Today’s Church Times announces that the good old C of E is thinking about using human resources managerial strategy to train people for high office. Nothing has quite spoiled my Friday morning as much as this has – not even the prospect of a politically correct Christingle for a non-church and significantly Muslim school later in the day.
I know from selection conferences when I was an Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands that people, even at that very early stage, are labelled as potential high fliers. This is woeful enough in an institution that claims to be about service. But to institutionalize it is shameful.
The problem about wearing the clothes of other creatures is that one picks up their parasites, and in this case the parasites that come with the coats of corporate managerialism will at best disable and at worst consume the host. This is the sort of policy that drives me towards the former ‘flying’ bishops for a vision of the church that accords with what has been handed down to us.
I suppose the people that come up with this are so struck with guilt about what they have allowed to happen to the church – or rather, they should be – that they now flail about like headless chickens. ‘Something must be done’ they say. Maybe, but Ye Gods not this.
It’s like medical education. You qualify as a doctor (it’s a conveyor belt – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – there’s no intellectual content, it’s all memory), then you train in obs & gynae, GP, physician, surgeon etc. Then you get 8-10 years under your belt and find yourself approaching divorce, middle age etc. And you are BORED. You have done 5 gall bladders a day every day. You have looked up the orifices of 7 zillion people and you are NUMB. So then you take to the bottle, or whatever, and start to attend meetings (with expenses of course) at the Royal Colleges where you sit around in panelled rooms on committees that interfere in things that don’t need interfering with. You impose your ‘new’ ideas and force reorganizations and generally foul things up even more. But at least you are not bored any more, and you can wait in line for your gong.
Now put all that in the context of the church. I’m long enough in the tooth to say to Church apparatchiks that I shall go on as I am. By the time they get round to disciplining me for not going along with unimaginative fads I shall be either dead or retired. But I pity the poor souls who are at the beginning of their ministry.
Stanley, I’m always interested to hear your views. I can imagine you in those panelled rooms stirring those sitting out their time to retirement.
If you were at the helm, could command anything to happen, what would you do?
Totally agree. I see the same in further education; from schools,to colleges and the abysmal excuses we have for universities. I think we are starting to circle the wagons with a ‘save the last bullet for yourself’ mentality. I’m sincerely hoping my children will somehow be part of an Age of Enlightenment!? and look back on this madness with a polite shake of the head and consign us all to the history book page labelled ‘What the hell (normally use another word) were they doing’….sorry that’s how I feel.
The film Invasion of the Body Snatchers sums it up.
I fear that it will be several generations before the light begins to dawn again. THough maybe the collapse of Europe – increasingly likely – will hasten things. This is an intellectual dark age. Thinking for oneself is not allowed.
..oh Mike.. DON’T get me started on the state of UK Education! I was there in the 1990s – when the “new professional academic contract” was imposed* upon FE (*don’t talk about ‘negotiation’) – and resulted in the sacking of 22,000 lecturers. Before that, I witnessed govts b%gger-up the schools.. Result? What once worked, is now re-branded “another stunning success..”
Should the Church now have its creeds & oversight directed by various “I was on The Apprentice, you know” twerps & policy wonks (with an MBA of course), then Stanley is so so right.
And – like Stanley, if you don’t agree with me; I’m now of an age to not give a toss!