Quick pre-Lambeth visit to Blogstead Na Mara – just to make sure that I know who I am before I plunge in. So we’re weeding and hacking surrounded by the empty houses of the speculative building boom.
I was reminded of my years as Hospital Chaplain yesterday when the cleaner came by while I was sitting outside the toilets in Belfast City Hospital – don’t ask. Two words from the staff defined chaplaincy for me. The expectations of the patient would be raised by the introduction, ‘Here’stheministercometohaveaweechatwithyou’ And when you were sitting on the edge of the bed wrestling with the search for meaning in difficult times, the cleaner would arrive and say, ‘Justliftyourweefeetdear’
On weightier Lambeth matters, I was interested to read Deborah Orr in the Independent writing about Rowan Williams as ‘A man of God we should all be supporting.’ Describing herself variously as a secularist and an atheist, she bewails the fact that ‘there is a tendency among secularists .. to believe that no belief that is held by a religious group – even a progressive one – is worthy of support. She sees sexuality questions as almost entirely a rights issue. So this comes in the area of ‘placeswherewesharemediumtermobjectiveseveniflongtermaimsdiverge.’