Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Nonagenarians Are The Future Of The Church

The claim that children are the future of the Church is one of the most unintelligent slogans of institutional Christianity. They are no more, or less, the future of the Church than octogenarians or anybody else for that matter. The length of the future is a ball of string and, in any case, the amount of time a person is part of an organisation has very little correlation to the influence that person has on the organisation. Somebody with two weeks to live could alter the future of the Church in far more substantial ways than somebody who will live for another hundred years. What is more, the adherents of a religion that truly believes in the imminent and unexpected return of its messiah should have far less confidence in its own longevity and a lot more confidence in their God who sees all as equal in importance and all to be in need of salvation whatever their proximity to the grave.

Something ( Uplifting ) In The Air

I received a short but very positive message from the vicar I helped out yesterday. She says she will certainly remember to call on me in the future.

I was so worried I had blown my chances of a return engagement by doing the service well and getting on with the congregation. This may sound boastful and fanciful but, honestly, I have fallen foul of clergy insecurity so often in the past it is no wonder that I am paranoid whenever I hit it off with parishioners.

Mrs MP has also received some well deserved encouragement at work today. It must be something in the air.

A Mad Priest Enjoys Himself

I had a lovely time this morning providing cover, presiding at mass for a small congregation in Sunderland. They were council estate Anglo-Catholic (which is where I come from), so I was in my element. The fact that, although elderly, they have embraced a modern, inclusive catholicity made it an even better experience. There was only fifteen of us but we sang up and gave God the glory.

You know, I really do not ask for much in life. A small, ageing congregation who like to do the liturgy well and enjoy themselves together socially would do me fine. Honestly, important people, I do not want your job. You have nothing to fear. But I would like somewhere to be the shepherd of a flock, albeit a small flock.



At 9.15 a.m. on Friday the twenty-first of October, 1966, spoil heap number seven, engorged with water from recent heavy rain showers, broke free from its tentative connection to the ground on which it had been haphazardly dumped and five million, three hundred thousand cubic feet of debris slipped down the valley side onto the Welsh mining village of Aberfan. Pantglas Junior School and part of a separate senior school, along with a farm and twenty terraced houses, were engulfed by its suffocating blackness. One hundred and sixteen children and twenty-eight adults were killed.


I was seven years old at the time and I remember coming home from school on my lunch break and having the ghastly news broken to me by my mother. I remember, very clearly, the black and white images of the broken school and reports of teachers pushing doomed children under their flimsy school desks. I remember the following, long days of national shock and mourning.


There have been so many other tragic disasters since, many causing far greater loss of life than the one that stole the children of Aberfan from their parents fifty years ago today. But, it was the Aberfan disaster which first gave to me the knowledge of life and death. It was on that school morning in the seventh year of my life that I came to know that death was not just a suitable punishment for the monsters that inhabited fairy stories and something that Jesus was raised from so that we could be given chocolate eggs by aunts and uncles on Easter morning. From then on I was fully aware that anybody could die at anytime, that children die, that I could die. From then on there was fear in my life.


I am still haunted by my memories of that day and I was nigh on two hundred miles away from the destroyed village, safe in a town where they made shoes rather than digging coal. I am haunted because I can imagine what it was like for the families of Aberfan who lost loved ones, who lost their children, on that terrible morning. I can imagine it because I am human and it is the curse and duty of human beings to feel the pain of others. Sombre jubilees and other remembrances of the dead remind us of this duty and they should make us eager to do our utmost to make sure such obscene losses of innocent life do not happen again. It is a crying shame that, in practice, they affect us for a bitter moment and then slip out of our minds as we resign ourselves to our false belief in the inevitability of preventable carnage due to the true hardheartedness of our wastefully empathetic hearts.

Today, let us remember the suffering of the children of Aberfan and do something to stop the suffering of the children of Aleppo.


This Sunday’s Gospel Reading

Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Democrat and the other a mainstream country music fan.

"The Democrat, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: rednecks, trailer trash, hillbillies or even like this Donald Trump supporter. I help out at the soup kitchen; I give a tenth of all my income to charity.'

