Showing posts with label Jonathan Hagger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jonathan Hagger. Show all posts

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Cartoon by Jonathan Hagger (aka MadPriest)

A memory supplied by Facebook from four years ago. The cartoon is, for the most part, an insider for Episcopalians and Anglicans about the odious Anglican Covenant that former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and certain other Primates in the Anglican Communion attempted, unsuccessfully, to foist on the rest of the churches in the Communion. The rest of us were, in the main, not having any of it. The coup de grâce was delivered by diocesan vote in the Church of England, Rowan Williams very own church, a sweet victory.

Archbishop Justin Welby summoned the Primates of the Anglican Communion to a meeting at Canterbury in January 2016, and, according to The Living Church, there are those who will try to resuscitate the covenant as a primatial option at the meeting. Of course, the primatial option will be meaningless in the Episcopal Church in the US and in many other churches in the Communion.
Something very much like the Covenant remains, in Oliver O’Donovan’s memorable phrase, “the only game in town” (originally said of The Windsor Report), for the simple reason that it delivers a synthesis of Anglican thinking about the Church wrought as a vision for the future. The alternatives to the Covenant school are amnesia at best, innovation at worst — of an invisibilist or otherwise weakened sort that perceives the Church as simply affective gathering in mission across difference. In ecumenical terms, the pressure to opt for mere “Life and Work” would have us surrender the upward call to a common “Faith and Order,” as if the two are separable.
I'll just say the covenant is not for everyone and refer to Mark Harris at Preludium for further commentary in his post titled Flogging the dead horse "Anglican Covenant".
So the Anglican Covenant is being touted again as a way forward in deepening communion. Who knows if the Primates meeting will take up again the somewhat tattered and torn text of the Anglican Covenant.  Who knows if that meeting will pay attention to TLC's editorial opinion concerning their work. We shall see. 
In the vein of my earlier statement above:
The notion of a "Preferential option" by the Primates for the Anglican Covenant makes it appear that somehow the Primates could decide on their own to declare for the Anglican Covenant.  I suppose they could. But they cannot declare for their churches.  Oh, in some Provinces where the Primate exercises extraordinary executive authority, I suppose they could. But most Churches are guided in polity questions by some sort of synodical processes. So a "Primatial Option" would be the opinion of the primates. Unless it were a unanimous vote for support it would simply affirm that the Anglican Communion is no where near a place of agreement on the Anglican Covenant. Most disturbing is the idea that this title puts forth: namely that a "Primatial option" even exists. There is no common agreement that statements by the Primates on any matter stand separate from the ACC and the decisions by the member churches. "Primatial option" is a really bad idea. It smacks of a primatial preemption.
Exactly.  The piece in TLC mentions "The Virginia Report" and "The Windsor Report", which are history that I assume the writer wishes were not, and the two are reports, just that, and non-binding on any of the churches in the Communion.  I had to search for "The Virginia Report", from 2007, because I did not know what it was.  No, I did not read it all.
In sum, whatever else happens to the Anglican Covenant, I hope the Primates will spend as little time in trying to revive the horse as possible and more time in such difficult tasks as looking to common core concerns.
Indeed.  Let it be so.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Jonathan Hagger on Facebook:
Following the Holy Spirit's destruction of his personal tower of primatial babble, Archbishop Ozymandias should resign today, and stand down today. He has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds (probably millions) flying theologians and bishops round the world, arranging conferences etc., etc. which, as Jesus Christ said, should have gone to the feeding of the poor or the spreading of the Gospel.

But there is another reason why he should stand down now. He has spent the last six or so years acting as if the Covenant was already in place. He sacked theologians from communion think tanks, he banned a duly elected (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit which has been proved conclusively by time) bishop from attending the Lambeth Conference. He has flown all over the world bossing other provinces around. He has been a despot.

