Friday, 29 April 2016

Terry Hampton Moves to Grouville in 1983

Just before he moved to Grouville Church, the Reverend Terry Hampton penned this piece for “The Pilot” magazine which is a look back at his life, and his time in St Ouen and at St Aubin on the Hill. It is written in his inimitable style, full of humour, but also the deep faith which was also the mark of the man.

The cover of that edition of “The Pilot” has a lovely photo of Terry and his wife Rosemary against the backdrop of Grouville Church., which I have reproduced above.

During his time at St Aubin on the Hill, Terry became a good friend, and in fact I am godfather to his youngest daughter stemming from that friendship. It was something of a wrench when the family left St Aubin for pastures new, but it was nice to visit them, usually on a Saturday morning, at Grouville when working with Rosemary on the Celebration of St Francis, and the Grouville History Pageant.

Spiritual Milestones
By Terry Hampton

(Whose Induction and Institution as Rector of St. Martin de Grouville will take place on 31st October 1983)

Last year I went to one of our local schools to talk about " A Day in the life of a clergyman". The best bit was the questions afterwards! "Do you get paid?" "Why don't some priests marry?" and a lot more besides.

To many people, not only youngsters, the way we spend our day is largely a mystery. Older people have ideas about us pootling around in slippers during the morning, reading The Times or perhaps The PILOT, doing a spot of gardening or looking at our butterfly collection before having lunch, a post-prandial nap, and then maybe, a few gentle visits. Tea, then the rigours of an evening meeting, and so to bed. No wonder clergy live so long!

Few of our parishioners know how we became Christians, or of the slog to make Theological College and convincing doubting Bishops, panels that God had called us into the ministry. Our worthy Editor has asked me to jot down a few spiritual milestones, and in the hope that some may be encouraged, here we go.

A Fearful Pest !

Milestone No 1. A small village between Lincoln and Gainsborough called Sturton by Stow. On the hills nearby, Scampton aerodrome, place of the Dam-Buster squadron. Because my parents had split up, I grew up with another family. They went regularly to church and took me along. Later Sunday School, where I was a fearful pest and my long suffering teacher vowed I would never survive to be twenty. (I went back years later as an Ordinand, and she was delighted that I was still alive and unhung, and that God truly moves in mysterious ways!) So the pattern of Sunday worship, and the thrill of being allowed to pass the collecting bag down the pew which only one Warden allowed; he has since claimed much credit for my becoming a cleric.

Amongst Real Friends

Milestone No 2. St Ouen, Jersey, our home from 1947 to 1960, A great parish to grow up in, and St Ouen's Church, a place of many wonderful memories. Edward and Molly Richardson, who put up with a very unruly group of lads, who loved us, prayed with and for us, and made their home a place of meeting and growing on Sunday evenings. Molly who taught me Latin, and Edward who let me loose on taking services, and who became such deep and wonderful friends so that I stayed with them before Rosemary and I were married in 1963. (Our twentieth wedding anniversary was in Israel this summer, spent on a camp site just outside Jerusalem.) Friends have always meant much to me, and the friends made in my St Ouen's days I still have: Brian is Vice-Principal of Victoria College, Francois is a fearsome Inspector of Produce, his brother Edouard and Jean have both made their marks in London, and in our own. States, Rodney is a lecturer up North, and so on.

Christianity: Attractive and Simple

Milestone No3. St Ouen was the means whereby a group of us went to Lee Abbey Youth Camp in 1956. There we met a remarkable and gifted man called "Scant" - officially Canon Scantlebury of Carlisle Cathedral, but Scant to all. He made Christianity so attractive and so simple that at Lee Abbey I become a committed Christian. (Sorry about those who don't like that word "committed", but .1 can't think of a better one.) Two years after Lee Abbey, at a Bryan Green Mission to Jersey, I felt that God was calling me into the ministry of the church. When I told Edward Richardson, he too was heard to murmur "God moves in a mysterious way"... .(Now where had I heard that phrase before?)

Then followed several years of study for more "O" levels, including Latin, and "A" levels done by correspondence course, in Roman History and Divinity. That really was a slog as I was doing both subjects in under a year, while still working all day at a building firm. But God who gives us the tasks, also gives us the strength for them. Four years at the London College of Divinity, where my New Testament tutor was Michael Green, were tremendous fun, as well as tough going academically. The friends made there have been over for holidays with us and have provided a lot of locum cover.

