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Congratulations Nick

A photo of Nick Knisely

I was very pleased to hear of an announcement in the Twittersphere earlier this week when Nick Knisely was elected on 2 June to be the 13th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. Assuming all goes well in the process, he’ll be purple-ized later this year.

I wanted to cover this news here because Nick has been someone who I’ve followed at a semi-distance for some time. I first met him through his work for the Episcopal Church in the USA on communications and he was part of a ‘futures’ group that I helped to convene in Dublin a good few years ago now while I was working for Church House Publishing.

I remember sitting at breakfast with him and another American priest, Andy Thayer, while they discussing dimension theory and having not the foggiest clue what they were talking about! I decided to keep quiet and focus on my hotel English breakfast!

Nick is a physics professor, in his spare time, and a blogger. Read more

We have a ‘Simplification’ Group?

A caption that reads 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' Leonardo da Vinci

The earth was trembling with anticipation a couple of days ago when the Church of England announced that the Church Representation Rules are to go online, free of charge, for the first time. Church Rep Rules, for the uninitiated, is a vital but dull publication that tells PCCs and Synods how they are to function.

As a side point, because it’s vital, it was also a good regular seller for Church House Publishing. Decisions like this one (giving good sellers away for free) were amongst the reasons why CHP always found it hard to make money – and why the decision to outsource their function was so poor. Anyone seen anything like Mission-shaped Church recently?

Anyway, I digress. What grabbed me in this momentous news was Read more

Gaming in Worship – I’m intrigued

Photo from Exeter Cathedral of Communion celebrated in front of Flower backdrop

A few years ago, Manchester Cathedral and the video game industry had something of a clash. I was encouraged and pleased to hear of a very different encounter between church and gaming industry from Exeter Cathedral recently.

A good friend recently alerted me to this story of a man called Andy Robertson who has collaborated with Exeter Cathedral to use video games in worship.

The service made use of the PlayStation 3 game, Flower. If you’ve not seen Flower before, it is worth Read more

When the church is a donut

A photo of my all-time favourite donut from Krispy Kreme

Q. When is the church a donut?
A. When it forgets its lessons from history.

There is something that has mystified me about the debate over women in the episcopate since the church first started debating all this aeons ago.

In recent days, the topic has been in the headlines again because the House of Bishops have made some changes to the draft legislation that will go before General Synod in July.

In this draft legislation (as amended by the House), one of the provisions for the dissenters is that they will Read more

Steve Jobs on vocation

If you are considering a call to the priesthood, if you are considering another ‘calling’ in terms of church life, or if you are just wondering what you ought to do with your life, this is one of the best things I have heard for a very long time.

If you’re running a Cafe Church or have a church where you can use video easily, then this can certainly be used in a discussion of vocation. It can also be used in talking about God’s will, about ‘when bad things happen’ and the good things that can come from failure or difficult times. Read more

Thoughts on Good Friday

Jesus graffiti, photo by Aaron Phelps
Photo by Aaron Phelps

This year on Good Friday and continuing my tradition, a piece of graffiti artwork to delight the eyes and challenge the heart. Although I don’t know who produced the artwork, the photo was taken in Brighton, England, by Aaron Phelps.

I love this image. To quote St John of Damascus (quoted often in my recent dissertation/book):

‘Visible things are corporeal models which provide a vague understanding of intangible things. Holy Scripture describes God and the angels as having Read more

Twittering Vicar makes the news

A photo of the notice giving church wifi

I was interested to see the news cycle today includes the story of Rev Andrew Alden who is, apparently, Britain’s first ‘Twitter Vicar’ – according to Sky.

I find this story interesting on two levels.

The press’ fascination with quirky Vicars

It seems that, every now and again, you can pretty much guarantee that the press will fall over themselves when clergy adopt new technology. Read more

Hands-free worship

Book jacket image for Hands-free worship by David Green
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

I am very pleased to announce that I have self-published my first book ‘Hands-free worship’.

What is it about? Well, the snappy sub-title gives you a clue: the ‘pastoral, theological and missiological dimensions of digital projection and computer technology in worship’.

In essence, I started researching and writing because, while I was aware of various books out there that look at the practical dimensions of what happens when churches use projection technology to worship, I felt that no-one was writing about what happens pastorally and theologically when projection is utilized. Furthermore, I felt it was influencing mission and I wanted to think about and address those issues.

I am a fan of projection, but I’ve also seen it used badly and in the book I try to Read more

Oh Rowan, say it ain’t so

Archbishop Rowan Williams

Last Friday morning, as increasingly I tend to do, I opened the news apps on my iPad rather than buying a daily paper and groaned.

The top ‘trending’ topic was that Archbishop Rowan Williams had announced his intention to step down at the end of this year. There had been rumbles for a while within church circles but I guess I was ignoring the rumours in the hope that the rumbles were wrong.

Already, various reviews and ‘obituaries’ of his ten years as Archbishop are starting to emerge both in print and online and, inevitably, they all make enormous play of Read more