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Nothing is ever gained by denying reality

“You can't heal what you don't acknowledge.” So concluded the much-travelled Star Trek's Captain Kirk. This goes for nations as well as individuals, whichever galaxy you may happen to find yourself in. To admit the truth is always the first step to freedom. However, it may well be painful. This Monday, as I blogged last week, I was in Budapest, about to return home. As we walked across Freedom Square we were drawn to an impressive water feature, which had drawn a sizeable number of people in the hot sunshine. I soon discovered that it was part of an awe-inspiring monument in vivid white stone, clearly very recently installed, depicting the Nazi occupation of Hungary and the subsequent holoc

Nothing is ever gained by denying reality

Hi folks, “You can't heal what you don't acknowledge.”. So concluded the much-travelled Captain Kirk. This goes for nations as well as individuals, whatever part of the galaxy you may find yourself in. But to admit reality is always the first step to freedom. However, it may well be painful. This Monday, as I blogged last week, I was in Budapest, about to return home. As we walked across Freedom Square we were drawn to an impressive water feature, which had drawn a sizeable number of people in the hot sunshine. In fact, it was part of an impressive monument in vivid white, stone clearly very recent, depicting the Nazi occupation of Hungary and subsequent holocaust in 1944. This featured a

I collect capital cities.

I collect capital cities. And so this morning we fly to Hungary in order to add Budapest to my collection. There is something strangely satisfying about ticking your way down a list. Just like the I-SPY books beloved of my generation. You may have read earlier this month of David Brewer from Chorley who has now succeeded in taking a photograph of a train in every station in Great Britain, all 2500 of them. Epic. The apostle Paul had a similar but infinitely more fruitful passion –“to preach the gospel where Christ was not known.” (Romans 15:20). He reflects: “So from Jerusalem all the way round to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” That’s some distance -

Litter: why small actions count.

I hate litter, for what it does and for what it represents. This time yesterday some passing sociopath opened their car door just outside our house to deposit all the detritus from their takeaway from MJ of Formby, some eight miles away, leaving me to bin it. Here I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Joanna Lumley when she says “I hate the hand that comes out of a car and just drops litter in the street. I hate that! “For some reason, it just fills me with fury! It's just utter laziness, lack of interest in other people, lack of interest in the planet, in the hedgehog who might eat the plastic bag It's a lack of concern.” Some years ago I was speaking with a church leader working

My personal battle with ground elder

My annual battle with ground elder has now resumed. It’s not that ground elder is in any way harmful or even ugly: it just takes over. For those of you who subscribe to the Tasmanian Journal of Agriculture, you will already know that is “one of the worst garden weeds in perennial flower gardens.” And on arriving here at Christ Church vicarage all those years ago, this perennial plant from the carrot family had taken over the entire garden. There was not one square inch not overwhelmed by aegopodium podagraria. So I sought advice from one of the most experienced gardeners in Aughton, a man who had worked the land here over his entire life. Tommy Halsall, who in his family trad

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