Stephen Hawking ‘pointed theologians towards a God
Monk Fryston Primary School
St Wilfrid's Church Warden.
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I suppose it was Bill Freer the metalwork master that wound me up at school and I left in 1962 with the ambition of becoming an agricultural engineer. I met Bill again in 2004. I was too old for an apprenticeship at 17 plus and so it was not to be. I ended up as boy gardener at Bristol Botanic Gardens. His efforts were not to be wasted as he produced a confidence of a mechanical nature which helped me totally renovate two and four wheeled modes of transport and reduce garage bills further up life’s road.
Boy Gardener’s seemed the lowest of the low at the time, but every difficult or onerous task has its silver lining, as I was to find out in life. There we had the two extremes. Alec Garrett who fantasised and fraternised with his orchids, took on experimental plots with 200 plus cultivars and species of mint, swopped seeds with other botanic gardens throughout the world and poor old me who washed pots and did the weeding. I was the boy gardener, he was the Curator and Botanist. I was totally unprepared for the wealth of information that filled his brain and the piped tobacco smoke that filled his lungs.
I had not yet acquired the skill of having a notebook and pencil to hand, but I did realise this was an essential for the future if I was going to make the grade. My other inspiration for Horticulture came from home in a large garden tucked away down a lane in Portishead. Home also to a few other Brymore boys; Jim Bishop, Don Hill, John Burden (now Mill Farm, South Milford), Ben Elliot, John Lovell, Malcolm Winter, then up the road at Portbury was Richard Prendergast and Bill and Bob Cox and Richard Ellis at Failand.
The second world war left an indelible mark and the habit of “grow your own” was one of them. It didn’t need the knowledge of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes to show that there was an economic advantage in your own production and so it was with my Dad. He knew little about “elasticity” but he took great pride “out there” with his flowers, fruit and vegetables. Like the rise and fall of the Third Reich, or the Roman Empire, but in this case “no fall” gardening and landscaping has gained in momentum and we really these days couldn’t do without our Monty Don’s.
Looking back (as you do) some of the family’s background had been in smallholding. Trips over the hill to Tickenham especially during the winter had always been an experience. You don’t forget trips to a dry loo at the further reaches of the garden (What! No inside loo comes the cry?) in the middle of winter. We used to get ‘em cold in those days and with the washing like huge boards on the line it was too much to ask a young lad to keep his hands off. It was like playing the xylophone as you ran down the path, but in this case more of a booming sound which woke up the pigs in the row of sty’s. By the time you returned they were up waving their tongues over the sty doors and making no end of a racket. That led to an admonishment (bollocking) but worth every word of reprimand from a prim and proper great aunt. She must have been proper because Great Uncle Bill was not allowed in the house until he’d put his slippers on. He also had to wash under the pump! He had a great skill with the vegetables. I put that down to the regular emptying of the dry loo, or was it the sties! I bet back there they would have looked down their noses at the ’74 Health and Safety at Work Act.
Doing what you want to do in life is very important. Opportunity should never be turned down and some of the most difficult experiences in my case have been shown to advantage. As an irresponsible teenager there seemed to be more time to laugh, but that is a youngster’s perspective. It’s a pity as we get older we become more aware of the vagaries of life. They do get a bit serious but looking back helps you to look forward and there is plenty of that time to come yet.
Apologies to Alan Hemming (Shanks) for this piece. I can still hear his regimental footfalls as he pounded steadfastly towards our classroom to take us for English lessons! Alan is alive and kicking and recently received France’s highest honour, the Chevalier de I’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur for his War Services in France.
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(background image Bristol Botanic Gardens © 2002-2017 University of Bristol
Stephen Hawking ‘pointed theologians towards a God with the universe in the palm of his hand’
An article from the Church times by ADAM BECKET 14 MARCH 2018
PROFESSOR Stephen Hawking’s contribution to science has been praised by ordained scientists and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Professor Hawking, considered one of the world’s most eminent and influential scientists, died in the early hours of Wednesday morning at home in Cambridge. He was 76.
In a statement, his children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.
