For many people, new revelations about former Prime Minister Boris Johnson allegedly entertaining all and sundry at Chequers during Covid restrictions might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Only a few months ago, the sight of him ducking and diving and weaving at the March Parliamentary Privileges Committee Hearing was enough to make even his most seasoned fans squirm. What were these farewell gatherings (parties) for? How many came, and who attended?  How much drink was consumed? Really? Boris, ever-the-bluffer, looks distinctly uncomfortable. Not so much the proverbial rabbit caught the headlights as a single stray hare found out trespassing on the stadium grass when someone turns on the floodlights.

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Education and/or Training: Theological Programming in the Church of England

Thirty years ago, most UK Polytechnics abandoned their name and identity in exchange for becoming a new University.  The government had opened several new universities during the 1960s (e.g., Bath, Sussex, etc.) and in addition had created thirty Polytechnics “in an attempt to ensure working-class communities benefited” from the expansion of higher education. Unlike universities “Polytechnics tended to serve their local communities and offered more vocational-oriented qualifications, accredited by professional bodies”.

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The Revolutionary Seeds of Easter

In a landmark study published in 1960, Isabel E. P. Menzies looked at the symbiotic relationship between nurses and their patients in a hospital. Here A Case-Study in the Functioning of Social Systems as a Defence against Anxiety: A Report on a Study of the Nursing Service of a General Hospital drew on Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Eliot Jaques and Wilfrid Bion, amongst others.  These writers shared broadly similar social and psychological worldviews. Namely, institutions are structures and bodies of containment, there to manage anxieties and (hopefully) prevent chaos.

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Testing Trials, Egregious Errors: Good Friday Reflections

Luke 22: 71a – And they said, “What further need do we have of testimony?”

Matthew 24: 27 – Now when Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; you yourselves shall see.”

A good friend summed up the apparent hopelessness of our position.  She said, “…sometimes, they won’t let you be clergy, much as Bonhoeffer was not allowed be a Lutheran Pastor or the theologian he was called to be”.  She added, “sometimes, all there is to do is stand and face what is coming. You did not choose this path: it is a vocation, and we just cannot imagine the cost.  What is asked of you is not necessarily to fight back, but simply to stand. They will keep attacking. Thank you for not running away….”.

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