Opening the Archetypes Exhibition

I was privileged to open the new public art installlation outside Great St Mary’s, Cambridge, yesterday. It is by Rumanian sculptor Liviu Mocan and in it five pieces depict the five “sola’s” of the Reformation, linking them to archetypal human themes:

The Anchor Cast up to Heaven (Belief): sola fide (by faith alone)

The Trumpet in the Universe (Destiny): soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)

The Ladder of the World (Transcendence): solus Christus (through Christ alone)

The Lamb of God (Sacrifice): sola gratia (by grace alone)

The Book that Reads You (Revelation): sola scriptura (by scripture alone)

You can read more about the installation at http://www.jubilee-centre.org/archetypes-sculpture-exhibition-summer-2018/; and you are invited to help defray the costs at http://reformation2017.org/giving-archetypes-exhibition/.

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Children’s Ministry Training Day

Train up 2018 Poster final

“Encounter”: a training day for those working in Children’s Ministry, with Rachael Turner. Saturday 13th October, The Vine School, Cambourne. Details and booking form below the fold: Continue reading

Summer Special: Could a robot ever have a real human identity?

Science and Belief

wooden-791421_1920 pixabay crop Pixabay

How will developments in AI and robotics change the way we think about what it means to be human? This was the question that Professor John Wyatt, a medical doctor with a long involvement the discussion about what it means to be human, asked in his lecture at the Faraday Institute summer course this month, which I’ll summarise here.

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Very excited about the Engage Awards 2018

We’ve reached the deadline for applications for the 2018 round of Engage Awards, which the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust presents to recognise building projects in Cambs churches and chapels which have helped them connect more with their community (the best way of keeping them in good shape!). And once again by God’s grace we have just the right number of entries to match the funds available, and they look great – clock restoration, floor levelling, path lighting, bellrefurbishing, space making, better illumination, loos and kitchens of course, and turning a balcony into a meeting place for those for whom trad church doesn’t do it. All reaching out, improving access, offering a big warm invitation, in very practical ways. So it’s over to our judge now to see if they make the grade … And then watch out for the Award tour on 8-9 September to co-incide with Ride, Drive and Stride and the Heritage Open Days.

A Simple Way for Living Well: The Community of St Etheldreda

Ever wondered…How can I live a ‘good’ life? How can I find peace in a busy world?

How can I find community in a world of individuals? How can I find meaning in my work?

We don’t have all the answers, but come and meet others asking the same kind of questions.

The Community of St Etheldreda gathers for prayer, worship, discussion, and reflection in and around Ely Cathedral. We share food together, we enjoy each other’s company and journey with each other in faith. Our rhythm of community life is based loosely on the Rule of St Benedict, written 900years ago. The Rule guides people in the life of Christian community and still offers a pattern for living in the world today.

Gathering…

You can be involved as much or as little as you like. There are different kinds of activities for different kinds of people. For those who want to go deeper, there is a simple act of personal commitment, which helps lay foundations for Christian living.

Missional…

The Community of St Etheldreda also hopes to be a missional community, that is, we look outwards to the world and its needs, and seek to transform it for the good.

St Etheldreda is an inspiration for those seeking to live an authentic Christian life in the world today. Her faith inspired her to establish a monastery, which formed the foundation of Ely Cathedral.

Rhythm of Community Life:

Obedience: The latin root means to listen intently to God. In our world today there is a lot of talking but not much listening! The call is to listen to God through his word, through silence and contemplation, through quiet days, retreats and meditations, through the ministry and guidance of others, through prayer and through corporate worship, which is the real ‘work of God’. Those who hear the word are called to let it shape their lives.

Stability: This is important for us in an age of constant change- what gives us an ‘anchor’ in life? We all have a need to belong and to be content within a stable Christian community, learning to live together in love even with those we find most difficult and learning to live in the present moment, and not be distracted or worried by the ‘if’s’, ‘but’s’ and ‘maybe’s’ that clamour for our attention.

Work: The call to reflect God’s creative activity including practical service, however humble, for the benefit of all. This may include outdoor activities and care for the environment, charitable events, and even menial tasks for the good of the wider community, as well as study and reflection on living out our faith in practice. This would be particularly relevant to those in secular employment.

Transformation: A commitment to be changed, to see the need for it, to seek to realise all the potential that God has put within us, to be open to God’s transforming love and grace in us, to become more Christ-like. Also, to seek to transformation of all that is unjust in our world today.

Personal Act of Commitment:

Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in your love and grace, and wanting to find a pattern of living to guide me in your way I commit myself to:

Obedience: Listening to God through daily prayer, reading God’s word, silence and regular times of retreat and worship.

Stability: by being part of an ongoing community where I can meet Christ in others and be challenged by those who know me well.

Work: In my daily life seeking to serve others in practical ways, witness to Christ and proclaim his kingdom of justice and peace.

Transformation: by being prepared to change, to see the need for it myself, to be constantly open to the

transforming fire of God’s love

 

 

Lost text from a lost place springs to life

Many of the important church councils of Anglo-Saxon England were held at Clovesho, which has been called “the most famous lost place” of that time, because no-one knows for sure where it was – which is remarkable. A good candidate is Brixworth, just across the border in Peterborough Diocese, where a mighty Anglo-Saxon church still stands and from which a fellow-suffragan takes his see. (Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Church,_Brixworth).

A crucial council was held in 747 when much English church practice was brought into conformation with that of Rome, and a copy of the decrees from the council was in the great Cotton Library which was badly damaged by the fire of 1731 at Ashburnham House. (The manuscript of The Battle of Maldon was destroyed, and that of Beowulf was heavily damaged.)

But look how the latest techniques of multispectral imaging by Christina Duffy have brought the charred fragment of Cotton MS Otho A I, f. 1r back to life: amazing!

Why not see if you read any of the text? Another copy survived so I can leak you an English translation of what’s going on:

“First of all [look for “IN primis” in line 1], the Metropolitan, as president, brought forth in their midst two letters of the Apostolic Lord, Pope Zachary, venerated throughout the whole world [look for “toto orbe” in line 3], and with great care these were plainly read, and also openly translated into our own language, according as he himself by his Apostolic authority had commanded”. (https://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=3073)

With thanks to the British Library blog:

 http://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2018/06/networks-of-knowledge-insular-manuscripts-and-digital-potential.html

 

Steve Radley’s super photos

When we opened our garden for charity recently, we invited our priest-photographer friend Steve Radley to join us for the day and make a photographic record of the garden at its finest hour. He’s come up with a marvellous collection of shots that you can see online at Bishop David & Jean’s Open Garden 2018. I’m now going to turn them into a bespoke album for us and those who have helped us to keep as a permanent memento of this special chapter of our lives.

Steve has some websites you may like to visit at www.radleyphotography.co.uk & www.seeingthelightinlife.org and you can subscribe to his newsletter at http://eepurl.com/dvFKcz. 
He is also leading a photography retreat with a nationally famous colleague in November, which you can book into at  http://www.brookscountryhouse.com/calm-camera-weekend-retreat/