Dear Bishop Chartres,
I am writing regarding your recent Daily Mail Article.
I had to check that it wasn’t April 1st, and so, apparently, did a few other people commenting on your article.
I have been aware for years of the Daily Mail being the first point of call for Church of England Publicity stunts, so to speak, and I sometimes wonder now if they do it as a backhanded jeer rather than genuinely supporting the Church or if the Daily Mail is simply degenerating in the same way the CofE is.
At this moment as I write, The Daily Mail online has 3100 comments on your article, almost unanimously condemning you and the Church of England for your press article.
The criticisms, exhaustive, include:
• Horror at your ‘Sainting’ of David Beckham. Because as a clergyman, you should not be misusing the word ‘saint’, you shouldn’t be making someone like David Beckham, who is shallow, out to be a spiritual figurehead. David Beckham is a shallow money-machine, and the Church’ s habit of actually bringing football and celebrities and their own personal lives into Services and sermons is abhorrent. And although it was created to ‘draw people in’ it drives people away, no-one wants to fake laughs about your personal life if they are there for God. Is the ‘Saint Beckham’ comment supposed to curry favour for you among the ‘common people’? The Church is supposedly there as Christian presence, and the constant press stunts revolving around the material and worldly things is undermining the Church. Although so is Welby’s ‘Apology’ broken record now.
• Your completely ludicrous statement about growing beards to reach out to Muslims, what about female Clergy, do they have to wear burkhas? Are the Muslims ready to reach out in reply, and wear Dog Collars?
• Scruffy beards don’t look very professional and they make your clergy look like they don’t see personal hygiene as very important. Justin Welby is not yet sporting a beard, so does he indorse your campaign or not?
• Would it not be better for you and the Church of England to be looking at your relationship with the general public in general before choosing a specific ethnic minority to use as a press stunt?
• What is the Muslim opinion of your ‘outreach’ and especially you terming them as your ‘parishioners’?
• You are perceived to be out of touch with most of the community, on a sliding scale involving income and wealth, are the Muslims well off? Is this a case of the CofE’s stocks in Middle East countries?
• Would you consider sleeping rough with the homeless and understanding them better in order to reach out to them?( I slept out there for more than 3 years as a result of the Church of England’s harm to me and to be honest, it was amazing. But if the CofE had been a Christian Church rather than devious, dishonest abuser-protectors, that would not have happened).
Here is a link to the comments on your statement in the Daily Fail, I have never seen more than 3,000 people criticise a Bishop in such a short time, I hope it becomes a trend, because the CofE can’t go on as they are doing:
I hope that you have a change of heart, I really do not want to see your personal opinion of David Beckham and other shallow money machines blared out in the press, keep your personal life and crushes to yourselves, don’t illegally saint morons, and don’t abuse the press for your own ends please. Just act as a Church leader, preaching Christ’s teachings, or is that hard to do in your position of power and wealth?