What’s the point of ordained ministry anyway?

Anglican Identities: A series of talks at St Nicolas

Anglican Identities: A series of talks at St Nicolas

What do we need Bishops for? Do we need them?

No one seemed to know, least of all the panel.

One panel member said people she knew who were friends, had changed when they became Bishops.

Another said they become spineless.

The United Reform Church has an entirely different system. No Bishops. A church calls its minister. He or she, applies for the job, if the church like he or she, they are called to take up the post. Moderators act to resolve any problems that may arise between church and clergy. They are not in charge of the church, nor senior to the minister.

At the time of the Reformation, there were no Bishops, the Bible was seen to be the authority. Under James I, Bishops were brought back in.

Even within churches there is a hierarchy.

Church of England, did, maybe still does, use psychometric tests to determine suitability of clergy.

Do we need clergy? What is their role? Can we do without them?

Clergy claim their job is a calling. Clergy claim there’s is a stressful job.

40% of clergy in the Church of England are due to retire in the next ten years. This will cause a crisis in the church.

Following the discussion I asked the Minister of Guildford URC why the Worship of Mammon? He denied the large banner poster on entry to the church. He was adamant not true, he would not permit. I showed him a photo.

I then gave him two books for his church:

Discussion held at St Nicolas Church in Guildford: Father Andrew (St Nicolas), Rev Philip Jones (Guildford United Reformed Church), Canon Barbara Messham (All Saints Church).

Anglican Identities: A series of talks at St Nicolas during July.

Once again failure to post information on the main noticeboard (the only one most people see) facing the High Street and the bridge over the River Wey. No mention on website either!

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2 Responses to “What’s the point of ordained ministry anyway?”

  1. A White Says:

    The biblical office of the Episcopos is a real pastor and overseer. Our Bishops can be but are not all like this

  2. keithpp Says:

    Thanks. That was one of the points that was made. taking the literal translation of Episcopos.

    The early church, for example Copt, was given as an example of a church that had a hierarchical structure in place. Hence seen as the norm or the model for all churches, though Martin Luther would have disagreed.

    It was agreed that women should have an equal role. No one understood why they did not.

    In the early church they did. Even St Paul, who is seen as anti-women, had a woman in a key role, She even had her own Gospel (of course suppressed by the Church as heretical).

    The catacombs in Rome depict women as priests officiating and as Bishops.

    I was very surprised at all the clergy being in agreement that there’s was a highly stressed position.

    The clergy questioned whether as clergy they should be see as apart. Ironic when all three sat there wearing their dog collars which immediately set them apart.

    The entire discussion was tedious and boring and ultimately pointless.

    The type of navel gazing that occupies General Synod and gives the Church of England a bad name.

    Not surprising therefore that one of the clergy was a member of General Synod. I talked with her before the discussion started and she lacked the ability to comprehend that a committee stacked with male Bishops charged with looking at sexuality was flawed before it even started and any report produced was worthless as lacks credibility.


    The day before had seen coordinated bomb attacks in Iraq with many innocent people killed.

    Canon Andrew White runs his ministry in the midst of all this carnage. At times, deep despair for what is going on, but most of the time a life filled with faith, full of joy and love for the people he serves.


    Giles Fraser, former Canon-Chancellor at St Paul’s and now a parish priest in a poor London parish, gets up each morning and sweeps away the needles from the front of the church. He loves his work.

    The main concern with the external world was that the good folk of Guildford had to get up early to travel to London where they worked really hard and did not get home until late at night, thus were stressed.

    The solution to which is simple: Change your lifestyle to one not based upon I want.


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