Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Minarets and episcopal vacancies...

Cranmer reports that Channel 4  is to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan,  during the coming Muslim season of Ramadan.
Although the broadcaster has previous form in this regard, I'm sure there's no agenda here beyond a wholehearted and gloriously inclusive embracing of multi-culturalism, and I look forward eagerly to hearing, say, the Regina Caeli throughout next Eastertide, or the Athanasian Creed, perhaps, when it is prescribed by the Prayer Book. As for Channel 4s commitment to serving cultural minorities, we are always being told - with a great deal of relish - that Christianity is now a minority religion in these islands .... 
Or, perhaps, those Islamic states, Sunni or Shia, Saudi Arabia or Iran, could be persuaded to reciprocate and devote a few minutes to broadcasting, on their independent and free broadcasting channels, the sound of church bells, as the BBC still does on Sundays - although you do have to be up rather early to hear them ...

On a different subject, Thinking Anglicans has a posting about the astonishing number of  episcopal vacancies either existing or pending in the Church of England, the latest being that of  the suffragan see of Plymouth (Exeter), now that Bishop John Ford has been elected Bishop of the Murray in Australia. Our congratulations, prayers and good wishes go with him; many 'traditionalists' in the south-west and beyond have cause to be grateful to him. 


  1. In Ireland the state broadcaster, RTE, still plays the Angelus bells at noon and six every day - much to the fury of secularists! Some pray, some take a quiet moment, some ignore, and some use them to set their watch ...

    1. I knew RTE used to do that - it's possible to get a signal in West Wales ... but I had no idea it was still the custom. Long may it continue!

  2. And of course the Angelus three times a day, not to mention "sh'ma Israel Adonai Elohanu".
    In the season of Ramadan I see looking at the satellite program guide on Freeview 402 - Showcase, and we are offered Sheik Tawfique Chowdhury: How the Prophet (pbuh) Loved Us. Watch talks from various mashaikh at Twins of Faith 2012 - Malaysia.
    This is preceeded by "Beard is Beautiful it returns for another season exploring halal lifestyle and spiritual development. The beard is misunderstood in today's culture, we're here to put it back on the map!"
    True multiculturalism indeed! why aren't we as proud in proclaiming the Gospel as our Muslim brothers and sisters proclaiming their faith? Just think of at least one satellite channel devoted to Lent and Holy Week. Yes we have EWTN (well done you), but this is non-Freesat and not so easy to receive.

    1. I couldn't agree more with your last point. Much of our current predicament in Europe is due to the sheer apathy of western Christians. The message to the churches at the beginning of the Revelation to St John has quite a lot to say about that...

  3. If I may quote Ronald Knox (see http://strobertbellarmine.net/reunion.html):


    There is another custom prevailing in Mahometan countries, of such doubtful advantage that we could not agree to conform to it without earnest consideration; I mean, the custom by which people are woken in the morning by a fellow bawling out from the top of a Minaret, to the effect, (unless my memory plays me false), that Allah is great. It will seem shocking to minds habituated to our Western standards of taste that these Muezzins, as they are called, should give a pronouncement so public to so controversial a statement. We could not allow it; for it would manifestly cause the most grievous distress of conscience to any atheist or agnostic who happened to be within earshot. Yet is something to be said for the practice in general outline; who has not wished, as he turned over in bed at eight of the clock on a Sunday morning, that there were some less noisy means of awakening a few devout women, than making a great clanging of bells, as if the whole city were afire? Would it not be well to introduce the Muezzin into our Church-towers, and at the same time to see to it that his announcement was both less provocative, and more appropriate; that he should either shout out, the early bird catches the worm, or, if he were musical, even intone to some simple Anglican chant the words:

    Early to bed, and early to rise,
    Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!


Anonymous comments will not be published