MAPPING THE JOURNEY (Views from the Abbey 26)

During the recent ‘deep clean’ of our church buildings at Abbey Baptist Church, Reading – a great opportunity to also ‘de-junk’ the various cluttered storerooms, nooks and crannies, cupboards and corners – we came across an old Route Planning Map from 1972. We love old maps. They are so colourful and informative – the ‘A’ […]

THIS IS MY BODY … BROKEN FOR YOU (Views from the Abbey 25)

Tuesday evening at Spurgeon’s College back in the 1960s was Devotional Evening when the entire college community would gather in the College Chapel for corporate worship and to listen to God’s Word together, and once a month to share Communion. One such evening we had a somewhat elderly retired Baptist Minister – prominent in his […]

THE SECRET PLACE (Views from the Abbey 24)

Do you have a favourite place, a secret place, a place you retreat to whenever you want to be alone, when you want to pray perhaps? It may be a room in your house, or a place in your garden, or a seat in a local park, or somewhere further afield that you can only […]


There is a character in a Bernard Cornwell historical fiction novel, set in and around the north of England in the 10th century, called Bishop Jeremias (or ‘the mad bishop’ as he was sometimes known). Bishop Jeremias was originally a Norse Jarl (or Lord) who ‘converted’ to Christianity but rather than settle for being a […]

SHAKEN NOT STIRRED (Post-Easter 2021)

Grapefruit juice, fly-killer, enamel paint, cough mixture, window cleaning liquid, air freshener … No, I’m not delirious through overwork. Nor have I picked up Julia’s shopping list in mistake for my notes. I’m just thinking of how many household items bear the label ‘shake well before use’. Shaking has its hazards, as a college friend […]

… AND BREATHE (Post-Easter 2021)

Apparently 11 April is World Breathing Day, an annual global event that invites everyone to remember, experience and celebrate the healing and unifying power of breath. We all breathe, and we all breathe the same air, yet rarely do we stop to acknowledge how fundamentally important our breath is, or how it connects us to […]

QUESTION MARK MINDS? (Post-Easter 2021)

When it comes to the resurrection stories of Jesus everybody’s favourite character is Thomas – Doubting Thomas – although few will admit it. We love Thomas because we find it easy to identify with him, and the fact that he eventually found his way to vital faith encourages us all. Thomas was ‘a man with […]


When I was a lad I was a Cub Scout (for a short while … more about that later). We met every Wednesday evening in the big hall (which was actually quite little) in Betham Infants School just along the road from the British Legion in Greenford where we lived at the time (that’s another […]


When I was the Pastor of the Assemblies of God Church in Newbridge (in the late 1970s) there was an elderly lady, Mrs Pullen, who had been converted during the 1904 Welsh Revival. During open times of prayer and worship in the Sunday Morning Breaking of Bread Service she was the first one up to […]


Originally posted on therevjs:
Easter People 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…