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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, August 17, 2002
    Two odd-God-bods

    He's a cheeky man, Martin Wroe. Today I relived the pleasure of his GB2000 conversation with Rowan Williams, the one in which Martin predicted that the next Archbishop of Canterbury would be a holy man, holy as indicated by the wearing of a large beard. Williams received this with generous good humour, as he did throughout an hour of quips from his irreverent interviewer.

    Listening to this on in-car cassette, there were tears of joy in my eyes, literally and dangerously, in contraflow on the M62 as I relived the moment when Rowan was asked to justify theologically his admiration for the Simpsons: "Probably the best answer to that is 'Doh!'." The joy increased as I heard him mock himself and his position with comments about the 'interestingly-named' 'Primates meeting' - "social grooming, a competition for the position of dominant male". And my heart warmed at his passion for the church taking a proper position on the arms trade - describing the time a bishop told him a discussion on the subject in the Lords had been 'a good debate' Williams' response was to say that 'a good debate' was just not good enough - he's looking for "public anger" on the issue.

    Thank God for Williams and Wroe today. The Williams who encouraged his GB audience to keep trying new ways of being church because the church's so-called 'timeless traditions' mainly originated between the 1890s and the 1950s; the Wroe who immediately jumped in by asking, "Is Graham Kendrick that old?" Anticipate with glee the opportunity to hear these two odd-God-bods again next weekend, by which time they may have revised their under-ten-words description of Christianity, which they were working on in 2000: Williams: "God's love and recreating power in Jesus are never exhausted"; Wroe: "We're all bastards but God loves us anyway - that's only eight."

    I also cried with pride and joy when Everton came out today, for our one hundredth year in the top flight. That went deep; I think perhaps Williams and Wroe, though, go that little bit deeper.