Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Tuesday, September 13

Obstacles to ordination

Went to a diocesan ‘Vocations fair’ recently. Initially very encouraging, until I spoke to the DDO.

Obstacles to ordination:

  • Finance. I still need to clear the defaulted credit cards left over form my unemployment before they will consider me. They are sceptical even of my plan to change it to a structured loan – it would still be an unsecured debt.

  • I have recently (within the last year) left my old church, in hot anger and wanting to thump someone. Not metaphorically either. I have made massive progress towards forgiveness of some of the main players, but forgiveness is not complete without reconciliation, which I have not achieved. This is not what they are looking for in a priest.

  • They will, as part of their process, talk to those people about their perspective of the story, and since they still don’t accept their own faults in the matter they can only paint me in a bad light.

  • … not telling you about this one even on an anonymous blog …..

Added complications:

Mrs is now considering ordination as well, as a possible to solution to her current crisis which results form the things done to her at our old church (see above). She is considering adoption, and considering becoming much more involved in the children’s work at our new church (which is looking very encouraging at the moment, by the way), but (as a further string to her bow) would like to explore ordination.

I support her in this: I think she would be very good especially if ordained to a special children’s ministry. But she only wants to do the training if it results in a stipendiary position.

I am very keen on the scenario of us both being ordained, but can’t see a scenario where we would both be ordained to stipendiary ministries. We could try to sell it to them on the basis of only needing one vicarage between two priests, but I can’t see them buying that line.

So, should she become a stipendiary minister while I just go for LOM and carry on engineering? It would be rather galling for her to be my boss, and the LOM wouldn’t feel like a sufficient step up from the Readership. But she is often more spiritual than me, and I have to take this scenario as a possible and valid outcome. Maybe God wants me to swallow my pride and abandon my sense of superiority and my residual sexism (I don’t have a problem with women priests per se, only when it is my wife who gets into the job that I was applying for first with the effect of ruining my chances of fulfilling my dream). GRRR. But I do support her in it, and look forward to what the future might hold.

Thursday, September 8


I've joined a sailing club. My son was keen to do something ative with water and boats, so I had made some initil enquiries with local clubs, but it seemed thta you needed to have your own boat. Out of the question! But then one of the clubs had an open day and we went along.

My son and I were given a taster session in a dinghy - i think it was an enterprise or something similar. I was skeptical - I dislike cold, wet adn wind. They put us to pulling the sheets for the foresail. It was quite a breezy day. I have heard people talking abot how the boat feels alive - and I really got that sensation. I got the bug.

It also turns out that THIS club has club boats available for its members. Also every saturday they do training sessions for the juniors in Optimists.

we joined. Now since he as a junior has to have an adult member with him, I had to join too. then my other son who needs adventure training for applications forms in his chose career asked if her could join too. Now the difference between our three memberships and a family membership was so small that I signed the whole family up - even those who have no interest in sailing.

Now my son has been in his trainng for about five weeks, and is already competently sailing his Optimist singlehandedly around a triangular course in moderate weather.

I missed the adult training course, for which I have to pay £100. They won't let me use the clubs boats till I have been on the course. I will go for it next April. And now I am also fantasining about buying my own second hadn dinghy - I've seen them for as alittle as £375 including the trailer. I'd have to put a towbar on the car. But then I can go and sail round any lake I want. More or less.

Monday, September 5

Visit to a Catholic Church

My parents would turn in their graves.

I had to go - we were priviledged to be among the few invited to a Christening by some friends. We can't expect them to come to our church if we won't go to theirs.

My parents consider the Catholic gospel to be a demonic counterfeit of the real one. I'm not so harsh, but I do take issue with the suggestion I get from Catholic friends that doing the rituals and doing good will get you into heaven - salavation by works. I am staunchly 'salvation by faith', so long as the faith is proved genuine by fruit, ie good works. In between there is the grey area of faith that is genuine but is ot articulated in the vocabulary I have learned, instead it is articulated through rituals and good works.

So, there I was, having stepped across the threshold of 'Satans lair'.

It was chaos.

The service was just the christening, with five familes bringing their babies. I could say it was a good family atmosphere. They each had a large number of guests, small children everywhere, and nobody was paying much attention to the proceedings but chatting away and letting the kids run riot. The priest soldiered on bravely through the noise, even saying 'wonderful' appreciatively when no one uttered the respnses they were supposed to.

Of course I have to take issue with various things:

  • Biblical baptism is of hose who have come to faith and wish to sign up for the deal. There is no reference to infant baptism. (The family of the Phillipian jailor were all believers, if you read the whole story.)

  • Baptism does not get rid of original sin. (1) the catholic idea of original sin is that it is guilt form Adam's sin, passed down, rather than a sinful tendency inherited from him. (2) It is the death and resurrectionof Christ that deals with sin, not our rituals.

  • Why are they praying to Mary, when the Bible teaches that there is 'one mediator between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus'? No need for intercession by Mary or saints. In fact the Bible forbids attempts to contact the dead.

We'll leave it at that for now.

The creed

My wife accused me of child abuse. Only because I made my son listen to the creed in Latin gregorian chant.