Church of England: confusion over episcopal consecration in Newcastle

Episcopus vagans consecrated at Jesmond

George Conger reports at Anglican Ink that on 2 May the Revd Jonathan Pryke was irregularly consecrated as a bishop at Jesmond Parish Church by bishops of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA).

REACH-SA, aka the Church of England in South Africa (CSA), is one of the breakaway Churches in the Anglican tradition; and the Church of England recognises its orders under the terms of the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967, along with those of the Free Church of England, the Anglican Church in North America and the Roman Catholic Church, “although it is not in communion with them”. The intention, presumably, is that the Revd Mr Pryke should offer episcopal oversight to Evangelical Anglicans who would prefer not to accept the authority of their diocesan bishop.

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Church of Scotland Theological Forum reports on same-sex marriage

The Theological Forum of the Church of Scotland has produced a report, An Approach to the Theology of Same-Sex Marriage, in advance of next month’s General Assembly. The report examines three overlapping kinds of argument in some detail:

  • arguments based on understandings of human rights;
  • analogical arguments which try to build outwards from traditional understandings of marriage; and
  • fully theological arguments for the admissibility of same-sex marriage.

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Law and religion round-up – 26th March

A week in which events were totally overshadowed by the attack in Westminster

A thoughtful consideration of those events from an insider’s point of view was presented by the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, in his Yorkshire Post article From a Palace of democracy to an Abbey of prayer, the best and worst of humanity, written just two hours after the end of the lockdown of parliamentarians and others, who had been transferred to Westminster Abbey.

Progress on Brexit

Prior to the Commons consideration of the Pension Schemes Bill [Lords] and the subsequent adjournment and lockdown of the parliamentary estate, a first reading was given to Tim Farron’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, Terms of Withdrawal from the European Union (Referendum). A second reading was scheduled for Friday 12 May – although its chances of becoming law are zero. Continue reading

Banns of marriage – their development and future

Introduction

The legal requirement to read banns for couples intending to marry in church services was considered by members of the Church of England General Synod on 14 February 2017. Though Synod rejected moves that sought to end this “ecclesiastical preliminary” to marriage, important arguments were cited both for their retention and for their removal. In this post, we summarize the development and current usage in England and Wales, Scotland and the two jurisdictions in Ireland, and examine possible future directions. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 19th February

A week dominated by THAT vote in Synod…

The week in Synod

The Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, prefaced the week with a tweet:

“For half term week the C of E sets up a special holiday club called Synod, where we try to play nicely with all the other girls and boys”.

Whether they did “play nicely” was not easy to discern; Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 12th February

Short form judgments, bats, child abduction and polygamy… 

Short form judgments

The Master of the Rolls has asked his colleagues in the Court of Appeal to issue shorter judgments where there are no issues of law or principle or of wider general significance and where all the relevant facts are set out in the judgment of the court below and are not disputed in the appeal. A Judicial Office spokesman said that in such cases:

“it may be possible to avoid reciting all the facts, the course of the proceedings and the judgments below, and proceed, after a brief introduction, to a statement of the decision on the principal arguments on the appeal and the outcome of the appeal.” Continue reading

The Church of England and legislative reform orders

At its last meeting, the General Synod of the Church of England gave First Consideration to the draft Legislative Reform Measure (GS 2027), the basic provisions of which are reproduced below.

The purpose of the draft Measure

The draft Measure would enable the General Synod to tidy up the Church of England’s statute law. Briefly, Clause 1 empowers the Archbishops’ Council to make orders removing or reducing “legislative burdens”. However, that power is subjected to a series of complex conditions, including a list of statutes that are excluded from the scope of the order-making power and, as we shall see, a special procedure in Synod.

The initial proposal came in for a degree of criticism. Continue reading