“He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”
The Principal of St John’s College, Durham, the Revd Professor David Wilkinson, who is the author of God, Time and Stephen Hawking (Monarch, 2002), said on Wednesday: “There is sadness at his death, admiration for a remarkable life story, admiration for his remarkable works of science, and a thankfulness for some of the things he discovered about the universe.”
Professor Hawking had given the world an “optimism that science can deal with all of its own questions about the universe”, he said.
“[Professor Hawking] thought science should be able to give the reason for the start of the universe, which is a very important thing for people of faith.
“He reminded us who are of faith of the weakness of any ‘God in the gaps’ or deistic view of God, and pointed theologians towards a God with the universe in the palm of his hand.”
Professor Hawking “demolished smaller Gods, and left us with the bigger, biblical God”, Professor Wilkinson said.
Professor Hawking was a “person of great humour, fantastic courage, and brilliant mathematical ability”, and the scientific community would be “sad at losing such a public icon.
“We have lost a prophetic voice, with some of the things he had to say about climate change, the search for aliens, and our role in the universe.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury posted on Twitter: “Professor Stephen Hawking’s contribution to science was as limitless as the universe he devoted his life to understanding. His was a life lived with bravery and passion. As we pray for all those who mourn him, may he rest in peace.”
The Revd Dr Rodney Holder, a member of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, said that Professor Hawking was “a great, towering figure in cosmology, particularly in black holes, which will be his legacy”, and “undoubtedly a great man, battling with a terrible affliction”.
continued from previous
Dr Holder quoted Professor Hawking’s A Brief History of Time (Bantam, 1988), in which he wrote: “What is it that breathes fire into the equations [of the universe]?”. For people of faith, it was God, Dr Holder said.
Professor Hawking “did not challenge theology at all in reality, despite being an atheist”, Dr Holder said.
The Bishop of Hertford, Dr Michael Beasley, whose doctorate is in science, said on Wednesday that Professor Hawking had an “extraordinary ability to use science to understand the deep workings of our universe. Is it not amazing that the human mind can do that?”
In The Grand Design (Bantam Press), co-written with the American physicist Leonard Mlodinow and published in 2010, Professor Hawking contends: “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe going.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury at that time, Dr Rowan Williams, said in response that belief in God was “the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything depends for its existence. Physics on its own will not settle the question why there is something rather than nothing.”
An article from the Church times by ADAM BECKET 14 MARCH 2018
An article from the Church times by ADAM BECKET 14 MARCH 2018
Date of Walk----------------Saturday 28th April 2018.
Venue-------------------------Anglers Country Park, Wintersett/Ryhill.
Leaders-----------------------Paddy and Stuart.
We welcome you to a 5mile circular walk, around lakes, through woods, pass Walton Hall, plus open countryside.
Meet at the visitor centre[ WF4 2EB; OS 374163] at 10.15am for a 10.30am start.
Please bring food and a drink, and wear suitable clothing for the day
A Any queries please contact Paddy or Stuart on 684180.
Monk Fryston CE Primary School
Our news item for this issue has been written by one of our Year 5 pupils, Megan Barnett:
This edition of our news has been written by Isabel O’Connor who is in our Year 5 class:
Monk Fryston school has a lot of visitors. We have GOAL which stands for Game Of Actual Life, that come in on Wednesdays to teach Years 5 and 6.
We learn all about when you become an adult paying your bills, your driving test and getting a job. At Monk Fryston we also had a very special visitor, the Archbishop of York, who came in to look around our school and also perform a special assembly for the whole school. Not only do we have visitors we also have a lot of school trips. On Monday the 5th of March Year 5 and year 6 went on a wonderful trip to York Minster and found out lots of interesting facts such as York Minster took 250 years to build and is 1391 years old. But the facts didn’t stop there; Year 5 also did a slide all about York Minster which was full of interesting facts.
A few weeks ago, on a lovely Saturday morning, we climbed into a coach at Kirkwall. We were tourists on the tiny island of Orkney - our guide was a retired headmaster from Surrey and oved nothing more than telling holidaymakers he history and stories of Orkney. We learned about the Scara Brae dwellings, the important sea defences of the Scapa Flow and about Churchill bringing captured Italian prisoners of war from North Africa to Orkney to help build the Barriers between the islands; it was necessary to call them “pathways” to conform with the Geneva Convention`s “Treatment of prisoners of war”.
