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Friday, 29 May 2015

The witch, the crone, Christina Rees and others

The Rev Crone
Not satisfied with what Women and the Church (WATCH) has done to reduce the Anglican Church in Great Britain to a pale reflection of her former glory, its former Chair and "prominent Church of England campaigner", Christina Rees, will be among the speakers at a conference in Philadelphia later this year of the Catholic movement for women's ordination, Women's Ordination Worldwide. (H/T Ruth Gledhill).

The BBC's Religious affairs correspondent, Caroline Wyatt, recently posed the question: Is the UK still a Christian country? The answer was 'Yes'. But based on analyses by the US Pew Research Center, the conclusions suggest that in the UK, if current trends continue, the proportion of the population identifying themselves as Christians will fall from 64% in 2010 to 45% by 2050, while the proportion of Muslims will rise from 5% to 11%. The proportion of the population claiming no religion in the UK - the "unaffiliated" - will also rise significantly, from 28% to 39%.

One would have thought that alarm bells would be ringing but no, feminism, LGBT and what is absurdly labeled 'equality' is all today. Faith and regular worship have been sidelined.

Ruth Gledhill was reporting on the latest in the Westminster Faith Debates series at London's "liberal flagship church", St James' Piccadilly. Among the guest speakers was the Rev Kate Bottley, described as a 'Gogglebox tv' vicar. She amused her audience by relating a story about how she had told her hairdresser that she was coming to London to take part in the debate on women bishops and the difference they can make. "What's a bishop?" her hairdresser asked. After the vicar explained, the hairdresser said she did not know what the Church of England was either.

If the Rev Kate Bottley's hairdresser, or anyone else wants to know what a real bishop is like, they should watch this video as Bishop Mark Lawrence speaks to his text from Hebrews 12: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith".

But the event wasn't about traditional Christian values. Adam Dinham, the only man on the panel, and who is married to a Muslim man, and who was there as director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, which sponsored the event, said he had wanted the evening to celebrate and think about the contribution of women as faith leaders in the Anglican community as well as other religions and traditions".

Represented among these religions and traditions were a "leading witch and herbalist" who shared the Church of England platform with the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori and Helene Mobius, who heads the prison chaplain ministry of the Pagan Federation who challenged stereotypes of women. She said, Paganism had a "deep reverence" for both the feminine and masculine, not in a partnered but in a "conjoined" sense. This was not to diminish the role of God because without His "fertile seed" the cycle of life could not continue. However, she criticised the debasement of women in society which had seen words such as "crone", which once meant "elder", used as a term to mean something quite different.

She explained: "The word crone does not mean wizened old cackling pagan". Instead it referred to a woman who had passed beyond menstruation. It was the "passage of the mother becoming grandmother, no longer able, thankfully, to reproduce." This led to some discussion about whether there should be an authorised liturgy in the Church to mark the menopause.

Given the number of menopausal women clergy that idea must have been received with some impact. Perhaps the honorific, the Rev Crone could be introduced to make the Church of England more relevant to paganism? And why not? There are calls for a service to meet just about every occasion, the most recent being for a service to "celebrate transgender identity like a Baptism" (here). In fact, there seems to be more of an appetite for celebrating the extraordinary than for the straight forward worship of Almighty God, particularly on a Sunday by "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith".

Which brings me back to the Googlebox tv vicar. She is "all for a mid-week church service" so that she can have a "Sunday lie-in" (here). A joke perhaps but many a true word spoken in jest. She added, "I don't think declining church numbers are down to a loss of faith rather increasing pressure on people's time. Perhaps the Church could recognise this." Or, as the Archdeacon of Norwich, Ven Jan McFarlane put it in response to the revelation that Norwich is the most godless city in England: the citizens of Norwich are "doing their churchgoing differently", ie, staying away.

In new Anglicanism the daily Eucharists have been eroded and Sunday Masses cut so busy people are less able to make their Communion compared with the Roman Catholic Church yet these women want to spread their brand of Christianity to do for the Catholic Church what they have done for Anglicanism.

For millennia the Word of God has been received through the Bible. It is being replaced by the opinions of feminists, LGBT pressure groups and any other so-called 'equality' groups obsessed with 'sameness', interpreting Holy Scripture to suit the latest 'equality' cause. Do they not know, or do they conveniently forget, that "for just as each of us has one body with many members, these members do not all have the same function"?

The Rev Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James', said that it mattered not so much that women were bishops and priests, as "how" they were bishops and priests. The authority held by a woman will be held "differently" from that held by a man. How true, but probably not what she meant. If she had been interested in biblical authority, she need only have referred to 1Timothy 3:2. The revisionists long argued that we were all the same but having achieved their aims, women now have to be seen as different.

A fuller report in the Church Times quotes Presiding Bishop Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori as saying that women could offer a "witness to the otherness of God" as could gay bishops, or those who were young, or old, or from BME backgrounds. "White, male, English-speaking bishops with degrees from Oxford or Cambridge are only one sort," she said. "They cannot image the fullness of God."

And there was me thinking that the 'otherness of God' was represented by mystery and holiness.

Perhaps the flavour of the event was best captured by another guest speaker, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner. She was "applauded for her moving acapella solo of The Lord's My Shepherd, sung with female instead of male pronouns"! That certainly is different.

