Saturday, 26 September 2009

News or obituary?

What a good job the Radio Cowshed news desk is shut at weekends, otherwise we wouldn’t have the tittle tattle about churches which the religious correspondent slips in to fill the gap.
But once you know a little about what’s behind such panic-driven publicity, it can be almost interesting.
Take the item about an ‘important’ Synod debate today (see
It should surprise nobody that the Anglican leadership is being economical with the facts - the only relevant ones here are the appointment of the honorary canons.
For a start there is no ‘discussion’ at Manx synods, especially at this one. Anglicans can spend decades wittering without result about pie in the sky topics with long titles like like transubstantiation (or even antidisestablishmentarianism). I’m not sure they can even spell democracy (which most of us take almost from birth as a basic standard for civilisation).
Doubt that very much if they struggle with racism and sexism. And as for homophobia….!
No, Sentamu’s Apprentice has his orders from York, and will have pretty much had the recommendations written for him, as they were elsewhere. A little monitoring of Ruth Gledhill’s religious column at The Times reveals the extent to which Anglicans everywhere are cutting and running, brokering deals with other churches or even other faiths to keep cornershops open.
On the island, as I’ve blogged before, these include ecclesiastical legislation to allow church sharing with other denominations, and subsidising or even employing nutters from the evangelical lunatic fringe. The honorary canons from other denominations are another desperate move. More recently, I was fascinated to hear that the new Diocesan Missioner even asked to meet the Inter Faith Group.
I laughed my socks off at that last one! Thing is, this group was set up precisely because a senior cleric (now retired - thankfully) kept telling politicians such faiths do not exist on the island, and so there was no need for government to consult them on moral or social issues.
So, dead in a generation then. Probably would be already if there weren’t so many senior Manx civil servants training as hobby vicars while their sell-by date looms.

No comments: