THE CATHOLIC HERALD JANUARY 31 2014
Punk rock drummer reveals his conversion
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE DRUMMER from the punk rock band The Clash has described his spiritual conversion in his new book.
In an autobiography Terry Chimes, who drummed on the band’s debut album and toured with them in the early 1980s, writes about his journey back to the Catholic faith.
He describes stumbling across a copy of C S Lewis’s book Mere Christianity at a car boot sale in 1998 and reading about his analysis of the sin of pride.
Mr Chimes writes: “There was a chapter entitled ‘The Great Sin’. The great sin is pride, the tendency we all have to think we are better than someone else. I had always known that pride existed but wondered why it’s referred to as the great sin. That was until I realised the significance of pride as an obstacle to spiritual growth.
“The problem with pride is that those who have the most see it the least. C S Lewis said that if you have done some good works, read some spiritual books, perhaps practised meditation or given up drinking and you take pride in that, thinking
Left: Terry Chimes in 2003 Right: Mr Chimes, in a red shirt, with the rest of The Clash in the early 1980s that you are more spiritual than someone else, then Satan will rub his hands with glee, because he will have caught you in a spiritual trap from which escape is very difficult.”
He continued: “As I read those words I had the chilling awareness that I have been in just such a trap for 20 years. I put the book down and went to sit on the sofa. I was reeling from the realisation that I’d been in a trap for all of that time. Within minutes I was having the most extraordinary experience of my life.”
The 57-year-old goes on to describe the “extraordinary experience” which followed as a presence coming through him “in strong waves”. He said: “At that moment, everything material and concrete seemed like nothing compared to the power and majesty of this presence. Everything in my world seemed to be instantly shattered, leaving me feeling tiny, naked and exposed. At the same time I felt the most extraordinarily powerful love. This presence knew everything about me and yet still loved me.”
He writes: “There were many tears, but also the most profound feeling that I would always be loved until the end of time and beyond. I also realised at that moment that my life could never be the same again. There was the feeling that all of the hairs on my head were standing on end and tingling, a feeling that has stayed with me on and off ever since. I decided to set about rearranging all of my life’s priorities.”
After his time with The Clash Mr Chimes went on tour briefly with the heavy metal band Black Sabbath in the late 1980s. His rock star image underwent some adjustment after he became a teetotal vegetarian and trained as a chiropractor.
In his book Mr Chimes also defends the Sacrament of Confession, saying that after he stole a sword from a car breakers’
yard with a friend, in his youth, he felt “very bad about it” until he went to Confession, where the priest told him off and gave him some homework to do.
He said: “I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I never wanted to have that feeling of a bad conscience again. So despite the criticisms you hear about a Catholic upbringing and the concept of Confession, in my particular case, at the time, it worked well.”
Publisher hits out at ‘poor’ Mass translation
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A CHRISTIAN publisher has said that he didn’t want to publish the new translation of the Mass because it was “so poor it would not last”.
Kevin Mayhew, who is chairman of Kevin Mayhew Publishers, wrote in a letter to the Tablet that: “the text is lumpen, difficult and odd.
“Early on I made a judgment that it was so poor it would not last and that I and that I would not publish any part of it, although, like all publishers, we were asked to bid for the publishing rights,” he wrote.
Mr Mayhew went on to say that there was an urgent need to scrap the new translation.
He said: “The adverse reaction from priests and people confirms that I was right.
“It is urgent to get rid of the new text both because of its ugliness and non-acceptance and for the damage it has done to relationships with other churches that were not even advised of the change in advance.”
Mr Mayhew said that there should be a consultation on the text for the Mass and in the meantime the old texts should be used.
He said: “It is my experience that, even when they might appear to be out of date, Christians honour their holy books, for that is what these are, and are often reluctant to throw them away so i t might be that many churches still have theirs and can rescue them from a cupboard.”
The new translation of the Order of Mass was introduced in parishes in England and Wales in September 2011, and is published by the Catholic Truth Society.
