The Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, with a seat in the Lords, is about to become the Bishop of Lambeth, to help Archbishop Justin Welby.
Help the Archbishop do what, I wonder. I wouldn’t want to describe Bishop Tim as yet another nail in the coffin of the Church of England, but I have to say he has some definitely dodgy ideas.
The Bishop and his Diocese need a “Strategic Programme Manager—Transforming Mission.”
I’m not well up in modern Management Speak so I’m not sure exactly what the job is, but it carries a salary of £40,000 for a 35 hour week so it must be a position of influence and power. I have read the job description but it isn’t much help. Perhaps a reader, wiser in the ways of the world, could explain it to me.
“The Strategic Programme Manager will be responsible for leading and managing the Transforming Mission programme from initial set up through to successful delivery. This role requires an individual with exceptional project management skills including the ability to successfully manage stakeholders; implement change and balance multiple projects simultaneously.
“The scope of the role incorporates ……. the project management of key programme elements including the establishment of the Student Hub (café) and redevelopment of the Resource Church.”
I suppose that’s more or less what St Paul did, though on a rather grander scale. Would the Resource Church be the equivalent of the Church in Corinth, I wonder.
I looked up the word Mission to see if it still means what I thought it meant.
1) a group or committee of persons sent to a foreign country to conduct negotiations, establish relations, provide scientific and technical assistance, or the like.
Anywhere outside a church is foreign country these days so they won’t have far to travel.
2) an important goal of purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction; a calling or vocation.
Now, this is where it gets dodgy. The Bishop of Truro says his Missioner does not need to be a practising Christian. That’s right. He or she can be anything they like; any old faith or none. I could just about cope if the Bishop would be happy to accept a non-Anglican; a Presbyterian, say or a Baptist, a Brethren or a Jehovah’s Witness. But a non-Christian! This is a man who speaks on behalf of Christians in general and Anglicans in particular, in the House of Lords.
Not surprisingly, the Truro website is full of secular phrases that I assume are supposed to appeal to “millennials” and “snowflakes” and make them feel comfortable. Words like “principle of equality” and “safer recruitment principles.”
Personally, when I want to do a bit of missioning, I let Jesus speak for Himself.
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.