Latest Blog Posts

Posted 1 day 16 hours ago

Two fat little chicks have been enjoying my back-garden’s hospitality this month, part of a second brood I should think. They sit on branches, indolently awaiting their parents’ next food offerings. Today, though, and I cannot see them. Have they featured as a Special on the local feline menu? Have they relocated to more salubrious surroundings? Have they eaten sufficient and flown off, one day to have a family of their own?

Posted 2 days 17 hours ago

Congregationalist army chaplain Hugh Peter was preaching in the village of West Ham in 1643. Some gentlemen began to walk out in protest at the sermon’s content. As they were leaving, Peter called out to one:

“Sir, I pray you hear me speak a few words before you be gone. I’ll tell you a tale that shall be worth your hearing and yet no so long as to hinder you in your business.”

The gentleman paused, leaning on the font by the church door.

Posted 3 days 16 hours ago

The last few years in Europe and elsewhere have been characterised by mass migration; I know that this is a politically-charged topic and a Christian who deliberates on such walks on egg shells. Most working-class people in Britain now have colleagues from all over the world, especially Eastern Europe. This is in addition to the earlier, twentieth-century migrations from the Commonwealth- Pakistan and the West Indies in particular. Their descendants are no longer immigrants, being as they are third and fourth generation.

Posted 4 days 17 hours ago

My paper and cardboard bin was not emptied last month. I phoned Pendle Council to report it but was politely informed that because I hadn’t called ‘the next working day, I may expect a further delay’. I replied that, as their office hours were 9am -4.30pm, and I worked from 8am till 6.30pm, this had not been possible. Despite several more calls, the rubbish was not removed for another four weeks, which is when that particular recycling round would have returned anyway. So what do I do? If I’m not happy with the service, do I move to another district? Pay a private firm to take it instead?

Posted 5 days 15 hours ago

Posted 6 days 16 hours ago

We are an old fellowship, and today we celebrate our 202nd anniversary of our founding. In the old records, I found a hand-written note by the church’s pastor, 22 years after he had moved on:

‘Though I left Martin Top in 1848 I have visited my ever dear and valued friends and have preached to them the glorious gospel of the grace of God. May God give them grace, mercy and peace, greatly bless and prosper them all’. Rev E.S. Heron, 1870.

Posted 1 week 15 hours ago

Regular readers will know I enjoy watching pranks, that special genre on internet video during which someone is duped or tricked. This one amused me as it highlights the foolishness of collecting pictures of Christ and creating domestic shrines of religious trinkets and paraphernalia. The Youtuber’s grandma is sincere enough but is spiritually mistaken. The image she assumed to be of Jesus Christ is in fact an actor playing Star Wars Jedi master, Obi One Kenobi.

Posted 1 week 1 day ago

I’ve watched The Happy Prince, Rupert Everett’s 2018 dramatisation of the Oscar Wilde story. Unlike the 1997 version starring Stephen Fry, Everett focussed on his final years after leaving prison. Although the film signals its virtue before the final credits by mentioning the 175,000 men convicted for homosexuality (which isn’t true seeing as homosexuality has never been an offence under English law), the film shows the wastage of Wilde’s talents and prospects. Having left prison, he had the opportunity to start afresh in France.

Posted 1 week 2 days ago

I was at the London’s Natural History Museum last week. This huge, cathedral-like structure contains within many thousands of exhibits, including whale skeletons and reconstructed dinosaurs (I particularly like this picture as the stegosaurus appears to be about to eat a carnivorous breakfast).