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Please do not put your airbrakes on over the vicarage in Aughton. Our vicar likes to sleep in.

Well, this time next week – if all goes to plan – I will be some 35975 feet over the Amazonian rainforest. And even stranger, this time in three weeks – as we return from Buenos Aires – we will be flying over the Saharan desert. I know this because I have just consulted flightradar24 on my Mac. It all started when I wanted to know which plane woke me up each morning as it applied its airbrakes right over our house. Couldn’t they wait just two minutes when they were over Bickerstaffe? They’re all farmers there and will driving their tractors with their ear-plugs in. So I bought the app. This shows the flight movements along with info about each plane in real time. At least f

Authentic Christianity means living the cross

Not a good night last night as I enter day four of my battle with Yellow Fever. It started on Tuesday and such was the discomfort that I took the extreme step of not going for my run. Similarly yesterday. My family think I am simply attention-seeking. “Do you need to tell everyone you have Yellow Fever?” They may have a point there but you have to admit that here in Aughton you don’t often hear the phrase: “I’m sorry but I have Yellow Fever.” It’s just a variant, they tell me, of ‘man flu’. They can say that, but clearly they have never had ‘man flu’ themselves. You suffer without complaining (much). At first I thought I had escaped the side effects of my Yellow Fever inocu

When we risk all – for Jesus.

One cold and wet evening in autumn 1925 a young Church Army captain caught the ferry to the Pier Head to attend a meeting in Liverpool about missionary work in Paraguay. Which was strange as Alfred had no links with anywhere in South America. No idea why he went to this particular meeting. His background was from a small fishing village in Norfolk. Two years with TB had truncated his schooling and so he worked in the local garage before being commissioned in the Church Army. Shy and reserved Alfred eschewed up-front ministry. He felt more at home in social action, working with young offenders in Birkenhead. Not many turned up to the meeting which was just as well as the speaker w

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