"But the country music fan, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

"I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves and look down on others will be humiliated on Election Day."

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

The craving of Remainers to be proved right is unseemly, bordering upon the obscene. I believe most of them would prefer vindicated disaster to being proved wrong. But they should not fear. Their dire predictions will cause the very economy destroying nervousness in the markets that they direly predict.

Then they will say, "Look, we right all along," and they will be happy.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Because of forward trading it takes at least six months for any fall in the price of oil to be reflected in the cost of petrol. However, any rise in the price of oil is inflicted on the consumer with immediate effect.

Capitalism is a fluid concept to say the least.


Calling Subby McSubface, Boaty McBoatface, will not be good enough to appease the anger of the people.


If democrats stopped ridiculing the fears of the proletariat and talking down to them, they might find it easier to confound those who take advantage of the fears of the proletariat and who flatter them.

It worries me greatly that my American friends have learned nothing from the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and are going to reap the same reward for their condescension as English and Welsh liberals did for theirs.


I've noticed that trendy Church of England "worship teams" have moved on from family services and messy church to something they are calling a "community service."

As "community service" is also a form of punishment in England it is quite possibly an apt title for this new ecclesiastical experience.


Getting up in the dark.
There ought to be a law against it.

Come Out If You Are Gay! Stay In If You Are Mad!

It's all over Facebook that today is "World Coming Out Day."
This is good. We have come a long way, baby, as they say round these parts.
I look forward to the day when the mad can come out so triumphantly without fear of repercussions that will destroy their entire lives. I fear this will be a long time coming as we have the same number of enemies as gay people but nowhere near as many friends.

I Sentence You To Church

I've noticed that trendy Church of England "worship teams" have moved on from family services and messy church to something they are calling a "community service."

As "community service" is also a form of punishment in England it is quite possibly an apt title for this new ecclesiastical experience.

Dan Edmonds

This video may have only been viewed one hundred and ten times so far but I'm telling you, this young Canadian is going to be big even if that is in a small big sort of way. There's just something about him that makes my inner A&R man's ears prick up.

Howard Gayle Refuses To Accept Relic Of Empire


14692-zoomHoward Gayle, the first black footballer to play for Liverpool, has said he turned down an MBE because it was against his values. He said that the honour ( Member of the Order of the British Empire ) should have its name altered so that there is no reference to "Empire."

He was offered the MBE earlier this year because of his work in combating racism in football.

He also said clubs should do more to deal with homophobia in the game.

He is right, of course. It is quite sickening how so many so-called "good" people (as well as many business people and politicians) each year are so eager to receive honour and glory that they do not think twice about the name of what they are being awarded.

The bishop who sacked me for going to hospital suffering from clinical depression can be seen in photographs on Google with a big grin on his face as the Queen tells him that, for being a good boy, he is now a "Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire." Not exactly in keeping with Christ's admonition about those who lord it over others.

Of course, it is wrong to accept such special honours whatever the name of the honour might be. But people will be people and people like to feel superior to other people. There are not many Howard Gayles around ( not even, sadly, in the Church of England ). So the least that could be done is for these archaic symbols of patronage to be called something that is not so inaccurate and offensive.


Passing Thoughts Of A Mad priest

We will know that the kingdom of God is very near when, instead of getting to vote for somebody who listens compassionately to black mothers' concerns about their children, we get to vote for a black mother with concerns about her children.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

This rule that you have to kill off the most likeable character, who is not the lead character, in the third or fourth series of every detective series nowadays is really getting on my nerves. It was shocking and appropriate in "Cracker" all those years ago but now it is as predictable as the lead character being thrown off the case by his superior only to solve the case anyway.

Heck, even the Scandinavians are doing it now.

I don't like it. It has to stop.


Hagger On Health

Jeremy Hunt's has announced that the government intends to increase the number of English doctors in England by twenty-five percent by increasing the number of students in our medical schools accordingly.

I had not realised that there was a cap on places but it is true. Consecutive governments have been turning away thousands of good, English applicants to our medical schools each year and, instead, importing doctors trained abroad to staff our health service for the obvious and simple reason that it is a lot cheaper to steal doctors than pay for their training.

