(Sun. Indepndt) Surplice to requirement? Church of England may cast off vicars’ robes

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican vicars could soon be allowed to cast off their traditional robes and wear casual clothes at “café-style” communion services.

In February the General Synod will debate a motion that calls for a change to the rule requiring clergy to wear formal vestments at services.

About a quarter of the Anglican church’s governing body backed the proposal, under which vicars would be able to wear ordinary clothes if their bishop and church council agreed. The author of the motion, the Reverend Christopher Hobbs, admitted this could mean clergy could wear shell suits, but insisted he was “not a trendy vicar” and that robes would continue to be worn.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

3 Comments
Posted December 23, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Dan Crawford wrote:

Why not couple the fashion trend with lay presidency at the Eucharist and begin TV ministries all over the Anglican world? I love being part of such a trendy, cutting edge church.

December 23, 10:27 am | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:

Dan hits the target in his wry take.  The influence here is American charismatic evangelicalism.  I remember attending a service at a Holy Trinity Brompton church plant.  We milled around beforehand in the lounge area with its easy chairs (taking up half the church). The clergy were in sharp dark suits and necktie. Not just the suits were the give-away:  other HTB trademarks are a drumkit in the sanctuary and a sound mixer desk. The Church of England bishop who was there for the occasion was wandering around a little bewildered, and spotting my clerical collar headed towards me with obvious relief.  I had to disappoint him by telling him that I came from the wrong side of the Tiber.  But about all these innovations, even though they ain’t my cup of tea, if it works, it works and let’s face it, it often brings crowds of youngsters through the doors.  Although it gives a qualm when at the start of the service you spot the drummer wearing ear plugs ...

December 23, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
3. David Keller wrote:

#2 Thanks for your comment.  I prefer the clergy to be in some level of traditional garb, especially for Eucharist. But surplices do not a Christian make. TEC is essentially the United Way/Unitarianism in vestments. The institutional CoE appears close behind. I’d take John the Baptist over KJ Schori any day of the week.

December 23, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
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