Poppy’s admirers will be interested to know that she has now arrived in Belfast for the pre-Lambeth hospitality programme.  Having just been to Donegal, she’s a bit jet-lagged and noisy.  But she gets a lot of attention from Anna and her friends and will settle down here comfortably until August.

The pre-Lambeth publicity – and the reports of the Church of England Synod – mean that friends I have met these past few days want to know more about what lies behind the reports.  They work in situations where any kind of discrimination in the workplace on grounds of gender, sexuality or anything else would be regarded as unthinkable.  They want to know why the church is different and why it finds these issues so difficult.


  1. Thanks Kimberly.

    I don’t appreciate name-calling/demonisation/ya-boo stuff on this blog or elsewhere. Although, of course, the times at which I am probably guilty of it are times at which I am probably unaware of it.

    This is all difficult. People’s anxieties and fears need to be treated with respect. But endless provision of special treatment simply leads to endless fragmentation – which is what we are seeing at present.

  2. Kimberly, thank you for translating for me. I’m familiar with the concepts and struggle among factions in the Church over doctrine and control of Church property. Generally, I’m not sure which is perceived by the actors as more important. I was encouraged recently when the State Court prohibited a breakaway parish in California from taking Church property. The Episcopal Church then re-established the parish with surviving communicants. Ceremonies were officiated by the Presiding Bishop.

  3. Richard, you are asking abut a comment that sits somewhat uncomfortably in a ‘low key conversational blog’.

    But to translate for you, FiF is Forward in Faith, a group in the church (strong in England, with a small presence in Scotland) which has opposed the ordination of women due to a certain view of catholicity. They were not granted the legal protections they had hoped for in the recent vote in England. Many of them will be hurt and upset right now. Some of them may try to leave. Presumably, the initial comment assumes that some who try to leave will want to take their congregations and buildings with them, which could lead to conflicts in England similar to those in the US and Canada, where congregations have aligned themselves with other provinces.

  4. Over the past couple of years I’ve kept coming back to this blog, periodically. I’m an American, living in Iowa, who is treasurer of his local Episcopal parish, among other things. I am attracted in the blog to what I perceive as the Bishop’s low-key, conversational writing style — along with the not infrequent references to the weather, all of which I think carries with it a very hospitable theology.

    I’m curious about a couple of references in Teddymak’s comment above:

    “COE has opened the hunting season on the FIF Neanderthals. I hope you all do a better job getting them out of their buildings than TEC and the Canadians did. A lot of time was wasted before these choice properties could be converted to Diocesan Discretionary Funds.”

    What is “FIF?” And, from which buildings should these “Neanderthals” be evicted? Which, apparently, The Episcopal Church and the Canadians didn’t do a very good job of?

    I’m not sure if our Iowa Diocesan office is a “choice property,” but I have thought it might be a good idea to convert a few Church assets into Diocesan Discretionary Funds.

    I would appreciate any enlightenment that may be offered!

  5. Maybe if you think you need pure gatekeepers of salvation, you are more bothered about women and gay clergy than if you see them as fellow-pilgrims with one gift among many. Thank goodness that MPs, if and when they come to vote on the C of E’s measure, will probably see clergy as just employed leaders of voluntary organisations deserving the same rights as others.

  6. The press coverage of the vote on women bishops has stirred up a hornet’s nest of furious ‘have your say’ers, bewailing the fact that there should be any coverage of the internecine squabbling of those who believe in fairytales. It’s interesting that these liberal secularists get so exercised about the issue, when it really, really doesn’t interest them at all!
    It certainly interests me and I say ‘Thank God’ and not before time too. It’s sad that this issue is still seen as ‘live’ fourteen years after the ordination of women. Can anyone seriously argue that ordination is OK but that it’s possible to say, at the door of bishopdom, ‘thus far and no further’. If women are called to the priesthood by God, it seems inconsistent to say the least to then try to argue that it’s only a qualified calling. Does the God of – ‘have life and have it abundantly’ really do business like that?

  7. What a glorious day! COE has opened the hunting season on the FIF Neanderthals. I hope you all do a better job getting them out of their buildings than TEC and the Canadians did. A lot of time was wasted before these choice properties could be converted to Diocesan Discretionary Funds.

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