Saturday, 23 June 2012

Time for reflection

It’s been a busy few days, but quite deliberately a non-blogging week. From time to time it’s important to take a step back and take a look at life not through the prism of the internet and what seems like our compulsive concern with news and comment, most of which – I hope I can say this without giving offence – sometimes constitutes little more than gossip, chatter and endless speculation

Writing out a baptism certificate for tomorrow, I find myself even hesitating over writing beside the date ‘The Nativity of St John the Baptist.’ 
Many of us now hold ministerial office in a Church which seems determined to eviscerate its own life and to abolish any distinctions there may still be between itself and the world. We see this in the way modern liturgies are written and redesigned – the (unfortunately) revised ‘contemporary language’ Church in Wales baptism liturgy is a case in point, with its patronising reluctance to use theological language in a theological way. 
There is now little sense that in following Christ one is also entering another world, a world in which values and culture are different, a place in which the distinctions between time and eternity become blurred, a place where the veil is thin. 
'Accessibility' is now the only game in town, yet there is no sign that easy accessibility of language and concepts attracts; in fact, quite the reverse.  
The problem with being an Anglican blogger, and one with pretensions to doctrinal orthodoxy, is that the ecclesial environment in which we live and breathe has become for us so toxic that it’s increasingly hard to hold on to the hope to which we are all called in baptism. The present is bleak, the future unimaginable; where in our part of the visible Church do we find that hope? The temptation is to concentrate obsessively upon negative developments until the sense of crisis and bereavement enters one’s very soul. One doesn't need to have the dangers of that spelt out.
It could be that this blog, rather like the theological viewpoint it has sought - wholly inadequately - to represent, is struggling to an inevitable end, or else the struggle to survive could itself become all-consuming.
If this site has been of any kind of benefit to those in a similar predicament, or who have been in search of sources of information other than the increasingly ‘spun’ official channels, then it has served some kind of a purpose. 
As to the future, well, we shall see.


  1. You have given yourself to despair. What do you expect? God is good, all things are possible. Return to your vocation and speak well of all God's creation.

  2. It seems you are not alone in your thoughts on modern liturgy Father!
    I was interested to read in the Guardian Review (p.5) today that "on liturgy, the archbishop [Rowan Williams], was at his boldest, extolling the Book of Common Prayer and scornfully dismissing modernised liturgies where 'the aim is to make things clear'. Instead Williams favoured using 'rather wild phraseology and pushing the boundaries, as that way we might discover something unexpected. Pile on the words, pile on the ritual'."
    Stick at it.

  3. At least the music is rousing. In England too the Established Church has become in lots of instances just like brothers and sisters of the protestant churches. You can attend a Sunday service which has been made up and the 30 or so people being led by a couple of ordained ministers (and yes there has to be a woman to show how inclusive it is) You can go to a wedding where its resemblance to either an old or new rite is negligible. So I guess if you want pan protestant religion the Anglican Communion is where you should be. If you don't then move on.

  4. What a good post and, I must say, your site's inspiring and helpful. Your ministry's by no means wasted. But my, what hard times we live in, as Anglo-Catholics.

    Of course one option is to bite the bullet and join the Ordinariate; just get on with "fishing from the big ship". The other's sticking with the program, however difficult.

    But whatever the case, feet forward, heels down, ride on.

    God bless.


Anonymous comments will not be published