Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Right to vote

On the centenary of a milestone for women’s suffrage, I am reminded that in a 1917 speech, suffragist Agnes Maude Royden declared, “The Church [of England] should go forward along the path of progress and be no longer satisfied only to represent the Conservative Party at prayer.”

A century on, the Church of England is, at least in my experience, Conservative voters, Labour voters, Liberal Democrats, UKIPpers, Greens, Socialist Workers, possibly even the odd Scottish Nationalist in exile, independents, principled non-voters, and floating voters, side-by-side at prayer.

We may not agree on everything. Indeed, we may disagree robustly (and, at times, losing sight of grace) on many matters. But whenever the Church overly-aligns itself with any political party or philosophy, she sells her soul. The same is true for any given member of the Church.

Maude Royden was right—and she saw the future, however imperfect it remains.

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