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Category: Anglicanism

‘Its not about me’ : Reading Cottrell On Priesthood over a lockdown weekend

‘Its not about me’ : Reading Cottrell On Priesthood over a lockdown weekend

I wonder what you are finding absorbs your time and attention during these strange hours and days? My table at home is gathering some small (and neatly organised) piles of books. Some associated with work and lectures to prepare. Some for pleasure and others  (I hope) for self-improvement !  Stephen Cottrell’s book (On Priesthood : Hodder and Stoughton 2020) arrived last week. I read its 176 pages over two days. It has a deceptive lightness of touch but do not be…

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Back to my Roots? The legacy of Brooke Foss Westcott

Back to my Roots? The legacy of Brooke Foss Westcott

I finished reading Isabel Hardman on turned to thoroughly researched life of Westcott. There were many resonances and connections. As the son of a miner the title was arresting. Ordained in Durham after theological studies at Westcott House Cambridge there were further connections. I have a copy of his commentaries on Hebrews and St Johns Gospel and am in awe of this great mans scholarship, though his style of prose makes its demand on the reader !   Graham Patricks attention to…

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We need each other

We need each other

The truth is that we shall only understand the balance of severity and confidence, of the strenuous and the relaxed, in the context of the common life. Every believer must have an urgent concern for the relation of the neighbour to Christ, a desire and willingness to be the means by which Christ’s relation with the neighbour becomes actual and transforming. But that urgent concern arises from the sense in myself of the cost and grief involved in separation from…

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A prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

A prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

  A prayer of Lancelot Andrewes     Guard Thou my soul, Strengthen my body, elevate my senses, direct my course, order my habits, shape my character, bless my actions, fulfil my prayers, inspire holy thoughts, pardon the past, correct the present, prevent the future ……   AMEN

The Windows

The Windows

  The Windows       Lord, how can man preach thy eternall word? He is a brittle crazie glasse: Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford This glorious and transcendent place, To be a window, through thy grace.     But when thou dost anneal in glasse thy storie, Making thy life to shine within The holy Preachers; then the light and glorie More rev’rend grows, and more doth win: Which else shows watrish, bleak, and thin.  …

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Easter eve

Easter eve

Glorious Collect for Easter Eve   Grant, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection ; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday

When Death Comes When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn; when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse   to buy me, and snap the purse shut; when death comes like the measle-pox;   when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,   I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering: what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?   And therefore I look upon everything…

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Silence

Silence

‘Silence’, said Seraphim, ‘is the cross on which man must crucify his ego’; ‘Silence transfigures a man into an angel; it is the spiritual practice which most surely preserves inner peace.’ He was constantly repeating the words of St Ambrose, ‘I have seen many who were saved by silence but none who were saved by chatter.  

Vacation Suprises (3) Richard Herbert

Vacation Suprises (3) Richard Herbert

A bright day took the car South and West towards Montgomery and the glad open door of St Nicholas Parish Church built in the early 13th century.  You can see the effect of the blazing sun on this Welsh Shropshire border town! The most conspicuous object in the south transept is the splendid Elizabethan canopied tomb  of Richard Herbert of Montgomery Castle who died in 1596. He was father of a family which included two very famous sons, Edward I Lord…

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Vacation Surprises : (1) Craigie Aitchison in Glass

Vacation Surprises : (1) Craigie Aitchison in Glass

  I travelled up to London during my summer holiday to attend a wonderful celebration of marriage of Robin and Sezgi Amos at St Mary the Bolton’s in Chelsea. It was a sunny day and I managed to arrive at the church early to catch up with friends. As I wandered around the church building I looked through one of the windows on the north side of the church to discover this shot of colour  which really intrigued me  !…

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Love …………..

