The CAM website that I also try to maintain has four articles which folks might find interesting. Nicky Gumbel and the Dean of Perth Cathedral present contrasting views of Christianity - but is either right?
Then there is a document concerning the collection of quota (assessed contributions to central diocesan funds) in the Diocese of Chelmsford. This promises a very big stick for parishes deemed to be those who 'won't pay', and a series of small carrots (a platinum, gold, silver or bronze rating from the diocese) for those who pay at various levels. In my view, the whole thing is insane, not least because this is the only diocesan-wide ministry initiative we have had for the last several years (our collective approach to 'Back to Church Sunday' has been half-hearted and disorganized). Ask people round here what 'the diocese' stands for, and I suspect the answer will soon be 'getting our money'.
It reminds me of the old joke. A plane was in trouble, with an engine on fire and the pilot about to make an emergency landing. Someone spotted that one of the passengers was wearing a dog-collar.
"You're a man of God," they said, "Can't you do something religious?"
So he took a collection.
And that relates to the fourth article, which is the announcement that the present Bishop of Chelsmford is about to retire. This means that some time next year we get a new one, and thoughts and prayers must now turn to what sort of person this should be. Surely the days are past when having a bishop who believes in the resurrection can be regarded as either remarkable or sufficient (there was a time ...). What we need is someone committed to growth - including numerical growth, along the lines of what we see in the Diocese of Lichfield, perhaps.
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