And his church has overwhelmingly told him (and their friends throughout the world) that this is not the style of church and church leadership that it wants or considers in keeping with its catholic/protestant identity. Therefore, his church has told him that everything he has done over the last six years has been bogus. Can he carry on with such a complete lack of confidence in him as shown by those he is supposed to SERVE? Well, if he was a politician he would be out. As he is a Christian bishop and we are Christians, we will pretend this covenant thing didn't happen and let him enjoy his hobnobbing with the Queen this year.

Rowan Williams was not a good archbishop. He was a lousy archbishop. Possibly the worst archbishop this country has known since archbishops of Canterbury stopped launching bloody crusades against other countries (which I believe was at the end of the 14th. Century).
Now I didn't write the words above; I merely copied and pasted, so don't blame me.  I don't even know enough about the history of the Church of England to vouch for the final paragraph.  See?

Jonathan (aka MadPriest) blogs at  Of Course, I Could Be Wrong....

Friday, March 9, 2012


Available by monthly subscription at a cost of just of just £2.49 (slightly less than $4.00) per issue. Subscriptions can be cancelled at any time.


Click over to St Laika's Shoppe for details and links to subscribe or purchase the Kindle version.

Jonathan's alternative services for Holy Communion are lovely. The collects, intercessions, post-communion, and other prayers blend with Lectionary readings from the Scriptures of the day and flow smoothly into the eucharistic service. The prayers for Holy Week are especially moving and truly fine work. I know Jonathan, and, since he's a bit of a rogue, I wrote to ask how he could write such beautiful prayers. His response to me makes very good sense: "I think you have to be a rogue to write good prayers. If I was holy, I could only write 'God is wonderful' stuff. When I pray I am praying for myself and, being fully aware of my shortcomings, I am actually grateful for what Jesus has done for me."

Clergy looking for alternative services would do well to give them a try. Lay church-going folks may wish to pass them along to their pastors or just use the prayers at home outside of church services. I subscribed in the PDF version, and I highly recommend them.

Jonathan Hagger blogs by the name of MadPriest.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Jonathan Hagger aka MadPriest says:
Yes! Good news, everybody.

To help in my promotion of "New Words For Holy Communion," my podcasts and Ellie's "The Anchorhold," I have invested in a real website with a real domain name and everything. Over the last few weeks I have been building it up which explains why things have been a bit quiet around here. I'm sure I will need to tweak it over the coming weeks and months but it's okay for now. It's user friendly, informative and funny (just like it's two hosts).

So, please, please CLICK HERE and check it out. Browse the different pages. Click on the links to make sure they are working. Join in the conversations at The Forum and/or start a new one. Download some stuff and subscribe to "New Words" if you think it would be useful to you.
G'wan click the link. You know you're curious. I mean...what could it hurt?

MadPriest said to promote, and I'm promotin'.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


From Jonathan Hagger aka MadPriest:

My new project.

A monthly, downloadable resource providing prayers, intercessions, acclamations, biddings and blessings for use in the eucharistic services of the church.

Each issue will contain material for every Sunday and every principal feast during the month.

All the material is strongly linked to the gospel reading of the day based on the Common Lectionary. It is a truly international and ecumenical resource but it also provides extra material for national peculiarities such as Mothering Sunday in England.

I have tried to reflect, in a modern way, the words and meter of our traditional prayer books. I have also made sure that the new words will fit seamlessly into all orders of service so that congregations will not be confused or worried about changes and innovation.

For a sample copy of the material for the
Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary

I read the sample copy of the service for the Annunciation of Mary, and it is, as it has already been described, "quite good". Jonathan adds:
Please feel free to print it and use it. It's already formatted for A4 paper in nice large print so even oldies with poor eyesight, like me, can read it easily in church.

The cost of each monthly issue is only £2.49 (just less than $4.00 U.S.). It is available by monthly subscription but you can cancel your subscription at any time - there is no minimum subscription period. Payment is via PayPal but you do not need a PayPal account of your own to subscribe. Subscribers will be sent each new issue approximately one month before the month covered.
Subscribe at Jonathan's blog, Of Course I Could Be Wrong...

