The excellent sermon that the neighbours didn’t hear, but all my friends raved about

There’s no doubt Rev Micheal Curry preached a blinder at the royal wedding. Quickly Twitter and my social media echo chamber was buzzing with how brilliant it was, friends were explaining how it showed that preaching wasn’t dead. Now I’m not a fan of the royals but I caught the talk, but I wasn’t convinced that the body language of the congregation suggested they were as taken with the sermon as my echo chamber was. Don’t get me wrong it was one of the best things I have ever heard from a pulpit, and I am a huge fan of Michael Curry and blogged about him a few times, but I asked a few people outside my echo chamber and to be honest they weren’t that bothered, some thought it went on too long, others couldn’t remember the key point.
So let’s not carried away with the idea that preaching is a lost art and if only we did it well it would work.

Some things need to be carried

I have been posting a series of advent tweets under the #adventweight and for some people these tweets are hard to embrace. In the tweets I try to put myself in the shoes of others for whom the run up to christmas may be hard.

I often find myself needing times of lament, to pause, to cry and weep, to embrace the fact that some things simply need to be carried. As I watched the film Field of Dreams for the umpteenth time last night, I found myself once again weeping unexpectedly, as the film reached a point of reconciliation between father and son, and was reminded that in my life this is something I just need to carry. My relationship with my father was rocky due to his alcoholism and yet in the dying moments of his life there were glimmers of hope and grace between us seeping through the cracks, but still many years later there are things I just need to carry. So as I prepare for the hope to come through #adventweight I remember that there is no magic bullet, not everything happens for a reason, and in the midst of new birth, hope and surprise, there are still things at just need to be carried.

A silent auction

In August, a group of young people from Chard will be visiting Romania, to convert a dilapidated cabin (see above) into a village pharmacy. They are traveling with Project Romania (a local charity) to Seica Mare which is twinned with Chard. You can find out more on Project Romania here

To support the project the young people have undertaken a variety of fund raising events, including a sponsored cycle (riding the equivalent of Chard to Romania), a football match, coffee morning and quiz. In the pipeline are a motorbike run, BBQ and community day.

The current fund raising activity is a Silent Auction, and local businesses have been contacted and kindly donated a host of prizes. If you would like to bid on any of amazing items you can download a form here

Affirmation of faith during advent

I believe in God, who had the wild idea of becoming one of us
I believe in Jesus, who restricted himself to Mary’s womb for a while
I believe in the Holy spirit, who overshadowed Mary,
I believe in the incarnation of God,
I believe that God lives within us
I believe that God is with us.Alive or Dead release

I believe in Santa !

Not posted anything for ages – but just came across the following from G. K. Chesterton.

What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it.
It happened in this way. As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring explanation. I hung up at the end of my bed an empty stocking, which in the morning became a full stocking. I had done nothing to produce the things that filled it. I had not worked for them, or made them or helped to make them. I had not even been good — far from it. And the explanation was that a certain being whom people called Santa Claus was benevolently disposed toward me.
What we believed was that a certain benevolent agency did give us those toys for nothing. And, as I say, I believe it still. I have merely extended the idea. Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great planet in the void. Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dolls and crackers, now, I thank him for stars and street faces and wine and the great sea. Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big that it only went halfway into the stocking. Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill.
— G. K. Chesterton in The Tablet 2

I wish you all a happy Christmas –

Keep believing in Santa…

Babe: Pig in the City divx

Chasing Amy movie

Spawn divxA Prairie Home Companion movies


In college prayers last week we were asked to write about the awesomeness of God. Here were my thoughts

How do you begin to describe the indescribable?
Can you speak of the length of the one who goes on forever?
Can you fathom the depths of the fathomless?
How can you explain the love of the one who is Love?
Is it possible to tell of the deeds of the ageless one or contemplate the creator of the world and all that is in it?
What is it to say that God is this or that, when he is always more, always beyond. Yet to say he is always more, always beyond is just as inadequate, as he is always close always near.
How do you begin to describe the indescribable?

Retreat for men – ‘On being a man’

On being a man –
A weekend retreat for men in beautiful north Northumbria
May 4 – 6th 2007

This is an introductory retreat on masculine spirituality which will explore and touch on several themes including exploring our perceptions of being male, Jesus the man, wounds of the father and further steps to developing a mature masculinity.

I am a member of the Northumbria community and lived at the mother house for 3 years which had a major impact on my spiritual formation. The Community is a dispersed community interested in exploring a new monasticism informed by Celtic spirituality and the desert fathers and mothers. The community is situated in the middle of the countryside – 10 miles form Holy Island.
I would like to invite you to experience the hospitality and rhythm of the community in the wilds of north Northumberland while also focussing on what is means to be a man in this introduction to masculine spirituality

For more info about the community, my work with men and to book please go to there website at