Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gordon Brown professes to 'put Christ back into Christmas’

Cranmer has received news of reception over the Christmas period held at Number 10, which was described by the Prime Minister as an opportunity ‘to celebrate all the good things that Christians have done in the country and around the world’.

All the good things? In one brief evening? Without the Archbishop of Canterbury?

He must have been busy walking by on the other side.

Cranmer was not invited, but there were 70 Christian leaders from across the denominations, and the gathering was hailed by Dawn Butler MP as a chance ‘to put Christ back into Christmas’.

It is a pity she did not realise he was out on the cold streets of London feeding the hungry and giving hope to the homeless and destitute.

The opening prayer was given by Evangelical the Revd Nicky Gumbel, founder of the Alpha Course.

Was there no Anglican bishop available (or invited) to open the proceedings? Why has Nicky Gumbel been elevated to such an ecclesial status that Number 10 grants him the prestigious honour of invoking the Lord’s blessing upon the gathered élite?

Stephen Timms MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury (who is particularly grateful for the Revd Nicky Gumbel’s tax returns) made particular mention of the ‘Hope ’08’ initiative. “It has lived up to its name,” he said: “not a wishy-washy, maybe-everything-will-get-better kind of hope, but a down-to-earth, sleeves-rolled-up, practical-action kind of hope”.

That’s good then. Cranmer has little time for ‘wishy-washy, maybe-everything-will-get-better kind of hope’, and wonders then why the Prime Minister keeps harping on about it.

Gordon Brown apparently arrived late (as he is wont to do), but when he finally appeared, he reiterated his belief in ‘the values at the centre of Christianity, and the values at the centre of other religions, that we are responsible for each other’.

It is just a pity that those values do not permeate his legislative programme.

He spoke of his most moving recollection from the year: the last words of a young child to his mother, recorded in the genocide museum in Rwanda: “The United Nations are coming.” This was the challenge to everyone of faith: to work towards a truly global society.

The United Nations are coming?

God help us.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Wrexham, the Rt Revd Edwin Regan, gave the closing blessing.

The Bishop of Rochester must have been unavailable.

Or perhaps his presence might have put too much Christ into the Prime Minister's Christmas.


Blogger len.allan said...

The rev Nicky Gumbel was an excellent choice for the opening prayer( this man has done a lot to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ.!)

1 January 2009 at 16:38  
Blogger Unsworth said...

So, Brown has clearly decided to set up a New Church of England. That should just about complete the destruction of England and its culture and traditions by this Scottish 'Son of the Manse'.

Mission Accomplished.

Now, where have I seen that phrase before? Was it on an aircraft carrier somewhere?

1 January 2009 at 18:11  
Blogger len.allan said...

Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Matt15:6
If the traditions you speak of are religious traditions -good! The religious traditions serve only man.

1 January 2009 at 19:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

I am pleased that Nick Gumbel was there. He may have had an opportunity to convert the unbelieving clergy, who seemed to be in a majority.

1 January 2009 at 20:55  
Blogger Tom said...

Why aren't there any women in the photo?

1 January 2009 at 21:00  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace.
Your report seems to confirm that in the eyes of Mr Brown & presumably New Labour, all faiths are equal, and based on good works & charity. Perhaps this 'son of the manse' should read his Bible again if He wishes to put Christ back into Christmas, it might help if He put Christ into the centre of His heart first.
To listen to this speech the U.N now have parity with The Lord in the confused mind of the P.M.

2 January 2009 at 10:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Brown is a leftover from the 1970s Marxist fringe. He is living proof that Scotsmen are a governmental disaster.

James I was the first Scotsman entrusted with English government and almost started the Civil War his son succeeded in instigating. Charles II was almost removed and his brother succeeded in losing The Great Seal as he was booted out of the country.

So the first Scottish "Stuart" era gave England a Republic and Dis-Established Church.

Ramsay MacDonald managed to undermine national defence and violate the Versailles Treaty by agreeing to let Hitler breach Part V and rebuild the Kriegsmarine so he could lay down Bismarck and Tirpitz and Britain could continue with old rustbuckets.

Then we get Tony Blair Scotsman with his band of Marxists setting about deconstructing England and its identity, giving way to Brown and his pathological hatred of anything redolent of his personal inadequacy and narrow-minded bigotry.

Having brought about the greatest economic calamity in Labour Party history he has shown the same catastrophic management style as Ramsay MacDonald and his band of incompetents back in 1931.

