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ADVENT LOVE (Advent 4, 2019)

One of the greatest theologians that ever lived, Karl Barth, was asked to be a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School. At the end of a captivating closing lecture, the President of the seminary announced that Dr Barth was not well and was quite tired, and though he thought that Dr Barth […]

ADVENT JOY (Advent 3: 2019)

The first Salvationists literally jumped with joy. General William Booth told them that if they felt the Holy Spirit move them they could leap in a hymn or a prayer. They leapt! Dr John Farmer, the organist at Harrow School, used to tell how he adjudicated once at a great music festival and heard a […]

ADVENT PEACE (Advent 2: 2019)

  Telemachus was a monk who lived in the 4th century. He felt God saying to him, ‘Go to Rome’. He was in a cloistered monastery. He put his possessions in a sack and set out for Rome. When he arrived in the city, people were thronging in the streets. He asked why all the […]

ADVENT HOPE (Advent 1: 2019)

Luke Veronis tells a deeply moving story of the Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union Solzhenitsyn spent many years in the prison camps of Siberia. Along with other prisoners he worked in the fields day after day, in rain and sun, during summer and winter. His life appeared to be […]

MEMORIES (Views from the Abbey 10)

According to Ken Galbraith, a Canadian economist (1908-2006), ‘nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.’ Memories appear to have indeed been alarmingly short in politics of late, but I am not sure it can ever be described as admirable! As a race, we humans so easily fall into the trap of forgetting […]

EASTER PEOPLE (Views from the Abbey 9)

John Foster tells how an enquirer from Hinduism approached an Indian Bishop. Unaided he had read the New Testament, and the story had fascinated him. In particular he was gripped by the person of Jesus Christ. He felt he had entered a new world. In the Gospels it was all about Jesus … his works, […]

MURDER, MYSTERY AND MAYHEM (Loose in the Loire 4)

I love a good murder mystery story. ‘It is the stuff of life!’ a fellow addict told me recently. Well, I wouldn’t go that far but everything from Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle to Dorothy L Sayers or J K Rowling make for good holiday or bedtime reading as far as I’m concerned. We […]