Ascent of the Primates

Savi Hensman, writes in the Guardian's Comment is Free, on the 'Ascent of the Primates'.

She also points out that in 1968
Lambeth Conference recommended "that no major issue in the life of the church should be decided without the full participation of the laity in discussion and in decision".
Still, that was the end of the '60s and such democratic tendencies have been firmly ignored, marginalised and squashed since then. See my previous post.

The voice of the laity has almost no place in the centralised and curial world envisaged in the Covenant, as was evident from its inception. This is from a report to General Synod in 2007, responding the the Nassau draft which Jonathan Clatworthy and I wrote with John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln:
4.8 The absent laity 
Apart from a brief, factual, mention in §5 para. 6 the laity are invisible in this Draft Covenant.  If the Draft’s processes were to be implemented the voice of the laity would be utterly peripheral and rendered inaudible. This is a contradiction of an ecclesiology in which the Church is ‘the blessed company of all faithful people’ (Book of Common Prayer, 1662).  To marginalise the laity in decision making would be to hobble the body of Christ, to undermine the faithful work of the people of God, and to diminish the quality of ecclesial life.  
More prosaically the structures of the Communion rest on the shoulders of the laity. From local missions to international gatherings the Church relies on the finance overwhelmingly provided by lay people. If they are to be asked to pay for new or greatly expanded distant international structures they must first be persuaded of their value. 
 The only response has been silence. Not merely on the place of the laity but specfically on the finance. Why will no-one address the question of what implementing the Covenant will cost?

No comments:

Post a Comment