Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Opinion - 25 April 2018

Paul Bayes ViaMedia.News “Do as we say” or “Do as we do”?

Jon White The Episcopal Café Do priests and pastors need an office?

Pierre Whalon Anglican Communion News Service Living with Laïcité

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at 11:00am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

I am really warming to Paul Bayes. He repeatedly says the right things. All to often, people mouth inclusive platitudes but reveal their lack of genuine care by using carelessly wrong language. It is to Paul's immense credit that he has taken the time to learn to properly use inclusive language.

I think he will genuinely try to make things better. My concern, because he always speaks in general terms rather than specifics, is whether he regards better as good enough or whether he understands that there is no halfway house and things need to be put right. So, while I welcome his words, I hope that he won't wait much longer before he acknowledges that allowing some ministers not to discriminate falls far short of the need to ensure that no minister or bishop or parish or diocese discriminates.

Posted by: Kate on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at 3:43pm BST

The post 'Do priests need an office?' seems to reflect the North American situation more than the C of E, where traditionally the vicar has worked from home and had a study (which sometimes doubles as an office) as a base. I know there is a tendency even here for clergy to live away from their churches or even parishes, and use an 'office' in the church building. But generally we have avoided the temptation to become 9-5 commuters.

It's all very well suggesting we should be out on the streets, or meeting people in cafés etc, but for a priest to function properly he or she needs space to pray, to reflect, and to engage with God and other people at leisure, not simply to focus on particular tasks. In retirement I do a lot of spiritual direction, and while it is sometimes necessary or more convenient to meet people in impersonal surroundings, it is much easier to relax and feel at ease in the domestic space of a study. 'Office' implies a far too rigid professionalisation (which is not the same as professionalism) of ordained ministry.

Posted by: David Emmott on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at 6:41pm BST
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