Friday, 30 April 2010

Are you ready?

This Curate thinks that it is time to step up to the plate and talk politics. I am a political animal, and can make this assertion for the following reasons:

1. I love my children and the state of the world that they live in is a particular concern

2. I love the people among whom I minister and the state of the world that they live in is a particular concern.

3. I have a highly developed self-preservative sense, and the state of the world that I live in, with my most excellent wife, is a matter of particular concern.

And so we have had three televised debates. If I am honest, I am feeling a little dispondent - but why? Let me summarise their sentiments...

- He is crap and so is his gaggle of n'er do wells. He has messed it up for like ever, man - so I am going to fix it
- He is crap and so is his gaggle of n'er do wells. He hasn't ever run a country so don't listen to him (he did that thing with his bottom lip there, did you see?)
- They are both crap and are talking out of their derrieres - but I might be the casting vote in Parliament, so I am blinkin' marvellous -mwah ha ha ha ha

And so the debate ended with one final round of 'he is crap', 'he is crap' and 'they are crap' and then we move on to Nick Robinson (those glasses are still an enigma to me, by the way) and what do we get?

- Well, he blinked every time he said 'immigrant', so he must be crap
- He stared at the camera without blinking so he must be a robot
- He likes lasagne, so he might win the election
- His quiff was especially lacquered tonight, so we go over to Michael Buerke for comments back at the studio
- He didn't barf on camera, so he might win

What about my children? What about my parishioners? What about me, man? All I know is this - I will not be best pleased if the economy is in the hands of Mr Osborne - poor taste in ties, and he doesn't like jet aircraft (allegedly). Boo.                          and he is a Tory

Thursday, 29 April 2010

All you need is love ...

What a funny world we live in ...

It seems to me, as I sit and try to think of something new and fresh for this Sunday's All-Age Service (that is to say, the Sermon ought not to be boring as the piffle I normally barf out on a bi-weekly basis) - it strikes me that we live in a world where love has gone bonkers. Incidentally, the 'text' is "love one another as I love you".

So, we have a General Election looming - The Tories True-Blues love Britain, the Labour Lefties love Britain, and the LibDem Yellahs love Britain too - so what is the sum of love + love + love? Answer : Smear and name-calling.

On Saturday we have the Grand Visit of the English Defence League. They just love England. Greeting them will my brothers and sisters from the Muslim faith who, quite understandably, love their faith and way of life. The party will be hosted by the Anti-Fascists who just love us all to love. In the mix will be some folk who love football, some who have a love for the pugilistic art and others who love music (but hate racism, according to their posters). So, the formula would be 
=sum(love)*(edl + mdl) + (uaf + lmhr)/TVP : answer - 'potential difficulties of an undisclosed nature'.       TVP = Thames Valley Police

So much for love so far. 

The world often blames religion for many of the wars that have scarred human history - but I think I am discovering the hidden fact. It isn't religion at all, its love that people are fighting for. Religion is but one expression of loving in our world, but not by any means the only one. 

I then wonder how "love your neighbour as yourself" might work - perhaps that is the solution to the mismatch error of love. But lest we forget, dear reader, we overfeed ourselves, over-work ourselves, neglect our spiritual needs, we polute our bodies with alcohol, caffiene or worse. If we loved a neighbour like that, we'd be arrested for an abuse or two I think. 

Maybe my sermon should be focussing on the great benefits to the world of utter indifference - that way none of us would give a toss about anyone else, and drift off to live is splendid isolation. Lovely jubbly, n'er a care anywhere! The EDL wouldn't pay us a visit because they wouldn't care enough to hop on thr train. The General Election would be won by brown envelope of cash and not by polsters and slanging matches. 

Why, though, does that sound worse? I don't know what the answer is, and in truth no-one does I think. I'd sooner love and take the risk that other people will love too. I think that a life without love would be a grey world without colour, and I don't want to live in a world like that. Disregarding those who attack and hurt others behind a facade of false love (and they are lower than a snake's belly), I think I can live in  place where people let their own real love get carried away from time to time. I guess that is the thing with love - it is the most potent force in the Universe - it just needs to be handled carefully and properly.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Through the eyes of children II

The last time I wrote on this topic, I was wounded by the power of a relative baby - and so I approach this topic again from another perspective, a happier one I think. 

