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To respond as Jesus would, instinctively.

First aid training this morning. Ministry Centre: 9.30 am. Mmmm. I'm taking singer-turned-paramedic Bobby Sherman at his word: “Take some time to learn first aid and CPR. It saves lives, and it works.” Just to say, I wish I had had some hands-on training 30 years ago. One of the bearers at a funeral at my previous church in Rochdale collapsed in the rain. An older man, he had helped carry a heavy coffin to the very edge of our graveyard. Two of us worked on him in the church porch, even though I think he died before he hit the ground. I did the chest compression, wishing I knew what I was doing. My GP friend Alan later reassured me that breaking some ribs is virtually inevita

What are we going to do with Good Friday?

“Is Easter the new Christmas?” asks the BBC news website. It now seems that Easter is now the second-biggest retail event in the UK after Christmas, worth some £550 million to our hard-pressed retailers. You can now buy – wait for it - Easter crackers for the family. Just head for your nearest Sainsbury's, Tesco or Waitrose I note that Poundland (where I invariably buy my gifts for the family) offer bunny banners, egg hunting merchandise and even carrot-shaped fairy lights. In total contrast one of my daughters, moving upmarket, has bought us an egg-speckled wreath from John Lewis. Easter is now much more than a Chocófest for children. It has become spring's answer to Christmas,

Why I speak such bad French

¡Hola amigos! You will be pleased to know that I am now learning Spanish. This is in preparation for visiting our mission partners in northern Argentina, Andrew and Maria Leake, this spring. My experience in visiting the hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria this January showed me that not everyone speaks even basic English and there are times when you just need to communicate. So I sought the advice of CLM leader, Neil Rees, who ministered in Spain for nearly 30 years. He pointed me to Memrise, both as an app on my mobile and a program on my Mac. This means I can do it anywhere, sometimes just for a few minutes. Frequent short bursts. Amazingly I am picking it up

When we pray we think bigger, much bigger.

Good idea to walk to St Michael’s, I thought yesterday. Our chapter – the local Anglican clergy – invariably begin our bimonthly meeting with Holy Communion and this month we were meeting down the road in Aughton. However, this meant that the service in the chancel had already started when I arrived. Nothing new there. So I slipped in discreetly and found myself sitting in the Rector’s pew, the very same place where Rev William Henry Boulton led worship for over 50 years. You will remember that this was the very rector who inspired the building of Christ Church some 150 years ago We commemorate the laying of the foundation stone this Sunday, the very same day as in 1867, March 26th

The building of Christ Church – opportunity, risk and perseverance.

This very day 150 years ago Rev W H Boulton, Rector of Aughton, was getting very excited. For in just 16 days time Rt Rev Reverend William Jacobson, the Lord Bishop of Chester, is to lay the foundation stone for a brand new church at the far end of his parish. I know because one of the tasks facing me today is to finalise our plans for the 150th commemoration of this event. The bonus for me is that I have the internet. But as we will see it was a huge technological revolution which necessitated the building of Christ Church Aughton. For this story is very much a template of how God works, mirroring our experience of building the Ministry Centre And it starts slowly. On beco

Our biggest fear? Being embarrassed.

“Oscar blunder duo given bodyguards after 'death threats.’” So reads this morning’s BBC news page. I have every sympathy for PwC accountants, Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, who continue to endure the full glare of global scrutiny just for handing the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty. And now their very lives are in danger! Hardly accountancy as we know it. You remember the Monty Python sketch on accountancy: “Exciting? No it's not. It's dull. Dull. Dull. My God it's dull, it's so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly DULL.” Clearly accountancy in Hollywood is very, very different. Very exciting. And dangerous too. But why the hype? Here we are fi

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