News from the Church of England

Women bishops

Stage set for key July debates on legislation

The Church of England has published the report of the Revision Committee that has been considering in detail the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England. Read the full story herePic: General Synod

Feel free to cut and paste all the stories for diocesan and parish magazines

Read the full version of the Comms Update


Church Commissioners

2009 results confirm long-term growth – level of support to the Church to be maintained

The Church Commissioners achieved a 15.6 per cent return on their investments during 2009. Results announced show that the fund has now outperformed its comparator group over the last year as well as over the past five, 10 and 20 years.

Watch the videocast of Commissioners’ CEO Andrew Brown talking about the results


Archbishop of Canterbury

Enriching the arguments: The refugee contribution to British life

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams delivered a lecture on this topic to a large invited audience at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London. He also answered questions put by members of the audience. The event was jointly sponsored by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and University College London.



Shrinking the Footprint supports UN biodiversity day

Hundreds of visitors to the Open Garden event at Lambeth Palace (May 22) will enjoy a specially created Archbishop’s Garden trail and quiz being run by the CofE’s national environmental campaign Shrinking the Footprint and sponsored by Traidcraft. May 22 has been earmarked as a special day for Biodiversity celebrations in 2010 which is the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity.
Pic: fox in the grounds of Lambeth Palace earlier this year

Lambeth Palace Library

400th anniversary exhibition opens this week

Doors to the Library’s 400th anniversary exhibition in the Great Hall at Lambeth Palace will open this Monday May 17. Lambeth Palace Library is one of the earliest public libraries in England, founded in 1610 under the will of Archbishop Richard Bancroft. The exhibition will run until July 23.

Listen to the Library podcast


New chair of Children’s Society

Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes new chair

The Archbishop of Canterbury has welcomed the appointment of the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, as Chair of The Children’s Society. Dr Williams said “I am very pleased indeed to welcome the appointment of Bishop Tim Thornton as Chair of The Children’s Society. He will bring to this post many qualities – energy, empathy and intelligence – that The Children’s Society will need in its vital work of advocacy and care.”

Pic: Bishop Tim Thornton


Church calls for BBC to go back to the future in its public service mission

The BBC’s proposed return to its core public service mission is a welcome ‘homecoming’ that should herald output appealing to the broadest possible range of audiences, according to the Church of England’s response to the Director-General’s proposals for the future strategy of the corporation.

Pic: Rev Rob Gillion who presented the first Pause for Thought on the new Chris Evans BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show earlier this year

New safeguarding adviser appointed


Elizabeth Hall has been appointed to the post of Safeguarding Adviser for the Church of England and the Methodist Church in Britain. She brings to the role 25 years’ professional experience in the social work field as both a practitioner and as a manager within the Probation, Family Court Welfare and Guardian ad litem Services and has also worked as a youth worker and foster carer.

Browse fingertip facts from the CofE 

Comments are welcome, to Peter Crumpler, Director of Communications


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Dioces of Ely eLife

The January issue of eLife, the newly named Diocesan Newsletter has just been published and is available online at  or as a link from the home page of the Diocesan website,



Val Robson, Communications Officer
Tel: 07957 522178

What’s the Buzz?

buzzAre you playing the numbers game on the web? Even blogging  bishops have been known to need a nightly peek at their stats to make sure that the blog or twitterstream is on the up. Just like most clergy automatically do a headcount at services and hope it’s up not down (if it’s at their church; and … perish the thought).

Unlike with live congregations, there’s such a footfall though the web that just being there means that your site or flock slowly grows, I think. Even total rubbish seems to have attractions. I suppose I want to affirm that just being there, however many people show up, is also important for real-life churches. Waterden that I reported on yesterday for instance has tiny attendances. But it really matters spiritually that there are still points like that in our striving world.

But then again, I am also not at all afraid to bang on about the importance of church growth – and that includes bums on seats. If we mean what we say about Your Kingdom Come on Earth, and have a belief that God’s will is that all his creation is redeemed, then there is a lot of point in our sharing that will and asking ourselves how we can be sharing in the work. Including bringing individual people to faith.

