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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Priorities in the church

Warning: rant following.. I make no apologies...

So I'm actually not all that interested in General Synod. I know I should be but really I'm not. I am following the tweets (hashtag #synod) but it's not actually that exciting. It seems to be a place where t's are crossed and i's dotted. Decisions seem to actually be made well before synod happens. It seems to be a debating chamber in name only. (That is my unknowledgable and  inexperienced opinion, so feel free to shoot me down. It's just my observation...)

It seems perfectly obvious  to me that women bishops will be 'allowed' in the near future. We have reached that point in the decade old debate that resistance is futile.Really I find it staggering that this is such an issue. If you don't like it, go join those exiting via a conveniently invented Catholic loophole. There, Peter Mullen is your space 'for those conscientiously opposed to the consecration of women bishops', off you trot, I am sure the ordinariate will welcome you...

Seriously, I wonder why on earth I want to work in to the Church of England sometimes. I really wish someone would recognise how important a role the CofE has in our country. I wish someone would stand up and say, we are here to represent JESUS. We are here to be Jesus to those around us. We are here to to be a living example of what Christ did for us all.
The CofE has a prominent position in this land. Almost every city, town and village has a Parish Priest, and almost every (if not every) city, town, and village has Christians living within it. What other organisation has such a position within our nation?

What are we waiting for? I want someone to stand up and say, how are we going to be Jesus to those around us? I want someone to stand up and say that Christ can transform not only us, but our nation? I want someone to stand up and say, 'love each other', I want someone to give the battle cry, to rally the church and the Christians of this nation to actually be Christ to those around them. I want someone to stand up and call for us to unify our Church. For goodness sake, how long will the church tear itself apart over issues like women bishops of Homsexuality? Oh, look I am not belittling the debates going on, of course they need to happen, the church needs to look forward, it needs reform, but why does so much more energy get put into these debates than actually spreading the love of God?

In an age where church numbers are declining, (please don't cite me that string of articles that came out just after Christmas saying the opposite); where poverty is rising; where areas of the world are being torn apart by famine, by war and civil unrest, and disease; where young people are so undervalued that youth budgets are being cut dramtically, where people feel so aggrieved that they start riots in their own back yards, where our own neighbours are hurting, broken and lost; why is that the church is not at the forefront of leading us all to change?

Sorry if your are doing wonderous things in your parish, this is more about the leadership of our church rallying the troops!


Alan Crawley said...

It rather depends on your definition of the "near future". It is entirely conceivable that Synod will amend the women Bishops legislation in such a way that the supporters of it will vote against delaying it and ensuring that we spend the next 5 years continuing to talk about it (instead of actually doing anything) rather than the issues you highlight.
And Lesleys experience on her blog was that many do not hear the church on the issues you highlight because they do not see them evidenced in the situation of women in the church.

Red said...

Hey Alan, how you guys doing? yes ok, point taken,have been feeling rather frustrated with the church recently, hence the rant. I do agree with what you say, and I guess that is exactly my point, that instead of talking about it, can someone please stand up and say, this is what we stand for, this is what we do, and then, lets do it! I realise in my haste I may have sounded like I was making women bishops a sideline issue, I am not, just that I would like to see some action in all areas of the church and not get bogged down in particular issues like this. I mean seriously another 5 years to debate this? didn't they start talking about women in ministry in the church in the 60s?
love to you and Lesley x

Lay Anglicana said...

Splendid rant!
And yes, I am not sure it wasn't earlier still. I certainly remember Una Kroll shouting in General Synod 'We asked for bread and you gave us stones!'. A great rallying cry, that was. Eventually, eventually, we had women priests. Women bishops? Eventually, eventually! More involvement by the laity? Eventually, eventually! More acceptance of the autistic, the LGB&T community, the old and so on? Eventually, eventually!

My biggest concern is that, by the time 'eventually' arrives, there may be little left to admit us all to.