Usage and ab-usage in the language of contemporary Anglicanism

The Church of England produces 'Reports' on a wide range of subjects, from Music to the Doctrine of Salvation (with detours to take in Living-in-Sin and Human Sexuality). As often as not these 'Reports' appear for the first time, all tricked out in their full-colour covers, at Press Conferences summoned to launch them. The Press, not unnaturally, describes their contents as 'the teaching of the Church of England'.

But of course they are not. They are the opinions of groups of individuals whose mode of selection is often obscure and whose conclusions, as we have recently seen, may well not even be endorsed by the General Synod.

The confusion occasioned by these procedures is considerable and damaging. The Synod needs to decide what a "Report" is and what it is not, and to give instructions that it be treated and presented accordingly.

As Paul succinctly put it: If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (I Cor, 14. 6)

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