The thing that I discover as I get older is that life and its concerns (good or bad) seem to increase in both speed and physical volume. A decade ago, I worried about how my Marriage was going to go (it is, by chance, our anniversary today), and a bit about how my then store in Tunbridge Wells was faring in a difficult trading period. I worried about money a bit, and was looking forward to our honeymoon in Gran Canaria - that was about it. Today, I worry about the kids, my work (subdivided into EDL, next Sunday's sermon, the wedding in the middle of the EDL visit, the Charity Commission return, the website that needs updating in a little while, and so on), how Jo is getting on court today (not as the defendent, I assure you), the fact that my shoulder always aches at the moment, the lack of sleep thing etc etc. I am happy in my life, but an orchestra of stuff plays its Cranial Symphony - and the tempo is perky just right now. 

Jo, Jessica Rebekah and I, with the excellent Katie and her daughter Izzie, went to London to see the Queen on Saturday. That's right, we decided to up-sticks, get on the train with our kiddie paraphernalia and schlap to the Capital for a little sightseeing. What a wonderful day we had. Why? We only managed on open-top bus ride when there ...

No, mate - that is what I did. 

What the kids did was get on a train, be excited about that almost to micturition. They saw ten-million sheep, and were so delighted that they told everyone on the train about each one as they passed it. We saw planes - oh my word we saw planes. They saw blossoms, lots and lots of blossoms. There were hawsees and moo-cows and that was even before we left Buckinghamshire. Then we got to Marylebone and got the Tube, and got on the longest set of magic-stairs ever (that is what we call escalators). Rebekah asked a Rastafarian man (after waking him) why he was wearing a big hat. He smiled and graciously answered. Then we got to Piccadilli and caught the big red bus and we drove and drove. We went passed the the Queens' house ('Daddy, does the Queen live in the chimley?', 'Yes baby, and I think she is looking, so wave' - we waved). We saw the Household Cavalry moving towards the Buck House for Changing of the Guard - Jessica nearly ruptured a lung at that sight. We went to Old MacDonalds and they had baby-burgers (shut it, you snobs - it is easier than carrying a picnic) - then we saw the river ('no Daddy, that's the sea', 'Boat, Daddy, look - a boat'). Then we passed some protesters in Parliament Square ('that lady is smelly isn't she Daddy', 'no, baby, because she lives in a tent doesn't mean she is smelly - maybe a bit dusty'). Jessica asked if Westminster Abbey was my church, and my reply was 'not yet'! I told Rebekah that Lambeth Palace was where daddy's boss lived and she now thinks that Jesus lives in Lambeth Palace - d'oh! Then we went home in much the same way as we arrived.

The fact is, I got to see every detail of every building in London - largely to answer to the girls' questions as we went by. I have never had such a close and detailed look at my Capital city, and all because of two two-year-olds who want to see everything. What a gift to us they are, both in themselves, but because of the renewed perspective that they offer. I only wish that toddlers could read and have access to Scripture and Doctrine - we'd have it sorted in minutes.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Navel Gazing

It seems to be a popular thing to do, in the Genre that is The Christian Blog, to examine the 'what have I learned from this?' question. 

In order to keep up with the Jones' on this, and because I can think of nothing better to write about, I will attend to this - then it can be claimed to be done and I needn't bother you again with it. Of course, I needn't bother - but with the love in my heart, I feel that I should just keep on giving. So, all about Mimi. 

The funny thing about Blogging is that it creates certain behaviours. It moderates mindsets, and it becomes a very real lens through which the world can be viewed. So, a list should be formed:

1. I read back and realise that I am several very distinct people. I can grumble on one day, wax lyrical the next, ping the heart strings another day and maybe even get you thinking from time to time. However, the incontrovertable fact is WYSIWYG. I can't be false in this, because it would be conspicuous. This is as much a revelation to me as anyone because I thought myself to be fairly straightforward - clearly not. However, you now know that I am human, flawed, aware of the flaws, but comfortable with who I am. 

2. I have developed a Blogger's Mentality - put another way, I see things in terms of 'posts'. This is not an unhelpful thing as I treat this Blog as a rolling theological reflection. Be it me, my children, external events or just minor irritations, each is placed here in the context of the life I lead. I write as a Christian, bloke or not. My posts are often the outward sign of my inner prayers. Blogging makes me look just a little closer. It makes me interpret and it makes me commit to a view - none of which are bad things for a baby cleric.

