Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

This edition comes out at about the time of our Annual Conference - this year’s theme is ritual, worship and culture.

We may expect to be reminded that ‘ritual’ is by no means limited to what goes on in churches or other sacred spaces. Ritual (let alone ‘ritualists’) may not have had a good press in certain parts of the Church, but it is alive and well in places where its presence might be least expected.

by Brenda Watson
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

Shakespeare could take for granted nurture in Christian beliefs which gave validation to those values of truth/integrity, justice/goodness and respect for all/compassion which his plays communicate.

Those who see and love Shakespeare may imbibe these values, but they need to be clearly articulated and consciously nurtured for the many to be similarly influenced.

by David Jennings
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

The discipline of ecclesiology is the study of the church. What can be said of use about the contemporary church and its relevance and meaning?

If a stranger arriving at a town railway station were to enquire where the church was, a local might well point to a large building in the centre of the town, possibly with a prominent spire or tower. Those of us involved in the church know better: the church building is not to be confused with the church, the ecclesia, the community of the people of God. But do we not often confuse this ourselves?

by David Simon
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

There is a scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian where John Cleese, leader of the People’s Front of Judea, asks ‘What have the Romans ever done for us’. The characters start being sceptical about the presence of the Romans, assuming it has been wholly exploitative, then they spot more and more things the Romans have contributed to their society.

by John Bunyan
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

Canon Tilby’s article (Church Times 27th April 2018) is all too relevant to the few liberals left in Sydney Diocese, where a very radical conservative Evangelical takeover is almost complete.

With major changes in the last 20 years, neo-puritanism is now dominant amongst the clergy. A small number of ministers retain the conservative evangelical but recognisably Anglican approach of Archbishops Loane, Robinson and Goodhew. But in parochial positions there are now no liberals, only a few ‘liberal catholic’ clergy of a rather elite ‘affirming Catholicism’ kind, and hardly any ‘middle of the road’.