Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 June 2021

Kelvin Holdsworth The Bishop of St Davids and the Archbishop of Canterbury

Zachary Guiliano The Living Church Why I Wear Black

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Campaigning for radical LGBTIQ+ inclusion
In 2017 fourteen retired bishops voiced concern over the same sex relationships report

Sarah Mullally ViaMedia.News LGBT Stories: “Texts of Terror” – Are We Helping or Harming?

Mark Clavier The Living Church Restoring the Ecology of Faith

Kevin Scully What price reform?

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
74 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kate
Kate
1 month ago

I am really impressed by Kevin Scully, not just for his words on inclusive marriage but on memorials and gravestones too.   The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu on Gozo has a radically different feel to any Anglican church, with a real sense IMHO that the power of God is manifested. (In my defense many pilgrims share my view.) Is it because the church is associated with miraculous healing or that instead of memorials to the rich and powerful the walls are filled with testaments and prayers from ordinary pilgrims? Maybe it is… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Having read Provost Kevin Holdsworth’s article in reference to the Bishop of St David’s and Archbishop Justin Welby wading into this matter, looking beyond this whole thing, I think it does reveal in many ways how Justin Welby understands the Office of Archbishop of Canterbury , especially in relation to the Anglican Communion. One would feel that he has Papal pretensions and sees his role as another Papacy. Two of his Predecessors Robert Runcie and Rowan Williams disavowed Papal Pretensions as did Michael Ramsey. I remember a story told to me by the Late Father Roland Walls, during my years… Read more »

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

I too am concerned that the Archbishop was not better advised by his staff on the St Davids issue. He really should have simply responded to the Welsh Secretary that he (the Archbishop) had no jurisdiction in the matter.It is however I think an indirect example (that I also referred to on another recent thread) of the delicate balance in the Anglican tradition between the episcopal and synodical aspects being rather undermined at the moment.. At the Anglican Communion level it is reflected in the increasing prominence of the Primates meeting vis-a-vis the Anglican Consultative Council. And of course it… Read more »

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

In fairness to His Grace, he was rather put on the spot by the Secretary of State for Wales. He wrote to ++ Justin as there is not currently a ++ Wales. I suppose he felt he had to reply and to say “ Anything happening west of Offa’s Dyke is not my problem “ may not have struck the right note. Currently there is no Archbishop of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury is on sabbatical. I understand the Bishop of Chelmsford chaired the first CNC for Portsmouth yesterday. The Bishop of London was Principal Consecrator of the Bishop… Read more »

David Richards
David Richards
Reply to  Simon Bravery
1 month ago

That fact that there is no Archbishop of Wales at present is precisely why Welby should have kept his digit out of this particular pie. This has absolutely nothing to do with the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury – either his Provincial jurisdiction or as President of the Lambeth Conference. The Church in Wales is an independent, autonomous (and disestablished) province of the Anglican Communion. If he carries on like this at next year’s Lambeth Conference, there’s going to be quite a furore. Not only has his intervention caused consiberable anger in Wales, it has also served to demonstrate… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  David Richards
1 month ago

I don’t want to monopolise comment on TA today, but I think it is fair to ask you what you think of Simon Hart, as Secretary of State for Wales (and part-constituency MP), writing in his official ministerial capacity to the Archbishop of Canterbury, referring to the vacancy in the Archbishopric of Wales, and specifically calling for the Archbishop to take action and stating that the response would be published in any event. As you will have read here, other contributors on this thread would have preferred that matters had been left to the Bishop of Bangor. But surely the… Read more »

David Richards
David Richards
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I’ll tell you what I think of Simon Hart, Rowland. He is a deeply divisve figure who seeks to undermine the autonomy of the devolved Government here in Wales at every opportunity – even when it was streets ahead of England in managing the effects of the pandemic. If Archbishop Welby had even bothered to take the temperature here in Wales before appeasing his Tory friends in Westminster, he would have known that. An Archiepiscopal vacancy does not give Welby any – any – pretext for interfering in the affairs of an independent, autonomous province. Would he do it Kenya… Read more »

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  David Richards
1 month ago

“If he carries on like this at next year’s Lambeth Conference, there’s going to be quite a furore.” Isn’t part of the larger question whether a Lambeth Conference makes much sense as such, including the criticism latent in your own comment? He is the one making invitations and setting the agenda. Arguably more authority resides in that very fact than whether this recent parochial intervention is valid or to be questioned. The Communion that may once have wanted this role and this conference is no longer sure, on both sides of the theological fence. Covid is allowing things to hibernate.… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

All that sounds like a veiled excuse for saying, as some branches of the Communion have at least said directly, “we don’t want to be part of a Church that accepts the gays. We want the AofC to kick them out, and if he won’t, we don’t want him as our leader. “ Better to see who wants to come, listen to what they have to say, and then work towards the future from that.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
1 month ago

I am not convinced the present arrangement makes sense, but I have said that frequently previously. The comment spoke of the role/conduct of the ABC vis-a-vis provinces not his own. I agreed and widened the lens.

