Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 24 March 2018

Fred Hiltz Primate of Canada ‘Standing under in order to understand’

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau Sex abuse and godly power

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church IICSA – Final reflections

Anna Norman-Walker Viamedia.News Is There Life for the Church After IICSA?

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of ++Justin: legality, honesty and rising above contempt.

Church Times Interview with Loretta Minghella, the new First Church Estates Commissioner
Loretta Minghella tells Paul Handley how the Church Commissioners are flexing their muscle


  • Kate says:

    Anna Norman-Walker suggests that we need independent safeguarding to die a good death so we can renew. I commented there, but I will say something similar here.

    Independent safeguarding might help with a specific need, but if it happens only because IICSA recommends it, I don’t think it will do much to restore trust.

    There is a huge range of possibilities. I don’t think the specifics matter much. Those in positions of privilege have not been discharging a responsibility commensurate with that privilege. What is needed is some grand gesture of attrition to voluntarily surrender some of that privilege, either at an individual level (resignations at the most senior levels as Matthew Ineson has suggested) or systemic reductions in privilege to reduce clericalism. Sweep away CNCs, abolish titles which distinguish between ordained and lay, give up seats in the House of Lords, set a term limit for bishops and archbishops, change Synod to be one person one vote without houses. There are so many options. The important thing, I think, is that the church does *something* to reduce privilege and power of the elite to prove that it really has understood and “gets it”. It might be gesture politics, but some grand gesture is needed, and needed quickly.

    If we do nothing but wait on IICSA recommendations, who is going to be believe that we will handle the next problem any better or that there has been any meaningful cultural change?

  • David Rowett says:

    “change Synod to be one person one vote without houses”

    The corrective for clericalism is not anti-clericalism, though.

    I would suggest (humbly) that the house of clergy on Synod is more diverse of age and social class than the house of laity (couldn’t say on gender/sexuality), even if only because we have the privilege of being able to be on Synod (which I’m not by the way,, not my bag at all) without being retired, or with private means, or being able to sacrifice limited holiday time to attend meetings. Perhaps someone has a proper breakdown of the demographics of Synod?

    It;’s also worth remembering that for those of us with a catholic understanding of orders find the idea of time limited episcopacy difficult. Is that what you intended, Kate, in your suggestion that bishops should serve fixed terms? Forgive me if I’ve misunderstood you.

  • T Pott says:

    Kate, isn’t there a danger in saying something must be done or taking action as the archbishop puts it? It is giving the archbishop carte blanche to impose any change he wants, provided only he can loosely relate it to safeguarding. Throughout history rulers have understood people will accept unpopular policies if they are disguised as solutions to even more unpopular problems. It is the cry of despots.

    Power to the People, as Citizen Smith would say, but the House of laity does not represent the people of this country, who need to take back control of their national church, removing power from rhe clergy.

    Only popes and princes are title christian name, so Archbishop Justin sounds more pompous than Archbishop Welby to me. I rather like Sentamu cutting up his dog collar as a protest, but if a choirboy cut up his ruff, or a minster tour guide her badge, I suspect they wouldn’t get away with it. Same with Welby wearing black instead of purple, gesture of humility or cocking a snoop at rules, because nobody tells him what to wear.

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