The old King was quite angry and upset; the Queen had never seen him so cross, and it had been going on for months and months. It would be hard for a newcomer to the kingdom to give a consistent account of what was upsetting everyone so much. One said this and the other said the opposite, both with equal conviction.Read More
Rebellion is in the air; “thank goodness” many would add. How bad do things have to get before we collectively change them? And which things do you have in mind you might ask! Well, in the vortex of a Brexit cyclone at the time of writing, it is impossible to know where we shall end up. But towards the end of March I shall be marching in support of some of the less alarming Brexit options.Read More
A lament for the Earth with tribute to Job.
Oh Lord, you stretched a line across the foundation of the earth;
You made the morning stars sing and the angels shout for joy.
Who has comprehended the vast expanses of your creation?Read More
One of our little New Year rites is to bicycle up to Titley Pool with a flask of tea and some biscuits. Once comfortably seated in the hide you can gently open the screens and survey the lake unseen, and observe what colder weather might have brought in.Read More
There are some benefits coming out of the present political and constitutional turmoil, not least of which is a brilliant crop of satire. I have a nice 50 Guinea note from the Imperial Bank of Brexit with a picture of Jacob Rees-Mogg wearing a topper and promising “to pay myself more than you”.Read More
Once upon a time there was a king, The King I should say. He was of course just as you would expect: to be obeyed absolutely, at times terrifying, always regal. But this was not a great burden to his subjects because he was also known for wisdom, even compassion, and certainly humour. In short, he was a king who loved his people. He was surrounded –whether by design or the consequence of too much life- by a great druidic court of poets and priests, of sages and diviners, who were supposed to represent the King to his people.Read More
It’s the season of Remembrance, a special centenary year, and of course our own festival of poppies and remembrance at St Mary’s. We shall be naming the fallen at our war memorial from two world wars and Afghanistan; there’s also a memorial down on the Recreation Ground for the Korean war. We are remembering soldiers from our community who gave their lives. But in the rest of the world remembrance isn’t as straightforward. Our wars were as savage as other people’s wars, but in contrast the fighting and most of the misery happened in other countries.Read More
It’s a strange idea but it’s true; God’s Church exists entirely for its non-members. Jesus makes clear that his disciples were to go out and spread the good news of Christ to the ends of the earth. That movement is the Church, and its purpose is to make disciples of those who are outside, to bless them and to be the hands and voice of Jesus to them.Read More
This caught my eye, and the eye of tens of thousands of others apparently by the way it went viral on facebook. Retirement at 32 with ‘extreme frugality’ said the headline from some utopia like Vermont.Read More
Dear People, of all the fowls of the air we are perhaps the most detached from the solid surface of the roundy globe. But for the briefest days of nesting in the northern hemisphere’s summer, we remain and have our entire being in the skies. We are of course the swifts.Read More
The Royal wedding was of course an early summer delight, but I find myself thinking about Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon on love. What an extraordinary responsibility and opportunity to preach to an audience said to be two billion people worldwide. What would it take to break that record?Read More
One of the most wonderful things to happen in May, apart from the turning of the weather and the coming of the swifts, was the glorious Festival of Makers. Walking into St Mary’s Church and seeing it filled with glorious craft and art with celebratory shapes and colours was a wonderful experience.Read More
The old King was troubled. Well according to the Queen he was more than troubled; he was actually very angry, which was rare enough for this temperate and compassionate man. The barons had gone too far, and were now seeking to undermine not only the wealth and security of the Kingdom but were offending Christian law.Read More
In the first week of March we battened down under unremitting Siberian cold with drifting snow and stinging faces. Even the ebullient sparrows took sanctuary under sheltered eaves to continue conversation out of the wind.Read More
Like many I have been enjoying catching some of BBC’s study of three Hereford Diocese parishes in A Vicar’s Life, still available on i-player. They have been fair and sympathetic and portrayed our clergy as the community heroes they very often are. But I also detect, or anticipate, a bit of controversy below the conventional surface.Read More
Well what about God? Is he vengeful or is he kind?
Should we live our lives in secret and hope he doesn’t mind?
Isn’t he an If ….. Then …. God? That’s it; that sums him up.
If you obey his law … then he’ll look after you, if you’re lucky.
If you eat the forbidden fruit … then you’ll be expelled from the garden.
I get it ……….but, I don’t believe it! I see something else.Read More
How did you get on in Hong Kong (I asked an acquaintance who had been visiting her sons there); Oh, it wasn’t very comfortable; most of the spare room in their tiny flat is taken up by a huge hot-air panting server mining the internet for Bitcoin! So we’ve returned to 19thC booty capitalism where adventurers set off to colonise farther corners of the digital universe to pan for new gold, and apparently Bitcoin. Is this wise? Is it inevitable?Read More
During a stay in a foreign university we made friends with Zaid, a Pakistani and devout Moslem; there was endless scope for leg-pulling since he needed to work out the direction of Mecca at least 6 times a day for his prayer devotions. Our dear Zaid accepted an invitation to come to church with us, a lively affair full of students, loud music and joy.Read More
When you look at the wintering sky, the gathering weight of the season coming with its diluted light, do you see pale or dark? Do you see the winter rigging of the woods at anchor, naked branches stripped down for the coming storms, or do you see the endless ocean of the sky, somehow nearer and emptier, all the more intimate for being uncluttered? We can ask the same about God. How do we see him?Read More
'Heavens, that's a big stump!' I said to myself, exploring a remote corner of a Herefordshire wood. Approaching, I found myself in what might have once been a garden; and the “stump” turned out to be an ivy covered chimney breast, all that was left of a long-abandoned cottage, once full of life and hope clinging precariously to the edge of the common.Read More