Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 5 August 2020

Giles Fraser The Telegraph Is the Church of England determined to kill off the parish church?
There are some letters in response to this article in today’s Telegraph.

Silvia Gosnell Institute of Sacred Music Inside!

Andrew McGowan Journal of Anglican Studies Communion and Pandemic

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Human evil -individual and corporate

Ian Paul Psephizo Bishops should throw away their mitres

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FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

Judges wear wigs. Policemen have helmets. Soldiers wear berets and bishops wear mitres. What’s Ian Paul’s problem? Get over it.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

Jesus wore (so far as we know) no special headdress or attire. Why then should his episcopal servants wear more lavish headwear than their master? Isn’t that just a bit odd?

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

I think Jesus wore gaiters and a Canterbury cap… and, of course, buskins.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

This is better than Life of Brian. The big questions are: what underwear did he don, or did he go commando; and did the colours vary with the liturgical season – Jewish of course.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
1 month ago

Some scamp told me that he wore red feathers and a hooly hooly skirt. Going commando would be unwise in those circs Stan.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Ian Paul always writes as if he were the Pope issuing a Bull. That is one of the many reasons that I rarely agree with him. This mitre discussion is no exception.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

As I have said in a separate comment, the present Pope sets an example in liturgical and ceremonial dress, preferring simplicity and dignity in both.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard
Father David
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

I seem to remember that someone sometime suggested that bishops should throw their mitres into the Thames but I can’t remember who that was?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

Richard Holloway threw his mitre into the Thames in response to the rampant homophobia at a Lambeth Conference. He felt sick, not about the head gear, but over the vile hatred he’d just heard.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Owen

Richard Holloway used to host a very strange television programme “When I go to Heaven”. He has since left the church. This anti-mitre propaganda is a manifestation of ultra-protestantism. These people choose to ignore the C of E’s Catholic antecedents. Of course the SEC is entirely free to do what it wants, albeit that Google carries a recent photograph of four of their bishops wearing gold mitres in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen. Clearly Richard Holloway’s idea did not come to fruition. Pat O’Neill, writing from America, has correctly summed it up for us.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rowland Wateridge
FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago

I understand Richard Holloway has not left the Church. As an agnostic, he is still drawn to Jesus and takes his inspiration from the myth of the Jesus story. His beliefs make far more sense than the vacuous certainty of many CofE bishops with their literalist management-speak which is emptying the Churches.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  FrDavid H

I admit that I have not watched it, but there is a YouTube interview of former Bishop Richard Holloway which is titled “On leaving the Church”. When I referred to his idea not coming to fruition, I was not referring to his beliefs or theology, but the idea of the bishops en masse throwing their mitres into the Thames, and making the point that the current SEC bishops have not abandoned wearing them. I don’t think my post can reasonably be read in any other way.

John S
John S
1 month ago

I heard Richard Holloway when I was student-age. He was inspirational and profound and moving and I never doubted that he was infinitely deeper in his understanding of God than me. And “ultra protestant”, or for that matter a mere purveyor of propaganda, he emphatically was not. When I read something he has said, I prefer to seek to understand rather than to dismiss.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  John S

Clearly Richard Holloway is not ultra-Protestant, and I did not intend to say that. I also remember him as Primus. His subsequent agnosticism (to which Father David H refers above) came as a considerable surprise. I categorised opposition to the mitre as being ultra-Protestant and think that is fair and, as a generalisation, reasonably accurate. Perhaps I muddied the waters by referring to his television programme “When I go to Heaven”. That was, of course, before he became an agnostic.

Jim Pratt
Jim Pratt
1 month ago

Richard Holloway was certainly not ultra-Protestant. He was rector of the Advent in Boston, a historic Anglo-Catholic parish.

Daniel Lamont
Daniel Lamont
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

I think, from having heard him speak both publically and been in seminars with him, that Richard Holloway’s position is much more nuanced than Rowland Wateridge gives him credit for. I have even in the past year or so been in the same congregation for worship. I think to label him as ‘agnostic’ is too simplistic. He is certainly out of sympathy with the institutional church but that is not the same as is implied by the bald label ‘agnostic’. .   He gave an address at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year which gave some idea of his current… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel Lamont

Richard Holloway is widely described as a ‘Christian agnostic’. I took my cue from Father David H’s post above which corresponded with my own understanding. Of course it is accepted that he is a good and holy man.

