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Quotes of the week

03 May 2024


There are as many diocesan bishops called Stephen or Michael as there are women

Nic Tall, General Synod member, WATCH Not Equal Yet Conference, 20 April

I love how the word ‘atone’ wears its heart on its sleeve. It began as ‘at one’, because to atone is to bring back unity. Atonement is really ‘at-one-ment’. In the same way, ‘alone’ began as ‘all one’

Susie Dent, lexicographer and etymologist, X/Twitter, 25 April

We are fortunate in this country to have such a splendid repertoire of hymns: English, Welsh, Anglican, Non-Conformist, mighty, joyous, reflective, peaceful. Why do we have to suffer “All Things Bright and Beautiful”?

Lord Lisvane, chairman of the Royal College of Organists, letter to The Times, 30 April

Lord Lisvane may not like All Things Bright and Beautiful but it is one of the few hymns that many people know. Even then, ministers can find themselves singing a solo in front of a silent, non-singing congregation. I do wonder if the default for weddings and funerals where hymns are sung should be a karaoke-style backing track so that the congregation can sing along

Peter Crumpler, priest, letter to The Times, 1 May

Yesterday, I got baptised and it was an incredible and profound experience. . . Something occurred in the process of baptism that was incredible, overwhelming, literally overwhelming because I was obviously underwater and it was the River Thames at some points

Russell Brand, comedian and actor, Instagram video, 29 April. Press

Sins are forgiven, but there needs to be proof that the truth of those sins — errors or wrongs if you prefer — has been understood and accepted, otherwise it can all resemble a politician’s public tears. Have lessons been learned, have we paid a price, are we trying to repair damage done? Accepting Jesus means accepting what he demanded of us, and that’s not easy. . . I welcome Russell Brand’s baptism. Forgive me, but I just hope to see evidence of its authenticity

Michael Coren, priest and writer, i newspaper, 30 April

There is a crisis of capacity in the voluntary sector. Churches will continue to run toddler groups and open warm spaces where they are needed. Yet churches do not have an endless supply of volunteers

Stephen Conway, Bishop of Lincoln, House of Lords, 29 April

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