Today I went to an open house at Wycliffe College. I went in without any real intention of applying; it was more an exercise in networking. My own parish priest was educated at Wycliffe but has warned me against it. As I spent the morning, I began to hear some good arguments for Wycliffe. Admittedly, in contrast to the genially bitchy atmosphere at Trinity, Wycliffe folk come off as rather boringly earnest. But there were good points, too - honest.
Anyway, the highlight for me came when we "broke out" into smaller programme-specific groups. The principal met with those of us planning to apply to the Master of Divinity. One of the questions I asked was about the college Statement of Moral Vision. I had read it, I said, and knew it was likely my family life would fall outside of what it envisions. Should I still consider Wycliffe? As an Aspie, it's hard for me to be subtle, but I was gooood. The whole conversation was so subtextual that at one point another young man interrupted and said: "Can I ask what we're talking about?" The principal graciously circumlocuted that the Statement covered a variety of issues including (his examples) the avoidance of plagiarism and the affirmation of "the Biblical view of marriage." The confused gentleman only became more confused: why on earth would anyone take issue with the Biblical view of marriage? (He clearly realized I wasn't an irredeemable plagiarist). The Principal avoided my question with a great deal of Anglican fudge about Wycliffe being what it is, and pointed to the presence of divorced students in the college. When I cornered him by asking, "So should I apply?" he looked rather crestfallen and said: "Come and talk to us."
So don't let anyone tell you that my sister got all the shit-disturbing genes.
Anyway, everyone at Wycliffe bent over backward to be nice. They've obviously got a great thing going and if I become confident that my presence there would not be stumbling block for anyone I'll be happy to apply. (That popping noise is the vein in Fr Aaron's head).