by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 21 - Apr 2006

At its February meeting the General Synod of the Church of England voted by 348 votes to 1 to pursue an approach to women bishops in England:

'along the lines of Transferred Episcopal Arrangements (TEA) expressed in a Measure with an associated code of practice.'

A few brave souls abstained, such as Christina Rees and Mary Johnston of WATCH, Giles Fraser of InclusiveChurch, and Vivienne Faull, Dean of Leicester, and others afterwards expressed the wish that they had done the same.

by Martyn Percy
from Signs of the Times No. 21 - Apr 2006

It is something of truism to assert that elections - whether in Europe or North America - must now be won on the centre ground.

In Britain, this is something that is recognised in Blair's revolution of the Labour Party in the mid 1990s, and is now being attempted by David Cameron with, it has to be said, a slightly more truculent Conservative Party. And to some extent, the same can be said of ecclesiology. Most denominations function at their optimum when they find central, common ground on which to negotiate their differences.

from Signs of the Times No. 21 - Apr 2006

This is a summary of a debate between the Rt Revd Anthony Crockett, Bishop of Bangor,  and Dr Andrew Goddard, Tutor at Wycliffe Hall.

The Civil Partnerships Act has demanded great ingenuity from UK bishops.

The Church in Wales' bishops accepted, in a statement made in November 2005, that there is a spectrum of scriptural interpretation on the matter of homosexuality. In keeping with this view, on 3rd December they issued a press statement on the Civil Partnerships Act, declaring:

The Bishops of the Church in Wales cannot and would not wish to prevent what the law allows for Church members, both lay and clerical. The legislation leaves entirely open the nature of the commitment that members of a couple choose to make to each other when forming a civil partnership.

by Paul Badham
from Signs of the Times No. 21 - Apr 2006

From its inception Anglicanism has argued that there is no one source of Christian truth but that Scripture, Tradition and Reason must all be taken into account.

One decisive step in the process which led to the break with Rome was Cranmer's advice to Henry VIII to appeal over the head of the Pope to the consensus of theological opinion within the Universities of Europe. Hence Anglicanism came into being with the insight that a true understanding of Christian sources was a matter for scholarly research.

by George Pattison
from Signs of the Times No. 21 - Apr 2006

The Alpha Course is to be acclaimed for many things. Not least is the way in which it headlines the question: 'Is there more to life than this?'

This slogan reflects a long tradition in modern theology of taking seriously the viewpoint of those out there 'in the world', and not simply preaching at them. A further, important ingredient in this is the implication that the Church is not merely about filling pews with passive, uncritical Churchgoers; the Church, if it is really to be a community of faith, must be a community of people with questioning minds, people actively concerned about their faith and able to give a good account of it.