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The CMD Handbook for 2014-15 is available from the ‘Support and Supervision’ section of this site, and the CMD calendar for the upcoming autumn term from the ‘Upcoming CMD events’ section likewise.

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Bishop’s Lecture 8

Download added: Bishop’s Lecture 8 – The Synoptic Gospels

Bishop’s Lecture 8


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Last post

The next six weeks are going to be incredibly busy what with trying to make good endings here in Glasgow and Galloway (leaving files in a comprehensible state for others), fit in a family holiday and spend a week at the Glenalmond Youth camp. So I have taken the decision to make today’s blog post my last.

This blog was suggested by Kennedy Fraser back in 2010 as a way of communicating news and information around the diocese and beyond. Kennedy impressed upon me, novice blogger that I was, the need to keep updating the site, so from March 11th 2010 I set myself the task of writing every day. On bad days it felt onerous and time-consuming, but most of the time I  approached it as part of my Examen at the close of the day, and then it felt more like a helpful discipline than a burden.

My main aims in writing were to share educational resources and thinking, to bruit abroad good practice and to affirm what was happening in the diocese, paying particular attention to the good things being achieved against all the odds in smaller charges.  I strove always to affirm and  build up, and to use the principles of Appreciative Enquiry. If that meant the blog was blander and less controversial than some others, so be it; I wrote with a diocesan hat on at all times and with the discipline that goes with that.

I quickly learned never to write in anger – or at least if I so wrote, then never to press ‘publish’ but instead sleep on the offering. I learned, too, the discourtesy of unexplained acronyms and was schooled by the cognoscenti in the art of blog style - though they never completely managed to eradicate my penchant for exclamation marks. Pattern began to emerge in the form of the ‘The Monday Article’ and ‘Wednesday Prayer matters’. The blog steadily gained a rhythm of its own …

… a rhythm which now slows to a halt. The site itself will remain open as the repository of diocesan workbooks and the like; indeed new items (such as the autumn term’s CMD calendar) will be posted here shortly. But the blog ceases from this moment.

Farewell, dear readers, and thank you. The comments facility will now be switched off, as I would like the news of the blog’s passing to be handled in the manner described below in Bronte’s beautiful prose:

 ‘Mary, I have been married to Mr. Rochester this morning.’  The housekeeper and her husband were both of that decent phlegmatic order of people, to whom one may at any time safely communicate a remarkable piece of news without incurring the danger of having one’s ears pierced by some shrill ejaculation, and subsequently stunned by a torrent of wordy wonderment.  Mary did look up, and she did stare at me:  the ladle with which she was basting a pair of chickens roasting at the fire, did for some three minutes hang suspended in air; and for the same space of time John’s knives also had rest from the polishing process:  but Mary, bending again over the roast, said only – ‘Have you, Miss?  Well, for sure!’

Posted in Writing.

The Monday Article 140

Bishop GregorThere is no contest in my mind as I post my final Monday Article; Bishop Gregor’s homily from the six services that launched our diocesan strategic intention for growth at Pentecost 2011 is the clear favourite. For like all good sermons that are rooted in scripture, its wisdom endures and bears repeating. Indeed I have gone back to it time and time again when working with charges that are embarking on the pathway.

Saturday’s gathering of MAP Facilitators highlighted just how far we have come as a diocese in recent years; the intention is now part of diocesan life and people clearly have the mature confidence to run with the MAP-ping methodology as appropriate in the particular context in which they are working. But it is still good to go back to the beginning at times; to this rallying cry from May 2011.

So my prayer is that you may indeed ‘continue to be encouraged by the God who asks, energized by the God who gives and challenged by the God who breaks through in love and in grace’.

Homily 2011

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Bubbly day in Bearsden

Bearsden 3These photos give you some idea of the good time that was had at All Saints Bearsden yesterday by mission practitioners from the Dioceses of Glasgow and Galloway, Argyll and the Isles and St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane. The value of the day lay in the act of meeting. This was not about training as hitherto; as one participant said afterwards, the MAP Facilitators’ group is one ‘which has come of age and is independent and self-confident’.

Bearsden 1No, the value lay in the sharing across regional boundaries and diocesan boundaries, the pooling of good practice and the exploration of new ideas. As a diocese, we learned much – the fact that St Andrews MAP Facilitators work in pairs was a practice that caused great excitement – and hopefully gave something of value in return.

Bearsden 2A report will be typed up tomorrow and something put on the MAP web site in due course, but for now let the photos be the record of the day.

Especial thanks are due to the Revd Kirstin Freeman for her generous hospitality and characteristic tireless care for us throughout the day, and to the Dean for his kind words and accompanying refreshments – a most unexpected addition to the programme and a most welcome subversion to my planning!

(Thanks to Linda Rayner, member of St Ninian’s Troon and MAP Facilitator for the Wigtown cluster, for these photographs).

Posted in Writing.

