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Quotes of the week

23 June 2023


With Chidham Primary School to see their fabulous eco-partnership with the church. Teacher “Does anyone have a question for the Bishop?” “YES! Are you Jesus’ mummy?” ‘No. Not his mummy, but Jesus IS my brother.” A very robust exchange on Trinitarian theology ensued

Ruth Bushyager, Bishop of Horsham, Twitter, 14 June


If the Illegal Migration Bill becomes law, asylum-seekers — who are fleeing unimaginable horrors and currently have no choice but to arrive by means such as a small boat — will face being locked behind bars while the Government seeks to remove them without even hearing their asylum case

Guili Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford, The Independent, 19 June


The issue of justice for Grenfell is a key one, and people still don’t feel they’ve received it. There’s a sense of waiting until the outcome of the Grenfell Tower inquiry and any prosecutions that may follow. In the longer term, there’s the issue of how the tragedy is memorialised and what happens to the remains of the tower. Those are all parts of holding the authorities to account for their loved ones

Gareth Wardell, Vicar, St Clement’s, Notting Dale, quoted in the Evening Standard, 14 June, on the sixth anniversary of the Grenfell disaster


After a while I stopped being bothered by popular music and sentimental poems [at funerals]. I learned to recognise the presence of God in the readings that comforted my parishioners’ children and the music that they loved listening to. It no longer seems strange to process out of church to Johnny Cash singing “Tennessee Flat Top Box” or the Pet Shop Boys’ version of “Go West”; instead it’s entirely proper and fitting. These are moments when the sacred suffuses the profane

Alice Goodman, priest, Prospect, 14 June


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, suggests that the future of the Church of England is in the hands of God. Perhaps, however, he could try to persuade his bishops that there are things they could do to arrest the decline in attendance. They could start by training and appointing more clergy so that more parishes could have their own minister, rather than asking one minister to look after an ever increasing number of parishes

Stephen Billyeald, letter, The Daily Telegraph, 15 June


I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Billyeald when he says that parishes need more clergy. At the start of each service, an elderly member of our congregation used to say loudly: “Who is it this time?”

Gillian Grinham, letter, The Daily Telegraph, 16 June

I really don’t think that the church should equate the provision of a house or vicarage as taking clergy to £50,000 a year. That house has to be vacated at retirement and unless clergy have had the good fortune that we have had, life can be very hard once they have stood down from full-time ministry

Bruce Ruddock, priest, letter, The Times, 21 June


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