But you seem to be preoccupied with a single issue.

“Better to see who wants to come, listen to what they have to say, and then work towards the future from that.” That anodyne goal is likely to happen whenever the Lambeth Conference takes place. That is hardly in doubt.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

The whole of the Lambeth Conference seems pretty anodyne these days Christopher. But some kind of conservative/Global south (dreadful inaccurate term) take over, as you and others propose, would create a situation in which the power created would likely be abused. The current arrangement at least preserves some balance.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  Andrew Godsall
1 month ago

Breathe easy. I am proposing nothing of the kind. I have heard of nothing of the kind. It is far more likely that the Communion just creaks along, fissures politely, etc.

What happens in the CofE is significant to the degree to which people have thought of it as represented by an historical See. We can see here how frazzled that state of affairs is.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

You have heard nothing of the kind Christopher? I’m sorry that I find that hard understand. You mentioned the Global South covenant, which I know you have spoken of warmly before, and is of course, quite similar to the dreadful Anglican Communion Covenant that failed. I know that Graham Kings, another enthusiast for the Anglican Covenant, was keen to point out that the Global South covenant was ‘loyal to Canterbury’, but the document has an appendix that at the very least raises concerns about what the C of E might do as a result of LLF. It notes that “the… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Perhaps the niceties about how authority is exercised in the Anglican Communion is lost on most people in secular society. Had a bishop in, say, Nigeria made a grossly offensive homophobic statement, many of us on TA might expect the Archbishop of Canterbury to dissociate himself from such views. When it’s a Welsh woman bishop slagging off the Tories, some people think Mr Welby should keeps his nose out of the Church in Wales. Had he said nothing about the bishop’s offensive tweet, it might have illustrated he’s too spineless to defend his fellow Old Etonians in the Tory Government.… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

If the Archbishop of Canterbury presumed to apologize to the Government of Canada for something one of our Canadian bishops had said about them, I for one would be offended.

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Unlike Wales, Canada is not in the United Kingdom where Justin Welby is a citizen under Tory rule.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

Why do you feel the need to mention that she is a Welsh woman bishop? You don’t say, ‘Had a male bishop in, say, Nigeria…’

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

I was as surprised as Kelvin Holdsworth and yourself, Jonathan, when I read of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intervention but, of course, that was not the whole story and Kelvin Holdsworth’s article does not include some further facts which are relevant. Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales approached the Archbishop as the ostensible primus inter pares of the bishops of the Anglican Communion (not as the diocesan of Canterbury) due to the post of the Archbishop of Wales being currently vacant. Of course, Cantuar could have replied “not within my jurisdiction”, but how would that have looked? Wasn’t he… Read more »

Clare Amos
Clare Amos
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

With respect Rowland – the ‘correct’ response of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the circumstances ought to have commented briefly that the Welsh Sec should direct his correspondence to the Bishop of Bangor in view of the current vacancy in the position of Archbishop of Wales. And left it at that. That is both giving information and making clear the limits of the ABC’s authority in the matter.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Clare Amos
1 month ago

I agree! Nevertheless I thought the Archbishop deserved a fairer hearing.

I’m not at all sure that the Secretary of State for Wales (who happens to be the constituency MP) acted appropriately in his intervention at that official level. I’m not suggesting that he was ultra vires in making peremptory demands of the Archbishop, moreover stating that he would publish the response, but feel distinctly uneasy about it and consider that it was discourteous. The Bishop of Bangor’s dignified reply is clear that the point was not lost on him.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I suspect that I may be alone here in considering the two final paragraphs of Simon Hart’s letter to the two bishops to be slightly impertinent. Please read them before commenting!

