St John the Baptist, Boldre St Nicholas, Pilley

I regularly visited two gaols in my second Australian
parish. One was for the criminally insane, the other for
more conventional rogues, rascals, scallywags and perverts.
When I first visited the latter I was all but overcome
with nostalgia. The atmosphere of the place reminded me
of boarding school. It was not so much the lack of freedom, as the uncomplicated macho philistinism of an allmale society. Simple masculine values and predilections
were very much in evidence: beautiful women and muscular
men. The walls of the cells were plastered with pictures of
gleaming pectorals and bulging, bulbous bosoms. Dominant inmates swaggered around in minuscule shorts that
showed off beefy calves and monstrous hams. I felt at
home. It was boarding school all over again.
Perhaps one of the reasons for there being fewer
men in church than women is the Church's failure to recognise that to most males God, to be God, needs muscle and
machismo. That many young, “macho” men prefer Islam
to Christianity might partly be for just this reason. Where
in the Church does a red-blooded male find muscle?
I am not immune to the appeal of “muscular Christianity”. Aware of the Church's less than virile image I often
find myself over compensating. Gentle Jesus, meek and mild
rarely features in my preaching, writing or conversation.
Light on a dark horse
One of my favourite autobiographies is by possibly
the twentieth century's most virile of Christian poets, Roy
Campbell. He was a hunter, fisherman, bull-fighter and the
scourge and satirist of effeminate, left-wing poets. He converted to Roman Catholicism, was one of the very few intellectuals and poets who fought on Franco's side in the
Spanish Civil War and was a very fine poet. His autobiography, Light On A Dark Horse is an excellent read. His translations of the poems of St John of the Cross are still considered incomparable.
The following two samples of his lovely lyrics are
not necessarily his best, they are simply favourites of mine:
Fishing Boats in Martigues
Around the quays, kicked off in twos
The Four Winds dry their wooden shoes.
Mass at Dawn
I dropped my sail and dried my dripping seines
Where the white quay is chequered by cool planes
In whose great branches, always out of sight,
The nightingales are singing day and night.
Though all was grey beneath the moon's grey beam,
My boat in her new paint shone like a bride,
And silver in my basket shone the bream:
My arms were tired and I was heavy-eyed,
But when with food and drink, at morning-light,
The children met me at the water-side,
Never was wine so red or bread so white.
This most attractive, swash-buckling, brawling, bullfighting, fishing, soldiering, virile man's man, Roy Campbell, is at least three quarters bogus, I gather. The subject of
his enjoyable autobiography is largely a self-invented myth.
Wider reading reveals him to me as nowhere near the virile
dare-devil he paints himself, or appears to be from his poetry. This adds an ironic authenticity to his attractiveness.
Virility is always largely an act is it not? It is a male's dream
or fantasy. The decapitating, swaggering, misogynistic barbarians who flock to the black banner of “Isis” are also,
surely, just as fundamentally bogus.
(Andrew Neaum)
All Andrew’ Neaum’s weekly articles are at:
Starting Mon, 17 Nov at 7.00pm in the Vicarage: a four week
Advent Discussion Group open to all. Using either a chapter
from Rowan William's “The Christian Faith” or one from
"Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make
Surprising Emotional Sense" by Francis Spufford, we will talk together about the Christian faith openly, frankly and critically.
St John the Baptist, Boldre
St Nicholas, Pilley
Parish Priest: The Reverend Canon Andrew Neaum
Phone: 01590 718439 Mobile 07808057168
Email: [email protected]
St Mary the Virgin, South Baddesley
Parish Priest: The Reverend Lynda Mead
Phone: 023 8084 8901 Email: r [email protected]
Benefice Office (at St Nicholas Pilley)
Church Secretary: Tim Macair e
Office hours: Mon, Wed & Thur s: 9am-11am
Phone: 01590 673484 Email: bsbbchur [email protected]
Benefice Website: www.boldr echur
Today: Last Sunday after Trinity 26 Oct 2014
St Nicholas’ Pilley
8.00 Holy Communion
St Mary’s Sth Baddesley 9.30 Matins
St John’s Boldre
10.30 Eucharist & Children’s Club
St John’s Boldre
6.30 Group Evensong
PRAYER TODAY: Last Sunday after Trinity
Worldwide Church: Church of Ceylon: Its Bishops, cler-
gy and people. Pray for reconciliation between Tamils and
Sinhalese. Church of Sweden, Diocese of Vaxjö: Bp JanOlaf Johansson, clergy and people. Church of England,
Diocese of Oxford: Bishop John Pritchard, clergy and people.
On Bible Sunday: Biblical theologians, scholars, and expositors.
Prayers are asked for : Sue Bedingham, Colin Erne, David
Balme, Janet, Lucy, Yvonne. R.I.P. Antony Havers, Marjorie
Mathew and Alfred the Great, King and Translator
Activities This Week .
Tue 28 Oct - 10.30 am Vintage fitness. Seated exercise to
music at St Nicholas, Pilley & refreshments
Wed 29 Oct - 10.30 am Eucharist at St Nicholas’ Pilley
Thu 30 Oct - 10.30 am Vintage Fitness. As Tuesday.
Sat 1 Nov - 2.30pm St John’s. Funeral Antony Havers
Next Sunday 2 November: All Souls’ Day
St Nicholas’ Pilley
8.00 Holy Communion
St John’s Boldre 10.30 Holy Communion, including All
Souls Remembrance & Children’s Club
6.30 Group Evensong
St Mary’s Sth Baddesley
Dates for the Diary
2 Nov Sun - Group Advent Service, St Luke’s Sway
8 Nov Sat - Winter Bazaar (St John’s Stalls)
9 Nov Sun - Remembrance Sunday
15 Nov Sat - Benefice Quiz
17 Nov Mon - 7.00pm Start of Advent Study Groups Vicarage
29 Nov Wed - St Mary’s Christmas Fair, Sth Bad. School Hall
13 Dec Sat - St John’s. Walhampton School Carol Service
15-16 Dec - St Nicholas Singers Carol Concerts
17 Dec Wed - St John’s. Hill House School Carols
Put the names of loved one to be remembered by name at St
Nicholas’ and St John’s next Sunday on the list by the door
Saturday 8 November St John’s has five tables to raise funds
for our church at this Pilley Pantomime Players event.
If you are able to contribute to our tables please contact :
Books & DVDs
Graham Edmiston 678550
Bread, Cakes, Biscuits, pastries
Janet Anderson 673858
Gifts – new/nearly new (not clothes) Jean Gibbins 672755
Jewellery & Scarves
Jean Gibbins 672755
Jams, Chutneys etc
Jean Gibbins 672755
If you are able and willing to help man a table on the day please
contact Graham : home 01590 678550 mobile: 07810 862292
Email: [email protected]
FOOD FOR THOUGHT— a fair exchange?
The Benefice Quiz, our annual competition with St Mary’s, is at
7pm on Sat. 15 November. It is St Mary’s turn to organise the
event and supper this year. Apparently Lewis and Linda’s questions will be slightly less abstruse than in the past. Tickets for St
John’s (6 tables of 8 people each) from Graham Edmiston at £8
per person, including supper. His contact details are above.