This is the question posed by Dr Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne, in his address yesterday, 18 February, to Salisbury Diocesan Synod proposing the adoption of the Anglican Communion Covenant:
Bishop Graham appears to think that the answer to this question is self-evident. But I’m not so sure. Even the use of the magic advertising slogan word ‘organic’ does not persuade me, nor would it persuade any other red-blooded Englishman or Englishwoman, to want to be part of a bunch of grapes. What would a human being that was part of such an ‘organic’ group look like? Well, the North Koreans are probably the best people to answer that one:
Would I rather be a marble? Infinitely! What would a group of human beings that were part of a ‘disconnected Federation, like a bag of marbles’ look like? Luckily I don’t have to find a picture to explain that one. Look out of your window, walk down your street, go into a shop or, yes, a church. And what you will see are marbles. Tall ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones, patterned ones, plain ones – do I need to go on?
Surely, if Anglicanism offers the world anything, it is the opportunity to be part of a group of people which does NOT impose a homogeneous way of life, but welcomes all parts of God’s creation to work together for the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
Marbles of the world, let us unite!
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The photographs of the grapes are by peresanz, the marbles are by Olga Popova, both via Shutterstock