|"Children at the church's Sunday school have written letters to the bishop about the protest"|
It used to be "Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man". Now it is more likely to be 'Give me the child... and I'll show you the woman' as witnessed by the work of St Oswalds' Sunday School children in Knuzden, Lancs.
Their work illustrates that the children in St Oswald's have been tuned to the same wavelength as their vicar's by enthusiastically endorsing her decision to maintain a ten minute silence instead of preaching a sermon in protest against the consecration of the Rev Philip North as the Bishop of Burnley. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has indicated there are many clergy today who could follow the vicar's example, allowing their congregations time for silent reflection but not for the reason stated.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, made his position abundantly clear in his outright rejection of accusations that he was giving credence to a theology of taint but that was not good enough for those who presume to know better. From the Telegraph: The Campaign group WATCH (Women And The Church) said: "We are dismayed that it seems that the Archbishop of York will not lay hands on Philip North at his consecration as Bishop of Burnley. We believe it is unprecedented that an archbishop should be present at a consecration in his own province and not lay hands on a candidate, and not preside at the Eucharist. We are saddened that there will be such a powerful visual sign of a divided College and House of Bishops at the moment of consecration."
They would say that, wouldn't they? If the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ is not good enough for them, who the hell is the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu?
Following the Libby Lane circus, the 'new bishop' frenzy has subsided to the point that the consecration of Fr Philip North has warranted only the briefest of mentions, mainly to emphasis divisions invented by the women's lobby in their continuing divisive campaign despite the strenuous efforts of Archbishops of Canterbury and York to put the troubles facing the Church of England behind them. But these farcical feminists frivolities continue. The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) was celebrated in St Mary’s Church, Thatcham, last night with a special service to a mark the consecration of the first female bishop in the Church of England as if to emphasis what has become the main priority in the Church of England today.
These sideshows detract from the essential teaching of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Catholic faith has been redefined in the Church of England to suit the wants of a few. As one of the art works in the above illustration puts it: "One Church not two!" Unfortunately the irony of that will be lost in St Oswald's under the guidance of their protesting vicar.
The show is over for now, to be resumed when the next woman bishop is consecrated and possibly the one after that. Then what, when the occasion becomes old hat? United we stand, divided we fall!