The Revd Wyn Beynon


A VISION AND NARRATIVE FOR RENEWAL AND REFORM (GS 2038)

My contribution to the debate in General Synod
on Saturday 9th July 2016 held at York University

Wyn Beynon Worcester 237
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, Archbishops' Council for the workdone on Renewal and Reform. In any living Church Renewal and Reform is an ongoing process of being born in and growing up into Christ. I offer the following thoughts as a preamble to any thoroughgoing theology of Renewal and Reform which the process currently lacks, to its distinct disadvantage.
Whist  in Anglican practice rules and regulation follow pastoral practice, a mission theology should precede, accompany and respond to the ongoing life of Christ's Body  - growing up into Christ.
The mission imperative of Pastoral Care simply is not present enough to satisfy me. I suggest that the 4 marks of the Church from the Nicene Creed - being truly radical and going back to our roots, which is what radical means - should be far more obvious in any Vision and Narrative.
The Oneness of the Church of course refers to our common Baptism and participation in Holy Communion - it's not a suggestion that we agree about everything. So there is not enough clarity about Sacramental theology to satisfy me. Holiness is God's gift to us and we respond with our whole selves. But I would point out that there is a clear direction for Christian prayer life to be taken beyond a youthful chi-chat with God, or even an adult "prayer-warrioring" - and it must go on to teach the paramount need for us to mature into contemplative prayer.
Mystical theology is not an optional extra, it is the highest form of theology. If you are not moving towards contemplative prayer, you are not moving.
Catholicity brings us to the disastrous delusion of leadership that has so distracted the Archbishops Council by its swallowing the nonsense of the Green report and effectively ignoring the far richer work of the Faith and Order Commission's Senior Church Leadership report. Happily, my own diocese is holding a study day on it later this year.
Apostolicity requires that the past gets a vote, but not a casting vote. Apostolicity is about letting the Holy Spirit move us to new things - so I pray that this weekend we all move some way towards understanding a new theology of being human so that same sex relationships, along with all inclusion of difference, are simply a normal and unremarkable part of Christ's Church.
Thank you.