Sunday, May 31, 2009


The girls and us - a family

We've suddenly - over the past week or so - got to a new stage with the girls. They've recently discovered how to play together. Not just playing for short periods of time, but extended, really complicated, involved play. They'll spend over an hour together doing role-play, drawing, colouring, having tea-parties: the whole deal. It means we can do other things such as gardening or tidying, or even have the odd minute together. And it also means that we can have more family-based times together.

It doesn't work all the time, but Moo and I have been turning to each other and commenting on what a fantastic weekend we've had. I think it's to do with concentration and empathy: once both Jo and Miri have reached a particular level of each, they can participate in each other's worlds for extended periods of time. They're now really sisters, and we're a new type of family.

On a different tack, I preached at St Peter's Bocking at evensong, for James, who's currently associate priest there. I preached (again) on Isaiah 35, but this time on how it relates to Pentecost. I talked about our responsibility to work towards the parousia, when the Kingdom of God will be realised, and how maybe, when we don't feel that any of the obvious charisms (though I didn't use the word) such as prophesy, speaking in tongues, preaching, teaching, etc. have fallen to us, we can still "strengthen the weak hands, confirm the feeble knees, say to them that are of a fearful heart: be strong, fear not, behold your God will come".

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 30, 2009


A beautiful day, in lots of ways

Didn't feel too good to start with, but doing some ironing, and then some serious gardening, helped. In the sun, pulling up nettles and brambles - some time indoors, watching the Cup Final - outside again, doing the nettle and bramble thing - indoors - you get the idea. We barbecued for lunch, then we put the paddling pool out in the garden: all the things that you're supposed to do with kids, but you have to wait a while for them to be old enough to do.

Then the kids went to bed. Early. And we sat outside in the garden, reading the papers, drinking wine, eating crisps and cold, barbecued sausages, chatting and hardly being able to hear ourselves think because of the sound of birdsong. Moo's not annoyed or grumpy in this picture: she's just concentrating on the paper.
Moo, reading the paper, drinking wine

We went inside when it got too cold, after a fantastic day. And it's only May.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 29, 2009


More ordination practice

(backposting) This time, everyone made it. Oh, and I had a meeting with some people about a burial of ashes: one of those occasions where things are difficult, and you feel that you're ministering just by being there, and listening.

The girls got back this evening, and went straight to bed, which was good.


Thursday, May 28, 2009


A fat, snoring pig.

A fat, snoring pig.
Originally uploaded by MikeCamel

See my blog post for May, 26th...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Ordination practice

(backposting) I drove home today - Moo and the girls are staying with Kate and Mac for a while - and attended an afternoon-long RIM/Certicom integration webinar and teleconference.

In the evening, I had a meeting with the bishop and his assistant/chaplain, John (my incumbent) and a number of our local team (servers, churchwardens, sacristan) to make some decisions about exactly how the ordination service will go, and have walk-through. Of course, there will two other people who will also be ordained on that day, and everyone was expecting them to be there, too. Except for them, as nobody seemed to have told them... Oh well, we had a very useful session: it's all feeling a bit close now.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


More time with family

(backposting) The girls have had a good time, and we had one, too - I've kept my phone with me, of course, as I don't have the day off.

We went to a Animal Centre and Donkey Sanctuary (though their website isn't the most, erm, eye-friendly), and I particularly enjoyed the pig, which was fat and snored. Unlike me, of course...


Monday, May 25, 2009


Bank Holiday

(backposting) Staying with Kate and Mac, and seeing Nana, too. Nana's recently turned 94, and is getting old, so it's important for Moo and the girls to spend time with her. She enjoys being with the girls and watching the world go by.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


Preaching against the BNP

(backposting) I take the responsibility of the pulpit very seriously, and I generally don't like preaching against something, but decided that I couldn't avoid it today. The BNP (British National Party, and I'm not going to do them the service of linking to them) have been suggesting that church leaders should keep out of politics. Not only is this rubbish (as the Archbishop of York puts it: "which Bible are they reading?"), but there's a real danger that British voters, unhappy and disillusioned with the mainstream political parties after the scandals around expenses for MPs, will vote for the BNP in enough numbers that they'll have some representation and declare that they have a mandate.

So, I preached against their message of hate and fear, and talked about our duty, as Christians, to work for the coming of God's Kingdom, and the message of Isaiah 35: "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you."