It is clear that Scotsmen should never run England as they are prone to destroy the structures that hold together the nation. If this country survives without strife on the streets or even civil war it will be because Brown has been ejected from the House of Commons together with his cohort of misfits

2 January 2009 at 13:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicky Gumbel is far better able, and in a better position, to communicate the gospel than many more senior clergy.

Hans Wilderbeeste

2 January 2009 at 14:41  
OpenID matt said...

The National Secular Society have linked to this article using the headline:

Another infestation of “faith leaders” at Downing Street

It's official. Religious people are vermin according to the NSS.

2 January 2009 at 15:53  
Blogger hendom said...

Well Matt, an infestation is the state of being overrun by parasites. Now just remind me how many tens of millions of pounds the christian churches receive annually in tax relief, grants and other forms of benefit from the government?
To refer to vermin is just your over prevelent persecution complex.

2 January 2009 at 16:49  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Now just remind me how many tens of millions of pounds the christian churches receive annually in tax relief, grants and other forms of benefit from the government?

Not much in fact - they pay VAT, National Insurance, Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Rates, Water Charges etc. If only they could enjoy the tax exemptions available to US churches.

Indeed considering that Mosques in Britain DO receive direct taxpayer/EU funding the Christian Churches are very badly treated considering the fact that the C of E provides most social workers for youth projects and maintains a presence in every town and hamlet unlike the Post Office or any governmental agency.

Maybe the Government should consider real tax relief for the Christian Church such as VAT exemption on repairs, and full tax credits on donations. After all the huge sums Christians in the USA donate for foreign aid makes the puny amounts EU regimes dispense look puny. The Government is supposedly looking at generous tax relief for the very rich to fund foreign aid - so if only we could extend this scheme further the country could even helkp Christian churches and not simply Mosques

2 January 2009 at 17:13  
Anonymous Matt Wardman said...


>Well Matt, an infestation is the state of being overrun by parasites.

>To refer to vermin is just your over prevelent persecution complex.

You seem to assume that I am a member of some church or other - not that that has anything to do with the subject under discussion, which is about whether it is acceptable to brand people you disagree with "parasites" or "an infestation".

You could also take a look at the language used to demonise groups in the past, and where that has lead.

Are you proud to see the same language used as to demonise the Roma, for example?

>Now just remind me how many tens of millions of pounds the christian churches receive annually in tax relief, grants and other forms of benefit from the government?

Perhaps you'd remind me of any elements of "tax relief, grants and other forms of benefit" that were not granted for purposes specifically approved by government as being of benefit to the country, or were set aside in reply to special pleading for the particular benefit of religious bodies? The numbers as far as I know are vanishingly small. Where churches provide services, it is done in straight competition with other service providers.

I think you're on a hiding to nothing with that one, which brings us back to why bodies such as the NSS resort to abusive language rather than arguing the case.


2 January 2009 at 19:26  
Blogger TJ said...

This stuff is too funny. I don't seem to remember the values that are apparently absent from Brown's legislative programme being any too evident in Thatcher's either, since you picture her on the right. And the current economic crisis has more to do with her policies than Brown's. The banks are partly state owned now (socialism), Thatcher's policies are consigned to the rubbish bin of history, and the Tories are calling for more regulation. How times have changed, not that you seem to have noticed.

Nicky Gumbel is a berk though.

2 January 2009 at 21:41  
Blogger len.allan said...

If Nicky Gumbels qualities qualify him as a berk I would aspire to be a berk too!

4 January 2009 at 10:52  
Blogger TJ said...

Why aspire? Perhaps you already are one!

4 January 2009 at 20:54  
Blogger Jon said...

I was there, and you are absolutely right. The irony of attempting to "put Christ back into Christmas" at 10 Downing Street seemed completely lost on everyone.

In answer to a post above there are no women in the photo because they were hardly any women there! It was an event organised by "Hope 08". They are working with a few MPs who approached Gordon about doing it.

I had no idea what it was all about until I got there. Just got an invite from Gordon to attend inviting me to "a Christmas tea" (at 10.30 in the morning!).

At one point I thought about chucking my shoe at him during his speech, with the rationale that this is what Christ would have been doing...

4 January 2009 at 22:11  
Blogger Robert said...

Len mate your well on your way.

Tom mate women only get in the way of Browns revolution, perhaps he thinks they should be at home feeding the kids , or playing the good wife waiting for him to come home with the money here dear is your house keeping.

Brown and his gang.

9 January 2009 at 10:06  
Blogger len.allan said...

T J and Robert,
Have you heard of the alpha course?. I could heartily recommend it!
You could find details from your local church .
Unless you berks don`t have one!
only joking!.

13 January 2009 at 22:11  

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