Monday, 6 July 2009

The Bishop and I

The reports on the controversial remarks of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali on homosexuality and on his involvement in a renewal/secessionist (you choose which!) movement in the Church of England reminded me of one encounter with him.

I once had the pleasure of meeting with a delegation from the Church of England to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva. I knew some members and my previous experience had meant working for and with the C of E so I thought I was at home amongst them. My presentation seemed to be well received and the initial questions were sharp but friendly.

Then Bishop Michael spoke up. Why, he wondered, didn't the World Council of Churches have anyone from England amongst the executive staff. I have since thought of all kinds of retorts I might have offered - but perhaps it was as well that they didn't come from my lips at the time. I simply and rather humbly offered myself as the proof that there was someone from England. But, no, no, I didn't count. English representation only counted, apparently, if it were by someone from the C of E.

Even though I stand in a tradition that did break away from the C of E, albeit centuries ago, I hope that if that particular story replayed itself, I wouldn't have to ask "Which Church of England would that be then, Bishop?"

1 comment:

  1. presumably the Roman CAtholic church of England