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Those who changed my direction

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10) Well, I'm nearly there, my threescore years and ten and looking back over the decades, I can praise God for his faithfulness – finding him reliable through testing times. I thank him for the countless people who have encouraged me, those who have influenced me in in big ways and in small – and especially for those individuals responsible for a marked change of direction in my life. Some are obvious – my parents, members of my family. Clearly life would have been very different ha

Taking the hopping out of Christmas shopping.

With just four days to go, I’m feeling remarkably relaxed – even with three granddaughters currently resident. (That’s why I’m writing this blog at this ridiculously early time, before they descend and spread mayhem!) However, it’s not the reason you would expect -that I am now retired from being a vicar with all the demands of Christmas. I can offer the reason in just one word: Amazon. Choosing and buying Christmas presents can be an exhausting business, not least with four daughters, four sons-in-law and ten grandchildren. On top of this, two extended family members abroad and what seems to me like a host of small gifts for friends. In previous years this would mean several ser

How God changes the script.

Well, we finally made it. After over 40 years of failed expectations, after four daughters and nine granddaughters, we finally made it. Our youngest grandchild was cast as Mary in her school nativity. It’s not, I think, that my daughters and their female offspring were deemed unsuitable by central casting to play the mother of Jesus. As far as I was aware, there were no challenging behaviours, no veil-ripping tantrums. Instead we found ourselves portraying various farmyard animals or angels or occasionally a shepherd. Sometimes we made narrator. But never a Mary. The reason for this familial failure is simple. They were the vicar’s daughter. And for five of us, a vicar’s

We are to be good sailors in troubled waters.

This week’s session in the House of Commons is rightly taking centre stage as our elected representatives debate Brexit, what it means and how to do it. That’s how our democracy works. However, as today’s Economist points out: “The government’s struggle to get the deal through Parliament exposes a crack that Brexit has created at the heart of Britain’s democracy.” And this crack between Leavers and Remainers goes right through both our main political parties so that neither the Tories nor Labour can offer a coherent policy on what is now the most important decision to face our nation. For our nation is divided. 52/48% does not allow a clear consensus. In fact, this fissure between

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