why failure is good

No one likes admitting to failure but I’ve been reading a lot lately about its undoubted spiritual benefits, which, although they don’t yield themselves up immediately, are hidden in the tapestry somewhere, if we can unweave some of their more difficult threads. Failure comes in may guises, and mainly we go through life trying to…

why we are ashamed of weakness

Most people don’t particularly like admitting weakness, but Church Leaders are possibly worse at it than anyone. This fact is depressing, since our priestly role model felt frustrated, tired, wept and finally was strung up to die on a cross, so not much outward show of strength there, at least not in the generally accepted…

should we close the churches that aren’t working?

I heard a minister who’s been ordained a lot longer than me, say recently that we should close the churches that ‘aren’t working’. It was one of those moments when you feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I think my face must have blanked out at that moment. I stared feebly as he…

on befriending the dark side

Everyone’s talking about ‘befriending your shadow side’ these days. I heard it at a Christian prayer retreat and it’s still puzzling me. It would be more likely from the therapist’s couch, you might have thought. I know Darth Vader is redeemed eventually, and all, but wasn’t he a baddie? It’s all very confusing. Talk of…

new wine, new discipline

The Quaker writer on renewal, Richard Foster, speaks of a vision in his book Streams of Living Water (2001). In his vision the different streams of Christianity come together in one life giving stream of water and flow out to bless all Christians and all people. It would seem that Jesus aside, humans have a…

broken by broken

Some broken is good broken, and necessary for something else to flourish, and some broken is very bad. Michael Kerrigan, fictional star of Jimmy McGovern’s recent 6 part drama on BBC 1, Broken, is a broken man whose flashbacks to sexual abuse in his Catholic boys school are getting worse. It seems also his own…

brexit blues

It’s exactly a year since we voted in the UK to leave the European Union and I’m still trying to recover from the shock. It’s taken a year for us to get to the beginnings of negotiations and they kicked off this week in Brussels, with disagreement, of course. Although a second Independence Vote in…