Bend it like Atkinson

Many thanks to the Church Times for reporting that a British Sporting Heroes exhibition in Worcester Cathedral last August displayed memorabilia loaned from six national sports museums and three private collec tions, and included items such as David Beckham’s football boots, a replica of the Ashes urn, and three Cheltenham Gold Cups. Apparently, the exhibition was designed to raise funds and ‘to reach out beyond the Cathedral’s familiar supporters’, but a subsequent review noted that ‘the number of visitors to the exhibition was approximately 2,000 whilst the number that had been expected was 10,000 ’, that the exhibition ‘did not match the Cathedral’s normal visitors and would not have appealed to many of them’ and that there were ‘no obvious links between the subject matter and the Cathedral’. Or, as the Dean – the Very Revd Peter Atkinson – put it: ‘a first-class exhibition with an excellent organiser, which just didn’t take off’. Which, being translated, means an event which lost the Cathedral no less than £51,000. (Perhaps next time the Dean and Chapter want to raise funds, they might have more success with Honest Bert Bookie down at Cheltenham Racecourse - Friday, 18 March is Gold Cup Day this year.)

Non-event

A fascinating story from the Dartford & Swanley Times which reports that ‘a vicar says he is leaving "one of the best jobs in the Church of England" after 20 years to become a national worker encouraging more people to attend church’ which all sounds very laudable, doesn’t it? Let’s find out more: ‘The Reverend Bob Callaghan, 51, of St Edmund’s Church, Temple Hill, Dartford, is due to quit his post next month. He will become a national coordinator for Inclusive Church, a charity working to address issues of wider participation within the Church of England.’ Crumbs! Encouraging more people to attend church? A charity working to address issues of wider participation? The thought that Inclusive (sic) Church might be doing something worth supporting sent us scurrying to the IC website where we were soon reassured that nothing had changed. New boy Bob held forth in true Giles style: ‘I am passionate about the issues that lie at the heart of Inclusive Church, and welcome this opportunity to be involved in working with you in tackling inequality and exclusion in the church.’ Phew! Thought for a minute they’d taken their eye off the balls!

The late Inclusive Church

Actually, before Bob sorts out inequality and exclusion, perhaps he’d like to do something about compliance. A glance at the Charity Commission’s website reveals that IC has so far failed to lodge its accounts for 2009 with the Commission and that they are – as we go to press – no less than 85 days overdue. But of course he simply may not have time. As he reports in the latest IC Newsletter: ‘I will be living in East Kent with my Civil Partner and a slightly mad rescue dog. I enjoy chilling out with a glass (or two) of wine in front of the TV.’

GMOOH!

Warmest congratulations to the Archbishop of Canterbury who is now – reportedly – a celebrity! Over a story about a number of public figures, including Dr Williams, urging the government not to sell off England’s forests, the BBC Website ran the headline Celebrities voice forest concerns. (Now all he has to do is get himself signed up for – and go on to win - a rather obvious reality TV show, and all his worries will be over!)

Calumny Corner

30DAys is pleased to announce that it has the solution to all the Ordinariate’s cash-flow problems. A simple action against The Catholic

Herald for Defamation (on its Website through this link: http:// goo.gl/ddbcL) should do the trick. Anna Arco, interviewing Fr Andrew Burnham a few days before his most recent ordination, has him answering one of her questions thus:

I was consecrated on the November 30, St Andrew’s Day, in the year 2000. After doing it for about a month, on Christmas Day I was taken ill and rushed to hospital with pancreatitis. It was a nasty attack of a disease I’d had for years and immediately people said: "This chap needs retiring on health grounds." They were all rather embarrassed that they’d got this new bishop who wasn’t up to doing the job. And, of course, it was physically a very demanding job. Anyway, by God’s gracious Providence, I gradually picked up strength and went on to do the job for 0 years . . . . .

Something in the water?

A typical enough transatlantic story reaches us from Cleveland, Ohio, where one Bishop Richard Lennon has threatened the Revd Robert Marrone with punishment under church law for celebrating unauthorized Masses in a breakaway church. Apparently, Fr Marrone and his congregation set up worship space in a commercial building last August, four months after the bishop closed their parish, St Peter’s in downtown Cleveland. In the middle of January, Bishop Lennon handed the priest a letter saying he was engaged in ‘scandal’ and ‘corruption’ by saying Masses in a space not sanctioned by the diocese. He also ordered Fr Marrone to remove from the St Peter’s website pictures of him saying Mass. A run-of-the-mill, everyday sort of story from The Episcopal Church (Proprietor: Mrs K J Schori) you would conclude. Except you would be wrong. Welcome to the Catholic Church – in its manifestation in the Diocese of Cleveland, that is.

Copy for 30 Days should reach the FiF
office by the 10th day of the month:

30days@forwardinfaith.com

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