School Chaplains

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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LHA
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by LHA »

sejintenej wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:15 pm
JohnAL wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:04 am Rev Arthur Pullin (I think, not Pullen, can someone confirm the true spelling from an Alphabetical List/”Blue Book” of the period? In the Forum there is a thread, “Rev Pullin & The Old Blue”.) was a pleasant, conscientious, devout sort of chap. I don’t recollect any pastoral work, although I’m sure he would have tried his best to do whatever he could if approached by a boy with problems . . Perhaps he was slightly prudish.
He did offer on one occasion but like someone else about an unnamed chaplain I felt that I couldn't trust him
His wife was pregnant during my time at CH. For the last month or so of the pregnancy, when her belly was very large, she sat in the balcony during his Chapel Services. Otherwise she always sat downstairs, somewhere near her husband, and so would have had to walk out together with all the masters and before the gaze of all.
Never even knew he was married - I was more concerned that he was like the GP (no CH connection except he visited) who did approach me and those masters recently in court.
Don't follow the last sentence
rockfreak
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by rockfreak »

Yes, I never knew the Chain was married. He kept it very quiet. I always wondered about our clerics back in the 1950s. How much did they actually believe? JR has recorded having a set-to with Windy (the Rev Whitfield) over matters like the Immaculate Conception. Back then we were a century on from Darwin yet I knew some older people who believed implicitly and literally in everything the Bible said. If questioned they would say limply: "Well that's what the Bible tells us".

Did our clerics believe dogma literally? Did they just see it metaphorically (in which case why didn't they say so?), or was it just a comfy and well-paid gig by the CofE (or Christ's Hospital) in which you earned your living by disseminating fairy tales, altruism (within certain confines - muscular Christianity and all that), and being a boarding school social worker? Some years ago I got a letter into The Guardian in which I said (as an atheist) that I actually thought the CofE was a rather useful device for keeping religious fanaticism at bay. The stirring hymns, the resonant language of the King James Bible, the sacred classical music, the rather woolly, well-meaning, broad church tradition in which the dogma is optional. This was better than middle America where religion has been marketised and sold like soap flakes to a gullible population and which has resulted in a kind of primitive religious mania.
sejintenej
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by sejintenej »

rockfreak wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:34 pm I always wondered about our clerics back in the 1950s. How much did they actually believe? JR has recorded having a set-to with Windy (the Rev Whitfield) over matters like the Immaculate Conception. Back then we were a century on from Darwin yet I knew some older people who believed implicitly and literally in everything the Bible said. If questioned they would say limply: "Well that's what the Bible tells us".
Two points here.
It was at CH and talking about Jonah and the whale we were told that Hebrew/Jewish writing is /was often metaphorical to illustrate an idea or concept. No - they didn't say anything about the New Testament but I am sure that the Revelation is metaphorical. However in both there are parts which seem to be historical (perhaps the truth or timing being slightly bent) and other parts being more liturgical (for example the section from Ecclesiastes which we heard so often "Let us now praise famous men ....." I doubt that in the 1950's priests believed every word of all three parts literally.

As to that last sentence failure to accept and believe every word and the official interpretation could not be countenanced. Just remember what happened to Copernicus or to the Cathars. This attitude certainly existed up to the start of the 20th century and was used to keep the hoi polloi under control - they didn't have suitable education to question anything they were told. The intelligensia were better educated which allowed for enquiry and discovery

It is to me a surprise that with Islam apparently so dogmatised that the Arabs could have made such huge strides in mathematics, chemistry, etc before the great fire of Alexandria
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Re: School Chaplains

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Our lot certainly weren't evangelicals
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by jhopgood »

Almost on topic. After A levels I remember a class with J C Tod entitled “ The Bible as History”. I have always considered that the Old Testament was history interlaced with teachings.
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rockfreak
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by rockfreak »

JR and I have posted in days past on theological teaching at CH in the 1950s. Windy favoured rational explanations: the Chain thought they were literally miracles from God (whoever he was). So I think a limerick is due:

Windy went all scientific
In matters of things beatific.
But the line from the Chain
Was that miracles reign:
Confused? It was really horrific.

I don't remember any input from Corks. Apart from perhaps a hiccup.
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Ajarn Philip
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by Ajarn Philip »

Probably your best contribution to the forum so far! :clap: :clap:
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rockfreak
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by rockfreak »

OK, so having mentioned Corks (and by implication bottles), here's another limerick for all Coleridge pupils of the 1950s.

Corks with the bottle was handy,
Like Buck (who was also quite randy).
There was, it did seem,
An alcohol theme;
Mrs Riches' pet cat was called Brandy.

