I began the blog after enduring five years of bigotry and discrimination from my diocesan bishop following my suffering of a lengthy bout of depression (he did not believe that somebody who had succumbed to a mental illness should ever be a parish priest again and so he kept trying to sack me – he succeeded in the end). The aim of the blog at its inception was to provide a forum for people in the Church of England, suffering from mental health problems and victims, like me, of institutional prejudice. However, very soon it became about much more than the excluded mad. All sorts of people who had been made to feel unwelcome by the Christian churches and other outsiders began to visit and contribute to the blog. For a while it was very exciting and Of Course, I Could Be Wrong… became quite influential albeit in a small way. Along with many other outsider Christian bloggers I did my bit to change the world and stop the haters from taking over completely.
But, all good things come to an end and the heyday of blogging was torpedoed and sunk by the rise in popularity of the Facebook platform among intelligent, older people, our demographic. Faced with impending obscurity I joined Facebook and continued my ministry there. However, I made sure that the blog continued and was an integral part of my new project, the Saint Laika Online Christian Community’s website.
My ministry is now limited to my work on the internet as I cannot get a job in the Church of England. This either excites or depresses me depending on my frame of mind at any particular time. Saint Laika’s is successful. It is valued by many people. Far more people attend its services online than attend my local cathedral on a Sunday morning. But I was called by God to be a parish priest and not being allowed to be one is extremely painful for me. Of course, being a depressive doesn’t help. I am clinically a glass half empty person.
I would be in a much worse situation if it wasn’t for my many friends who continue to support me both emotionally and financially. Every month I receive about five hundred pounds by way of donations to my ministry. This pays for the cost of my online ministry and helps a lot towards my living expenses. However, it is not enough to fully fund my online vocation. I would love to double it. This would still be nowhere near a priest’s stipend in the Church of England, but it would be enough for me.
If you are not one of my regular supporters already please consider celebrating both OCICBW…’s tenth birthday and Easter Day by becoming a Saint Laika angel. Don’t worry, you don’t have to die to get your wings. You simply have to sign up to donate ten pounds a month (about fourteen dollars) towards my running costs (both priestly and personal). You can do this through the PayPal widget below. You do not even need to have an account with PayPal to do so.
Thanks, everybody. It’s been real fun. Let’s hope the next ten years will be even more so.