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

Ramsey’s advice on clergy politics is still relevant

by
03 July 2015

iStock

From the Revd James Crockford

Sir, - In response to the issues raised by a reader with regard to the attitudes among clergy to particular political parties (Letter, 26 June), I wonder whether Michael Ramsey's mixture of confidence and caution might be timely advice both to those clergy who wear their political-party allegiances on their sleeve, and those who feel the necessity to be timid.

Archbishop Ramsey's chapter on "The Priest and Politics" in his widely celebrated The Christian Priest Today includes an insistence that the priest speak in a political register, lest the full breadth of implications of the gospel be neglected, and yet a caution that the priest, as a public office-holder and pastor to the whole flock, ought not to imply that any particular party is ideally situated to bring the political ramifications of the gospel to fruition.

The allegiance, perceived or real, of church powers with any particular political body has a long and messy history, and should encourage those who speak to and for the Church to offer the broadest prophetic voice to all corners of political endeavour.

It is one thing to point out, as Ramsey commends, where the trajectories and ideologies that one might find embodied in particular parties go strongly against the grain of the gospel (for instance, the 2004 General Synod motion with regard to the BNP), but another to use one's public, pastoral office to rally support for any particular party - be it UKIP's rhetoric of "Christian" preservation, or your reader's experience of left-wing clerical gusto.

 

JAMES CROCKFORD
1a Iron Mill Place
Crayford
Kent DA1 4RT

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

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 below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

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.)