30 days

Courage of convictions

The election of Bishop Peter Freier to be the next Archbishop of Melbourne has been met with mixed feelings amongst our orthodox cousins down under. No wonder, given that the chairman of the Board of Nominees, Dr Muriel Porter, said before the election that the candidates ‘needed to be willing and able to be genuinely inclusive of all our differing traditions in this diocese.’ However, she also noted that ‘only those who endorsed the ordination of women’ would be put forward for consideration. It would be churlish to ask whether our Muriel subsists on a diet of peacock eggs (sic), particularly as 30Days has promised never to mention Christina Rees again, following her triumph on the pages of New Directions.

Travel news

Readers planning to travel via Eurostar to Paris or Brussels on Saturday, 21 October would be well advised to make alternative arrangements as, indeed, would anyone planning to travel through London’s Waterloo Station. 30Days has it on the highest authority that the entire area will be grid-locked that day and should certainly be avoided. For just across the road, at St John’s Church, Waterloo, there is taking place the highlight of our church’s year! Yes, it’s time for the AGM of Watch (Women and the Church).

Photos of one AGM on Watch’s website showed literally tens of people listening in rapt attention, presumably to National Chairman, Christina Rees (as you might expect, we had our fingers crossed earlier). 30Days intends to gate-crash this year, in order to do a proper head-count. After all, we wouldn’t want to overstate Mrs Peacock’s support, would we?

Beware of the dog

Perhaps the Liturgical Commission should co-opt ‘Dog’ Chapman, America’s most successful bounty hunter (6,000 captures), committed Christian, convicted murderer, four-times married, sharing with his wife a fondness for alligator boots to support his massive muscle-packed frame. His nickname ‘Dog,’ acquired like his murder conviction in his ‘Biker’ days, is ‘God’ spelt backwards, a tribute to his religious profession. His motto is apparently ‘Beware of the Dog.’ Says Dog, ‘Christians get upset because, when capturing a fugitive, I say "Freeze mother f***er!" But I told them, "Freeze in Jesus’s name" doesn’t work.’ Could Bubbles himself have put it more succinctly?

More tea, mother?

30Days is smarting. Its invitation to tea at Southwell Minster unaccountably never arrived. Luckily, though, the 30Days Nottinghamshire correspondent was able to pass on a copy found on a local mantelpiece:

The Acting Dean & Chapter of Southwell invite the Reverend **** & Spouse/Guest to attend Tea at 4.30 pm, followed by Evensong to celebrate the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 5.45pm on Friday 8th September 2006.

30Days wonders what new revelation this august body has received. We were all sorry not to be able to attend the festivities, but our considered view is that the Mother of God was almost certainly born sometime before Our Lord, rather than early last month!

Inter-faith news

The news that the Revd David Hart has had his licence renewed by the Bishop of Ely, despite his apparent conversion to Hinduism, seems to have come as something of a shock to Ruth Gledhill of The Times. On the very day that Southwell Minster was laying out the iced fancies, she reported that his licence had been renewed ‘even though he had moved to India, changed his name to Ananda and daily blesses a congregation of Hindus with fire previously offered up to Nagar, the snake god.’

She went on, ‘He also "recites Gayatri Mantram with the same devotion with which he celebrates the Eucharist," according to The Hindu, India’s national newspaper. The Hindu this week pictures him offering prayers to an idol of the elephant god Ganesh in front of his house. However, he still believes he is fit to celebrate as an Anglican priest and plans to do so when he returns to Britain.’ Why Ruth – who has been around a bit – should be so shocked is something of a mystery. After all, she spends most of her waking hours reporting on the break up of the Anglican Communion – and what’s a snake god or elephant god between friends? And at least it wasn’t a peacock god!

Sweet charity

30Days is thinking of applying for a grant from the Churchfield Trust, a registered charity whose objects are ‘to maintain, advance and promote the Christian religion; to organize, hold and give evangelistic conferences, schools (residential and non-residential), courses, services, meetings, missions, lectures calculated to maintain, advance or promote the Christian religion.’

According to the Charity Commissioners, its income in the five years to June 2004 amounted to some £113,000 whilst in the same period it managed to spend over £270,000. However, its accounts for the years to June 2005 and 2006 seem not to have been lodged with the Commissioners, whose website (in mid-September) describes the former as ‘overdue’.

What can it mean? Will the 30Days grant application be lost in a sea of unfiled papers? Apparently, one of the five trustees is a ‘Mrs Christina Henking Muller Rees’ and the Correspondent a ‘Mr Christopher David Rees,’ but very much more than that we have been unable to find out.

Not for the faint-hearted

Talking of the break up of the Anglican Communion, The Episcopal Church’s ‘General Convention 2006’ is still making waves, of course, what with the election of a female Presiding Bishop and all the rest. So it was with a degree of pleasure that 30Days recently heard an American bishop re-name the event as ‘Genital Conversion 2006.’

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