On my daily walkthink I was turning over in my mind how I see my place as a Christian priest in a modern world. In a word 'unattached'. I don't mean that in a denominational sense. I am happy to be called Anglican, albeit a member at-a-distance.
My trouble is that I have always been a rather idealistic priest with an ideal view of the Church. In other words, the Church that I could serve in does not exist. During my ministry the people who upset me the most, no - who crucified me with their vicious nastiness, were members of the Church, not outsiders. I appreciate, even relish, the opposition of genuine opponents, as well as the loyal opposition of friends. What I cannot bear is the extremes of 'family' behaviour that turn the local Church into a sub-human, let alone sub-christian culture.
Another thing I find tricky is representative office. The peculiar expectations that people have of the clergy has meant that being a priest in the Church has felt to me too much like being in a prison, sometimes a dungeon, and too often it has felt like being buried alive.