‘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.
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.
The following pdf documents were released as information about the Henfield benefice, and it’s new incumbent.
The text from each of the documents is quoted below.
About the parish of Henfield:
About Henfield‘s new vicar:
After 14 years thoroughly enjoying ministry at St John’s, The Rev’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.
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!
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.
‘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.
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.
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…””
The initial flurry of comments, as the 44th US President, Barack Obama, is nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, seem to be mainly an incredulous “really? so soon?” Well that’s pretty good after 9 months in office.
However, I want to approach this less cynically than some. It maybe that ‘premature’ is one word that may be applied to the news; but ‘hopeful’ is perhaps a more appropriate one.
Not hope as in “I hope it won’t rain tomorrow”; but hope of something substantial, more eternal. This week, for the first time for a long time, Northern Ireland paramilitaries appeared with guns at a funeral. My children had not seen anything like it in living memory, though the Good Friday Agreement does not seem that long ago to me. How quickly we have become used to peace in Northern Ireland. Can we dare hope of that that sort of peace elsewhere amongst the world’s troubled spots too?
The Bible speaks of Hope as something of certainty, that we can depend upon. Perhaps the Nobel nomination committee have that sense of hope for the future of world peace, and Obama’s potential in furthering it. I hope so.