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

The Church in Wales is the severed limb of the Church of England: the latter knows it has gone, but it can still ‘feel’ it twitch. You would have thought, 101 years on, that the Church of England might have become accustomed to the reality of the loss. However, it also seems that the Tories, whose ditchers were prepared to fight to the last to preserve the endowments, private patronage and impropriated tithe rentcharge of the four Welsh dioceses, as if indeed the fate of Christendom depended upon it (http://www.gkc.org.uk/gkc/books/smith.txt), have also failed to reconcile themselves to the century-old status… Read more »

Fr. Dean
Fr. Dean
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

Bishop Penberthy it seems was almost as prolific as President Trump on Twitter. What would be the daily average of tweets for her on that basis? The bishop must have been giving an almost constant running commentary during her waking hours! Mrs Thatcher apparently only needed 4 hours sleep a night, perhaps Bishop Penberthy shares that capacity if not the politics.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
1 month ago

My takeaway from K Holdsworth’s column is: yet another effort from him to worry aloud about the special place of the SEC. This participates, as well, in the post-Brexit excitement/confusion in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, the shrinking profile of the SEC (and how not to lose it altogether). Wales is called upon to participate in this worrying. Thanks to all those widening the lens on the matter here at TA.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

I fail to see how a Welsh bishop’s offensive tweet about the Tories has anything to do with Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s position over Brexit.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

That’s likely because you do not know very much about Scotland…

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

I’m aware, for instance, that the Church of Scotland appears to be in terminal decline losing 20% of members in five years. And this decline is seen among Scottish Roman Catholics. Why single out the SEC, and why is it special? You may not like the liberal direction of the SEC but silly tweets from Welsh bishops about Tories affect Scottish religion not one jot.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  FrDavid H
1 month ago

The author is in the SEC, obviously, and not the Kirk. No one in the Kirk used this as an occasion to comment.

I said nothing about the ‘liberal direction’ of the SEC (or the Kirk).

Scottish religion? What is that?

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

“Scottish religion” is faith as practised by Scots. You singled out the SEC as having “a shrinking profile”. It shares that with Scottish religion in general, but particularly the Church of Scotland. Your implied criticism of Dean Holdsworth suggests he shouldn’t regard the SEC as a “special place”. Perhaps that’s why he’s a member. To “lose it altogether” would be extremely sad. But perhaps you don’t agree.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

The comment only made sense from someone taking umbrage at the Archbishop of Canterbury (viz., a member of a church in communion with him). No one in the Kirk cares, and equally the Roman Catholic world.

I have never heard of Scottish religion. Must be an English idea.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

“The shrinking profile of the SEC” (your words) can only be truly understood within the context of the shrinking role of religion in Scotland which you fail to acknowledge. Otherwise your comment is unfairly biased. The notion of Scottish religion isn’t English, For instance, the Church of Scotland is a religion which was invented in Scotland. The clue is in the name. It is different from, say, right-wing, evangelical fundamentalism . That comes from the USA and is called “American religion”.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  C R SEITZ
1 month ago

Or perhaps because you don’t, Christopher?

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 month ago

Let’s see. I lived for a decade in Scotland as Professor at St Andrews. (K. Holdsworth’s Yorkshire father was my golf partner). I was licensed in the SEC. I co-teach and am close friends with a Glaswegian and we speak regularly about life on the ground in Scotland (including recent 6 May voting results). 

Now, if someone wanted to question how much the English know about Scotland, that would make sense to me…

Last edited 1 month ago by C R SEITZ
Kate
Kate
1 month ago

One wonders if Justin Welby votes Tory.

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

Being in The House of Lords, he presumably doesn’t get a vote.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Peter Owen
1 month ago

But by convention they don’t. Your link (updated 2014) goes to the debate in the HL in June 1983 when it was stated that Archbishop Runcie was the only bishop known to have exercised the right. By implication that remains the position.

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Peter Owen
1 month ago

Thank you. I stand corrected. Seems a bit of an anomaly to me that they can.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Shamus
1 month ago

It’s explained in the link, but as stated above, they don’t exercise the right anyway.

Father David
Father David
1 month ago

I am grateful to Rowland Wateridge for including links to the three letters from the Secretary of State for Wales, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Bangor. Grateful because until I read the letters I had not realised that Simon Hart was the Secretary of State for Wales and being half-Welsh myself I should have shewn a keener interest in these matters. I am quite aware that Mark Drakeford is First Minister of Wales and was interested to learn from him that “Tenors are more likely to emit more virus than altos and sopranos” but as to the… Read more »

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

Father David – the bizarre statement that ‘Tenors are more likely to emit more virus than altos and sopranos’ was met with derision and bemusement. It appeared in a Welsh Assembly update, released on Friday evening, making it permissible once more for worshippers to sing in church in Wales – but beware of standing next to a tenor, he might breathe killer germs all over you. Well, not quite. The sentence was removed, as its scientific basis was, um, a meme. In the fullness of time, a lot of restrictions imposed on churches will turn out to have been wholly… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
1 month ago

I was interested to read Zachary Guiliano’s rationale for wearing black (and, evidently, only black – apart from the white collar).