In the afternoon we had lots of fun at a fund-raiser for Jo's pre-school (lovely weather), and then we drove up to Kate and Mac's near Loughborough (in two cars, as I need to be coming back earlier than Moo and the girls.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Gout, or party, or party (2)?

Woke this morning with the traces of a gout attack. Drank lots of water, took some paracetamol, had a hot bath, rubbed some ibuprofen gel on. Moo took Jo and Miri off to a children's party (party 1) and I had a sleep. And by the time I woke up, it was pretty much gone.

The children's party was good, and by the time we were finished, it was pretty much time for a barbecue a couple of houses down, with Jo, Jason and their kids. And lots and lots of other people. A few of the people invited were French, and after a couple of glasses of wine, I was well into it again. Lots of French and I never thought I'd be going through the finer points of Anglican theology (versus Roman Catholic theology) in French, but who knows anything really?

Labels: ,

Friday, May 22, 2009


A good day, a bad day

So, Plan C is out. If I become unemployed in the next few months, I don't have anything definite lined up. This is a bad day thing. And then I started to wonder whether or not to keep my new Samsung i8910 HD. I really need VoIP, and there's not SIP stack on the phone. There are some other things that I'm not particularly happy about, too, including lack of decent GPS apps and the difficulty of uploading photos to flickr, and I wondered about sending the thing back and getting a Nokia 5800 instead. In the end, I discovered that the Nokia doesn't have a SIP stack, either, but managed to get Fring working with AQL (my SIP provider), and all's looking rosier. Took some doing, but I've found some OK GPS apps, too which I'm trialling.

And I had some possible job leads, in case things go a bit Pete Tong on the employment front, which they may, so that helped too. I finished up the day with an hour's hard walk, listening to Finzi, Duruflé and Poulenc. Now sitting in front of the TV, trying to work out how to disable the Orange Photo app on my phone.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Ascension Day! (and a new phone... (and a new washing machine))

(backposting) So, the new phone arrived today around 1500. I'd been on tenter-hooks all day. The new washing machine arrived around 1100, and has been busy going through all the washing we've not been able to put through for the past week or so. Mel's been a star and has helped out with a load or two, which has allowed us to have some pants, etc..

I've taken some time getting my head round the phone, and the camera's very good, wifi works fine, and so far, so good.

After the kids had gone to bed, I went to our sung Eucharist for Ascension Day. John, my incumbent, hadn't expected I'd make it, so it was a good surprise. We had a pint after the service and went through the draft order of service for my (and Iain and Mark's) ordination to the priesthood, which is only a little more than a month away. John preached helpfully - in that I have more ideas now about what to preach about on Pentecost.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A poor show

(backposting) Not the curate's meeting - although only 4 of the 6 of us were there, the others had good reasons - but the Mobile & Wireless Show in Olympia 2. It was pretty poor, and I left after a short time. Noone interesting there, nothing interesting to see.

The good news, however is that my new phone should arrive tomorrow! It's the lovely Samsung i8910 HD. It has an 8 mega-pixel camera will record HD video. This would be more useful if we even had an HD television.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Theology, prayer and wider life

I'm finding it quite hard to be reflective and theological in the midst of trying to work out where my professional life is going at the moment. There's still a possibility of a job via Certicom, at RIM, but I'm having to work out what other opportunities will present themselves, particularly as a job I was hoping might come together in the next couple of months has disappeared - for now, at least. So, I'm reading around moving into contracting, which is one option, and following up other leads, too. Time to get back in touch with those friends I've not spoken to a while, and do some good old networking.

Having said the above about theology, I've come up with a plan for what to preach about when I'm over in Bocking for Pentecost, as guest preacher(!). "Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees" - Isaiah 35.

And, to crown it all, we had to take Miri to Colchester Hospital A & E because her elbow ligament popped out again. My fault this time. "Strengthen ye the weak elbows" is more like it...

Labels: , , ,

Monday, May 18, 2009



I know I'm British, but what's with the weather at the moment? Had a good walk, and didn't get rained on, but there's a lot of it about. I suppose that's what an English spring should be about.


