Recommended website of the week: Opinionated Vicar

I haven’t done this feature recently, but I’ve been meaning to give this blog a plug for a long time.  Opinionated Vicar is one of the longest running UK Christian blogs that I know of, but it’s owner, Rev David Keen, continues to write top quality posts after all this time.

David is a Church of England Vicar down in Somerset and has been blogging since 2006.  His blog is definitely one of my favourites and I regularly read his offerings.  He manages to mix intelligent and wise opinion with humour and whatever else he can find of interest on the internet.  He mainly writes either on the state of the Church of England or current political news from a Christian perspective with continual perceptive analysis that often picks up what many others have missed.

Today he’s written a great piece on the life of St. George who served Emperor Diocletian as a soldier and was martyred in 303AD.  Over the last couple of weeks, David has written a series of informative articles on Margaret Thatcher and her legacy, each of which has an important point to make:

The Legacy of Thatcher’s Children

Thatcher: ‘there’s no such thing as society’. Cameron: ‘there’s no such thing as the welfare state’?

I Vow To Thee My Country: Idolatry Set to a Good Tune

Bishop of London’s sermon at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral

This comment from the last of these blog posts which reviews the Bishop of London’s sermon at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral particularly struck me:

‘Bishop of London: In [Margaret Thatcher’s] words, “the basic ties of the family are at the heart of our society and are the very nursery of civic virtue”. Such moral and spiritual capital is accumulated over generations but can be easily eroded.

‘She referred to the Christian doctrine, “that we are all members one of another, expressed in the concept of the Church on earth as the Body of Christ. From this we learn our interdependence and the great truth that we do not achieve happiness or salvation in isolation from each other but as members of Society.”

‘That erosion is happening fast – it’s hard to compare with life 20-30 years ago, but there seems to be a greater sense of dependence, and less of a sense of leadership and social responsibility. From the unscientific basis of membership of local Facebook groups in Yeovil, there are quite a lot of people who will identify a problem and ask what the council/government/parents will do about it, but not very many who will say ‘this is my community, so it’s my responsibility, what can I do to improve it?’ The main direction people seem to channel this in is into charity fundraising: which is good, but it still leaves  it up to organisations/agencies/charities to do the work.
‘Sadly Thatcherism is identified less with ‘sympathy and co-operation’ and more with individualism and the free market, which naturally corrodes community. Big state New Labour hasn’t done anything to rectify this. Cameron is attempting to kick-start the ‘Big Society’ by putting government provision into retreat, and loading charities with more need whilst their financial support declines.
‘Margaret Thatcher’s comments on happiness are right, but our politicians of all colours haven’t really found a way to put them into practice.’
Many people know of David already, but if you don’t I highly recommend you follow both his blog and also his Twitter account at @davidmkeen.


Categories: Blogging, Church, Faith in society

Tags: , ,

4 replies

  1. Wow, thankyou, that’s very kind of you, and very encouraging. Feeling even more blessed now than I was already!

  2. Wholeheartedly agree — always worth reading; and it’s via David’s blog that I discovered Coldplay. He has much to answer for, does the Revd Keen: top man 🙂

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