This week’s other Anglican story has been the decision of two churches in Virginia to leave the Episcopal church and become part of the church in Nigeria. It is all a bit complicated, but here are some links to explain it: Ekklesia / Ruth / Simon (Note the first name terms there).
I have some things to say about this. First of all, I am dubious about the idea of letting the congregations vote to decide upon things. Imagine where this would lead if taken to its furthest conclusion. Sermons would be one of the first things to go, followed by the liturgy and most of the songs. No, this is not the way we do within the Anglican church. The Anglican way is to elect a PCC and have them make the decisions under the watchful eye of the Vicar. Until someone is committed enough to the life of the church that they are willing to sit through a lot of extensive and boring Tuesday evening meetings thay should not be allowed to make any decisions.
The other question which comes to mind is what will happen to the church property. The two congregations of the Truro church and the Falls church have voted to ‘take their property with them’, but I imagine the Diocese will not allow this. The prospect of a lengthy legal battle is not that appealing, so my proposal is that neither side has the church buildings but that instead each is turned into a carpet shop.
I can see many readers frowning and reaching for their ‘unsubscribe’ buttons, so I will elaborate on my proposals. They could be evangelistic carpet shops if you like. It would be be best if they had a coffee area at the side. People of all theological persuasions (and none) would be able to meet together and have a chat in the coffee area. This might help them to get to know each other and then they would recognise that they are all human beings just trying to do the right thing and that there is room for them all within the church.
There would be no pressure to buy a carpet.
Updates to other Anglican stories:
- Anglican Mainstream have issued a response to the critics of the ‘covenant’ document. It now turns out that 31 people are supporting the covenant, rather than 9 as previously thought.
- The Bishop of Southwark has responded to the drunkenness allegations on thought for the day. You can listen here. Personally I believe him. I’ve been disappointed by the gleeful response of some Christians given the obviously dubious nature of some of the newspaper reports.
- Fulcrum, (the society for sensible evangelical Anglicans) are aiming to gather responses from extraterrestial beings – see this page and scroll down to the ‘validation’ section.