Thursday, March 03, 2011

Taking off in Argyll and The Isles

This slightly hazy photo (courtesy of Al) is all I have to remind me of Diocesan Synod - that and the rather dog-eared copy of the Synod papers, with all the doodles and remarks that aid concentration when we're talking about money. If you look closely, you will see an angel, and in the far left a bishop - our new Bishop Kevin making his post-prandial speech at the Synod Dinner. The accordion between angel and bishop is not part of the speech, which consisted, hilariously, of the safety briefing before a flight. The angel is a member of the cabin crew, and by this stage in the proceedings is wearing the chastity girdle and the golden wings - for when the engines fail. There is a lighted halo at her feet. Her opposite number - for it is too big a plane for one angel - is on the other side of the stage.

Reader, I was that angel. Seems I may be up for a new post: Bishop's Fool. It has a suitably Learian twist, I feel - Shakespeare, not Edward. It was all good clean fun and I ended up dancing, unwisely, in rubber-soled shoes: I don't usually stay for ra jigging.

Synod itself was wonderfully optimistic. Having arrived at a properly God-centred vision of our future, we were already well on our way to behaving as one always feels a church should be. The one cloud on the horizon as far as I was concerned, the one bit of contrary weather on the flight, was the revelation that we still carried some dinosaurs on board - the kind that have never realised how strange it feels these days for a church of which two thirds of the punters are women to use a creed with the words "who for us men and for our salvation". I felt moved to speech at that point, and they backed off into the swamp, but I have a feeling they may well resurface before we're finished.

But I niggle. No-one spoke for too long, and everyone seemed to depart in peace. The weather was kind and I managed to get to the deli for my lemon-infused olive oil and one or two other good things. We've taken off in a new direction and are travelling hopefully. Happy landings!


  1. Morag2:16 PM

    Picture makes bishop look like he too has a halo in a modern metal, like stainless steel.

    And you mean that isn't your usual Synod outfit????? :-)

  2. I think he may well have a halo! But no, alas, I cannot claim angelhood for that event ...


    As one of the dinosaurs referred to, I have three comments on "Taking off."
    Firstly it is wonderful to know that among us in Diocesan Synod was one with the rhetorical and spiritual power or meteoric force over us dinosaurs to make us back off 'in to the swamp', there,if possible, to become extinct.

    Secondly, as an English teaching professional and wordsmith, your blogger knows well that the 'men' in the liturgy is a gender-free 17th century(?)item and refers to our species whether male or female.
    In any case, see Galatians 3;26-28

    Thirdly, I do, however, sympathise with your feelings on the use of 'men' in this context.If it grates lets change it to 'for mankind and its salvation ' or ' for us your people and our salvation' but God preserve us from the cringingly 'pc'interference with the language of Jesus the Son who addressed Abba -his Father. With love : one of the Puffins for whom our Bishop seems to pray- John

  4. I think we are past 17thC usage in a modern liturgy,don't you? Is it not rooted anyway in certain assumptions? And I did nod tto older usages in what I said anyway. As for the creed, I'm happy with the most recent form that merely says "for us and for our salvation..."

    And I would not be happy for my friendly dinosaur to become extinct - I have hopes for him yet!

  5. Is there still a place for "thee and thou"?

  6. I don't personally feel the need for archaisms any more - but I know some people still value the language that was what enticed me in in the first place.