Sanctum 2017: Book Now

Jul 3

It’s that time of year again where we are preparing for Sanctum.  It is a great place to discuss alternative worship in a sacramental tradition.  There are some really great contributors this year and there are a few places left to book as well!  The programme includes a blessing of the waters down at the river, exposition, eucharist and Rock Mass Unplugged.

The monastery at Mirfield is an idyllic location for a few days of contemplation and quiet if you would like to engage with the worship whilst having space for private reflection.

Oh yeah.  There’s also gin tasting.

The Hinge

Jun 30

Just a quick thought about the shift in paradigm we are living through as we move from modernity to postmodernity. We are all using social media as a way of thinking our thoughts. It pops into your head and you tweet it. Then the discussion ensues. This is good and healthy. But as a public figure I often put the brakes on before I even tweet it. We live in a world of media storm. The Daily Mail, Express and The Sun are constantly looking for a headline. “Vicar says ‘bum’ shocker”. 

Are the trad media just perpetuating the ways of modernity and applying them to postmodern times?

[I may have been reading a lot of books about the transition between modernity and postmodernity. Sue me]

Abbey Royale Fontevraud

Jun 22

I went on a residential course a few weeks ago and one of my fellow inmates recommended Fontevraud as a place to visit. Once again the vicar is on holiday visiting ABC (another bloody church). Ruth likes to listen to the audio guide whilst I just take in the ambience. When you work in churches it can be a bit too much of a busman’s holiday to think about buttresses and gargoyles in your spare time.


I love how some ancient art incorporates the hierarchy of the institution into the scene.  That said, I hate it when the local landed gentry paid to have their face painted onto the infant Christ.  My favourite icon is in the Louvre as Christ puts his arm around St Menas.  I digress.


In the chapter room at the Abbey there are large pictures depicting aspects of the life of Christ. In many, a kneeling Benedictine Abbess is present looking on.  In the crucifixion scene, Christ is between two likely looking lads and everyone has a six pack.


Once again, Mother Superior watches on as Christ’s body is prepared for the tomb.
And when Jesus is betrayed with a kiss it isn’t much of a peck on the cheek.


Last but not least a picture of the ascension because feet disappearing into clouds never cease to amuse me.


Sorry about the dodgy exposure. Sun in the doorway.

My New Prayer Device 

Mar 30

How do you get naughty boys to pray?  I have a bracelet of knots around my left wrist that a turn around in my fingers. If I’m feeling extravagant I have this set of orthodox knots that keep my mind focussed enough to engage with the Divine. 

Meet my new prayer divice!  Fidget cube!  Given to me by a friend. Modern day naughty boy prayer time!  And it really works. And it fits in my pocket too!  

Let us pray….

Clicketty clicketty talky talky time!

Stars in the Sky

Mar 12

The lectionary text this morning was Genesis 12:1-4.  This is the passage where God makes a promise to Abram that he will have descendants as numerous as the stars.

So I took a trip to The Range. This is my regular Saturday afternoon haunt when prepping for Church on Sunday morning.  To make our starry sky, the background was made from A1 blue card, A1 black paper and pritt-stick.

During the opening songs, the youglings cut out equilateral triangles of yellow paper with 3″ sides. Then during the teaching, each member of the congregation folded them into stars.  We put our initials on them as an act of commitment as the people of God.  We then used sticky foam dots (the range is great) to add them to the sky.

A member of our community died this week.  One of the most poignant moments was when his widow and I put his initials onto a star and added it with the rest of us as the people of God.

You don’t get the text of my sermon to go with it as for all age worship I didn’t have a text – RE teacher skills.  You’ll have to write your own. Sorry.