Showing posts from June, 2013

Kate Bottley flashmob wedding is 100% good news

First things first. If you have spent the last 48 hours on Mars, or not on Twitter, watch it now: Kate posted links to this yesterday and I think she was beginning to wonder if anyone was interested. She need not have. Today the internet has gone bonkers over it, in its usual frenzied way and she is the news-worthy vicar of the week, which is a good result in itself, keeping the usual embezzlers and philanderers out of the press, and giving the church a rare good news story on the clergy front. Inevitably, then, the backlash has followed, with various individuals lining up to ping epithets like "irreverent" at her, and explaining how they like a good laugh as much as the next man but apparently not within 10 miles of a church, since this is "not an appropriate moment in the liturgy" and other such important-sounding things. Tomorrow there will be a rash of newspaper columns shouting about it and telling us that this is why the Church of England is doomed. Appa

Church for the world

The way I'm thinking about church was clarified in an instant this Sunday, in the unlikely setting of an 8.00 am BCP service.  Or perhaps not so unlikely, because unlike some clergy, I find the communion service of 1662 to be a liturgy that powerfully expresses the liberality of the gospel, built as it is around the explosive declaration that "God so loved the world".  God didn't just love the 5 of us who did him a favour by turning up to the service, but the whole world, even the ones who don't seem that bothered about him. This was brought home to me by the Gospel reading (completely different to the one that non-17th century congregations were reading):  Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the n

Part time clergy short of cash shock

A vicar in Cornwall has taken up driving for Sainsbury's delivery service . [warning to readers of a delicate constitution: links to Daily Mail website]. Of course the idea of the worker priest, or minister in secular employment, is a well-established and noble one. We've long benefited from the ministry of priests who earn their living in other jobs, taking their vocation to work, and bringing back their multi-faceted experience to the Lord's Table. What sets the Revd Martyn Pinnock aside is that he offers a less theologically nuanced reason for his new job, ie. he needs the cash. In fact he is not officially a Minister in Secular Employment at all, because he is a stipendiary priest, paid by the church. Or, to be precise, half-stipendiary. This isn't a criticism of my old diocese, Truro. Or at least, not a criticism of Truro in particular. But without a doubt, there will be people around in Mr Pinnock's parish and his diocese who will frown on this as an