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 and a proud Dad.

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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, April 30, 2009

BASRA

179 UK troop deaths has been the human cost and £6.44 bn has been the financial cost of the UK military operation in Iraq as well as approximately 3500 Iraqi civilian deaths according to the BBC. Others claim that the lowest estimates of the Iraqi death toll are around 100000, the highest more than one million. Then there are the 4266 deaths in the U.S. armed forces.

I have great respect for those who have served our country and great sympathy for all those families in the U.K., the U.S. and Iraq who now bear the agony of having lost their loved ones.

In our modern and developed age communication has been found to be at the forefront of progress. Al Jazeera has pioneered a new front in bridging the information gulf between the Christian and Muslim world and between the Democratic and Terrorist communities. This drive to have access to a comprehensive and multicultural perspective on world issues is essential in our pursuit of peace.

We must now open up channels of communication between all groups, however unpalatable that may seem and we must explore a proactive foreign policy that looks to invest £6.44bn or more in goodwill initiatives over the next six years in areas of conflict to try to preempt future hostilities.

Then there may be a hope that deaths will not form part of the budget for future operations.

Monday, April 27, 2009

THE TALIBAN TERROR

The Taliban have executed a man and a woman in Hangu district, about two hours drive from the regional capital Peshawar in Pakistan for an act of adultery.

It behoves us to remember the response of Jesus when a woman was brought before him for the same act and the presenting crowd bayed for her blood.

He reminded them that everyone is imperfect, no one has the right to condemn and our focus must be to improve our own behaviour.

It would be timely for the Media to refer the public to this instructive event which lies at the root of our culture and the evolution of our exemplary national tolerance and understanding of others and their predicaments.

Friday, April 24, 2009

BISHOP JONATHAN'S GOD-WAGON

So Lost in Showbiz wants to know more about my 15 year old 'God-Wagon' and what constitutes a crisis.

Does the story of the Good Samaritan come to mind. It did for me one rain lashed night in the early hours when driving home and I passed stranded motorists but was unable to stop as my car was not marked and I had no supplies to assist. I realised I had to get prepared.

As a cleric I am on duty 24/7 to help those in need and not just spiritually or emotionally but practically too if I can.

And Lost in Showbiz asks what constitutes a crisis?

Well, lets give a few examples of those I have helped. A teenager in the process of being mugged by two assailants. A young Mum in tears stranded on the first lane of a dual carriageway having run out of petrol and desperately worried about the children she had to pick up from school. A motorcyclist knocked off his bike. A drunk man, lying semi conscious on a street verge who needed taking home. A homeless elderly woman on the streets who needed accomodation. A Mum with her baby stranded with a puncture on an icy day and no mobile phone. A young 8 year old lad with learning difficulties who was wandering on the street lost and needed to be taken home to his Grandparents. A couple whose car had spun off the road into a ditch.

Yes, clerics should be the fourth emergency service!

Monday, April 20, 2009

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Democracy thrives on debate. So much has been achieved in the development of our political and cultural life because we have aspired to obtain and then cherished the freedom of speech. The verbal battlefield nudges us towards discovery and possibility. What sense is there then for British and other European diplomats to walk out of the UN Racism Conference? Refusing to talk takes us one step nearer to violence. Further, the points President Ahmadinejad made need to be addressed. We may have clear answers for many of them. Some though may cause us more difficulty, which adds to the impression that the reason for the walk out may be less than worthy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

NICOLA FISHER

A shocking bruise, a shocking cause, a shocking indictment on all of us.

Why does society continually find scapegoats?

Violence, as all manner of good and evil is found within everyone. The choice to put Fisher's treatment down to the good cop/bad cop syndrome is a poor one.

Of course there will be differences in human behaviour but the exercise of power cannot rely upon such variables. Rather any system that distributes power must also contstantly monitor its use. The greatest taboo is to be discovered.

Constant surveillance of all police is now the only possible solution.

