Skip to comments.Nottingham church looks for tolerance from ACC
Posted on 05/27/2005 7:51:17 AM PDT by sionnsar
A CITY-CENTRE CHURCH in Nottingham was instrumental in attracting next month' s meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) to the city.
St Peter's, Nottingham, will host the opening service for the meeting (18-29 June), at which representatives from the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) and the Church of Canada have been asked to give the reasoning behind the appointment of an openly gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will preside at the service, on the Sunday afternoon; and the leader of the Evangelical Alliance, the Revd Joel Edwards, will preach at the service.
The degree of welcome extended to delegates from North America is uncertain. The Primates, in a statement in February, asked them to withdraw from official representation. Whether this means exclusion from the programme of events and receptions being planned is still uncertain.
They will, though, be welcome at St Peter's, says Angela Newton, the parish secretary. Speaking last week, she said she was saddened at the prospect of the hard-liners threatening the inclusive nature of the Communion.
"Our thoughts are being polarised," she said. "There is no seeking to meet halfway. Everything is either one thing or the other. I hope we are not to be ruled by one large group."
Wendy Pearce, leader of the administrative team at St Peter's, All Saints', and St Mary's, all of which are now linked, said: "Some people in the congregation would consider their position if they could not embrace everyone in the church. We are a very broad-minded church."
Hilary Evans, the PCC secretary, said: "We have got a few gay men and, I think, some gay women in the congregation, and it is something we are comfortable with."
The Rector of St Peter's and All Saints' is Canon Andrew Deuchar, the Archbishop of Canterbury's former secretary for Anglican affairs. He was responsible for bringing the ACC to Nottingham. He said last week that the Communion had faced serious splits in the past: the Colenso affair, the Kikuyu controversy, and the issue of polygamy, which had occupied three successive Lambeth Conferences.
Traditionally, however, threats of this kind had been resolved by discussion "over cups of tea at Lambeth. We just kept talking. The risk is that people might stop talking to one another.
"We have to accept that the good old Anglican way of sitting down and talking to each other has changed. A process of inculturation has changed this. The way the Communion does its business is different now. We may regret that deeply, but people now speaking from a very conservative stance are speaking from a very different context."
For Trevor Davys, who was clearing cups in the parish café, the gay issue was irrelevant. He has a daughter who has cancer. "She has started a new form of chemotherapy," he said. "Cancer seems to be closing in on me.
"The church is a place for sharing and support. That's the fundamental issue: the way the community sees the Church. The gay issue is irrelevant, as far as I am concerned. The ACC should hear things like that, but what they will hear is second-hand."
But the delegates will not spend the whole ten days on the University campus. Following ACC practice, they will visit community projects. These will include a credit company, where the parishes' workplace chaplain, the Revd David McCoulough, will brief them; Malt Cross, a converted Victorian music hall that now offers a refuge from the city's drink-fuelled night life for the young; and Emmanuel Church of England Secondary School.
"If the ACC members leave Nottingham with a different agenda from the one they came with as a result of what they have experienced here, then it will have been a success," said Canon Deuchar.
"Talk, talk talk"...that is called a filabuster....
I'd bet you have a few adulterers, too. Do the adulterers think that adultery is not a sin? Do they ask that open adultery be accepted and that open adulterers be eligible for election to Holy Orders?
>>Do they ask that open adultery be accepted and that open adulterers be eligible for election to Holy Orders?<<
Yes, RonF, as a matter of fact they do. I don't have the numbers to prove it, but I would be willing to bet that the divorce rate amongst Episcopal bishops, priests & deacons is right in line with the U.S. average of 50%. I personally know of several who've been married & divorced multiple times and (in more than a few cases) they were engaged in adulterous affairs with their future spouses. Just my personal opinion, you understand, but I do think that's why so many of these "pointy hats" signed on to elevating Vicky Gene to the bishopric. People who live in glass houses...and all that.
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