Archbishop Jonathan Blake

The Most Reverend Jonathan Blake, Presiding Archbishop of the Open Episcopal Church B.A. (Hons), Dip. Pastoral Studies. Bishop's Haven, 105 Danson Crescent Welling DA16 2AS U.K. Mobile: 07767 687711 www.bishopjonathanblake.com bishopjonathanblake@ntlworld.com www.openepiscopalchurch.org www.twitter.com/bishopjonathan The Church is a member of The International Council of Community churches and the World Council of Churches. Married with 5 children.

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Location: London, Kent, United Kingdom

Gassed in Tehran, seized in Kabul, helped Mother Teresa, almost murdered, raised £300,000, ordained 1981, street sleeper, pilgrim to Auschwitz, Kenya + Pakistan 4 peace, began 1st inter-faith NHS chapel, wrote text on Parliament, arrested, relinquished his 12 year Anglican post 2 be independent, baptised 1000's in homes, on Mt Snowdon + in circus ring, did wedding underwater, wrote ‘For God’s Sake Don’t Go To Church’, nailed 95 Theses to Canterbury cathedral, arrested, co-founded the Society for Independent Ministry, was consecrated a bishop, co-founded the Open Episcopal Church, did 1st gay wedding on prime time TV, sued Associated Newspapers 4 defamation, co-consecrated 1st women bishops 4 England. Wales + Scotland, accommodated the homeless, took Mass 2 sex workers + posted it, elected Archbishop, arrested 4 taking kids on roof, not charged, founded ‘When No One’s Watching', became an ICV, did Jade Goody's wedding , invited 2 Downing St, wrote 'That Old Devil Called God Again', arrested 4 times campaigning against child abuse, had harassment conviction quashed on appeal, appealing a conviction for breaches of restraining order 2 stop a paedophile

Thursday, March 26, 2009

NATIONAL PRAYER FOR JADE

Dear God of Love
Thank you for Jade
Bless her in Paradise
Our 'brightest star'.
Be with Jackiey, Jack, Bobby and Freddy
And all her family and friends in their grief.
Comfort all those who mourn
And may the example of Jade’s courage in adversity,
Humour in the face of suffering and sheer love of life
Turn our sorrow into joy and our tears into laughter.Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

JADE - THE PEOPLE'S SAINT

Some have decried the idea of Jade as a Saint yet she has become an inspirational figure for so many.

She overcame the immense difficulties of her childhood. She displayed a raw genius, surprising us with her disarming personal honesty, broad grin and mischievous humour. Her vivacity, zest for life and originality have entertained and energised millions. In difficulty, when accused of racism she gave the most heartfelt apology ever seen in modern public life and set about making reparation.

Jade stands out as an iconic figure in our cynical age of how, irrespective of the circumstances, one can avoid replicating the worst and instead aspire to and achieve the best.

She demonstrated a holiness that was real and accessible and that has touched so many lives for good. Now tens of thousands of women across this country will have smear tests and thousands, with early treatment, will eradicate their cancer; hundreds of destitute and orphaned 'railway children' in India have received her charitable help; she lit a torch, visible across the world, of hope, resilience and faith, even amidst the gathering darkness of her imminent death; she did her utmost to provide for her children's well being in the future, providing them with opportunities she never had; she laughed in the face of death and gave all those who are battling cancer an example of how best to make the most of their final days; she broke the final taboo and prompted us all to think and speak about dying and death; she confessed her faith and was confident of heaven and promised to stay close to her loved ones beyond the grave.

Some have carped that Jade wasn't perfect. No one is. St Peregrine, the Patron Saint of those with Cancer wasn't perfect. He was born in Italy around 1265, a hot headed political activist, who resorted to violence but then made good and became a faithful though eccentric Christian. Those who have prayed for his help have been hepled.

I think that Jade's grave also will become a shrine and that many with Cancer and other troubles will pray to her, as well as to St Peregrine, for help and be comforted.

May God bless Jade as she has blessed us.

Friday, March 20, 2009

THE STOLEN YEARS - Sean Hodges

How can 27 years be replaced? Who has the right to remove a man's life, deny him his children and grandchildren and send his parent's to the grave knowing their son is in prison for murder?

Is it the police, the judiciary, the forensic science service or some other toxic mix of officials making mistakes that cost others their lives?

I shudder each time I read that someone has been sentenced, because while it may appear superficially that justice has been done and society is a safer place, my doubts remain. Am I witness to another murder, the resolution of which will only be achieved in an appeal court's decision 27 years hence?

Except with this murder, no one is charged. The police, the judges, the forensic science service and others can play with their children and grandchildren and nostalgically recall their life's memories. After all, do they muse, a large compensation award will make up for their mistakes?

Our 'civilised' society can no longer tolerate these aberrations.

Perhaps there needs to be an independent appeal body set up to scrutinise routinely every sentence. Then those which are unsafe may be detected sooner and those who may have played their part in a miscarriage of justice might face penalties themselves.