Friday, 28 June 2013

Looking forward to the weekend!

One of my roles at work is to forge links with the  local businesses which employ many of our students. It was for this reason that I found myself heading out to a Business and Industry exhibition this afternoon in order to "network" and gain an insight into the wider community. It was wet, grim weather and it wasn't much fun lugging table and banners and promotional materials into the draughty warehouse in which this auspicious event was held.

After setting up and consuming flapjack/ coffee which was provided, I started to chat to the other exhibitors. There were all sorts of companies there, office furniture, alarm systems, a stall promoting a local animal charity - but the guy next to me was running a company which...well...largely dealt with the mess after dead bodies are taken away from crime or accident scenes. There were some posters and promotional literature which detailed the fact that this company would deal with various bodily fluids, it listed blood, vomit, faeces, amniotic fluid (OK, shall I stop there?) and explained the problems of not getting in  a professional to deal such "bio-hazards" ( I was easily convinced!)

Moreover, the guy on the stall (... and, yes, I now know that I shouldn't have asked...) was  loquacious  on the subject of the macabre and talked with enthusiasm about  some unpleasant details of his job which I didn't really want to hear. "I bet you don't talk about this sort of thing in college, do you?",  he enquired. For a fleeting moment I was tempted  to tell him that our conversation had brought to mind Webster-

"Thou art a box of worm seed, at best but a salvatory 
Of green mummy. What's this flesh? A little cruded milk
Fantastical puff paste. Our bodies are weaker than those
Paper prison boys use to keep flies in; more contemptible 
Since ours is to preserve earthworms. Didst thou ever see
A lark in a cage? Such is the  soul in the body."

I also felt a bit like I was a character in a David Lodge or Tom Sharpe novel- you couldn't make it up! I briefly returned to work to drop off table cloths and brochures and bumped into a colleague who asked me  had it been very dull  and was I looking forward to the weekend?
Answer: "mmmm, mixed" and "YES, definitely!"

Monday, 24 June 2013

Thinking about July

Yesterday's reading from Galatians made me think of this post from the Blue Eyed Ennis site ( I can only link to it as the video is not available to post but it is worth watching.)
 Reflecting upon the "in Christ there is no male and female" verse inevitably made my mind turn to York Synod this year and wonder what the weekend after next will bring. First of all, I am not going to Synod this July; the decision not to go was partly because we originally had a family occasion planned that weekend, but, when I found that this event had been rescheduled, I still felt that the right thing to do was to bow out this year. I felt this despite the fact that the deliberations of Synod Chamber could well lead this time (I hope) to the admission of women to the Episcopate. In retrospect, the defeat of the legislation in November may well turn out to be the single most helpful thing that those opposed could have done to bring about the admission of women on equal or near equal terms.  Opponents are very likely to find they have been hoist with their own petard in that November represented the most generous offer ever likely to be on the table and there is every indication that the Church is now going to proceed only on terms which are much more palatable to supporters of women bishops.
One reason I chose to bow out this year was that I have lost any real enthusiasm for working within the Church of England to change it. November revealed something to me about the inflexibility in certain parts of the Church and I can't see any major movement on this. If, despite the support of the majority of the Church, we cannot achieve an equal position for women at a point when this is so widely accepted as right and proper by most of society, then what hope is there for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the foreseeable future? I don't see much hope on that front.
Regarding the inclusion of women, I do hope that the legislation will be approved this time (I think it is only due to be approved and then it is voted on at a later synod - but I haven't been closely following this, so am not quite sure.) More than this though, I hope that there will be healing or at least not too much bitterness and that both sides will know that they are "all one in Christ Jesus". The weekend after Synod I am going on retreat- this year I am involved in helping to lead worship and prayer sessions, something I feel quite nervous about but am glad I am doing because it seems a positive thing to do.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Having it all

For anyone who can't decide between their yearning for old style BCP Anglicanism or flowers in your hair (see post and comments below)...these are for you. (Sorry, it's clearly the silly season! :))

Just when you think it can't get worse...

I heard an item on the news yesterday about the Church of England embracing paganism in a bid to attract members and be more relevant. OK...I can think of more sensible things it could do first...but never mind...
 I suspect this is a fine example of the way that the media will run with any daft news story about the Church. I do just want to say though that if churches start to fill up with kaftan clad hippies talking about shamanic healing, spirit guides, or recipes for nettle soup, then I definitely am  leaving and never coming back.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Doctor Whoess?

I was deeply shocked today to hear rumours that the next Doctor might be a doctoress. I hope that readers will join with me in strongly opposing this complete redefinition and consider the dangers and unforeseen consequences which this tampering may bring. For a start a female doctor goes against all our established understanding of time travelling itself. A dashing, deep voiced male is the right and proper figure to be striding across the centuries, not some girl batting her silly curled eyelashes. This ridiculous pandering to contemporary ideas will not do; how is some female going to have enough natural authority to command the respect of previous generations or to quell alien races. I think she'll be too busy putting on her make up!

Readers can all observe the clip below in which  the doctor regenerates properly into a man. He does have a  moment when he thinks he might be a girl and his distress should be enough to demonstrate that Doctors, just like the rest of us, are happier when they don't face any nasty surprises which go against the natural order. I sincerely hope that, should the unthinkable ever happen, there will be proper provision for those of us who know that the Doctor can only ever be a man. By proper provision, I mean a completely separate programme on another station so our world can stay unchanged.

In any case, you can't change the rules of regeneration. Tradition and experience tells us that the Doctor always comes back male. We'll completely open the floodgates once the Doctor's  meat and two veg morph into lady bits and there will be no going back and no knowing where we are. And if the Doctor can become a girl, what's to stop him regenerating into two Doctors, or three, or four? We could have poly-Doctorism on our hands before we know it. Just imagine the confusion and the potential for disaster.

 We rely on the Doctor! He has saved the world in the past. Don't let them do this! It could be the end of life and the universe as we know it...