In the interests of transparency, I reproduce my contribution below:
Draft Amending Canon No 36 –
A contribution to the Revision Committee
1. I am very grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the Revision Committee in relation to the Draft Amending Canon no 36.
2. My concern is that in 1(3) and 1(4) the minister is only required to ‘consult’ the PCC about changing the form of dress at worship. The consideration of what would ‘benefit the mission of the Church in the parish’ is entirely left to the minister.
3. I am concerned that there is a clericalism here – the draft amendment seems to imply that only the clergy have wisdom on the missional needs of the parish and what would benefit that mission.
4. I think it is important that lay contributions to thinking about mission should be valued. Indeed, if the operating system of the church is to become missional (as the Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested it should) that can only happen if lay thinking on mission is encouraged and valued. Lay people’s often longstanding roots in a parish may provide missional wisdom that would not otherwise be heard.
5. I would, therefore, ask the Revision Committee to change the amending canon so that the minister is obliged to obtain the agreement of the PCC for a change in vesture.
6. Thank you for this opportunity to contribute to the work of the Committee.
The Revd Canon Dr Simon Taylor