The Archbishop of Greater London
See? I'm a real bishop. I've got my own mitre!
I am grateful to Archdruid Eileen for reminding me about the Most Reverend Jonathan Blake, Presiding Archbishop of the Open Episcopal Church (also indirectly to the Telegraph, which mentioned him in a rather dumb piece on the Lord's Prayer ban, and then heavily edited the piece when people started laughing). Most Rev. Blake was formerly an Anglican, but according to his website he decided to pioneer independent ministry, conducted a wedding underwater, published For God’s Sake Don’t Go To Church, nailed 95 Theses to Canterbury cathedral (what an original idea!), etc. etc.
He also sued Associate Newspapers for claiming that he was not a true bishop. You can read more about his history in an old piece by Damian Thompson (who he?)
Picture of his cathedral not available, so here's the next best thing.
The costumed holy man has written his own Lord's Prayer, as long as 3 years ago. Apparently, Christ's teaching is a bit old-fashioned now, and Greater London's finest mind was needed to express what He ought to have said.
By removing all references to God, ++GreaterLondon is surely onto a winner here, and I hope to hear his prayer performed in cinemas nationwide.
May Love be revered May Unity come Good will be done That earth may evolve into heaven May we work hard today for our daily bread And may our sins be forgiven As we forgive those Who have sinned against us And may we not fall into temptation But be delivered from evil For we believe in justice, truth and peace For ever and ever AmenActually, that reference to "heaven" is a bit jarring, and could be offensive. Any chance of a rewrite there, your Grace?
The Briery Retreat Centre
For all your sacred circle-dancing needs.
This retreat centre is in Ilkley, the place with the moor, and is apparently a Catholic place, run by the Sisters of the Cross and the Passion. However, they do offer themed retreats, which may be of interest to others, such as pagans.
I was particularly taken by this:
Friday evening until Sunday after lunch for those with no previous knowledge of the Enneagram. On this course, the nine spaces will be explored through a variety of ways. By the end of the weekend, people will have gained sufficient understanding to choose which personality type they belong to.
I'd love to know which personality type I belong to. It's like those quizzes you get on Zimbio. You know, "Which Star Wars Character / Doctor Who Monster / German Cardinal / Nasty Disease are you?" (I'm Count Dooku, the Yeti, Cardinal Marx, and Malaria, as it happens.)
Spiritual nourishment from an enneagram.
So, after being blessed by the good Archbishop, I am planning to make my way to Ilkley and embark on a Catholic voyage of self-discovery. I may also extend my self-knowledge by finding out which nasty-thing-that-people-tread-in I am.
The Diocese of Salford
Can there really be a diocese based in Salford, a suburb of Manchester? Apparently, there is, and it includes the parish of St Mary in Eccles, which is well-known to be a place for very saved people to worship.
But then we see this news item: Bishop John Arnold (possibly a real bishop) wants to halve the number of parishes. +Arnold forgot to mention that the downgrading of Salford will also result in his own downgrading from Bishop - say, to the rank of Pawn.
But, if Salford really exists, and if Eccles is really part of it, and if there is really a possibility that +Arnold is putting in a bid for the Arthur Roche church-closing award, then all we can say is: