Sunday, 30 December 2012


Today I celebrated the Solemn Parish Mass at St. Mary’s, Ilford in honour of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Preaching on the Gospel I pointed out how important family life is: Jesus went to Jerusalem probably for his Bar Mitzvah and, becoming an adult under Jewish Law, stayed behind at the Temple whilst his family set of home. When they discovered Jesus was not in the group they went back to Jerusalem to find him; he was in the Temple listening to the teachers. He went back home with them and spent the next 18 years as part of the family before starting on his mission.

It was good to see so many familiar faces (during their very long interregnum I was at St. Mary’s quite frequently).




Yesterday evening the Chapel End Savoy Players gave their annual Carol Concert at the Hospital Chapel. In a varied programme, we enjoyed carols from around the world. The concert was in two halves and during the interval refreshments were served by the Friends of the Chapel and included a glass of sparkling wine. A wonderful evening and next years date is already booked.


Thursday 3rd January at 12.35 p.m.

SOLEMN MASS with the Blessing of the model chapel,  FOLLOWED BY BUFFET LUNCH.

Thursday, 27 December 2012


Today I celebrated Mass at Ilford Hospital Chapel of St. Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury for the Feast of St. John the Evangelist.


Next Thursday, the Feast of The Most Holy Name of Jesus, we will blessing the new model of the chapel which has been beautifully made by two local crafts people. After Mass there will be a Buffet Lunch. Mass begins at 12.35 p.m.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Yesterday at noon I celebrated a Vigil Mass at the Ilford Hospital Chapel which included the Blessing of the Crib and the Angelus. I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers who came to support this Mass some of whom I have not seen previously and bearing in mind that many who normally come to Mass on a Thursday will be attending their own churches for Midnight Mass etc.

It was then home and lunch, and then of to St. Augustine’s, Rush Green,  for the packed Christingle Service at 4.30 at which I played the organ. Home afterwards for a few hours then back for the a wonderful Midnight Mass at which I preached and concelebrated. After Mass and a very welcome sherry and mince pie home to bed for a few hours then back again for the Mass of the Day. The weather was quite shocking, thunder, lightning and teaming rain plus partly flooded roads which sadly prevented some from being able to get to church.

After Mass to our daughter and son-in-laws for a splendid Christmas Dinner followed by enjoying watching our grandchildren open their presents. All together a great Christmas and it’s not over yet. Tomorrow our daughter and family will come to us and on Friday our son, our daughter-in-law and our other two grandchildren will be coming. On Saturday we have a Carol/Christmas Music Concert at the Chapel.

Monday, 24 December 2012



Xmascard 021-Tarasque



May all readers of this blog have a very Happy Christmas






Sunday, 23 December 2012




12 noon Angelus, Vigil Mass, Blessing of Crib and Preparation for Christmas.

Confessions  from 11.30 a.m.


St. John the Evangelist

12.35 p.m. MASS

Saturday, 22 December 2012

ADVENT 4 Hail Mary, full of Grace


Of all women you are the most blessed and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Pope Paul VI–now declared Venerable

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood cause of Pope Paul VI by recognizing the Italian pope as having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

During a meeting Dec. 20 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the pope signed the decree approving the heroic virtues of Pope Paul VI, making him "venerable." Before Pope Paul can be beatified, the Vatican must recognize that a miracle has occurred through his intercession.

Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 in the northern Italian province of Brescia, Pope Paul VI is probably best remembered for seeing the Second Vatican Council through to its end and helping implement its far-reaching reforms.

Amid the strains and pressures following Vatican II, he received the nickname the "Hamlet pope," for his reportedly anguished decision-making and his evident suffering over problems of the church. However, he was also remembered as a strong leader who decisively guided the church through a time of crisis.

Pope Paul was the first modern pontiff to start visiting local churches around the globe, making nine major trips abroad.

Prior to his election, he spent more than 30 years helping to run the Vatican's diplomatic machinery at the Secretariat of State, but his diplomatic skills never overshadowed his priestly love of serving those in need.

He worked on behalf of prisoners and the politically persecuted during World War II, pleaded for peace to world leaders, appealed for the lives of condemned terrorists and kidnapped politicians, and donated the papal tiara to raise money for the poor.

He was elected pope in 1963 and died at age 80 in 1978. The Rome Diocese officially opened his sainthood cause in 1993.

Monday, 17 December 2012



I was very sad today when I heard the news that Father Philip North has withdrawn his acceptance of becoming the new Bishop of Whitby but will remain at his present parish of Old St. Pancras where he is Team Rector..

This is a great loss not only to the people of the See of Whitby but to Anglo-Catholics generally.

Fr. North said in a statement issued on the Diocese of London website: “It was a great honour to be chosen for this role and I had been very much looking forward to taking up the position.

“However, in the light of the recent vote in the General Synod and having listened to the views of people in the archdeaconry of Cleveland, I have concluded that it is not possible for me, at this difficult time for our Church, to be a focus for unity.

“I have therefore decided that it is better to step aside at this stage.

“I have reached this decision after a time of deep reflection and feel sure that it is for the best. I now look forward to refocusing my energies on the pastoral needs of my parish.”

Bishop of London the Rt Rev Richard Chartres said: “I can understand the reasons for Philip’s decision. He is a gifted and energetic priest and I am glad that he remains in this diocese to continue his outstanding work in Camden Town.”

Sunday, 16 December 2012


The awful events at Newton Sandy Hook Elementary School has shocked people around the world. 28 are dead of which 20 were very young children. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the American gun laws have a lot to answer for both in this tragic event and several others in the last few years. I was impressed by one father who lost a child. In a moving statement he said that we must pray for the victims and their families who are mourning their loss but we should also pray for the perpetrator and his family as well. That father illustrated how the Light of Christ can shine through such dreadful circumstances.

Rest grant unto them O Lord

And let light perpetual shine upon them.

May they Rest in Peace and rise in glory.

Friday, 14 December 2012


On Monday at around 12 noon my phone went dead, so I contacted BT on line which tested the line and reported it was OK therefore it must be a fault with my equipment. It was checked but there was nothing wrong. When Ann came home I got her to report the fault and she ended up at a Call Centre in India, we think. The person she spoke to had very little command of the English Language but eventually she managed to understand and passed the call to another person who said the fault was at the Exchange. The phone would be back by 5.00 p.m. Thursday. It wasn’t.

I checked the fault help line on the Web yesterday which said the fault would be repaired by Thursday 5.00 p.m. then I went to “chat” only to be told that although it said that faults could be discussed when the thing was answered the Customer Service guy said he only dealt with Accounts. He would get through to some one who could deal with faults. I asked him to get them to ring on Ann’s mobile which a little while later they did only to get someone from India who didn’t have a clue about the problem and, again, had very little understanding of English. Ann then went through the whole rigmarole again as the person who had referred the matter on didn’t bother to tell the guy who phoned. Ann was then passed to some one else who said the fault would be expedited and the line would be back by Friday. Needless to say it isn’t.

How on earth do you get any service from BT? I am absolutely disgusted by the way they have handled this and intend to look for another provider when it’s possible.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Yesterday lunch time at the Ilford Hospital Chapel, the Christian Union of Redbridge Borough Council held their annual Carol Service at which the Mayor of Redbridge read from the Gospel of St John. Around 60 people attended and a retiring collection was organised for the 2012 Mayor’s Charities and The Hospital Chapel. After the service mince pies and tea or coffee were served. I opened the service with a welcome to everyone and a prayer, then I played the organ for the service.