I specifically said that I remembered him as Primus. But to repeat what I have said to Jim Pratt, he has ‘moved on’. Please let’s not make this discussion unnecessarily contentious.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

Please read my post again. That is precisely what I said. As an organist I know about the Church of the Advent and its Anglo-Catholic tradition. But Bishop Holloway has moved on.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

It has always seemed to me that the call to abandon the episcopal mitre…like the desire to address all Anglican clergy as “mister”…belongs in the rubbish bin of Cromwellian anti-papish Puritanism.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
1 month ago
Reply to  Pat O'Neill

or ‘Miss’, Mrs.’ or ‘Ms.’, of course

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
1 month ago
Reply to  Janet Fife

Well, yes, but in my experience, the ultra-Puritans are not in favor of women’s ordination anyway.
 

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Unconscious irony Richard Dr Paul is a former Roman Catholic

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
1 month ago

Dr Fraser’s article is of course behind a paywall so I can’t comment on what he says directly; however I see that the new bishop of Sherwood has never been a parish priest and so this might communicate a great deal about how the CofE views parish ministry, for he is surely not the only bishop with little or no parish experience.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago

Yes, Dean. Sherwood’s full time parish experience according to Crockford is a brief HTB curacy. Has he hands on experience of a couple “wanting the baby done”, or an unchurched couple who might come once to hear the banns read, or a funeral of someone who “wasn’t a churchgoer but was a Christian”, or ministry in a church community with no critical mass of willing and able volunteers, or ministry in an ex-mining community that’s absolutely on its knees through poverty, or rows between flower arrangers? Since suffragans are in the running for diocesan posts, I’d say this matters. But… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Stanley Monkhouse
Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
1 month ago

Wonderful Stan! I could add the young lady who thought I should cancel someone else’s wedding so she could have that time slot. This was her right because her Mummy helped do the flowers from time to time. The families who chose a civil celebrant because the deceased was an atheist but still thought they should have a space for the ashes in the consecrated churchyard because “it’s such a pretty spot”.

David Exham
David Exham
1 month ago

Over the years there have surely been many bishops who have had little or no experience as a parish priest. This is not a new phenomenon.

Father David
1 month ago
Reply to  David Exham

At one point the sure way of gaining a tea cosy was to be Head of a Theological College but so many of these arcane institutions have now been closed. Prior to that the way to the Bench was to be Headmaster of a prestigious Public School. Nowadays the route to preferment and a place among the Superior Clergy is to be an Evangelical with good managerial skills.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

“with good managerial skills”

I think the word “good” in that is misplaced and it would be more accurate to say “experience of management within a large organisation”

I made the distinction for two reasons

1. Good management adapts to the culture of an organisation. Instead I think we have seen attempts to bend the culture to fit a particular (fairly authoritarian) management style.

2. The best managers are leaders not exponents of “management skills”

Jeremy Pemberton
Jeremy Pemberton
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

If only the managerial skills were good. In fact, they are often very poor as all the victims of sex abuse in the Church will tell you.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Exham

Indeed David and this lamentable state of affairs has coincided with relentless decline. Without parishes there are no dioceses. Without parishes there is no cash!

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

With reference to the paywall, my municipal library ticket gives me free access to every national newspaper in the UK, apart from the Times. So I read the article in newspaper format online and copied and saved it in text format. I do not know whether I would be breaching copyright if I pasted the article, and the responses on the letters page today, on this thread?

Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Or, if you do not have the time to go to the library, it is quite easy to hack your way in.

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
1 month ago

my money is on Giles Fraser…….   SIR – Giles Fraser claims that officials are trying to centralise the Church of England in the face of Covid-19. As a member of the Archbishops’ Council, I know his claim amounts to nothing. Since March I have spent hours in meetings – never Giles’s strong point – working with officials to ensure that parish churches like mine and his have the resources to serve God and neighbour. The technology he airily dismisses has actually enabled parishes churches to be parish churches over recent months. Good middle-way Anglicanism has to recognise the new opportunities… Read more »

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

I’ve never really thought that snarky comments from Canons have added to the good news of the faith once delivered. Canon Butler rather confirms me in that view.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

