Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

It is interesting to note that although the important people of my diocese steadfastly refuse to even acknowledge my enquiries about and applications for advertised vacancies they are always certain to include me in the round robin announcing who was eventually appointed to the post.

Prince Harry Gives Bad Advice To Church Of England Priests

At an event for the mental health charity, Heads Together, Prince Harry spoke of his regret that he did not talk about how the death of his mother, Princess Diana, affected him until three years ago. Footballer Rio Ferdinand, athletes Dame Kelly Holmes and Iwan Thomas, and cyclist Victoria Pendleton (some of whom have spoken publicly about dealing with depression) were at the event.

Later, the prince told BBC Breakfast: "It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognising it and not solving that problem."

Full details can be found on the BBC NEWS website.

It would appear that it is okay to speak about suffering from depression or other mental health problems if you a prince of the realm or star football player but not if you are a priest of the Church of England. I was told to retire and eventually sacked by my bishop, Martin Wharton, for suffering from depression. He told me that a person who suffered from such mental health problems obviously could not cope with stress and should, therefore, never be allowed to be a parish priest. Many other clerics agree with him and not one Anglican bishop in the British Isles has dared to contradict the bishop who sacked me by offering me assistance.

I wonder if the head of my church would treat her own grandson the way her bishops have treated me over the years.

The MadGang Go To Haddo House

Scotland is a far better place to be a dog than England. This is due to the fact that the wonderfully enlightened Scottish laws regarding access to the countryside apply equally to dogs as to humans as long as they are "under close control." The custodians of the state surrounding Haddo House have not only fully embraced the principle of universal access to their property they have gone the extra mile by providing particularly dog friendly spaces and even building a permanent agility course for dogs to play on without any cost to their human companions. So, top marks from the MadGang go to the owners of the Haddo House estate.

The obelisk, which is the subject of a couple of the following photographs, is a Battle of Waterloo memorial.

The long, narrow, red brick building is a pheasantry. Sadly, when we visited it the pheasant plucker wasn't in and nor was his son.

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The MadGang Go To Dunnottar Castle

A walk through the woods to Dunnottar Castle and then along the top of the cliffs to Stonehaven harbour.

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The Honours of Scotland ( Wikipedia )

Charles II was crowned at Scone Palace on the first of January, 1651 at which the Honours of Scotland (the regalia of crown, sword and sceptre) were used. However, with Cromwell's troops in Lothian, the honours could not be returned to Edinburgh. The Earl Marischal, as Marischal of Scotland, had formal responsibility for the honours and in June the Privy Council duly decided to place them at Dunnottar. They were brought to the castle by Katherine Drummond, hidden in sacks of wool. Sir George Ogilvie (or Ogilvy) of Barras was appointed lieutenant-governor of the castle and given responsibility for its defence.

In November 1651 Cromwell's troops called on Ogilvie to surrender but he refused. During the subsequent blockade of the castle the removal of the Honours of Scotland was planned by Elizabeth Douglas, wife of Sir George Ogilvie, and Christian Fletcher, wife of James Granger, minister of Kinneff Parish Church. The king's papers were first removed from the castle by Anne Lindsay, a kinswoman of Elizabeth Douglas, who walked through the besieging force with the papers sewn into her clothes. Two stories exist regarding the removal of the honours themselves. Fletcher stated in 1664 that over the course of three visits to the castle in February and March 1652 she carried away the crown, sceptre, sword and sword-case hidden amongst sacks of goods. Another account, given in the eighteenth century by a tutor to the Earl Marischal, records that the honours were lowered from the castle onto the beach where they were collected by Fletcher's servant and carried off in a creel (basket) of seaweed. Having smuggled the honours from the castle, Fletcher and her husband buried them under the floor of the Old Kirk at Kinneff.

Meanwhile, by May 1652 the commander of the blockade, Colonel Thomas Morgan, had taken delivery of the artillery necessary for the reduction of Dunnottar. Ogilvie surrendered on th twenty-fourth of May on condition that the garrison could go free. Finding the honours gone the Cromwellians imprisoned Ogilvie and his wife in the castle until the following year when a false story was put about suggesting that the honours had been taken overseas. Much of the castle property was removed, including twenty-one brass cannons and Marischal was required to sell further lands and possessions to pay fines imposed by Cromwell's government.

