Touching the hem of Christ’s Vestments.

English: Logo of the Church of England

English: Logo of the Church of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tomorrow there will be a discussion concerning the safeguarding procedures in relation to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults as it applies to the Church of England.  It seems however to be concerned, not only with prevention but also with punishment.

Whilst I fully accept the rightness of ensuring that people who are considered to be a risk to children and vulnerable adults are not allowed to have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults in church, I cannot see anywhere acknowledgement that such people may wish to repent and may wish to continue to have a sacramental relationship with God via the church.

The document fails to provide any guidance on how such people might be integrated into the Church.

The preoccupation about wearing vestments or clerical dress in this document is perhaps warranted, but the lack of pastoral guidance for the wicked is lamentable.  The demonising of such people is a sad reflection on the church and the dehumanisation of perpetrators is unhelpful.  They are reduced to the scathing reference; ‘these people’.

“The sexual and physical abuse that has been inflicted by these people on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame for years to come.” (my emphasis)

Be assured, I am not condoning any form of abuse, simply asking for a less vehement response in dealing with those who are responsible for ‘individual wickedness’.  We have a responsibility to ‘deal’ with them in their entirety, as sinners and as penitents.

It is good to hear the Archbishops citing Christ in their letter…

“All contemporary safeguarding policies and procedures in the Church should be a response to what we learn and see in Jesus himself… In witness to this faith and to our sense of obligation to children who are brought to Jesus through the care of the Christian community, the Church should set for itself the highest standards of care available to our society today”

Yet we also know that ‘what we learn and see in Jesus himself’ includes the grace of forgiveness and a responsibility to care for all who are outcast.

I also feel that the Archbishops should acknowledge that some abusers are themselves victims of abuse and may need special care by the church and church authorities for that very reason.  To cast them out may be to compound the very real harm they also live with.  I say this without any intention whatsoever of diminishing the guilt of the sinner nor seeking any action that would jeopardise a child or vulnerable adult.. or anyone else for that matter.  The daily rape by my Uncle and the chilling threats over many weeks when I was aged 7 haunt me every day.  I feel utterly desolate without the fellowship of my church and some acknowledgement of my repentance and desire to make some reperation.  My voice is the voice of a sinner, yes and i will always have that before me, but there is also the voice of the child within me, a voice that today I recognise more clearly thanks to my friends, both in Synod and online.  I could not cry out then, but i can today.

I would like the Archbishops to listen to me also when they say…

“It is right, therefore, that the General Synod should receive an account of the actions that the House and the Council have put in hand, have an opportunity to comment on the next steps, and be able to identify with the apology that we wish to offer unreservedly for the failure of the Church of England’s systems to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by its clergy and others and for the failure to listen properly to those so abused.” (my emphasis)

I shall not be at Synod this year but I hope that the brave may find something here to speak about.

In His service  MrC

In days of Old when Knights were bold

Chess knight 0971.jpg

Chess knight 0971.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In days of Old when Knights were bold and they couldn’t get hold of a woman, they’d turn their attentions to the Squire.  Well at least according to Richard Bulliet of Columbia University in New York,  but differently worded.

I have tremendous respect for Dick.  His common sense approach and depth of knowledge concerning the whole region of the middle east and beyond is utterly impressive and his ability to communicate is refreshing.

His line about the relationship between the Knight and his Squire does establish a point though.  If History is recorded, then we have the written record to accept or challenge it’s orthodoxy.  If it isn’t then we can embellish the ‘story’ and add our own little bit to the story as it is retold.  The last verse to Four and Twenty Blackbirds, where I grew up included this odd ending…

“the maid was in the garden, pegging out the clothes when down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose, She went to the doctors to get a wooden nose,she looked in the mirror and dropped down dead.”

Now I don’t want to discuss the problems of religious fundamentalism, but I do want to raise the question of who is writing the history of the Church today.  Dick is able to conjecture the sexuality of the Knights of Old and is adding to the narrative.  Today, using Social Media, the people are beginning to add to the Nnarrative of the history of the Church in a way that has never been available ‘ in the whole of history’.  The social media sites offer a conduit for everyone to vent their angry reactions to bullying and such done ‘in the name of the Church’.

