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Saturday, 13 August 2016

A Broad Church

"Instead there needed to be “a broad church – capacious and generous”. Narrow Anglicanism “is almost a contradiction in terms. It is the breadth that defines Anglican polity. And it is the breadth that will save it.”" ("Top Cleric says Church of England Risks becoming a Suburban Sect")

We're seeing two beautiful examples of echo chambers set up in the Western World at the moment. Firstly in the US, as Donald Trump believes that every pool that goes against him is an example of electoral fraud. And when he loses, as badly as we can only hope he will, he will blame the blacks, the Hispanics, the Liberals and for all we know alien lizard-people for rigging the poll. There's enough dysfunctional to make him Republican candidate. We can only pray there's not enough to make him president.

And then Jeremy Corbyn. Launched on a torrent of false claims. A man whose campaign says he was leading in the polls before the sensible MPs started trying to get rid of him - which is based on one outlying poll amongst a thousand. A man who demands loyalty, after 30 years of voting against his party. Somebody who has never been anything other than a pointless MP, who says his opponent has never had a proper job.

What do they both have in common? They are surrounded by people who pander to their bizarre conceits. Their associates are like them, their identities dependent on them. They are the bubble that surrounds them. They inhabit their bubbles.

Meanwhile, in a totally unrelated environment, a man raised via Eton - middle class, educated and suburban - guides a church that has decided that, to be successful, the church needs to be middle class, educated and suburban.

I've no idea why I brought these things together. After all, the Church is a net full of many types of fish. A field fill of mixed crops growing. A place where thousands upon thousands - of all the tribes of Israel and all the nations of the earth - are called together to be one, diverse unity,

I don't know why I think the church should be odd, spiky, variable in nature, eccentric, troublesome and troubled, weird, mixed and awkward. Almost as if being diverse and relational were the nature of God.

So I'm ensuring Hnaef is in the chinos and checked shirt tomorrow. Let's rejoice in the uniform nature of our newly consistent church

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