At the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, the honours were removed from Kinneff Church and returned to the king. Ogilvie quarrelled with Marischal's mother over who would take credit for saving the honours though he was eventually rewarded with a baronetcy. Fletcher was awarded two thousand merks by Parliament but the sum was never paid.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Other than the obvious nastiness the thing that will stick in my mind most firmly from the last few days is the film of the police officers (black and white, male and female) running up and down the road in full sight of the gunmen making sure the protestors were safe crouched behind the parked cars. It is our nature to want everything in life to be either one thing or the other but nothing in life ever is.

The Words Of The Prophets Are Written On The Facebook Walls

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There have been times during the last few months that I have felt very lonely indeed. As a controversialist I am used to being argued with but my defence of the people who voted to leave the EU, especially those from the working class and the very poor, has pushed me well outside the consensus of opinion in my social media neighbourhood. I can count those of my UK friends who really agreed with me on the fingers of one hand. The fact that I will speak openly about immigration and state what is bad about it has made me even more of an outsider around here. But, hey, nobody said being a prophet would be easy. In fact, history shows that a prophet who doesn't end up being lynched has been extremely lucky. Furthermore, there is that naughty but nice feeling you get when you discover (and in my case, it's always to my surprise) that you got it right or, at least, very nearly right.

Now that the vote is all over the voices of the people I was intent on defending are being allowed to be heard by the liberal media who I am sure were scared of letting them be heard in the run up to the referendum. This edition of the BBC's "Panorama" is presented by Adrain Chiles, a television presenter who obviously comes out of the same mould as myself and who is also not afraid of being seen as off message by his colleagues (he is an out of the closet Roman Catholic Christian for a start). I am hoping that my friends in America and Canada who may be still a bit confused about the demographics of the Brexit vote, will be allowed by the powers that be to view this video as it shows very clearly what I have been saying loud and clear all along, that my people are not stupid, thick, ill informed or racist.

Give A Cop A Gun

It strikes me that the urge to regard the recent killing of black men by white police officers in the USA simply as acts of racism suits the NRA and its supporters very well indeed. If people started to see at least some of these tragic events as acts born out of the fear that must be endemic in a nation with such an out of control gun culture the campaign for regulating gun ownership more strictly would be strengthened.

The Saint Laika Summer Appeal 2016 – Update

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Thanks to the chaos following the Brexit vote the Yankee dollar is now worth a heck of lot more, compared to the British pound, than it was a week ago. The silver lining this particular economic cloud is that it is now cheaper than it has ever been to make a contribution to the Saint Laika Summer Appeal 2016 if you do not live in the UK. At this moment in time we have raised a staggering:

FIVE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-NINE POUNDS AND THIRTY-NINE PENCE ( $761.71 )

We only need to raise another £410.61 to reach our target of £1000. It would be truly wonderful if we managed this before the end of this week when the MadGang depart on their procession around the Highlands of Scotland.

Here's the blurb explaining why your generosity is needed and where your donation will go.

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Dear friends of Saint Laika's, once again I need to ask for your assistance in keeping my online ministry alive and kicking. I have no other employment other than my work on the internet and no other source of income. I survive on the regular donations I receive every month from supporters, most of whom have been generously sending me money since I first started this faith-based occupation of mine. Unfortunately, due to the unavoidable loss of a major monthly contribution, I am now trying to make do on about four hundred and fifty pounds a month and it is not easy. Therefore, in order to pay for the extras in life, like clothes and big, unexpected bills, I run two appeals each year, one in December and one in June, in which I ask you to consider making a special, one off donation. It is now time to launch this year's summer appeal.

The target this year is the usual, arbitrary one thousand pounds. We are yet to reach this target but, you never know, perhaps this time we will do it as last time we got very close. The money raised will be spent on the running costs of the Saint Laika's website, my annual holiday and new clothes for me as I have been on a diet and lost so much weight in the last four months or so that none of my trousers fit. I have dropped three waist sizes which is great for my health but not so great for my wardrobe and wallet.

So, please help if you can. Donations can be made through the PayPal widget below. You do not even need a PayPal account to be able to make your donation. Every body who donates will receive a PDF copy of the "Best of the Lord Bishops," my ongoing scurrilous attack on the B.O.Fs of the Church of England hierarchy, who made my present situation and need of your generosity possible.