Now there are ways of going about this, … and there are ways. All too often the assumption that the only way of sharing in God’s work here is doing things which embarrass either us or the people we are talking to puts us off doing anything. Anyone who works in mission or evangelism has seen this, but also knows there are plenty of other ways to do business. Try for instance and for an amazing world-wide booklist

But back to the web-world. This thought was sparked off by listening to the rather funny BBC radio programme Electric Ink as I was driving yesterday. It’s a satirical comedy by Alistair Beaton in which old hacks meet new media in the newspaper industry. In Episode 5 (Listen now) Freddy introduces buzzwords to the paper’s web site. Get those much-searched words into your text and the hit-rate rockets. Needless to say most of the words were not ones normally in the vocabulary of respectable journalists, nor ones that I will repeat here.

Or should I? Perhaps making the occasional reference to free grace offered to those in the grip of drugs might make my Google-count climb. And no doubt it is tres jolie that I call my satnav voice angelina.

What I will do, by way of both information and experiment, is list some of most searched-for terms – and watch to see if this particular post attracts more attention than usual … All the information is from Google itself.

Terms that are rising fast right now
1. jonas salk
2. staple center
3. palmbeachpost
4. smallpox vaccine
5. charles drew
6. staplescenter
7. least common multiple
8. down
9. wimbledon semi finals live
10. edward jenner
11. staples center los angeles
12. all recipes
13. doug pitt
14. wimbledon tv coverage
15. sarah palin
16. michael jackson memorial tickets
17. wimbledon finals 2009
18. rebecca corry
19. fireworks shows
20. semi charmed life lyrics

Fastest Rising  terms in 2008 in the UK
yahoo mail
large hadron collider

Most Popular in 2008 in the UK


Church of England News

Here is the latest news from the C of E

Prayers for Exam Crammers

School pupils facing exams can look to a new source of revision aid this year, with the publication of a set of downloadable prayer cards designed to be included in students’ crib card packs. The brief prayers – written in bullet point style on a postcard-size format – call for God’s help in facing the stressful time and ask for a sense of calm and focus during revision ahead of the big tests.
The Church of England has also published the following selection of prayers for use in churches, in light of the developing situation regarding influenza A/H1N1 (‘swine flu’).   Advice and information from the NHS on swine flu is available here, while more details on the Church’s response can be found here.

Back to Church Sunday

Churchgoers across the Church of England are set personally to invite up to half a million people to services on Back to Church Sunday, 27 September 2009 making the event one of the largest co-ordinated evangelism events shared across the Church in recent history. More details here

CofE Environment Adviser on new Government task force

David Shreeve the Church of England’s Environment Adviser has been selected as one of the 16 members of the new Third Sector Task Force on climate change, the environment and sustainable development. The appointment was made by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn and the group meets for the first time this month. Full story here

Top of the Pods

Podcast highlights include the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, talking about his new book Hit the Ground Kneeling, which offers a different approach to all types of leadership. Dr John Preston, the Archbishops’ Council’s Resources and Stewardship Officer, offers hope and advice for households and churches in the current financial situation in his podcast, while the Revd Jean Coates talks about her work as a busy Rural Officer for Dorset. Catch up with our top podcasts by clicking here.

Emma Johnson one of 18  teenage would-be priests attending a conference last month. Hear what she has to say.


A new website launched by the Church of England marks a groundbreaking initiative to identify the distinctive values that make Christian schools popular with parents and students, and promote ways of living out those values in the day-to-day activities of a busy school environment. One in four primary schools in England and one in 16 secondary schools are CofE schools. More here

Monthly News Update from C of E

This month’s contents:

    • Zimbabwe statement – support for troubled country
    • ‘Clarion call’ for society – Archbishop of Canterbury on new report 
    • Archbishop highlights need to reconnect God with the world of work
    • In touch online – latest from the CofE on the Web
    • Asylum seekers, the financial recession, women bishops … General Synod February sitting
    • Comment on the inauguration of the new American President
    • Provisional attendance figures for 2007
    • Church makes Lent a family affair  
    • Latest from bishops in House of Lords
    • More news from the Primates meeting in Alexandria
    • Money can’t buy you love, say Valentines couples in Church survey
    • Church celebrates Darwin’s ‘forgotten’ parish work
    • Diocese Commission begins review of structures
    • CofE opposes proposed increases in stakes and prizes for gaming machines
    • Intolerance towards Christians in public sector an affront, says Archbishop of York
    • Green light for eco-youth quiz
    • Book corner – news from Church House Publishing
    • Elections to Church Commissioners
    • New Chair for Central Readers Council
    • Christian scholars call for New Year’s resolution to daily prayer
    • New Secretary for Ethical Investment Advisory Group
    • More news from the Archbishop of Canterbury
    • More news from the Archbishop of York

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