Please come and join us at Southwark Cathedral on 14 April 2013.
Alastair’s installation, along with Archdeacon colleagues Jane Steen and Chris Skilton, takes place at 3pm. The original announcement was made back in December at Henfield, and at Southwark and Chichester.
Friends who wish to come, please do! It would help to have a rough idea on numbers, by emailingÂ or texting/ringing 07736 676106 that you’d like to come.
Those who would like to robe, choir dress with black shoes please.
We would love to see you!
Alastair, Kay, Hannah & Laura
(We are probably moving at the end of May, to Sydenham/Forest Hill. Address on the linked pdf – please update address books! Personal email addresses and mobile numbers as they were.)
So, the 2010 Church of England General Synod elections are in full swing. These fortunately only come around every 5 years. Synod is a marvellous and somewhat dysfunctional institution, that many people seem to love to hate – but it is the system of national church governance, along with the bishops, that we’ve got to work with at present. ‘Episcopally led, and Synodically governed’ as the phrase goes.
I don’t really like pushing myself forward (less of the ROFL, thank you…) but having been a Proctor in Convocation (ok, member of synod, in English) for the last quinquennium, several people actually asked me to stand again, so I am taking a bit of a punt again. There can be no assumption of re-election…
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…””
Last night I caught a little of Huw Edward’s BBC4 documentary ‘Sunday Schools: Reading, Writing and Redemption‘. (Available on iPlayer until 24 Feb 2009.) I expected it to be your average media dismantling of religion, but was surprised how uniformly warmly the various participants, general public or celebrity, were about their contacts with Sunday School, and how it had so positively helped form their characters.
One of the participants was Roy Hattersley, who I knew had been in the choir at a Yorkshire church I did a curacy at: Wadsley Parish Church near Hillsborough, in Sheffield. When I was there in the late 1980s, Roy’s mother used to regularly be seen walking her Yorkshire Terrier through the church-yard, and was always up for a chat. Great to hear that the work the churches have been involved in since Robert Raikes founded the Sunday School movement in 1780 has had such a longlasting and positive influence. “Long live Sunday School” said Bill Tidy.
Huw Edwards ended the programme, conscious of the demise of Sunday schools in all but the largest and most significant of churches now, by saying “as one of millions who benefitted from attending Sunday schools, I think Britian is much the poorer – and one day we will wake up and will realise what we have lost”. May it not all be lost…
The programme blurb:
Documentary investigating the radical impact Sunday schools have had on
British society. Their early pioneers upset local bigwigs and the state
by teaching the lower orders to read. By Victorian times, huge numbers
attended the schools and they even gave birth to major football clubs.
In the twentieth century they still had a rich influence on the
personal lives of people like Patricia Routledge, Roy Hattersley and
Anne Widdecombe. Huw Edwards discovers their forgotten history.
This week I have spent most of my time in that other ‘London Eye’, the circular debating chamber of Church House, Westminster.
I, and others, have commented and commented elsewhere especially on the General Synod Blog, so do look there for some of what Synod has been up to.
I take being an elected member of the Church of England’s General Synod quite seriously, for though I am not a delegate, expected to carry others views, I do try to sit in as many of the debates and fringe meetings as I possibly can.
However, being in London has given me a rare opportunity to walk along the banks of the Thames on a couple of occasions, and last night get a cheap mid-week ticket to a theatre production after Synod business had finished.
I sat with a married clergy colleague, slightly uncomfortably, but also with huge fun, at Alan Ayckbourn’s revival of his 1985 ‘Woman in Mind’.
The piece is set in a vicarage garden, and is based on the life of wife of the vicar. She has immaculate garden, an exemplary family, a beautiful life. Except, as it transpires, much of the perfection is in her mind – the reality leaves much to be desired. Ayckbourn does not really explore the causes for ‘Susan’s’ mental illness, but looks at it’s outworking.
I sent a text to my wife saying I was at a play about a vicar’s wife slowly going mad – she responded with a text saying she could introduce me to many clergy wives for research, and that most clergy wives were slowly going mad. She added she was not joking; which though I already knew, I needed to be reminded of; especially in the week this clergy couple celebrated a silver jubilee of years since our engagement.
Ayckbourn’s play is perplexing, and I think probably a commentary on many professional people of our time, not just vicar’s wives. But the play is not without humour, or indeed hope. Note to self, may need to pick up dreamy immaculate white suit on the way home…
Now and again I come across someone (or something) I feel I ought to have known much more about. Listening to the radio today revealed some fascinating insights into the life of Thomas Quasthoff – not to mention some good choices in music!
Thomas’ superb bass/baritone voice is in no way compromised by the effect thalidomide had on his limbs before birth. Although a nurse identified his musicality before he was even a year old, his musical education was almost extinguished before it started, as the college would not accept him without an instrument to his repertoire, even though playing was physically an impossibility. A brilliant and talented character.
It reminded me a bit of Australian Nick Vujicic‘s incredible vitality and faith, after someone sent me link a few months ago
Even in churches, we do not always treat people with the respect and honour we ought, or spot the potential in them. A number of years ago Alyn Haskey was told that his cerebral palsy would prevent him from being ordained. Fortunately, after a change in perception, rather than a change in Alyn’s call, he has now been ordained in the CofE, and has an active peripatetic ministry based around the Midlands.
Chichester diocese sometimes comes in for criticism over it’s perceived attitude to ordained women’s ministry. So it is with a wry smile that today we prayed for the Team Vicar, and two NSM priests on the Team staff – all three women. And we prayed for the parish Readers. Also all three women. So during the vacancy, the parish is being staffed solely by women.
It struck me that if the vacancy for a Team Rector was also filled by a woman, Chichester could be in a probably unique situation in the Church of England of having a women-only staffed parish. Now that might change some perceptions!