They say there are no atheists in a foxhole. But I reckon they're wrong. A foxhole - surrounded by the waste and horror of the Somme, for instance - I reckon that's the ideal place to think atheism may have it right. That's me in the foxhole, that's me in the phosphorous light, losing my religion. Certainly the trenches seem to be the defining experience in the loss of faith of the English people,. Funny how we never lost our faith in the power of human progress, either then or with the horrors of the Nazis or the a Bomb or the a Cultural Revolution. But I guess that's generally other people, isn't it?
Anyway, we had a lot of kerfuffle Thursday night. The unexpected storm meant we had Beaker Folk roaming the floors of the Great House, screaming, in their dressing gowns late into the night.
But last night, it was predicted and I could track the storm's arrival. So we gathered in the conservatory to watch the storm arrive from the south. It was marvellous. We had the windows open, the darkling sky had not quite lost its afterglow over Fenny Stratford. The air was heavy with the smell of honeysuckle and approaching apocalypse. I preached my little sermonette on the subject of our awesome creator God - The Lord of Potential Difference and the Logic that makes electrons fly.
There was a massive sheet of lightning, apparently from Woburn to Ridgmont, it was so huge and bright. The landscape flared into two-dimensional, ghastly light. For a moment it was like demons skipped through the woods towards the Abbey. Three seconds later, came a voice of great thunders like the announcement that Doom is arriving on Platform 1,
Next thing I know, the Beaker Folk are screaming, falling to their knees and begging Thunor to have mercy.
That George Carey's got it all wrong. It's not that the church is one generation from extinction. I reckon we're all just one disaster away from paganism..