The stories of corruption and misuse of power are beginning to be hinted at and sometimes are being exposed.  The light of the people is shining on the Middle East through Social Media and the Arab Spring is one of many surges of influence that is new to this planet.

The people with power are being challenged by the people with mobile phones.  The government’s poor record on protecting sealife, here in the U.K. is being challenged by an online campaign called Fish Fight and similar single issue campaigns are developing, something that could never be imagined by clergy thirty years ago.

The dear old Church of England, or more precisely, it’s senior leaders, have a steep hill to climb if they truly believe that they can continue to keep a lid on ‘the scandal of double standards.  ‘Homosexuality and Bisexuality amongst ‘Bishops of old’ may be safe from exposure, but the gap between what is said from the pulpit of Church House and the bedroom, the gap between what is eschewed as unloving and unchristian and the portfolio of Church Investment or the manners of prelates will become ever more exposed, albeit in under so many characters.

So we may speculate about the Knights of Old and their Squires, indeed we might know a thing or two about the Bishops of old, but today’s leaders, including those of the Churches, are being scrutinised by far more people than Richard Bulliet of Columbia University in New York.  As Robet Lindsay used to say playing Citizen Wolfie Smith… Power to the People!

Maybe our technology will instil some humanity after all…..


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Moving on……

Moving Day (film)

Moving Day (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faithful followers of this blog know that MrC has poked fun at a lot of people and occasionally pointed out some really bad behaviour by others.  I am not without sin either and it is not a perfect blog by any means.

Still, defending those who are oppressed by others, exposing bullying by senior clerics, these are things we are all required to do, sinners or not, and each and everyone of us will, if we submit to to following Christ and walking the way of the Cross, offering ourselves for the betterment of others, we will all be redeemed, even Bishops and Archbishops.

We are all equal, we are all created by God and we will all be judged by Him.  How far we come to know Him here on earth and live according to His will, as best we can; indeed how far we are able to forgive, may be the deciding factor in how far we are able to live with Him in heaven.



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Kerron has a huge cross to bear, Mr sentamu!

Mr Catolick’s blog has made  Kerron Cross (Mr Sentamu’s Publicity spin doctor) to find out a bit about him go here.

I am surprised that a one time socialist should be offended by MrC’s jesting and support for women and LGBT folk.  He clearly doesn’t attend General Synod nor is he aware of the shenanigans that has gone on at CNC meetings and Mr Sentamu’s widely reported vote rigging in the urinals of Lambeth Palace, but I’m sure he is an otherwise good guy.  He also was a supporter of Gordon Brown.  Hmmmmm

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Decimation of church Budget: Your church under Mr Sentamu

Under Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and William Fittall, Secretary General of the General Synod, of the Church of England the reneged promised support for children and youth of the nation earlier this year by slashing staffing at church house has been a severe retreat from mission and support for the church of tomorrow.  This type of policy will result in more cuts for you to look forward to.

Under Mr Sentamu’s predicted ascendency to the Archbishopric of Canterbury the picture here warns of further cuts, as a result of the inevitable conservative reactionary stance alienating the denomination from the people.  The inevitable continued collapse of the church’s relevance to the people they purport to serve  will result in the support of the fabric of churches throughout England failing further.  Maybe then the people will sit up and take notice.


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Move over effeminate wine, here comes macho beer

Mr Sentamu leads a move in the Church of England to abandon  the use in the communion service of ‘effeminate’ wine for macho beer.  ‘this will emphasise the essential male character of God’ he said and’ make a clear statement of the maleness of Bishops at the same time’.

John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu sports new look Bishops Vestments

When Mr Sentamu becomes Archbishop of Canterbury he intends to impose new Vestments for all Church of England Bishops.  This is to emphasise and enhance the male testosterone levels required for the post of Bishop for all new candidates.  Advertising Sponsorship will be decided by each diocese.  He is also illustrating the look of aggression that he believes is essential for the post.

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