Written out of the Book of Life

Many thanks to an eagle-eyed reader of New Directions, who recently had occasion to make use of his online subscription to Crockford’s Clerical Directory (a bargain from the Archbishops’ Council and Church House Publishing at just £30 a year!) as a result of which he discovered that, as at 12.23 pm on 8th December, it no longer included records for Bishop John Broadhurst, Bishop Keith Newton, Bishop Andrew Burnham, Bishop Edwin Barnes or Bishop David Silk – despite the fact that Broadhurst, Newton and Burnham were all still in office and Barnes and Silk were still retired bishops of the Anglican Communion! As the Crockford’s website has it:

Crockford’s Clerical Directory, first published in 1858, contains biographies of over 26,000 Anglican clergy in the UK, details of English, Welsh and Irish benefices and churches and much more.

And, it appears, much less.

What’s in a name?

Cheery 30DAys greetings to the Revd Tony Luckcuck, Vicar of S .John the Baptist, Carlton, in the suburbs of Nottingham, who was reportedly baptising all thirteen of Tom and Stacy Shaw’s children on the Third Sunday of Advent. Quite what he made of the array of Christian (sic) names he had to utter is not recorded, which is a bit of a pity, what with there being Shannon, Adam, Ryan, Kelsey, Franky, Leo, Laura, Keenan, Cody, Madison, Kaydn, Tyler, and Keavy.

Let them eat drums

Congratulations to Eye Goddess Films of California (where else?) on a string of awards for its most recent offering, Pink Smoke Over The Vatican, a fearless exposé of discrimination against women in the Catholic Church. Apparently, it tells the stories of ‘the determined women and men who, through the forbidden and illicit path of female ordination, are working to end the underlying misogyny and outdated feudal governance that is slowly destroying the Roman Catholic Church . . . Their struggles encompass both the internal battles wrought by going against the Church they love as well as the external battles with the Church hierarchy, centuries-long tradition, police, and the rampant prejudice that still prevails against women in positions of power.’ The only surprise is that the company’s earlier offering Beyond Woman With Cakes failed to please any Awards Juries, inspired as it was by the music and work of Layne Redmond and by her book, When The Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm. The Eye Goddess website explains: ‘Redmond spent a decade reconstructing the history of women’s relationship to the drum and exploring how the loss of women’s right to play the drum paralleled their loss of rights generally. She presents images of ancient figurines holding shallow circular objects to the chest that others have interpreted as simply "women with cakes." She challenges this interpretation, hypothesizing that thousands of years ago women played drums and held positions of spiritual leadership.’ Right on!

Forgotten already?

An extraordinary example of amnesiafromwww. CatholicCulture. org with this story of just 92 words. Compare and contrast, if you will, the first and last sentences of what follows:

‘An Australian priest is waiting for a response from his archbishop after delivering a homily in which he called for the ordination of women to the priesthood. I believe certain women are being called by God to the ministerial priesthood and our official church is obstructing the work of the Holy Spirit, Father Greg Reynolds told his parishioners. I feel I can no longer sit back and remain silent.’ The priest sent the text of his homily to Melbourne’s Archbishop Denis Hart. A spokesman said that Father Reynolds is now on leave.’

Lottery News

30DAys is very sorry that it was unable to bring you this story from the Leicester Mercury in time for any of our younger readers to step up to the plate, but it nevertheless deserves a wider circulation, ticking as it does so many Christmas boxes.

‘The search is on for a baby to play Jesus in a special nativity service. For the annual crib service at the Leicester Cathedral this year, mannequins will be dressed as Mary and Joseph and other figures in the nativity scene. But for the Christmas Eve service, worshippers want to find a baby, not a doll, to join the mannequins. David Monteith, canon chancellor at the cathedral, said: Parents remember the birth of their own children and a new baby has a capacity to trigger a lot of emotions. The baby will be the only live thing in the crib scene, although we’ll have its parents nearby. It will just be for the crib service, which takes place at 4pm on Christmas Eve. The baby can be male or female and aged about three to six months. During the service, the crib will be blessed by the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens. Parents interested in having their baby take part can go along to the cathedral in St Martins, Leicester, at 1.30pm on Saturday, December 18, to find out more. The babies’ names will be put into a hat to choose the winner. David said: We will be happy to have a girl or a boy. The point of Christmas is that God became a human and all humans are equally made in God’s image. We’re an equal opportunities employer from the crib to the grave.’ Further comment would be, as so often, superfluous.

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