From time to time, I contribute to Wikipedia, particularly the SEC (and related) pages. Several things have interested me on WP this week.

Firstly, a little toing and froing about whether the SEC has parishes. It doesn’t have parishes, though some, especially those from outside the province speak rather loosely as though we do. This loose talk even extends to 2 diocesan websites which refer to parishes, making my argument that we don’t have them more difficult to sustain than it should have been. The fact remains that there is no concept of parish in SEC canon law. (And that is that, listen up everyone).

Secondly, the difference between the WP article on the SEC and that in the online Britannica – which hasn’t been updated since about 1970.

Thirdly, a line appearing today by an anonymous author in Bishop David’s WP entry articulating his achievements in acquiring a wife and children along life’s journey. For a while, the SEC Info and Comms Board had a policy of not listing such achievements in bishops’ biographies. [On the grounds that such listings tended towards either a) sexism; b) heterosexism; c) triumphalism or d) a combination of the above].

I don’t know whether that policy still applies and I cannot remember whether the words, "heterosexist hegemony of coupledom" appear in the minutes of the meeting where that policy was discussed.

But I do know who uttered those words. 

Is it just possible that one can take oneself too seriously? 


  1. Anonymous says

    It has occured to me when editting the pages for St Mary’s and the Diocese of G&G that the whole area of adding info to Wikis is a minefield for the unwary. As a rule, I will not add any information to the personal page for anyone living. In my mind that is up to the person in question.

    I have added the list of Provosts – thanks Kelvin for correcting my description of the dual role – and Bishops of the combined see, complete with a picture of the left hand plaque at St Mary’s.

    Kelvin, your observation about the online Britanica, reminds me that as a result of this recent activity on Wikipedia, I have turned to Bishop Goldie’s book on the SEC. I have a second edition, from 1976. Bishop Goldie in the preface to the second edition remarks that the major revision was the addition of the twelth chapter updating the book from the 1951 edition. Is a third edition is order now?

  2. Anonymous says

    Info on the Living

    The accepted convention on WP is that you are not supposed to edit your own WP entry but to leave it to others.

  3. Elizabeth says

    parish confusion

    For the uninitiated, what does the SEC have if not parishes? I mean, it has churches . . . aren’t they parishes?

    I’m confused!

  4. Moyra says


    The SEC has charges, the Church of Scotland has parishes.

  5. Moyra says

    And confusion is a perfectly normal state of affairs in all matters to do with the church.

  6. Anonymous says

    Charges vs Congregations

    In the C of E or the C of S or indeed the RC Church in the UK, a parish usually designates a geographical territory which has a status in either canon or civil law or both.

    Scottish Episcopal Congregations are all gathered communities.

    At various times and in various ways in different SEC dioceses there were attempts to define Pastoral Areas to function as parish-like geographical entities.

    The fundamental geographic territorical entity in the SEC is the diocese. If you ask me, geographical territory is so last century. In the internet age, the very idea is threatened and challenged on all kinds of levels. 

  7. Anonymous says

    Trophy Spice


    As I look around the net, I find that on at least one occassion, I’ve posted something written about a bishop which had a trophy spouse and kids line in it, though I think I copied it from someone else. Just goes to show that one can be inconsistent. 

  8. Elizabeth says

    To congregate and to solve

    Aha! Thanks for clarifying my confusion. Gathered communities vs. geographical boundaries makes much sense.

    I suspect I picked up the parish confusion (along with countless others) from the source of most of my church knowledge – an amalgam of impressions from English novels and sketchy memories of childhood church activity in the ECUSA (we called the basement room, site of so many ventures and misadventures, the parish hall).

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