Get Ready 23rd November, 2019 - Try as I might I cannot seem to lose weight. I used to go to the gym at least three times a week since my doctor told me (in a surprisingly scripturally aware way) that it would help to strengthen my weak knees! SInce then I have bought an exercise bike and do my exercising at home. But while my workout helps my legs – I surely have the firmest thighs in the Church of England – it doesn’t do ...
Saints and Sinners 26th October, 2019 - “A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying” (Nelson Mandela)
Martin Luther once said that a Christian is simultaneously and paradoxically both a saint and a sinner.  A Christian is at the same time holy and corrupt, righteous and wicked, blameless and defiled.  They are sinners who have been declared holy, righteous, and blameless through faith in Jesus Christ.
November sees us celebrating the festival of All Saints. A passage often used on the day is part of ...
In with a stone – out with an acorn 16th September, 2018 - I went in with a stone – and came out with an acorn.
Arrival – burdened, questioning, hurting.
Who am I? Where am I? Why did I?
Have I been faithful to God’s calling all those years ago?
What have I lost about and within myself?
What comes next?
 
Retreat.
Not to escape, but to face the challenge
To listen, to respond.
Whether the voice is still and small and calm
or crashes like a thunderstorm.
 
The skies ...
He Will Never Leave You 1st October, 2017 - Facebook regularly reminds you of things that you were doing “on this day” in past years, which can often be amusing and sometimes sad. One of the happy memories that came up the other day for me was of lunch with a friend – but it was tinged with sadness, as he took his own life two years ago.
I still miss my friend and I remember when I heard the news how guilty I felt: when he had been ...
Every ingredient counts 17th August, 2015 - Have you ever had a soggy bottom? I know I have! If, like me, you have ever been drawn to the kitchen to produce luscious cakes, create a kugelhopf, beat together a baklava, or dash off a ciabatta then I’m sure you’ll be glued to the new series of the Great British Bake Off.
It’s a fun programme. There’s the nervous cooks, the naughty presenters and the tough judges with a twinkle in their eyes. And it’s great to hear ...
The Teller of All Our Stories 3rd August, 2015 - Once upon a time…
That’s how our stories begin.
The tales we tell are of dragons and maidens and heroes,
of princes and princesses, of slippers, wolves and beanstalks.
These serve us well: grim tales to thrill the young, epic tales to enchant the old,
in which witches bewitch, elves fight battles (or mend small shoes)
and rings are uncovered and wonderlands discovered.
Journeys begin and end, wardrobe doors open and close,
treasure is lost and found, fellowships are forged ...
Gospel Gossip 9th December, 2014 -     Billy Graham once remarked that, “A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip.” Be that as it may gossip – from the prying of the newspaper gossip columns to the wickedness of the ‘behind-the-back’ remarks in communities – has always struck me as representing one of the least pleasant sides of human nature. There is never any need to add the word “malicious” to describe it, for all tittle-tattle is ...
Thank God! 5th November, 2014 - A friend of mine is 50 this year, but instead of drawing up a list of things he’d like for this landmark birthday he’s chosen 50 friends and sent us specially-chosen gifts as a thank you for our friendship and support.
I rather like the idea of turning the expected ‘want list’ on its head and using the milestone in his life as a way of saying thanks to people who have been an encouragement, an inspiration, or a shoulder ...
Peace Perfect Peace 1st September, 2014 - This month our parish is leading the local commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One. You will be aware that over four days, from September 18th – 21st, we are staging a number of events to mark the centenary of the year The Great War broke out.
There have been remarks nationally that this is not a time for remembering (which we do around November 11th each year) and it is hardly right to “commemorate” ...
Walking on water 23rd July, 2014 - Treading water.
Not drowning, not waving,
not floating, not falling,
not sinking, not swimming…
Just treading water.
Going nowhere in particular, but getting life done.
Sometimes it’s calm – and I am relaxed, not worried,
at peace and unhurried.
Sometimes it’s rough – the waves carry me to new parts of the same waters,
and life gets stormy.
But still I go nowhere in particular
and all there is for me
is being all at sea… Making an occasional splash,
At the Crossroads 22nd July, 2014 - I have just returned from my retreat for this year, again taken at the beautiful and tranquil Launde Abbey in Leicestershire.
I like to take a Bible verse or passage with me to chew over, reflect on and pray about, and this time I chose a verse from the prophet Jeremiah, which has been challenging and inspiring me:  This is what the Lord says; stand at the crossroads and look; Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way ...
The Bleeping Dustcart 23rd September, 2013 - Written while on retreat at Launde Abbey, September 2013
It was the bleeping dustcart
that awoke me from my retreat reverie.
Up till then, silence –
Apart from bleating sheep and chapel coughs, buzzing insects,
tweeting swifts and chirruping needleworkers.
Thoughts of coloured bins and waste
were something of a rude awakening!
As thoughts had not been on refuse,
but on rediscovery, reinterpretation, refreshment, renewal and reconnection.
How apt the Shepherd Psalm did seem:
“He leads me beside still waters, ...
Called Out 21st February, 2010 - I have recently returned from a wonderful and refreshing holiday on that “gem of God’s Earth” – the Isle of Man, which has been a favourite holiday destination for more than 40 years, and where I have served as a priest.
I got back home just before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, and my break really did seem like a preparation for the 40 days of self-examination and turning to God, which continues through all this month as ...
Into the Future 31st December, 2009 - Many years ago I borrowed a book from the local library entitled “2010”. It was a children’s picture book that attempted to show how we would be living in 2010 – then about 40 years into the future.
Needless to say there were plenty of flying cars, communities on the Moon, and other developments such as robot servants that even now remain firmly embedded in an episode of Star Trek.
As the New Year begins I can say with some ...