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, August 27, 2009

BRING OUR SOLDIERS HOME

Launching a plea to bring our brave soldiers home from Afghanistan.

Enough is enough.

Inadequate equipment, a confused strategy, a discredited electoral process, a corrupt political system, a sham of democracy, opium production undented, rivers of our young people's blood and the tears of the bereaved.

It is time to jettison the bullish talk, the bravado and the pretence of safer shores with the battle overseas.

We must aspire after a new world order, in which truth replaces hypocrisy, justice replaces corruption and love resists extortion and greed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Janet Daley's neo colonialism

The problem with Janet Daley's critique is that the brave voters she cites have not yet brought about the necessary indigenous change to support a democratic political system. Instead under the shelter of our guns and our encouragement they have crept out in response to the financial and cultural inducements of the West.

Daley recognises the flaws in our political and judicial systems. They are all too evident with deaths at the hands of the police, miscarriages of justice, political corruption and the basic fact that our voting system elects a government that only represents a minority of the country.

We overlook and tolerate our flaws but are impatient and moralistic over others.

Rather than seeing our role as the international police, invading and slaughtering to encourage democracy, we could instead stay within our borders and work to establish just international relations, fair trade agreements and wealth/resource distribution that would foster peace and encourage social and political development.

KARZAI'S QUESTIONABLE VICTORY

Our soldiers are dying in the chaos and incompetence of war, because of political and economic shortcomings, because of a speculative ideology, because of a confused rationale that is built on a paper foundation.

Meanwhile the opium trade blossoms, corruption is rife and Karzai pardons 5 drug smugglers because of personal interests and Mafia style pressures.

His victory seems empty. The grief of the bereaved replete.

For how long will voters in the U.K. tolerate the squandering of our youth to the desert sands of Afghanistan?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

ALLELUIA, THE QUAKERS FOLLOW OUR EXAMPLE

The Open Episcopal Church was the first church to extend the sacrament of marriage to homosexual couples as well as heterosexual couples. Now the Quakers and the Church of Sweden, which is formally linked to the Church of England, are following our lead.

With 13 groups petitioning the Archbishop of Canterbury this week for the Church of England to become an inclusive church, good things are at work.

Friday, August 07, 2009

DISGRACEFUL PRISONS

This country has 84,000 prisoners now with a projected increase of capacity to 96,000 by 2014.

My most recent visit to a prison last week confirmed my view that there is a dire malaise at the heart of the penal system in this country.

The inmates are denied their basic human rights, are subject to an unaccountable prison service, are victims of abuse, bullying and various forms of psychological torture. Their families and friends are abused and humiliated when in contact with the prison and when visits are made.

Politically correct posters and language, educational courses and questionnaires are all used to create a smoke screen behind which people are treated inhumanely.

No wonder that re-offending rates are so high, that suicides are frequent, that prisoner morale is low and that so little remedial work is achieved.

It is time that a thorough, transparent and independent review was carried out and this serious injustice within our national life was addressed.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

CELIBACY

So the article in the Daily Telegraph re my previous blog caused reaction from this country, the States and as far as Australia. Not quite death threats but violence and personal abuse from faithful Christians!

My crime in part? Suggesting that requiring celibacy as a condition of Holy Orders and the existence of closed Orders of Monks and Nuns is life denying.

My critics have protested that people have a free choice. Yes. However, is it not the vulnerable that are drawn towards such artificial and unnatural constructs created by the Church which prevent human beings from experiencing intimacy in their earthly lives? Is it not a denial of the Incarnation and an affront to the God of Love to wrest people from their families and loved ones and to exclude them from the opportunity of marital intimacy?

The sexual and physical abuse of the young which has disgraced the ministry of the church is one vivid indicator of the distortion in human relationships that the celibate priesthood and Orders of Monks and Nuns have produced.

If the Church is to begin criticising modern experiments in community and relationships it needs to put its own house in order, and there is no sign as yet of that happening.

Monday, August 03, 2009

VINCENT NICHOLS, GEORGE PITCHER AND FACEBOOK

So the Archbishop of Westminster and George Pitcher both warn about the dangers of electronic isolation and relationships mediated through the keyboard.

Of course there are dangers and wise parents and balanced adults will guard against them.

However, there may be greater dangers to relationships in religion. I have counselled those heartbroken that a member of their family had been snatched from them into a closed order of Nuns, others sucked into the lonliness of the celibate priesthood, many more isolated into religious fanaticism, others damaged by the homophobia, authoritarianism and sexism enshrined in church policy.

Religious bigotry has fuelled the fragmentation of societies, the increase in prejudice and reactionary thinking.

Strange, because the Sacrament of the Mass is all about Holy Communication.

So when Facebook and other social networking sites allow people to communicate, to reconnect, to discover the thrill of friendships and to provide the resources to maintain them and explore them , perhaps the church should be encouraging and supportive.