Saturday, 14 September 2013

No longer afraid of Virginia Woolf!

I  have, at last, discovered Virgina Woolf. Wandering among the books in the Book Tent at Edinburgh International Book Festival, as one does, I found a slim volume called A Room of One's Own' and took it to peruse with my coffee. It did not take long to decide to buy it, indeed I am hooked! I've read chapter one 3 times with delight and am about to embark on chapter two. One can feel, see, taste her experience as she describes it - chuckle at her dry humour!
Now for Chapter two

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The spoiling of words? What every Tom, Dick and Harry knows-

Apparently M&S refused to send a message to someone's friend Dick because it was a 'rude' word! Similarly, someone received flowers via the M&S service and the card read 'With love from Steve, Kerry and the cat (name too rude to print).' (letters to the Daily Telegraph).  Tom, Dick and Harry all know that when calling the cat you either yell 'puss, puss, puss' or kitty, kitty, kitty.' But Kitty may also refer to Katherine and of course Tom is Thomas, Dick is Richard and Harry is Harold or Henry. Surely Dick Whittington  (later Sir Richard Whittington Lord Mayor of London) called his cat a clever puss when she caught all those rats!

Sadly this kind of ignorance is perpetuated by our media. Looking up Dick on the web did not give me the usual ie short version of Richard but various sexist interpretations, so the politician Richard Cheney was called Dick for other reasons than his name (whether or no there was any truth in this assumption).

I mourn the loss of the word  'gay' to mean happy or joyful, a word in use for centuries- goes with 'gaiety', 'gaily'
'And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
is bonny and blithe and good and --?'

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Andrew Billington on a Painful Prayer

Pain Relief

LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger

or discipline me in your wrath.

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;

heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.

My soul is in deep anguish.

How long, LORD, how long?

Turn, LORD, and deliver me;

save me because of your unfailing love.

Psalm 6:1-4

The Psalms supply vivid reminders that our walk of faith will see moments – sometimes long moments – when we suffer in various ways. If that was the case for David, the Lord’s ‘anointed’, it will be no less true for us. Indeed, for many, his description will feel all too real – a combination of physical pain, inner emotional turmoil, and fear about the future; maybe, like David, we are even facing death, threat and opposition, or a sense of God’s displeasure.

Wonderfully, though, the Psalms also give us a voice with which to cry out to God, perhaps even helping us move from anguish to a sense of assurance.

So it is that David cries out for mercy, turning to God in his suffering, asking for healing. He appeals to God save him ‘because of your unfailing love’, reminding God of his covenant commitment to his people. In his time of discipline, he cries for God’s mercy; and in his time of distress, he pleads for God’s love. And he expresses the confidence that this will give way to deliverance – ‘The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer’ (6:9).

More at LICC

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


So much shallow thought about Lent. It sounds fairly easy to say I'll give up Chocolate or TV viewing for a period or maybe fast from meat- but is that what it is all about?

 I was challenged reading Henri Nouwen's discussion of humility and the need for me to seek 'downward' NOT 'upward' mobility. Everytime I start to want more things, or to be popular, in control or to get power  for myself I am facing the same temptations as Jesus did (Luke ;4;1-14). Indeed we all are faced with these choices and mostly we give in. Certainly the Church has been doing it over the centuries-riches, control and power and popularity of preachers-.

So I was very interested to be told of Fr Joe Boland's  homily on the  first Sunday of Lent which ends-
Reaching out to the poor, feeding the hungry, embracing the call to conversion, being witnesses to the presence of Jesus in the world and sharing the Good News of the Gospel with the people of our time are not easy, and most of us will have heard that same gentle, persuasive reassuring voice whispering the same lie in our ears. “Don’t worry. God understands. He doesn’t really expect you to do these things. Other folk don’t have to do it, so why should you? Just keep saying your prayers and coming to Mass. That’s all you need”

To live like everybody else: that’s the great temptation for Christians today. To do what everybody else is doing: to accept without question the shallow, superficial values of a consumer-driven society seemingly bent on self-destruction: to run away from that unique personal call of God to intimacy which lies at the heart of faith and do instead what everybody else is doing.


Friday, 15 February 2013

Prayer Stool

I leave aside my shoes, my ambitions;

undo my watch, my timetable;

take off my glasses, my views;

unclip my pen, my work;

put down my keys, my security;

to be alone with you, the only true God.

After being with you,

I take up my shoes to walk in your ways;

strap on my watch to live in your time;

put on my glasses to look at your world;

clip on my pen to write up your thoughts;

pick up my keys to open your doors. \

Graham Kings (1986 Kenya)


Monday, 14 January 2013

A CORD to ponder on-

                      A CORD

               by Graham Kings

One accord for all


God and woman:

according to his Word,

God becomes

conceivably small.

Life-giving cord

is cut for life:

Heir of the world


air of the world.

Bishop Graham Kings spoke about his poem in his Christmas address on Christmas Day 2012 in Dorchester

Sunday, 25 November 2012

When I am Ordained, I shall wear Purple

by Mia Smith (in Fulcrum website Nov 24th)

With acknowledgement to Jenny Joseph's original poem

When I am ordained, I shall wear purple

with killer heels and bright red lipstick

And I shall go round preaching from the Bible

...The liberating truth that Jesus calls women

and tell those who say otherwise that it is they,

not I, who are bad theologians.

I shall sit down with fellow clergy

when we are tired of fighting for equality

and going the extra mile with grace when we are put down,

And we will make up for it:

by encouraging one another as Scripture says,

and praying for those who abuse us,

and rejoicing that we are suffering

(but just a little bit) for Jesus,

And we might even eat some chocolate.

I will adopt the ordination name “Junia”,

and remind those who object,

that there may be a boy named Sue somewhere in the world,

but there probably isn’t.

But now we must face the world,

Who think we are traitors to our sex

For working for the Church

And face our brothers and sisters who think

We are being unbiblical

And face those in our Churches

who have failed to notice the pain this week has brought.

And we will go in the strength of Christ.

We will not turn our backs on our calling

Because God is not finished with the Church,

And He is faithful.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am ordained, and start to wear purple.