Testing times

Public exams almost always coincide with the season of Pentecost although this year, given the early positioning of Easter, this happy coincidence may not quite happen.

The official starting date for GCSEs is Monday 14th May, just a few days after the feast of the Ascension and still a few days short of Pentecost.

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Rogation Sunday - what are we asking for?

This is my sermon for Rogation Sunday, the traditional name for the Sunday before Ascension Day.

The word ‘rogation’ comes from the Latin for ‘to ask’. There is a tradition of praying for the crops to grow well and produce a good harvest.

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War. What fun!

More air strikes. America attacks. Britain and France meekly follow Trump’s lead. Britain’s four RAF Tornados may not be the biggest part of the initiative, but it means we’re metooing.

Most of the public discourse is about surface isssues: who did what, what do we know, which laws have been broken? Beneath them lie deeper questions which we rarely ask.

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Doing theology in La La Land

Theology matters. That’s been a theme running through many of the contributions we’ve heard at the annual Society for the Study of Theology conference in Nottingham this week.

Whether it is in interpreting popular culture (including Dr Who, zombies, vampires and all), in confronting the great injustices of our world, thinking through the Cartesian dualism present in current thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI), or simply trying to bring pleasure and meaning together to create delight, theology matters.

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The 'Why?' question

A great cosmologist dies and is buried on March 31st, Easter Eve, as it was kept this year by Western churches. For the Orthodox churches, Easter comes a week later.

This year, partly due to the disparity which exists between the Eastern Julian calendar and the Western one, the Western celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation was moved to April 9th. It often falls in the latter part of Lent or in Holy Week itself. This year it would have fallen on Palm Sunday. So the Western church allows it to be a ‘moveable’ feast.

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