Will the about-to-be-elected new General Synod reflect the views of its electors or be skewed in favour of those understandably active in manoeuvring behind the scenes on behalf of the more extreme catholic, evangelical and liberal approaches?
This week’s additional reason for feeling mildly depressed is that I’ve read the dozen ‘election addresses’ by the clergy candidates in this diocese. The really remarkable things is that few candidates actually say where they stand on specific issues at all – ecology, ministerial development, the mission crisis, the inclusion of lesbian and gay people in ordained ministry.
Mainly they tell me what committed and experienced ministers they are, and suggest that I should trust them. One carries a picture of the candidate in front of a large warplane, text about himself and not a single reference to his position on any issue at all. Two tell me about their pets.
One manages to say that homosexuality is a particular interest of hers without indicating whether this interest has led her to tend towards a more conservative or a more liberal view. Another (a friend) doesn't mention his membership Forward in Faith but does print a picture of himself smiling at a female priest (although his information about others issues is actually much more helpfully substantial than most of the others).
Two do label themselves with Inclusive Church, but a third who I know is evangelically committed to a biblically literalist position on homosexuality only hints obliquely at this long after he makes 'Inclusive Mission' his first bold heading.
I suspect that many of those who vote will end up being quite surprised by the way those we elect vote on key issues.
Meanwhile, we did have a nice walk in the Lincolnshire Wolds the other day.