Friday, April 11, 2014

Cameron on his vicar: "I can’t think of anyone who was more loving or thoughtful or kind"

This is the Rev'd Mark Abrey, vicar of St. Nicholas' Church, Chadlington, Oxfordshire. He seems to be a quiet and unassuming sort of minister, so you won't find much written about him anywhere. Indeed, it took His Grace the best part of an hour to unearth a photograph. The Rev'd Mark happens to be David Cameron's local vicar in his constituency. And this is what the Prime Minister said of him at Wednesday's Downing Street Easter reception:’s lovely to have here tonight the vicar from St Mary Abbots school, Gillean Craig, and also the vicar who looks after me spiritually in the constituency, Mark Abrey in Chadlington, who, when I often – anyone asks me about the pastoral care that many vicars carry out across the country, I remember 5 years ago when we had to mourn the loss and bury my son Ivan, I can’t think of anyone who was more loving or thoughtful or kind than Mark. And of course, Ivan would have been 12 yesterday, which has had me pause to think about that.
Now, Mr Cameron said an awful lot more in his speech, which spanned politics, religion, the law of Christ, the Big Society and Dyno-Rod. And you may read all of that for yourselves and make up your own minds what you think about it. But His Grace is going to dwell on this single sentence of tribute to a single Church of England vicar, for this speech was extempore - not carefully crafted by some Downing Street hireling. And, clearly coming from the heart, it reveals rather more about the Prime Minister's spirituality and appreciation of the Church of England's ministry than anything he has previously disclosed.

You see, however the Rev'd Mark Abrey votes and whatever his personal political beliefs, he has pastoral responsibility for all those who live within his entire parish. The pastoral care, prayer and support he provides constitutes an applied theology, and clearly, in the case of David Cameron, the Rev'd Mark has brought the liberating power of the gospel to bear on the actual circumstances of the Prime Minister's life. There was no imposition and no prior condition: the trappings of state and political power presented no hurdle to the vicar's compassion to weep with those who weep. The love of God - agape - reaches down to create a new love - caritas - in which humans are able, regardless of their wretched state or inconsolable grief, to behold their creator in a joy for which they are destined.

Dramatic changes in social circumstances and upheaval in our personal lives create pastoral needs. If Christian theology is to maintain any credibility at all in this increasingly secular, post-Christian age, it cannot ignore those needs. And it must adapt to human experience and observation, for, as we have seen in the lives of St Paul, St Augustine, Luther, Barth, Bonhoeffer and many others, a pastoral crisis can call received theological wisdom into question, and a new integrity has to be sought which is resonant with contemporary insights into human need and suffering, as it is manifested not only in the lives of individuals, but also in the behaviour and needs of whole societies.

The pastoral nature of Christian theology - as embodied by the Rev'd Mark Abrey and thousands of other ministers all over the country and the world - is what makes its existence necessary in the first place. It is something done sacrificially and empathetically by human beings to human beings, which is why it speaks to them most profoundly and creatively when it addresses the actual circumstances of their lives., especially when they are threatened, insecure, desolate or inconsolable with grief. Consider this section of the Prime Minister's speech:
I often get my moment of greatest peace – not every week, I’m ashamed to say, but perhaps every other week I pop in to the Thursday morning sung Eucharist beautiful service in St Mary Abbots, and I find a little bit of peace and hopefully a little bit of guidance.
Who are you to judge this simple insight? Who are you to condemn the search for navigation through stormy political waters? Who are you to be offended that David Cameron calls Christ "our Saviour"? He tells us that he went on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem and Jerusalem: "And it’s a very special moment the first time you go to the Church of the Holy Nativity; it’s a remarkable, extraordinary place, and I think something that will stay with me."

You may think he's a political chameleon and spiritual charlatan, spouting about this being a "Christian country" to try to dupe disaffected Christians into voting Tory. But is it not written that "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags"? He says he wants to "do more to raise the profile of the persecution of Christians around the world", and we are still waiting to hear what this might be. But please don't think that one who has mourned the death of his own son cannot taste the grief of the many thousands of bereaved parents and orphaned children whose tears are unending.

Pray for the Prime Minister, as St Paul exhorts, "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." And pray for the Rev'd Mark Abrey, that his witness to the Cameron family may continue to be "loving, thoughtful (and) kind"; that he might be wise and compassionate, manifesting the love of God to them as each opportunity presents itself to challenge the ever-renewing secular knowledge that purports to hold so much promise for the amelioration of the human lot, but which, without Christ, is little more than self-sufficient, self-deluding hubris.


Blogger Guy Jones said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 April 2014 at 09:22  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Cameron has a dilemma here.