Saturday, July 30, 2011


The post on the Irma Thomas concert at the Sage in Newcastle Upon Tyne is in my head begging to come out, so I will write about the next-to-last big event of my trip first...well not quite first...I had to get the whine out of the way. People thought I was crazy to go to an Irma Thomas concert in Newcastle, when she performs in New Orleans upon Mississippi quite often, but I thought it would be cool to hear the Soul Queen of New Orleans in England and to see the audience reaction over there. MadPriest accompanied me, or rather he drove me in his car. And it was beyond cool. I made no mistake.

Before Irma took the stage, a 'Gospel choir' performed. As the choir came onto the stage, my first, shocked thought was, "They're WHITE!" All right, they were fronting for the Soul Queen, and I expected a black Gospel choir. Silly me. Still, the all-white choir seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves singing soul and blues music.

Next up was the Soul Rebels Brass Band out of New Orleans, and they were excellent. Now we're groovin'! I probably lost a good portion of the little hearing that I have left listening to them, but it was worth it.

Then comes the Divine Irma. I did not know her age at the time of the concert, but I thought she was at least 10 years younger than I, but Thomas is 70 years old! Only 6 years younger, and what energy! And she was off to London to perform at the Barbican Centre the very next day.

Irma and her band put their whole hearts and souls into their performances. She loves her audiences and spends herself for them, and the folks in Newcastle returned her love in abundance. She had her cheat sheets along, her binder with the lyrics of all the songs she's ever recorded, and she took requests from the audience and sang as many of the requests as could be fit into the time. To see the interactions amongst Irma and the members of her band is amazing. They're together as a team in a smooth flow that is a joy to witness.

When I hear soul music with a dancin' beat, it's really hard for me to sit still in a seat, so I was thrilled when the folks in front of me stood up, and I could stand and MOVE in time to the music. I passed a good time; I did.

Earlier in the day, I asked MadPriest if he had a white handkerchief I could borrow. I meant to bring one of Grandpère's with me, but I forgot. When MadPriest asked what I wanted with the handkerchief, I told him that around these parts, it is customary to stand up and wave a white handkerchief in time to a song with a fast beat when Irma performs. He said, "You won't; not with me." Heh, heh. I forgot all about the handkerchief, but I had white tissues. At some point, I got out my tissue and began to wave it. I didn't care if MP was embarrassed. I was gonna do it. I HAD to do it. MadPriest said the bass player gave me a thumbs-up, but I missed seeing it. :-( Later in the show, a member of the audience asked for the "handkerchief song", and Irma passed out tissues to the audience to wave as she sang, and I was no longer alone.

Irma's is a niche fan base, but the fans love her, and they are loyal. It's great to see performers give their best and to see the audience respond with love. To you folks who thought I was crazy, I knew what I was doing, and I received my reward. MadPriest, whose standards are high, said it was a wonderful show.

Below is a note to her fans from Irma's website, linked above, which shows that she never forgets them and their part in her success.
Hello to all my Fans,

This year started on a very good note and turned into a great one! Work has been steady, and the awards just keep on coming.

I received an Offbeat Award, A Blues Music Award, Big Easy Award, a Family Services Award (for my Husband and me), The Mo Jo Magazine of London England Legends Award, and the year is not over. I am so blessed.

You the fans have caused me to be in this position and I want to thank all of you for your dedication and loyalty. Without it I could not survive.

To know you have loyal fans all over the would is a humbling experience to say the least. One can not take for granted, not one of you, and I hope I never ever do that in this lifetime.

Just wanting to say thank you again and looking forward to seeing and singing for you in the coming months.

Look for my new CD, "50th Anniversary Collection" - all the greats!

Love Irma
Picture from Wikipedia.

UPDATE: A review of her performance in Newcastle may be found in JournalAlive.

