No, not the brilliant stop-motion animation film by Tim Burton but the words that came to mind as I reflected on the failure of General Synod to pass the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure by the requisite two thirds majority in each house. One of the most striking images of the Church in the New Testament is of the Church as a Bride. At the moment the Church of England seems in the eyes of many to be a Corpse Bride or at least on its death bed and gasping its last breaths.
I am rather dismayed at the speed with which some of my colleagues have rushed to print in the media to pronounce the last rites over the body. I can understand the frustration, anger and hurt that is around, I feel it myself, but many seem to have forgotten that every follower of Christ is part of the Church. It’s not an optional extra for us, it’s part of the deal. Down through the centuries there have been plenty of times when the Church seems to have written its suicide note but somehow, by the grace of God, it has not died. Our challenge is and has always been to work out how we deal with the set backs, screw ups and follies because we are a flawed and damaged crew united by the grace of God and called to work out that unity in the everyday messiness of life.
So when I think about the Corpse Bride I console myself with this truth; The Bridegroom has a habit of bringing that which is dead or dying back to life, so let’s not write the obituary too hastily.
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