Somewhat off subject, I've often wondered what house matrons thought of the eccentric cast of characters who doubled as teachers.
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by Fitzsadou »

The Chaplain’s teaching of divinity (Christian religious studies) was almost as important a duty as the conducting of Chapel Services. Before the appointment of the first Assistant Chaplain (Rev L. Whitfield, or ‘Windy’ Whitfield) there were non-clerical teachers of divinity. In about 1950 they included Messrs Ivor Maconnell (called ‘Slim’ and the son of a clergyman) and Frank Macracken, (also ‘Windy,’ an odd character who left suddenly at the end of a term). They were aided by the Rector of Itchingfield (or the 'Bishop of Scratch’) and the headmaster (the ‘Oil’), who taught only grecians and whose divinity lessons were very informal, discussing current affairs, ethics and other such topics. I don’t think Rev Cecil Cochrane, or ‘Corks,’ the Director of Music, ever taught divinity.
rockfreak
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by rockfreak »

Just as well. He was probably too p*ssed. A lovely guy actually. He was, as the late lamented Dr Scuffil has observed, almost certainly homosexual. Nothing wrong with that of course, but back then definitely socially a bit of a problem in the outside world (ie outside the English boarding school). Corks took me for confirmation classes and didn't really touch on dogma at all. When one of our number in the class made a cheeky remark to him he said: "I know where your bed is!" To which another member of the Col A contingent replied: "Yes sir, you know where *******'s bed is too, don't you!" *******'* was, I seem to remember, the beauty of Col A (aged about 14 back then). I don't think any serious abuse had taken place. It was probably a bit of tickling and banter. But of course inappropriate.
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LongGone
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by LongGone »

rockfreak wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:22 pm Just as well. He was probably too p*ssed. A lovely guy actually. He was, as the late lamented Dr Scuffil has observed, almost certainly homosexual. Nothing wrong with that of course, but back then definitely socially a bit of a problem in the outside world (ie outside the English boarding school). Corks took me for confirmation classes and didn't really touch on dogma at all. When one of our number in the class made a cheeky remark to him he said: "I know where your bed is!" To which another member of the Col A contingent replied: "Yes sir, you know where *******'s bed is too, don't you!" *******'* was, I seem to remember, the beauty of Col A (aged about 14 back then). I don't think any serious abuse had taken place. It was probably a bit of tickling and banter. But of course inappropriate.
Brought back to mind an incident in one of Keeley’s classes. Somehow we got onto the topic of how rumors spread and he suggested we might start some, and track them for speed and accuracy. Several suggestions were made and then someone offered “Corks is engaged”. It was clear Keeley was having a hard time keeping a straight face, and he completely lost it when an Anonymous voice added “To a woman”.
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rockfreak
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by rockfreak »

I suppose that Corks was one of those rather old fashioned figures who found their family in the embrace of the broad church CofE and its stirring liturgical music and traditions. He was taught at Uni (I can't remember whether Oxford or Cambridge) by one Dr Boris Ord who was a distinguished organist and who Corks credited for his achievements. He had a good voice. I remember him giving a rendition of "O Ruddier than The Cherry" (Handel's Acis And Galatea) at a school concert. That was the strange thing about CH back in the 50s. Many characters with varying talents but in some cases verging on, or even exceeding, acceptable behaviour by today's standards.
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by keibat »

I'm intrigued by the statement that Pullin was a literalist and Whitfeld [not WhitfIeld, I think?] a rationalist ... I remember having Divinity classes with Pullin on the Old Testament, where he was very clear that it was NOT to be all taken literally - an understanding that I have been very grateful for. But what I recall as the most prominent difference between them was that Pullin was very Low Church - he once said that if he hadn't been C of E he'd have been a Congregationalist - whereas Whitfeld was AngloCatholic, and had come to England partly to escape the very Low environment of his native Tasmania. He used to take a group of us, including Bruce Harbert, to attend Vespers at the Charterhouse monastery in Parkminster on Corpus Christi. He then went over to Rome and became a monk at Ampleforth (as Dom Gilbert). - Bruce H also crossed the Tiber and ended up as Mgr Bruce H, Secretary to the commision that produced the new English translation of the liturgy. My wife and I met him for brunch at the restaurant at Union Station in Washington DC about ten years ago.
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by sejintenej »

keibat wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:12 pm I'm intrigued by the statement that Pullin was a literalist and Whitfeld [not WhitfIeld, I think?] a rationalist ... I remember having Divinity classes with Pullin on the Old Testament, where he was very clear that it was NOT to be all taken literally - an understanding that I have been very grateful for.
I remember that; we could have even been in the same class. Difficult to believe but I was a server at home with a very high C of E priest. He said much the same thing. That didn't stop my being sent to the Methodist church if the rector was away
Whitfeld was AngloCatholic, He then went over to Rome and became a monk at Ampleforth (as Dom Gilbert). - Bruce H also crossed the Tiber and ended up as Mgr Bruce H, Secretary to the commision that produced the new English translation of the liturgy. My wife and I met him for brunch at the restaurant at Union Station in Washington DC about ten years ago.
From what I have heard from a close Australian friend, heaven help them. Chris is one of a group (he had been their teacher in the seminary!) of Australian RC priests who left that priesthood though he remains fervently Christian. He dislikes what Rome is and has been doing and its policies; his books and online statements are pretty damning.
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rockfreak
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Re: School Chaplains

Post by rockfreak »

Keibat, you've mentioned the Chain's teaching on the Old Testament, but what about the New Testament (the book of the Christians as opposed to the Jews, as we're led to believe).
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