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 »

Vicar’s Blog November 2016

A while ago, there was an article in the magazine ‘New Scientist’ entitled “Reasons to be cheerful”.  Science, we’re told, is beginning to identify the keys to a happy life, and the article explored 10 of them.  One key is “Find God”.  The overwhelming majority of studies show that people who “get involved in a… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog October 2016

There is a story (who am I to judge whether it’s true or apocryphal?!) that Henry Ford once made a visit to Dublin, and while in the city he was moved to offer a donation of £1,000 to the building of a new hospital there. The Dublin Times accidently on purpose reported that he had… Read more »

Vicar’s Blog September 2016

The story goes that one day, in a rather strict Christian primary school, the children were queuing up in the dining room at lunchtime. At one end of the counter was a huge pile of apples. The teacher on duty that day – one of the strictest – had written a large note and placed… Read more »