I'm back in Devon. My mum collected me from Honiton and drove me back through the Blackdown Hills. She tells me that they had a rapping vicar at church yesterday morning. She said she was surprised at first but that when she listened she thought the lyrics were quite clever. "He didn't call it rapping, though," she told me, "but bip-bop." I asked if it was possible she meant hip-hop, and she said yes, if that's like rapping. I love Devon. I felt I ought to warn her that teenagers are unlikely to have been impressed by it, and I'm glad that I wasn't there, but still I do think vicars should be allowed to rap if they feel like it.
It is impossible to be unmoved by the Blackdown Hills AONB, but I have to say that enjoying living in London has slightly shaken my faith in my living-in-Devon life plan. London has so much going on that's good for the mind. And another thing is that even leaving rapping vicars aside, the church situation in London is so much easier to deal with. I think for the first time ever in my life I'm going to a church where my rather liberal views are in tune with those of many there. The vicar is the chairman of the Inclusive Church movement, which is mostly famous for its stance on LBGT issues, but which also campaigns about women's ministry, mental health, poverty, and other things that can make people feel excluded from the church. When I went to St Andrew the Great's in Cambridge, many years back, I couldn't avoid the feeling that that church was there for undamaged, successful people, and it made me feel out of place. Jesus' ministry was largely to people who had failed or been hurt in some way. (Though St Andrew the Great's is an excellent church and good at prodding the comfortable.)
Anyway (if it embeds properly, I'm not used to vimeo) here's the vicar of St John's Waterloo preaching about power and powerlessness as part of a sermon series he organised for advent.
Revd Giles Goddard from David Simoes-Brown on Vimeo.