IF those who forget their history are indeed doomed to repeat it, then Ian d’Alton’s article in this issue of Search should offer some succour. If Disestablishment turned out to be ‘unmitigated blessing’, could the same be said of Brexit a hundred years from now? Of more immediate concern must be the matter of the future membership of our House of Bishops: how upcoming elections will shape our common life. The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe is unlikely to be the only bishop retiring in the next couple of years, so the responsibility of the electoral colleges is a heavy one. Hoping to help the electors, four senior members of the Church ponder the outstanding qualities we need to look for. A cautionary tale centered on Bishop Richard Hanson of Clogher follows, illustrating the need to consider episcopal character and context carefully. In two of the above articles, the desirability of another woman bishop is mentioned explicitly and it is taken for granted in a third. In Dean Susan Green’s article, ‘Do you see this Woman?’, the handicaps suffered by many women clergy are carefully considered and helpful statistical information offered. Although the Church of Ireland was three years ahead of England in ordaining women, the C of E has overtaken us roundly, with higher percentages of women serving in dioceses throughout the Church. This article assesses the reasons and suggests a way forward.
Bishop Michael Burrows continues the theme with some thoughts on the challenges facing ministry today – challenges to be presented by Dr David Hewlett and taken up and chewed on by experienced and thoughtful speakers in the Search Colloquium ‘Developing Ministry’ on March 30th in Trinity College Dublin. Before we come to the Book Reviews, we offer two refreshingly di erent articles. Dr Robin Stockitt, whose recent work centres on the radical quality of shame in Christian life, reflects on the power of names to shame (and not only on social media), while a longstanding member of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum, Swami Purnananda of the Eire Vedants Society, looks at the peaceful purpose of the DCIFF and the progress it has made in Dublin over the past two decades.