The article above is worth a read, by Elaine Storkey, on the Philip North / Sheffield issues. However in the comments was raised an important matter I wanted to explore so I have posted it here below. It discusses the process and the mechanics of making something work inside the church that is difficult and which the media will get in amongst and run the issue if the church doesn’t take responsibility for gathering people and communicating, thoroughly and openly.
I think we have to learn, develop our listening skills, bring in our negotiators and reconciliation experts for situations like this. Good agreement / disagreement doesn’t just magically happen, particularly when prominent people take to the newspapers to lobby and give their opinions and interpretations of the actions of others. It’s easy for the uncertainty and assertions to take over. As a people who live in a very broad church, which says it is committed to space for all, we all need to learn to slow down and listen much much more, to have dedicated processes and spaces where we promise to listen hard to each other. We need a serious part of our theological education to be dedicated to this issue too. A B spells it out really helpfully here: