December 2023

Forward to Adventure! 

In my former parish, there were various experiments we made to make the most of the unique atmosphere of preparation and excitement accompanying Advent. Shortest-lived was what we called the Nativity Crawl, which involved the familiar festive cast dressed in costume and released in stages onto the high street, to work their way along the five pubs situated there, finding ‘no room at the inn’ until culminating (with carols and swaddled doll) in carols at the last pub en route. It was fun but didn’t quite catch light.  

More successful was what we called The Adventure, whereby each evening in Advent, a small space around the benefice – someone’s garage, or a school porch – would open for just one hour to give a glimpse of something festive and hope-filled. Different households or groups would take responsibility for one night each, so the load was spread: some would simply sing carols and serve mulled wine, others were more adventurous and creative, but all were exciting steps along the way to Christmas Eve, which took place in the lychgate of one of the churches.  

I recall this project (which wasn’t my idea, by the way) fondly, because it began to change the rumour about church in the community and brought alive a season that still kindles spiritual yearnings among so many. My seventeen-year-old daughter told me this week that ‘getting ready for the party is better even than the party itself’. In Advent, I’m inclined to agree.


November 2023

Praying for the People God Knows We Need. This autumn it has been a joy to institute and licence a record number of clergy to new posts and as well as being the beginning of new ministry for individuals, communities and parishes, these services represent the culmination of months of careful work.


October 2023

October is one of those months when the leaves begin to change and fall, and somewhat comical excuses come into conversations about why things don’t work. Leaves on the line may well be a technical problem for the railways, but we all know it also means, somewhat ironically, why is it somethings just don’t work as they should. 


September 2023

Harvest, in the agricultural sense, is well past. All is safely (or soggily) gathered in and the appealing blocks of barley and hay baling our landscape into a pop-up sculpture park have all but disappeared. The Church’s Harvest celebrations


July 2023

I write this at the end of no mow May, and during a week when we are remembering to care for God’s acre, so I am thinking about all those who serve in many ways tending our churchyards and enabling them to be places where God’s creation and God’s presence can be experienced. Thank you.

June 2023

One year ago, I became your bishop with that great service in the cathedral. It has been the fastest year in many ways, with changes coming at us all with a post-pandemic pace that has somewhat stunned us all.

May 2023

How does one crown a king? After much rehearsal and with a steady hand, I suspect – and bated breath around the globe in that solemn moment...

April 2023

I wonder whether we can remember how we were feeling 3 years ago as we approached Easter?  Lockdown feels a long time ago, however I was reminded through an article read recently that we have all experienced a major trauma in our lives which we have somehow lived through.

March 2023

On Saturday 25 March, there are only 274 shopping days left until Christmas! This timely reminder comes not to send you to the shops, but to remember that there are nine months until Christmas comes round again.

February 2023

I write this on an early wet dark evening in January. Candlemas marks the end of the Epiphany season and lights are once again lit reminding us to rekindle our faith as we enter the season of Lent.

January 2023

The recent Census findings that Britain is now a minority Christian country has caused many in the media to reflect upon the declining significance of the church within our nation, not least as we approach a coronation service in which the Christian underpinnings of the monarchy and our nation state will be much in evidence.

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