19 January 2024

Democratic appointments

 We have been having a lot of news about questionable goings-on in our British Post Office. Private Eye reports that 

"Former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells is an ordained priest in the Church of England. Until April 2021 she was non-stipendiary assistant minister in charge of St. Owen's Church, Bromham, in the diocese of St Albans.

     "She was also on the shortlist to be the Bishop of London in 2017 -- an extraordinary step for a person who had never actually been employed by the church. Vennells missed out on becoming a bishop ..."

Is such a story conceivable? 

I began by thinking No. But I do find myself imagining this following scenario:

As the London vacancy drew closer, I can imagine the Great and the Good putting their heads together. "We'd better make sure we take this opportunity of putting a woman into the Church's top management. But it had better be a woman with a proven record of managing a nation-wide institution ..."

Which, of course, might help to explain why Dame Mullarkey, ex-head-nurse, got the job.



PM said...

The same criterion, if applied to prospective ministers of the Crown, would exclude most of the new breed of MPs who have never had a real job outside politics and have never produced or managed anything more than a press release.

Atticus said...

Parson Vennells, it’s judged, led the state-run
Postal gig as padrone, not patron.
One who’d made much less mess
At God’s Own NHS,
Chartres’ chaser-in-chief was a Matron.

The Vennells-for-London rumour seems all too substantiated, as Giles Fraser repentantly reports: https://unherd.com/2024/01/will-the-church-follow-the-post-office/

William Tighe said...

In the Church of Sweden a layman, Manfred Bjorkvist (1884-1985), was appointed Bishop of Stockholm, and served as such from 1942 to 1954. There was something of am ado at the time about whether he had to be ordained to the "predikoambetet" (preaching office) before being consecrated a bishop. He was.

Since the Church of England has for the last 40 years been following the same road to ruin as the Scandinavian Lutheran churches, especially that of Sweden, perhaps the CofE might steal a march on the Swedes by appointing a laywoman as a bishop.

Arthur Gallagher said...

I saw on my computer that there is now a "transsexual" archdeacon somewhere in England.
The C of E began as a tragedy, but it is ending as a farce.

Sue Sims said...

Ooh, please sir, me sir, choose me sir!!!! It's the Week of Prayer of Christian Unity, and think how ecumenical it would be to choose a Catholic laywoman as Boshup of - well, anywhere. I'm not fussy, as long as it's one of the sees which brings a House of Lords seat with it.

Chaswjd said...

Am I wrong or was St. Ambrose a layman before being chosen Bishop of Milan?

While one hates to be a skeptic, somehow I doubt that Parson Vennells would have approached St. Ambrose's accomplishments had she been selected.