The Church Family

Milestone No4. St Aubin on-the-Hill, to distinguish it from the other churches in the village! Ten extremely happy years building up a church family, and working with Michael Halliwell, Gerald Stoddern, Colin Hough and John Le Page. I can't honestly say that I shall miss some of those protracted staff meetings, but I shall miss the fellowship and fun we had together. From the laughter coming from the vestry I've often wondered what the Communicare staff thought we did in there, and it was through sharing the funny things as well as the sadnesses, that we became a strong team.

I shall miss that very much, but I hope that we can build up a simple system of meeting with the Grouville clergy, Malcolm Brookes, Father Michael Ryan, John Dodd, and Malcolm Beale at St Clement. Clergy and people must work and share more together because we are all parts of the Body of Christ. The Wardens and Church Committee at Grouville have already made us feel very welcome, and St Martin de Grouville will be another milestone for us; teaching us new things, and I'm sure, being willing to learn from insights we have gained working for God in other parishes.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

A Tale of Two Islands

As I write this, the Guernsey elections are underway. Unlike Jersey, where collective responsibility has cemented the government together, and silenced dissent amongst Ministers and Assistant Ministers, Guernsey sees Ministerial government as a failed experiment.

C.S. Lewis notable said this on progress:

“Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

It remains to be seen who has taken the wrong road, but Guernsey and Jersey have now taken very different roads, and for Guernsey there is a return to greater participation by all elected members in the government of their Island, as they return to a committee structure.

The status of scrutiny in Jersey, which was supposed to provide balance, is surely now questionable since the refusal of the Treasury Minister and the States of Jersey Development Company to supply information to Scrutiny in a timely manner, and then with caveats and grudgingly. If Scrutiny cannot access information to do its job, then it is a step along the wrong road.

And while collective responsibility works with a cabinet whose membership is very small compared to the whole number of members of Parliament, it remains to be seen whether it can work when those drawn into its remit effectively comprise almost half of the States.

A record number of people have given their stamp of approval to Guernsey's 2016 election by signing up for postal votes. The popularity of posting your vote - allowed in Guernsey since 1972 - has grown significantly in recent years. Voters had until midday on Election day to deliver their completed ballot slips, either by post or by hand, to Sir Charles Frossard House. Postal votes are available to all islanders who wish to vote in this way.

In Jersey, postal voting is restricted to those outside of the Island at the time of the election. Pre-poll voting, including the necessity of election officials to visit establishments (such as old people’s homes) has taken its place. This is clearly not nearly as convenient as being able to apply for a form, and then sign an election form and post it in, without having to be inconvenienced by attending a polling station.

In many respects this is a backward step, which was largely a result of postal voting apparently leading to increased numbers of Jersey Democratic Alliance votes in St Helier, and the suspicion of undue influence. In fact, the Reform vote has held up despite the absence of postal voting, but a new problem has arisen – that of the astute politician who visits an old people’s home shortly before a visit from the electoral officers attend to take votes.

The number of seats in Guernsey has been reduced from seven to five, as part of the wider cut to the total number of deputies from 45 to 38. Despite calls for a reduction of seats in Jersey, it has singularly failed to do anything like that, as the different vested interests all manage to spoil any suggestions from getting past the States.

A total of 30,320 people, just under half of the population of Guernsey and Herm, have registered to vote in the election. In 2014, the Jersey elections saw a total of 39,697 registered voters in Jersey, a considerably lower percentage of the population of Jersey, coming in at only 39.7%. Registration in Guernsey can be done online, while Jersey hopes to have that in place by the next elections.

Guernsey also has seven electoral districts, and the ratio of voters to Deputies standing is pretty close across the board. In Jersey,Parishes like St Mary have considerably more voter power than those in larger Parishes, and a vote in St Mary is worth double that of a vote in St Helier. Despite many attempts to get fairer representation, this has failed, mainly because of the different vested interests in the States blocking change.

However, Guernsey still has no electronic voting within their States Chamber, whereas it has been present in Jersey for many years. As the Guernsey Press asked: “Where, for example, is a single form breaking down how each member has voted on each contentious issue over the past two years? “ In Guernsey it is almost impossible to see patterns in voting; in Jersey it is recorded and available in hours.

Neither Island is yet looking at electronic voting at polls. Jersey is to consider voting machines at polling stations, but that is about the extent. As is so often the case, rather archaic arguments about security are raised, as if we were still living in the age when the internet was born. Online banking systems use sophisticated security methods all the time, and quite frankly, if the powers that be have so little faith in electronic voting, they should ensure that no States employees or members use electronic banking.

As the Internation Business Times commented: “We can bank, shop, communicate, and order a new passport or driving license online, so why can't we use the internet to vote”. And yet there are some problems – as Graham Cluley pointed out, a denial of service attack on the voting portal on election day could well cause major problems.