3. It is no less an artform that dawbing acrylics on a canvas. I enjoy the end result as much as those of you who claim to read it enjoy it. I look back, and without unneccesary narcissism, enjoy my own writing. I like how I write and I love using words artfully. The title is intended to grab you, the picture to make you curious and the style to engage you. I didn't ever set out with this in my mind, but it does seem to be the case.

4. This thing is, without a shadow of a doubt, the clearest mirror in my house. I look back at times and realise how I was feeling when in fact I didn't know it at the time. I sometimes have to read to realise - it is likely clearer to you than to me.

5. Blogging is pock-marked with the mine craters of danger. This could become a soap-box. It could become a picture-frame in which only polished works are placed. The reason why I do this openly with my name and identity disclosed is that I percieve that blogging is a free seat at a debate - and my name means I have paid to get in. Anonymity is not helpful in my opinion as integrity is lost in a person's desire to hide. Another danger is the hitherto undiscovered factor: the future reader. Yes, I write freely and honestly, but neither am I stupid. There will be a time when I seek a new job, and this is a rather significant addition to my Application Form.

6. Humility is the only vehicle to make a Blog work in the Christian context. When I write, the subtext is always 'but I may well be wrong'. Fingerpointing, rhetoric laden, 'I know best-ism' just doesn't cut it here. When I learned that someone in Russia reads this, I was quickly reminded that humility is the one mindset that travels best!

7. Humour is good, mostly. I have read serious-only blogs (none of my friends count among this number) and oh my word, they are like rubbing my bum on sandpaper - pointless and painful, and a strange way to spend my time. Humour as a constant is equally annoying, however. No-one likes a pratt, let alone an ever-grinning one!

8. The Code of Conduct for Bloggers in Cottas demands only one post such as this - so rejoice dear Reader. It is done.

Here endeth the lesson.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Lord, in your mercy ...

...hear our prayer?

I have just returned from a perfectly wonderful weekend, the Curate's Conference. Yes, you might imagine such a gathering to be loaded with angst and pathos, a struggle between arm-waving and thurifying - but no, this went like a dream. We were all holed up in All Saints' Pastoral Centre in London Colney - a wonderful building, more especially in late spring when the weather has been as beautiful as it has been this last couple of days.

The theme broadly dealt with the issue of 'difference', and in providing input, offered a Keynote Speech from Revd Vera Hunt, a profoundly deaf Priest from the Diocese. Among other stuff, there were presentations from the Army, from the new-age perspective, an offering from the former Dean of St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, workshops surrounding deaf-awareness and more besides. The Conference has a warmth about it that I reliably informed is unusual, and tensions born of the wide spectrum of ecclesial differences that we as Curates embody seemed to me (a resident at an end of a spectrum) to be largely absent. The whole shebang was capped off with a rather extraordinary (in a good way) Eucharist, the style and content of which was prepared by the Curates in all their variations of 'colour'. It worked, it felt right, its integrity was maintained. The Bish (as in +Alan, as in blog) Presided and delivered the finest sermon that I have heard from him - and all in all, I am feeling 'top banana'.

My ministerial interests are broad in scope, but one facet is my great love of  and for the deaf community. My Sign Language is rusty to the point of full engine stall, but I am still greatly enamoured by all that the deaf community represents of and in itself. Deaf culture provides a very poignant reminder about how we exclude members of our faith communities without wishing to. Evidently, 1 in 7 people experience a hearing loss of one level or another, so statistically, there must be 20-odd in my average Sunday gathering. I can Sign a little, but I don't. I end prayers with 'Lord in your mercy hear our prayer' habitually, I talk at the speed of light and move around too much when doing so - and so on. This weekend has reminded me once again how valuable the perspective offered by my work with the deaf is to me and my theology and practice. I said yesterday, and I say again here, that a signed Eucharist is about as beautiful a thing as you can get, liturgically. I aspire to be able to provide such a service. With input of this importance offered to Curates, I believe that there is considerable hope for all Christians - so long as those who experienced the speech offered by Vera embrace the very mandate that she made. Yes, we have a Chapliancy to the Deaf/ened Community, but we as ministers (ordained or lay) also share in that job too. 

