Sunday, 26 June 2011

I know I am, but what are you?

People in churches seem to feel a great need to classify people. I get put in the Anglo-Catholic box. That’s the elegantly proportioned stone one with all the Gothic tracery, lined with slightly faded and shredded rose-coloured fiddleback chasubles.

Being in this box suits me in some ways. There is plenty to look at, some of it very engaging and most of it not too kitsch. In other ways it doesn’t – some people think women really don’t belong in this box, though others insist that the box has been updated, Anglo-Catholic 2.0, and so on. Others think I spend too much time reading the bible for a proper A-C, despite the fact that the founders of the Oxford Movement might be horrified by that statement. Compared to most of the others, I am about as musical as a brick. Allowances need to be made.

I don’t really use the bible the same way the open evangelicals over there do, though, and I couldn’t stay in their box with all its over-exuberant worship songs (especially not the ones with arm movements). I don’t really fit with the self-described liberals as I believe too much old-fashioned orthodox stuff, and can’t cope with lurex-threaded seventies fabrics or pottery chalices. In the far distance there are the fundies, and that’s the way I’d like them to stay.

Yeah, I’m stereotyping. That’s kind of the point.

But I am going to find out more about recent church history, for a church in which “recent” probably means nineteenth century.

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