priest chain protest
Mission

Priest to chain herself to a tree in protest against HS2

The Rev’d Anne Stevens, Vicar of St Pancras, is to chain herself to a tree near Euston Station in protest against HS2. Or, rather, she is going to allow herself to be chained to a tree near Euston Station by anti-HS2 protestors. Or, even more rather, she is going to allow herself to be chained to a tree near Euston Station to save 200 trees which are scheduled to be felled in order to make way for HS2. It isn’t entirely clear where the active and passive begin and end, or whether the motive is tree salvation or HS2 damnation.

Church warden Dorothea Hackman doesn’t help clarify the cause. On the one hand she says: “We won’t have a single tree cleaning up the air or providing green space and shade in this part of central London.” And then she says: “It is incomprehensible that the government is ignoring all the evidence that shows that this is nothing more than a devastating waste of over £100bn of taxpayers’ money, while the country is crippled by debt and austerity.”

So, what’s the protest about precisely? The weak economic case for HS2 and the waste of £100bn, or the need to preserve 200 trees in a soon-to-be-lost green space?

Does Dorothea Hackman think £100bn saved by scrapping HS2 would be spent on church youth work or the NHS? What about our ever-depleting armed forces? Would she support that reallocation? And where does the figure of £100bn come from? Even the most generous estimates place the cost at about half of that. Why kick off your protest with misinformation and #FakeNews? How does that help your cause?

But let’s come to the Rev’d Anne Stevens, who is to be chained to a tree to highlight her cause anti-HS2/pro-tree passion.

When did a vicar last tie him/herself (or permit him/herself to be tied) to a tree to draw attention to the fact that 215 million Christians across the world live with persecution? When did a vicar last tie him/herself (or permit him/herself to be tied) to a tree to highlight the fact that 3,000 Christians were killed last year for their faith, and nearly 800 churches were damaged by anti-Christian forces?

David Curry, the president and CEO of Open Doors USA, said: “We need to raise the flag. These tactics are being increasingly used by extremists.”

Where are the vicars who will tie themselves (or permit themselves to be tied) to a tree to help raise this flag to highlight the fact that Islamic extremism is the main driver of this persecution?

Where are the vicars who will tie themselves (or permit themselves to be tied) to a tree in order to highlight the fact that salvation is through Christ alone, and that unless you repent of your sin and accept him as your Lord and Saviour, you’re heading straight to hell? Where are the priests who will protest publicly for the freedom to proclaim the gospel, and then proclaim it?

Leonard Ravenhill wrote in his book ‘Why Revival Tarries‘ (p33):

Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses. The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the replay. Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase with a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”? All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!

Perhaps our vicars no longer believe that hell is like that.

Far more important to save a tree than a soul.

  • Manfarang

    18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

  • The cut of Charlie Peace’s jib is to be admired. If the Queen were a believing Christian, she would have been so sickened at her governments’ policy of Islamization that she would have abdicated rather than preside over the demise of the only faith through which salvation may be attained. Similarly, those of her subjects who are believing Christians find it impossible to support the parties who brought Islam to Britain for the express purpose of killing off Christianity.

    • Martin

      If the Queen were a Christian she’d have refused to sign into law a whole host of legislation on LGBT equal rights, and probably abortion as well.

      • ardenjm

        Except Her Majesty chose not to since this is not the way the British Monarchy conducts its business. As a Low Church Pragmatist, Queen Elizabeth II is remarkably free from dogmatism and almost certainly admits exceptions to whatever moral absolutes her religion teaches her.
        The 1968 Abortion Act is, of course, the death sentence on the kind of Britain that once existed but it was a LONG time in the making. It needed 40 years of Church of England complicity prior to it: the 1930 Lambeth Conference was the watershed and, prior to that it required the alienation from the national church that the non-conformists so profoundly tapped in to for a good century before that. Added to this was the effect of Hume, Darwin and Nietzsche and you have the perfect preparaton for a monarch who abdicates daily because what else can she do? Be the monarch to bury the House of Windsor when her own father stepped up to save it?
        Just as Anglicanism was created by dynastic expediency so too will it be disestablished as a last ditch attempt to modernise the monarchy. William will, no doubt, remain titular head of the Church of England but it shall no longer be the state Church and it will be the House of Windsor who will sign its death warrant.

        That’s how immanent justice works.

        Look at my own Church: for so long too many of its prelates and clerics literally abused their position. God will not be mocked. He has visited upon His Church one of the worst pontiffs in her history whose legacy will be catastrophic “for the salvation of souls” and that will last until we hard-hearted, stiff-necked people repent of our infidelity and return to Christ.
        The working out of the justice of God can take centuries – but it will happen.
        Certainly, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church built on Our Lord’s chosen foundation: Tu es Petrus. That is His will.
        But anything not built on that rock is built on sand and eventually the storm will wash it away: be that nominally within the Catholic Church or outside.

        So do not expect the Established Church (nor its vestigal caeseropapist monarchical bulwark to remain supporting it.)
        It is already moribund – and the crown is tarnished and cracked and corroded: She signed the 1968 Abortion Act in to law. You cannot offer your babies to a legal Moloch and expect God to bless you with increase. 50 years of death. 50 years of importing in a replacement population with beliefs inimical to the Gospel.
        God will not be mocked.
        “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.”

        • pobjoy

          Just as Anglicanism was created by dynastic expediency

          Not so. Henry hanged a man for eating meat on a Friday.

          • ardenjm

            He needed a male heir.
            He needed a non-menopausal wife.
            He found a mistress.
            He found a religious pretext for justifying it.
            Anglicanism was indeed created by dynastic expediency.
            You seem – as always – confused about what makes a Catholic, Catholic:
            Being Catholic requires several essential elements – being in union with the Bishop of Rome is one of them. In separating and rejecting Petrine authority and setting himself up as head of the Church in England, Henry was no longer Catholic. Sure, he kept many of the trappings – and indeed many of the beliefs – but his treatment of the monasteries (as with the French and Russian Revolutions, too) revealed that he was dismantling the Catholic Church in his country.
            You can pretend as much as you like that Henry was still a Catholic monarch because he kept hold of many of the accidentals and some of the essentials of Catholicism. This is because you have failed to grasp the difference between essentials and accidentals. In repudiating the essential that is unity with Rome Henry was no longer Catholic: no matter how many of the other essentials he maintained, no matter how many of the accidentals (like fish on Friday) he insisted upon:
            Just as a Decathelete who refuses to do one of the sports but keeps the other 9 can no longer be described as a Decathelete.
            By definition.
            Henry was a 9-sports only “decathelete”.
            He got rid of one of the defining, essential elements of being Catholic.
            He was no longer Catholic.

            I hope that clarifies.
            (But since it’s the umpteenth time you’ve had that kind of clarification, we all know that it won’t. You’ve got a broken record going on in your head and any Catholic who tries to help you see what we actually believe is immediately disqualified as a liar simply because they are Catholic.)

          • Martin

            There is no Petrine authority. All authority belongs to God.

          • ardenjm

            “All authority belongs to God.” Indeed it does. So who are you to dispute with Him when he delegates a certain amount of His authority for the governance of His Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

            “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
            Matthew 16vs19.
            δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν
            See that ‘to you’ σοι there?
            That’s singular. To Peter himself. That’s Petrine authority that is.
            Comes from Our Lord.
            Take it up with Him.

          • pobjoy

            “I will give to you and to all who confess that I am the Christ, the manifestation of the living God, the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be what is bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be what is loosed in heaven.”

            Or, converts to Christ receive the Holy Spirit.

          • ardenjm

            σοι
            to you, Peter, singular.

            A Petrine authority which is a New Testament fulfilment of the “keys of the kingdom” given to the King’s steward Eliakim in Isaiah to represent the King of Israel and with his AUTHORITY.
            So, just as Our Lord is the fulfilment of the Messianic Davidic Kingship in the Old Testament, so to the Petrine Office is the fulfilment of that role of stewardship that we read of in Isaiah.
            Our Lord knew this, pious Jews hearing the expression would have known it. Peter understood it. Since it was a confirmation of his name change and was confirmed in its stead in the conversation he had with the Risen Christ as St John relates.

            You really should read your Old and New Testaments more often…
            And that a Catholic should have to school you!

          • pobjoy

            Peter, singular

            Only Peter had made the statement.

            a New Testament fulfilment of the “keys of the kingdom” given to the King’s steward Eliakim in Isaiah to represent the King of Israel and with his AUTHORITY.

            Matthew didn’t mention it, and as gospeller to the Jews, he wouldn’t have missed it.

            But John (an even greater OT enthusiast) didn’t miss it.

            ‘I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no-one can shut, and what he shuts no-one can open.’ Isa 22:22 NIV

            ‘”To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no-one can shut, and what he shuts no-one can open.”‘ Rv 3:7 NIV

          • ardenjm

            Why are you deliberately confusing and conflating the Old Testament types?
            The King of Israel has a steward to whom he gives his authority to act in his name in the kingdom.

            Our Lord – THE King – appoints Peter to an equivalent role in the New Covenant. But the Keys are OBVIOUSLY the King’s since He is the one delegating them.
            At the End – you know – when all things are restored in Christ – why on earth would we be surprised to see Our Lord making use of the Keys which are His? Revelation is about the End: the Return of the King.

          • pobjoy

            The King of Israel has a steward to whom he gives his authority to act in his name in the kingdom.

            ‘”Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”‘ Mt 28:18 NIV

          • ardenjm

            Good grief.
            “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

            Martin covered this point 8 hours ago already. And my reply is 4 hours old, too.
            It’s here at the top of the thread:

            Martin: There is no Petrine authority. All authority belongs to God.
            i.e. the point you’re now making here, 8 hours later.

            Me:
            “All authority belongs to God.” Indeed it does. So who are you to dispute with Him when he delegates a certain amount of His authority for the governance of His Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

            “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

            Matthew 16vs19.

            δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν

            See that ‘to you’ σοι there?

            That’s singular. To Peter himself. That’s Petrine authority that is.

            Comes from Our Lord.

            Take it up with Him.

          • pobjoy

            repeating the very point made by Martin

            In view of the total absence of sensible reply, that is unsurprising.

            “I will give to you and to all who confess that I am the Christ, the
            manifestation of the living God, the keys of the kingdom of heaven;
            whatever you bind on earth will be what is bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be what is loosed in heaven.”

            Or, converts to Christ receive the Holy Spirit.

          • ardenjm

            “and to all who confess that I am the Christ, the manifestation of the living God”

            Take that part from Scripture did you?
            Or did you just make it up, add it, and pretend it’s Scripture because it supports your argument whereas Scripture itself supports mine.
            What are you? Some kind of Jehovah Witness?
            Get real.

          • pobjoy

            Take that part from Scripture did you?

            ‘”At that time the disciples came to Jesus…

            …”I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”‘

            Mt 18:1,18 NIV

          • ardenjm

            “and to all who confess that I am the Christ, the manifestation of the living God”
            Fraud.
            Where is the above – i.e. the parts you’ve ADDED to Matthew’s Gospel – in Sacred Scripture?
            Are you really going to try and brazen this out?

          • pobjoy

            Fraud.

            ‘The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”‘ Jn 1:29 NIV

            ‘The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).’ Jn 1:41 NIV

            ‘Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”‘ Jn 1:49 NIV

            Poor Peter was a bit slow on the uptake.

          • ardenjm

            You CHANGED SCRIPTURE, added to it and changed its meaning.
            And you are trying to brazen it out.
            Just admit it, pobjoy: “the truth will set you free.”

          • pobjoy

            Catholics treat their own leadership with contempt. Their seminary students get AIDS, their bishops farm abusers, their menfolk swap wives, their children bully. Catholics want their leadership for others, not themselves.