Only one Curate commented (anonymously) on their feedback form that the whole Conference offered them  nothing relevant to their curacy. How blessed that person and their congregation must be - though I guess even robots have a right to worship somewhere!

Excellent Conference, wonderful wake-up call, food for thought, warm fellowship among those of us trying to get on in this life of ours - lucky me, I say!

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Curate's Egg II

Egg of the Day: Devilled

Isn't it a funny topsy-turvy world that we live in. I am young yet feel so old in the face of things that happen around me. My world-weariness is getting cramp these days!

1. Television Programmes: Why is it that the people who make our programme viewing offer us an implicit judgement on the people of our country. For example, if you are a worker from the 'City', then you can afford to be seen on Relocation Relocation Relocation. If you are a poor estate hound (I am from such a background myself), then you are only invited to be televised if your kids are obese and their teeth are rotten to the stumps. If you are mintikins (which is to say, wealthy in money if not in personality), you get filmed converting your derelict barn into flats for other mintikins folk. If you are IQ disadvataged, you get your wives swapped, or your kids put in a boot camp. Still, let us not ignore the zeal of the recycler's heart in TV land these days: we make Slebs out of those who are odd enough to make ratings and then recycle them as Slebs in all other programmes later. 

2. Haters of Race Hate: Question: What do you get when you meet hate with hate? Answer: Hate. Question: What do you get when you meet hate with a poster with a design that looks for all the world like a blood stain? Answer: An implicit statement of what might happen, if you catch my drift. You may remember that I commented on the planned arrival of the EDL into our town. Well, this is now well documented and the EDL publicity machine is working a dream - however, it is not their people doing the leg-work, it is the haters of race hate. I have learned most and heard most from the 'good guys' - if were left ot the EDlL themselves, half of the town would be none the wiser. At a meeting in Aylesbury where the love-music-militants of Oxford told the people of Aylesbury how we were going to orchestrate our reaction to our problem (with one such starlet toddling off to the ivory tower of University on Saturday, so can't be there on the day, sorry guys) - we were greeted with the comment that the EDL are somehow 'ignorant and stupid'. Meh, no organisation that can get so many huffing and puffing militants around a table of an evening can be that stupid. Is the tail wagging the dog or the dog wagging the tale - answers on a postcard. Hate is wrong in any form - be that in dungarees or a hoodie.

3. Compensation Culture: Question: What do you get when you mix the exhaust from one volcano with a jet-stream and the engines of jet engines? Answer: Carnage, blood, guts, planes hitting floors like darts, that's what. Consequence: Cancel flights to save life and limb. Excellent. A TV interviewer spoke to a disgruntled traveller who wanted to know who was going to compensate him for his missed business meeting. What?! I know, let's do a Billy Connelly and sue God for the volcano. Celestial compensation is bound to be heavenly. Let's subpoena Jesus as a material witness and the Blessed Virgin and advocate for the Defence. I know, I am going to form a group called Love Music Mildly Irritated By Volcanoes that Knacker My Meeting Plans - then I can issue a poster showing a B52 bombing said magma-funnel before scuttling off back to my Ivory Tower. Meh ....

4. Curate's Conference: That should be good. Off to pack ... l8rs.

(PS - if like me your boat isn't floated by Lorry-Trailer bands, DJ's (I prefer morning suits anyway) and Live PAs (well dead ones can't do the filing after all), then meet me in the pub on the Bicester Road - we can grumble together about them young'ns)

Monday, 12 April 2010


Once again, life winds me. This time, it was with the news of the air crash in Poland   ( in which its President Lech Kaczynski was killed together with members of his cabinet, senior financiers and the supporting entourage. They were on their way to commemorate Polish victims at the hands of Russian forces during the Second World War. 

This reminded me of something that is so easily eclipsed in modern super-information society. We are obsessed with people in the public eye, and as I have said on other occasions, we raise them high and watch them tumble! With a General Election now firmly in the diary, we will hear many people offer platitudes about, let's face it, how terrible the 'other crew' are, and we will endure this anti-campaigning for weeks. In the end, we will have a Cabinet and Prime Minister, and we will be glad that all the smearing, insults and derision is at an end. Then we forget something very important ...

