Lily Allen’s Newest Fan–The Church of England

Dr. Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, has created a five week course in preparation for Lent called Exploring God’s Mercy, which urges Christians to immerse themselves in pop culture in order to better relate to that week’s sermon theme.   This includes YouTube videos, podcasts, iPods, films, etc.

In explaining his support for his course, Dr. Croft explained, “The depth, strength and constancy of God’s love is of course a lifetime’s journey and Exploring God’s Mercy is designed to take groups or individuals further on that journey.”

One of Dr. Croft’s choices this year to study is pop star Lily Allen’s  song “The Fear.” Containing her signature sarcasm and biting criticism, Allen’s lyrics include:

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

And I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
‘Cuz everyone knows that’s how you get famous
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track, yeah I’m on to a winner

[CHORUS]
I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
And when do you think it will all become clear?
‘Cuz I’m being taken over by the Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
And that’s what makes my life so fantastic

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
‘Cuz I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner

I personally enjoy  “The Fear”  as the lyrics are very clever and thought-provoking.  And yes, I’ll admit–the tune is insatiably catchy.  I also like the idea of integrating less obvious aspects of popular culture into a Christian realm.  However, Lily Allen herself is a highly controversial figure–often ruthless in her comments and engaging in behavior some would consider not very Christian (or even dignified) at all!  Still, if this is the kind of direction Dr. Croft is heading in, it’ll be very interesting to see what’s in store for the weeks to come!

First Anglicans Received into Roman Catholic Church

January 1 witnessed the conversion of Anglicans to Catholicism, under the plan introduced by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 to welcome ‘disillusioned’ Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church.

Those confirmed at this past Saturday’s service, held at Westminster Cathedral in London, hailed from around 20 different Church of England parishes, including three former bishops.

Approximately 50 clergy are expected to defect to the Catholic Church in the imminent months; the official timetable will be released later this month.

Archbishop of Canterbury heads to Vatican

There are big things happening in the Church of England.  We found this article on christiantoday.com:

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of Anglicans worldwide, will visit the Vatican on November 17 in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

The visit follows the announcement earlier this week from five Church of England bishops of their decision to join the Roman Catholic Church.

The bishops issued a statement explaining their reasons for leaving the Church of England: “[P]articularly we have been distressed by developments in Faith and Order in Anglicanism which we believe to be incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the Church for nearly two thousand years.”

They said they would resign from their pastoral responsibilities on December 31 and join an ordinariate once one is created by the Roman Catholic Church.

Last year, the Vatican made a historic decision to create an apostolic constitution that would provide Vatican guidelines on integrating disaffected Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI made the provision in response to the numerous requests he received from Anglicans unhappy with the ordination of women and noncelibate gay bishops.

The structure would allow converts to enter into full communion with Rome but still retain certain Anglican rituals and traditions. For example, married clerics would be able to become Catholic priests but not Catholic bishops.

One of the breakaway bishops, John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, predicts that an exodus of “thousands” of lay Anglicans will occur once the ordinariate is formed.

The entire article can be found here.