Are you a Lancastrian? Or whatever COUNTYan you come from? Does it inspire your loyalty and affiliation?
They do go back a long way, and were built around loyalty, as well as royalty. As to whether it was imposed or freely given, that is difficult to ascertain from this far on. These days, rather than ‘feel’ it, we decide if it is worth anything to us, to be ‘Lancastrian’ or whatever. Though there will be, inevitably, a kind of ‘romantic’ attachment, I venture to propose.
As an Anglican church, we belong to a Diocese. This is a kind of ecclesiastical county. It is part of an ingenious pattern that ensures everywhere in the country has a local parish church, to which local people are deemed to belong, or from which they can acquire services of worship, baptisms, marriage, a listening ear, knowledge and direction in things pertaining to God, and I guess even sanctuary.
Like with Counties, admin is done through Diocese. Spiritual admin too, though. Bishop Nicholas is the man at the helm, and he announced his retirement this week, stepping down in October. This will give the queen a little job to do after her jubilee, announcing his successor. Worth having a chat with God about this, so please do. This is how we get involved in informing the selection process. Go straight to the top.
Do you feel loyal to the Diocese? I guess you will take a romantic and pragmatic approach to this question, as I suggest we do for county loyalty. However, we exist in a Diocese with our neighbouring churches, and we do have working relationships with them. They may not seem to affect us very much, but we should encourage each other. We are part of the one church that the Holy Spirit guides, and along with the other denominations, He has combined tricks for us up His sleeve.
Pragmatic and Romantic.