I’ve been in London most of the week – doing whatever bishops do in London.  I think we’re supposed to hang out around The Atheneum – but not this one.  I was due to come back from Cambridge this morning – a bit fraught since they seemed to have forgotten how to run the trains  between Cambridge and Stansted.  Croziers on the line at Bishop’s Stortford as Reginald Perrin would have said.  I had to buy a taxi.

Just time to draw breath before launching the episcopal electoral process for the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway at the Preliminary Meeting of the Electoral Synod on Saturday.  This requires an intimate knowledge of Canon 4 which sets out how it is done.   For obvious reasons, I am a fan of Canon 4 – tho’ it is incredibly demanding of those who submit themselves to its scrutiny.  And of course the one thing that Canon 4 doesn’t help with is the most important and difficult of all – the task of vocational discernment.  I’m happy to tackle most things.  But vocational discernment – whether of potential ordinands or of clergy seeking congregational appointments …   Prayerful and insightful humility, I think.


  1. I’m reminded of the duke who died and went to hell. As he was trying to orient himself, he came across a fellow peer of the realm whom he asked what the place was really like. After thinking a moment, his friend replied, “It’s a bit like the Athenaeum, really: you can’t get near the fire for Bishops……”

    Well held on Sat. – especially since Canon 4 wasn’t the only Canon giving you grief! I write from the stool of repentance.

  2. Was it The Athenaeum where a bishop of a former age was enjoying a post-prandial doze in an armchair when the waiter came to pour fresh soda water into the bishop’s glass of whisky?

    Stirring in his sleep, the prelate mumbled, “That you out of bed again, Mabel?”

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