About a million years ago, when I was an apprentice mechanic, a change in life happened. At the company I worked we took delivery of a new Bedford TK truck, heater and rubber floor mats optional! We climbed into and searched all over the new shiny toy, like children in a playground. Then someone asked “what’s that”? Behind the steering wheel where the speedo lived there was a large black, roundish clock. The foreman informs us in a overly smug way “it’s a tachograph”. It records everything the lorry and the driver does on a small piece of paper which is handed to the manager at the end of the working shift. At that point a driver steps into the crowd of inquisitive mechanics and apprentices and proclaims “Oh $%£* now they will know everything we do”. 
On reflection the tachograph was a clunky piece of kit that began a new way of tracking; where we are, what we are doing and what we are not doing. The tachograph was renamed the spy in the cab.It was seen very much as threat to the worki…


We are committed! In the past we agreed, but now we are committed. Tickets to Johannesburg have been acquired, and seats booked (same seats as last time). We are now sorting our possessions. I am grateful to Brother Nigel (Schibald), who, many years ago first planted the seed of a simple life, living with less. Pictured are the possessions we are shipping to South Africa. Fourteen boxes that will help us live a simpler life at Mercy Air, in White River. What we are discovering is that we have so much stuff! Jesus once said something about our possessions and our treasures. We have already made many trips to the re-cyclers, and the council tip, and there will be many more to come. In this part of the journey we are asking; ‘What do we want to come back to?’ We are moving from a 5 bedroom house vicarage with a large garden, to a small 2 bedroom cabin with a combined kitchen, living and dining room, with a massive garden (The Lowveld). We discovered we had three sets of crockery, (don…

Two thoughts

My two thoughts for the morning. As the BBC moves to replace the CofE as the national church of no belief, as parts of the BBC becomes more irrelevant in the new world is it possible The BBC will consume itself with its left wing cynical view? When the issue of faith is shown the back door and told not to come back who will the new priests and priestess pour their cynicism on? Perhaps themselves? For we all need the other voice who we don’t agree with to gain a greater understanding of who and what we are.  History tells us every regime needs someone to bullySecondly, will The Church not be better without these platforms of privilege? When we are no longer welcome on the platform of privilege as will happen at some point, will we not need to shape up to redefine what we believe, what we have to share, what we don’t need? Privilege tends to make you slow on your feet, breed chummy inward looking relationships, privilege steals from people the ability to move under the defining culture …

Response To Bishop North

A while back Bishop Phillip North spoke to New Wine and caused a bit of a reaction one of it was a Tweet to my millions of followers. In response I had a phone call from The Church Times asking for a quote because I serve in a poor parish, I declined and said I would put a more considered response on my blog, so here it is with a link to The Bishops full talk.

1.One of the issues the church does not recognise is the exportation of people, talents and money from parishes like mine to middle class parishes which is draining and demanding on leadership. For 10 years I thought I was building a community, then it dawned on me I was building people up to go to other places.
2.Bishop Phillip talks of abandonment of the poor: I think it’s more complicated than that. When I came back to my Deanery in 2000 to my present post, we had 10 full ti…

The Big M

I have in my diary three dates for musical encounters. These dates are even more interesting than usual, as at the same time I explore and write about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for my MA. One of the issues that is rising our of my reading is the musical event as a pilgrimage and a deep desire for a sacred place, space and encounter. This essay is drawing me down a path where I am asking the question "has my hobby or pattern of going to concerts over the years (many in my younger day's) been a deep desire for a spiritual sacred encounter?" Tonight I will be listening to Mahler from the BBC Proms I have no idea why I started listening to Mahler but this piece of music The resurrection Symphony No2 crushes me and lifts me in unequal measure. Next time I'm allowed out to a concert is latter in the month and then NC&BS after that. I suppose the danger is I might over analyse the event and miss the Jig the dance the beat of life. Do you think your music is sacred?

Men of influence (and women)

In 1989 I walked into a garage/ workshop canteen for my breakfast, 10 o'clock, it was my first breakfast in this room. Sandwich in hand I sat at a spare seat. This seat would change my life. But today I say thank you for one thing. 
It is the 90th birthday of John Coletrian if he would have lived. The man who I sat opposite that morning introduced me to John Coletrain, not that morning amidst the sweet smell of diesel, overalls   and burnt toast but latter. Latter he gave a CD called Love Supreme, Acknowledgement 7.47, Resolution 7.22 Pursuance/ Part 4-Psalm 17.50. I didn't know it at the time but this invitation education allowed me to look above my loved rock and roll. His gift to me that day was a kind of love S, enhancing my love of music inviting me to dance to another rhythm.   We are all indebted to Coltrian I'm indebted to my friend Mike O'Connor. Thank you, Thank You. Good friends enrich you.

At Ian y mor

•  Trad. Arlan y moro Singer: Sir Bryn Terfel.  I have just listened to this piece of music. It did a number of things. As the hair stood up on the back of my head I was reminded of how I need something of the otherness of life, call is spirituality, but something beyond myself. Beside the sea red roses growing
Beside the sea white lilies showing
Beside the sea their beauty telling
My true love sleeps within her dwellingBeside the sea the stones lie scattered
Where tender words in love were uttered
While all around there grew the lily
And sweetest branches of rosemaryBeside the sea blue pebbles lying
Beside the sea gold flowers glowing
Beside the sea are all things fairest
Beside the sea is found my dearestFull the sea of sand and billows
Full the egg of whites and yellows
Full the woods of leaf and flower
Full my heart of love for ever.Fair the sun at new day’s dawning
Fair the rainbow’s colours shining
Fair the summer, fair as heaven
Fairer yet the face of Elin