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Life: It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world May 9, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in News.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Title borrowed from MadPriest: thanks, mate! If you’ve not met MadPriest, you really ought to head on over there sometime; but preferably when you’ve finished here, not right now.

Two items of news broke yesterday:

1. The Charity Commissioners have, at last, taken action against the Brewer brothers and appointed an interim manager for the St Stephen the Great Trust: Brewers Skewered as Charity Commission Takes Action – Part 1

2. The new Bishop of Kensington formally announced that he was pulling the plug on Deanery Licensed Ministry as an option for ordination training in the area: Bishop Announces End of DLM Programme

The first made me want to whoop for joy: this is something that I and a group of others have been fighting for, praying for, for over two years. Mark and Phil Brewer are a pair of crooks who have been screwing over the former SPCK Bookshops in the supposed name of ‘Orthodox Mission’ ever since the SPCK board made the mistake of handing them over to them back in 2006. At last an outside agency is taking action!! If you’re new to the story, start here

The second, putting it rather less bluntly than my gut reaction, made me feel — let’s just say, a tad angry. The details of how I felt are unbecoming (oh, the joys of self-moderation!). If you happen to read this, my Lord Bishop, I do hope that you’ll take time to reflect upon the impact your approach to this matter is having, not merely upon us but more importantly upon the students currently training for Deanery Licensed Ministry, upon their families and the churches that have supported them in pursuing this calling.

Ironically, this too is something that has been part of my life for over two years, ever since Sue’s appointment as Director of Deanery Licensed Ministry. But ever since Bishop Michael, the former Bishop of Kensington, left the area to become a Residentiary Canon at St Paul’s — less than a year after Sue’s appointment — we’ve more or less known that it would come to this. But there’s a world of difference between standing on a railway line waiting for an approaching train and finally being hit by that train.

At first, there’s nothing coming: the railway line is as safe a place as anywhere else in the world; then you feel vibrations in the tracks, hear a noise in the distance; the train comes into sight over the horizon, a tiny speck in the distance; you’re aware of the danger, you want to move but somehow you can’t: your feet are stuck. Then it’s upon you, and it’s all over…

Except it isn’t. Sue and I are now in limbo. We’ve been in limbo for a while, but now it’s official. Where do we go from here?

As they say, watch this space; and please pray with us, for justice for the former SPCK bookshop workers, for those working in the remaining shops, and for wisdom for Sue, myself and all others affected by the demise of Deanery Licensed Ministry.

As I said, it’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world. Now, you can go visit MadPriest.


1. Dave Marriott - May 9, 2009

Sorry to hear of your frustration. It does seem that Christians – maybe it’s humanity, but Christians are fun to blame – tend to not think through the full ramifications of their actions. I hope the next step for both of you becomes clear.

Many blessings be upon your head for your hard work and dedication against the injustice perpetrated by the Brewers. I hope that it all comes back to haunt you, to mix my metaphors, or summink.

2. Rachel - May 9, 2009

Thinking of you.

3. Phil Groom - May 9, 2009

Dave, Rachel: thanks, both of you.

Dave – if anything comes back to haunt anyone, I hope it’s the Brewers who are spooked!

4. John Duncan - May 9, 2009

I hope things work out for you both soon. It will be no consolation, but I too have had occasion to feel extremely angry with a bishop.

5. asingleblog - May 10, 2009

The Brewers are spooked. Will keep Sue in my prayers. You too, but that goes without saying.

6. Church House Publishing: There’s certainly a future but is there any hope? #CHP « UKCBD: The Christian Bookshops Blog - May 16, 2009

[…] That can’t be a comfortable place for anyone to be in: my thoughts and prayers are with everyone caught up in this — please believe me when I say I think I know how you’re feeling! […]

7. Good News! « Phil’s Boring Blog - July 26, 2009

[…] is isn’t quite up to speed with our movements, this follows on from my post back in May: Life: It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)It’s all a matter of perspectiveGood News […]

8. Chloe Milton... - July 27, 2009

NOT boring!Actually very interesting… Do you know all of the Priests, Bishops etc..like might you know Anglican Priests in W.Sussex ? Seeing as you speak of th Bishop of Kensington ie my area… Am seriously very interested to ask you a few things,-but shall DM you as am embarrassed @ how little I know!!thankyou…

Phil Groom - August 6, 2009

Hi Chloe – thanks for dropping by 🙂

I know a few Bishops and priests but not all of ’em by a long way!! Feel free to DM me – can’t guarantee being able to answer but hey, y’know…

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