Church of England considers moving the north-south divide

The precise location of the north-south divide has been difficult to pinpoint with any clarity. Manchester is in the north, of course; unless you’re in the Highlands, in which case it is very much in the south. The midpoint of the longest north-south axis in Great Britain is in the village of Haltwhistle in Northumberland […]

Bootleg of Will Todd’s alarming new composition

I am partially deaf. In my case it is not the most severe of disabilities but it can hamper my work as a journalist at times. I use a number of tools and workarounds to overcome the difficulties that would otherwise prevent me from listening carefully and being able to report accurately. One of these […]

Am yow alright?

In the Church of England, it is customary during a General Synod debate for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to be called to speak whenever they stand, jumping the queue ahead of bishops, clergy and laity (they usually let the debate proceed for a while before availing themselves of this opportunity). Last night the […]

“Embarrassing security failure” or embarrassing lack of religious literacy

A man was arrested yesterday morning (Sunday) after two people were assaulted at York Minster. You can read about it on most UK news websites (but if you’re particularly discerning you can read my report for the Church Times here). An unusually high number of journalists were inside the Minster when the assaults took place because […]

Bishops in the House of Lords

Calls for the Lords Spiritual to be removed from the House of Lords are nothing new.  It is a frequent occurrence that only increases whenever the 24 bishops who occupy the Bishops’ Benches are perceived to be holding back the advance of progressive liberalism, such as the current Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. But it […]

The Church of England is a tortoise compared to Rome’s hare

There are many ways of comparing denominations. There are so many differences of style, liturgy, customs and even doctrine. But such comparisons are always subjective. One man’s heresy is another man’s cornerstone. But recent events involving the leadership of the Church of England and the Church of Rome, overlapping as they have, provide us with […]

Church lawyers to review advice to PCCs on chancel repair liability

Church lawyers are to review their advice to PCCs on Chancel Repair Liability (CRL), after the case in Broadway, Worcestershire, where the Charity Commission ruled that it would be “reasonable” for the parish not to register liability against 30 householders. Under recent legislative changes, PCCs have just over a year to register CRL against affected […]

Archbishop’s child abuse inquiry finds diocese “Dysfunctional”

An investigation set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury following persistent allegations of child abuse by priests has concluded that the Diocese of Chichester is “dysfunctional” and this “continues to impinge upon the adequacy of safeguarding in the diocese.” Dr Rowan Williams established a rare Archbishop’s Commission – the first in over 100 years – […]

PCCs given liability warning over Chancel Repair “assets”

Parochial church councils that fund chancel repairs without securing funds from a lay rector could be guilty of a breach of trust, with “serious consequences” for PCC members, Neville Rowles, a conveyancing solicitor with the Manchester-based law firm Boote Edgar Esterkin, has suggested. He warns: “Members of the PCCs concerned could be open to a […]

Steering committee seeks to adjourn women bishops debate

A GROUP of senior Church of England officials have announced that they intend to ask the General Synod to postpone tomorrow’s historic vote to allow women to be bishops, so that last minute amendments made to the draft legislation by the House of Bishops could be re-considered. If Synod approves, the earliest they would be […]

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