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 The Church is a member of The International Council of Community churches and the World Council of Churches. It has clergy across the UK + over 29,000 members.

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Location: London, Kent, United Kingdom

Tear gassed in Tehran, seized in Kabul, worked with Mother Teresa, escaped a murderer, raised £300,000, ordained 1981, 12 yrs an Anglican, slept on the streets, travelled to Auschwitz, Kenya and Pakistan to promote peace, opened the first inter-faith NHS chapel, wrote a biblical text on Parliament, arrested, relinquished his office within the CofE to pioneer independent ministry, baptised 1000's in homes, even on Mount Snowdon + in a circus ring, conducted a wedding underwater, published ‘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 the first gay wedding on prime time TV, sued Associated Newspapers for defamation, co-consecrated the first women bishops for England. Wales and Scotland, accommodated the homeless, took Mass to sex workers, posted it too, was elected Archbishop, arrested for taking his kids onto a roof, not charged - they were harnessed, founded ‘When No One’s Watching', became an ICV, conducted the wedding of the star Jade Goody, was invited to Downing Street, published 'That Old Devil Called God Again'.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So Marina Hyde's article depicts me.
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.


Blogger l'optimiste said...

aah - if we worried about what other people said all the time, none of us would ever achieve anything.

You did a brilliant job of my first wedding - just get on and do your thing Jonathan...ignore the people who are so abusive.

I wouldn't even have graced them with a mention actually. There are far more important things to be worrying about in our short lives...

2:42 PM  
Blogger Just Another Nobody said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Just Another Nobody said...

In the 'About' section of his website, l'optimiste, Bishop/Archbishop Blake has an episode wherein he claims to meet Jesus (disguised as a tramp) -

The section is headed:

'Work with the poor at Easter and meeting Jesus at the side of the road'

And lest there be any confusion about his claims he states:

'I felt I had been in the presence of Jesus. That these words were for me, for sicm, for the world.'

Shortly afterwards, he solicits for donations for his work.

It seems to me that there are 3 possibilities -

(1) He really did meet Jesus
(2) He is insane
(3) He is lying (again - as he did in his press release about endangering his boys on his roof)

Do tell us, l'optimiste, which you think it is. I'm afraid I am a bit of a skeptic on such matters: when someone claims something that is nauseatingly self-serving and utterly idiotic (well, impossible actually but I'd hate to spoil the party)- and wants me to send in my money - I tend to be the tiniest bit skeptical. That makes me an abusive and horrible person I know but it also makes me an adult: I am not trapped in the belief systems of a four year old.

Homeless charities discourage giving handouts to beggars and the destitute because, although it might make the likes of Bishop/Archbishop Blake feel closer to heaven, it doesn't help the beggars as it keeps them on the street longer. Still, what do the experts know when Bishop/Archbishop Blake gets to meet Jesus in the gutter?

11:26 PM  
Blogger Bishop Jonathan Blake said...

To: Just Another Nobody: Our homeless work has been funded by ourselves as a family. There are some who choose the street and don’t want to become the latest success statistics for a homeless charity to gain new funding. The mysteries of life and the unpredictable choices human beings make rail against the sort of reductionist approach you may care to take.

However, you are exposed. A true reductionist would respond not repeat!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Just Another Nobody said...

So did you meet Jesus in Soho?

Yes or No.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Bishop Jonathan Blake said...

To: Just Another Nobody: I believe that we happen upon Jesus in many situations and through many people, as I did that night. Is life the sum total of the component parts or do the component parts give birth to something more that can exceed our expectations and understanding? The language we use to describe the more is not objective and can be substituted, but the various scripts will at best point to that mysterious extra that has emerged from the ordinary.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Bishop Jonathan Blake said...

To l'optimiste: Thanks.

4:43 PM  
Blogger l'optimiste said...

Dear Just Another Nobody

'Do tell us l'optimiste'? Ah, so sarcastic. Is that really neccessary? Of course...for some. Ok...these are my thoughts. IF Archbishop Blake met Jesus, good for him. I am not confused about his claims, as I am not religious. Therefore I have no 'confusion' at all. I do not care whether he met Jesus or not actually.

And I did not find him to be 'insane' when I met him. In fact the reverse. He seemed a kind and thoughtful person - and not at all self serving. Perhaps it is easier to judge a person once one has met them? It may be good for you to try this.

The choice of sending money is of course yours...'a fool and his money etc' as they say. Your thoughts do not make you an abusive and horrible person at all. Merely an intelligent, thinking being. BUT, four year olds should barely consider such matters. We hope. Rather a silly remark. We are not four. At least I assume so.

What do you do about homeless charities? And beggars? And the destitute? DO be honest. I am fascinated as to your reply. I am assuming that you are an expert, otherwise why ever would you be so opinionated?

So. I have 'told you' as you asked in your 'Do tell us l'optimiste' remark. So 'DO' reply. I await your repy with baited breath.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Just Another Nobody said...

I don't have the energy to reply to the first part of your post, l'optimiste, but here's a humorous and succinct video by the wonderful Pat Condell with which I have every sympathy:

l'optimiste wrote: What do you do about homeless charities? And beggars? And the destitute? DO be honest. I am fascinated as to your reply. I am assuming that you are an expert, otherwise why ever would you be so opinionated?

So. I have 'told you' as you asked in your 'Do tell us l'optimiste' remark. So 'DO' reply. I await your repy with baited breath.

- Since you ask, l'optimiste, I'll inform you. I have donated substantial sums over the decades to various homeless (and other) charities. On the specific issue of UK homelessness I donate most to CRISIS
with CENTREPOINT second:
and on the international level of human need I donate primarily to Concern Worldwide, WaterAid and Sight Savers:

Now here is the important thing (in this context). I donate anonymously - by which I mean I do not announce to the world my donations. Nor do I donate to make myself feel better. Nor do I donate so that the destitute can stay on the streets longer. Nor do I donate because I think there is a God looking down on me. I donate because my only interest is in trying to help those in extreme need. And you know what? I don't care whether you believe me or not because that is irrelevant as to why I give to charities.

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