Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 18 March 2023

Fr Ron Smith, who contributed more than 5000 comments to Thinking Anglicans, died on 10 March 2023, aged 93. He was a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Bosco Peters, a fellow New Zealander, has written this appreciation: Fr Ron Smith RIP.

‘Sioux Grey Wolf’ Psephizo Pandemic Pandemonium And The Purple Powers

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

34 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kate
Kate
1 year ago

Thank you for telling us. Ron will be very much missed. May he rest in peace.

Susannah Clark
1 year ago

Rest in peace, Father Ron

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
1 year ago

Deeply sorry. Ron and I had one or two mutual friends in NZ, of whom I shall be thinking.

Dr John Wallace
Dr John Wallace
1 year ago

I’ll miss Fr Ron’s sensible contributions to ‘Thinking Anglicans’. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
1 year ago

Fr Ron’s contributions to this site were always evidence of his passionate, inclusive Faith, and love for God and His Church . His lucid and lively comments easily hid his advanced years. Obviously, his passing will be felt most keenly by his family, but many of us here will miss the contributions of a loving, faithful priest. RIP, Father.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
1 year ago

Thanks for posting the sad news about the death of Fr. Ron Smith. Ron’s comments here were always so grounded and focused in his faith. As someone who only knew him via TA, the links in the Bosco Peters blog add context to Ron’s life lived as a priest. Aeternam habeas requiem.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
1 year ago

I recall that Fr Ron was originally from Coventry and in one of his posts mentioned that during WW II he had lived through the Coventry blitz. His love of Aotearoa, New Zealand was evident from his posts on TA. RIP.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
1 year ago

Through Thinking Anglicans I got to know Fr Ron and we became Face Book friends. When I visited NZ in 2014 we agreed to meet in Christchurch and he drove me to Akarua which was settled by the French in the 1840’s and still has french street names. It was a delightful say which ended with a meal at his house where I met Diana. We kept in touch giving our thoughts about church life here and in NZ. I have very fond memories of that day and Ron’s genial personality.

Pete Broadbent
Pete Broadbent
1 year ago

RIP and RIG. Will miss his huge contribution to this site.

Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

As fellow Midlanders who had both grown up in working-class contexts, Ron and I had a lot in common despite our different theological outlooks. I will miss our online exchanges.

Edward Prebble
Edward Prebble
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

So sorry to hear about Ron’s passing. I certainly pray for him and his family. I have the privilege of having known him longer than anyone else likely to comment, as I was his boatboy when he was a thurifer at St Paul’s Symonds St in the 1950s. He was a great example of a dymamic my father descrbed in later life. When you have a city parish occupying a “niche” as he did at St Paul’s, first an AngloCatholic, and then a Charismatic one, you will inevitably attract people who are more extreme in that emphasis than the Vicar. Ron was… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Is there really an Anglican clergy person somewhere in England referring to themselves online as ‘Sioux Grey Wolf’? I realize that English Anglicans are somewhat less attuned to these issues (witness the recent ‘rain dance’ cartoon in the Church Times), but unless he or she actually has Dakota or Lakota ancestry, it’s highly inappropriate.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

According to a comment on the original blog site, this is supposed to be a riff on the name of Sue Gray, the former civil servant.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
1 year ago

I read that too, but it doesn’t change my comment.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

I guess all those of us with Jewish names should stop using those too, unless we are Jewish?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 year ago

Simon, here in North America several sports teams with names of various indigenous nations incorporated into their own names have recently struggled with this, including the football team in my city, which until recently was known as the Edmonton Eskimos. The overwhelming opinion of indigenous people is that their names ought not to be appropriated in this manner. English names descended from Hebrew names, given at birth by parents to their children, are in a completely different category than a clergy person adopting as their pseudonym the name of an indigenous nation in North America, incorporating it into a name… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

The overwhelming opinion of indigenous people is that their names ought not to be appropriated in this manner. I suppose that the indigenous inhabitants of a small village near Cambridge in England have given Tim Chesterton permission to appropriate their name? No, I thought not. But as I have said elsewhere, facts and rational argument are not to the point. The fact of the matter is that a small group of progressive people have designated themselves representatives of certain indigenous peoples for the purpose, not of ameliorating any of the real disadvantages of those peoples, but exercising power primarily over… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Unreliable Narrator
Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

Exactly right, Tim. Obviously TA has a particular provincial focus. Fair enough. However, if there were more articles about the nature of colonialism and the role of Anglicanism in settler societies such as Canada, Aotearoa, and the Americas ( U.S. included) it might be easier to expand the comprehension of an issue like this among European readers.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rod Gillis
1 year ago

