Casual Dress Proposal Rejected by Anglican Clergy

Nov 14, 2002 03:00 AM EST

ENGLAND—On November 13, proposals to change the strict attire of the Church of England's clergy were thrown out by its governing body. Modernizers suggested for clergy members to carry out certain church duties in jeans and T-shirts, calling certain costumes such as the surplice too formal. Both the bishops and clergy unanimously rejected these proposals to amend the church laws.

"It was thought to be a minority issue. Not many were in favor of it to start with," remarked a Church of England spokesman. The spokesman said that had the proposal been approved the "wonderful picture of vicars in jeans and T-shirts" would probably have been unlikely for 99 percent of the time. He added, "There might well be special services for a particular group where the dress might have been more casual."

This change in a vicar's outfit was the latest attempt by more liberal members of the church to update what they see as the church's demure image. Traditionalists react strongly against these actions and propels."

"There are fairly strong views on both sides. There are those who feel that wearing a special uniform, robes and so on, acts as a barrier between those exercising ministry and those to whom they wish to administer," the spokesman said. "The contrary view is that it's handy to have a uniform because it's actually quite useful to know who's doing what."

By Pauline J.
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