Oxford elevates atheists to the pulpit while removing chaplains
But on the morning of Sunday 20th February, the preacher in the University Church of St Mary's was the notable atheist Philip Pullman. What glory to God that sermon must have brought. This, in the very church in which His Grace preached his final sermon, the stones still reverberating to the truth of his witness.
As if that were not bad enough, here below are the revised statutes from 13th January for the University's Hertford College:
The Committee on Statutes before the Privy Council, acting under authority delegated to it by Council, is minded to give consent on behalf of the University to the amendment to the Statutes of Hertford College, in so far as such consent is required by Section 7(2) of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge Act, 1923. The consent of the committee to the amendment to the Statutes will be effective eleven days after publication of this notice unless written notice of a resolution, signed by at least twenty members of Congregation, calling upon Council to withhold that consent, has been given to the Registrar by noon on Monday, 24 January.
The amendments relate to the following:
(i) compliance with Charity Commission requirements relating to articulation of charitable objects and the responsibilities of trustees;
(ii) simplification of the statutes to address core governance issues and removal of other items better treated in bye-laws or other ways;
(iii) Statute X on employment law provisions relating to academic staff has been moved to an appendix of the statutes. Minimal amendments have been made to better reflect current employment law but without altering any of the substantive terms set out in the Statute, as agreed with the University;
(iv) the term of office of the Principal is limited to a fixed term of five years in the first instance, which may be extended by the Governing Body. This replaces the current statute in which a Principal is appointed until his/her 67th birthday;
(v) removal of the Visitor's right to annul bye-laws or decisions of Governing Body he/she judges to be repugnant to the statutes;
(vi) removal of the requirement for the College to appoint a Chaplain or for the Chaplain to perform divine service according to the liturgy of the Church of England during term time.
So, chaplains are no longer required. And those that are maintained are no longer required to perform divine service according to the liturgy of the Church of England.
What other liturgy do they have in mind?