Thinking allowed

Sydney Carter

Today’s Tele­graph car­ries the obit­u­ary of Sydney Carter, best known as the writer of The Lord of the Dance — writ­ten in 1963 and described in the obit­u­ary as ‘the most cel­eb­rated reli­gious song of the 20th century’.

Carter, who died on Sat­urday 13 March, was much more than the writer of this song — he was a poet, and he wrote folk songs, as well as oth­er reli­gious songs and hymns such as One More Step and When I Needed a Neigh­bour.

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Br Michael SSF

Last Fri­day, the death was announced of Br Michael SSF. In his retire­ment he had been an assist­ant bish­op n the dio­cese of Ely, and I had seen him reg­u­larly at dio­ces­an syn­ods and at con­firm­a­tion ser­vices, includ­ing one in St Ives, pre-1994. When he had first joined the Soci­ety of St Fran­cis, he became the sec­ret­ary to the Order’s ‘Fath­er Guard­i­an’, Fr Algy Robertson. Fr Algy had been the vicar of St Ives before being one of the founders of the SSF, and with the death of Br Michael anoth­er link with that time is gone.

Obit­u­ar­ies have appeared in the nation­al press: the Daily Tele­graph on Monday.

The requiem and funer­al will be at St Bene’t’s Church in Cam­bridge on Monday 15 December.

May he rest in peace!


ordination of bishops

Today I went to West­min­ster Abbey for the ordin­a­tion or con­sec­ra­tion of two bish­ops. This would also have been the ser­vice at which Jef­frey John would have been ordained bish­op had he not stood down.

The ser­vice was led by Arch­bish­op Row­an Wil­li­ams, and around forty oth­er bish­ops also took part. A pic­ture of the moment when they all laid hands on Can­on John Inge can be seen here — Alan Wilson is the fig­ure clad in black chi­mere in the fore­ground. More pic­tures can be seen on the Ely dio­ces­an website

Appar­ently there was a small demon­stra­tion by mem­bers of Out­rage! (details here) but I can hon­estly say that I neither saw nor heard this, nor heard any rumour of it — there was no sign that I could see of any protest at the treat­ment of Can­on Jef­frey John. I did think there might be some protest, and I had my cam­era ready to cap­ture any thing that happened.



Church 'faces gay hunger strike'

The BBC car­ries a report sug­gest­ing the pos­sib­il­ity of ‘civil dis­obedi­ence’ if the Church does not become more tol­er­ant of gay men and les­bi­ans. The claim is made by Richard Kirk­er, of the Les­bi­an and Gay Chris­ti­an Move­ment. The report spe­cific­ally men­tions ‘hun­ger strikes’.