But even electronic voting machines would be a step in the right direction, because it would enable votes to be counted almost instantaneously, and would also allow the move to more representative voting systems than first past the post. Other systems invariable require longer times to collate votes, but a voting machine would take that problem away.

In the meantime, Guernsey’s election will be over by the time you read this, and they will be moving towards a return to Committee government. Time alone will tell whether Guernsey was right to call it a day on Ministerial government, or whether Jersey was correct to sail full steam ahead through sometimes foggy waters.

Postscript: turnout is 71.9% , compared to Jersey at a paltry 45-50%, and across the island, 21,803 people voted on Wednesday - 7% more than in 2012 (71.4%). Real change has taken place, which seems not to be possible in Jersey, and I do wonder if it is time to revisit larger constituences, as at present Minister can effectively be in small "safe" seats, like St Lawrence, where there was not even an election in 2014.

In Guernsey, they can see that their votes can make a difference, and what a difference to registration and turnout. Jersey's low registration, and low turnout, are indicative that there is something seriously amiss, and a huge disconnect between potential electorate and the States. That is not good for a healthy democracy.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Theatre of Death: A Solution

Theatre of Death: A Solution

"But what do you make of the problem?" asked Inspector West. "Well, you say the wife had sparkle, and that she was a bright thing," said Miss Marple, resuming her knitting, "But you know, that doesn't mean she was clever. I remember dear Jane Helier, such a pretty young woman but not clever, these theatrical people are often not, you know. Talented, but easily tricked. As this woman was by her husband, you know."

"We suspect the husband. But who is 'Sandra'? What about the diary? And why did he do it?"

"Well, no woman, even of the stage, would go out to a meeting without taking her handbag. We never leave them, do we? So you see, Inspector, it was not her handbag, but her husband's."

"The ventriloquist?" asked the Inspector, perplexed.

"No, the husband was a drag artist, under the name of 'Sandra'." replied Miss Marple, "That explains the handbag, and also his high-pitched squeaky voice. It was she who was the ventriloquist. That was what I meant about mushrooms and toadstools. You took things the wrong way round. I have not seen many women ventriloquists, so it must have been quite an unusual act - and there is her success story.”

“As for the husband, he was jealous and angry. She was taking his career away from him and, I suspect, about to leave him. Look at all their rows. And stage people are so flighty, I often think. That is the whole sad story. And you see, everything fits together nicely. No loose ends."

Miss Marple paused, and looked anxious, "Now just I moment, while I count this row. I fear I may have dropped a stitch."

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Theatre of Death: A Puzzle

Theatre of Death: A Puzzle

"I really would be most grateful if you could help, Miss Marple." said Inspector West. Miss Marple got out her knitting bag, and began to knit. "Yes, yes, do go on, my dear Inspector." The Inspector got out his notebook, and glanced at it: "Well, this is what you might call a theatrical murder. Both husband and wife were on the stage, you see, in variety acts. It was the wife who had been killed. “

“Apparently, she used to be the husband's assistant, before her own career took off. From friends, I gathered she was the bright one of the pair - plenty of sparkle, they said. She had gone out one morning and never returned. Later her body was found near the canal -strangled. We traced an old drunk by there, who recalled two women struggling."

"What was the husband like?" asked Miss Marple, as her knitting needles clacked merrily away.

"Friends said that he was not too smart. A bit of a dummy. Then they laughed. I didn't realise what they meant until I saw inside the flat. There on the sofa was a ventriloquist's dummy, an obscene grin on its juvenile features. I interviewed the husband, and he brought out her handbag, which it seems she left behind. Inside, her diary confirmed that she had a meeting with 'Sandra' beside the canal, at 11.00 -and that was the time of death, give or take five minutes.”

“I also questioned him about the breakup of their act, and he commented that she did not like a man who used a high-pitched squeaky voice in their act. So many loose ends. How do they tie up?"

"I am reminded so much of Mrs Smith's little housemaid," said Miss Marple, "She never could distinguish between mushrooms and toadstools." 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Do you know these words?

From "The Pilot", 1949, G.R. Balleine gave these definitions of Church terms:


BANNS OF MARRIAGE.-The public proclamation of an intended marriage for three Sundays in the Church of the parish in which each of the parties lives or habitually worships, in order that anyone who knows a " just impediment " to the marriage may make it known.

BAPTISM -The Sacrament “ordained by Christ Himself," by which a new member is `' grafted into the body of Christ's Church “by " water, wherein a person is baptized, In the -Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

BAPTISTRY-Part of a church set apart for the administration of Baptism.

