I am wont to make predictions at new year. Here’s how I did last year.
1 – The UK will lose its triple A credit rating.
Got that one right – happened within weeks.
2 – The Scottish Episcopal Church will have poor statistical returns this year prompting very quiet wailing and gnashing of teeth except in Argyll.
Got that one right too – very poor statistical returns, particularly in Aberdeen and Orkney and Brechin. The wailing was all too quiet when we debated the statistics at General Synod though with the Primus seeming to indicate that either they didn’t matter or he didn’t care.
3 – At least one Church of England bishop (and maybe a pair) will be outed. (Only time I’ve retained a prediction from one year to the next).
Not yet. Not yet.
4 – The Scottish Parliament will vote for new legislation allowing gay couples to get married. (But no such weddings this year). The details of the new category of “belief marriages” will be substantially changed and much more heavily regulated than is suggested in the recent consultation response from government.
Basically another hit – Parliament did indeed vote for the new legislation though it isn’t completed yet. No weddings this year. Belief marriage proposals changed a bit, but not very much and there’s going to be a frightening amount of regulation which is not specified in the legislation.
5 – Sadly, I expect renewed campaigning for straight people to be able to enter Civil Partnerships with preparations being made for a legal challenge for 2014.
Yes – though the Scottish Parliament headed off the threat of legal challenge by promising a review. Another hit.
6 – The Coalition will have lower public opinion ratings by end of year due to public concerns as austerity measures bite. It will record one of the lowest public opinion rating of any UK govenment in modern times.
I think I got this wrong. There has certainly been a polarization in how the government is seen but they are holding up surprisingly well in opinion polls. My Liberal Democrat friends will be disappointed to hear that I think that this is because of the wiliness of Tories and not the power of the the Liberals in the coalition.
7 – The Church of Scotland will have a difficult General Assembly, but one characterised by fine speeches. They will approve a report which suggests having a theological study into blessing civil partnerships but not actual marriages of gay people. (This will please no-one who has any opinions about the matter and will thus be regarded as a success by those who don’t).
Well, I wasn’t far off with suggesting that they would not please anyone who has opinions about the matter but they dealt with it by saying that the Church of Scotland doesn’t approve of gay ministers but that local congregations could have them if they really wanted them. It was a foolish compromise that is already unravelling and a warning to us all.
8 – The Church of England will be unable to agree a way forward on opening the Episcopate to Women.
Well they’ve made some progress but they still are not there yet. Until they actually have a vote, I’m claiming this one as a hit.
9 – Justin Welby won’t put a foot wrong.
Well, he’s an impressive mover, far more so that Rowan Williams. I don’t like all he does but he has not come close to making the mistakes that his predecessor made. Appears to be wearing Teflon vestments.
10 – The new Bishop of Durham will come from a relatively small congregation in London.
Wrong – completely wrong.
So how do you think I did?