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Book of the week: Sex and the Synod

David Self enjoys a compelling guide to the politics, feuds and embedded hatreds that now characterise our national church

A Church At War: Anglicans and Homosexuality
By Stephen Bates
IB Tauris pound;17.95

For some years I chaired the governors of a small Norfolk voluntary-aided Church of England school. When, after 40 years, we eventually got indoor toilets, our bishop came to help us celebrate. Every Wednesday the rector spoke at assembly. Each Ascension Day, we trooped off to a service at the parish church. Otherwise the national (still less the worldwide) church made little impact on us.

Nevertheless, there was quiet satisfaction in the village that ours was a church school. The brand image still plays well; parents choose houses to be within the catchment area of such schools. Their ethos and results are perceived as "better" than local authority ones. Now, however, the patronage of the Church of England for its schools is in doubt - because the future of that church is so uncertain.

Read more in this week's TESnbsp; review pages 3637 nbsp;

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