Priest ‘destroys own newsletter’ over advert for lobby group
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A PRIEST destroyed 800 copies of his parish newsletter when he discovered that a lobby group campaigning for changes in the Church was advertised inside it, a blogger has claimed.
The priest, who has not been named, reportedly took the action because he was concerned about the influence of the group, A Call To Action. Writing about the incident on his blog, Fr Ray Blake said: “A few months ago I heard of one young priest, an assistant priest, who discovered an advert for an ACTA meeting on his parish newsletter and had all 800 copies destroyed.”
A Call To Action was formed following a letter in the Tablet in June 2012 from seven priests, who suggested that bishops were not listening to people who lived lives “so often at odds with the institutional teaching of the Church”.
In its mission statement on its website, A Call To Action describes itself as “a group of Catholics, some of whom are ordained, brought together by our love of Christ’s church and our anxiety about its future. Still inspired by the Second Vatican Council we want to contribute fully to the life of our Church so that we may be a more effective sign of the Kingdom of God.
“To do this, we believe that an atmosphere of openness and dialogue both with each other and with our bishops needs developing.”
But the group has attracted criticism from some clergy.
Fr Ed Tomlinson wrote on his blog: “Imagine if I claimed to love my wife but sat down on a regular basis and wrote a long list criticising her every action and belief. It would betray a reality, that I did not in fact love her – only a self-projected vision I held of her, a fake image – that which I hoped she might become if directed by my own agenda. It would be lamentable and she would deserve much better.” Pastor Iuventus: Page 17
School choir makes BBC semi-final
BY CAROLINE ZABOREK
A CATHOLIC prep school choir has reached the semi-finals of BBC One’s Songs of Praise competition.
St Martin’s Ampleforth Choir, prep school to Ampleforth College, will compete alongside six schools in the semi-finals. Three will be selected to move forward to the final. Judges Myleene Klass, Suzi Digby, and Ralph Allwood then have to elect the winning choir.
The head of music at St Martin’s Ampleforth, Vincent Conynham, said: “The children work hard and for many hours at the huge repertoire of vocal music which we cover. To be featured on national television is both exciting and rewarding.”
Scholar claims Noah’s Ark was round
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
AN EXPERT in ancient texts has claimed that Noah’s Ark was round.
Scholar Dr Irving Finkel has managed to gather information on the ark from a
3,700-year-old clay tablet which he analyses in his new book In the Ark before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood.
Dr Finkel says that the ancient Babylonian text describes the ark as a round
220ft diameter coracle with 20ft-high walls.
The tablet suggests that the ark was on two levels with a roof. It was divided into sections for the different animals and was built using ropes and reeds.
Hoxton parish recalls ‘the saint of the slums’ BY ED WEST
SCHOOLCHILDREN in east London have celebrated the 100th anniversary of a London priest known as “the saint of the slums”.
Fr Michael Kelly, who was also known as the saint of Hoxton, died on January 26, 1914, aged 80, having won the respect of local people for his help for the Catholic poor after his arrival at the church in 1894.
The Augustinian priest set up a committee to relieve the distress of a severe winter and founded a school, raising money to fund it.
At the time Hoxton was among the poorest areas in London. Charles Booth wrote in 1902 that “poverty is everywhere, with a considerable admixture of the very poor and vicious”.
The school, St Monica’s, was founded in 1907 and is one of the oldest Catholic schools in London. It moved to i ts current location in 1975. When Fr Kelly died an obituary appeared in The New York Times and pictures of his funeral covered the entire back page of The Daily Sketch, one of the most-read newspapers at the time.
On Monday Bishop John Arnold led St Monica’s Primary School in a thanksgiving Mass to mark the centenary of the death of Fr Kelly.
Bishop Arnold reflected on
Fr Michael’s determination to use the gifts God had given him to build up the community in the area, working tirelessly to lay the foundations for the school.
He said he hoped the children would learn from Fr Kelly and to use their gifts and talents to serve God.
