Thursday, 8 November 2012

Oh well, it's Welby

I would say that the Church of England has finally got off the fence and decided on a new Archbishop, but that doesn't really describe what happened, does it? It's more like the fence collapsed a while ago- even the bookies cancelled all bets on the next Archbishop out of sheer ennui- and the bunch of sorry losers remained sitting on a collapsed fence for a while and then, realising they looked stupid and the fence was beginning to rot and disintegrate, they chose the one they thought might be the least unpalatable to everyone concerned.
It's not inspiring, or admirable, or decisive, or courageous and there doesn't seem to be a jot or whisper of the joy, power, grace or daring of the Holy Spirit around the Church of England, but heigh-ho! I wasn't keen on any of the proposed candidates anyhow, but Welby is probably just as good as the next man and better than some. I think he's been chosen as the most likely to be able to pacify both liberals and conservatives. Giles Fraser has good words to say about him and the evangelical conservative right seem happy with his stance on issues such as gay bishops, but he certainly isn't a foam-at-the-mouth-bigot. It could be worse, I suppose. To quote Morrisey again, I'm not happy and I'm not sad.
I am sorry to sound so unethusiastic; I've been feeling that way for a while. I can't even summon up much interest or enthusiasm over the likely prospect of the voting to allow women bishops (that hasn't happened and I've missed it, has it?) Might I have slept through it all like Rip Van Winkle? To be honest, I feel that I could go to sleep and wake up in a thousand years and find the church wouldn't have moved on that much.

So this appointment, at the moment, seems neither good news nor bad, and it doesn't matter which it is anyway! The only thing that really matters is that we know the real good news. The real good news lives within us and is in no way dependent on bishops or archbishops of any ilk or gender.

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