Comments: Wycliffe Hall: Jonathan Aitken comments

Now, I guess we will see attacks on Aitken from some on TA......not for "pagan-rooted" views but probably for being a Tory and jail-bird (or "ex-Tory" if you believe that people can change)....

Posted by NP at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 9:23am BST

The sword of truth and trusty shield of fair play sort out the Wycliffe row I see.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 9:45am BST

Yes, if Jonthan Aitken says it is just a personality dispute, it must be true.

We'll just forget about what the three previous principals and others have said about the substance of the matter.

Posted by badman at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 10:27am BST

NP: I don't mean this as an ad hominem, but do you think you could avoid getting your retaliation in first?

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 11:33am BST

We desperately need one of the resigned staff members to come out and say what really happened. I can only guess that Aitken has been the victim of a charm offensive from Turnbull, because this seems to be the most egregious spin: particularly on the Storkey story.
The version I heard is that, after having signed the Covenant for the Church of England, RT claimed he had been pressured into putting his name to the document. Storkey replied something like 'the Nuremberg trials taught us that we are responsible for what we sign'. This is very far from comparing RT to a Nazi, but it is the comment which prompted the disciplinary proceedings.
Can somebody who was present (preferably not RT or ES) please speak up and confirm which is the true story?

Posted by Alumna at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 12:09pm BST

Turnbull's "right to change staff"? A personality clash with Elaine Storkey, who now emerges as the true villain, is the root cause of the crisis? Whose talking points might Aiken be fronting here?

The only "news" in this item is that Aiken and the Guardian are on speaking terms.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 12:54pm BST

Come on Mynster - I a bit prophetic above!

Posted by NP at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 1:52pm BST

It does not explain the content of the video to Reform, which was, in the words of Richard Turnbull, a strategic matter about Conservative Evangelicals versus the "liberal evangelicals" on the way to having a go at the liberals proper, with, apaprently, their strategy according to him.

"Pagan rooted" was a reference I made to African spirituality and its interpretation of signs and wonders in the Bible that then plugs into Protestant Reformation and Western movements. It does not apply to its allies and products of these movements in the selective literalism in the West, such as Richard Turnbull.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 3:04pm BST

I know nothing about the writer, though I gather his history includes some very large negatives. (Am I wrong in this?) However, I am more interested in his report that everything is copacetic with the great majority of students, current staff, etc. If so, this certainly runs counter to the tenor of the reports I have read on TA as well as the many comments on the situation by the TA crowd. I would have thought that the institution was on the verge of collapse.


Posted by Steven at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 3:24pm BST

The Anglican and Christian Rights have learned to spin doctor as well as any lefty ever made do. How much of this is spin, and how much different presuppositional frames on brute realities - a fav of the rightwings that I know so far - and how much rock bottom truth about an administrative tempest in a teapot - well, time will eventually reveal all, if any of it matters by that time.

Given Turnball's published remarks about strategy and Anglican right campaigning, i.e., schools=power, one cannot take as a face-value relief, this whole hermeneutic narrative that Dr. Turnball is nothing but a good, clean, lovely administrator just doing his job. His own published rightwing Anglican remarks tell us otherwise - his call is to reshape church life so that progs-libs and queers are distinctily unwelcome as brother or sister believers. Not?

What is the weighing and balancing rule when one is comparing a fellow's direct published remarks with another fellow's spirited characterization of those remarks, as well as the personality and leadership behind them?

Surely the rightwing Anglican campaign does not expect the rest of us to be so easily confused about the very campaign goals its own leadership has published? I am hearing lots of: Just trust me, dear lib-prog, as I fully prepare to kick you right out the doors. It's God's work, indeed.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 3:33pm BST

The big hole in the Aitken story is his inability to account for the infamous 2+4 comment and the allied stuff which transparently DID demonstrate a radical theological agenda. I now await NP's spin on it all.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 5 July 2007 at 4:58pm BST

The moral of all this crap is that one should never stay for very long at some theological colleges, because you might find yourself going home with a theological label stuck on the back of your anorak.
Bring back the BCP. Everybody can hide behind that!
Cosy and cuddly is what we need.

Posted by cardinal Wardrobe at Friday, 6 July 2007 at 5:09pm BST


can you divulge where you heard your version of the comment by Elaine Storkey? it would be good to confirm it.


Posted by jody at Saturday, 7 July 2007 at 4:34pm BST

Jody, I wish I could offer something more solid than Chinese whispers. I can't divulge without permission unfortunately; which is why I asked for confirmation from elsewhere. It's at least possible to say that this came from someone very close to those present at the meeting. So second-hand, but a good second-hand.

Posted by Alumna at Monday, 9 July 2007 at 11:04am BST

thanks alumna

Posted by jody at Tuesday, 10 July 2007 at 11:47am BST

I have to say that this string of posts, like all the others on this subject, saddens me greatly. As a member of Wycliffe Hall, the speculation that is occuring on this website bemuses me. It bears little resemblance either to the character of the Hall or the processes that are happening at the moment.

Since the vast majority of people who comment on this site are not members of the Hall, there is no way that their comments can be accurate. This string of posts amounts to gossip and gleeful picking over of juicy half-truths.

It seems to me that people posting on here love to talk about intrigue, hearsay and things heard on the grapevine rather than praying for Wycliffe and talking about how all of us can proclaim the gospel of Jesus more and more in this generation.

Too much talk about the church and internal politics is not very productive in the end. Talk about Jesus always bears fruit.

Posted by Matthew Firth at Tuesday, 7 August 2007 at 9:48pm BST
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