18 December 2008

Programme 2009

Our programme for 2009 is a great mix of IC introductory roadshows round the country, events on specific topics - inclusive language, including black and minority ethnic people, LGBT issues .. and our next residential conference in October -

For further information or to book a place on any of these contact us
or telephone Revd Clare Herbert, National Coordinator for Inclusive Church 07504 577210

Wednesday 14th January, 7.30pm
St Agnes Church, MANCHESTER
“All of us – An Inclusive Church Road Show”
Special speaker and theme – Dean Rogers Govender
“How can IC respond to the needs and aspirations of black people in the Church?”
(further information below)

Saturday 7th February , 11.00am – 4.00pm
St Peter’s Church Liverpool Grove, LONDON SE17 2HH
Day Conference on Inclusive Language,
“What Shall We Say?”
This day conference will tackle the importance of inclusive language while asking
the practical question – how to integrate its use in parish life?
With Lucy Winkett, Steven Shakespeare, June Boyce-Tillman, Elizabeth Baxter
Email herbert.clare@googlemail.com for booking details
(further information below)

Saturday 14th February
Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality AGM
Revd Clare Herbert – keynote address
“Gather us in – Inclusive Sexual Ethics and Pastoral Care”

Sunday March 1st at 6.00pm
Dorchester Abbey, OXFORDSHIRE
“How do we read the Bible?” with David Winter and Giles Goddard

Weds March 4th at 6.30pm
St George’s, Jesmond, NEWCASTLE
Inclusive Church Road Show

March 20th and 21st
Old St Paul’s Church, EDINBURGH
Inclusive Church Reception and Road Show

Thursday 2nd April, at 1.00pm
LIVERPOOL Parish Church
Lenten Lecture – Revd Canon Giles Goddard

Thursday April 23rd 2.00pm – 5.30pm
St Martin- in - the Fields LONDON on St George’s Day
“Being black in Britain - what does it take to succeed?”
Overcoming barriers in society and church to success for black and minority ethnic people
An afternoon conference hosted by the Association of Black Clergy
Supported by Inclusive Church

May (date tba)
All Saints' Church NOTTINGHAM
“All of Us - Inclusive Church Road Show”

Saturday 13th June
Church of the Resurrection, Churchway, MACCLESFIELD
“All of Us - Inclusive Church Road Show”

Saturday July 4th
St Bride’s Church LIVERPOOL (or Liverpool Cathedral venue tba)
“All of Us - Inclusive Church Road Show”
Special theme – the LGBT agenda

Saturday August 1st
Inclusive Church Road Show

August 29th – 31st
Inclusive Church at GREENBELT

September 12th
Inclusive Church “IC the Future” Anniversary Walk, LONDON

Monday October 5th – Wednesday October 7th
Swanwick, DERBYSHIRE, the Hayes Centre
Second National Residential Conference
“WORD ON THE STREET” – the Bible in our faith and life
Further information to follow - bookings open February 2009

Friday 20th November
Revd Clare Herbert presents the Inclusive Church Road Show at the “Friday Fringe”
The Society of Martha and Mary, Sheldon

January / February 2010
“Consuming Passions”
Reflecting Responsibly on the Sexual Journey
An Inclusive Church Day Conference
Supported by The Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality

05 November 2008

All of us

ALL OF US - the Inclusive Church Roadshow

If you would like to hear more about the work of Inclusive Church, its foundation in the inclusive spirit of the Anglican tradition, then this is for you.

Thursday 4th December
St Paul’s Church, Gloucester
6:30 – 9:00p.m.

6.30pm - Giles Goddard and Clare Herbert will present their understanding of the origins of Inclusive Church and its importance within the Anglican Tradition.

7.30pm - Celebrate over an Indian meal!

8.15pm - Clare and Giles present the ongoing work of Inclusive Church and answer questions.

9.00pm – prayers and home.

All Welcome

To book a place e-mail Adrian Slade on glossr@star.co.uk or phone 01242 253162. This event is free, and a retiring collection will be taken to cover costs.

02 October 2008

A Space for Grace or a vacuum of liberal clemency?

Contributed by Hugh Alford

When Jesus went cruising down by the quayside among those rough and hunky fisherman to groom for disciples he only came across men. This fact however clearly tells us little about our Lord’s choice of recruitment assessment centre, his preferred psychometric job profiling methodology or the gender selection imperatives of the person profile for his new priesthood.

