I attended a Boarding School in the South East of England from age 8, where I was required to attend Chapel every day. The services all came from the Book of Common Prayer and if I gained any benefit from them at all, it was to give me a familiarity with the Bible from an early age, plus, perhaps more importantly, providing a period of stillness and calm in each day, where reflection on life in general became possible.
Later I became confirmed as a member of the Church of England at senior school and started to form a love of sacred music, which has stayed with me.
After school, I did a year’s voluntary service in Africa in a Roman Catholic mission school. The experience of life in general was invaluable, but it put me off formalised ‘religion’ in a way that coloured my views for many years.
Towards the end of a very wide-ranging career mostly in manufacturing industry, I was lucky enough to be appointed the Director of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust (now known as the National Churches Trust) and coincidentally I found that I’d rediscovered my faith. This led to me undergoing training to become a Lay Minister in the Church of England, including studying for a Foundation Degree in Christian Theology and Ministry, graduating From the University of Winchester with a Distinction in 2010. This left me with a voracious appetite for reading theology books, which has stayed with me.
I no longer preach in church, but still find it very fulfilling trying to ‘unpick’ Biblical passages and reflecting theologically about events as they unfold in our increasingly troubled world.
I find it deeply distressing to watch the state of decline in our Church organisations. I’m depressed by the fact that the public generally view church people as both bigoted and out of touch (which sadly they can be). Finally, and most importantly of all, I find inspiration in trying to encourage people to see in Christ’s teaching so much that could help to heal this broken world of ours, if only people would allow Christ’s real teaching to show through. I hope this comes across in what I have written in the blog.