Irma was in excellent form at the Barbican in London according to the review in The Independent.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Pictured above is MadChauffeur, aka as MadPriest, aka Fr Jonathan Hagger, who blogs at Of Course I Could Be Wrong.... When I requested permission to use his picture and told him that the stars of the post would be langoustines, he insisted that if I used his picture, he had to be at the head of the credits, and there he is with his wonderful suntan. Foxy, isn't he? (Psst...his blog is well-titled, as he is often wrong.)

MadChauffeur was the driver for the greater part of our trip in the Northwest of Scotland last August. Links to my other posts on the travels of the Mad Three, MadChauffeur, Cathy, and me, may be found on the right sidebar under the heading "Scotland".

Pictured below are the stars of the post, the mouth-watering, to-die-for langoustines which we ate at Glenuig Inn on the Arisaig Sound. The proprietor, Steve, who was also a bit of a fox, even though he was bald, told us that the langoustines went from the water into the pot. That's how fresh the delicious shellfish were.

The Glenuig Inn offers contemporary-style accommodations, which are nothing fancy, but quite comfortable and clean, and the proprietors make much of being green, which is a good thing, surely. The restaurant serves delicious food, and it is there that I fell madly in love with the savory taste of langoustines. I didn't order them for my first meal, but MadChauffeur did, as a starter, I believe, with only about 6 in his dish, but he didn't like them, so he gave me his leftovers. How could he not like them?!!! Well, you can be sure that for my next meal I ordered langoustines, and perhaps for every meal after that, except breakfast, while we stayed at the inn. As you see below, the buildings are nondescript, but the setting at the end of nowhere is gorgeous.

For most of our stay there, we didn't spend a lot of time at the inn, except in the evening, for we used it as a jumping off spot to visit other places.

Below are the lovely flowers at the front door of the restaurant/pub part of the inn. We saw gorgeous flowers in gardens and pots all over the places we traveled in Scotland.

The adorable boy with auburn curls and a couple of sheep, along with beautiful scenery which surrounds the inn on every side are pictured below.

See the adorable sheep crossing in front of the inn. Cathy, the prime wildlife photographer in our group, was in heaven when the sheep approached, although cows are her first love.

MadChauffeur left us stranded without wheels for a day, as he headed home to Newcastle, so, since Cathy and I did not want to spend money on an expensive taxi into Mallaig, we entertained ourselves in the vicinity of the inn. We wanted to take a nature walk, but it rained all morning, so we were confined indoors, except for a pleasant lunch at the tea shop just a way up from the inn - pleasant except for the moment when a woman at the next table knocked a floor lamp over onto me. Fortunately, only the shade hit me, but I had raspberry-flavored tea all over my jeans.

On the way to the tea shop, we passed the old church pictured below.

The weather cleared in the afternoon, and Cathy and I walked to a beach on a lake (I believe it was a lake, but I'm not sure. It was water, water, everywhere.) not far from the inn, where we had a lovely, peaceful, soothing sit-down in view of the beautiful surroundings.

Note: I'm told the body of water was very likely an inlet of Arisaig Sound.

We sat on rocks just above the scene pictured below. There's something about a beach....

Here I am in the restaurant at the Arisaig Inn. You can see MadChauffeur's shoulder and side, but I feared he'd think more than one photo of himself de trop, so I cropped him out.

The picture to the left has nothing to do with our time in Arisaig, but I found the photo when I was searching for a picture of langoustines, and I could not resist posting it here. It's a Scottish dish called Tian of White Crab. I had the starter at a restaurant in Tobermory upon the recommendation of MadChauffeur, and, once again, it was food for the gods, food to die for. Can you tell I'm a foodie? Have I rhapsodized enough over the food in Scotland for you to know how much I enjoy good dining?

The following morning, Cathy and I left for the Isle of Skye, where we hired a car, and Cathy drove for the rest of our trip. Several posts on our travels and dining on the Isle of Skye may be found in the list under the "Scotland" heading on the sidebar.