Letter: Religious leaders

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Sir: Whether "those doodles" are attributable to Mr Blair or Mr Gates, I cannot be the only member of the clergy to have been irritated intensely by a comment made by Nina Ashby, reported in your article on 29 January. She states that the author of the doodles "is not a natural leader. It is a person of a religious nature, perhaps a vicar, not sure of his priorities."

The days of the stereotypical clergyman, confused but kindly, are long over, and clergy these days, whether in a parish or chaplaincy setting, often head up a large team of professional colleagues and lay volunteers, manage significant budgets and building projects, and provide, on a daily basis, religious, moral and pastoral leadership to those in their care. This would be impossible without leadership flair, and the ability to set, and maintain, clear priorities.

Spirituality and "frontline playing", in whatever profession, are not mutually exclusive, as Mr Blair himself often seeks to demonstrate.


Wilstead, Bedfordshire