The Odd and Damaged

Richard Coles achieved fame with The Communards in the 1980s. After experiencing sex, drugs and rock-and-roll he became committed to God and his Christian faith. He found his spiritual home in the High Anglican Church.

In the past I would have been quick to explain why I’m not Anglo-Catholic (and by implication why Richard is wrong)…

in ‘Fathomless Riches’ he says: Anglo-Catholic churches have traditionally been a place of refuge for the odd and the damaged – one of the tradition’s best features – and eccentricity was not only tolerated but cultivated.’

I’m still unfamiliar with liturgy, vestments and incense… but that sounds like the sort of church that Jesus would approve of.

Richard’s faith developed; he trained for Anglican ministry…

On prayer he says: ‘…there is nothing more important for a Christian to do than to pray. It is so easy to duck it, to move prayer to the margins of our lives and to the life of the church…’

I’m familiar with this vocabulary and explanation…

He often quotes the Bible… Ephesians 2:13-14: ‘But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broke down the dividing wall, that is the hostility between us…’

He explains:‘…the only way we can live alongside other people without deceiving them or ourselves about our competitive, incomplete and occasionally murderous natures is because Christ has made it possible by dying for us so that we can live.’

His answer to the odd and damaged nature of life is found in the death of Jesus…

There’s much in his understanding that I relate to; I warm to his authentic Christian faith. Previously I would have focused on differences; today I accept that we’re all odd and damaged…well I am. I’m grateful to Richard Coles for lessons he’s teaching me.

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