I think most people in the United Kingdom and beyond would have by now known that the General Synod of the Church of England met last week thanks to the unusual interest shown by the media . For this reason, I am sure that most people will know that a very important decision was made in the General Synod.
I know of people who belong to both camps and so will refrain from commenting on the decision made on Thursday.
However, I will comment on a few observations that I made while following the Synod online.
It appeared that those in the Synod were more concerned about the presence of the media than anything else as there were countless reminders to those attending to be mindful of one’s conduct. They seemed to be totally oblivious to the presence of the Almighty! Maybe God is an optional extra in the Church of England as commented by Sir Humpy Appleby in the British sitcom, Yes Prime Minister.
I was so irritated by both the Archbishops frippery.
The Bishops who were meant to answer questions were clearly out of their depths. One might even ask if they have any theological education.
On Wednesday, I learnt from the Times of London that the ABC is due to go off galivanting (again!). This time to South Sudan. It wasn’t very long ago that he was in Australia hugging cute Koala bears. Upon learning of his impending trip, I commented to the Mhinisteir that I have never heard of the ABC touring dioceses around the country – We certainly haven’t seen him this way! He appears to spend more time abroad than at home!
I watched online the commissioning of the new secretary general of the Anglican communion this week. The ABC gave the sermon. I noticed that it look him a good few minutes to get started as he was messing about with his gadget (either an ipad or a tablet).
As I was waiting for him to get started, it suddenly dawned on me that said gadget was missing when he gave his sermon in Westminster Abbey on the day of the Queen’s funeral. I also remembered that like the ABC, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland too had his sermon written on paper. Why? I imagine it was because they were afraid that there would be a malfunction. Pity that it doesn’t bother them at other times.
I am going to extol the virtue of the ABC for a change. I was super impressed by his sermon at the Queen’s funeral service in Westminster Abbey. To be quite frank, I preferred the simpler service in St Giles cathedral in Edinburgh but in a day and age where it feels like Christians have to muffle their faith even in the church, he was bold enough to proclaim the gospel so well done to him for without the gospel we have no hope.
However, he still needs to do better when it comes to making the sign of the cross when he pronounces the blessing (benediction). He looks like he is doing something with a paint brush!!!! 😁
On Wednesday, in Westminster Hall, the ABC did something bizzare towards the end of the little service to receive HM’s coffin. When he pronounced the benediction, it felt it was for the dead instead of the living. This made me wonder whether he knew what he was doing. I know he is the ABC but I can’t be sure that everything he does is kosher!
One of the good things to come out of being laid aside in bed was that we were able to follow the Lambeth Conference at our own leisure.
I just wished that the ABC and his wife didn’t hog all the limelight and that he had involved more of the other Archbishops from the Anglican communion.
Anyway, one of the observations that I made at the closing service was that the male musicians in the band had their hats on! Did they not know that men are not supposed to wear hats in Church?
Quite frankly I am not even sure there was a need for the band when the choir was more than adequate. All that the band did was to tone down the worshipful atmosphere and turn the place into a cabaret hall!
Last Friday, the General Synod of the Church of England met in York. The meetings lasted until Tuesday this week.
Since it is usually done via Youtube, the Mhinisteir and I were able to catch up before bedtime each night.
The first thing that struck me was that very few clergy were wearing their clerical shirts. By day two, even the ABC and the ABY had ditched their clerical attire. There were scores of them in bermudas. Some ladies were in their vest tops. It appeared very disrespectful towards the dignitaries who were present. Among them were the Archbishop of Congo and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
In recent days, the weather here in the UK has been very hot but that can’t be used as an excuse. If the dignitary from the orthodox church can turn up in his full regalia day in and day out so can the ABC in his clerical shirt.
Another observation I made is that the knitter wasn’t in focus. Instead I got to see a cute man with a full head of dark curly hair. He usually appeared on the bottom right of the screen and was often dozing off! Pity he was oblivious to the fact that he was on camera. At other times, he would be looking at his mobile phone. I just assumed that he was catching up on his favourite TV programme!
It was only on the last day that I discovered that my cute man on the screen is the ABY’s new chief of staff! I look forward to seeing more of him in future Synod meetings!
Since the start of the year, I have started going to ALL the services on Sundays and to the midweek services too. As you can imagine, it is a LOT of services to attend in a week. No wonder I am knackered for the rest of the week!
With umpteen parishes and me just attending two services on a Sunday, it was difficult to see most of the parishioners on a regular basis. I wanted to see more of them and I know they wanted to see a bit more of me too because some have told me so! This was the reason I gave the Mhinisteir for my decision to attend all the services. However, that is not the main reason; I have no intention of telling him the main reason either!
Regular readers will know that some time ago there was an incident in one of the parishes. Sadly, it isn’t a one off incident or exclusive to that one parish. The Mhinisteir has to deal with such behaviour on a weekly basis. Thankfully, it is not personal. The churchwardens are angry with every decision maker in the Church of England especially those in the diocese because they don’t want to belong to a multi parish benefice.
They want to function in the old way when there was a priest for EVERY parish. With just A HANDFUL of people attending church in these parishes on a Sunday, it isn’t viable.
Sitting in these churches, helplessly witnessing these horrible behaviours towards the Mhinisteir is painful. On one such occasion, I remember wishing that I wasn’t there but then I decided to put myself in the Mhinisteir’s shoes; how lonely he must feel?
I cannot and must not interfere in church matters but I can be there for him. As we said in our marriage vows… for better, for worse.
When I turned on my laptop late yesterday morning, I was mortified to discover that a draft post had been accidentally posted at the weekend! Regular readers will know that I don’t post anything at the weekends.
I was mortified because it was a draft post that obviously needed amending before it was ready to be published!!!
I felt that I was a little unkind to the ABC in that post. I may disagree with the current ABC but I also believe in the sovereignty of God. But who would have thought that the post would get published even before it was ready????
Anyway, by the time I accessed that particular blog post, many people had already viewed and liked it🙈🙈🙈! However, I went ahead with the necessary corrections and have now republished it. Better late than never!
The General Synod of the Church of England met last week from Tuesday to Thursday. Since I belong to the Church of England, I feel that it is my duty to keep abreast with what is happening in the wider Church and so forced the Mhinisteir to watch these proceedings with me in the evenings.
As I watched the proceedings, I jotted down some observations.
The Knitter is back. I wrote about her in November 2021.
Some of the chair were not very competent. My favourite was the Rev Zoe Heming. She was well briefed, calm and always had a smile.
There appeared to be a lack of transparency. I got the impression that some people were “planted” to ask questions in favour of the ABC while people who asked difficult questions like Rebecca Chapman and Jayne Ozanne were “shot down”. I don’t know these two women personally and may not even share the same theological views but they asked very good and legitimate questions.
Sadly, cheap jokes and sloppiness appeared to be the order of the day.