Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hail Mary, full of wossname.

Another quick blog before I go to Liverpool, (later today, and I am going to Bradford on Saturday).

I have had to cart quite a lot of stuff to the library today, I had about nine books I wanted to return, plus a sleeping bag that I am lending out for someone who is hiking to Lindisfarne from Carlisle. (I also meant to bring Barbara Butlers book about the St. Cuthbert Way, but totally forgot). I am rid of the books, and am dumping the sleeping back at the chaplaincy, allowing me to re-arrange my bags and leave straight away.

Last Sunday I attended Mass at Avila House, which was an interesting experience. It is a testament to the massive impact of methodism/18th century evangelicalism that in a catholic chaplaincy the three hymns included Wesley and Watts. Metho's rule. I was vaguely familiar with everything, although I was unable to keep up with the Hail Mary beyond "Hail Mary full of Grace...", nor can I recite the creed. (maybe if I had known which creed, and had a chance to think about it). As a result there were times that I thought that they might have benefitted from a printed service sheet. (Of course for Love Divine all Love Excelling I probably didn't need the hymn book provided - ho hum).

The only real theological problems I had were, inevitably the Real Presence. So I wouldn't have received even if I could, it was nice to receive a blessing though. And ummm, hmmm. That is about it.

Of course Marian devotion is not in my tradition, I don't feel the need for her too pray for me now or at the hour of my death. But much of the Hail Mary is entirely biblical. The idea of dedicating a mass to anyone is also alien, and of course the references to the dead went right over my head. The thing is, I didn't really find myself reacting against these. The more I study Christianity the more I can see how such ideas originated out of genuine theology, and real pastoral need. Even today they clearly speak to people. I can't say that they are wrong as such, only that they mean nothing to me. The only thing that threw me was the sacramental nature of the mass.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Perhaps I had better avoid blogging about cricket for now, maybe I'll try again after sunday.

Thesis is going quite well now I have prioritised it, I've got some good wordage for the historiographical section, and I am working on the write up of my own investigation. The most interesting bit will be the application of the latter to the former.

I spent the weekend in Birmingham - Newman House, at a very pleasant SCM Gathering, it was a little under populated (normal for spring apparently) but that kind of worked out because we had a lot of business to get through, and the people who came were mainly hardcore SCM. I was paying a lot of attention to the two workshops I went too, Movement editorial, and Marketing the Movement. I am now writing papers on them both. The former a Discussion paper, the latter just writing up what the feeling of the session was. There are disadvantages to doing this, but It is the best way of getting things across without delaying the GC meeting, which was plenty long enough.

GC was quite pleasant though, productive if nothing else, lots of exciting things are happening in the movement, I hope I can hang around to see them come to fruition. I get the feeling that there is the potential for something real exciting to happen, for us to reach a tipping point and start bringing together all the brothers and sisters in Christ who need each others support to realise their faith in a complicated world.

I also invented a new description for my politics. When I say that I am a Liberal people assume too much. I hung on to Liberal Capitalist for a while, but it isn't much better, most people interpret that as 'half arsed capitalist', also Liberal has religious connotations I am not happy with, because it is used so poorly byboth self identifiers - and by those who sling it as an insult. From now on I am going to be a Radical Capitalist. I am still a Liberal really, and it is Liberalism that fuels my political philosophy; but I want to reclaim radicalism for the center. Religious position is harder to describe. I'm a Methodist, I am Liberal, but don't want to define myself as either. I'd like to think of my Churchmanship as 'Free', and maybe my theology as 'Radical', but I am not so sure what I mean by Radical in relationship to my theology. I'll get back to you all.....