Liberals are not afraid of change

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 42 - Jul 2011

'Church of England tied in knots over allowing gay men to become bishops', said the Guardian a few weeks ago. The late Colin Slee's leaked memo made national news, accusing archbishops of 'behaving badly' with temper tantrums and steamrollering decisions to prevent a gay bishop being appointed.

What concerns me most is not the finer details about how angry the archbishops got, or which decisions were made in the gents' toilet - which on their own hardly merit national news - but the fact that church leaders ever got themselves into this absurd situation where they are desperately struggling to retain discriminatory practices in the teeth of opposition from both the law and public opinion.

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Reading the Bible today - conference at Gladstone's Library, 12th May 2011

by Joan Martin, from Signs of the Times No. 42 - Jul 2011

The theme of the day was related to that of the forthcoming Annual Conference which is to be on 'Reading the Bible Today - Can These Dry Bones Live?'

Each speaker drew on personal experience and reflection and all the short talks provided stimulus and challenging observations. There were differences of opinion and vigorous and animated discussion throughout the day.

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Review: At Heaven's Gate - Reflections on Leading Worship by Richard Giles

Review by Martin Gorick
from Signs of the Times No. 42 - Jul 2011

I was looking forward to reading this book. The previous volume in the 'Reflections' series, Here I Am: Reflections on the Ordained Life, contains the most concise, inspiring, and above all real descriptions of the priestly calling that I have ever read.

Richard Giles' books are always readable and thought provoking and At Heaven's Gate does not disappoint.

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What are we to do about weddings?

by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 42 - Jul 2011

Recent statistics show that less and less people in England are even bothering to be married and less and less of those who do want to be married in Church.

My daughter was married in church - a big one - York Minister as Ralph, my husband, was Canon Treasurer at the time. Seven years and three children later my daughter's husband  left her and went to live abroad. I asked the local Vicar to visit her as she was devastated and we lived some distance away. He never did.

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The illusion of orthodoxy, with particular reference to Alister McGrath's book Heresy

by Graham Hellier
from Signs of the Times No. 42 - Jul 2011

"The heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate,  the wild truth reeling but erect." G K Chesterton

Chesterton is a romantic; McGrath is more grounded. He has sympathy with the heretics, he doesn't find them dull, and he confronts them at their best. But McGrath's intention is still  to leave them sprawling.

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