Canons exchange fire on London’s Southbank!   Zoom Church appears to be at odds with the geographical Church, as there’s nothing distinctively Anglican about it. Providing resources for parishioners who can’t attend church buildings during lockdown may be justified, but it means that once they are freely available – for say, a whole year’s lectionary cycle – there’s little need to add more readings, talks and prayers.   Competition with other providers of the Christian message is probably much greater online than in a geographical locality, where churches and chapels of various denominations have always been able to depend on… Read more »

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
1 month ago

Whilst sympathising with Ian Paul’s observations, I must admit to feeling any debate on vesture is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I could care less what a bishop wears provided their teaching is orthodox and their behaviour pastoral.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

Absolutely correct. 1.5% of the entire population of England is worshiping in the “Church of England.” It is hard to imagine that a mitre is to blame. What it does do is allow people to posture around Anglican claims to be “Catholic.” That is also deck chair stuff.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

Only thanks to Pope Leo XIII. A little more ecumenical generosity and tolerance wouldn’t go amiss.

Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

Any bishop with “Catholic”pretensions should get measured for a Cappa Magna.

Father David
1 month ago

Archbishops Lang and Fisher occasionally used to wear something similar with choir boys holding the train.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Some people do look ridiculous in mitres, either because they choose to wear gaudy and inappropriate ones or they don’t wear them properly. Their best model to follow would be Pope Francis: simple, dignified, traditional shape, only liturgical colours and no sunsets or other aberrations.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

Better still, follow the older tradition of no liturgical colours but plain gold normally and plain white during Advent, Lent and for services for the departed.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

I don’t disagree. On reflection, liturgical colours would refer to the chasuble, stole and, in those enlightened places which retain it, the maniple.
 
On checking quickly, Pope Francis favours a white mitre, but I found one example of the lining being in liturgical green. Of course he has an extensive ‘wardrobe’, but early made it known that he did not want over-elaborate vestments.

Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
1 month ago

One could add rainbow flags to the list of aberrations.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

What a wonderful piece by Ian Paul. He expresses so clearly the reasons why wearing mitres is un-Anglican and outright theologically wrong, rather than just irrelevant.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate: Ian Paul might be right about the lapse in wearing the mitre, but from early times it continued to be used in the C of E as a symbol of episcopal authority as, for example, incorporated in the coat of arms of Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), successively Bishop of Ely, Chichester and Winchester.
 
Of course, you and Ian Paul are entitled to hold your views, but to say that wearing the mitre is ‘un-Anglican’ simply isn’t correct. I won’t comment about theology or irrelevance.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rowland Wateridge
Richard
Richard
1 month ago

I noticed over the weekend that the Diocese of Sydney (Australia) has a mitre on their diocesan shield. I might be the only mitre to be found there these days!

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

Who gets to decide what is Anglican and what is un-Anglican? Ian mentions that the wearing of mitres appeared at the time of the Oxford Movement. Is that a bad thing? There are many post-Reformation traditions that have been rethought.   Recently I watched some old videos on YouTube of the enthronements of Archbishops of Canterbury in the 20th Century. There is a clear line between cope and mitre affairs and earlier events. Prior to the cope and mitre, archbishops wore Geneva gowns and preaching tabs, and the gowns had trains of 15 to 20 feet with trainbearers running alongside.… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

The C of E, which I treat as the meaning of Anglican or vice versa, is a multi-faceted body. I’m not at all convinced that the Oxford movement ‘introduced’ wearing the mitre or, put another way, that its former use was obsolete since the Reformation. I mentioned in a post above that it continued to be used symbolically, and the specific early example of Lancelot Andrewes. Another Bishop of Winchester Peter Mews fought (and was wounded) in the Civil War. His memorial incorporates a mitre above a crossed sword and crozier! Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St Asaph is another, late… Read more »

Father David
1 month ago

I do believe that saintly Bishop Edward King was the first post Reformation prelate to actually wear the mitre on his head rather than simply have it on his headed note paper and cutlery. Unfortunately his present day successor hasn’t been able to wear his mitre for well over a year now and no one seems to know the reason why?