His actions are those of a secular liberal yet he holds onto some kind of Christian faith which he sees fit to 'broadcast' to the nation. Not the message of the gospel however, but a sort of 'look at me I go to church too' and 'I visited a shrine'.

His problem is that by doing so he places himself before God, therefore, as a Christian and will be judged on that basis. The bar raised to its very highest. If he has done this for political gain he is the biggest fool in the nation.

I do not remember any other PM being so open about his/her Christian faith. It seems very strange when contrasted with the actions of the government.

Your Grace I do pray for Cameron. That God will bring him to his knees in repentance. You see this 'king' is not some heathen ruler, but is like Ahab and leads this nation into apostasy.

11 April 2014 at 09:26  
Blogger Len said...

I can only express profound sympathy for any parent who loses a child.This must be one of the worst things that can possibly happen.

A politician has to be I suppose [all things to all people]but a Christian cannot possibly 'straddle that fence.'
So a politician either divides his political and religious lives into two separate compartments and 'comes out' when he leaves office as did Blair or he compromises his religion to suit his Government office.
The greatest impact a Christian politician can make is to stand up for his Saviour whilst he is in public office and to accept the consequences of that decision.
It is a matter of conscience.

11 April 2014 at 10:25  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Maybe, as others here have suggested, he may be attempting to live his life in compartments, one for reflecting on the things of God, and another for gaining what he sees as further political power, with a hermetic seal between the two compartments. If so he would not be the first human being to attempt to do live like that. We all do a bit of it I suspect, from time to time, as humans are skilled at seeing what they wish to see. it is part of our natures.

Now even for the ordinary person, living in compartments is not what God seeks from a sincere follower of "the way". It just will not do. Christians are called, to try at least, with all our ups and downs and human failures, to reflect gospel teachings in the whole of their lives. We all fail of course, as that bar is such a high one. But we must continue to try.
But unlike the ordinary Christian man on the Clapham omnibus, who also struggles with being consistently Christian, Cameron wields enormous power, even now with us all but absorbed within the greedy EU empire. So what is expected of him will be so much higher. He has introduced radical legislative change, redefining marriage for all, which is making mission and other church activities far more difficult, not to mention the effects on the Churches' worldwide unity. His actions have been strongly anti-Christian without a shred of doubt.
So whilst seeing him as a vulnerable human being, like the rest of us, I also see him as a virulently anti-christian PM whose party I have withdrawn my support from for ever. He is social wrecker, or to quote the former Archbishop of Canterbury, what he has done represents "cultural vandalism". Marriage is now, as defined by the state, a legal nonsense, a legal fiction, having been violently sundered from its true biological, social and theological purposes. One does not have to be Christian or even religious to see that.

Maybe one day he will see, for the first time, the magnitude of the damage that he has visited upon our society and country. But I doubt it, as top politicians of this era never listen to wiser voices.

To end on a happier note, The vicar is no doubt a splendid pastor.

11 April 2014 at 11:18  
Blogger Integrity said...

His Grace has been abducted and replaced by a lefty Liberal Anglican in the payroll of Conservative Central Office.

These noxious platitudes are not those of the Spirit filled Christian. Whilst showing compassion for the lost, the weak and the sick, those whom Christ lives inside of them show no mercy on pious outbursts of a sycophantic political leader.

His Grace would have known better. The spirit of Christ in us does not say, there there, well done though good and faithful servant. No, it challenges and rebukes the spirit of deception and calls on the person to repent and turn to the true and risen Christ. Actions are the fruit of true believer, not mealy mouthed platitudes.

Let the Real Cranmer be released from his incarceration and return to the pulpit of redemption.

11 April 2014 at 11:19  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

"Our Saviour was crucified" -- How many Prime Ministers in the last hundred years have used those words in an unscripted speech on a public occasion? Minimal recognition is better than none.

11 April 2014 at 11:26  
Blogger Nath said...

The glory of the Church of England and its achilles heel.

That it ministers to all as though all are Christians will sadly be the Church's undoing.

Cheap grace, administered to all; love without sacrifice; peace without reconcilliation. The Gospel of Jesus Christ without a crucifixion. New life without death. Easter morning without Good Friday.

We are to treat those in Christ as Brother and Sisters but we treat all equally: "my how they love eachother" did the early pagans proclaim - "what a bunch of hypocties" do their modern equivalents say, for the love of many runs cold, our salt is losing its saltiness.

Judge not we teach and sit back in silence but Christ says Judge rightly and you hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and THEN shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

For fear of condemnation we allow our brothers and sisters to walk around with motes in their eyes. We walk around half blinded because we are hypocrites unwilling to judge ourselves and unable to judge others with righteousness.

Yet of gay marriage, abortion and the matters of this world we so often hysterically condemn it before time, yes one day we will judge the world but our ministry to it now is one of reconcilliation, didn't St. Paul say: What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.

Yet through our established Church we treat world as though it were the church and absolve the church as though it was the world.

Our resources are spread thin on those who'd damn us, the word is stripped of its power, the Church holds no special place for those whom Christ calls his own and we are busily casting our pearls to the pigs.

I have come to the conclusion that dis-establishment of the Church is necessary and that whatever worldly influence we lose will be more than compensated for by embracing Christ's ethic of authentic love and righteousness.

Cannon law is already at odds with the law of the land and the Queen's integrity has been put in jeopardy by threatening her coronation oath. The process has already begun.

I believe its time complete this process, to shake the dust from our feet and seek people of peace - one holy catholic and apostolic church.

11 April 2014 at 11:28  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Nath @ 11.28

I too have, with the greatest reluctance, come to the conclusion that the only thing that will save the C of E , freeing it to, once again, become a throughly mission orientated , deeply Christian Church, is disestablishment. I never thought that I 'd say that, but there is where I have reached. And I realise that , donning a political hat, establishment and being part of the Constitution, should, in theory, act as an extra layer of protection against total absorption into the wretched EU. But with many of the liberals in the C of E naively supporting the EU empire, blind to both its essentially anti-christian nature, and the extinguishment of our democracy, it does not in practice, seem to provide that expected protection.

So as God comes before country, I say, let us reform the Church starting by splitting it off from the toxic politicians. Let us jump before we are pushed.

11 April 2014 at 12:02  
Blogger Guy Jones said...


I often feel that preachers should stand outside churches calling those inside to repentance.

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God."

This David needs his Nathan!

11 April 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Integrity said...

His Grace has been abducted and replaced by a lefty Liberal Anglican in the payroll of Conservative Central Office." Strewth...Sounds like a scene from Diamonds are Forever.

Must ask me old henchmen if they know anything about this.

Has the original HG been kidnapped and held by two voluptuous lesbian SS married couple in a bolthole in Tower Hamlets whilst the imposter puts forward an liberal scheme to make the CofE the natural home of
christian sounding left by default for as the good Lord said: "Love thy neighbour as thyself, unless he's traditionalist, in which case, discredit the ba&%*&d!"

Blofeld:, take this to ConservativeHome, Integrity. [holds up an urn]
Integrity: What is it, my master?
King: His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer!

Blofeld to Integrity: "Some in the CofE wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself rainbow and danced naked on top of a harpsichord during a Gay Parade march, singing 'Cunning plans are here again..Lalala lala lala lalala!'"


11 April 2014 at 12:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...



Is it possible that there are elections a coming??*Giggles*


11 April 2014 at 12:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Who are you to condemn the search for navigation through stormy political waters?

When the navigator has the map upside down (and very possibly back to front as well), condemnation is the least he can expect from his passengers. As for the sentimental mush about St Mary Abbots, he has to attend because his children are at school there.

11 April 2014 at 12:41  
Blogger bluedog said...

This communicant is with Blowers, Your Grace. There's an election coming on. Cameron sounds grown up and is undoubtedly sincere in mourning his lost son Ivan, none could deny that. But as David Hussell says, the damage is done, and David Cameron has left his run too late to be a credible claimant of the Christian vote.

11 April 2014 at 12:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Two reactions.

1. The speech sounded much better in the blog post than in the transcript.

2. Wow. Talk about immanentizing the eschaton. There is literally no transcendent dimension to this speech.

The sparse religious references are to Christ and not God. There is in fact no mention of God at all. Anywhere. Which is more than passing strange in a reception for Christians by a Christian in the context of Easter. And once again he side-steps the resurrection.

The description of the vicar could have been a description of any counselor or friend. The spiritual dimensions of a vicar's ministry was subsumed into binding wounds. The focus goes no further than dealing with aftermath of death.

Jesus is called a Savior but a Savior from what? Grief. Misery. Unhappiness. The hardships and travails of life. But a Savior from the wrath of God because of sin? Where is that visible?

He lists three objectives - all of which are laudable in and of themselves but all of which are wholly focused on the world. He wants to increase faith-based ministries. Does the specific faith matter? If meeting a person's needs is the whole point, does it matter what faith motivates the assistance? Does it even matter if the faith is true so long as it produces the desired behavior? He wants to speak out for persecuted Christians elsewhere. Why? Because they suffer for the Truth or because they suffer for lack of autonomy? And he wants more evangelism. Why?