Here is the panel:

The panel: (back row left to right) Adam Dinham, director of Faith and Civil Society Unit,
Goldsmiths, University of London;  Helene Mobius, Pagan Federation prison ministry manager;
 Saleha Islam, director of the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre; Ms Winkett; Dr Schori; Hilary Cotton,
chair of WATCH; Professor Linda Woodhead, director of the Westminster Faith Debates;
 (front row left to right) the Dean of the Diocese of Kootenay, British Colombia, Nissa Basbaum;
 Mrs Bottley; Bharti Tailor, executive director of the Hindu Forum of Europe; Laura Janner-Klausner,
senior rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism.                           Source: Church Times


  1. Somebody needs to come up with a word for a gathering of cronies like this. Where is Irenaeus when you need him?

  2. A friend and I were wondering about the style of a service to mark the menopause. Thinking of our congregation the mind simply boggles!
    Can the Church get further away from where it should be

  3. What do you expect from St James Wiccadilly?

  4. The movement for the ordination of women has been a total distraction for too long - somewhere in the 1990's,I believe.
    Dr.Schori says that male priests fail because they "cannot image the fullness of God".
    It is the 'self -image ' of this self obsessed and self-important panel which fails to teach of "the mystery and holiness of God".
    WATCH is subversive,and the Catholic movement for the ordination of women are wasting their time: the Roman Catholic Church has Authority.
    The forthcoming conference in the U.S. is mischievous and sinister.

    1. Have a look at

  5. What would Jesus say?31 May 2015 at 11:35

    Today's propaganda from WITCH

    Women clergy pray God gets a feminine touch

    OUR Mother, who art in heaven? Women in the Church of England have held discussions about referring to God as “She”.
    The group wants to challenge the use of exclusively male language and imagery to describe God in the Lord’s Prayer, hymns, art and the language of church services.
    The Rev Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford, and a member of Watch (Women and the Church), the pressure group that helped to win the argument within the Church of England for female bishops, said:
    "When we use only male language for God we reinforce the idea that God is like a man and, in doing so, suggest that men are therefore more like God than women."
    "This means that women can see themselves as less holy and less able to represent Christ in the world..."

    1. Is it not good enough for WATCH that Jesus taught his followers to pray, Our Father....?

      The result of their assault on the Anglican Church has been obvious for years to any reasonable person but not to our Archbishops:
      "C of E crisis as it loses 1.7m followers - and Islam gains 900,000: Former Archbishop Lord Carey warns: 'Church is a generation from extinction'
      - "Alarmingly for Church leaders, the worst losses have come over the past decade, with about 4.5 million fewer people affiliating themselves to the C of E or Anglicanism between 2004 and 2014."

      Do the Archbishops, the Blatters of the Anglican Church in England and Wales, accept no responsibility for their departure from orthodox teaching and tradition with their acceptance of women priests, women bishops, Islamic prayers in Christian Churches, witches, Wicca and Paganism while considering same-sex marriage and now re-Baptism which can occur only once.

      Was the writing on the wall not clear enough? Where the US Episcopal Church has gone, England and Wales follow. Thank God for some integrity in the Church of England where alternative provision has been made.

      Please pray for the people of Wales, many of whom are unable or unwilling to accept Rome as the answer to their prayers. They will be left with no Church when the Church in Wales collapses because their mean-minded, self-interested bishops see nothing but what they are told see. Perhaps it has not occurred to them that they will have to answer to other than their Archbishop when their time comes.

    2. It appears that as far as WITCH are concerned, Yeshua/Yehoshua/Joshua/Jesus was male, bigoted, chauvinist, traditional, mistaken, blinkered, sexist, conceived in an unconventional manner but nevertheless brought up in a nuclear family by one male and one female parent who were married in the traditional sense of the word etc.
      Which all goes to prove that he is irrelevant and out of touch with their society!
      These women's and Bazza's opinions are far far FAR more important than any of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost didn't you know?

    3. From this morning's Telegraph:
      "Calls to refer to God as a woman as female bishops take up posts".

      Eve's answer to underground pewster (above) appears particularly apt.

    4. I shall have no truck with heretics.

  6. The logic of Emma Percy very accurately reflects the woolly logic of WATCH.
    I should hope that the chaplain of Trinity College does accept the doctrine of the Trinity.
    In the language of faith ,we understand God (as much as we are able to understand), as Father the creator of everything. Emma Percy is drawing ,erroneously I think, on our human understanding of parenthood and mother and father. But God transcends our understanding of sexual distinction. The understanding of God is a mystery of faith.

  7. The lunatics are running the liberal asylum. It would be best if everyone else could make sure that they remain there.

  8. Llandaff Pelican4 June 2015 at 18:20

    I have often said that 'Mothering Sunday' is one of the most pastorally damaging occasions in the year, when all of us, irrespective of our experience of motherhood, are expected to cooh and make sycophantic noises, take home a bunch of daffs, and pretend all is sweetness and light in the domestic sphere. The kind of theological foot-stamping from Ms Winkett and her friends at St James's Piccadilly is not only a theologically blunt instrument; it is just as oppressive as the male imagery they are railing against.

    1. I was taught in Sunday school that Mothering Sunday was the annual commemoration and giving thanks for all mothers and children who survived the process of pregnancy and childbirth.
      It's not that long ago that mother and/or baby mortality was very high and in the primitive conditions prevalent even as recently as the first half of the 20th century.
      As far as I'm concerned blame for the present state of affairs of a commercial "Mother's Day" can be laid at the doors of Hallmark cards et al, Nestle/Cadbury's and the wishy-washy likes of His ++Irrelevance and his coven who can't do away with traditional beliefs on such matters fast enough.
      Whilst the "pastorally damaging" scenario you describe may well be prevalent in society and Bazzaland at present, I hope you are making sure that this is not the case in your sphere of pastoral influence LP?