Friday, 24 June 2011

The Anglican Mission in England – Seeing the Church of England Again for the First time

Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to be present at the inaugural event the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) at St Peter’s Cornhill. Today the AMiE was introduced to a wider audience at the Evangelical Ministry Assembly meeting in St Helen’s Bishopsgate with fulsome support from The Revd Rod Thomas, Chairman of Reform. In these two churches, at the heart of the City of London, English church leaders launched a mission society unlike any others the Church of England has seen in its long history.

The AMiE is not only committed to adventurous church planting and the re-conversion of England, but is also prepared to provide alternative episcopal oversight in cases where it is clear that diocesan bishops are failing in their canonical duty to uphold sound teaching. The key institutional innovation is a panel of bishops formed by Bishops Michael Nazir Ali, John Ball, Colin Bazley, Wallace Benn and John Ellison which enjoys the support and encouragement of the GAFCON Primates’ Council.

There should really be nothing surprising about this development. In his groundbreaking study ‘The Next Christendom’ Philip Jenkins demonstrates that Christianity must now be seen as a global faith, rather than the primarily Western phenomenon many, at least in the West, have assumed it to be. He concludes that ‘considering Christianity as a global reality can make us see the whole religion in a radically new perspective, which is both startling and, often, uncomfortable.…it is as if we are seeing Christianity again for the first time’ (p255). That global reality is now taking shape in England. With the inauguration of the AMiE, we have a movement which embodies a new vision for English Anglicans. We can now work as if seeing the Church of England again for the first time. Read more

Thursday, 23 June 2011

In fleeing Afghanistan, the West relinquishes its grip on the world

... The rest of the familiar post-war architecture has gone. America is no longer capable of being the policeman of the world, and may retreat to its historic isolation. Across the Channel, the debt crisis is wrecking the European dream. History is moving faster than ever, and taking us into a new and formless world. Read more


The Anglican Mission in England (AMIE) held its inaugural event on Wednesday June 22 during an evangelical ministers’ conference in central London.

AMIE has been established as a society within the Church of England dedicated to the conversion of England and biblical church planting. There is a steering committee and a panel of bishops. The bishops aim to provide effective oversight in collaboration with senior clergy.

The AMIE has been encouraged in this development by the Primates’ Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON) who said in a communiqué from Nairobi in May 2011: “We remain convinced that from within the Provinces which we represent there are creative ways by which we can support those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family.”

The AMIE is determined to remain within the Church of England. The desire of those who identify with the society is to have an effective structure which enables them to remain in the Church of England and work as closely as possible with its institutions. Churches or individuals may join or affiliate themselves with the AMIE for a variety of reasons. Some may be churches in impaired communion with their diocesan bishop who require oversight. Others may be in good relations with their bishop but wish to identify with and support others.

At the London conference three English clergy who have been ordained in Kenya for “ministry in the wider Anglican Communion” with the support of the GAFCON Prımates’ Councıl were welcomed and prayed with by bishops and church leaders in support of their ministry.

The launch of AMIE follows four and a half years of discussions with senior Anglican leaders in England about ways in which those who are genuinely in need of effective orthodox oversight in the Church of England can receive it.

The AMIE will continue to encourage church planting and all forms of Christian witness in accord with the Jerusalem Statement of the GAFCON Conference in June 2008.

For further information please contact

Rev Paul Perkin (Chairman of the AMIE steering committee) 0207 326 9412

Canon Dr Chris Sugden (Secretary) 01865 883388

Background: For the Jerusalem Declaration see

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Christians are more militant than Muslims, says Government's equalities boss

Muslims are integrating into British society better than many Christians, according to the head of the Government's equality watchdog.

Trevor Phillips warned
that "an old time religion incompatible with modern society" is driving the revival in the Anglican and Catholic Churches and clashing with mainstream views, especially on homosexuality.

He accused Christians, particularly evangelicals, of being more militant than Muslims in complaining about discrimination, arguing that many of the claims are motivated by a desire for greater political influence.

