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Posted by Ros Clarke, 19 Nov 2018

Marc Lloyd talks to Ros about the particular challenges and opportunities of multi-parish ministry in a small rural benefice.

Three churches, three PCCs, three times the work? Marc Lloyd talks about his experience as Rector of Warbleton, Dallington and Bodle Street Green in East Sussex.

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Posted by David Banting, 16 Nov 2018

David Banting describes his journey from 'cradle' Anglican to 'convinced' and 'contending' Anglican.

I have recently been described as a Puritan. It was clearly intended at best as a put-down and more probably as a rebuke. But the more I research the Puritans, the more I receive the taunt as an inadvertent compliment and in fact rather discerning! From the time of the Reformation up to a hundred years later at the Restoration in the 1660s, the Puritans operated at the edges of the Church of England. The issue for them all was that the biblical reformation of the national Church did not seem to have been completed or gone far enough, while for some the particular issue was that they preferred a presbyterian or independent/congregational governance of the Church to an episcopal. Some ended up choosing to leave the Church of England, others were ejected and yet others were prepared to remain within the parameters and constraints or inconsistencies of a national Church. In any event, the Puritans lived at the perimeter.

Why am I an Anglican? I am persuaded by the essentially biblical and practical arguments to stay within the Church of England from perhaps the most able of the Puritans of the sixteenth century, Thomas Cartwright. For all his robust and courageous support for non-episcopal government for the national Church, he would still counsel those considering leaving in fact to remain. His reasons included the realism that any church is mixed as being made up of sinners, that disobedience is not the same as atheism or idolatry, that Christ’s teaching and own practice and that of the apostles suggested that any separation before God’s separation of sheep and goats would be premature, that the Church of England remained a church if the ministry of Word and sacrament was retained, and that the faithful and godly remnant would act as leaven for the lump.

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Posted by Mark Smith, 15 Nov 2018

Mark Smith reviews John Fenwick's book 'Anglican Ecclesiology and the Gospel' for a recent edition of Churchman

This hefty tome fulfils several functions. It is, firstly, an introduction to the history and theology of the Free Church of England—a body that split from the Established Church in the mid-nineteenth century out of concern at the rise of Anglo-Catholicism, but whose ministerial orders were formally recognised by the Church of England in 2013. It is, secondly, an ambitious attempt to articulate a richly Anglican ecclesiology, both Catholic and Reformed, precisely by reflecting on the distinctive contribution of the FCE. It is, thirdly, a political treatise, which seeks to shed light on the way ahead for the faithful remnant in the Church of England, as controversies over sexuality grow and deepen.

Bishop John Fenwick, the current Primus of the FCE, writes with clarity, verve, and an eye for the homely anecdote—though these gems are normally hidden away in the (often substantial) footnotes. The volume opens in confident style with fifteen pages of commendations from the great and the good—including Jim Packer, Michael Nazir-Ali, and Foley Beach (who, in February 2016, brought the ACNA into full communion with the FCE). Moreover, Fenwick even anticipates, in his first chapter, the kind of criticisms that might be levelled at his book, especially from “those who identify themselves as Evangelicals.” Fenwick recognises that “there is not total agreement even between Evangelicals themselves on many of the issues discussed here,” and so asks for “a generous hearing.”

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