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An Anglican sounds like this. . .

01 October 2021

GUIDANCE for General Synod candidates from the Church of England Evangelical Council and the Evangelical Group on General Synod included the suggestion: “As much as possible, sound as if you’re a practising member of the Church of England, that you’re an Anglican!”

The Church Times sought concise suggestions from a range of people about what an Anglican sounded like:


“An Anglican ought to sound thoughtful, honest, and frank about complexities. Anglicanism has a complicated history, and awareness of that should inoculate Anglicans against going for big, bold, wrong answers to tangled questions”

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Emeritus Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford


“To be an Anglican sounds like someone who has a clear mission that is geographically centred, has a strong episcopal ecclesiology, and desires the gospel of Jesus to be the fuel that drives our mission and prayer. A person who realises the complex landscape of the post-Christian Western world”

Augustine Tanner-Ihm, Assistant Curate of Didsbury, and 2020 Theology Slam winner


“An Anglican should sound like a reformed Catholic Christian, grounded in the genuinely humanist implications of the Bible and the writings of the church Fathers. Someone committed to an authentic local and rooted expression of a universal faith. Someone with a strong sense of the integral unity of reason, scripture, and tradition. Of the unity, also, of artistic expression with care for nature and metaphysical vision”

John Milbank, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham


“For Anglicans, the distinctiveness lies not in beliefs or doctrines being regarded as being Anglican, but, rather, does the distinctiveness lie in its insistence on ‘the faith once and for all delivered’, of which scripture and the faith of the Primitive Church form the criteria”

Canon Arthur Middleton, Honorary Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham


“While watching a wildlife show about birdwatching, I find Anglicans produce a wide variety of calls and signals — some more exotic and inviting than others — but I strongly advise General Synod electors to beware cuckoos in the nest”

Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham


“I told the electors what I wanted to do on Synod, probably from a minority position on many issues, without conceding much to trying to sound like an average or even typically nondescript Anglican — because the single transferable vote means that you need to get the strong support of a proportion of the electorate to be elected, rather than deploying a soft or non-existent set of goals in the hope of getting fifth preference from everybody”

Dr Colin Buchanan, former Bishop of Aston, who ran for election to the Synod on ten occasions over 36 years


“An Anglican says: ‘I have two new puppies called Mag and Nunc.’ That sums up Anglicans in one sentence: a love of dogs, a love of Anglican music — especially choral evensong — and an Anglican sense of humour”

Ysenda Maxtone-Graham, writer


“I do so especially like that setting of the Mag and Nunc”

Canon Judith Maltby, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford

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