Yesterday evening, St Augustine Uniformed organisations held their annual Carol Service organised this year by the Guides, at which the girls of the Guide Company, Brownies and Rainbows put on a rather beautiful tableaux of the Holy Family, Angels, Shepherds, Wise men and a variety of animals including sheep. I officiated at the service.Light refreshments were served in the church hall after the service.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Same-sex marriage in churches – please contact your MP URGENTLY

David Cameron announced on Friday that he is now pushing for same-sex marriage in churches. The news of this u-turn has been reverberating around Britain ever since.

The Government had always promised that same-sex weddings would not be allowed in churches and other religious premises. This was said all over its consultation document.

Now the Prime Minister has broken this vital promise.

Many people are shocked that even before the consultation results are released, the Prime Minister has so dramatically shifted the goal posts. If marriage is redefined, religious believers will be exposed to litigation and the European courts – just for marrying people as they have done for centuries.

Of course most people who believe in traditional marriage don’t go to church. But everyone is asking: who can trust David Cameron on his gay marriage plans?

And everyone can now see that redefining marriage will be a massive cultural change.

Join the Campaign here

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Despite all the assurances to the contrary given by the Prime Minister David Cameron, that no church would be compelled or forced to marry gay men or women, already various “gay” organisations have stated that they will challenge this exemption through the courts. In the same way that boarding house keepers have been found guilty of discrimination when refusing accommodation to gay couples, I think the Church will be found guilty if it refuses to “marry” gays. One has to bear in mind, that ultimately this could be tested in the European Courts where so much of our legislation seems to be made these days.

It is my belief, and the belief of thousands of Christians, that marriage is a sacrament between two people, a man and a woman. A so-called union between two men or two women can never be a marriage recognised in the Christian context of a sacrament. This is neither a sexist or homophobic prejudice but a statement of Christian Doctrine. To ensure that gay people had the same rights in law as heterosexuals civil partnerships were introduced  and have proved to be successful but it is interesting that civil partnerships are not available to heterosexuals.

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Am I alone in wondering why Lord Justice Leveson was asked to report on the Press only for the Government to state that it will  just pick out the bits they like.  As Hacked Off director Professor Natalie Fenton  said: "It is a charade for the politicians and the editors to get together and pick out some of the recommendations and say these are acceptable or not and take out the heart and soul of the Leveson recommendations which provide the backbone for establishing a fair system going forward." or as Professor Brian Cathcart, professor of journalism at Kingston University and co-founder of Hacked Off, said: "Leveson did not expect or intend his plan to be picked apart, to be treated like an a-la-carte menu”
Obviously there is great public support for better control of the press which is highlighted by the number who have already signed the “Hacked Of” petition which. at the time of writing, amounts to 143,352. You can sign it here

Tuesday, 4 December 2012



On Tuesday last week Ann and I went with our daughter, son-in-law, our grandchildren and one of their godmothers to Disney, Paris. We journeyed to Kings Cross the night before and stayed at the Premier Hotel as it would have meant leaving home at the crack of dawn to catch the Eurostar. We went to Lille by Eurostar and then TGV to Disney.

After booking in at the Disneyland Hotel we went into the park with just time to enjoy two rides and the evening procession before dinner. We went to the buffet restaurant so the children could meet various Disney characters during their meal. The food at the hotel was absolutely excellent.

We spent Wednesday, Thursday and half day Friday enjoying the Disney Park and on Thursday evening we went to the spectacular laser and firework Christmas Show. My one complaint about Disney is the exorbitant prices they charge for drinks; just under £5 for a bottle of coke which would normally cost no more then £1.20 in the UK.



Disneyland, Paris is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year; we first went there around 18 years ago taking our two mothers.( It has expanded considerably since then) They had a real whale of a time. I must admit Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Cinderella et al in French seems rather strange but it’s something you get used to and all the announcements are in three or four different languages which helps.


We had a wonderful time with our grandchildren experiencing the look of wonderment on their faces. They really enjoyed all the rides and the processions. On Thursday evening we went to the Laser and Firework display which is on every evening. Quite spectacular. Then Friday afternoon it was on to the various trains and back home to reality and to 84 emails and countless items of junk mail. We are both very grateful to our daughter and son-in-law who treated us to this experience of a lifetime




Sunday, 2 December 2012


Waiting on a slip road of the A12 on my way to celebrate and preached at the Parish Mass at St. Paul’s, Goodmayes, a young driver belted into the back of my car, shoving the car out into the path of the oncoming traffic. I think I was quite fortunate that the man driving across the A12 at that moment could take avoiding action and didn’t hit me sideways on. After exchanging names and Insurance Company details I was able to drive on to St. Paul’s Church, despite feeling very shaky. I have a bruised forehead and my back was not too good for a while afterwards. At St. Paul’s the Sacristan on hearing what had happened made me a cup of coffee. I think I’ve been quite lucky to escape with hardly any physical damage; the cars driving across the A12 do so at quite a speed normally as the traffic lights give them very ;little time to get across. I hate to think about what could have been a very nasty accident.

I wasn’t able to get into the boot which has been pushed into the car’s bodywork, to get my robes, sermon etc. but was lucky enough to find a cassock alb in the Sacristy which sort of fitted me. I had to “preach of the cuff” and talked about how we could sometimes be surprised by visitors turning up unannounced. If we had been aware of their coming we wouldn’t be having a lazy day as it was we would say something like “you’ll have to take us as you find us” but we would be worried about what they would think. When Jesus comes the second time we need to be ready for him and Advent is one of the times we can start our preparations.


I’ve been away in Disneyland Paris for the last few days hence nothing on the blog but tomorrow I’ll put some photo’s on here and give a few comments about the time we spent with Mickey Mouse etc.

Saturday, 24 November 2012


In a well written article in Anglican Ink, Tom Sutcliffe journalist, author, and opera critic and member of General Synod, explains why he, as a supporter of Women’s Consecration never-the-less decided to vote against the legislation.

“The truth is that, in July with Clause 5.1.c as then proposed, the Measure stood a chance of being accepted by those most adversely affected by it and I might have voted for it then. But after that clause was watered down and talked merely of respect - a word which is no reassurance at all to anybody who has been attending to developments in The Episcopal Church on the other side of the Atlantic - it was likely to lead to grief and further departures. And I absolutely do not want to see the Church of England ending up as a result of our in my view correct determination to include women in the ordained ministry at all levels with an even smaller footprint. I do not want the Church to vote to shrink more, and there is no doubt that the ordination of women has not had the entirely positive effect that was anticipated. It has not led to an increase in the membership or the effectiveness of our church, however good most women priests have been. The decline in numbers and in status and in the respect in which we are held by ordinary citizens who are not active members has become precipitate.”

He goes on to write: “The assurances given to those in the minority of a traditionalist view were worthless because the Code of Practice, even when it had been set up, would have been open to constant revision and would have been a target for further adjustment when the campaigners from GRAS and Affirming Catholicism had managed to squeeze out of the Church all those people with whom they disagree on this matter and whom they do not think belong within the reformed liberal Anglicanism that they seek. This element of passionately committed supporters of the ordination of women made no secret of their determination to insist that the Church of England in their view should drive out anybody who did not accept women's ordination.” Read all the article here

Many of us had foreseen this situation, if and when, the defeated measure became law. In fact, I recently quoted one women priest who had said we were not wanted in the CofE if we could not accept women bishops and we should leave. Any wonder with this attitude Anglo-Catholics and Conservative Evangelicals did not trust a Code of Practice and forecast that what ever it said originally, it would be watered down over a few years to be totally meaningless.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I am grateful to Bishop David Chislett for bringing this article to my attention through his blog at

"The Church of England Still Won't

Allow Female Bishops:

Good for Them"


from the USA newspaper THE ATLANTIC.

