Life, the Faith, and Everything: 25th May

Tuesday had an appointment in Wolverhampton cancelled so went to Birmingham instead – to take 5 books to Borders. The nice young sales manager suggested I come on a Saturday to sign books! That’s now arranged for July 11. See www.abritishcrash.co.uk

 Wednesday swore to the Bishop of Wolverhampton. He thanked me for going to Bilston. I thought it was more me owing them for giving me a job! He was impressed with my tale of praying in tongues at St Leonard’s. He can’t say he wasn’t warned…

Thursday walked to Tissington from Rainbow Cottage. In the first field from the road were 4 lamas! (But they had gone by the time I walked back.)

 Good trad service to bless the dressed wells, with a damp squib sermon by the Chaplain of Repton School oddly dressed in cassock, frilly cotta, and long modern stole.

Back to Bilston for their Ascension Day service. 10 present, which I am told is very good!

Saturday walked through the Lime Pits to my favourite, much-photographed, spot on the canal. A swan just happened to be gliding along for my camera.  

Sunday lots of positive comments about my sermon. I like honeymoon periods. Talked with one man in his 20s with 2 young children. He’s trained as a mechanic and as a hydraulic engineer. Redundant, he can only find a summer job cutting grass for the council. He trying to become a driving instructor – but I doubt he’s a natural teacher. He’s a handy man, good at making things. But, since Margaret Thatcher, our governments have turned away from making things, in favour of building up the banks. Look where that has led us! So sad, infuriating, hopeless…  

Also talked with a man with relatives in the army in Afghanistan. They report having no toiletries, so the church is collecting basic hygiene stuff and sending it out! ‘Not that they should be there in the first place,’ he went on. ‘Look what happened to the Russians, and to us years ago.’ It prompted me towards writing again to the government about the damage being there is doing to us and to Pakistan. (When ‘we’ first went in, I wrote to Richard Shepherd, my MP, asking him to make sure there would be support for Pakistani Christians driven out by Moslems radicalised by our soldiers in Afghanistan…)

 Today read about the latest international Anglican meeting deciding to keep talking until there is agreement about gay marriage. Stupid, forlorn, expensive, wishful thinking led by Rowan Williams. Thinking of writing more about his failed leadership.

Roger Harper

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