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…

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…