Oxford Faith Debate on Vision for the Church of England

Image: Union Buildings Debate Chamber by Barker Evans (barkerevans.com) via Wikimedia Commons • http://is.gd/6oRW7o

The fifth and final debate of the current Oxford series took place last Thursday. Audio recordings of the entire event are now available on this page.

Those who have been attending regularly seemed to agree that this debate was the best of the series. Do listen to it all if you can.

Links to the opening statements:

Link to the ensuing discussion.

Lorraine Cavanagh has written about the event here: What does the Church of England offer the next generation?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento (Thinking Anglicans)  on Tuesday, 9 Dec. 2014


Having just listened to each of the headline Speakers and the following Questions and answers in this, the final session of the Oxford Debates; I am convinced that the Church of England will need to pull its socks up on issues of human justice  – especially its attitude towards Women and LGBTI people – in order to survive into a viable future.

I was especially taken with the words of the first Speaker, Diarmaid McCulloch, Professor of Church History at the University of Oxford, in his direct challenge to the Church on its seeming unwillingness to recognise its need to more fully express its mandated mission to the rank and file of its constituents, which he sees as, primarily, the revelation the God of Love – as incarnated in the Person and Mission of Jesus Christ.

Following Speakers were also adamant that the Church needs to move more quickly into the acknowledgement of its own failure to respond to the justice issues of the world of today – most notably in the way in which young people respond to its institutional misogynistic  and homophobic attitudes in the wake of new public initiatives towards the marginalised of society. 

The urgency with which the Speakers, Interlocutors, Questioners and Debaters addressed the present malaise on justice issues within the Established Church of England, will alert those who love and cherish the place of the Church in modern life to our need for action.

I hope my Readers will take this opportunity to listen in the the Speakers and to the following debate – all very thought-provoking and necessary if the Church is to remain alive and relevant into the current millenium.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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