          • ardenjm

            You CHANGED SCRIPTURE.
            Stop trying to brazen it out, pobjoy.

          • pobjoy

            It has to be proved that Jesus was giving ‘the keys’ to Peter alone. Matthew 18 shows that was not so.

            Every convert to Christ holds the keys to the kingdom or rule of God, i.e. the Holy Spirit. Nobody is a Christian without the keys. No Catholic has them, especially the one who claims to be the sole keeper!

          • ardenjm

            You ADDED words to Scripture.
            STOP brazening it out and admit it. This is wilful of you. It’s spiritually dangerous.
            I’m not the one judging you here.

          • ardenjm

            So not just the educated Catholics who are deceptive, then…

          • pobjoy

            Quite so. Bad company corrupts good character.

          • ardenjm

            So ALL Catholics are liars then?
            I thought you were denying that earlier.

            Do make your mind up, Scripture-inventor.

          • pobjoy

            So ALL Catholics are liars then?

            Well of course, European and American Catholics are profiting by the education and wealth provided by Protestantism :-), so they are learning to lie like the professionals in their temples and seminaries. You can tell, because they parrot the same old failed arguments.

            But, within living memory, Catholics were quite often amazed to learn of the horrifying history (let alone the deceptions) of their religion, and they would leave it, upon the instant. Since then, the abuse scandals have reached their awareness, and that has greatly increased the exodus. So it may be that the only Catholics left in the Western world have to have compromised consciences. But it would be unfair to say all are liars, because I don’t doubt that there are sincere Catholics still around.

          • Martin

            I am a pert of the Church and hence He has delegated His authority to me, according to you.

            That passage from Matthew refers to the preaching of the gospel by all God’s people and hence the unbinding of the sinner from his slavery to sin or the condemnation of the one who refuses God’s offer of mercy.

            You will note also that this passage does not actually give this authority, for it is in the future that He ‘will give the keys’. Where do you suggest that He actually gave those keys to Peter?

          • ardenjm

            Of for pity’s sake.
            Really?
            “You will note also that this passage does not actually give this authority, for it is in the future that He ‘will give the keys’. Where do you suggest that He actually gave those keys to Peter?”
            No doubt Our Lord meant to give them to Peter the Thursday after, but it slipped His mind and He left them on the kitchen table and then forgot all about what He promised and never got round to it.

            That power of loosing and binding – when do you think that comes in to force? When The Lord of the Sabbath is still with the disciples or perhaps, just perhaps, when He ascended to His Father and the Holy Spirit is sent for the Church to start her role as Body-of-Christ and means He uses to continue giving His saving grace to poor sinners?
            You know, perhaps at the time when Jesus said to Peter on you I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH He meant the Keys get given at the same moment as He starts building that Church: at Pentecost.
            So when He says the gates of hell will never prevail against it does He mean at some point in the future or does he mean from thenceforth, Hell will not win out against the Church?
            And when Our Lord says in Matthew 11vs28 “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest” do you think He means to postpone that for some future moment? Death perhaps?
            Or when He says to the Samaritan woman at the well, “I will give you Living Water” is she still standing there, waiting for Jesus to give it to her at some point in the future?
            When He says “I will be with you always” do you think folks standing around looked at their watches and said to Him, “starting from when?”

            Your comments are nearly always made in bad faith.
            On the other hand they are always made in near invincible ignorance.

            Bless.

          • Martin

            I suggest that He never gave those keys to Peter. rather He gives them to all believers, as Matthew 18:18 suggests. Nor did Christ say He would build His Church on Peter, lets face it, Peter wasn’t exactly good material to build anything on. If Jesus had intended to build His Church on Peter why did He say “on this rock” rather than on you?

            And what did Jesus really mean by saying the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church? Seems to me that He meant that the Church, by preaching the gospel, would pluck the sinners from the very jaws of Hell.

            And that is the Church, the assembled congregation of believers, not some sort of invented hierarchy.

          • ardenjm

            “I suggest that He never gave those keys to Peter rather He gives them to all believers, as Matthew 18:18 suggests.”
            Sigh.
            Round and round in circles we go. Repeating the same thing. You make a claim. I respond to it. You wait a few hours and then repeat the same claim. You don’t engage with the answer you’ve been given.
            Matthew uses the singular for the giving of the Keys by Our Lord to Jesus. I did mention that in a reply to you a day ago.
            Your response? “I suggest that He never gave those keys to Peter rather He gives them to all believers.”
            Look! Here is the Greek text:
            δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν
            See that ‘to you’ σοι there?
            That’s singular. To Peter himself. That’s Petrine authority that is.
            Comes from Our Lord.
            Take it up with Him.

            “Nor did Christ say He would build His Church on Peter, lets face it, Peter wasn’t exactly good material to build anything on.”
            He’d just changed Peter’s name from Simon to ‘rocky’! For the very purpose of building the Church on Peter’s declaration of faith about who Christ is.
            And OF COURSE Peter isn’t good material to build upon! Haven’t you been listening to the Christian Gospel at all?
            “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
            “With God all things are possible.”
            “Oh ye of little Faith why did you doubt?”
            “Peter – do you love me?”
            “Lord – you know that I love you.”
            The whole point is that Peter’s declaration of faith at Caeserea Philippi is made possible “by My Father in Heaven”. When Peter relies on his own strength and conviction he sinks through the waves, he denies the Lord, he abandons Him. When Peter learns to rely on Christ alone: he becomes the Shepherd of the Flock, the feeder of the Sheep and caretaker of the Lambs. That’s his job made possible only by his faith in Christ.
            And THAT’S why he is the rock on which the Church is built – because St Peter more than any other Apostles understands that without Christ, he can do nothing.
            How have you never understood this?

          • Martin

            You’ve given no viable answers. Remember, you’ve not shown where He actually gave the keys to Peter.

            No, if He was saying He’d build His Church on Peter He’s have said ‘you’. That leaves either the confession or Christ Himself as the foundation. Certainly not Peter, who sided with the Judaisers and had to be slapped down by Paul. Nor was Peter other than a participant at the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. As Paul says:

            So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
            (Ephesians 2:19-20 [ESV])

            No mention of Peter alone and the cornerstone, the real foundation, is Christ. You should remember too that you’ve been unable to demonstrate that Peter ever was a bishop of Rome.

          • Anton

            Henry VIII was a monster and I do not doubt that he was validly married, in God’s eyes, to Catherine of Aragon. Just as I do not doubt that his sister Margaret was validly married when Rome annulled her marriage shortly before the crisis broke. The difference has less to do with the details of their marriages than that the Pope did not wish to alienate the Holy Roman Emperor, who was Catherine’s nephew.

          • ardenjm

            Then Henry should have submitted to Rome’s judgement as a fidei defensor could reasonably be expected to and show some patience. And, for that matter, some fidelity to his wife: Katharine was a GOOD Queen and wife and popular amongst the people. She had a genuine love for Henry – her letters to him after the divorce are exemplary and moving. The treatment shown to her was deplorable and especially to her daughter. The excesses of Mary Tudor are in large part the result of Henry’s treatment of his wife and daughter in the last few years of Queen Katharine’s life. But here’s the irony: Katharine died in 1533 anyway. If he had waited a few more years he’d still have had time to guarantee the succession AND trusted in God. Did not Abraham before him do so? AND not provoked a national calamity the effects of which are still with us: just ask the folks in Northern Ireland.
            Instead he lacked faith and chose to precipitate a crisis and created the Church of England for reasons of dynastic expediency.

            It was caeseropapism. And in that sense Henry VIII established the English Orthodox Church – which slipped, very rapidly, into Protestantism due to the geographical position of England and the German heretical importations being brought in to the country much like Europhiles import EU-think in to the country today.

          • Anton

            Feel free to rant about Henry VIII and I won’t disagree. Rome handled the case, by the way, by slyly sitting on it, not by telling Henry by return of post that his marriage to Catherine was indissoluble, as it should have done, and as it had signally failed to do in the case of his sister Margaret.

          • ardenjm

            There were undoubtedly political and dynastic considerations that Rome had to take in to account in Henry’s case. Of course there were. There always are when the good of nations is at stake. What you call slyly (with that occasional anti-Roman animus of yours) might likewise be described as circumspection or even prevarication (Rome and the supreme pontiff are not exempt from making poor governmental decisions – even saintly Popes, like Pius V who exacerbated the situation of English Catholics under Elizabeth I). Nevertheless, Henry chose to act in disobedience and unilaterally waged war against the Church. Spurred on by that most egregiously cynical of royal servants, Thomas Cromwell.

          • Anton

            “There were undoubtedly political and dynastic considerations that Rome had to take in to account in Henry’s case.”

            That is a disgraceful statement. One law for the rich and one for the poor, eh? Do you think Christ would have prevaricated in replying to Henry? Do you think the church should do differently from Christ?

          • ardenjm

            It could have been prudence, not hypocrisy, especially in an age which understood that the monarch embodied the nation in an almost mystical way. You choose to interpret it as hypocrisy because you have a tendency to view the Catholic Church as negatively as you possibly can. I try to give Rome the benefit of the doubt because I believe Our Lord’s promise to His Church. Nevertheless as Catholic (not Protestant) doctrine has it: we are free agents so I am certainly not naive enough to think that Rome gets it right always. Indeed, the rest of my response illustrates it. You’ve got on your high horse with one selective and misrepresentative quote which rather reminds me of those who quote Our Lord about plucking your eye out should it cause you to sin in order to illustrate how Jesus advocates masochistic auto-mutilation. So, no, you can let go of the pearl you’re clutching in mock horror, my statement isn’t a disgraceful one.
            More generally, Rome has shown plenty of cojones facing down recalcitrant and violent rulers down the ages: sometimes with resistance and blood, sometimes with wisdom, sometimes with moral authority. But as I also acknowledged mixed in with that (like tares amongst wheat) are the prudential decisions which were poor, compromised, muddled and just plain wrong.
            I wasn’t attempting to justify whatever may have been inadequate in Rome’s response I’m just trying to understand it.
            And none of that in this specific case takes away anything from what Henry VIII did in response.
            I’m just looking at the canonical grounds of Margaret Tudor ‘s request for annulement and those of Henry VIII. At first glance it looks as if you’ve confused a material similarity with a formal one. Margaret’s annulement was granted on the grounds that although the grounds given were that her husband, Angus, had already been pre-contracted to Lady Janet Stewart of Traquair (both living). In Henry’s case, Arthur was dead when his marriage to Katharine was permitted – a dispensation especially granted from the Pope. That prior permission did not pertain in the case of Margaret Tudor so your insistence that it was the same situation as her brother’s is incorrect.

          • Anton

            It is the same in that a pretext to annul a perfectly valid marriage was presented to Rome. It is complete nonsense that James IV was not killed at Flodden, and that Margaret’s marriage to Angus subsequent to that battle was consequently invalid. Tell me what dates you accept for the marriage of Margaret to Angus and for the death of James IV. I’ll go with 6th August 1514 and 9th September 1513 (at Flodden), which is somewhat earlier. Your dates?

          • ardenjm

            That was the initial reason for the annulment but they are not the grounds that actually appear in the annulment as granted by Rome. Those grounds are the ones cited in my post above.
            And there was no prior dispensation obtained from the Pope for Margaret’s first marriage as there was for Henry’s to Katharine.
            So, like I said above: you’ve confused a material similarity with a formal one and the two cases are not “the same”.