Finally we arrived at Camp 60, all that remains of the camp is known as Orkney`s Italian Chapel, and this is what we had come to see after many years and it was worth waiting for! The prisoners who had been moved there by Churchill lived in 13 cheerless huts in, what to the young Italian soldiers, was an alien environment of raging seas and, in
winter, of icy cold weather with little daylight. But they were innovative and in time made paths and planted flowers round their huts, made a concrete billiard table and a little theatre. All that they lacked was a chapel to worship in.
Eventually they were given 2 Nissen huts and with the permission of the camp commandant, Col. Buckland, and the ingenuity of a prisoner called Chiocchetti, who was an artist, they created the absolutely beautiful little gem we had the privilege of seeing. Both inside and out it is a work of art. The concrete outer layer sparkled pink and white in the sunshine.
Inside, the tiled walls are actually painted plasterboard; the wrought iron lanterns are made from used corned beef tins; the candle sticks made from fireside pokers given by the villagers. Carved driftwood and concrete had been moulded into the altar, and painted glass had made `stained glass` windows. On the bare plaster behind the altar Chiocchetti had recreated the picture of the Madonna and Child from a card he had carried with him all through the war.
The whole thing was just so beautiful and so wonderfully preserved. The prisoners left the island in September 1944, but afterwards they stayed in close touch with the Orcadians and their letters and visits tell the story of the affection that still continues between them.
In 1960 Chiocchetti returned to the island and did much restoration work and when he returned home sent a letter saying “My work at the chapel is finished, it is yours for you to love and preserve...”
The church is now under the protection of an interdenominational preservation committee; financed by guests and contributions from the Italian town of Moena, which was Chiocchettii`s home town; the
people of Orkney and donations from amazed tourists - just like us.
When I look back it was much more that a visit, it was a Pilgrimage.
At this time of year we remember Thomas Cranmer was born in Aslockton in Nottinghamshire, in 1489, Cranmer was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. He became a Fellow and was ordained in 1523, receiving his doctorate in divinity in 1526.
As a Cambridge don Cranmer came to the king’s notice in 1529 when he was investigating ways forward in the matter of the proposed royal divorce.
His rise was rapid. He was appointed Archdeacon of Taunton, made a royal chaplain, and given a post in the household of Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of Anne.
In 1530 Cranmer accompanied Boleyn on an embassy to Rome and in 1532 he himself became ambassador to the court of the Emperor Charles V. His divergence from traditional orthodoxy was already apparent by his marriage to a niece of the Lutheran theologian Osiander despite the rule of clerical celibacy.
Returning to England to become Archbishop of Canterbury, he was in a dangerous position. Henry VIII was fickle and capricious and Cranmer was fortunate to survive where many did not.
Yet Henry seemed to have a genuine affection for his honest but hesitant archbishop, even if he did (apparently in jest) describe him as the ‘greatest heretic in Kent’ in 1543.
Four years later Henry died with Cranmer at his bedside and during the brief reign of Edward VI the archbishop now had an opportunity to put into practice his reform of the English Church.
He edited the Homilies (1547) and wrote those on salvation, good works, faith, and the reading of Scripture. He compiled the two Prayer Books of 1549 and 1552, and wrote the original 42 Articles of Religion (1552).
But the young king’s death brought Cranmer’s phase of the English Reformation to a premature end. He was imprisoned first in the Tower then in the Bocardo prison in Oxford.
Under great physical and mental pressure he several times recanted of his deviations from Roman doctrine. But at the last he re-found his courage and repudiated all his recantations before he was burned at the stake on 21 March 1556.
In later years it would become apparent that the seed Cranmer had sown had taken deep root and his 1552 Prayer Book (as amended in 1559 and 1662) clearly demonstrated his gift for both rhythmical fluency and memorable phrase. It was to become a lasting treasure of the English language and Cranmer’s principle of liturgical worship in contemporary English has become a defining element of the Anglican Church.
