Why has the Church of England turned racist?
Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester, has just announced that there is to be a new appointment designated “bishop for ethnic mi minorities.” Why? Because, says the Bishop of Leicester, the church is “too quintessentially English,”
Leave aside for the moment the question of how one can be “too” quintessentially anything – for “quintessence” is what it says it is: the very quick and soul of a thing. But, as the modern services demonstrate only too clearly, our church authorities are not too familiar with the English language, what will go into it and what won’t.
The whole point of the Church of England is that it was always meant to be quintessentially English. It is, after all, the national church. Read the divines who were most eminent in its creation, such as Richard Hooker and William Law: “Every man of England a member of the Church of England” and “The whole realm shall have one use.”
It is as if Martyn Snow does not even satisfy himself with his coinage “too quintessentially English,” for he blathers on a bit further and adds that the new bishop for minorities is deemed necessary because the country, and particularly the Leicester area, has experienced “cultural changes.” We must respond to these cultural changes, says Bishop Snow, “by enabling greater representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Christians.”
In what ways are BAME Christians not “enabled” presently? Does the Bishop of Leicester mean to suggest that a white English priest cannot or should not minister to black or Asian Christians?
On that score, would he say that a black or Asian priest cannot or should not minister to white English Christians?
The very notion of a bishop for minorities is at best patronising. Actually, it is blatantly racist. If you really wish to marginalise someone, assign him to a special group..
We know from forty years experience that the hierarchy and synod always follows secular fashions, only, like some prince consort, one dutiful step behind. The secular fad being followed here is the disastrous policy of encouraging multiculturalism which separates people into “communities” on racial grounds and creates undesirable ghettos.
When this was practised in South Africa, it was rightly condemned as Apartheid. When it is practised here, it is lauded by all the same “liberals” and “progressives” who took to the streets to protest about the segregation that was the rule in South Africa.
The notion of “communities” is fatal to the establishing of an integrated society. There is one community to which we all belong: one church, one realm, one England. This was the Elizabethan Settlement which has given us a decent set of political liberties for 400 years. This settlement has been adjusted and refined over the centuries by, for instance the accommodation of dissenters through the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act (1828) and the Catholic Emancipation Act (1829)
It should not be beyond the wit even of our contemporary senior ecclesiastics to allow similar adjustments to be made to extend membership of the one English community to those of other faiths
Dump the patronising attitude towards so called BAME Christians. And ditch the implicit racism.
The living symbol of our national integrity is the Monarch who is both head of state and supreme governor of the Church of England.
You might say the genius of this settlement is precisely in that it is quintessentially English.