David Rowett
David Rowett
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

I believe he was photographed wearing same in a church in my deanery (St Mary, Wrawby) and that said photograph was displayed prominently at the Church Society’s premises in London to whip up protestation about the Romish plotting of EK and his ilk.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

I agree with you. My reply was addressed to Kate, not you.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Not sure if I have offended. I wasn’t saying anything contentious, only adding my own thoughts about what being Anglican means. I thought mentioning the unusual combination of mitre, sword and pastoral staff of Peter Mews, cleric, statesman and soldier might be of general interest.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

I think where I am skeptical–it was not a view I held twenty years ago–is over ongoing use of the word “Catholic” by groups whose Bishops (mitred or not) are not in Communion. It was one thing, perhaps, for Anglican Divines to declare their protestant/reformed religion as in continuity with the early church (Jewel most famously). It was one thing to imagine a genuine “contest” over claim to the name, to the point of making Catholic worship by the one now holding the name, illegal to the point of death.It was one thing to retain the word “catholic” in the… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  ACI

I think it’s better to call a truce, and perhaps remind ourselves that this is an Anglican website with wide editorial tolerance. Possibly someone more erudite than I might respond.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago

I am by no means engaged in any discussion entailing a ‘truce.’ I am an Anglican (with a PTO in the CofE and service in Scotland, USA and France). The remarks given here would occur to any thoughtful student of history and ecumenism.   I certainly did not direct my comments to you specifically but to a wider drift that mitre-gate seems to have engendered.   Blogs have a 50% possibility for misunderstanding and I enter discussions with great care and also trepidation.   I have tried to address aspects of this in my recent book, Convergences: Canon and Catholicity.… Read more »

Caelius Spinator
Caelius Spinator
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

I’ve seen 17th century bishops with mitres in portraits. There may have been an 18th century backlash or something, but I suspect Rev. Dr. Paul has not consulted an ecclesiastical dress historian for his history.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

“Who gets to decide what is Anglican and what is un-Anglican?”

Anglicanism Is a collection of reformed churches. Things which changed during the Reformation are specifically Anglican because they are part of what sets Anglicanism apart from what had gone before and therefore intrinsic to the meaning of “Anglican”.

(The argument as to whether mitres should be worn is separate to the question as to whether doing so is, or isn’t, Anglican.)

NJW
NJW
1 month ago
Reply to  Kate

The term ‘Anglican’ and ‘Anglicanism’ has an inherent fault in that it can have two very distinct (and partially contradictory) meanings. It is most often used nowadays as a synonym of The Church of England (which is of course the simple equation of Ecclesia Anglicana and Church of England in translating from Latin to English and vice versa. However, this is a relatively recent phenomenon, and flows from the slightly less recent (but still relatively new) use of the term as a descriptor for the family of independent national churches that form the Anglican Communion. (Though, confusingly, this family also… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  NJW

Very true NJW ..Cheslyn Jones characterised the C of E as an “unstable amalgam”which had held together mostly through its erastian framework. The Anglican “experiment” if we want to call it that is coming apart at the seams at least at the Communion level. I think i noted somewhere ( perhaps here) at the beginning of the pandemic the latent tensions in the C of E would rise to the surface …and so it has proved.

ACI
ACI
1 month ago
Reply to  NJW

Though in the end PECUSA wanted to consecrate bishops and for that appeal was made to the Church of England. The SEC only consecrated Seabury (an ardent Tory who appealed first to the CofE).

Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

It will be interesting to see if the articles about corporate wrongdoing within the Church and the existential threat to the parochial system receive as much interest as the article about mitres…   Simon Butler’s riposte to Giles Fraser in the Daily Telegraph has received a considerable amount of comment BTL, and will make sobering reading for members of Archbishops’ Council; indeed, it provoked this, for example: https://johniancarter.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-letter-in-response-to-letter.html. I note that Messrs Butler and Fraser are relatively near neighbours.   The point made by Dr Fraser about the ratio of dignitaries to the rest reminds me of the well-known chapter… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Froghole

Mitres are only a temporary diversion. We have heard little else than about corporate wrongdoing or clergy numbers on TA recently.

