Those who remember the great Stow Maries' saga of two years ago may be surprised by the latest news from that outpost of the Chelmsford empire. The Revd. Derek Cooling and his wife the Revd. Margaret Cooling were put in charge of a team ministry, which included the traditionalist parish of Stow Maries, by the liberal Bishop of Bradwell, Laurie Green.
After an astonishing campaign against them, the traditionalists resigned, votes were overturned and membership of Forward in Faith revoked. The Coolings, previously leaders of the Priestesses for Wales movement, and Bishop Green, were no doubt delighted.
Now, mysteriously, after all that work to eradicate the original integrity the Coolings are off. Presumably we can rely on Bishop Green to respect the new integrity, which he had such a hand in encouraging, when it comes to finding a replacement.
Two Derbyshire clergymen, Jeff Holt and Ian Gregory, made the national press recently. Dressed in Canterbury mitres (baseball caps) they were photographed banging into each other in dodgem cars as they conducted a service of blessing for Cyberstorm Laser Park at American Adventure World. Mr Gregory wrote a hymn for the event,
Here are laser races
In a battlefield
This is a great game Lord
But life's strife is real
30 Days felt this was a bit dour and insufficiently charismatic for our readers so we offer, in addition:
Jesus, like a laser
Shine your light on me
And zap me with your power pack
To all eternity
The much vaunted stunt involving Jack and Dick, the great Anglican Episcopal self publicists, is now shrouded in mystery and denials. When the Lambeth Conference had its day in London it was reliably reported that six bishops had thrown their mitres into the Thames as a sign of their rejection of power etc. etc. One journalist named three participants as Spong, Holloway and Carey but couldn't track the other self-abasers.
The Lambeth press department, which other press wallahs claim took photographs, duly denied the whole story.
The most telling part of the tale is that the mitres were not real anyway, but specially made polystyrene cut-outs - presumably a safety measure in case any traditionalist bishops decided that full and effective symbolism would require the mitres to be occupied at the time of their flotation.
MUM, MUM AND MUM'S THE WORD
The church has agreed to remain silent on the subject of polygamy - no official statement came from the Lambeth Conference. Of course polygamy is a problem for the African church, mainly where a man may come to Christ with an extended family, including a number of wives whom he is duty and honour bound to continue support. Very decently the Western churches decided not to condemn or endorse the practice. As Bishop of Missouri, Hays Rockwell, said, "If someone comes along and makes a huge contribution to the church, but has more than one wife, what do they do?"
In America the answer usually is - consecrate him! American bishops, though, are not noted for anything as caring as polygamy - many of the specialise in serial monogamy with the old model(s) left to fend for themselves.
POPE GEORGE I ?
Lambeth bishops' decision to invest the Archbishop of Canterbury with, what the press called "Superman - like" powers to intervene in troubled or crisis torn provinces of the Anglican Communion have been taken with a pinch of salt by most seasoned observers. But what if an Anglican Papacy is on the drawing board? Who then will intervene in the troubled and crisis torn province of Canterbury?
Excitement in the popular press is running high about the possible conversion of Alan Clark, the immensely rich Don Juan Tory M.P. for Kensington, to Roman Catholicism. Scribblers believe he may be the latest in a line of public figures (Gummer, Widdecombe, Gardiner) to be brought over by the affable and shrewd Franciscan, Fr. Michael Seed.
Wits are already speculating, if this unlikely event comes to pass, on how much of Fr. Seed's diary will need to be blocked out to accommodate the necessary spell in the confessional. Perhaps a short cut would be to present the learned father with a copy of Clark's autobiography simply inscribed........"and for all my other sins which I cannot now remember....."
PREPARE FOR THE THIRD COMING
Yes. Sorry, folks, you missed the Second Coming. After all the excitement about the Millennium Dome and Lambeth '98, the Christ turned up, apparently, at the Los Angeles Convention Centre on June 20th as "conscious instruments" of the "Community of One" channelled the "Christ itself and our Ascended peers in the higher dimensions to inaugurate the planetary awakening of the true "Hu"-man/God-man on Earth."
Appearing in this "interactive ritual setting" were, I kid you not, "Anne Hughes - embodying the message of St Francis, Marcia Dale Lopez as the joy and blessing of divine embodiment, Thomas One Wolf representing the next world of Spirit Man and Marilyn Mpingo Griffin as instrument for Beings of the Christ Light".
A message from "The Planetary Christ" - ( a little Asian man who lives near Brick Lane) was read and posted on the Internet and a new and everlasting covenant revealed on the Website.
How do we know this is true? Because it comes from "Shamballa - Global Communications Company- in association with HEAVEN."
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