I thought I would rethink the scope of my blog for this year and I was also determined not to whinge about current ecclesiastical and other stupidities. But it’s impossible to avoid them. Universities colluding with the Snowflake generation, inadequate bishops and empty boxes, for a start. Not what I had intended but difficult to ignore. At least the empty boxes blog was inspired by a most respected blogger, Father Hunwicke, who has my own low opinion of ridiculous nonsense inserted into the liturgy.
I spent some time mulling over bishops – I do do a lot of mulling – and had just come to the conclusion that perhaps Martyn Percy had been a bit hard on them with his 95 Theses, when that act of crass stupidity took place in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow. Not only did a Muslim get to recite a bit of the Quran but some of the verses chosen denied the divinity of Christ. All right, he was a Provost, not a Bishop, but he was in too senior a position to allow something either asinine or worse. If you get the chance, read Revd Dr Gavin Ashenden on the subject, or better still watch him on the video on Ancient Briton’s blog.
And then just as I think it can’t get any worse, and I’m trying very hard to be positive, I read the weekly-on-line information sheet from the diocese of St Asaph.
St Asaph Round-up: Dydd Iau, 12 Ionawr 2017
There were four main items of news and the second one, a notice of a visit of Bishop Matthew Mhagama, of South West Tanganyika, was the sort of thing we have been reading in Church notices any time in the last hundred years. An appeal for help and support for a part of the world still suffering poverty and need. The sort of place we used to send filled boxes to.
However, of the other three notices, two were pretty much what we’ve got to expect up here — sex and sexuality — and the third is incomprehensible.
“Exploring our Boundaries” Not any old boundaries but, you’ve guessed it, our human sexuality ones. Even with the retirement of the Archbishop of Wales in a few days, SSM is still more important than any other aspect of Christianity in St Asaph. Does that mean +Gregory is hoping to step into ++Barry’s shoes? The “Boundaries Day” will include worship – of what isn’t specified — and will have “input from well-known” [and in my opinion, somewhat confused] speaker, Jayne Ozanne.
The next notice naturally continues the theme. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere in this diocese beyond the reach of the LGBTQIA+ chaplaincy. Last month is was film premieres. This month it’s Open Tables. These offer “safe spaces”, natch, “worship and shared stories ………” and whatever other fun and frolic is involved.
The third notice left me utterly mystified.
Enneagram Workshop with Gordon Melvin in Llangollen Friday 13th January at 6pm until lunchtime Sunday 15th.
Price: £150, excluding a variety of accommodation options.
I had to google Enneagram (not to be confused with Organagrams, which relate to Mission areas) to find out what it was, and what it had to do with religion or theology or church. The answer is nothing. It’s a kind of personality test, supposedly to tell you your strengths and weaknesses. In other words all about Moi. You’d do better to save your £150 or give it to Bishop Matthew, or stay home and read the Bible or watch a wild life programme, preferably about penguins.
I do hope Bishop Matthew Mhagama doesn’t see this information or he may decide not to come.