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

    Friday, April 06, 2007
    We, too, have been crucified
    Thanks, Andrew Martin, who in today's New Statesman takes his (and my) beloved left-liberal media to task for its negative attitude to Christianity. 'Where have the lefty Christians gone?' he asks, reminding 'the average funky young columnist' that they're forgetting where the philosophical roots of their tradition lie when they mock Cliff Richard whilst neglecting to acknowledge the vital faith which drove Wilberforce, the Chartists, Octavia Hill, Gladstone, Attlee ... and today drives Gordon Brown.

    It strikes me that what he writes about media people could also apply to those funky Emerging / Fresh Expressions Christians devoted to shifting to the shapes of contemporary mores rather than grappling with the realities of historical continuity or the challenges of philosophical integrity. Unlike many of these people, Martin says nice things about clergy:

    I think of the vicars I know, scurrying about from sick visit to charity event in their scuffed Doc Martens and modest estate cars. It's been a very long time indeed since the faith to which they cleave has been a catalyst for violence - not since the Enlightenment at the latest. Today, well, it strikes me that every time I see our parish vicar, I'm on my way to do something for myself (go to the pub, buy groceries) while he's off to do something for somebody else. What salary is he on? Fourteen grand a year? It's not much of a return for an Oxbridge degree. Does he deserve such flak from "progressives" earning five times that in the media? Why are they trying to put the poor bloke out of business? It's not as if he doesn't subscribe to the publications they write for. I know for a fact that he does.

    All this is welcome on a day at the heart of the most demanding week in the church's calendar which for most clergy ends, wracked and sore on Easter Monday morning, with a sense that it is we, too, who have been crucified.