- Traditional robes could be voted out in bid to make services more modern
- Vicars could wear whatever they deem appropriate under new rules
- Conservatives warn changes would dilute the identity of the Church
- Others welcome news describing ‘power dressing’ as a barrier
Never mind the cassocks – vicars could soon be conducting services in shell-suits, shorts or even football shirts under radical plans to overturn centuries of Church tradition.
Rules requiring the clergy to don traditional vestments are set to be swept aside as part of a ‘makeover’ designed to make services more relevant to modern congregations.
If the Church of England Synod approves the reforms, vicars could wear whatever they deem appropriate for all their services – including weddings, baptisms and funerals.
Although most are likely to favour smart jackets, some have indicated they would adopt a ‘dress-down Sunday’ approach…
But traditionalists are enraged by the proposals, with one senior Synod member saying it could lead to clergy conducting services in tracksuits.
He said: ‘Some clergy already won’t wear a clerical collar. Soon they will be wearing shell-suits in the sacristy. We need to keep a sense of identity as Anglicans, and the robes are a way of providing that.’
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