Sunday, May 17, 2009



I really do like baptising people. Children only, so far, though I hope we get the chance to baptise an adult soon. I hadn't expected to be around at home this weekend, but when I discovered that we would be, I offered to take the baptism, as I'd done the preparation for the parents a couple of weeks ago. It was also my first chance to take a baptism within a service, which was also good.

What else? Had a fun early morning with the girls - both of whom slept all night in their own beds! Moo got some more sleep, and then we had a sleepy cuddle while the girls ran riot, sat on our heads, all that sort of thing. Unluckily, Jo spent too much of the rest of the day just failing to listen, which made for some interesting parts to the day, but all-in-all, we've had a pretty good weekend.

Next week, I have to decide whether to go "contract" or not, rather than permanent. An important decision: I'm awaiting some information from one particular source - and this all assumes, of course, that the redundancy proceedings go as expected.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Mediaevalism - or not

(backposting) After all taking Jo to her ballet (and meeting another parent who had some possible job leads - that's networking for you), we had an early lunch and then headed off to Ickworth House, where they were having a Mediaeval Spectacular (though they decided to spell that "Medieval", shockingly). There was lots for the kids, and for the adults, too (I ended up going up through a variety of longbow weights - managed to draw a 150 pound bow about 26 inches, which apparently isn't bad for a beginner), with people being all sorts of authentic. Authentic food, authentic clothing, authentic tools, even authentic spectacles (and although the glass quality seemed better than expected, I was quite impressed with that). What I always feel, however, is that people just aren't authentic enough about the language. There's some cod mediaeval grammar, but no attempt at pre-Great Vowel Shift or Pre-Modal Shift speaking. Most, most disappointing. And not at all authentic (no matter that _almost_ none of the attendees would understand a word of it).

Back home, playing in the garden, including learning to play "sardines", and then the kids to bed. We barbecued some steak and had a very healthy vegetable/noodle mix, which was very tasty, and watched the Eurovision Song Contest (which I twittered extensively, gaining a number of followers in the process - hope I don't disappoint them with my day-to-day tweets).

Labels: ,

Friday, May 15, 2009


Job hunting

(backposting) Not an overly positive day. I went to bed alone in the spare room last night as Miri wouldn't go back to her own bed, and was very lonely: really wanted to cuddle up with Moo after the day I'd had yesterday.

I spent a fair amount of time looking for new opportunities and jobs, of which few were forthcoming. Obviously, although the threat of redundancy is yet to be confirmed, the very fact that we're in the process means that I need to be seeing what else might be available, and today didn't furnish much help in that direction.


Thursday, May 14, 2009



I attended - but didn't take - a funeral today. A mother and wife, 43, kids 5 and 7. It was a very moving service, with a packed church: it was standing room only with 20 minutes to go before the start. The father's a friend, which is why attended. The priest took a very good service indeed, with a good mix of solemnity, respect and humour.

And I spent much of the rest of the afternoon what I'd do if Catherine didn't come up the drive, and it was a police officer at the front door, instead.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Incarnational redundancy

I've got lots of things I want to blog about at the moment from a theological point of view, from more issues around authority to further thoughts on the ontological issues around self-supporting ministry. But I've got to pick one, and the issue that's consuming a fair amount of my time at the moment is redundancy. As I've blogged before, my company has just started redundancy proceedings around my job. I'm not interested in going over the whys and wherefores, nor am I looking for sympathy (though prayers are always welcome). What I'd like to start investigating are some of the theological issues around redundancy, and particularly how it affects me and other self-supporting ministers.

When I announced the fact that I was going through redundancy proceedings on Facebook, a mate of mine (also a self-supporting minister) said:

Redundancy is, oddly, part of the incarnational aspect of being Self-Supporting. It's one of those aspects of life which we SSMs share with our punters/parishioners/victims/congregations. Going Stipendiary in such circumstances would be like giving up.
He was responding to a (tongue-in-cheek) comment from another friend, who'd pointed going full-time might be an option.

He expressed very well a feeling that I'd not have been able to articulate as well at this. I know from conversations with members of my congregation that people appreciate the fact that I can speak "from the pew" as it were. I think that because I have a job and share similar issues (or more obviously similar issues) with them, there's a feeling (which I'm sure isn't always justified) that there are things I can say that match more closely with the experiences of "the people in the pews".

