden...

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Who’s got the answers?

Apr 21, 2020 by

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: Everyone’s discussing it. Whether we’re at home with the family or in an online work forum, having to weigh up facts and make decisions or just reacting to information and decisions from others, we all have one problem on our minds. From the leaders to the ordinary people we will all approach the problem depending on various factors: our academic and professional specialisation (if we have any); our philosophical worldview; our personal experience. And...

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“Stratospheric” costs of “ugly” new Lambeth Palace Library need explanation

Apr 2, 2020 by

Anglican Mainstream report: Satirical magazine Private Eye claims in its latest edition (issue 1519) that the final costs of the new building to house the priceless collection of old books in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence will cost £40 million. The article, in the magazine’s architecture section ‘Nooks and Corners’, begins by questioning the building’s architectural merits – “a strong contender for the ugliest building of the year”. The accompanying photo shows an ‘eastern...

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