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Covering up the absence

I attended the Anglo Catholic church for the second time this Sunday just gone. Again, a baptism with a mass… again, more official Anglican liturgy in my own church than was the case in the Anglo Catholic one. Irony of ironies.

What did strike me this Sunday was the importance of scripture in their service inasmuch as the gospel procession, taking the book to the middle of the congregation with great ceremony to be read and all the singing and liturgy that accompanied it gave the gospel a tremendous centrality to the liturgy as a whole and seemed to underline its importance to the church.

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The Bishop writes

I received a letter from the Bishop of Tonbridge when we got back from Somerset welcoming me to the process and, I guess, covering their bases by putting in lots of caveats and underlining that while I may be sure that this is what God wants, it may not necessarily work out that way… although he didn’t actually say that and worded it far more carefully.

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Bowing and scraping was interesting

So I visited the local ‘anglo catholic’ Church of England church today for the first time as part of my homework. It certainly was an interesting experience. The wife and I checked out the church yesterday to look for service times and the main Sunday meeting was described as ‘solemn mass’. Given that we didn’t know what the solemnity would involve, we agreed that she and the baby would not come with me so I went alone.

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Church complicates matters

So I’m here at New Wine serving on team for a week with most of our church and, since most of our church is here, the vicar called a small meeting this afternoon to discuss the new leadership structures that our church is hoping to initiate and asked me to come along since I’m on the DCC and PCC. I must admit that being named as a potential member of the leadership team caught me a bit on the hop and has left me even more confused about what God might be saying!

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That was hard work

Well, I’ve just had my second DDO interview and I *think* it went well but to be honest, I came away feeling fairly fragile about the whole experience and I’m not entirely sure why. I think part of the reason is that she generally didn’t provide feedback on whether my answers were good, bad or awful and so it left me feeling insecure about my answers and whether they were good enough.

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Prayers for the London atrocity

Prayers from Common Worship.

O God, who brought us to birth, and in whose arms we die, in our grief and shock contain and comfort us; embrace us with your love, give us hope in our confusion and grace to let go into new life; through Jesus Christ. Amen.


Gracious God, surround us and all who mourn this day with your continuing compassion. Do not let grief overwhelm your children, or turn them against you. When grief seems never-ending, take them one step at a time along your road of death and resurrection in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


A prayer from Christ Church, Highbury published on the Diocese of London website.

O Saviour Christ, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, east nor west, black nor white, we pray for all, of whatever nation, who are suffering after today’s explosions. We pray especially for those least able to receive human help and for those who are anxious about lost relatives or friends. We ask that through your ministry of love and life, wounds of body and spirit may be healed and that in You people will find peace with God and peace with one another, for your truth and mercy’s sake, Amen.

More prayers and material for reflection

A time for mourning

The London atrocities are deeply saddening today. The contrast with yesterday when I was jumping around and hugging a stranger in Trafalgar Square could not be greater. Whereas yesterday I couldn’t help but smile, the events of this morning certainly took the smile from my face. I take comfort in the knowledge that the God of yesterday when Jacques Rogge announced the result of the Olympic bid process and London had one of its happiest days in a long time is still the God of today and He will be the God of tomorrow.

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My life map

Ahead of my next DDO interview on Monday, I have completed my life map… my homework from last time. I had to draw out a wavy line on which (on one side) I wrote significant events in my life and (on the other side of the line) how my understanding of God was developing and changing along the way. It proved to be a really interesting exercise. I found myself half trying to cover bases in terms of my understanding of God… have I got in ‘Father’ yet or ‘Provider’… and half trying to think about what the significant events actually were!

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