Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In advance of my retreat

Off on my pre-ordination retreat, big chunks of which are silent, so I guess blogging wouldn’t be in the spirit of the thing. I’m going to take my Bible (I might read some Psalms, Proverbs and the Pastoral Epistles) and Gregory the Great’s Book of Pastoral Care / Rule.

It should be pointed out that the point of retreating, of course, is subsequently to be able to advance!

To my wife: on internet porn

My love, I just want to make sure you know that there is nothing on my lap top or on our computer that is private or secret from you. As you know, my password is ******** and you are welcome to look at any of my emails and my web history.

If you ever come across anything on our computers you are concerned about, you could talk to me or if you didn’t feel you could, then call Jeffers or talk to our pastor John or the Bishop. They would get in touch with the police if they need to.

I’m going to set up Covenant Eyes on the computers so that Jeffers gets an email if we look at things we maybe shouldn’t.

Not that I have been looking at anything I shouldn’t have, my love, but that was partly because college were monitoring our internet use. I don’t think any of us should think we can’t stumble in this area or that we are above temptation. And it’s important to be above reproach.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mrs Beeton a Proverbs 31-er

Did you know that Mrs Isabella Beeton began the first section of her book on Household Management and cookery with a section on the Mistress of the home which begins by quoting proverbs 31? The book aims to encourage frugal, tasteful living well and is packed with wisdom on how to manage the servants, bring up the kids and produce good old British meals. Nancy Wilson would approve, I reckon.

Good old Father Abraham?

Wasn’t Abram wicked in Genesis 12? More concerned for himself than for his wife, content to make her into a semi-whore while he got fat. Hardly self-sacrificial servant leadership for the sake of the godliness of his bride. How much more wonderful the love and mercy of God to such a sinner, then. And what a greater-than-Abraham bride groom Jesus is.

My First Class Wife (unofficially)

We are pleased to announce that the on-line degree class calculator has predicted Mrs Yvonne Lloyd DipABRSM, BA in Music with honours to-be a first class degree. Praise her not only in the gates but also in cyber space!

How things have changed: we had to cycle down to the Examination Schools to find out our class of degree by looking on a big blackboard they put up in the street and if you were lucky your tutor would eventually write to you with the alpha, betas and gammas, plusses and minuses, which of course you didn’t know what they meant. I remember when I phoned up for my Prelims results (as I was away on holiday) and a stern man said, “Mr Lloyd, you have satisfied the examiners.”. “So, I’ve passed?”, I replied! “Goodbye, Mr Lloyd.” Now you look up your results on the interweb and you can’t see anyone else’s’.

It has come!

There is high excitement in the new Lloyd house. Our new Kemble conservatoire piano arrived just after lunch. Mrs Lloyd has played some Hayden, some hymns, some Bach, and a load of other stuff I don’t recognise. I think she’ll be happy for the next few weeks and content to be left alone while I go off to The Bishop’s Palace.

The black piano looks rather splendid in our new sitting room and is shinning away in all its glory. Markson’s Pianos have been great. They have puff pieces from the Royal Albert Hall and Arson Venger! North London Piano movers were experts: very careful and a pleasure to watch as they put they backs into it and used their trolley wonderfully well.

Mrs Lloyd was only commenting the other day what life and joy and fun and relaxation a piano might bring to a home.

Lessons from £10 for half an hour subject to availability.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I’m proud of being Welsh, but aren’t dragons a bad thing? Shouldn’t that ancient serpent be crushed beneath our feet and defeated by our saints, not put on our flags?

Christian Pubs?

On Thursday we went for our last supper at the Cock and Dragon in Cockfosters, which was very good, but it’s a shame to have to walk past a Buddha (statue of!) to get a pint.

Mrs Lloyd suggested Christian pubs: a cross on the wall, a good Christian name (St George and the Dragon, perhaps), a few Bibles and good books handy, music that doesn’t tell all and sundry to F*** Off!, that sort of thing. No doubt you could do silly things with Bishop’s Finger Ale, Rambling Rector wine, all sorts of Spirits and so on, but those gimmicks are not really the point. And it needn’t be primarily evangelistic, any more than much else in life is. It would just be showing the Christian virtues of hospitality, welcome, friendship, rest, feasting etc.

