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I have a new job

A photo of St Mary the Virgin church building, West Malling
St Mary the Virgin, West Malling

The following announcement has been made today at my own church in Walderslade, in West Malling, Offham and Kings Hill:

“We are very pleased to announce that, subject to the satisfactory completion of legal procedures and CRB checks, the Bishop of Rochester has offered the appointment as Priest-in-Charge for West Malling and Offham to the Rev’d David Green and that David has accepted.”

So there you have it. In a few short months, I am Read more

The Faith of Generation Y

Book jacket image for 'The Faith of Generation Y'

I have just finished reading Sally Nash and the Mayos (Sylvia Collins-Mayo and Bob) 2010 follow-up to Making sense of Generation Y. I had both enjoyed and found their first book to be a really interesting piece of work and so I had watched out for the arrival of this follow-up with some interest.

I’ve not been disappointed.

The Faith of Generation Y continues the examination of our 18-30 something’s by looking at them from both sociological and theological perspectives. I particularly found the sociological work on their ‘lack of story’ and ‘bedroom spirituality’ to be really useful and interesting.

As someone who grew up in the tail-end of Generation X, I found their discussion of the bedroom really rang bells with me as well since God had been part of my life in my teenage years there long before I darkened the door of a church.

The ‘lack of story’ essentially builds on the post-modern idea of a lack of meta-narrative and, interestingly, may have had a very direct example given to us in the Royal Wedding with so many young people present on the streets… much to my surprise. Was that a search for a unifying story, a narrative to tell us what it means to be British?

The book concludes with a chapter from one of my heros, the now Rt Rev Chris Cocksworth, as he rehearses some of his subject-matter from Holding Together.The desire for ‘authentic’ Church is one of the conclusions of the book which fits nicely with Chris’ themes in recent years of how we can be evangelical, catholic and charismatic together. Put more simply Christian faith cannot be taken out of the form of the Church and its lived practice in the power of the Spirit. Put even more simply, you have to love in a community to live it but also display it to others.

If you’ve been following the various books written about Generation Y, I don’t suppose that this material will be too much of an eye-opener for you. But if it’s a subject of interest to you (and it is to me), it’s a good chance to go deeper with some of the themes and look at them from different angles. Worth a read.

Ding, dong, the witch is dead.

Wicked Witch is dead, Image from Flickr
Image from Flickr

On Monday morning, I awoke to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Interesting that I found out via Facebook than through any traditional media outlet but that’s not my main concern today. I also find it interesting in myself that I’m not sure I really believe it until they produce a photograph of the corpse. Maybe I am a doubting Thomas after all. But again, that’s not my main concern today.

I find myself slightly peturbed, although not surprised, by the actions of those in the USA who decided to gather and celebrate as the news began to circulate, chanting “USA” etc as if this was some high-profile (american) football or basketball game that once again proves how wonderful it is to be an American.

While President Obama was very careful in his words as he made the announcement, some of our other political leaders have not been. Read more

Wedding reflections: what role mission in a Royal event?

Kate Middleton and Prince William are married by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 29 2011. Photo credit: Devlin/PA Wire
PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 29 2011. Photo credit: Devlin/PA Wire

With a six year old daughter who was just so excited about the concept of an ordinary girl being made into a real-life Princess, it was inevitable that I would be watching the Royal Wedding on Friday.

Quite apart from daddy duties, I was interested both as a British subject and as a minister of the church. As a priest and minister, I was intrigued to see what form and shape the service would take and what the 24 million, mostly non-churchgoing, Brits would make of it whilst watching on television.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience but if I have may have a moan or two, can I have a moan at the Church of England and a mission opportunity missed?

Now, with any couple that I marry, I do give them the choice of which words we are going to use. For the uninitiated, there are several options – The Book of Common Prayer from 1662, the 1928 liturgy which eventually saw the light of day in the sixties as Series One and then the contemporary Common Worship (which most of my couples choose).

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