It is set in the genre of historical fiction. Like all such it has to be based on fact and takes care to avoid reference to people actually alive today, but tries to be accurate about the past, as in my descriptions of various founding fathers and a variety of saints. The website refers now, less to the immediate past than to an imagined and realistic image of the Church of England as it is.
The past nature of the Church of England is described in the novels I have been working on for the past years, off and on. I was asked once to accept my bishop's nomination of me as an academic at Cambridge along Starbridge lines. The circumstances of the time meant I was unable to accept, although I would not have been to first incumbent of my then benefice to have taught in the University. These novels are, in a way, my "Apologia Pro Vita Anglicana" to make up for my being unable to contribute through that appointment.
"Watch this space," therefore, for the time that someone decides to publish them. They form a series of ministerial chronicles (the “ ... Ad Templum” series ) a chronicle of over lapping periods, mainly twentieth century:
“Divinely ad Templum” deals with normal parish life in the 1990s, with reminiscences from the previous half-century, the characters displaying a variety of distinct psychological profiles as used in the Clinical Theology Association for whom I taught for many years. It reflects also the Church of England as she tries to come to terms with the ordination of women to the priesthood, and the increased influence of the "liberal tendency";
“Victims ad Templum” is a description of the impact of the two world wars and the town planning initiatives post WWII on a settled rural community covering a wide period from c. 1915 to the 1960s;
“Hilariter ad Templum” pokes gentle fun at the church’s obsession with certain kinds of sin above others, looking at a variety of sexual indiscretions and positions, different ways of raising money, the petty jealousies of a small town and parish life in a settled urban community. The date is uncertain but there are women clergy in post, so it has to be post 1994!
“Per Accidiam ad Salutem” deals with depression and the pressures of Army life with particular reference to the problems faced by the cadre of women soldiers and their partners and families as they have emerged and gradually climbed the promotional ladder during the 1980s and 1990s;
“Heaven on Earth” is based around a conversation held by the recording angel at the Pearly Gates with St. Peter in which the nature of human relationships is given a thorough examination as various candidates for admission are presented. It may or may not be fiction - it is however autobiography under some heavy devotional garb. As I wrote in an initial draft of thoughts and ideas: “The story is true. However my own studies on the nature of memory suggest that I leave it to the reader to decide how much is accurate and how much the way my mind chooses to recall it. Whatever the reader might choose to think, it remains my life story with my golden girl. To vary or correct it would require far too much research, I suspect, for anyone to bother. So I hope that the readers will lie back, read on, and enjoy it all; life with her really was that marvellous!”
I reserve copyright in absolutely everything concerned with these works - so hands off without my express, coded, permission!
You will find it at http://st-matildas.tripod.com/ . Please note that I have been ultra-careful to see that all permissions and copyrights were properly mentioned.
Labels: Apologia Pro Vita, Army Life, Church of England, Clinical Theology, historical novels, New Directions, ordinariate, ordinariate + Rome + Church of England, pearly gates, Roman Catholic, Starbridge