Monday, November 30, 2020
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Reader’s comment: The bishops’ closed shop

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In response to Andrew Tettenborn: The C of E’s worthy foot-soldiers are lions led by donkeys, David wrote:

The writer does well to draw our attention to the fact that below the level that receives almost all the publicity from the media, the top few bishops usually, is a small army of diligent people, most of whom are doing good work. Many of these are unpaid volunteers.

The problem with the bench of bishops is that it is a self-perpetuating organism that replaces like with like. It is a closed shop. It never learns and moves on. With just a few notable exceptions only liberals are appointed to it. Anyone gifted who has a traditional, orthodox approach to faith, be it Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic or Charismatic, simply doesn’t become a bishop. The best ones, who are of course the clear-thinking and clear-spoken orthodox ones, like the evangelical Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, a very gifted man indeed, end up by being ostracised, put outside the accepted circle. He should have been made Archbishop of Canterbury but he was too orthodox and not in the slightest liberal, woolly and ‘comfortable’. They tend to leave, perhaps in frustration. An Anglo-Catholic example is of course Mark Rylands who has decided to relinquish his job of bishop and bravely return to the front line, winning souls for Christ.

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