BEATITUDES.-The eight declarations of blessedness made by our Lord at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the---."

BENEDICITE--A Canticle attributed in the Apocrypha to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the
fiery furnace, which may be used as an alternative to the Te Deum (during Lent and on other occasions.

BENDICITUS --The Song of Zacharias after the circumcision of St. John the Baptist, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel” (Luke I: 68), used at Morning Prayer after the Second Lesson.

BIDDING PRAYER - An exhortation to pray for certain specific objects, sometimes used before the

BIRETTA.-A square cap often worn by clergy at outdoor functions.

BISHOP.-A clergyman consecrated to the highest rank in Holy Orders, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, for the spiritual supervision of a diocese. Special functions reserved for him are Confirmation, the selection and Ordination of new clergy, the licensing and instituting of clergy to parishes, and the Consecration of new churches.

BLACK LETTER – Minor Festivals in the Prayer Book Calendar for which no collect is provided. In old calendars these were printed in black, while the Greater Festivals were printed in red.

CANON The Greek word for a rule or list. Used :

(a) for Clergy who are on the list of those attached to a Cathedral, e.g. Canon Le Marinell
 (b) Books on the list of those accepted by the Church as Scripture, the Canon of Scripture.
(c) The list of Saints accepted and canonized by the Church.
(d) Certain laws which govern the Church, e.g..The Jersey Canons of 1628.
(e) Hymn-tunes in which one group of voices repeat; the notes that another group has previously sung, (as in 'Three Blind Mice), e.g. Tallis’ Canon set to “Glory to Thee, My God, This Night”

CANTATE –The 98th Psalm, “O Come Let us Sing Unto the Lord”, used as an alternative to the Magnificat at Evening Prayer

CANTICLES – A name given to prose hymns such as the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

CAROL – A glorious sacred song of a lighter and more popular type than a hymn. There are Eastertide Carols, and Ascension tide Carols as well as Christmas Carols.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

War and the Princess

Back in the Second World War, Princess Elizabeth - Elizabeth Windsor, was service number 230873, for she had volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.

In 1942, at age 16, Elizabeth registered with the Labour Exchange –the British employment agency at the time – and was extremely keen to join a division of the women’s armed forces. Her father was reluctant to let her do so, but eventually relented. Once in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, Elizabeth learned how to change a wheel, deconstruct and rebuild engines, and drive ambulances and other vehicles.

Collier's Magazine says that "One of her major joys was to get dirt under her nails and grease stains in her hands, and display these signs of labour to her friends"

This poem, written to commemorate her 90th birthday, looks back on that period in history, when the world was at war, and a great and heroic generation, ordinary men and women, supported the war effort, and she was clearly determined to be part of that, a Royalty that was prepared to "roll up its sleeves" and get "stuck in". She remains, a thread connecting us to that time, when people could see what really mattered, and fought for freedom. It is also why the poem sets the backdrop against which she did her bit for the war effort.

All this is seventy five odd years in the past. A new generation now holds the stage. The Queen’s generation has already slipped into the shadows of this pageant we call “life”, but she remains, a firm link to those days of that war to rescue freedom, and save those values which we know so often treat too lightly.

War and the Princess

The bombs are falling, falling, down:
The Blitz descends on London Town;
And night time full of heavy roar,
Bombers fly overhead once more;
And below the city, underground,
People shelter, hear that sound;
Hitler strikes with power and might:
The buildings blazing burn all night;
The World at War, and all must pray,
No more death will come this way;
Fire fighters out, the hiss of steam,
As water strikes the burning beam;
In the skies, the RAF fights back,
And courage, airmen do not lack;
Spitfires, Battle of Britain fight,
Against the many, an air force slight;
And at sea, the navy guards the seas,
The U-Boats swarm like dread disease;
The convoy is protected, lifeline ships,
Across stormy Atlantic making trips;
And soldiers train, prepare to fight,
Against all the Third Reich’s might;
Driving military trucks, doing her bit,
Elizabeth did not simply wait and sit;
Trained as driver and mechanic too,
Drove military trucks, part of the crew;
A Women’s Auxiliary, a volunteer,
To help her country loved so dear;
Now she celebrates her ninety years,
A lifetime away from wartime fears;
And yet she was there, and not aloof:
Embodiment of the crown, living proof,
Of a princess who served, and became
The Queen, and remains the same;
Through the war, and after in peace:
She carries on duty, does not cease:
In praise of the princess, of long ago,
Became the Queen we love and know.