The discussion at the general synod about the wearing or non-wearing of robes was no big deal, says retired vicar John Williams

It’s not what clergy wear that sets them apart (Surplice to requirement: vicars don’t need robes, says C of E, 11 July), but rather what they say and do, which for many, especially young people, renders the church irrelevant. Beliefs in forms of literal biblical fundamentalism and doctrinal orthodoxy do not resonate with much of contemporary culture. It is unfortunate that the church spends time discussing ecclesiastical millinery and human sexuality over and above those matters that really have effect and consequences upon ways of life and living. These do not have to be named, they are too well known.

People still look to the church for relevant and radical challenges to issues of social cohesion, poverty, inequality and justice. At least vestments enable congregations to know and identify who the presiding minister is.
Canon David Jennings
Leicester Cathedral

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