More belief that we can get out there and actually change people’s lives and make a difference and improve both the spiritual, physical and moral state of our country

This isn't evangelism as preaching Christ crucified. This is evangelism as self-help. It has no content or purpose beyond shaping behavior. This is Christendom without Christ, the church without the Gospel. Any faith or message would suffice so long as it produces the right outcome. It fits perfectly with popping round to the church for a beautiful experience to "find a little bit of peace and hopefully a little bit of guidance." The focus on man is relentless. It asks no other question but "What does religion do for me?" But where is the responsibility of man to worship God as God?

God might as well be a convenient abstraction for all the tangible reality he is given in this speech. His reality simply doesn't matter. What does matter? Peace, guidance, food banks. The sum total of man's religion in an increasingly immanent world.


11 April 2014 at 14:05  
Blogger Len said...

This may seem a little off thread but the church seems to have lost its way and those who presume to be' Christian' are 'doing what seems right in their own eyes'(how history repeats itself!)
The Church Catholic and Protestant now seem to be going for' the social Gospel' where the Church tends and cares for the weak and the underprivileged members of our Society.

Nothing wrong with that at all!.

But is that the gospel?. The secular world does as much.
Christians [should?] pray that God`s Will be done.
But what is God`s Will?. Obviously care for the poor.But what else?.

God wants everyone saved.But saved for what?.
God wants everyone to go to Heaven ..but why?.
God has worked through the human race for thousands of years to what end.To build a church ?. For what ends?.
The answer is in the Scriptures and unless one understand God`s plans and purposes we will be at a loss.

Everything in this World is either for God`s will or fighting against it coming to completion .

And God`s will?
' The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

(Colossians 1)

That Christ might have the supremacy in all things and then order will be restored!.

11 April 2014 at 14:25  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"....there has grown up among us an unfortunate tendency to equate Christianity with conservatism.The effect has been to shrink the gospel of Christ-a radical compassion that touched prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors, adulterers, women and other thirs-class citizens of his time-to a narrow and exclusionary faith of narrow and exclusionary concerns:criminalise abortions, demonise gays and that's pretty much it."
Leonard Pitts Jr

11 April 2014 at 14:28  
Blogger Integrity said...

Thank you Blowers for your hilarious reply. You are 'dead on' as they say in NI. An election IS coming and there should only be one way for DC to go. Not sure yet who should replace him but go he must.

There have been many PM's and politicians who have been great Christians including our late Margaret Thatcher. None have used their beliefs as a prop for their political ambitions because they had integrity. Something DC lacks in every area of his life. To use the unfortunate loss of his child in this way is so distasteful.

I feel sorry for the poor Vicar because he has had his ego lifted by the serpent and that is something that none of need. Our ego's are usually big enough without DC damming us.

I await with trepidation to see whether there is a third blog in a row that exalts the Deity of DC or more hopefully the rightful Cranmer will arise as the Phoenix from the ashes and restore his good name.

11 April 2014 at 14:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace will resist responding to these vicious waves of harsh criticism: the last time he did so (to the communicant formerly known as Corrigan), the recipient of the ireful riposte stormed off and then emailed to demand back the tenner he said he put into His Grace's collection plate.

Naturally, the refund was made.

So, because His Grace is currently rebuilding his steeple and has no desire to issue further refunds which would imperil the project, he will read and reflect upon this thread, but not demur publicly. He who pays the piper..

11 April 2014 at 14:49  
Blogger Owl said...

"You may think he's a political chameleon and spiritual charlatan, spouting about this being a "Christian country" to try to dupe disaffected Christians into voting Tory"

Spot on, YG.

You couldn't have summed up Dave better than this. Well done.

I realise that the rest of your post was all "tongue in cheek".


11 April 2014 at 14:54  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


David Cameron has left his run too late to be a credible claimant of the Christian vote.

I’m inclined to agree, as far as it goes. But is either Clegg or Miliband a safer bet for the “Christian voter”? Or even Farage, although I’m fully aware that he has David Hussell’s fervorous support?

In Miliband’s case, I notice that his three-day visit to Israel is ending just in time for him to avoid the potential political embarrassment of spending Passover there. And at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, when he was asked whether he was a Zionist, he carefully avoided giving a straight Yes or No answer.

Sitting on two fences at once, one political and the other religious, looks like the kind of achievement that might serve as the text for one of His Grace’s sermons.

11 April 2014 at 15:38  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Your Grace

Great post. Despite me being a rabid fundie, and you being accused of verging on the liberal, I'm so pleased I can wholeheartedly agree with the last paragraph, and add yer man Abrey to the list. I must get that PrayerMate App for stuff like this...

