The Modern Village Pump; Who supplies the water?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10:  Members of the...

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In the debate at Derby Diocesan Synod the Bishop voted against the proposed ‘Anglican Covenant’ and I note from ‘Thinking Anglicans’ link that the rest of the synod, more or less, followed his lead.  The figures show that the majority of people voted the same way as the Bishop in the Derby synod.

I wonder how far voting is influenced by the way the Bishop votes, and how is information communicated beforehand to help people decide?

I would not wish to conclude that people are disproportionately influenced by Bishops just from the Derby result, in any case the AC has been defeated in most other diocese, so far even though the Bishops have voted for the AC.

If we can argue that voting is skewed by Bishops, then this makes the votes against the AC and the majority of Bishops all the more spectacular!

For me though, it does raise a thought, an inkling.  By what process  do the elected members of these Synod’s get their information on which to base any considered vote and are there questions to be asked about that process?

Some of you out there have been, and will be involved in voting on this, and of course many other matters.  I ask you, how did you go about being informed?

In my experience, it is not too difficult to avoid information by dodging the post (binning it) and using the delete button on emails from the diocese and other sources.  If this describes you then on what basis do you make decisions as to what information you are going to read, if any?

The message is everything in Synod, but whose message are we listening to?  I think that this is so interesting, because that is exactly how it is over differences between denominations and religions, at varying levels.  Who you listen to influences what you understand and that , in turn, influences what you believe.  It may seem obvious, but it has some fundamental implications for Church.  It has been said that we learn our faith at our mothers knee. Your Communications Officer may be your mother!

I was asked to produce a background video for those opposed to the AC, and the reason was that the campaigners against the AC wanted to get their message out to as many people as possible and in as many ways as possible.  Getting the message out to people is big business, it is part of the advertising world and money can determine success or failure.  Using a volunteer animated cat as part of your campaign does not guarantee success, but success may be coming our way.

Whilst I may seem to be rambling a little, I am wondering about how we communicate ideas, and I wonder who controls that process, and who bothers to listen anyhow.  If the AC is defeated then good, we win.  Yet that may not mean that the process was in any way balanced.  Like the voting figures in Derby Synod.

I cannot get the picture of Mr Sentimoo berating General Synod, waving his finger and shouting, saying that they had no business voting against the will of the Archbishops who knew what they were doing, and demanding that Synod vote a motion to promote the progress of the AC.  did the new members, many of whom had no idea what was going on to my certain knowledge, listen to his message and vote accordingly.


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Getting on with it.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10:  Members of the...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Recently I have been tweeting some stuff that might be confusing to regular MrC followers.  The move in the chamber at General Synod last week to get on with the consecration of women as Bishops was a significant one indeed.  It is a nonsense one in a way, given that we have had women priests for so long, but it is move towards a more honest church.

The position of those who do not accept the validity of women as either Bishops or Priests is now untenable in the Anglican Communion, and has not been for some time.  Whatever the rights or wrongs of the situation, the Anglican Communion moved away from a male only threefold ministry many years ago and those who cannot stomach it should accept this head on.

I have heard some, on all sides of the argument, mock those who have ‘gone to Rome’.  I have always admired those who accepted the authority of the Pope, for their honesty at the very least; many of my acquaintances and friends have done just that.

There is no place left for Anglo-Catholics in the Anglican Communion and that may be a good thing.  Good because it frees them from the drudgery of fighting an embattled war that they lost so long ago.  It is good because it frees the Church of England from looking backwards to see how the stragglers are doing.  What is needed now is an equally honest disposal of the Conservative Evangelical sect of our church who would see so many of us burn in Hell for accepting women in authority and gay people as equals; and who offer a version of bread to the people that is distinclty grey, hard and sounds rather stone like when tapped!


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Mr Sentamu does it to the Gay community.

the video is here


Well hello ladies and gentlemen.

Is Mr Sentimoo going to stay the course or will he be announcing his retirement in the next twelve months?  Keep watching for the answer to this and other important questions.

The Archbishop of York seems to have made up his mind that people who are ‘gay’ are not normal.  Unproductive unions are not the will of God.

Would Mr Sentimoo cast out the barren woman or the man who has had the snip, if they subsequently marry, and are they to be accused of being in an unproductive union simply because they can’t have children?

Mr Sentimoo’s powers of casting out demons seem to be especially strong when it comes to gay people.  Gay marriage is wrong and it also appears that he won’t allow God to consent to a gay man becoming a Church of England Bishop, not on his watch.

Well done Mr Sentimoo, how in touch you are with the people of England and what an image of Christ you have set before them.

Mr Sentimoo’s Christ might go down well in some places, but then so does the death penalty for gays.  This is not what Jesus came to teach us and people who talk in this way are playing a very dangerous game with other people’s lives.

In his crusade against gay people Mr Sentimoo has demonstrated a well documented series of skills that rely on a past world view, it is an outdated world that he lives in, a world that England has moved away from, an undemocratic unaccountable world, the Church of England world.

