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Posted 1 day 10 hours ago

I heard it raining in the night, but it wasn’t actually raining when I drew the curtains back this morning.  “Goodness,” I thought, “when did that last happen?”  Well, technically, I suppose, it was yesterday because it wasn’t raining then either.  It was snowing.  But although it feels like months since we had a dry day, I know it wasn’t really so long ago.  Lest you fear that life in the Yorkshire Dales has become a tedious round of unrelieved gloom, let me assure you that th

Posted 1 day 18 hours ago

When Congregationalist Labour Leader Harold Wilson lost the 1970 general election, a No 10 official remarked “When he stopped being Prime Minister, he missed most of all his Tuesday appointments” (quoted in Ben Pimlott’s 1992 biography Harold Wilson). These appointments were with Elizabeth II.

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago

I’ve been preaching in different churches for 20 years now. I’ve come to recognise certain types of hearer.

The Amener

Posted 3 days 17 hours ago

I recently watched Carry On Sergeant, an early (‘classic?’) Carry On Film from 1958. Made in the days before the franchise became known for its double entendre and smutty comments, it tells the story of a platoon of young men receiving their training for National Service. There are some genuinely funny moments and clever dialogue. One in particular, a brief conversation between an officer and a servicemen on parade, made me laugh:

“Your rank?“ 

“If you say so.”

Posted 4 days 17 hours ago

A certain Yorkshire-based evangelist, not unfamiliar with Martin Top, often promotes his native county’s best attributes. He distributes Faith Cook’s 2017 Fine Gold from Yorkshire, an account of the outstanding Christians to hail from that land, which supports the oft-quoted ditty that the White Rose represents ‘God’s own county’. Having ancestors from both Yorks and Lancs, I need not fret; our chapel did reside in York’s fair bosom until Edward’s Heath’s redrawing of the maps in ’74.

Posted 5 days 9 hours ago

I went out for a walk the other day.  It was a beautiful morning; winter trees silhouetted against a clear blue sky; breezy, but not cold.  Passing one particular section of woodland, my attention was caught by a sound I don’t ever remember hearing before.  The breeze must have been blowing from just the right direction and at just the right strength, so that all the trees were swaying and knocking against each other.  It was a lovely sound, slow, deep, and sonorous, a stately rhythm on giant woodblocks.  I was reminded of the words of the Lord in Isaiah: And all the trees of the field sha

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago

Posted 6 days 19 hours ago

I finished visiting some church folk about 7.30 one evening last week. Concluding it wasn’t worth the expense of lighting the fire, I decided to go and do my weekly shop. I had a voucher- £6 off if I spent £60 or more. I therefore carefully travelled the aisles, stocking up on items to reach the level at which the discount would kick in. After some time I arrived at the checkout only for a warning alarm to sound. Was it a fire? A robbery? In turned out that the escalator was leaking oil and spirting it out.

Posted 1 week 16 hours ago