          • Anton

            Dispensation? Margaret Tudor’s first marriage ended when her husband James IV of Scotland was killed at Flodden. She then married Angus. He had been married once before and was a widower at the time he married Margaret. She got this marriage annulled on the grounds that Angus had supposedly precontracted another marriage with someone else. First, an agreement to marry is not the same as marriage itself, or else why was it regarded as scandalous for the couple to have sex before the wedding day; second, Margaret was looking for any excuse and I expect her wedding to Angus contained a mediaeval version of “iof anybody knows shy these two should not marry then thety should speak now or shut up”; third, how strong was the evidence for this claim and did Rome investigate it independently?

            The idea that this was anything other than expediency with a legalistic reason given to satisfy canon law is of course absurd.

          • ardenjm

            That’s not the point I was making. That there were – as in most dynastic/royal marriages irregularities of many kinds – I do not dispute. Nor do I dispute political expediencies that would have queered the pitch (are we still allowed to say that) and allowed for all kinds of worldly interests to skew the Evangelical precepts.
            What I deny is the following your claim that Henry’s and Margaret’s situation were canonically identical. They were not. Margaret did not receive an exceptional pontifical permission to marry her dead sister’s husband. Henry, however, did receive it in order to marry his brother’s widow and his annulment was the request for an exceptional pontifical permission to undo that prior pontifical permission. That complicates matters no matter how many other non canonical considerations are complicating matters also.

            And, more generally my earlier point remains pertinent: you seem determined to always put the most negative spin on the intentions and actions of the Church. This is Confirmation Bias at the very least and possibly something worse. You could accuse me of doing exactly the opposite of course but I have two lines of support for my position:
            1. I take Our Lord’s promise to His Church seriously. Conclusion, in spite of knowing my own sinfulness and those of many prelates very well, I do not believe that the worst always happens: God’s grace is at work. I trust Him to govern His Church and for His will, ultimately, to be done.
            2. I have a pretty easy conscience that I do not turn a blind eye to corruption within the Church. I don’t think you can accuse the present pontificate, as I have done in this thread, of being one of the Church’s least glorious chapters and still be accused of blindly pretending that all is well in the Church.

            So on balance I’m going to stick with my reading of fallen human nature and its effects in the life and history of Christ’s Church.

          • Anton

            The way in which Henry and Margaret’s claims were identical is that they were both validly married when they applied for an annulment.

          • ardenjm

            The conditions of the validity of their respective marriages however, were contingent on a different set of canonical circumstances. This can’t just be ignored in any subsequent ruling.
            Whilst I don’t doubt that political expediency factored in to this situation – I also hope that there was a certain degree of justice being aimed for. Both towards Katharine (who was being treated incredibly unjustly) and (though the Church is generally less perceptive about trouble on the horizon than you might think) a clear-headed awareness that Henry was a bully who would cause harm to the Church in England and that the Church would therefore need protecting: with intelligent responses to the Henrician threat coming from Rome. In that respect, no matter how far the Pope’s hands were tied by Katharine’s nephew he might also have been quite glad that they were tied…. I simply don’t know.

            I feel much less compunction about an error in governmental judgement in this instance than I do about the ill-thought-out consequences of saintly Pope Pius V’s decision to excommunicate Elizabeth I and then underline that her subjects should strive to overthrow her. That just made life for Catholics in England dangerous and incredibly tough. And as glorious as some of the martyrs were – Robert Southwell comes to mind – long term the position of Catholics in their own country became very, very difficult.

          • pobjoy

            He found a mistress.

            And published the Six Articles, enforced under heavy penalties, as follows.

            ‘First, that in the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar, by the strength and efficacy of Christ’s mighty word, it being spoken by the priest, is present really, under the form of bread and wine, the natural body and blood of Our Saviour Jesu Christ, conceived of the Virgin Mary, and that after the consecration there remaineth no substance of bread and wine, nor any other substance but the substance of Christ, God and man;

            Secondly, that communion in both kinds is not necessary ad salutem, by the law of God, to all persons; and that it is to be believed, and not doubted of, but that in the flesh, under the form of the bread, is the very blood; and with the blood, under the form of the wine, is the very flesh; as well apart, as though they were both together.

            Thirdly, that priests after the order of priesthood received, as afore, may not marry, by the law of God.

            Fourthly, that vows of chastity or widowhood, by man or woman made to God advisedly, ought to be observed by the law of God; and that it exempts them from other liberties of Christian people, which without that they might enjoy.

            Fifthly, that it is meet and necessary that private masses be continued and admitted in this the King’s English Church and Congregation, as whereby good Christian people, ordering themselves accordingly, do receive both godly and goodly consolations and benefits; and it is agreeable also to God’s law.

            Sixthly, that auricular confession is expedient and necessary to be retained and continued, used and frequented in the Church of God.’

            The Thirty-Nine Articles, that define Anglicanism, may be inspected online.

          • ardenjm

            You’ve just proved my two points for me:

            First, like I said:
            He got rid of one of the defining, essential elements of being Catholic: to be in communion with the successor of St Peter.

            He was no longer Catholic. He just swapped to a religion that kept lots of things that Catholics believed in.

            He was a religious version of a “9-sports only decathelete.”

            Second, like I said:
            “You’ve got a broken record going on in your head and any Catholic who tries to help you see what we actually believe is immediately disqualified as a liar simply because they are Catholic.”

          • pobjoy

            First, like I said:
            He got rid of one of the defining, essential elements of being Catholic: to be in communion with the successor of St Peter.

            For one thing, that didn’t make him an Anglican. For two things, Henry, along with English and French monarchs for two hundred years, believed that Peter was not the greatest apostle, and even if he was, he had no ‘successors’. Henry knew that the Vatican was the creation of people of the past just like him— earthly rulers. And the Vatican’s usefulness was past its sell-by. So he simply cut out the middleman, and carried on much as before. England waited for him to die before introducing Protestantism.

            ‘a liar simply because they are Catholic’

            Do you have a quote?

          • ardenjm

            “For one thing, that didn’t make him an Anglican.”
            It made him a non-Catholic.
            Which was the only point I was making.
            What it turned him in to is neither here nor there: he was a schismatic and a heretic and supplanted the Christ-given authority of the successor of St Peter with his own. It was a caeseropapist power (and land) grab and brought nothing but misery to England.

            Do I have a quote?
            Why, yes, I do as it happens.
            If you Google @pobjoy and this sentence – it’ll take you right to your account and one of your earlier posts that rants about Catholics and comes out with this gem:

            “The educated Catholic lives in fear of the mind of Christ, because it brings his secret evils to light; he makes absurd excuses for them, when they cannot be denied.”

            So, you know what? I’ll stick with calling you out on your close-minded bigotry. That’s all I’ve ever encountered from you in relation to Catholicism.

          • pobjoy

            It made him a non-Catholic.
            Which was the only point I was making.

            So it was not you who wrote:

            “Just as Anglicanism was created by dynastic expediency”

            ?

            “The educated Catholic

            That’s not all Catholics, is it.

          • ardenjm

            You confuse Anglicanism as an historical phenomenon and Anglicanism as a body of doctrine and belief. No one doubts for one moment that Anglicanism came in to existence with Henry VIII. In terms of the beliefs of that monarch, he ceased being a Catholic and became a heretic and schismatic. His thinking may have stayed very Catholic in many respects but as I’ve been saying for HOURS, it takes 10 sports to be a decathelete. You can’t be one if you only play 9 and refuse to play the 10th. Likewise, to be a Catholic means to be in communion with the succesor of St Peter.
            Henry wasn’t.
            He wasn’t a Catholic.
            He was an ex Catholic. A heretical and schismatic one.
            Whatever else his beliefs might have been he was no longer in communion with the Holy See.

            You’re flogging a dead horse, here, pobjoy, with this nonsense that being in communion with the Bishop of Rome is purely incidental to what it is to be a Catholic and that therefore Henry VIII still was one. But, hey, I’m interested in those 2 sport triatholons, 4 sport pentathlons and 9 sport decathlons which, by your logic, you’ll no doubt be organising.

          • pobjoy

            No one doubts for one moment that Anglicanism came in to existence with Henry VIII.

            Does anyone doubt that it remained in existence in the reign of Mary I?

          • ardenjm

            As a group of heretical beliefs, of course it did. And rapidly it protestantised. As you know.
            But now you’ve moved on to Mary Tudor so I’ll take it that you’ve accepted the substance of my arguments about her father’s – the 9 sport decathlete – purported “continuing Catholicism”…

          • pobjoy

            As a group of heretical beliefs, of course it did.

            So Ecclesia Anglicana was heretical under Mary. At last the truth.

            Thank you so very much.

          • ardenjm

            Good grief.
            Of course there were heretics who continued believing their heresy whilst Mary Tudor tried (with mistaken methods) to restore the Catholic Church in England.
            What your absurdly stupid interpretation of my post would mean is that I’d said that Mary Tudor’s attempts at Catholic restoration “rapidly protestantised” – which of course is sheer nonsense. A nonsense that is entirely yours. And quite impossible for me to overcome, I’m afraid.
            You have, as the Irish say, “a lack”.

            But the fact that several hundred protestants-minded heretics were persecuted and killed under Mary is proof that heresy continued even as the Church was restored by Mary. Most of these people had been baptised Catholic of course but were in schism. Much like Mary’s father.

            That you then whitter on with:
            “So Ecclesia Anglicana was heretical under Mary. At last the truth.
            Thank you so very much.”
            It’s just laughable. Risibly, toe-curlingly, embarassing.
            I’m actually wincing for you that your contribution has been reduced to this.

            There was a Catholic Church until Henry.
            Henry called whatever he came up with Ecclesia Anglicana and pretended that it was the same thing as it had been for 1000 years. The dead bodies of St Thomas More, St John Fisher, the Carthusian martyrs and many others indicate that it wasn’t the same thing at all: because THEY remained in communion with the Pope, which is one of the essential elements of ‘being Catholic’.
            Mary attempted to restore that communion. Not just legally – that was relatively easy and the Pope welcomed it – but also to undo some 20+ years of destruction and indoctrination that had destroyed the organic continuity of the Church’s existence in England: the monasteries and convents had gone, been despoiled, their lands and social services distributed amongst Henry’s now rich and powerful cronies, many of the schools and colleges in the universities had been co-opted by Protestant heresy to a large extent especially thanks to the years of Edward VI, even if parts of the country remained very close to the Faith of their Fathers and some schools and colleges remained Catholic. But Mary became fanatical in the means she used and that lost her her initial support and didn’t have long enough to re-establish the Church. It didn’t take much for Elizabeth, in her turn, to restore the Ecclesia Anglicana such as her father and brother had understood it.
            But any notion that this Frankenstein’s monster of an occupant of the ancient cathedrals was the same living Body of Christ planted by St Augustine of Canterbury has long been revealed as a lie: the saints, the relics, the pilgrimages, the Latin, the Mass, the Monks, the Nuns, the stained glass, the frescoes, the vestments, the liturgies: all that swept away. Little wonder that the doctrine and the faith in their turn leached away until we’re left with what we have today:
            Cranmer lamenting over the husk of the Anglican church and wilfully, stiff-neckedly refusing to see that that husk he’s left with is the one the real Cranmer left in legacy to him. It’s just been bleeding to death very slowly. And is now propped up in the corner its arms being moved around by pro-abort SJWs and gay-marriage supporting priests talking about ‘togetherness’.
            Meanwhile, the Evangelicals bide their time…

          • pobjoy

            A man whose beliefs were in masses, auricular confessions and clerical celibacy was not saved thereby from divorce. Neither have been countless clerics of the Vatican; there is not a crime that a Catholic can commit that has not been pioneered by a Catholic bishop, archbishop, friar, monk, nun or priest. Or ‘pope’.

            Under Mary, England again became fully subservient to the criminals in the Vatican. Under Elizabeth, the crimes only increased.

          • ardenjm

            Wheat and tares. It’s scandalous because it weakens the Faith and jeopardises souls.
            But it isn’t unexpected: Our Lord said it would happen in and to His Church.