However unjustified those feelings are, they are true in one particular, incarnational way, as my friend identified. I run the risk of losing my job, as few parochial clergy in the Church of England do. Standing by that means standing by them, too. I feel no more called away from full-time (secular) employment than I did when I made the decision to go with self-supporting ministry. Maybe I will some day, but that day isn't yet, and it wouldn't be honest to my vocation which is expressed both within my ordained ministry and in my secular life to decide suddenly to take up full-time ministry now.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 11, 2009


A Quantum of Redundancy

Up at 0500 - why is that? Well, just woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got to say Morning Prayer in silence, on my own for a change. Which was nice.

The other two things of note for today are:

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Deacons and gardens

Today, on the advice of curate colleague the other week, I went to a different church for a change, as I had a week off. Tilbury-juxta-Clare is in the benefice I live in, and which I was helping out in before my ordination, and it was good to worship there. Keith, the rector, preached a really enjoyable sermon on the importance of deaconhood - both for laity and clergy - which felt particularly apposite as I'm approaching my ordination to the priesthood. He talked about Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (which isn't a Famous Five book, whatever it may sound like), and other Christians - ordained deacon and not - who've served God.

After that, we took to the garden. It was a lovely day, and we did lots and lots of clearing. We're beginning to be able to use the bottom half of the garden again, which is quite impressive after about 5 years of lack of attention. The girls helped - on and off - and had a great time. All-in-all, we've had a lovely weekend with the family: the sort you dream of when you start a family.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Ironing, gardening, barbecuing

Spent 3 hours or more this morning doing the ironing, which really needed doing. Then gardening, this afternoon, which was fun. The girls are absolutely on their last legs through tiredness at the moment, so it was amazing that they managed to stay awake past 2030 this evening when we went to Si and D's for a barbecue supper. Their friends Naomi and Chris (and Keira, a friend) were over as well, with their kids, and they all played very well: it's a sign that they're all growing up, which is great, but sad at the same time.

On a different note, I've noticed that many of the previous week or so's posts have been rather brief. I'm sorry about this, but it's really been down to the fact that I'm both tired and also trying to work out what's going on with work and redundancy. My current company has told me that they're planning to go through redundancy proceedings, and this is clearly not good news. I'm trying to work out what this means for me, and working on what my future options might be.

It also doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about the issues around ontology and ordination, but my focus has been elsewhere. I'll get back to it, but focusing on my work prospects is even more important now that there are 2 children to look after as well.

God will provide. I really believe that, even in the darkest hours.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, May 08, 2009



So, if you book a dentist's appointment 6 months ago (for all the family), you'd hope that when you turned up, it would still be booked, right? Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh.


Thursday, May 07, 2009


Back home

One of my favourite blog entry titles, that. Got home in time to see the girls to bed, which was a bonus.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Day off

(backposting) Took a couple of days off, and flew off to Munich and saw a mate at a conference. Interesting.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Redundancy proceedings

(backposting) Well, the thing that I've not been talking about on the blog recently is that it's been looking for a while like my company is going to start redundancy proceedings. I heard today that they're going to start this next week. This isn't good news, obviously, but there are possible options within the larger company, so it's not all doom and gloom. Thoughts, prayers and job offers gratefully accepted.


Monday, May 04, 2009


Miscellaneous catchings-up

So, what's today been about? Well:

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, May 03, 2009


A family service

(backposting) Given Miri's illness yesterday - she seems to be improving today - I'd let Geoff know that I might not make the 0800 service with him in Colne Engaine, which I didn't (though it was Jo who had me up in the night, in the end), but I took Jo to a family service at 1000. She did very well, and I spent lots of time beforehand trying to explain why she couldn't be with me all the time. The main tack was to explain that it could be distracting to other people, who might want to be thinking about something else. We talked about things that she doesn't like being distracted from (colouring, for instance), and I think that helped her to understand.

I also took her swimming this afternoon. Moo stayed at home with Miri - not fair to take her until things have settled down properly - and Jo and I had a great time. She's a really good swimmer now.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Miri's not well

Poor little thing. Ended up taking her to the out-of-hours doctor, and hopefully she'll be better soon. I took her for a walk today - in a backpack - and she was much quieter than usual, though she did like seeing the cows. I enjoyed seeing some sparrows mobbing a sparrowhawk - it's a while since I've seen one around here.

