Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Friday, November 9, 2012

ABC Watch: (Virtue) Bishop Justin Welby Named as Next Archbishop of Canterbury

VirtueOnline - News

Bishop Justin Welby named as next Archbishop of Canterbury

Bishop of Durham Justin Welby says it was "astonishing and exciting" to be named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury

The 56-year-old former oil executive will replace Dr Rowan Williams, who steps down next month after 10 years in the post

Prime Minister David Cameron congratulates and welcomes Bishop Welby, wishing him "success in his new role"

REFORM responds

Church of Uganda responds
He will vote in favor of women bishops

Reporters: Holly Wallis and Alexis Akwagyiram

1039: The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, is shortly expected to be unveiled as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.

1043: His appointment has been widely anticipated by the media, but an official announcement naming the next Archbishop of Canterbury is set to come from Downing Street.

1052: The 56-year-old - who is a former oil industry executive - has only been a bishop for a year, but emerged as the leading contender to take over from the incumbent, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams.

1054: BREAKING NEWS Downing Street has confirmed on Twitter that the Rt Rev Justin Welby will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury.


The Archbishop of Canterbury-designate makes statement

The Right Reverend Justin Welby made this opening statement at a press conference at Lambeth Palace

"Let's be quiet for a moment and then pray. Come Holy Spirit to the hearts of your people and kindle in them the fire of your love.

To be nominated to this post is both astonishing and exciting. It is something I never expected, and the last few weeks have been a very strange experience. It is exciting because we are at one of those rare points where the tide of events is turning, and the church nationally, including the Church of England has great opportunities to match its very great but often hidden strengths. I feel a massive sense of privilege at being one of those responsible for the leadership of the church in a time of spiritual hunger, when our network of parishes and churches and schools and above all people means that we are facing the toughest issues in the toughest place.

I want to say at once that one of the biggest challenges is to follow a man who I believe will be recognised as one of the greatest Archbishops of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. He is some one with a deep love for Jesus Christ, an infectious spirituality, extraordinary integrity and holiness, immense personal moral and physical courage, and of course one of the world's principal theologians and philosophers.

On the basis that you should only follow failures, this is a great mistake. To be fully serious, the church world wide owes him a great debt, more than it knows, and I shall be continuing to seek his advice and wisdom. I can only wish him, Jane and the family a wonderful end to his time at Canterbury and joy in their new roles.

As I look back I am touched by the way in which so many people have contributed to who both Caroline and I have become. I learned a great deal from the companies in which I worked, above all from my bosses and my colleagues. We were nurtured and shaped as Christians in the churches in Paris and London. I had the privilege of serving as a curate amongst wonderful people in Nuneaton and making many mistakes as a rector in Southam.

Coventry Cathedral opened my eyes to the church overseas and gave me a passion for reconciliation, and Liverpool humoured me, teased me and quietly taught me. Above all the providence of God has surrounded us in so many ways through tragedy and joy. Learning from other traditions than the one into which I came as a Christian has led me into the riches of Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, the treasures of contemplative prayer and adoration, and confronted me with the rich and challenging social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

Looking forward, I am very conscious of my own weakness and the great need I will have for advice and wisdom, especially from those who are senior amongst the bishops who see deeply into the issues that are faced by the Church of England, and amongst the Primates who guide the Anglican Communion in its present struggles. There are some things of which I am deeply confident. Our task as part of God's church is to worship Him in Christ and to overflow with the good news of His love for us, of the transformation that He alone can bring which enables human flourishing and joy. The tasks before us are worship and generous sharing of the good news of Christ in word and deed.

How we do those things is, of course much more complicated. The work of the Church of England is not done primarily on television or at Lambeth, but in over 16,000 churches, where hundreds of thousands of people get on with the job they have always done of loving neighbour, loving each other and giving more than 22 million hours of voluntary service outside the church a month.

They are the front line, and those who worship in them, lead them, minster in them are the unknown heroes of the church. I have never had demands on me as acute as when I was a parish priest. One of the greatest privileges of this role will the inspiration of so many grass roots projects that I will see around the country. We have seen the wonderful hospitality and genius of the people in this country inside and outside the church during this marvellous year of Jubilee and Olympics.

Because of that vast company of serving Anglicans, together those in other churches, I am utterly optimistic about the future of the church. We will certainly get things wrong, but the grace of God is far greater than our biggest failures. We will also certainly get much right and do so already. Taking the right role in supporting the church as it goes on changing and adapting is the task where the collective wisdom of the bishops will be so important. The House of Bishops is very wise. I have had the great privilege of serving great bishops, Colin Bennetts in Coventry, James Jones in Liverpool and Archbishop Sentamu inYork.