            But you’re shifting the ground of your argument.
            Again.

          • pobjoy

            Wheat and tares.

            In the world, not the church.

          • ardenjm

            Ah, this notion that the Church contains only the pure.
            How it flies in the face of the wisdom of Our Lord and comes close to accusing Him of ignorance or of making a mistake when He chose Judas as one of His disciples.
            And yet Our Lord “knew who would betray Him.” Still He chose him as one of His disciples.
            And as for the wider Church containing tares as well as wheat: St Paul is very clear:
            “Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers” 2 Corinthians 11.

            See that? Paul was in danger from the Jews. And from Gentiles. These are non-Christians.
            But also from ‘false brothers’? See them, too?
            These aren’t the non-Christians in the World.
            These are the tares within the Church.
            Just as Our Lord warns of wolves in sheeps’ clothing and false shepherds – hirelings. Those who flee danger. These men are found in the Church, too.

            But you have shifted your argument.
            Again.
            Because, as you know, you’ve lost everyone you’ve ever tried to make.

          • pobjoy

            Ah, this notion that the Church contains only the pure.

            The church gets rid of those who bring Christ’s name into disrepute, including false teachers, according to apostolic command, and reports criminals to the police, immediately. It does not spend many years ‘investigating’ complaints and then give shelter to people who should be behind bars.

            Judas was never a church member.

          • ardenjm

            “Judas was never a church member.”
            Uh huh?
            Take it up with Our Lord, “yet one OF YOU will betray me”.

            Oh, and by the way, pobjoy, ‘scripture-inventor’.
            Hearken the words of Scripture:
            Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

            Yep.

            And as for you being custodian of the church of the pure, Scripture-inventor:
            “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

          • pobjoy

            yet one OF YOU will betray me”.

            That was before Pentecost.

            Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

            The only page in the Catholic Catechism that holds no lie is the white one at the end.

            “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

            ‘As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. Why? Because I do not love
            you? God knows I do! And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, because Satan himself
            masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.’ 2 Corinthians 11:10-15

          • ardenjm

            You made up parts of scripture in order to win an argument.
            You brazened it out and refuse to acknowledge that you did that.

            You’re a liar and a fraud.

            I’m done with debating you.

          • pobjoy

            I don’t recall you starting. 🙂

          • Martin

            Rome has no successors to Peter, it never has, and especially since the pornocracy and period of multiple popes waging war on each other. Nor is it Catholic.

        • Martin

          Like Rome, the CoE has departed from the Church and taken the monarchy with it.

      • dannybhoy

        But she couldn’t Martin, because to do so would throw the whole system into chaos. The thing is that one against an organised and possibly ruthless system has no chance.
        Eg. we recognise the value of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings because the Allies won.
        Had we have lost Bonhoeffer would have been erased..

        • Martin

          Chaos might well be a good thing.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Dubious protests aside, HS2 is one of those glitzy prestige projects that will actually provide little benefit to anyone, at least to rail passengers. Shaving twenty minutes off the trip from London to Birmingham is hardly what the rail-travelling public are crying out for (who wants to get to Birmingham in a hurry anyway?). Business people no longer need to race across this small island to meetings thanks to wifi and a multitude of methods of communication on the move. As a commuter who travels daily on overcrowded overdue trains, often with extremes of temperature and other intolerable enviromental conditions, I suggest the £200 billion be spent on improving the existing network. That won’t happen of course, because passengers are at the bottom of the financial food chain. I would still like to see HS2 scrapped as it is a pointless and expensive gimmick.

  • Steven Pape

    I live 200 miles or so north of London and I am very much in favour of good connections with the rest of the UK. Although I think that the thinking that the way to help the north is to connect it to London shows the London bias of the present government, it is still a good thing, though given the effect that building the M62 motorway had I think a high speed link connecting the cities of the M62 corridor and north to Newcastle is a higher priority than a connection to London or the West Midlands.

    Ideal would be both an east-west high speed link plus HS2, but either one of them.

    The spirit of the Luddites is still alive, it has just moves south, as the case of Rev’s Stevens shows.

  • pobjoy

    Proverbs 11:30
    The reward of the justified is the tree of life; he who wins souls is wise.

  • David

    HS2 is a political vanity project. Spending such vast sums of money and causing such environmental harm is simply not justifiable in order to gain a few minutes in rushing northerners to London. What is needed is investment in the existing links between the northern and other cities.
    But quite why this environmental activist of a vicar is so stirred up by this matter is not very clear, which rather restricts ones comments.

    • Pubcrawler

      Last night I visited the Bree Louise in Euston, my last opportunity to enjoy a pint in this most excellent pub before it, too, is ‘developed’ for the sake of HS2. It’s not just about the trees, it’s about people’s homes, livelihoods and communities.

      • David

        Pleased to see you are living put to your name !
        Seriously though, I agree with you.

    • dannybhoy

      So why in a free country is there no mechanism for us voter/taxpayers to make our opposition effective except once every five years?
      Any big policy change or project should be put to the people who will have to endure it and pay for it. As it is political dodos can make stoopid decisions without consulting the people and then disappear off the scene with a pension and a backhander..

      • David

        I agree. In fact I have lost faith in our model of representative democracy, as once they are elected they ignore their party manifesto and associated promises and, instead of representing us they represent themselves. I believe we need a Swiss style direct democracy which would cover the point you’ve raised.

        • dannybhoy

          Agreed. I had the privilege of living a year in Switzerland and came to admire their system of governance.

          • gadjodilo

            The Swiss may seem to have the perfect society, but until recently they’ve been rather warlike amongst themselves, and have then had advantages of Mafia money and Nazi gold to propel their economy. Where there’s muck there’s brass.

          • dannybhoy

            All of Europe is under stress now as a result of large scale immigration. It puts pressure on traditionally held values and divides those who want to retain their cultural identity from those whose morality tells them that compassion comes first.
            As perhaps, is the whole idea..

          • gadjodilo

            Yes, though I don’t think that those things are necessarily mutually exclusive: compassion could take the form of helping people (re-)build their own countries, for instance.

            I too love Switzerland, but they also have had a lot of immigration – Muslim Bosnians, for instance – and they also have their own far-right groups. We shall see.

      • Martin

        You mean like we have no say in what our health authority does?

  • Martin

    Would to God that all these women who usurp the place of leadership in His Church were chained to trees. They certainly don’t preach the gospel, for how can one who deliberatly disobeys what God has said proclaim the grace and mercy of God.

  • Inspector General

    HS2 is a plan to turn the centre of Birmingham into a dormitory for London. Countless individuals are set to become millionaires from it, or add another few millions to their worth. Let them pay for the thing, not the taxpayer.

    Still. All this mass labour traveling very quickly to the capital will no doubt suppress the earnings of those who work there. This being from ‘nobody pays anyone any more than they have to, and if there’s someone who lives in Birmingham who’ll do the job cheaper now he can get here, we’ll give your job to him’.

    • IanCad

      I think though Inspector, the age of the commuter is just about over. With all the frustrations of attending a fixed place of business, more and more firms are seeing the advantages of their staff working from home, if it can be arranged.

      • Inspector General

        The Inspector thinks all this working from home will lead to a rise in piecework again, Ian.

      • Dominic Stockford

        House prices make me think differently. Many work in London but can only afford to live in Birmingham. They will be delighted when it comes in. It’ll destroy the midlands, mind.

        • Anton

          I think that it won’t make much difference because very few people indeed will be able to afford a season ticket for commuting.

          • Martin

            That is increasingly the problem.

  • Inspector General

    An aside of great import. Perhaps Cranmer can include the persecution of Christians in a UK political party on his list…they want Farron expelled…and they always get their way…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Tim Farron ‘will be dealt with’ as Lib Dem activists call for him to be fired”
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/01/11/gay-sex-row-tim-farron-to-be-dealt-with-as-lib-dems-activists-call-for-him-to-be-fired/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • pobjoy

      How does a party that claims to be liberal and democratic (surely a tautology) ‘deal with’ a dude who says what he thinks, within the law? We shall see.

      It’s the law that’s the point. Medieval society made homosexuality and suicide illegal, because either would have militated against the veneer of Christianity upon which that ‘whited sepulchre’ society depended. So it was no surprise that, the veneer no longer credible, law has been changed on both issues. That has the benefit that no longer can Christianity be blamed for laws for which it never had direct responsibility.

      It may be no surprise, either, that the homosexual lobby now want to suppress any personal statement that implies criticism of homosexuality, especially from Christians. So ‘liberals’ turn out to be a totalitarian and authoritarian as the medieval rulers were.

      It is perfectly possible to believe that homosexuality is unnatural or horrible or incomprehensible, while opposing any form of persecution of homosexuals. Tim Farron should therefore have never been asked the question, and his mistake was in answering it, rather than dismissing it, distinguishing between personal and political views. It may have been more than his job was worth to explain that nobody needs to be a Christian to believe that homosexuality is unnatural or horrible or incomprehensible; so, for mercy’s sake, he can be excused that much!

      • Inspector General

        Yes. Liberalism is being snuffed out by a political party whose
        very roots lie in providing a home for non-conformists. Oh the irony!

        It looks like Farron has much in common with May then.
        Leaders of political parties they don’t particularly like…

        • pobjoy

          Oh the irony!

          Irony indeed. Though the old Liberal Party tended to take the view that freedom was more important for its own than for others. Some of the worst factory conditions were the responsibility of prominent Liberals.

          At least Farron has admitted his mistake, which takes some courage. Fellow politicians and the media now have their own test in making their reaction to it.

          • Inspector General

            It’s accepted that Farron held onto his Westmoreland thanks
            to his personal supporters, the Farronites (not to be confused with the Fahrenheits).

            If he is booted off the front bench of his party, he might well resign the whip and serve as an independent. One can actually see his support increase by doing that, and a healthy majority attained next GE.

            In the meantime, he can turn around a favourite criticism
            made of Christians by militant buggery and stab them with it…

            “They are free to believe what they choose to believe, what
            they are not free to do is try to impose their beliefs upon others.”

          • pobjoy

            Nicely put.

      • dannybhoy

        “..upon which that ‘whited sepulchre’ society depended”
        Unfair perhaps, as those folk probably couldn’t read or write, and as Democracy and McDonalds were unknown, they were dependent on their leaders to explain what Christianity required of them.,

        • pobjoy

          There’s no suggestion of blame on the great majority; but as outward moral behaviour was enforced on them, there’s no credit to them, either. They all led
          completely unregenerate lives— none was ‘in Christ, a new creature’— so ‘whited sepulchre’ society is an apt description.

          • dannybhoy

            Difficult. I believe that God judges all men on their obedience or devotion to the moral code that they themselves subscribed to.
            “11 For there is no partiality with God.

            12″ For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
            Romans 2.
            and in Genesis 18,

            22 “Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

            Many non Christians rightly complain that a) If God has chosen who should be saved, that is unfair to those he has condemned.
            and b)
            If a person has never heard the Gospel – or if they have heard it didn’t understand it; how can it be just for God to condemn them to Hell for all eternity?

            Martin has no problem with this as he believes we all deserve Hell anyway, but I think our just and holy, righteous and compassionate God can never be found guilty of being unfair.
            Therefore whatever moral code an individual subscribes to in his or her heart, that is the code by which God will judge them, and no one can accuse Him of being unjust.

          • pobjoy

            I believe that God judges all men on their obedience or devotion to the moral code that they themselves subscribed to.

            Indeed. All who have died without awareness of the gospel will be given the same choice as those who have died with that awareness.

