James's Weblog

Proud to support #Pride?

Mon, 26/06/2017 - 11:20 -- James Oakley
Tottenham Court Road station, with the Underground roundall recoloured
Transport for London

The annual so-called "Pride Festival" runs from Saturday 24th June until Saturday 8th July this year.

Lots of businesses, public and private, have chosen to show their support. They're proud to support Pride.

The trouble is, "Pride" is not something that is supported by all of the British public. Yet, in giving these businesses their custom, members of the public are giving their support (including financial support) to the Pride movement.

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Vanity Fair

Fri, 23/06/2017 - 16:24 -- James Oakley
The Pilgrims enter Vanity Fair

John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the bestselling books ever written, never out of print since 1678. By way of brief background: It is written as though the narrator dreamt the story, and is an extended allegory of the Christian’s journey through life. The protagonist is called Christian (and all the other people and places have names that betray their character).

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Clergy Tax Returns: Tired of waiting for your P11D?

Thu, 22/06/2017 - 13:19 -- James Oakley
Form P11D

Here's a simple tip, which may help some clergy looking to complete their tax returns.

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant, so this is not professional advice, merely a tip from a fellow traveller. Needless to say, you are responsible for the figures you put on your own annual returns.

A perennial frustration

There's a cycle that repeats each year.

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Preventing Schism in the Church of England

Tue, 13/06/2017 - 09:43 -- James Oakley
The fabric is torn
Image Credit: Rigers Rukaj

Is schism the biggest, or even the only, heresy in today's church?

Recent events in the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) have led to big cracks opening up in the wider Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury has, rightly, regarded unity as vital to pursue. A house divided against itself cannot stand. He wants the Anglican Communion to stay together, walk together, in spite of profound disagreement. However, latest events have left him having to work frantically to keep the Anglican Communion together.

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The government must fall ...

Wed, 07/06/2017 - 10:59 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: Hopeasuo

… eventually.

I have no idea which way tomorrow's General Election will go. But our parish magazine, The Well, comes out this week or next, and I have a letter in there about the Election. Here it is:

Dear Friends

I was planning to write some more about the epoch-making events 500 years ago known as “The Reformation”. That can wait: We’ve had a General Election, and possibly the outcome is known by the time you read this.

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Why Pentecost? Why that day?

Wed, 31/05/2017 - 10:57 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: Soreen D

Why Pentecost? Why did the Spirit come on the church on that day in particular?

It's a good question. Jesus ascended on a Thursday; the Spirit did not come for another 10 days. Why the wait? Jesus only said that they'd have to wait for "a few days", but 10 is longer than it might have been.

Perhaps it was just expedient. There would be multi-national crowds in Jerusalem over the Pentecost festival, making it a perfect time for them to hear the wonders of God in their own tongues.


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Poldark - a prime example of romanticism

Wed, 17/05/2017 - 10:37 -- James Oakley

To give credit where credit is due, some readers may spot echoes of the late Mike Ovey's CD1.1 lecture course in the pen portrait of romanticism below. They'd spot that with good reason. The section is included as a summary, and for the benefit of those not fortunate enough to have taken that course, before turning to the illustrative material which is my own contribution.


Romanticism is a wide-ranging movement from (mainly) the first half of the nineteenth century. It influenced literature, art, architecture, philosophy, theology, politics and more.

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How To: Insert New Line / Line Break in Microsoft Word using VBA

Wed, 10/05/2017 - 10:15 -- James Oakley
New paragraph / new line?

In Microsoft Word, there's all the difference in the world between a new paragraph and a new line.

To insert a new paragraph, press the Enter key. If you have "show all characters" turned on, you'll see each paragraph break with its "backwards P" icon. Each paragraph in Word has its own properties. It can have extra space above or below, it could be indented from the left / right margins, with the option of different indentation for the first line.

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