The Archbishop has great communication gifts, wisdom and deep understanding of the global church, and I am greatly looking forward to continuing to learn from him.

The Anglican communion, for all its difficulties, is also a source of remarkable blessing to the world. In so many countries it is one of the main sharers of reconciliation and hope in Jesus Christ. Anglicans today stand firm in faith alongside other Christians under pressure in many places, especially in northern Nigeria, a country close to my heart. I am very much looking forward to meeting the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and have sent them a message today. Many of them I know already, and again have learned from them and will learn more.

Until early in the New Year I continue in Durham, and we have an Archbishop, so apart from the initial flurry I will just be doing what is in the diary already.

One of the hardest things will be to leave Durham. I work with a group of wonderful senior colleagues and remarkable clergy and lay people. It is an astonishing part of the country, one which as a family we were greatly looking forward to living in for many years. The people are direct, inspiring and wonderfully friendly. In many ways it has been the ancient cradle of British Christianity. It is a place of opportunity and an even greater future than its past. I will continue to do all I can to support the area.

This is a time for optimism and faith in the church. I know we are facing very hard issues. In 10 days or so the General Synod will vote on the ordination of women as Bishops. I will be voting in favour, and join my voice to many others in urging the Synod to go forward with this change. In my own Diocese, and before I was a Bishop, I have always recognised and celebrated the remarkable signs of God's grace and action in the ministries of many people who cannot in conscience agree with this change. Personally I value and learn from them, and want the church to be a place where we can disagree in love, respecting each other deeply as those who belong to Christ.

We also face deep differences over the issue of sexuality. It is absolutely right for the state to define the rights and status of people co-habiting in different forms of relationships, including civil partnerships. We must have no truck with any form of homophobia, in any part of the church.

The Church of England is part of the worldwide church, with all the responsibilities that come from those links. What the church does here deeply affects the already greatly suffering churches in places like northernNigeria, which I know well. I support the House of Bishop's statement in the summer in answer to the government's consultation on same sex marriage. I know I need to listen very attentively to the LGBT communities, and examine my own thinking prayerfully and carefully. I am always averse to the language of exclusion, when what we are called to is to love in the same way as Jesus Christ loves us. Above all in the church we need to create safe spaces for these issues to be discussed honestly and in love.

I know these are major issues and will come back to them in due course, but I will not be saying any more about that today. I will stop there before this becomes a sermon, and am happy to answer some questions."


Press Release from Reform

Rod Thomas, the chairman of Reform, an evangelical body within the Church of England, today welcomed the announcement that the new Archbishop of Canterbury is to be the Rt Rev'd Justin Welby. Prebendary Rod Thomas has written to Bishop Justin congratulating him on behalf of the whole Council of Reform.

"Bishop Justin's appointment will open a new and encouraging chapter for the Church of England's gospel ministry," Rod Thomas said.

"Bishop Justin is an enthusiast for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and we look forward to the way in which he will embrace the opportunities he will now have for communicating that. He also has great credibility as a mediator and a friend of Africa, so we will be praying that as a result he is able to heal some of the rifts that have opened up in the Anglican Communion over the issue of sexuality.

Bishop Justin's appointment comes at a time when the Church of England finds itself divided over the issue of women bishops. The vote later this month could well fail to provide a sufficient majority for the draft Measure on Women Bishops. We hope that the new Archbishop will be able to promote a more realistic dialogue between all those involved, so that an agreed way forward is found."

The Reform Council has assured Bishop Justin of their prayers as he prepares for his new role.

Reform is a network of evangelicals within the Church of England. It has some 1500 members, a third of which are clergy. Its Council consists of clergy and lay members.

Prebendary Rod Thomas has been chairman of Reform since 2007. He is the vicar of St Matthew's Church in Plymouth and is a member of the General Synod.


Church of Uganda Responds to Appointment of Archbishop of Canterbury

8th November 2012

From Canon George Bagamuhunda Provincial Secretary,
Church of Uganda

Rev. Canon George Bagamuhunda, the Provincial Secretary for the Church of Uganda, has issued the following statement in response to the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

"The Church of Uganda welcomes the news of the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. We are pleased to hear that he is an evangelical and will pray for him to lift up Jesus as "the way, the truth, and the life," and to set the Word of God written as the authority for our common faith and morality.

It is a challenging season not only in the Church of England, but also in the global Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion remains fractured due to the inability of the Instruments of Communion to restore the Communion to Biblical faith and morality. We pledge our cooperation and prayers for him as he takes on the mantle of leadership."


No comments: