Showing posts from April 21, 2019

The C'S: Canterbury Cathedral, Clifton Down, and Christ Church, Clifton.

The  C'S:  CanterburyCathedral, Clifton Down, andChrist Church, Clifton.

I've told you a bit about my transition into Anglicanism at Canterbury Cathedral, and about the way that the very building spoke to me - saying "come home".

I've also told you about the Bristol Downs (Durdham and Clifton) and  the 441 acres of lovely open space in what is a fair sized City.

Matters came together when on a Good Friday in about 1970,  I attended an evening service at Christ Church, Clifton (which stands on Clifton Down) .

I cannot remember what the preacher said, but I do remember that I left that service knowing without a doubt that G-d, The Holy One, loved me unconditionally.

That tipped the scales.  I began to attend Christ Church just after Whit Sunday  (Pentecost Sunday) in that year.

It was at Christ Church, Clifton that I was Confirmed, and it was from Christ Church, Clifton that I was commended for Ordination.

My Dad and Mum came to the confirmation service. They had been rai…

"We are going Up the Downs" Really?

Bristol, U.K.  children are likely to have heard a parent or other adult say "We are going Up the Downs". 

'Tis poor English, but it's designed to bring a smile to a child's face.

"Up" is in the sense that Sarasotans might say "up to Bradenton"  (or "down to Naples"), but also in the sense that one has to drive, or walk or cycle up one hill or other to get to the Downs.

But what are the Downs?,  (more accurately Clifton Down and Durdham Down).  

Originally public pasture lands,  they are 431 acres of open land on the north west of Bristol,  land which is designated for the recreational use of citizens and visitors in perpetuity.  

From the 1830's onwards the Bristol districts of Westbury Park, Henleaze,  and Redland were being developed as fashionable districts for the growing middle classes, (merchants, doctors, lawyers etc).

Clifton and Sneyd Park were being developed  for the very wealthy who desired their mansions.

With imaginative …

Not all Muslims are the same. Not all Christians are the same. Not all Jews are the same.


Do not, upon pain of bearing false witness, speak of "The Jews", "The Muslims", or "The Christians" as if  all Jews were the same; all Muslims the same, all Christians the same.

To do so would reveal our intellectual laziness.

To do so would reveal that we are trapped by our own small minded prejudice.

Many Sri Lankan Christians were recently murdered in a series of ghastly suicide bombings.  It is widely believed that the murderers were Muslims.

But I remind you that not all Muslims are the same.

Here is a "healing" and gracious response to the horror from some Sri Lankan Muslims.

Oh the sadness of five tragic deaths in Berkshire County, MA

Below you will see three obituaries as published in the Berkshire Eagle today (April 25th).

One is is for three Karpinski children, one for their mother Justine Wilbur, one for their father Luke Karpinski.

Each died under totally tragic circumstances.

I knew Mum and Dad, Justine and Luke, many years ago when they were High School sweethearts and Luke was receiving treatment in a Boston Hospital for leukemia. Justine was his constant bedside companion.

In 2002 I officiated at their wedding.

Please pray for their extended families.

There is no need to reply to me about this  - I shed my tears when I heard about their deaths during my March trip to Texas

If this link does not work you can search for the obits in today's (April 25th)  Berkshire Eagle.


I was with my good friend Michael Vono  (then Rector at St. Paul's within the Walls Episcopal Church, Rome, Italy -  later Episcopal Bishop of the Rio Grande)

We were on a tour of classical Greece.

On the morning of 23rd April we were at Delphi, that home of the ancient and intriguing gods.

Our splendid tour guide told us that we were very near to a small town named St. George's  (in English), maybe Agios Georgios (in Greek).

Would we like to go there to observe the locals on their feast day? Would we?  We jumped at the chance.

We saw the row of Greek widows dressed all in black as they watched the goings on and doubtless made funny or sarcastic comments to each other.

We saw the old men, dressed in street clothes (with flat working men's caps) as they, already well oiled, danced in the street and fired their rifles into the air. (Food for the widows' chatter!)

We saw the young women and men, all beautifully and handsomely decked out in (Greek) National Dress.  (In truth ther…

Of Simple Meeting Houses and Grand Cathedrals


Easter Fare 2019