Thursday, December 18, 2014

Women bishops

I was pleased to read today that the Church of England has appointed its first Women Bishop. Libby Lane is now the Bishop of Stockport.

When I was a kid I used to live near Stockport, it's a suburb of Manchester and hardly seems populous enough to warrant a whole Bishop (maybe a demi-Bishop?). Stockport's claim to fame at that time was its railway viaduct which I must admit was impressive and the obscure fact that I always remember about it (from a school project) was that it's where the rivers Tame and Goyt meet (under the shopping precinct) to form the Mersey which then flows clear through to Liverpool and the sea. I remember one of my younger sisters being a toddler at that time, she was just learning to talk and referred to the scrawny pigeons in that very shopping centre as "Stockport chickens", still does.

It might seem strange that an Atheist would be pleased about such an announcement but having this perspective on life means being realistic about the influence and scope of religion in the modern world, it involves weighing up the relative merits of trends and picking your fights. Religions all around the world seem to be changing (as they have always done) and like most big organisations they seem to be constantly at junctions along their evolution (albeit at a glacial pace); one path leads to obscurity another to extremism and another to modernisation, it's only the middle one I really worry about. When religions change to become more aligned with secular thinking they move away from that middle path and by definition have more in common with the rest of us; IMO that's a good thing for everyone. Anyway, good luck to Ms. Lane, she must be very proud to be making a historical impact in her organisation.

1 comment:

Chairman Bill said...

I thought Stockport would warrant nothing more than a couple of imams.