Predictions for 2011

Well, here goes:

  • The College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church will use their considerable intelligence, wit, guile and blogs to avoid expressing an opinion about anything at all. Oh, except one thing – that they think its OK to discriminate against gay people. (Which in private most of them will continue to say is a terrible thing that they don’t actually agree with).
  • The Coalition in Westminster will survive the year. (But probably not for much longer).
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury will step down in the second half of the year. His place will be taken by John Sentamu. The new Archbishop of York will be Jim Jones, currently Bishop of Liverpool. The Bishop of London will remain as Bishop of London, despite making a significant contribution to the Royal Wedding as Chief Tiara Bearer.
  • Debate about the House of Lords will make the C of E bishops who belong to it seem increasingly vulnerable. They will be astonished to discover that not everyone in the country values their place in the legislature. Most will not realise that not everyone in the churches values their place in the legislature.
  • The Labour Party will end the year with a Milliband leading it.
  • The Scottish Parliamentary Elections will result in a Labour First Minister. A Labour-Green coalition will be much talked about but not happen because the Greens will refuse to do a deal. The Greens will have a good election and gain more seats from the List votes. The Liberal Democrats in Scotland will have their worst night in many a year.
  • The Anglican Communion will survive another year in name but not in reality.
  • British troops will remain in Afghanistan.
  • The AV referendum will be lost. However it will stir up interest in electoral reform and hasten the reform of the Lords. AV supporters will claim that people rejected it because they want proper PR.
  • The Church of Scotland will have a rocky General Assembly with a moderately conservative report from their Special Commission. (No more gay ministers, no questions to be asked about sexuality of office bearers but also no removing anyone currently in any post on the grounds of their sexuality).
  • No straight liberal in the church will feel the need to sacrifice anything at all for the gay friends they purport to support.

You can check out my predictions for last year here.

What do you think?


  1. sounds uncannily accurate, I’m afraid

  2. ditto. Do you do lottery numbers? 🙂

  3. If I did Ryan, I’d still be here, but the vestments would be a good deal more fabulous.

  4. I’m not sure if that’s even possible ;-)!

  5. Rosemary Hannah says

    Well, dear knows I have no position in the church to sacrifice, but I can assure you that you do me wrong (and I think at least some others) if you do not imagine that I will and would cheerfully sacrifice whatever I have or might have in accordance with my principles on this, and come to it, on other issues on which I feel passionately committed. Not least what I do have to give, and which actually does cost, namely my time and energy. Not to mention, on occasion in the past, putting myself in the path of a deal of flack.

    • Thank you Rosemary. I have indeed done you wrong and I’m sorry.

      I sometimes make a distinction between radicals and liberals in the church though…

      Most of my troubles in the church are with people who think they are liberal.

  6. Rosemary Hannah says

    Kelvin, whatever I do, and whatever your other straight friends do, we are never in your position. I know that. It is not we who are threatened, and we only get a tithe of the harsh comments that are directed to gay clergy and Christians. Sometimes we can stand in the path of incoming verbal missiles, and sometimes we can do the work of explaining, and bear something of the burden that way. That those on the front line become hurt and exasperated is something I understand and accept. Like others who have campaigned for years on the issue, I have wept and raged often enough to have a glimpse of what it would be like to be in the position you-all are in. Just be comforted a little to know that there are many of us who will stand shoulder to shoulder until every last little nook of prejudice falls into the dust where it belongs.

    Perhaps you are right – and I am a radical. I suspect I am merely a fluffy liberal though.

    Certainly, I’m not a bishop nor likely to be one. (The Church breaths a sigh of relief.)

  7. Gordon Aitken says

    Thanks Kelvin for doing me wrong as well.

    What would you want us “straight liberals” to sacrifice?

    • I know gay folk who have lost partners, homes, stipends, commissions, ministries, congregations, status, preferment, pensions, hope, communion etc. Admittedly not all of these things have happened in Scotland, but they are the consequences of what is happening in our communion.

      My experience of the last few years is that as these things have been happening in our communion, almost all liberals have remained silent in the face of synods, bishops etc taking actions. Those who have spoken out have not been prepared to risk very much at all except to say, ooh, how terrible it all is and how wrong. And not very loudly either.

      I do accept that my broad-brush caricature above was perhaps unhelpful and where it finds offence, I do beg pardon.

      Notwithstanding that, it seems to me that we all carry on from Sunday to Sunday continuing to pay for a Church structure which is predicated on not causing too much fuss about the fact that gay folk are formally and informally discriminated against.

      Its not my intention to upset straight friends who join the struggle. They are dearer to me than gold.

      However, it remains my view that the greatest enemies in the struggle for equality for gay folk in the church are pretty much all liberals.

  8. Steven says

    Sorry – coming to this a bit late. What can straight liberals do to be more supportive and live sacrificial lives for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in the church?

    • Assume the responsibility for leading the argument at every different levels, from local conversation to national campaigning and don’t let go until change happens, whatever the cost.

  9. Steven says

    Oh is that all! Well as a recently “converted” straight liberal I appreciate the guidance. In fact it was partly through this blog that I changed my mind on this issue – among others!

    At the moment I am in a bit of a “wilderness” stage because I am questioning so much of what I had previously tried so hard to accept as “orthodox” Christianity. In fact much of “mainstream” Northern Irish Christian faith would be described as fundamentalist in any other developed nation. As such I feel alone and without a safe space to raise my doubts and fears – a feeling you must be well acquainted with.

    Is anyone intending on going to the Spong conference with PCN in Orchardhill Parish church in June?

  10. Andrew MacKenzie says

    I’m glad you are sorry! As a Methodist working (! – I am retired reslly) in an SEC congregation, you ought to know that in 1993, when the Methodist Church was debating the gay issue with regard to ordianed ministry (you do recognise our ordination, don’t you, as valid and regular?- be careful – remember that the Catholics do not recognise yours!) I went at my own expense to the Conference in Derby to take part in the debate in support of my gay friends. I’m not saying that we have yet ‘arrived’, but it was a step forward. I am also proud to say that I support the LGCM by being a member. However, I am not gay myself. My views are well known among gay and straight people at St John’s Dumfries. So lets have no more of this nonsense!

    • I’m very happy for all my straight friends to have a competition next new year to see who has sacrificed the most for the cause in the year that is past.

      The Scottish Episcopal Church does not recognise Methodist orders as anything other than Methodist orders and respects them accordingly. It does not recognise them as being the same as Anglican orders.

      Saying otherwise will not make it so.

  11. Andrew MacKenzie says

    Oh dear!


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