            It was not ordinary people, but scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus accused of being ‘whited sepulchres’, but the Pharisees did not control society in Judea, Galilee or the Jewish diaspora. Medieval society, otoh, was thoroughly controlled by legalistic forces, so was a ‘whited sepulchre’ society.

          • dannybhoy

            “Medieval society, otoh, was thoroughly controlled by legalistic forces, so was a ‘whited sepulchre’ society.”
            Hmmm, if it’s a controlled society it can’t be a whited sepulchre one.
            ‘Whited sepulchre’ as I perceive it can only be applied to an individual or a group of individuals who are united in a lifestyle that upholds moral values but does not practice them from the heart.

          • pobjoy

            a group of individuals who are united in a lifestyle that upholds moral values but does not practice them from the heart.

            Medieval society in a nutshell.

          • dannybhoy

            Then you have to be a Calvinist!

          • dannybhoy

            Then you have to be a Calvinist.

          • pobjoy

            Why is that?

          • dannybhoy

            Because you’re passing judgement on all the members of a medieval society, even though most people could only believe and practice what they were taught by those in power over them.

          • pobjoy

            All who have died without awareness of the gospel will be given the same choice as those who have died with that awareness. For many years, evangelicals have said that there will be many Catholics who will be saved because they died in complete ignorance of the gospel, their priests having kept them from any sort of assurance of justification and salvation.

          • Anton

            All societies, all cultures, all nations are. This world is Satan’s realm for now. The church is called out from all such.

          • pobjoy

            All societies, all cultures, all nations are.

            Surely, the only societies left under monolithic religious control are sharia and some Far Eastern countries.

          • Anton

            Secular humanism is a belief system and virulently opposed to the kingdom of heaven.

          • pobjoy

            Not necessarily. Secular humanism isays that religion of any sort is unnecessary to live a morally good life. It does not, inherently, insist that all are non-religious. It is compatible with democracy, even though some who call themselves liberal draw their own line at the kingdom of heaven, i.e. the presence of real Christianity.

            Catholicism is secular, in the sense that it is worldly, carnal and due for destruction; and humanist, in the sense that it replaces divine provision of eternal atonement with interminable struggle for atonement by human effort. But it does so under the name of Christianity, Satan dressing himself as an angel of light. Its origin was incompatible with democracy, it was maintained for a millennium by force majeure, and its instinct today is anti-democratic, however jolly and innocuous it may hope to be perceived.

          • Anton

            I disagree with you about secular humanism. It insists that man is basically good and it cannot tolerate the view that man is basically bad. People don’t like being told that they are sinners and when they gain enough political power they persecute the church because of this claim. In a land where the main belief system was institutional Christianity that transfer of power takes a long time, but be aware that it is happening. It happened in Russia – communism is secular humanism with a vengeance (literally).

          • pobjoy

            It insists that man is basically good and it cannot tolerate the view that man is basically bad. .

            That is a sentence, but it makes no sense. Humanism contradicts religion, that says that man needs divine assistance. There is no necessary intolerance by humanists of religious folk.

            People don’t like being told that they are sinners and when they gain enough political power they persecute the church because of this claim.

            So is that what elections are about?

            institutional Christianity

            There is no such thing. Catholicism is secular, in the sense that it is worldly, carnal and due for destruction; and humanist, in the sense that it replaces divine provision of eternal atonement with interminable struggle for atonement by human effort. But it does so under the name of Christianity, Satan dressing himself as an angel of light. Its origin was incompatible with democracy, it was maintained for a millennium by force majeure, and its instinct today is anti-democratic, however jolly and innocuous it may hope to be perceived.

            Russia was never communist. If communism ever occurs, it will be global.

          • Jilly

            How do you know ‘they all led completely unregenerate lives’?

          • pobjoy

            Because regeneration can take place only after conversion, that was unavailable due to the universal teaching of justification by works (water baptism, confession, mass sacrifice and other human works). Justification by faith was declared anathema (cursed) by the Counter-Reformation, but was prohibited long before.

          • Jilly

            So no-one could have a conversion experience, a revelatory experience, through prayer and meditation?
            You are saying that Jesus Christ didn’t reveal himself to individuals who sought him?

          • pobjoy

            Jesus Christ doesn’t ‘reveal himself’ apart from constructive teaching. There is no record of the teaching of justification by faith before written revelation was consulted in universities, then translated into vernacular languages, revelation taken from the very human sources that had denied that teaching for centuries.

            Private revelation would have availed nothing. A recipient would have dismissed it as a message from demons, as it conflicted with official doctrine; or, would have taken it as truth, but been quite unable to back it up, and would have been imprisoned or executed.

            Millions of human beings lived and died before the gospel reached them, and before there even was a gospel. What matter to us is how we react to it.

          • Jilly

            I think you need to broaden your reading…
            Straining at gnats comes to mind.

          • pobjoy

            Do you have any reading list suggestions?

          • Jilly

            As we started discussing medieval understanding, I suggest having a look at English mystics.
            Before you say ‘Hex hex! That’s Catholic!’ (I gather you have no fondness for RC teaching) let me say I am not Catholic but have found profound and beautiful writings within the mystical writings which contradict some of the content of your posts… 🙂
            Wikipedia gives quite a good overview of Christian Mysticism – offers you a flavour and points out controversial areas.
            It suggests that some Protestants found good in mysticism eg John Wesley….. among other Protestant denominations.
            There’s another site: relevant-Christianity.com which has another slant – see their chapter 12 : Christian Mysticism in the Middle Ages. It’s another overview but from a Christian site.
            Then if you’re up for more, take a deep breath and dive into The Cloud of Unknowing, then Revalatons of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich.
            Many mystics faced opposition from the Catholic Church as they defied church teaching at the time … you might find that quite interesting!
            Read them with an open mind – suspend critical thought until you have digested. There are no ‘devils and demons’ tho some of the masochistic stuff is, imho, a bit suspect, and maybe some grand mal phenomena but who is to say it’s not valid as an expression of a soul seeking God.. There are real nuggets contained therein – lots on grace, faith, love – and opens up an understanding of the religious life in the Middle Ages.

          • pobjoy

            I suggest having a look at English mystics.

            Of course it may be that I have already weighed them in the balance, and found them wanting. I agree that there is some surprising insight, but never explicit enough to catch the inquisitorial eye, which is a test of true value!

            I am not Catholic but have found profound and beautiful writings within the mystical writings

            Mystical? John told his readers to ‘walk in the light’. Peter told his readers to be ‘clear minded’. Paul said, ‘Test everything.’ So let us see some writings so they can be tested in clear light to see if they are actually profound and beautiful.

            which contradict some of the content of your posts… 🙂

            Really? How extraordinary! 🙂 But if you would be kind enough to produce them, we can see who is ‘in the light’.

          • Jilly

            … catch the Inquisitorial eye… phew!
            No. I’m not throwing any more of my pearls. You only seem to want to argue and be disputatious.

            So, I don’t think there is any point in continuing.

          • pobjoy

            Mysticism was subject to censorship in its day, just as formal Catholic theology is now. Marguerite Porete was a mystic who wrote that human perfection was possible. She refused to withdraw her view, that would have made Confessions and Masses redundant, and was burned at the stake in 1310.

            If burning of heretics was practised by Protestants, Julian of Norwich in a Protestant milieu would have been subject to the same fate, for her Catholic views.

            I don’t think there is any point in continuing.

            You’re probably right.

          • Anton

            The Eastern Orthodox are the real experts at Christian mysticism.

          • pobjoy

            Indeed. Romanism is a house of cards built on a jelly, Easternism is a morning mist that evaporates as the sun rises.

    • Royinsouthwest

      LGBTQWERTY is the new state religion. What is the point of setting up a new state religion if heretics and apostates are not “dealt with”?

  • Chefofsinners

    We have a saviour who allowed Himself to be nailed to a tree. Not to save trees but to save us.
    He who led captives in His train is probably not too fussed about HS2, and neither am I. This train is bound for glory.

    • Homer Simpson

      Superbly put! Amen!

  • carl jacobs

    This is an excellent post.

    • David

      Quite.
      Votes for trees I say !
      Now don’t all rush forward at the same time to join the Tree Liberation Campaign as that could be dangerous.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Are you suggesting it is a form of harassment?

      • carl jacobs

        More like an insensitive assumption of an anthropocentric point of view. It fails to account for the fact that trees are sentient creatures with independent will. They are not servants to cut down for mere boards.

    • The vicar went out on a limb.

    • Chefofsinners

      #Treetoo

  • dannybhoy

    Can we – is there some kind of appeal we can subscribe to-
    as a blog community I mean, – to supply said vicar with disposable knickers, environmentally friendly bottom wipes, and odour neutralisers..?

  • Sybaseguru

    She seems to be stretching the inclusive church (of which she seems to be trustee) a bit far.

  • dannybhoy

    Somewhat OT but related, and perhaps irritating to those who automatically genuflect in the presence of hierarchy..
    Danny (s’me!)
    and wife were invited to a service/do to mark the departure of ‘a local ecclesial dignitary’..
    I sent a reply to the effect that seeing as we very rarely saw the man and didn’t really know who or what he was, there seemed little point in attending, but thanks for the invite.

  • gadjodilo

    Sorry to spoil the party but I don’t reckon Charlie Peace meant of word of what he said. I’d be more impressed if he’d listened closely to the vicar, regardless of how boring the tone in which the words were delivered, and asked to be helped to make his peace with God.

    • dannybhoy

      Partypooper!
      Go away!

    • IanCad

      Sounds like Charlie was converted by fear, not love. This eternal hell myth comes up regularly. I have to go on a hospital visit so will throw my stones and run.
      Satan’s first lie was to convince Eve that she will not surely die. An eternal conscious suffering requires immortality. Christ alone hath that. It is a pagan Hellenistic belief not getting much traction until the third century. It has beggared millions of the gullible and enriched countless crafty priests. It was the pornography of the Middle-Ages. Vile, disgusting and shameful.
      The good news is that this wretched perversion of the love of Christ, and His mercy is being rejected by millions of students of the Word.
      Blessed Sabbath to all.

      • gadjodilo

        Well, it seems like he was not converted at all. But yes, he seemed to understand the fear element better than any love message – I’ve never known anybody converted by the former, so I’m not convinced by it’s effectiveness, particularly as we humans are rather adept at not thinking about long-term consequences.

        The “eternal hell myth” – so are you a universalist or an annihilationist, or something else entirely?

        • IanCad

          I would like to think of myself as an upholder of the Word, and, although the word “annihilationist” has a cold and depressing ring about it, the term could well describe those who believe that the punishment for unforgiven sins will be death – not eternal life.

          • gadjodilo

            I tend to agree with you. Annihilation may be just fine for even the worst and most recalcitrant of people, and I believe it’s biblically justifiable.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I dont think it washes when Jesus himself described the punishment variously as eternal, everlasting and as the worm that will not die (the core word aionios in the former two literally meaning without beginning or end or outside time). Moreover there is explicit and direct evidence that certain mortals will definitively suffer eternal punishment: those that worship the Beast in Revelation 14 will be tormented “forever and ever” (aionas) and punished “In the presence of the Lamb ” (simultaneously nixing universalism, annihilationism and the idea that hell is simply and exclusively being away from God: it is the deliberate and holy punishment of the wicked, and the fate that I earned but have been saved from through Christ).

          • IanCad

            The words, eternal, everlasting, forever and the like should be understood in the context of the finality or the certainty of the event. An overly literal interpretation leads to all sorts of problems.

            Jonah was in the whale forever. Sodom’s flames will last forever. Jonah was spat out after three days and the smoke of Sodom ceased rising shortly after it was destroyed.

            The worm should be understood as feasting until nothing remains.

            Too late in the thread for a more comprehensive response but I should mention that the statements of some of the myth’s more enthusiastic supporters should give pause to those who claim to serve a loving merciful God.

            Just a couple of quotes:

            The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven.
            Jonathan Edwards.

            Is it an intolerable thing to burn part of thy body by holding it in the fire? What then will it be to suffer ten thousand times more for ever in hell.
            Richard Baxter

            .And then we have this charming ditty attributed to Isaac Watts:
            What bliss will fill the ransomed souls
            When they in glory dwell
            To see the sinner as he rolls
            In quenchless flames of Hell.

            Utter, contemptible slander – even blasphemy – against our loving Heavenly Father.

          • grutchyngfysch

            The trouble is, Ian, it’s literally the same language that is used to describe the eternal reward that believers receive and also the eternal nature of the Father. And it’s not even as if it’s a simple word issue: in many verses the ongoing nature of the eternal punishment appointed by God is emphasised.

            Now I know plenty of folks who wouldn’t be persuaded by even explicit statements about things in Scripture: they have their own idea of what God must be and even the Bible won’t dissuade them. But you wrote that you argue from the perspective of the Word. Scripture doesn’t support your argument. Only the intervening and superseding authority of an interpreter is doing that: the plain language of both the Messiah and the revealed Word of God must be out through a filter first before it can be bent to annihilationism. But why should that be thought any different from the arguments of those who bend it in other ways? Have you ever read the Mormon annotated Bible? Every verse that contradicts their doctrine is presented as having been read “too literally” by the historic Church, but they don’t lack in confidence either when asserting that we should take their own unScriptural doctrines quite literally indeed.

      • Anton

        And Satan and the fallen angels – do you beieve that they too will be annihiated rather thqan suffer eternal torment? Remember that hell was originally intended for rthem, according to Matthew (25:41)? Scripture gives no warrant for any difference between men and fallen angels in hell…

      • Anton

        “I am secular and believe that when I die I shall be annihilated. You agree that secular people will be annihilated. So I might as well carry on sinning!”

        • gadjodilo

          You’d be missing out on a glorious, eternal, sin- and pain-free life in the presence of God, that would be the point. (And if you’re secular, presumably you don’t believe in ‘sinning’ anyway, and that includes when somebody does ‘bad’ to you.)

          Or were you quoting somebody here?

          • Anton

            In one phrase I consider myself a Bible Christian, and the quotation marks above are meant to indicate a secular point of view.

          • gadjodilo

            Ohh, I see 🙂 (I’m a bit new here.)

          • Anton

            I believe that the torment of hell is eternal and I should like to see our friendly annihationist’s response to my secular straw man!

          • Dominic Stockford

            Eternal or everlasting? Serious question.

          • Anton

            Please explain the difference and I’ll gladly reply.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Eternal is eternity – as is God, outside time. Everlasting has a time element, it goes on, and on, and on, and on, a bit like me when I get onto some subjects….

          • Anton

            God is indeed outside time since He created it, but we are not, and “outside time” is beyond our imagination. I believe that the experience of hell for the unforgiven is the same in terms of time as the experience of heaven for God’s people.

          • Dominic Stockford

            So hell is not ‘eternal’ as is God, but ‘everlasting’ as some modern ‘hymns’ seem to be. Its far worse if its everlasting, as it also will go on, and on, and on, and on…

          • Chefofsinners

            Modern hymns are underrated as evangelistic tools, for they teach us what hell will be like.

          • pobjoy

            Pure torment.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            That’s rather good. I shall use it myself…..

          • dannybhoy

            Bloody English ex-pat…

          • gadjodilo

            Hehe! There’s no one more English than an English ex-pat, Mr Bhoy! The KJV, cassocks, The Book of Common Prayer, and I haven’t even mentioned yet Marmite and Robertson’s ‘g*llyw*g’ marmalade.

          • dannybhoy

            Love Marmite, prefer Seville orange marmalade, the strong flavour stuff. Why are you so coy about revealing what area of the UK you lived in before you went on the run?

          • gadjodilo

            So (s)he was called Pat and was a Kenyan living in UK?

            I like my marmalade rough-cut and bitter, like my women.

            I’m not telling you where I’m from because next up you’ll be asking me for my mother’s maiden name and the name of my first pet. You could be anyone, maybe an Albanian carpet-seller for all I know.

          • dannybhoy

            Pssst!… hef got a nice piece Berber. For you I make special price…

            “I’m not telling you where I’m from because next up you’ll be asking me for my mother’s maiden name and the name of my first pet.”
            Don’t flatter yourself son. You’re not that interesting..

          • gadjodilo

            Eez special for you, was once owned by your sir Meester Norman Weesdom.

            No, I’m not, truly, but the password recovery questions for my bank account just might be…. but you realised that already, you Albanian goat castrator.

          • dannybhoy

            :0)

          • gadjodilo

            So (s)he was called Pat and was a Kenyan living in UK?

            I prefer my marmalade rough-cut and bitter, like my women.

            I’m not telling you where I’m from because next up you’ll be asking me for
            my mother’s maiden name and the name of my first pet. You could be
            anyone, maybe an Albanian carpet-seller for all I know.

          • gadjodilo

            I prefer my marmalade rough-cut and bitter, like my women.

            I’m not telling you where I’m from because next up you’ll be asking me for
            my mother’s maiden name and the name of my first pet. You could be
            anyone, maybe an Albanian carpet-seller for all I know.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Some people ARE converted, and convicted of their sin, by the fear engendered by what they will face in eternity if they do not. Fear drives them into the loving arms of the Lord God – I have one such in my congregation who is a wonderful and loving Christian, thankful for the way God scared him out of his folly.

  • Dreadnaught

    I agree HS2 is an unwanted love child by the public, but Who needs atheists to point out the stupidity of drama queen clerics with too much time on their hands,engaging in publicity stunts either.
    Trees can be replanted, in fact there is underway the replanting of a huge swath of open moorland west to east northern forest. This silly woman seems to think that each tree acts like the air filter on a car. Yes Plane Trees especially absorb Co2 some particulates, and give off oxygen at night, but 200 on their own wont make a ha’porth of difference to London’s poor air quality around their base.

  • carl jacobs

    Btw, Archbishop Cranmer. This was an excellent post.

    • Anton

      Yes. And the tree will make an excellent post too.

      • That one stumped Jack.

        • Anton

          Not leg before wicket, anyway. (Let’s confuse Carl…)

          • A googly ….

          • Anton

            Five more and we could bowl a maiden over.

          • carl jacobs

            Nice try. I know what LBW is.

    • ” Archbishop Crammed”
      A new Americanism?

      • carl jacobs

        That’s not what the post says, Jack.

        • Q: What do Anne Stevens and.and trees have in common?

          • carl jacobs

            Well? I’m waiting!

          • Jack has forgotten now….
            [If you hit them with an axe, they fall]

          • carl jacobs

            That’s it?

          • It’s the way Jack tells them ….
            It’s all in the timing.

        • Posts speak?!

          • carl jacobs

            In a manner of speaking.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I understand exactly where ABC is coming from in this, though I do have a ‘however’.

    I preach the Gospel, I seek to get it into people’s houses at considerable personal difficulty, and I have frequently stood outside parliament with Christian Concern , being abused and sworn at by those who want same-sex marriage/euthanasia/etc. I have also spoken out strongly against false religions of many colours, and frequently, even here, get criticised for a rather ‘fire and brimstone’ approach, because I believe that no-one should be allowed to swing gaily into hell because of erroneous or absent belief. I ensure that my congregation pray regularly for the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ living in other countries where persecution is of an order which we cannot even imagine.

    I have also opposed strongly, for many years, an unnecessary third runway being built at Heathrow, which will cause untold misery for many people – even the current runways mean that I have been forced to cease speaking (indoors) while a plane went overhead during a funeral. I committed, during hustings, on two occasions, to lying down in front of bulldozers should it get the go ahead. I would be disappointed if you were to write the above article about me when I finally get called upon to do so.

    I know nothing of this woman’s other activities – she may in fact be that most unusual beast, a woman vicar who preaches the gospel and seeks to take it into people’s homes and lives, simply because she hates the idea of any of her parishioners going to hell. I don’t know, and your article doesn’t in fact tell me whether she is or not (I may suspect, but I do not know). If she is, then I have no problem with her seeking also to protect some lovely old trees. If she isn’t, which I suspect, then I would fully concur with you. However, I just do not know because you haven’t given us enough information about her ‘religious activities’ to let us form a clear judgement.

    • carl jacobs

      The runway is necessary. If you don’t build it, Heathrow will eventually get bypassed as a Hub in favor of other continental alternatives. There won’t be two hubs in London. The economics will not allow for it. The consequence of freezing Heathrow will be the loss of business opportunities for the UK. If that loss of economic activity is acceptable then you can lay down in front of the bulldozer. Just understand what you are giving up.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Hub airports are a thing of the past. Point to point is now what is happening in Europe, and increasingly across the world.

        Further, Heathrow is the only major airport in the world built WITHIN a residential area, ensuring that when, eventually, a plane does come down, it will cause the maximum possible casualties.

        Also, more people are affected by the appalling noise and pollution of Heathrow Airport than by ALL THE OTHER AIRPORTS IN EUROPE PUT TOGETHER.

        • carl jacobs

          That was certainly Gatwick’s line but you only have to look at who supported Heathrow to know how to follow the money. Make whatever decision you like. Just don’t pretend the decision is economically neutral. Do you want the economic growth or not?

          • Jon of GSG

            That is surely the point though? Life is not just about money, and it’s not more ‘objective’ to pretend it is.
            If we on this forum don’t know that, who will?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Absolutely. One of my reading for opposing its expansion. There are also much better sites for a genuine hub airport (if it is really needed). Ones which would not cause misery to hundreds of thousands of people, literally.

          • Anton

            But where?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Stansted

          • bluedog

            So you would support HS2, which reduces domestic demand for air-travel?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            No. I don’t believe their hype either. Both plans will be like the M25 which caused increased traffic.

          • “Don’t it always seem to go
            That you don’t know what you’ve got
            Til its gone;
            They paved paradise
            And put up a parking lot.”

          • carl jacobs

            A 70s hippy protest song? You’ll be quoting “Imagine” next.

          • A protest against placing greed above people and the environment. Jack may quote “Give Peace a Chance” if the opportunity arises but not “Imagine”. Human sin is the root cause of war and the destruction of our planet wherever “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” are found.

            “They took all the trees
            And put ’em in a tree museum
            And they charged the people
            A dollar and a half to seem ’em.”

          • carl jacobs

            We gave peace a chance. It failed. Then we tried war. It worked.

            The 60s was one long adolescent temper tantrum against adulthood. As perfectly illustrated by these two songs. Both of them do nothing more than strike an angry adolescent pose.

          • You want to support the Vietnam War? Originally a nationalist war for freedom from French colonialism which became a dishonest proxy war between America and China. Not your nation’s finest hour.

          • carl jacobs

            No I wasn’t talking about Vietnam. That isn’t a good subject to bring up with me. I had a brother shot in Vietnam. I can get very angry very fast about that war. So I tend to stay away from it. But I don’t always succeed.

          • Jack’s is aware of that, Carl, and means no offence. His criticisms of the Vietnam War are with your leaders, not American soldiers.

          • carl jacobs

            A few days back I watched a Youtube video about Gen Westmoreland and his responsibility for the defeat. The speaker was a retired Army Brigade commander who was lecturing at the Army War College about a book he wrote. My wife said to me “If that makes you angry, then turn it off.” By which she meant “If that makes you angry, you are going to turn it off.”

            I got through it OK. Helps when the speaker in the family as it were.

          • If it’s not too personal, to whom is the anger directed?

