Archbishops, minorities and schismatics

Thinking Anglicans, to which I am grateful for much information, has juxtaposed two items of news which made me reflect on the similarities. One is about women bishops, the other about same-sex partnerships.

Both are stories of majorities becoming minorities and then becoming unpopular schismatics. At each step along the way the amount of respect due to one’s opponents has to be reassessed, and may not last long before it needs to be reassessed again. How will the decisions being made now look in 10 years’ time? In 50 years? Will they look like politically-inspired fudges or far-sighted solutions?

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The divine and the communion rail

Last Sunday I took the Communion service in a familiar church. Time was when I used to do that every Sunday. Doing it occasionally, as a retired priest just helping out, brings back memories but it’s different.

The bit that stuck in my mind afterwards was going along the communion rail, giving a wafer to the adults and a blessing to the children. What’s happening? We had just had a Common Worship eucharistic prayer which interprets the action in terms of the Last Supper, but that probably wasn’t uppermost in anyone’s mind.

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Respect and the homeless

On Wednesday Sam Wells gave the Archbishop Blanch lecture at Liverpool Hope University. Sam is Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square, London. He sees a lot of homeless people there.

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God the judge

On Tuesday I was in town doing some shopping, and there was a man with a microphone telling us to turn to Jesus if we want to get to the other side when we die. When I got home my next job was to start preparing Sunday’s sermon, and the lectionary gave me the Parable of the Unjust Judge.

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Ama Twirly?

This question is asked of bus drivers between 9.15 and 9.29 am. You have to be over 60 to ask it because you need the relevant bus pass. At 9.30 it is legally valid. At 9.29 the driver will probably let you on. At 9.20 you are pushing your luck but it may be worth a try.

I use the buses a lot. On Wednesday morning I arrived at a stop at 9.21. Four of us sat on the bench. I must have been easily the youngest.

At 9.22 a bus came and the other three popped the question, only to be told that they were indeed 'twirly'. By the time the next bus came and let us on, I had got to know them.

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