[CLICK TO READ MORE]

Stable Doors, Spilt Milk, Liberals And Brexit

Liberal remain supporters keep banging on about how the leave campaign leaders do not have a "coherent plan" for what should happen now. This would appear to be true. However, my question is what was the "coherent plan" of the remain leaders for after the referendum if they won? It would appear that it was to carry on exactly as before. Oh, yes, there are lots of liberal commentators coming up with bright ideas now about how we could have stayed in the EU whilst reversing the effect unrestricted, mass immigration has on the working class, especially outside of London and empty space rich Scotland. But, here's the rub, they had plenty of time (The Maastricht Treaty was signed twenty-four years ago) to do just this. They chose instead to not only ignore the concerns of working class people but to deliberately and consistently stigmatise any attempts they made to voice their concerns.

It is the strong inclination of liberals to not actually listen to the very people they claim to care for, the poor and politically voiceless, and their insistence that they know best in every situation because they are so much cleverer and more enlightened than the "ignorant masses" that has led to their worst EU nightmare coming true.

Holy Communion For The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
( The Sixth Sunday After Trinity )

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We do not just receive from God. Our faith is not merely passive. The disciples of Christ do not simply follow. We are, instead, sent out into the world to heal its pains and divisions and to proclaim the nearness of God's kingdom. This is a daunting task but we are not alone in it. In the sacrament of holy communion, in the presence of Christ and each other, we are brought into the togetherness of the kingdom and the very body and blood of Jesus equips us for our work in this world of God's creation.

At Saint Laika's everyone is welcome to take communion and be in communion, with each other and with God. There are no exceptions. So, come, join us.

If you want to physically partake of communion you will require a small piece of bread and a small amount of drink (preferably made from grapes and containing alcohol). How you view the nature of this part of the service is completely up to you.

CLICK HERE to access the podcast via iTunes.

To stream the service direct from this page without having to use the iTunes' facility, click on the arrow on the left of the player below.

Join in with us as we worship God by CLICKING HERE for the order of service, credits and details of the music featured. The words in bold type are the ones we say together.

Cleansing-of-Naaman

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

If Remain voters continue for much longer with this pity party of passive aggressive, holier than thou, patronising, money worshipping condescension I am going to start telling people that I voted Leave, even though I voted Remain, just to avoid embarrassment

Referendum Reality

It has become apparent that people in my country who profess that they care for the wellbeing and happiness of others, know more about the lives, the hopes and concerns of the poor in lands on the other side of the globe than those of the poor who live in the same town as themselves.

I read an article yesterday in which a British artist, bemoaning the result of the EU referendum, claimed that he no longer recognised the country he had lived in all his life. My immediate thought was that he must have been walking around with eyes closed up to now. Nothing has changed except the possibility of going through life ignoring the truth.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

I'm definitely hoping that Michael Gove wins the Conservative leadership election. It would pretty much guarantee a Labour government after the next general election.

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I think this anger and fear has very little to do with immigration and commonality. I think that everyone is so scared of becoming poorer that we are defending an indefensible system and allowing some very greedy, evil people to control the world.

I wish we could burn it all down and start again but what will happen is that the moneymen will take control again.

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I honestly cannot think of one politician in the UK who is capable of rising to the challenge of leading a political party, let alone a nation. If we could somehow combine Boris Johnson's political skills and crowd pleasing gifts with Jeremy Corbyn's ideology and integrity we might end up with one decent statesman who would pull us together and lead us forward.

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In the box where you have to state which country you are from I'm now just typing in "Kingdom."

The Saint Laika Summer Appeal 2016 – Update

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FIVE HUNDRED AND FOUR POUNDS AND THIRTY NINE PENCE

Wow! Thanks to the generosity of some really good friends our appeal is over half way to the target of one thousand pounds. I would like to close the appeal before I depart on my annual vacation in nine days time so, if you have not done so already and if you support my ministry as a full time internet priest, please consider sending a bit of your hard earned cash my way. Here's the blurb explaining why your generosity is needed and where your donation will go.

*****

Dear friends of Saint Laika's, once again I need to ask for your assistance in keeping my online ministry alive and kicking. I have no other employment other than my work on the internet and no other source of income. I survive on the regular donations I receive every month from supporters, most of whom have been generously sending me money since I first started this faith-based occupation of mine. Unfortunately, due to the unavoidable loss of a major monthly contribution, I am now trying to make do on about four hundred and fifty pounds a month and it is not easy. Therefore, in order to pay for the extras in life, like clothes and big, unexpected bills, I run two appeals each year, one in December and one in June, in which I ask you to consider making a special, one off donation. It is now time to launch this year's summer appeal.

The target this year is the usual, arbitrary one thousand pounds. We are yet to reach this target but, you never know, perhaps this time we will do it as last time we got very close. The money raised will be spent on the running costs of the Saint Laika's website, my annual holiday and new clothes for me as I have been on a diet and lost so much weight in the last four months or so that none of my trousers fit. I have dropped three waist sizes which is great for my health but not so great for my wardrobe and wallet.

