Value for Money

Canon Jim Canning complains in a letter to The Times that he has been told that financial restraints mean he can no longer have a curate and that the curate’s house will have to be sold (for £130,000 in a poor part of Coventry). But the new assistant bishop is to move into a five-bedroomed house, with three acres of garden, worth £1·3 million. Why, he asks, can’t the bishop live in a poor part of Coventry when the savings would pay for several curates?

Surely the good canon cannot be serious. Does he not realize that a bishop must live in accommodation requiring a high level of expenditure by the Church Commissioners? And with three acres of garden to ensure the employment of a full-time gardener? Get real, Jim. Whose money is it, after all?

Objects of Derision

‘Women’s Ministries – working for gender justice in the Church and the World’ is an integral part of the impossible-to-parody ECUSA. 30 Days readers won’t want to miss an offering later this month at the Cedar Hill Enrichment Center in Gainesville, Georgia: a day on ‘Mystic Spirituality’.

‘Faith has been described by some as the path one takes when open to mystery and transcendence. Mystical Spirituality involves personal experience and heightened awareness of the essence of one’s being rather than doctrinal beliefs. The challenge of all traditions today is to transcend conventional customs and recapture the original experience from which they proceeded.

‘This day will provide a safe haven for participants to be in circle with others who want to explore ways of knowing that transcend ordinary ways of knowing, revitalizing the Spirit, connecting with God. Persons at all levels of seeking are welcome. Our facilitator will guide us in ceremony to create Sacred Space, followed by teachings about several women mystics.

‘We will also have time for reflection, journaling, laughter and sharing. Please bring a small cloth and five precious objects to place on it, along with a glass-encased candle, which will be used to serve as your own sacred space during ceremony.’

30 Days readers who can only muster the two precious objects which come immediately to mind need not apply.

Yew News

It was only back in December last year that 30 Days reported that a husband and wife clergy team in the diocese of Pennsylvania were celebrating pagan rites, prompting Bishop ‘Chuck’ Bennison to aver ‘there will be no witch hunts in this diocese.’

Thankfully, though, a happy ending has emerged. The husband, one Bill Melnyk, now writes thus: ‘You folks might like to know that I have renounced my ordination vows, and formed the Llynhydd Grove of the Druid Order of the Yew. You might want to take my forced letter of ‘recantation’ off your website.’

30 Days readers anxious to avail themselves of his services will be glad to know that ‘OakWyse is available to officiate at weddings, handfastings, funerals, and all other life-stages rituals. He has been planning and leading pagan ritual since 1998, and was an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church for 23 years before deciding to focus entirely on Druid spirituality. He can help you plan and experience the ritual you desire in any tradition. OakWyse is available in the greater Philadelphia area, and is also willing to travel farther afield. Fees vary with services requested. As Chief of Llynhydd Grove, OakWyse is able to perform legal weddings in most localities, including the signing of the marriage license. The standard Ritual Fee is $100.00 plus $0.50/mile travel expenses.’

His wife, apparently, remains a priest of the Episcopal Church, in full communion with Chuck, whilst Bill allegedly remains in full communion with her rectory.

Uncomfortable Features’s remarkably efficient webmaster, Fr Len Black, likes nothing better, after a hard morning’s posting on the internet, than to nip down to his local, the Clachnaharry Inn, for a pint or two of St Michael’s Steeple Ale, a beer brewed specially to celebrate the restoration of St Michael’s, Inverness, where he is rector.

As a long-time member of CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – he was delighted when Church Times staff approached him with a view to publishing a feature on the Church and Beer. In due course, the feature appeared and Fr Len, pint in hand, appeared as the front page photo in Jezebel’s Trumpet. In fact, he was so delighted that he proceeded to post the story on the FiF website.

A few pints later, he received the following email: ‘Thanks once more for helping us with our piece on holy beer and I hope that you were happy with the front-page feature in the paper. Just one matter – it has been brought to our attention that the article is featured on the FiF website along with my name. Speaking independently of my job at the Church Times and from my own personal views, can I please ask you to remove my name from that piece – I have no problem with the article, pictures and the link to the Church Times appearing on the website, but am not comfortable with my name being there. I hope you understand.’ FiF website visitors will see that his anonymity is safe.

Frank T Party

A recent headline in the Los Angeles Times must have sent a chill down Frank T Griswold’s spine: ‘A Primate Party Gone Horribly Awry.’ But no, it wasn’t about any recent meeting involving Frank and his fellow Primates. It turned out to be about a couple of chimps in an animal sanctuary in Bakersfield, California which had gone berserk and chewed most of a visitor’s face off and torn off his testicles (sorry, ‘precious objects’) and foot. Not so very unlike a Primates’ Meeting after all, then.

Right on

Ever at the cusp of modernity, Norfolk authorities have instructed those teaching RE in schools that the first books of the Bible should no longer be called ‘the Old Testament’ because it makes them sound out of date.

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