Equipped to serve

One of the consistent messages of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations has been about the Queen’s service and stability. Thrust into the responsibilities of monarchy aged just 25, she has been, it seems to me, equipped to serve in a way that no other Queen or King has been. She has Read more…

The iron wall

‘Henri said that for Vincent, and anyone trying to reach compassionate solidarity, it was also “like breaking through an iron wall. This was excruciatingly difficult, but also exhilaratingly beautiful when one succeeded.”’ My companion on retreat at Sheldon this week has been Carol Barry’s beautiful book Learning from Henri Nouwen Read more…

The way of peace

A reflection for the second week of Advent: Peace If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… … Do you really understand the situation? With apologies to Rudyard Kipling (and the writer of a greetings card who provided the punchline), it can feel strange to admit Read more…

Plan B

Malvern. Nestling in the foot of the hills that bear its name, the town has been a place of holiday and sanctuary on many occasions. And this time was no different. As we drove up the M5, the Malvern Hills waved at us from between the passing trees, giving greetings Read more…

A Good Innings

The first hour lasted for ages. It was cold. The seating was not exactly comfortable. The people around me talked while those taking part enacted their ritual and well-practiced actions. There were things going on which would seem strange to uninitiated. No, not church… it was good to be at county Read more…

Exploring our Faith

Sometimes I wonder why I bother going to church. Being a lay minister and married to the vicar has something to do with it, I guess… ‘It’s nothing more than a religious social club,’ as a normally mild-mannered, retired priest put it recently. Like many organisations made up of fallible Read more…

‘Don’t you know who I am?’

‘I thought you’d have opened up by now,’ the voice said as I unlocked the church door for a Quiet Morning. ‘I’m going to the office.’ ‘The office isn’t open to the public at the moment,’ I explained. ‘Well, I’m not the public. Don’t you know who I am?’ To Read more…

Windows for prayer

‘Sometimes I sit and think, sometimes I just sit.’ The last twenty years has seen an increase in awareness of mental health issues. The last twenty years has also seen a resurgence in the use of mindfulness. The two are not unrelated. Adopting the philosophy of Winnie-the-Pooh (not forgetting his erstwhile companion, AA Milne), Read more…