Worse than oaths at Trumpington

The sad disagreements between the vicar and some parishioners at Trumpington at first seem another sad parochial story. The vicar, Dr Ambrose, appears to want to innovate, others in Trumpington seemed determined to resist at any cost.

And it is at any cost. The dispute is moving from the parish stage to a larger Church of England stage. The Bishop of Ely has directed that a ‘provincial tribunal’ be formed to advise him. The immediate legal costs are estimated at £150,000, for this, and some estimates have put the cost at nearer £500,000 when further appeals and hearings are considered.

The story was covered at the end of May in The Times and in early June in the Church Times and more recently and comprehensively in the Cambridge Evening News.

The Cambridge Evening News article includes a long and detailed comment by the Bishop of Ely, who draws attention to the attempts at peace making which have been attempted over the years.

I make no comment on the particular situation at Trumpington, save that I generally find it takes two to argue – I suspect there are faults on both sides. Similarly it takes two to reach a compromise, and make peace.

As a member of the laity I  have three questions;

1) In May 2005 the Bishop of Ely directed that this should go to a provincial tribunal. This tribunal has not yet met. Why not? It surely does not take two years to form a panel and agree a timetable! What stress this must have caused to those involved.

2) The projected cost to the church of the legal process is outrageously large. When parishes are short of clergy this parochial dispute is costing the greater church at least five years of a clergy stipend, and most probably more. Do the warring parties consider this to be good use of the money that parishioners in parishes have put on the plate?

3) Given this dispute is costing the church a lot of energy, time and money, how do those involved intend to give back to the church what their dispute will have taken?

Audrey

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One Response to “Worse than oaths at Trumpington”

  1. Newbie Says:

    At a time when money is short in Ely diocese, both parties MUST give consideration to the damage they are doing! It makes me want to go and bang their Bl**dy heads together! PLEASE give the egos a rest. However given that arbitration didn’t work, how can common sense prevail?

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