Anglican Samizdat

January 4, 2010

Bullying bishops

Filed under: Anglican Angst — David Jenkins @ 10:39 am

I thought it was just a Canadian problem; apparently not:

“Bishops have got a lot nastier”, says the Reverend Gerry Barlow, chair of the faith workers branch of Unite.

Unite says the bullying frequently comes from superiors within the church who may be under financial pressure.

“A bullying case can go on for a long time”, says Terry Young, a former minister who runs the helpline.

“They’re picked on for everything they do wrong, so in the end the person runs around terrified. You see these people unsupported, driven into depression and a nervous breakdown.”

Mr Barlow said: “Bishops can treat people shamefully. The most common experience is a priest gets called in for a pastoral chat, to ‘see how things are going’, within half an hour he’s telling you he’s going to fire you or take your licence away”.

The Anglican church is being run like a business: rather than being shepherds, bishops have become executives, more preoccupied with the well being of the organisation than the people in it.

A far cry from a more humble view of the role of bishop: to be a slave of slaves.

Update: Ruth Gledhill has more on this here.


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