in praise of the compassionate man

It was Bring a Dad to School Day at our local school this week. Coincidentally I was in school that afternoon helping with RE. I didn’t expect to have so many dads there. You could see 1 or 2 hanging round the school gate just sorting things out on their phones before entering the building….

exploring the dead ends of vocation

Seven years on from ordination and I have been pondering assorted dead ends of the priestly vocation. A dead end is a road you thought went somewhere, somewhere you really wanted to go. The vista was attractive. The mouth of the road revealed a wide avenue inviting your entrance. But it ended up leading…nowhere. You…

when words are not enough, and too much

Words are a double edged sword. Sometimes, oftentimes in prayer, I’m finding them to be both inadequate (not enough) and also surplus to requirement. Especially in the light of the unimaginable terror and shocking deaths brought about by a suicide bomb attack in Manchester this week. Ironically, what attacks like this generate is words. Words of…

shedding negativity the mindful way

We’ve all met a negative person, and perhaps afterwards felt their negativity linger like a bad smell or a button that’s too tight around the throat. People can become negative in the face of stress or obstacles, of course, but for all those who allow themselves to become negative, there are those who maintain positivity in the…

I have heard you calling in the night

Interesting how the word vocation is used in daily life. We identify vocational qualifications, but they’re normally specifically practical; plumbers and electricians, for instance. We perhaps think of teaching and nursing as ‘vocations’, but what else? And in the Church of England we have Vocation to publicly recognised ministry – hence Readers, Deacons, Priests and…

from hope to disappointment and back again

A poignant phrase in today’s gospel from Luke’s Emmaus Road account – ‘We had hoped…’ We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. They could possibly be the saddest three words in the bible. We had hoped… We’re all living with our ‘had hoped’s’. We had hoped for a securer future financially……

good friday baby

In the year 2000, Good Friday fell on 21st April. I know that because I had a baby that day. I was booked in to be induced at 37 weeks because I had suffered a still birth the year before, the baby’s heartbeat unaccountably ceasing at 33 weeks. Pregnancy was now very stressful. Fearing the worst…

and let us not think of chocolate

‘…and let us not think of chocolate…’ So ended a short heartfelt prayer read by a small boy, in a recent primary school service I attended as schools broke up this week for Easter. Obviously well trained in the ‘Easter is not about chocolate’ school of prayer, his words expressed the kind of religious schizophrenia that…