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We need to talk about death

A guest blog I wrote for the Anglican Communion News Service (click on image to read)

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Joy!

Early start this morning – a wee trip to Dundee for BBC Radio Scotland Thought for the Day. Here’s what I said: Read more

The Church

I love Jesus. And my love for Jesus is worked out in the church. But our relationship to the church isn’t always easy. Like all relationships worth having, life within the church requires work and commitment. Sometimes that is painful. But we persevere, trusting that in the end beauty and love will prevail.

I saw this poem a while back, and it’s been sitting with me ever since. This seems a good place to record it so I don’t lose it.

How baffling you are, oh Church,
and yet how I love you!
How you have made me suffer,
and yet how much I owe you!
I should like to see you destroyed,
and yet I need your presence.
You have given me so much scandal
and yet you have made me understand sanctity.
I have seen nothing in the world more
devoted to obscurity, more compromised,
more false, and I have found nothing more pure,
more generous, more beautiful.
How often have I wanted to shut the doors
of my soul in your face, and how often
I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.
No, I cannot free myself from you, because
I am you, although not completely.
And where should I go?

– Carlo Carretto

New year, new story?

Sermon for Second Sunday of Christmas (Matthew 2.13-end)
Preached at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, St Andrews
1 January 2017

In Scotland, Hogmanay has traditionally been the bigger of the two December celebrations. No doubt some of us can remember the time when Christmas wasn’t even a public holiday this side of the border.

Well when I was wee, our house operated a mixed economy: my parents were English and so they’d grown up with Christmas as the main event; but we were in Scotland, where Hogmanay was a big deal, so we had major celebrations for both. Hogmanay meant a late night in someone’s house, lots of party food (vol-au-vents, sausages on sticks!) and free-flowing single malt. Then a long lie the next day, and the wait for someone to First Foot us with a lump of coal wrapped in newspaper. Read more

Eradicating Poverty

I was on Thought for The Day on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, reflecting on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This is what I said: Read more