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As disembodied voices go, it was impressive!

As disembodied voices go, it was impressive! Last night I took the M6 south to Werrigton and Wetley Rocks, which as you know is six miles east of Stoke-on-Trent. Former curate, Michael Follin, was being instituted as team vicar. A great service. As usual for a newly installed vicar, Michael’s main contribution was giving the notices at the end of the service, a peculiarly Anglican tradition. There he told us about the disembodied voice. On the previous evening he was strumming his electric guitar in the vicarage alongside the church – its what we vicars do when we have the house to ourselves. He is then startled to hear a voice very clearly saying “ Michael, we are pleased you ha

So keep at it, even if no one notices

So today it’s SIAMS! Even as I type these words the Registered Inspector is getting into his car to arrive at our church school for their first meeting at 8.15 am. SIAMS? The world of education more than any other I know is replete with acronyms. Here we have the “Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools.” Basically, how are we doing as a church school? Our head teacher, David, and his staff –especially the SMT, have been working hard to prepare for this inspection ever since they were given due notice last Friday. As chair of the Governing Body I know that Christ Church is a great church school – and we can demonstrate this, certainly helped by our extensive prepar

Strange how God uses mistakes.

As soon as I walked in after all those years, I knew for certain that it was God who had engineered my move to Heswall. At the time in 1979 it seemed a huge risk. I even wrote to a friend: “I suppose the move could be the best move I’ve ever made or the most disastrous.” So returning to the Church of the Good Shepherd last Sunday, after a gap of some 23 years, was a huge encouragement. For we never wanted to go to Heswall. Even the invitation to go there was as a result of a massive misunderstanding. Strange how God uses mistakes. But now looking back our move there could be the most significant decision in my ministry. When I arrived the church was facing one way; when I left s

In a word, we find ourselves in a muddle.

“So where does that all leave us?” The Thomas Cook flight from Holguin to Manchester slams on its airbrakes just 7000 feet over our vicarage at 5.35 this morning (as usual). But rather than go back to sleep, I reach for my Galaxy to see how the General Election is doing. And as you know, it’s a hung parliament. Mrs. May’s decision to ask the country for a mandate in the Brexit negotiations now seems a big mistake. As Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld wryly tweeted: “Cameron gambled, lost. May gambled, lost. Tory party beginning to look like a casino.” But the big problem is what does this election result mean? Clearly the Tories failed to win the support the early polls promised them

The Most Unforgettable Character I Have Ever Met.

“You have a lovely tan!” “Yes, I’ve just come back from a week in Majorca.” It’s 1975 and while on a month placement at St Mary’s Edge Hill I accompany vicar, Alan Godson, as he pays his gas bill at Radiant House in Bold Street. So far, so good. But then Alan, never one to miss an opportunity to present the Gospel, responds to the startled cashier: “And do you know the sunshine of God’s love in your life?” Stories about Alan Godson abound; most are true. He even changed his house number in Towerlands Street from 4 to JC4U. Altogether a one-off, he had a passion for sharing the Gospel in every situation and with anyone who happened to be around. I always assumed that that p

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