Cranmer wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed, he waivered, but ultimately was put to death for his beliefs and actions.
....Continued from previous page
The history we have heard of Cranmer doesn’t do justice to what he was trying to achieve.
Cranmer’s goal was to create material, Liturgy, homilies, prayers that were written in the language that was used by the common man of his time.
What he wrote was contemporary to his time. The man on the street understood it. They were now included, whereas previously they had been excluded by the liturgy of the Catholic church recited in Latin.
This was huge step in making God accessible and understandable by everyone, not just the priests, church hierarchy and the elite with extensive education.
And here’s the irony of the church, many of our Anglican services still use the liturgy of 1662 or a derivative thereof, using language and terminology of that time.
It doesn’t speak to the common man anymore and yet it is the preference of many.
This is totally counter to what Cranmer had wanted.
He wanted the church to use contemporary language and to worship in a way that was accessible to the general populous.
This requires a church that is constantly updating what it does and how it worships God.
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus tells his disciples, He tells us:
"do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
The Spirit will speak through us in a way that those to whom we speak will understand".
As we share our faith with others let us not worry about what to say, for the Spirit will speak through us.
When we use our own words, or invite the unchurched into our services they can be presented with a language that is foreign to them, most do not understand church speak with which we are so familiar.
Jesus spoke to all, in language that they could understand. He was relevant and contemporary.
Let us follow his example and not look for fancy theological terms but offer simply explanations of His love for those around us.
It is the love language He wants them to hear, it is the love language that He whispers to you and demonstrates through the sacrament we celebrate during communion and have remembered over the Easter Period.
On a recent visit within the parish I was introduced to a short story by Erick Frank Russell: Sole Solution
The metaphoric nature of the story is clear and worth reading so here it is:
He brooded in darkness and there was no one else. Not a voice, not a whisper. Not the touch of a hand. Not the warmth of another heart.
Eternal confinement where all was black and silent and nothing stirred. Imprisonment without prior condemnation. Punishment without sin. The unbearable that had to be
borne unless some mode of escape could be devised.
No hope of rescue from elsewhere. No sorrow or sympathy or pity in another soul, another mind. No doors to be opened, no locks to be turned, no bars to be sawn apart. Only the thick, deep sable night in which to fumble and find nothing.
Circle a hand to the right and there is nought. Sweep an arm to the left and discover emptiness utter and complete. Walk forward through the darkness like a blind man lost in a vast, forgotten hall and there is no floor, no echo of footsteps, nothing to bar one’s path.
He could touch and sense one thing only. And that was self.
Therefore the only available resources with which to overcome his predicament were those secreted within himself. He must be the instrument of his own salvation.
No problem is beyond solution. By that thesis science lives. Without it, science dies. He was the ultimate scientist. As such, he could not refuse this challenge to his capabilities.
His torments were those of boredom, loneliness, mental and physical sterility. They were not to be endured. The easiest escape is via the imagination. One hangs in a strait-jacket and flees the corporeal trap by adventuring in a dreamland of one’s own.
But dreams are not enough. They are unreal and all too brief. The freedom to be gained must be genuine and of long duration. That meant he must make a stern reality of dreams, a reality so contrived that it would persist for all time. It must be self-perpetuating. Nothing less would make escape complete.
So he sat in the great dark and battled the problem. There was no clock, no calendar to mark the length of thought. There were no external data upon which to compute. There was nothing, nothing except the workings within his agile mind.
And one thesis: no problem is beyond solution.
....Continued from previous page
He found it eventually. It meant escape from everlasting night. It would provide experience, companionship, adventure, mental exercise, entertainment, warmth, love, the sound of voices, the touch of hands.
The plan was anything but rudimentary. On the contrary it was complicated enough to defy untangling for endless aeons. It had to be like that to have permanence. The unwanted alternative was swift return to silence and the bitter dark.
It took a deal of working out. A million and one aspects had to be considered along with all their diverse effects upon each other. And when that was done he had to cope with the next million. And so on ... on ... on.
