Last week’s Church Times has an article by Bishop Kenneth Stevenson which was titled Rootless, isolated, and churched out.
This was edited from his farewell address to the Portsmouth diocesan synod which can be found in full at THE BUSINESS OF BISHOPING – A BOTTOM UP THEOLOGY’.
WHEN I went to my first meeting of the House of Bishops as a member in October 1995, I sat at the back (like a good Anglican) and watched.
This provoked me into playing two games. The first, an easy one, was to identify who were the prefects and who were the rogues. I soon came to the conclusion that the system — the Church — produced too many of the former, and too few of the latter.
The second game was to spot the defining job that someone held before he became a bishop, and how this affected the way he was approaching the discussion. Some bishops are manifestly former parish priests; others were theological teachers; some were involved in lay training; others worked a great deal with ordinands. Some ran cathedrals, often giving them a convincing civic awareness, while others were archdeacons, who seemed to know the ropes better than the others…