I’m a ‘sanctified Wally’

Is that anywhere close to ‘Bonafide bonkers’?

This week is wall to wall services if you are an Anglican clergy person: 4 services in the last 2 days and now a pause before the BIG day itself tomorrow. I’m feeling a bit ‘bonafide bonkers’ today.

However, it was at the first of those services that I was made a ‘sanctified wally’.  On Maundy Thursday morning all the clergy in the Diocese get together to ‘renew our ministerial vows’  which means we remind ourselves of the promises made when we took up our callings. Everyone (Bishops, priests, deacons, readers, and all serving members of the church  – that would be everyone there then)  were invited by a young chorister to revisit and renew our commitment to the ministry.

Having a child to read the invitation is symbolic of the ‘least among you being the greatest’. It’s also a teeny, tiny bit risky.  However, the chosen young man had an excellent clear voice and read his part brilliantly. It was only after we’d all said our promises that there was a very small, but  oh so wonderfully profound, error in his delivery of his second speech which was a prayer.

The prayer was that God would ‘sanctify us wholly’.

You can guess from the title of this blog which word in that phrase was rendered somewhat differently!

Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Such wisdom from the ‘mouth of babes’. What an anointed mistake. Theologically speaking, I know I am a ‘fool for Christ’ (1 Corinthians 1: 27), emotionally speaking I know most people don’t really ‘get’ what I do or why I do it’. But now, thanks to an anointed slip of the tongue I have a whole new image for myself: I am a ‘sanctified wally’.


Yes, indeed. I’m in there somewhere, as are all of us. Christians are meant to be salt in the world, or yeast or a seed (all images of small items that can make a big impact but are nothing particularly special in themselves). ‘Sanctified’ simply means ‘set aside for a purpose, it does not mean ‘superior’ in the way we hear it in the word ‘sanctimonious’ and being distinctive does not mean we need to wear a red and white striped shirt and round black glasses – or a dog-collar.

Perhaps a new take on Anglican attire?

Three members of my congregation are all fit to join me:




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