Monday, 6 October 2008

Movement and Stability.

Bishop Robert at St Silas, Kentish Town.

And at their daughter church earlier this year.

Bishop Robert at All Saints North Street, York.

I am using my lunch break today to communicate with you the news that Bishop Robert Ladds, Bishop of Whitby, is resigning his post at the end of this year and returning to parish ministry. Thank you to Father Oliver Coss who broke the news to a stunned world. This is interesting news. The official blerb can be found on the York Archdiocese website, but we are conscious that Bishop Robert, who has done such a wonderful job for so many years, is one of the few non-PEV Bishops 'we' have in the Church, and his departure is a significant one. With the future of the PEV system in doubt, this news could hit us harder than we expect. We must pray for a fair and generous appointment as successor. It seems as well that there is to be an excellent Diocesan appointment soon. I can speak from experience when I say that Our Lady of Lourdes can put all our problems into perspective.

Further news, of course, came from Damien's Attic this weekend, as wonder-blogger Damien Thompson (who is also breaking significant news about going on in the RC Diocese of Leeds, see his link at the side) expounds, via the usual medium of the Sunday Telegraph, 'news' of an improvement to the decisions taken during the last Synod. These are unsubstantiated at present and there have been many similar stories ever since the fateful day. It is, if true, movement, and movement in a positive direction, and evidence of serious thought as to our welfare. For this, it is to be applauded. I would like to see conversation turning to Walsingham, that independent shrine with an Episcopal Administrator with much ministry left in him and the resources to turn the college into a College.

I have a meeting on Wednesday which will begin to answer the question of Curacies for me, a decision has been made by your scribe and we pass onto the next level. Rather like snakes and ladders, in many ways.

Is there a sense that things are going to change? There is certainly an increased sense of evangelisation of the faith we hold, which is sounding more relevant to the people we serve. That is a green shoot of a new movement of renewal and evidence of our faith. There is the increased realisation that ECUSA is setting an example which only a few die hard liberals in this country want to follow. You know the names and the pack drill, those few who write letters and publish articles which make no attempt to address the questions being raised, just to pull on heart strings and to continue turning the Church of God into a battleground. Shame on them. There is also a sense that something must be done, whatever that something is. We will know, I think, by next Summer which way the future lies. A daunting prospect for all of us, but we follow the Lord, we are many, we are strong and we are, in the face of insuperable odds, growing. Therefore the Lord is at work within us. We must hope that the changing mood of the senior Bishops of the Church prevails and is not drowned out by the wailing of the neo-reformers who seem not to realise that, day by day, they devalue their cause. They have been exposed and the stench is overpowering.