For many years I have wondered who has ultimate authority in the Church of England—General Synod or Archbishops. The epidemic has given no answer as both left over-burdened parish priests to keep a ministry alive.
Archbishops might be excused for leaving the State to decide what could be done in church, but there is no excuse for not defending the legality of their own marriage contract, “let no man put asunder” and letting so many couples endure extreme distress. If those words lack authenticity, what about those of the Absolution or consecration of the elements at Holy Communion?
General Synod has no direct connection with church members and priests not on the synodical ladder. It is a dangerous collection of free spirits accountable to no-one for their decisions. Two have been disastrous. Allowing dioceses to appropriate money left to churches in wills and trusts impoverished and ruined scores of village churches which had small congregations but a steady income from investments.
The second, trampled over traditions and theological beliefs by ordaining women without a referendum. There is lingering resentment; was this the will of God or the success of the most powerful pressure group in Church House?
A third, is likely to be another disaster; setting a quota for priests from ethnic groups is racial discrimination in reverse and an insult to suggest they not be selected on merit. Would they be tainted with the suspicion that they had been “pushed through” on the quota system? The Church is jumping on the to the latest social movement.
I am a ninety-year old survivor of World War II, growing up in a Kent village with a church which never closed, even when bomb damaged or during the Battle of Britain. For fifty-four years, I have been married to a priest who adheres to the principles of the Church into which he was ordained, but it is difficult. I am also the great-niece of Bishop Frank Partridge, whose portrait hangs in London’s Church House. If still available, General Synod members should read his preface in the book published at the time of its completion. It high-lights the spiritual vision built into every bit of Church House.
Mrs J K Young