Try as I might, I have just “not got it” when it comes to why a woman called to the priesthood is not to be respected , loved ,protected and where necessary obeyed.. For those are the duties of care we laity must give to our priests.

There is not total equality for women in the world of work but there are at least laws to fight corporate prejudice against women and gay people – thank God. Yet misogyny and homophobia are endorsed in the immunity granted the Church of England in their recruitment.

Some may feel the last five years we have been treading water but if that is the case we have not noticed the tide has been against our swimming strokes. We have been under the illusion of progress. To the observers outside the Church on land, we look as if we are going backwards. This is not say that Inclusive Church has in any way failed but maybe it is time to be more direct. The road shows are evidence of this but maybe we need to be more radical.

I know Bishop Gene Robinson told us to trust and keep holding onto hope a few weeks ago at St Mary’s Putney but consider what has happened over the last five years from a lay person’s perspective?.

Priests who wanted to be open about their relationships through a civil partnership have been sacked from the London Diocese. An Openly Gay Bishop was not invited to the Lambeth Conference hardly the actions of an inclusive church. Some appalling homophobic attacks have continued to take place with bishops just sitting on their hands.

Talented women priests continually encounter an employment ceiling of impenetrable Episcopal misogyny.

Bishops bless luxury cruise liners, pets. but can’t find it within themselves to offer Christian love to bless God’s created Gay peoples or women priests and reward talent. God’s superfluity of diversity is not considered to be holy it seems..

15 July 2008

Outbreak of peace?

The following Press Release was issued by Inclusive Church today.

Inclusive Church is hoping that the Lambeth Conference will witness an outbreak of peace in the Anglican Communion. IC has organised two events for the Lambeth Conference

“Strangers to Friends” - the IC Network Eucharist. 17 groups will come together to celebrate the peace we know in Christ, having worked together all year. All are welcome. Saturday 26th July: 7pm, Keynes Lecture Theatre. President – Rt Revd Carlos Touché-Porter, Archbishop of Mexico and a Primate of the Anglican Communion. Preacher – Canon Lucy Winkett, St Paul’s Cathedral.

“Inclusive Imperative – Anglican Welcome” Revd Dr Richard Burridge, Dean of King’s College London and Ms Nomfundo Walaza from Cape Town, SA will speak on “Using the New Testament now in peace-making and conflict resolution.” All are welcome. Thursday 31st July, 6.30 pm, Darwin Suite 1.

Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of IC, said “The conference has been planned as a chance for people to meet and talk. That’s it. As a church we have to work out new ways of living together. It’s not a time for point scoring or arguing but for engaging and listening.”

IC welcomes the acknowledgement by the Archbishop of Wales on Sunday that he would, if agreed by the Church in Wales, consecrate a gay bishop in a relationship. The first Lambeth Conference was born out of controversy, and focused on unity as a way forward. The reality of Anglican welcome means that the issues which face us are here to stay.

For further information contact;
Revd Canon Giles Goddard: 07762 373 674 office@inclusivechurch.net
Revd Clare Herbert: 07504 577 210 herbert.clare@googlemail.com
Or visit www.inclusivechurch.net

Information for editors: InclusiveChurch is a network of organisations and individuals who come from differing traditions and locations but are united in one aim; to celebrate and maintain the traditional inclusivity of the Anglican Communion.

14 July 2008

The vote for women bishops

This is a press release from Inclusive Church. Your blogger apologizes for the delay in posting it here.

Inclusive Church is delighted that General Synod voted by a large majority to move to the consecration of women as bishops.

Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of IC, said “It is a time for rejoicing. We have reached another milestone in the long process of removing the barriers to inclusion in the Church of England. The gospel is a gospel of welcome and this decision will make us more able to be welcoming in our churches. “

Inclusive Church includes many catholics, liberals and evangelicals among our supporters, who have recognised that a national code of practice is the best way forward. Through a code of practice, the concerns of those who do not yet accept the ministry of women can be recognised, but there will not be “no go areas” for women. It has worked in other provinces and no doubt it will work in England.

Although the response of some of our ecumenical partners has been negative, we have no doubt that many members of other churches will welcome the decision.

We pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the Church of England continues to try to fulfil its role as the Established Church. There is still a great deal of work to do to complete the process. We look forward to working with our partners and, we hope, with those who are opposed to the decision. We hope that helpful past dialogues can be revitalised to make sure that the legislation and the code of practice are as effective as they can be.