In the end we realised that what we wanted was not just a Christian pub but a Christian culture and nation.

Eastbourne: profound thoughts

Our first impressions of Eastbourne were very good. We might look into retiring here when we’ve done our 4 years of ministry. Near us there’s a lovely 12th Century church, a nice old pub, a great little garden / park with a bowling green, and a very handy Waitrose. Every parish should have one.

It goes to show, though, that places, and perhaps particularly English seaside towns, look better in the sunshine. Yesterday we almost got blown away on the seafront and today its pouring with rain – which is good for blogging. The family style open air service for all ages has fled to the church building.

Some people have mentioned to us, in caring, subtle and gentle ways, you understand, that perhaps there may be one or two older people in Eastbourne. But we’ve seen quite a few youths. Some even had green hair and those belts they wear as skirts.

I fear I may spend most of my time driving round the one way system rather than ministering the gospel. You follow the signs for “ring road” here and it doesn’t send you conveniently to a quick bypass going around the town but round and round in circles past the car park and a few shops where you’re forced to choose between two different directions you don’t want to go in and worry about juggling between lanes.

We can highly recommend the cod and chips, bread and butter and Boddingtons at the Trident restaurant in the Old Town. I’m thinking of making it a Friday night tradition. Becoming a Greek to the Greeks, and all that.

I say the Old Town, that’s what we’re calling it, though in fact it might be in Down Side. That’s Down as in The South Downs, rather than “down at heal” or anything like that, of course.

We’re very much looking forward to the touristy exploits that the town has to offer. The military museum and the redoubt looks fun. Mrs Lloyd’s father might like the miniature railway. We’ve seen quite a few posh gigs advertised for the Mrs to go to to get a bit of culture.

Most Moved Mover

Well, we’ve moved. We’re nearly fully unpacked. Our stuff seems to have survived. There was one chipped wine glass, a broken mug handle and a bent mop, but we are basically unscathed. Next time I think we’ll leave the packing to the professionals and the invoice to the Church of England. We’ve emptied most of the boxes too, so we urgently need Pickfords to come and take them away. Thankfully our time in the smallest flat in Oak Hill has fitted us for lots of shimmying past ill placed objects in confined spaces.

Many many thanks are due to the good people of Holy Trinity, Eastbourne, who have kindly given the curate’s house a major face lift. We were even left some provisions (in a gift wrapped box that Mrs Lloyd has earmarked for the future cat!). We were delighted with the big box of Quality Street and even more delighted when it turned out to be an extremely yummy Victoria sponge. If the baker would care to reveal himself, the curate would be most happy to pop round for more tea.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The silence around here is partly due to the fact that we've been packing up our lives into boxes. We're moving to Eastbourne. Blogging only on rainy days from now on, perhaps.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The world as sacramental book

It is common in theology to think of the whole universe as sacramental. It is also common to think of creation as “God’s book”. If we also think of the Bible as God’s sacramental book, perhaps these two ways of thinking about the world and the Word may be combined.

Language: Substance & Accidents

Aristotle’s distinction between substance (inner essence or reality) and accidents (outward appearance or form) is applied to the Lord’s Supper in the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

Roger Bacon (ca. 1214-1292) applied also applied the same distinction to languages arguing that: “with respect to its substance, grammar is one and the same in all languages, although it does vary accidentally”.

Its not a very helpful way of thinking in either case.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Going on a Summer Holiday

We’re off to Spain in the early hours of the morning. We’re renting a house near Rhonda, about an hour north of Malaga, with my parents and little sister. I hope to read by the pool rather than in my study for a week!

Semiotics Bibliography

Just in case its of any use or interest to anyone, here's a 3 page Word document bibliography about semiotics, structuralism, theology, scripture and the Lord's Supper.