Church Life

Who is the trouble-maker?

Fri, 24/02/2017 - 13:26 -- James Oakley
Godfrey, the trouble-making parrot

The Gossipy Parrot by Shen Roddie, a story that our children used to love: Godfrey, the parrot loved to make trouble. He used to tell tales on the other animals - "Gorrila says that bee has stung his own bottom." "He does, does he?", says bee - and off he goes to get even. One day the lion decided to teach Godfrey a lesson. He fed him all kinds of juicy snippets: "The trouble maker says that crocodile has false teeth", which Godfrey would faithfully relay to crocodile.

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It really is time to choose

Wed, 15/02/2017 - 21:05 -- James Oakley

Yesterday, I wrote about the debate before the Church of England's General stood as to whether to take note of the House of Bishops' report into human sexuality.

I explained that the document, and the process that led to it, was all about "good disagreement" - how can traditionalists and progressives get along together without falling out.

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With what rapture

Sun, 04/12/2016 - 15:26 -- James Oakley

It's Advent, which traditionally has two focii.

The season is about preparing for the coming of Christ. The more obvious half of that is preparing to celebrate Christmas. The other side to it is about the final return of Christ to this world, when he comes to judge the living and the dead, to usher in the new heavens and the new earth, and to free the cosmos from its bondage to decay. What we, slightly mistakenly, call the "second coming". We remind ourselves that it's coming, and we prepare ourselves for it.

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Peter Leithart on Paedocommunion

Fri, 11/11/2016 - 12:12 -- James Oakley

I'd taken a break from reading other people's blogs, but when I had a look to see what I'd been missing I found a superb 4-part essay by Peter Leithart on the subject of paedocommunion - the admission of baptised children to the Lord's Table.

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Signing Marriage Certificates

Tue, 31/05/2016 - 11:46 -- James Oakley

A small note for Anglican clergy who read this blog.

Until very recently, when I led the "signing of the marriage registers" after a wedding, here is how I did it: 1. The groom signs 3 copies (the two marriage registers, and what will be their marriage certificate). 2. The bride signs 3 copies. 3. Witness 1, then Witness 2, sign all 3. 4. Lastly I sign both marriage registers, I sign the same box on the marriage certificate, and then I sign the declaration at the bottom of the marriage certificate.

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Advent TV

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 15:56 -- James Oakley

It's Advent.

It's widely acknowledged that there are some TV shows that are timeless, and deserve to be watched at Christmas time. The film It's a Wonderful Life, various editions of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, and so on.

It is less widely appreciated that there is TV that deserves to be watched each Advent.

With a hat-tip to Ian and Peter (you know who you are), here is my suggestion

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How balanced is your preaching programme?

Wed, 16/07/2014 - 10:49 -- James Oakley

I had a really interesting conversation this last week on the subject of what proportions of sermons here should be on which parts of Scripture. (I said that I try to aim at 1/3 each of Old Testament, Gospel, and rest of New Testament - after using some weeks for the occasional topical series).

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