I have always thought black a joyless colour, projecting a joyless image of our faith. So it’s good to see the reasoning behind it.

Zachary Guiliano
Zachary Guiliano
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Thank you, Janet.

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

I was struck by Sarah Mullally’s comments. This shows that she is finally understanding the harm that is being done to LGBTQ people by the church’s position. It does show a development in her thinking. The question will be how will this translate into action? Among other things she says that ‘Actions that cause harm must not be confused with the call to ‘deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Jesus.’ Yes, we are called in different ways to share in the sufferings of Christ, but never to impose that suffering on others.’ . Here she hits the nail… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

Actually I thought it an extremely disappointing piece. She said nothing likely to upset anyone. It felt like wanting approval from LGBTI people while offering nothing whatsoever or putting any skin in the game.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Kate
1 month ago

And I was a bit concerned about her un-nuanced criticism of secrecy. Yes secrecy can be a problem, but it is context specific. At other times secrecy and confidentiality are absolutely necessary. For a young LGBTQ person growing up in a conservative evangelical church, secrecy may be the one thing that protects them whilst they explore their options. And would it be possible for the rector of such a church to stand up in the pulpit and demand that all the hidden LGBTQ people in his congregation declare themselves, using Bishop Sarah’s text as authority? I get the impression that… Read more »

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
Reply to  Simon Dawson
1 month ago

Bishop Sarah worked in the NHS at a senior level for many years and should be more than aware and understanding of issues around race, equality and sexuality. It seems the move to the church has released her from having to actually apply the previous knowledge and commitment to inclusion and equality. I read the piece but will be interested to see if she supports a total ban on so called conversion therapy or still looks for a coercion loophole so certain elements in the church can carry on abusing people in the name of religion. Not impressed sadly.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Marise Hargreaves
1 month ago

Marise, I am aware of bishop Sarah’s nursing background, but that was a long time ago. And much of her later NHS career was at a senior policy level working in Whitehall, impressive work but remote from the front line. She may well have a general understanding of, and sympathy towards, these issues based on her past experience. But that is different to a deep knowledge of contemporary customs, practise and understandings in an area where things are changing on an almost daily basis. As an ex nurse myself I want to support her, but so often I see what… Read more »

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
Reply to  Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

Indeed, in the Roman empire, was not the cross often a punishment for those who refused to accept the lesser place which society gave to them and others like them, such as rebellious slaves?

Ann Reddecliffe
Ann Reddecliffe
1 month ago

Colin Coward’s article brought back memories. I was one of those who took part in the ‘not taking note’ demonstration outside Church House at the February 2017 General Synod. Interesting how that has played out in the intervening years.
.
Synod voted not to take note of the report, thus rejecting it. It contained the proposal for a bishops’ teaching document (which eventually became LLF) and the bishops went ahead and did it anyway. The report also contained some legal advice at the end about how the church could authorise same sex marriage but this got ignored.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

As we are sometimes scolded for writing too much about one subject, or for not writing al all about another published on the same page, I found Zachary Guiliano’s The Living Church articleWhy I wear black” very inspiring.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

My own view is that God appears to love colour, judging by his lavish displays in the world around us and the instructions for building the Tabernacle in Exodus. So when clergy wear colour and are creative with what they wear, it expresses something important about the nature of God.

It’s a good thing we’re all different, because it takes every one of us, and more, to show even a little of the riches of God’s nature.

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

I’m all for creativity in designing vestments which express the liturgical seasons. But it’s time to draw the line at garish clergy T-shirts, torn tinted jeans and abominably coloured sneakers. There is a limit to clerical dignity.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

I go back a long way, and clerical shirts did not exist in my youth, when dog collars and black bib were universal in the C of E. Tim Chesterton might be amused that a Canadian curate broke the mould in our parish with a grey bib – sufficiently different to be noticed! – and the next Rector followed that lead. But coloured shirts for clergy were unknown – except for recreation – and summer camp was the only time I ever saw them in those far off days, the 1940s and 50s.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

There used to be a wonderful blog called ‘Bad Vestments’, dedicated to sharing photographs of the most abominably coloured and garish chasubles, altar frontals and clergy headgear. Sadly, it was taken down a few years ago. Some of the photographs on it had to be seen to be believed.

C R SEITZ
C R SEITZ
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

“There is a limit to clerical dignity.”

Thank you for that line!

