|Christina Rees CBE (Photo: Guardian) Bishop Anba Angaelos OBE (Photo: Cranmer)|
Ebola scarcely warrants a mention in the media these days thanks to the selfless individuals who literally put their lives on the line in their fight to halt the spread of this highly infectious and generally fatal disease. The Queens Birthday Honours 2015 included a wide variety of people with carefully scaled awards. One of those in the news was a poorly paid Ebola nurse Will Pooley. He was awarded an MBE.
Contrast Will's lowly award for risking his life for the benefit of others with the higher accolades handed out over the years to over-paid footballers for kicking an inflated bladder around a large, grass covered spittoon in front of worshiping clones who clap and gesticulate in unison with hands held aloft, cheering or jeering as the mood takes them while chanting their local mantra, all in the name of sport!
There was less publicity for the Women and the Church (WATCH) starlet Christina Rees who bizarrely was awarded a CBE for "her services to the Church of England". How involvement in the campaign for women bishops is seen as a service to the Church of England is not explained but deluded as ever, Ms Rees said she was "thrilled" by the honour which to her shows the campaign was "recognised as a service for the whole Church, not just about women".
The "whole Church" includes the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and the majority of Anglicans who view her campaigning as a disservice to the Church which has resulted in a steep decline in Church attendance as the feminisation of the Church of England accelerates.
But do not despair says the Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral and former NHS Chief Nurse, Dame Sarah Mullally, who was recently named as Bishop of Crediton: "Empty pews are not the end of the world" (here). Perhaps not but the end of the Church of England.
Again, contrast the CBE award to Christian Rees for "her services to the Church of England" with the lesser OBE awarded to Bishop Anba Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, honoured for services to international "religious freedom", not something that WATCH is renowned for except on their own terms.
Meanwhile in Wales there was no honour for the Archbishop of the Church in Wales who like Ms Rees has used every device to secure the admission of women to the episcopate. But he has been invited to deliver a keynote speech exploring the "ethical dilemmas faced by decision-makers when investing billions on behalf of charities". Not know for his own charitable views towards anyone who disagrees with him, he has plenty of experience of how things can go downhill. It is interesting to note that charities for the advancement of religion account for about one fifth of all registered charities. One pound in six given to charity goes to religious charities (here).
Dr Morgan said, "How and where we invest our money can say a lot about us. If we believe in values such as justice, equality and respect for others we need to reflect that as much as possible in our investments – literally putting our money where our mouth is." It is thought unlikely that the Archbishop's discretionary funds will be referred to.
As Margaret Thatcher said at her last cabinet meeting after being ousted from office, "It's a funny old world". Not words a compliant bench of bishops is likely to hear.