It is stealing. More than that it is disgustingly immoral.

Those in favour of unrestricted immigration claim the moral high ground but such open door policies are destroying other societies. People in India are dying because we are luring their healthcare workers away from their own people to be cheap labour (insomuch that we did not pay out two hundred thousand pounds each for their training) in our health service.

Personally I would love it if there were no foreign workers in our key occupations other than those in official exchange programmes. I believe that we should accept an inferior health service rather than accept that poor people in other countries must suffer so that we can have the health service we desire.


Four years is not long enough. If it costs English taxpayers two hundred thousand pounds to train each new doctor I think doctors should be made to work in the UK for twenty years after they have qualified before they can emigrate to earn more money. If I was in charge (which I really ought to be) I would reduce the amount to be paid back by ten thousand pounds a year for the twenty years. That would seem fair. Heck, it's not like we are going to make them work in Alaska.

Money ( For Me ) For Nothing ( From You )

As those of you who have been paying attention will already know, my trusty old desktop computing machine (pictured below) has given up the ghost. Everything was backed up on my Sanyo portable cassette recorder and I will be able to limp on with my internet ministry using the household laptop. Unfortunately, the hard drive on the laptop cannot cope with the programmes and information I need to do my job properly. It just does not have enough available space on it. Therefore, it is my intention to replace the desktop as soon as possible.

I know from past experience that if I ask my friends for financial help they will offer it immediately. I am sure that if I did so in this instance I would have a new computer by the end of next week at the latest. But I do not want to go down this road in this instance. I already have two major appeals each year and I do not want to presume on you all anymore than that.

However, there is a way that we can raise the necessary cash without it costing any of us anything. I have been an Amazon agent for a number of years and I was supplementing my income with it very nicely at one point (earning about one hundred dollars a month). This has dropped off considerably recently (to about one hundred dollars every six months) but, I am sure, that with a concerted effort from my friends, we could get my commission back up to what it was, if not a lot higher (especially with Christmas just round the Autumnal corner).

All you have to do is buy your Amazon products via my Amazon portal. The widget that you must use to do this can be found on the webpage you will be taken to if you CLICK HERE:

Read the instructions you find there, carefully and please bookmark the page so that you remember to buy your Amazon goodies through my Amazon shop every time you are tempted by the earthly treasures that are for sale there.



Amazon Portal

If you live in the United States or the United Kingdom a really cool way to help finance my ministry is to buy Amazon products via my Amazon shop. It will cost you nothing extra and I will receive commission on every item you buy. It is not a very high percentage but it does add up quickly if a lot of my friends use the facility. I am told what items are bought but I am not told who buys them. So your secret vices will remain secret. 🙂

All you have to do is go to Amazon via one of the widgets below (use the top one for Amazon USA and use the bottom one for Amazon UK). Type the name of the product you are interested in (or just any old thing if you only want to browse). Then click on GO and you will be taken to the Amazon website. Then just proceed as you would if you had gone straight to Amazon via your browser.

Please add this page to your BOOKMARKS so you you can access it easily. I suggest you change its title to something shorter, such as AMAZON PORTAL or simply AMAZON.

Thank you, so much, for all your help. Without it there would be no Saint Laika's and I would not be able to pursue my vocation which is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ over the internet tubes. You really are lovely people.

Ian Shaw

Ian sang this live on "In Tune" this week and even Mrs MP,
who is not the world's greatest jazz fan,
said it was very, very good.

I think it is beautiful.

You will as well.

As I Fade Away Into The Distance

Proving the old and paradoxical MadPriest adage that when things can only get better they will invariably get much worse, my computer has gone and died on me. Repair is not economically viable and buying a new one is economically impossible.

I will be able to continue with Saint Laika's daily prayers but the podcasts are now a thing of the past as our laptop has nowhere near enough memory to deal with their production. This will, no doubt, considerably harm my ability to attract donations which are, already, reducing in amount each month.

And I am in a lot of pain due to suffering from sciatica.

Sod it all.

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