Love …………..

in a glass darkly Though I spake with the tongues of men and angels and yet had no love, I were even as sounding brass: or as tinkling cymbal. And though I could prophesy and understood all secrets and all knowledge: yea if I had all faith so that I could move mountains out of their places and yet had no love, I were nothing. And though I bestowed all my goods to feed the poor, and though I gave…

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thy fearful symmetry

thy fearful symmetry

  angel tiger Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry  ? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire? When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? from William Blake,…

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English Cathedrals : Portsmouth

English Cathedrals : Portsmouth

The Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, commonly known as Portsmouth Cathedral, is the cathedral of the Diocese of Portsmouth, England and is located in the heart of Old Portsmouth.   Around the year 1180, Jean de Gisors, a wealthy Norman merchant and Lord of the Manor of Titchfield, gave land in his new town of Portsmouth to the Augustinian canons of Southwick Priory so that they could build a chapel “to the Glorious Honour of the Martyr Thomas…

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Gifts and Graces

Gifts and Graces

I have come to admire the way different individuals function in their profes­sional roles. Yet finally I represent the role my way, in my person, in terms of my gifts and my graces.  These “gifts and graces,” as the Methodists put it, are not better or worse. They simply are different. Dif­ferent gifts, different graces; one role, many approaches. When I forget the obvious reality of different gifts and different graces, three images in the New Testament bring me back to…

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The sacred

The sacred

The sacred is the interference of the uncreated in the cre­ated, of the eternal in time, of the infinite in space, of the supraformal in forms; it is the mysterious introduction into one realm of existence of a presence which in reality contains and transcends that realm and could cause it to burst asunder in a sort of divine explosion. The sacred is the incommensurable, the transcendent, hidden within a fragile form belonging to this world; it has its own…

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Ministry: Seeing and Serving

Ministry: Seeing and Serving

  Ministry is about a way of seeing and a way of serving. That is to say, it is a way of giving attention to God and his creation, to yourself and to others, in order to learn to love them; and it is a lifelong commitment to that kind of service of others who formal name is ‘pastoral care’ but which is more simply defined as affirming love.  And those of you who are launched today as deacons will…

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What makes for Good Church?

What makes for Good Church?

    Perhaps ‘good’ Church has a few essential things in common? 1. They share a deeply incarnational view of the world, the recognition that matter is the scaffolding of spirit, the two deeply entwined; each Church knows that the commonplace, when seen with the eye of the heart, is holy, and that the ordinary is far more extraordinary than we think. 2. Each might recognise the complex nature of truth, dislike  anything that smacked of exclusiveness, and value  words like ‘inclusive’,…

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The Priest

The Priest

The priest picks his way Through the parish. Eyes watch him From windows, from the farms; Hearts wanting him to come near. The flesh rejects him.   Women, pouring from the black kettle, Stir up the whirling tea-grounds Of their thoughts; offer him a dark Filling in their smiling sandwich.   Priests have a long way to go. The people wait for them to come To them over the broken glass Of their vows, making them pay With their sweat’s…

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Surrender of Self?

Surrender of Self?

  In his  book The Triumph of the Therapeutic, Philip Rieff captured a major cultural theme of the last five decades of the twenti­eth century. Therapy’s triumph in an age of radical individualism has enriched our lives in numerous ways. Almost every facet of our lives has been touched, and in many cases, reshaped by the therapeutic mindset. Thanks to psychology’s therapeutic focus we understand   In the therapeutic world of psychology, what is good for the per­sonality and soul…

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The Reverend Jeremy Sampson

The Reverend Jeremy Sampson

(from The Church Times Obits) SAMPSON. – On 11 July, the Revd Jeremy John Egerton Sampson: Vicar of North Perak, Malaya (1951-52); Priest-in-Charge of Johore Bahru (1952-57); Vicar of St John the Divine, Ipoh (1957-62); Killingworth (1962-76); Consett (1976-90); Rural Dean of Lanchester (1980-85); aged 89.   It was with a mixture of sadness and gratitude that I learnt about Jeremy’s death this week. Jeremy was my first Vicar or training incumbent when I was ordained to a title in the Durham Diocese in 1985….

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