Tuesday, October 20, 2009


As part of the reaction to the Pope's announcement of his sheep-stealing plans yesterday, Andrew Stuttaford harrumphs over at the Corner:
The Church of England is...the state church (and so it should remain), one of the essential elements, however neglected, however frequently absurd, of what England is.
And yet Stuttaford is an unbeliever, a contributor at Secular Right, the blog for purported conservatives who are militant secularists.

Is it not appropriate and necessary that the main defenders of the Establishment should increasingly be atheists and scoffers?


Dr.D said...

Stuttaford makes the most amazing statement: "In fact, it would be no bad thing if the C of E were to become a little less "church," and a little more "England," ..."

When we think of the current sad state of the C of E, it is hard to imagine it becoming much less Church, but to wish for such a thing is appalling! Of course, from an unbeliever's point of view, I suppose this is not surprising. But what he fails to grasp is that it will cease to be a Church and thus cannot be the Church of England of it falls to any lower state. I suppose he just wants a civic club more than anything else.

David said...

I suspect it's the same impulse that persuades people that "Anglicanism" is worth holding on to, even if it ceases to contain anything that is recognisably Christian.

Dr.D said...

David, I would disagree. If the CoE, or any other part of Anglicanism, ceases to contain the truth of the Gospel, it is no longer Christian and it is no longer Anglican.

Anglicanism is worth holding onto precisely because it is both Reformed and Catholic. It is a unique perspective that has retrieved much of the authentic early Christian Church of the Patristic period, bringing it forward into our time in English. It has avoided most of the legalisms of the Roman Church and the rigidity that comes with that. It has preserved the Apostolic Succession, the historic liturgy, and the finest Church music. There are countless reasons for holding onto Anglicanism, provided it is true Anglicanism and not some modern, watered down substitute.