Advent 07: ABC Things- Thing Two

Contrary to how my blog post yesterday may have made it look I don’t actually want the COE to smash into a thousand pieces, I’d like to think it can endure and evolve. It’s the evolution bit I think it’ll struggle with. I don’t think the structures are flexible enough to cope with changes. It’s too rigid… that was yesterday’s post.

My Thing Two from the Archbishop of Canterbury is this: Be more like Carol Ann Duffy (or Please Stop Making Me Apologise For The Stuff You Say In My Name).

The post of Poet Laureate has been wonderfully filled by Carol Ann Duffy, I don’t know if she’s instructed “write a poem on this” and goes away and writes or if she beautifully judges the mood of the nation and then puts a poem into those collective spaces we create. I don’t want the job of poet laureate or children’s laureate or Archbishop of anywhere because I’d forever be worrying about being too present and people would think “wish he’d shut up and go away”.

I’ve yet to read one of the poems that CAD has written during her time as laureate and think “Well, she totally misjudged the moment with this”. She’s always been absolutely on the button.

Sadly that’s not always true of the leadership of the Church of England. I’ve shouted at the TV, turned the radio off, tutted when I’ve heard things said by the leadership of the COE. (I know that’s not operating in Love or Grace but it momentarily makes me feel better) I’ve tweeted apologies because the things being said don’t sound like Christian love or don’t speak on my behalf. There’s times I’ve wondered if I could just “give up” my faith, switch it off somehow, bury it somewhere and forget about it. (Unfortunately my faith doesn’t work like that. I can’t speak for anyone else’s faith because their isn’t my faith/spirituality and my faith/spirituality isn’t theirs)

I realise the remit of ABC & CAD are slightly different but the outcome should be similar. It should be a collected thoughtful tilt of the head, a searching of the soul, an illumination of something familiar in a new way. It shouldn’t be thinking “shit, now I’m going to have to defend my faith to justifiably angry people”. Here’s a tip for free for the archibishops, bishops and leadership of churches everywhere: Take more time serving your communities and supporting people than you do issuing press releases about what people do in their bedrooms or what gender your leadership should be.

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