Saturday, 25 July 2009

Hold the front page

Sometimes I feel sorry for those in authority. Swine flu for example. At present (close to, if not in the silly season) the UK media  needs the current epidemic to be a "story". There are just two angles with one common conclusion. Angle one is that the Government is not doing enough and the fabric of the nation is falling apart as bodies pile up on the streets. Angle two is that the Government has completely over-reacted throwing scarce resources at a non-event, presumably to take our minds off Afghanistan, the economy or the Norwich by-election. The one conclusion is that they are incompetent and the sooner they allow the nation to judge their performance, the better. The resulting  General Election or change of leader would be a really good story- one  which would keep the papers in readers for  months.
But its not all bad either. In today's Independent this article by Christina Patterson brought a smile.  It  prompted the hope that the recent and current turmoil in the CofE is resolved in a way that leaves the national treasure described in this article substantially in place. It should be required reading by all who have a part to play in tackling the current difficulties over women bishops, gay priests and so on. It should remind everyone that a healthy, tolerant and inclusive church need have no fear of making proper provision for those who believe that the catholic traditions of the CofE need to be sustained through a period of change. It also should prompt the question: if the religious impulse described in the article is here to stay, how can the church engage those who acknowledge the impulse but who are doing "something else" on Sunday?