My friends see me as the mad vicar, with a tendency to chase up strange phantoms (like 9/11 conspiracy theories and Peak Oil...)
Have a read of this. I enjoy Giles Fraser, even when I sometimes disagree with him (absolutely not the case on this occasion). I particularly liked this: "In exchange for a walk-on part during major family occasions and the opportunity to be custodian of the country's most impressive collection of buildings, the vicar promised discretion in all things pertaining to faith: he agreed to treat God as a private matter. In a country exhausted by wars about religion, the creation of the nonreligious priest was a masterstroke of English inventiveness. And once the priest had been cut off from the source of his fire and reassigned to judge marrows at the village fete, his transformation from figure of fear to figure of fun was complete."
It was precisely because that was my image of the priest that I had a struggle accepting my vocation (I still struggle with it). I think I have too much passion to fit into the establishment box. What encourages me is that the passion is finding an outlet, and seems to be sparking a response. I'm being profiled in the Colchester local paper tomorrow, and Channel 4 want me to take part in a documentary in the autumn.
God is up to something - the Spirit is restless and uprooting the old certainties. I'm more and more convinced that a real capital-R Revival is around the corner.