Saturday, 19 June 2010

Where did you get that hat?

I have not yet contributed my two penn'oworth over what is being dubbed "mitregate" - you can't have missed it - Rowan Williams allegedly banned Katherine Jefferts Schori from wearing her mitre while officiating at Southwark Cathedral. I have not speculated because A. I don't know if it is true B. It might just be part of churchy protocol anyhow, rather than a slur on women as bishops or the PB personally C. I don't really care that much.
Church Mouse gives an eminently sensible response and asks whether the whole woes of the Anglican Communion are now to be focused upon a hat? I did ponder the whole concept of the mitre though, and would like to ask whether the chance to raid the fancy dress box in grand style once one gets ecclesiastical promotion doesn't sometimes go to the head?
...not every man can get away with wearing yellow...
... the full wingspan of this magnificent creature measures over six foot...

... the PB nails her inclusive colours to the mast....

... OK, the Sunday school kids made this from the arts and crafts box, but it looks no dafter than hers above...

...Honestly Officer, I am a bishop. I've just been presiding at midnight mass...


  1. I'm grateful for the light touch....can't tell you how tired I am of the politics of Anglicanism! Clearly, if you want to look sharp, it's best to steer clear of episcopal orders!

  2. I love the rainbow mitre and covet it. Reminds me of Punch and Judy.

  3. I'm glad you are all enjoying it!

    Wayward, I am starting to think major piss taking might be the only way to deal with the silliness in Anglicanism at the moment.

    Welcome Vilges. It has been likened to a tea cosy!

  4. My favourite use of a mitre -my, that is a hotly contested mantle- is in Father Ted when Father Jack finds a video of the hypocritical Bishop Brennan playing on the beach with his lover and their son. In the script the little boy was supposed to be using his Dad's mitre to make sandcastles but it never made it to the screen.

  5. I haven't seen that one, Derek.

  6. Do they even need all the garb anyway? frankly seems like a waste of money that could be put to good use in the diocese elsewhere...

  7. I agree, Red.

    Surely the point of all that finesse is to scream "I'm important" and that goes against Christian teaching. Priests and bishops are there to serve in Christian love and humility. The higher up, the most service and humility should be seen. I'd favour something very plain. I do rather like gorgeous stoles which coordinate with the altar cloth, so I would allow these as an aid to worship and reflection.

  8. It is interesting to note that the issue of wearing a mitre has become contentious when it was not until the late 19th century that the mitre first appeared, since the Reformation, as a part of episcopal regalia and even then, the wearer (Edward King), was tried at an ecclesiastical court in 1887 for ritualism against the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer!

    Now mitres are frequently worn by bishops of all flavours.

    I remember a captioned cover photograph of Private Eye in the mid-80s, during what was then a heated debate about the ordination of women to the priesthood. The picture was of Runice with I think David Jenkins in full episcopal regalia and the caption read "With men like us, who needs women priests?"

    Looking at the pictures above – it could still be said today...

    But what fun to mince around in yards of cloth and try and believe that this has something to do with apostolic succession!


  9. "With men like us, who needs women priests." I love that! I might send you some pictures along those lines!

  10. To me, Mitres sum up all that is wrong with the current views of church hierarchy.

    Sue, I agree with you completely about them being a statement of self-importance.

    More specifically though, it's one of the items of clothing worn by the High Priest, whose primary function was to enter the holy of holies on Yom Kippur and atone for the sins of the people.
    That is clearly no longer necessary, Jesus is our Great High Priest, he has once and for all paid the price for our sins, and it is phenominally dishonouring to God for people to trot around the place answering to the title 'your grace'.

    (sorry, I got all hot under the collar there).