Monday, 24 February 2014

Sweeping changes to 700-year-old laws, ahead of gay marriages next month

From the Coalition for Marriage

The Government now realises that same-sex marriage will require a massive re-write of legislation dating back to 1285 AD – including airbrushing out the terms “husband” and “wife” from many of our laws. Crucial safeguards will also have to be introduced to safeguard the Monarchy.

The Government are rushing to introduce all these changes through ministerial orders.

The proposals include changing the law:

  • To prevent a man from becoming Queen in the event a King 'marries' another man
  • To prevent a man from becoming the Princess of Wales in the event that the heir to the throne enters a same-sex marriage
  • To stop the 'husband' of a male Peer being referred to as Duchess, Lady or Countess
  • To replace the terms “husband” and “wife” with “partner” or “spouse” in a huge raft of English law

Redefining marriage means rewriting our language as well as our laws. All this just goes to show that marriage should never have been redefined.

C4M said all along that thousands of laws would need to be changed. These, and other far-reaching consequences, flow from redefining marriage.

MPs are expected to agree the draft orders tomorrow with the House of Lords considering them on Thursday. No doubt there will need to be further changes to clear up the legislative mess created by the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Parliament may have changed the law, but it is vitally important that we continue to assert the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Hart
Colin Hart
Campaign Director
Coalition for Marriage

Sunday, 23 February 2014


I presided at the Solemn Parish Mass today and Father Martin concelebrated, read the Gospel, preached and led our Intercessions. In his sermon Father Martin wanted to stress our need to have “faith, hope and charity (love)” in all our dealings. He mentioned that on a practical note there would be two opportunities to help charities during Lent: USPG and our local Hospice. He mentioned Cardinal Vincent Nichol’s condemnation, as well as the church leaders letter to the Daily Mirror, highlighting the problems with poverty and the need, in this day and age, for food banks. The letter had the signatures of 27 Bishops and 16 other Christian leaders. There was a great need, he said, for “faith, hope and charity (love)” in all we do.

Friday, 21 February 2014



prison barsThe decision by the Appeal Court that British Judges can impose a whole life tariff without review on sentences for the most heinous of crimes, might, at first glance seem entirely appropriate and just. Putting a person in prison and throwing away the key might seem entirely justifiable but is it, from a Christian viewpoint? Surely there should be the hope of repentance; surely there should be the hope of amendment of life, surely there should be the possibility of forgiveness. By allowing a whole life sentence to be reviewed so that these matters can be considered doesn’t mean that the incarcerated should be freed but that consideration be given to that possibility.


A very wise priest said to me years ago that you must never take away all hope from a prisoner. To review a sentence provides the opportunity for experienced people to exam if the incarcerated has made significant progress; it provides the prisoner with the incentive to do so. Many given whole life, and entirely justified, sentences might never, ever leave prison but shouldn’t the door be open to recognise rehabilitation should it occur?

Sunday, 16 February 2014



Today I played the organ, preached and led the Intercessions at St. Augustine's, Rush Green for the Solemn Parish Mass. For the postlude I played Nun Danket Alle Gott by Sigrid Sigfrid Karg-Elert,

Today’s Gospel reading continues The Sermon on the Mount.  In my sermon I pointed out that Jesus spoke with authority and quoted part of Pope Benedict’s book where he comments on the phrase, "But I say to you..." When Jesus says, "But I say to you..." he is making an amazing claim of authority and power. To show how radical the claim is, the pope cites a Jewish Scripture scholar, Rabbi Jacob Neusner. Regarding Jesus' approach to the Law, Rabbi Neusner asks, "What did Jesus leave out?" He answers: "Nothing." Then he asks, "What did Jesus add?" To that the Rabbi answers, "Himself."  What makes Jesus significant when considered amongst other religious teachers such as Socrates, or the Buddha is that whilst others show a way – a path of life, it is only Jesus who makes the claim to be “the way, the truth and the life” and that “no one can come to Father except through me” He claims an uniqueness which others don’t; he is part of the Holy Trinity God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God.

If we truly want to follow His way we need him in our lives. Without Jesus we can easily take the wrong path. I then mentioned the appalling decision of the Belgium Government to allow euthanasia for children which I consider to be totally against Christian teaching. I urged people to sign the petition on the Internet to ask King Philippe of Belgium to refuse to sign this Act.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


As Father Martin was away today, I presided and preached today at the Parish Mass at St.  Augustine’s.  In my sermon I quoted two texts from the Gospel: “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world.”  and remarked that salt was an essential part of life in the ancient world and described how battles had been fought over it and how it had been used to raise taxes. Personally I don’t think I could fancy fish and chips without salt (and a little vinegar); just a small amount could make a significant difference to the taste of a meal.  I then posed the question on how we could be the “light of the world” when this was a title used to describe Jesus in St. John’s Gospel. In fact Christians get their light from Jesus. We are described by S. Paul as the Body of Christ – we are his representatives on earth. Last week, at the Candlemass celebrations we had heard how Simeon had described Jesus “as the light to lighten the Gentiles” Now, we as Christians were called to be “lights” in the world reflecting the light of Jesus in our lives.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014




I would have thought that those folk in areas experiencing some of the worse floods since records began would have been able to access telephone information from the Environment Agency free of charge. Instead they have to pay 40p per minute using a premium phone line. You couldn’t make it up!

Sunday, 2 February 2014



Today I officiated at St. Paul’s, Goodmayes which has just started an Interregnum. When I arrived at the church I was greeted by being told that the electricity was not working so there were no lights, no heat, and no organ. All the fuses had been inspected and all seemed OK. We would have to have a “said” Mass instead of the usual Solemn Parish Mass. Just before we left the Sacristy for the service the lights came on, the organ started to work and, thank goodness, the heating started up.

In the sermon I pointed out that Mary and Joseph had made the thank-offering of two birds rather than the unblemished lamb which the wealthy could afford. Of course, they presented the “Lamb of God” because that is what Jesus was.

After Mass many of us went to the hall for refreshments.