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’.