Labels: ,

Friday, May 01, 2009


A problematic ontology of ministry: employment - and gender

I recently asked couple of questions on Twitter and Facebook: These are questions I've been interested in for a while, for obvious reasons: I'm what the Church of England calls a "Self-Supporting Minister" (and used to call a "Non-Stipendiary Minister"). In other words, I'm not employed by the church, but make my living elsewhere, giving time and ministry to the church. There are probably as many models for this as there are SSMs: some have a ministry firmly rooted within their secular employ; some work part-time and give lots of time to the church; some give what time they can, exercising some ministry within their secular job, some ministry within a typical church context, and some ministry in other contexts (this blog and various other online activities being examples from my life). But we all have in common that we neither receive a stipend from the church nor does it employ us full-time.

Before we go into any detail, I'd note that I've done little or no reading in this area, and that this brief essay is the result only of some thinking and discussions I've had. If you have some thoughts about further reading, I'd be interested to hear them.

How "part-timers" are seen

Yesterday we had a CME (Continuing Ministerial Education) seminar, just with some of the SSM curates in the diocese, and we had some interesting stories. We considered three constituencies: congregations, clergy and diocese. Some members of our congregation "get" it - some, indeed, welcome it, but the main questions (of a negative nature, at least) that arose within the congregational context seemed to relate to the amount of time that a non-full-time member of clergy can give to the church. From the stories we shared, there seemed to be little questioning of the legitimacy of the idea of self-supporting clergy. Indeed, some congregations seem to welcome the shared perspective which they may feel that "working" member of clergy can deliver in preaching and pastoral situations.

Although most of the interactions that we had experienced from clergy colleagues were positive, there were reports that some clergy colleagues see us as not committing ourselves to ministry to the extent that they do. Resentments that self-supporting clergy "cherry-pick" the best services and jobs within a team were backed up with one report of a member of clergy saying that "you lot haven't had to give up on a career like we have". Still, however, there seemed to be little suggestion over the legitimacy of self-supporting ministry, though suggestions of lack of commitment suggest lingering questions around a life which is defined by ministry.

In many ways, we, as group, didn't feel convinced that the diocese really knows how to deal with us in all contexts. The stories around how deanery and diocesan synods, chapter meetings, training events and the rest are routinely scheduled with little or no thought for those who work full or even part-time were greeted with resignation and recognition by all. Despite the growing reliance by all Church of England dioceses, self-supporting ministers don't seem to feature highly in the thoughts of many of them. This is, surely, partly because the needs and offerings of SSMs are - in some ways, at least - more diverse than those of the "typical" parish priest or curate.

None of this is new: my father has been an NSM for around 40 years, and I've heard similar stories from him over the years.What is it to be clergy in non-church employ? Is our ministry ontologically different? A word about that word: "ontologically". I'm using sense 2 of's definition of ontologically: Of or relating to essence or the nature of being. In other words, what I mean by the question "is our ministry ontologically different?" is "is there something about the nature of our ministry (that of clergy not employed by the church) that is different to that of those who are in the full-time employ of the church that exists because of that difference?"

A couple of clarifications here:

  1. there's a big (and fascinating) question that's not unrelated about the nature of the ministry of those who are not ordained. I'm going to duck this question because I don't want to be diverted from this question, and not because I don't think it's important. Maybe another time.
  2. although I've not been entirely clear above, what I'm really talking about is those who not "full-time" clergy: they have other responsibilities and activities which take up much of their time.
The Church of England has been part-addressing this question for over 40 years now, with NSMs and, more recently, the renamed SSMs. The view is that our ministry is equally valid as those who work full-time for the church. This doesn't mean that it's always easy to get this right, nor for everyone (lay or ordained) to appreciate it all the time, but that's the official story.

I think there's a problem with it, however - not with the answer, which I believe to be right - but in the theology that supports it. First let me note that I very much like the theory of ministry presented by Steven Croft in Ministry in Three Dimensions: A Theological Foundation for Local Church Leadership. The fundamental basis for his argument is that all ordained ministry is based on three qualities: diakonos (loosely: service), presbyteros (loosely: leadership) and episkope (loosely: oversight). That these three qualities provide the basis for the three generally accepted ordained orders (deacon, priest (or presbyters) and bishops (episcopals)) is no surprise, and acts as the starting point for his argument. But he is keen to point out that members of each order must possess each of the three qualities, though the amount to which they will be required will vary from person to person, from role to role, and from situation to situation - and through time. I don't think that this is particularly contentious theology, and I've certainly found it very helpful in my journey through discernment, to ordination, through my deacon's year, and in preparing for my ordination to the priesthood in June, God willing.

