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Vicars defrocked! Fears of jeans and hoodies in pulpit as Synod votes to decide if clergy’s robes are surplice to requirements

By Jonathan Petre, Mailonline

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.

The proposals, drawn up by a London vicar, the Rev Christopher Hobbs, have already garnered the support of about a quarter of the Synod, who will debate the issue in February.

But conservatives warn that changes would dilute the identity and authority of the Church.

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