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

My view entirely, Janet. Some clergy will wear black clerical dress. Some won’t wear clerical dress at all. This all seems a little Romans 14-ish to me. Some wear black to the glory of God. Some dress casually to the glory of God. We’re all grown ups and we think things through and do what seems appropriate to us. My father wore his clerical collar all the time; I know why he did that and I honour him for it. I, on the other hand, rarely wear a clerical collar except when leading services. My reasons are both theological and… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Tim: Your father was obedient to Canon C27 of the C of E!:

“Of the dress of Ministers
“The apparel of a bishop, priest, or deacon shall be suitable to his office; and, save for purposes of recreation and other justifiable reasons, shall be such as to be a sign and mark of his holy calling and ministry as well to others as to those committed to his spiritual charge.”

It’s unchanged. Today the skill is in the interpretation of ‘other justifiable reasons’!

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

And ‘such as is suitable to his office’. There are any number of views on that. (Evidently the stipulation doesn’t apply to female clergy. Can’t make up my mind whether that’s a good thing or a bad!)

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Yes!

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I’m fortunate to live and work in a church that has no such canon.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Tim: Your not infrequent references to things being better at your end surely aren’t really necessary. But from other comments here, the Canons of the C of E hardly register with some of the people who are subject to them. A church freed from a rigid straightjacket or a church of declining standards? I suspect TA readers could be in either camp.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Mark Clavier’s piece in The Living Church “Restoring the Ecology of Faith” is also recommended reading and resonates with my own experience in the C of E, starting with Sunday School at about the age of five. Canon Clavier writes from the Church in Wales, and far more relevant (and dare I say edifying) than the current discussion, not to say furore, about St David’s – faith and religious observance, not politics, are the subjects here.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

In the brouhaha over Dr Penberthy’s copious tweeting, one of the comments that has attracted most attention is quoted in Simon Hart’s letter: ‘A very sad indictment of the British electorate is that so many want to vote Tory. Absolutely appalling. I am ashamed of each and every one of you.’ In Christ there is no east or west, we believe. A bishop’s influence isn’t confined to his or her diocese, or ceases to have effect at the provincial boundary. It carries weight and authority far and wide by virtue of the episcopal office and a high profile in an… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Following the discussion about the use of Black in Anglican Clerical Vesture. One should remember certain Monastic origins of this in both Eastern and Western Monasticism, when Black was associated and still is in this Monastic as a sign of death to the world and Penance, and a reminder of the Baptismal renunciation of the World, the Flesh and the Devil, which the Monastic Vows in Benedictine form of Conversion of Life, Obedience and Stability are expressions of. The Black Cassock worn by a Priest with the Belt securing it is derived from the Benedictine Monastic Habit, minus the Cowled… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

That still happens at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough (Hampshire). In the photograph I have the pall is black with a red cross superimposed on it.

David Rowett
David Rowett
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Worth noting that RB 55 makes no mention of the colour of the monastic habit (dyed/undyed), only observing that the monastic shouldn’t be concerned about whatever colour it might be, and merely says that it should be serviceable and available at reasonable cost. The Cistercian preference for undyed cloth reflects a wish to return to that earlier simplicity and unworldliness, I imagine. No doubt, though, rather like the vesting prayers give a spiritual significance to what were originally everyday garments, there’s something going on about symbolism in the preference of some communities for black. And, with a nod towards my… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  David Rowett
1 month ago

David when I was a Monk at Roslin, the Founder of my Community Father Roland Walls very much kept to this principle about the Habit being serviceable and of reasonable cost, that for Winter Habits, Grey Army Blankets were used for Habit material and for our Summer Habits Blue Denim, However in 1985 Father Roland started getting getting cold feet about the use of Denim and felt it was no longer the material of the Poor but the Rich mans fair and decided on a cheaper material, which took us to the realms of eccentricity! one day he saw some… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

Thanks, Jonathan, that’s interesting background. What, then, is the rationale for bishops’ purple, cardinals’ scarlet, and papal white robes? Presumably they too are expected to ‘die to the world and to sin’?

In the C of E nowadays many priests wear cassock albs for services, rather than black cassocks. Since my second curacy, in a church where cassock alb was clergy wear, I’ve worn my black cassock only for funerals, Good Friday, and sometimes morning or evening prayer.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

As far as Bishops purple is concerned Janet from what I understand it was worn by the Caesars in the Roman Empire, and I remember my old friend and Mentor the late Father Roland Walls, was leading the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church (as he told this story to me and others) during the time Bishop Francis Moncrieff was the Primus and Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway and he reminded the Scottish Bishops that they were wearing the Purple of Caesar and the Purple that was put on Christ in mockery so Father Roland said to them… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago

A PS to this Janet should have read Father Roland leading the College of the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church on a quiet day! Jonathan

74
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x