A New Fire Of London

 Last Thursday I accompanied 17 clergy from Kristiansand deanery on their coach and lectured, and celebrated Holy Communion  with their dean at St Aidan’s Bamburgh, facilitated by the  new vicar Louise.  Then they walked the island pilgrim posts and got to know the Open gate staff.

On Friday I met with a community leader at London's British Library, and stayed overnight at the Pen Club. This is a Quaker charity and a sign of God's kingdom in London.

At week-end I had a meal with Jonathan Brewster and family at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral and Tania Witter (who enabled us to buy The Open Gate and was co- warden with her late husband Nick for 3 months).  I preached the cathedral  Pentecost sermon on 'A New Fire of London' and gave examples of how the Fire has burned in me and in Aidan and Hilda people in vows who flame and struggle world-wide.  

The sermon ended with these words: 'Recently the Archbishop of York and all the bishops of England’s northern province gathered at Lindisfarne to launch Pathways of Mission. The Archbishop told that story of Aidan and asked us to pray that God’s winds would blow away falsehood and unbelief and blow in the Christian revolution of love that began at Pentecost.

Please pray that the fires of prejudice, fear and false celebrity will be blown away, and that the fires of truth, compassion and fairness be blown in. 

Billy Bragg’s new book The Three Dimensions of Freedom highlights how authoritarians and algorithms threaten democracy. Throughout our world the old structures that safeguard a decent and peaceful world order are under threat by the rise of racism and a Me-first mentality. Bragg suggests that if we are to avoid approaching tyranny, we need to reconnect liberty to equality, accountability and personal responsibility. Many fear that fragmenting tendencies may break up the UK. Billy Bragg also has a song about UK: Its not a proper country, it doesn’t have a patron saint. National newspapers have promoted Saint Aidan as front-runner to become UK’s first patron saint. A fruit of Aidan’s mission was that four previously warring tribes, of different languages, were bound together in the fellowship of the Gospel.'

The previous day I joined the crowds who watched uniformed bands march down the Mall to celebrate the Queen's bvirthday, and waved with a hundred thousand others to all the royals who assembled on Buckingham Palace balcony after a twenty one gun salute in Green Park and a fly past of the Red Arrows.

 On Monday I talked to Pat Lune and her US Spiritual Academy students who purchased many books at Open Gate from Kayleah.

 On Tuesday I lunched and gave a tour to 12 priest/reader bykers from Leeds Diocese, and reconnected with Rev Dr Marcus Losach, who leads USA Celtic lecture tours.  He introduced me to the Dean of Texas Cathedral.

 Tomorrow I drive to our Annual Gathering in Stafford, but first the Open Gate staff take me out to lunch at Berwick Garden Centre. 









Posted at 09:53am on 13th June 2019
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