There used to be just truth and lies, but it’s got more complex of late. Some people are talking about our being in an age of post-truth – which I suppose means we all make up a version of that suits us. But there’s also anti-truth – which is not so much a lie, as an attempt to hide the truth. Continue reading “Choosing anti-truth. The 3 Syriac bishops, the Home Office and Nissar Hussain. © Gavin Ashenden”
The thought of leaving Canterbury, spiritually or emotionally, breaks my heart. I grew up there. I spent five years in the school built around its cloisters. I sang from its tower on Ascension days. I sat for hours at the entrance to the cloisters where Thomas a Becket was struck down for refusing the demands of the secular over the sacred. I took the Eucharist there in the bowels of its undercroft before dawn in the mists of winter. I was confirmed there when the saintly prophetic Michael Ramsey was Archbishop. Continue reading “Leaving home – the future of the Christian faith in England.”
I was walking through Gatwick airport at about the same time as the bombs were going off at Brussels’ airport. The people who died in Belgium would have been sipping their very early morning coffee about the same time as I was mine, before setting off for their flights. I was luckier with my airport than they were with theirs. So I am still here; and they are not. Continue reading “The cross is not a sword- it is the key that open the human heart. ©Gavin Ashenden.”
Gavin Ashenden lives partly in Shropshire and partly in Normandy.
Democracy is at first sight a very frightening idea. Continue reading “Holiness lasts longer than politics-the limits of democracy. © Gavin Ashenden”
One of the great gifts of the charismatic movement was to reintroduce to the church the need and the ability to ‘test the spirits’. Those who had been involved particularly in the ministry of deliverance in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church, had never lost the clarity that the human pilgrimage and the integrity of the church was primarily defined by a spiritual struggle.
Having moved to England, I have retired for a second time. The first time was from being a University lecturer and chaplain, and now after some years in a Jersey parish, I have retired as a vicar.
I am a bit shocked by the empty diary,- but after the shock, I am growing to like it. It opens up new opportunities- especially for writing. Or even for long neglected poetry.
Like the entrancing Thomas Traherne. He is remembered once a year in the collective mind of Anglicanism. He lived through the English civil war and tragically died of small pox in his late 30’s. His poetry is considered as difficult as it entrancing and stretching. It bubbles over with mystery, joy and ecstasy. Continue reading “Faith in God and the science of joy © Gavin Ashenden”
I remember seeing my first Sikh as a child in south London. I thought the turban exotic and rather wonderful. Continue reading “The self contradiction of Liberals & Progressives. © Gavin Ashenden”
It was normal in serious Christianity that when you encountered Jesus and gave your life to him you would ask to be baptised.
In your dying to your old life and starting afresh with a new way of living and loving and being loved, you would take a new name – a Christian name. Perhaps the name of someone who had achieved great things for the kingdom of heaven. Continue reading “The Bishop of Grantham and the eroticisation of the Church of England. © Gavin Ashenden”
In the early 1980’s I became a smuggler. I smuggled bibles, history and theology books, as well as medicine, into the Soviet Union. I smuggled suitcases full of theological books into the Czeck Republic. I was helping to set up a secret seminary for the underground Catholic Church. Continue reading “Christ from the ashes of Communism. © Gavin Ashenden”