When the Church of England narrowly defeated a measure to allow women to be appointed bishops this week after a dozen years of legislative effort, many observers were surprised. After all, the group has ordained women as priests since 1994what's the big deal with letting female priests become bishops?

The answer helps explain why the measure failed. The Church of England is known for the graciousness with which it accommodates minority theological opinions. Since the 1990s, parties that disagreed about female ordination merely had to tolerate each other's presence. Female bishops, on the other hand, would hold significant ecclesial and sacramental authority over everyone in the church, even over the minority who believe that female ordination is a theological impossibility. Mere toleration would no longer be possible.

Legislation in support of women bishops was debated by the church this summer, with a focus on whether to protect that group that views female ordination as invalid. Bishops asked members to trust that the Church would respect opponents of the change, even while some proponents of the legislation opposed protections. Traditionalists and their sympathizers doubted these pledges, remembering that promises made to opponents of female ordination in the 1990s were subsequently broken: They were told that there would be no damage to the careers of clergy who viewed female ordination as invalid, for instance. A simple look at the vote in the House of Bishops this week (44 for, 3 opposed) tells a different story.

The measure easily passed the House of Bishops and House of Clergy, and failed by only six votes out of 206 cast in the House of Laity. Passage in all three houses is required by Canon law. Under church rules, the legislation can't be revisited for the next five years. But there are a few loopholes leaders are exploring.

The stakes are high. Outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams pinned his legacy to the passage of the vote. The repudiation, despite the narrow margin, is a stinging defeat. Some MPs insist that they will move forward with legislative penalties against the church if the situation is not rectified to the state's satisfaction.

Telegraph columnist Damian Thompson says "it's an ecclesial mess of the most peculiar variety." Times religion reporter Ruth Gledhill sounded deeply hurt, writing, "The Church of England has forfeited right to speak on assisted dying—because it has just committed suicide, assisted by synod."

Noted atheist Ricky Gervais, whose feelings about the Church of England would undoubtedly be the same regardless of the vote's outcome, snarked, "The best thing about Christianity is its message of acceptance and equality. That's why the C of E have always welcomed female Bishops."

The argument from these leading cultural figures seems to be "get with the times." Indeed, the authority of the times could not be clearer: Gender doesn't matter, all people are equally capable of performing all duties and sexism is a cardinal sin.

The cultural context is clear and convincing to those pushing for a change in the church's doctrine. But Scriptural authority and tradition are just as clear and convincing to those who resist the doctrinal changes. Most Christians are in church bodies that retain male-only clergy, a doctrinal teaching that was settled without much controversy for millennia—until the 20th century. This group includes Catholics, the Orthodox Church and much of Protestant Christianity.

In addition to the passages in Scripture that require male authority in the church, based on the order of creation, there is the example of Jesus Christ himself, who chose only men to serve as Apostles, even while women served in a variety of other roles. This happened in a context where Jews required male clergy but other ancient religions had priestesses.

While arguments about gender in the secular realm frequently speak in terms of fairness and power, the organizing principle in Christian theology is service. In the New Testament, men and women served the early church in a variety of ways, while ordination was reserved for men (and only a few men at that).

For reformers, the issue of female ordination derives from notions of human rights and human customs. Much of the response to the Church of England's vote charged the church with discriminating against women by denying them equal rights.

And while social reformers argue that men and women are more or less interchangeable and that their differences have little bearing on life, traditional Christians say that Scripture and tradition teach otherwise.

Traditional Christians believe that both men and women are created in the image of God, but that they are two distinct and special creations of God. Traditional Christians view this as a blessing more than a burden. These distinctions also mean that men and women have different responsibilities and duties (e.g. husbands, wives, mothers and fathers). Men and women have different responsibilities and opportunities for service in the church, too. A posture of service guides the traditional church less than a demand for rights.

Traditional Christians have a high view of the Office of Holy Ministry, but the most important teaching on gender in the New Testament is probably from Galatians, which proclaims that everyone is equal in salvation. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus," the Apostle Paul writes.

The global Anglican Communion is wrestling with how to reconcile its progressive and traditional wings, and the Church of England is no exception. If the church body eventually consecrates its first female bishop, it wouldn't be the first time the voices of culture and politics have spoken with greater authority in the Church than Scripture, tradition, and the erstwhile consensus of the Christian church.

But it is worth keeping in mind the words of William Ralph Inge, who was an Anglican priest, Cambridge professor, and Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in the late 19th and early 20th century. He wrote, "Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next."

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Despite all the rather stupid comments in the press and on the TV, the reason the measure for the Consecration of Women as Bishops was defeated was due, in my opinion, to the totally inadequate provision made for those who cannot accept this innovation. When the vote for the ordination of women to the priesthood was passed in 1992 it was hailed as a victory for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so why now is this defeat being designated as ignoring the guidance of Holy Spirit. Despite what seems an overwhelming majority in favour of the introduction of women to the episcopate there are a large number who are opposed (around 31 or more%) so surely to consecrate women as bishops there needs to be proper provision for traditionalists and perhaps the starting point for this is to take into account what they want rather than attempt to impose on them a Code of Practice the contents of which have not been decided.

One of the speakers in yesterday’s debate asked something along the lines of why didn’t traditionalists trust the Bishops to protect their interests. The short answer is that quite a few of them only paid lip service to the Act of Synod and did everything in their power to negate the provisions and protection it gave to parishes who opted to pass the resolutions so why should they be trusted now.

What needs to happen now is for their to be a serious and sensible meeting, or meetings, to allow both sides of the argument to express their view without one of them digging in their heels so that a reasoned proposal can be put to General Synod, acceptable to both the proponents of women’s consecration and those opposed.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


STOP PRESS The result of the vote in the General Synod of the Church of England on the measure to allow women to be consecrated as Bishops failed to reach the necessary two thirds majority in the House of Laity and consequently the measure has failed.

We now need a period of reflection and prayer about how this matter can be resolved to the satisfaction of us all particularly to provide the Sacramental Assurance that Anglo-Catholics need. Deo Gratias

Monday, 19 November 2012


Tomorrow General Synod will debate and vote on the Measure to introduce the consecration of women as Bishops in the Church of England. This is without any legally binding provision for those, who on the basis of scripture, reason and theology, are unable to accept that women can be Bishops (or for that matter priests and if they can’t be one they can’t be the other) In the future, should the legislation be passed there will be a Code of Practice which can’t be decided until after the passing of such legislation. So nobody will be aware of what that will contain except supporters of the measure have already stated that they will oppose any further provision for traditionalists and we will have to make do with the provision that diocesan bishops will have to have regard to the situation with objecting parishes.

The new measure has the Appleby wording which uses the word “respect” – i.e Diocesan Bishops will be required to respect traditionalists theological problems with women bishops/priests. The first problem will be that, whilst some will be willing to be co-operative, past experience shows that some will not. And if that is the case, the only avenue open will be means of a judicial review; an expensive option that few, if any, will be able to afford.