THE NEW HIGH PRIEST OF SHOWBIZ

So Marina Hyde's article depicts me. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2009/apr/17/marina-hyde-bishop-jonathan-blake
This celebrity world is a strange one which has a life of its own and one so often divorced from reality. I should remind readers that I did not ask to take Jade's marriage blessing, I was asked. Why, because along the way of my everyday ministry last year I was taking a Baptism for an 'ordinary' family in a garden in Harlow. Kevin Adams, Jade's personal trainer was there unbeknown to me and was moved at the way I conducted the service. When the plans for Jade's wedding arose, he spoke about me and Jade chose me.

My ministry, as that of every cleric, is about helping people. Every person has equal dignity. So whether I am helping a homeless person, an employed person or a celebrity person makes no difference. The significance of the act of human care and christian ministry is the same.

What reality TV has the power to communicate to the public repeatedly is that all life is extraordinary. The moment of metamorphosis comes when a person realises its time to switch off and live their own.

So caustic and sarcastic commentators can continue to jibe and speculate about this cleric caught in the whirlpool of alluring celebrity. However, the truth is that the media circus, fame, money and any recent attention means nothing to me. That's why I happily arrived at Jade's wedding in our clapped out Previa stuck together with duct tape.

I was called by God to be a cleric to serve all people when I was 17. My passion and desire to fulfill that calling only grows stronger with every passing year.

I have a busy year ahead continuing to minister among everyday people and every wedding, every funeral, every baptism, every service I take will mean as much to me and as much to God.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

LAMENT FOR IAN TOMLINSON

PC Thug has struck again.

Another family is grieving at the hands of the police.

If it wasn't for a fund manager from New York who happened to be videoing the events, there would have been no independent evidence to resist the whitewash the police had effected in their report.

The video evidence appears to show unprovoked violence by the police upon a member of the public who had his back to them, was walking away from them and had his hands in his pockets.

In 2006 Plymouth Police Station, Devon and Cornwall Police ran a successful trial on the use of Body Worn Videos. As a result of that trial the Home Office, made available an amount of money for all 42 Police forces to enable each to conduct their own trial on the use of these cameras.

The Metropolitan Police are currently running a Body Worn Video trial at Bromley and Camden Boroughs. The cameras are worn by both police officers and police community support officers.

However the massive flaw in this trial is that the camera is switched on to capture evidence, as the officer considers appropriate. It is not continuously filming. It is switched on at the officer's discretion.

So our money is being used not to protect us but to protect the police. The camera would not be switched on, rather switched off if the police decided to be corrupt or violent.

Additionally, at the moment, under Section 30 of the Freedom of Information Act, the video evidence kept by the police is not available to the public because it is classified as exempt information. This is clearly disadvantageous to the public and undermines the right to the objective information upon which they can protect themselves.

Our campaigning organisation, When No One's Watching.org believes:

-That all police officers must have web cams switched on while in contact with the public.
-That all police vehicles must have web cams switched on when carrying any member of the public.
-That all custody suites and cells must have web cams switched on when any member of the public is present.
-That all web cam content that relates to a member of the public must be made available to that person on request.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

THE RELEASE OF BALLOONS BEARING MESSAGES OF LOVE AT JADE'S FUNERAL

Jackiey has asked me to say some words before we release the balloons.
We’ve just said goodbye to Jade’s poorly body, for which she has no further use.
But she’s not dead and we’ve not left her at the cemetery and these balloons are for her.
So if I may, I’d like these words to be to her.
**
Beautiful Jade, thank you for all you’ve given us,
Your love and laughter
and the magic you’ve woven, as golden thread, into all our lives.
Now your spirit is free,
You’ve soared high through the wide blue expanse of sky
Into the sun’s warmth and the wind’s breath
Past the dance of the stars and the planets.

You’ve crossed the bridge of dreams,
Been reclothed in a new body and fallen
Into the arms of loved ones waiting upon that golden shore

You’re safe
in paradise
and watching with us now.

And oh, how we miss you,
But our love is ever with you
And we know that we will see you, hold you and be together with you again.

So until that halcyon day, our eyes will caress you by night, our ‘brightest star’
Our memories will warm us by day.

And upon these balloons, we’ve written our tear stained jottings

That express our heartfelt and eternal love for you.
*
They bear the kisses of our love to you in heaven
as now we release them.

