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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The topsy-turvy world of the Church of England

Christina Rees recieving her CBE.
Feather in her cap for Christina Rees, CBE                    Source: Royston Crow

'Hats off to Christina as she’s awarded CBE from Prince Charles' was the news headline in the Royston Crow yesterday. Described as a leading church figure who played a major part in the campaign to introduce female priests, Ms Rees was spokesperson for the Movement for the Ordination of Women in the run up to the vote for women priests in 1992 and chaired Women and the Church for more than 13 years, successfully campaigning for women bishops.

As the ACNS put it: The CBE is an Order of Chivalry that was created by King George V in 1917 and is awarded to British nationals who have made a significant achievement for the United Kingdom. It was awarded to Christina Rees in recognition of her services to the Church of England. The motto of the order is “For God and the Empire” indicating the absurdity of an award for secularising the Church.

Hat on for the Ven. Jan McFarlane Archdeacon of Norwich who is to become the sixth Suffragan Bishop of Repton in the Diocese of Derby. The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, said: "Jan is greatly loved and much admired in the Diocese of Norwich. She has been a fine communicator of the Christian faith in the local and regional media, and an archdeacon who has won the confidence and affection of lay people alike".

Such a fine communicator that disaster was turned into success in Archbishop opts for delusion:
As Communications Director for the Diocese of Norwich the Venerable Jan McFarlane is not simply being reunited with her former theological college fellow student, Justin Welby. She has demonstrated her skill as a communications person by her ability to turn a disaster into a success, well illustrated in an interview here after the news that according to the 2011 census, the City of Norwich was rated the most godless city in England but apparently the good people of Norwich are "doing their church-going differently" -  ie, not going to church!

The trend continues. "Merseyside Christians are increasingly snubbing Sunday church services, according to new figures." The same in Durham, Wakefield, Worcester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Chelmsford, Lichfield and Lincoln, all showing significant decline in church attendance since 2009.

The Church of England is slowly dying as congregations are set to halve over 30 years (here). That is hardly surprising when failure is regarded as success.


  1. Possibly some helpful reading? Good review by Lord Williams (Archbishop Rowan)

    "Without Precedent". : New book by Geoffrey Kirk

  2. ‘The same in Durham, Wakefield, Worcester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Chelmsford, Litchfield and Lincoln, all showing significant decline in church attendance since 2009.’ Don’t forget to add Llandaff to that list.

  3. I'm sure Julian of Norwich would come up and kiss bp Jan on both her cheekses! What rot!
    Jim of olym