Kate
Kate
1 month ago

I found it really very helpful reading Andrew McGowan’s summary of the impact of COVID,-19 on worship. It helped me to distil my own thoughts. . With hindsight, in terms of virtual and dispersed Eucharists it seems to me that most ordained Anglicans have put the emphasis on “Do this…” rather than “in remembrance of me”. That is, the emphasis is placed on the physicality of the sacrament. The Michael Curry quotation repeated by Andrew McGowan is exemplar. However, I believe the instruction was a whole “Do this in remembrance of me” and slavish adherence to the first half made… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Kate
Andy Griffiths
Andy Griffiths
1 month ago

I may be in a minority, but I feel pity for bishops at the moment. When they have had a long experience of parish ministry, there are comments that no one on the episcopal bench has a PhD or experience of theological education; but when the Rev Dr Andy Emerton, Dean of England’s largest theological college, is appointed as bishop there are complaints he hasn’t had sufficient parish experience. When they set a policy (in my opinion, rightly) more strict about clergy working from home than the government’s, twitter was full of priests complaining that they couldn’t go to ‘their’… Read more »

Stephen King
Stephen King
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy Griffiths

Cardinal Hume was a Roman Catholic, spent his priestly life in a monastery before becoming Archbishop of Westminster, and had not been in charge of a parish. But he was very well liked and admired, not least by Her Majesty the Queen.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen King

And that was because everyone could see that he was a holy person,not a bad reason for making someone a bishop!

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

The Church is asset rich but cash poor. The Church Commissioners balance sheet is the healthiest – with £8.7bn mainly in stocks and shares; a shrinking liability for pre-1998 clerical superannuation; and a relatively small budget for capitular stipends and pensions. By contrast, the balance sheets of the forty-two Diocesan Boards of Finances, who have to fund the payroll of parish clergy (approx. £½bn p.a.), are likely to come under severe strain as we approach Advent, with potentially huge liabilities on the horizon as PCCs attempt to repair their own balance sheets.   In the long run, it may make… Read more »

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
1 month ago

Only so-called thinking Anglicans could get so exercised about bishops’ headgear. Do get a life, people. Terrible devastation in Beirut and the people need our prayers.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

With 2020 being a total dumpster-fire of a year, I suggest a relatively frivolous topic such as mitres is a welcome distraction.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

Yes, more frivolity please – and more Catholic tat too having just read in the Church Times that Wippells suffered a 90% drop in income during Lockdown. Just not mitres in liturgical colours. Dalmatics anyone?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

I mentioned maniples, but doubted that many TA readers would appreciate dalmatics or tunicles. I was brought up on all three, but with the arrival of a new incumbent, the church in question was completely stripped of its furnishings, the Lady altar and Sacristy literally demolished and everything, apparently, shipped to Japan of all places. I was never able to trace a faculty for the above desecration which happened long after I had moved away from the parish. I think there may have been complicity on the part of the diocesan bishop. It was not the wish of the congregation,… Read more »

John Wallace
John Wallace
1 month ago

Certainly can’t do maniples, but my liberal catholic parish in normal times has liturgical deacon and subdeacon (both lay) wearing dalmatc and tunicle in appropriate litugical colours and matching the celebrant’s chasuble. Not pompously dressing up, but symbols of reverence and doing things in order as well as obliterating the person. For me the visual is as important as the verbal as we all experience the ‘Other’, the ‘Numinous’ in different ways. That is the glory of the C of E (in spite of the failings documented here) that we can accommodate each other’s styles of worship. Let those who… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  John Wallace

The maniple survives (along with the biretta), or did, when I last visited the London Oratory – I am an Anglican. The initial subject of the mitre has led to some vigorous, even hotly-debated discussion. I began by supporting Pat O’Neill’s pithy summary. As a final personal contribution, perhaps I may mention that I live near Winchester in a village which is the final resting place of both John Keble who initiated the ‘Oxford Movement’ and Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector and son of Oliver. Both sides represented in one place, 300 yards from my front door.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  John Wallace

Please tell us about lay deacons. That’s something I’ve not heard about. Are there lay priests and lay bishops?

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Lay deacons and lay sub-deacons assist the Celebrant (who must, of course, be a priest) at a High Mass. They are nothing new and wear an outer vestment, respectively the dalmatic and tunicle in the liturgical colour of the day, which with the priest’s chasuble would comprise a full set of Eucharistic vestments. An ordained Deacon can, of course, fulfil these functions and typically might read the Gospel.
 
