Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog

Thoughts of the Rectory Dog – February 2016

The other day I heard His Reverence mention a meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion that will take place in the middle of January at Lambeth Palace.

As I didn’t know what a Primate was, I decided - somewhat reluctantly - to ask Meesha (next door’s cat) if we could look it up in her dictionary.  As she opened the book, Meesha gave that rather smug grin that she does so well (and which leads me to wonder whether she might in fact be a Cheshire Cat) and said, “I think you’ll find that primates are members of the ape or monkey family”. I knew that she was about to make one of her cruel and sarcastic jokes about the Anglican Church, so I gave her one of my glares and she thought better of it.

When we read the entry, much to my relief it said that the term Primate can also mean the lead Bishop or Archbishop of a province. That wiped the smirk off Meesha’s face I can tell you. I’ve since read in the ‘Church Times’  (better known in this household as ‘Jezebel’s Trumpet’) that this is a meeting to talk about the future of the world-wide Anglican Communion and to find a way of living with differences over issues like gay clergy and same-sex marriage.

It seems that some of the more conservative Primates have said that they will only attend the meeting if the churches of North America are disciplined (or even thrown out) for taking a liberal line, and some have said they will walk out if their views are not imposed on everyone.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument, I’ve never understood why humans have to behave like this, and it seems particularly sad when it happens in Christian circles. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not averse to a bit of emotional coercion now and again. When someone’s eating something nice in the Rectory, I often try to look as hungry and malnourished as possible and roll my big brown eyes pathetically. Sometimes it works and I’m thrown a scrap or two, but usually it doesn’t. (There are some hard hearts in this household!) I am, however, a dog, and I have always thought that humans were supposed to be more highly developed! 

I spoke to my friends Humpty and Dumpty (the two rather overfed pigeons who sit on the fence at the bottom of the garden) and they agreed that effectively holding the church to ransom seems very wrong and particularly unfair on the Archbishop of Canterbury who has got an impossible job on his hands. They’re Roman Catholics and they said that there are similar goings-on in their church as people try to stop Pope Francis making important reforms – and above all giving the church a more loving, progressive and human face.  Meesha just studied her claws and pretended to be disinterested and then made some quip about Humpty and Dumpty moving up a bit to make room on the fence for all the CofE bishops. She can be such a madam! 

By the time you read this, the Primates’ meeting will be over, but I doubt the problems will have been fully resolved. In the meantime, I guess all we can do is pray.

Well, I must close now and go and find my ear-plugs. Meesha is outside making very loud monkey-like noises. Lord, give me strength!



Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog
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