Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 29 September 2021

Martyn Percy Modern Church “Nuts and Bolts” (III): Reflecting on the Governance Review Group Report
[We linked to parts I and II here.]

Charlie Bell ViaMedia.News General Synod: Honest to God!

‘Angela’ Surviving Church Power abuse against Church Leaders. The Witness of a Parishioner

The Archbishop of York gave this lecture at St Martin in the FieldsThe Dream for the Church

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
19 days ago

Martyn Percy Modern Church “Nuts and Bolts” (III): Reflecting on the Governance Review Group Report
[We linked to parts I and II here.]

“Breaking news. The Church of England does not have to exist. God can build the kingdom without us. So we need to discover why we exist”

Starter for ten…

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
19 days ago

Personally I would have said that the historic purpose was quite possibly acting as a focus for a Eucharistic communion in every (geographic) community. And, by combining parishes, that’s no longer the case.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
19 days ago

What a gorgeous poem by Charles Peguy which Stephen quotes at the end of his talk. God putting God’s own hopes and dreams within us, as dreams for us to dream as well, to dare to live, to journey with, to open up to in our being, and the becoming God calls us to. It’s God who challenges and incites us, within our own dreams, in the elusive pursuit of a word called hope. “You will meet me often as you work –        in your companions, who share the risk        in your friends, who believe in you enough                to lend their own dreams   their… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
19 days ago

‘Angela’s’ experience is sadly not uncommon. Although this does not excuse bullying for one moment I do wonder if young clergy after only a three year title post have sufficient experience to be an incumbent. Second curacies had almost died out when I was ordained but most clergy were expected to be a team vicar or equivalent before taking on a parish of their own. Even then I had some hairy moments and had to draw on all my reserves and experience to get me through. As a union rep I was aware of many such cases that led to… Read more »

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Fr Dean
19 days ago

I attended a First Incumbent Course early into my first parish. I pointed out to the person leading it that he had never been a parish priest and had only had experience of his curacy. He assured me that although that was true he had a lot of experience of running courses.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Toby Forward
18 days ago

Therein is the problem writ large for the CofE. As I’ve posted before you expect your anaesthetist to have considerable experience of anaesthesia, I think it’s reasonable to expect bishops to have significant parish experience too.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  Fr Dean
18 days ago

One of the problems of the C of E is that too many bishops and report-writers have considerable experience of anaesthesia!

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
17 days ago

And amnesia.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Janet Fife
17 days ago

I wondered to a bishop if bishops’ meetings began with rohypnol. He said not.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dean
18 days ago

It’s not only young and inexperienced clergy who get bullied; older, experienced, and even tough clergy get bullied too. However experienced you are, if the majority of the (inherited) PCC and standing committee are hostile, or if someone is spreading malicious false rumours, there’s a limit to what you can do. Especially if you’re new to the area so people don’t know and haven’t learned to trust you yet.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Janet Fife
18 days ago

Absolutely Janet, I know that from my own personal experience as well as my union work.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dean
18 days ago

An RC colleague once told me of his bishop’s advice: ‘In any parish you’ll be the wrong priest for 25% of the congregation. That may not matter. But if the 25% are the ones with influence, you’re in trouble.’

Add to that prejudices against a particular race, sex, sexual orientation, class, accent, theology, or churchmanship, and things can get very complicated. Then if it falls to you to implement a pastoral reorganisation, introduce the Church’s latest liturgy, or close a building, and things can be very difficult.

Richard
Richard
19 days ago

Martyn Percy’s use of “systemic autism” language in his Part III article is deeply problematic, dehumanizing and stigmatising, and needs to be challenged. There are plenty of us autistic Christians in the Church of England. At times it is not an entirely pleasant place to be for us, and we can be mistreated, bullied, ostracised, both by the structures of the church and also by our fellow parishioners. I was, I understand, nearly removed from Reader training for being autistic, apparently failing to interact with my peers in what was deemed an “acceptable” way. (This was 17 years before I… Read more »

Ann Memmott
Ann Memmott
Reply to  Richard
18 days ago

Richard, absolutely. Modern Church have apologised for the dehumanising and wholly inaccurate portrayal of our lovely autistic people this article and I understand are now reviewing it with the author.
I have so many autistic Christian friends who have prayed for Martyn, contributed to his funding, and otherwise cheered him on in the darkest of times. It is sad indeed to see that this is his view of us.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Ann Memmott
18 days ago

Yay, they have replaced “autism” and “autistic” with “disorder” and “disordered” throughout the piece. Whoopee. That makes everything so much better 🙁

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
18 days ago

If I say the Church of England suffers from ‘systemic amnesia’, am I being insensitive to those with amnesia?

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
18 days ago

To my mind it would depend rather on the rest of what you said: whether you peppered it with outdated, ill-informed notions of what amnesia is and how amnesiac people behave, and used those ideas to advance your arguments?

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Richard
18 days ago

So, Richard, are you saying Martyn Percy has peppered his piece with ill-informed notions of what autism is, and how autistic people behave, and using those ideas to advance his arguments?

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
18 days ago

Yes.

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