At its annual conference in June, the 311-year-old Anglican mission and development agency USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) announced that – following a lengthy consultation by its Trustees with churches and supporters – it will be changing its name.
At a launch event due to be held in November, the new name will be officially adopted and it will become United Society – to be known as Us. Over to a spokesthing:
‘Our new name, Us, is directly derived from USPG, so it speaks to our heritage, but it also speaks about inclusivity. There is no “them”; we are all “us”. Our work – in partnership with the churches of the Anglican Communion – is for the benefit of the whole community, regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, age or faith. No-one is excluded.’
As one internet wag put it: Once it was about the Gospel, now it’s about Us!
Lies, Damned Lies and …
Statistics can be used to prove virtually anything, of course, but one cannot help but wonder how the respective Diocesan Communications Officers are going to spin these recently-published facts about Confirmations:
Ten dioceses managed to confirm fewer than 300 candidates each during 2010:
Of these ten, three had fewer confirmation candidates than licensed clergy:
In the light of these facts, 30DAYS naturally wondered how the traditionalist end of the Church was faring and so we sent our intrepid team of reporters all the way to Oxford to sneak a quick look at the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s records: Between 25 September 2011 and 10 July 2012, Bishop Baker had confirmed at least 177 candidates, so in just nine months, he confirmed more candidates than two dioceses managed in a whole year and, by the time he completes a full year, he could well have overtaken another four! And that is before you factor in a spot of weighting to take account of the fact that he has just 85 parishes . . . .
Down the Hatch
Friends of Fr Philip North, Team Rector of the Old St Pancras Team in North London and erstwhile Administrator at Walsingham, were pleased to see his name among the list of signatories of a recent letter to The Times. And those who witnessed this online were in for a real treat, as comments appeared on the web page, including what must rank as the most gratuitously offensive attack on an innocent priest whose only fault is his total inability to stand still whilst preaching.
Someone calling himself ‘John Hatch’ wrote as follows:
‘My brief research into Philip North indicates that he is a man who wants a platform for himself and is not too fussed as to what it is made of. He has recently said that the CoE gives him access to schools etc and, if he didn’t have that, he would join the Roman Catholic church. He might be happier founding his own church: The Anglo Catholic Reformed Evangelical Episcopal Church; Prop. P. North. Apparently he rides a bicycle, which doesn’t surprise me.’
Oxford No. 181
The trouble with email is that people will forward messages on to other people, as a member of General Synod – Oxford No. 181 – will shortly find out! The 30DAYS inbox recently had the pleasure of receiving this very interesting email
From: Hugh Lee
Sent: 06 July 2012 09:28
To: Hugh Lee
Subject: Petition asking the House of Bishops to withdraw one of their amendments to the women bishops legislation
Please follow the link below and consider signing up to WATCH’s petition asking the House of Bishops to reconsider their recent amendment to Clause 5 of the draft women bishops legislation.
To help us know more about who has signed please fill in your connections to the CofE in the comments box
And then forward to your friends!! It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a church-goer!
The direct link to the petition is . . . . Thanks
The Revd Hugh Lee, FRSA
Member of General Synod (Oxford No. 181)
12 Walton Street Oxford OX1 2HG
Tel: 01865 …… Mobile: 07879 ……
‘It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a church-goer!’
Or, presumably, entirely hostile to the church. Or a Methodist. Or a Moslem. Or a Scientologist.
You just never can tell with people who sign WATCH petitions, can you?
Copy for 30 Days should reach the FiF
office by the 10th day of the month: