GOBBLEDYGOOK (Views from the Abbey 5)

There is a (hopefully mythological) story of some graffiti that appeared on the wall of a certain theological college which went as follows: ‘Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”  They replied, “You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma of which we find the ultimate meaning […]

STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE (Views from the Abbey 4)

A visitor to a class of seven-year olds was struck by the sad, worldly expression on the face on one little girl apparently labouring over a poem. Stopping by her desk he read her work: yesterday, yesterday, yesterday happiness, happiness, happiness today, today, today trouble, trouble, trouble tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow sorrow, sorrow, sorrow Deeply moved […]

BEYOND THE FAMILIAR (Views from the Abbey 3)

I am really looking forward to receiving my congratulatory telegram/card from King William in 25 years’ time (when I will have reached the ripe old age of 100). Five years ago, when I was 70, I had major heart surgery. The night before the operation I asked God for another 10 years of active ministry […]

TWIXMAS (Views from the Abbey 2)

Twixmas is a British slang word used to describe the period between Christmas and New Year, typically the 27-30 December. It is used a lot in the tourism industry when advertising holidays or events during this period. Personally, I rather like the word because it somehow does describe that rather weird period when the key […]

BIG? (Views from the Abbey 1)

‘So, you are leaving us to go to a big church then?’ said one of the members of our previous church when the news broke that we were moving to Abbey Baptist Church in Reading. ‘Glad to hear that you are going to a big church!’ wrote someone in an email to us when the […]


We are nearing the end of our wonderful holiday in Venice – just a couple of days to go. We have had another wonderful day today visiting various churches, museums and art galleries, and now we are relaxing back at our apartment. We have enjoyed a lovely meal in the apartment garden and are about […]

CHUTZPAH (Deaf in Venice 5)

One of the advantages of having an apartment in the Cannaregio area of Venice is that it gives us the opportunity to explore bits of this magical city that are somewhat off the well beaten tourist trail. Today we are walking through the narrow alleys, with surprises around every corner, that make up the huge […]