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How disciples of Jesus handle major disagreements.

Well, how things have changed!  Who would have thought? Being a Christian all these years, well over half a century, gives a certain perspective. I've seen things come and I've seen them go.  Moreover, what was hugely important then is hardly noticed today.   Such as the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. This Monday the media picked up an interview of Justin Welby on Premier radio, all very straight-forward and in-house.  Except that when you are the Archbishop of Canterbury nothing stays in-house for long.    As the BBC reported on Monday, Justin said that every Christian was a charismatic in one sense, as they were "filled with the Spirit" according to the New Testament.  Incidenta

When do we compromise - and how?

The gruelling Civil War is over; the monarchy has been restored and is now reformed. It’s 1688 in the excellent history of the English written by Robert Tombs, which I am currently reading. He concludes: “Combining these seemingly conflicting principles produced characteristics of English political culture: suspicion of Utopias and zealots; trust in common sense and experience; respect for tradition; preference for gradual change; and the view that compromise is victory, not betrayal.” As you will know we are in the middle of another climatic time in our history, witness the remarkable events this week in the House of Commons – which I was very briefly to observe for myself on Monday

Those people who become part of our lives

Just opened the BBC news page to be surprised and saddened to read that BBC’s North West Tonight’s resident Geordie, Dianne Oxberry, has died – just 51. You will remember her upbeat regional weather forecasts, cheerful even when she warned us of heavy rain and strong winds. It seems that her BBC colleagues only found out she was ill in the new year and said they were "heartbroken" to hear of her death. A true professional, Dianne began her broadcasting career with a spell with Radio 1 as part of Simon Mayo's on-air team. What I didn’t know was that she then went onto study meteorology at the Met Office College before joining BBC North West in 1995 as its first dedicated weather pr

"Driver, follow that star?" Well, no.

We’ve all been invited by the archbishops to #followthestar throughout the 12 days of Christmas, ending with Epiphany this Sunday. Even Alexa has been recruited by the redoubtable CofE digital team to share the good news of the Christmas message. Except in the biblical narrative no one followed any star! I recall as a curate taking a school assembly on the authentic Christmas story as recounted in the New Testament. Just getting the nativity of Jesus straight. It’s my job. Afterwards the head teacher took me aside with a gentle reprimand. “You’re taking the magic out of Christmas.” In fact - although I didn’t say this to him - that was my very aim. I’ve always had a passion for

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