A fairly recent innovation, we now have lay canons as members of cathedral chapters. Priests must be ordained, and bishops must be consecrated.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

I guess I’m old-fashioned. What you have described I would reckon as two sub-deacons. who would each properly wear a tunicle. Bad enough that some churches have a staff of “ministers”, none of which are identified as ordained or not. I know there are many who prefer that ordained clergy melt into the crowd, but I disagree.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Possibly I should not have usurped John Wallace’s right to reply to your question about lay deacons. John Wallace described the practice at his church which accords exactly with what happened at mine some 50 years ago, which was when I last had any involvement in such matters. The priest and deacons all wore an alb and an amice. Priests and Deacons also wore a girdle (of white cord). These are all constituent Eucharistic vestments. In recent years there seems to be less formality in some of the details and ‘modern’ forms of the vestments have been introduced. My impression… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

We already have, de facto, “lay deacons” except that we persist in calling them Readers. Nearly 20 years ago the C of E decided it was time to take the diaconate seriously with the publication of a report to General Synod: “For such a time as this”. The Reader mafia on GS saw this as a threat and the report was spat out like a hot potato. When I become the Anglican Pope (we are in the silly season) Readers will be made an offer they can’t refuse, namely to come to my hand and receive the grace of orders.
 

Last edited 1 month ago by Allan Sheath
Richard
Richard
1 month ago

In my parish, a “full set” of Eucharistic vestments consists of 5 chasubles, 3 copes, two dalmatics and two tunicles, plus a dozen stoles. If you’ve ever seen a Papal Mass from Rome, you have seen two or more deacons (one to sing the Gospel in Latin, one to sing the Gospel in Greek); multiple deacons are not unheard of. Here in the US, two deacons might attend the bishop, each of whom will wear a dalmatic and deacon-wise stole. My parish insists that a priest should not act as deacon (I disagree). All priests or con-celebrants, one of whom… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

One of my last churches was “high”, lovely people. great fun, traditions respected and indeed enhanced. But I could never understand concelebration. I see its function in a monastic setting, but not in the parish. I don’t get the theology. I had a retired priest who liked to concelebrate, and I accommodated his doing so on occasions when I was celebrating (we shared), but I found the presence of a figure at my side flapping his arms about like a demented hen somewhat disturbing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stanley Monkhouse
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

When I was in a Team Ministry we would only concelebrate (non verbally) on Maundy Thursday, when even with a rehearsal it sometimes became a liturgical car crash.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Between us we have run up a record number of posts on this thread which began about people (I suspect you and I would say misguided people) opposed to the wearing of the mitre! By a “full set” of vestments I mean those to be worn at one service in the liturgical colour of the day (or season) rather than the entire contents of the sacristy wardrobe! Your parish is well-endowed in that respect. The stole is not an exclusively Eucharistic vestment; I believe the cope is not at all, but it was used in procession at my church. So… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

The minor order of sub-deacon was scrapped a long time ago. A sub-deacon is always a layperson. A deacon is one of the three ordained orders of ministry in the Anglican church, indeed in all churches with a catholic tradition. Surely there is no rule stating that there can be only one deacon at a Eucharist. I mention Latin and Greek as examples, not as something that a CofE church would do. But a bishop might well have two deacons assisting him at his chair (throne, if you’re old school), both wearing dalmatic and stole. After all, the order of… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

The Church of the Province of South Africa revived the sub diaconate at some point in the past. Im not sure if they still exist, or whether CPSA has distinctive deacons or readers. In many ways pioneer ministers might better be deacons. The C of E can’t decide whether it wants a permanent diaconate or not…there have been experiments in Portsmouth and Salisbury and several reports….Given the importance of deacons in the Nordic Churches I would have thought they have much to teach us in this matter…but then with a church tax they have plenty of money and a long… Read more »

Silvia Gosnell
Silvia Gosnell
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

I echo Richard’s question.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

One of the last princes of the church, Robert Mortimer, was known to wear a lined dalmatic over an alb and a woollen cassock, topped off of course with a lined chasuble. The rationale was that all three orders were present in the person of the bishop. Mercifully on a hot day like this most bishops leave dalmatics behind once priested.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

A minister in alb without tunicle, dalmatic or chasuble is undressed. Pyjamas. If you can’t bring yourself to wear these traditional vestments (of no doctrinal significance according to the canons), then proper canonical vesture is cassock, surplice, scarf & hood, or cassock, surplice, stole. I don’t object to lacy or plain cottas if it’s High Church, but please let them be knee length. Short cottas that barely cover the pubes put me in mind of a bordello. At a Derby cathedral ordination last year I saw one priest wearing hood over scarf, and one wearing hood wit stole. Truly shocking.… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

When Holy Mother Church finally realises what she has been missing all this time and consecrates me to the episcopate I shall insist on dalmatics for those in the inferior order and chasubles for the rest. Any bishop turning up in rochet & chimere will be reduced to the order of penitentes and forced to sit in the narthex vested in a shell suit until Maundy Thursday. As for a bordello, I couldn’t possibly comment.