Referring to the Holy Father ’s recent apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he told the children to become “missionary disciples to bring the love and care to Jesus to all those around us”.
Headteacher Violet Richardson reflected on the importance of the occasion. She said: “He worked tirelessly for the whole community of Hoxton, whatever their religion. However, one of his greatest achievements was in ensuring that St Monica’s Catholic community got their own school, partly funded by the government.
“The school was one of the f i rst voluntary aided schools in London and the building itself was a model for many others that came later.”
She added: “I am sure that Fr Kelly would be proud to know that St Monica’s Catholic School is still a thriving and successful community committed to welcoming and educating the children who arrive from many countries and now live in Hoxton.”
Stonyhurst runaways to attend new school
BY ED WEST
THE COUPLE who ran away from Stonyhurst College to the Dominican Republic have been offered a place at a different school.
Edward Bunyan, 16, and Indira Gainiyeva, 17, eloped from the Jesuit boarding school on January 13 and were found in the resort of Punta Cana a week. Mr Bunyan’s Canadian mother and her Kazakh father flew out to bring them back, following worldwide media interest in the two lovers at the £30,000-a-year Jesuit college, which was founded in 1593 by Fr Robert Persons SJ. The school became coeducational in 1999.
The pair had slipped out of the school in 3am and got a taxi to Manchester airport, where they caught a flight to the West Indies.
Andrew Johnson, headmaster of Stonyhurst, said the pair have been accepted for a place at Mount St Mary’s College in Sheffield.
Mr Johnson described it as a “last chance to make a success of their sixth-form education”.
Mr Johnson said he helped to arrange the interviews after both teenagers had apologised: “I have spoken to the head there and as a result have secured interviews for both Edward and Indira at the school.
“It is now up to them to take it forward,” he said.
SYRIAN REFUGEES IN LEBANON URGENTLY NEED OUR HELP
Roughly one million Syrian refugees have flooded into Lebanon since the civil war broke out, and they find themselves in a dreadful situation. The Daughters of Charity, who run an outpatient clinic at Karm El Zeitoun, a district of Beirut, and also work at a Social Service Centre which is helping Syrians, have written to THE LITTLE WAY ASSOCIATION begging for assistance. The Sisters urgently need our help to pay for food, health care, clothing, and other needs of refugee families, and especially the
“Christ wishes that I love Him because He has forgiven me,
not much, but all.” - St Therese children. Some children have had no schooling for years. Through the clinic and centre the Sisters are helping many of the children with their basic education and nutrition needs. Work is non-existent, and the refugees are now living in impoverished conditions in the city, barely managing to survive.
Please will you help? THE LITTLE WAY ASSOCIATION will send your gift, WITHOUT DEDUCTION, to the Daughters of Charity in Lebanon for the relief of the suffering refugees.
PLEASE HELP LITTLE WAY
FEED THE HUNGRY Please help The Little Way to relieve the pangs of starvation of countless children and adults throughout the world. Each year millions die of hunger and disease.
£30 would keep
Crossed POs and cheques should be sent and made payable to: THE LITTLE WAY ASSOCIATION, CH/01/10 119 Cedars Rd, Clapham Common, London SW4 0PR (Registered Charity No. 235703) Tel. 020-7622 0466 I enclose £ ...............to be allocated for: £........ SYRIAN REFUGEES - Daughters of Charity, LEBANON £........ PHILIPPINES TYPHOON APPEAL £........ FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY £........ MASS STIPENDS (please state no. ) £........ LITTLE WAY ADMIN. EXPENSES
DONATIONS FOR THE MISSIONS ARE SENT WITHOUT
DEDUCTION FOR ANY EXPENSES.
Name (Rev. Mr. Mrs. Miss) (Block letters please) Address
a person alive for one month; £360 for a whole year Every pound you send will be forwarded intact to a missionary who will be happy to put it speedily to use to help to provide food and alleviate the misery of hunger. All Little Way benefactors share in a daily Mass offered for their intentions in the Missions.