About Time

At half-term, I was less stressed and less relieved to have the break than in years past. When we broke up for Christmas today, I was ready.

The Autumn term is almost always the longest. Sometimes the Summer term is as long, but the Year 11s leave about half-way through and the Year 10s leave temporarily for work experience. Summer term is also bathed in daylight. There is something about the sun having been up for five hours before school starts with another five or six after the final bell sounds. In the first term, the days just get darker and darker, until headlights are on full beam pulling into the car park and back on regardless of how early an escape is made.

It also used to be that the Year 7s were only beginning to find their feet by Christmas and those whose behavioural conformity is going to be challenging in post-pubescent years were beginning to make themselves known. Now bad seeds are clearly identifiable by Year 6 Day in the previous summer and they have begun to infect the others with disrespect and disregard for authority on contact. Every year there are more inherently difficult Year 7s  and the infection spreads quicker.

Christmas is a welcomed break. Western Easter comes early this year, so the Spring term will be more of sprint.

Alternative Profession of Faith

It started with the Archbishop of Canterbury dismissing the story of the Wise Men as legend. Fortunately, upon closer inspection he agrees with Matthew’s Gospel that “they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that’s all we’re really told.” It the bits about there being three of them or being kings that he says are legend. Actually, I don’t even think those things rate as legend.

But as Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times,

Although he believed in it himself, he advised that new Christians need not fear that they had to leap over the “hurdle” of belief in the Virgin Birth before they could be “signed up”.

So we know where Rowan Williams stands on the essentials of the faith.

Since baptism is how you get “signed up”, I thought Williams couldn’t be correct, as I recalled you have to profess the Apostle’s Creed during the baptismal liturgy in the C of E. Not any more. There’s a “Alternative Profession of Faith”. I’m sure it’s been there for quite some time. When it comes to Jesus, all you do is listen to the question, ” Do you believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature, died for us and rose again?” then answer “I believe and trust in him.” No need to believe in His Lordship, His conception by the Holy Spirit, His virgin birth, his suffering, His Ascension, His present mediation at the right hand of thr Father, His Second Coming, or Final Judgment.

This raises one tiny question. Is the Church of England a Christian church?  I’m not saying it isn’t – just asking the question. Can it make certain fundamentals of the faith optional?