Monday, 9 April 2007

Time for Williams and Sentamu to swap jobs

There is a story about William Whitelaw which, in a touching if faintly damning way, sums up the plight of the Church of England. It involves the moment when the Conservative politician was told that, somewhat unexpectedly. Robert Runcie was to be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Whitelaw, who had admired Runcie’s military record during the Second World War, was delighted. “Splendid news,” he said. “Fine man, Runcie. I knew him in the Army; very brave, very brave.” He then concluded: “Quite religious too, you know.” Read more

1 comment:

Daniel Roe said...

A
I don’t suppose it will make a lot of difference; both are totally unfit for purpose, isn’t it? You just have to take a gander at their respective Easter messages. I mean, when are we going to get messages which are based on the Bible as opposed to ballyhoo about the Solomon Islands – or whatever the other chap was speaking about? Hey – salt and light – well preachers have spoken about the different uses of salt – bet you they an’t spoke about salt as a condiment. OK the preacher preaches through the Bible and like good seasoning, draws out what there
B
As opposed to smothering it in brown sauce – but you’ve got to understand it to preach it, and it’s obvious (to me at least) that a lot of these guys from the Most Reverent to the Least Reverent and the Right Reverend to the Left Reverend or Wrong Reverent don’t appear to understand the first thing about the Bible – like the blind leading the blind, ennit.
A
Or they do understand but somehow it an’t top of the agenda – hey, perhaps the Bible is a tad out of date – yeah, we need a contemporary Bible.
B
Like – upgrade the Bible to conform to the modern picture of the propheticVoice as it might be exercised by the Apostles.
A
Good thinking, Batman – ok how’s about this? In Acts 3, the Church leaders are on their way to their way to the Temple to “celebrate” the “Eucharist”, and very impressive they are as they stride through the streets in cape and biretta. A guy asks alms, and stPeter looks at stJohn, and stJohn looks at stPeter who motions to one of the lacqueys in their retinue, and the lacquey hands the guy a pound coin.
B
“Shomething musht be done,” sez stPeter as they enter the vestry and don their Eucharistic vestments. “Aye,” sez stJohn, “shomething musht be done.” The holyCity was declared an Urban Priority Area, and the Apostles tirelessly preached and lobbied the Sanhedrin – hey, that sounds great
A
We’re going to need a stPaul, innit – yeah, right – then the church’s new kid on the block, stPaul, was beginning to stir things things round the Med. It was beginning to be a bit of a pain, but the authorities decided to ignore it; most people realised that an itinerant tentmaker wouldn’t know the first thing about how to run an Empire.
B
Aye, but give him his due, some of his calls for socialJustice were to the point, and some Church leaders had been invited to help their towns formulate social policy; and some of his epistles appeared in social policy journals. He might be ignorant about grain exports from Egypt and how to organise a decent circus, but his epistles revealed inDepth knowledge about soupKitchens and life ondda streets.
A
Hey, good, good, good, good, good – but we need to bring in the suffragan, er, suffering church – ok how’s about this then? What did get up their nose, however, was the Church’s growing and tireless criticism of the “Roman imperialists” but they tolerated it. By the time stPeter got to Rome, England was now in the bag, and the emperor and the troops made a victory parade to show off the loot and the prisoners; nobody bothered much with the Church which seemed to be so sad and out of touch.
B
Hey – nice one
A Yer next emperor, however, is conceited and complacent.
B
Hey I like that too – the historic present tense as used by academics in TV and Radio history shows.
A
Exactly – contemporary doesn’t mean you can’t do with a bit of class – anyway, yer next emperor, however, is conceited and complacent – notice the ‘yer’ for ‘your’
B
And the ‘your’ for
A
Whatever – not only is the emperor conceited and complacent, but the local colonial bods are tactless and inept and…
B
Boadicea – sorry, you go on
A
Boadicea erupts in fury and catches yer Romans napping
B
In due course, the superior organisation, discipline and strength of the legions wins through
A
Oviously a scary moment – Rome had been shaken, and almost brought down
B
By a bunch of blue painted savages – and as you might expect As you might expect, the Churches’ call for a peaceful and just settlement in England goes down like a leadBalloon; Rome goes well ballistic
A
Aye – the propheticVoice has gone too far
B
The Church must keep out of politics, or else!!