Thursday, September 20, 2012


I was informed by someone the other day, "It's your turn to post for our wedding anniversary."

This is not an unusual event. It has been much of the pattern for the last 26 years and still is. My mind is often wrapped in reflections on events or dealing with what I think is important. The smaller stuff of life, like remembering to put trousers on before leaving the house or take my medication and occasionally stop working, come home and eat, can all pale into insignificance. So it is highly unlikely, that without this storm tossed relationship as the major part of my life, that I would have survived thus far. Although it has of course seen it's store of troubles, and the year passed hasn't been a pretty one, it is borne of the confidence that is held in each other; to check each others failings and adore them, to understand and feel each others pains and heal them, to share the joys and revel in them, to laugh and to cry together and feel no shame in them.

So, Happy Anniversary, beloved... It's not been so bad...

The Cufflinks - Tracy.


You are my husband, you are my wife
My feet shall run because of you
My feet dance because of you
My heart shall beat because of you
My eyes see because of you
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love, because of you.

Sunday, July 01, 2012


Have managed today to re-establish contact with my colleague from the EU Interfaith Confernece, Hazem from Syria. I am delighted to hear from him considering all that is happening there and wished to share part of our conversation with you.
  • 11 hours ago
    Neal Terry
    • Hazem, I am following the news closely but have not felt able to speak with you about events. It feels wrong for me to comment on such tragic circumstance when I am not in a position to speak with truth or knowledge about it. I have worried about you as I imagine you will be directly involved in picking up the pieces although I'm unsure as to exactly where you are working now. I am praying daily for you your family and for peace in your land.
  • 10 hours ago
    Hazem Youness
    • Dear Neal,, First I would love to thank you very much for your hope, and your asking about me and my Family, and as you know this is the price of freedom ans Justice.
      The syrian People is writing his history, with such bad regime, which they have here in Syria,,
      It's very difficult to see people who you love and trust and care, Killed in front of you becuse they asking for their simple right in our life wich is Dignity, Freedom, Justice, and Equality.
      Keep praying Neal, Not for Me,! but for the Women and Children who are still being killed every day, by this crimenal regime,

      I hope to see you soon (I do not know if I stayed alive or not??)
      But pleas keep talking and writing for this people in the Middle East, in Syria and Palestine and other country who asking for Freedom.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Under orders...

Apparently it's International joke day and I am under orders from beloved to post something jocular for the occasion...I have of course nicked something from anothers Blog which did raise a marginal chuckle. Her Ladyship has a slightly more word-based collection for your titilation.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


In an idle moment of checking on the betting for the next Archbishop of Canterbury, which you can do by clicking on the faux Bishop to the right, I noted that it is also possible to bet on the next Pope. Unsurprisingly perhaps only a few of the names on there mean anything to me. But at the bottom of the list there are a couple of suggestions which made me wonder. Both posted at 1000/1, are Bono and Fr. Dougal McGuire.  Now as much as speculation on either of these possibilities is interesting in and of themselves it occurs to me that the list of candidates for ++Canterbury doesn't include any fictional characters or self important celebs.  this would imply that the bookmakers seem to think the Catholic Community perhaps has a bettter sense of humour than the Anglican. Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CofE response to Equal Marriage Consultation

Bishop Alan poses the question around which I shall attempt to frame my initial thoughts on this report; always a difficult thing for me something of this import usually requires several weeks of thinking before it really kicks in but I do appreciate the value of initial reactions and feedback on my randomness;

(3) What is meant, in a deeper than saloon bar sense, by "complementarity"? If the bishops really believe the potential to consummate a marriage is part of its essence, presumably they now need to act to ban the marriages of various people — old, disabled, vasectomised, post-hysterectomy, etc. etc. Or are they just kidding?

I do think the use of this word is key to understanding this document, the nature of the response and those who drafted it and in thinking of the other issues that are contained. I often feel that in this kind of document that there is usually an appropriated word or phrase which gives the game away and this may be it. The criticism I have read thus far does focus on the capacity of this small group to refer upon itself as the opinion of the C of E without further qualification. I do share in this. These people do not speak for me and I have considered walking away, as others have and will continue to do so. In this they are failing in their first responsibility in a legal sense of complementarity, which seeks first of all to establish as clear a consensus as possible as to what the issues are at hand and what the balance of opinion is.

It makes it damnably obvious that this was written by a bunch of lawyers. Complementarity is a fashionable legal meme in debates on human rights and equality issues, having been appropriated from the debates of the International Criminal Court as to who gets tried where, for things like war-crimes. It describes a debate of the incompatibilities of international law with national law and it's hope is to achieve a state of complementarity between these, not that they become one or the same from nation to nation, but that there is a working arrangement by and of the constituent bodies that is meaningful and avoids conflicts.

