Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Choice, Not a Northern Echo

Speculation is growing that the press, despite continual public washing of the Church of England’s appointments process, has no idea who is to be the next Bishop of Durham. Never fear: we at Plumstead Rectory are ready to show how to mount a rumour.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Not a Jot Or a Tittle

Members of the Wakefield Diocesan Synod are not, it seems, to be regarded as loyal Anglicans (so-called) after all. Despite the tearful pleas of Wakefielders to be allowed to remain the General Synod is determined to cast them out, where there will be wailing and gnashing of t’ teeth. Any who don’t like it are welcome to become Roman Catholics (Diocese of Leeds).

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ladies of Ill Repute and of Good Repute

When I was a child my father did a lot of travelling on business (yes, we defenders of privilege at Plumstead Rectory spring from the commercial classes). At that time hotels were very vigilant about guests entertaining visitors in their rooms, whether from moral or financial motives, or both. It was not uncommon for the manager to call round late at night, asking sternly “have you got a woman in your room, sir?”

My father maintained the theory that there were two classes of hotel for business travellers: the better sort, where if one answered “yes” to this question the lady would be asked to leave, and the seedier sort, where if one answered “no” a lady would be thrown in.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Friends of Buckingham

Readers of recent posts may have noticed, as we did, the uncanny similarity between the Dean of St Albans (above right) and James I (above left). Separated brethren?

Posing as a Jacobite

In the life of every blog there comes the time to do some navel-gazing theological reflection, reviewing the subject-matter and reach of the site, and developing some conclusions. This is, we suppose, a largely fruitless as well as a self-absorbed tradition, but we are not in the business of questioning tradition here.

We advertise our letters as containing Anglo-catholicism, reaction and whimsy; but like all Church of England publications we actually cover mostly the gays, internal church politics, and nostalgia for an impossibly golden age. For most Anglicans this utopia is the 1950s: for us, true to form, the 1670s. Or possibly the 1630s. Certainly not the 1650s, though.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Give Him a Crook and a Vocation

Saturday’s Telegraph article about the selection of the next Bishop of Manchester (Church of England diocese asks for gay-friendly bishop) hardly needs comment by us. 

It is just possible, as David Keen reminds us, that the Diocese of Manchester has a broader agenda. But when the world wishes to talk only about sex, the Church must surely address herself to its concerns. In theological language this is called “meeting people where they are”. So let us meet the Daily Telegraph where it is and ask: just how gay should the Bishop of Manchester be?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Ding Dong

The funeral of Lady Thatcher (pictured above) took place this week. The interpretation of her memory has divided commentators over whether she was divisive or not. Both her detractors and defenders have been given ample airtime to elucidate matters; but the quasi-Manichean nature of the discussion (of which the lady herself would perhaps have approved) does not seem well-adapted to increasing anyone's understanding.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Sic Transit Benedict (inter caetera)

We know that some readers have been troubled by the non-appearance of a letter from Plumstead, worrying that we had been silenced by Royal Charter. Do not be afraid: for us the carnival is not over (though taking in the Church of England the more vernacular form of the Feast of Fools) and we will continue to tell you what to think abut the great issues of Church and State.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Tomorrow Belongs To Me

Of course Dr Fraser is not going to be elected. Admittedly, the timing of his giving up his Church Times column is suggestive.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride of Christ

Followers of the odder doings of the Church of England have to run to keep up at the moment. Yesterday, while we were considering restructuring for mission, the House of Bishops was getting on with the core business of the Church: tinkering with her own internal workings. 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Small-Town Richard III

The Church of England, desperately out of touch as always, is spending all its energy today debating women and banking, and failing to make any comment on the real concerns of modern people, such as the reburial of kings – a subject which, to be honest, should play right to our strengths. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Of the People

It has been said of us that, although dealing much in sacred things, we refuse to be pious about any subject. Yet, as our royal martyr might have said himself, a sovereign is no subject; and today of all days we are grave.

We are encouraged that the observance of this anniversary has not degenerated into a nostalgic dead letter, but remains still a matter of political controversy. Yet no synod has resolved that those who assent to the deed are loyal Anglicans as well as those who dissent.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Bad Bishops Drive Out Good

The news that the Bishop of Liverpool will be retiring later this year does not sadly surprise us here at Plumstead Rectory, but it does sadden surprisingly. Students of ecclesiastical politics will guess that Dr Jones is not, on paper, the bishop we would have chosen; but he has been a good shepherd of this diocese, has done no particular discredit to his office (this already puts him in the first rank of prelates) and has betrayed his fellow evangelicals just the right amount.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

So-Called Anglicans to Watch in 2013

The quasi-traditional list of ten:

Firstly, in the House of Bishops:

10. The Master of Magdalene

Retired archbishops' opinions are, of course, always listened to with much more interest and attention than serving ones'. Dr Williams, we are sure, will blossom during 2013, and we look forward to his contribution to the church's task of undermining Dr Welby. We predict that when the latter is forced into retirement the Master will still be young enough for a comeback tour, and expect him to be reappointed to Canterbury, fully refreshed, in about 2020.