30 Days

CLEAVE HO!

As the Southwark Cathedral celebration of 20 years of Lesbian and Gay Christian movement draws nearer - so the Postbag of the organisers of the alternative Day of Prayer and Fasting continues to grow. One curious anonymous diatribe appeared on the back of a prayer card bearing the saintly portrait of Aelred of Rievaulx.

After the ritual imprecations of "shame", "ludicrous", "hypocrisy et c., poured on the heads of the traditionalist organisers it was a relief to turn over and read the irenic text of Aelred which said simply:-

"Friend cleaving to friend in the spirit of Christ Ah! So that's what he meant.

JOCK IN A FROCK SPLITS THE FLOCK

The Rt. Revd Douglas Cameron, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, has just ordaine9yone of the formerly doughtiest female opponents of women priests. Mrs. Barbara Morrison 67, a widow and retired Biochemist; has changed her mind - and how!

In 1993 our Barbara, along with John Bullamore - a Director of Scottish Homes - led a split from the Parish Church of St. Peter, Stornaway which now meets in portakabins and St. Moluag's Temple. But Mrs. Morrison was the author of a tract lambaste ing women's ordination on biological and theological rounds and attacking liberal press and bishops as well as the women claiming vocation - "A sense of vocation may be confused by personal desires and ambition".

Mrs. Morrison refused to explain her change of heart to the press but said it went back "about twenty years" - some little while before she wrote the tract obviously! The Rector of Stornaway, Stanley Bennie, and his people were not invited to share the Bishops enthusiastic confirmation of parochial schism.

WOTALOTACOTTA

Followers of the fascinating career of the Revd. Jim Cotter are in for another treat. One time Chaplain and Lecturer at Lincoln Theological College Director of St. Albans Ministerial Training Scheme and author of books on prayer, Cotter's delightfully frank writings on same gender relationships have given him a countrywide ministry.

Supporters of the Society of Martha and Mary will have been thrilled to discover that he Is now helping their important work. Knowing no bounds, Jim bills himself thus...

Jim Cotter - wordsmith, godstriver, cairn builder, web trembler, presbyter and relisher.

Mmmmmmmm !

SHINE JESUS SHINE

A senior and well respected Forward in Faith parish priest decided to go for his "assessment" to his totally unsympathetic diocesan. The priest has, by anyone's standards an excellent parish and pastoral record - unlike his assessor. At the end of the interview he decided to be very cheeky and asked simply "Don't you think I'd make a good Bishop?"

"Oh no!" replied the astonished diocesan "you lack the polish!"

The parish priest responded by asking if there was a course he could go on to acquire this elusive Christ-like quality.

WINE, WOMEN AND ECUMENISM

In the wake of the recent problems in the Roman church about celibacy a Forward in Faith priest had an Interesting encounter in an East End pub. Going for an early evening drink with his wife he came into a bar empty apart from two Irish labourers at the other end of the bar. As he ordered the drinks his wife went to the loo.

"Excuse me, father" one of the Irishmen enquired. "Are you allowed to drink?" "Oh yes replied the priest "I'm not a Methodist" "Oh" continued the Irishman "is that your sister then?" "No, Its my wife, I'm not a Roman Catholic" "What are you then?" he persisted. "Church of England"

"Bejaysus" concluded Pat "you made the right choice there".

WELSH PENTECOST

Welsh Bishops are rejoicing that, at last, the Holy Spirit has come o their Governing, Body. For years now they have been inviting Him only to find that his guidance has been missing when the votes were cast on the ordination of women. Now at last he has clearly spoken and the assembly has passed the measure by one vote. This is a great relief to everyone and there will, of course, be no need to invite Him again.

THEY SEEK) HIM HERE ....

Readers puzzled by last months appointments chart, showing the number of orthodox "Promotions" not a lot), can stop wracking their brains. The, apparently, cheering number of suffragan and assistant Bishops of our constituency, appointed to the most unlikely dioceses, are not what they seem. Quite simply most of them are the multitalented and infinitely ubiquitous John Richards, Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

NOT THE NINE O'CLOCK SERVICE

"Alternative forms of worship naturally have their place in a vibrant church

declared Archbishop George during his trip to "Live on Planet Earth" of the Congregational Chapel, Cranbrook. Brian and Kevin, students of post-modern culture and the church's response, Invited the congregation to "Let's Do Church" and rendered "A Chill Service" to "The Parent God" in a multi-televisioned, back projectioned worship situation.

As Marshall McLuhan used to say, "the medium is the message".

PRAY - WHAT'S THAT?

Congratulations to the Dean of Durham. Undeterred by press criticism he has stuck to his courageous decision to allow the 20,000 video display of a naked man endlessly bobbing up and down in a tank of water on the walls of the Cathedral. This important use of funds and lottery money to emphasise "vulnerability" has unfortunately, had to endure a strategically placed screen on the advice of the local constabulary Apparently there are still some old-fashioned people who do not go into the cathedral to admire male genitalia. Extraordinary!

DE-RECEPTION

A retiring bishop who, while originally opposed to the ordination of women went to It with apparent enthusiasm In the event, further confused the issue at a private dinner recently. Having cleared his diocese of "troublemaker' and promoted only those toeing the liberal party line he astonished guests by announcing that once in retirement, he would not, thank goodness,, have to have anything to do, sacramentally, with women priests again and would certainly be avoiding the ministrations of the one near his retirement home.

BLACK AND WHITE PHOTON GAFFE

Readers of the gossip column of our sister paper the Church of England Newspaper could be forgiven for some confusion recently. A report on the recently consecrated lively , charismatic Ugandan Bishop of Stepney, John ~Sentamu was graced by a photograph of a man of markedly different hue. Concerns that Sentamu might have "done a Michael Jackson" were quickly relieved when it was revealed that the beatific visage belonged to none other than Bwana Broadhurst consecrated Bishop of Fulham on the same day.

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