I was drawn to the online Economist article about the admission of women to the episcopate in the Church of England by a tweet by British Unitarian and Free Christian Chief Officer Derek McAuley. It had a wry caption about Unitarian (do see) but I don’t care much about that, or an established church or the episcopal form of church government.
— Derek McAuley (@Derekunit) November 25, 2012
I do care about ministers being able to live with the necessities of life, and in not creating systems that keep poor people from exercising a ministry.
See the chart that shows the growing bulk of Church of England clergy working in unpaid settings. Which means those ministers are scraping by; have independent wealth, family support or a pension (a class issue, surely); or work part-time in another job. At which point I leave the Anglicans, lest I get too wrapped up in their ways. Indeed, Universalists were all but planted in this country by a purse-poor evangelist and a wealthy spouse (who later suffered deep poverty) … and many a cash-strapped minister who gave up so much for the spiritual welfare of others.
But when the costs are too high for too long and the burdens go unshared, eventually the system shrinks and collapses. Let that be a warning.