Being tapped

When I was at Columbia, one of the things that happened to some people is that they were chosen by the members of two campus secret societies to join their august clubs. I think they were mostly drinking societies, but as I was never chosen, I never found out. The process of being invited to join was called “being tapped”, as the traditional method of informing the lucky candidate was a tap on the shoulder.

Today at Diocesan Synod, I was sitting minding my own business when Simon, the Diocesan Secretary, came up to me and said, “We don’t have any candidate for Bishop’s Council from the Archdeaconry of Southwark. Would you care to stand?” I had just been tapped.

So I am standing unopposed, and once my term begins, will be on the Church of England equivalent of the Diocesan Standing Committee in each Episcopal Church diocese.

Attending meetings consistently sometimes brings rewards. I now have an opportunity to influence the course of the diocese for at least the next three years.

Of course, on the walk home, I got an earful from another member of Bishop’s Council about the goings-on and derring-do involved in the group. Oh dear. In my opinion, as the Bishop must retire within about 3 years (he’ll turn 67 early next year, I think, and C of E retirement age is 70), preparing the way for a new Bishop to take over in 2009 or 2010 will be the most important task facing Bishop’s Council in its three-year term.

This of course is in addition to being Lay Chair of Southwark and Newington Deanery, a member of Diocesan Synod, a member of the Board of Finance, and a member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Finance. Lots o’ meetings, but worth it. I now not only have the opportunity to discover where the skeletons are buried, but I can either dig ’em up, or bury some more.

3 Responses to “Being tapped”

  1. vasilatos says:

    My goodness, Chris, that’s a lot of meetings. Congratulations on being so useful.

  2. tim1965 says:


    I would not chalk it up to a good attendance record. I would chalk this up to the way you built trust, showed your commitment to following through when you take on a task, and the fact that you care enough to participate when most people just slump in the pews on Sunday and then go home.

    Good for you.

  3. ruth_lawrence says:

    Say, that’s great! I’m happy for you.