Should bishops and deans be managers?

graphThe new Green Report, on training bishops and deans in the Church of England, has generated widespread interest. Friday’s Church Times described it, along with a critical appraisal by Martyn Percy,. Thinking Anglicans has already listed eight more responses, all critical though sympathetic to the basic idea of improving the system.

Here is another! This is a personal comment from a retired priest who was never considered for a bishoprick – which shows that the present system does get some things right.

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The philosophy behind economics

Monopoly boardIn May I wrote a post Food Banks and Economic Myths . A few days ago David Kenny kindly wrote a substantial and spirited response, available if you scroll down to the comments here . I am posting a reply because I think David’s views are typical of a great many people today, especially those in positions of power.

David begins

First of all, this is sheer economic drivel

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Feeding Britain: why so difficult?

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Feeding Britain is the title of the Report published on Tuesday by the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom.

The title page explains that it reflects the views of MPs with an interest in the issue (it is not an official report of either House of Parliament), and ‘was funded with generous support from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Charitable Trust’.

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The foundations of humanism

Conway Hall Ethical Society

Conway Hall Ethical Society in London. It advocates secular humanism

There is a good article in Friday’s Church Times by Nick Spencer and Angus Ritchie, describing a new Theos report, The Case for Christian Humanism.

Apparently it was not till the middle of the 20th century that the word ‘humanism’ came to refer to the non-religious.

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Osborne’s autistic outburst

Newspaper headline

Headline from The Independent

The media are full of it. Thursday:

The Daily Telegraph: Tories at war with ‘biased BBC’ . Subheading: ‘David Cameron and George Osborne furious over Autumn Statement coverage which they claim contained ‘systematic exaggeration’.

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Aimless talk about immigration

Arrested refugees

Arrested refugees in Fylakio detention center, Greece. Photo by Ggia via Wikimedia Commons

We’ve just had another bout of political shadow boxing about immigrants. It tells us more about the superficiality of politicians than about immigration. UKIP makes populist demands, the Conservatives do all they can to match them, and Labour struggles to play catch-up.

Whatever the Conservatives do, UKIP can go one step further and defy the Government to catch up. None of them proposes constructive responses to the huge numbers of people desperately needing somewhere to live. Instead they vie with each other to be nastier than each other, in the hope of gaining votes. Continue reading

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Advent. Of another year, or change?

AdventwreathsThis is my sermon for Advent Sunday.

I was brought up in a vicarage. My father was the vicar of a Somerset village, and life revolved around church activities. Advent Sunday was the beginning of the church year. We look forward to the birth of Christ at Christmas, and then go through the annual cycle with Holy Week, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. Along with all the saints’ days the whole system added up to a regular annual cycle, beginning each year with Advent. Continue reading

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The website is feeling better now

cartoon of computerI think almost everything is back up now, except for things that were too repetitive or out of date.

New blog posts will appear here. The blog posts from November 2013 to November 2014 are staying put where they are for the time being. Eventually I’ll probably move them too. Earlier blog posts are now all listed here – see the archives and categories on the  right.

Non-blog pages are accessible either from the ‘other pages’ menu item above, or from the list of topics on the right.

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A bit of a change

computerOh look what’s happened?

You must have pressed the wrong button.

Only joking.

The website is being changed. I hope all will be working again soon.

Blog posts from November 2013 to November 2014 remain unmoved by all this and can still be found here. Older posts are here. New blog posts will be announced on this page. I’m still in the process of setting it up and making sure everything is available. One day the world will be perfect and there will be nothing to do.

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Allah and God

Miroslav Volf has an interesting article on whether Allah is the same as God. In some places, apparently, it matters a lot:

Under the influence of Malay militants, in 2007 the Malaysian Home Ministry decided to enforce the 1986 law prohibiting use of the word “Allah” in non-Muslim publications. The Malay-language edition of the Catholic weekly Herald was forbidden to use “Allah” to denote the God Christians worship. In a parallel move, in 2009 the government also ordered customs officials to seize some 15,000 Bibles because they used “Allah” as a translation for “God.”

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