THE WEDDING BLESSING OF JADE GOODY AND JACK TWEED

God is love and those who live in Love live in God and God lives in them. ( I John)

It was a casual look across a nightclub, a meandering walk to a piano bar,
jugs of drink and a special song; just those fragile and whimsical happenings, that let stardust settle upon your two hearts to change your world.

And so not for you both, on earth alone, do you wish this wedding to be blessed, but in heaven too.

So, hush awhile, and lets create that rainbow bridge; lets cut through with a subtle knife,
by prayer, by grace, to that other world, Oh so near and radiant with light, brimming with love
a paradise awaiting:

Song:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow
strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.
( Helen Lemmel 1922 )

Jade, Jack, let me bear you some romantic words, for you to each other:

I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more I have loved you.
(John Keats)

When I see you, then I feel well again; When you open your eyes, my body is whole again.
(Ancient Egyptian)

I am never away from you. In another world I shall still be the one who loves you, loves you beyond measure, beyond….
(Edmond Rostand)

YOUR WORDS

We chatted together this week. But of all the reasons you shared with me as to why you love each other, none spoke more eloquently than this one. That when you are with each other
you feel complete, you feel safe.

As though the half of you had met its whole. As though that illusive missing part had been discovered. As though, at last, you had found your way home.

READING

So these words are for you, unique special people, as you give your all to each other today.

The life that I have
Is all that I have
The life that I have is yours
The love that I have
Of the life that I have is yours and
yours and yours
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death it will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours
( By Leo Marks: 1943 )

ROY TEN READ FROM 1 CORINTHIANS 13

A READING FROM KEVIN ADAMS

Being with you this week, watching you gaze at one another, vulnerable, tender, giggling, teasing, cheeky; THAT you love one another deeply was vivid, tangible.
So let here then become for you an oasis, a mountain height, a sacred space, a healing garden, a songbird’s theme, within which now to give your hearts.

JACK’S VOW

No-one
has touched my life
like you
No-one
can compare
with you
No-one else
has made my heart leap
and my soul dance
Nor set my mind
alight with joy
In your presence
I have found my rest,
My home and my self.
In your arms,
I have known such peace.
Today I give myself to you
I am yours
And ever shall it be.

JADE’S VOW

You are so handsome to me.
You are my life,
My light,
My hope
And my joy.
I will treasure you.
I will cherish you.
I will be
utterly devoted to you
Through the laughter
and the tears
Through the darkness
and the light
I will be
your eternal love
Your constant companion
Your closest friend
Pledging to you
my deepest commitment
And this is
my solemn vow.

RINGS –

O God of Heaven
By your blessing let these
bands of gold, be to Jade and Jack
symbols of unending love, always to
encircle and enfold their lives.

- Jack give Jade her ring and say whatever you choose.

- Jade give Jack his ring and say whatever you choose.

PLACING OF THE STOLE

Let these hands, as your hearts, as your lives, that God this day has joined together, never be put asunder.

CANDLE LIGHTING

Each of you is a single light shining within this world
(and your light Jade has scattered the darkness and sent the shadows fleeing)
Light then these your candles
Today these lives now joined create a torch of love, burning bright. Let it be symbolised here in the lighting of this wedding candle.And let this flame be rekindled each year, every anniversary, a hand on earth, a hand from heaven; one light, one everlasting love.

PRAYER

O God of love; the one who creates, rescues and empowers, hold now Jade and Jack, Freddy and Bobby in your everlasting care. Be their light, their comfort, their faith and their hope. May each dawn be precious, each day intimate, every moment savoured. May each sunset only ever harbour the promise of another day, on this or a more golden shore, and may, the blessing of
the all loving God, rest upon you, embrace you, and infill you, now and for evermore. Amen

DECLARATION

Here before us, Jade and Jack have embarked upon a unique journey. Their love will take them beyond the borders, across unknown continents, to whole new worlds beyond, but today we are with them, a whole nation and far beyond, beside them and loving them. So now is the time of joy and celebration, laughter, affection and of dreams come true.

For today Jade and Jack have been blessed by God as Husband and Wife.

You may kiss one another.

Copyright: Bishop Jonathan Blake