From The Rev’d Nick Ktorides – September 2020

It’s now six months since Shuba and I moved into the lovely village of Chesterton. It seems somewhat surreal looking back at the April magazine article announcing the appointment of a new priest!

My licensing, scheduled for the 2nd April, did happen right on time. But due to the lockdown a few days before, it was a virtual licensing, conducted on-line, rather than in church.

I wonder if it was the first ‘virtual’ (computer-generated) licensing in history? Anyway, hurray for the technology that made it possible! I’m perceiving an explosion in a science fiction-like, computer-driven, new world order, where the science of algorithms, robotics and AI are deified.

It somehow brings Red Dwarf (the Sci-fi comedy with the robot Kryten) to mind. In one episode ‘DNA’ Kryten is transformed into a trans-human, when DNA from his part-organic brain is used to alter his entire molecular structure. Not to mention the computer-generated Hologram that was Rimmer. Rimmer was the only member of the crew who believed the ‘H’ on his forehead stood for human.

The analogy here is strictly between Red Dwarf and our technological age. Since my licensing I’ve only been seen on a computer screen (for our on-line Zoom services). But the evidence is only circumstantial – I’m not a virtual computer-generated holographic priest, honest. There’s no ‘H P’ on my forehead to start with – check out my picture!

Anyway, despite my on-line computer licensing, it was conducted by the very real and Right Reverend Colin Fletcher and Archdeacon Judy. I’m a real flesh and blood person and priest.

Do forgive this frivolous caricature of this difficult time of lockdown and shielding that we are all going through – just a bit of stress relief!

More seriously, it’s important to remind ourselves in this technological age (where our old friend cash is becoming rarer and where we need a password to do our banking, shopping and communicating), that people are real, physical, flesh and blood. Technology has its benefits for sure. But we need the comfort that only real human contact and fellowship bring, not just an image of one another on a computer screen. That’s been the case since creation, when God made us in His own triune image – fellowship is at our core – it’s in our God-given DNA.

So, yes, let’s stay safe and well, but also seek appropriate ways to limit our isolation, limit our fear and build up a healthy immunity and community.

Nick Ktorides