Sometimes, 30Days just writes itself! Many thanks to our bloke in Sarf London for sight of a recent internal Southwark Diocese mailing: Seeking the Risen Christa – Thursday 28 June – 10.30am-4pm, Trinity House
Led by Nicola Slee, this course is for anyone interested in this topic. In this day participants will examine the concept and development of the female Christ figure – the Christa – as it has been developed in recent art and feminist theology, as well as tracing its historical roots. The course aims to broaden understanding and awareness of the symbol of Christ and of Christology beyond conventional patriarchal understandings; to consider our own images and understandings of Christ and how these are shaped by gender; to reflect on a range of creative and challenging perspectives on Christ.
Headline of the Month
30DAYs always enjoys scanning the local newspapers for the art of the Sub-Editor : the man or woman whose job it is to write the headline which should, of course, be attention-grabbing enough to entice the reader to read on. Sometimes, though, they succeed so well that they also provide an entirely accurate summary of the story to come, so that reading on is a complete and utter waste of time. For example, Vicar and blind woman to abseil off church tower promised much but in fact delivered nothing more than, er, a vicar and, er, a blind woman abseiling off a church tower. Swaffham vicar’s jubilee dog poo plea rejected sounded promising, but turned out simply to be a plea that the offending matter be removed before early June. Our absolute favourite, though, was the deliciously politically incorrect headline in the Folkestone Herald which did no more than repeat verbatim what the man in question actually said: Vicar says Folkestone church break-in is ‘what you’d find in Essex’.
30DAYs is just so pleased to report that the Changing Attitude petition has again gathered yet more signatures – up over the last month from a stunning 1,558 to a super soaraway 1,579! All 21 new signatories should be congratulated for pinning their colours to such a sturdy mast! Meanwhile, the Coalition for Marriage petition has only managed to gather another 61,806 names, taking it up to a measly 522,147. And that after all the efforts of Her Majesty’s Government!
Whilst all sides in the Women Bishops debate struggled to unpick precisely what the House of Bishops had or had not done to the draft Measure at their meeting in York, it might have been easy to overlook one cause for joy: ‘WATCH (Women and the Church) is deeply disappointed to hear that the all male House of Bishops has, in a clos ed meeting, decided to make two amendments to the draft legislation on women bishops that had been so carefully crafted after years of debate and scrutiny from all sides . . .’ Whatever the shortcomings of the legislation in its present form, the knowledge that WATCH is pissed off always puts a smile on the face of 30DAYs!
Every cloud . . .
Meanwhile, over at The Times, La Gledhill (Ruthie to her mates) got terribly excited at the news that the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion had elected Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, to the Crown Nominations Commission which will choose the successor to Rowan Williams. ‘The appointment of Dr Morgan, the day after the President of the United States spoke out in support of gay marriage, will add to the pressure on the Church to relax its opposition to active gay relationships’ explained Ms G – entirely overlooking the real sub text to the story: that the Standing Committee, in electing him, has ensured that he is disqualified from being a candidate for the job itself.
Now you see it, now you don’t…
Whenever journalists speculate about who might be the first women bishops, the name Miranda Threlfall-Holmes comes up. However, her immediate reaction to the House of Bishops’ meeting, posted on her Blog, was so intemperate that even her supporters were lining up on Facebook to give her a good kicking. Within a couple of hours, she had very graciously apologised and deleted her rant – but not before a copy had been saved by a New Directions reader. Here’s an extended quote, so that all 30DAYS readers can have the opportunity of judging her suitability for high office for themselves:
The Battered Bride of Christ A few weeks ago a woman emerged from court having just heard her husband sent to prison for domestic abuse. ‘Heard’, because she couldn’t see it: after several years of beating her up, his last attack on her had included gouging out both her eyes. She hadn’t cried out because their two children were sleeping in the house. He had then kept her captive for about twelve hours, preventing her from seeking medical help. On the court steps, she waived her right to anonymity, telling reporters that she wanted her story to be used to warn others. Abused women repeatedly stay with their abusers, telling themselves it will get better. It won’t. Normally, it gets worse.
So, the question for women priests today is: do we stay with this abusive institution? Do we stay, hoping it will get better? Do we stay, because we feel called by God to be in this marriage? Do we stay, thinking we can continue to try to change it from the inside? Or do we flee to the nearest refuge (let’s ignore the fact for now that they rarely exist) – leaving home, family, community, and our dreams behind?