Actually, I might go further. The other day I was reading an advance article in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society by Carl Griffin: “Enclosure as Internal Colonisation: the Subaltern Commoner, Terra Nullius and the Settling of England’s ‘Wastes'”. I was struck with renewed force by the way in which Englishmen of a certain class viewed ‘commoners’ (i.e., those living on common lands), the inhabitants of extra-parochial districts or Gaelic and Celtic districts of Scotland, Ireland or Wales. The peoples of these benighted regions were viewed as being actual or semi-savage, and almost sub-human, or at least as lesser… Read more »

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

Thanks for this. It will be a must read article for me. The story of the fen drainage is fascinating in terms of who got rich and who lost their livelihood. But seeing it in a colonial perspective opens new insights.

And as with colonialism – you are asking the right question. Was the church on the side of the poor and dispossessed?

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Dawson
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

Along with Terra Nullius went the Doctrine of Discovery. One of the 94 Calls from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was for all church groups to specifically renounce both concepts, so it’s obvious that to indigenous Canadians (specifically Residential Schools Survivors) they are particularly odious.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Froghole
1 year ago

Thanks for the link, Froghole. I would echo Simon Dawson’s comment. The article is a very engaging read. I’ve made note as well of Carl Griffin’s other works in this area of research.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 year ago

Rather disanalogous, Simon. The ‘riff’ is satire in the choice of a chosen nickname that is oblivious to cultural sensitivity. Would something more locally connected like ‘Lord Haw Haw’ be greeted as equally clever and acceptable, do you suppose.?

Bernard Silverman
Bernard Silverman
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
1 year ago

What an unpleasant (and arguably antisemitic) remark. Simon, if you knew anything of the history of so-called “Jewish” names you would not have made it. And by the way “Simon” is Greek, isn’t it? Tim’s point is well made and should be taken seriously.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bernard Silverman
Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
1 year ago

I take “Simon” to be a Hellenistic form or equivalence of the Hebrew “Simeon”, and popular as a Christian name for that reason. Just as, say “Paul” is, I think, a Greek form of the Hebrew “Saul”.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Bernard Silverman
1 year ago

So it is cultural appropriation for us to use names or words or ideas from one culture. But when I suggest a parallel with using names from another culture I’m being anti-semitic? I’m afraid you have completely confused me.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 year ago

This is what we can call “grievance appropriation”, and it is one of the many ways in which progressive people seek to limit the freedom of speech of those they disagree with. (The “tell”, as poker players call it, is the (mis)use of the word inappropriate.) In this case, the implicit assertion is that some external aspect of the argument is offensive to some group of people and that therefore the argument is not only invalid but unutterable. It’s either a conscious rhetorical device or a psychological defence mechanism to avoid the cognitive dissonance involved in addressing a legitimate but… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
1 year ago

He and his insightful (and often wry) comments will be greatly missed. May you rest in peace and rise in glory, Father Ron.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
1 year ago

I am so sad to hear of Fr. Ron Smith’s death. I enjoyed his comments and hearing about life in New Zealand.
May he rest in peace and זיכרונו לברכה‎ (zikhrono livracha) may his memory be a blessing.

Last edited 1 year ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Realist
Realist
1 year ago

I found the Psephizo article interesting, as I’m one of those who was greatly relieved by having the choice taken out of my hands. I’m in one of the clinically vulnerable categories, and, until the vaccines were developed, contracting COVID19 would have been a death sentence. Had the Vicar down the road been carrying on pretty much as normal, there would have been an expectation from most that I would have done the same. That they weren’t relieved that pressure and thus an expectation of me as an Incumbent that might have led to my death. Does that make me… Read more »

Father David
Reply to  Realist
1 year ago

Contrary to the Archbishops Instructions to close all churches for worship and for incumbents ONLY to enter their churches for safety checks – I admit I celebrated the sacred mysteries each and every Sunday during the enforced closure, albeit in a locked church with only me in attendance during the pandemic. Am I now to await the early morning knock on the door from the Archbishops Thought Police?

Simon Sarmiento
Admin
1 year ago

We are not approving any further comments on the topic of the pseudonym. You may wish to redirect such comments to the Psephizo website.

We do encourage readers to engage here with the original topic of the Psephizo article.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
1 year ago

We will miss Ron, his comments were always written with a good heart and good humour, and well worth reading

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 year ago

Agreed. RIP Fr Ron.

34
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x