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Songs of Praise, Church in the Woods

Posted by on May 10, 2019 in Blog, Featured, news and events, Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you go down to the woods in May, you are sure of a big surprise! Do you remember this? No, not the tree, but all the people, who came to enjoy singing at the Church in the Wood on the second Sunday in May for the last few years. At 4pm on May 12th 2019 ‘Rev Tim Daykin of Radio Solent fame will be taking the service supported by a 7 piece brass band Do come if you can. It will be a lovely afternoon, so bring a picnic and enjoy it before or after the service in this idyllic...

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Rector’s thoughts for February

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in thought for the week, Uncategorized | 0 comments

In 2007 a lady called Naomi Klein wrote a book called ‘The Shock Doctrine’. Its theme has at its centre the idea that around the world, in Asia, the Middle East, in the United States, and here too in Britain, there are people who are in power that are thriving on, and even exploiting chaos, bloodshed and catastrophe. They do this to remake, reshape our thinking, to use fear as a means of shaping our responses and the limits of our acceptance to circumstance, to their own end. This, at its extreme, results in a reduction in civil liberties, a watering down of the democratic process and perversely with all that has gone on in recent months, the reduction in the freedom of expression. Sometimes it is not simply the terrorist that wishes to exploit fear, but also those seeking greater political autonomy, greater powers for law enforcement, or anyone wanting to obtain ever-larger military organisation and hardware. It is not only the Jihadi we need to worry about now; it is our response to what comes next now the genie is out of the bottle. In light of the events in France in January it seems painfully obvious to me that the people behind the attacks in France were counting on this fear, on a knee jerk reaction to help promote the fear not only from within the liberal western populations they so ardently detest, but also to instil fear into anyone calling themselves a Muslim; to make them fear persecution, isolation and discrimination. The further one can disenfranchise the Muslim, the greater the possibility of recruiting them into the Jihadi world view. A world where you are marginalised and criminalised, where you are convinced that your only escape becomes the demand for Jihad, for war against the western crusaders whose structures, systems and freedoms need to be dismantled and eliminated. Now I know this is all getting very serious, but I wonder if (and those that do I hope you will indulge me) any of you really know what the differences are between Islam and Christianity? What are the distinctions? One particular and central tension between Islam and Christianity is that for Islam the notion of the Incarnation of Jesus is incompatible with the majesty and transcendent power of God. By this I mean that for Islam the human and the divine cannot be compatible. The idea that Jesus is human and divine is idolatrous. God is absolute Lord, and everything is in every way dependent upon Him. At the extreme, everything you do – breathing, walking, thinking, is all dependent upon God. The problem becomes then that this easily leads to the thinking that nothing can be accomplished without relying on God. There is no freedom, no agency; all actions are by and through Him, even the things we would consider to be evil and bad, which then can’t be because they are done by God. The human being becomes an expression and extension of the activity of God, for good and for bad. The distinction between the divine and the human is absolute. This for the Christian is a paradox, and a distinction the Christian would not recognise – it is bad people that do bad things, not a bad God doing bad things through benign humanity. Orthodox Islam sets its face against agency and freedom, agency and freedom we so treasure, and which the hard line Muslim despises. Contrary to what one might think from the Old Testament, or indeed from the Koran because they share the same God at their centre, God does...

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