This picture shows the Rev David Hart, who has just had his licence to officiate renewed by the Bishop of Ely, Dr Anthony Russell, in The Hindu this week.[Ganesh-chaturthi just got over and one can imagine the chaos in Bombay as millions took their neighborhood and household idols of the god for visarjan, to be immersed in the sea. Interesting to recall that the modern celebration of Ganesh-chaturthi has nationalistic origins -- it was Bal Gangadhar Tilak who encouraged this particular form of neighborhood celebration as a means to spread and increase pro-independence fervor. Georgette also shares this hilarious joke related to Ganesh-chaturthi.]
He is blessing the four-armed elephant god Ganesh, outside his house in India, before going off on pilgrimage to dip it in the ocean. He converted to Hinduism, before his licence was renewed but without telling poor Dr Russell, and moved to India from Loughborough where he was senior Anglican chaplain at the university.
Mr Hart, an Oxford graduate, believes there will be no problem with him officiating as an Ánglican priest when he returns to visit England, staying in the house he owns in Stretham, Ely. Rev Pauline Scott, Vicar of St James in Stretham, wasn't so sure when I spoke to her yesterday. 'We prefer our priests to be Christian,' she said.
The second is an essay by Peter Brown, a layman at St. Christopher's in Spartanburg, in the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina (which is headquartered in Columbia), entitled, "Why I am thinking of leaving the Episcopal Church" (Via Pontifications). [This just reminded me ... Fr. Isaac Hecker also contemplated the Episcopal Church, before he was baptized a Roman Catholic. This is what he had to say about the Episcopal Church in 1844, after he had made up his mind to become Catholic. "Why should one go to a weak and almost dried up spring when there is one equally as near, fresh, always flowing and full of life?" I guess nowadays one goes "ouch." It's the triumphalistic language of a different age ... but still, there it is, FWIW. ["The Yankee Paul: Isaac Thomas Hecker" by Vincent F. Holden CSP. The Bruce Pub. Co. Milwaukee. 1958. p. 97]