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Monday, 24 November 2014

The new Church Militant

The Triumph of Bazzer                                                                     with apologies to Cornelis de Vos

A tweet after the Synod vote to allow women bishops which ended centuries of tradition in the Church of England read, #ItisFinished. - But not quite what it seemed, apparently.

From this morning's Telegraph - "Women bishops: The hate mail was always from other Christians"! Having achieved their goal without the desired complete wipe-out of traditionalists, the chip remains firmly embedded on the shoulder of one said to have been "in the vanguard of campaigning for equal rights at the altar for 30 years". She complained: "It’s a huge journey that’s still unfolding, and there’s a very long way still to go,” she says of the protracted and bruising war that has raged within Anglicanism for decades. “There is always going to be some resistance, but then there always has been. There’s been resistance to me taking on every role I have ever taken on." Could it be that it is not her sex which is the problem? She is not alone in complaining.

Members of Synod hardly had time to lower their hands last week before a supposed contender for first woman bishop in the CofE, the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin weighed in with "The truth":  There’s a "palpable feeling of fear about the struggles the first women bishops will face". Asked if, after all these years of bitter battle over the ordination of women, the Church is institutionally sexist she answered frankly"It’s there, you can’t escape it. It’s not something I dwell on. You don’t give oxygen to that sort of behaviour."

Somewhat curiously the Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons added: "But it’s clear that whoever ends up blazing a trail will have a fight on their hands with the forces of conservatism within the Church if not with Anglican churchgoers themselves – three quarters of whom want female bishops. The public and Hudson-Wilkin’s parishioners in Dalston and Haggerston have shared with her a “real sense of joy and excitement” about the new development." [Note: The CofE is a tiny proportion of the Anglican Communion where the overwhelming majority of churchgoers definitely do not want female bishops - Ed.]

So they have the vote, liberals have all the power, 'three quarters of Anglican churchgoers' want female bishops but they still have a fight in their hands! I suspect that the fight she refers to is the fight hinted at by the Rev Canon Dr Alison Joyce in the Telegraph article:

Moreover, the gains that women priests have made, believes this 56-year-old mother of two grown-up daughters, have come with a high price tag – notably the “protections” built into the new legislation for the minority who continue to resist their advance. "What concerns me most is when the Church sets up structures so that people never have to be ‘contaminated’ by any glimpse of women’s ministry at all. I find that deeply disturbing. We have to encounter each other." So were the concessions made to traditionalists a step too far? "It’s tiresome,” she replies, “but one hopes eventually they will learn to grow in love and grace." Love and grace? Perhaps she could lead by example!

Back in the Church in Wales there is no pretence of showing love and grace following the triumph of Bazzer, the arch disciple of the Presiding Bishop of TEC, after succeeding in allowing women bishops with no meaningful concessions to anyone who remains faithful to the Holy Catholic Church. Over the weekend he and his Bench sitters moved on from playing snakes and ladders, joining delegates at a conference in Llandudno to play with cardboard boxes made for the occasion. The organizer, another "in the vanguard of campaigning for equal rights at the altar", spent some time in TEC country where she witnessed a woman bishop celebrating at the altar. That was enough to convinced her of the soundness of feminist theology despite the pleas to TEC by the then Archbishop of Canterbury not to split the Anglican Communion.

With no sign of love and grace from Dr Morgan or from his chief architect the Archdeacon of Llandaff who no longer has to pretend that she desires unity, their militancy has spread back across the border to the Church of England.

The three main sessions at the Llandudno Conference were: "Where are we?",  "Who are we?" and "Why are we?" They have their answer here:


  1. The cartoon at the top missed out " .. .. and fill the churches to bursting point .. .. .. " !!

  2. "Once a victim, always a victim". It will all be such an anti-climax for them when the over-exposed media luvvies have nothing left to whine about ... You cannot create a hierarchy of discrimination and bullying, excluding belief as one of the grounds of recognised discrimination especially in the context of the Church, and yet that is precisely what the likes of Hudson-Wilkins & Co love to do. "My suffering counts, yours does not; I must be accomodated, you must shove off". Grace and love? More like constantly twisting the knife. These people dishonour those who support them and in good faith voted for provision.


