Author Archives: fluff35

About fluff35

I blog on a range of subjects arising from various aspects of my life. On https://theretiringacademic.wordpress.com, I focus on my reactions to early retirement and think about aspects of teaching and research which I hope will be stimulating to those still working in higher education. On https://sharedconversations.wordpress.com, I blog as an authorized lay preacher in a pretty standard parish church of the Church of England, who needs to write in order to find out what she thinks. I took part in the Oxford/St Albans/Armed Forces C of E 'Shared Conversations' in March 2016 and continue to try to reflect on some of the issues. On https://mistakinghistories.wordpress.com I share my thoughts on various aspects of the history of medicine and the body. I also write for The Conversation UK on https://theconversation.com/profiles/helen-king-94923/articles

Can women be laity?

Here’s one of those great questions with a history that we have somehow forgotten about… This week, I’ve had the interesting experience of being an oral history source: interviewed by a student writing her dissertation on the history of the … Continue reading

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Love that dares to speak: a study course

There has been some discussion on social media about a new 5-session course, Love that dares to speak, written by Hilary Brand ‘exploring Christian reactions to homosexuality’. I’ve co-led many small group courses – various Emmaus ones and a Pilgrim one – in … Continue reading

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Seeing the tree in the woods

So, in the last month, that Episcopal Teaching Document, a.k.a. the ‘Teaching Document on human identity, sexuality and marriage’, has developed a name of its own. It’s now Living in Love and Faith: Christian teaching and learning about human sexuality and … Continue reading

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Pandora: the Greek Eve?

(John William Waterhouse, Pandora, 1896) I think this is the first time I’ve posted the same piece on two of my blogs, but the topic seems relevant to both, so here we go; this, like many of the pieces on … Continue reading

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Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch: a sermon

In one of those moments of diary failure with which we are all familiar, I thought that this coming Sunday I was down to preach at the 10 a.m. service immediately before the Annual Parochial Meeting. Wrong. I’m preaching at … Continue reading

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Being officially ecumenical: chocolate, mints, the Church of England and the Conference of European Churches

This week, the Church of England General Synod is discussing union with the Methodists. One of my favourite jokes ever is the ‘guy on a bridge‘ one, which is all about church divisions and micro-divisions. Union, or separation? Is reunion … Continue reading

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The Episcopal Teaching Document

Talking about sexuality in the Church of England… the next stage after Shared Conversations Continue reading

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Nothing new here: how the human sexuality debate repeats the women priests debate

I’ve been going through my old papers from when I was on General Synod; I represented the Diocese of Guildford for seven years or so. During the July 2017 sessions, I read a lot of comments about the complexity of … Continue reading

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Getting into a muddle about sex: lifelong virginity and the Louden amendment

For various reasons, I’ve been going through some of the papers I kept from my stint on General Synod; eight complicated years which included the Higton debate, the AIDS debate, and the various stages of the legislation to permit women … Continue reading

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No tongues?

It can be a difficult experience to attend a major Christian celebration at a point when the church is reeling from yet another scandal. Last week, the Gibb report into the disgusting behaviour of Bishop Peter Ball was issued, complete … Continue reading

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