An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Another blog post about THAT vote

The moment of the result of the General Synod vote on whether to allow the ordination of women as Bishops will always be remembered by those affected as one of those 'where were you?' memorables. People still talk about where they were when Princess Diana died or when 9/11 happened and, granted, the vote wasn't a life or death situation but it was a deadly depressing moment for those who cared about a 'yes' vote.

I was sitting in front of the computer reading a minute by minute account on a news website. I had to read the verdict twice because, like many others, I wasn't expecting it to be torpedoed. Neither, as it turned out, did hundreds of others. I know this thanks to social networking, Disbelief turned to anger and this was all played out on Twitter. If ever there was evidence needed of the irrelevancy of the Church of England then Twitter that evening provided plenty to the CONTRARY.

The negative vote was enough to bring out the non-pew fillers who still look to the Church as a moral compass.  The inability of the Church to embrace gender diversity was a source of some deep disappointment and sadness. In fact, for the first time the Church was trending under numerous headings 99.9% (in my opinion) were in support of women bishops. Among thousands of tweets I must have only seen about 3 tweets in a space of 2 hours that supported the vote.

People still do care about the church. The Conservative folk  have used the 'irrelevancy' argument to support their views by stating that modernising the church to cater to the progressive moderns will not lead to more churchgoers. Rubbish. Whether it will lead to more churchgoers or not is THE irrelevancy of the debate. The church does not exist like some profit making cinema or theatre which depends for its' existence on headcount. While headcount does matter, of course, as income does the true measure of the church's sustainability is about spreading the message of Christ. Sustainability needs Christian relevancy.

When people can identify with the church then sustainability will take root. A minority of Conservatives will not make for sustainability. 

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