However the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission expressed concern that people of faith are "under siege" from atheists whom he accused of attempting to "drive religion underground". Read more

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

BBC1 boss: EastEnders' Dot is an example of an ordinary Christian on TV

The controller of BBC1 has hailed chain-smoking EastEnders stalwart Dot Branning as an example of a Christian living out her faith in a "day to day way".

Danny Cohen made the remarks after being challenged to provide instances of ordinary believers on television who were not "freaks, geeks or antiques".

Branning, played by June Brown and better known as Dot Cotton before she remarried, is one of the longest-serving characters on the BBC1 soap having joined shortly after its launch in 1985, although the actor took a break from the show in the 1990s. The character is in her 70s and known for her devout Christian faith, chain-smoking, gossiping and hypochondria.

Cohen told delegates attending this year's Church and Media conference on Tuesday: "She is a single example of someone who lives out her faith on television in a charitable way." Read more

Monday, 13 June 2011

Syria Gay Girl in Damascus blog a hoax by US man

A blog purportedly written by a gay woman in Syria, which described life in Damascas amid the current political unrest, has been revealed to be a hoax.

A Girl Gay in Damascus gained a worldwide readership and was closely followed by news organisations.

But the true author has now come forward - Tom MacMaster, an American man studying in Scotland.

Many Syrian activists have reacted angrily, accusing him of trivialising or even harming their cause.

"One day if I'm kidnapped by my government, many readers won't care because I could turn out to be another Amina," wrote one Lebanese blogger. Read more

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Police 'covered up' violent campaign to turn London area 'Islamic'

Victims say that officers in the borough of Tower Hamlets have ignored or downplayed outbreaks of hate crime, and suppressed evidence implicating Muslims in them, because they fear being accused of racism.

The claims come as four Tower Hamlets Muslims were jailed for at least 19 years for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls.

The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered more than a dozen other cases in Tower Hamlets where both Muslims and non-Muslims have been threatened or beaten for behaviour deemed to breach fundamentalist “Islamic norms.”

One victim, Mohammed Monzur Rahman, said he was left partially blind and with a dislocated shoulder after being attacked by a mob in Cannon Street Road, Shadwell, for smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year. Read more

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Christian sacked after abortion leaflet row

Margaret Forrester discussed the booklet with family planning staff at the health centre where she worked because she felt that the NHS was failing to give patients information about the risks and other options to terminating a pregnancy.

But after a six-month disciplinary process, during which Ms Forrester had to fight her own case and became ill, she was found guilty of “gross professional misconduct” and fired.

She has spoken out over the “scandal” of the pro-abortion culture in the medical profession and claimed that Christians were “an easy target” for “politically correct” bureaucrats in the NHS. Read more

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Islamic radicals are in schools, government report says

Its new counter-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, warned that some people who are supportive of terrorist groups and ideologies have “sought and sometimes gained positions in schools or in groups which work closely with young people.”

It said that new standards to be enforced by Ofsted should enable schools to take action against staff who demonstrate unacceptable views.

The Education Bill will also include a stronger focus on pupils’ “spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”

The Prevent strategy quotes the example of Mohammed Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 7 bombers, who was a learning mentor at Hillside Primary School in Leeds.

Another example, not quoted, is that of Zahoor Iqbal, who was found guilty of helping a man planning to kidnap and execute a British soldier in Birmingham, and worked as an “achievement mentor” at Saltley School in the city. Read more

Monday, 6 June 2011

Colleges 'complacent on extremism' - Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May has criticised universities for their "complacency" in tackling Islamist extremism.

It comes ahead of the publication of the government's revised Prevent counter-terrorism strategy on Tuesday.

Mrs May told the Daily Telegraph she thought there was more universities could do on the issue.

She also said the government would cut funding to any Islamic group that espoused extremist views. Read more

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Thoughts from the new Bishop of Durham

The next Bishop of Durham is to be the present Dean of Liverpool, the Very Reverend Justin Portal Welby.

Unlike the previous incumbent, it is proving quite hard to work out where he's coming from, viz:

A short broadcast here.

A former Grove Booklet, "Can Companies Sin?" (out of print).

Sermon on YouTube: Part 1. Don't bother unless you're very patient as the recording is clearly set for the organ, not the preacher!

Article: Is reconciliation with Islam possible?