As a matter of habit I tried to work out what Mr Cameron was up to, but then I was reading about Nebuchadnezzar in the week, where he recaps on his experiences with a real God who invaded his personal kingdom. As a result I felt completely peaceful about just leaving Mr Cameron uncriticised, and hoping he one day follows his own comments to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord. If Paul could exhort prayers for Nero, praying for Dave really isn't too much to ask.

I've read it so many times before, but Daniel's reputation as trustworthy, not corrupt and not negligent was a real challenge. I get the impression that meant he was in the right place when God wanted to witness to one Gentile ruler after another.

11 April 2014 at 15:55  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian @ 15.38

Your last comment about me having "fervorous support" for Farage made me smile.

Like all Christians I don't expect a great deal from any earthly government, except a measure of competence, fairness and wisdom. Certainly I don't expect any political leader to be anything other than flawed, as we recognise the inadequate nature of all humanity. I look to faith, and the gospel, to reform our characters. Indeed democracy, as a system of light touch government, only works, as the wise American founders realised, if Christianity was doing its job.

But as a realist I realise that we have to back the least/worst horse, and that's from my point of view, Ukip. Farage has vision, guts, clear thinking, principle and a grasp of British culture and history. That's what I back him. However I was not aware that I was fervorous, but you obviously think so. What a hoot !
Getting out of the wretched EU empire is a absolute necessity, and my overriding political priority, to ensure the survival of our (much battered) democracy and culture.

11 April 2014 at 16:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Archbishop Cranmer said...@11 April 2014 14:49

"His Grace will resist responding to these vicious waves of harsh criticism (Strewth. Is that really you, Cranny?): the last time he did so (to the communicant formerly known as Corrigan), the recipient of the ireful riposte stormed off and then emailed to demand back the tenner he said he put into His Grace's collection plate (He is known to all, so comes as no surprise!).

Naturally, the refund was made (Good riddance to bad money, we would say!)."

Now old Ernsty is starting to worry and panic regarding the current situation on the blog?

If the real Cranny has been kidnapped it sounds very much like the main strategy used by SPECTRE's, to instigate conflict between two powerful enemies, namely the high and low factors in an organisation/powerbase, hoping that they will exhaust themselves and be vulnerable when it (Spectre) seizes power.

Could the instigators of such treachery be the secretive secularist society, Common Purpose, a kind of Unione Corse? There is an election coming and Cranny is still highly thought of and influential with the grey and pink rinse brigade

The worry is that the 'real' Cranmer would have kicked our derriere's harshly by issuing an explicit countering comment, explaining his position.

Must get in contact with Francisco and see if he is aware of any strange happenings at Cranny's residence or send in Jaws to find out.

This is going to cost old Ernst dear, doing one last favour/job for SPECTRE, so hope it's worth it? *Chuckles*


11 April 2014 at 16:47  
Blogger Flossie said...

I am reluctant to say on a family blog such as this what I think of Cameron.

I take heed of Romans 16:

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

11 April 2014 at 17:08  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

It’s hard to buy what he has on offer, but to be frank, it’s hard to take on ANY dressed sincerity (for gentlemen, that is what it is) from any politician of the big 3. Instead, it’s put down, sniffed, and soil backed kicked over it these days. Nothing Cameron does right is ‘cast iron’ as we’ve found, more thin convenience plastic as in plastic SSM. Why should his religious convictions, if that is what they genuinely are, be considered any different.

One imagines a scenario. 10 Downing Street, a party advisor flunky has finally been granted an audience.

Prime Minister. We are particularly concerned you may have blown a large part of the Christian vote

“Look, I’ll bake them a cake, and I’ll do it in the run up to Easter”

You think that would be enough ?

“OK. I’ll dress as Santa next Christmas. Go and arrange some orphans for then. White ones are better, and don’t forget the tokens, but no Eastern European – we’re overrun with immigrants and I don’t want to remind anyone of that”

11 April 2014 at 17:17  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Carl at 14:05

Another gloriously ‘on the nail’ post with as much clarity as clarity can be. Well done !

Consider yourself on the Inspector’s staff, that man. Honorary to begin with until one can get his office funding in place. Now, where’s that pad of blank parliamentary expense forms hiding…

11 April 2014 at 17:18  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say fellows, our Archbishop has sat at the stocks and is inviting wet sponges to be thrown his way. (Not that one madam, isn’t that the one you used to {AHEM}, treat your ‘condition’ down there?). Make the most of it, if you will, it will no doubt be over before we know it.

This extraordinary move seems to be on a similar line to the erstwhile RCC plenary indulgence that built the great cathedrals and churches of Christendom. (Now, you don’t think the masons laboured for nothing, do you ?). Anyway, rather fitting that in this instance, we have the electronic rejuvenation of a virtual steeple. One must of course keep the infrastructure in good order, what !

