Archive News from Bishop Rod
A Warm Welcome
The Bishop of Maidstone had a national role in encouraging and helping local churches in the Church of England whose understanding of the Bible is that men and women should have ‘complementary’ rather than identical ministries in the Church. However, all of us want to give priority to the good news of the gospel rather than this particular issue.
The Maidstone Commitments
The Bishop of Maidstone has released ‘The Maidstone Commitments’. These five commitments are specifically for those complementarian parishes under his pastoral care, and form part of a series of initiatives designed to promote the gospel by generating fresh confidence in the culture of conservative or ‘classical’ evangelical churches.
The Maidstone Commitments were formulated by a working group established by the bishop in 2021, in the wake of concerns that had been raised about the culture of some evangelical churches.
The Maidstone Commitments include commitments to act justly towards everyone in the church community, to signpost publicly safe pathways for raising concerns, to state openly their theological convictions over men’s and women’s ministry, to engage positively with senior diocesan clergy, and to review carefully their own church culture. Clergy and PCCs are being asked first to make these commitments, and then to work together to meet these commitments over the coming months.
The Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt Revd Rod Thomas, said “Complementarian evangelical churches have some of the most outward-looking, caring and gospel-oriented ministries in the Church of England. There have been times when these ministries have been undermined by behaviours which have failed to be properly pastoral. I do not believe such issues are necessarily any greater in evangelical churches than those of other traditions, but when problems are exposed, they need to be addressed. My hope is that these commitments will not only help to address the concerns that have been raised, but also help those outside the church to see the attractiveness of Christ as churches strive to put his teaching into practice.”
The text of the Maidstone Commitments can be found HERE.
The Bishop of Maidstone is committed to the Church of England’s policy for safeguarding children, young people, those involved in domestic abuse, and vulnerable adults, but does not have responsibility for dealing with safeguarding queries arising in parishes or dioceses with which he works. These queries should be directed to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in the diocese in which the concern arises.
If you need help or advice regarding queries which fall outside this arrangement, please contact the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team: [email protected], 020 7898 1778
The Church of England’s policies and best practice on safeguarding can be found on the Church of England’s website: https://www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/promoting-safer-church-safeguarding.