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In Jesus' name, just do it.

Well, folks, this is going to be a challenge. Here we are in Silver 7 on the outer reaches of the Royal Bath and Wells Showground, some eight minutes walk from the New Wine complex of marquees large and small. More to the point, I'm offline here in our rented caravan. Anyway, we'll see what happens. It's going well, with some very good speakers, including John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, who led one of the seminars yesterday. That he led prayer for people he had invited to the front to be filled with the Holy Spirit, even to be given the gift of praying in tongues, shows just how far the CofE has moved since I was ordained 40 years ago. However, the most intriguing speaker, at another sem

On being the vicar's daughter.

The Guardian for one was intrigued. Theresa May and Angela Merkel, discussing our future post-Brexit on Wednesday and both clergy daughters. In fact, when Theresa May launched her candidacy for leadership, this was how she defined herself: “I grew up the daughter of a local vicar and the granddaughter of a regimental sergeant major.” That, it seemed - like Fawlty Tower’s Manuel coming from Barcelona - said it all, without the need for further explanation. But what does being a vicar’s daughter mean? (As this point I think I should point out that nine members of my immediate family are vicar’s daughters.) So yesterday the Guardian ran a piece on “what it’s like to be a vicar’

When faced with evil, our only effective weapon.

"L'horreur, à nouveau." This morning’s headline for Le Figaro says it all. A lorry has ploughed through a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, leaving at 84 people dead, a deliberate act of terrorism. Just one man intent on terrible violence using a everyday commercial vehicle. This could be anywhere but what makes this atrocity particularly chilling is that the Promenade des Anglais on the evening of July 14th is one place we would all like to be. A relaxed festive atmosphere, a celebration for all the family; then this terrible horror. France reels under shocking violence yet again. "L'horreur, à nouveau." It takes just one man fuelled with a terrible hatred, som

To be remembered for just one single event.

This blog comes to you from the Suffolk coast, from the picturesque town of Aldeburgh, where we are staying with old friends Sandy and Annette Millar. Sandy and I were at theological college together all those years ago, at Cranmer Hall, Durham. And Sandy invariably introduces me as the person who got him through his exams! (I did). Given that Sandy was to become the vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, the church which gave us the Alpha course as well as Archbishop Justin, that it was me who got him through his exams has to be the one single defining event in my life. No doubt this will be how posterity will remember me. (Oh yes, Ross Moughtin – wasn’t he the bloke who got Sandy Milla

Security in a fast-changing and dangerous world.

1 July 1916, 7.30 am. I am writing this one century later, virtually to the minute. The Battle of the Somme has begun, the worse day in the history of the British army. What went wrong? Essentially the world of warfare had changed but no one, as yet, knew how to respond. Modern technology had delivered a massive and mechanized killing machine. A soldier with a bayonet was obsolete and infantry formations irrelevant. However, communications were still Victorian so there was no effective command and control. The result: 57,470 British casualties, including 19,240 fatalities, all for three square miles of territory. We continue to live in fast-changing times, a sense of even

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