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The Revd William ‘Will’ Pearson-Gee’s Twitter feed is always interesting to read.

I wrote about him in December 2021 when the Government threatened another Christmas lockdown. On December 19, he gave a sermon in which he said he would not close down his church in Buckingham, England. Fortunately, the Government relented and Christmas went ahead as planned, including in church.

On Easter, his church restored the Cup to Holy Communion. I am curious about that because, at mine, we are still receiving the Host only.

In any event, one can fully appreciate how much happier Easter was with both consecrated elements, not to mention kneeling once more at the Lord’s Table (altar rail). Well done:

On a secular level, a persistent problem in the UK is the Passport Office. Like many other civil servants, they think they can get the job done from home. Wrong! MPs have raised this issue in Parliament several times since the beginning of the year. Countless people are waiting for renewals or new passports. No one answers the phones. Even parliamentary staff have spent six to nine hours on the Home Office’s passport hotline.

The Revd Will was in the same frustrating boat, but finally received his newly renewed passport. Note that our passports have gone back to the original wording and navy blue cover, which doesn’t show up too well in the photo:

However, returning to religion, his other complaint has been with the Church of England, which refuses to touch issues of morality:

His tweet has the title of the article from Premier Christianity. Using the pseudonym ‘Mary Wren’, a Catholic convert to Anglicanism laments the omission of guidance on morality.

Before anyone has a go at her, she converted because she fell in love with an Anglican who intends on becoming a priest.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

I am the wife of an Anglican vicar in training and, sometimes, I bitterly miss the Catholic Church. But it’s not for the reasons you might think; it’s got nothing to do with theology or cathedrals. It’s got everything to do with moral courage and spiritual leadership.

When I was asked where I stood on an issue (for example, abortion) I could explain that, as a Catholic, I followed the teachings of the Catholic Church. It did not excuse me from doing my own thinking, but it did mean that my views were not taken as personal. To an abortion advocate, their disagreement was not with me as an individual but with the teachings of the Catholic Church, a global institution with over 1.3 billion members. I was protected.

When I moved to the Church of England, my experience changed completely. I found that when these questions came up, the tone of the conversation was much more vicious and personal. It took me a while to figure out why, but I understand now. Where the Catholic Church teaches clearly on what it believes, the Church of England stays silent …

But what happens when the teachers stay silent?

Readers will find that this echoes Calvin Robinson’s parlous experience of being refused a post in the Church of England:

Well, the issue is no longer that I am a Catholic. Now the issue is me. I must be against abortion because I have internalised misogyny or some other personal bigotry that I’m using my religion to justify. The Church stays silent, protecting itself from attack, and I am expected to absorb the blows of culture. That is a heavy burden to place on one soul. I’m writing under a pseudonym precisely because I know this could compromise my husband’s career.

‘Mary Wren’ says that the pressure in standing alone is daunting:

I have the added pressure of knowing that I alone will be under attack if the position I come to doesn’t align with the world’s teaching. Because you, the Church, have provided no teaching, you cannot be blamed for where I’ve landed. It is a neat little circle. Very convenient for you.

You hypocrites. You should be the ones with sight, leading the blind so we do not fall into a pit.

Where is the shepherd? Where are the watchmen at the walls? Where are the moral and spiritual teachers?

She does an excellent job in the following summary of C of E positions. How sad when someone finds more of a moral compass in the stock market (FTSE 100) than the Church. It is unlikely that hers is a lone voice:

You are concerned with baptism but not catechesis, evangelism but not discipleship, seeker sensitivity but not the teachings of scripture, claiming that God’s moral law might put people off.

You will speak on the housing market but not on trans issues, on agriculture but not abortion. You will revert to broad and uncontroversial topics under the guise of teaching us the basics, but you will not address the questions you are actually asked.

The largest companies are outlining their stances on the key issues of the day. I can find more moral clarity from the FTSE 100 than I can from the Church. How is it that secular corporations display more moral fabric than the house of God?

You tell me that it is the archbishop’s job to set out the Christian position on key matters. I will ask you what your job is when the archbishop fails to do so.

You tell me that I don’t understand the importance of Church unity. But unity is not a cover for moral compromise.

You tell me you need time. But you had plenty of time. What have you done with it? You are late, like the virgins who waited until the very last minute to purchase their oil.

You tell me that not every issue needs to be spoken on. I would agree. But staying silent to attract as many as possible is a politician’s compromise, not a spiritual communion

Your silence does not serve God. Your silence serves only yourself.

I am not asking you to constantly beat people over the head with controversial positions. I am simply asking you to teach me. I am prepared to spend my life serving your fractured house, but please – will the teachers of the Church stand up?

My unsolicited advice for anyone in a quandary such as Mary Wren’s is to start a deep, independent study of the Bible using good commentaries. By ‘good’, I mean faithful to the true meaning of Scripture.

I wish her and her husband every blessing as they pursue their respective ministries. Being a priest’s wife is a unique — and, in its own way, demanding — service to God.

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