It's Trinity Sunday, which brought Geneva and Ystrad Mynach together in my prayers, as both of these Anglican churches carry this noble dedication. In fact, it's 65 years ago this month that I was baptized in the latter, just a month after my birth. Here's a photo, taken after the event in the back garden of our house in Glen View, (the Graig, Hengoed is in the background), with my parents, godparents (both in uniform), and eldest sister. My other sister June is taking the photograph. After a stressful war keeping coal production on the move in Penallta Colliery, my father, at 42 is going grey and losing hair fast.
Yesterday, I thought about making a little pilgrimage to Ystrad Mynach today for their Patronal Eucharist, but a late night movie 'Fitzcarraldo' (1983), which I'd never seen only heard about, proved such compelling watching that an early start was ruled out, so we went to the Cathedral Parish Eucharist instead.
After the service, I met someone who was rather disquieted by the content of a new blog site satirising Llandaff village clerical life in an offensive, slanderous way. When I got home, I took care to read through all the postings made in the two months of its existence, and was deeply troubled by the tone and attitude taken, as well as by its inability to pose intelligible serious questions for debate. It brings honestly intended critical blogging into disrepute. I left the following comment on the site in question for acceptance or rejection after the most recent posting.
"Scurrilous satire, sniping at the establishment and established religion is very ‘Radio 4’. The Beeb is a founding pillar of modern establishment and democracy. It manages not to take itself too seriously, and for the most part, even if its satirical critique offends, it does not aim to arouse ill will. The same can be said about most blogs offering a humorous take on religion and the church, but alas not this one. The ill will expressed anonymously towards leading churchmen and women under the guise of mockery is designed to hurt not promote debate or reform, to give voice to a kind of spiritual arrogance that betrays the Gospel, and defiles a community struggling to give an authentic witness to faith in today’s hostile climate."
Baptism commits us to fight against evil and follow Christ. Sowing seeds of ill-will by any means is incompatible with this, and just makes it harder to confront the painfully difficult issues Christians are bound to face on the path of discipleship. Someone writing out there has lost the plot, and needs to stop and take stock before firing off again.