The elephant in the bishops’ own backyard?

When it comes to homosexuality the Church of England loves euphemisms. Back in the late 1980s, the General Synod debated the Revd Tony Higton’s private member’s motion on ‘personal morality’. The outcome – still part of the Church of England’s official teaching on sexuality – contrasted heterosexuality and homosexuality. No prizes for guessing which was […]

‘One of gayest churches in Christendom’?

I think the phrase was the late Monica Furlong’s in a Church Times article where she lamented the fact that the Church of England was tearing itself apart yet again over homosexuality. There she argued, (if I remember rightly), that this was a particular tragedy, given that the Church of England was, in her opinion, […]

Reflections on the Archbishops’ Letter to the Anglican Primates & the Presidents of Nigeria & Uganda

The wording of the headline is awkward: ‘Archbishops recall commitment to pastoral care and friendship for all, regardless of sexual orientation.’ http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5237/archbishops-recall-commitment-to-pastoral-care-and-friendship-for-all-regardless-of-sexual-orientati My first impression was that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York were ‘recalling’, i.e. withdrawing, Monday evening’s Statement by the Church of England College of Bishops, following its reflections on the Pilling Report […]

The Pilling Report: A Detailed Analysis by Christina Beardsley, for Changing Attitude, England

The Pilling Report: A Detailed Analysis by Christina Beardsley, for Changing Attitude, England 1.       Talking about same sex relationships in isolation The Report of the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality, chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling, was published on November 28th 2013. http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1891063/pilling_report_gs_1929_web.pdf This paper analyses and critiques each section of the Report […]

The Pilling Report Reviewed – No 13: The Dissenter

The final section of Part 3 of the Pilling Report, ‘Reflecting on the Evidence’ – though not of the Report – is A Dissenting Statement by the Bishop of Birkenhead The Pilling Report was intended to address the situation of a sexual minority within the Church of England and society. The voices of this minority […]

The Pilling Report Reviewed – No 12: Process & Practice

The next section of Part 3 of the Pilling Report is called A process for listening to each other and outlines what the working party believes (paragraph 352) is ‘the way forward for the Church’: ‘an intentional process of attentive listening between Christians whose understandings of Scripture and God’s calling for the Church and the […]

The Pilling Report Reviewed – No 11: I may sound homophobic but …

Part 3 of the Pilling Report is intended as a reflection on ‘the evidence’ adduced in Part 2, and the third section is Countering prejudice and homophobia In paragraph 320 it refers to homophobia as a ‘vexed’ term, hinting, I think, at its alleged use to silence those who disagree with LGB&T equality. As I […]

The Pilling Report Reviewed – No 10: A Moot Point?

I have now reached Part 3 of the Pilling Report, which is entitled ‘Reflecting on the Evidence, although the first section Christian ethics – the Anglican tradition is mainly an account of classic Anglican theological method, which accords primacy to Scripture while recognising that it is also complementary and dialogic with the insights of reason […]