Is he now

New mother stunned as Archbishop of Canterbury arrives at bedside to bless her son
Most Rev Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Church of England, has been visiting patients at St Thomas’ Hospital in London

Umm, not sure here. Sure, Welby’s supposed to be the spiritual leader of the nation as head of eh established church. But he’s actually the temporal head of the church, isn’t he?

15 thoughts on “Is he now”

  1. Isn’t the Queen the temporal head of the C of E? Not that I recall the exact terms of the original Act back in the day.

  2. It wasn’t the govt that made churches shut down, it was Commissar Welby. C of E churches were pretty empty to start with, they’ll be even more socially distanced once this nonsense is over.

  3. @ philip
    If most of the CoE churches had been pretty empty to start with (yes, some old ones in more-or-less deserted villages with only ten people within walking distance are, but they aren’t typical of urban churchs), there would have been no problem with social distancing and Archbishop Welby would not have told the CoE to suspend Congregational worship.
    Your logic belongs in The Guardian.

  4. I can see one ticklish issue for governments and clerics. How are some fine churches going to be kept upright and weather-tight for everyone to enjoy when almost nobody attends church services any more? Who is going to make the necessary aesthetic judgements?

  5. john77.
    But the CoE didn’t just stop services, it closed churches for private prayer, and even locked priests out of their own parish churches. A total failure of leadership.

  6. @ djc
    Closed churches for parishioners due to worries about social distancing but didn’t lock vicars (RC have priests) out of their churches – my vicar has been “livestreaming” a sermon and from the church on Sunday mornings with some tech whiz sorting out a recording of hymns played and sung by small groups of individuals in harmony and synchronicity while in their own homes.

  7. john77
    Last Christmas service there were only a dozen in my vibrant diverse CofE church.
    Mark from the rugger club now a RC priest reckons on 200-300 on a Sunday in W London, but says it would be easy to do multiple masses and doesn’t see the need to confine mass to Sundays now everyone is unemployed.

    Tim, you might enjoy this. We were thinking about taking Fr Mark out for lunch or dinner after he finished work. I said I’d be happy to go along to Evensong and a piss-up.
    “Evensong? Mass, you ***+. We have a faith, not a hobby.”

  8. @philip

    More than closing Churches to public; Welby forbade ministers in too banning doing virtual services from church and drive-in services

    @djc +1

  9. @ djc
    Firstly, I watched and listened to a live “livestream” from my vicar standing in his own church this morning because he was NOT locked out. So *not* wrong.
    I should be extremely surprised if the Rector of Sherborne did not have a key to the Abbey: normal practice is keys held by Rector/Vicar, Curate (if any), Churchwardens, cleaner, and usually, Organist and Treasurer. Broadcasting from the Rector’s study is probably a lot easier since most Abbeys were not designed for broadcasting a solo act.

  10. @john77

    Welby ordered ministers to keep churches closed to all, inc ministers. I imagine some have said “sod that, it’s my church”

  11. On vicars entering their own churches, wasn’t the CofE’s rule that vicars could go in their own church, but only if they live next door? So some could, but others who live further away (even if only a bit further away) couldn’t. Hence the different experiences being reported by john77 and djc.

    Once upon a time that wouldn’t have been a problem, but the CofE spent the ’80s and ’90s selling off valuable vicarages and buying the vicar a smaller house elsewhere, so far fewer vicars than we think live next door to the church (particularly in the south east).

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