Started by Mark Brown, August 06, 2020, 01:02:24 PM
QuoteThe parish priest, protected by the rules of incumbency, is the very model of subsidiarity — the bishop has lots of moral authority within a parish, but much less actual authority than many imagine. This means that a bishop is not able to sack clergy with whom he disagrees with theologically. These ancient terms of employment were historically the basis for academic tenure, and exist for the same reason: to maintain a diversity of thought, highly necessary in such a broad theological coalition as the Church of England.But the downside of these structures is that ineffective clergy are often impossible to remove. Changes in some parishes can only come about through death or retirement. In other words, the traditional structures of the Church of England emphasise stability and subsidiarity, but not necessarily the energy and dynamism required for missionary zeal. And given that these structures are lodged in the law of the land, it is almost impossible to change them. That is why those who want to start a theological revolution from within the Church of England often find they have to leave it to bring about their vision — see Methodism.