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Archbishop’s remarks on clergy and growth

by
10 January 2014

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From the Revd Dr W. S. Monkhouse

Sir, - The Archbishop of Canterbury seems, not surprisingly, to be adopting the survival tactics of the upper echelons of industry.

When the going gets tough and organisations are perceived as failing, senior management, especially those at the pinnacle, employ the age-old practice of blaming those who do most of the living and dying on the ground: that is, the sales force.

"If only there were more people like us," they cry from a distance, as they suck the remaining morale out of already disparaged, distressed, and distracted employees. "For only we have the vision, only we have been granted the vision which, because of your inadequacy, you cannot grasp."

Good vicars will continue to serve the Lord by quietly serving their people, not because of the Archbishop's views, but in spite of them. As they cope with the tsunami of correspondence, initiatives, questionnaires, funerals, weddings, baptisms, multiparish benefices, and five or six services a Sunday, their recognition will come not from within the organisation, but from without, as they live the gospel - as long as, that is, they feel affirmed by episcopal and archiepiscopal pronouncements.

W. S. MONKHOUSE
The Rectory, Coote Street
Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland

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