Reactions to the new Presiding Bishop

Yes, I know, it should say ‘Presiding Bishop’ rather than ‘Archbishop’. I was trying to save on ink. We live in expensive times you know. This mildly shoddy cartoon was inspired by this honest (if nothing else) post by Andrew Carey, son of ex-Archbishop George: We found out in the Church of England that when…

female archbishop

Yes, I know, it should say ‘Presiding Bishop’ rather than ‘Archbishop’. I was trying to save on ink. We live in expensive times you know.

This mildly shoddy cartoon was inspired by this honest (if nothing else) post by Andrew Carey, son of ex-Archbishop George:

We found out in the Church of England that when some evangelicals attacked the appointment of Dr Rowan Williams because of previously held views that this backfired spectacularly on them. The first response of network and AAC leaders, in my view, should be that of welcome, prayer and a desire to meet with her. The rough stuff can come later.

Larry makes a good point in the comments of my previous post, where he mentions ‘relations with the Catholic and Orthodox churches’. Yes, a tricky one. After all, being ecumenical is a terribly good thing to try to do.

I suppose I see it this way. Just suppose there was a denomination who held as a central tenet of their faith the belief that all clergy should spend Tuesday mornings standing on their heads on a Royal Mail postbox preaching at passers by. Implausible I know, but it could happen. Should us Anglicans, in a desire to be ecumenical and build bridges with said denomination insist that our clergy set aside their Tuesday mornings to stand on their heads on a Royal mail postbox and preach in this way? Quite clearly not. It would clash with the mother and toddler group.

I don’t think that the day is ever going to come when all Christians join together with the same logo and a common font on their noticeboards. We are different. We hold different beliefs and have different ways of doing things. If we never changed anything for fear of upsetting everyone else then nothing would ever change. I think each denomination has to do what it honestly believes before God is the right thing to do and hope that when all is said and done we still like each other enough to join up for the occasional ecumenical lunch with pate sandwiches etc.

Update: Welcome to quite a lot of people who have been kindly ushered in to the pews here by the cyber-churchwardens on various blogs today. While you’re here you might enjoy looking at some of my other stuff – how about all of my posts on Anglican goings-on, the main blog page and my church-themed cartoons (You can use these cartoons in church publications if you pay a small licence fee). Thanks for visiting – do come again!


  1. You’ve hit the nail on the head once again Dave. It isn’t helpful to say we can’t do as we feel God is leading us because so and so doesn’t agree – although it can be helpful just to be aware of it. I often feel that when churches are doing something that could be considered wrong by others that they are at least aware of what people think and listen to their views and arguments.

  2. Isn’t the font usually at the back of the nave near the door?




  3. As well as trying to keep unity with other parts of the Church there is also the matter of being relevant to the rest of the world.

    Perhaps it is right that the church should have more than one expression in order to appeal to different cultures and personality types etc. Maybe there is a place for a church where women are allowed to be submissive if that’s what they want and where men can avoid women having any kind of authority over them, but there must also be a place in the Body of Christ for women who have God-given gifts to preach and pastor etc and those who enjoy being ministered to by women, or have no problem with it.

  4. Dave!?

    I put my patent bitingsatirometer next to this cartoon and it registered a massive seven point three out of ten.

    Careful. Those men in suits look like they could have you duffed up. I suggest you contact Skinheads For Christ and get them to provide your personal security at Greenbelt this year.

  5. Fortunately our mums and tots group in on a Monday afternoon so we can carry on with the whole post box thing and the Wednesday afternoon phoning a random phone box and preaching at the first person to answer. Other than that it is great to see the church moving forward, we have spent too long side stepping issues which could stir things up because were not sure others will like it, maybe we can start following Jesus example I seem to recall he didn’t always do things just to keep other people happy!

  6. David-


    Denominationalism is our great American gift to the world. Hasn’t it helped the cause of Christ, just oodles! Isn’t the pursuit of Truth so much more fun when we can all agree that it is really a matter of taking life (eternal) too seriously!

    And what have the Brits to contribute? Biting satire. Down,boy. Roll over. Play dead…’ve already mastered that one at home without a command!!

  7. With reference to Damion Thompson’s ‘Comment’ in the Daily Telegraph (at least the electronic copy we get in Oz) I think his sentance below sums up the truth of the matter. “…The lowest common denominator of any mainstream Christian Church is that its ministers accept the validity of each another’s orders and therefore sacraments: that is the essence of communion. ” – So in the past when it was the validity of the ‘order’ that was the defining article, not the person so ordered; now it seems that now the reverse is true.

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