Contentious Christianity

Julie Withers is a Licensed Lay Minister (Reader) in Chester Diocese and is a member of Diocesan and General Synod, and the Chester Diocesan Advisory Group on Living in Love and Faith (LLF)

Liz Shercliff, Director of Studies in the Diocese of Chester and author of Preaching Women: Gender, Power and the Pulpit, joins us to host a discussion on the women and the church and ask “By ordaining women as priests and bishops, is the Church of England simply on-trend, or is there a theological imperative

Ian Bishop is Archdeacon of Macclesfield in the Diocese of Chester There has been contention about the role of Church and State for centuries and the Church of England has long been intertwined with the political affairs of the day. That continues to be the case. Much of the Churches legislation and business needs parliamentary and royal approval and inevitably makes the whole business of Church governance deeply bureaucratic. But it also brings huge advantages. In this session Ian explores the history of the relationship between the church and the state and asks ‘what is changing?’ and ‘what is next?’

Jenny Bridgman is Director of Studies for Pastoral Workers in Chester Diocese, Associate Vicar of Timperley parish, and is a spiritual companion. Jenny is about to begin a Professional Doctorate exploring issues of power, leadership and collaboration within ministry teams. The topic of “The Church and Power” is a huge one, and we will only be able to scratch the surface in our time together. I am especially keen for us to explore what power the church has: what does it look like and how is it wielded? How has this power been abused and how might it be used for good? Come prepared to be challenged, and to recognise that each of us may be complicit, to some degree, in the abuse of power, but also that each of us has the potential to bring change and to contribute towards a healthy, healing culture in our use of power.

Christopher Burkett, Director of Ministry in this diocese, is a sociologist by training. As well as a long career in Christian ministry that began in the NHS, he is a preacher and trainer of preachers whose work has been accessed by millions on the Internet. Must a human being be humane? Are some behaviours so intrinsically bad that their very occurrence puts a question mark against a perpetrator’s humanity? The way most of us think about such issues implies a shared understanding of what it it to be human. But does such a universal understanding actually exist? Contentious questions about identity, technology, health and morals suggest many competing understandings of what it is to be human today. If we can’t agree on what it is to be human, how can we possibly give an account of what salvation is? This session will look at the very nature of being human

Rev Dr Rob Munro, who is Chair of the House of Clergy, on General Synod and Rector of Cheadle, was present at two of the Global Anglican Future conferences, is supportive of their vision for the renewal of the Anglican Communion and challenged by the sacrifices and growth that the GAFCON provinces have seen. In this session, Rob talks about how the ‘torn’ Anglican communion makes a significant impact on our international fellowship and how it ripples out into the UK church. Was it necessary? What difference does it make? Why does it matter?

Comments are closed.