Trio of thanks

GH 4At the meeting of the Ministry Advisory Group in the Diocesan Centre yesterday, we noted that two stalwart servants of the work of theological education in the diocese had decided to retire since our last meeting, and we discussed how to record our thanks to them. Graeme Hely has been the TISEC Placement Co-ordinator for the diocese for many years and has done this industriously, organising meetings to set the  attachments up, and delivering the resultant paperwork in a timely and efficient manner. We thank him for this work.

NT 4Nicholas Taylor has worked hard at being the IME Seminar Convenor this past year, putting together an excellent programme of module deliverers and utilising his own immense teaching skills on several occasions. Such a role has also meant him being present in the Diocesan Centre on many an evening through the year. We thank him too for this service.

And while she is (mercifully) not leaving, let us take this opportunity of also thanking Sally Gorton, the TISEC Diocesan Co-ordinator for IME, who does a huge amount of work behind the scenes, tirelessly and with great good humour. (And is a whizz at computing credit points.)

Thank you Sally.

Posted in Writing.

‘To have and to hold – the theology of marriage’

CMIn his address at General Synod following discussion on the subject of same-sex relationships, the Primus commented that ‘there is a need for some material for debate. I think we need to seek some work on the theology of marriage from our Doctrine Committee’.

In that regard it might be of interest to note that the LGBT Anglican Coalition is hosting a one-day conference on the theology of marriage at St John’s Church, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TY on Saturday 27th September 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. One of the keynote speakers will be the Revd Dr Charlotte Methuen of Glasgow University and St Margaret’s Newlands.

The conference is intended to help the discussion around inclusive marriage. Leading contemporary thinkers and theologians will present their understanding of the history and current understanding of the theology of marriage. Keynote speakers will ask whether it is legitimate to include same-sex relationships in the definition of marriage, and if so, how that might affect the church’s attitude and practice. Workshops will look at specific questions; the Bishop of Buckingham and the Revd Rosie Harper, for instance, will ask how patriarchy has affected our understanding of marriage, and Scott Peterson will consider how the Church is affected by the new law permitting same-sex marriage.

Register via Eventbrite.

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That they may be one…

Pauline books 2One of my favourite haunts in Central Glasgow has been the Pauline Bookstore in Royal Exchange Square; just a hop and a skip from the Diocesan Centre and a tempting repository  – purveyor rather! – of theological books and cards for every occasion.

The staff are an amazingly friendly bunch, always ready to help customers and go the extra mile in so doing, and with an unerring ability to have time for conversation across the counter.

Over the years we have had memorable conversations – about everything from the Papal Mass in Bellahouston Park  (Benedict XVI), the election of his successor, the Clutha tragedy, Cath Kidston handbags, the ordination of women (ours; their hope) and the vocational diaconate (theirs; our emerging reality).

Today when I was in buying a bunch of ordination anniversary cards, I explained it would be my last visit to the shop before beginning to work ‘across east’; instantly they said they would pray for the staff and students of SEI, and asked that I would continue to hold them in my prayers.

Bless you, Carol and your colleagues, and thank you for all you have taught me about the joy – and the pain – of ecumenism; the reality of unity and of division.

Posted in Writing.

Addition to the Diocesan Mission and Ministry Library

Rt Revd Jonathan BaileyThanks to the kindness and thoughtfulness of the Revd Cedric Blakey, Vice-Provost, the Diocesan Mission and Ministry Library will today receive a huge addition to its stock. The books listed in the catalogue below come from the library of the late Bishop Jonathan Bailey KCVO, Bishop of Dunwich from 1992 to 1995 and Derby from 1995 to 2005.

Our huge thanks to the Revd Susan Bailey for this very thoughtful bestowal of her late husband’s books and to Cedric, who worked as Bishop Jonathan’s Domestic Chaplain 1997 – 2005, for his part in suggesting and organising the bequest.

Bishop Bailey Library Bequest

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Moluag of Lismore, Bishop

St Moluag'sToday is St Moluag’s day, Bishop of Lismore, Apostle of the Picts and Patron Saint of Argyll.

Moluag was an Irish noble, educated in Bangor, Ireland, under Saint Comgall. Tradition states that a rock on which Moluag was standing detached itself from the Irish coast and he drifted across to the island of Lismore. Fabulous!

According to the Irish Annals, Moluag beat Saint Columba in a race to the Lyn of Lorn in Argyll (Lismore). After founding a monastery on the island, Moluag went on to found two other great centres at Mortlach and Rosemarkie. He died in the latter on 25 June 592.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Moluag, having been ordained on his day twenty-one years ago. I am fond of the solid little church named after him in Eoropaidh at the Ness of Lewis, a still point in the turning world where prayer has remained valid over the windswept centuries, a serious house on serious earth.  I’m fascinated by the Bachul Mor, St Moluag’s pastoral staff, fleetingly seen at Consecrations in the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. And I love the fact that he is invoked on the Isle of Lewis against madness.

Posted in Writing.