NOT WITH A BANG… — 36 Comments

  1. Alas. But God knows the church is much the poorer for having failed to appreciate your talents.

    Still, it’s about as tough on you as it could be. I am sure you are in all of our prayers.

    (PS obviously with any luck that failure will be temporary.)

  2. MP, you know we don’t follow your orders…

    I’m sending out a canine hug to the best damn priest I know. A smattering of sympathy and tea to go with it, as well as a pint of good ale. And a tail wag. I think that’s a complete set of canine compassion. Oh wait, and a big giant WOOF! Now it’s complete!

  3. Gracie sends her snuggles as well. I was going to tip the pint of ale to you, in addition to offering tea and sympathy, but +Clumber beat me to it. Canines always know best.

  4. You will survive this. You’ve survived a lot before.

    Generous helpings of sympathy from me to go with your tea.

    You will always be a priest no matter what the human resources department says.

  5. Clumber, don’t forget resting the snout on the Madpriest’s leg and gazing up soulfully into his eyes.

    A human hug coming from here.

    Pax, C.

  6. I’ve just had the cup of tea and I’ll now offer you a bit of sympathy before I basically go off to bed. But not too much sympathy. I don’t want to over do it. And definitely no hugging. I don’t want people to think I’m a Mad Charo.

  7. The English cuddle people. Hugs anyway, and tea and sympathy.

    Most people have periods in their life when all they can see ahead of them is darkness. It may be the terminal illness of a loved one or personal illness. It may be financial problems. It may be work related as it is with me at the moment. I have gone from asking two people, last September, to get together with me to choose the hymns for Sunday morning, although I could have insisted on choosing them all myself, to being unemployed and unsalaried in a couple of months time. In fact, I received my notice of dismissal, in writing, from the bishop, yesterday. Along the way I saw my greatest dream, to be vicar of the parish I have loved and served for the last ten years, completely dashed on the rocks. The bishop told me not to get involved directly with sorting the mess out but to leave everything up to the church wardens. The archdeacon told me not to talk to any of you about what was going on. My hands were tied. All I could do was watch my personal Jerusalem heading towards me. There was nothing I could do about it.

    I am not Jesus. I don’t claim to have anywhere near the fortitude and faith that he possessed. But I do use his example to inform my attitude towards my own predicament. I have my own Jerusalem to face and it will be painful. It has been painful. However, something of God will be made possible because of it. Just as something of God was made possible through Christ’s suffering.

    So it is very important that we encourage one another to find God’s loving purpose in our lives and to reflect God’s love in our own lives. It is so important because it is, quite literally, a matter of life or death.

    Fr Jonathan Hagger – 28 February 2010

  8. Molly the Wonderdog wishes to second Clumber’s comments and also to thank you for the prayers initiated here that have seen her (and her guardian) through many really scary times with her health issues.

  9. Prayers with affection (properly restrained), admiration, and respect.

    (Hoping mention of restraint does not overexcite a certain acolyte.)

  10. Did you ask to see copies of references that were provided about you from parishes where you applied?
    (they have to give them to you, the bishop /diocese does not)
    Did you check your name appeareth not on various archbishop’s lists?
    Sunject access requests and all that?

  11. Tea and a slice of the lemon bread I just made.

    You could meander over to nakedpastor who has just stepped down from his position. His sense of humor might appeal to you (though he is more into drawinsgs/paintings than music).

  12. Wish I had something more than sympathy (and tea) to offer.

    I don’t know all the details, but I do echo the above, you are still a priest and I hope you will find a path that allows you to exercise skills and a vocation.

  13. A church which ignores really good priests is on the road to proving Darwin was right. I am sorry this is happening to you.



  14. Jonathan, would you like to know how I found your sermon from back in February? If not, I’m going to tell you anyway. I wasn’t looking for it. I Googled the lyrics to the song, and up popped your sermon with the same title as the song! I took that as a sign. I’d have blogged it at WB, but, as you know, I’m on sabbatical.

  15. Hold your gorgeous head high my friend. I need to plant a kiss on your pate. If you find that too difficult stand on a chair. If that’s too difficult I could make an exception for you and stoop.


  16. Hell’s bells, MP – I’ve met you and I am jolly well sending you a virtual hug. So there.

    I hear the Rector of Stornoway is (at last) thinking of retiring …

  17. prayers for you and the missus.

    wv: unwory — as in “unwory, it’ll come right.”

  18. Love to you from me and all the cats. They send loud PURRS and want you to know that you are one of their favorite priests even if you are partial to dogs.

  19. Praying for you and Mrs Madpriest. May you find comfort and peace in the loving presence of God, and may God open a door for you in a clear and mighty way. I believe God has wonderful and challenging plans for your future

  20. You do know the joke about the little nun who got on the bus and took a seat without paying the fare…?

    (The punch line is a little crude, or else I’d tell the whole joke.)

    Prayers continue.

    WV: “pigremb” — ???

  21. All right, this is your nemesis — AT. Now listen to me. What you do is this: Say: “Thank you, Father. I’m going to depend on you more.” Everything pertaining to this can be translated into greater dependence on Him. This goes against our natural instincts, but it’s a cycle. When we do this, it leads to a new infusion of power. Then we meet the next challenge and we react the same way and with the same result. Never mind about making this comment public. Do it or not, I don’t care. What matters is that you make this advancement toward deeper relationship and spiritual growth. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. Trust me on this one thing.

  22. You will always be a priest. Look at this online flock you have. We love you. Sorry I didn’t mean to get all gushy. Our dogs, Maggie and Molly give you cuddles.

  23. Continuing prayers for you and Mrs. Mad Priest. I’ve seen the mean and hateful side of the church before and I’m very sorry you’ve become its target.

    I was going to offer wise words of consolation here, but at the last second I remembered what an amazing professor and friend of mine once said to me:

    “It may be good to light one little candle, but sometimes you just need to sit in the dark and swear.”

    Take all the time you need.

    I trust that whatever happens next, you and Mrs. MP will get through it with strength, faith, love, and, of course, your very own brands of wit.