The people who take power take on the invisible considerable risk. President Kaczynski was not off fishing, was not off fiddling expenses, was not off to meet Katie Price to ask how Alex is - no, he was off to heal a wound, remember the sacrifice of others. Yet, in so doing, died in a freak accident. Those whom take a public role, more especially those who take high public office, assume a price that they hope that they never have to pay: that their work puts them at greater risk, particular danger, the possbility of death. 

My prayers go out to the family of President Lech Kaczynski, and to all who take office and do a job that rarely brings glory any more. Who would want to be a powerful politician these days? It seems that a strong masochistic streak is needed.

So, as we revel in the sleaze-mongering that the Country will see in the week to come, let us not forget what these people are agreeing to take on - for us. 

To the passengers on that plane - may they rest in peace.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Am I getting old?

demotivational posters

I was looking for an image for an entirely different thought, and discovered this (the site is a scream, do visit it) - and it tapped into a latent grump that I harbour about the world today. 

I open up Facebook from time to time (well, in times when I want to see an entire week of useful time absorbed) and I glance down the Updates. There seem to be specific brands of Status Updates:
  • Smug mode (aka 'look at me, look at me')
  • Something 'bleeding heart' that I have cut and paste from another, so I can show that I care (aka 'if you want a kitten to live, put this crock of giblets on your page to show you care')
  • What I am meant to be doing instead of typing this Update (aka 'I am meant to be ....)
  • My last bowel movement / cuppa drunk / shape of the last cloud to pass my window (aka pointless drivel)
  • Wit (aka lack of wit, no-one gets it, only you, only you get your own joke, plum!)*
This picture sums up what seems to be a need in so many of us (and I am not ignoring the fact that a Blog is the biggest most grandiose form of Status Updating). So, as a loving Priest, I offer the following pastoral advice:
  • If you are that busy, log off of Facebook - your life will not end if you do, it really won't.
  • Finish what you are doing before you tell us - we don't  want to know what you might achieve, but rather what you did achieve. ['David Cloake is ... a proud Dad' is so much more savoury than the alternative if we take the model to which I refer] (this is an example, no pregnancies here)
  • Yes, we all know that you know what we don't know - so stop telling us what you know, so that we too may know - we don't want to know what you know, and you know it. 
  • Kittens will not die if you fail to cut and paste some tosh onto your Status, so get a grip and stop it. 
  • Yes, we know you are working towards your PhD in something that no-one has hitherto heard of - you mention it EVERY DAY
Enough said?

* 'Wit aka lack of wit' - scans nicely doesn't it. Like a disco song ....

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Why the long face?

This poor little grub of an alien is, I think, conspicuously Christian. How do I determine this, given my specific lack of Spaceperanto or a Babel Fish? This little Beteljuician Herb Farmer before us is not wearing a Crucifix, and I see no evidence of a car with a fish on the back* (or indeed a laser-emitting zlotter with 'God luvsya' on the side). 

Like the inevitable slime trail behind a slug, you know what is coming here don't you ...

This alien looks so unhappy. It is Easter and yet the green-oozy fella is looking so glum. Gotta be a Christian. 

It gives me no pleasure to make this observation either - because I love Christians and I love all that they stand for, obviously (I hope). Perhaps it is the blokish side of me, but I have often pondered why so many Christians appear so 'down in the mouth'. I know that some smile beyond human endurance (or cramp) all the time, but there seems no happy medium for so many! It is broadly manifest in the way that we pray, I think. 

Like a news editor, it is now something of the vogue to believe that in prayer 'good news' doesn't sell. Intercessions focus on all that is in the negative tones on the pallet, rarely the positive. This must have an effect on worshippers over time. While there is so much to pray for always in terms of remedy and solution to problems, I think that we see too little 'thanks for it being a beautiful day today, and thanks for all that I have'. Such prayers do not have to come with an obligatory tambourine, but they have a place. When I recieve a gift from someone, it is not my first instinct to say 'what about the person who got no gift?' - my first utterance is 'thanks, I appreciate the thought, and it means a lot'. Yes, both are important - but let me lean heavily on the word BOTH!

So, whether you are man or woman, fish or fowl, alien or ordinand - spare just a little of your prayerful zeal for gratitude. Let's give God a break here!

*the fish on the car is regarded in all civilisations to be a sign that the car to which it is affixed will be driven at a funerial pace, and is to be overtaken with some urgency

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The world without Resurrection

I touched on a thought today in my sermon, which for reasons logistical, meant that the touch remained light - so I am going to unpack my thought just a little more here. Also, a zeal-filled Priest ought to say something meaningful on his Blogette on Easter Day, just in case God is watching and thinks I have signed off early!