Being a bishop

But it raises a question: a big one, I think. "Is there something ontologically incompatible about being a bishop, and not full-time clergy?" Admittedly, as the role of bishop is currently figured, there is a great deal of time required for administration, visiting, etc. - and that's part of the oversight. But is that what oversight _needs_ to be about? And surely we should be figuring the bishop's role from first principles, rather than making the role fit what the job has become over the centuries? Why does this matter? Well, it doesn't matter to me - certainly at the moment! - in terms of preferment: I'm not even a priest yet, and thoughts of bishoprics are rather far off, and would be even if I were full-time. There are questions about how easy it is to become a bishop if one has not been a full-time priest, though: how can one "serve one's time" and move up the greasy pole? Well, _why_ should that be required? There are enough examples of brilliant bishops - and archbishops - who moved very quickly into their posts, without all the kerfuffle of parish incumbencies, becoming an archdeacon, a canon, a dean, etc.. And why do the diakonos, presbyteros and episkope exercised by those not in the church full-time not "count" towards the criteria required to become a bishop? Well, they're beginning to, I hope.

But there's something deeper going on here: something more ontological. If the church is not ready to accept that someone who is not full-time can enter the order whose defining characteristic is episkope - oversight - and become a bishop, then that casts grave doubts over the legitimacy of the episkope that is exercised by all those in the _other_ orders who are, likewise, not full-time. How can we figure a legitimate, and fully accepted diaconate and priesthood? To be clear, what I'm saying is that it is difficult to base an ontological understanding of the theology of the orders of the diaconate and the priesthood if there is no corresponding ontological understanding for the episcopal order.


So far, this entry - or essay - has been about the issue of employment, but the more I thought about the issues being discussed, the more I realised that we can't ignore the issue of gender. In the Church of England, we have not only no self-supporting ministers who are bishops - that is, no self-supporting bishops - but we also have no women ministers who are bishops: we have no woman bishops. Now, many self-supporting ministers - including me - maintain the option to move to full-time ministry. Although the nature of our role as ministers seems somewhat compromised by what comes down to our employment status - if you accept the argument presented above - we have the option to change that.

The same does not follow for women: the nature of the ontological problematic for them is more fundamental. For there is a corresponding problem about the legitimacy of woman deacons and woman priests if there are no woman bishops: the correspondence seems very close. Some members of the Church of England will accept that women can be priests and deacons, but cannot exercise "headship" (for which we can probably fairly safely substitute our word "episkope"), and therefore cannot become bishops. Others will not accept women and priests, but will accept them as deacons, whereas some will not accept them in any of the ordained orders. Given the argument above, I would argue that only the last set holds a consistent position, but a good deal of the work being done with regard to finding a settlement around the issue of woman bishops in the Church of England seems to centre around the group that will accept deacons and priests, but not bishops.

My view - and it's a strong one - is that the ministry of women is entirely legitimate, and I have no problems whatsoever with the ontological basis for it. More important, I don't believe that the lack of any woman bishops impacts on that legitimacy. However, the lack of the capability for there to be a woman bishop _does_ impact on the continued legitimacy of the ministry of women in the Church of England. Until we, as a church, can overcome this problem, ontological problems will remain, and will continue to allow doubts to remain about legitimacy.

A brief conclusion

I have no conclusion to offer, really, beyond to ask for more theological discussion around the ontology of ministry. We've avoided the question of non-ordained ministry, but even with a restricted scope, have identified what I believe to be two major - and growing - issues for ministry within the Church of England and the Anglican church as a whole. Part of the question, of course, revolves whether we accept in detail Croft's view of ministry in 3 dimensions, but whether we do or not, in the Anglican church we consider that there is a coherence between the 3 orders of ministry. This, then, casts concerns over how legitimate the church considers the ministry of self-supporting and woman ministers to be. I would stress that it does not matter whether this consideration is explicit or not: what matters is if the theology around which the ontology of ministry is based is coherent, and whether it introduces concerns over legitimacy.

Labels: , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?