by Peter Franklin
Tuesday, 20
April 2021

More tea, Associate Archdeacon Transition Enabler?

It is not clear what this new title even means
by Peter Franklin
The Revd Clive Hogger, one of the four newly installed Associate Archdeacon Transition Enablers

Exciting news from the Church of England. The Diocese of Sheffield is to appoint “four further Associate Archdeacon Transition Enablers.”

Yes, really! Not one or two or three, but four. Indeed, four further persons of this description. At this rate, the North of England will soon be overrun with them.

One question though: what is an Associate Archdeacon Transition Enabler? The title, while awfully impressive, is somewhat ambiguous. Is the purpose of an AATE to enable Archdeacons to transition? If so, what are these Archdeacons transitioning to? Butterflies, perhaps.

Consulting the Diocesan website, I discover that “the intention is to create a collaborative context that enables Deaneries, Parishes and Mission Areas to embrace significant change.”

No, me neither.

I would try to fathom out this mystery — but lack the necessary motivation. For a start, I’m a Left Footer, and we have enough troubles of our own. Furthermore, from my own experience of management speak, I suspect that the number of words in a title is inversely related to the seniority of the role (and certainly any extra pay). Finally, if “significant change” means something wonderful — as opposed to, say, taking an axe to the parish system — then shouldn’t it be more clearly expressed?

As I recall, Jesus told Peter to “feed my lambs” not to “enable their transition”.

Writing for UnHerd earlier this year, Giles Fraser accepts that the C of E cannot avoid organisational reform. However, he’d prioritise the needs of the parishes over the ecclesiastical bureaucracy.

He’s not wrong. Rather like certain football clubs currently in the news, the bishops should think very carefully before alienating their “legacy fans”.

Then again, joining (or rather re-joining) the ecclesiastical equivalent of the European Super League might be just what the Church of England needs.

How’s that for a “transition”?

Join the discussion

  • If that is the intention, it is worthwhile. I’m sorry that I also laughed incredulously when I read the title.
    but, but, but : don’t you think it might have been possible to find someone to proof read this paper who has been living in the world for the last five years, and has a glimmer of what ‘transition’ signifies to most people? Would it not be possible to find someone who could put a blue pencil through the management speak you identify, and write something that is not , well, a ludicrous self parody of the ‘woke’ establishment we all have learnt to fear? Because until the Church can speak clearly without sounding either ridiculous or craven, I don’t hold out much hope for these initiatives.

  • Hit the wrong button. The BLM sign was not taken down – it is now followed by Stop the Asian Hate.
    As I stood there I tried to figure out who the target audience for the sign is. Are we, the mainly old white members who have kept the church going for years, being reminded that we are bigots and racists who need to repent before the church opens its doors again?
    Or is the sign proof that this old Gothic style gorgeous place is now WOKE so please Rioters, don’t break a window of spray pig’s blood on the door?
    I am trying hard to repent but until I succeed, i will not be pledging,

  • To get involved in the discussion and stay up to date, become a registered user.

    It's simple, quick and free.

    Sign me up