Blessed are those who recognise that they may not always be right

by Richard Lewis
from Signs of the Times No. 12 - January 2004

The Rt Revd Richard Lewis, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, was one of the eight bishops who signed the letter to The Times supporting the appointment of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. He received a large amount of correspondence on the matter, both supportive and critical.

On 8th November 2003 he addressed his Diocesan Synod, and received a standing ovation. This is the text of his address.

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What makes a vital liberal congregation?

by Martin Camroux
from Signs of the Times No. 12 - Jan 2004

A couple of years ago I did an exchange of ministry with Columbine United Church in Denver. The church was thriving with a membership of around 800 and was working on a million dollar extension.

Many of the congregation drove half an hour or more to get there. It was a joint Methodist, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ congregation but you would hardly have noticed. It was clear that people came mostly not because of denominational loyalty but because they wanted to belong to an open liberal congregation. If that wasn't what you were looking for there were other options around. Just close by you could choose traditionalist Anglican, Charismatic Catholic, or fundamentalist Baptist. There was even the unbelievable sight of a new Unitarian Church with large car park!

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Servetus and Colenso: valiant for truth

by John Bunyan
from Signs of the Times No. 12 - Jan 2004

Last year I was in St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney on October 27th, the day on which the appointment of the new Dean was announced - Archbishop Jensen having appointed his brother to that post.

By a quirky coincidence, that day was the anniversary of the burning of the radical reformer, Michael Servetus, in Calvin's Geneva. 2003 was the 450th anniversary, marked among other things by the publishing of Out of the Flames: The Story of One of the Rarest Books in the World, and How it Changes the Course of History (Century, London).

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The pleasures of Hell

Editorial by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 12 - Jan 2004
[Reply: For me the angels sing by David Taylor, July 2004]

Hell has become topical again. At the end of October a new survey of Americans' beliefs revealed that 71% believe in it but only 0.5% think they will end up there. Heaven does better: 76% believe in it and 64% believe they will end up there.

On 12th December the Church Times published an article by Paul Thomas arguing that the doctrine of hell should be consigned to the flames. At the same time the Spectator decided that a reflection on the doctrine of hell would be a suitable way 'to mark the Incarnation'.

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