Some people want Mr Sentimoo to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury when Mr Rowan retires into his books…

The ‘Mr Sentimoo for Canterbury campaign’ is a movement that has support from all who love his undemocratic bullying and his powers of casting out demons from the church.  But they are going to be very disappointed, because it isn’t going to happen.

Mr Sentimoo is worn out and looking he is looking to go.  He is not the young man he once was, his health is failing and he would not have the stamina to fulfil the role.

The recent words of this arch-manipulator have become even less guarded than ever.

Mr Sentimoo’s image is slipping and we are glimpsing his true character.  Mr Sentimoo the reactionary, or perhaps the buffoon, is likely to be what the newspapers report, and he is likely to become more raving because of his decision to go.  He is showing classic signs of gate-fever.

He will be given plaudits, no doubt, in some quarters.  The less discerning media will remember him as a breath of fresh air; for photo shoots.

But Mr Sentimoo’s real legacy will be as a ‘broken reed’ in the hand of Mr Williams, who himself has managed to destroy his own chances of being hailed as a breath of fresh air.

What a different story it would have been had Mr Williams not had to contend with Mr Sentimoo?

Indeed Mr Williams, and the church in general, has lost a great deal through this particular marriage.

Mr Sentimoo may abhor ‘unproductive marriages’ of gay’s, but it is a real pity that we did not prevent the unproductive marriage of Sentimoo and Williams.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of Church House in Westminster, next week.  I will be prowling round the urinals myself and espying the Bishop lovers taking beatings from Sentimoo in the back rooms and loving it.

Bye for now.

Run up to the Anglican General Synod in England; York 2011, a rant!

Current dioceses of the Church of England.

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It is so strange, this Christianity business, after all it is based on a guy who, for the most part, seems to have been in the thick of controversy to the point of His own execution.  I look at the up and coming synod and wonder what the agenda has to do with Jesus?  I understand that the management and maintenance of such a huge and unwieldy thing like the Church of England might be a wonderful arena for legal beavers and career bottom kissers, but truthfully, what is on the agenda for Jesus?

There is so much that we need to take into serious consideration, but we can’t agree on a basic approach to life, let alone promote the Gospel.  The Church of England as a national church is just too fractured to be of serviceable use to the ordinary person in England.  It is not that we haven’t been factionalised in the past, we most certainly have been, but today we are culturally poles apart as a communion and totally disconnected nationally from the people.

On the one hand we have people who understand the nature and meaning of compassion and practice it well but then there are more and more people, clergy especially, who cannot grasp common courtesy towards one another and who are so filled with their own certainty of the message of Jesus that the message of humility and vulnerability is not part of their vision of heaven or the gospel at all.

So many hoped that Mr Williams would be a breath of fresh air in the Church but he turned out to be a man of straw, toadying to the rightwing of the church to the point of falling off the edge.  Mr Sentimu is a dab hand at self advertising and at the same time able to bully Synod and still retain the loyalty of the people.  He is not a good advertisement for how we need to be and for him, when push comes to shove, he is happy to play dirty.

But this sad picture is not the true picture, because we, here in England, are not run by diocese, though they have tremendous power both legitimate and illegitimate.  We are run by local groups of people who by and large have no idea what the agenda this coming week in York is and more to the point, don’t really care.  It is the people who have read the Gospels and hear the gospels and know Jesus in their daily life that run the Church of England at Parish level, and legalistic corporate archdeacons, deans, and bishops are simply people they give cups of tea to and cake when they turn up once in a blue moon.

It is a shame that the powers that be are so visionless and so corporate minded that they chuck out anything potentially controversial or ‘difficult’.  It is sad that they run the show for the edification of their vision of this nation rather than the Gospel, are prepared to bully and connive to push forward their own interests and stifle open debate whilst pretending that all is well.  It is what we have been saddled with.

The good news is that the real gossiping of the Gospel in York will be in the bars and in some of the group meetings that go on at the fringe.  Not the Anglo Catholic back slapping meetings or the Conservative reactionary bible bashing meetings where self assurance is the order of the day, but in the meetings where we hear about the wider communion, the troubles faced by Christians in Africa, the work being done to promote understanding amongst other cultures, and even the stand that tells us all about the work of vergers up and down the country.

It is not enough; we need to open up to the issues of social exclusion, the plight of so many who are deprived in our communities and try to react differently to others.  We need to offer a true and honest hand of love and without the usual rhetoric of loving the sinner, not the sin.  It can be so off putting and is so often simply arrogant pap!  The truth is, we run an excluding ship and we frequently push aside those trying to clamber aboard because we don’t want them.  Woe betides a woman getting to the top, and it is a fact that women clergy are often discriminated against most cruelly in our church here today.

Be disillusioned if you like, but not about Jesus and those who follow him, those who are prepared to talk about the things that really matter in our communities and in the wider community called ‘our world’.  Praise God for the humble priest and thank Him for the kindly parishioner, give Praise for the giver who does not look for return and share together the knowledge that whoever we are, wherever we walk, He is beside us.


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