If find it totally incredible that those in favour of this innovation, are unable to see that past promises should be kept and that proper, and acceptable provision should be offered to those to whom those promises were originally made. If they can’t keep previous promises it doesn’t bode well for the future should this “unfair, unstable and incoherent” legislation be passed. (Words in italics from the Catholic Group in General Synod). I hope and pray that the Measure will fail to get the necessary two thirds majority.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


If you wanted to stage an election when hardly anyone would bother to vote November would be a good choice to stage it. With dark nights and dubious weather its just the right time to ensure a minimal turnout. And that’s is exactly what happened.Thus it was, that last Thursday, the voters were asked to vote for the newly created posts of Police and Crime Commissioners and they stayed away in their droves. One polling station had not one single vote cast all day.

Another way to ensure that people wouldn’t vote is to give the electorate as little information as possible. Inform them that the posts are “none political” but then get party members to stand on a party ticket using the resources of their respective political machines whilst giving the independent candidates no help whatsoever.

Now, we have these new Police Commissioners elected without a reasonable mandate from the public they are there to represent but who, seemingly, don’t want them. These posts are both unwanted and unnecessary; and the general public have shown their disdain for them by not bothering to vote. In fact, I know of two members of the electorate who went to their poling station and spoilt their ballot papers by writing across them words to the effect of “not wanted nor needed”

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Today we had a Requiem Mass for the repose of those killed in the 1st and 2nd World War who are commemorated on brass rolls of honour in the choir of the chapel and whose histories are in a booklet written by Chapel Warden Doreen Weller. Many of those killed were regular attenders at the Chapel or whose families had been worshippers. The names were read out together with details of when, and where, they had died.


Sir (Revd) Jne Smyth

In the Chapel is the tomb of Sir (Revd) Jne Smyth. It is not certain if he is actually buried here or underneath the chapel in the crypt. Although the original memorial vanished from the Chapel during the 18th century, a ‘rubbing’ has survived of a brass commemorating a master and chaplain who died in 1475 with an interesting epitaph:

“Here lyeth the body of Sir (Revd) Jne Smyth some tyme Maister of this place. A good householder, a fine man, large in almys, he did worship (was a credit) to all his kyne, all the feloship was the meryer that Sir Jne Smyth was ynne. I pray to God to have mercy on his soule and all Christen (souls) He passed to God the 11th day of November in the yere of Grace AD MCCCCLXXV. For Charitie say a paternoster and ave.!”

In accordance with the request that a Paternoster and an Ave be said for him we had Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary, sung in latin by a fine local singer and member of the congregation. Something we do every year at the Requiem of Remembrance

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Today Ann and I went to Southend-on-Sea. The weather was near perfect with not a cloud in the sky and it was quite warm.We walked along the sea front enjoying the ozone. Having lived by, or close to the sea, in Portsmouth and Lee-on-the-Solent,for many years we have missed it terribly since we moved in to the London area quite a few years ago now. So we need to go to the sea sometimes.We neither of us can wait to go again.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Today I was the celebrant and preacher at a Solemn Requiem Mass at St. Alban’s, Romford. It was the parade service for the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers. A full church gathered to remember with thanks those who paid the supreme sacrifice in two world wars and countless other conflicts including those have died more recently in Afghanistan. One of the Scouters read the Epistle and some of the Scouts and Cubs led the Intercessions. Father Hingley, the Vicar, was supporting the main civic service as Mayor’s Chaplain.

In my homily I related the story of Raimund Sanders Draper, a British born American who joined the RAF and was stationed at Hornchurch. On take of one day, he realised that his spitfire was going to crash and would hit the nearby school known as Suttons. He took immediate avoiding action which he knew would mean his own death but which would save the lives of the children in the school. In his honour, the school name was changed to Sanders Draper School. I reminded everybody that Jesus had said “Greater love has no man than this, that a person lays down his life for his friends” Those who had died in wars had done just that.

We kept the two minutes silence at 11.00 a.m. followed by the National Anthem. After the service I went to the hall to enjoy a very welcome cup of coffee.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Malala Yousafzai


One month ago 15-year old Malala Yousafzai was shot in Pakistan for campaigning to ensure all girls have access to education.

Her bravery has sparked a global movement and thousands have signed a petition calling on UK politicians to nominate her for the the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous work.

Click here to join me and sign the petition:

Members of Parliament are able to nominate individuals for the Nobel Peace Prize and already UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has indicated that Malala's actions are worthy of considering for the prize.

Malala doesn’t just represent one young woman. She speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender.

Please help reach 100,000 signatures globally by joining me and signing this petition:

Friday, 9 November 2012


(C) KJB-photography 2010


After several days of leaks and speculation it has been announced from 10 Downing Street that The Rt. Revd Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham is to be the new and 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.

As he prepares for his translation. and when he takes up his new appointment, he will need the support of our prayers

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Today the electorate of the USA go to the polls to elect their next President. Will it be the present President Barack Obama or contender Mitt Romney? Some opinion polls record that they are running neck to neck and that the result is too close to call whilst other say that Obama is slightly ahead. We will know the result in the next 24 hours or so. There are 11 swing states which could go either way, with the three holding the most electoral college votes being Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20) and Ohio (18)

Who ever is elected faces a mammoth task as President of one of. if not the, most powerful nations on earth. At the same time, all the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate is also up for election.

Who ever wins it is important for the UK due to the close ties we have with the USA and it is for this reason that just lately we have had at least half of the News Programmes devoted to what is happening in America. I, for one, will be mighty glad when the result is announced and we can get back to hearing what else is happening in the UK and the rest of the world. When the dust has settled, when the new President has been announced and he is sworn in either for a final four year term or for a new four year term, please keep him in your prayers as he undertakes this mind boggling job.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Yesterday evening Ann and I were just finishing dinner when the phone rang. On the line was a distressed daughter. It seemed that our granddaughter had lost her bear named Sally and the thought was it had probably been left in church. A quick phone call to Father Martin and he proceeded to search the church, the church grounds and the church car park. Nothing found. We kept getting increasingly tearful phone calls; my granddaughter would not settle until Sally was found.

In something like sheer desperation, we decided to go and do another search at church although I was convinced that Sally Bear was at R & S’s house somewhere. We did another extensive search of church, grounds, car park, toilets, play area, etc.etc. but we found no bear. We were very grateful to Father Martin who, having already undertaken one comprehensive search, came and did another with us. We had several phone calls during the proceedings from a daughter who by now was totally convinced that Sally Bear would never be found. Being the sympathetic parents and grandparents that we are, we decided that we would go to their house, as I remained convinced the bear was there, hiding somewhere.

When we arrived we found two distressed parents and one distressed granddaughter – the other being fast asleep. We had a quick look round but saw nothing remotely like Sally Bear. We sat and talked, comforted our granddaughter and then R decided to tidy up. She opened a box to put away a toy and there in the box was ………………you guessed………………….Sally Bear. How she got in the box nobody knew (or at least admitted). My granddaughter went to bed tightly cuddling her bear whilst R & S and Ann collapsed in a flood of tears of relief. The bear that was lost had been found!

We quickly phoned and told Father Martin the good news and then returned home to do the washing up we had left when we went out. What a perfect end to the day!

Sunday, 4 November 2012


The following Press Release was issued by GRAS in October and demonstrates quite clearly that if the legislation is passed for women to be consecrated as Bishops, Catholics will no longer be welcome as part of the Church of England by the supporters of GRAS. But this is nothing new; it has always been the case that Catholics are neither wanted nor will be able to continue as ordinands;  they will be required to assert that which no true Catholic believes that women can be both priests or bishops if GRAS obtains its objectives.


