Lay Anglicana, the unofficial voice of the laity throughout the Anglican Communion.
This is the place to share news and views from the pews.
‘I am not sure’, writes George Steiner of the most haunting tragedy of the twentieth century, ‘whether anyone, however scrupulous, who spends time and imaginative resources on these dark places, can, or indeed, ought to leave them personally intact. Yet the dark places are at the centre. Pass them by and there can be […] Continue reading »
Sermon Preached at Evensong, Church of St Mary the Virgin, Holy Island of Lindisfarne William Golding will be remembered favourably for many literary accomplishments. From these, alas, his use of potatoes in philosophical argument may be omitted. In his fourth novel, Free Fall, Golding has his protagonist declare that ‘free-will cannot be debated but […] Continue reading »
Hagiography is not biography, and what we know of the ministry of St Aidan – principally through the Ecclesiastical History of Bede – must not be considered forensic material, so much as the rich echo of a dynamic and striking life. Nonetheless, these facts we may ascertain: that in 634, Aidan, a monk from Iona, […] Continue reading »
Mark 15:29-32 In a culture which grasps rather than attends, and abstracts rather than embodies, we have a problem with human weakness. We are, in fact, disgusted by it, for it shatters our illusion of omnipotence. And the trouble is that we prefer the fiction. And so we project our disgust onto everyone […] Continue reading »
There’s a story that the great Anglican poet and priest George Herbert once made himself late for an important rehearsal by stopping to help a poor man in distress. Herbert re-saddled the man’s horse, and helped him on with his pack, making himself filthy in the process. Upon arriving in the midst of proceedings at […] Continue reading »
Throughout his writing life, one painting hung above the desk of the famous theologian Karl Barth. It was Matthias Grünewald’s Crucifixion, which, in its original form, made up part of the great Isenheim Altarpiece built for a monastery in Alsace. The Crucifixion is a shocking and intensely moving masterpiece. Christ’s body is pitted with lacerations […] Continue reading »
The last time I heard Easter proclaimed triumphantly from the pulpit was actually on 25th December. Priests, you see, are exhausted for most of Advent, and leading the Christmas Day service is a bit like finishing a marathon. To add insult to injury, they’ve already had to address a congregation of boozed-up irregulars at midnight […] Continue reading »
In 2011, the BBC’s Reith Lectures bore the title ‘Securing Freedom’. Re-reading them recently, the theme struck a fresh chord in light of the horrifying murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, killed outside his Woolwich barracks in May. Freedom presupposes a measure of security, poignantly violated on September 11th 2001, but – as Manningham-Buller began to […] Continue reading »
‘Be still for the presence of the Lord, the Holy One, is here’ To walk through the centre of St Andrews of a Sunday morning is to bear witness to the magnificent reality of those words, taken from David Evans’ popular hymn. It is to see Presbyterian, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Free Church and Anglican alike […] Continue reading »
‘To plan a strategy around such weapons is to be defeated by them. To threaten such an outrage against humanity and its world is to begin to lose one’s moral and human dignity. To work for a world free from nuclear arms is to work for the sake of that moral and human dignity’. – […] Continue reading »