Now, eminence, the Inspector has made it perfectly clear that he has foresworn any sending of money over the internet, and that was before heartbleed. Would you kindly arrange for a post office box number to receive cheques. He feels he cannot be singular in his stance, and one must fit in with our new multi transactional/cultural world, don’t you think ?

Cheery Pip !

11 April 2014 at 17:19  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Never fear from speaking your mind. Two things could occur. One, we will see the underlying thoughts of your mind. The second, we are corrected and see the truth the Cranmer way.
Never be in the pocket of the provider. God is your provider and much richer than all.

11 April 2014 at 17:44  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack asks how far can a Prime Minister, the 'first among equals' in a Cabinet, actually go in promoting his own particular faith? Being in Government, let alone heading it, in a parliamentary representative democracy, in a secular, post-Christian, multi-faith society must be a headache for a believer.

(Writing that sentence certainly was)

11 April 2014 at 17:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Integrity said...11 April 2014 17:44

Agree with every single word expressed.


11 April 2014 at 18:05  
Blogger Frater minor said...

[i]Happy Jack asks how far can a Prime Minister, the 'first among equals' in a Cabinet, actually go in promoting his own particular faith?[/i]

We have already seen just how far the secularists can go in promoting their own faith!

But I think that for a Christian to use a high position to further his faith might be seen as an abuse of power. (Secularists have no such restrictions, though)
However, a Christian in politics should behave in a Christian way, and be a light shining in the darkness.

I think we do need a few of them.

Frater minor

11 April 2014 at 18:37  
Blogger IanCad said...

They're out there; in every denomination. The foot soldiers of the Lord.

Oh, their theology might not be quite right. Why don't they sound the trumpet louder? It just hasn't got that certain sound.

The Rev. Abrey seems a perfectly square type of chap. He offers comfort, counsel, and, as with most pastors, most likely lives up to, and practices, according to the light granted him.

God Bless them.

11 April 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers and Integrity, you will know better, having been here longer, but Happy Jack is wondering if some may have missed the point of HG's reflections.

Jack doesn't believe it was actually about the content of Cameron's speech. It was about the pastoral role of frontline clergy in secular times. How, by reaching out in simple love to people in crisis, the church can assist the process of individual transformation and encourage the development of a deeper understanding of the Gospel.

Nothing lefty-liberal in that.

11 April 2014 at 19:51  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

DC to sikh community 7th april 2014

As with ALL the speeches given to Sikhs etc, Do note, NOTHING about his own faith, unless it is to a Christian audience for an 'evangelistic' comparison and therefore PR promotion of HIS Government of freeing the people, carrying burdens,and he is fond of quoting this ut varied to whoever will listen "I also wanted to say I’m proud this year to have completed a small pilgrimage, which is I have finally made it to the place where our Saviour was both crucified and born. And it’s a very special moment the first time you go to the Church of the Holy Nativity; it’s a remarkable, extraordinary place, and I think something that will stay with me." to Sikhs "“And I wanted to welcome you particularly this year because I think the highlight of my year so far, in a job that takes me to meet some extraordinary people and to some extraordinary places, was the visit to Amritsar to see for myself the Golden Temple – really the spiritual home of your religion. And I have to say it was an incredibly moving and memorable experience.I will never forget the visit that I made to Amritsar and to the Golden Temple; "
especially with two election within one year coming up fast!
DC is : All things at all times to all men.

"Lets get those daft sheep rounded up"...DC's political John the Baptist to Blair's missionary messiah.




DC has had five years to thank his vicar for the support given after the death of his child...So why NOW?

Think SSM will damage him badly from old traditionalists and there will be a reckoning at the polls for his treachery!!

11 April 2014 at 21:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Let us all be aware of that treachery...No matter which party gets in, SSM can NEVER be reversed.

Eternally condemned, written in the stones of history, as a once christian nation.


11 April 2014 at 21:46  
Blogger Integrity said...

Tis clear that Happy Jack is trying hard to keep on the good side of HG.

11 April 2014 at 22:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...


Happy Jack is just trying to be balanced in his arguments Integrity. Sometimes one has to read beneath HG's words.

Blowers, Cameron is a product of representative democracy, multiculturalism and secular liberalism.

11 April 2014 at 22:34  
Blogger bluedog said...

Uncle Brian @ 15.38, as the UK balkanises into various competing ethno-religious blocs, one can imagine that political strategists will devise targeted messages for each. Clegg clearly pitches at the urban secularist, while Miliband faces an impossible task. On one hand he needs the loyalty of the old white working class, much of which is socially conservative. On the other hand, Miliband competes with Clegg for the progressive vote. One can imagine Miliband being very much at home with a gathering of progressives, but being like a fish out of water with the working class.