          • carl jacobs

            MacNamara. The Congress. The draft dodgers. The Viet Cong Journalists. But mostly that spineless yellow-backed 60s generation that hid out in college because it was just too good to fight a war. They made good for themselves and then discredited the war because “If the war wasn’t wrong them I’m a coward.” Put a face to it. William Jefferson Clinton.

            This country sent its sons to war, got them shot up or killed, abandoned them in the field, and then blamed them for the defeat. That’s very hard to get around.

          • “This country sent its sons to war, got them shot up or killed, abandoned them in the field, and then blamed them for the defeat.”
            Jack accepts all that but, that said, there were legitimate reasons for the youth of America to protest the legitimacy of the war and the dishonesty of the American government in the way it was conducted. May be some were cowards; Jack doesn’t know. The main victims were the Vietnamese people.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            According to its own figures Heathrow makes next to no money at all. And given that it’s owners all live abroad I’d love to see it gone, especially when it wakes me up at 5.30, have not let me get to sleep until after midnight – and I live over 10 miles from it.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Further, having done my research, planes leaving Heathrow have 2,400,000 empty seats a year. We clearly don’t need more flights.

          • carl jacobs

            That amounts to less than ten seats per flight. But the statistic is meaningless anyways because it doesn’t account for route, day, and time. This is about accommodating demand. The important metric is where passengers want to fly and when they want to fly there – especially the business travellers who disproportionately contribute to the airline’s profitability. It doesn’t much matter if there are extra seats on a hop to Midsomer. What matters is how many seats are available from NYC arriving on Monday morning. Airlines are going to follow that demand. If you make it hard for passengers to get in and out they will gravitate to other locations.

          • Dominic Stockford

            No, I don’t want economic growth. It isn’t some kind of holy grail.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, there is an alternative to economic growth. There is also an alternative to breathing.

          • Dominic Stockford

            There is no necessity for economies to ‘grow’.

          • carl jacobs

            You are correct. They can also stagnate and die.

          • Dominic Stockford

            This is why so many business go bust – they believe what people tell them when they say they have to grow or die. They then borrow money to ‘grow’, instead of continuing in the successful way they already operate. Alternatively, you don’t buy this modern mantra that you have to grow, the result is not dying, nor is it stagnating, its simply not growing.

          • carl jacobs

            The world doesn’t work that way. If you aren’t moving forward, you are falling behind. You can pine after a vision of economics as something other than competition, but it’s an illusion. You will end up like the coal miners – bitter, disillusioned, and unemployed.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            I disagree. Strongly. We’ll have to demur from each other’s opinion.

        • Chefofsinners

          Come friendly aeroplanes and fall on Slough…

        • bluedog

          Chicken and egg. When Heathrow was built it wasn’t surrounded residentially in the same way.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            1.Heathrow had always had significant population around it. Older members of my congregation used to go and watch planes there. By bike.

            2. Planes have recently (in the last four years or so) flown much lower. Affecting locals terribly.

            3. A third runway will bring a 30-40% increase in flights. This will also bring (government figures) a 60% increase in the risk of a crash.

          • bluedog

            An early memory of Heathrow would be a visit in mid-winter to greet and collect an uncle returning from New York. We watched from the open roof of the terminal as the Panam Stratocruiser came in to land. I can still remember the popping noise of the big radial engines as the pilot closed the throttles. We lived at Windsor at the time and my first school was the Datchet PNEU. So I know something of the area. The fact is its a huge economic benefit and a significant employer of those around it. You could make the same criticism about the motorways and the introduction of sodium vapour lights. There was a time when England was quiet and dark at night, maybe the distant whistle of a steam engine or a Southern Region electric train. No more, it’s never dark and never quiet. It’s progress and you can’t get off.

          • Anton

            I know someone who worked at Duty Free in International Departures at Heathrow in the 1950s. It was part of a shed.

          • “It’s progress and you can’t get off.”
            Progress? Economic growth and human progress are not necessarily one and the same. The job of government is to balance the interests of economic growth with the wellbeing of those effected by it.

          • bluedog

            Human social development is a function of human wealth which tends to be reflected in the level of human energy consumption. The higher the better, for living standards, in all regards.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            This “progress” kills and drives people mad. Even the Queen, miles away at Windsor, complains about it.

          • bluedog

            You offer no alternative. Do you seriously believe that Heathrow can be dispensed with at no economic cost? It may sound callous and unsympathetic, but if people don’t like the noise, they do have the option of moving away from the flight paths.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            I know a number of people who have moved to areas where aeroplane noise is minimal only to find the flight paths moved over them without warning or discussion.

            We had little or no noise here for 12 years – then, about 4-5 years ago Heathrow moved flight paths so we now have planes thundering over at heights which are even below 2,000ft (6miles from take-off point). Frequently they are after 11.30, and this morning, for instance, I was awoken at 6.45. The CAA have described our town as a ‘noise sewer’ and yet we’re not even in the official ‘noise affected area’. Planes can create as much as 85db noise in our garden. You cannot listen to quiet music or TV on evenings they overfly us. Heathrow causes noise pollution for more people than all other major European airports put together.

            I have offered an alternative, Stansted.

          • bluedog

            Stansted isn’t really an option, is it? We can agree that Heathrow is an extremely unpleasant experience for nearby residents and users alike, but but doubling down and creating additional Heathrows is hardly going to solve the problem of Heathrow, it will still be there. If you have dreams of a campaign to close Heathrow, one can only suggest you give up now. No British politician is going to shut it down. For years alternatives have been considered, but they never happen, look at the long running flirtation with Shoeburyness.

          • Peasant Farmer

            RAF Mildenhall is under notice of closure by the US Government, it is huge with the full modern infrastructure needed for airliners up to an Airbus a380 in size, due to the fact that USAF have poured untold $millions into the place over the years. There are a couple of surrounding villages but no significant number of houses under the flight path and the local villages risk decimation if the airbase shuts anyway.

            Therefore with the construction of a short bypass around Mildenhall linking into the A11 you would have access to the road network, and if you bribed a few farmers another few miles worth of railway could be built across the fen to link to the Kings Lynn-Kings Cross line and thus the rail network.

            All airfreight could be routed through it and plenty of holiday traffic, thus freeing up Heathrow for more London centric business traffic

            The politicians will never go for it of course, its too obvious.

          • bluedog

            Could be the answer!

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            1. Stansted is a perfectly reasonable option.
            2. I have not suggested closing Heathrow (so you don’t know my opinion on that).

          • bluedog

            ‘If you have dreams of a campaign to close Heathrow, ..’

            Close readers will have spotted the conjunction ‘if’ which implies conditionality. But not it seems, you.

          • Peasant Farmer

            Totally off-topic but some months ago you said this about Tim Farron:

            “No. He hasn’t repented of saying them as far as I am aware. Evidence please, specific. His resignation speech contained nothing of that sort whatsoever.”

            I presume you would now agree that he has made amends this week, and taken yet another round of abuse for doing so?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Paraphrasing what better writers than I have pointed out, he has indeed regretted saying it, but he has not said he repents, nor has the word sorry dropped from his lips. He has, however, admitted that gay sex is a sin. Which is a first step.

          • Peasant Farmer

            He says in the interview that he was never going to be given the chance to explain Christian sexual morality in context, and that the question was completely overshadowing his party’s core message, and so he ‘foolishly and wrongly attempted to push it away by giving an answer that was not right’.

            Also ‘I was isolated………. and with one exception there were no Christians around me’ so he was facing internal party pressure as well by people who’s jobs depended on him.

            He made a mistake, we could all see him being hounded day in, day out and we all knew he’d crumbled, my sympathies were with him.

            I thought his interview was excellent, naturally it was totally misreported in the media and he has a far better grasp of the gospel than the bishops of the C of E: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=517&v=4gc4T45fDhw

            Still couldn’t vote Lib Dem though.

          • On the M4 approaching J4b you can almost touch the planes coming into Heathrow they are that low. I’d hate to live near there.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I don’t particularly have a horse in this race but point 3 rings an alarm Bell. If the chance of a crash was 0.01% and is now 0.016% that’s a 60% increase but still a very low chance. I’m intrigued: what’s the predicted rate of crashes actually look like?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            There has been one crash in the last five years, which miraculously reached the edge of the airport before hitting ground. Aeroplanes are not crash proof. One WILL come down on the surrounding area , and I’ll guarantee it’ll be in the next ten years.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Yeah I dont envy you the risk. We live near an airport which only takes light aircraft and doesn’t fly too late but even as I type this I can hear one flying over: can’t say I’d love having it louder or later, although I do appreciate the proximity when I have to travel for work.

      • Anton

        I have long suggested that what is needed is a high speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick which makes them one airport.

        • Dominic Stockford

          That would help. They could then use the second runway at Gatwick which they pretend they haven’t already got, and everyone would be happier (except those affected by the increase of traffic from Gatwick).

        • carl jacobs

          The airlines will not (indeed cannot) maintain that infrastructure at two different airports – high speed rail or not. The alternative to a third runway at Heathrow is not Gatwick. The alternative is Schipol.

          • bluedog

            ‘The alternative is Schiphol.’ Anyone for supersonic flying boats?

          • Ray Sunshine

            The alternative is Schiphol.
            Frankfurt, more likely, I think. Though the Dutch will certainly do their best to get the business.

        • Chefofsinners

          Or maybe some kind of flying machine to connect them, if man could devise such a wonder?

          • Anton

            Balloons to you.

      • Terry Mushroom

        You don’t live in or near west London, of course. (Edited)

        • carl jacobs

          Which means I can be objective.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Objective about the sheer awfulness of living near it? That’s nice. Dominic is spot on about the blight and misery that Heathrow causes.

          • bluedog

            Blight and misery maybe, but it’s indispensible and irreplaceable until we develop a different form of air-transport.

          • carl jacobs

            The only real argument I’ve heard is “The airport hurts my quality of life because I live close to it.” OK. So then what?

            Move it somewhere else? That helps you. What about those who live somewhere else? I suspect the answer will be “They can fight it, too, if they want.” Along with a silent “There won’t be so many affected somewhere else – especially not me.” But modern airports like Heathrow have to be big. So it’s going to have a big footprint no matter where you put it. There is no such thing as a no-impact airport.

            If you want the connection, you have to accept the implications. If you don’t want the connection, you have to accept economic decline. There isn’t a magic solution for this problem.

          • Ray Sunshine

            It used to be called nimbyism. (Still is?) Not In My Back Yard.

          • “If you want the connection, you have to accept the implications. If you don’t want the connection, you have to accept economic decline.”

            This is essentially true but sounds like something the Chinese would say. It’s just plain wrong to blight the lives of thousands and make their existence miserable so that the “economy can grow” and the overall outcome for those unaffected is “good”, i.e. business and airlines run at maximum efficiency and maximise profit.

          • carl jacobs

            So then. Shut it down and reestablish the steamship lines. When your unemployment rate hits 20% we’ll talk again.

          • It requires the global cooperation of governments and multinational businesses. We’ve replaced wars with other forms of vice to feed profit and human greed and materialism.

          • carl jacobs

            No it doesn’t. It just requires you to close airports. So be consistent and close your airports lest they make life a misery for those around them.

          • It’s that sort of approach that causes the vicious spiral of greed and destruction. Each nation competing to outdo their “neighbours” and doing whatever it takes.

          • carl jacobs

            So then don’t compete. Just close your airports and do the right thing.

          • That’s the only choice? Cooperate with manifest evil in world affairs or go broke?

          • carl jacobs

            You are the one who said “It’s just plain wrong to blight the lives of thousands”. So live consistent your ethics. Others may not go along but you can do the right thing. Shut down the airports and stop blighting their lives.

            Otherwise you are going to have to re-evaluate your “People before profits” line.

