Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Where is Henry VIII?

A fascinating snippet today from Christopher Howse in the Daily Telegraph.
This is the salient passage
'King Henry VIII might be in hell, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested the other day in a sermon.

There was an intake of breath among the congregation, yet I wondered if I'd misheard the Archbishop. I hadn't, for the text is on Rowan Williams's website: "If Henry VIII is saved (an open question, perhaps) it will be at the prayers of John Houghton."
John Houghton was the Prior of the Charterhouse in London, where Dr Williams was preaching, on the 475th anniversary of the martyrdom of him and 15 other monks at the instigation of Henry VIII. Prior Houghton was declared a saint by the Pope in 1970.'

I don't think the Archbishop's remarks will shock too many Anglo-Catholics, although the more charitable among us might even be tempted (like the Archbishop?) to consign that particular tyrant to purgatory, a belief in which is something both we and Henry himself might be said to have in common, unlike it has to be said, most of Rowan's post-reformation predecessors. However, an examination of the cause for which St John Houghton died might give us all pause, as the politicians might say, "to consider our present position."

This is a photo of one our resident blackbirds in the Vicarage garden. He has, I have to admit,
a rather clerical air about him ... could it be the Roman collar I wonder?


  1. Are you sure it's a Roman collar? It looks like an amice to me with a little unusual blackwork on it, in which case he's only part vested but perhaps that's his sacristy and you snapped him half dressed.

  2. If so, he has reason to be pretty annoyed at the intrusion!


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