Vicar’s Blog December 2017

I recently came across a character called Angelus Silesius, who was a 17th century German mystic.  In fact he was rather more than that: he was also a Catholic priest, poet and physician.  He was born a Lutheran, but converted to Catholicism in 1653.  He’s evidently mostly remembered these days for his religious poetry, including… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog November 2017

People generally don’t like “stirrers” – the types who tend to stir up trouble for others, by highlighting differences of opinion, or inflaming tensions, or just gossiping.  But there are constructive “stirrers” as well – those we might in some contexts call “prophets”, the people who are prepared to raise uncomfortable questions and important ethical… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog September 2017

The news is rarely all good, or all bad.  Usually, it’s a mixture of both. Once upon a time, in the early years of the first millenium AD, a galley-ship was on the high seas.  The galley-slaves of this particular ship found that they had a priest among their number.  They asked for his guidance,… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog July 2017

Twice a year, students in the symphony orchestra at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester spend a dedicated week preparing for a major public concert, under the direction of a guest conductor brought in specially. On one of these occasions, the teenagers had been working intensively with an American conductor, and he’d achieved extraordinary things… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog May 2017

I’m writing this a couple of days after the death of Martin McGuinness, the one-time IRA Commander who went on to become an important part of the peace process in Northern Ireland and in due course a Deputy First Minister in the power-sharing government.  It was an extraordinary journey, and a remarkable transformation: from someone… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog April 2017

I read recently a shocking report of a woman who was deported from the UK, after losing her indefinite leave to remain. The authorities were widely, and in my view rightly, condemned for their lack of compassion. This woman, Irene, had first arrived in this country in 1988. Two years later she married her British… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog March 2017

A headteacher I know a little did something the other day which I thought was rather good.  I didn’t witness it first hand, but learnt it from someone who was there.  There had been an internal act of vandalism at the school, which had inevitably caused annoyance and bad feeling.  In an assembly shortly afterwards,… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog February 2017

I’m writing this shortly before Christmas (although readers won’t be seeing this edition of the magazine until 2017 is well under way).  So a lot of my thinking at the moment is being done to an accompaniment of Christmas carols, heard or imagined!  One of which – Good King Wenceslas – has a particular fascination. … Read more »

Vicar’s Blog January 2017

Something that has remained an inspiration for me over a long period is a meditation by John Henry Newman called “Some Definite Service”.  It begins like this: “God knows me and calls me by my name.… God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog December 2016

Any of you who’ve driven in Italy will know that it can be an interesting experience! The Italians are renowned for their flamboyant driving, and for imagining that they’re all driving Ferraris! I’ve had a number of hair-raising moments myself over there. I remember once, many years ago, hitching a lift with a girl whose… Read more »

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