Comments: Parish of Trumpington

Clearly there has been a breakdown in the pastoral relationship between the vicar and at least one faction in the parish. But correspondence elsewhere (ie, an older piece on Ruth Gledhill's blog) suggests that the faction may be only a faction.

I have trouble taking the faction seriously if the anger, rage and spite is about having toilets (what sort of lunacy is opposed to toilets?). And while I am no fan of PowerPoint (friends don't let friends use PowerPoint, an effective tool rarely used well), there is nothing uncanonical about it.

Finally, I have no hesitation saying that, if the vicar was never asked to answer the accusation about his alleged spitting, then the tribunal was a farce - and the bishop along with it.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for clergy (especially, ironically, successful clergy who grow the parish) to find themselves at odd with an old guard who see their power diminished. Neither is it uncommon to see craven bishops offer up those clergy on the altar of appeasement.

It is hard to know exactly what HAS happened here. But there are enough holes to question the credibility of the entire proceeding.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Monday, 14 April 2008 at 3:35am BST

I sympathise with the Vicar, actually - because the Church is such a fundamentally corrupt institution, I am not prepared to believe or trust anything it says or does any longer.

Posted by Merseymike at Monday, 14 April 2008 at 10:57am BST

The BBC News website had an article on bullying in the church workplace yesterday. The comments of +Ripon and Leeds were depressingly unsurprising.

Perhaps licensings of CofE clergy should henceforth contain the words, "Remember, pal, step out of line and you're homeless."

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Monday, 14 April 2008 at 12:30pm BST

Only three comments... was this blogged to death somewhere else?

Posted by dodgey vicar at Tuesday, 15 April 2008 at 7:34am BST

Ah, the poor, misunderstood Vicar was only following the spewing example of +Akinola, +Orombi and +Venables who have made it acceptable behavior to spit on the thinking/beliving of some fellow Anglicans at CHURCH.

They call it passionate interpretation of Scripture.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Tuesday, 15 April 2008 at 3:56pm BST

It is difficult to take sides even having read the whole proceedings, but, just like Malcolm+ I am not convinced this story amounts to much more than a faction of sad disaffected parishioners getting revenge over minutiae. It sounds like the Vicar was provoked into reacting, and then blamed for going over the top for over-reacting.
I do not know the Vicar but even if he has failings I remain unconvinced that these are serious enough to warrant this over the top reaction from the 'system'. I think I would rather him have as Vicar than the faction as fellow parishioners...

Posted by Neil at Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at 1:13am BST

I am a member of the congregation and supporter of the Vicar. As I see it, this is a group of parishioners who are politically motivated, and whose Political party are no longer in power. They no longer have the ability to control the local political policies - many are also retired and have too much time on their hands - so the Church has become their power base.

Along comes a new vicar who probably doesn't entirely share their political views, has imagination, charisma and gets on with the job in hand.

This is too much for the old guard who have controlled the PCC for decades, so they complain to the Bishop. Then, along comes the senior clergy who have neither the charisma, or the imagination of the vicar, but are easily swayed by power, influence and money.

Nuff said.

Posted by StevenL at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 9:03am BST
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