The Southwark Muslim Prayer Story has begun to hit the mainstream media in a big way. A quick google search shows an increasing number of papers and other online news services picking it up.
A number of images (screengrabs from the video) are being used repeatedly including this one which shows Cannon Goddard affirming the commonality of Allah and the God of the Bible, not a sight that will make the orthodox happy and which is beginning to give the bishop of Southwark no end of trouble.
I reached out to the diocese for a response and got this:
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwark said,
“The Bishop of Southwark takes very seriously his responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church and to work within its framework of legislation and guidance.
It is quite clear that Islamic prayer should not take place in a consecrated building. This is why he has asked the Bishop of Kingston to investigate fully what happened. It is inappropriate to seek to make further public comments on this matter until this has happened.”
As the Bishop affirms his “responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church”, conservatives will be wondering why he hasn’t done so with regard to the question of sexual ethics and same-sex blessings in particular. His initial clear response now is seen to be an outworking of the united representation that many conservatives in the diocese have made to him. Evangelicals and orthodox Anglo-Catholics represent a substantial proportion of the diocese, despite it’s liberal leadership, and an even more substantial proportion of it’s annual income. The future of diocesan finances may depend upon how this is all resolved.
As the story grows and grows, just remember where you read it first!