The l993 Act of Synod should be rescinded as a precondition of new legislation.

A single enabling Measure to give clarity and affirmation to women’s full and equal status in all three orders of ministry. The legislation must be unconditional, with no discriminatory provisions.

A Code of Practice designed to recognise that there are essential elements of trust which need to be restored. The integrity and authority of the episcopate must be restored through the assignment of trust in each diocesan bishop, who should be responsible for provisions judged to be right for any in his or her care.

A commitment that, since the Church has accepted the principle of the orders of women as priests and bishops, in future all those being ordained should openly accept those orders as valid in accordance with the existing ecclesiastical rule (Canon A4).

The statement shows very clearly that a Code of Practice, to quote that old cliché, is not fit for purpose. The Bishops Amended clause (5) 1(c) has inserted the word “respect” and it now reads that the Code should cover "the selection of male bishops and male priests in a manner which respects the grounds on which Parochial Church Councils issue Letters of Request under section 3". The only way a Bishop’s decision can be challenged under this legislation will be by means of a Judicial Review which most parishes won’t be able to afford.

GRAS states that “the integrity………..of the episcopate must be restored through the assignment of trust in each diocesan bishop”. It is a sad but well acknowledged fact that some of our Bishops have done everything they can to undo Resolutions passed under the Act of Synod when parishes have become vacant and this despite the fact that it was against the ethos of the Act of Synod for them to do so. Where was the “integrity” in that. Are they going to change their ways now? I doubt it. Of course not every bishop has acted in this way but some have and I suspect that in the future, unless there is water tight legal protection they will not hesitate to do so again. The present legislation is not fit for purpose and must be defeated.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


pic_mary-carvingAnn and I have been in Walsingham from Monday to Friday on the second Bible Week, which has replaced the conferences which were held for a number of years first at Caister and then at Pakefield Holiday Camps. Our accommodation was in the Milner Wing which is excellent and en suite. After breakfast, we met in Walsingham Roman Catholic Church for the Keynote Address. The week was based on St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. On Tuesday a really first class address was given  by Bishop John Taylor who, until he retired, was Bishop of St. Albans.On Wednesday and Thursday they were given by Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS. Each afternoon there were optional seminars and then at 5.45 p.m. there was  Solemn Mass in the Shrine Church.

The food, the choice, the quality and quantity served in the Refectory is excellent and we were offered three cooked meals a day with an alternative of the Salad Bar at lunch and dinner.

Every evening, after dinner there was a different service and these included The Ministry of Healing and Songs of Praise. It is intended to make these weeks an annual event. This year all the Shrine Accommodation was used plus some of the accommodation at the RC accommodation building. There were around 220 people present for a truly wonderful week.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


On Sunday’s I usually listen to the Morning Service on Radio 4 at 8.10 a.m. and the quality of both words and music is quite variable. Today the hymn “Be thou my vision” was sung to the beautiful Irish Tune Slane except it wasn’t beautiful at all the way it had been arranged. Who ever arranged it had set Slane to a South American type beat which I thought it was absolutely dreadful. Why do people feel they have to do this sort of thing with classical hymn tunes; it is totally unnecessary. It does nothing to enhance worship; quite the reverse in my opinion, it totally ruins it. Although I personally don’t like many of the modern worship songs, I suppose that they can be rendered that way – most of them are doggerel sung to music which has little, if any, musical merit anyway. 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a very naughty boy)

As part of their fund-raising to preserve the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford they are presenting yesterday and today the oratorio “Not the Messiah” by permission and with the encouragement of Eric Idle. The five soloists, the choir and symphony orchestra have all given the services totally without charge in support of the effort the theatre are making to compensate for the loss of the council grant which I understand amounts to £50,000.

Ann and I went yesterday evening and we both thoroughly enjoyed this magnificent production which was originally staged in the Hollywood Bowl and later at the Royal Albert Hall. It’s very funny as well as being very entertaining. The final number is “Always look on the bright side of life” which the audience are invited to sing along and which they did with gusto.

The Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford is a beautiful small theatre which caters for both professional and amateur productions. The highlight every year is the pantomime which runs for several weeks and which this years is Cinderella.

Whilst I understand that the Council have to make cutbacks during this difficult economic time I would hate to see this theatre close because of it. As someone remarked to me; “the developers are there waiting with their cheque books”. It would be a real shame if Ilford/Borough of Redbridge lost live theatre. Its achievements were  brought home to us when we learnt that everybody appearing had been nurtured in this theatre. Can Redbridge afford to loose such a wonderful asset.

Thursday, 25 October 2012


One of the twice a year rituals I really dislike are putting the clocks forward in the spring and putting them back in the Autumn. We have a lot of clocks! I have never understood why we can’t have a time zone and leave it alone; I’ve heard the arguments that it is,supposedly, to please/help the farmers in Scotland, and else where, but please what on earth has that to do with the rest of us. Surely, for farmers et al, it’s just a matter of going to bed earlier/getting up earlier which need not effect the rest of us. By putting the clocks back we make the evenings darker a lot earlier……..why do we want to do that?

Next year the clocks go forward on the 31st March

They go back on the 27th October

In 2014 they go forward on the 30th March and back on the 26th October.


Monday, 22 October 2012


On Saturday, at the Ilford Hospital Chapel, we had a truly wonderful concert entitled “Aspects of Love” given by opera star Deborah Aloba. Deborah trained at Roehampton gaining a BA Honours in Music and also studied at Goldsmith University. Deborah has performed at recitals in Italy, Germany, the USA and the UK as well as starring in operatic roles including Carman, Delilah, Azucena, Amneris, Dido, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Dorabella, She has performed in various oratorios including The Messiah, St. Matthew’s Passion and Faure’s Requiem. She has taught singing for the last 15 years and is working with children with special needs and behavioural difficulties and is studying to become a Music Therapist.

Deborah was accompanied by accomplished pianist Anne Reece who is currently Head of Instrumental Music at Surbiton High School for Girls.

The varied programme was introduced by Vivyan Ellacott who, until 2010, was General Manager and Artistic Director of the Kenneth Moore Theatre where was responsible for producing 28 operas,130 musicals and numerous plays and pantomimes. Vivyan gave a wonder introduction to each piece.

With its barrel roof the acoustics in the Chapel are suburb and Deborah used them to their fullest advantage. It was a truly magnificent concert and we are pleased that Deborah will be appearing again in another recital in the Spring on a date to arranged

Saturday, 20 October 2012


For ages and ages, since the start of the recession, banks and building societies have paid miniscule amounts of interest to savers, despite the fact that when they lend that money they charge considerably higher amounts to the borrower.Many mortgage lenders now add what they call a product or arrangement fee and this is often part of a scheme to reduce, by a small amount the interest charged. It seems to me that this is just another way of increasing profitability. I gather that some of these institutions won’t refund the fee if the mortgage doesn’t proceed.There is no doubt that the banks and building societies are raking in money from their clients but not paying it to their savers. It is high time that steps were taken to regulate banks and building societies. It sticks in my throat that millions are paid to their staff in bonuses (mainly in the banking world) yet the return to the saver is so paltry.

Friday, 19 October 2012


It has been announced today that the new Bishop of Whitby is to be Father Phillip North. Father Phillip is well known to many readers of this blog –  for a period he was the Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Please keep Father Phillip in your prayers as he prepares to take up his new responsibilities.

