The Great Commandment

What is heavier: a ton of coal or a ton of cotton wool? I remember when I was a child, being asked that question, or a variant on the theme, where one item was clearly “heavier” than the other. Except it wasn’t. I’d missed the point. I’d confused volume with weight. Of course if you […]

Praying for No Hatred or Bitterness

Today, Thursday 12th October, the Church of England remembers two extraordinary Christian women, Elizabeth Fry and Edith Cavell.  Both committed their life’s work to serving God by caring for those damaged and broken by the inhumanity of human beings. Elizabeth Fry is best known for her campaigning for prison reform.  She inspected prisons, developed post-release reintegration programmes […]

Do as I say, not as I do!

Oscar Wilde famously said, the only thing to do with good advice is give it away. Last week at a clergy gathering, someone mentioned the book “A Year Lost And Found” by Michael Mayne, one time Dean of Westminster Abbey. It chronicles a year of debilitating illness, which was eventually diagnosed as myalgic encephalomyelitis. His […]

Conflict? Or Opportunity?

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name,” said Jesus, “I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18.20 So often, this phrase is used to encourage the small 8am congregation that “small is beautiful” and it’s okay that only a few of the faithful have made it out in the early […]

Sharing Wisdom, Teaching Others

The second Sunday of September is identified as ‘Education Sunday’ – a day led by the ecumenical organisation Churches Together in England.  Churches across a wide range of Christian denominations unite in recognising and celebrating everyone in the world of education. Some in England today might ask just what we have to celebrate, at a […]

Practical Ins and Outs

What goes up must come down. What goes in must come out. Maybe not in a form we’d recognise, but input creates output, in some form or other. And what’s visible on the outside is (whether it’s obvious or not) directly related to what’s inside!!  External practicalities can take up a lot of our time, […]

Sowing and Possibility

Sowing seed is a deeply frustrating thing to do. Recently we decided to grow sunflowers. “Sow the seeds in pairs,” the instructions said. “When they germinate, take the stronger plant and put outdoors.” It was clear that the seed seller was looking for no more than a 50% success rate.  I also tried to patch […]

Never Enough?

“Never Enough!” The singer echoes and re-echoes this refrain throughout the song. My daughter’s friend loves this song from The Greatest Showman, and the pair of them often listen to it. It even reverberates down from the bath from time to time. I found this refrain so utterly annoying, making me think of the modern […]

Doing little things with great love…

When I was at “vicar training college”, the grace at dinner was “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The other day, I was back at Christ’s Hospital, where I used to teach Classics, and I was invited […]

Priorities? Peace & the Sword

Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10.32-34) Jesus never said being […]