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Welcome to Church Society online. We exist to strengthen local churches in biblical faith and to help shape the Church of England now and for the future. Do take a look at our blog, publications and other resources here.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 3 Jul 2015

Your summer reading list is not complete without Crossway — now out!

We lead this quarter with an article by Lee Gatiss on “transforming a church”.  A church (whether local or national) never stands still, but is always changing — for good or ill. “Good transformation” is only brought about by the biblical strategy of “preach, pray, love, and stay”, as the word of God does its work to change hearts and minds and lives.

Ros Clarke tells us about how she plans to contribute to this gospel growth in her new role as Online Pastor in Lichfield Diocese, while Mark Earngey looks at the life and ministry of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer who greatly valued the word of God.

Stephen Bowen also looks back on 33 years of ministry in a single place, and the advantages of long-term persistent expository preaching. At the other end of the chronological scale, John Percival reflects on the particular challenges of being a curate, and has some tongue-in-cheek advice for how to really annoy the vicar!

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 3 Jul 2015

The officers of the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) have released the following very helpful "call to prayer." Church Society is very happy to endorse this and joins CEEC is calling evangelicals to pray.

To all members and friends of CEEC and the DEF’s.

At this time of year we are in the important season of ordinations, a wonderful time in which affirmations and promises are made by ordinands in a public setting and at the start of significant ministerial leadership in the church of Jesus Christ.  In writing to Timothy, Paul implores Timothy to live and teach in keeping with the gospel he has taught (1 Timothy 4:12-13) and indicates his never failing prayerful support for Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3).

It is our conviction that the Church of England needs evangelicals to pray afresh, and with this Pauline commitment, for her leaders, and in particular for those who are called to ordained leadership and the public ministry of preaching and teaching.

Before proceeding to ordain, the bishop is assured that the candidates have “affirmed and declared their belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness.”  Here we see set out the Church of England’s vision of its calling to which we are fully committed as evangelical Anglicans.  Yet there seems to be an increasingly large gap between the liturgy of ordination, both for deacons and priests, and the stance some take in their personal beliefs and public teaching.  This is not a new development, but one which has been growing gradually over a number of years. 

Recently there have been a number of public pronouncements and actions that undermine or are a direct challenge to the authority of Holy Scripture and the faith revealed in it and expressed in the tradition and teaching of the Church of England.  These include :

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Posted by Robert Evans, 3 Jul 2015

Robert Evans commends the vital teaching of Article XI, 'Of the Justification of Man'.

Defending the formularies of the Church of England can seem like a bit of an uphill struggle. Many of the 39 Articles are controversial – they were controversial when they were written, and we should not be surprised that they are still controversial now. And more than just being controversial, the Articles are often dismissed as awkward and insensitive. But if there’s an Article we don’t need to feel awkward about, it’s Article XI.

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