Getting Dressed Up

Had the opportunity last night to get togged up (Cassock, Surplice, Scarf) and act as Bishop’s Chaplain at an installation in a neighbouring parish. A fun time was had by all and to be honest I loved every single second of it. There’s something quite brilliant in occasionally doing the ritual thing and, when you do it, doing it for all it’s worth. In particular, despite the fact that the place was chocker with clergy all dressed to the nines there was a real sense of worship.

I ummed and aaahhed over whether I was going to wear my academic hood and in the end decided not to. Which was interesting, because the only people who didn’t were myself, my incumbent and the chap being installed (Mark D – just a bit older than myself and v cool – at the rehearsal we vied with each other as to who could be the most underdressed). Was that a good or a bad thing? I mean after all, Cranmer got us all to get some training so that the punters would know that we were all kosher and sound (not that you’d notice in some churches). Shouldn’t I wear my hood to say “do you know what – I’m not just a bright young thing – I think I can do theology and Oxford University agrees”.


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