So, please help if you can. Donations can be made through the PayPal widget below. You do not even need a PayPal account to be able to make your donation. Every body who donates will receive a PDF copy of the "Best of the Lord Bishops," my ongoing scurrilous attack on the B.O.Fs of the Church of England hierarchy, who made my present situation and need of your generosity possible.




[CLICK TO READ MORE]

Boris Johnson – A Case Of Au Revoir Not Goodbye

I'm an unreconstructed socialist but I've never been one for towing any party line. Not only do I recognise talent when I see it but I'm not afraid to give it its due even when the rest of the neighbourhood is set on vilifying it simply because it is not being used for the propagation of a left wing agenda.

I could never understand why so many people were comparing Boris Johnson to Donald Trump as the two are wider apart in intelligence than the ocean that separates them. Trump just says what comes into his head at any given moment whilst Johnson is fully in charge of what comes out of his mouth even (especially) his clownish remarks. Trump is a chancer whilst Johnson is extremely calculating behind the haphazard, buffoonish facade.

I was very impressed with the way he led the Leave campaign especially the way he was never riled by the insults thrown at him in debates and by the media. I am even more impressed by the nous he has shown by reading the signs and announcing that he will not be standing as a candidate for the job of leader of the Conservative Party and next prime minister of the UK. I think it is unlikely that he would have won, bearing in mind how many tory MPs voted to remain in the EU, and, even if he had done, the job would have probably finished his political career as it will the career of whoever wins. As it now stands he remains a winner and popular with a large section of the electorate.

We have not seen the last of Boris Johnson and I am sure he is still determined to be prime minister one day. Love him or hate him I have a feeling that he will be good at that job.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

I had somehow got it into my head that liberals were in favour of democracy to the point of manning the barricades to defend it. So I am a bit puzzled by their current desire to overturn it in the UK by any means possible. Oh, I do hope we haven't become a bunch of hypocrites just because something did not go our way for a change.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

It would appear that a lot of people in the UK thought the referendum on the EU was in fact an election and believed that the leaders of whichever campaign came out as winners would form the government of the UK on the morning after the votes were counted. Mind you, the way both campaigns kept promising changes that would have required parliamentary bills to enact, it is hardly surprising that the voters got confused.

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I am extremely worried that an informal alliance of liberal thinkers and hard core capitalists are set on making a deal with the EU that will entail the UK still allowing the free movement of EU citizens into and out of our nation.

The majority of those who voted to leave the EU did so because they wanted to stop unrestricted immigration. When the electorate discover that they have been ignored yet again, then things will get far nastier than they are now.

Thought For The Day

Here are some words of wisdom from, "Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica," that may be useful to those living through unsettling times.

“Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility.”

Culprit Identified

Mrs MP would like to apologise to the nation. It's all her fault. She drew Iceland in the office sweepstake before the Euros started and then mocked the gods by insisting that she didn't have a snowflake's chance in hell of winning.

Thoughts On Liberal Reaction To The Referendum Result

Before being ordained in my mid-thirties I was a lorry driver and we lived on an East Midlands council estate. I left school just after turning sixteen and did not go on to further education. Even so I know I am an intelligent person and my wife is also (she manages a whole school in a university even though she has never been to university in her life). And here's the thing. We are not in any way unique. Working people are as equally divided between the clever and the not so clever as all classes of people. They are just as capable of working out who is lying to them as the academic staff of Oxford University. In fact, well educated liberals I know tend to follow the party line more unquestioningly than cynical working people ever do. Immigration was the crux of the referendum for them but not because of what anyone told them. It was because of their own experience. I agree entirely that the immigration issue was hijacked by racists for their own ends but they would have only influenced the very small minority of people (from all walks of life) who already buy into their extremist views. The vast majority of working people can spot a racist lie as easily as they can spot a Tory lie or a Blairite lie - which is very easily indeed.

Another accusation that the liberal middle class is levelling against working class people who voted Leave is that they "obviously" did not understand the economics because if they did they would not have voted to leave and risk economic chaos. But perhaps people looked at the predictions, fully understood them, accepted their accuracy and then decided that they were pig sick enough of being peasants in the fields of the rich, who rig the economy for only their own enrichment, that they were damn well going to vote Leave whatever. When you are very near to the bottom there is not far to fall and the black economy that serves the poor will always be there, EU or no EU.

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