Thursday, 18 October 2018

The decline and fall of the Church of England

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford was the site where the Protestants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer were tried for heresy in the reign of Queen Mary I. Now, Anglican blogger Archbishop Cramner informs us that an Imam will preach there and comments thus.
He will not be delivering a pre-worship talk on Islam or presenting a post-worship discourse on interfaith reconciliation, either of which would be perfectly acceptable in a university church of theological scholarship and missional service. No, he will be preaching the University Sermon at the 10.30am Choral Eucharist.

Now, Imam Monawar Hussain MBE DL might be a perfectly pleasant and congenial chap: he is certainly distinguished and learned. The Oxford Foundation, which he established, does some manifestly sterling work in the promotion of religious and racial harmony and good relations between persons of different faiths and racial groups. And Imam Monawar Hussain would doubtless be welcomed at any church to talk about peace and love and reconciliation and understanding. But preaching the sermon at a Eucharist?
I cannot say that I am surprised by anything Anglicans do and am pleased that they are relatively rational compared with the Church of Sweden. I am in favour of peace between the world's religions, am sure the Holy Spirit works in infidels as in Christians, but I cannot help remembering what Edward Gibbon said might have happened had the Muslims beaten Charles Martel in 704 at the Battle of Tours, confusingly also known as the Battle of Poitiers.
Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet.
Still, on the whole I am less shocked than I am by the woman 'bishop' of Gloucester preaching that one should not think of God as 'He' or the woman 'bishop' of London, who has no theological education and thinks she is in favour of abortion but is not sure.

The bishopess of London, a former nurse, said in her first sermon that she was a feminist and so ‘necessarily subversive’. She added, 

‘There aren’t many bishops who come from comprehensive schools, who are poly[technic] girls and who did [part-time training] for the priesthood. It’s not just gender; it’s also your background that’s equally important.’
Her blog describes her views on abortion as
‘pro-choice rather than pro-live [sic], although if it were a continuum I would be somewhere along it moving towards pro-life when it relates to my choice, and then enabling choice when it relates to others’.
Gibbon, the freethinker, would have found all this hilarious and drenched it with delicious irony. History for that heartless bachelor deist was a catalogue of the crimes and follies of mankind and he was surely right about that.

More about this subject here.


  1. As the blog said, what is worse, the hippie values of the Anglican Communion or an imam preaching at a former Protestant site? I go with the former and the former is why the latter is possible. God as She comes directly from radical feminism. In the Bible, God is always masculine.


  2. Unpleasantly, one of the bishopesses insisted on attending in robes and with mitre the ordination of a clergyman who will not be ordained by a woman because he does not recognise female ordinations or female bishops as valid. She does not ordain them, because it was agreed that their freedom of conscience would always be respected, but she defies the spirit of the agreement made when it was decided to permit priestesses.

  3. A mild irony that two weeks ago I went to a school's open day where the religious department had a girl working on a model of the Haj (with yellow Lego people) while a live TV stream from Mecca was showing people walking anti-clockwise around a black blob. The irony being that the school is in an old priory founded by crusaders c1195 and then later in mid twentieth century was home to an Anglican convent, and still today named after St Gabriel.

  4. If you want irony, then this article and thread show exactly why nobody sane under the age of 40 ever attends a CofE service.