Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Whalley, Blackburn, Wanderings and Meetings.

Whalley Abbey.

Whalley Parish Church.
The fine view down Whalley High Street.

Gathering clouds shot at speed.

There will be high winds tonight, gale warnings have been issued across the county and there is the expectation of monsoon weather coming from the North for a week or so. Thought that might cheer you up! I was near Blackburn this afternoon for a meeting with the Bishop of that Diocese, discussing potential curacies. Things look bright in that way, so the weather is simply the other side of our metaphorical seesaw alluded to a couple of posts ago. I was a little early for the meeting so I spent half an hour in Whalley Abbey, the Diocese of Blackburn's conference centre and an important set of ruins in their own right. The Abbey stands in the Parish of Chris Sterry, legendary Vicar of those parts and Anglican Wanderer, so he gets an honourable mention today. He may get another one on Saturday as I drive past his Church on my way to Clitheroe with a cool box to fill with game from the market.

My large amount of work to do is receding magnificently, like Prince Philip's hair, but it is also constantly expanding, again magnificently, like Nicholas Soames's waistline. I am hoping that tomorrow there will be some time to get back to normal to an extent and even time to do a few bits and pieces in Church on Friday, in readiness for this Sunday's High Mass. It struck me how ineffectual these Dawkins adverts on the side of buses are, you know the ones 'there probably isn't a God, so get on with your life and stop worrying'. What sort of paranoid God botherer spends his life trying, utterly in vain, to prove there is not a God and then feels the urge to tell everyone that he has, basically, failed? Silly man. I love the fact that it is possible to turn the advert into one for the wonderful, joyous faith we have by the removal of the letters n't. That seems a perfect advert for the Alpha course really, better than 'is this all there is to life' or whatever they use now, suggesting that one can white water raft to the Heavenly City or bungee jump there. Maybe this is what we have been waiting for all these years? Some silly atheists hectoring the nation into a state of confusion by questioning the existence of God on the side of buses? I would dearly love to have the other side of the same buses emblazoned with the legend 'rejoice and be glad, the Kingdom of God is close at hand!' We need waking up to the reality of God and the eternal and it might just take a handful of miserable atheists to wake us up, as happened in 'The End of the Affair' by Graham Greene, when the proto-Dawkins character bored the lead characters mistress into Roman Catholicism.