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Welcome to Church Society online. We are a fellowship contending to reform and renew the Church of England in biblical faith. On this website, you will find details of our conferences, publications and other resources, as well as our regularly updated blog and weekly podcast.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 20 May 2019

In this episode of the podcast, Ros visits the Bishop Jewel Society in Oxford, talks to Vaughan Roberts, hears from a couple of current students, and tells us all why lay people are so important in the Church of England.

Find out more about Bishop Jewe’‘s Apology here.

How to listen to the Church Society podcast:
1. Listen to the episodes as they are posted here on the website.
2. Listen to all the episodes and all other Church Society audio resources via Soundcloud.
3. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
4. Subscribe to the podcast on an Android device (phone or tablet). You will need to install a podcast app and then subscribe via our RSS feed here.

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 20 May 2019

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two part-time Regional Directors.

With the merger of Church Society, Reform, and the Fellowship of Word and Spirit, we have been looking to expand our staff team, to enable us to do more work in specific areas such as strengthening local and national networks, giving greater support to those in small, rural and evangelistically challenging parishes, and engaging more in the politics of the Church of England.

We are delighted to announce that two new Regional Directors are joining us. Revd Mark Wallace is vicar of the Colchester Town Centre parish in Essex, and Revd George Crowder is vicar of St John’s Church, Over. Both Mark and George will continue in their parish ministry, while taking on part-time responsibilities for Church Society. They each bring considerable relevant experience to Church Society and we are looking forward to seeing how their work will enable Church Society to be more effective in our goal of contending to reform and renew the Church of England in biblical faith.

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Posted by Adam Young, 17 May 2019

Adam Young looks at some recent events in the Church of England which seem to ignore the biblical, and Reformed Protestant, basis of the Church of England.

A number of events have happened in the past few weeks which make one wonder what on earth has happened to this nation’s “Protestant Reformed Religion established by Law.”  This phrase is, of course, is taken from the Coronation Oath, and is meant to describe the Church of England.

More often than ever it seems important to remember what is actually established by law and what is commonly found to be contrary to it.  Canon A5 tells us that:

“The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures.  In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.”  — Canon A5

In other words, the doctrine of the Church of England is that of the Bible and those who agree with it. When asked “what do those people who agree with the Bible look like?” — the Church of England replies, “they look like those who uphold the 39 Articles of Religion, the 1662 BCP, and the Ordinal.”

There are no prayers to Mary, or asking for Mary’s prayers, in the BCP. There is no veneration or adoration of statues or images in the BCP. Indeed there are no images or statues at all, nor are there pilgrimages, or a sacramental confession.
Quite the contrary in fact.

“The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, worshipping and adoration as well of Images as of Reliques, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God.” — Article 22 of The 39 Articles

This Article condemns all worshipping and adoration (the Latin version uses the word veneration) of images, be they two dimensional icons or three dimensional statues.

Further teaching on images in relation to the church is found in what Article 35 calls the “godly a wholesome doctrine necessary for these times” of the Homilies. In the three part Homily on Idolatry, most likely written by Bishop Jewel, there is outlined how the use of images in worship is:

1. forbidden by God in the Old Testament and the New Testament, with there being no biblical distinction between religious images and idols or different kinds of worship and veneration (latria and dulia);
2. was absent and opposed in the early church;
3. that men like the apostles and creatures such as angels baulked when people tried to adore them;
4. historically always leads to idolatry.

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