Oxford Movement, 2008

A priest of our acquaintance was wandering along The High, in Oxford, the other day – well, on the Solemnity of Corpus et Sanguis Christi to be precise -when he spotted the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Mindful of the fact that it was in that historic building that the Assize Sermon was preached on that memorable date of 14 July 1833, he decided to venture inside in order to pray for the repose of him who had preached it: John Keble, Scholar, Priest and Hymn Writer.

It being Corpus Christi, he was diverted to notice, on the altar, what at first sight appeared to be a cup and saucer, so he ventured closer to determine precisely what it was. And indeed it was not just a cup and saucer.

It was, on closer inspection, a dirty cup and saucer, complete with a used teaspoon. In the best traditions of investigative journalism, our informant made his excuses and left, feeling perhaps just a little superior.

As John Keble might have – and indeed did – put it: What are the symptoms, by which one may judge most fairly, whether or no a nation, as such, is becoming alienated from God and Christ?

From our Oxford Correspondent

The chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Revd Alice Goodman (or Mrs Geoffrey Hill, as she seems not to be known) has reportedly provided her pastoral charges (and anyone else who cares to look) with ‘Twenty Exam Hints’. These include:

2) Clock off completely and relax properly at half past ten every night. A glass of wine. Music. Sex. Sleep.

Who knew there were so many married undergraduates and undergradu-ettes in the Other Place?

The Griswold effect?

On Pentecost Sunday, 11 May 2008, churches around the world dedicated their worship to ‘a celebration of our interfaith world’. According to , Progressive Christians thank God for religious diversity! We don’t claim that our religion is superior to all others.
We can grow closer to God and deeper in compassion – and we can understand our own traditions better – through a greater awareness of the world’s religions.

Pluralism Sunday is a network of about 370 churches nationwide. Our congregations have adopted a ‘Welcome Statement’ that affirms that other religions can be as good for their followers as Christianity is for us. Pluralism Sunday is co-sponsored by The Institute for Progressive Christianity, The Network of Spiritual Progressives, and CrossWalkAmerica!

(In case you’re interested, the most popular way of celebrating Pluralism Sunday this year appears to have been by inviting a Muslim to preach or, failing that, a Zen Buddhist. Funny how all that is so right-on turns most of us right off!)

Foreign Correspondent

Writing on Religion for a living must be a pretty stressful occupation, but we hadn’t realized quite how stressful. 30Days recently came across ablog entry which ran as follows:

I headed off into Mt Coronet on the hunt for Feebas, starting off at Snowpoint City. My search was not ultimately successful. But on the way I decided to check out Uxie’s cavern in Lake Acuity to see if it had by a miracle returned. And there it was! I couldn’t believe it. I almost fainted myself! (The great thing about writing this blog is that I can use as many exclamation marks as I want!!! After 25 years in national newspaper journalism, where exclamation marks are strictly banned, I’m going a bit delirious with the freedom! I’ll stop now… or at least I’ll try! I mean I’ll really try… !) Anyway I flew quickly back to Snow-point and switched Swellow for Zubat with mean look so it couldn’t escape again, and then caught it using Sneazel and false swipe and just two ultra balls. So now I’ve got two Uxies. I might trade it, although my son says he wants it. I love my other one. Especially now I’ve discovered how to combine Dream Eater with Yawn.

That was confusing enough, but then we moved on and read some of the comments:

…thank you so much for the cloning offers, that would be wonderful, what can I offer in return?

Just a bidooffor each will do.

A bidoof? In return for offers of cloning? What on earth is going on? A quick check on Google elicited the intelligence that a bidoof is a retarded looking beaver, which goes some way to explaining everything!

Still, at least Ruth Gledhill’s reports from the Lambeth Conference look set to be more challenging reading than she managed back in 1998! (Readers who would like to keep up with our Ruth’s interesting sideline should take themselves off to .)

Just fancy that!

Last Chronicle, New Directions, May 2008 (published 2 May 2008):

The nuptials will take place in June at a secret luxury rendezvous in New Hampshire. (T always wanted to be a June bride’, says the media-conscious bishop. And we timed it just right for the Lambeth Conference.’)

Celeb will be footing the bill for an extravaganza which will bring together friends, well-wishers and stars of stage and screen. The ceremony itself will be performed by Sir Ian McKellen, costumed in his famous role as Gandalf the White from the film Lord of the Rings.’

The Times, 16 May 2008:

Sir Ian McKellen, who played the wizard Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is to come out publicly in backing for the openly gay bishop at the centre of the Anglican Church’s split over homosexuality. The actor will join Bishop Gene Robinson at a high-profile event to mark the launch of a new film about homosexuality and the Church on the eve of the Lambeth Conference in July. A celebrity cast-list of 900 liberal clergy, actors and celebrities from the film world in Britain and the US are expected at the premiere of For the Bible Tells Me So at the South Bank in July. ‘This evening will be a celebration of the lives and ministries of gay and lesbian people, on the eve of the Lambeth Conference of bishops in Canterbury’, Bishop Robinson said.

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