I went to Portadown yesterday and walked up the street. It was a bit like having a cameo role in a soap opera – actually I could happily have spent all day there. Old friends – and the characters are always good. I also took time for a hair cut with Michael, my favourite hairdresser. Our encounter was about 75% chat and 25% hair cut – and we skipped the light dusting of talc to give that matt finish.
Meantime you may be wondering what the local papers are saying at this moment when Northern Ireland is entering a new and exciting phase of its history. New relationships .. restorative justice … post-sectarianism … healing of memories? Sorry. None of that. The Belfast Telegraph last night devoted it’s entire front page to the discovery of a new spray-on version of Viagra – to be called Spray ‘n Stay. What a country!
Yes – my mind did play on the same question. Our present diocesan review here explicitly leaves all structural and constitutional issues until the very end. If one ‘buys into’ the Mission-Shaped Church’ philosophy, there can be no other way. On the other hand, I am aware here that there are some deeply-embedded structural and organisational issues which people have tried to sort out over the years. The fact that they have been so resistant to change gives them a power beyond their importance – but it means that one has to play with the idea that they should be tackled head on and early.
It’s not just the media that have slipped into the realm of trivia, the churches on this island seem to have slipped into navel gazing. The main news item from the Church of Ireland General Synod two weeks ago seemed to be that the Primate wanted to look at how the General Synod did things. Spray on starch would be exciting in comparison.
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