Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Did the earth move for you last night?

...well it did for me, which is not something I thought I would find myself saying whilst at theological college! The earthquake in Lincolnshire was certainly felt by some of us at college, though others slept through completely unmoved (literally and figuratively) and our American student, who grew up on the west coast, couldn’t understand why we were fussing about a tremor that “was only a 5.2”!

The initial noise woke me and then there was several seconds that felt like someone was standing at the end of the bed shaking the headboard. This felt so real that in my still half asleep state I thought the noise was someone coming through the window and who was now about to attack me. There was several terrifying seconds passed before I had the courage to turn on the light and be reassured that the room was empty and it quite some time before I felt calm enough to go back to sleep. Needless to say I was somewhat sleepy at morning prayer – not helped by the fact that we are in the first week of BCP – a termly ritual observed by college for the last 3 weeks of each term – Yeah, verily we rejoice!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Saturday, 16 February 2008

property update...

My flat is back on the rental market due to the imminent departure of its current tenants. I certainly can’t fault the estate agents enthusiasm having got 3 viewings in that self same afternoon…. but I have to say that the feedback from viewers is at its usual level of strangeness….. There were the couple who apparently have allergies and so “don’t do carpet”, would they mind if they ripped out my recently installed pure wool carpets and put down some laminate instead – ehhh lets see on that one… that would be a definite YES I DO MIND! and my personal favourite was when the estate agent said a man had come to view and said there were too many walls, the temptation to suggest he rent a tent was hard to resist...

Still its only day one there’s lots of scope for weeks of silly comments to come, I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

brain ache

If you like brain teasers and jigsaw puzzles try this

It is possible as I have just done it but it took me well over an hour of deep concentration!

And yes I am well aware it was a major procrastination... but hey my next essay is not due till mid April - sadly this is then followed by 1 for the 12th May and then 4 for the 27th May - eeeekkk

Tat anyone?

The lecture hall is full of cassocks!

Not in the scheme of things a revelatory statement I know but today’s “tat fair” (I think the name gives some indication of the general view of clerical wear around here :o) is for many of the final year ordinands the place where the reality of what they are training for becomes all too real. Last terms talk of curacies and what kind of house is being offered has given way to stole brochures and the perplexing question of what colour lining to have in your cassock.

Though the few high church folk here are in hog heaven (one very excited that they have just found a Biretta!) for many the sight of so many clerical vestments in one place is likely to induce a panic attack. Even the most ardent supporter of clergy not wearing robes, or indeed clerical collars has to face up to the fact that for their ordination, if never again, they will need the gear.

This of course leads to that important question – why exactly do we dress up each week in a style of clothing that hasn’t been in use outside religious circles for 600 years? I have over the years come round to the idea that clerical collars may not be an altogether bad thing. They are, even in our increasingly secular society, a great calling card, singling you out as a safe person to talk to. There are amazing stories of priests who have been approached by the most unlikely people, in the most unlikely places to talk about God. The vestments however I remain to be convinced about. It’s not to say I don’t love the amazing vestments used each week at my attachment church. They have a robe closet so full of ecclesiastical bling I think ever Liberace would have been jealous and in this ancient church, with its traditional liturgy and a sense of things not having changed in the last 500 years it does work. However, in your regular parish church, striving to be relevant to the local population, wondering where all the real men have gone I am not convinced that a bloke dressed in a frock and looking like a penguin in search of a home is helpful…

I suppose it speaks volumes of my low theology that I think that it’s preferable for those leading services to be part of the congregation both in churchmanship and dress. To lead the people, surely you need to be seen to be part of the people?
However, as those going to the tat fair are finding out there is no escaping the fact that vestments are here to stay….

So a cassock it is then – not exactly the LBJ* of choice – but such is life…

*little black dress

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Simple but effective...

This is so simple and yet at the same time so off the wall. I love it!