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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Another female first, and another...


Rachel Treweek                                       Sorce: Christian Today

The bishop of Gloucester ('Journeying Together', although Dr Foster went there, never to return) is the first woman bishop to sit in the House of Lords. She chose to make her maiden speech in a debate on women's empowerment and representation in the UK. Speaking of equality rather than theology she concluded her message with "I hope that my words may have enabled us further to take note of the progress made in the UK in women’s representation and empowerment".

Such is her enthusiasm for representation and empowerment that according to her Parliamentary biography she has no 'member's focus' has not spoken since and has not asked or answered a written question in this parliamentary session, 2016-17. She is recorded as having voted once

Bishop Treweek is much more focused when it comes to LGBT issues. In another first the bishop of Gloucester is to preside at an LGBT Eucharist in January to "offer a safe space" to gay worshippers:

"The Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, will celebrate the ceremony set up by Inclusive Church, a LGBT-affirming network of Anglicans, the group reports. It is thought to be the first time a senior diocesan bishop has led an LGBT communion and prompted concern from conservative Anglicans. A spokeswoman for the Gloucester Diocese confirmed Treweek would preside and said: 'As part of Bishop Rachel's ministry she celebrates the Eucharist in many churches across her diocese, to worship will fellow Christians who are all loved and valued by God'."

In her maiden speech the bishop of Gloucester said, "Over the years, I added my voice to the debate to enable the consecration of women to the episcopate, and my starting point was always the firm conviction that all people are created equal in the image of God and called to use their gifts to the glory of God and for the flourishing of all people.

The mind boggles at the opportunity for Eucharistic 'firsts' for all manner of persuasions allowing them to flourish.

In Wales, a film All one in Christ about the experiences of LGBT+ people in church is to be premiered at St Asaph Cathedral in December. The film was made in response to an invitation from the bishops of the Church in Wales for church groups to get involved with the Iris Prize Outreach scheme. The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, will be part of a panel discussion following the premiere.

The only people in Wales created equal in the image of God but not allowed to flourish are those who remain faithful to the teaching and tradition of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. No appropriate sacramental and pastoral provision has been made for them.

Postscript [02.12.2016]

From the Guardian: "Film about nuns who fall in love to be shown in Welsh cathedral".

The archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, said: “This film will not be easy watching for church members as it reminds us how people among us have been ostracised and mistreated because of their sexuality.

There are others who have been ostracised and mistreated because of their faith but that is no problem for Morgan and his bench sitters who have abandoned the faith for self-aggrandisement.

3 comments:

  1. Welsh Photographer30 November 2016 at 11:48

    "The only people in Wales created equal in the image of God but not allowed to flourish are those who remain faithful to the teaching and tradition of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. No appropriate sacramental and pastoral provision has been made for them."

    That last paragraph of yours is heartbreakingly true. I despair for the future of the Church in Wales, which brought me to faith in Christ forty years ago but now seems determined to drive me away :-(

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  2. I wonder if she will include the Prayer of Humble Access in the LGBT+ Eucharist?

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  3. Whilst I sympathize Welsh Photographer, you will I am sure agree that the institution (Church in Wales) did not bring you to Christ. It would have been the Holy Spirit of God through the faithful ministry of word,sacrament and the 'encounter with Christ' (Edward Schillebeeck). By His providence, God being God, would have got to you in any case.

    Having met with persecuted Christian from China and Pakistan during the summer months, I am persuaded even more the Jesus is our sacrament - our encounter with God. In this apostate situation, the Holy Spirit can lead us out, but so also can the bench sitters drive us away. Both can be the will of God. An apostate priest baptized the reformer John Calvin, yet Calvin never sought a second baptism.

    Weep not for the institution my friend. Reform should be your password. Or is that too costly a price to pay for the saviour?

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