          • That’s the same argument that feeds nuclear proliferation. The world is too interconnected these days and international cooperation is needed.

          • carl jacobs

            What you are trying to do is find some way to blame others for why you can’t do what you consider to be the right thing. You just don’t want to bear the cost.

          • That’s why it requires protest – to raise awareness and bring pressure on governments to act.

          • Or attempt to manage international air travel in partnership with airlines and other countries in ways that protect people and minimise damage to the environment.

          • bluedog

            ‘Or attempt to manage international air travel in partnership with airlines and other countries in ways that protect people and minimise damage to the environment.’

            Now what on earth does that mean? Are you suggesting that by buying carbon credits, rich countries can sub-contract environmental impact and the carbon footprint of a large airport to a poorer, less-developed, third world sh*t-hole? If so, it’s not such a bad idea.

          • carl jacobs

            See, I thought he was suggesting something like the 5-5-3 Treaty where each country gets its “fair share” of landing slots. How that helps with noise around airports I don’t know.

          • Dominic Stockford

            yes, that would work – we’ll move the UK airport to the nearest one, Scotland……

          • Anton

            There’ll be another one along soon enough.

          • bluedog

            ‘We’ve replaced wars with other forms of vice to feed profit and human greed and materialism.’

            Oh dear. What a disappointment. It’s almost as though you have seen the light and taken Holy Orders within the Anglican communion. This is the sort of post one expects from one of the scattier Anglican priests who occasionally haunt the blog. You know the type, still anti-Brexit. Whoops, one forgets, that really wasn’t a helpful remark, was it?

            Anyway, let’s attempt to explain profit in a secular context that will mollify your re-emergent Socialist Worker instincts. Go to the bank, put money on deposit in a savings account and you get interest. That’s your profit, and very low too ‘cos your investment is risk free and there’s a relationship between risk and reward. Look at the thing from the other end of the scale and if the risk is high, you might reasonably expect that the reward will be high too. You could call that reward for successfully taking a risk, profit. Now if people take risks, employing other people in the process, make a quid or too, buying the wife a new frock, it all makes the world go around doesn’t it?Or is that the sort of ‘vice’ that reeks of ‘greed’ and other unmentionable and possibly pre-destined sins?

          • Terry Mushroom

            We know full well there isn’t an easy solution. But I certainly understand Dominic’s frustration as I lived and worked near Heathrow for years. Man does not live by economics alone.

        • Royinsouthwest

          During the Industrial Revolution the wealth created by England’s “dark satanic mills” gravitated towards London. Other areas of Britain were despoiled and the capital got a disproportionately large share of the benefits without the costs. A huge proportion of public expenditure still goes to London even though a huge proportion of the city’s population are of foreign origin. It is London’s turn to make sacrifices.

          • Anton

            A very large proportion of GDP derives from the financial sector in London. That is not to laud the financial sector but in strictly worldly terms London pays its way.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Yes. But much of the area where those people live is a godless spiritual desert.

          • Anton

            I couldn’t agree more.

          • Royinsouthwest

            For many years now, going back at least to Margaret Thatcher’s time if not before, economic policy has placed far more emphasis on what is good for the financial sector than what is good for industry. Germany maintained its industrial strength. British industry declined, taking large parts of the country with it, because British governments did not care about industry or the old industrial areas.

          • Anton

            I agree with the historic facts but not with the reasons you give for them. British industry declined because of mutual mistrust between management and the labour force, leading to a death spiral in which workers became increasingly militant and stike-bound and management declined to invest in new plant. I agree entirely with Margaret Thatcher: why should taxes from small profitable businesses subsidise large unprofitable ones? She rightly called the bluff of “too big to fail”, a mantra which leads to intolerable moral hazard.

            The financial sector ballooned following the “big bang” of deregulation in the City in 1986, then that sector’s riding of the great bull market in government bonds. It was not wizardry at all! But it is what allowed the financial sector to get too big for its boots.

            The grwoth of finance and the decline of manufacturing were both bad things, but they are basically unrelated.

          • bluedog

            You can, and should, argue that return on capital employed is the metric that a nation should use to determine the worth of any enterprise, it’s what individual entrepreneurs and more passively, shareholders do. Reducing this argument to absurdity, one invariably finds that the highest returns are in criminal enterprises, and one therefore has to wind one’s ambition back into the legally sanctioned arena. But there is little doubt that for many years the returns from financial services have far exceeded those of industrial enterprises with their high fixed capital costs, to say nothing of recalcitrant labour. Your point about the bond markets seems terribly moot. One suspects that the financial services sector may be about to witness a perfect storm, whereby Brexit combines with a secular shift in inflation and subsequently real interest rates, to change the terms of trade for the sector. What that does for London remains to be seen. It would not surprise to find in a decade’s time that London becomes a welfare dependent sh*thole, to paraphrase DJ Trump, still with a Muslim mayor. But the mayor will wear a hijab and consequently be adored by a feminist priesthood in the CoE. The poor will find employment painting Diversity Bollards in fashionable rainbow colours.

          • Anton

            Like the Merkel Lego in Germany.

          • bluedog

            Actually Britain was far more decentralised when internal communications were poorer, it all depends where you start. Cities like the Manchester-Liverpool nexus were enormously influential in their heyday, as witnessed by the first railway in Britain. Liverpool was at one time a more important port than London. Bristol was very significant too. It’s only in the post-war era in which London seems to have become an over-bearing city-state, divorced from its English hinterland.

      • Martin

        Heathrow s already too big, the infrastructure around is too congested. Heathrow is now in the position Croydon was in when Heathrow became the better alternative. If anything it would be better to have number of airports sited remotely from congested areas with good communications between them.

        • carl jacobs

          Yes that makes sense except the airlines can’t afford it. You are not going to get distributed hubs because that means you have to duplicate the hub infrastructure at each airport. It’s too expensive.

          So this is a hard truth but it is a truth. This isn’t about the impact on the ground. It’s about facilitating transportation. You cannot arrange air travel to reflect the convenience of those who live near airports. Passengers and airlines will not accommodate the burden when they can find other places to land.

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            Many airlines oppose Heathrow expansion because the increased landing costs will possibly cripple them.

          • Martin

            Carl

            In these days of databases and communications the only thing you have to duplicate is the personnel and their equipment, and given that the amount of traffic remains the same the only difference is that the staff are not all in the same place. Thyere’s a certain amount of traffic between the sites but that can be handled centrally by the airport authority.

            And let’s face facts, the M25 locally is already vastly over utilised as are the other roads in the area. The cost of expanding Heathrow is on the whole country in terms of delay and congestion.

      • Business over people and the environment.

    • The website of Saint Pancras defines the church as “Liberal Anglican”.

      • grutchyngfysch

        Lord preserve us.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Having blocked him for continual personal abuse I’ve absolutely no idea what he said, but your response gives me no thought that I have any reason to unblock him

          • grutchyngfysch

            Haha he simply pointed out that the church from which said vicar hails self describes as “liberal Anglican”.

            Sorry to hear that you and Jack don’t talk any more: enjoy both of your contributions.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Its probably better for both of our blood pressures, and for our retaining our Christian focus! And that the church would describe itself as that surprises me not in the least.

      • Brian

        ‘Liberal Catholic’ means Saint Pancras has the Stations of the Cross(-roads).

  • “Far more important to save a tree than a soul.”

    She probably believes trees have souls. Neopagan priestesses, goddesses, earth, nature, fertility worship and all that.

    • pobjoy

      The sort of stuff the Vatican accommodates with ease. 🙂

      • Jack is an observant chap and suspects you (and those up-ticking your comment) have *issues* with the Church. The only question is: is this invincible ignorance or a wilful refusal of the truth? The first is forgivable; the latter is not.

        • pobjoy

          Nobody has issues with the church, except those who find the fruits of the Spirit, against which there is no ostensible law, shaming of their own habits and predillections.

          Now what does a human father do for his offspring? He gives pocket money, drives to school, plays football, helps with homework, but most of all, gives advice, and any child of a good father knows the mind of his father.

          So of what use is the father, so-called, residing in the Vatican? Presumably he neither gives out pocket money, nor plays football.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            nor plays football.

            A German Pope followed by an Argentinian one? What else can it be but an international Soccer conspiracy.

          • pobjoy

            So that’s what’s behind the FIFA mess.

          • Chefofsinners

            Trump has been overheard calling Germany a Schmidt hole, apparently.

          • Brian

            No, he was talking about Arab clothes shops. He called them sheet holes.

          • “I am not writing this to shame you; you are my dearly loved children, and I would bring you to a better mind. Yes, you may have ten thousand schoolmasters in Christ, but not more than one father; it was I that begot you in Jesus Christ, when I preached the gospel to you. Follow my example, then, I entreat you, as I follow Christ’s.”
            (1 Corinthians 4:14-16)

          • pobjoy

            So how do Catholics follow Bergoglio’s example, if they have never met him?

        • Anton

          It’s called satire, Jack.

  • It’s okay folks. The vicar and her artist friend, Jo Hurford, have been voluntarily unchained from the tree.

    Jack wonders if this had anything to do with the weather forecast and the fact that HS2 Ltd said it had no plans to forcibly remove the vicar before Monday.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/12/vicar-unchained-tree-protest-hs2-work-euston

    • Chefofsinners

      I knew this would end in a climb-down.

      • Yew said it.

        • Brian

          Don’t start a chain reaction.

          • Brian

            “We shall now sing Hymn 322, ‘And can it be ..'”

          • Brian

            It was an experience I often had on my old bicycle.

          • It’s a Mystree to Jack why yew are you talking to yourself.

          • Brian

            It’s because I’m a solipsist. It’s such a persuasive philosophy I can’t understand why there aren’t more of us.

          • Fir enough. Stick with it.

          • Brian

            Well, it goes against the grain to say it, but it’s knot all it’s cracked up to be. I used to follow George Bark-ley but then he started on about the tree in the quad. Then it was Bertrand Rustle – but he leaves me cold.

          • It is a solitree philosophy but no need to be inflammatree or derogatree . It’s not obligatree.

          • Brian

            I’m giving philosophy the chop – gonna read ‘Tom Sawyer’ instead.

          • You could always try poetree.

          • Brian

            Nah, think I’ll watch Forest Gump.

          • Don’t tell Carl. For him, that’s an inflammatree movie.

          • That would be a releaf.

          • Jack wooden do that.

        • Chefofsinners

          Your comments taxus.

          • Do not palm Jack’s comment off like that.

        • Brian

          Leaf it out.

          • Don’t treet Jack this way.

          • Brian

            Yew haven’t twigged yet, have yew?

          • No need to sound quite so treeumphant.

          • Brian

            What’s the matter? Pining for the fjords? Or just barking?

          • Brian

            Hah! Got you stumped there!

          • Brian

            Time to bough out before I get blocked.

          • Before HG roots you out …

          • Brian

            That wood be a grove mistake.

          • He’s all bark and no bite.

          • Brian

            A fine English ash, really.

          • Yes and he’s avoided the cemetree too.

          • That’s an oversimpleafication. Jack shall go to a Monastree for releaf.

          • Brian

            Yes, maybe you can meditate of a treetise on St Treesa of Avila.

          • Jack had a perfunctree look and found some of her statements contradictree.

          • Brian

            Forsooth, Jack! She’s a Doctor of your Church! You are guilty of treeson.

          • Don’t call the Vatican copse.

      • David

        It’s now time to branch onto a different topic.

    • gadjodilo

      That didn’t last long did it. Talk about commitment. And I see she was there in her vicar’s robes, which I can’t say I agree with – don’t mix politics and religion, Ms Stevens.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Not in that way, certainly. Bad mix.

      • What a sap. The protest was axed.

  • Damian

    Something seriously wrong with women calling themselves priests.