are things getting worse?

I don’t know if it’s the preserve of religious people, but we do like to talk about how things were better in the past, or to flip this, how things are now getting worse. The Church of England narrative about financial decline (or to be more generous – let’s call it streamlining) is in full…

the other Rossetti

Today the Church of England remembers Christina Rossetti, poet and sister of the more famous Dante Gabriel, of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. This group wrote and painted through the latter half of the 19th Century producing such classics as Millais’ Ophelia and Holman Hunt’s symbolic heavy The Hireling Shepherd. Christina was not a formal member of…

on bridges

Although I’m not much of a one for heights, and don’t much like boats, airplanes or lifts, I don’t mind bridges, physical or metaphorical. A bridge spans two places that would otherwise be separated. They tend to feature heavily in war films, where to capture the bridge is to have the power to separate the…

lent in the time of corona

There’s a much more serious feel to Lent now. Normally I enjoy Lent as a time to focus on some new practice or helpful habit like (for instance, this year) listening to a poem every day around 4-5pm (that’s the lull in the day when I’m tipping inexorably from productivity to sleepy down time (know…

taking a moment

Visited a pleasant town with nice coffee shops. Took the car. Drove slowly.  Read my book at a window seat facing a sunny street, not wearing my dog collar, not looking at my phone. Ignoring deadly viruses and failed impeachment trials I perused a new painting on the cafe wall. Smelled my flat white. Noticed…

how much should a priest work?

It might seem an odd question, but it’s often quite difficult to categorise what is ‘work’, and how much to ‘work’ when you’re a priest, or even if the word is at all helpful to describe what a priest does. Having recently changed posts from part time, to ‘full time’ (and no, I haven’t worked…

thou shalt not be distracted

Recently the Church of England published a ‘digital charter’ encouraging online behaviour to be consistent with values of kindness, respect and tolerance for different views. As one headline put it: ‘Thou shalt not tweet in anger’. It was all helpful stuff, but stopped short of reflection on the possible spiritual effects of spending large amounts…