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Monday, 30 September 2013

The descent of the church

Ride and stride church open day was a "huge success"                                  Photo: Church in Wales

From the Church in Wales web site: Two vicars abseiled down a church tower as hundreds turned out to walk, cycle, jog and horse ride between 13 churches which threw open their doors to the public...“The whole day went brilliantly, everybody got involved and hundreds turned out with all the various events in the churches from the bell ringing to the choir performance and the teddy bear drop being really well supported.”...Father Edwin said, “It was a fabulous day. Lots of people were saying how they had never been inside some of the churches before so it really brought out another layer of people in the parishes – which was exactly what we were aiming to do.”

Why it was thought necessary to wear a chasuble which is associated with the celebration of the Eucharist for this stunt is not clear. Indeed, on health and safety grounds alone, a loose garment capable of being caught in the ropes is singularly inappropriate even going back to its origins as a travelling garment.  

In the ninteenth century another priest, Fr Arthur Tooth, was sent to prison for defending the right to use Eucharistic vestments in the Church of England. 

From A Brief History of the early years of the Society of the Holy Cross: 
"Fr Tooth was born at Swifts Park, Cranbrook, in Kent, on June 17, 1839, and was educated at Tonbridge School, and Trinity College, Cambridge. After several short ministries he accepted the derelict living of St. James's, Hatcham. He repaired and furnished the church and began to draw a congregation. He founded a Community of Sisters and an orphanage, which served as the choir school of the church. His teaching was simple, lucid and definite, and he introduced, within a few years, most of the customs and usages that are normal in moderate churches to-day, but were then considered to be of the essence of Popery. He founded, also, the Guild of All Souls, which lives to this day. Late in 1875, the Church Association moved against Tooth, now a thirty six year old priest and an S.S.C. member for illegal ceremonial. Lord Penzance heard the case and monished Tooth to cease the illegal practices. Tooth ignored the monition as he had ignored the court and declined to obey the three-month inhibition that Penzance announced in December. On 22 January 1877 Tooth was arrested and imprisoned in Horsemonger Gaol for contempt of court l practices." ...

"On the next Sunday there were 700 people present at High Mass" -  There's the real challenge.


  1. Let's face it: The Church is Wales is slipping faster than a Vicar on a Rope into an abyss of moral, theological and intellectual confusion, and within 25 years most of its churches will be empty monuments or holiday lets, their original purpose already long-forgotten.

    1. If, this very day, the bench sitters were to be abducted by aliens - would anyone notice?

      Let us pray!

  2. An interesting challenge for Archbishop Barry in his vision for women bishops.. Resign, and let Llandaf elect a new bishop. The editorial? "Putting his money where is mouth is".