(a) The top-down nature of Bishops, managing through Rural Deans / Archdeacons, down to local priests
(b) The bottom-up system of "checks and balances", whereby the local congregation elect PCCs, who elect Deanery Synods, above which are Diocesan Synods, above which are the General Synod. This can be graphically represented, in organisational terms, thus:
|Idealised structure of the Church of England|
This seemed to me a bit idealised. Too simple, not what I had heard. So I phoned Eileen back, emailed her the image and said - are you sure this is right?
And she said to me - "Church of England? I thought you were after the structure of the John Lewis Partnership."
|Idealised structure of the John Lewis Partnership|
And so my conclusions are twofold. The first is that the John Lewis Partnership seems to have a more rational structure than the Church of England - albeit not totally dissimilar. And the second is that, if the Church of England advertising campaign this Christmas features a Smiths Song, an animated bear and a bunch of rabbits, we will know why.