I am often mindful that we have a very specific perspective on events 'biblical' because we have the 20-20 vision of hindsight (which is, after all, an exact science). We trot through Lent, Holy Week, the Passion and the first stages of the Triduum as the preparation for Easter Day, and rightly so, for it is the focus of our Christian heart - but what about the hapless ordinary Joes - the Disciples. They hadn't got the New Testament to hand (and if they did, it would  be the NRSV, of course). They didn't have the happy memories of 'last Easter' when fliching from the side of Golgotha, and frankly, they had no inkling that this was all going go anywhere else than right down the toilet. Jesus, the man of snappy parables and handy one-liners was quite dead. Now, without a New Testament to hand, how does a mere mortal contemplate this as anything other that catastrophic failure? I am guessing that they missed their boats (was Zebedee still sitting on that boat, I wonder) - thinking that perhaps this had all been something of a fools errand. I am sure I would have. I am sure that had I been former fisherman Cloake of Galilee 90210, I'd be just a tad dis-chuffed by all of this. 

So, what were they to think when the Aramatheian Cave was discovered to be devoid of its post-crucified inhabitant. That would probably add to my dis-chuffment, as I would also have been denied the chance to bid a final goodbye (and to say sorry for being human and a mite inadequate these last few days). Thankfully we have the rather marvellous Mary of Magdala who 'gets it' - but what a leap of faith! 

I extrapolated this to church life - and painted a church that, in the Resurrection, was without role and rota. Imagine a church where all the job roles have vanished and all the rotas somehow 'defragged'! I asked the good folks to imagine how church life would be on Easter morning in such a circumstance; would they peer into a darkened church, enter, take their usual seats and just wait until ... well, nothing happened. Would there have a been a church full of people all looking at one another thinking, 'what happened to the choir', and 'where's Father this morning?'. That is the world the Disciples were thrown into - a life without order. Does the congregation worship God, or do they go home assuming that the service was cancelled and that they missed the notice last week? Do they work it out for themselves, or do they curse the bones of the ones who normally 'do', and who appear to have vanished?

In broad terms, John's Gospel paints a world that until that moment was without Resurrection (barring Lazarus, but I am fairly confident that a typical pattern of human 'surely not', and 'perhaps I misunderstood - no one comes back from being dead for four days' had balanced that fact out in the minds of the Disciples). With my NRSV in my hand, I can' fully grasp the Resurrection - so how the heck were Mary and her mates going to fathom it?

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Liturgy not Archaeology

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

I have returned from church, tired, elated and convinced of the rightness of my place in this world in which I find myself. 

With me tagging along with Chrism, the Bish (as in +Alan, as in Blog) has Baptised and Confirmed an entire army of willing initiates. From the punters' perspective, it all went like clockwork - though we know differently where we were 'behind the scenes'. Yes, I got to sing my lullaby to a candle, evoking Mother Bee, and bar a couple of vocal twangs, it went ok I think. The Exsultet has always resonated in me at a very deep level, and that doesn't change as the one now charged with intoning it. 

We had the full spectrum of liturgical effect, and the place was 'on fire'. The kids were elated, the adults broad with grin at being Confirmed into this faith of ours, and it was a joy to behold. No, the Bish (as in +Alan, as in Blog) didn't reverence the Gospel Book; no, we had too few chalices out, and yes - I knocked over candle with my cope - but it didn't matter.

I am reminded, tonight, that liturgy is not archaeology. It is a living thing; it is organic. I love the liturgy and I am a formost fan of good ceremonial - but only where it is meaningful in the context to which it finds itself. Yesterday's prostrations only meant something because they appeared shocking to the observers. My candle-lullaby evoked memories of 'home' for a Zimbabwean friend. It is worth something if it means something, and it meant something tonight. There could be an army of those who could argue that it could have been a more polished service, that the serving team could have been regimented to within an inch of their lives, and although the crozier was never held the wrong way - it was a bloody good act of worship, a witness to the Resurrection of Christ and the welcome of new witnesses. 

Would Jesus have cared that I didnt't wear an Apparelled Amice? No, of course not ...

A happy and blessed Easter to you all, Alleluia!


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