Fay Weldon, Vicars, and Spiritual Healing: 26 August

My interview with Fay Weldon is in the current Christianity magazine. For the first part see http://www.christianitymagazine.co.uk/features/ProfileFayWeldon.aspx

More photos of Fay and a little footage of me ending the interview are at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6Fh3Zpd6qY

The article includes good quotes I took from Fay’s What Women Want. I also sent the Editor a couple of quotes from the earlier Sacred Cows, which he didn’t include. Sacred Cows is a short book, in the radical pamphlet tradition, responding to the fatwa of death against Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses. At the time Fay was not a Christian:

On the writer:

‘The one I speak of … is a familiar leftish humanist feminist of the kind who’ve been trying to shove the world along, but doing it from the wrong direction and therefore to no avail…’

On the Koran:

‘food for no-thought, not a poem on which a society can be safely or sensibly based. It forbids change, interpretation, self-knowledge or even art, for fear of treading on Allah’s creative toes.’

‘… so abusive of non-belief that it insists upon a concrete interpretation of its text. Thus it gives weapons and strength to the thought police – and thought police are easily set marching, and they frighten.’

Years after publication Fay encountered protest at literary festivals. Her view needs to be heard. Moslems are often good kind traditionally minded people. But the Koran itself contains harsh sayings, twists on Christian morality.

I’m gearing up to be a Vicar again, in Burton Joyce near Nottingham. We’ve moved into the lovely Vicarage, ready to begin work after Licensing on Sept. 20th. The Church, parish and diocese, have looked after us well. Even the Archdeacon. The Archdeacon in BBC2’s Rev, like much else in that popular series about an Anglican Vicar, was derived from conversations with a range of real-life clergy. (The church where they filmed had to have its churchyard cleared of disused needles and condoms so that the props people could put down their clean disused needles and condoms. The tramps had to be moved on to make way for the actors playing tramps.) The TV Archdeacon is a callous slave driver manager, with a mind returning inexorably to money. Mine is a trusting encourager.

The most notable comment on Rev on TV was from the Daily Telegraph critic as quoted in the Church Times: ‘surprisingly spiritual.’ Daily Telegraph readers, who, as conservatives, traditionalists, are probably more likely to go to church than any other paper’s readers, would not expect a TV series about a Vicar to be in any way spiritual. In the mind of the English, Spirituality and the Church don’t go together.

The men who carried all our furniture and 70+ banana boxes of stuff were not church-goers. One ended the day with a back in pain, another with a burning knee. I offered to pray for them, expecting a surprised, embarrassed, refusal. The first one readily agreed, as if he expected vicars to do this sort of thing. As I asked him how he needed God to come to him, he could see a curved spine. Quickly he came to wanting to ask for Jesus’ hands, top and bottom of his back, to straighten his spine. He spoke out a straightforward request. I felt peaceful, drawn to sink back a little into the peace of Jesus. No sense of hands anywhere. The remover said he felt peaceful, nothing else. But his back had eased significantly.

The remover with the burning knee asked for healing light. He too reported that the heat had gone out of it. Six days later I saw him again and he said the burning pain had not returned. He thinks his knee will always be weak, but he’s still shifting furniture on it. The day after our move he had a job which he thought would take a couple of hours but which lasted nine. The first remover had told him to tell me that his back was better.

On July 25th I wrote here about praying with a man with a sticky-up toe. Last week he reported that he no longer has any pain and has been running with no problems. The woman with gout reported that, after a couple of days, she was also free of pain and had no problems at all on her super holiday in Cornwall.

GOD IS GOOD! His peace is powerful. My daughter has just appeared with a blessing I created a while ago and used to sing over her:

The peace of God’s Son Jesus Christ, be with you,

The peace of God’s Son, the peace of God’s Son.

The peace of God’s Son Jesus Christ be with you,

and by you and round you, under and over, in you and through you…

The peace of God’s Son Jesus Christ.

If you’d like the music, leave a comment or write to lad1@abritishcrash.co.uk

Roger Harper

One Response to “Fay Weldon, Vicars, and Spiritual Healing: 26 August”

  1. Di Says:

    Thank you, Roger.

    I will pass your blog on to your friends in Bilston.



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