A Maiden Speech

11 02 2011
Members of the General Synod of the Church of England come in different shapes and sizes. Some like to speak, make amendments, and submit questions; many others prefer to listen and exercise their judgement simply through voting.
I’m not sure which I would like to be – It is no secret that I like the sound of my own voice, but I’m also aware that a high profile in the chamber is not necessarily the same as being influential. Just like in Parliament, the really important stuff happens in the tea-rooms. Read the rest of this entry »
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A promising start from a new Synod

2 12 2010

Just like when you start at a new school, when you’re newly elected to Synod you are invited to an induction before the older boys and girls arrive. Well, on Monday 22nd November, the Synod support staff and a number of volunteers gave a pretty comprehensive induction. Nevertheless, the new-at-school worries remained: what if I fall over in front of everyone? Where do I go at lunch? Will I have any friends to talk to? Read the rest of this entry »





Cutting With Compassion

20 11 2010

“The Church is neither an arm of opposition, nor is it a wing of government” said the Bishop of Manchester to the diocesan Synod this morning.
The theme of his presidential address was compassion. He expressed his discomfort with the current political fashion for ‘fairness’, saying instead that we should be motivated by compassion. We should be biased – towards the poor, for they need our help.

Soon we will start to see how the Church makes it’s voice heard on the matter of cuts. If Bishop Nigel is anything to go by, it could be an interesting one.





Election Success

14 11 2010

Finally the campaign embargo has expired, and I can splurge all over the internet! Last night, at the Teach First conference, I was elected to serve as Participant President for 2010/11.

The job is a peculiar one and I can’t think of any parallels. It’s  a little bit like a Student Union President, in that I will be representing the participants on the scheme and implementing a few policies the formed my campaign. In other ways, it is quite different as there is quite a bit external role, representing the charity to sponsors, political folk etc.

I must confess to being a little overwhelmed by the whole thing last night, so have recorded a quick clip to say what I wanted to say but didn’t:





We must open our eyes to reality

18 10 2010

Our assumptions about how people approach faith in the 21st Century are shockingly out of date.

A friend of mine was sitting next to me at a session hosted by Manchester Cathedral recently. We were meeting to explore what form a vibrant Christianity might take in today’s society. Although a remarkbly ‘in touch’ kinda guy, we discovered at the end of the meeting that my friend had been labouring under the assumption that everybody had been to Sunday School as a child…

Sylvia Collins Mayo has just released a book called ‘The Faith of Generation Y’. For those not tempted to part with £14,99 or the several hours involved, a podcast interview can be found here.

In essence, Collins Mayo has found that ‘Generation Y’ have not inherited many of their parents’ attitudes towards God and/or the Church. This means we have no instinctive loyalty to Christianity, but it also means that we are open to the whole idea.

The challenge for the Church is to make Faith and Christianity a relevant concept for the 21st Century. If we are to do this, we must abandon the assumptions of a by-gone era, and open our eyes to the reality before us.





Sex on the brain

7 12 2009

There was quite a bit of fuss over the weekend, about the election of a new Episcopalian bishop in the States. Mary Glasspool is a lesbian, in a long-term relationship with her partner, and consequently her election has stirred up the whole issue of homosexuality again. Read the rest of this entry »





Today’s Youth Must Find A Voice

30 11 2009

The Church of England may not seem like an institution that is very good at listening, but it is ready to listen to young people, and we need to find a voice.

For well over a decade, the Church of England has been struggling with profoundly difficult, but ultimately internal, issues. Finding a new role for women’s ministry in the church, as well as a vicious debate over homosexuality, Read the rest of this entry »