In any event, an important but unstated function of both the Lib-Dims and Labour is to keep the Left under control. In this role, both parties are highly successful.

Assessing Cameron in this context in terms of the Right, one can only conclude that he has failed, utterly. On Cameron's watch a latent Rightist party has exploded into national and international prominence and now dictates the UK political agenda from the Right. Everything Cameron does, such as this highly publicised Easter address, is in reaction to UKIP. Cameron has allowed the Conservatives to be out-flanked on the ideological right, and in the process, missed the chance of winning the allegiance of disaffected social conservatives defecting from Labour. Award the lad a big 'fail'.

But as we seem to agree, it is now too late for Cameron to make a difference. And nobody will believe him when he tries to do so.

11 April 2014 at 22:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Honorary to begin with until one can get his office funding in place.

In lieu of financial compensation, do you think you could get someone to put some new episodes of Midsomer Murders onto Netflix? I haven't seen a new episode since John Nettles left the show.

It's anti-American discrimination, that's what it is.


12 April 2014 at 00:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


to the communicant formerly known as Corrigan

Corrigan departed the blog? Blofeld, you should probably get started on the job description for the want ads. Here is a starting suggestion.

Help Wanted: Irracible curmudgeonly anti-Zionist to act as foil. Knowledge of the Middle East or Israeli history is not required. Other commenters will instruct. The successful applicant will be very adept at pounding his shoe on the table.


12 April 2014 at 00:38  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

See, what has been going through Happy Jack's mind is not whether David Cameron is a fiend and betrayer of Conservatism. He is.


What's troubling Jack is whether any future Prime Minister can ever be any different. A person with clear, orthodox, Christian religious convictions (i.e. a conservative Christian). Someone willing and able to express the Christian Gospel in the policies of government. Orthodoxy itself is under challenge in the Church and the only possibility seems to be politicians such as Cameron.

Mr Diversity Man - pluralist, multi-faith, multicultural, anti-sexist, anti-heterosexist, pro-all popular things.

What should the Church and its ministers immediately shepherding politician's souls do?

- Define clear parameters of Christian teaching and encourage firm commitment to these? Is this *democratic*? What are these parameters anyway?

- Recognise the nature of politics in a democratic, secular age where liberalism and multiculturalism dominate? No one world view should prevail; all should be included.

- Or should they just minister to their individual needs as these arise, patiently wait the workings of the Holy Spirit?

12 April 2014 at 00:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The more Ernst thinks about the current situation politically, the more depressing it all gets.

Will vote UKIP at European election but GE, haven't really got a clue?

All much of a muchness to old Blowers, no party that stands out, even allowing for UKIP's would still only be a firm protest vote, not done from the heart and mind but still deeply unhappy with what is on offer.

Worst thing that happened, Cameron beating David Davis.

The more I think about it the more I feel we really are screwed, as that old rogue Corrigan (peace reign upon him) stated.



carl jacobs said...

"Help Wanted: Irracible curmudgeonly anti-Zionist to act as foil. Knowledge of the Middle East or Israeli history is not required. Other commenters will instruct. The successful applicant will be very adept at pounding his shoe on the table. "

Think our Keen Greek/Aussie Kosta will throw his Laurel Leaf Wreath Headband with dangling corks on the HG's HR table!!

God help us...It would be worse than having put Bernard Madoff in charge of HG's new steeple fund.

* Giggles*

12 April 2014 at 00:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


"Mr Diversity Man - pluralist, multi-faith, multicultural, anti-sexist, anti-heterosexist, pro-all popular things.

What should the Church and its ministers immediately shepherding politician's souls do?"

They seem as lost in this world as people like Cameron are...blind leading the blind, straight over the cliff?

The death of a nation never happens overnight, it is slow death by piecemeal necrosis poisoning.

I find it all very depressing, Lad.

It's like knowing you suffer from a terminal illness and no amount of people saying 'there must be a silver lining to it all', helps in the slightest, to that inevitable fact that you know its finished.


12 April 2014 at 00:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Integrity and HJ

"I await with trepidation to see whether there is a third blog in a row that exalts the Deity of DC or more hopefully the rightful Cranmer will arise as the Phoenix from the ashes and restore his good name."

As His Grace never said what exactly he was giving up for Lent, we may presume it was his traditional beliefs on Wednesday, March 5...but fear not, as Lent ends on Thursday, April 17, Good Friday therefore should see normal service resumed back on the blog with His Nibs back on form.


12 April 2014 at 01:06  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack says there's no room for despair in a Christian's heart. Things are as our Creator permits and foresaw.