He created a mighty dream of his own, a place of infinite complexity schemed in every detail to the last dot and comma. Within this he would live anew. But not as himself. He was going to dissipate his person into numberless parts, a great multitude of variegated shapes and forms each of which would have to battle its own peculiar environment.
And he would toughen the struggle to the limit of endurance by unthinking himself, handicapping his parts with appalling ignorance and forcing them to learn afresh. He would seed enmity between them by dictating the basic rules of the game. Those who observed the rules would be called good. Those who did not would be called bad. Thus there would be endless delaying conflicts within the one great conflict.
When all was ready and prepared he intended to disrupt and become no longer one, but an enormous concourse of entities. Then his parts must fight back to unity and himself.
But first he must make reality of the dream. Ah, that was the test!
The time was now. The experiment must begin.
Leaning forward, he gazed into the dark and said, ‘Let there be light.’
And there was light. © Penguin Books 1961
Hillsongs new album 'let there be light'' recorded live at Hillsong Conference in Sydney . Get your copy at http://smarturl.it/LetThereBeLight?IQ...
Our new album 'let there be light'' recorded live at Hillsong Conference in Sydney is out now! Get your copy at http://smarturl.it/LetThereBeLight?IQ...
A GOOD READ
The Helmsley Chronicles
I was pleased to meet David Wilbourn again at the Lent talk he was speaking at in Sherburn and this book was available there. He is now an Assistant Bishop and lives at Scarborough. We hope to see him in the Benefice in the future for an occasional service.
This book collects the best of David`s diaries, substantially edited and bolstered with new material. He was vicar of Helmsley for 12 years before becoming assistant Bishop of Llandaff in Wales. Prior to going to Wales he was chaplain to both the Rt Rev Dr John Habgood and the Rt Rev Dr David Hope as Archbishops of York. Not forgetting, of course, that he was Rector of South Milford and Vicar of Monk Fryston from 1985 to 1991.
Gently celebrating rural and church life, it is a wonderful foil to all the uncertainties and insecurities of the modern world and church in a style both humorous and poignant that will delight readers of Yorkshire diarists such as James Herriot and Gervase Phinn.
ISBN 978-0-232-52894-7 www.dltbooks.com
April 2018 Diary for the Benefice
(Monk Fryston Parish & South Milford Parish)
Every Monday 8.00pm Worship Group Practice – St Mary’s (not on 2/4/18)
Every Wednesday 9.45am Holy Communion – St Mary’s
10.30am Drop In – St Mary’s Parish Hall for tea/coffee and biscuits
12.30am New Life Group - St. Mary`s
1.30pm Caterpillar – St Mary’s for ‘mums and little-ones’
7.30pm Mid-week Fellowship /United Community – 32 Sand Lane
1st APRIL EASTER SUNDAY 9.30pm Parish Communion – St Mary’s
11.00am Holy Communion – St Wilfrid’s
2:00pm Easter Egg Hunt - St Mary's
3rd APRIL (Tues) 1.30-3pm Tea and Tots at Grove House
4th APRI (Wed) NO SERVICE TODAY AT ST. MARY`S!
5th April (Thurs) 8.00pm Beer & Banter at The Thack
8th APRIL 2nd SUNDAY OF EASTER 9.30am Morning Prayer – St Wilfrid`s
9.30am Parish Communion - St Mary`s
15th APRIL 3rd SUNDAY OF EASTER 8.00am Holy Communion - St Wilfrid`s
9.30am Family Communion - St Mary`s
17th APRIL (Tues) 1.30-3pm Tea and Tots at Grove House
Saturday 21st APRIL Walking Group - Anglers Country Park, Wintersett.
22nd APRIL 4th SUNDAY OF EASTER 9.30am Parish Communion - St Wilfrid`s
9.30am Morning Prayer - St Mary's
28th April (Sat) 7:30pm Village Quiz with Pie & Peas - St Mary's
29th APRIL 5th SUNDAY OF EASTER 9.30am Benefice Service - St Wilfrid's (no service at St Mary's)
The church calendar and details of special events can be found on the church website and facebook page