Is it head or heart?

Michael Kellahan

Is Bishopscourt to be sold? As I write this the vote has been taken but the results not yet announced. Let me put my cards on the table though and say I voted no. I hope we don't sell. But I came into the debate planning to vote yes.

The debate was wonderful, perceptive, gracious, passionate, and good spirited. It was heartening to see individual synod reps pray as they wrestled with their decision before the secret ballot was finally taken. It was a privilege to be part of it.

The reasons to sell are good and were very well put - the financial impact of keeping Bishopscourt is significant, the Archbishop has indicated other sites would be more suitable, and the governance issues of two years ago have been addressed.

What changed my position though was the repeated insistence that this was a matter of the head needing to prevail over the heart. The attempt to characterise the case against the sale as sentiment trumping sense was wrong - there were good arguments to retain that demanded responses. I also thought it too quickly dismissed the importance of the heart. With so much passion to keep Bishopscourt then couldn't a 'Friends of Bishopscourt group' raise the substantial funds for the ongoing maintenance of the property?

For me, the strongest speech from the floor for the sale was from Peter Lin. As he spoke about the complete cultural shock of his parishioners reacting to the opulence of Bishopscourt you could have heard a pin drop. Maybe that was because he was winning hearts as well as minds?