Socially, as we are reaching various legal impasse in the debate on individual rights, human rights, equality and inequality, barristers in all fields are turning to talk of 'complementarity' as a source of legal argument. Whilst the opinions expressed are technical and legal the paper is useful to the extent that it does note well the relevant changes that would be required in law to pursue the necessary change. I do hold to this if only for the reason that it provides a plausible deniability for Episcopal embarrassment 'Honest guv, a big boy in a wig did it and ran away!' Too cynical?

I have already commented on another blog, there is no point bleating about the absence of the Love of God or Jesus in this response. It is a consultation on a proposed change in law, the powers that are will hand it to their professional lawyers to deal with and will respond in legal terms. There is no expressed theology in the statement, no debate of homosexuality other than in reference to the legal status. That they have chosen to respond in this fashion is somewhat delimited by the nature of the consultation it does not in any manner excuse the subtext of the response, which is primarily about saying we do not believe in inclusivity, we do not believe in the diversity of creation and particularly in any diversity of thought. Its mindset is very much that which pervades the covenant i.e. Unity = Uniformity. The press response about the established nature of the church is predictable and what the authors of this response will have been depending upon. The recent wave of pomp and circumstance they perhaps hope, will provide some kind of fillip for their argument if it is couched in terms which would raise this kind of spectacle. I would question whether Bishops are aware of how uniquely anachronistic the  CofE has become and how this bald sabre rattling could in fact bring about the disestablishment that they would presumably wish to avoid...perhaps...

There is the biological usage of complementarity, (not definition) and 'tis this, that is liberally sprinkled through the document as the Bishops seek a good legalistic euphemism for saying men's bits are designed to fit ladies bits and you shouldn't be doing anything else with that arrangement. Which owes more to the traditional definition of the word in which 'This port complements the stilton' or 'that handbag really complements those shoes'.  The two becoming one and being something else, a new ensemble, a new flavour, a fresh expression.

The problem is that it is not a particularly useful euphemism and repeats the tired fascination that the simplistically religious have with sex. Within that their analysis of the difficulties faced legally is patently ridiculous. After 20 odd years working with young people on the varied and difficult challenges they face in the modern world, shagging related issues are but one and I have yet to experience a young person who retreats from sexual encounters 'because the law says so'. I've worked with a number of young christian homosexuals who have been beaten into complexes because of the prejudice and abuse that they have faced in the church, but not once has a young person ever told me they have refrained from intercourse because they have a plastic wristband with 'WWJD?' impressed upon it. The world will delightfully continue to have sex whatever Bishops and governments care to say about it.

There is a voluble arrogance in these pronouncements that serves only to enforce the House of Bishops or whoever has approved this statement as severely out of touch in respect of their understandings of history, anthropology and their own faith (certainly the bible). The statement on marriage is biased to the majority view of exclusively 'English' history, the purpose of sex as presented is diminutive in the face of world-wide anthropological studies let alone the people of this country and above all represents the only pure purpose of sex as having babies. Others have listed, as Bishop Alan has above, those who now find their marriage for one reason or another rendered invalid by this definition, including myself and my good lady wife and in this.  I do not see amongst the writers of this response, or those who approved it, any real appreciation of the variety of human life. I would note in passing that no-one seems to have mentioned the several thousand babies that are born each year of intersex determination, Klinefelters syndrome, Swyers syndrome and mosaicism etc. etc., but hey if we did that, we might have to begin to consider that there is not in fact any such thing as 'man' or 'woman' and how could we possibly control anything if we can't label it?..(he commented with an unreasonable amount of sarcasm). There is within human life the possibility to have Stilton without the port and it is possible to just buy the shoes (honest darling you don't need the handbag). I find marmalade complements good pork sausage beautifully but have trouble in making converts.

There is a scientific usage of the word in physics, specifically of the quantum variety, in producing resulting measurements from experiments, good physicists recognise those results are dependent upon and heavily influenced by the type of measuring device used and that these must always be presented in classical terms for comparison across the bases - hence complementary.  Like with like comparisons, because at a quantum level, arguing about inches and centimetres just doesn't cut it.
The criticism I have read thus far does focus on the capacity of this small group to refer upon itself as the opinion of the C of E without further qualification. I do share in this. These people do not speak for me. And I have considered walking away, as others have and will continue to do so. Their 'measuring machines' are different from mine. Even this difference is part of the joy of God which is held in diversity. It is my sadness that whilst I can hold and appreciate difference in others as part of the essential wonder of the creation, they can not or will not.

The unwillingness to countenance change to law whilst using that same law as a reason for not engaging meaningfully in change is the singularly most Pharisaic of acts, prefigured in the attempts to redefine the nature of definition itself. Oh whited sepulchre.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Long Term Conditions Consultation

Experimenting with Google Docs.

Written a response today to the Department of Health consultation as to strategy for people with Long Term Conditions. Response is here, should you wish to have a look ( and or if I've got this right.)