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Is there a glimmer of hope?

On Feb 28th, Premier Christianity published an 'opinion' piece,

Rector of Holy Trinity Clapham, member of General Synod and a Director of the Alliance,

an informal network of orthodox groups in the Church of England.

The day after, Anglican Futures received this response

- which we publish here as "A Voice of Experience"



I am a fan of Holy Trinity Clapham and Jago Wynne.

I have attended HTC’s evening service and found it full of young people, full of life and full of the gospel. I have admired Jago’s reporting of things at General Synod to the church with the outsider in mind and marvelled at how sensitively he communicated about how prayers of same sex blessing were wrong for the church, to a mixed audience. But no person is infallible and I must profoundly disagree with his view that there are still ‘glimmers of hope’ for the Church of England despite the impasse that has just occurred in General Synod of February 2024.

The progress to prayers of blessing for gay couples has been a long march of revisionism. The liberals have been playing a long game, and they are winning. If they do not win one round of the battle, they regroup and win the next. This is why Synod is stuck: revisionists will not concede one iota in their plan to get full blown marriage services for homosexual couples in church. Prayers of same sex blessing are simply a staging post - they have admitted that.

The conduct of the House of Bishops has been deceitful and dishonest and disgraceful - concealing legal advice and the game plan. Thankfully, David Porter gave it away some years ago - the aim being to keep 80 per cent of the church, and be prepared to lose the 'extremists'. His background is in negotiations in Northern Ireland.

The church however is not the world - one cannot split the difference between darkness and light, between truth and error. To do so is to fall into error, and darkness.

Despite the recent impasse, there will be no change in course. The ‘middle way’ under Welby and Porter will continue - it is just a matter of time. There is no new tone, no new approach. It is just a matter of marketing, aimed at those who will swallow it. The 'travelator' continues. The ground has shifted already.

More than five years ago, a fellow clergyman was horrified to find himself at a diocesan social event seated between a gay clergy couple, expected to accept their relationship and do small talk. Holiness has gone, propriety has gone. Now the word ‘partners’ is openly used by diocesan staff on invitations. The church has fallen.

How is to there to be ‘greater imagination and inventiveness’ than what there has already been, for two sides who do not agree and will not concede? There will be no new structure - Synod and the bishops have vigorously resisted that, led by the archbishops. The mantra is walking together, even though we are hobbled.

To suggest that there is "a glimmer of hope" is to fly in the face of the facts. Sadly, it is a siren voice, which will dissuade evangelical clergy and mature lay leaders from spreading their bets; from making future plans with trusts; from encouraging the congregation to redirect their giving; for planning for a future outside the apostate CofE.

To believe there are glimmers of hope is not to prepare for the end of evangelical ministry in the Church of England. Such ministry is being squeezed out and it is naive not to see it, not say it, and not help others prepare for it.

It is in the words of one clergyman ‘cut flower Anglicanism’ - or 'terminal orthodoxy' - demonstrated by the fact that ordinand intake at Oak Hill and Wycliffe has fallen to an all time low. Orthodox ministers in training are now going to other denominations.

Some may think this piece is cowardly for being anonymous. But this is about arguments and strategy, not about personalities. It is not about Jago - there are many other leaders who would take a similar line. But it is time for an honest debate about the way forward before nothing can be salvaged and Jesus finally says to us: ‘your house is left to you desolate’.

 

Our "A Voice of Experience" blogs offer a more personal perspective

on current affairs in the Anglican Communion.

Anglican Futures is more than a blog, however, we also provide pastoral and practical support for faithful Anglicans, wherever they find their episcopal oversight.

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9 Comments


Guest
Mar 29

The strategy of the pansexualists in the Church of England follows the playbook of the American Episcopal Church. Keep pushing for change in every convention with newer more blatant resolutions demanding full acceptance of homosexual marriage, then when you have won kick out the orthodox, which is what happened with Bishop Bill Love in the Diocese of Albany. The end was re#ukt was schism and the birth of the Anglican Church in North America. This is where this is going in England.

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Guest
Mar 05

Like others I have had enough of the rank deception, blatant fabrication and wholesale apostasy of the various BINOs - the BINO of Manchester being one of the worst and capable of saying anything and selling out anyone.

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Guest
Mar 05

I totally agree with this "Opinion" article. i downloaded the LLF 480 page tome around 4 years ago, a book designed to disguise its ultimate objective (same sex marriage) in the middle of smoke and mirrors. I said as such to our vicar, at the time, and told her that she must get a grip on this and discuss it at PCC and with the congregation. Nothing happened of course, even though I brought it up at PCC and warned the members about what was going on.


To cut a long story short, I eventually felt moved to leave Diocesan Synod, Deanery Synod and PCC. And following the decisions of the Feb 2023 GS, my wife and I have lef…


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Guest
Mar 04

I take it that Jago Wynne's "glimmer of hope" is exactly that. Just a glimmer. I am afraid that it is not just LLF that is causing havoc within the Church, but a whole raft of initiatives and General Synod votes, which are making it increasingly difficult for us clergy to hold the line. The worst of these was a failure by Synod to pass an amendment that emphasised that the best way for a family to flourish is by stable heterosexual marriage. That for me, even if nothing else, has tipped the balance.

Orthodox clergy must remember that whatever they may say or think, the bulk of the Church they represent is moving fast into a sort of agnosticism…

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Guest
Mar 04

The message to all real Evangelicals is simple. No sell out.

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