The Spectator

Letters | 18 April 2009

Spectator readers respond to recent articles

Liddle’s Lent

Sir: As someone who is employed by and works within the Church of England I have been waiting 20 years to see an article like Rod Liddle’s (‘The C of E has forgotten its purpose’, 11 April) appearing in a major British publication. He is accurate in nearly everything he says. The current church is sadly lacking in leaders of any serious Christian commitment, passion or confidence in the gospel. It is as if they prefer any religion to the Christian one, which they have pledged to ‘defend and stand for’ in their ordination vows. Bring back Bishop Nazir-Ali and sack the liberal self-loathing secularised bishops!

Revd Richard Fothergill
Bath & Wells Diocese

Sir: The most telling omission in Rod Liddle’s Easter encyclical is its failure at any point to mention God or the Church’s proclamation in word, sacrament and deed. Without these the Church of England would indeed be the ‘superannuated branch of social services’ that he suggests. In fact, for all its shortcomings, it remains wholeheartedly dedicated to keeping alive the rumour of God in an often forgetful society. In parishes, hospitals, hospices, schools, universities and prisons, Anglicans, lay and ordained, try — and fail, and try again — to follow Jesus’s commandment to be servants of all. It is this that motivates us to make common cause with our neighbours of other faiths and none, not a pursuit of inter-faith dialogue for its own sake.

Revd Dr Edmund Newey
Handsworth, Birmingham

Sir: Rod Liddle incorrectly attributed the reported views of the Rt Revd Stephen Lowe, the Bishop of Hulme, as those of the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, the Bishop of Manchester.

Mr Liddle then referred to the Bishop of Manchester as ‘the idiot who has also called for the first verse of “I Vow To Thee My Country” to be struck from the hymnals.’

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