One of the features of Fr Peter Maher’s funeral this week was (as in death so in life!) the powerful struggle within it between two forms of Catholicism - one in which I passionately share spiritually (with others of other labels); and the other still addicted to power rather than justice, law rather than grace, patriarchy rather than the dynamic mutuality (with appropriate recognition of charisms) of the priesthood of all believers...
Different faces of rural England are marked strikingly by this little stretch of road known as Chapel Street in Market Rasen, The central feature, alongside the trees, is the impressive Methodist Chapel (a witness both to the continuing powerfully transformative faith of John Wesley (here in Wesley's own county and so far beyond), and to the temptations of renewing movements of living Christianity to risk becoming somewhat 'respectable' and just 'another Church'). I used to fold and staple the Methodist Circuit magazine for distribution when I was a child - I guess, thinking back, that was my first significant ecumenical ministry?! A little unusually, the war memorial stands by the Chapel not the (Anglican) Church - a symbol perhaps of the strength of Methodism in the hearts of so many people.
It is so lovely to see the old Liberal Club again too - built in 1908 during the time of Britains's first great reforming government - a reminder of how British Liberalism (such a different thing from Australian forms) was, and still partly remains, the carrier of rural radicalism (land, people and liberty). The physical connection with nonconformist religion is so very striking here
Meanwhile, the station entrance is a reminder of the great changes brought to this place and its land by the modern age - and a gateway to wider freedom and new and different worlds for some (of us) #landandplacescarryinghistory #ourlittletiown
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.