*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Clashes with a new incumbent: the last word

by
16 May 2012

iStock

From Julia Taylor

Sir, — I wonder whether the anon­ymous writer of the letter defending Readers and others in a parish from “an incoming priest who is at liberty to operate as a ‘mini-pope’ in his domain” (Letters, 11 May) has con­sidered the matter from the point of view of the incoming priest.

He or she has his or her own views and standards, which may well not accord with those who have “successfully run their own affairs during a vacancy”. The matters on which they disagree may be of such importance to both as not to permit half-measures to either.

Is the incomer to take orders from the parish laity, including the Reader, to the subjugation of his or her strongly held convictions? Has he or she no rights of leadership — of authority, if it comes to the crunch?

When all efforts at compromise have failed, it seems to me that to expect it to be the incumbent who yields would result in the priest’s being robbed of future moral leadership.

The parish priest surely must lead, not look to see whom he or she should follow.

JULIA TAYLOR
15 Melbourne Street
Bratton, Westbury
Wiltshire BA13 4RN

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Train-a-Priest Fund 2022 Appeal

Please consider a donation to TAP Africa this year. Every penny you can give goes to ordinands in Africa who face financial difficulty, to support them as they complete their training. 

Donate online

Read more about this year's appeal

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)

*Until the end of June: we’re doubling the number of free articles to eight, to celebrate the publication of our Platinum Jubilee double issue.