A warm welcome from the Bishop

The Bishop of Maidstone welcomes you! I do hope you enjoy exploring my website. We try to keep the website up to date but if you would like to receive regular newsletters please contact the office here.

Lorna Ashworth leaves General Synod and the Archbishop's Council

Rod Thomas has issued the following press statement: I am very sorry that Lorna is resigning. She is a good friend and has been a brave, lively and winsome voice in the General Synod and Archbishop’s Council, as she has urged us all to remain faithful to the Word of God. She goes because she does not want to be drawn into compromise with those who seek to revise the plain teaching of Scripture. I pay tribute to her sincerity and courage. The doctrine of the Church of England – and its liturgy – are based squarely on the authority of the Bible and I support every effort to sustain, promote and defend this. For me, that means continuing to minister within the Church of England, defending its historic commitment to Scripture.

Local Churches with a Gospel for the Nation

God has given to local churches the responsibility for spreading the gospel (ie the good news of Jesus Christ). Letter after letter of the New Testament is addressed to local churches, urging them to live in a way that commends Christ to others (eg 1 Peter 2:12); to shine like lights (Philippians 2:15); and to go into the world with the gospel (eg Ephesians 6:15). What happens in local churches is therefore crucial for Christianity in this country.

The Church of England has unique opportunities to foster the ministry of local churches. It’s founding statements (the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the 39 Articles) stress its reliance on the Word of God in the Bible; it has a local church presence in every parish in the land; and it has a system of church government which means no one person or group can have absolute power of decision-making. As a Church, we are also committed to ‘mutual flourishing,’ despite differences of view on the ministries of men and women.

The Bishop of Maidstone was appointed in 2015 to have a national role in encouraging and helping those local churches which want to be active in the Church of England, but whose understanding of the Bible leads them to conclude that men and women should have ‘complementary’ rather than identical ministries in the Church. However all of these churches want to be known primarily for the way they present the good news of the gospel, not because they’ve taken a particular position on one issue. I hope therefore that if this is the first time you’ve looked at a Christian web site that you’ll click on the ‘Belief’ tab before exploring the rest of the web site.