03 July 2008

GAFCON and the Anglican Communion

The “Statement on the Global Anglican Future” released after the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem shows once again how deeply many people misunderstand the nature and spirit of Anglicanism. It misrepresents loyal, orthodox, traditional Anglicans across the world who are working and praying, in the spirit of the Gospel, to bring about the reign of God on earth.

Anglicanism is is a dynamic, changing, growing and living faith which takes its authority from scripture, reason and tradition. It is unafraid to learn and receive anew the lessons of God’s unconditional love. The last century has taught us how we must make sure that there are no barriers to the welcome we offer to God’s house. Anglican Christians in the United States, Britain and across the world have applied those lessons and, in accordance with scripture, opened their doors to those previously shut out.

We welcome the response of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the GAFCON statement. The arbitrary creation of a “Primates’ Council” without legitimacy or authority cuts directly across the Anglican Instruments of Communion – the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting. The Statement represents, in sum and despite its denials, a schismatic document which seeks to re-form Anglicanism in a way which is without justification historically and ecclesiologically.

We regret the stumbling blocks which are created by the insistence on a narrow understanding of scriptural authority, especially for members of Anglican Churches in provinces whose leaders support the ideas of GAFCON. And those who break away from the Anglican Communion will still have the challenge of celebrating the diversity in God’s universe, and acknowledging the divine gifts bestowed on people who may be marginalised in some provinces – especially women and lesbian and gay people.

We are reminded of Matthew 11.16 – “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you and you did not dance; we wailed and you did not mourn.”

Above all we give thanks that the Spirit which leads us into all truth continues to inspire and refresh the Anglican Communion. We all have much to learn from each other, and we look forward to the Lambeth Conference. We pray that in humility and openness those who attend will grow in their understanding of the Gospel, of the Communion and of one another so that we can all be newly equipped to serve the God who calls each of us into God’s immeasurable love.

24 June 2008

Church services and civil partnerships

Inclusive Church today publishes a paper by the Revd Brian Lewis, a member of General Synod and of IC’s Executive Committee on the law in relation to services after Civil Partnerships. The paper demonstrates that under the laws of the Church of England – especially Canon B5 - clergy have far greater liberty in this area than is commonly thought. They are permitted to carry out services of prayer and dedication following a civil partnership so long as they are not deemed to be "Services of Blessing". The paper is at online at www.inclusivechurch.net.

Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of Inclusive Church, said "We very much welcome this long overdue clarification of the law. It makes the distinction between marriages and civil partnerships and sets out what is permissible within the terms of Canon B5. We hope it will be helpful for clergy wishing to provide public services which respond prayerfully and pastorally to the needs of their congregations.”

Revd Lewis makes the comparison with the Service of Prayer and Dedication following a Civil Wedding (popularly described as a "A Church Blessing"). In these services the individuals are blessed without the service becoming "a Service of Blessing".

03 April 2008

Women, Communion and the Church

A press release from Inclusive Church

Inclusive Church (IC) is disappointed by the Church in Wales' decision not to allow women to be bishops. But we are pleased that the Church in Wales resisted pressure for any arrangements which would have discriminated against women and which would have destroyed the unity and integrity of its episcopate.

Christina Rees, Chair of WATCH (Women and the Church) and member of IC’s Executive Committee said, “I applaud the leadership shown by Archbishop Barry Morgan and the Welsh bishops’ resolute decision not to compromise the principle of having women as bishops on the same basis as men are bishops.”

The vote on women bishops failed narrowly to get the required two-thirds majority in the house of clergy.

For IC, Revd. Dr Giles Fraser said: “People mustn’t get disheartened. This will go through. The Gospel points towards full inclusion and if that’s what the Gospel says, that’s what God wants. Therefore all will be well.”

Inclusive Church has prepared a statement celebrating the historic generosity of the Anglican Communion and calling for renewed unity among churches. Churches in agreement with the statement are asked to send an email to endorse@giftofcommunion.org listing the church’s name, parish, diocese and province.

It reads
As Christians, we believe that all people have been made in the image of God. We believe that God loves each and every person with an infinite, never-ending, unconditional love.

As members of the body of Christ, we acknowledge each person's unique and valuable contribution as we seek together to build up that body in love.

As members of the Anglican Communion, we celebrate the gift of our diversity and are committed to being a broad Church that accepts and welcomes difference. We acknowledge our need of God's forgiveness for the sins and failings which harm our shared witness in the world. We believe our unity is rooted in our baptism in Christ, and we will seek to maintain that unity through the grace of the Holy Spirit who lives and works in each one of us.
As the Lambeth Conference approaches - at a time of debate and discernment in our life together - we believe the best way forward will not include segregating or excluding those with whom we disagree.

