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Greenbelt, women bishops, and sarcasm

27 September 2013


From Mr Colin Udall

Sir, - Surely Rebecca Pickering (Letters, 20 September) has missed the point about Greenbelt. Greenbelt, although the Church Times is a partner, is not a voice for the Anglican Church; nor does it have an Anglican message.

Greenbelt is, and to me always has been, a place for debate. This debate does not begin and end at the festival, but continues when one leaves the festival, in conversations, prayers, and witness by hundreds, if not thousands, of Christians from any number of denominations, and none. Greenbelt has never been afraid to ask difficult questions, give opposing points of view, or gather people around a microphone to argue a point. Perhaps whether amazing grace is or should be a Christian dogma can be a subject for debate next year?

My faith has been greatly enhanced by being able to think and ponder about what I have heard and seen at the festival. It is a Christian festival where we are not told how to think or what the answers are, but which em-braces a theological spectrum of thought.

Long may it continue to be so.

11 Paddiford Place
Nuneaton CV10 8JJ


From Mrs Mary P. Roe

Sir,- Mrs Pickering told us how depressed she felt after reading the reports from Greenbelt. I am sorry that that was her experience, and would suggest that she might try attending one of the days, at least, and engaging in conversation with some of the people whose understanding of the gospel message differs from her own.

Nevertheless, I would recommend that, if she does so, she should resist the temptation to cheap sarcasm, which does nothing to persuade anyone of the rightness of her opinions, but induces in many people a feeling of depression even deeper than hers.

For me, that feeling came near to despair when I turned the page and read Dr Christopher Wilkinson's "congratulations" to the Church in Wales on its decision to admit women to the episcopate. I was always taught that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. There is no answer to Dr Wilkinson's attack, because it is so illogical that one would not know where to begin.

1 The North Lodge, Kings End Bicester, OX26 6NT

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