Report and Presentations from Anglican Patrimony conference 25/26 April

May 2, 2018 by

Ways to renew the church explored at Oxford Conference. Church of England Newspaper May 4

Senior conservative evangelical Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, members of the Ordinariate and Roman Catholic delegates met recently to reflect on how orthodox the faith and practice of Anglican patrimony might contribute to the renewal of the whole church.

The conference was told that renewal was needed in the face of the rejection of the influence of the Jewish Christian tradition on western society through deceptive totalitarian definitions of justice, equality and fairness.

This rejection was challenging religious freedom and freedom of speech. Delegates were told that religion has changed from being seen as a neurosis to an idolatry of the self, sacralising subjective experience and thus unravelling the objective Christian narrative.

The Gospel and the Catholic Church by Michael Ramsey was a main point of reference. Ramsey argues that the church itself should point to the depth of sin and judgement and the death and resurrection of Jesus, and speak of Jesus in such a way that the life of the church is included.

J H Newman’s principles for engaging the Christian faith with the challenge of new knowledge were recalled at the April 25-26 meeeting.

These were that nothing should obscure the truths of creation, fall and redemption; draw on the historic teaching of the church; refuse to sacrifice God’s revelation and consider what any development might lead to in the future.

A new form of ‘ecumenism’ was required in which people from different churches come together to develop a common orthodox agenda.

Senior Roman Catholic contributors noted that recognition of the Ordinariate was the first time that the Roman Catholic Church, out of a pastoral concern, had acknowledged the value of liturgical texts and usage from other churches as giving access to the grace of the sacrament.

Anglicans beyond the Church of England were bemused that it was considering any compromise on sexuality and marriage, and that the Anglican Consultative Council had shown no concern for those standing for biblical faith on these matters.

It was said that such a stance confused Muslims who respect Christianity for its orthodoxy on these matters.

At the St Stephen’s House meeting, the Church of England was urged to listen to those in the wider Communion and no longer see itself as the Communion’s centre. Those with experience of relating the gospel to people in overseas countries had skills for enabling the gospel to transform English culture, but the English establishment has no place for them.

Speakers said that if the Church of England only looks to resources on this island, the future is bleak, it was claimed, but if it looks outward to learn from the whole Church across the world, there Is hope.

The Anglo-Catholic Missiologist, Roland Allen, had noted that authentic apostolic work was seen in the ministry of wandering evangelists and prophets who knew both how to work outside the structures and when invited to work in them too.

Much Anglican growth had come not through people asking permission to grow, but from taking initiatives and then asking bishops to bless what had been done.

Religious communities and voluntary mission societies had arisen in such a way and were needed again today.

It is planned that the presentations at the conference will be published.

Most of the speakers at the conference have kindly given permission for their talks to be reproduced for wider reading, and they are now available on the conference website.

Augustine di Noia  – Anglican Patrimony a view from the Holy See

Mark Langham – Anglicans & Christian Unity

John Hind – Anglicans & Christian Unity

John Fenwick – Christian Unity – Brief Reflections On Some Obstacles And Goals

Gavin Ashenden – Secularism & the Church of England

Steven Rutt – Anglicans, Culture and the State

Christopher Cocksworth – The Character and Gifts of Anglican Worship

Andrew Burnham – Reply to Bishop Christopher Cocksworth’s ‘The Character and Gifts of Anglican Worship’

John Ellison – Response to Gavin Ashenden

Read here


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