Category Archives: Anglican

The Church of England’s Complicity in the Gaza Genocide

“Gaza today has become the moral compass of the world”, insisted the Reverend Dr. Munther Isaac in his 2023 Christmas sermon, entitled, “Christ in the Rubble.” After his sermon went viral, his words were subsequently quoted by UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

A short video introduction to the article – viewed 18k times in the first week.

Lamentably, many Christian leaders in the USA and Europe have stood by, silent and complicit, unwilling to criticise Israel for what is increasingly recognised as a genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people. 

This article will analyse the Church of England official statements about Gaza since 7th October 2023, together with criticisms, and provide an assessment of the Church’s moral integrity in its stance on Gaza.

Download the complete article – or continue to read the summary conclusions:

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A Survey of CofE Bishops Reveals a Moral Vacuum on Israel and Palestine

A survey of Anglican Bishops was planned by a coalition of ten Christian, Jewish, Muslim and secular groups[1] that were concerned about the position the Church of England had taken vis-à-vis Israel/Palestine under the leadership of Archbishop Justin Welby. It was executed by CAMPAIN (the Campaign against Misrepresentation in Public Affairs, Information and the News)

An Open Letter of April 25th raised a series of issues, but the matter of most immediate concern was Welby’s denial of the existence of Israeli apartheid, which placed him at odds with the views of late Archbishop Tutu, the Anglican Church of South Africa, renowned international and Israeli human rights organisations, Palestinian Christians and the United Nations. 

The purpose of the survey was to ascertain whether other CofE bishops widely shared Welby’s opinion, and if so, why?

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Philippians 2: A Conversation with Father Dave Smith

Each month I join Father Dave Smith for his Sunday Eucharist and provide a brief homily on the Epistle reading of the week. This week, Dave and wife Joy visited Southampton and so we recorded our discussion on Philippians 2 in the Titanic pub close to the port where the Titanic sailed on its ill-fated maiden voyage. The landlord even kindly turned the music down for us (a little).

Bishop’s Chaplain: A New Appointment

Dear Stephen,

Re. Bishop’s Chaplain

Salaam in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection from the death we celebrate these days ever proclaiming: “Jesus Christ is risen”.

In recognition of our long-standing relationship of over thirty years, I am writing to formally invite you to become my chaplain in the UK, to assist me when I am visiting, or to advise me in the fulfilment of my episcopal duties, albeit in retirement.

My dear Stephen, you are a person of integrity and forthright views with the courage to express them.

At the same time you have always shown the utmost respect for the adherents of different faiths, in particular to Jews and Moslems, while advocating for Christian presence in the Land of the Holy One, Israel and Palestine, and campaigning for Palestinian Human Rights.

I wish more servants of Christ, bishops and clergy, Anglicans and others, were as courageous as you in challenging the destructive effects of Israeli apartheid and Christian Zionism on both Jews and Palestinians.

I appreciate your prayers, your advocacy and solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land.

Know this comes with my prayers and my sincere thanks in advance.

In Christ,

+Bishop Riah Abo El Assal

I have been assisting Bishop Riah in the fulfilment of his episcopal duties in an informal capacity for decades. It is a delight and honour to have that role more formally recognised.

Redeeming Israel? Confused on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24)

If you went in search of the village of Emmaus today, you would not find it. This Sunday, literally hundreds of millions of Christians around the world will hear the Easter story of the encounter between two disciples and the risen Lord Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. Few however, will hear mention of Emmaus today, or what has happened there in our lifetime. In an article published by If Americans Knew,  Sacred Christian Site Emmaus Destroyed by Israel, Alison Weir writes,

“In 1967, after Israel launched its Six Day War, Israel expelled the inhabitants of Emmaus and obliterated almost all traces of the village, along with two other Palestinian villages nearby. This was part of the Israeli strategy, in the words of an Israeli historian, “to take over as much of Palestine as possible with as few Palestinians as possible” Israeli journalist Amira Hass describes Emmaus before it was levelled:

“Schools, mosques, an ancient church, olive presses, paths to fields and orchards, bubbling streams, mountain air, sabra bushes, carob and olive and deciduous trees, harvested fields, graves, water cisterns.” Israel then “brought in the bulldozers and destroyed and detonated and trampled. Not for the first time, not for the last. And the owners of all that beauty – the elderly, the children, the infants – heard and watched the explosions from a kilometre or two away.”

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Archbishop Mouneer on Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Teams for Egypt

In this interview, Archbishop Mouneer Anis of the Episcopal Anglican Province of Alexandria discusses a new initiative in partnership with the Rose Castle Foundation and Centre of Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership, helping to train teams of Christians and Muslins to form Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Teams to serve in Egypt.

The first team of Muslim and Christian leaders have now been trained and begun to initiate peace building projects. The need is great, especially in Upper Egypt.

The plan therefore is to train five further teams in 2023. The budget for this is modest – $16,000. If you would like to support this exciting project you may do so through the Friends of the Anglican Province of Alexandria (specifying your gift is for the Peace Building Team).

You can make a donation by bank transfer in UK Sterling directly to the FAPA account: Account No: 00018311 Sort Code: 40-52-40

Peacemaker trust is delighted to promote this exciting peacemaking project and hope that you will also.

In May 2022, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, First Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria, launched the Centre for Christian Muslim Understanding and Partnership at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo. The vision is to promote peace and harmony between faith communities through more understanding of faiths, cultures and through working together for the common good. Read more here.

Palestine and the Church of England: The Right Revd Riah Abu El Assal

The Right Revd Riah Abu El Assal, the retired Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, speaks candidly about how to achieve a just peace in Palestine and his frustrations with the Church of England for failing to engage constructively in the process. 

Bishop Riah’s biography, ‘Caught in Between’ is available from Amazon

Pure Joy in Trials of Many Kinds

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2)

“The central message arising from the tribunal is that the well-documented accusations of repeated antisemitic behaviour made over more than a decade have been dismissed! Only one allegation of antisemitism has been found to have substance – but that was dealt with quickly and effectively [in 2015] at the time by the Bishop of Guildford (as Jonathan Arkush accepts), Stephen apologising for his actions, recognising the deep hurt his actions had caused and stating publicly that his sharing of the material was ill-considered and misguided and that he “never believed Israel, or any other country was complicity in the terrorist atrocity of 9/11.”

“It is significant that not one word or statement from Dr Sizer has been shown to be antisemitic. There are none.” Stephen Hofmeyr KC

If you wish to read my witness statement, the expert witness report, the statements of witnesses, please follow the hyperlinks below: 

My Witness Statement

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