THE diocese of Truro, now forty years old, will shortly have its seventh bishop. The diocese of Ripon, now aged eighty-seven, is being ruled by its fourth. Certain dioceses appear to be stepping-stones to others. Truro is one of them. Perhaps its remoteness from London and the rest of England, not to mention its trying climate, may encourage its occupants to accept translation. Truro has been the training ground of able men who have proceeded to important work elsewhere. But, whilst a diocese is honoured by the promotion of its bishop to more important posts, it suffers by frequent change of leadership. A remote rural diocese needs bishops who are able to remain in it long enough to know well its priests and their parishes, and to exercise real knowledge and judgment in pastoral appointments. Cornwall, where Dissent is largely prevalent, also needs a bishop who will assist his clergy in showing what the Church stands for, and in teaching the essential necessity of the Sacrament of Confirmation. The kindest treatment of Dissent is in practically showing that the Church has “a yet more excellent way”, not in ignoring the divisions. The two western dioceses of Exeter and Truro both need stronger episcopal leadership if reunion is ever to be attained. True friendliness does not treat essential differences as being non-existent.
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