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, 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

Saturday, February 26, 2022

MY PERFECT WIFE AND MY PRECIOUS FAMILY

On our twenty-second anniversary:

 I want to share something beautiful and rare.

As a child I used to watch ‘The Waltons’. It sought to present a ‘perfect, happy family’. It was something of a dream, a possibility but, like Disney, one not often realised.

My life quest had this hope at its heart.

As life reveals, the path of experience, learning and striving is fraught, complex, and muddled, but what is critical, is to keep an absolute grasp on your ultimate hope.

I am now 65.

I want to share with you, that I have been living my ultimate hope now for 21 years.

It all began at the turn of the new millennium, in the year 2000.

I married Annette.

We came from vastly different backgrounds and were totally different people, yet there was some deep and undeniable connection and understanding between us. I had grown to know her, over the previous 7 years as a friend. I was reading a poem at a wedding I was conducting, when a moment of revelation came to me, that I had just described my friend, Annette.

The poem by Edwin Muir was:

Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
I in my mind had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveller finds a place
Of welcome suddenly amid the wrong
Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea,
Not beautiful or rare in every part,
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.

What remains a mystery to me, and humbles me and takes my breath away still, is that I had not sought her or courted her.

She was a gift to me. She found me, and at a time, when I didn’t want to be found, just left alone. However, against all the odds, we grew to know one another and stumbled along life’s journey over the following seven years. She became my friend and then my closest friend.

Then one day, through this poem, these words, it was as though scales fell from my eyes, and I saw Annette, as if for the first time, for who she truly was. The most remarkable, exceptional, deep, and loving person I had ever encountered. I knew from that moment that I wanted her to be my wife.

If we wrote about the story of those seven years, no one would believe all we experienced. It would be one of the most extraordinary love stories ever told. Perhaps one day we will.

When we married in 2000, I was 43 and Annette was 41.

They say, ‘Life begins at 40’.

I can say, “My life began at 43!”

It was as though I was reborn to the possibility of realising my lifelong dream of creating a loving family, and this had always been Annette’s dream also.

Over the next 6 years, we were blessed with three sons. It felt like a miracle. Against great odds and doom mongering from family and NHS staff, three healthy boys were given to us. We had been classified as ‘geriatric’ parents, yet three exquisite babies were now cradled in our hearts and home.

The years of their upbringing have been golden.

The walls of our home and the memories of our hearts are hung with a multiplicity of images replete with magical, unforgettable moments shared. Skillfully edited videos across the years make so many of those moments readily available to us. Our minds dance with the sheer joy of all we have known.

Many had frowned about us being older parents, bur rather than being a drawback, this proved to be such a benefit. Young at heart, fit of body and agile of mind, we were ready to give our utmost devotion to their care, cherishing each day of their growing lives.

When life’s problems intruded, we were mature enough and strong enough to weather every storm, and reach safe waters, intact and in a better place.

Now those fledgling babes are two adult men and one mid teen, and what has become of our domestic idyll?

It remains an oasis of love, loyalty, and life.

Our adult sons take every opportunity to return from university and share family time. Family remains a priority and we are constantly creating more memories.

They are founded on the quality of love and mutual respect we share.

It is a delight to watch the deep bonds between the brothers, demonstrative in their affection for each other, sharing common interests, talking openly and honestly, and enjoying great and mischievous banter that is never unkind or malicious.

As a family, we always eat together at the table, putting the world to rights, discussing everything, and sharing ideas, whether personal, moral, or political.

As a family, we still love having days out together and going on holiday together. Being in each other’s company is always a joy.

Many couples lose touch with each other over the years and particularly when their children have grown up, but not so with us.

Annette and I are deeply in love, cherishing every moment we spend together, crossing new horizons, adventuring to new places, taking on new projects and challenges and living life to the full.

Our understanding of each other and our intimacy is profound and sublime.

Today is our twenty-second wedding anniversary.

I cannot express adequately how much I love my wife.

She is my life, my love, my friend, my oasis, my birdsong, my succour, my inspiration, my resource, my exemplar, my wisdom, my solace, my heart, my soul, and my all. There is not another person on the planet who could have been more perfect for me than Annette.

She is compassionate, wise, intelligent, humorous, deep thinking, with a remarkable understanding of people. She lights up a room, builds easy bridges between people’s hearts, has a photographic long-term memory of every detail about every person she has ever met and weaves happiness wherever she treads. She is bright, vivacious, positive, and caring, eager to help others. She sees through humbug, pretence, and hypocrisy in an instant and is never in thrall to religion, status, or celebrity. She recognises innocence and sincerity and there, plants her seeds and grows her gardens and walks with others through theirs. She is like my sunrise each day, my blossoming world, my hope, and my sufficiency.

She is a priceless gift, given to me.

I lift my hands in gratitude to the mystery of how we were given to each other.

I kiss my beloved’s heart on this our anniversary.


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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