SORTING OUT THE ‘SELFIE’ (Views from the Abbey 14)

The online dictionary defines a ‘selfie’ as ‘a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media’. It also adds a rider stating that ‘occasional selfies are acceptable but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary’. Apparently the modern selfie has […]

HOMELESS JESUS (Views from the Abbey 13)

The Rev Alex Martin hoped that the realistic statue of a homeless Jesus sleeping outside his church would inspire conversations about how to care for people in need in his tight-knit Ohio community. It definitely got people talking after someone called the police to complain about a ‘vagrant’ sleeping on a bench outside St. Barnabas Episcopal […]


Those of us who are of a certain age will remember Max Bygraves (1922-2012) the English comedian, singer, actor, and variety performer who appeared on numerous radio and television shows, made twenty appearances at the Royal Variety Show, had a number of hit records, appeared in various films, and presented numerous quiz programmes, including Family […]

WESLEYAN QUADRILATERAL [or How to Know the Guidance of God]

We are probably all familiar with the old story of the young man driving down to Cornwall for a weekend break and getting lost on the way. Pulling up outside a pub in a small hamlet in the West Country he asked an old boy sitting outside in the sun if he knew the way […]

DECLARING GOD’S WORTH (Views from the Abbey 12)

A man dreamed that he was escorted into a church by an angel one Sunday morning. There was something strange about the Service. The organist moved her fingers over the keys but no music came forth. The congregation sang and their lips moved but not a sound was heard. Other phases of the Service were […]

STANDING FIRM (Life in a Time of Lockdown 12)

Two friends of ours were staying in Los Angeles in 1994 when the city experienced a major earthquake. They were actually sight-seeing in another part of the San Fernando Valley and felt absolutely nothing at the time. In fact they didn’t even know there had been an earthquake until they got back to their hotel. […]


One of the joys of having been a Baptist Minister for more than 50 years is that every now and then I get letters or emails or phone calls from people that I have been able to help in times past. This week I had a letter from a chap called Craig who wrote to […]

LAID BARE (Life in a Time of Lockdown 11)

At the start of the lockdown, one of our cherished church members acutely observed that ‘this is a good time for us to get to know ourselves.’ How right she was. I think we have learned more about ourselves during this difficult time and discovered more about what we are really made of. Psalm 139 […]

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX (Life in a Time of Lockdown 10)

On display in the Bell Laboratories in Jersey, USA, is a box which always attracts a lot of attention. On the side of the box there is a toggle switch which, when turned ‘on’, causes a hand to appear from inside the box that switches the machine ‘off’ again before disappearing back inside the box. […]

SHAKEN-NESS (Life in a Time of Lockdown 9)

Springwatch has just finished for another year. This is sad for my sister, Livy, as she is a big fan of the programme’s presenter, the naturalist Chris Packham. He has said in the Guardian recently, speaking of life before Covid-19, that ‘the way we were living was unsustainable.’ Whilst not as big a fan as […]