This invitation is intended for churches, and not individuals and should have the agreement of Church Vestries or PCC’s. Questions or comments can be addressed to info@giftofcommunion.org.

For further information contact;

Revd Canon Giles Goddard: +44 7762 373 674

Or visit www.inclusivechurch.net

28 March 2008

Gift of Communion

Please ask your PCC or vestry to endorse the following statement. Instructions are included. Over on my personal blog, I wrote a bit about this.

Short version: we want to present a pile of endorsements to the bishops gathered at the Lambeth Conference, to show that there are many more Communion-friendly congregations than there are secessionists out there. This statement says that the Communion means more to your congregation than a good fight; it does not mean that you agree with any particular point of moral theology.

You can help the effort by encouraging your colleagues to get their vestries or PCCs to endorse this. Share this widely with lay and clerical church friends. Post it on websites and blogs. Stitch it onto the front of your mitre, if you're a bishop. Whatever it takes.

Celebrating the Gift of Communion In advance of the Lambeth Conference we invite parishes to give thanks for the gift of the Anglican Communion, and to affirm their commitment to its historic generosity. At a time of debate and discernment in our life together we believe the best way forward will not include segregating or excluding those with whom we disagree.

If your church is in agreement with the following statement, please send an email to endorse@giftofcommunion.org listing your name, parish, diocese and province. Please make sure you have the agreement of your parish council or vestry before signing, and note that this invitation is intended for churches, and not individuals. If you have any questions or comments please address them to info@giftofcommunion.org. Please circulate this message to friends and networks.

“As Christians, we believe that all people have been made in the image of God. We believe that God loves each and every person with an infinite, never-ending, unconditional love.

As members of the body of Christ, we acknowledge each person’s unique and valuable contribution as we seek together to build up that body in love.

As members of the Anglican Communion, we celebrate the gift of our diversity and are committed to being a broad Church that accepts and welcomes difference. We acknowledge our need of God’s forgiveness for the sins and failings which harm our shared witness in the world. We believe our unity is rooted in our baptism in Christ, and we will seek to maintain that unity through the grace of the Holy Spirit who lives and works in each one of us.”

19 February 2008

Uganda clarifies, and a new blog is born

Trying to understand the problems in the Anglican Communion can be confusing, on a good day. Some conservatives say the situation is not about homosexuality, but rather about authority. And then they flout the Bible and subvert authority. See, for example, the news coming out of Uganda.

I've written a bit about this over on my new blog, "Seven whole days." Here's the sample:
While some will rejoice to have these “troublemakers” gone, I believe our Communion will be diminished as another wound divides the Body of Christ... Many of us would say that there is an Anglican identity worth treasuring and preserving, as one distinct expression of the Christian faith. It is not, to be sure, an anything-goes faith, but it is a comprehensive faith, able to hold together diverse expressions. Uganda may not manifest this, but neighboring Tanzania is a marvelous tapestry of evangelical fervor and catholic beauty. If we move away from an Anglican identity to an exclusivist (”You must agree with me to be in communion with me”), then Christendom has lost a reconciling tradition, and that is regrettable.
Why am I linking to my own blog here? Well, this post marks a bit of a transition. I may post some things here, but this blog will likely morph into a blog of official announcements of Inclusive Church events, trips, activities, and occasional rants. Why the change?

When I attended "Drenched in Grace" last fall, I heard Jenny Te Paa clearly, especially when she identified "male bloggers" as one of the principal catalysts for our schism, or at least our failure to reconcile. After some reflection, it seemed that she's right.

I might be tempted to point a finger at places like Stand Firm, but the truth is that the left has managed to have an internal conversation on the blogs, stirring ourselves into a bunker mentality at times. At first, I considered withdrawing entirely from the blogosphere. While I've enjoyed blogging, I did not want to be another shrill voice in the cacophony of dissent now facing our Communion.

Then I reflected on the posts that I've enjoyed writing the most, and which have provoked the most positive reaction. These were quite often irenic posts, in which the crisis of the Communion is situated relative to the crises of parish life, or the lives within a parish.

So I've decided to largely forego this particular forum, which almost invites a response to every Cantuarian eyebrow twitch. Instead, I'll write mostly about things that matter to me in a more mundane sense. What's happening the parish? What seems interesting in the wider blogosphere? And what might be worth a good rant or a hearty laugh?

So keep your RSS reader pointed at this blog. And maybe add Seven whole days to your list.