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Never let it be said that I have indoctrinated my children in the faith. Yet this shall be a solemn feast day unto the seventh generation…

Brief thought about Southwark Ministry Trust

I have no sympathy with Gafcon and schism at all – but I think that what is being proposed on the ground in Southwark is actually the way of the future. That is, I think the present system of parish share is impossible to make work well, and an essential precondition for the prospering of the Church of England is the abolition of parish share. (I’ve said a bit more here)

An alternative system could be very simple: parishes pay for their own ministers; they tithe to the centre; missionary appointments are then paid either from the tithe or from direct giving. Clear, simple, transparent, biblical – what’s not to like?

Not long now…

… before the ‘consensus’ on climate change is *seen* to have fallen apart, as opposed to just having fallen apart in practice. Even James Lovelock is calming down: “The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.”

See my “climate change is a secondary issue” for why I have for a number of years seen it as a distraction.

The happiness of melancholy:

I’m crazy about the famously melancholic singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who has probably never written a single song outside the minor key.  When I listen to Cohen’s musings on love, loss and yearning, I feel happy. But it’s not an exultant kind of happiness. It feels more like a marvelling at the fragile beauty of the human condition, and a pleasure in having someone articulate it so sensitively.

From here

And I would add – this is why it is so essential to sing songs of lament in church.

Ahab or Jonah?

From my address to the West Mersea APCM this morning:

After a lot of soul-searching, and having pondered and prayed for some time, I do believe that my time as your Rector is drawing to a close, and that you need a new Rector, a Joshua perhaps, to take you forward into a new season of your life together. I don’t have anything established as yet – and it may well be some time before God actually shows me the place where he wants this slave to go – but I believe that my sharing this understanding with you now will help our on-going conversations and our common life. The truth is that I too am very tired – and as I’ve been saying, I think that this tiredness is a sign that I need to go home to God and find my rest in Him. I, too, need to cease my strivings, and find my rest in Christ alone. To go back to the Moby Dick reference, I do not know what sort of great whale God wishes me to pursue – or, indeed, if, rather than pursuing the whale like Captain Ahab, he instead wants me to be swallowed up by one and thrown up onto a beach somewhere – but I feel as if, in sharing this with you, I am recovering my spiritual balance. There is a modern Christian aphorism which I quite like – if you are going to learn to walk on water you need to get out of the boat. Well, I feel like I’m getting out of the boat, and I’m very nervous, but also excited to see what’s going to happen.