Archbishop Jonathan Blake

The Most Reverend Jonathan Blake, Presiding Archbishop of the Open Episcopal Church B.A. (Hons), Dip. Pastoral Studies. Mobile: 07767 687711 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 Tehran, seized Kabul, helped Mother Teresa, funded TB hospital, priest 1981, went Auschwitz, wrote on Parliament, convicted, began 1st inter-faith NHS chapel, 12 yrs Anglican cleric/vicar - left, baptised 1000's in homes/Mt Snowdon/at circus, wedding underwater, wrote ‘For God’s Sake Don’t Go To Church’, nailed 95 Theses 2 Canterbury cathedral, arrested, co-founded the Society for Independent Ministry, consecrated a bishop, co-founded the Open Episcopal Church, did 1st gay wedding on morning TV, sued Associated Newspapers, co-consecrated 1st women bishops 4 England,Wales,Scotland, accommodated the homeless, posted Mass/took it 2 sex workers, elected Archbishop, arrested 4 climbing with sons,founded ‘When No One’s Watching',made ICV, did Jade Goody's wedding,invited 2 Downing St, wrote 'That Old Devil Called God Again', conviction 4 campaigning against child abuse quashed on appeal, convicted 4 successful blogging 2 stop paedophile. His Christmas Lights raising £79,000 4 Water in 4 Gambian villages. Published "The Tales of Henry the Lovable Hedgehog", the SAFE New Testament + Psalms + radical Book of Common Prayer, ordained priests for UK,US,Thailand,Spain,Ireland

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I'm not knocking the poem, nor the poet, nor the intentions behind it. However, it can be seen to peddle an all too familiar myth that is dangerously corrosive of the wider good. It can represent the very tribalism that is the scourge of the earth. That I am best. My family, my community, my faith, my community, my city, my best.
Against all the messages of parochialism.
In resistance to all the language of us and them, in and out, part of and beyond, familiar and alien.
Let it be broadcast from the housetops, let it be blown through the breeze, let it be sung in the dawn chorus and lullabied among the stars that we will survive, we will overcome, we will win through, we will, AS TONY WALSH ELOQUENTLY KEPT SAYING, choose love over hate, because we are human, and we belong to the earth and we respect every person and we belong to the single united family of our planet.
I love the people who live in Manchester, and weep for those who are suffering and have perished - but we shouldn't be turning the tragedy of human slaughter into a focus on a geographical region. We must defend human hearts not inanimate entities. 
It's about the tragedy of the people who live in Manchester - it's not about Manchester - it's not about a city, it's about the suffering of human beings - that is the essential point I am making. We shouldn't de-personalise the catastrophe that has befallen the victims and their families into an inanimate object.
The minute you have to be a born and bred Mancunian or anything, some are members of that group but many are excluded. It's the whole inclusion/exclusion dynamic that rends the world. No problem celebrating the achievements of the people of an area and honouring their tears and laughter, but don't let the focus on the people shift to a focus on something that is a construct of organisation - i.e. a named area. If that shift takes places, then the construct takes on a life of its own and begins to demand loyalty. That shift accounts for the bloodshed that has blighted history, when people start killing others, because they don't belong to their construct. It leads, at its most utterly grotesque, to the atrocity visited upon the people of Manchester.
Tony Walsh has been hailed a hero. Populism looks for heroes and villains and categorises everyone quickly into boxes. I heard Tony Walsh read the poem and heard the crowd's response. The world was listening. The good part was that he bid everyone to choose love not hate; the regrettable part, in my mind, was that he pointed people to their belonging to Manchester as a source of resistance and resource, and when he did, the crowd cheered. Such a reference to and pride in a place is common, but it's the reason that conflicts and wars have blighted history. An Iranian is proud of being so, just as an English person is proud of their country. Such loyalties to the accidents of birth, circumstance and origin undermine the unity to which we must aspire. If the individual jig saw pieces point to themselves and are even willing to set out to destroy other pieces, then the whole picture can never be completed. Only by focusing on and protecting the whole picture always, can we find the path to peace.
I sob throughout the day for the victims. But the feelings must be rooted in truth or they threaten our future safety. Salman Abedi was a Mancunian, a born and bred Mancunian. That illustrates why we should not be talking the language of place or geography, but of our common humanity.
"You brave, courageous and wonderful man.
To stand up for the truth in the face of suppression and oppression
is truly an act of a pure heart."


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