One of the most startling quotes from yesterday’s wide-ranging press release from Reform, outlining several areas of protest by evangelicals at revisionist activity in the Church of England is the revolt against Bishop Alan Wilson of Buckingham from amongst his own clergy.
Most notable is the quote from Will Pearson-Gee who is the Rector of the Buckingham benifice who said,
I am deeply disappointed that Alan Wilson persists in undermining the teaching of the Church by his overt support of those who have gone against the clear rules governing clergy discipline. Describing the Church’s teaching and doctrine as “lousy” is quite breathtakingly arrogant and not language that one would expect from a senior leader in the Church. Were I in secular employment and so at odds with the leadership and core values of the company that employed me, I would resign forthwith as a matter of conscience.
Put simply, the Bishop of Buckingham does not have the confidence of the Rector of Buckingham. The question to ask at this point, given the clear differences between them, is which one faithfully represents the Church of England? Is it the Rector who upholds the Scriptures and the position of the Prayer Book or is it the Bishop who consistently undermines both and speaks out against the collegiality of the bishops of the Church of England?
Pearson-Gee’s argument is the same as what I have long called the “Pepsi argument”. If the marketing director for Pepsi appeared at every press conference and in every public appearance drinking Coke and clearly preferring it then you’d acknowledge that he was entitled to prefer one cola drink over the other. But you’d also have a clear description for his assumption he could continue to draw a salary from and continue to represent his employer.
Pearson-Gee is correct; if Buckingham had any integrity he would resign. But then that’s long been the issue.