Thursday, 18 October 2012



Today a housing manager, Adrian Smith, is in court trying to recover his lost earnings because his employer demoted him and slashed his salary by 40 per cent …all because he said on Facebook that gay weddings in churches would be “an equality too far”.

Mr Smith made his comment on his personal Facebook page, outside of work time. His page was not visible to the general public. Only his chosen friends, and their friends, could see it. That included some of his work colleagues.

His bosses at Trafford Housing Trust in Manchester charged him with gross misconduct. The only reason he didn’t get fired was that he had been such a good employee over many years.

The press later found out that Trafford Housing Trust took action against Mr Smith because it was, in part, worried that it might lose a gay rights charter award if it didn’t take a tough line.

He has spent a great deal of time trying to reason with his bosses, but he has exhausted the internal appeals procedure and they have refused to see sense. Now a County Court judge will have to decide whether the Trust acted unlawfully.

Even Peter Tatchell, one of the chief activists pushing for marriage to be redefined, says Mr Smith has been harshly treated and should be reinstated.

Mr Smith’s case is the kind of injustice that I believe will happen more often if the Government goes ahead and redefines marriage. Supporters of traditional marriage will be punished in the workplace, particularly in the public sector. It’s wrong for someone’s career to be damaged just because they voice support for traditional marriage.

The serious implications for civil liberty don’t end there. The widespread impact has been outlined in a legal opinion, written by a top human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC. You can download and read a one-page summary of it here.

All of this shows that the Government’s plans to rewrite marriage are divisive, illiberal, far-reaching and should be dropped.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hart

Colin Hart
Campaign Director
Coalition for Marriage

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


If you are over 60 and live in London you are eligible for an Oyster Card which will provide free travel on the tube, bus and railway which is in the area covered by Transport for London.

You will need to provide:

  • A colour digital photo
  • An active email address
  • Proof of identification and address
  • £10 fee

You will not be eligible if you:

  • Have, or are eligible for, an older or disabled persons Freedom Pass
  • Have a Veterans Oyster photocard
  • Are under 60
  • Don't live in a London borough

Free travel on Transport for London (TfL) services for all Londoners when they reach 60 years old will be restored from 1 November when the 60+ London Oyster photocard scheme goes live.

The new scheme fulfils the Mayor Boris Johnson's pledge to bridge the gap for older Londoners since the age of eligibility for the London Council's Freedom Pass was raised by the Government.

To find out more click here

Saturday, 13 October 2012


After 19 years as Director of Forward in Faith Stephen Parkinson is to retire and is to be succeeded by Dr Colin Podmore, who is currently the Clerk to the General Synod of the Church of England. In a Statement Bishop Jonathan Baker F-in-F Chairman said:”It is thanks to the tireless work of Stephen Parkinson that Forward in Faith has been able to make such an impact on the life of the Church of England. As its Director, he has played a pivotal role in building Forward in Faith into the distinctive and dynamic organisation that it is today. It is a tribute to Stephen’s achievement that we have been able to attract so distinguished a successor.’

‘Colin Podmore will bring to the role a wealth of experience at senior level in the Church of England. He is passionate about the faith and order of the catholic Church as received by the Church of England and has long been committed to the visible unity of the one Church of Jesus Christ,’ Bishop Jonathan added.

Dr Lindsay Newcombe, Vice-Chairman of FiF, said: ‘Forward in Faith gives hope and confidence to the many young Anglicans of orthodox faith who need a structure in the Church of England within which they can thrive and share their faith with others. Colin is well equipped to support us in making that vision a reality.’

Colin Podmore, a Cornishman, read history at Keble College, Oxford, and trained as a teacher at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He taught German at S. Michael’s Church of England High School in Chorley, Lancashire, before returning to Keble to research for his Oxford DPhil in church history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His publications include Aspects of Anglican Identity (2005) and articles on Anglican ecclesiology. On the staff of the General Synod from 1988, he was successively Deputy Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity, Secretary of the House of Clergy, Secretary of the Liturgical Commission, and Secretary of the Dioceses Commission. He was also secretary of groups that reviewed the processes for choosing diocesan bishops and making senior church appointments and oversaw the publication of the Common Worship liturgy. As well as being Clerk to the Synod, Colin is also the Director of the Central Secretariat of the Archbishops' Council and Director of Ecumenical Relations.




To hear the various reports of the National Assembly click here

Thursday, 11 October 2012


Boris Johnson states that marriage is a relic of the stone age which needs to be redefined, by which he means he wants marriage to be changed to include gay people. But Christians understand marriage to be an unchangeable Sacrament of one man and one woman and not two men or two women. This is not some sort of bigotry but a statement of Christian Doctrine that none of our politicians can ever change nor redefine and neither should they try.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012




Hundreds of people packed into Birmingham Town Hall yesterday to attend the Coalition for Marriage fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference.

Rousing speeches were delivered by David Burrowes MP, Lord Carey the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and former MP Ann Widdecombe.

The speeches were peppered by rapturous applause from the audience. In a report about our event, the BBC said: "David Cameron could only dream of this sort of fervour when he delivers his big conference speech on Wednesday."

Lord Carey accused the Government of plundering the institution of marriage for political motives.

David Burrowes MP called for a referendum on the redefinition of marriage, confident that the public would support keeping marriage as it is.

Ann Widdecombe said the real extremists are those who believe the state should silence anyone who opposes the plans to redefine marriage.

And I tell you today what I also told the audience yesterday. There is all to play for in this campaign. We can win and keep the real meaning of marriage.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Women Bishops

The latest information is that the Catholic Group on General Synod and members of Reform are intending to vote against the legislation to inaugurate the Consecration of Women as Bishops following the Bishops revision of the Clause 5 (1)c. It also appears that the group WATCH (Women in the Church) who have so aggressively campaigned for Women Bishops are not taking an official position on the November vote because they are still unhappy with the revised Clause. I don’t think they will be happy until they have driven every Catholic male priest out of the CofE.

If the above information is accurate it could mean that the two thirds majority needed will not be reached and the current legislation will therefore be defeated.

This week on Friday and Saturday the National Assembly of Forward in Faith is taking place and, I suspect, that then we will learn a little more.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Breakfast at the Zoo

Today Ann and I went to Colchester Zoo making sure we were there before 11.30 a.m. when they stop serving their excellent breakfast. For £9.99 you receive two breakfasts plus freshly brewed coffee. Each breakfast comprises of two slices of bacon, two farmhouse sausages, two hash browns, baked beans, fried egg on a slice of fried bread, grilled tomato and mushrooms. Really scrumptious! Full of cholesterol, I know, but just occasionally, a wonderful treat.
However the main reason for our visit was to see the new baby. Recently my adopted baby hippo Venus gave birth and we wanted to see the new arrival. . It is beautiful and well worth the drive to Colchester. I took some pictures but I’m afraid they didn’t come out.

Thursday, 4 October 2012




Today, at the Hospital Chapel of St. Mary and St. Thomas of Canterbury, Ilford I celebrated the Mass for St. Francis of Assisi and offered the Ministry of Healing with the Laying-on-of-Hands with Prayer and Holy Anointing. In the Homily I focussed on how St. Francis received the message, from the figure on the Byzantine Cross which he believed spoke to him saying “rebuild my church” and how he initially understood this to mean the actual building of St. Damiano. Later he came to understand that it meant not a building but the People of God, the church Jesus came to build. St. Francis bore the marks of the Cross on his body when he received the Stigmata.











Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

St. Francis of Assisi: Pray for us.

Sunday, 30 September 2012


We celebrated Harvest at the Ilford Hospital Chapel on Thursday. Tins were collected for the Ilford Foodbank and donations for “Send-a-Cow” a charity we are supporting this year. During my homily I reminded people that this was Part 1 of our celebrations; Part 2 would be Sunday evening at St. Mary’s Church Ilford who was acting as host to the Ilford Town Centre Fellowship of Churches with a Harvest Choral Evensong.

Thursday evening Ann and I went to Ilford College’s Rouge Restaurant for an Olympic Meal. Many of the students had been involved catering at the Olympic site during the Games and they decided to host an evening, using some of the dishes they had served there and which included British, Asian, European etc and very good it was too.

Sadly on the way home I felt I was developing a cold, which has turned into a rather nasty chest infection. This has meant that I’ve had to cancel taking part in tonight’s service at St. Mary’s as I’m not certain my voice would hold up (it keeps going – some might say that was a good thing) I managed to preach this morning at St Augustine’s but was concerned that I might not get through it. I’m disappointed about this evening but Ann has gone to support it and will tell me all about it later.

Saturday, 29 September 2012


In the reports today in the media it appears that the committee charged with selecting two names to submit as the new Archbishop of Canterbury have failed to make a decision. No surprise there then!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Today, the committee charged with discerning who to nominate to be the new Archbishop of Canterbury starts its deliberations. Various names have been suggested and we will know the answer before very long but none of the Bishops who seem to be front runners unduly impress me. Who ever takes on this challenging role will need very broad shoulders. and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, if he is going to keep together not only the world-wide Anglican Church but the Church of England. This person will need our prayers as will, of course, the Committee who are making the choice.

Sunday, 23 September 2012


We had many visitors yesterday and today at the Ilford Hospital Chapel for the Open House. Guided tours were available to those who wanted them and an excellent range of refreshments were on sale for those who came. Many thanks to all those who helped in any way to ensure the success of this weekend.


As Father Gareth and many of his congregation were on Pilgrimage to Walsingham I was at St. Mary’s Ilford to celebrate their Parish Mass and to preach. Although many were away we still had a good number present, a full team of servers and an excellent choir. In my sermon, based on today’s Gospel, I pointed out how Jesus regarded children as very important. In the past, in some societies, girls had not been held in high regard and had often been killed at birth. Even today this awful situation exists in some parts of our world. In this country we didn’t regarded ourselves as guilty of this crime and yet every day abortions are taking place often for no better reason than contraception was not used. Abortions in most cases are no better than what happens in some parts of the Third World to children at birth – they are both murder. We have to become like little children, the gospel reminds us, and if we want to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven we have to become the servant of all.

Saturday, 22 September 2012






Brochures are still available for the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 2013.  We are stopping at two excellent hotels and all entrance fees, three meals a day, and all gratuities are included. We plan to visit all the well-known holy places including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Tiberius, the Sea of Galilee, the River Jordan etc. using air-conditioned coaches with an excellent Tour Guide. There will be a Daily Mass.  Travel Insurance is extra if needed (many people have an annual policy so don’t need the cover offered by the travel company) This is a trip of a life time organised for us by one of the best and most experienced travel companies McCabe.

The Pilgrimage is open to all who are interested so if you would like more details contact Father Mervyn or Father Martin

Friday, 21 September 2012


At Thursday lunch time I celebrated Mass at the Ilford Hospital Chapel. We hold a Mass every Thursday at 12.35 p.m. with a brief homily and a couple of hymns. After Mass there are refreshments. This Saturday from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. and Sunday from 1.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m. the Chapel is open as part of the OPEN HOUSE LONDON scheme. The Chapel is the oldest building in Ilford and is still a centre for Christian Worship.

Yesterday evening Ann and I were guests at Redbridge College Rouge Restaurant for a “Tapas evening.” The food was wonderful, all prepared and served by the students. During the Olympics many of the students were part of the team catering for the athletes and some were offered permanent jobs as a result. They had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed being part of this.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Two police officers were brutally murdered this morning in Greater Manchester: PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone. These officers were called to investigate a purported burglary when they were attacked. Please pray for the repose of their souls and for their families and their colleagues in the Greater Manchester Police.

Rest Eternal grant unto them O Lord and let Light perpetual shine upon them. May they Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory

Sunday, 16 September 2012


"Those who behold the Sacrament of the Eucharist, consecrated by the priest, but see only the appearances of bread and wine and do not—with the grace of the Holy Spirit—believe that it is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, condemn themselves, because they do not believe the testimony of the Lord himself who says: ‘This is my Body and Blood of the new covenant’ and who promises ‘He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life’ (John 6:56). And just as he showed himself to his holy Apostles in the form of man, in like manner he allows himself to be seen in the consecrated bread. Despite the fact that with the eyes of the body they saw only the flesh—but by contemplating it with the eyes of faith believed nonetheless that he was God—so we, too, seeing the bread and wine with the eyes of the body, believe that the most holy Body and Blood are present, alive and true, in the Eucharist. In this way, the Lord is always present in the midst of his faithful, as he himself promised, saying: ‘Behold, I am with you until the end of the world’" (Matthew 28:20). -- St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, 14 September 2012


Today I preached at the annual Holy Cross Mass for the local chapter of Society of the Holy Cross in which I talked about how we, as priests need to take up our cross. I spoke about the capitulation of the Bishops in their decision about Clause 5(1) (c), the problems that traditional Anglo-Catholics had in maintaining the faith in the present situation but the difficulties are the cross we had to bear. In the end if we glory in the Cross of Christ we must take it up and follow Him.

After Mass we went to the local YMCA for a super three course lunch.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


The bishops have made their decision regarding Clause 5(1) (c) The final text proposed by the House of Bishops is:

Substitute for the words in clause 5(1)(c):" the selection of male bishops and male priests in a manner which respects the grounds on which parochial church councils issue Letters of Request under section 3"

The House also agreed to establish a group to develop the illustrative draft Code of Practice published in January to give effect to the new provision.

According to the report on the BBC this morning, the Bishops believe that those opposed to the legislation to consecrate women as bishops do not have sufficient votes in General Synod to defeat the measure and therefore they can proceed with it and the revised clause with impunity. The fact that the Bishops have decided to withdraw the original clause and substitute the wording quoted above, demonstrates their surrender to the strong-arm tactics of militant women and the total disregard they have for the traditionalist position despite all the promises made and reassurances given when the law was changed to allow the ordination of women. My feeling is that this revision gives very little, if any, protection to Anglo-Catholic parishes who have the misfortune, for example, to be in a Diocese with a militant woman bishop determined to “do it her way”.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


In their latest email Coalition for Marriage points out that it is reported in the Daily Telegraph that “teachers could lose their jobs if they refuse to endorse gay marriage in the classroom”

The email continues : “The Telegraph's report also shows that parents would have little hope of withdrawing children from gay marriage lessons across the curriculum.

Outside education, foster carers and NHS chaplains could be penalised for expressing support for traditional marriage. And there is real concern that ministers of religion could be taken to court if they refuse to conduct gay weddings.

The Telegraph's report is based on a legal opinion produced by leading human rights and civil liberties lawyer, Aidan O'Neill QC. He shows the far-reaching impact of redefining marriage for freedom of conscience and civil liberty. You can read a summary here.