All we can do is soldier on doing our best with hope, knowing all things will come together as they should. The victory has been won for mankind. The struggle is for us as individuals in the midst of the enemies death froes.

Jack's concern is for people he loves growing up in a world so confused and troubled. A world where in the West we are turning our backs on Our Lord.

12 April 2014 at 01:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack says there's no room for despair in a Christian's heart."

Old Ernst despairs like Jeremiah, lad.

In Jeremiah chapter 2, verses 12 and 13, the prophet points out that God’s people had committed two serious sins.

First, they had forsaken God, “the fountain of living waters.” (Sound familar, Jack?) Second, they had hewn out for themselves “cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”

A fountain of living water is a spring that always brings forth an abundant supply of fresh, clean water. God is like this. He is a constant source of blessings to those that love Him.

A cistern has no water supply of its own, but is only a storage place for water. A broken cistern would hold no water at all.

This is why old Ernst despairs as we find ourselves in Judah's predicament as a nation.

Jeremiah’s preaching fell on deaf ears because the people had become very corrupt (again, familiar?). The priests and prophets were as bad as the others (Jeremiah 5:30, 31; 8:11,12;23:1-40)(again, familiar?).

Jeremiah pleaded for the people to return to God’s way and “walk in the old paths” of God’s Law. They refused (Jeremiah 6:16)(again, familiar?).

The book of Lamentations was also written by Jeremiah.

He wrote it to describe the terrible destruction of Jerusalem.

Some have described Lamentations as “a funeral dirge for Jerusalem.”

In the Septuagint Old Testament, Lamentations is called “The Tears of Jeremiah.”

Each of the five chapters of Lamentations is a poem. It shows clearly that God will punish even His own people if they do not repent of their sins.

Something to despair about Lad (The tears of Ernst), if you love our nation and care for our little ones with us or about to join us, in this wicked world.

Nighty night Jack Lad.


12 April 2014 at 02:08  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

It's not Cameron's job as Prime Minister to provide a robust apology for Christianity. Nor, really, is it his job to be the perfect Christian. We might hope he might shed a stronger and less befogged light, but then we might well hope the same of ourselves.

On the other hand, it is the job of the leaders of the Church. I can cope with a Prime Minister whose faith is humanly weak, but not with a church whose position is one of ever-increasing compromise with the World. So be kind to our brother Dave, but wonder why those in whose hands he and countless others like him have been placed, have led them a merry dance into relativism and decay.

12 April 2014 at 02:31  
Blogger Manfarang said...

The spring is turned off in the evening at Ein Gedi.

12 April 2014 at 06:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

That steeple indicator doesn't seem to be going up anymore.

12 April 2014 at 06:50  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Brilliant post by Nath yesterday.

YG asks 'who are we to judge?'' Fair enough, and of course we ought to feel compassion for a bereaved parent but with respect to YG we are right to judge a politician by their works, not their speeches. And how do we know this speech wasn't carefully crafted? I do a fair bit of public speaking and I can remember the message when I don't actually have th Powerpoint up.

Good for the Reverend, I wish him well, but the issue remains that a national State church of which all are deemed members by default and which treats unconverted men and women as if they were disciples may be a snare for their souls.

Jeremiah 8:11 'they have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying "peace! peace!' when there is no peace.'

12 April 2014 at 07:34  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Blowers @00.48

I remember where I was when the news came through that DC had won over David Davis, in a taxi between Ryde and Newport Isle of Wight. I thought this was a catastrophe and inexplicable.

Peter Hitchens was at the conference where the decision was made and has written it up in his book 'The Cameron Delusion'. He explains how the machine delivered the result via an unwritten deal between top Tories and the BBC. The goal was to preserve Blair's social 'reforms'.

Essential reading.

12 April 2014 at 07:44  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Rambling Steve Appleseed @ 07.44

I agree.

Peter Hitchins has written some excellent material, which fails to get the attention that it deserves, as his views are contrary to the dominant mushy left/liberal orthodoxy that surrounds us. His predictions regarding Cameron are very prescient. But he is a tad too gloomy for me sometimes.

I agree that with David Davis, they rejected the Conservative Party's best hope. He could have rallied the blue collar support, the demographic which swept Mrs T to victory. Without someone in touch with the pulse of the nation, no political party will gain lasting appeal or loyalty. And that is why voters in their droves are fleeing from all three establishment parties, amongst other reasons.

12 April 2014 at 08:19  
Blogger Len said...

Corrigan went for the price of a tenner?.
If I put a tenner in HG`s plate can I make a suggestion?.
Just joking!.

12 April 2014 at 12:01  

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