September – Minister’s letter

September – Minister’s letter Dear friends. It was my birthday in August and my sister gave me the most wonderful present – a day out sailing the Broads on a Wherry Yacht. It was a glorious, relaxing day and the other passengers were excellent company too. It was a special occasion for both Wendy and […]

Reversed ambition

Reversed ambition Loving God,we are rather in the habitof drawing up hopoes and plans and strategies,and then asking you to blessthe decisions we have already made. But maybe, that is not how you would have us be?Perhaps you know,as we, too, in our better moments realise,that hopes can be unrealistic and easily dashed,strategies might merely […]

Goals

Goals “He’s football crazy, he’s football mad, the football game has robbed him of the wee bit of sense he had” (Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor) I have never been a fan of the “beautiful game”, despite Douglas’ devotion to Wolverhampton Wanderers, but, during the Euros I felt a compulsion to watch and cheer our amazing young […]

August – Minister’s Letter

August – Minister’s Letter Dear friends Do you make plans and then find they don’t go how you intended?  I recently had a short boating holiday planned with a friend but the boat was still “under maintenance” so we booked a campsite instead.  My friend duly arrived with camping gear, drove on to the campsite, […]

Excess baggage

Excess Baggage Dear Friends, Jesus said, “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28) I grew up with what has been described as the Protestant work ethic where being busy was high on the list of commendable behaviours.  I’m not good at letting go of imagined desperately […]

July – Minister’s letter

July – Minister’s Letter Dear friends. During a holiday week early in June I took the opportunity of a sunny day to visit Rievaulx Abbey. It is a ruined Cistercian monastery in North Yorkshire and is a beautiful and peaceful place. Although much of its original splendour has been destroyed, the structures that remain have […]

Gardening

Gardening For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to plant… (Ecclesiastes 3:1) As you may recall, I like gardening, although I am far from being an expert.  I enjoy watching “Gardener’s World”, entranced by Monty Don’s expertise and passion, and, of course, his canine accomplices Nellie and Patty.  […]

June – Minister’s Letter

June – Minister’s Letter Darwen is a Lancashire mill town, nestled in a narrow valley just south of Blackburn.  The Tower (with spiral steps leading up to an observation platform) was opened in 1898, primarily commemorating Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, but also a victory for the local people over a landowner, re-establishing their right to […]

Creation – it is GOOD

A prayer by Christian Aid’s Global Theology Advisor, Bob Kikuyu Great God, Who makes the sun to rise, and opens the heavens Hear the cry of the people Who sow in hope for rain, but reap only despair Hear the cry of the people Seeking shelter from the storm, their hopes and homes submerged Hear […]

Mr & Mrs Cleopas

Mr and Mrs. Cleopas Musing on the story of Mr. and Mrs. Cleopas encountering the risen Jesus as they travelled the dusty road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, I came across this advice from an unexpected source. Charlie Chaplin lived for 88 years and left us the following statement: Nothing is for ever in this world, […]