Tuesday, June 09, 2009

How do you do outdoor liturgical fire?

A practical worship question:

I'm going to do a Summer Solstice Worship in a couple of weeks and want to do it (or start it at least) outside the chapel on our forecourt. I want to light a flaming chalice or fire of some kind but wonder how to do this 1. safely and 2. in a way that won't just blow out in a gust of wind, as a candle might.

Any ideas?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Accord Coalition: changing the terms of the debate on faith schools

Sometimes it's worth saying when something is brilliant. The Accord Coalition is brilliant and I really want to celebrate it.

For many years I've wanted a group like this to be campaigning for reform of state-funded faith schools in this country. It's simply unfair, unjust and unchristian for schools funded by all to be only available to some. Everyone's taxes go to support these schools and yet these schools, to a greater or lesser extent, discrimate against people not of their own faith. How Christian is it for Christians to keep the best schools (and they do argue they are better schools) to themselves? I understand Christianity to be about putting others first, service, making the last first. Yet we have people in this country defending their right for Christian-only (or majority) schools. This ain't right.

And now there's the Accord coalition, a multi-faith coalition of groups arguing from a faith and ethical base against the systematic injustice of this system. I'm hoping the terms of the argument are changing and the defenders of faith schools can no longer claim that the only people against this system are "hardline secularists."

There's been a few letters in the Times about this, here's how the debate's been going.

Multifaith plea: State-sanctioned discrimination must not continue

Faith schools and contraditions

Faith and confusion

Wednesday, June 03, 2009