Sunday, 28 March 2004

RW in today's papers

First, several reports of his Easter message to Canterbury diocese (the text of which is not on the diocesan website today):

Sunday Times Hell is Footballers’ Wives, says archbishop
BBC Archbishop’s despair at TV soap
Observer Archbishop sees our sin in Footballers’ Wives
Independent The Archbishop and the ‘Footballers’ Wives’

But better than all that, and tucked away in Christina Odone’s Observer column is this:

Grace and favour
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, came to lunch at the New Statesman last week. We had been trying to guess whether His Grace was the first head of the Church of England to lunch at the New Statesman since its founding in 1913. Had Kingsley Martin invited William Temple during his editorship? Had Paul Johnson invited Michael Ramsay? Whatever the precedents, Dr Williams confounded all prejudices, proving so interesting, intelligent and humourous that even Peter Wilby, our determinedly secular editor, confessed to being impressed. Before the meal, the archbishop intoned a short but eloquent grace, while the rest of the guests - who included Michael Portillo, Adhaf Soueif, Suzi Leather, Zeinab Badawi and Susie Orbach - bowed their heads. After everyone had left and we were conducting our usual postmortem (whom could we commission to write which incendiary piece?), Peter asked me in which language had the archbishop delivered grace. Had it been Latin? Or Aramaic, now revitalised by Mel Gibson? No, it had been in English, I replied, puzzled. Then it came to me, in a blinding flash: words such as ‘trinity’, ‘sacred’, ‘sanctity’, ‘heavenly’, and ‘holy’ have fallen into such disuse that Peter couldn’t recognise them as English.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 28 March 2004 at 2:17 PM GMT | TrackBack
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