Another scandal strikes at the heart of the Church of England

I am almost starting to feel sorry for Archbishop Justin Welby.

Recently he has had to deal with a child abuse scandal in which his detractors suggested he could be implicated, the rejection by his clergy of a report on human sexuality written at great expense by his bishops – in reality, the average British schoolboy knows more about sex than any bishop and could have produced something similar for nothing – and has squandered countless carbon credits flying all over Africa trying to drum up support for his bishop’s opinions about sex – the ones his own clergy just rejected.

And now, we have the last straw, the coup de grâce, the final assault on Canterbury’s mission to reconcile refined, effete, public school cultivated homosexuality with the raw condemnations one unavoidably stumbles across in Scripture.

Someone has placed plastic furniture in a 12th Century Church.

Various theories have been suggested as to the reason for this clear act of sabotage. The most plausible is that by placing a by-product of the demon fossil fuel, oil, in a sacred space, Welby’s enemies are making a subtle reference to his time as an oil executive, thereby calling into question his credentials as a green bishop, a true devotee of Gaia, the fourth person of our 21st century augmented Trinity.

Kevin Sims, the person who first spotted this outrage, has his own explanation: it’s a deliberate attempt to create an aesthetic aberration. And, apparently, the change was made without going through the proper procedures. As he says: “that means effectively anyone could change anything”. Like marrying people of the same sex, for example. It’s a slippery slope.

From here:

A vicar faces an official complaint for installing a childrens’ plastic table and chairs in a 12th century church.

Rector Lynda Klimas introduced the pint-sized white furniture set as a way to keep young children entertained during services.

But a disgruntled churchgoer has made an official complaint as he feels it has no place in the “historically sensitive and sacred” Lady Chapel.

The matter will now be investigated and, if taken to a tribunal, Rev Kilmas could be given a “lifelong prohibition from exercising any ministerial functions”.

Kevin Sims, 67, who has been attending the St Mary the Virgin Church for 20 years, said: “I definitely do not feel the number of children warrants it. My main issues are for aesthetic reasons and reasons of demand.

“There are procedures in place that anyone who makes changes in church has to go through.

“My concern is that if nothing is done it means effectively anyone could change anything.”

7 thoughts on “Another scandal strikes at the heart of the Church of England

  1. Rev Kilmas could be given a “lifelong prohibition from exercising any ministerial functions”.

    She’s CofE, what do think she’s been doing all these years?

    So who has the contract to supply aesthetically correct 12th century candles? Because there cannot be modern lamps in the chapel, there just can’t be!
    Pay the Vicar 12th century wages, see if that helps.

    The offensive chairs sit on a contemporary rug, beside contemporary chairs, just saying, line in the sand and all that.

  2. Hopefully, a personal anecdote related to this absurd cyclone in a coffee cup about 21st century furniture in a 12th church ..

    Several decades ago, after my midlife conversion to orthodox (i.e. C.S. Lewis’s “mere”) Christianity, I decided to make a pilgrimage back to my country of origin, England, to visit various religious landmarks, primarily cathedrals, to see what I had missed out on in my pre-conversion prodigality of spirit. The experience of awe was as expected, but it was overshadowed by what I can only describe as a perversion of attention to the upkeep of such structures compared with neglect of attention to the then-alread-evident decline in attendance (but perhaps, more importantly, the age-skew of the demographic still attending) of services those awesome structures were meant to be an adjunct to. A classic diversion towards a means rather than the ends: what animal behavior people call a “displacement activity”.

    A reflection of that I observe in Canada today is the following syndrome. Anglican church congregations have not only a demographic skew towards the elderly and aging, but more pronounced, a heavy skewing of donations from such people. (I speak from experience, here and later, as a one-time Warden). Those aging and elderly are not only the financial stalwarts, they are often the donors of time and talent. Typically, they want everything to remain much as they have experienced it for much of their life in “their” parish and “their” worship and church-social space. They are often vocal in their opposition to changes. Strangely, that seems to apply much more to changes that have hardly any theological significance. When a change such as same-sex “marriage” comes along, their vocal opposition vanishes. But some will privately confide in me, leading to the plausible hypothesis that they have been intimidated into compliant silence by political language such as “homophobia”, and perhaps also by some deference to the few younger people coming in, perhaps their grandchildren in some cases, whose immature thinking revolves around ill-defined concepts such as “progressive” (pushed by professors who should know better at the colleges they attended) and feelings interpretations of “inclusiveness”.

    Focusing on the age-skew, of course such aging and elderly eventually depart naturally, and modulo some bequests, their financial contributions dry up. The few younger people coming in cannot afford to compensate for that. To give credit where it is due, some incumbents do strive to make some services more attractive to younger people while keeping them Gospel-focused. Optimistic in some selected cases, I remain pessimistic in the large.

    If we discover that young people no longer know how to do multiplication by hand using a multiplication table, then we have no need of theorising about a post-arithmetic age or whatever; it suffices for an explanation that they have simply not been taught how so to do. [C.S. Lewis, paraphrase, written most of a century ago].

    So, where do they, metaphorically, “teach young people how to do multiplication by hand using a multiplication table” ? A rhetorical question in intent, of course. But I note that the denomination I have moved to is derided because it will not “progress” to the (metaphorical) switch to electronic calculation, and the rendering of the discipline of the multiplication table “outmoded and no longer relevant”.

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