Monday, 2 August 2004

The world in the church

I picked up the Times this morning, and read an article that made the front page with interest.

Archbishop stands aside to be humble parish priest

The archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, announced yesterday that he is to retire 5 years early to return to his roots and serve as a stipendiary parish priest.
He was quoted as saying "...I am looking forward to just being with people, caring for them and about them".

Further in the article it also states: Already senior diocesians have begun jockeying to succeed Dr Hope as the country's second most senior prelate after Canterbury.

It's very pleasing that there is a note of incedulity in the article: how could someone as powerful as Dr Hope wish to step down from power to become ordinary? Now it may be that everything got a bit too much for him, but I'd like to believe that he also wanted to get back to a place where it was just him and God, and he could just get on with serving people.

The other interesting bit was the reference to 'jockeying' for position. Given that the paper may be somewhat biased in it's reporting, I presume the offices of some of the potential 'candidates' did have statements prepared expressing readiness etc for this. To me, the idea that one can attain a position of authority in the church by one's efforts and through political persuasion is about as wrong as anything can be. If this is a half true representation of how things really are then it's no wonder the anglican church can't find unity (or even a biblical perspective) on so many key issues.

I can just picture Paul and Silas running into the crowd shouting "we are just men like yourselves". God save us from men that think they should have position and authority in the church.

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