GCSE RS Exam Quotes

I don't know when the poor little things actually receive their results, but since it's now been a month since finishing the enviable task of marking GCSE Religious Studies papers, I can now exclusively reveal the bits I found my most memorable.

I should mention that most of the candidates were answering questions from the 'Christianity' section, hence the lop-sided emphasis.  Read on:

Q: Give one word that describes the nature of God and state what it means.
A: Forest.  God created forest so it's nature of God.

'Christians… believe that life is the most important part of life.'

'If we all lived God's way then there wouldn't be any poverty, no one to help.  If we have no one to help then what does humanity do next?'

'Christians believe that if they don't get burnt and be cremated they would come back to life again.'

'Jesus fed 5000 people with only 5 lobsters… If you don't believe that then I think you are not a Christian.'

Q: In what way does the Holy Spirit effect Christians?
A: The Holy Spirit effects Christians by doing evil things.

'People visit Lords as it's seen as a holy place where miracles happen.'


Crown Him with many, many Crowns

This Sunday, Maria & I (along with Paddy, our curly-haired percussive stick-wielder) are responsible for the music at church.  Fun fun fun.  We'll be finishing the service with one of The Great Hymns: Crown Him with many Crowns; a song so worth singing that it contains twelve verses in all – six written by a Catholic, and a further six by a Protestant, seeking to alter its theological tone.

Whatever the reason, you end up with a LOT of crowns – fittingly, I suppose, since the song is based on a verse in Revelation which says “…and on His head were many crowns.”

Last night, having been practising, I started singing 'Crown Him the Lord of Teeth …' for no apparent reason, which started me off into thinking of other things that Jesus might legitimately be the Lord of (since, you know, He is Lord of all).  And thus were born the following verses:


Crown Him the Lord of Teeth, behold His pearly whites!
His smile, unhindered by decay, outshines the Heavenly lights
So brush we as He brushed:
Three times a day, then floss;
To crown our crowns and molars all with Jesus' dental gloss

Crown Him the Lord of Tyres, the vulcanising flame
Whose tread protects us in the wet, and keeps us on The Way
Down lane, down street, down road
He bears us on toward
Eternal days of dwelling in the Goodyear of the Lord

Crown Him the Lord of Toes; of flesh, tendon and bone:
The big one went to market and the little one stayed at home!
He varnishes the nails,
And makes the smell be sweet
The bringer of the Gospel, lo! How beautiful the feet.

Crown Him the Lord of Sleep, the Monarch of the Nap
The doze, the kip, the dreaming sloth stretched out upon His back
With thunderous tone of snore
His lie-ins have no end
Somnambulant in majesty from His own King-sized bed

[with apologies for heresy and all injury caused]


Village cricket
I spent this afternoon playing cricket.  We had drinks breaks every 10 overs (due to the INTENSE heat), and our tea-break included bread pudding, scones, sandwiches, ginger beer, chocolate cake etc.  The gorgeous ground has nestled in Perranarworthal for 120 years and Maria came along to sun-bathe and do her knitting.   The fact that one team won and the other one didn't is basically incidental – cricket is more a complex metaphor than a sport in any case – because the truth is, in our quiet way, we were living out the fantasies of countless caged urbanites.

Whenever we tell people we live in Cornwall (eg. last weekend, in SE London and Kent) we are generally greeted with jealous sighs and 'oh lucky you's.  They, doubtless, are remembering halcyon childhood holidays pottering around in rock pools and on bodyboards, or maybe just episodes of Coast or Countryfile.  Living here is not really like that – frankly, it's often difficult, limiting or boring – but there are occasions, like this weekend, when it would be foolish not to stop and recognise the Holy Grail while you're drinking from it.  So many people long for what we have, often working their whole lives in the forlorn hope of maybe someday retiring down here.

Yesterday morning, Maria taught an exercise class while I walked on the beach.  Later, we sat out on the grass in front of Epiphany House eating a celebratory (free) lunch due to our friend's ordination.  Then we went to another fabulous home to eat a cream tea (plus wine, plus cake, plus raffle in which we won some Prosecco) in order to raise money for our friend Georgie working with orphans in Kenya (the fact that the house over-looked a creek on which a 100 year old regatta was taking place is just just by-the-by).  In between we walked in the fields, talked to the horses, and generally communed with creation.

It's idyllic, it's wonderful.  Nature is glorious, the gentle peace is epic, and the food is worth writing lengthy mouth-watering descriptions of.  Not a bad life.  And yet we are also (effectively) homeless, and severely lacking in income; life is often so stressful that we don't know what to do with ourselves.  This little blog-post is an attempt to wallow in the goodness, milking it rather than rushing on to the next important, anxiety-inducing thing.