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

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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Return to the public gallery

Having written to my bishops (replies received, thanks) and to lay representatives of my diocese on General Synod (wish I could say the same), I was sufficiently disappointed in the Bishops’ Report (GS2055) that I took the opportunity to go … Continue reading

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So, what was the point of all that?

Last week the House of Bishops published GS2055 Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations. I immediately read it through twice, once to see what they were proposing to change – answer, nothing – and again to see … Continue reading

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Reading the comments

In a couple of contexts in the last week, people I follow on Facebook or Twitter have linked to a story about sexuality and the church but warned their friends or followers that it’s a bad idea to read the … Continue reading

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Into Advent

  I’m trying to take Advent seriously this year by immersing myself as far as I can in the rich symbolism of watching and waiting, of light and darkness, of hope and fulfillment. So naturally it had to begin with … Continue reading

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Pouring the lay?

I know. Not the most accessible of titles for a blog post. But that’s very much my point… Back when I was doing the diocesan training for being an authorised lay preacher (a role which exists in my diocese and … Continue reading

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One sex, two sexes, and Christians

The wonderful Twitter just drew my attention to this article I’d missed on the OUP blog when it was published in July: ‘The influence of premodern theories about sex and gender’ by Adrian Thatcher. Thatcher asks great questions about why … Continue reading

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Temple prostitution for Christians

Sex in the ancient world: it’s all about temple prostitutes, depraved emperors and orgies, right? Wrong. As readers of this blog will have noticed, now that the Shared Conversations in the Church of England appear to be over, I’ve moved … Continue reading

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