Friday, 26 April 2013

Common Awards

Despite the ghastly photo, I think this is actually a big deal.

It's been one of the big things which has chewed up my time over the past few months, so I would think that. But if it works, it could potentially be more than just a reorganisation. It could help to make scholarship and intellectual life seem less toxic in the Church of England: I am inclined to take the very fact of the contract as a hopeful sign that the wave of Anglican anti-intellectualism that was so visible in the 1990s is passing. And it could help to make the C of E a little less institutionally partisan. Of course each college and course will continue to have its own ethos, and nobody expects to see Wycliffe Hall and St Stephen's House dancing cheek to cheek (bad mental image, I know). But having a common structure for theological training across the C of E is not a bad thing. It may help to make the idea that 'the Church of England' is actually a single entity slightly less laughable.

And the ecumenical side of it is more important than it might seem. True, the Anglicans are the elephant in this bathtub, but the small numbers of Methodist, URC and Baptist students are important beyond their numbers. Apart from anything else, the Anglicans seem to play more nicely with each other when there are grown-ups from the other denominations in the room.

And it's all on us to make it work.

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