11 AUGUST 1961, Page 14

INSUFFERABLE PATRONAGE SIR,—About Monica Furlong's provocative and thoughtful article :

1 don't think that we ought to blame the passing over of Mr. Boulton to the in- fluence of the MU. Unless evidence is produced to the contrary, Church leaders of the pre-Guildford era must bear responsibility.

'So did I.'

Before taking Orders I served for ten and a half years in a profession in which character, ability and training counted for much. Subsequently, during my twenty-three years in Orders, I have been surprised to find the professional standards of my present vocation are much lower at times. Some Church leaders do not seem particularly interested in pastoral and spiritual gifts supported by sound theological training. They only stir into life when they discover .a man who can raise money quickly. It is too often the latter who is rushed with undue haste into Orders and into gaiters.

I quoted a specific instance of this in my letter published in the Spectator on November 14, 1958. How dismally my comments have been vindicated. The Church leaders responsible for this man's too quick promotion are also responsible for his down- fall.

Therefore, I do not think we need to worry unduly over the mechanics of Church appointments. But we must watch closely the manipulation of the mechanism.

For our comfort we may note that both our Arch- bishops are first-rate in ability and keen theologians. They will, I am sure, keep a more observant eye on any area of the C of E which is likely to develop into a Wonderland of Smart Alecks.


St. Mark's Vicarage, St. Mark's Road. Tunbridge Wells