Already, we have seen cases of people being punished in their jobs for their opinions about gay marriage. Adrian Smith, a Housing Manager from Manchester, was demoted and had his salary cut by 40%, just for saying gay weddings in churches were "an equality too far". Lillian Ladele, a registrar at Islington Borough Council, was forced out of her job because she asked not to be designated as a civil partnership registrar..O’Neill advises on the position of the Church of England. As the established church, it is under a legal obligation to marry any persons who are eligible to marry in England and Wales.Even if Parliament passes a law which allows (but does not oblige) churches to host gay weddings, O’Neill advises that the UK Government could be in breach of European human rights laws if it allows the C of E to refuse gay weddings. This is because of the C of E’s unique status as the established State church. O’Neill says the church would be in a safer position if it was disestablished.

Despite Government reassurances that clergy would not be under any obligation to conduct same sex marriages I suspect that it would not be long before some one decides to take the matter to the Court of Human Rights. And how long would it be before those Bishops who support Gay Marriage put pressure on clergy and possibly on General Synod to change the legislation. From bitter experience we know that reassurances given and promises made can and often are changed

Sunday, 9 September 2012


Today I celebrated and preached at St. Mary’s Ilford, the day after they celebrated their Patronal Festival. As usual the choir were superb. In my sermon, based on the Gospel, I talked about how we all need Jesus to open our ears so we can hear what he has to say for us, Father Gareth, the Vicar, was at St. Alban’s, Ilford for a Confirmation by the Bishop of Richborough.

At the Peace, the children of the Sunday School carried in a card they had made for Mary’s birthday and a bunch of roses which we placed at the statue of Mary with a short prayer.

Yesterday I was privileged to be one of the concelebrants and to preach at the Solemn Mass at St. Augustine’s when Caitlyn, the Granddaughter of the Vicar Father Martin was Baptised.

Thursday, 6 September 2012



Yesterday Ann and I went to the Paralympics. We managed to get tickets for Goal Ball which is a game played by blind folk who use a ball with a bell inside. You have to sit quietly and are only allowed to applaud when the referee says. We went to the quarter final between GB and Sweden and GB lost 2 –1 after extra time.



Our ticket included a Day Pass so we were able to spend time looking around at this most impressive site. We were also able to go to the 7 Aside Football between Brazil and the Ukraine.


We were shocked by the prices charged for food: for example £6 for a Jacket Potato, £8.50 for Fish and Chips (the fish was small – very small) and served in a plastic container – ugh, £2.30 for a Coca Cola or other soft drink £1.60 for a bottle of water etc.

I was very impressed with the river walks and the abundance of wild flowers. We weren’t able to get any tickets for the Olympics but I have to say going to the Paralympics more than made up for this.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


It has been announced that Father Nicholas Spicer SSC has been elected by the brethren as the new Provincial Master to succeed Father Kit Dunkley SSC. I have known Father Nicholas for over 27 years ever since we were both Assistant Curates in Bristol Diocese and am delighted with this election.

Monday, 3 September 2012


The Hospital Chapel, Ilford Hill, will be open this SATURDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER from 10.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m.

During the course of the morning there will be a visit by the Mayor of Redbridge.

There will be Stalls selling various items including cards, bric-a-brac, books, videos, records, cd’s and dvd’s and refreshments.

Guided tours of this the oldest building in the borough will be available throughout the day.

If you haven’t yet visited this gem why not do so this Saturday

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Around 65,000 students who were expected to obtain ‘C’ grade in English were awarded a ‘D’ grade after the amount of marks needed was raised. Ofqual, the exams regulator, examined the quality of marking and maintain that the marking was correct but confirmed that the standard had been raised since the January examinations. The net result for those students affected will mean that entry into Sixth Form Colleges and later Universities might no longer be possible or that Apprenticeships agreed will not go ahead.

Ofqual are refusing to budge on this matter and it now seems that some teachers will be seeking recourse to the courts. In the Independent it reports: Meanwhile, pressure is building over the Ofqual report, which heads and teachers say has done nothing to tackle the "scandal" of pupils getting different grades despite getting the same marks, depending on when they sat the exam. Heads' and teachers' organisations were meeting at the weekend to discuss the possibility of a legal challenge over what happened, which would mean a judicial review of whether the grading system was fair.

Whilst Ofqual are adamantly refusing to budge on this matter, children’s futures are being put in jeopardy. The offer to retake the examination in November would, for most of those affected, be totally useless. The only solution to this debacle is the urgent remarking of the papers.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Friday and a day off!

August has been quite a busy time: last week, for example I had: three Masses plus two large funerals. So we decided that Friday would be a day away from home and phone. We started by going to Cant’s Roses at Colchester and spent a very enjoyable hour exploring various roses, making notes of those we liked so we can make a choice for delivery in November. The problem is going to be choosing which to have from so many we really liked.
After a brief stop for lunch, we drove to Coggleshall to visit the National Trust Merchants House Paycockes. I was interested to discover that the well-known, one time vicar of Thaxted, known as the Red Vicar The Revd Noel Conrad had been a visitor, related to the tenants and was involved in Patcocke’s restoration. Another famous visitor was Gustav Holst who for a short time was Organist & Choirmaster at Thaxted.
We then drove down the road to Grange Barn, one of the oldest timber-framed buildings, it has a cathedral-like interior and is linked to a local Cistercian abbey. In an adjacent village are the Templars Barns at Cressing where I was Vicar for four years. We were fortunate to find that one of the people on duty was a historian and we were able to talk about the connections between the church at Cressing, the Templars Barns and the Cistercian Abbey.
It was a really fascinating day which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Friday, 24 August 2012





Well, you didn’t really think you would have pictures of him naked did you?

I think the person who sold/leaked his picture to the press is totally despicable. No doubt his grandmother and father will have something to say about this as well as his army commander. But he was very wealthy young man on holiday and, regrettably, he didn’t choose the company he kept very wisely. You would really think he would know better than to get himself in that position in the first place. His photograph is now widely available on the internet as well as in the Sun newspaper who decided not to respect his privacy despite being asked to do so. What Prince Harry did was very, very stupid to say the least but what his”friend” did was a betrayal of the worst possible kind.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Jean’s Funeral

Jean died unexpectedly the Saturday before last at the age of 91 just before her 92nd birthday. Her funeral took place yesterday with a crowded church, with people packed in every conceivable space . As Father Martin is on holiday I had the privilege of taking the service. Jean had left instructions that it was to be a straight forward Funeral Service and had chosen the hymns to be sung. (We hope to arrange a Requiem Mass for Jean when Father Martin returns from his holiday. A Requiem was celebrated by Father Martin in Spain at the same time as the funeral was taking place in the UK)

At the beginning of the service I read out a letter which I had received from Father Martin welcoming people to St. Augustine’s,  celebrating Jean’s life and saying the important role she had played in the life of St. Augustine’s since she first started attending in 1953 .This was very much appreciated by the family and those attending

I used the reading, 1 Corinthians, 1-13 as the basis for my sermon and appreciation of all the Jean had done in the life of the parish. Later in the service there was a moving Eulogy written by members of the family. At the end of the service I gave the Final Commendation, sprinkled the coffin with Holy Water and blessed it with incense before the cortege left Rush Green and went to the South East Essex Crematorium for the committal.

There was a really wonderful buffet in the hall when the family and other mourners returned to the parish