Thursday, 24 November 2011

Selwyn's Upper Chapel

Now refitted and ready for your prayers. The blessed sacrament is reserved and we have a beautiful new altar and some new chairs, do if you are nearby, please do come and pass some time here. To reach the Upper Chapel, go through the door by the High Altar of the main chapel, through the vestry, and up the spiral stairs.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

New Year's Ceilidh in support of Cambridge women's home

Whitworth House is a home for vulnerable, homeless young women aged 16-25, which used to be part of the Young Women's Christian Association but is now run by a housing association. The Friends of the House organise charitable events to support this vital work here in Cambridge. Get your kilts on!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Surrogacy: Parenting the hard way - Features - Health & Families - The Independent

A moving article about a couple's attempts and failures to adopt children, leaving them with no choice but to consider surrogacy. The social workers' officiousness is predictable enough: dare to question the system, and you're instantly black-balled. Like so many customs officers, train conductors and airport security staff, these little Hitlers exercise their insecurities by showing the public who's really boss. But what particularly galls is the comparison of how hard the State makes it to adopt with the comparative ease of procuring an abortion. Something is surely desperately wrong.

Surrogacy: Parenting the hard way - Features - Health & Families - The Independent:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Lay Presidency: Mr Gog's response



Lay Presidency: Time for Change | ChurchNewspaper.com

According to Atherstone, the Church's insistence that only a priest may preside at Holy Communion is the last bastion of clericalism that needs to be swept away. The denial of lay presidency, he argues, has 'no place in today's church.' But Mr Gog would suggest the contrary: it is Atherstone's kind who have no place in the Church of England, and still less in a College training ordinands for Holy Orders.

Just as his ilk tends to veil extreme theology in the modern vesture of pop music, flashy PR, and casual dress, Atherstone clothes regressive theology in an appeal to the spirit of the age. Yet the arguments that he makes are not '20th century,' as he claims, but belong to the Puritans of the 16th and 17th. Atherstone is not looking ahead, but back to the Cromwellian Protectorate.  His claims were firmly repudiated by the English Church then, and the repudiation has been continuously endorsed in the successive Books of Common Prayer which remain the touchstone of Anglican doctrine today.

The first giveaway is his use of quotation marks around the word 'priest,' the word that has been used without exception in all Anglican ordinals. This was despite the Puritans' insistence on the term 'presbyter,' which went hand-in-hand with their desire to abolish episcopacy. If he wishes to belong to a presbyterian church, then so be it: but the Church of England is not and never should be so.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Telling people about Jesus

"Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." 

At a gathering of ordinands from various colleges, I remember one enthusiastic young thing piping up that what he most looked forward to about being ordained was 'telling people about Jesus.'  I'll leave it to you to guess which theological college he came from (and no, it's not in Cambridge).

Back in my atheist days, the last thing I wanted was for someone to come up and 'tell me about Jesus.' Nothing could put me off Christianity more. In fact, I still get pretty miffed when people try it on with me even now. Who do they think they are?

For me, the appeal of being ordained is doing the Lord's work, rather than 'telling' people anything.  After all, our Lord Himself did not go around 'telling people about Jesus,' and in fact, He often instructed His disciples to do just the opposite. Even after the Resurrection, He made Himself known not through words, but through the breaking of the bread. The depths of that sacrament teach far more about God than any of our pious prattle can manage.

Perhaps if we Christians could stop trying to tell people so much about Jesus and started trying to be more like Him, they would be more inclined to learn about Him. Show the Way, and people will follow.

Or, to paraphrase St Francis: preach the Gospel.  Use words if you have to.

2000 years of darkness



"Not particularly religious? Interested? Spiritual? You've thought about eternity for twenty-five minutes and think you've come to some interesting conclusions?"

If only I didn't agree with him.