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Quotes of the week

24 November 2023


One of the nicest things about being a retired vicar is no longer having to join in the church’s debates. When one erupts, it’s like walking past a pub you used to drink in and seeing someone throw a chair through the window: startling, but not your problem

Richard Coles, The Sunday Times, 19 November

As these joyful occasions become part of the religious life of sympathetic parishes across the country, the possibility of a subsequent return to the status quo ante is remote. In previous years, the Church of England has changed its position on the remarriage of divorced people in church, the ordination of women and the appointment of female bishops. Each reform was fiercely opposed, but arguments based on the gospel message of inclusion and equality before God triumphed over those based on a narrow interpretation of scripture. There have been no significant moves to turn the clock back

Leader comment, The Guardian, 18 November

At the heart of law is a conviction that what holds us together as a society are moral obligations, and this remains fundamental. The principle behind Wednesday’s judgment [on Rwanda] is that even, or especially, democratically elected governments are accountable to the law

Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford, Thought for the Day, Radio 4, 17 November

We cannot export our moral responsibilities towards those seeking sanctuary on to the shores of another country, be it Rwanda or anywhere else

Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, House of Lords, 20 November

For a while I was giving away 80 per cent of my income. When I get to a point when I think the money’s too much, I’ll do another dumping. I don’t profess that’s just altruistic. It’s partly a mental-health exercise. . . It would be good if more people lived according to what keeps them mentally well

Sarah Wilson, author, unencumbered traveller, The Times, 16 November

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