Month: November 2012

Take a look at our ethical online store.

Have a look at some of the bargains in our online store. Everything you buy helps Activate, as well as those who create the products in developing countries.

* I try to buy local or global with my presents. Either I walk to my local town centre shops and buy from independent traders or I buy from the internet with companies that are doing something for charity, fairtrade or poverty. I am delighted that the last few presents I have bought have been through Ethictrade and Achkiy and that I could buy them in the Activate online store with sale prices and a donation going to Activate!

I have bought a belt for my 16 year old son, not normally that exciting a present but when the rest of my family spied it before it was wrapped they were all amazed. It is made out of a bicycle wheel with the tread and smell all still there, plus a smart buckle. My son is a keen cyclist and I think will be delighted. I have also bought some beautiful scented cube candles. And a gorgeous Achkiy bead and ribbon black necklace. The goods arrived quickly and the packaging meant they were all in good condition.

General Synod’s Decision … and My Decision

Even if you don’t attend an Anglican Church you will surely have heard about the vote regarding Women Bishops on Tuesday. Maybe you might find yourself in a conversation about it or being asked ‘why doesn’t the Anglican Church allow Women Bishops?’ The answer is that it does! In principal anyway. It simply hasn’t yet been able to agree a formula for adequate supervision/provision for those (few) churches who don’t believe a woman should be a Bishop (nor a priest for that matter). It’s very difficult holding together people with such varying views in one church but that’s been our challenge and our sticking point. There is now a huge will to resolve this sooner rather than latter so here’s hoping. Meanwhile I blogged my thoughts the morning after the vote…

Yesterday the General Synod voted on the admission of women to the episcopate. I began the day much earlier than I’d hoped after a restless night, so it was in the early hours before dawn that I spent a lot of time wondering what the day would bring.

I knew there was a real possibility that the measure would not get passed and wondered how we would all be feeling at the end of the day.




For the last 4 or 5 years more women than men have been ordained to the priesthood. This does not mean we are a majority, not even close, I don’t mean to mislead you. But without women stepping up to lead, the church would be ‘somewhat stretched’. Sadly almost two thirds of those ordained women serve the church in an unpaid capacity. I say ‘sadly’ not in anyway to (further) undermine or criticise the ministry of my sisters who serve God and their congregations so selflessly. But I can’t help be sad about what that statistic says about where the real power lies in the church of England.

To the rest of the world we look desperately out-dated. Even to ourselves we appear inconsistent because it had already been agreed that women do have the right to become Bishops, what was at issue was the protection of those who disagree.

So we have bent over backwards to love and accommodate a different ‘other’. Surely this has always been the Christian way? And that is the only shred of comfort I take from this situation.

We may well be misunderstood and it does appear ridiculous that 72% of Synod can support the measure but it still doesn’t get passed and this is a matter to be addressed in due course. (Pray for the new Archbishop).

But yesterday morning it was the words emblazoned in gold on the ruined cathedral that stands next to my diocesan cathedral in Coventry that gave me strength.

‘Father forgive’

Whenever we feel powerless, misunderstood, backed into a corner, undermined, abandoned or unappreciated we need to remember that Jesus felt all of those things. He didn’t even have the comfort of a few close friends who understood what he was doing and why he was doing it.

He didn’t get the chance to explain to his followers why he appeared to be letting them down (‘No, really this is for your own good!’) But he still found the courage to give his life anyway and to even to forgive those who hammered in the nails. And that is the power that remains to us when all other powers are taken away: we still have the choice to forgive.

We still have the choice to work lovingly even for those who appear to reject us.

Lord, give us the grace to follow in your footsteps and forgive,

bring healing to your church and may we be willing to be instruments of that healing. Amen?

P. S. There was, of course, the resurrection…

From the Ordinary to Eternal Matters

“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering… fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out” Romans 12v1&2 The Message

Such a reminder that we need focus on eternal matters in all things, however small and ordinary. God will not only change us but also the people we meet day by day.

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