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 Tehran, seized Kabul, helped Mother Teresa, raised £300,000, ordained 1981, pilgrim to Auschwitz, wrote on Parliament, convicted, began 1st inter-faith NHS chapel, relinquished 12 year Anglican post, 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 2 Canterbury cathedral, arrested, co-founded the Society for Independent Ministry, consecrated as 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, 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 campaigning against child abuse, harassment conviction/restraining order quashed on appeal, convicted 4 successful blogging 2 stop paedophile. His 'spectacular' Christmas lights covered by Daily Telegraph,Sky News, C4 have raised £55,500 and provided 2 Gambian villages with water, now 3.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

WHEN A FUNERAL BRIMS WITH MISCHIEF AND FUN - IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN BROOKE

Recently I took a very different type of funeral. The family had asked me to introduce humour and pranks, as their beloved Dad, John Brooke, was such a jokey, fun filled, larger than life person, who loved fancy dress and playing tricks on people. I gulped at first, but then put my thinking cap on.They wanted me to wear a suit, shirt and tie. So I arrived in my bishop's regalia, even with my Mitre and crozier. The family had hired a brass band and I met the hearse at the entrance to the crematorium and led the procession down the long drive, with the band playing 'Amazing Grace' and then 'My Heart Will Go On'. When we reached the front of the chapel, and the pall bearers were placing the coffin on the catafalque, I took all my bishop's clothes off, ready, once the music had finished, to take the service in the suit, shirt and tie I was wearing underneath.
My opening words were, "Oh dear, I'm in such a pickle. I thought you said John wanted everyone in fancy dress for the funeral." There were chuckles and laughter among the mourners.
Then I spoke about John being such a larger than life person, who would himself dress up as a Vicar and had even been asked to take a wedding once on the strength of it. However, I said it was still a time of sadness and loss so I would offer a prayer. At this point, I put on a Jewish Yarmulke, a skull cap, and wrapped myself in a Tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl and began praying in Hebrew. After a few sentences I stopped, and looking concerned said, "John was Jewish, wasn't he? No! Oh dear, I am messing this up. Look, let me read this instead, I hope this is right:

When I leave this mortal shore
And mosey round this earth no more
Do not weep, however sad you feel
I'm off to close a better deal
Don't go and buy a large bouquet
You'll only find it hard to pay
Don't mope about and feel all blue
I'll be better off than you
And don't tell the folks I was a saint
Or any old thing that I ain't
No, raise a glass and share a joke
I was ever that fun filled bloke
It's been a blast, so celebrate the past
and let's all keep fine - Hey, until next time.

Then the family offered their tribute and I spoke the eulogy about John's life. We watched a beautiful visual tribute of photographs of special moments shared, set to music, and then I spoke towards the coffin.

I ended the words along the lines of:

"So go then safely across the rainbow bridge of all our dreams into the mysteries that lie beyond, and I know that you didn't really believe there was anything after, cos you asked your Dad to let you know, and he never did; but John, you are such an amazing guy, so full of mischief, that who knows, you might still get in touch with us."

Then I spoke some further words and poetry and brought the service to a close. However, I tapped my iPhone at that moment so that it rang out twice into the microphone. I looked quizzical, picked up the phone, and then answered the phone in a intrigued, questioning tone, saying "John???"

Then announced that the band would play us out to "When All the Saints".

The family wrote to me since and included the words:

"What an amazing send off Dad got. Thank you for putting a smile on everyone's face. Dad would have been proud. Yesterday was above and beyond the memorable send off that we so wanted for our dear Dad. Thank you so very much."





ARCHBISHOP JONATHAN BLAKE - MY LIFE - PART ONE


ARCHBISHOP JONATHAN BLAKE - MY LIFE - PART TWO

I AM PROUD OF MY WRITING, FOR JESUS’S SAKE, THAT HAS HAD ME FOUND INNOCENT IN HEAVEN, BUT TWICE A CRIMINAL ON THE EARTH. THE FIRST IN 1990 WHEN I WROTE A BIBLICAL TEXT ON THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT IN PEACEFUL PROTEST ABOUT THE BOMBING OF YOUNG IRAQI RECRUITS DURING THE FIRST GULF WAR. THE SECOND, IN 2016 WHEN I WROTE ON MY BLOG, TO ALERT THE PUBLIC ABOUT A PAEDOPHILE, AND WAS SUCCESSFUL IN FORCING THE AUTHORITIES TO STOP HIM HAVING ACCESS TO CHILDREN. THERE WAS ALMOST A THIRD! IN 1997, WHEN I WAS ARRESTED FOR NAILING MY PROPOSALS FOR REFORM OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ON THE DOOR OF CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL. WORDS ARE POWERFUL MESSAGES THAT CHALLENGE  CORRUPTION, CONFRONT THE WICKED AND CREATE A BETTER WORLD. JESUS IS THE WORD OF GOD AND HIS FOLLOWERS ARE CALLED  TO COMMUNICATE HIS WORDS,  IRRESPECTIVE OF THE COST.
"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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