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‘Christianity being discriminated against‘ has been one of the reported concerns in both the Christian and national media. However, to extend that concern in to calling it ‘Christianity under persecution in the UK‘, seems to me to be exaggerating the claim somewhat beyond the realms of what real persecution is.
This was the thesis behind Easter Sunday evening’s BBC documentary ‘Are Christians being persecuted?’ with Nicky Campbell. Of course some of the secular groups were not convinced by it; and even commentators like Ecclesia were not wholly in favour either. Ed Sturton’s excellent documentary on Iraq’s Forgotten Conflict was much more about real persecution (and not just Christian either).
However, the ‘is Christianity being persecuted‘ debate did get me thinking about how the Christian coverage in the media was going over the Holy Week/Easter period. In the end, I was positively surprised at both the quality and the quantity of the stories in both the print and broadcast media.
Not all the stories were quite what the various press offices would have Continue reading “Christianity under persecution?”
Updated with move dates: After 14 great years at St. Johnâ€™s Copthorne, we are moving to Henfield: remaining in Sussex, and Diocese of Chichester, and even in the same episcopal area and archdeaconry of Horsham, but in a new deanery: Hurst.
The following pdf documents were released as information about the Henfield benefice, and itâ€™s new incumbent.
The text from each of the documents is quoted below.
About the parish of Henfield:
About Henfieldâ€˜s new vicar:
After 14 years thoroughly enjoying ministry at St Johnâ€™s, The Revâ€™d Alastair Cutting, with Kay, Hannah & Laura, are to leave Copthorne. Their last Sunday will be Pentecost, 23 May, starting in Henfield on Friday 2 July 2010. Continue reading “Copthorne to Henfield”
The ongoing BA strike is a major issue around here, with people’s jobs and livelihoods at stake, and both the company’s and the Unite union’s reputations potentially in tatters.
It dawned on me that strikes in a major national industry had significantly coloured 3 of my last 4 jobs. I was appointed to Woodlands, Doncaster in the South Yorkshire coalfields, soon after the end of the 1980s miners strike.
Woodlands was the model village built to house the miners from the nearby Brodsworth Colliery. Photos from the time show the distinctive spire of All Saints church in the background of images of the pit. The strike was over by the time I arrived, and the miners were back to work – but the tensions that had ripped families apart between strikers and ‘scabs‘ were still Continue reading “Three Strikes, &…”
This post is….
and… it should possibly be a ‘page’ rather than a ‘post’ – we’ll see.
Lesslie Newbigin was a Presbyterian minister and missionary who – considering that background, and not really approving of church hierarchies – rather surprisingly became a Bishop of the united Church of South India at it’s formation in 1947. In fact not once, but twice – first in the Madurai-Ramnad diocese, then later as bishop of Madras, as Chennai was then known. In between, he was in Geneva with the World Council of Churches. On ‘retiring’ from Madras in 1974, Lesslie & Helen Newbigin made their way back to Britain overland using local buses, carrying just a couple of suitcases and a rucksack – I love that; sort of reverse hippy, on so many levels!
This photograph shows The Troika, or the Three Graces, as the three ‘girls’ were sometimes Continue reading “Lesslie Newbigin – Bishop of Hope”
The ‘Leaps of Christ’ was part of the theme taken by Bishop John Hind at the Chichester Diocesan Synod recently. I had heard of this Old English poem, but on being re-introduced to it, it led me to explore some of the wonderful Advent and Christmas within it.
The section on the Leaps of Christ comes within the part known as Christ II, or sometimes Christ B, within the Exeter Book. The first book deals primarily with Advent, book two with the Ascension, and the third Continue reading “Leaps of Christ”
‘After The Fire’, aka ATF or 80-F, were THE megastars of the 70s/80s British Christian music scene. Though I’m not sure they liked the idea of being called that – though not afraid of their Christian influence, they wanted to be known as musicians, not just Christian musicians.
I took a couple of photos at the Burgess Hill gig – but they weren’t nearly as good as Richard Dickens‘ ones.
I did bootleg a couple of tracks, which aren’t of any quality to threaten ATF sales, but might give a wee flavour of the live sound. You can get proper quality ATF music either from their store (and it’s almost Christmas…) or off the iTunes store.
Our local clergy chapter were meeting this week, and I was ‘hosting’. Usually, part of hosting involves preparing some prayers and worship. As we were also ‘Remembering‘ St Martin of Tours, I had a few things up my sleeve, including a fine shell remembering the pilgrims that stopped at St Martin’s shrine in Tours on the Way of St James.
Actually the shell was in my pocket, rather than up my sleeve; and paua were not really the sorts of shells that pilgrims on the way to Compostela normally wore (they were usually scallops… But these paua are exquisite. We have brought back dozens from NZ over the years.
Chichester Cathedral is the ‘mother church’ of the diocese, and as a Sussex priest, I find myself there from time to time. I love wandering through the cathedral when I get a chance. It has so many superb features about it; but one of my favourites is ‘The Arundel Tomb’.
It is a fourteenth century table tomb on which lie the effigies of Richard Fitzalan Earl of Arundel, and his second wife Eleanor. One of the most charming features is the way that they are both holding hands, Richard’s hand having been removed from the gauntlet still held in his left hand.
Cross-posted from my entry on the General Synod blog on The Vatican offer of special Anglican ordinariates – what in Anglican terms may be called something similar to a Third Province, or the Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s ‘tikangas‘.
Well, there was a surprise! Yesterday’s unexpected hurriedly put together press conference in London, responding to the Vatican’s scheme for special Anglican ordinariates appears to have put cats amongst pigeons.
I am seriously struggling to understand what all this is about, where it is going, and I await the ‘details’ with interest.
It feels a little like we are being told: ‘You know where the door is to come in, but here is a window you can climb in through, too’. Except I’m not one that feels I am standing outside, needing to come in. Continue reading “Rome says “Welcome…””