    "About 40 cubes were brought to a special service at Llandaff Cathedral on Sunday."

    "About 150 people came from churches across the Llandaff Diocese."

    Is "About" one of Mrs Morrell's favourite words?

    Vague statistics and no photographs of Sunday's 20:20 Vision crowds that were jam-packed into the Cathedral?
    No doubt it will be described as another outstanding "success" for the 'sneak a peek' crew in non-jobs.

    How many Parishes were actually represented by anyone?
    Does "About 150" even average one person per Parish in the diocese?

    1. Worse than that is all Byzantine Barry's bilge about 'Cultural Change.' See

      He's not kidding when he says we need cultural change. But what we need is the kind of cultural change which brings intellectual gravitas, a leadership we can trust and have confidence in, worship which takes the reality of God seriously, and an end to all this worthless cant about 'reinvention.' It's utter desperation, buttock-clenchingly gawky, and ineptly gauche. Christina Baxter is yesterday's news (again its the Barry-Andy 1980s mentality) and she never was a 'leading theologian.' What about Grace Davie (excellent at the St Asaph clergy conference), Sam Wells, Linda Woodhead, Philip North, or a whole load of other people who are doing some cutting-edge work on the Church's interface with secular culture? Of course not. It was only ever going to be a tame and hackneyed Evangelical who wouldn't rock the boat.

      As Mrs Morrell might say (I see she's reappeared at last...) this is "About" as good as it's going to get!

    2. Dear Llandeff Pelican. I do wish you would not mix up Evangelicals and Liberals. Evangelicals agree with much of what this blog supports. liberals do not. As a proud and committed evangelical, I find your inference that evangelicals would not 'rock the boat' offensive. We would certainly not support ++Barry's liberal agenda.

    3. 'Liberals do not' - O Edward - how do you know?

      Greetings Evangelical Edward! I do wish you would not mix up Liberals and liberals. Disillusioned (never proud) Liberals take a great interest in this blog - partly because disillusioned Liberals like me tend to empathise with people they think have been marginalised. On the other hand - my goodness me - liberals - well some of them have been known to 'rock the boat' - and goodness me, they sometimes support their bishop as well. Disgraceful!

      Thing is Edward - you have accused poor old Llandaff Pelican of doing something and done exactly the same yourself.

      One of the joys of being an Anglican is knowing that you are part of an incredibly diverse family and that much as you may disagree with some of your brothers and sisters - you can't help loving them!

      Why some of my dearest friends are Catholics you know, and hey ho I have some Evangelical brothers and sisters as well.

    4. If Christina Baxter is not an Evangelical, what is she? And she will never rock any boats because she's too tied in to culture of General Synod and all its works. My point was specific not general. I hope that answers Evangelical Ed's concerns. I still think she was a paltry choice for an event which was supposed to be 'culture changing.'

    5. Apologies LP - I, in haste, mis-read your post and mis-understood your point. Christina Baxter (former 'head' of St John's Theological College, Nottingham) is clearly Evangelical. I note that she has rejected ordination as her path (or she feels she has not been called!), although she has aquired the title Canon from somewhere!

  4. There could be no finer metaphor for the dismal mess that is the Church in Wales (Barry’s Blunderland) than the Cube Project. All fancy wrappers and inane slogans, and nothing inside them – no substance, empty vessels. The same old cr*p with a different wrapping.

    1. With the famous and fabulously talented musician Ms Gould leading the music.
      For what more could one possibly wish?
      The cup overfloweth indeed.
      Will she be appearing in the Cathedral Choir stalls next weekend for a £25 service fee?