Here's interesting.

The Church of England has a clergy appointments adviser. If you are looking for a full time post you can go and see him. He is particularly popular with priests working abroad who are looking to move back to England. At an interview he draws up a C.V. with you and he then sends your details to the bishops every month. This is a very good way of bringing your details to bishops especially as a lot of posts are never advertised in the church press, mainly due to the cost.

However, there is a problem. The one thing that the clergy appointment adviser insists upon before seeing you is that you have the full support of your current bishop.

You would have thought that this office would be ideal for providing help to those priests who have fell victim to the personal prejudices of their bishops. But, no, it's just another way that the Church of England makes sure that the bishops retain all power.

The Church of England and The Democratic People's Republic of Korea have a lot in common with each other.


CATCH 22 — 9 Comments

  1. Here’s another thought:

    Suppose you actually asked your bishop for his “full support” – specifically so that you could participate in this program. And suppose he refused. All right, you have no charges of misconduct on your record, right? Could you not then file whatever kind of grievance procedure is canonically possible? Wouldn’t your bishop need to justify his lack of support? He might not want to be exposed in this way and perhaps he would give his official support just to avoid the hassle.

    Remember the importunate widow….

  2. Sometimes bishops will give you support just to move you on even if they don’t want you in “their” diocese. I used to work in Wyoming as the deployment officer (now called transition minister) – we had a bishop tell us everything was great with one guy who had a track record of stealing money from every church he worked for. The other thing was the threat of lawsuit if you said something negative about someone who had no record of anything bad — perhaps your friendly attorney needs to visit with your bishop.

  3. I think Ellie and Ann give good advice. Absent any real complaint against you, MP, other than that you write a sassy blog and he doesn’t like you, it seems to me that it would be in his interest to help you move out of his diocese.

    (By any chance does your bishop have pointy hair?)

  4. MP has already pointed out that, in a closed org like CofE, even filing a suit — let alone winning — is a guarantee of never getting a job again. You are ipso facto a troublemaker, not a team player, etc. ad inf.

  5. Like most of the OCICBW… crowd, I’m very much a team player. The problem is that we appear to always be on the wrong side and the referee is related to the captain of the other team 🙂

  6. It is possible to be both a troublemaker and a team player. I would say belonging to a union qualifies you as both. I suppose bosses would argue that a union member is not a team player, but that’s because what they generally mean by “team player” is “brown-nosing suck-up”.

    I myself would be unsure about the game plan of MadPriest approaching his bishop.

  7. For some odd reason I have thought of the phrase, “Don’t bite the hand that beats you…”

    Despite all our ideals and hopes for how the world works, the bottom line is that most religious organizations are “Good Old Boy Networks” with all these lovely rules on the books to show how nice and democratic they are. The reality played out privately or semi-privately is another matter.

    Given Madpriest’s attempt at litigation against the church – I wouldn’t fathom much of a chance of him getting anything from his former bishop and therefore the conversation would be potentially embarrassing, humiliating, or at least frustrating for MP.