Stanley Monkhouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Shell suits – there’s an idea. It grows on me, especially with regard to the possible colour combos. It’s bur a short step from that abomination the cassock-alb, itself well on the road to the bordello.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
1 month ago

Ah, it would appear that you have the advantage on me there, Fr.

Jim Pratt
Jim Pratt
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

I did encounter Andrew Hutchison, Bishop of Montreal and Metropolitan of Canada at the time, wearing a dalmatic under his chasuble while presiding at an episcopal ordination.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

Andrew Montreal was very old school. We once spoke of a visiting bishop as wearing “gold underwear”, meaning a lightweight silk dalmatic.

Geoffrey McLarney
Geoffrey McLarney
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Pratt

I tried in vain to steer +Dennis into one when he visited Trinity College to ordain one of my classmates a deacon!

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
1 month ago

I always wear a maniple if there is one available. I’m too young to have inherited the anti-handbag prejudice of the liturgically-experimental generation.

Jill Armstead
Jill Armstead
1 month ago
Reply to  Allan Sheath

Now you’re talking!

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

It’s not TA getting exercised, it’s Ian Paul who chose this moment to again publicly parade his own prejudices. Curious timing.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

Terrible tragedies do not preclude discussion about other topics, otherwise we’d spend our time talking only about misery.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Jill Armstead

How about putting on a mitre and praying for the people of Beirut? It’s possible to do more than one thing at a time.

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
1 month ago

I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong but I remember being told that when John V Taylor became Bishop of Winchester he objected to wearing the mitre and so had it carried in procession in front of him on a cushion until someone pointed out that this was making far more of it than wearing it, and made the Bishop look an even grander figure than before. He saw the sense of this and from then on the cushion disappeared and the mitre was restored to its proper place – on his head.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Your recollection is correct, but he never looked very happy when wearing the mitre, and it did not seem to suit him. I’m afraid he was one of the people who didn’t wear it ‘properly’ – four-square firmly on the head is the best way I can describe how it should be worn. I think it’s clear that while he later ‘conformed’, he remained uneasy about it.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

Now, Bishop Taylor was a holy person as well, though somewhat naive. As Bishop of Winchester he said he liked to go to a parish with no fuss and “expose himself to the congregation”.

Father David
1 month ago
Reply to  Toby Forward

There’s a splendid photograph of John V Taylor wearing cope and mitre at his Enthronement (N B Not Installation) at Winchester cathedral in David Wood’s “Poet, priest and prophet”.
At Durham Justin Welby seemed to wear his mitre on the back of his head (reminded me of those young people and not so young who wear their baseball caps back to front) but he seems to have reformed his ecclesiastical sartorial ways at Canterbury by wearing his episcopal headgear :”four-square firmly on the head”

David Rowett
David Rowett
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

A celebratory ale was produced for the 125th (I think) anniversary of the creation of the diocese of Truro. The first draft of the label showed a rather jolly looking +Bill Ind wearing his mitre in the jaunty fashion of one who might have imbibed deeply of the contents of the bottle, but sadly a more sober (in all sense) design won the day.

cryptogram
cryptogram
1 month ago
Reply to  Father David

John Taylor’s chaplain was one Michael Perham. I rather imagine his influence was significant.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 month ago
Reply to  cryptogram

I remember+John Taylor’s visit to the Centro pro Unione in Rome in 1979. He lectured in a violet(not purple) cassock and celebrated at the Anglican Centre in a chasuble in what I would describe as an unfussy catholic manner. But what I remember most was his grace and winsomeness.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
1 month ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

In replying to all the correspondents on the subject of the wearing of Mitres, following on from Ians article, I think this View of dispensing with the mitres probably comes from a Conservative Evangelical view, however the reality is that the Church of England is not based simply on Conservative Evangelicalism, but is more diverse than that, and for one particular churchmanship to attempt to impose a view emanating from that churchmanship, hoping it would in the future be applied in a blanket way on the Church of England, shows disrespect for other churchmanships for whom these symbols are very… Read more »

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