The Nigerian novelist and poet Ben Okri wrote an article for Tuesday’s Guardian newspaper about citizenship, arguing that the failure of a nation begins with the abdication of responsibility to political leaders. Citizenship, he says, is one of the most vexed issues in the human story. Okri is writing about the citizen as a member of the state but he provoked me to turn my thoughts to the intense anger and resentment that erupted following the House of Bishops utterly inadequate response to the debate and vote at the July Synod requesting them to produce a liturgy specifically for trans people.
It’s time to write as honestly and openly as I can about my prayer life as I promised in a recent blog. In the blog I mentioned that I have ideas about how to begin worship in ways that can take people into their bodies, help them ground themselves and connect with their feelings. The ability to become more aware of our bodies, to be grounded and connected with our feelings is for me equally essential when it comes to my personal prayer life. Nurturing interior body awareness has helped me to deepen my confidence that I really am created in the image of God and that God dwells in the core of my being as much as I dwell in the beauty of God’s creation.
In my experience, a paradigm change is taking place in the Church of England, difficult though it is to discern if you look at the central structures of the Church. Change is happening at parish level and in the many friends I have and networks I am part of. Many of my friends have abandoned attendance at or involvement with the Church, despairing of its teaching, worship and leadership and finding it no longer fit for purpose.